With the increasing smartness of devices nowadays, you have now the capacity to access files and connect to someone from wherever you are to discuss whatever agenda you have. The most powerful tool that you only need for that is a WIRELESS ROUTER.
Your wireless router offers you unlimited possibilities – it can connect multiple computers, smart phones or laptops within your network; share files, watch videos online, and do long-distance calls; stream videos on your smart televisions and control some home appliances such as air conditions or heaters; and even remotely monitor your home activities even though you’re a thousand miles away.
In the simplest means to understand its importance, your wireless router is your doorway to access everything in the internet and choosing the best router in town is very crucial to avoid troubles and inconveniences later on. Here are 10 tips to consider when choosing your wireless router:
- Use of your router
This is the most significant factor to consider. Once you determine your use requirements, selecting the appropriate router to meet your need will be easy.
Purchase a basic router if you will only use it for social media applications, share files via Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and other online sharing platforms, perform online researches and send e-mails. But if you want to use it for some intensive online activities such as video streaming, playing games, and/or working online, then you need a more powerful router ~ those with higher specifications for you to always stay online and connected.
- Price or Performance?
This depends on you. My suggestion is that your budget and the specifications of the router that you’re going to purchase should match for you to experience an uncompromised performance of your router plus it meets your expectations.
In my case, I have been using the Google WiFi System as it is the best wireless router that met my specifications as well as my expectations. It is reliably fast and has already been given positive reviews by many of its users. I’m really a fan of watching trending videos online and I also do online jobs and with that, Google WiFi System is the best wireless router for me because it never failed me and the members of my household.
Commonly, routers are of two different types: there is 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band. These bands impose how powerful your network can provide for multiple connected devices. Herewith are its pros and cons:
The 2.4GHz is highly at risk to interference but is less expensive compared to the 5GHz band. Conversely, the latter is more expensive but provides a faster, structured connection. Because location matters with the selection of your router’s frequency, always be mindful of the possible interferences around your area such as staying in the city where there exists high rise buildings which may slow down your internet connection.
Further if you can go with dual band devices that support both bands at the same time and even selectable to switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz band.
A quick fact for laymen, the wireless standard is always 802.11 but varies with the versions represented by letters a, b, g, n or ac. First generation routers (a) offered only 2 Megabit per second (Mbps); second generation (b) offered 11 Mbps; third generation (g) offered 54 Mbps, fourth generation (n) offered 600 Mbps and the fifth & current generation (ac) now offers a whooping 1.3 Gigabit per second (Gbps) which is so far the fastest. When it comes to compatibility, fourth and fifth generations are applicable to computers purchased in the last 10 years. An addition of a third band can also amplify your wireless speed.
- Antenna range
Your router’s position at home or in the office is very crucial. Because of the concept of wireless communications over a radio channel, your router can receive and transmit signals. These must not be obstructed for a full transmission of signals. Brick walls and wooden doors are common sources of obstruction; hence, the router’s antenna must be located on top of a shelf or must be extended through upgrade or installation of range extenders.
Most wireless routers can connect to as many as 250 devices simultaneously. This number of connection somehow reduces the capacity of your router to connect to the internet and affects your upload and download speeds. Depending on your current internet use, 10 maximum connections for your router with an 802.11n band is just enough for your uninterrupted online video streaming. For your router with 802.11ac band, you can connect to as many as 50 devices with each device using up to 20 Mbps of data simultaneously.
- Security features
With child pornography and unauthorized access of confidential information issues at hand, the security feature of your router is of high importance. Controlling your router’s username and password, changing the network name, activating encryptions, and doubling up firewalls will help your children from accessing inappropriate websites and your family from some hacker’s threat.
- Updatable firmware
Routers purchased are usually embedded with a firmware as part of its operating system. A firmware is used to fix bugs or upgrade your router’s capacity to perform. Updating or upgrading your firmware will help supersede outdated security encryptions and boost performance of your router. This is one of the considerations you must get to know more.
- Other features
The more recent routers found in the market offers striking features you couldn’t resist but buy. But what you need to know is that they offer some common additional features such as support for network printers for one-click printing anywhere in your building, hard drives or smart home device access where you can access data from the devices currently connected to your network and even hear music as some have audio jack ports for your speakers.
- Important considerations
It’s also important to note that before buying a new router, the best option to check are product reviews or forums in some sites discussing the performance of some routers. Discussions could vary from performance to price, to functionality, and availability.
Now that we’re living in a technologically-advanced age, everyone wants to get updated with everything by a mere touch of a hand. And your wireless router’s performance is your top secret to achieving that.
I know that choosing the best wireless router can be confusing, frustrating, and a daunting task. But worry no more, just simply follow this guide and you have it all covered. Knowing this, you’re now on your way to a trouble-free and flawless network connection.