How to Choose a Wireless Router

Want to shop for wireless router, but not sure where to start?

Internet connectivity is very important these days, be it in office or be it at home. Right from your phone, PC, and tablet to live streaming on TV, electrical devices like an air conditioner, and lights all are connected to the internet these days. And to run all of these devices smoothly we need to have a good and powerful Wi-Fi router. So, today we will tell you how to find an ideal WiFi router for your home.

A router that is specific to your needs

A router that is specific to your needs

Most of the ISPs provide a WiFi router with the connection, although it is good. But it is good only to connect your laptops and mobiles. These so-called free routers are mostly dated or have a very short range. You can check them by connecting it to your laptop, you will not be getting the top speed of your internet, and to get the top speed you will have to connect it with Ethernet cable. 

If you want to connect your TV, lights, and other electronic devices these routers are not going to work. You first need to figure out your requirement, what is that you want to connect with the internet in your home.

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards

To ensure that all the devices get connected to any router across the globe WiFi standards were created. 802.11 is the standard along with letters a, b, g, n and ac are designated to different versions. All these versions are compatible with each other, it is just that the earlier version is slower in providing internet speed.

With devices getting smarter and connectivity becoming more and more important, WiFi is also required to upgrade. AC is the latest version of the WiFi, however, the N version routers and devices continue to do good sell. But buying a router that will be no longer in use in a couple of years time is a waste of money, especially when AC routers have dropped the price.

Dual-band or Single band

As you all know that every wireless communication that happens is done over frequency bands. The WiFi routers 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g all used to operate on a single band of 2.4GHz. With traffic increasing every second in the band, 5GHz band was introduced and 802.11g and 802.11ac support both the bands.

The devices which can use 2.4GHz and 5GHz both the bands are called as dual-band devices, similarly, the old devices which used to run on only 2.4GHz band are called the single-band routers, these devices are limited to slower speed because of its narrow width. The 5GHz bandwidth is much wider than 2.4GHz and is much faster.

The only drawback of the 5GHz bandwidth is that as it is wider the chance of losing signal is more. This was the reason the AC version was introduced. These routers throw the signal in the direction of the device in form of a beam, compared to a sphere signal thrown in the earlier versions. The faster internet speed means better quality videos and uninterrupted gaming experience.

So, why to have a single band when you can have dual-band?

An area that you want to cover

wireless technology covering public area

A router with strong antennas is good when it comes to small homes or apartments but when it comes to big homes, covering full area can be an issue especially if it is dual-band. So before buying an expensive router, testing them would be a good option, reading reviews can also help you know the range of the WiFi router. Apart from the routers, you can also check for WiFi extenders if you are living in a big house.

Want to cover large space but don’t want to buy a single expensive router? Well, mesh WiFi kits can help you solve your issue. These kits are known to work in unison and deliver the signal to that can cover large indoor space.

Number devices that need to be connected

If a couple is living alone they need not worry, as they would be having a couple of phones and laptops and TV, in that case, you can happily use the free WiFi router that the ISP has provided you as it will not slow your speed down that much.

If you have a single band router, which has a max speed of 300Mbps and you have connected 10 devices to it each device will be getting 30Mbps average speed. This could create a problem, so a dual-band router is suggested. And you stream long hours, a tri-band router that has two 5GHz bands is worth looking into.

MU-MIMO or SU-MIMO

Now, what are MU-MIMO and SU-MIMO? It stands for Multi-user multiple inputs multiple output and Single-user multiple inputs multiple outputs. As the names suggest, SU-MIMO developers the data on a rotational basis to a single device but it happens so fast that you won’t even notice it, whereas MU-MIMO delivers the data to multiple users and single time.

For example, if you are playing PUBG online, and meanwhile somebody in your family is watching Netflix both of you might get a buffer for a few seconds. In this case, if you had an MU-MIMO router it wouldn’t be an issue.

Security features

As we continue to live in the Digital Age, the risk of being hacked is continuously on the rise. Same is the case with the WiFi router. So routers with firmware that have a good firewall can be always a good buy. 

Apart from this, there are routers on the market that have features like the parental look, guest access, time-slots and more. Finally, I would like to conclude by saying gone are the days when there used to only a couple of options for routers. These days there is N number of routers available in the market that can meet any specific need that you have. So, write down your requirement first and then choose a router that fulfills all the requirements.

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7 thoughts on “How to Choose a Wireless Router

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