If you have a modern family with members who use different gadgets for all kinds of online activities, a Wireless router may be the single most important piece of technology in your home. From surfing the internet to streaming online contents, playing video games, connecting with friends and more, the wireless router is the magic box that makes all these activities possible.
Depending on the nature of internet usage in your home, there is a need to get the perfect router to keep every gadget alive and meet the internet requirement of all household members. They may appear very much alike but every router works differently in some ways. They have different features and capabilities and you will truly enjoy a model when its software and hardware components can meet your needs.
Most important things to consider when choosing a wireless router for your home
While there are tons of available options, you will increase your chances of buying the perfect wireless router for your home when you follow the checklist below:
1. Find a Reputable Brand
You will find different brands of wireless routers on the market and it is important that you take your time to consider the right brand for your home. While there are several other factors that will influence overall performance, choosing a good and reputable brand has lots of advantages. There are networking vendors that add proprietary extensions to their products to offer slightly improved performance when brands match. If most of the gadgets you are planning to connect to the router are from the same brand, you should consider matching your Wi-Fi router with them. If you are not certain about the brand to buy, research about a number of brands before making a decision.
2. Check the Speed Rating
The speed rating is one of the most important factors when it comes to the performance of Wireless routers. Most brands advertise their speed in megabits per seconds (Mbps). You will find products on the market that are advertised with maximum speed above 1 gigabyte per second (1 Gbps). This doesn’t expressly mean you will obtain the speed with all your devices. There are other factors that will influence the speed you can obtain such as the number of connected devices, physical barriers in your home, and the speed of your internet connection. It will be helpful to ascertain the maximum bandwidth delivered to your network from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ensure that the speed of the router you want to buy is compatible. For the best result, look for 802.11ac routers or 802.11ax routers.
3. Consider Your Home Layout and Router Extendibility
The size and layout of your house is another important factor to consider when buying a wireless router. For smaller apartments or homes, a single router with a strong set of antennas can get the job done. If you live in a large or multi-story home, you may have issues with reaching every area of the home. Depending on the size of the area you want your wireless router to cover, consider the strength of the device. A long-range router is necessary if your home is quite large. Other solutions to consider are a mesh network with multiple routers bundled into one or a wireless range extender, which can pick up the wireless signal, amplify it, and rebroadcast to reach extended areas of your large home. While the rebroadcasted signal may not be as strong as the one coming from the wireless router, it will be enough to keep everyone and every device in your home connected to the network wirelessly. There is a need to position the router appropriately too.
4. Consider the Number of Devices to Support
To get the right wireless router for your home, you will also need to figure out the number and nature of devices that will be supported. You can make a list of the devices to get a better understanding of the bandwidth operation that will be supported and buy a router that will cover that. When you have standard computers and mobile gadgets that perform low-bandwidth operations, a small router will get the job done. If, on the other hand, there will be lots of gaming, constant large file transfers and similar high-bandwidth operations, you will need a robust wireless router.
5. Consider Other Relevant Features
Wireless routers come with a variety of features that enhances performance. Asides from the major factors discussed above, you should consider the features that will make their device more useful to you. Routers with at least 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports are good as they allow you to connect to wired devices like desktop PCs, network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and home-automation hubs. Link aggregation is another important feature to look out for as it provides increased throughput as well as a fail-safe if one LAN connection goes down. Quality of Service (QoS), which is also called Media Prioritization or Traffic Control is another important feature that will optimize performance according to what you are doing at any time. App-Based Management is another important feature you will enjoy using. Routers with removable antennas are also cool as you can switch to replacement high-gain antennas that will boost performance.
6. Price and Your Budget
Price is another important factor that can determine the sort of router you will end up with. While it is not advisable to base your decision solely on price, you shouldn’t pay more for less, either. Pricing is normally dependent on performance and features the router offers, and there is a need for any price to be justified in this regard. To avoid buyer’s remorse, it is advisable that you set a budget and stick to it.
Most reputable brands back up their products with warranties. The length and terms of warranties differ from one model to another and it is important you understand this clearly before buying a wireless router for your home. Warranty is often an indication of the quality and standard of a product and you should never overlook it while shopping.
With several models from different brands available on different market platforms, finding the perfect wireless router for your home can be pretty challenging. There are some important factors you must consider and we have discussed them as briefly as possible. You should research a specific router thoroughly and consider feedback from other customers before picking it. It is also important to buy from a retailer who allows returns if a product has defects.
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