Buying a wireless router: an ease-to-follow guide

Amidst the fourth industrial revolution, and given the myriad of different possibilities when it comes to technology —the digital world, for instance, is responsible for having enabled thousands of startups and ventures to emerge—, becoming technology savvy is a matter of ongoing and continuous update and study. Today, it is possible to find the perfect device for whatever need people may have; moreover, a lot of these devices and even some home appliances have the possibility of being connected to each other: a plethora of interconnected home devices, ranging from smartphones to smart TVs is now available. Such juncture is compelling enough to pay attention to one crucial, yet sometimes disregarded, an aspect of technology: the wireless router. Without the proper wireless router, it is almost impossible to get the most out of the aforementioned devices; Donald Burns has previously talked about the basics on how improve an already installed home wireless router; however, this time is important to address and point out several aspects that are important to know prior to acquiring a wireless router.

Choosing a suitable and proper router is much more difficult than what initially meets the eye: there are many factors that ought to be considered before buying one. Thus, in order to make the selection process much easier, here is an easy-to-follow compilation of aspects and factors.

First and foremost, the first thing people ought to consider when acquiring a wireless router is the coverage area: the sheer array of routers offers different devices with a different range of coverage areas, so, assessing the degree to which the router to be acquired needs to cover a much or less large area is unquestionably the first thing to do. Besides, after assessing the previous aspect, it is also wise to determine the number of clients that will be connected to the router and what types of devices will be getting a signal from it.

What to consider

As with many other devices, the more money people are willing to spend on a router the more features they will get. Some routers considerably offer more perks than others. It is important to compile all of these things for further assessment prior to buying the device, and, as mentioned above, here are the aspects that should be considered before the purchase:

Single or Dual Band?

There are fairly two types of routers. The first one establishes a connection through a single radio band and the second one that can communicate over two. Single-band routers are perfectly fit for less complex processes such as surfing across the Internet and using today’s social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Nonetheless, if the user is thinking of streaming and playing audiovisual material from services such as Netflix, or even getting online for gaming purposes, a dual band router may be more adequate.

Even though the aforementioned two types are the most common, there are also routers that use an additional band for communicating. Tri-band routers are often recommended for heavy network traffic —or, simply put, for multiple device connections and processes: video, downloads, transfers and gaming.

What about Wireless Protocols?

Wireless networks rely on 802.11 protocols to carry out their processes of sending and receiving information and data. Devices that use the older 802.11b and 802.11g are limited to information transfer rates and only operate on the 2.4GHz band. 802.11 protocols are the most commonly used for WiFi protocols and it allows higher and heavier data rates. Besides, it operates on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

Additional Features

Wireless Routers come along with different features depending on the price as mentioned above. Regardless of its future use, prior to buying a router, it is important to note that it comes with at least four 10/100/1000 ethernet ports, which allow the router to connect to wired devices such as a PC and home hubs.

network-cable-ethernet-computer-wifi
Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com

Additionally, it is also wise to choose one that comes with an USB port: it will certainly make much easier the process of connecting other devices such as printers and external drives.

Some routers also include detachable antennas, which comes in handy if the idea is to extend or limit the range of the router. In order to properly manage and monitor WiFi usage, leaning towards a Quality of Service (QoS) and a guest network is definitely the right way to start.

Last but not least, perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to Internet and technological devices is security. Arguably all routers offer, to some extent, some security settings. Obviously, following the same rule, the more an individual is willing to spend for the router, the safest it will certainly be: routers with WPA security offer a much higher level of security than those with WPA/WPA2; however, they require an additional remote authentication.

All things considered, routers can be bought for $25 to $100, depending on the features. High-Tech Tri-band routers can cost up to $300.

* Featured Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com

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