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A Simple Guide to Buying the Right WI-Fi Router for Your Needs

You only notice them when they stop functioning the right way- we are talking about wireless routers. This is something that can irritate you and make you to opt for a new wireless router.

router

With numerous services available on the market with different features and advertised speeds, choosing the right one for your home or business appears to be quite challenging.

Problems in selecting a router

The first problem of having a wireless router is the complexity of Wi-Fi technology itself. This technology is quite tricky and susceptible to several varying factors and environmental irregularities. For example, you will have possible signal interruptions in your locality if there are many Wi-Fi routers, especially on the more crowded 2.4 GHz band, a frequency that WI-Fi devices use to transfer and receive information. Many devices such as baby monitors, cordless phones, and microwaves that operate on the 2.4 GHz can also hinder with the wireless performance.

Furthermore, although businesses spend thousands of dollars to appoint wireless networking professionals to take surveys to find out the best device to set up a Wi-Fi network, small businesses and homeowners cannot afford to hire professionals to get the best equipment. Consequently, they may feel frustrated about buying, setting up and maintaining a Wi-Fi router.

In addition, more confusion may come from the manufacturers who come out with a new generation of Wi-Fi routers every now and again. Presently, new routers are equipped with the latest 802.11x technology – 802.11 ac. This is an escalation from 802.11 n, and promises to offer higher throughput speeds and better range.

Doesn’t this sound great? However, it is time to find out whether 802.11x technology delivers more than 802.11n currently.

Little wonder your confusion doubles when you try to find out more answers to your questions. Do you need an affordable single band router or an expensive dual-band router? Do you really need to buy or upgrade an 802.11n wireless device? What do you really benefit from a 802.11n router? Or will you receive a better connectivity from a higher-end Wi-Fi device?

Apart from these questions, there is more. Security, parental control, and extra features like ability to connect external storage device and USB printers to a router for sharing personal information, are all important considerations before you make a purchase or upgrade.

Well, since it is better to get yourself familiar with what you need to get a better wireless router, this article will present some information and a checklist that will help you to find the perfect router for your networking requirements.

Wi-Fi routers

A router channel’s network traffic is divided into small pieces of data known as packet data. When home routers come into the picture, it is traffic that flows between the Internet connectivity and your internal, home or small business network. A Wi-Fi router thus lets the wireless or wired equipment to connect to the Internet and communicate with other equipment on your home network.

A few people only work with one PC or laptops when it comes to receiving connectivity from their cable or DSL modems and may not have other users in their home or office that may need the Internet connectivity. If this applies to you and if there is no need to deviate from a fixed address from which you do Internet surfing and computing, then you really do not need to opt for a wireless router. However, if you have multiple users in your home or at the office, you can benefit from a wireless router.

Browsing the Internet from the upstairs bedroom, getting internet access for gaming consoles or streaming music and video to all your devices and sharing pictures in a home or office is all possible with a wireless router. If you want to do all these tasks ceaselessly, you do need a wireless router.

Network user type

If you are a single home user, who just needs Internet connectivity to only surf the Web rather than heavy-duty gaming and high-end multimedia activities, a single band router is all that you need.

In contrast, if you need to perform high-demanding activities such as moving large files to and fro, and high-definition video streaming, you can check out the best available gaming router. A general rule of thumb is, the more you spend on a wireless router, the more features and better performance it can offer you.

Bands

While searching for routers, you will come across the term ‘bands.’ There are two types of bands in which wireless communications function. These frequencies are 2.4 and 5 GHz. 802.11 B and G devices use the frequencies either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. As far as a single band is concerned, it can operate only on 2.4 GHz, while dual band router can function both on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies.

In summary, when shopping for a router for your home, be sure to check out the above considerations. However, whatever router you choose, you should take into its security  into account for optimal performance.

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of multifamily wifi and healthcare wifi. When he isn’t bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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Filed in: Technology Tags: IEEE 802.11, IEEE 802.11n-2009, ISM band, Wi-Fi, Wireless

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2 Responses to "A Simple Guide to Buying the Right WI-Fi Router for Your Needs"

  1. raj says:

    thank you for sharing the guide scheck. This post is very useful for the user who are looking to buy a router.

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  2. Naser
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for the guide Steven. Frankly speaking, I didn’t thought about anything mentioned above while purchasing my router. I just walked into the store and bought NETGEAR router and it works perfectly fine for me…..

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