In common, when setting a new wireless network, the technician will do this for you. But if your router is too old, broken, or no longer working, you will have to replace it with a new one. This time, it is more convenient when you can do it yourself. So how to buy the best wifi router for using at home? Let’s check the six things you should know well before choosing a wifi router.
1. Standard of a Wifi Router
In the beginning, a wifi router has its standard, such as IEEE802.11a, IEEE802.11b, etc. However, each standard is suitable for a certain stage of time. When technology develops quickly, the old standards may not be compatible with new models of a wifi router.
The latest version of the wireless standard will help the routers ensure their best performance and operation. Though they also work with old wifi standards, it is recommended to update the newest standard version for a router.
The most modern routers come with the standard IEEE802.11ac. This kind of router provides the higher speed of data transferring (up to Gigabit), which is much more than 600 Mbps limit. Also, make sure that your smart devices use the same standard to get the full benefits from the router.
2. Check the Wired Connectivity of Wifi Router
There are several ways to connect a wifi router to an Internet source: through Ethernet, broadband, a USB with Internet data, and other connections. Often, when using at home, a wifi router has the connection to Ethernet, broadband, or a data-USB. Then, how to choose a suitable wifi router?
First, check your Internet source used at your home. After that, make sure if it is a broadband, Ethernet, or USB. If it is an Ethernet source, ensure the wifi router has at least one switch for Ethernet with the compatible speed information. If you are using broadband at home, choose a wifi router that meets the requirement of that broadband device.
For USB with Internet Data, pick a router having USB ports. This method sounds simple, convenient, and portable as you only need a small device to access the Internet. There are now many router models having USB ports, which is easy for you to choose.
Also, note that a specific router comes with a speed rate limit. For cheap routers, Ethernet data transferring speed may be at 100Mbps rate, while the modern ones have 1Gbps speed rate for Ethernet connection.
3. Antennas of the Router
The antenna of a router could also decide how fast and strong a wifi network is. Indeed, the stronger the signal comes from a router, the quicker and smoother the service you get.
You may see some routers which have an external antenna on the top and can be adjusted to any directions you want. There are also some routers with an internal antenna, which makes it more portable, smaller, and more convenient. However, its signal is not as strong as that of the external-antenna router.
When it comes to the antennas of the router, you must also consider where you will place the router. External-antenna routers often require more space than the internal-antenna ones.
4. Wifi Frequency Bands
You can see on a router that there are two frequency bands: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. These are also the central wifi bands used worldwide, and it can be called the standard.
You may also know some wifi routers providing two separate radios, and they can also offer two different wifi networks on each band. This is helpful when there are lots of people accessing your wifi network. Why is it useful? Its function is to divide and arrange users into each band to optimize the accessing speed. It keeps the number of users on two bands balance and stable.
Regularly, these wifi routers are used for businesses and companies. It is not necessary for home usage, but if you like, you could have it for high speed and best performance.
5. Wifi Security
The wireless network is one of the most vulnerable networks that could be hacked and cracked. There are now even applications that allow users to access wifi networks without permission. Thus, considering the security of the wifi is also essential when you choose a router.
Ensure that a router must have WPA2 – Wifi Protected Access 2 – which allows you to set a new different password for your network connection. If you have any other devices such as smartphone, tablet, or laptop, make sure these are also compatible with WPA2 to work properly.
Nowadays, there are new features that have been brought to the router by well-known manufacturers. They have included more fences of security such as extra encryption, monitor device, blocking uninvited users from accessing your network. Manufacturers now consider more about your privacy and security, so they have designed the routers that meet your protection requirement.
6. Specifications of Wifi Speed
All manufacturers set the maximum speed for wifi routers by the 802.11 standards. However, the reality is not as what you expected. You can only see and feel that speed in ideal conditions which are set up in the laboratory.
Some conditions are affecting the speed, such as the number of users, interference, and weak signal. When installing a wifi router, ensure it’s in the center of your house or room where the signal is not blocked by walls or other furniture.
Now you are confident of replacing your old wifi router with a brand new one without any support from the technician. If you take notice of these six simple tips, I’m sure you are aware enough to check if a new router is suitable for you or not. Anyway, setting up a wireless network for home users is often easier than for business usage; you can do it all by yourself.