We all know how important a role the Internet plays in our daily lives. Right? Be it for official purposes or educational purposes or even Netflix and Chill, and you need it. And for this, mobile data is just not sufficient. I mean, let’s be practical here for a moment. You need the Internet for every small task. Not just you. All your family members need the Internet for their requirements. A router allows you to connect multiple devices to a common Internet connection provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). It is 2021. The year we will always remember the start of a new decade as the year we dealt with a global pandemic. Also, the year where the Internet achieved greater significance than ever before. With places of work and centers of education entering an indefinite lockdown of sorts, people all over the world relied on the Internet to conduct daily business, study, and remain connected to their loved ones. Yet, at the same time, life, as we had known it, seemed to come to a stop. As important as accessibility to the net is, it is equally important to invest in a router that guarantees that one faces no disruptions in the process. With a burgeoning rise in the list of available options, choosing the right device can be quite the task. There is a personal preference, a budget to adhere to, a particular bandwidth that one might require- the points that one has to factor in can be quite befuddling. For buying the perfect router, you need to be informed about the nitty-gritties of a router. Navigate here to know more. Isn’t this a more efficient solution than having just mobile data? I’m pretty sure that the need for a router is clear now. Now you must be wondering how to buy a router that will meet all your requirements. Right? Well, I have a solution for that. I am listing down seven tips that I’m sure will guide you in buying a new and appropriate router.
Stating the obvious may have a bad rep for being a cliche, but it sometimes is what the situation calls for. Always, always look into the speed of the router before you buy it. This depends, naturally, on need but sometimes also on the location. If a low bandwidth fulfills the requirement, then a relatively cheap option will suffice. If, however, you are looking to stream movies and games or wish to connect a lot of devices in a single space( think, a home office)- then it is advisable to invest in a pricier version with a sizable bandwidth. On the other hand, if you are looking for a router that can provide you with high bandwidth and lets you stream high-quality HD videos, you must opt for a fast with a little increase in your budget router that can meet all your requirements. A 300 – 600 Mbps router shall do fine in this case.
Having multiple antennas works as a measure of increasing the range of a given router. This is especially helpful if the area covered is large or if the space in question comes with many furniture and constructional obstacles like walls, doors, and windows. A basic model comes with three antennae. The number goes up with an increase in price and technological sophistication. In this context, there are two types of routers – routers having internal antennas and routers having external antennas. The ones with internal antennas cannot radiate strong signals compared to the ones having external antennas.
The greater the number of external antennas, the more the increase in the total range of that router. This is an important point to consider, especially if you are in an environment that could block your network access due to walls, doors, and other similar objects.
It is important to buy a router depending on the service one wishes to connect it to. If you are purchasing a router affiliated with your telephone service provider, then an ADSL router is what you need. Convenient and easily accessible, the hardware is made available in place of a small fee. It may, however, be lacking in some aspects- it does not do well if there are several devices in the mix. In case the service provider happens to be the cable operator, a non-ADSL router is recommended.
Pick an 802.11ac router.
Technology has come too far for us to continue to buy ‘n’ standard routers. So instead, the ‘ac’ standard uses the 5GHz frequency bandwidth, which is less crowded, allows for better transmission, and is compatible with older models- which means that an older laptop model shall work just fine. The 802.11ac model, in particular, has enviable data speeds- almost exactly three times that of the ‘n’ standard.
The Mesh Router and WiFi-6 combo
Truly a match for the new age, here is an option that is viable, efficient, boasts the latest tech, and is only slightly more expensive than your normal router. Mesh routers are generally quite expensive, but that changed in 2020. In addition, there has been a bevy of great second-gen mesh options that do not cost as much but work just as well.
The Wifi-6 part in the equation considerably facilitates an easier traversal of data and heightens the speed at which it moves.
Getting a router with a USB port is also something one should keep in mind because a port lets you connect a printer or a hard drive to the network, which facilitates the presence of expandable storage.
Do I need to brief down the importance of Security while selecting a router? Hackers are always looking for ways to steal your data, and it is only a matter of a fraction of seconds for them to hack into your network. Therefore, Security is undoubtedly one of the most prime concerns and thus definitely makes the list of things you must look for while selecting a certain Wi-Fi that can meet your requirements. One thing to note here is that while, on the one hand, wireless networks are very convenient, on the other hand, they are not much secure.
One way to ensure Security is to go for a router that uses WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II). WPA2 is a security method that provides stronger protection of your data and less network access. Using a router that uses WPA2 provides you with additional security features that will help you monitor devices connected to your network and even block unwanted and suspicious devices users.
To conclude, buying a router is not as arbitrary as it may sound at the outset. One does not need to be a tech whiz to make the right choice, but a little research can go a long way. The five-pointers above are just a prelude of sorts. They barely scratch the surface of the rabbit hole that is the affordable Internet. There is a lot else to look into- a dual-core processor, a Gigabit router if the budget permits, Advanced QoS, smart home integration, etc.
But the points in question are a solid start and can certainly help you find a suitable router, if not the ideal one. Happy hunting!