Even though the most reliable way to connect to the internet belongs to LAN cables, it has now become equally important that you have a wireless router in your home as well. If you think that going into the store and get one is all you have to do, you are mistaken.
There are plenty of different types of wireless routers, and picking the right one requires a certain amount of research. There are a couple of things you should pay attention to if you want to make the right purchase decision. Let’s dig a bit deeper and take a look at the key aspects of the wireless router you are planning to get.
Choosing the right standard
As technology is continuously moving forward, new wireless standards are changing rapidly. You have certainly seen the 802.11 number in the wireless router spec sheet. Well, different letters at the end of the number show what standard the router uses to deliver Wi-Fi signal.
802.11g – This standard is widely supported by the highest number of wireless routers. It supports a bandwidth of 54 Mbit/s and provides a signal up to 50 meters indoors and 75 meters outdoors. This amount of speed is enough for casually browsing the web, streaming 1080p videos, but the device connected to the router should be closer to it. If you are planning to use several devices simultaneously, going with this standard might not be the best choice.
802.11n – This is a significantly faster connection type. It has bandwidth support for up to 450 Mbit/s. The range lowers down to 20 meters indoors and 50 meters outdoors. If you are planning to use multiple devices, picking a wireless router with support for this standard is a good option. Keep in mind that more antennas means better connection for connected devices.
802.11ac – This standard supports up to 1300 Mbit/s. This is three times the speed of 802.11n standard. The range the Wi-Fi signal supports is the same as the 802.11n standard. If you are going to be using the Wi-Fi connection in your home heavily, going with this standard is the best decision you can make.
Each of these standards support different types of bands, so let’s take a look at which are supported on different standards.
Check band support
The 802.11g and 802.11n standards primarily work on a 2.4GHz frequency band. However, the 802.11n standard also supports a 5GHz frequency. When it comes to the 802.11ac, it only supports a 2.4GHz frequency band.
There are two primary differences between these two frequency bands. The 2.4GHz is used for a wide array of devices, and there can be some interference with wireless signals coming from other sources. Whereas the 5GHz frequency is interference free, while also being a faster and more reliable connection. It is important to note though that the 5GHz frequency has a shorter range, something you should keep in mind.
If you want to use your wireless router as NAS server, you should pay attention to the USB support it has. Look for those that come with two or three USB 2.0 ports, or at least one USB 3.0 port. This is going to allow you set up your own private cloud. Of course, if this is not something you are planning on doing, you can skip this feature.
The most well-known connection types are WPA, WPA2 and WEP security standards. Always steer away from WEP and WPA security, as WPA2 is far too superior. The first two can be easily hacked, whereas the third one is the most secure options you have.
When looking for a wireless router, pick one that supports WPA2 wireless security standard. It will keep your network safe, helping you keep all your private data secure.
These are the basics you should definitely know about before you make a purchase. By taking a look at a buyer’s guide, you can easily understand what type of wireless router is going to completely meet your demands. Simply dedicate a little bit of time for research, you will more easily make the right decision.
Generally, investing in a higher quality one is always recommended, as it is going to stay turned on at all times.