A new home network router is a handy device for individuals who need higher network speeds.
However, shopping for these devices can be challenging if you lack an idea about them at large. Before you purchase a particular router for this purpose, you must understand what you need from it. Determine the speeds you want to set for your home network, and everything important. Here are 5 things to know before you buy a new router. They will help you select the best router worthy of your money.
5 Things to Know Before You Buy a New Router
Before you decide to pay for a particular router, it is crucial to know whether it will solve your internet needs or not. Below are 5 things to know before you buy a new router.
Gain Knowledge About the 802.11 Standards
These are standards that guide buyers through the specification of different routers at large. For instance, we have the 802.11 router standard code; this is the original standard router that offers a speed of 2Mbps. It is the lowest option offering the lowest speed ranges. This router is open up to 2GHz.
In the list, we have other standards like the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11e/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. The 802.11ac on the list offers the highest speed in its class. The router operates up to 5GHz, and it provides speeds of 1.3 Gbps.
In the era we live in, the 802.11ac and 802.11n are the recommendable options to use. These standards are notable for their excellent features and range. They offer the best wireless network experience as per the current times we live.
However, if you don’t plan to invest in big connections that require speed networks, you can consider cheap routers under 150. The newer options offer higher ranges, and they are more reliable than the old-fashioned versions. Overall, when looking at this factor, understand the devices that will use the network and the speed you need.
The Customization Capabilities and Firmware of the Router
The firmware the router is running is another significant consideration to put in mind. Besides this, you should know whether the router supports customizing features. Finding information about this cannot be easy. You can Google the model to get an idea about its specs.
The main firmware in routers are DD-WRT and OpenWrt. This firmware provides Wikis that highlights all the devices the router supports. You will use either firmware to determine whether the router will serve your needs. In case the router doesn’t support customization, you must keep searching for better options. Overall, look for a router updated with current firmware. These are routers that support things like traffic shaping, DDOS protection, quality of service, firewall, and everything you need.
Purchasing an up to date router can be great since it has every modern feature for an excellent performance. Lastly, always read customer reviews of a particular model before purchasing it. This will provide you a hint of whether the model you intend to buy works better or not.
Most people think that what matters most when looking for a router is the speed it offers. However, this is not always the case. In case you pull data from the cloud, the plan your internet service provider has allowed you determines how fast you will do that. Let’s take an example of if you paid for a plan covering the download speed of 50 Mbps. This is the speed limit that the router will go when you stream a video or start browsing something.
Even though this seems a limitation, several routers are hitting the market with 1-gigabit speeds every second. There are others built to provide a higher speed than that. Currently, the average broadband speed stands at 100Mbs; this is achieved only if your ISP controls the entire connection you are using.
This point doesn’t mean that we should avoid routers running at low speeds. The speed you need will still be attained when conducting local transfers; for instance, you use the router to transfer files to another local network from your computer. In cases of local transfers, the ISP doesn’t affect anything since you are not either receiving or sending files beyond the local network. If you desire to upgrade to higher speeds, then consider a powerful router.
Usability of the Router
This is an essential factor to consider, especially for people who have little or lack the idea of setting up a home network. If you are a newbie to this, you should get a router that has an interface optimized to fit the casual users.
Setting the old versioned routers is easy but can also turn complex to other people. For them, you will type their IP address into your preferred browser to access the settings manually. Even though it seems easy, it might be difficult for newbies since they always need to input the password to unlock the details.
The modern versioned routers, on the other hand, get managed by smartphones. There is a special app that helps users make a direct connection from anyplace and anytime. If you are considering the cost of a router, then the first option is your choice.
Extendibility of the Router
This is the number of devices that will connect to this router. So, before you buy a router, have an idea of whether it will be used on a single room, floor, or a story building at large. This point also determines the kind of speed you will serve at large. If you need a router that will serve a few machines, you can get a standalone option. However, if you are looking for something that will serve a wide area, then a long-range router works best.
These are several things that you should put in mind to help determine the router that will serve you the best. The top 5 things to know before you buy a router helps buyers make right decisions when making selections. Always incorporate every point to get the best router to use.