The Internet sure is convenient. It makes everything from finding directions to shopping quick and easy, and that quickness and ease is all thanks to a wireless router. However, when the wireless router is of poor quality and keeps going on the fritz, the quickness and ease of using the Internet goes by the wayside.
A wireless router performs the functions of a router and serves as a wireless access point, thereby providing devices that can access the Internet – PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones – with access to either the Internet or a private computer network. Having a high-quality wireless router is vital if you want your devices to have fast communication with the Internet.
A high-quality router is vital to the rate at which your data transfers; however, with so many wireless routers available, finding the best one to meet your needs can be an overwhelming task. To help make the process easier, we have done the research for you and put together a handy guide that will help you find the best wireless router for your specific needs.
Types of Wireless Routers
Modems work by connecting your home to the Internet, and a router makes it possible for your devices to connect to the World Wide Web from your provider. It’s kind of like a central hub for Internet connectivity; a wireless router makes it possible to connect all of your devices that can access the Internet to actually connect to it.
There are different types of wireless routers available. Here’s a breakdown of each one:
- Wireless G Routers: These routers support a maximum theoretical transfer rate of up to 54 mbps and operates at an unregulated 2.4 GHz range of frequency. The downside of this type of router is that it can experience some issues with interference, which can slow down the rate that your data is transferred.
- Wireless N Routers: These routers support a maximum frequency transfer rate of 300 mbps with 2 antennas, and can reach up to 450 mbps with 3 antennas; however, they typically operate at around 130 mbps. These devices can operate on multiple signals and they have an increased signal range, or more power, than a wireless G router.
- Wireless AC Routers: These routers have a stronger signal strength than wireless N routers, and they also offer more coverage.
Certain factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the best wireless router for your specific needs. The following are key considerations that consumers should take into consideration.
Of course, you want your wireless router to work as quickly as possible, which means that it you want it to have a lot of speed. If you want real speed, then you should invest in a wireless AC router, as they are approximately 5 times faster than other routers. If you plan to stream a lot of HD movies or you do a lot of gaming, then an AC router is the right choice for you.
The range refers to how far away the router can provide access to the Internet. If you have a large space, you are going to want a router that offers a wider range. Wireless G routers typically offers a distance of 170 feet; wireless N routers typically offer a distance range of 230 feet and wireless A routers typically offer a distance range of 230 feet.
Do note, however, that these ranges can be impacted by interferences, such as obstructions in a building (a wall,) and other radio signals that cross the path.
Security is a major factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing a wireless router. The more secure the router is, the more protected your personal data will be.
If you want your Internet connection to be consistent, you want to choose a reliable wireless router. The more reliable it is, the less interference you will have, and the more consistent your connection to the Internet will be.
Though many wireless routers may be similar in their functions, not all of them provide the same set of features. What type of features should you take into consideration when purchasing a router? Here are some of the top things to look for:
A router that offers both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies can be very beneficial. The 2.4 GHz frequency is more commonly used, which means that it is more likely to be backed up. When this happens, you want your router to be able to switch over to a 5 GHz frequency, which is used much less frequently. When you have a dual-band router, you will almost always have access to the Internet.
Guest Wireless Network
If you allow other people to use your wireless Internet connection frequently, you will want to have a router that can offers a guest network. This feature will allow you to share your wireless connection with greater ease, and with greater safety.
A USB Port
Routers that have USB ports provide you with a quick and easy way to share the content of your storage device across your network. A USB port will also provide the option to share access with other devices, such as a printer or a webcam, and it can even copy WiFi network settings, allowing for a quick configuration of new PCs
If you have children that use the Internet and you want to up the security, you may want to opt for a router that offers added parental controls. This feature allows you to “child proof” your Internet, giving you greater peace of mind when your children are surfing the web.
There are several brands of wireless routers on the market, and the truth is, some of those brands are better than others. The following brands are highly regarded and thought to be the best names in wireless routers:
NETGEAR: This manufacturer was the first to introduces the fastest wireless router in the world and provides a broad range of options when it comes to wireless router options, which means that you will be able to find a router that will meet your specific needs.
Linksys: This wireless router manufacturer is owned by Belkin. It sells networking hardware products for homes and small businesses, and offers an array of options that boast various features, ensuring you can find the best router for your specific needs.
ASUS: A Taiwanese information technology company, ASUS is known for innovation and for providing cutting edge technology in wireless communication, including routers.
TRENDnet: TRENDnet is a leading name in the technology industry, and they provide a wide range of products, including wireless routers with various features and specifications.