What to Look Out for When Buying a Router
We can help you find the right device to suit your needs. Check out this router guide to learn what you should be on the lookout for.
You're a busy person with a lot of work that you need to get done. You don't have time for a slow internet connection. While the default router that you get from the internet company will serve your needs for a while, there may come a time when an upgrade is necessary. Buying a router with all the bells and whistles can be expensive. There's a chance that you'll end up with features that you're not even going to use. Then again, you might use them. We can help you find the right device to suit your needs. Check out this router guide to learn what you should be on the lookout for.
Can You Use the Default?
When your service provider comes out to get your internet set up, they'll give you a default router. You'll pay an extra 7-10 bucks on your bill every month to pay off the device. It's not a bad deal if you only need the basics. Many people will turn down their service provider's offer to buy a router of their own. Not only will you pay off the entire thing at once and save money, but you may be able to take advantage of faster connection speeds. It is important to note that just because you go all-in on an expensive router, doesn't mean that you'll never experience a hiccup in your connection. Pricey doesn't always mean better.
Make Sure Your New Router Is Compatible
Let's say that you do turn down your internet service provider for a router to buy one of your own. You end up going with a router-modem combination that will keep your connection going strong. You spend the money on the device and get everything set up only for the internet to not work at all. Turns out, you bought a cable modem to go with your DSL internet. The two aren't compatible in the least. Most routers work with any ISP, but it's always a good idea to call the company and check. Doing so will save you time and prevent unnecessary headaches.
Decide on a Budget
When you go shopping for a router, there's one thing that you'll quickly notice. The prices are all over the place. They can range anywhere between 100 dollars to 300 or more. Router buying tips dictate that you should decide how much you want to spend ahead of time. Think about the different types of features you want your device to have. You don't want to empty your wallet by buying into a bunch of features that you're not going to use. At the same time, the router needs to be good enough to suit your purposes. If it's not, you'll find yourself right back to the drawing board within a year or so.
Single or Dual-Band?
All wireless routers work off of two different band frequencies. These are 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. The one you opt for matters depending on what type of neighborhood you live in and the number of devices that connect to the internet in your home. The 2.4Ghz models can support about as many devices as the 5Ghz models. The problem is that they're more vulnerable to congestion problems. If you're playing Xbox while your spouse watches Netflix, you may experience a slight lag. The 5Ghz routers are more expensive, but they're a lot faster and experience less congestion. Of course, you can go with both options with a dual-band router. It uses both frequencies. We will say that the only time you're going to be able to make the most out of a dual-band router is if you live in a highly-populated location. It will prevent your neighbor's internet connection from interfering with yours.
What is a cradlepoint device? It's a router that has a wide range of wireless protocols. For you to understand what this means, we're going to have to get into detail about what the different ones mean. The newest protocol on the market is Wi-Fi 6. There's not a lot of devices that support the fast speeds that it has to bring to the table, so you may not have a need for it quite yet. You can take things down a step with Wi-Fi 5. It's pretty much the standard, so it will be compatible with almost all your devices. It packs more than enough speed for a person's daily needs. Wi-Fi 4 isn't as fast as the two listed above, but it's not a bad option either. It was the first protocol to allow you to use both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz at the same time.
Quality of Service
If you've got a little extra money to spend on a router, you should consider going with a smart model. They pack a ton of great features such as quality of service. It will allow you to tell your router which devices to prioritize. Let's say that you're playing games. Even the slightest lag in your internet connection could cause you to let the people you're playing with down. You can tell your router to prioritize your gaming console over all the other devices in your home. Your kids will still be able to watch Netflix, but you'll have more connection speed than them.
Many modern routers use something known as beamforming. It will send a signal right to your device instead of scattering signals every which way as the older models do.
The Trick to Buying a Router for Your Home
As you can see, there's a lot of thought that goes into buying a router. You've got to consider how much speed you need and what's best for your wallet. It's also a good idea to talk to your internet provider before you pick up a router. The last thing you want is to buy a device that's not compatible with your service. Are you looking for more tips that will help you elevate your internet setup? Visit the Tech News section for additional pointers. Read also: 36 inch TV