Buying a wireless router for your home can be quite a tricky task as there are so many options out there, and if you’re not too clued up with computer/internet technology, it’s likely to get a little confusing with all the jargon involved.
Therefore we’ve put some tips together for hopefully helping make this task a little easier and so that you end up with the right router for your needs so you don’t need to replace it any time in the near future!
Will it be worth it?
Before making any big purchase, it’s obviously quite a good idea to evaluate whether you will actually need it and if it will provide you with a benefit at all or if there is maybe a more suitable alternative out there for you. A wireless router will allow internet-ready devices (laptops, PCs, mobile phones etc) to connect to the internet and communicate with other devices that are connected to the network. Therefore if you just have one computer in your home, perhaps a cable or DSL modem would be sufficient. However, if there will be lots of people using the internet in the home and you want the freedom of wireless connections, it definitely will be a worthy purchase.
What will you mainly be using the internet for?
The type of router you go for will ultimately be determined by what you mainly use the internet for. For example, a student with lots of essays to do is likely to need a faster internet speed than someone who uses it once a week to check their emails. When purchasing a router, look at the speed of the connection, and the bands. More about that below!
Getting clued up with ‘bands’
You will come across the term ‘bands’ when shopping for a wireless router, so it’s a good idea to have a slight understanding of what they’re referring to. The 2.4 and 5 GHz bands are the frequencies in which wireless communications operate. You can get single band routers that will work fine for a simple setup where only a few devices will require connection to the network. In contrast to that, you can also get more complex ones – known as dual band routers – which operate on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. This will be more suitable for those who require a really fast and reliable internet connection.
Think about security aspects
The newer routers on the market today are generally really improving in terms of safety, as they support the highest levels of security – referred to as WPA2. So this is something that’s really important when shopping for a router – look out for that. Additionally, if you have children that will be using the internet, you may want to think about options that allow you to set parental controls on the internet which is great for added peace of mind when it comes to your kids surfing the net safely.