Wireless Routers – What to Look For

wireless routerIn today’s digitized home, there’s a good chance you already have a wireless router or will need one in the near future.  A wireless router, or commonly known as a Wi-Fi router, bring the convenience of connecting multiple devices to your home network without all the unsightly cables.  These devices can connect to the Internet, communicate with each other, or connect to Wi-Fi enable devices such as printers.  Smartphones and tablets have definitely contributed to the need for wireless routers.

Wi-Fi is so commonplace in homes that most people never think about the technology….until it stops working correctly.  Fortunately, many of the manufacturers of current routers have made it very easy to not only setup and configure the router, but also allow you to easily secure your home network.

When choosing a router, be sure to look for one that features 802.11n technology, the latest standard.  There are other ones available such as the older 802.11g or the newest 802.11ac, but stick with 802.11n for proven reliability and speed.  There are other techie terms you will find on the boxes for routers.  450 Mbps, 900 Mbps, 5Ghz, 900Mhz, Dual Band, and the list goes on.

Don’t let all those terms confuse you into buying the most expensive router.  A 900 Mbps router will not make your Internet connection any faster than a 300 Mbps router….this is set by your ISP.  When it comes to frequencies, 5Ghz routers operate on a less crowded band, but have less signal sustain than 2.4Ghz at greater distances, so you must factor this in when choosing the location of your router.

The current crop of routers support WPA2 security, and some even offer extra features such as parental control.  SD card slots and USB ports are a couple of the many extras that some routers offer, which are great for printer and external drive sharing.