In this research-based article, we will discuss How to Buy Wifi Router in detail with recommended tips that should be considered before buying a router.
Everyone wants reliable and fast internet, be it in their houses, offices or even at events and a good router can help. The trick is working out how the complicated mess of standards, confusing acronyms, and sci-fi sounding features translate to better Wi-Fi in your home, It becomes very important to know how to buy wifi router aligned to your requirements.
In this article, we will reveal the pertinent facts about Wi-Fi, routers and other jargon. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be well equipped to buy a router.
Following are the factors that need to be kept in mind while planning to purchase a router:
How To Buy WiFi Router? – Things to Consider
Based on the research we have considered the following steps, one must consider these tips before buying a wifi router.
Point 1: Inspect Broadband Provider Capability-
Check that any router you consider is compatible with the particular broadband service provider. There are so many terminologies present when talking about the internet that people often get confused with, leading to wrong decisions. There are 3 terminologies that you need to keep in mind – a) Broadband, b) Ethernet, c) Fibre.
These are connections of your Wi-Fi router to an Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) Network.
A further point to note is that many people use fibre connections these days. The reason for the sudden increase in usage of fibre optics is because it is faster and has fewer breakages than ethernet or broadband connections. Find out how to link the router to the fibre connection- an additional modem may be required or supplied by the broadband provider. You need to check if the router is compatible with all three or broadband and fibre cables.
Point 2: Check Wi-Fi Standards-
There is a long list of different Wi-Fi protocols that support different ranges and speeds. It is important to check the WIFI’s standards, which means, whether the router will be compatible or not with any updates on the network. Earlier Wi-Fi routers used to work on IEEE802.11a and 8.2.11b, but things have moved on significantly since then.
Often, they are compatible with the numbers of the latest versions, but if the router is to be used for a number of years, it is best to ensure that it supports the latest standard.
802.11 B and G standard devices are single band devices that only use 2.4 GHz.
802.11 N devices are dual-band devices that use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. When the Wi-Fi works in a 5 GHz frequency band, its performance would be really good, but its coverage distance will be less.
When the Wi-Fi works at 2.4 GHz, its coverage distance will be more but the speed will be less.
802.11 AC is the last model that has been developed to get more coverage area in the 5 GHz band.
It would be smart to select a Wi-Fi router that would support a dual-band because even if you connect to some other devices, they will connect to it.
Point 3: Router’s Speed-
There is plenty to consider when you are trying to decide how fast your router should be. The maximum speed of your internet is determined by your ISP. Internet speeds are stated in Mbps.
As might be expected all manufacturers will quote the top speed provided by the latest 802.11 standards supported by the router but that rarely happens in reality. Multiple users, barriers like walls, glass objects, metals or interference cause the speed to reduce.
When you are using a Wi-Fi router in your home, which has less than 5 devices, you can consider buying a basic version that supports 300 Mbps speed. It is always a good idea to buy a router that supports higher than 500 Mbps in the home, 1 Gbps in the office.
Point 4: Security-
Hackers are hitting the headlines with regularity these days. Accordingly, security is an important issue to consider when selecting the best router to buy. Early security standards like WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (WIFI Protected Access) are dated.
It would only be smart to purchase a router that supports WPA 2 in order to protect your Wi-Fi with a password. Even though WPA2 offers great security, it comes with its vulnerabilities, which is why it was followed by WPA 3. WPA3 boats several features designed to address the weaknesses in WPA2.
And if you are looking for extremely high security, you may consider devices that provide firewall and VPN services.
Point 5: Check for Ports-
Some devices require a wired connection to your router. Even when it is not needed, an ethernet cable is always going to offer more stable connections that are much faster than Wi-Fi.
Several high-end mesh systems only have a single Ethernet port on the main router and none on the nodes. If your chosen router does not have enough ports, you can get a network switch. These devices are relatively cheap and give you a few extra Ethernet ports.
Choose routers with GE ports, which support speed up to 1 Gbps.
Point 6: Routers With MU-MIMO-
Many new routers come with the facility called MU-MIMO. MU-MIMO stands for multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output. Routers sort incoming requests from devices into a single file queue, but MU-MIMO enables them to split the available bandwidth into equal chunks.
Therefore, instead of one long queue, you can now have two, three, or four short queues and should get served faster.
If a large number of people would be connecting to video services, then MU-MIMO is definitely an advantage.
Point 7: Beamforming Technology-
When Wi-Fi routers broadcast signals using multiple antennas, it is known as beamforming. This feature significantly improves signal strength and speed. Beam-forming enables the router to focus the signal on specific devices instead of blanketing the entire area with the same signal strength.
Point 8: IPv4 or IPv6-
If you want to be future proof, you may consider buying a Wi-Fi router that supports IPv4 or IPv6. Because ISPs are implementing IPv6 protocol.
Point 9: Check Router Antennas –
All wireless devices have antennas. It is advised to opt for a router that has antennas standing out because that would result in better network strength.
There are many points to consider when buying a new Wi-Fi router. Whilst most will perform perfectly well in most situations, it is worth considering what is actually needed and then matching this to the specifications and cost. I hope this article solves your purpose of how to buy wifi router.