Most of the time, when you get an internet connection, it will come with its own router. However, sometimes, companies will give you a very basic model which you may not really want to use. In that case, you may want to buy your own router. The problem is that not all routers are built the same, and you’ll need to do your research thoroughly.
Whether you’re going for a specialized internet connection or are subscribing to Spectrum mobile plans, you need to make sure the router fits your needs. Often, you may be confused by all that technical terminology on the box, but things are not that complicated. It all boils down to a few basic aspects, and a thorough evaluation of your own requirements. You should, however, have some key requirements in mind, and make sure the router you choose has these features.
It Should Be Dual-Band Or More
Even though most routers these days are dual-band or more, there are still a few single-band ones out there. You want to make sure your model supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, enabling you to have faster internet when needed.
Single-band routers will only support the 2.4GHz band, which is already quite crowded, so your internet will be slow if there are numerous devices in the house. You should be able to switch the much faster 5 GHz band, which is almost essential for proper gaming and 4k streaming. This information will be written right on the box, and the router itself should have buttons which enable you to switch bands.
It Should Have Decent Real-Life Speed
The speed which your router advertises on its box is not its real-life speed. It is actually its maximum speed, which the manufacturers achieve in optimum conditions in a lab-like environment. In real life, you will not be able to replicate those conditions. Therefore, you need to know the actual real-life speed of your router.
To do this, you should check user reviews and reviews written by reliable publications. These reviews will have the actual speed in less controlled environments. Go for a router which has a high real-time speed in actual user reviews. Otherwise, you’ll be a victim of a pretty savvy marketing tactic.
It Should Have A Smartphone App
Your router should be easy to use, and its settings must be easily adjustable. Previously, routers would have their own desktop portals, with a complex user interface which took time to understand. However, many routers now come with a simple smartphone app, so that everyone can use them easily.
With this, you can adjust your router settings, track data usage, and switch between frequencies conveniently. You won’t have to deal with complex interfaces anymore! Instead, you’ll have all that you need in the palm of your hand.
It Should Have Smart-Home Integration
These days, smart-homes are all the rage. The Internet of Things (IoT) concept has led to everything from your laptop to your fridge and vacuum cleaner being part of your network. Therefore, you need to make sure your router supports smart-home integration. Whether you go for Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you should confirm whether your router supports it. This way, you’ll be able to connect all your devices and appliances easily.
This is also useful for security systems, and you should ensure that your router can handle the constant usage of multiple devices and appliances. It might be smart to install a few boosters as well with your router, especially if you have a large property.
It Should Support Mesh Wi-Fi Systems
These days, many companies are offering routers with mesh wi-fi support built in. However, many others are still offering conventional routers, with separate products to create a mesh wi-fi network. You should try to opt for the former, as it will involve less installation hassle, and will be more efficient as well.
Companies like ASUS and TP-Link let you use routers with built-in mesh network support, in tandem with its other products, to create a full-fledged mesh wi-fi network. Therefore, you should opt for these companies, so that you know you won’t have to deal with the hassle of getting numerous extra products later.
In conclusion, buying a new router may seem like a complex process, but it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is do a bit of research and evaluate your requirements. Once you do that, you’re all set to go.