Last Updated on Dec 2, 2021
Choosing to buy or upgrade a router can be an intimidating task as you have several models and brands to select from. When you take a new internet connection, the service providers give you a modem/router, which does the job more or less. However, if you want to cover the whole house or ample office space with fast internet, you might want to upgrade to a better router. Ensure that the new router can hold up your required internet speed and is also compatible with the internet service.
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What should I look for when Buying a Router?
There are quite a few things that you should keep in mind while looking for a new router. So let’s dig in to see the things you need to look out for a while buying your new router so that you have a seamless experience while using the internet.
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There are routers of different brands and models available in the market. While the cost of some routers is significantly less, some of them can go up to almost 25k. It is your needs and the budget that determines which spectrum you fall on. If you are looking for a router with features like beamforming and MU-MIMO, you will have to go for one on the higher end of the price spectrum. So before deciding on a budget for your router, you might first want to consider the features you need to have on the new router.
Single or dual-band
There are two different frequency bands on which routers work, i.e., 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz band is more prone to congestions and interferences than the 5GHz, which also provides faster internet. The difference between single and dual-band routers is that the latter offers both 2.4GHz and 5GHz and uses them simultaneously. The choice between single or dual-band routers depends on the number of devices that will connect to the router and the required speed of the internet. If only a few devices you want to connect to the router, then a single band router should do the trick.
Check thoroughly to make sure your router is compatible with the ISP. Most routers you get in the market are compatible with any ISP (internet service provider), but it’s better to check it anyway. It is necessary if you are choosing a modem-router combination because if your modem is cabled and you use it with DSL internet, it just won’t work. So checking the router’s compatibility with your ISP is critical.
The position where you place the router is of extreme importance. You must make sure to place the router high up on a shelf at a central location. Also, see that there are no other gadgets near the router, and it is away from any obstructions. Despite all of these, there will be some dead spots in your house or office where you won’t find any internet connection. You can go for an expensive router with more range to deal with this problem. Or you can go for a regular router and use the existing electrical wires to extend your network by using a couple of power adapters.
Since everything around us is getting smarter, like phones, lights, fans, and all other electrical devices, why should routers stay behind? Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers and Google’s OnHub routers are a couple of examples of intelligent routers available in the market. These routers are super easy to set up and also to control your home network. They give you the option of setting the bandwidth for playing video games or streaming videos using a companion smartphone. The possibilities of these smart routers are virtually endless.
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Router Life Span
We know that nothing lasts forever and especially electrical devices. The same is the case with routers used extensively to provide connections to your computer, smartphone, streaming devices, gaming console, and tablets. With such amounts of load on a router, it is natural that its performance will decrease over time. So if you have been using your router for a long time and see a dip in your internet connection, maybe it is time to change your router.
Use Your old router
Just because you want to upgrade to a new router, don’t throw your old router away if it is still working. It is because you can turn your old router into an access point using power-line adapters or use it as a wireless bridge to extend your network.
New technological features are being released by different router brands all the time to enhance your user experience. Here are a few features that you can look out for for a while buying a new router:
Quality of Service
QoS lets you tell the router to prioritize over some devices and internet connections that you think are important. For instance, if you are busy playing games, you can order the router to prioritize your gaming console over other streaming devices or mobiles.
If your router has MU-MIMO, it stands a better chance of efficiently supporting multiple wireless and wired connections. Your router can only provide bandwidth to a single device at a time without the support of MU-MIMO.
The new age routers use beamforming technology to direct Wi-Fi signals to any device. Routers used to blast signals in every direction before beamforming came into the picture. Beamforming results in a more efficient and laser-connected signal, providing a more robust connection as well.
Now that you are aware of what to look for while buying a new router, you also consider that different routers have different features. So before jumping straight into buying a new router, it will be advisable that you focus on why you are going for a new router and choose one that meets your needs. Don’t just blindly go and buy a new router without any research.