There are hundreds of brands and versions of routers. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a router. Starting with compatibility and ensuring sure the router supports your internet speeds, here are the specifications we evaluated when generating router recommendations, plus a few extras that might enhance your online experience.
Determine your router budget
Routers cost $100 to $300 or more. Spending on a router relies on your budget. You’ll also need the right features to get the most of your internet subscription. Faster routers with MU-MIMO and beamforming cost more. Tri-band and phone-capable routers cost extra. Consider your needs while choosing a router’s pricing.
Check your new router’s ISP compatibility
Most routers should work with any ISP, but check anyway. Especially a modem-router combination. If you utilize a cable modem with DSL internet, well. Your internet fails. Compatibility is key. Most ISPs offer compatible modem and router lists or buying guidelines.
Ensure your router supports your internet speed
You need a faster router than your internet package advertises. This helps you obtain the fastest Wi-Fi speeds even when several devices and users are connected. It guarantees your paid speed isn’t wasted.
Most routers promise 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz speeds together. This combined speed is deceptive since most devices don’t utilize both Wi-Fi bands simultaneously. Check your router’s 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz max speeds. Wireless speeds slow down when they pass through air or solid things like walls, floors, and furniture. If you want the fastest router speed, use an Ethernet connection.
Upgrade your wireless protocol
Routers have 802.11 plus a letter or letters. The wireless protocol or Wi-Fi standard determines the router’s performance and range. These Wi-Fi standards aren’t complicated. Spread Wi-Fi across your home using mesh Wi-Fi or extenders.
You’ll need a router that covers most or all of your house
Some routers are more explicit about square footage than others. We prefer the TP-Link Archer A20 and xFi Pods, however their range depends on how many bedrooms you have. Relax. If your network doesn’t reach the furthest corners of your house, you may use a Wi-Fi extender or mesh Wi-Fi system to boost the signal.
Recent router improvements might improve your internet experience. If you’re looking for a new router, you may want to consider the following features:
Superiority of the Service Provided (QoS)
The Quality of Service feature allows you to prioritize certain devices and connections via your network. If you’re a gamer who values a solid internet connection above all else, even if your significant other or children start streaming Netflix, you may set your router to give preference to your Xbox over your smart TV.
Multiple Inputs and Outputs for a Large Number of Users (MU-MIMO)
MU-MIMO allows your router to more effectively manage simultaneous wired and wireless connections. Without multi-user multiple-input and multiple-output (MU-MIMO), only one of your linked devices will be able to receive data at once. However, using MU-MIMO, your router may share the available bandwidth across all of your devices.
Beamforming is used by modern routers to target a specific device with a Wi-Fi signal. In the past, routers would broadcast their Wi-Fi signal in every direction. Beamforming may improve Wi-Fi signal quality and efficiency, much like a laser-guided Wi-Fi signal.