From social media to entertainment, a network router is something that keeps you connected to the world at all times and fuels all your online activities. A router acts like a magic box that enables you to distribute internet signals to a variety of devices in your home. Although Ethernet connections are considered more secure, a wireless connection allows you to move freely around your home all the while staying connected to the World Wide Web. In addition to this, you can connect multiple devices to the internet including your smartphones, laptops, and computer desktops, and that too without a clutter of cables.
With so many entertainment options and online needs, a good router has become a necessity for many households. Numerous devices are being connected to the internet at the same time and old routers certainly cannot cater to such heavy connections. Therefore, you need to get a new router for your home so that you along with your family members can enjoy seamless connectivity to the world. The question is, how to choose a router that best suits your needs and requirements?
Here are 5 tips for purchasing the right router for your home:
1. Evaluate your connection speed
To figure out the speed of your internet connection, you can either contact your service provider to inquire about your package details or test the speed yourself by logging on to www.speedtest.net. Make sure that you know your internet’s maximum speed because you will need a router that can handle that speed. For instance, if your internet subscribed package speed is 200Mbps, then you will need a router that can at least handle 200Mbps of speed.
2. Check with your local ISP
If you are one of those individuals who are getting their services from the same provider for the past few years, then chances are that you have not updated your router. Your ISP will definitely have updated versions of routers that you can rent or purchase. Although renting is more expensive in the long run, it is good for people who cannot make the entire upfront payment for the router. Many ISPs offer routers and modems for free when you sign up for their services, for instance Spectrum Internet comes with a free modem that is capable of transmitting super-fast internet and wireless signals throughout your home.
3. The Devices that the Router will Support
It is always a good idea to make a note about the devices that you will connect to the router for internet access. This will help you determine whether you want a small router or a big router that supports numerous devices. Small and average power routers can easily support 6-8 devices provided that the devices do not perform heavy tasks like 4K video streaming and gaming.
You also need to evaluate the bandwidth that you will be consuming over the router. If you are fond of watching movies and playing games, then it is better for you to get a high-power router, which can support all your online activities easily.
4. Understand the router speed and range
While it is tempting to pick the router that claims to be the fastest in the industry, it is important to look at the following factors:
Advertised Speed: The speed mentioned on the package may be misleading. Therefore, you need to test the router before making the final decision. You can also search regarding the product online and read customer reviews in order to get an idea about its performance.
Ceiling Speed: Ceiling speed is the highest speed at which the devices can use the internet. For example, a router that has a ceiling speed of 300Mbps would not be of much help to a device that can only reach up to 150Mbps.
Router Range: The range of the router dictates the distance to which it can extend its signals. So, if you live in a large house, you need to get a router with a strong signal extender.
5. The router should support WPA2 Encryption
WPA2 is the most recent and by far the safest encryption in the internet world. Therefore, make sure that the router supports this encryption protocol. Avoid WPA and WEP because these encryptions are outdated and do not protect your information to the fullest.
Once you have narrowed down the list of routers, conduct thorough research regarding their performances so that you know which router best suits your needs and requirements. In addition to this, confirm with your ISP to ensure that the router is compatible with your current package plan.
Follow the aforementioned steps to choose the perfect router for your home and enjoy seamless connectivity.