With so many connected products, smartphones, smart TV’s, and many other mobile devices, it is more important than ever to have in your home or business a wireless router that can handle the constantly increasing demand for Wi-Fi connectivity. Coverage area, the number of clients, and the types of devices that are going to be connecting to the router.
Some routers can only communicate over a single radio band, 2.4GHz frequency, single band models are usually the least expensive ones. These devices are perfectly adequate for things like web surfing and connecting to social media services.
For more demanding tasks like video streaming or connecting to online gaming services a dual band router will deliver a more desirable performance. Dual band routers use the traditional band and also the 5GHz band which is typically not as crowded, it offers more throughput and with minimal signal interference it is ideal for tasks that demand more bandwidth.
For even more demanding environments there are tri-band routers. They are much more expensive but capable of handling households or businesses that experience heavy network traffic via lots of video streaming, file transfers, and online gaming.
When choosing a new router it is wise to avoid devices that use older protocols and go with the most widely used Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11n or with the newest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11ac, which brings several improvements over previous protocols. The biggest downside of the newer 802.11ac routers is price but if cost is not an issue getting a router with the newest protocol will provide a solid performance and it will be future proof.
Last but not least, don’t get a router with less than four Gigabit Ethernet ports. At least one USB port makes it easy to plug in a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network. Get a router with removable antennas if you need to extend your wireless range, which you will be able to accomplish with high-gain antennas. If what you need is control over your router, make sure your new router has parental controls, Quality of Service options and a guest-network feature.
Fast throughput speeds, good range, easy set up and manageability, a solid feature set, and, of course, fair pricing is what make a top router, choose wisely!