Buying a wireless router for your home or office network is easy, the next part is frustrating – whether you have purchased the perfect product for your setup or not. To avoid the frustration, you should start researching a little bit way ahead of purchasing a wireless router. There are literally some thousands of models and types available in today’s market, doesn’t mean all of them are good fit for your household. There happens to be difference in radiation patter and signal propagation techniques but we are not going to get so deep into technological details. Instead, we are about to suggest you to check on few points and make sure the boxes are all checked on the list before you finally transact the payment for your wireless router.
Checklist 1 – Do You Really Need A Router?
Some people don’t get the necessity of buying a router. I have seen households where there’s only one device – a desktop computer and not even a freaking cell phone that has a wireless receptor for Wi-Fi radio. What’s the point of buying a router then? Unless you want to serve your guests with free Wi-Fi, of course. Why would you do that on a household? That should be done on restaurants not in your home.
However, even for two or three computers without a Wi-Fi receiver might not be the case where you should end up buying a wireless router. Invest the money on few good wired routers instead. You are going to get more advanced features in a lower price, and they are pretty good performers as well.
Thankfully these are the rare cases. People buy routers because they really need one these days. We were checking on so that you don’t end up looking like an idiot.
Checklist 2 – Your Network Consumption Pattern
Some people are casual internet surfers while the rest are heavy downloaders, hardcore gamers or statistical geeks. Everyone has their own different type of network resource consumption. For a basic household where there are few laptops and desktop computers, few smart televisions and quite a good number of handheld consoles, mobile phones and tablets – a wireless router with the higher than average bandwidth should be purchased. A 300 Mbps router is pretty good for the home environment we have talked about, higher won’t be bad. We prefer 900 Mbps if you got the money, and 1900 Mbps is kind of too higher for a basic household. You can always make the road wider than the car; the problem will occur if your road is narrower than your car’s width. That’s the exact case in here as well, just a symbolic expression though.
Checklist 3 – Single or Dual Band?
There are only 2.4 GHz band routers, and there are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band routers. For better performance, the dual band ones are suggested. The 2.4 GHz is good for stable and longer distance connectivity, but this channel is prone to getting congested due to more traffic getting along this way. On the other hand, the 5 GHz channel is basically less used so it’s usually free most of the time. For gaming or multimedia consumption, the 5 GHz band is a savior. But 5 GHz band won’t travel much distance for the router, hence you have to keep your 5 GHz band using devices close.
To keep a balance between these two, you should be getting a dual band wireless router.
Checklist 4 – 802.11 b/g/n?
If you get a router with all these three standards in one, go for it. If your desired router mentions only one alphabet, make sure it is ‘n’. The 802.11n standard is backward compatible with the other two while you can’t make full use of your network potentials if you purchase a backdated technology.
Checklist 5 – Security
Most likely, you will not have to worry much about this. Most routers that are being sold today come with latest security encryption technologies, which happen to be the WPA-PSK/2, or maybe even updated if there’s one when I am writing this article. But if you are buying an old model, make sure they support WPA-PSK or WPA-PSK/2 at least.
That’s pretty much all you need to keep in mind. We suggest you don’t compromise with money when buying a router. Because if you do, you might have to end up buying another router with the desired settings we have mentioned here while you could have been smart the first time saved money by not buying two routers.