The wireless routers presented here are available at these stores:
Wireless Router: The Ultimate Buying Guide
In a world that is more connected than ever, finding the right wireless router can be challenging. You clearly want to be able to connect easily to a broadband Internet service; you also want good coverage, great performance and a secure connection. As the Internet of Things is starting to take hold of most aspects of our lives, having a reliable wireless router is more important than ever. But, with a seemingly endless list of sophisticated models, deciding what router to get next is no easy task. This guide will clear some of the router specs confusion – looking at you 802.11ac! – and will give you some useful tips on how to choose the right wireless router for your needs.
Not all wireless routers are created equal
So, why is it so important to buy a decent-quality wireless router? After all, aren’t they all made for the same purpose: to let you connect to the Internet? As it turns out, not all wireless routers are created equal and performance can vary dramatically from one model to another. As computers, laptops and mobile devices become more performant, they can support the latest wireless routers standards. If you have a high-end device, but still using an older router, you can expect inferior performance. There’s more to wireless routers than buying a random one and establishing an Internet connection. There are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration and specs you need to understand in order to be able to get the most of your router. Last, but not least, you need a wireless router that is easy to configure and use.
Understanding the specs
Shopping for a new router means reading through a list of odd tech terms, such as “dual band”, “WPA”, “gigabit” or “802.11ac”. In order to choose the right wireless router, you need to understand this apparent nonsense talk. In this section we will shed some light over the Wi-Fi terminology.
802.11n vs 802.11ac
Wireless routers all use a common standard, known as 802.11. This standard is verified and approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). As devices are becoming more performant and more connected, router manufacturers are constantly upgrading the standard, implementing new features. Right now there are two versions of 802.11 that are the standard in wireless networking: 802.11n and 802.11ac. 802.11n is the standard in wireless networking right now. 802.11n routers use multiple antennas and a technology called MIMO (multiple-input-multiple-output) that allows them to transfer more data at once. 802.11ac is the newest Wi-Fi standard and it promises speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n. In addition, 802.11ac can provide a better coverage and greater reliability. The problem is that the standard is still in development and, for now, only a small number of wireless devices have 802.11ac built-in. But things are evolving at fast pace and sooner all wireless devices will be compatible with the latest standard.
Single band vs. dual-band
Data is transferred between devices on certain frequency bands. Older standards, such as 802.11b and 802.11g, operated on the 2.4 GHz band. 802.11n can use either the 2.5 GHz or the 5 GHz band. As machine-to-machine communication increased, the 2.4 GHz band was becoming too crowded, affecting the speed and performance of wireless routers. In response, router manufacturers added a new band. Devices that only operate on the 2.4 GHz band are called single-band, while those that utilize both 2.4 GHz as well as 5GHz band are called dual-band. Although faster and more reliable, the 5 GHz is not supported by all wireless devices. Furthermore, compared with single-band, dual-band routers don’t have good coverage, so you'll want to consider distance when shopping for a new wireless router.
When shopping for a new wireless router, you many notice different numbers printed on the package. Those numbers indicate the router’s maximum speed. The speed is expressed in megabit per second (Mbps) and it can vary from 300 Mbps up to 1.900 Mbps. However, it is unlikely to see a wireless router actually reach 1.900 Mbps. There are a lot of factors that can interfere with the router’s speed, such as channel overlap or distance. Furthermore, the router’s speed has nothing to do with your Internet speed and it won’t make your connection faster. The Internet speed is set by your Internet service provider. The wireless router’s speed refers to how well and how fast data travels between devices.
What to consider when shopping for a new wireless router
Wireless routers are faster and more reliable than ever before. But, this doesn’t mean shopping for a new wireless router has become easier. Faced with so many options, it can get pretty hard to find the equipment that fits your needs best. To help you sort through the choices, we’ve listed a number of things you should consider before buying a new wireless router.
Ease of setupWhile some of the routers setup is easy as plug-and-play, other routers require basic technical skills and contain long installation manuals.
Router rangeA wireless router’s range depends on many different factors, from the number of antennas to the number of frequency bands. However, before buying a wireless router it is a good idea to test its coverage. A router with removable antennas will allow you to control the coverage. If you are not satisfied with your router’s range, you can increase it by replacing the antennas with higher-range ones.
How many devices can you connect simultaneously?
Another important factor you should consider before buying a wireless router is the number of devices you can connect to your router simultaneously. 802.11n routers can support to 30 maximum connections, while 802.11ac routers can support close to 100 simultaneous connections.
USB port sharing
USB ports on a router can be useful for a number of reasons. For example, it can allow you to share the USB connection with anyone who has access to your network. Or you can use them to connect to an external hard drive or a USB printer.
Quality of service
Quality of service (QoS) options offer more control over the wireless router’s settings. Depending on your needs, you can configure and optimize your router to meet the new requirements. Despite its name, quality of service can’t make your Internet fast or increase your network’s bandwidth.
There are a lot of options in terms of security features you can choose from. In order to prevent hackers from accessing your internet-connected devices, you should opt for a router with high-end firmware. In addition, if you are concerned about your children being exposed to inappropriate information on the Internet, you can choose a wireless router with built-in parent control.
With the proliferation of machine-to-machine communication, having a reliable router that can handle the increased demand for Wi-Fi connectivity is more important than ever. At Crowdbest you can find a variety of wireless routers fitted for every need. For any question don’t hesitate to contact us!
Power of the crowd
Don't decide alone, enjoy the experience of others using the reviews and decisions of other shoppers.
Multiple sources combined into one highly refined and relevant product list.
Only the best
Compare only the best products. Our algorithms find the needle in the haystack, saving you time and money.