You’ve just moved in to your new digs, and the most exciting part has finally been completed: the Internet is now hooked up to your home! But you don’t want to spend time hunting around in boxes looking for an Ethernet cable to connect to the modem with, and you certainly don’t want to buy one that’s long enough to stretch all the way across your new place. What you need, then, is a wireless router, so that you can broadcast your own wifi signal within your home and connect anywhere. However, when you find yourself at the store, all the boxes contain tons of jargon that you can hardly understand. How do you know what all those letters and numbers mean, and how do they translate to a good experience for you? When you next head out to go shopping for a wireless router, be sure you keep these things in mind.
How Far Does Your Signal Need to Travel?
The most important factor you need to consider when purchasing your wireless device is the range at which you’ll need to receive the signal. You don’t want to end up purchasing a device that can’t actually broadcast all the way across your house. Consider where your Internet modem is located, since your router will need to be nearby in order to connect to it. Is it located in an area of the house far away from where you’ll be using your devices, or is it nearer to your area of use? You’ll need to buy a more powerful router if you need to broadcast the signal up a flight of stairs or across a large house, or else you’ll need to buy a costly signal repeater in order to boost the strength. There’s nothing more frustrating than a spotty wifi connection, so be sure you know how far it needs to go.
Know the Type of Network You NeedFor simplicity’s sake, there are three kinds of wireless devices that you’ll encounter in stores, signified by the letters B, G, and N. These letters indicate what type of wireless network they broadcast. B devices are good only for small apartments or areas where you won’t need a very strong signal. G and N devices, on the other hand, are much more powerful, and not only feature an extended range (especially wireless-N devices), but they also are capable of handling a much faster uplink and downlink between itself and your devices. This translates to you receiving as close to your maximum speed as possible while using your devices, just as if you were connecting over Ethernet. Consider your needs and choose the right type for your home.
Read Reviews Online Before You Shop
The best tool you can equip yourself with is knowledge, and you should spend some time reading reviews for various routers online before you head to the store to buy one. See what people are saying about the models you’re interested in in terms of signal strength, reliability, and the software that they use. You don’t want to buy a router that is impossible to configure because it’s meant for very advanced users. Reviews will also help you to know which devices to stay away from, either due to a high failure rate or a signal quality that is much poorer than advertised.