How to choose a router: tips, technical terms, suggestions, etc.


Everyone wants to be reliable And fast internet, a good router can help. The trick is to figure out how standard confusion, confusing acronyms, and sci-fi features translate into better Wi-Fi in your home. Join us to kick off the curtain and uncover the facts about Wi-Fi, routers, mesh systems, and other jargon. Hope you can buy a router better in the end.


Gear Reader Special Offer: Get Subscribe to WIRED for 1 year for only US$5 (US$25 off). This includes unlimited access to and our print magazine (if you wish). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you use the links in our story to buy goods, we may receive a commission. This helps support our journalistic work. learn more.

Who is your internet service provider?

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) connects your home to the Internet, and they usually send you a modem and router (sometimes in a single device). The modem connects your home to the wider Internet; the router connects to the modem, and then you connect all the gadgets to the router in a wired or wireless manner to access the connection. ISPs usually charge you a rental fee for this equipment, and their routers are usually very basic in terms of performance and functionality.The good news is that ISPs no longer allow you to force you to use their device or charge you to use your own device Hardware required by law, Although you may still need to return their things to avoid charges.

In this guide, we mainly consider using your own router and using your ISP’s modem. By using your own device, you may save money in the long run, but you can also enjoy faster Wi-Fi, better coverage, simpler configuration, and extras such as parental control and guest Wi-Fi networks Function. We will introduce your router options, but no matter what system you decide to use, please check the compatibility with your ISP before purchasing. You can also search the ISP’s forums to find posts where people discuss the use of different routers and modems. Doing some research before you shop can save you from headaches.

What kind of router do you need?

Photography: Willow

There are various Ways to make your Wi-Fi faster, Buying a new router is one of the most obvious. To help you decide which router type to use, please calculate the rough area of ​​your home before you start.

Single router

For most people, the simplest solution is to choose a single router or a combination of router and modem. Keep in mind that this device must be plugged into your existing socket or modem via an Ethernet cable, which limits where you can place it. The Wi-Fi signal will be strongest near the router, and will gradually weaken and slow down as the distance gets farther.

The router should always state the coverage area, but certain types of buildings (thick walls, insulating materials, and other equipment) may interfere with Wi-Fi signals, so don’t expect to enjoy full-speed Wi-Fi at greater distances. Powerful routers with wide coverage are usually large devices with multiple external antennas, but they are usually very expensive.

Grid system

If you have a larger home and want reliable coverage in your garden, or your current setup has thick walls and specific dead ends, then mesh Wi-Fi may be the answer. The mesh system consists of a central hub, which is connected like a single router, and other satellites or nodes you can place in your home.

The device is connected to the Internet through the nearest node, so you can achieve wider Wi-Fi coverage and more reliable connections in different areas by adding nodes. Remember that every node needs a power outlet. A mesh system is more expensive than a single router setup (Although not always), but they enhance coverage and reliability, and usually have additional features and control options. They also tend to be smaller than ordinary routers and are usually designed to blend harmoniously with your decoration.

Alternatives to new routers

Photo: Eskay Lim/EyeEm/Getty Images

If your question is more about coverage, and you have a problem room that you want to improve Wi-Fi or a specific device that needs faster connection, then you may not need to buy a new router. Try one of these alternative methods. Each of them has its own technical challenges and potential problems. Even if they are successfully deployed, they cannot match the convenience of a good grid system, but they are all much cheaper.

Wi-Fi repeater

You can use a Wi-Fi repeater to spread the Wi-Fi from a single router farther and possibly enhance the signal in blind spots. These devices are a good solution for some people, but they are inefficient, susceptible to interference, and often create a secondary network with a different name than regular Wi-Fi.

Power cord adapter

Power cord adapters are sold in pairs and can transmit Internet signals through your wires. You plug one into a power outlet near the router and connect it with an Ethernet cable, while the other power cord adapter is plugged into a power outlet in a room where you want faster internet. For example, if you have a console or smart TV in the living room at the back of the house, but your router is in the front hall, they may be a good solution. Unfortunately, effectiveness largely depends on your wires.

Access Point

If you don’t mind the challenge and have an old backup router, you can consider configuring it as an access point or using it as a Wi-Fi extender. This is especially effective if you can connect it to the main router via a cable, but the configuration can be tricky.

Photo: Getty Images

When you try to determine the speed of your router, there are many factors to consider. The maximum speed of your Internet is determined by your ISP. Internet speed is expressed in Mbps (megabits per second). According to statistics, the global average fixed broadband download speed is 106 Mbps, and the upload speed is 57 Mbps. Ookla’s speed testMost ISPs will declare a certain speed or give you a range (for example, 300 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload), but the speed you actually get is usually lower than the maximum (especially upload speed), and must be between all users Share connected devices between.


Source link