How to choose a Wi-Fi router: expert advice
Wi-Fi router is a device that performs the function of distribution to the Internet to support wireless or wired network devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, computers, TVs, and so on). What Wi-Fi router You select will depend on such factors as the coverage area of the wireless Internet in the apartment, the speed of the Internet connections, network stability, and so on. In this article we will explain what is the difference between different models of wifi routers and what their characteristics should be pay attention.
WiFi routers can be divided into 5 types:
- 1. ADSL WiFirouters, which is a wireless router used to connect via ADSL lines;
- 2. Ethernet (FTTB) Wi-Firouters — the most commonly used wireless routers that connect to your network using twisted pair (Ethernet FTTB);
- 3. CPON/CEPON/PON WiFirouters – devices that have appeared recently. They are designed to connect to the passive optical network PON (a so-called “fiber to the apartment”);
- 4. 3G WiFirouters — wireless routers, which are used to access the Internet via the mobile network;
- 5. Universal Wi-Firouters – devices that can connect to multiple Internet sources. The most common routers are ADSL + Ethernet (FTTB) or Ethernet (FTTB) + 3G.
The maximum data transfer rate
The newest models of routers support 802.11 ac, which provides theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 1.3 Gbit/s.
Most routers operate on the Wi-Fi standard 802.11 n. Theoretical data transfer speeds of these routers can reach 600 Mbit/s.
The 802.11 g standard limits the theoretical maximum speed of up to 54 Mbit/s.
The maximum data transfer speed is usually specified in the Datasheet of the router. Keep in mind that if You see the number 300 Mbit/s, actual speed will be around 3 times less than about 100 Mbit/s. In MB is the speed of 12.5 Mb/s. It is enough for surfing the net, listening to music, watching online video, 1080p, multiplayer games, and so on. However, to download torrents in a few streams or copying large files within the network this will be enough.
To work with fast Wi-Fi, your device must support the wireless standard 802.11 n or 802.11 ac.
As far as the router “trims” the speed of the Internet, you can learn through service Speedtest. To do this, connect your computer to the Internet via cable, and measure the speed of transmission and reception of data. Then switch on Wi-Fi, and do another test.
Most Wi-Fi routers operate in the frequency range of 2.4 GHz. Also at the market you can find models that can simultaneously or alternately work in the range of 2.4 and 5 GHz. Channel 5 GHz can be useful, if around your apartment there are many routers that create interference that reduces the speed of the Internet. The transition to 5 GHz can increase the speed, but slightly reduce the range of the network.
The hardware router
If you take into account the hardware Wi-Fi router, you can see that this device has the same “filling”, and conventional computers. The main characteristics of routers that are worth paying attention to are processor speed and amount of RAM. As in the case of computers, the more these indicators, the better, but the price of such devices will be higher.
Most Wi-Fi routers have several LAN ports to connect wired devices at home. If your apartment instituted high-speed Internet, and You like to play on a local network, choose a router with Gigabit Ethernet ports.
To routers there are 2 approaches:
- — for each model creates its own unique software;
- software is created for a whole range of routers.
Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of the first approach is that in this case, device resources are used most efficiently. However, given that the routers are constantly emerging new features, along with various mistakes, it must periodically must be updated. Quite often it happens that, releasing new models of routers, manufacturers forget about the old and fail to update them. In this case, users are often forced to buy a new router.
The advantage of this second approach is that the software in these routers is updated continuously and for this reason they are more functional.
A rating of manufacturers
If to speak about manufacturers of routers, each of them are good, fast model routers, and frankly bad.
Every company engaged in the manufacture of routers that has both fans, and opponents who constantly argue which brand is better. In our experience we can say the following: problems happen at all. For example, Wi-Fi routers D-Link before, quite often there were software problems and problems with wireless connection, which were solved by firmware update. From manufacturers such as TP-Link and Netgear fared slightly better, although much will depend on what model of router You select. If to speak about manufacturers of such routers, like the Asus, Zyxel and the Linksys, they are very reliable, but also among devices of these companies, there are exceptions.
Keep in mind that if You buy the most basic models, regardless of their manufacturer, they may cause problems, because these models saved as soon as I could.
If your budget for the purchase of a router is very limited, it is better to pay attention to the “advanced” model makers of the third wave — WiFi routers Tenda and The. These devices have a relatively low price, and at the same time, differ a good “stuffing”.
We hope that our tips will help you determine the choice of Wi-Fi router, and You can buy the best option that will delight you with a stable job.
It is important to understand that in order to choose the most suitable option of router, you need to get information about the house in which it will be installed (area, wall thickness), about the devices for which you want to grant access to the Internet, and about the tasks that will be performed on these devices.
Summing up, we note again that the router is better not to save, as otherwise you may have problems with speed or signal quality.
- router advice expert
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