Choosing a home router
Choosing a home router is nothing compared choosing a router for an organization, its very simple.
In this article we will show you some good manufacturers, discuss prices and give you a checklist of what kind of a router to purchase.
The two biggest names in the home networking world are Linksys and Dlink. Linksys is owned by Cisco. Almost every router today comes with Wi-Fi capabilities, unless you choose specifically to get a router without Wi-Fi. When purchasing a router, consider what kind of network activities you do on your computers at home.
If the network activity at home is quite basic, such as Internet, emails, chat, Netflix, than a router with 100Mbit ports is just fine. However, if you were sending large files across the network to another computer, and if it was done frequently, you should definitely get a router with 1Gbit ports. This will not increase your Internet speed, but only the speed between the computers connected to the router, by a cable.
The Wi-Fi side to choosing a home router is a bit more complex. The problem with Wi-Fi is, almost any obstacle such as walls, can decrease the signal quality. When purchasing a router, look for one with 3 antennas. Also, look on the box for the term “MIMO” – which stands for “Multiple In, Multiple Out”. MIMO is a technology designed to increase the data speeds between the devices connecting to the router wirelessly, as well as increase the coverage range.
Avoid cheap routers from unknown brands, and avoid buying a router that only has Wi-Fi G, its old and slower than Wi-Fi N. Also, try to avoid buying a router with internal antennas. For maximum coverage and flexibility, you’d want external antennas. This way you can adjust the antennas if you ever had to or even replace them with better ones.
The prices can vary from $40 to $120. 100Mbit routers are cheaper while 1Gbit routers are a bit more expensive. Some routers come with fancy extra features, such as a USB port at the back of the router and with it you could connect an external hard drive, making it accessible to anyone on your network.
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Group 4 Networks team