A wireless or Wi-Fi router is a device that provides you with access to the internet. This can be access to a private network through a Wi-Fi device which is connected to a LAN or it could be Wi-Fi only or it could be a combination of the two -WLAN. It could also be a mix of wireless and wired network. You could call it an upgrade from the old and conventional wired broadband connection. This offers better performance, bandwidth and portability. The router market is continuously getting bombarded with new entrants offering varied features and available at all ranges of prices, with a whole list of brands to choose from. This is a comprehensive full guide for wifi routers for a beginner in the plan to go wireless.
Differentiating features of routers
Wi-Fi routers vary from each other, apart from their brand and making, in the following main features:
- Wi-Fi Speed: Ranges from the latest 7200 Mbps (AD7200) to 150Mbps (N150)
- Wi-Fi Technology: 802.11n, 802.11ac, most recent 802.11ad standard
- Port: Gigabyte and Fast Ethernet
- Form Factor: Desktop and Portable
- USB Port: USB 3.0, USB 2.0
- High Power
There are two types of Routers; Single Band (2.4 GHz frequency) and Dual Band Routers (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) which differ significantly in terms of range, bandwidth and performance. While single band routers are widely used for home networking and have long range, dual band routers have much higher bandwidth, performance, and flexibility but have low range.
Considerations while choosing a Wireless Router
- Application network: Single connections, home networking etc can use Single Band Routers while those with multiple computers, phones, or electronic devices or in a network congested area can use Dual Band Router.
- Internet Application: Single Band Router for browsing and simple applications like mailing. Dual Band Router for online gaming and other heavy applications.
- Hardware and Software compatibility
- Future up gradations and modifications
- Budget and brand
Always carry out a detailed review of your chosen product and the best dealer before finally carrying out the purchase.