Nowadays, it is really hard to imagine a household without Wi-Fi or the Internet. We are so used to walking through the front door and going online straight off regardless if it’s on a computer or a smartphone. After all, home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically. To have the best internet accessibility, here we’ll talk about how to pick the right router.
However, things have dramatically changed over the past few years. Chances are, you haven’t replaced your router in years, but back then when you first got it you only had a few devices you needed to have online and things ran smoothly. Today, the situation in the average household has changed but your router remains the same. Now you have several laptops, several smartphones, one or two tablets, a PlayStation or an Xbox, and a few smart TVs all connected to the same Wi-Fi network. No doubt this pushes your router to its maximum capacity, but if your signal is getting slow, it might be time for a new and more powerful router.
Because what will a slow Internet connection bring you? Frustration, especially if your son is playing Fortnite with his buddies online and draining the life out of the signal. Don’t bother using the tin foil trick for strengthening the Wi-Fi signal because at the end of the day, if your router doesn’t have the needed capacity you will get nothing out of it.
Any modern router will transmit a Wi-Fi signal, but will the signal be strong enough for your needs? We give you a few tips on how to pick the right router that will improve your Internet speed across all of your devices!
Table of Contents
Learn What Your Top Internet Speed is
When buying a new router, you need to determine the maximum speed your Internet can reach before you start your research. For you to get the best speed you need to match the router’s transmission capability with the maximum Internet speed you are getting.
To figure out what the top speed is, you can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them the question. The maximum speed for your household will depend on several factors like the area you are in and the strength of the signal that your modem can pick up. Let’s say the maximum speed you can get is 200 Mbps. In that case, you need a router that has the capacity to handle that speed as a minimum.
Consider the Size of Your Home
If you live in a small apartment, the basic router with one antenna will probably do a decent job. However, if your home is bigger in size or has more levels you need to consider that. Determine where the router will be positioned and how far should the signal extend. If your Wi-Fi needs to cover different rooms and there are many walls in the way, you need a more powerful router in order not to lose the signal strength because of the obstacles.
For larger spaces, consider purchasing a router with more antennas and point them towards where the signal should be going. Sometimes even having more than one router is a good idea.
Those Values on the Router Box – What Do They Mean?
You might be tempted to pick the right router that has the fastest stated speed on the box and provides the best value for money. However, here are a few things to consider:
- Advertised speed – The total number of all router bands’ speeds. But devices can only connect to one band at once, so this is not a great determining factor.
- Router range – A value that tells you how far the signal can go. This is one of the things you should be cautious about depending on the size of your home.
- Ceiling speed – The highest speed the router can reach. However, this value is important when compared to the devices’ capability of using the signal.
- 802.11 – A number indicating the international Wi-Fi standard. Look for a router that has “AC” in front of the model number since that is the latest router standard.
- WPA2 – This is the only encryption type you should be after since WPA and WEP as already outdated.
If you are asking yourself the question why you should invest in a new and more powerful router, there is a simple answer for that – your old one is outdated and doesn’t cover your needs and also, a new router is a long-term investment. It’s not like you buy a router every day, is it? That’s why you should invest and get the best router for your needs and you won’t have to worry about your signal going funny for at least a few years.