How to Choose a Wireless Router for Your Home

how to choose a wireless router When you choose a wireless router for your home, you may feel a bit overwhelmed with all of the technical jargon and myriad of choices available to you.  In this article, we will try to go over some of the main things  you need to consider when making your choice and hopefully make the process a little bit easier.

Wireless Speed

Most of the time when making a choice for a home wireless router, the main feature is how fast is the wireless speed.  After all, one of the coolest things about a wireless router is that it allows you to be wireless throughout your home.

The A,B... G's? of Wireless Routers

Wireless routers broadcast in different radio bands. Each band has been given a number by the IEEE that corresponds to what radio band each device supports.  This is standard that all wireless manufacturers follow so that the industry can more easily understand how each device compares to each other.

wireless speed comparison 802.11ac
Image credit: meraki.cisco.com

802.11a - This was the first wireless standard released.  Basically most wireless routers don't have this capability. It's 54Mbs and operates at the 5GHz radio range.

802.11b - This is the original home wireless network. This gave most home users the ability to be wireless.  It's a bit slower at only 11Mbs and operates in the 2.4GHz range. (It's susceptible to interference with microwave overs and cordless phones.)

802.11g - This is the most common in wireless networks.  The 802.11g provides 54Mbs of speed and operates at the 2.4GHz range. (Again is susceptible to interference with microwave overs and cordless phones.)

802.11n -  this is one of the newer wireless standards.  This is one of the faster wireless technologies that routers might support.  This supports speeds of up to 110Mbs and can operate in either the 2.4GHz range or the 5GHz ranges.

802.11ac - This is a faster and more scalable version of 802.11n that only operates in the 5GHz range.  This can support single link throughput rates up to 500Mbs

If you choose a wireless router, get one that supports either 802.11n or 802.11ac

Technology changes quickly. If your going to spend the money - get the latest wireless speeds.

Wired Connections

You will want to make sure your home router has multiple connections for your wired computers, like desktops, and gaming systems.  Most of your more common routers have a 4 port switch built in.

Other Features

There are a ton of other features to consider when figuring out how to choose your new router.  Feature like, parental controls, website and keyword locks, vpn for remote access from work, firewalls, built-in DSL modem, ranges, and much more.

Do your homework - Ask around

Compare price.  Most routers are very similar and will perform just fine.  Do your homework and ask around.  Read reviews of products on home router websites.  If you have a question, feel free to send us an email.  Click the "contact us" button at the top of this page. We would love to help!

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