The significance of having a great router, which delivers fast and reliable internet speeds to your web-connected devices, has become crystal-clear in these times. Whether it is work or you want to watch a movie, all you need is a good internet connection and your life is sorted.
Of course, the internet service provider plays a huge role here, but with so many companies offering amazing deals and packages, even that is not an issue anymore. For instance, there is Cox providing great internet with superb internet bundles. Simply search for Cox internet packages and you will see the results for yourself. And, this is just one example; you will find tons of other options to choose from in your area.
Once your internet connection is all set up and ready to use, the next thing you need to focus on is a wireless router.
If you are one of those people who’re looking for a reliable and affordable wireless router, this article has everything you need. It is okay if you still do not know what exactly a router is or what are its types and categories. We have added a section on that as well.
So, let us begin.
What is a Wireless Router?
Routers allow devices in your home, such as laptops, smart speakers, smartphones, and tablets, to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. This Wi-Fi is sourced from the modem, which links directly to your internet service provider (ISP). Although wired connections are faster than Wi-Fi, they are not as convenient unless you enjoy running dozens of feet of Ethernet cable between your router in the living room and your bedroom Roku.
In order to remain connected at home without being tied down, a wireless router is an essential part of your home’s infrastructure. Thus, it is imperative to find the right one that suits your needs and demands.
A wireless router may already be included in your internet package from your ISP. Routers can be standalone devices that plug into your modem externally or they may be combined with the modem itself to form one combined gateway.
You may want a new router if your existing one is too slow or has little wireless range to reach all corners of your house. It may even be more important now, as you may want to use Wi-Fi the first thing after waking up.
So, how do you know which router best suits your needs? For that, keep reading the next section of this article that highlights five ways to get your hands on the perfect wireless router in 2022.
What are the Types of Wireless Routers?
You have two types of wireless routers in the market currently. One is called a traditional single-unit router, while the other is known as a mesh router.
You might have heard about the first one already. A traditional single-unit router is simply plugged into the modem for developing a Wi-Fi connection. This router might or might not be enough to spread Wi-Fi to every corner of the house, depending on how big your house is and how many users are there at a time.
However, with mesh routers, you do not have to worry about this. Since they are made up of multiple units, they tend to give a better connection throughout the space. Mesh routers usually come in a pack of three, where one is directly connected to your modem, which then communicates with the second and the third unit respectively. This creates a large “mesh” like network, spreading the Wi-Fi efficiently around your house.
5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Router
Choosing the best router can certainly be a tedious job, especially with so many models and brands in the market. Keeping that in mind, we have narrowed down some of the factors for you.
Time to dig in, then.
What is Your Budget?
There are many different types of routers, ranging in price from under $100 to over $300. Choosing a router that fits your budget is crucial. It also depends on which type of router is ideal for you.
Nevertheless, you will want to ensure that the router has the important features you require in order to use your internet services effectively.
With features like MU-MIMO and beamforming, a router that supports faster speeds will cost you more. Furthermore, tri-band routers and those that support telephone services will also cost more. If you can afford to have an expensive router, make sure to see if it has all the features you are looking for.
Is Your Router Compatible with Your ISP?
Though almost every router out there is compatible with any internet service provider, it is always wise to double-check and avoid any unpleasant circumstances. It is even more important to get it over your checklist if you are looking for a modem-router combo.
Modems use different types of technology, so if you are using a cable modem with DSL internet, it will probably not work. That is why compatibility is vital.
You can find lists of compatible modems and routers supported by different internet service providers online as well as the guidelines on what to look for. Make sure to do some research beforehand.
Have you Considered the Optional Features?
Are you a person who likes to stay updated on tech innovations?
Many brands have started to release new features. Some of these features include:
Quality of Service – Allows you to prioritize devices that need to be connected
Beamforming – Used for directing Wi-Fi signals to a device
MU-MIMO – The Multi-User, Multi-Input, and Multi-Output feature supports multiple wireless and wired connections efficiently
Does it Support the Internet Speed That You are Paying For?
If your internet plan offers less speed, then choose a mid-range router for your home that perfectly aligns with the speed tier. On the other hand, if your internet plan offers higher speeds, then go for any of the latest Wi-Fi 6 routers that can support multi-gig speeds. Your call.
With multiple devices and people connected at the same time, you have the best chance of getting the fastest Wi-Fi speeds possible if your router and plan are synced up well. Furthermore, it ensures that the speed you pay for will not be wasted.
However, it is important to know that most routers advertise speed combinations on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Generally, devices do not use both Wi-Fi frequencies at once, so the combined speed represents a slightly misleading assessment. Make sure to check the max speed that your router’s 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies can handle.
Is it Mesh Wi-Fi?
This one might sound a little straightforward, but you already know the benefit of mesh Wi-Fi. If you have a small apartment with few members at home, the traditional single-unit router will do just fine. However, for bigger spaces, only a mesh Wi-Fi router would be able to cover the range.
Most routers suggest the number of square feet they can cover, but some give more specific information. Make sure to check the information provided and then decide which one will work best for you.
In a Nutshell
Finding a good router that provides fast and reliable internet performance is a tough task, especially if you are a beginner and do not know much about it. So, to pick the best router fitting your budget, it is important to consider all the factors. The aforementioned ones should be enough to give you an idea.