At home or in the office, the wifi router is today essential computer equipment so that everyone can enjoy internet access. Before being able to proceed with the purchase of this tool, it is nevertheless essential to take a lot of care in the choice of this device, whether for its reliability, its quality and especially for its price. In this section, you will be able to find all the elements to consider in terms of 2021 wifi router comparison, and on how to recognize the best long-range wifi router among many others.
To be sure to find the best wifi router before purchasing, it is necessary to consider certain criteria:
Responsibilities and performances:
It is still necessary to know that the role of a router is to transform any internet signal coming from a provider into a wireless signal that will be accessible to all. It is compatible with computers, tablets, television and also mobile phones.
Choosing your best router will first depend on the number of devices you want to connect to as well as the ways you want to use the internet. You will have the choice between routers for family, routers oriented to share, as well as routers for advanced users.
If you only have a few devices, around 4, and the need for the internet is only essential for checking emails, browsing any sites or viewing certain videos, then the routers for the family will be the most suitable for you.
If your requirements relate to many features, including the use of printers or for data sharing then it is better to choose the router oriented to sharing. For the most professional, including large companies and for public places, advanced routers are the most efficient because, in addition to being compatible with the IPv6 protocol, the latter can access tunnels or a firewall that operate according to the protocol. of use.
It is also necessary to find out if the best router in question is equipped with a signal amplifier in order to avoid small cuts in the connection when you are forced to change places or rooms in the house or in n ‘ any large area. Also, check out the cheap router comparison.
If the internet is known today as one of the most widely used means of communication and is capable of connecting the four corners of the world, then we must also know that its use is very risky because it can also bring together a network of a twisted mind. It is therefore essential to take care of the security of its network and its router from the installation.
Family-type routers have restriction configuration options on certain site types, certain protocols, and schedules. Sharing-oriented routers are equipped with overflow protection as well as QoS support by IP or by protocol. Professionals will benefit, with advanced user routers, from a control screen as well as options that are already reserved for high-level routers. Discover our VPN router test.
Ease of use:
The wifi routers sold on the computer market are numerous and each has its own way of use according to the requirements and expectations of users. For routers intended for the family, your best bet is to choose the best router that is the easiest to use, including those that do not require a lot of complex and cumbersome connections. This type of model is mostly found on basic models and can be easily installed at home with just a manual.
For professionals who opt for advanced and powerful routers, its use requires however an accentuated knowledge in the network system and particularly requires the help of a few technicians in order to maintain it and ensure its security. The less efficient the best wifi router, the less easy it is to use and the more professional it is, the more complicated it is to use.
Finally, it is necessary to choose the best wifi router when buying it, for example via a comparison of the best wifi router. For this, we must insist on their functionalities, including their performance as well as their ranges, their security as well as its ease of use and especially on the field in which the router will be used.
Which WiFi Router To Choose
A huge debate over whether to use wireless routers or a wired internet connection has been around for a long time. Nowadays, having an internet connection at home or in the office is essential, but what is even more important is to use the right type.
Some people prefer to use a wired connection because they feel that it offers faster bandwidth and a more stable connection. With today’s modern routers, this is no longer necessarily the case, as many technological advancements have been made in recent years.
One of the main advantages of wireless routers is the lack of cables, which allows you to connect a lot of devices without having to plan too much where to put the cables in your home.
It may be a good idea to plan a bit for your router needs before purchasing the first router you see, as its range and performance may come back to haunt you, in case you pick up a model that is not suitable for your home.
Different Categories Of Routers
To make it easier for you, we have grouped the routers into 5 different segments, depending on your needs.
Ultra high-end routers
These router models are known for their extraordinary performance. With this, they are most suitable for gamers and other professionals whose productivity relies on a stable connection and fast speeds.
It is also recommended for computer game stores as customers will not experience discouragement due to intermittent internet connection.
These types of routers will also be a good choice for commercial offices. Most businesses require their employees to perform certain tasks on the Internet. Depending on the number of employees in a business, the network speed can go from bad to worse. To ensure optimal productivity and keep employees interested in the tasks at hand, having an ultra-high-end router inside the office is essential.
These routers are of course much more expensive and therefore are recommended for people who are willing to set aside a particular budget for a smooth internet connection.
Even though these router models are not considered the best in the market, they still offer good speed and performance. For people who want a stable internet connection but are happy with medium speed, they may find our high-end routers a good choice.
Students who need in-depth research for an assignment or thesis will benefit from using high-end routers.
It can also be a great choice for people who enjoy watching movies through Netflix while engaging in other media such as downloading and browsing social media sites.
While a high-end router isn’t as expensive as ultra-high-end routers, it still charges a decent amount. With this, those recommended for this router are people who are currently in the middle class.
This is considered the standard type of Internet connection. They are primarily intended for people who only want a medium speed internet connection.
The mid-to-high-end router is suitable for people who have multiple devices at home that they want to connect to the internet.
People who buy a mid to high-end router can browse videos online. However, the connection may get jerky when doing so at the same time while other people are playing internet games.
Simply put, this router is for people who use the internet for random purposes like downloading music, searching, browsing social media, etc.
This is the internet connection that most families usually have because it offers a decent internet connection, not to mention its affordability. These types of routers aren’t expensive, but they aren’t expensive either. With this, it is recommended that a mid to high-end router be purchased by people who have a stable income.
Mid-range routers offer a sub-standard, but tolerable, internet connection. It is best suited for people who need a network but doesn’t have the budget for a more stable connection.
The price of these routers is relatively affordable and fits the budget of most families. However, they will not be able to enjoy the speed and benefits of standard and better routers.
Students who stay together may decide to purchase a mid-range router through a contribution. A mid-range router isn’t fast, but it’s a decent speed for people who are only looking up a few terms online for school projects and many more.
It can also be a decent choice for people who have no other use for the internet than checking out what has been going on in their social media accounts.
Despite the slower speed compared to other models, it can be a great choice for people who need a reliable internet connection but are currently on a tight budget.
This is commonly referred to as an economical router due to its low price. Sometimes people confuse low-end wireless routers with mid-range routers. However, the difference between the two is that while a mid-range router can provide tolerable speed, a low-end router, on the other hand, can only provide satisfactory speed after a few reboots and resets of the device There are also cases where the speed of a low-end router fluctuates for no apparent reason.
This is the type of router that people will only be able to use when they are on a really tight budget. Most low-end router users are students and unemployed people.
In some cases, people would also buy a low-end router if they are forced to reside in a specific area for a certain period of time. Instead of spending money on a decent connection for a temporary stay, they prefer to go for this one.
Things to Consider When Buying a Wireless Router
There are many reasons to buy a wireless router for your home or office. Either way, having enough knowledge is also essential when choosing the one that will meet your needs.
The specifications required for a wireless router may depend on your purpose. There is a different set of specifications for people who want to use a wireless router for just surfing the web and for those who want to do a lot of streaming and gaming.
Despite the differences in specifications, the factors to think about are the same. These are the following:
Maximum number of devices that can connect to the router
A wireless router is usually only able to accommodate a certain number of devices, the cheaper it is, the less it can handle.
An access point is a device that is responsible for creating a wireless local area network in a home or office. The task of an access point is to connect to the wireless router and project an internet signal for a certain area. An access point can only accommodate a designated number of devices to provide an Internet connection. So, there are offices or homes with a single access point, while some people would install more access points in order to expand the Wi-Fi capability of their wireless router.
Many wireless routers can accommodate around 250 connected devices. Used at its maximum capacity, a wireless router is capable of connecting up to four devices via a cable, while the rest are connected via a wireless connection.
The maximum theoretical network bandwidth that a wireless router can support depends on the speed rating of the access point.
With 300 Mbps bandwidth connected to 100 devices, the router can only provide 3 Mbps to each of the connected devices.
Most people look at the bandwidth when choosing a wireless router. On almost all routers, bandwidth is shown in bold type.
However, the flow rate is rarely indicated. With this, people are led to believe that bandwidth is the most crucial in internet speed. However, throughput speed and bandwidth have to work hand in hand to make room for a decent connection.
To understand the connection between the two, you have to know what it is. Bandwidth refers to the raw ability of a router to transfer data from one entrance to another. This means that the bandwidth is simply the maximum capacity of the router to transfer data. The throughput, on the other hand, is the total capacity of the wireless router to transfer data. Thus, the flow refers to reality.
So, when purchasing a wireless router, it is essential not to focus too much on bandwidth as the total speed of the connection will depend on the balance of throughput and bandwidth.
Where your wifi router will be placed
Before purchasing the wireless router with the highest bandwidth, it is good to note that the network speed varies depending on the location of the router.
When the router is on, Wi-Fi signals roam the room. You may think that when the signal goes around the room, every corner is hit. However, there are spaces called dead zones. These are places not covered by the Wifi signal.
The best place to place the wireless router is in the centre of the house, preferably with a clear view. In this way, there will be a balance for the dispersion of the signal in the house.
Buy a mesh network router
From the name itself, a router’s job is to broadcast Wi-Fi signals from an access point to a designated area. As the area to be covered expands, the signal also weakens. As mentioned, one problem with regular routers is dead zones that annoy you when you want a good connection.
Mesh network routers eliminate this problem because they use not only one, but multiple access points. The router connects one access point to another, with each access point acting as its own router. While the primary access point carries a WiFi signal, the other access points copy the signal and broadcast it to the area.
Through the use of mesh network routers, you can better manage Internet users. You can interrupt the Internet connection for a certain access point, as well as create temporary networks for guests. These routers also offer streamlined connections, which means the Internet is accessible over longer distances as the mesh network routers repeat and broadcast the Wi-Fi signal.
Single, double or tri-band?
Single-band routers only support work on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. If you are looking for a more affordable router this would be a great choice as it is capable of providing medium network speed. However, since most home devices are also in the 2.4GHz frequency band, these models of wireless routers also have to compete with these products.
Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, and cordless phones are examples of products that a single-band router competes with. If you’re only after browsing the web and using social media websites like Facebook, this router would be a good thing to consider.
However, if you plan to watch episodes on Netflix or play some hardcore video games, you can settle for a dual-band wireless router. Apparently, from the name, a dual-band router consists of two radios. The former is capable of operating up to a 2.4 GHz band, while the other can connect to a 5 GHz band.
Because 5 GHz is less congested than 2.4 GHz, it is able to offer higher throughput speed with nominal signal interruption. So it’s a great option for gaming and movie streaming.
Using a dual-band router allows the user to designate a certain band on the application. Thus, one can monitor the data load consumed.
Finally, there is the tri-band wireless router which contains three radios. The former has a capacity of 2.4 GHz, while the other two are capable of supporting 5 GHz. These models will be suitable for households using different media at the same time, such as file sharing, video games, movie streaming, download and many more.
The rule is that the more features you get, the more you expect the person to pay. At the very least, you should aim for a wireless router with a 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet port. These ports allow one to connect to wired devices such as desktops and network-attached storage.
With just one USB port, you can then start plugging in a flash drive or printer. However, when there are more ports, you can indulge in both.
If you want to manage your Wi-Fi usage, it would be a good idea to settle for a wireless router that has guest network functionality, parental controls, and Quality of Service (QoS) options.
Parental Controls will allow you to regulate the type of websites that minors living in their homes can access, not to mention certain dates that they can only access those sites. The guest network, on the other hand, allows people to provide separate internet access for the guests. When a user lets people share their same network with guests, their privacy becomes vulnerable. The answer is to use a separate but shared network, which is a task performed by the guest network function.
The purpose of QoS is to allow the user to prioritize a certain use of the Internet. For example, if someone is watching Netflix movies while another person is downloading music, the network owner can choose to prioritize movie streaming activity to avoid blurry videos.
All routers have their own set of security systems. One thing they all have in common is Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), which allows compatible devices to connect to the Internet. You can also use Wi-Fi protected access
Tips for getting the most out of the router connection
Most people think that as soon as they buy the right router, they assume that they will get a fast internet connection. The pace of the Internet has so many factors to consider. These are the following:
Number of devices connected to your network
The more devices there are connected to a network, the slower it slows down. The number of gadgets that the network can support may vary depending on the bandwidth of the wireless router. But of course, the speed of your internet connection will be the limiting factor for internet access.
Upgrade the router firmware
A firmware upgrade is very much the same as upgrading a mobile app. After a while, the developer will realize that there are some bugs that need to be fixed in the application. With that, it will release an upgrade to fix these bugs, not to mention make the app more secure.
The same goes for the firmware. When bugs occur, internet speed can be drastically affected, slowing down data transfer.
By keeping the firmware updated and updated, you can ensure acceptable network speed, not to mention a more secure network.
Set a password
During the initial setup of the wireless router, there is default access to the network. With this, a user can just click on the SSID to join the connection. Some routers even have an open guest network, which anyone can connect to, which can be problematic if your internet connection isn’t the best.
The more people there are connected to a network, the slower it slows down. To regulate the number of people who can connect to your router, you must configure a password.
Reposition the antennas
The job of the antenna is to capture the signal. Just as people reposition a radio’s antenna to get the best signal, the same could be done to get more Wi-Fi signals as well.
Routers generally have two types of antenna, namely internal and external. For a router that has two external antennas, it would be a good idea to position the antennas perpendicularly, horizontal while the other is vertical.
Many computer engineers have said that when an antenna operates in the same plane, the signal is captured faster. An antenna positioned perpendicularly ensures that the antenna capacity is maximized.
If a router has only one internal antenna or one antenna, the process can get a little tricky as it will take trial and error to find the best signal.
Use a new antenna
The default antenna used for consumer routers is low quality. With this, they are not great at getting Wi-Fi signals. If you are having a slow connection, a great solution would be to get a spare amplified antenna. These antennas will speed up the connection without buying a brand new router.
Plug-in range extenders are more expensive, but they can provide better signals, especially for locations with dead zones due to their wireless repeater and powered antennas.
Devices can cause congestion of your Wi-Fi signals. When you use a modern router, the connection is definitely better than in older models. However, using a modern router does not guarantee security against Internet traffic congestion.
To speed up your connection, you can change the router’s channel. When using a busy channel, your connection may be affected due to the number of devices you have to compete with.
The quickest approach would be to determine which channel is the most inactive. You can do this using Acrylic WiFi for Windows computers and Netgear WiFi Analytics for Android devices.
Note: Most modern routers will automatically find the best channels to work on, where there is the least congestion from other networks.
Wireless routers are essential in every household because in addition to allowing any device to connect, it also offers more comfortable speed, not to mention a more secure network.
Despite the golden promises of wireless routers, it’s also important to learn how to choose the right model. Models are not created equal. Along with this, it is essential that you are aware of your needs before making the purchase.
You can opt for a single, dual, or tri-band wireless router. Of course, for a better connection, it is recommended to use a double or tertiary connection.
Using a mesh network wireless router would also be a great option. Since these routers have multiple access points, Wi-Fi signals can flow over larger areas.
But even choosing the best wireless router does not guarantee that the connection will be smooth. It is also important to customize the settings so that the network speed works in your favour. You can also change channels to maximize speed.
You can also buy newer antennas to replace the default ones as they generally offer poor signal capture. It would also be a good idea to place the router in the centre of a room so that your device will pick up the best signal.
For a decent connection at an affordable price, it is recommended that you purchase a high-end or mid-to-high-end wireless router. These routers aren’t the cheapest, but neither are they.