Today, the market is just flooded with choices as far as wireless routers go, and here you are in the middle of all this, trying to figure out what 802.11b/g/n means, what difference do multiple antenna make, and why similar looking routers are so differently priced. I will try to navigate you here, while keeping only your interest in mind because your need is what matters most when it comes to getting the right router. Before we begin, ask yourself these questions first:
a). There is a router & there is a modem-router (built-in DSL modem, so you can get rid of your old modem and get rid of the associated wires and power supply, but do return it to your ISP)
b). what range & Speed you are looking for?
c). what type of equipment are you planning to hook up right now and in the foreseeable future?
d). your budget.
e). would you have it sit on the desk or mount it on the wall/ceiling?
Alright, so here we are trying to find answer to your questions, now do keep in mind, while there are good routers and bad routers, you need to watch out your needs, instead of looking for just the best one in the market.
what is the 802.11b/g/n?
i will not go into deep details, to keep it simple to understand, i will just give you an idea: if you are fine with a speed that will go at max 54Mbps (it’s megabits, not bytes FYI), then 802.11g is good enough for you, don’t bother with 802.11b, it’s old tech and no longer feasible to buy, plus new routers are all backward compatible, means 802.11n will have a/b/g as well in most cases.
why i say 54Mbps “max” is because you would require a capable wireless network card in your laptop/pc, and a close enough distance to the router, the further you are from router the lesser the speed.
The 802.11n will give you a very good speed and almost longer distance coverage, while 802.11b can be as good as a cordless phone, 802.11n can give you almost double the range (70 meters). if you can, then go for a 802.11 a/b/g/n router, meaning that you are picking latest tech. and future-proofing your investment.
if you need to mount it or you want to have a whole lot of devices or if you are planning for a business which has a lot of employees carrying wireless devices, then go for a secure institutional router, or one that can mount on ceiling or wall.
Check the interface on a simulation website for the model you choose so that you know if you will be happy configuring and using it, most have a well designed interface but some can just go offboard.
Firewall: you would love to have this feature, you may turn this off, but this is a must, and a good router firewall is indispensable.
Mac Filtering: This feature allows you to only have the selected devices connect to the router, so if you want to filter all Mac addresses other than your laptop, nothing else will be able to join that network.
Built in device support: some routers have support for a network storage, like external HDD, a print server, or flash drives.
Ethernet ports: ensure you get at least 4 ports, some routers have it missing, with just 1 port, so be aware.
Game mode: this feature allows gaming traffic to run on priority and also have games pass through firewall without spoiling your gaming mood:-)
one click configure: some would have a one click button to enable easy configure mode to enable you to hook up devices without any trouble, but this is not usually a secure way to connect.
Security support: routers come with WEP, WPA security, today you should not pick anything less than the WPA as WEP is weak and suspect to hacks and security holes. WPA2 and enterprise should be the support you should look at.
Role mode: some routers have a switch system or firmware control to function as a router, repeater, or access point, router connects wired and wireless clients, access point connects to another routers and just connects wireless clients, and a repeater would just act as a range extender to another wireless router.
Other firmware features:There are a lot of other features like parental filters, filtering out unwanted sites, listing sites you do not want to visit, or just listing sites that you only want to visit, you can in fact hook up a router in access point mode so your kids can have a separate hardware firewall conditioning traffic going to their mobile devices.
To sum it up, you need to really look at the features above and anything specif what you may need and compare with whats in the market to decide what you need and what’s best for you, there is only 1 perfectness in this situation, your need, and you need to find the router matching it.
you are welcome to email me in case you need my advice, and i will be happy to help.
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