A Wi-Fi router is your gateway to connectivity and is extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic because it connects you to the entire world. Due to the lockdown situation throughout the world, most employees started working from home. Educational institutions started online classes. That was all possible only because of the power of the internet and with the help of supportive equipment.
What does your router do?
Your Wi-Fi router isn’t just helping you with streaming titles or playing games. Smart houses with multiple connected devices are only possible because of a strong router. Most ISPs provide their own equipment at certain rental fees. These devices are compatible with their connections and modems. That doesn’t mean that you cannot use your own router or buy a new one as per need. Simply check the compatibility, list down your requirements, and compare prices. If you find out that the company rented router is a better bet than choose it for your home.
When do you need a router?
If you live at a location, where you have the option to choose cable, DSL, or fiber-optic network then a router is necessary. However, if you’re residing at a rural location, you will not be needing a separate router to connect any of your devices. There is no need for a router with a satellite connection and that is the only kind that works at remote locations. Like with HughesNet satellite internet, there’s a built-in Wi-Fi modem included with all their Internet plans. Since it is a wireless connection, you can connect multiple devices from anywhere in the house. You just need a receiver that can catch the satellite signals and you’re good to go.
Here are some options for home Wi-Fi routers, which you can choose depending on your affordability and compatibility.
- Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Smart Wi-Fi Router that costs $154.53 (with a listed price of $189.99)
- TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router that costs $56.99 (its listed price is $79.99)
- Asus RT-AC88U AC3100 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router that costs $217.41 (its listed price is $248.54)
- TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 Wi-Fi Router that costs $42.99 (its listed price comes at $49.99)
What are the most required features in a router?
Wi-Fi routers usually come with multiple features. More features mean the device will be more expensive. You should look for some absolute essentials if you’re investing in a router.
- Try going for one, which offers at least 4 ports so that it allows you the connectivity of up to four wired devices. These can include PCs, NAS devices, and all sorts of home automation devices.
- If speed is what you’re after, then go for a router that offers support for link aggregation. That supports you if one of your LAN connections fails.
- It should have one USB port for connecting the printer or any other USB supportive devices. Make it two ports if network sharing is what you require.
- Removable antennas are a plus where router efficiency is of concern. It allows you to attach antennas, which can help boost the performance of your router due to their high-gain. Just make sure that your router supports the new antennas that you’re buying. Otherwise, you will end up with a decrease in performance.
- Knowing how your network uses can be a plus when there’s a big family involved with kids in the middle. Try to make sure that your Wi-Fi router supports the parental control option. You can limit the access that users have to the internet. You can set specific times and days as well, which makes it perfect for parents who want their kids to stay safe online. There’s a lot of bullying and web harassment that can happen online.
- Another facility that you can look for is the Quality of Service as well as a guest network feature. A guest network allows for Wi-Fi connectivity to any guests that you might have over for staying or for casual use. This will not compromise your privacy. They do not get any access to your personal files or folders. Quality of service means you can give priority to one device over another. Take the example of having one device steaming Netflix or Amazon, while the other is your printer that is printing copies of an official document. You can choose which one stays on in case there is a lag in internet service.
Different routers offer different levels of control over a certain facility. Some simply work by clocking a number of websites while others cans simply pause the internet connection. Home routers are becoming smarter with innovations and you can exert complete control over what your connection does or does not allow. Internet is a powerful tool but it does have its pros and cons like any other technology. Safe surfing is always better than just letting things get out of hand.