Selecting the right router and what’s best suited for your network can be difficult. Depending on what type of Broadband connection you have, one can behave differently than others.
I hear this all the time and I have been asked the same question – ‘What’s the Best Router for me’?
I just purchased and setup a new D-Link N Router that replaced our old Linksys G Router because it was acting up. It took me a little while to buy because of researching. I have Charter Communications (Internet Service Provider) and I found out that Charter Customers have luck using either Linksys or D-Link. I went to different Forums and Blogs to find out what other Consumers have to say regarding the Pros and Cons of a variety of routers, so this is one thing that you may consider doing. My new D-Link router is performing great and so far so good.
How complex is your wireless network environment? One thing that you need to know before buying – find out how many wireless devices do you have. These devices will vary from a Laptop, IPod, Tablets, Smart phones, Xbox, PS3, etc. If a family member will be doing any HD video streaming, you might consider a Dual Band N Router, this can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz radio bands simultaneously, and double the available wireless bandwidth. A router that has this option provides load balancing. For instance, you could set up your network to handle video streaming on one radio band, and use the other band for simultaneous other web activities (Instant messaging, Surfing, data uploading/downloading) avoiding any interference or collisions.
Routers have different types of Standards known as Standard 11n (N) that supports 5GHz band or Standard 11b and g (B/G) that supports 5GHz band technology? B/G is an older technology and nowadays N technology would be more doable, they are backwards compatible to B/G and will communicate to any B/G wireless devices. In order to make use of the highest router mode (N), your wireless devices will have to be an N technology as well. However, your B/G wireless devices will only communicate at the lowest Mode of your router which is the B/G. The higher the Standards you use, the performance is more acceptable and reliable.
How large is your home and how many rooms do you have? You might want to consider an Access Point (AP), a router with Bridging or Repeating functionality. Make sure to read the technical details of the router to ensure that the router that you will be buying has this option. The AP, Bridge or Repeater Router is designed for users looking to create a wireless network or to connect multiple wired devices to an existing wireless network. Expand your wireless network endlessly to cover large areas and improve performance.
Don’t forget the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) compatibility – most of the newer routers should have this feature ready so that each IPV6 device in your network will comply with your router when it becomes effective. Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4) will be obsolete, so any IPV4 devices won’t be able to communicate with your router.
The wireless security feature of the router is also significant and plays a big role in your wireless network. Make sure that it supports WPA2 which is the highest network encryption, WEP and WPA security have both been hacked and not too secured.
Other things to consider:
Will you need gigabit ports? Some routers have gigabit ethernet ports for faster transfer rate, your wired network devices must have gigabit network adapters to make use of the gigabit ports.
A Cloud feature will be great to have – Netgear has a ‘Ready Share Cloud‘ or ReadySHARE(R) USB Storage Access for file sharing. You’re not just getting a wireless router but a Cloud solution as well, all in one great package. You may also make use of the USB Port to share any USB devices from your network.
Parental Control – to restrict browsing on illegal sites for minor ages of the family members.
FTP – to upload, download and share network files.
Hotspot – to set up your network as Hotspot, most commonly use for Cafe.
Guest Zone – you may create a separate SSID (wireless network name) for your Guests.
These are just a few great features that you might consider before buying your next router. Now, you decide and find out what’s the best router for you.