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What Is A Wireless Router And How To Choose One For Your Home

The Internet has undeniably changed many of life’s mundane activities. Shopping, communicating and even transportation have changed, due to the invention of the Internet. At the same time, the technologies involved with the Internet have improved significantly over the past few years. Today, the modem router is capable of providing the consumer with lightning fast speeds.

In the past, the consumer was stuck with dial-up Internet access and excruciatingly low speeds. While the router is definitely a major improvement, it is also far more complex than plugging in a simple telephone cable. For your convenience, you will learn more about the router below.

What Is A Wireless Router

A wireless router extender is a necessity in large two-story homes, since the existing Internet router will not work efficiently throughout the entire house. If you are experiencing dead zones or intermittent interference, you will need to install a wireless extender in your home.

However, you should first begin to do your homework, by learning exactly what the wireless router is and how it functions. The device is capable of functioning in a wired local area network (LAN) or mixed wired/wireless network. Of course, this will depend on the model and brand, so delve a little further to find this information, which should be located in the manufacturer’s buying guide.

what is a wireless router

The best wifi router functions as a wireless access point, providing access to a private computer network or the Internet. It will basically direct traffic flow between a group of local computers meshed together via Radio Wave Technology or Ethernet cabling.

Hard-wired networks utilize Ethernet cabling, but these are much more difficult to set up and more expensive than the wireless network. Setting up a wireless network does not require running cables from one machine to another.

Parental Controls

The World Wide Web is a dangerous place for small children, since they are unaware of the imposing dangers of social media. There are also forbidden websites that you do not want your child to access, so be sure to invest in a router, with parental control options.

The router’s management software should be accessible by both parents and grandparents, giving full control over what content the children can access on the Web. You will also find some management software, with built-in “black lists”.

These lists contain adult websites and questionable content that may be harmful to youth. This will save you the trouble from needing to do any configuration until later on.

There are also some brands that offer live parental controls through cloud services. The parents will be able to access the cloud management service and make setting changes in the interest of their children.

Considering Signal Strength

At this point in time, most consumers should be more than familiar with signal strength. This is something that is relevant for walkie talkies, cell phones, and even routers. When attempting to choose one of the best wireless routers, it is pertinent to carefully examine the device’s signal strength and your precise application. Do you intend to utilize the Internet, while roaming throughout your home? Do you want to be able to access the Internet from your backyard?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you’ll need maximum signal strength. Also, it is essential to remember that some environmental factors and home décor items can deflect the Wi-Fi signal. A better signal will ensure you experience fewer disconnects and will be able to access the Internet from anywhere inside and outside of your property.

Check The Band Or Standard

As mentioned above, Internet technologies and the associated devices have changed substantially over the years. Today, there is an abundance of different wireless standards, including A, B, G, N, and AC. The 802.11b standard was originated in July of 1999.

As the date suggests, it is slight prehistoric compared to the alternatives. 802.11b can only offer maximum speeds of 11 Mbps. Each consecutive standard improved to some degree. If you’re looking for the best router for home use, you will want to opt for a router utilizing the 802.11ac standard.

This technology is backwards compatible and works fluidly with the b, g, and n standards. It also works on the 2.4 GHz frequency and the 5 GHz frequency. On the 2.4 GHz, the user will receive maximum speeds of 450 Mbps. On the 5 GHz, you’ll be able to browse the Internet with maximum speeds of 1,300 Mbps. At this point in time, 802.11ac is the best money can buy!

Safety Features And Guest Access

What is a Wireless Router

With hackers become smarter by the day, it is essential to take steps to protect yourself. This is why you need to make sure your router of choice is equipped with a good firewall and effective encryption. This combination will help to protect you and your family, while preventing unknown individuals from accessing your network.

When it comes to encryption, you will typically be able to choose between WEP, WPA and WPA2. Make sure the options available are compatible with the devices that you utilize.

You should also consider guest access. If you have a lot of guests at your house, it is likely these individuals will want to access the Internet at some point or another. A router with guest access will create a separate network of sorts that can be dedicated specifically to these individuals. This will allow them to access the Internet, without forcing you to give out your username and password.

Customer Support And Warranty

While you’re at it, you’ll also want to check out the manufacturer of the router and the warranty provided. While these two factors may not enhance the overall performance of the router, they may prove to be incredibly important in the future.

You may run into a problem and find yourself in desperate need of assistance. If this happens and the company isn’t up to par, you will not be able to obtain the help you need. If the company offers excellent customer support, they’ll be able to rectify your problem rapidly.

The warranty will ultimately help to prolong the longevity of the device, while further protecting your investment. If something happens and the router becomes inoperable or defective, the warranty will help to ensure the product will be replaced or repaired for free. Always try to get the longest warranty possible!