Most of us today mainly use the wireless internet for their online activities, but few of us pay so much attention to the wireless routers we rely on. However, these humble little devices do a great job: you need to turn your wired internet into a wireless signal that you can access from anywhere – and ideally do this job smoothly, without delay, network congestion, and disconnection.
A cheap router can cause all sorts of problems, not just the ones mentioned above. If your current router is unable to sniff and you don't feel like you are getting the speed and clarity of the connection you are paying for your ISP for, it may be time to invest in your own (and this will save you) can spend money on equipment rental fees, your router may even pay for itself over time. Below we've put together a handful of the best WiFi router deals available today that can help protect you from frustration with lousy WiFi while saving you money.
The best deals on today's wireless routers
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A beginner's guide to WiFi routers
If you have the internet, you almost certainly have a WiFi router somewhere in your house. There is also a good chance that it was the one provided by your ISP, which means that you are likely to pay a monthly fee to rent it. These routers, provided by the ISP, aren't generally the best, as you'd expect – they're often the same cheap routers you can buy yourself for $ 20-40, but that doesn't stop service providers from $ 5 to $ 15 – Calculate dollars per fee per month in "equipment rental fees" for the privilege of using one.
This alone is an important reason why finding a good deal on WiFi routers and buying your own is a good idea, as even a solid mid-range device can pay for itself within a few months. Another reason is that a good WiFi router can improve your WiFi network at home or in the office by using the internet speed you pay for. This is especially important if you often have multiple users connected to the Internet at the same time, and even more if you regularly stream or play online. Routers are relatively complicated and some of the specifications and terms can be confusing for the uninitiated. So here is what you should know before buying.
What does "dual band" mean?
Most of the Wi-Fi routers you'll see today (including cheap routers) are dual-band routers, which means that they transmit data over two separate streams or "bands". The 2.4 GHz band is used for tasks with moderate bandwidth requirements, such as surfing the Internet, while the 5 GHz band is reserved for bandwidth-intensive jobs such as HD video streaming and online games where a lot of data is transferred at the same time will. Splitting your wireless connection into two “highways” in this way will prevent congestion, especially if multiple people are using the Internet at the same time, which can slow down your connection. Many newer routers also have a feature called MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-input / multi-output) that divides the bands into separate channels to further reduce congestion when the network is under heavy load.
What does "bandwidth" mean?
When a "band" is a data stream, the "bandwidth" refers to how much data can be transmitted over that stream at the same time. Imagine something like an oil pipeline – the wider the pipe, the more it can happen at the same time. The bandwidth of the routers is very different. How much you need depends on your network environment. In the case of a WLAN router, the bandwidth speed is usually represented by a number (N450, AC1900, AC5300, etc.) that indicates at a glance how many megabytes per second (Mbit / s) data can be transmitted across all bands at the same time.
The routers that are usually rented by ISPs are at the lower end of the bandwidth spectrum (which is why, as I said, we find a good deal on WiFi routers so you can buy your own), but 600 to 2,400 Mbps are good Reach for normal users and small families. Larger networks and more demanding users such as gamers are better served by a router in the range from 3,200 to 6,700 Mbit / s, while routers in the range from 7,200 to 9,600 Mbit / s are deep in the "professional" range – think of large offices and other bandwidths . heavy network environments. Note that this total bandwidth is divided between the bands. For example, a dual-band AC1600 router with a total bandwidth of 1,600 Mbit / s can specify 300 Mbit / s for the 2.4 GHz band and 1,300 Mbit / s for the 5 GHz band.
Can WiFi routers provide cable connections?
Almost all WLAN routers (this also applies to cheap routers) have Ethernet LAN connections on the back, which allow multiple cable connections at the desired locations. Depending on where your wireless router is installed, it may be worth using a wired Ethernet connection, as it is almost always faster than a wireless connection. For example, if your router is close to your PC or smart TV, it is not a bad idea to use this wired connectivity. This also frees up a certain amount of wireless bandwidth that your other devices use for their Wi-Fi, which prevents wireless traffic from being overloaded, even though your overall bandwidth is still determined by your Internet service.
Can a faster WiFi router give me faster internet?
Your basic internet speeds are limited by your service provider and depend on the internet tariff you pay for. A faster WiFi router cannot increase the bandwidth limits set by your ISP. However, with a faster router, you can better use the speed you pay for when a slow device – like the cheap routers typically provided by ISPs – makes your connection to the bottleneck. If you're paying for faster internet, make sure you get a router that doesn't create a "choke point" that slows down your WiFi to ensure you get all of the bandwidth you're already paying for. You need a Gigabit-capable router (ie at least 1,000 Mbit / s in the 5 GHz band) if you have a Gigabit Internet service, for example.
What are mesh routers?
If you have a large home or are looking for a router that can adequately cover a similarly sized room (like a multi-story office), you should invest in a mesh router system. In contrast to standard WLAN routers with a single unit, mesh router systems have several “hubs” that you can place in your entire network zone. These hubs amplify the wireless signal from your internet and essentially cover your home or office with Wi-Fi connectivity, reducing or eliminating dead zones on the network. This prevents you from losing your connection when you move.
Looking for more great things? On our page with curated offers you will find technical discounts and much more.
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