You can see routers everywhere – at homes, in offices and in public places. We love to stay connected (the concept of a connected home is highly sought after) and it is possible with routers. The router, as we all know, is a device that connects your devices to the internet and with each other using radio signals. While the Ethernet models still abound, everyone seems to be using the wireless versions of the routers. After all, who wants to manage miles of cable so that they can connect to the internet?
Choosing your Router
ADSL or cable router?
What you will first need to keep in mind is about the type of router – ADSL router or cable router. If you are using a cable connection for your internet, a broadband router or cable router is what you need. The modem that was given to you by your ISP will have the router connecting with it through the Ethernet cable. If you have an ADSL connection, then you need an ADSL router. An ADSL router has both the modem and the router in one box and only needs a power outlet to get started.
The router range explained
All the routers have their respective ranges and you need to keep this point in mind. A router with a longer range can cover your entire home and proves to be extremely convenient. There are wireless standards that determine the range of the routers and it makes sense to know about these standards so that you pick the right router.
Wireless b has the wireless standard 802.11b and this router has the smallest range of all routers. This router is suitable for small offices where everyone operates out of the same room. These routers have become somewhat obsolete now.
Wireless g has the wireless standard 802.11g is the most common wireless standard in use today. These routers are ideal for apartments, flats and small homes and offices. Most of the modern devices use this wireless standard.
Wireless n has the largest range and can cover medium homes and offices comfortably. If your use is heavy, then these are the routers for you to consider. Data and file transfer using this wireless standard becomes a piece of cake!
Get the router speed right
The wireless standards also determine the speeds at which the routers operate. Wireless b can handle speeds of up to 11 Mbps and wireless g devices can handle speeds of up to 54 Mbps. If you have a 100-Mbps superfast internet connection, we don’t need to tell you that wireless n is the router that you should be looking at. Make sure that your router can handle the speed of your internet connection because you will be wasting money otherwise. For instance, your 100-Mbps internet connection is wasted if you use wireless g.
Use dual-band routers
For faster speed and better performance, consider the dual-band routers. While single band routers can use 2.4 GHz frequency, the dual-band routers can also handle 5 GHz frequency.
How secure is your router?
Security is one of the big issues when you use routers. All the routers handle data in an encrypted manner and the two types of encryption are WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). The latest type of encryption is WPA2 and it is the safest. However, before you purchase a WPA2 router, ensure that all the devices (that are supposed to connect with the router) are compatible. Some of the protection features available include parental control, website logging and remote management.
Get the right adaptor
Wi-Fi adaptors help in connecting devices to your router. Your laptop will have the adaptor built into it and for other devices, you can use between USB adaptors, PCI wireless adaptors and PCMCIA wireless adaptors. Needless to say, you need to understand compatibility before purchasing your Wi-Fi adaptor.