How To Tell One Router From The Next

How familiar are you with your router? Right here and now, would you know if it’s single- or dual-band? What your wireless protocol is? The router’s throughput?

These questions may seem overwhelming if technology is not your specialty; However, these are all considerations to be aware of when you own a router or are in the process of buying a new one.

Here are some simple factors to consider:

  1. House/room design layout – Walls and space do make a difference. If the router is installed in one room, will it be able to effectively service the rest of your living space? If not, a wi-fi extender could give it the boost it needs.
  2. Security – A busy neighborhood means more Internet/wi-fi traffic; consider a WPA2 encryption to secure your network if you’re living in an urban area.
  3. Quality of Service (QoS) – Optimizing your router’s performance can allow you to prioritize which tasks should receive more bandwidth than others (file uploading/downloading, video streaming, etc.)
  4. Ports (LAN, USB, etc.) – Ports can be important depending on how versatile you want your router to be. Being able to directly plug in other devices may be a plus.
  5. Price – Do you have a set price range you’re looking to stay in? A minimum or maximum price?

To learn more, you can also check out these articles by Consumer Report and the New York Times.

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