What to Look for in a Wireless Router

Purchasing a wireless router can be a harrowing and stressful experience if you don’t approach it in just the right way. A simple trip down the computer accessories isle at an electronics retailer will show you the dozens of different models and manufacturers that are available, all for wildly different prices. By keeping just a few key things in mind and looking for just the right features and technical specifications you can make sure that you’re spending your hard earned money on something that your home can actually use. You can also make sure that your home wireless network is getting off the ground in the right way with the right piece of equipment.

Look at the maximum range of a particular router. The maximum range of a router refers to the total distance that it can broadcast a wireless network. Keep in mind that the range will always decrease the farther away you get from the router. If you need to be able to connect a computer that will be 120 feet away from the router to a wireless Internet network, for example, make sure that the wireless router you purchase has a minimum broadcasting range of at least 120 feet for the best results.

Look at the maximum speed of a particular router. The speed of a wireless router will be measured in megabytes per second. If you have a fast Internet connection and a slow router, for example, any computers connected to the Internet through that router will experience decreased networking performance due to the router’s limited capabilities. Always make sure that you buy a wireless router that is capable of supporting the Internet speed you are paying your Internet service provider for. Getting a slower router would only result in wasted money.

Make sure your router runs on the frequency of your computer’s networking equipment. If you’re buying a new router to go with your new laptop or desktop computer, there should be no frequency discrepancies between the two. However, if you are buying a new router to go with older equipment make sure that your wireless router is capable of broadcasting on a frequency that your computers are actually able to pick up.

Make sure you’re buying a 802.11N compatible wireless router. 802.11N is the newest standard in wireless technologies. It offers a number of advantages over previous wireless technologies. Any new router that you purchase should support this technology. Buying any other type of router will result in a piece of equipment that will quickly be outdated and one that will need to be replaced.

Make sure you’re buying a secure wireless router. Verify that your wireless router supports both WEP and WPA types of encryption. Anyone who can connect to your wireless network via the router will be able to access any information transferred on that network. Because of this, protecting your wireless network with a password should be one of your priorities.

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