In this article we will try to deal with the choice of Wi-Fi router for the home or apartment. This is a group of devices in which I can give some advice, to talk about all the nuances, and even suggest specific models. As for tips for buying specific models, then I really do not like to give such advice. Not least because I was not in your home, do not know for what purpose you choose a router, which you have internet access, how many and which devices will be connected to the Internet, is there in your home interference, and most importantly, what the bag you plan spend on buying a router. This point applies not only to routers and other equipment.
Choosing a router for home or apartment
But if you want to direct specific recommendations at the end of this article, I will give an example, several models of routers, which would advise to buy. But if that’s not my fault we consider 🙂 choice router for a private house or apartment. While here, you can probably still include small offices.
And once important advice. If you have an unlimited budget, and do not mind spending a decent bag of it, buy one of the most expensive routers, which can be found in some popular online store. Take the one that looks like it. It will cost about $ 300 (if not to take into account Apple routers). But he definitely will work stably, and it will be all that you need.
First, we will deal in the technical aspects of what to look for when choosing a router. For what purposes will approach one or another model, and will not be any problems during use. Then, I will write my opinion about what Wi-Fi router is better to buy in 2016, what would your purchase is not outdated quickly, and you do not have a year to buy a new model. Well, as promised, I would suggest a couple of specific routers, which should be suitable for an apartment (a private house).
Choosing a router for the house: technical aspects
The first thing you need to understand what we need in general router. In terms of technical characteristics: type of WAN port, the number of LAN-ports and their speed, frequency of the Wi-Fi network and its speed, availability of USB-connectors and various additional functions.
You should already understand about the purposes for which the router will use. It is clear that you are buying it is likely to distribute the internet to your device via Wi-Fi network, and possibly over the network cable.
Council. If you have a stationary computers (without Wi-Fi), then it would have after installing the router does not lay it to the cable, and connect over a wireless network, you can buy just a special Wi-Fi adapters.
General, what you need to focus when choosing a router for home, so this is an area that should be covered by the signal Wi-Fi network, the number of devices that will connect to the router, and the tasks that you perform on these devices (Web browsing, downloading files, online video, online games and so on. d.).
It’s simple: the router simply can not cover all the signal room in your home. For example, due to poor transmitter antenna or (and their amounts). And if you buy a cheap router, it just will not be able to operate stably when connecting a large number of devices. Or, when watching online video in high quality, online games and so on. D. Will constantly hang, reboot, and the like. As you already know, everything is very individual. Generally, the router is expensive, the more it can withstand the load to be more stably, and further can “punch” Wi-Fi signal.
Pick up the router for the ISP (WAN-port type)
The first thing you should pay attention, because it is on the WAN connector type. It is a way to connect the router to your ISP. The characteristics of this information is always available. It all depends on what you do online.
Ethernet – the most popular type of connection. This common network RJ-45 connector. Almost all Wi-Fi routers that are on the wound, have Ethernet WAN-port. A provider in your home paves the ordinary network cable, which we directly connect to the router.
ADSL modems with Wi-Fi – in fact, it is conventional routers just as the WAN-port, have an RJ-11 connector to connect the telephone cable. And if you already have a conventional ADSL modem, then you just need to buy a router with a conventional Ethernet port (and connect it to a modem).
3G / 4G Wi-Fi routers – if you have internet via USB-modem, and you want to adjust the distribution of the Internet by Wi-Fi, you will need a special router with support for 3G / 4G modems. On the choice of the router to work with USB-modem, I wrote in this article. Usually, in the characteristics of these routers is written: WAN-port – USB 3G.
There are routers that can be called universal. Because they connect to the Internet can be like a regular Ethernet port, and a USB-port for 3G modems. However, the availability of USB-port does not mean that there is support for modems. You need to look characteristics.
Supported protocols: one more point that I think you can not pay attention. There I will bring the protocols to connect to your ISP: L2TP, PPPoE, PPTP. In today’s routers, this problem should arise. Unless, you have some special provider.
Wi-Fi network: frequency, speed, range
The operating frequency of Wi-Fi networks (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz) – at the time of this writing (May 2016 year), most routers (in not expensive mainly), which is on sale, distribute Wi-Fi network at the usual rate of 2.4 GHz, which is already heavily loaded. But, there are active on the market models that support Wi-Fi to work at a frequency of 5 GHz. This new technology, and it is a router that supports the frequency of 5 GHz, I would advise buying in 2016. For more information about dual-band routers (dual band, because it supports the frequency of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz), the pros and compatibility, I wrote in the article: What is a dual-band Wi-Fi router (Dual-Band Wi-Fi)? How does it work and is it worth buying. You can already find a dual-band model for a very good price.
Speed on Wi-Fi – the cheapest model routers, distribute Wi-Fi at speeds up to 150 Mbit / s. I would advise not to buy such models. Unless you take a router to connect one to three devices and to surf the Internet, or video viewing is not high quality. It is better to report 5-10 dollars and buy a model that distributes the wireless network at speeds up to 300 Mbit / s.
With regard to the standards of a wireless network, it must necessarily be 802.11n support. And if you choose to router from mid-range and above, it is desirable to have to take a model with support for new high-speed 802.11ac standard.
The rate depends on many factors:.. The number of connected devices, power router, ISP, interference, etc. Read the reviews tend to write it once, highly router cutting speed Wi-Fi, or not. Regarding the connection speed over the wireless network, you can still read this article.
Radius’s Wi-Fi network – many ask: “how to choose a router with a maximum range of the wireless network.” Good question, and intuitive, but give a concrete answer to it is very difficult. Because, in the range of the very strong influence of the wall (the number and materials), noise (mainly from neighboring Wi-Fi networks), the location of the router in the house, and of the power of the router. The signal passes through a very bad concrete mills, where there are metal.
If you have a large apartment, say that more than 100 squares, or a house of several floors, it is likely that a router is not enough, even the most powerful. In this case, the best option is to install a repeater.
And if you choose a router for a one-room apartment, in your case it will be enough, even the cheapest model in terms of range of the network. For medium-sized homes, I would advise buying routers are priced from $ 50. Well, it is desirable to buy a model with at least two antennas (on 5dBi power). But, there are good models with internal antennas, which practically does not concede to the outside. Typically, the presence of three or more for example antenna not affect the range of the Wi-Fi network, and the connection speed. Just pay attention, detachable antenna, or not. In case you want to replace them, to install more powerful.
According to my observations, the radius of action is not highly dependent on the price of the router. Most likely because the maximum capacity of the router simply limited by the manufacturer (in accordance with the laws of the country in which they are supplied).
Available ports: LAN and USB
At a minimum, 1 LAN-port be exact. Typically, routers on the LAN-port 4. Sometimes more. LAN-port is needed to connect the devices to the Internet via the network cable (PCs, TVs, game consoles and so on. D.).
With regard of USB-ports, but now they are not on the cheaper models. But, it seems to me, that soon there will be no routers USB. Therefore, I advise you to choose a router, with the presence of at least one USB-ports. He needed to connect USB flash drives, printers or USB 3G modem (if you have modems support). By connecting a USB flash drive or external HDD to the router, you can arrange to share files, or run a DLNA-server. And connecting the printer, you can configure the print server.
USB and LAN ports when choosing a router
It is all depends on the model and manufacturer. For example, models from ASUS, are able to still yourself to download files to the drive. I have already said what needed USB-connector on the ASUS routers. You can look, for example.
Power Wi-Fi router, and its performance
Filling the router is also very important. The more powerful processor and more RAM, the more stable will run the router. It will keep more devices connected without any problems to withstand torrents download, online games, DLNA server performance, and so on. D. And yet, most importantly, will not be the speed of the fall, ping, packet loss.
I do not think I need to direct study all the nuances associated with the iron that is running one or another router, unless you’re interested. Here, everything is very simple, the more expensive model, so it is more powerful. If you buy a router for 15-20 dollars, connect it to multiple devices, start downloading a torrent, an online game, and open another online video, it is likely that he just hangs. Or, the speed will drop very much. And it will work only after the reboot. It is quite normal for its price range.
That’s why I advise you not to save on your router. Because you connect to it all their computers, tablets, phones, televisions, and all of them will suffer from weak router, which all time will be cutting speed and just “fall” from the load. It brings a lot of inconvenience, and most likely you soon will think about buying a new router, more powerful and therefore expensive.
Price and manufacturer
At this point, the router is the cheapest you can buy for about $ 15. I wrote above that such routers buy only if you do not need a lot of performance and speed.
The best course to take the routers, which cost between $ 30 and above. This is only my opinion. These devices are suitable for home use, but without fanaticism. Here we must understand that we get as much as we pay. Well, it all depends on the tasks that has to cope with that specific router in your case.
With regard to the producer, the most popular of course, TP-LINK, ASUS, D-LINK, ZyXEL, Linksys, Tenda, Netis. If you’re wondering, I have now ASUS. I like routers from TP-LINK, which also often use and recommend to others. Relatives, inexpensive TP-LINK TL-WR841N is already more than five years working without any problems. Not so long ago he met with routers from ZyXEL. Also very much. Tenda makes a low-cost model.
I think that we should not get hung up on the manufacturer. Look for patterns, characteristics, price, appearance at last. Familiar with routers from all manufacturers, which enumerated above, and I can not say that some bad and some good. Each manufacturer, there are certain things that personally I liked or not liked (control panel, accessories, instructions, packaging, setup process, reliability, and so on. D.). But, it practically does not affect the operation of the router.
I often see questions like: “What better router, ASUS, or TP-LINK”. One can endlessly argue which brand is better and which is worse. I believe that in this case, is more correct to consider specific models which are close in price.