How to choose a router
2018-11-07 19:27:58 - last edited 2019-01-29 18:33:37
- With so many options available today, how do you chose which one to go with when purchasing a new router? Do you go with Single band, or dual band? What about Tri-band or mesh? Do the ammount of antennas matter? Should I get a gateway or a standalone? What questions should I ask the sales rep? The process can be nerve racking and we would like to help. This article will give you questions you should ask yourself when you are looking to purchase a new device.
- Am I looking for a gateway or a stand-alone router? Gateways combined a modem and router into one device, but they are limited typically being either for DSL or Cable services. If your ISP is not DSL or cable you can ignore gateways all together. Gateways are convenient because you only need to buy one device, however a draw back is that if it fails you have no access to the internet at all, where as with a modem and router setup if your router fails you can still at least get internet from the modem to one computer, so you won’t be completely down. Another drawback, especially with cable ISPs is you are limited in features. If you like to have full control over your network device and settings a gateway may not be the best choice for you.
- What is the speed package you are paying for? Knowing the download speed you are paying for can help eliminate entire lines of products. For instance, if you have or plan on having a speed package above 100 Mbps then you would want to avoid any router with fast ethernet 10/100 ports. This is because the speed on these ports is limited to a maximum of 100 Mbps. If you know you will never go above 100 Mbps then looking at devices with fast ethernet will save you money.
- How many devices will you be connecting? This is so important because, you want to make sure you get a router that is capable of handling the load being put on it. The more devices the faster a processor you want the router to have. 5 or so devices and single-core processor will be fine. 10 or more and you will want at least a dual-core processor on your new router
- How many bands do I need? Do you want a Single, Dual or even a Tri-band router? To answer this you need to understand the difference, single-band routers are 2.4GHz only. Dual and Tri-band router typically are 5GHz, with the difference being that tri-band splits the channel options into two separate bands. So now you need to know the devices connecting to the router are they capable of connecting to a 5GHz network or can they only communicate on 2.4GHz? If only 2.4GHz then its likely you will only need a single-band router. If they can communicate connect to 5GHz then we would defiantly recommend a dual or tri-band router.
- Does the ammount of Antennas matter? Yes, in most instances it does. Generally speaking you increase the network bandwidth with each new antenna added. This is because each antenna increases the number of streams your devices can connect to and communicate with. Speeds are affected by both the number of antennas of the router and the number of antennas on the client devices. The more antennas available the more streams you can connect to and your throughput is increased as a result.
- What Features do I need? This is actually subjective, but you should look at a router’s features to insure you are getting everything you want in a new router. Things such as Beamforming, MU-MIMO are great to have but only if you have client devices capable of using these features, if not then purchasing a router with these features can be a waste of money. You have to look at what features are important to you and base your router selection off of that.
- Over all these 6 questions will help you in your quest to find a new router. If you have questions about a router we recommend contacting the manufacture. They are the best resource to figuring out will a product be right for you. For TP-Link reach out to us via our help line at 866-225-8139 or https://www.tp-link.com/us/support/contact-technical-support.