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We are in the connected age, and one thing that makes us stay connected to the world is a steady internet, while you can use your network provider to get data for your browsing, it won’t be so efficient if there were many people around, wanting to use your data. This is where a wireless router comes to play.
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This post is aimed at directing you to the right, or suitable wireless router for you. There are so many routers out there claiming to be good, but actually, they are not, however, in this post, we would show you the reliable routers you can go for without worry.
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Whether you’re powering through an online battlefield on Xbox Live or chatting with a friend over Skype, your WiFi router is the gatekeeper to your wireless connection. It takes the wired Internet connection coming from your modem and transforms it into a wireless signal.
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WHAT IS A ROUTER?
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A wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router and also includes the functions of a wireless access point. It is used to provide access to the Internet or a private computer network. Depending on the manufacturer and model, it can function in a wired local area network, wireless-only LAN, or a mixed wired and wireless network.
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WiFi travels through your router on radio bands that act like invisible highways. Each band is a different lane, keeping data on separate routes to avoid congestion. Because certain devices demand more bandwidth than others, your router’s efficiency depends on the number of bands it has—single, dual, or tri-band.
A three-lane highway (or tri-band router) has one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz channels to support more simultaneous users—a huge plus for families, who average eight devices per household and have high bandwidth activities.
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A wireless router, also known as a Wi-Fi hub, is a small electronic device supplied by your internet service provider that allows you to connect to the internet. It connects to your home broadband line and sends data from the internet cable to your WI-Fi-connected devices.
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How does a Wi-Fi router work?
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Plug your phone or cable line into your router and data will be sent through the connection to the router.
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The Wi-Fi router then takes this data and converts it into radio signals, which are then picked up by devices with Wi-Fi capabilities such as laptops, tablets, smartphones , and games consoles.
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In addition to accessing the internet on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can also use your router to connect WI-Fi-capable devices to stream and download digital TV. Streaming devices such as Apple TV, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, Google’s Chromecast, or a NOW TV stick as well as all smart TVs.
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How to use a wireless router
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When you first connect to your Wi-Fi router you’ll be prompted to enter a password, which is typically supplied by your provider and will be printed on the bottom of your router. It’s usually a long and confusing series of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, making it difficult to remember but also virtually impossible for others to guess. This is done to offer heightened security and protect your network from being used by others illegally.
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Be sure to double-check when entering letters to make sure they’re in either uppercase or lowercase, otherwise you’ll have to enter the whole thing in again. Some routers have removable cards with all your log-in details written on them to save you from having to crouch around your router as you type in your password and details.
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It should be as simple as that — your device will then connect to your wireless broadband automatically when in range. Once you’ve connected your devices to the Wi-Fi you won’t need to enter the password again until you want to connect a new device.
If your password isn’t recognized or you’ve connected and there’s a signal but no service, then you’ll need to contact your broadband provider to make sure everything is ok on their end.
BUYER’S GUIDE FOR A WIRELESS ROUTER
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How you use your wireless router also helps determine what router best suits you. For instance, a tri-band router is a great choice if you’re a movie streaming buff with several TVs, you have a gamer in the house, or you work at home and want your own dedicated band. On the flip side, if you’re a light Internet user who primarily emails or browses Facebook, a dual-band router will work just fine.
Below are some things to put into consideration when getting a router
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A router with top speed won’t necessarily improve the streaming performance of Netflix and YouTube videos. Across any network, data only moves as fast as the slowest connection. In most cases, the slowest connection for internet traffic is the one between your house and your internet service provider.
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You can sign up for a faster connection from your service provider if you like. Unless you pay for connection speeds more than 200 megabits per second (Mbps), you’re unlikely to run up against the performance capabilities of most routers.
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If your modem is located in a far corner of your home, even a router with a lot of throughputs can’t guarantee a good connection on the other side of the house. For this situation, mesh networks, which comprise two or more routers that work in unison, maybe the solution. This system improves on wireless repeaters by expanding the reach of your network without a drastic drop-off in speed.
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Frequent Houseguests or Airbnb Visitors?
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If so, use the guest network, which is available with all the routers we tested. It’s a second network that provides online access without you having to give guests your regular security password, giving them access to your primary network.
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How Much Security Do You Need?
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You should secure your router with a password using nothing less than WPA2 or WPA3 encryption. You’ll normally need to enter the password just once into each wireless device you use; afterward, the device will remember it. Security is especially important if you live near others, such as in an apartment building or a crowded urban area.
Features to Consider
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LAN ports are used to connect a computer to the router using an Ethernet cable. Many internet-connected smart home devices, such as Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, require a LAN port-connected hub to function. If you need more LAN ports than the router has, you can expand the number available by adding an Ethernet switch.
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USB ports on a router are used for connecting to a flash drive, an external hard drive, or a USB printer if the router has a built-in print server.
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Quality of Service (QoS)
Also called media prioritization or traffic control. If you’re the type who likes to play with your computer settings, you might appreciate the flexibility this feature offers. You can optimize the router’s performance depending on what you’re doing at a given time. For example, you can change the settings to work best for streaming videos, making Skype calls, playing games, or streaming music.
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It will give those applications more of the bandwidth—so, for example, your Netflix movie doesn’t pause and rebuffer because someone in your house is downloading a large file.
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Accompanying almost every new router are apps meant to simplify the task of setting up and making adjustments to your WiFi network. The apps make it easier than before to monitor which devices are connected to your network and adjust which devices get priority. These apps can also alert you when an update is available for your router.
Linksys Tri-Band WiFi Router for Home
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Upgrade your home Wi-Fi and enjoy exceptional wireless speeds with the Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 MU-MIMO WiFi Tri-Band Router. Ideal for households with heavy WiFi use, this tri-band router delivers combined speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps for lag-free entertainment and productivity.
TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router
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The TP-Link N450 Wireless Wi-Fi Router (TL-WR940N) may not be very expensive, but that doesn’t deter it from strong performance and a good feature set. Its 2.4GHz throughput scores well better than similarly priced models, including the NETGEAR N300 router.
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As we embrace connected home products, having a reliable router like the TP-Link N450 that can handle continuous traffic over multiple devices is more important than ever. For some, a router that costs upwards of $200 is the most ideal, but not all of us need that kind of networking power. Maybe the budget doesn’t accommodate, or we just need to get connected, nothing else.
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With the TP-Link N450 Wireless Wi-Fi Router (TL-WR940N), you get single-band Wi-Fi, fairly good throughput, and a set of management settings, including access control and remote management.
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700)
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This router is one of the best-selling routers on the market. It is cheap and gets the job done, but lacks many advanced features of higher-end models. For a basic installation, it should do just fine though.
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The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Router will suit large homes and is great for use daily. Its fast and reliable performance, along with its ease of use make it very convenient and it is easy to understand why it has become one of the most popular options available. Packed with features like its high QoS full VPN and its attractive exterior design, it has a lot going for it.
ASUS RT-AC5300 AC5300 Tri-Band WiFi Gaming Router
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AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security powered by Trend Micro, AiMesh for mesh WiFi system, built-in WTFast game accelerator, and Adaptive QoS.
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If you frequently game online or stream 4K video, the Asus RT-AC5300 is a tri-band router that delivers speedy 2.4GHz and 5GHz throughput and offers an abundance of management settings, as well as Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming.
NETGEAR N750 Dual Band 4 Port Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (WNDR4300)
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the N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4000) is a major upgrade to the Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax, as it supports a speed of 450Mbps (as opposed to 300Mbps) on the 5GHz band. This makes it the direct competitor of the recently reviewed Cisco Linksys E4200, and it’s a decent contender, all things considered. Unfortunately, except for the close-range throughput on the 2.4GHz band and the more comprehensive guest networking feature, the WNDR4000 trails behind the E42000 in terms of performance, features, and ease of use.
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The Netgear WNDR4000 router comes in a squared-off shape with a sleek casing that attracts fingerprints. The router can work in a horizontal or vertical position (when coupled with an included detachable stand) and is wall-mountable.
Linksys WRT AC1900 Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)
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With an advanced 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU and an impressive 512MB of RAM, the WRT1900ACS delivers improvements in wired, wireless, and network storage performance over its predecessor, the WRT1900AC. At speeds up to N600 + AC1300 Mbps, the WRT1900ACS WiFi Router meets the needs of the most demanding home wireless networks. Equipped with a four-antenna configuration, the router provides exceptional signal strength and range. Advanced users also have the option of modifying the router with open-source firmware.
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The WRT1900ACS features four external, adjustable high-performance antennas that provide strong, reliable coverage throughout your home. The unique antenna diversity technology onboard helps your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other connected devices achieve an optimal connection, wherever they are in your home. The antennas also enhance coverage for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, keeping everyone gaming, downloading, and streaming without lag
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We would wrap up this post with this statement, a wireless router is important, and you’d need one for your home. this guide should help you get yourself a suitable router that will efficiently do what you want.