Wi-Fi router buying guide: Things you must know to get fast internet at home
The epidemic has made us realize the importance of having a reliable and fast Wi-Fi internet connection at home. Whether it’s office work, online classes, or entertainment, an efficient Wi-Fi network is essential to getting the most out of the money you spend on internet bills.
If you are planning to buy a new Wi-Fi router to get a fast internet connection at home, then you need to understand the basic terminology for choosing the right router model. Here’s a basic Wi-Fi router that buys guides to help you choose the right equipment.
Wi-Fi Router Vs Modem: What’s The Difference And What You Need
If you buy a Wi-Fi router online from Amazon or Flipkart, you will find some inexpensive devices that are specifically called a modem, not an em router. So, this is the most basic question – what’s the difference and who do you need.
A router and a modem are two different devices intended for two different purposes. Most of the time, your Internet service provider (ISP) provides a router without a modem – and you don’t have to worry too much about the differences. But technically, a router is something that distributes over the Internet – wired or wireless, while the modem connects to a T3 cable line or an optical fiber provided by the ISP.
To connect multiple devices for a single internet connection, you need a router, on the other hand, you need a modem to connect to the main power cable. Also, speak to your service provider before purchasing a Wi-Fi router to ensure compatibility.
What do 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and 5 GHz Wi-Fi mean and how does it affect your internet speed
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi are related to the radio wavelength respectively and are called bus bands. 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi basically determines connection speed and range. 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi will provide greater range than Wi-Fi at slower speeds at 5 GHz. On the other hand, 5 GHz Wi-Fi will provide less range but more speed. To be clear, “ 5 GHz Wi-Fi ” has nothing to do with the 5G mobile network.
Single vs. Dual-Band Routers: What Should You Buy?
Single-band routers only operate at 2.4 GHz and provide a maximum speed of 300 Mbps. They offer a long distance, but if you connect a lot of devices, the internet speed will be slow. They are best suited for smaller homes that have a limited number of devices. Choose a single-band router. If you live in a small house, only a limited number of devices are connected.
Opt for dual-band routers in case of large houses and many devices to connect. Dual band routers operate on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Dual-band routers offer higher speed and wider coverage. This makes it more suitable for multi-device connections and large homes. Plus, you’ll get two different Wi-Fi networks to connect – one at 2.4GHz and the other at 5GHz.
For multi-story buildings, you can opt for a tri-band router
Tri-bands are generally expensive but are useful for multi-story buildings with heavy internet use. Tri-band routers have an additional 5 GHz band. It can offer speeds of up to 11000 Mbps and wide coverage. Suitable for very large houses and gamers.
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6 E router: what you need to know before buying a router
Choosing a Wi-Fi 6 enabled router in 2021 is highly recommended as the world is slowly moving towards the new standard. Buying a Wi-Fi 6 router will be the future proof of your home Wi-Fi network. Of course, your mobile and laptop have to support Wi-Fi 6 in the first place to take advantage of the new standard. Most new devices are said to now launch with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
Wi-Fi 6 is basically the 802.11ax standard. It is more efficient, offers faster speeds, and also consumes less battery on a Wi-Fi 6 enabled smartphone or laptop than 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5.
Wi-Fi 6E simply stands for Wi-Fi 6 with an extended 6 GHz band. The extended 6 GHz band offers higher speed and lower latency, making it ideal for gaming, virtual reality, and other heavy use cases. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E standards provide better coverage and support faster internet speeds, but require you to have Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices.
802.11ac Wi-Fi or AC series router makes more sense for modern use
Standard 802.11ac or Series AC Wi-Fi routers are the most common and are available in dual and tri-band configurations. They feature multi-input multi-output (MIMO) multi-user MU-MIMO technology. This technology allows routers to manage the available bandwidth between connected devices for better connectivity and speed. The standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi router makes more sense for modern use.
Standard or N-series 802.11n Wi-Fi routers are inexpensive, but make sure they have MIMO technology.
Standard or N-series 802.11n Wi-Fi routers are inexpensive and available in dual-band configurations and multi-in multi-out (MIMO) technology is essential and allows manufacturers to place more antennas to provide better coverage and better speed.
Gbps has standard 802.11ax or AX series Wi-Fi routers for high-end uses with measurement speed.
The standard 802.11ax or AX series Wi-Fi router, also known as Wi-Fi 6, offers two-way MU-MIMO technology. Gaming or streaming makes it more suitable for 4K and VR content.