A purchase of a router is waiting for you, but when you look at the offer, you only see boxes that differ in price and appearance? In that case, a basic overview of important parameters can not only save you a lot of money, but also significantly speed up the Internet.
As with most electronic devices, in the case of a WiFi router, it is important to say why you are buying a new model. Maybe you haven't had one till now, the old router has broken, you need to connect more users, you long for more range - there can be many reasons and you should take them into account when you are choosing one. When you are looking for differences between a cheap and expensive equipment, we will be based primarily on the assumption that you are one of the more demanding users who do not want to be limited by the capabilities of the router when you are using the Internet.
The quality and capabilities of a WiFi router, of course, affect the speed of the connection, but they cannot exceed the limits set by the Internet provider. In other words, how fast you can download and upload data in ideal conditions is primarily decided by the line itself. More technically proficient users will not be surprised, but some customers might be surprised. To invest thousands of crowns in a router in the hope that you will have the faster internet will pay off when you have the quality internet tariff.
The first major difference is the support of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The more expensive router should be dual, ie support both bands at the same time. The advantages are the DFS (automatic frequency selection) and TPC (Transmitting Power Control) functions. All the differences between the bands are very well described in the older article What is the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi routers ?
Most devices today offer support for 802.11a/b/g/n standards. The two bands automatically indicate support for the 802.11ac standard. The basic routers with this standard offer a combined speed of up to 1,2 Gbps. The better and therefore more expensive ones will offer speeds of up to about 3 Gbps.
A higher price should also bring better antennas to the router. They decide how well the router can propagate the signal. Some external omnidirectional antennas with a high-performance amplifier and ray shaping technology (so called beamforming) can be recommended. Cheaper models usually have an integrated antenna and will not allow you to add an external antenna that you buy separately.
From the point of the connectivity on more expensive models, require a fast USB 3.0 port. Thanks to it, you will be able to connect printers or external data warehouse to the router, for example. In the second case, it will open to you a remote access to the data warehouse from all devices connected to the network.
More expensive models offer support for modern standards, two bands, advanced signal setting and aiming functions, efficient antennas, better connectivity and, most importantly, more highly developed safety functions. It's definitely good to think about these at this time. The complete basis is WPA2, in 2018 it will arrive into WPA3 routers. In terms of encryption, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is the best choice. To the other protection methods belong parental lock, whitelist and blacklist (device management), the option for guest network setting and WPS (WiFi Protected Setup). The security function on better routers allow you to easily secure your WiFi network from uninvited guests.
Most households use the Internet every day. The router is working continuously, so that's why it pays off to invest in quality. Otherwise, you may be bothered by various complications from a slow connection through an unstable signal to overheating of the router and its spontaneous restart. If you want to enjoy surfing without worries and sufficient user comfort, the cheapest pieces on the market are a waste of money for you.
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