When purchasing a router, a couple of the main things to consider are:
- How much area does my Wi-Fi need to cover/reach?
- What are the main uses (streaming video, work, gaming, etc.) along with the number of devices that will be connecting?
- A router with a “Gigabit Ethernet port” is also required.
Most of the top router manufacturers websites’ will provide various options to filter their routers including range and devices connected as well as others to assist you in choosing which model is best for your networking needs. As of 2020, it is also advisable to choose a Wi-Fi 6 router as this is the latest next-generation wireless standard providing faster speeds and better performance.
As far as recommended brand name routers go, companies such as Asus, TP-Link, and Google Nest Wi-Fi are very popular along with Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, etc. Again, your main wireless needs and budget will help to determine which is best for you.
Once you have a router purchased and connected, your very 1st step should always be to update the firmware. This will ensure that it is up to date with any critical updates it may have missed between manufacturing to purchasing date. With that in mind, most modern routers also have an Auto-Update feature which is highly advised to turn on. Your next step should involve asking the following question:
What can I do to help my home network run the most efficiently?
- Check the physical location of your router; minimize any significant physical barriers and electronic devices that can cause interference to maximize signal strength for better coverage area.
- Use wired connections over wireless when available.
- Verify there aren’t any older devices connected that can potentially slow down your network, especially those that are not in use. Also, update any outdated network drivers, software, etc. on devices that are connecting to your router to help alleviate connectivity issues.