“What Is The Best WIFI Router To Buy?” is a simple question but the answer will be different from a reviewer to another as they test the router in a different environment with different devices.
Before you read furthermore I must remind you that if you are happy with your current router, then there is no need to replace it with the new one.
This article is for the one who will buy a new router because their existing router is broken or have performance issues. Or someone who seeks the meaning of jargon in the router world.
By knowing the jargon in the router’s specification you will more confident to decide what router to buy. So before we discuss the best router for you to buy, let’s figure out the commons jargon on a router specification you need to know in random order.
Nowadays WIFI router will come with at least two frequencies 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. You will find a dual-band router or tri-band router. Dual-band usually means it has 2 radios with 2.4Ghz and 5GHz frequencies. Tri-band will have 3 radios 1x 2.4GHz and 2x 5Ghz.
Router’s Speed and bandwidth
You may read or hear about AC1750, AC3200, etc but not sure the meaning. This is a router with 802.11ac standard that has a maximum speed of 1750 or 3200. An AC1750 router will have 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. While Ac3200 is a tri-band router will consist of 600Mbps over the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on 2x 5GHz bands.
WIFI coverage is how far your WIFI signal will reach the client devices. The signal area is usually in a circle area. To extend the coverage you can add router set into bridge mode or using WIFI extender.
The router will send signal directly to the client instead of broadcasting to make a better range and performance.
Multi User – Multiple Input Multiple Output. This is a technology from 802.11ac downstream MIMO only while 802.11ax supports downstream and upstream MIMO technology.
This technology designed to provides simultaneous bandwidth to multiple clients. While the router that not uses MIMO technology will give bandwidth sequentially.
Router with parental control can limit access to specific time and day to certain users. It can be used to block certain websites for your kids. Because you don’t have much time to oversee children’s online activity, therefore you need a router with parental control.
With a router that supports VPN, you can make a secure connection using any VPN client software. With VPN you can access your network-connected devices at home via the Internet securely.
WIFI 6 or 802.11ax is the latest standard of 802.11, the maximum theoretical speed is 10.53Gbps and works on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. WIFI 6 is the new name for standard 802.11ax. WIFI 5 is for 802.11ac, WIFI 4 for 802.11n, WIFI 3 for 802.11g, WIFI 2 for 802.11a, and WIFI 1 for the 802.11b.
Alexa or Amazon Alexa is an AI-based virtual assistant developed by Amazon. With Alexa, we can send voice commands to do things like turn on and off the light, lock and unlock the door, turn on the television, radio and much more depending on how much your home integrated to become a smart house.
Router with WPS (WIFI Protected setup) will able to setup compatible WPS clients to add to the network by pressing a WPS button on the router and on the client-side. We can add WPA2 to add password protection to each device.
Mesh network system is a technology to overcome the dead zone of your WIFI signal. If usually, you will use WIFI extender to get more WIFI coverage with mesh system you don’t have to. The router will have extension node that will cover the blank spot. It can cover 4000-6000 square feet depending on how many nodes you install.
Routers with USB port
On some models, you will find one or two USB routers where you can plug a printer or storage (NAS) to share with other users.