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What to look for when purchasing a wi-fi router?

Mudassar Hassan

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What to look for when purchasing a wi-fi router?

One of the most comical things which you will find on the internet is that people search for wireless wi-fi routers, why I say this? Because normally routers can be wired or wireless but when you put the phrase wi-fi in front of it then there is no need to say wireless wi-fi router. Get it? Enough of the jokes, lets get to the point here and educate you into what to look for when getting a wireless wi-fi router, oh I did it again haha.

Now if you are a technical person who has a fair idea of how networks are operated then choosing a wi-fi router is easy, you would know your needs for a wi-fi router and choosing the best would be easy, but choosing a wi-fi router which is best for you.

Now I will begin with the most important factor which is important for any consumer and that is the Price, remember one thing that some of the best wireless routers are available and can be brought in under a hundred dollars even sometimes under 50 dollars, so you have to be smart about your purchasing decision.

NIC’s

So some technical stuff now, but you can always read this on the box and specification on the box of your wireless wi-fi router, look out for whether it has single or multiple network interface controllers which support Fast Ethernet/Fast Gigabit Ethernet and that it is integrated into the main system, system will be written in short as SoC, make sure even if you are a non-technical person you are on the look out for these words, Fast Ethernet, Fast Gigabit Ethernet and SoC.

WNIC’s

After this the second thing to look for in your wireless router would be: again I was about to have the wireless pun attack but will not do it, you have to look for Wireless Network interface controller also called wNICs, keep a look out for this to Wnics support IEEE 802 family which is integrated into the main system or SOC, keep a look out for these words on the box or product description: WNICS IEEE 802 series.

BANDS

Now again a band is a very generic term when it comes to the English language but in terms of network and connectivity it means a completely different thing, some of the most wireless routers operate on a band frequency of 2.4 giga hertz or GHz as it will be mentioned in the product specification, some of the wireless routers are dual banded and can operate at the same time on bands ranging from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. The good thing about these bands is that they are a measure of the power of a wi-fi router, they can transfer data between 300 MB’s per second to 450 MB’s. Now if I am losing you with all this technical talk remember to make sure that you get bands in the above mentioned range and always check the data transfer capacity of your wireless wi-fi router before finalizing the product.

PORTS

Although there will be specific ports for internet connectivity, make sure you get a wireless wi-fi router which has multiple USB ports, this will help you later when you want to connect your printers or external drives, it’s always good to have extra of anything even if they are USB ports!

Finally in conclusion, make sure the design has an appeal, what the people who have already purchased the wireless wi-fi router which you want are saying about them in reviews, doing a basic internet search about your selected model will reveal a lot, and if you see a lot of positive user reviews you can always go ahead and buy the router. There is one extra feature with new routers nowadays which improve their performance and is known as Link Aggregation, this feature allows two ports to function together and that is what improves the performance of the router.

Here is your simple checklist to finding the best wireless wi-fi router: NIC’s, WNIC’s, Ports and Bands. This is a fool proof strategy when buying a wireless router!

Mudassar Hassan brings 6 years of experience in helping grass roots, mid-sized organizations and large institutions strengthen their management and resource generating capacities and effectively plan for the future. He is also a mentor and professional advisor to artists working in all disciplines. He is also the gold medalist from Abbottabad University of Science and Technology in the Bachelors of Sciences of Computer Science