How To Buy A Router
Learning how to buy a router is not as a daunting as a task as one may initially think. The router is, however, the most important piece of your home networking puzzle, so certain care should be taken in order to assure the correct purchase for your networking needs. With the advents in wireless technology, that decision has already mostly been made--it would be very difficult for you to buy a router without wireless capabilities at this point, and most likely wireless is what you would need to network multiple computers anyway.
- Figure out what you need. Are you a gamer? Do you download a lot of music? Do you care more about reliability over speed? These are questions you might want to ask yourself before you embark on your journey to routerland. Depending on the type of speeds or data load you need, you can go pretty cheap or pretty expensive when you buy a router.
- B, G, and N, oh my! If you have a small distance to cover and won't be downloading anything heavily or playing games, you may be able to save a whole lot of money by finding a "B" model router. "N" routers are really for more heavy lifting or business operations, or for people who just like to have the newest piece of technology. "G" routers are the most used of all three currently. Don't be confused, these letters are simply ways to differentiate the differences between speeds of each newer generation of router. A "B" router will offer you up to 11 megabites per second download times, while a "G" will offer you a much faster 54mbps. The "N" offers up to 300mbps, but don't get too excited. These numbers won't actually make your download times faster--you are still limited by your actual connection's capabilities, so don't worry too much about the speed on the box.
- Make your budget and spend it. When you decide what model of router is the best for you, decide how much you would like to spend. Different brands and different sizes of router will offer different price points. Look to spend between $50 and $100 and you will be able to find a router that is more than capable for your needs and will also offer strong reliability and protection. Make sure you read reviews of each router you are interested in, but try not to put too much stock in them. Due to the idiosyncrasies of home networking, some nitpicking may exist for each router type due to issues outside of that particular routers control. As long as the reviews are good in general, the odds of you getting good bang for your buck are high.