There are so many brands with so many models of routers that it is becoming harder and harder to choose. The boxes advertise feature after feature with no clear explanation of what they mean. Here are some points to note when buying a new router or access point:

Antennas

Do not be fooled by routers and other devices with several large antennas protruding from all sides. None of those make any difference to the signal strength of the device. Look at the technical specifications and see how many antennas are inside the device. Usually, three or more high gain antennas are what we want in a wireless device.

OS

Most vendors ship their devices with their OS. The problem with vendor specific software is that they rarely update them. Some vendors use open source operating systems like DD-WRT or OPEN-WRT. Such operating systems are feature rich and are maintained by the community.

Features

When it comes to routers, we want more than just internet connectivity and wireless. Features that most families find useful will include parental controls, bandwidth controls, device specific blocks and even a mini-firewall. More is not always better, but look out for features that you will find useful.

Build

Lastly, look at the build quality of the device. Cheap plastic construction will not last long and eventually become brittle over time. A good sturdy router will likely have quality components inside, which should last well beyond the warranty period.


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