What to look for when buying a wireless router?

In today’s market, the variety of wireless routers is incredible. So it is plausible that you might feel lost and not know what to buy or even worse not even know what to look for when buying a wireless router. I’ve been in this position myself and not only with wireless routers, and I know very well what’s the deal with this.

So I made this selection of the most important things that you need to watch out in order to get the wireless router that you need. I know this might not be the most comprehensive guide you will find on the subject but at least you can understand the basics or the most important aspects when looking for one.

Here we go:

1. Price and Value for the money

In order to be fair, I think that 99% of buyers look at the price they are paying when choosing a wireless router. While I recommend high-quality routers, I do not recommend ridiculously expensive ones. Most of the times the extra super expensive and fancy ones are just fairy dust because they do the exact same thing as their cheaper counterparts and for most people those extra features are useless. So look for a reasonable price when buying a router, not too expensive but neither too cheap. Those in the middle often give you the best value for your money.

2. Range and size

I know that the range of the wireless signal is completely different from the size of the router itself but bear with me. You will see there is a correlation between the two. Usually, very small routers are incapable of sending powerful signals that is why you might want to find a bigger sized router if you have a large home for example. In the case of a really big home, you might also want to buy some signal repeaters so you can cover all the rooms of your house. There is an excellent article about wireless routers for all needs here.

The range of the router is probably the most important aspect so you might want to be extra careful on this aspect.

3. Speed

Another vital aspect is speed. Usually, even the cheap routers will be capable enough to provide the entire speed that your ISP gives you so I wouldn’t be so rampant on buying the latest and the greatest Gigabit router. But overall if you want something to cover your needs in terms of speed buy a router with capabilities of 300 Mbps or more. Of course unless in the unlikely event that you have a Gigabit internet connection, case in which you will need to invest in a more expensive Gigabit router.

4. Dual band or single band

If you live in a crowded place with all sorts of wireless frequencies bombarding your home, go for dual band. You will get better speeds, stability, and reliability. However, if you live in the countryside or some place where routers aren’t really a thing a single band router will be just fine.

5. Number of ports

This is not very important but you might also want to check out whether it has USB ports for 3g and 4g connections and such. I would also suggest going with the one with the most ethernet ports so you can directly connect more static devices. But that is not very important overall.

I think this covers the five most important aspects to look for when buying a wireless router for your home, office and such. I said, in the beginning, it’s not comprehensive but at least you get a taste of what wireless routers offer.