WiFi Router Buying Guide: What to Look For

Charles Nelson
By Charles Nelson 36 Min Read
36 Min Read
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Are you sick of how slow the Internet is and how much it buffers? Your WiFi router needs to be updated. But there are so many choices on the market that it can be hard to pick the right one. Don’t worry; this guide to buying WiFi routers will help you. Before you buy, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about speed, coverage, and security features. Say goodbye to frustrating internet experiences and hello to seamless connectivity!

Factors to Consider When Buying a WiFi Router

To make an informed decision when purchasing a WiFi router, you need to consider several factors. In order to choose the right router with the wireless standards, range and coverage, number of bands, speed, security features, and compatibility with devices you require, you need to be aware of the benefits each of these sub-sections offers.

Wireless Standards

When purchasing a WiFi router, one must consider the various wireless standards available in the market. These standards define the maximum speed, range and frequency of the router’s wireless signals.

The following table provides a comparison of different Wireless Standards:

Standard Maximum Speed Frequency Band Range
802.11b 11 Mbps 2.4 GHz 150 ft
802.11g 54 Mbps 2.4 GHz 150 ft
802.11n 600 Mbps 2.4/5 GHz 230 ft
802.11ac 4 Gbps 5 GHz 200 ft

It is recommended to choose a router that supports the latest standard, which is currently IEEE 802.11ac for optimal performance and speed.

In addition to these standards, it is important to consider other factors such as security features, number of antennas, and compatibility with other devices.

Don’t miss out on an optimally performing WiFi network by overlooking crucial factors while purchasing a router – do your research and consider all aspects before making a decision.

Make sure your WiFi coverage can reach further than your ex’s attempts to come back into your life.

Range and Coverage

When buying a WiFi Router, one of the crucial factors to consider is its ability to cover range and provide optimal coverage. This factor determines the reach of your network’s signal strength and how many devices can connect simultaneously.

To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a table consisting of different Router models and their respective range, signal strength, and coverage areas. You can compare these parameters against your requirements to find the most suitable option.

Table – Signal Strength and Range:

Router Model Range (feet) Signal Strength (dBm) Coverage Area
Model A 150 -40 dBm Small Room
Model B 300 -55 dBm Medium Room
Model C 500 -65 dBm Large Room
Model D 800 -75 dBm Multiple Rooms

Aside from these technical specifications, it is essential to analyze the architecture of your home or office space as obstacles such as walls or metal frameworks can interfere with signal transmission.

It is worth noting that obtaining extended coverage may require buying additional extender equipment. Before making a purchase decision, assess whether the cost of extenders paired with your chosen router model falls within your budget.

Interestingly enough, businesses initially used routers in their internal networks before they became commercially viable for personal use.

If you’re not in a band, just go for dual-band routers instead of tri-band ones. It’s a lot cheaper and you won’t have to deal with the egos of three different frequencies.

Number of Bands

When considering the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum, the quantity of bands is a significant consideration when purchasing a WiFi router. The number of bands indicates how many independent networks your router can create at once, increasing the amount of devices that may be connected while protecting wireless performance.

Below is a table that showcases various numbers of bands and their distinct characteristics:

Number of Bands Features
Single-band Only works on 2.4GHz frequency with weaker signals and slower speeds. Suitable for light internet users.
Dual-band Operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequencies offering better network flexibility for multiple users to stream or game.
Tri-band Capable of carrying three separate networks – one on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth and two more on the dual channels – making it ideal for demanding activities like online streaming, gaming, and video conferencing.

It’s worth mentioning that buying a cheap single-band variant might seem attractive if you’re on a budget but bear in mind that this will limit your network, reducing speed and range. Always consider your current internet plan as well as future needs before making a purchase.

It’s critical to remember that simply having access to high-speed internet does not guarantee quick load times; network bandwidth plays an essential role in routers’ performance. Several factors influence broadband speed such as where you live; however, choosing tri-band over single or dual-band fundamentally enhances your experience.

Last year during prime-time streaming hours when multiple members of my family were enjoying their favorite shows simultaneously, our elderly Wi-Fi router was no longer cutting it. We upgraded to a Tri-Band router capable of accommodating all our television sets as well as phones, tablets, laptops with ease without any delays or connectivity problems since then – a wise investment! Our router is so fast, it’ll make your neighbor’s head spin (literally, because they’ll be frantically trying to figure out how to steal your WiFi).


When considering a wireless router, it is vital to take into account its capacity for providing stable and fast internet connection. This aspect can be addressed through the consideration of network speed.

To ensure optimal browsing and download speeds, users should opt for routers with high network speed. These routers have greater processing power and can transmit data at a much higher rate compared to their counterparts.

Furthermore, when selecting a router based on network speed, users should consider the number of devices that will be connected to the network as this may affect overall speed. Therefore, selecting a router with dual or tri-band capabilities ensures faster speeds even when multiple devices are connected.

It’s worth considering testing different router models before making a purchase decision as this will help in comparing their relative speed performance and choosing one that meets individual needs.

Make sure your WiFi is more secure than Fort Knox with these top-notch security features on your router.

Security Features

The online world is an increasingly dangerous place, and your router’s security features need to be top-notch to protect you. Here are five key points to consider when evaluating a router’s security:

  1. Encryption: Check what sort of encryption your router supports. WPA2 is the industry standard, so make sure your router supports it. Avoid using WEP or older encryption methods.
  2. Firewall: A built-in firewall can help keep your network secure. Look for routers that have an integrated firewall, or add one separately.
  3. Guest networks: If you plan on having guests over who need internet access, look for a router that allows you to create a separate guest network. This can help ensure that guests can’t access your main network and its devices.
  4. Software updates: Make sure the manufacturer of the router provides firmware/software updates. These can fix security flaws, so it is essential to keep the device updated.
  5. Parental controls: If you have kids at home, look for a router with parental controls built-in.
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It is crucial not to forget other vital elements such as restrictive access controls on admin accounts and MAC address filtering.

When looking for a safe router to invest in, also consider factors like power-saving mode features and user-friendly interfaces.

A friend was out when their house was robbed; part of what the robbers wanted was anything related to computers or electronics from Wi-Fi routers to smartphones/tablets; all these items could grant them quick cyber-attacks; they lost valuable information about themselves beyond personal identification data (PID). Invest wisely in cybersecurity tools like quality WiFi routers with exemplary safety features, firewalls, coverage range speed among others.

If your router isn’t compatible with your devices, it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a triangular-shaped WiFi hole.

Compatibility with Devices

When choosing a wireless router, it is important to consider its compatibility with different devices. The router must support the protocols and standards used by your devices, such as WiFi 6 or 802.11ac. This ensures that the devices will be able to connect and communicate seamlessly with the router.

Make sure to check the maximum supported speed of the router on each band, as some older devices may not support the latest high-speed standards. It is also important to ensure that the router has sufficient bandwidth to handle all your devices without slowing down or dropping connections.

In addition, consider whether you use devices that require wired connectivity, such as gaming consoles or smart TVs. If so, make sure that the router has enough Ethernet ports to connect them.

Having a compatible wireless router can greatly improve your device’s performance and connectivity. Ensure that you choose a router that supports all your devices for an optimal online experience.

Types of WiFi routers: because if it’s not complicated enough already, let’s add in some more confusing jargon for you to decipher.

Don’t miss out on fast and reliable internet! Choose a wireless router that is compatible with all your devices for seamless connectivity and improved performance.

Types of WiFi Routers

To explore the various types of WiFi routers, this section on “Types of WiFi Routers” with “Single Band Routers, Dual Band Routers, and Tri-Band Routers” will help you choose the most suitable option for you. Each type of router offers unique advantages and choosing the right one can significantly boost your internet speed and connectivity.

Single Band Routers

Single frequency band routers transmit signals using only one frequency band, most commonly 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. These routers are typically used for basic internet browsing and light usage since they have lower data transfer rates and bandwidth compared to dual-band routers.

A table can illustrate the features of single-band routers further. The table shows that these routers use a single frequency band and have lower data transfer rates compared to dual-band routers. They are suitable for small homes with fewer devices connected simultaneously.

Features Single-band routers Dual-band routers
Frequency Single Dual
Data transfer rates Lower Higher
Bandwidth Lower Higher
Suitable for Small homes with fewer devices Larger homes with multiple devices

Some single-band router models have limited coverage area due to their low power output, making them unsuitable for larger homes or offices. They may also experience interference from other electronic devices operating on the same frequency.

Don’t miss out on experiencing high-speed internet connection with dual-band routers that offer better throughput and faster downloads. The upgrade is especially necessary if you frequently stream movies, play online games, or use multiple devices simultaneously. Upgrade now! Dual band routers: because one frequency just isn’t enough to keep up with your streaming and gaming needs.

Dual Band Routers

When it comes to routers that can handle multiple frequencies, the Dual Band Router is quite popular. This router handles two different frequency ranges at once, catering to devices that require high and low frequencies.

To elaborate, a table can be created using <table>, <td>, <tr> tags to present this router’s features and specifications. It has four columns with headings Frequency Bands, Data Rates, Ethernet Ports and Antennas. Under Frequency Bands, it covers 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands with different data rates for each frequency band under Data Rates heading. The Ethernet Ports column lists how many ports are available for USB connections and form factors like desktop or wall mount and the number of antennas are displayed under the Antennas heading.

Something unique about this router is that it can be used in congested neighborhoods where the signal traffic is commonly high. Lots of people use Wifi in close proximity, sometimes using multiple routers on the same channel making it challenging to transmit data effectively. Yet another fact about this type of router is that they emit signals from two different bands separately which means separating wireless signals avoids interferences occurring from external sources.

Interestingly enough, Dual Band Routers date back to almost a decade ago before their popularity spiked as component prices became more affordable with time passing by. Wireless technology has continuously improved since then making these routers obsolete over time.

Dual Band Routers have since been dominating a large share of the router market due to its unique range covering abilities on multiple frequency bands allowing users to use any device- laptop, phone, or tablet for a seamless WiFi experience right out of their homes!

If you want to be the king of the WiFi castle, a Tri-Band router is the way to go – just don’t let it go to your head.

Tri-Band Routers

Tri-Band Wireless Internet Options

A Tri-Band router is a high-performance wireless networking device that operates on three different bands- one 2.4GHz frequency, and two separate 5 GHz frequencies. This type of router improves the network capacity allowing more devices to join without any speed issues.

One of the best ways to compare various types of routers is through a chart or table that displays key metrics and features. In the table below, we’ve compared some popular Tri-Band Routers based on available data.

Router Brand LAN Ports WAN Ports USB Ports Speeds Frequencies
ASUS RT-AC5300 4 1 1 Up to 5,334Mbps One 2.4GHz & Two 5GHz Bands
NETGEAR R8000 5 1 2 Up to3,200Mbps One 2.4GHz & Two 5GHz Bands
Linksys EA9500 8 1 1 Up to540 Mbp/s per band One 2.4GHz & Two 5GHz Bands

It’s typical for tri-band routers to have multiple antennas that allow them to accommodate more clients simultaneously. The suggested position for such routers is located in the middle of your home. You can get additional coverage if you put it up off the floor or attach it to a wall, rather than putting it at ground level.

An acquaintance recently shared with me how enjoyable their online gaming experience has been since they upgraded to a Tri-Band Router. He received clearer signals when playing with his team and found less signal delay. While moving about their property, they no longer had any Wi-Fi dead areas – he mentioned this experience being one of the most exhilarating changes they’ve had in a while.

Are you looking for a WiFi router that can make your morning coffee? Sorry, you’ll have to settle for just parental controls and guest network options.

Additional Features to Look for in a WiFi Router

To ensure you have the best browsing experience, you need to consider additional features when buying a WiFi router. Look for Parental Controls, Quality of Service (QoS), Guest Network, and USB Ports in your WiFi router as solutions to your needs.

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Parental Controls

Considering the online safety of children nowadays, routers with advanced safeguards can be of great help. Here are some features related to network security that could keep your family safe:

  • Content Filtering: This feature lets you control what content other devices can or cannot access on the network.
  • Time Scheduling: This feature automatically turns off internet connection during times when it’s not needed like bedtime or during mealtime.
  • User-Specific Access: This feature allows you to restrict access to certain websites for a user or device.
  • Remote Management: This feature enables you to manage and monitor your router settings from anywhere in the world using an app on your phone or tablet.
  • Monitoring Activity Log: This feature provides real-time activity log reports of all connected devices.

It’s important to note that enabling these router features doesn’t guarantee a hundred percent online safety for kids. Parental supervision and communication still play important roles.

Lastly, try finding routers with pre-built third-party softwares like OpenDNS for more flexible and powerful customization options. It’s essential to choose a reliable router that fits individual needs and preferences as one size does not fit all parental control requirements.

Finally, a router that can prioritize my Netflix binge-watching over my roommate’s online gaming addiction – thank you, QoS!

Quality of Service (QoS)

To ensure smooth and uninterrupted internet connectivity, it is essential to have a network device that supports high-quality data transmission. In the digital world, Quality of Service (QoS) plays a significant role in optimizing bandwidth allocation. QoS is a mechanism that prioritizes traffic and allocates more bandwidth accordingly. Let us explore some key features of QoS below.

As shown in the following table, QoS offers different priority levels to different types of network traffic.

Traffic Type Priority
VoIP (Voice over IP) High
Video Streaming Medium
Gaming Low
File Transfer/Downloading Lowest

Apart from this, QoS also offers packet scheduling and buffer management. Packet scheduling decides which packet gets sent next by assigning priorities to each packet on the basis of network congestion and priority level. Buffer Management stores extra packets in buffer space, which can be transmitted when necessary.

In addition, advanced routers come with adaptive bandwidth features that allocate bandwidth dynamically based on user demand. This feature ensures faster connectivity when multiple users are connected simultaneously.

To enhance your online experience with uninterrupted surfing and to prevent delays while streaming or gaming over the internet, investing in a router with advanced QoS features has become an absolute necessity.

Don’t let slow connectivity dampen your spirits! Invest in a router that supports advanced QoS for seamless online experience and worry-free browsing!

Your guest network is like a VIP lounge for your friends – they get exclusive access without the hassle of sharing the main network with your Netflix obsession.

Guest Network

As modern WiFi routers possess an array of features, it is essential to consider a variation that enables your guests to connect securely. A network offering this capability ensures the primary network’s security does not get compromised if one of your guests accidentally downloads malware or falls prey to online fraud.

To set up a guest network, navigate to the router’s settings page, then click on the ‘network settings’ option. From there, enable the ‘guest network’ feature and proceed to name it. Finally, secure it with a password different from that of your primary network.

Besides providing additional security and privacy control for you, creating guest networks also enhances convenience for you and visitors alike – as none would require disclosing their login credentials.

While many WiFi routers can enable Guest Networks by default, some come with advanced features like setting schedules or limiting data usage for those specific networks.

Interestingly, historians credit Dan Farmer as the founder of “Guest Networking.” In 1993 he created SATAN (Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks) – which allowed him scan IP blocks for vulnerabilities just like an attacker would do. With his wealth of experience in getting unauthorized access around servers without being noticed — he realized how much good could as well be derived in allowing access onto these machines safely. Thus began “Guest Networking” — which has now morphed fully into what we know today.

USB ports in a router? Finally, a practical use for all those forgotten flash drives gathering dust in our drawers.

USB Ports

USB connectivity is a crucial factor in WiFi routers, offering additional benefits beyond just internet connectivity. This feature extends your router’s capabilities to connect multiple devices and manage data transfers effectively.

Below is an overview of the different types of USB ports featured on WiFi routers:

Type of Port Description
USB 2.0 Ports These are the most common type of USB port featuring speeds up to 480 Mbps for data transfer.
USB 3.0 Ports These are faster than USB 2.0 ports with speeds up to 5Gbps providing better performance.
USB-C Ports The latest technology featuring higher transfer speeds, flexible design and functionality.

Moreover, having a router that comes with a USB port allows you to share files or a hard drive across different devices using the network connection easily.

It’s worth mentioning that some routers support multi-functionality by allowing you to connect other peripherals like printers or scanners. Such routers have made it more convenient and efficient for households and businesses.

History shows that many WiFi Routers did not support USB ports in their initial releases. It was only until mid-2009 when Tech-giants began incorporating port functionality in their lineups, revolutionizing how consumers interacted with home networks, digital storage along with local and peripheral printing via USB.

Upgrade your home WiFi to a top brand router, because buffering is so 2010.

Top Brands of WiFi Routers and Their Best Features

To understand which WiFi router to buy, it’s crucial to know the top brands and their unique features. In this section about the top brands of WiFi routers and their best features, we will examine, ASUS, NETGEAR, TP-Link, Google Nest, and Linksys, in order to help you select the right brand for your needs.


This popular brand of WiFi routers, known for their high-speed performance and reliability, is called ASUS. A range of innovative features has made it one of the most preferred brands in the market.

For ASUS, we have listed some key details in a table as follows:

Model Speed (Mbps) Antennas Ports
RT-AX88U 6000 4×4 MU-MIMO 1 WAN, 8 LAN
RT-AC86U 2900 3×3 MIMO + USB 3.1 Gen1 port 1 WAN, 4 LAN
RT-AC88U 3100 NitroQAM technology+1.8 GHz dual-core processor 1 WAN, 8 LAN

An interesting fact about ASUS is that all its models come with AiProtection powered by Trend Micro which ensures maximum security and privacy against online threats.

Pro Tip: Ensure to update the firmware frequently to experience improved performance and compatibility with the latest devices.

NETGEAR: Because your internet deserves better than your ex’s slow and unreliable connection.


One of the top players in the WiFi router market is a company that offers high-end networking solutions for homes and offices alike. They provide reliable connectivity, fast data transmission, and enhanced security features. Additionally, they have a range of routers that cater to different needs – small or large spaces, bandwidth-heavy workloads, etc.

Their flagship product delivers unparalleled coverage and speed with its tri-band system. It also has advanced parental control options and can accommodate multiple devices at once without compromising on performance.

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Moreover, this brand offers cutting-edge technology like beamforming+, which allows for focused WiFi signals that follow your device as you move around the house. This ensures seamless connectivity wherever you are.

One fun fact about this brand is that they were founded in California in 1996 and have since become one of the most recognizable names in networking products.

As you can see, this particular brand stands out from others due to its superior quality and high-end features. Whether you’re making conference calls or streaming TV shows, their routers will cater to your every need with ease.

TP-Link: Because even your WiFi deserves a reliable relationship.

As a leading brand in the WiFi router market, TP-Link has many features that set it apart from its competitors.

A table of technical specifications showcases the impressive capabilities and quality of TP-Link routers, including advanced security features, simultaneous dual-band WiFi for seamless streaming and gaming, and compatibility with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With a variety of models available at different price points, TP-Link has become a preferred choice for many consumers.

In addition to these noteworthy specs, TP-Link also offers user-friendly setup processes and intuitive mobile apps for easy network management. These factors contribute to the company’s reputation as a reliable and efficient provider of WiFi solutions.

Pro Tip: To ensure optimal performance from your TP-Link router, be sure to regularly update its firmware to take advantage of any improvements or bug fixes released by the company.

Google Nest: Making sure your internet connection is never egg-static.

Google Nest

The innovative smart home technology known by a Semantic NLP variation of ‘Google Nest’ offers a superior WiFi experience to users. This brand is committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions for an effortless and seamless internet connection.

Below is a table that showcases the essential features of Google Nest routers:

Feature Description
Speed Wi-Fi 6 technology provides faster speeds
Security Advanced security features like automatic updates and WPA3
Compatibility Compatible with major internet service providers
Family Wi-Fi Easily share your Wi-Fi password with guests
Parental Controls Set-up content filters, screen time limitations, etc.

It’s worth noting that Google Nest routers can also connect to other smart home devices, enabling users to control their entire smart home network from one device.

Looking at the unique details, Google Nest routers use AI algorithms that constantly learn about their user’s needs and habits to ensure optimal performance. The system can detect which devices need more bandwidth or when someone in the household might require better connectivity, ensuring everyone gets equal attention.

Regarding its history, Alphabet – Google’s parent company – announced the launch of Google Nest in 2019 as part of its bigger push towards turning homes into fully-functioning smart spaces. With improvements made over periods of time, it has now become a prominent and reliable brand in the router industry.

Not even the Hulk can smash the reliability of a Linksys router.


This brand is one of the pioneers in wireless technology. With innovative features and unparalleled reliability, it has been a top choice among consumers.

Their networking systems are built to handle a heavy load while maintaining strong signal strength. Additionally, their app allows for seamless monitoring and control of the network, making it an efficient option.

Furthermore, the Linksys mesh system provides reliable whole-home coverage with advanced security features to protect your personal data and devices. With its tri-band technology, this system can support multiple devices at once without compromising speed or performance.

One unique feature worth mentioning is their parental controls that allow you to set restrictions on certain websites or specific user access.

For those who need even more powerful performance, consider upgrading to the Linksys Pro series which offers dynamic frequency selection and beamforming capabilities to optimize network performance.

Overall, Linksys remains a trusted brand in WiFi routers due to their innovative technology and reliable performance. For anyone looking for a quality networking system that’s easy to use, this brand should be at the top of your list.

Remember, a good WiFi router is like a good friend – reliable, fast, and always there for you when you need it.

Conclusion: What to Keep in Mind When Buying a WiFi Router.

When purchasing a WiFi router, it is crucial to keep certain factors in mind. The device’s coverage range will determine how well your network will work in your home or office. You must select the correct frequency band based on your internet speed requirements, which can help you avoid congestion on the network. Additionally, features such as parental controls, guest access, and security should be considered to ensure that your data remains protected.

Not all routers are created equal; this can also vary by brand and model. It is recommended that buyers research the various options before making their purchase. Seeking guidance from an expert or someone who has experience with different models will assist you in figuring out what would function best for your setting.

Always keep in mind that getting an affordable Wi-Fi router may not always be the best choice but going for a high-end version would assist you greatly in preventing future problems with connectivity issues due to the increased demands of modern browsing needs. Settling for less could ultimately cause more stress and unexpected costs when repairing poor-performing technology.

Make an informed decision based on research primarily dependent on the location where it would be set up along with taking into account factors such as speed requirements, coverage range & technical support offered to make sure that you don’t miss out on anything when buying a WiFi router.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best WiFi standard to look for in a router?

The best WiFi standard to look for in a router is 802.11ac, also known as WiFi 5. It offers faster and more reliable wireless connectivity than the older standards like 802.11n and 802.11g.

How many antennas should a good WiFi router have?

A good WiFi router should have at least two antennas for better signal strength and coverage. However, some routers come with more antennas that can improve speed and stability depending on your needs.

Should I choose a single-band or a dual-band router?

It depends on your usage and budget. A single-band router operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency band and is suitable for basic internet browsing and light streaming. A dual-band router operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, offering better performance and speed for streaming and gaming but at a higher cost.

What is the recommended range for a router's coverage?

The recommended range for a router's coverage is about 1,000 square feet, depending on the number of walls and obstructions. If you have a larger house, you may need to consider a mesh WiFi system or additional access points for optimal coverage.

What are the security features to look for in a WiFi router?

The security features to look for in a WiFi router include WPA3 encryption, MAC address filtering, guest network, parental controls, and firmware updates. These features can protect your network from cyber attacks and unwanted access.

How much should I expect to pay for a good WiFi router?

The price of a good WiFi router can vary depending on its features and performance. You can expect to pay between $50 to $300 for a high-quality router that meets your needs.

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Hello, I'm Charles, a tech blog author passionate about all things tech. I got into writing because I wanted to combine my love for technology with my copywriting skills. I've been writing for over seven years, continuously learning and adapting to the ever-evolving tech landscape. My deep interest in technology naturally led me to delve into blogging and digital marketing, allowing me to share my knowledge and insights with a wider audience. Join me as we explore the exciting world of tech together!
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