Which Router Should I Buy?


Which Router Should You Buy

As the final golden spike was driven into the last rail, the sun began to set near Promontory, Utah in 1869. It was a momentous occasion that many people said would never happen. While an intercontinental railroad had long been an American dream, on this day, with the help of thousands of hard-working laborers spanning a six-year timeline, it would become a reality. Onlookers at the well-organized celebration were amazed and thrilled – and most were exhausted.

Said one onlooker:

“The ceremony at Promontory culminated with Governor Stanford of California (representing the Central Pacific Railroad) and Thomas Durant (president of the Union Pacific Railroad) taking turns pounding a Golden Spike into the final tie that united the railroad's east and west sections. As the spike was struck, telegraph signals simultaneously alerted San Francisco and New York City, igniting a celebratory cacophony of tolling bells and cannon fire in each city.”

Another eye-witness recounted:

“It was a great occasion. Everyone carried off souvenirs and there are enough splinters of the last tie in museums to build a good bonfire. When the connection was finally made, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific engineers ran their engines up until their pilots touched. Then the engineers shook hands and had their pictures taken and each broke a bottle of champagne on the pilot of the other’s engine and had their picture taken again.”1

It was the advanced technology of its day, connecting people across the nation with rail transportation that would forever change the way people approached life. Today, we have our own connective and life-changing technology with the internet. And the modern version of the golden spike is . . . hear me out here . . . your WiFi router.

Let’s take a closer look at the WiFi router, how it keeps us connected with advanced technology and data, and make sure you have the best one to meet your needs.

What is a WiFi router?

A wireless router is designed to connect to a modem by a cable. This connection makes it possible for the router to send and receive internet data. Using a built-in antenna, your router links with your WiFi network to distribute the internet signal to all of the devices connected to your home internet network. This allows you to access the internet with devices that don’t have to be connected by a cable.

The router then creates and communicates with your home Wi-Fi network using built-in antennas. As a result, all of the devices on your home network have internet access and receive radio waves instead of cable-connected transmissions.

Different types of wireless routers.

There are a few different configurations of wireless routers, including models with:

USB ports – This allows you to connect devices such as an external hard disk to wirelessly transfer data from this unit to a laptop, smartphone or tablet. In this configuration, your hard disk can be used as a media server and you can even stream movies to your internet ready devices, including smart TVs. This is also the best way to create your own router USB hotspot. Finally, a printer can also be connected to a wireless router using the USB port. This allows you to easily and cost-effectively share access to your printer with laptops and desktop computers that are connected to the wireless router.

LAN (Local Area Network) ports – Also known as Ethernet ports, LAN ports allow you to connect a laptop, printer or other internet-ready device directly to the router using a cable. This is useful for older devices which may have unreliable WiFi reception or if you simply prefer a direct connection. Note that LAN ports are different than WAN (Wide Area Network) ports which are used to connect your wireless router to your internet service provider (ISP).

Multi-band WiFi settings – Wireless routers include “band” settings which indicate what wireless band your wireless router is sending its internet signal through. There are typically two band settings – a 2.4GHz (gigahertz) band that offers greater internet signal coverage for farther distances but typically performs at lower speeds, and a 5GHz band which transmits data faster but at shorter distances. You can choose between these two settings based on your needs.

Some older wireless routers have a single band of 2.4GHz only, while new tri-band routers are already on the market. What’s a tri-band router? Well, according to HowToGeek.com:

“While dual-band routers broadcast two separate signals, tri-band routers broadcast three different signals. Essentially, they’re hosting three different Wi-Fi networks at once. But the similarities end there. Rather than hosting a network at a third different frequency, a tri-band router actually hosts a 2.4GHz signal and two separate 5GHz signals. A tri-band router is literally hosting two separate 5 GHz networks, and it automatically sorts devices into different networks. This offers more speed to share among your devices. Note that it won’t actually speed up a single device — that device is only connected to one of those networks at a time — but it will offer more speed to additional devices you add.”2

So, there are many types of WiFi routers, with various port configurations and capabilities designed for your specific needs. For example, if you have a large home where a WiFi signal needs to travel over many square feet to reach your smartphone, laptop or tablet, a router with 2.4Ghz setting would probably be best for you. If you are looking for greater signal strength at shorter distances, a router with a 5GHz setting will probably work well.

Of course, choosing a WiFi router with multi-band, multiple input and multiple output options means you can always adjust your band settings with one simple router solution. And keep in mind, you can even purchase WiFi extenders, which work with your WiFi router to boost your signal throughout your home network, if necessary.

Wireless router brands.

While your internet service provider (ISP) probably includes a WiFi router with your internet service, you may be looking for one with more capabilities and there are many reputable modern router brands on the market.

What is the best router? You will find brand names and models such as Linksys, Netgear Nighthawk, Netgear Orbi, Samsung SmartThings, Google WiFi Nest, Amazon Eero Pro Mesh System, Apple Airport, Mu Mimo and Alexa Asus Smart Home, just to name a few.

Which WiFi router is right for you? Of course, it all depends on your needs, your quality of service expectations and how you will be using your internet connected devices. Are you into online gaming? Look for a gaming router that can process high internet speeds. Are you into Netflix? Find a router designed for video streaming. The truth is, with today’s modern routers, you can find one model that will accommodate all of your many needs. Think of it as the golden spike that will keep you connected to the latest technology.

Stay connected with Suddenlink.

Speaking of staying connected, Suddenlink offers you award-winning internet service so can link to your favorite shows, music, games and more. Check out our Altice One package that delivers TV, internet, WiFi and streaming apps all in one and gives you the apps you love like Netflix and YouTube right on your TV screen.

If you love the latest technologies, Suddenlink can help you stay one step ahead. It’s the best way to stay connected and stay in touch with the things you enjoy most!

1 https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/transcontinental-railroad

2 https://www.howtogeek.com/208352/upgrade-your-wireless-router-to-get-faster-speeds-and-more-reliable-wi-fi/

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