Today, the choice of routers is very diverse. Models offered on the market can vary significantly in terms of characteristics and functionality. Some instances have many additional features. When choosing such a gadget, you should pay attention to a number of primary and secondary parameters.
Routers may differ in terms of signal source support. The most common solution is to connect via an Ethernet cable. Each device has several such ports, but specifically for receiving a signal, one or two usually serve, signed as WAN. The rest are LAN ports for connecting other devices. There are devices that use exclusively mobile Internet, but it is better to choose a combined router – with support for cellular networks and the presence of Ethernet connectors.
There are other options for connecting to a signal source – routers for less common types of connection are usually offered by the providers themselves using such networks. The list of models they have is very limited, so you have to choose only from those available.
LAN Port Speed
To begin with, it is important to understand that the router cannot give out a higher speed over Wi-Fi than it receives through the WAN connectors. This parameter is primary, including when choosing a tariff from a service provider. Moreover, in order to minimize the number of possible interference and achieve maximum speed, many also pay attention to connecting via LAN. The speed of these ports is also important to take into account.
Wi-Fi technology is based on the IEEE 802.11 wireless data transmission standard. Since its inception, various versions of it have been released, differing in speed (both basic and intermediate). When choosing a router, you need to pay attention to which one is available to him. Usually manufacturers indicate the maximum possible – this means that previous versions are also supported.
- Wi-Fi 1 or 802.11i (1999) – up to 11 Mbps;
- Wi-Fi 2 or 802.11a (1999) – up to 54 Mbps;
- Wi-Fi 3 or 802.11g (2003) – up to 54 Mbps;
- Wi-Fi 4 or 802.11n (2009) – up to 600 Mbps;
- Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ac (2013) – up to 6.77 Gb / s;
- Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax (2019) – up to 11 Gbps.
It is also important to understand that the speed of working with Wi-Fi depends not only on the router, but also on the gadget that is connected to it. If the laptop does not support Wi-Fi 6, it will access the Internet at a slower speed. However, in the near future, the new standard will become more and more widespread, so it is better to purchase a router with its support. Huawei wifi mesh is a great option, if you are looking for a good Wi-Fi router.
As already mentioned, the frequency range used affects the operating distance of the router. But this is not the only factor. In many ways, the range depends on the power of the device. According to the laws, devices with a transmission power of up to 24 dBm can be used at home. More powerful ones are not officially imported into the country. At the maximum permitted power and low frequency, the range in open areas can be several hundred meters. However, the signal is greatly affected by obstacles – especially walls. In a house or apartment, the distance can be reduced tenfold.
Some people think that the longer the antennas of the router and the more of them, the better the signal will be. However, it is not. What matters is not the quantity and size, but the gain, which is measured in isotropic decibels (dBi). Antennas cannot generate power to increase signal strength, but by changing their direction, gain in a certain place can be achieved. Typically, such devices are used to communicate between wireless networks that are at a distance, but in line of sight. There are both compact devices (for indoor use) and overall devices (for installation on building walls and poles). At home, antennas for amplification are often simply not needed.
If you want to buy yourself a good Wi-Fi router. Try out Huawei routers, as they support almost every device and have far better range and connectivity.