There is no doubt that the Internet has transformed our lives. Things were much different before the days of the World Wide Web. People went to the library to find information instead of pulling up the web browser in their back pocket. Maps (paper maps, not to be mistaken by the Maps app) were used to navigate your way to family reunions, and word of mouth was the primary mean of communication before the first ever email was sent in 1971. Today, 250 billion emails are sent out daily and 4 billion out of the 7 billion people on the planet are online. From logging onto Facebook to streaming television shows, Internet usage is growing rapidly.
The Internet is now capable of turning your entire house into a smart home, connecting lights, speakers, doorbells, and appliances to your network. Streaming content through TVs, smartphones, and tablets have become increasingly popular, and online banking and shopping are the epitome of convenience. Whether you’re using the Internet for one or all of these things, it is important to get a router that suits your needs.
A router is essentially the brain of the home. It allows a single Internet connection to be shared among all connected devices including laptops, smartphones, game consoles, streaming services, and now even home appliances like thermostats. If you’ve noticed that your Internet has slowed as your Internet usage increases, your router could be to blame. Internet connection with larger bandwidth capability can move data much faster than one with a slower bandwidth. How much bandwidth you need depends on how you use your Internet connection. If you use the Internet for nothing else other than Facebook and surfing the web, a large amount of bandwidth is not needed. On the other hand, if you have streaming TVs, and more than a few computers and other devices like smartphones and tablets, a larger bandwidth is a must.
Single vs. Dual Band
Single-band routers use a 2.4GHz band and is limited to one wireless signal, which may result in connection issues and interference that can reduce Wi-fi speed. Dual-band routers use two bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, meaning they transmit two wireless signals simultaneously, providing faster speed and fewer connection issues and interference.
New vs. Old
Upgrading your old router to a current generation router is an effective way to improve your network by providing better Wi-fi range, a stronger signal, and the handling of the abundance of devices connected to Wi-fi in the home. Good indications that it may be time to upgrade your router include not getting Wi-fi everywhere in your home and frequent network-related interference issues like slow-loading web pages and buffering videos.
A good router is essential to getting the most out of your Internet experience, smart home or not. Now, if only they could install themselves.