How to choose a router

Router – a device for creating a local network. Therefore, its choice should be based on exactly what kind of LAN is needed and where it will be located.

Choosing a router

How to choose a router: what to look for

When choosing a router, it is advisable to consider the following characteristics:

  1. Type of connection to Internet;
  2. Internet connection speed;
  3. The speed of data exchange in the local network;
  4. Frequency and standard of the wireless network;
  5. Antenna power;
  6. Additional features.

But, at the same time, modern routers are such that for most non-special scenarios – for example, for an apartment, home or office – will suit perfectly any.

Type of connection to the Internet

how to choose a router

This parameter determines whether the router can connect to the Internet network according to the standard used in the house, apartment, office or cottage. Routers are usually equipped with one of three types of connection:

  1. WAN (PPPoE, local networks with static or dynamic IP, etc.).d.). The most common connection standard. The network cable on these types of connections is regular Ethernet;
  2. ADSL – still a common connection standard in some regions. Internet and telephone are on the same cable line, and for their simultaneous use you need a device called a “splitter. ADSL routers are equipped with a special connector and built-in modem;
  3. 4G – mobile Internet. A good solution for country houses. Routers designed for this network are equipped with a tray for a SIM card and sometimes performed in a mobile configuration with a built-in battery.

These standards are not interchangeable, so it is very important to pick up a compatible router with your Internet connection.

Internet connection speed

This parameter means the maximum theoretical speed at which the router can send data to and download from the Internet. Its actual value also depends on the characteristics of the network, the equipment used by the provider and the tariff of the user. Internet connection speed is determined by the performance of the network card built into the router and can be as follows:

  1. Up to 10 Mbps – for early generation ADSL networks;
  2. Up to 100 Mbps – for early generation PPPoE networks;
  3. Up to 1 Gbit/s – for modern PPPoE networks, including fibre optics.

Connection speed is limited both up and down. That is, if you use a router at 100 Mbps on gigabit networks, the maximum data transfer speed will be the same 100 Mbps. Similarly, if you use a gigabit router on a 100 megabit network, the maximum data transfer speed will be 100 Mbit/s.

It is important to choose a router whose connection speed matches the speed of the network. Or you can buy just a 100-megabit (for undemanding users) or a gigabit.

Local Area Network Speeds

LAN communication speed

This parameter determines the speed at which the devices connected to the router will receive data – both from the Internet and from the local network. Theoretically, the higher it is, the better. Nevertheless, even 300 megabit routers are fine for your home.

The most common data speed standards:

  1. 100 Mbps – for the cheapest and slowest routers;
  2. 300 Mbps – for budget models for home, apartment and office;
  3. 1000 Mbps for premium models;
  4. More than 1000 Mbit/s – for special models, which are designed to work in high-speed local wireless networks.

It is worth remembering that the frequency range of 2.4 GHz, used in most routers, provides speeds of no more than 1 Gbit/s. And if you need more, it is recommended to buy a router with 5 GHz.

Wireless frequency and standard

router operating frequency

Frequency is the range on which a wireless network broadcasts. 2 GHz routers are the most common.4 GHz routers are most common, but 5 GHz models are also common. The frequency determines the signal density, if the “ability” to “ignore” the obstacles, as well as the maximum speed of data transmission.

The most advisable to buy a router at 5 GHz. However, not all end devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.d.) are able to connect to such a wireless network. But here’s 2.4 GHz networks are “universal” – virtually all end devices work with them.

Advantages and disadvantages of 2 routers.4 GHZ


  • Wide compatibility with end devices;
  • Low price.


  • Because of the large number of routers, especially in apartment buildings, there can be a “clogging” of channels with junk signal;
  • Channel 2.4 GHz can spread other signals, such as from a wireless mouse, causing additional interference.
  • Walls and other objects create obstacles that can jam the signal;



  • A more obstacle-resistant signal;
  • Wider range with the same router antenna power;
  • Less “garbage signal” due to the small number of such routers;


  • Limited number of compatible devices;
  • High price.


Sufficient solution for home will be 2.4 GHz, the optimal one is dual-band, which supports both 2.4 GHz, and 5 GHz.

In addition to the range, Wi-Fi networks also differ in broadcast standard. These are the technical hardware and software specifications that determine the compatibility and speed of data transmission over the air. There are five most common Wi-Fi standards:

  1. 802.11a;
  2. 802.11ac;
  3. 802.11b;
  4. 802.11g;
  5. 802.11n.

Unfortunately, they are not cross-compatible. However, many router models support broadcasting in several standards at once. If you don’t have a device in your home that broadcasts exclusively to 802.11a or 802.11ac, it makes sense to get a router that supports the 802.11b/g/n – it can broadcast in all three of these standards simultaneously, giving you maximum compatibility with your end devices.

You can check which standard of Wi-Fi your computer or phone supports by looking at the list of your device’s specifications. For example, the Realtek RTL8723BS mobile module, which is used in some Windows tablets, supports Wi-Fi 802.11b, Wi-Fi 802.11g and Wi-Fi 802.11n, but only 2.4 GHz. That is, to a 5 GHz or Wi-Fi 802.It won’t connect to the 11a network.

Antenna power

Antenna power

The higher the power (and at the same time the number) of antennas – the wider the range of the wireless network created by the router. But at the same time, this also leads to an increase in the price of the router.

Antenna power is measured in decibels. Most budget routers are equipped with 2-3 dB antennas, which is enough to cover a small apartment. More powerful models are rated at 5-7 dB.

Even more powerful routers are designed for use in offices, large manufacturing facilities, etc.d. It’s not a good idea to get one for your home.

Additional features

A router can perform not only its primary function, but also a number of additional functions:

  1. Media center, file server. In this case, a storage device – a flash drive or an external hard drive – is connected via USB, and the data on it can be accessed from almost any device that comes into the wireless network;
  2. Torrent client. Files are downloaded to the connected drive;
  3. Print Server. A compatible printer plugs into the router’s USB connector and becomes a “network” printer;
  4. Connecting to 4G mobile networks. The modem can be built-in or connected via USB.

In most cases, these features will make your device more expensive, so it makes sense to purchase a router with them if you really need them.


Among the manufacturers of routers for home and small office, the following companies can be distinguished – TP-

  • nk, Asus and Huawei.
    1. TP-
    2. nk produces fairly inexpensive routers with good specifications and features. Top models that offer maximum functions, of course, cost a lot.
    3. Asus and Huawei products are slightly more expensive than TP-
    4. nk, although it offers the same set of functions. However, it is more reliable and often attractive design.


    In the following articles our experts tell you how to choose a router for home and office, and the secrets of choosing the UPS.

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