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  • How to Choose a Wireless Router
Technology Articles > Computers > Networking > How to Choose a Wireless Router

Once a luxury, wireless connectivity is now standard in most households. To ensure a stable and efficient connection, the right router must be purchased. Faced with a multitude of options, consumers frequently purchase the wrong router. Typically, routers range in price from $40 to $200, though price has very little to do with selecting this device.

Single Band or Dual Band
Router jargon can be dizzying, but there are two terms that you need to know: single band and dual band. Single band routers operate on a 2.4-GHz band, and these routers are slower and less efficient than dual band routers. When you add any additional devices to a single-band router, you will have to manually connect these devices to the right band. If you don’t have any plans to update any of your home network devices within the near future, a single-band router will work well. On average, a single-band router will set you back $40 to $60.
Dual band routers can do it all. Operating on a 2.4GHz and 5 GHz band, these routers will allow for fast gaming and streaming. These routers will also guarantee better network performance when combined with other 5GHz devices. Dual-band routers also have the ability to automatically assign new network devices to a band, which can save you a fair amount of time and energy. Dual-band routers range in price from $100 to more than $200.

Router Compatibility and Design
Any router should work with any type of device. Whether you currently use Apple, Windows, or Linux, you shouldn’t have a problem connecting a device with a router. On the other hand, if you only use Apple products exclusively, you may want to consider an Apple router. Mixing brands may not cause any complications, but it never hurts to ensure that a wireless network runs smoothly by sticking with the same brands.
There are two basic types of router antenna designs: internal and external. Newer routers tend to have internal antennas. These antennas are proving to be every bit as functional as external antennas. Still, some routers that have dual external antennas are powerful and fast. If you opt for a router that has internal antennas, make sure that the router your choose has at least two antennas. A router with one interior antenna is not comparable to a router that has two external antennas.

Wireless security is vital. Almost all routers come with WEP security, which is a standard security type. Other security options include WPA and WPA2. WEP is as basic as router security gets, while WPA and WPA2 are more advanced types of router security. Any of these options will serve home wireless networks well.
If you run a small business, you may want to consider a router that includes specific Access Controls. Access Controls prevent certain people from accessing certain items when connected to a wireless network. Parental controls also exist on some routers. Having the ability to control which portions of a wireless network can be accessed by certain wireless devices is something worth considering.