The world of home electronics continues to evolve with each passing year, and routers play a crucial role in keeping up with the ever-changing landscape. Whether you’re an enthusiast looking for a device to enhance your online experience or a power user who needs a tool to manage your network traffic, choosing the right router is key.
Fortunately, with the variety of options available, choosing a router doesn’t have to be difficult. With this guide, you’ll discover the best of what each router brand has to offer, along with some tips on how to choose the right device for your needs.
Top Tips From Genuine Reviewers
To save you the effort of reading through a bunch of fake reviews, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tips from genuine reviewers that you should keep in mind when making your decision.
Firstly, look for reviews that are published by major media companies (The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.). This will help you gauge the credibility of the reviewer as much as the product being reviewed.
Also, keep an eye out for ‘reviews’ that are posted by the company that manufactures the product being reviewed. This tip will help you uncover any potential bias that the reviewer might have towards the brand or model of the product they are reviewing. Remember, even the most well-intentioned reviewers can be biased towards the products they are reviewing. So, it’s important to look for as many impartial reviews as possible, whether they are posted by mainstream media publications or manufacturers themselves.
And, last but not least, be sure to check out the return policy before making any purchase decisions. This way, you’ll know what to expect should you decide to return the device at some point. Bear in mind that many companies do not offer any kind of returns or exchanges, so you might end up in a bit of a pickle should you buy a device that doesn’t perform according to your expectations.
How Does The Network Size Of The Router Affect Performance?
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a router is the network size. In the world of home electronics, larger network sizes typically refer to better performance, which is why most people choose the largest possible network size when purchasing new devices. However, this assumption doesn’t necessarily have to be true. If you have a smaller network, you’ll most likely not notice any adverse effects from having a larger network size.
In fact, in some instances, you might even notice that your network performs better with a smaller network size. Remember, your router will have to deal with several devices trying to connect to it simultaneously, so having more devices on a network will definitely increase the load. With more devices, comes more traffic, which means that your router will need to work harder to serve all of the requests being sent to it. Of course, this can also mean that your router will become overwhelmed and crash from time to time.
However, keep in mind that larger network sizes typically mean better performance, so you’ll want to take this into consideration before making any kind of decision. If you’re not sure whether or not having a larger network size will benefit your network, it probably won’t hurt, but it won’t necessarily help either.
Does The Model Of The Router Matter?
Another thing to consider when choosing a router is the model. If you’re curious, you can find the model of a specific router by going to the manufacturer’s website and entering the product’s serial number. This will then take you to the page with the technical specifications for that particular device.
As with most other computer parts and technologies, older models often perform better than their newer counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that newer models usually incorporate more sophisticated technology that eventually causes them to experience technical glitches. Furthermore, newer models are often more expensive to purchase and maintain. For these reasons, if you’re seeking a device that you’ll primarily use for recreational purposes, you might want to consider an older model.
Where Does The Power Supply Come From?
A router’s power supply (or jacks, if you will) is of great importance, as it determines how the device is going to operate. If you have a device that consumes a lot of power, such as a wireless speaker or a set-top box, you’ll want to ensure that the power supply can handle the load. Otherwise, you might end up with an overheated power supply, which can cause serious damage to your device or others in proximity (this is more often than not due to poor ventilation in older houses).
For those seeking a discreet solution, look no further than the Apogee UBX-1, an innovative new breed of power supply that is highly rated by independent reviewers and is backed by a 25-year warranty. While the UBX-1 does incorporate a number of great features, including an instant-off, magnetic-noise-cancelling casing and a USB Type-C port, its main appeal lies in its unique looks (if you’re into that sort of thing).
What About The Software And Hacks For The Router?
Whether or not you’ll use the router’s built-in software to configure it is largely up to you. Some people love it, while others despise it. The good thing is that you’re not tied to using the bundled software and can download and install whatever you want onto the device after you buy it.
Along with the software, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you want to purchase any additional software to enhance your online experience or to make the device easier to use. Many routers come with limited software, so you might end up having to purchase the full version to get the functionality you want. If you do decide to go this route, make sure you’re aware of any license agreements before doing so.
When it comes to figuring out how to hack a router or changing some of the device’s settings using a computer, the vast majority of people use a tool such as DD-WRT (named after its developer, Dave Dzur (DD)) or Tomato (named after the creator of the original hardware firewall, Salvatori Tomassi). These days, it is quite common to find routers that are either compatible with or run on one of these operating systems. Make sure you know what operating system your router is compatible with before attempting any kind of hardware modification, as you might end up having to purchase additional software to do so.
What About The Memory?
The more memory a router has, the better it will be able to perform. Whether or not you’ll need more than 4GB of RAM depends on what you are using the device for. If you’re primarily looking for a device to enhance your online experience or to be a place where you can upload content to share with others, you might want to forgo memory-intensive applications such as gaming and instead opt for a smaller chunk of RAM. Of course, the other way around is true as well – if you are a power user who needs your computer to run numerous applications simultaneously, you might want to consider purchasing a device with more memory.
The one thing to keep in mind here is that regardless of how much memory you have, it will never be enough. If you’re looking for a router to run on a solid state drive (SSD), you’ll need to purchase one that incorporates a larger one, as regular hard drives are typically much smaller and thus less efficient when it comes to storing data.
What About The Display?
If you’re buying a device to be used outside, it’s essential that the display has good visibility. As already stated, older models perform better than their newer counterparts due to the latter’s tendency to have problems with visibility. If you have any experience with old TVs and monitors, you’ll most likely know exactly what I mean.
When purchasing a standalone device, such as a wireless speaker or a VPN router, whether or not you’ll need a display is largely up to you. If you opt for the former, you might want to consider getting one that has a small display, although this will again largely depend on your other needs. If you’re using the device to connect to the internet via a wireless network and need to see the connection status, you’ll most likely need a display.
Apart from the above-discussed hardware considerations, there are other things you need to think about when choosing a router. For one thing, make sure the manufacturer isn’t a scam. There are many scammers out there who will try to trick you into purchasing a device that they claim is “compatible” with your existing router or computer equipment (even if it’s not). Make sure you’re not being fooled by asking the manufacturer for any verification that they are indeed who they claim to be.