Buyer’s Guide – Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a New Router

Buyer’s Guide – Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a New Router

Shopping for new tech can be a daunting experience. Trying to navigate your way through thousands of listings across multiple ecommerce websites or dealing with pushy salespeople at your local brick and mortar tech outlet, the whole experience can leave you frustrated and overwhelmed.

What Is A Router?

First things first. What exactly is a router and what is its role in connecting you to the web? Simply put, a router is a device that manages traffic between networks by forwarding data packets to their destination IP addresses. Routers also allow for several devices to share a single Internet connection.

It’s important to note that a router and a modem are not interchangeable terms. A router manages data moving with and between networks while a modem is responsible for connecting those networks to the Internet.

To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?

Indeed, that is the question. While the degradation of your Internet connection’s performance could be a sign of a faulty router, it’s worth ruling out other culprits before rushing out to buy a new one. Here is a detailed piece that looks at different ways to improve your Wi-Fi coverage.

You also need to ensure that your chosen speed suits your household needs. If you’re going to have three users all wanting to stream HD content across different devices at the same time, a 10Mbps product simply won’t cut it.

Remember, problems with your PC, laptop or phone can also lead to speed-related issues. If you’re experiencing problems with your phone, run some tests with your laptop to ensure that the issue isn’t limited to one device. If the problem persists across several different devices, chances are there could be a problem with your router. So let’s take a look at some things to consider before buying a new router.

Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6 is the newest and fastest standard of Wi-Fi at the moment. Without going into too much detail, this version allows your router to send greater volumes of data to your devices at once far more efficiently than previous standards

Most devices nowadays support the standard. Even my Samsung Galaxy S10 – released back in March 2019 – supports the standard. The same can be said for most laptops, gaming consoles and wireless cards. If you’re buying a new router in 2024, make sure that it is Wi-Fi 6-ready.

Upgrading Beyond 100Mbps?

You’re probably going to need a new router if you’re upgrading your line to anything over 100Mbps. Most entry-level routers supplied by ISPs will cater to speeds of up to 100Mbps, however, if you’re looking to upgrade to a 150Mbps or 200Mbps product, you will need to get yourself a gigabit-capable (1000Mbps) router.

You can find out whether your router is gigabit-ready by flipping through the manual. Easier still, just do a quick Google search querying whether or not your model is capable of dealing with speeds in excess of 100Mbps. 

Coverage, Coverage, Coverage

Speed is often the first thing users tend to fixate on when looking at new routers. However, I’d argue that coverage is far more important. It’s pointless having a top-of-the-range router single-point in your study that can’t transmit its signal to your bedroom.

This isn’t really a problem if you live in a smaller apartment, however, users living in bigger family homes should consider a mesh system rather than a single-point, stand-alone router. These mesh systems replace your router altogether. They employ multiple units across your home and are the best solution in terms of eliminating dead spots across your property.

Looking to upgrade your to blazing-fast fibre? Get in touch with Hollywood Connect and we’ll advise you on the best setup for your home or office.