Wi-Fi router buying guide: Things you must know to get fast internet at home
The pandemic has made us realise the importance of having a reliable and fast Wi-Fi internet connection at home. Be it office work, online classes or entertainment, an efficient Wi-Fi network is essential to get the maximum bang for the money you spend for internet bills. If you are planning to buy a new Wi-Fi router to get fast internet at home then you should understand basic terminologies to choose the right router model. Here’s a basic Wi-Fi router buying guide to help you choose the right device.
Wi-Fi Router vs modem: What is the difference and what you need
If you are buying a Wi-Fi router online on Amazon or Flipkart, you will come across affordable devices that are specifically mentioned as ‘router not a modem’. So, this calls for the most basic question– what is the difference and which one do you need.
Router and modem are two different devices meant for two different purposes. Mostly, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides a modem-cum-routern device– and you need not worry much about the differences. But technically, a router is something that distributes the internet–wired or wirelessly, while the modem connects to the T3 cable line or fiber optic provided by the ISP.
You need a router to connect multiple devices to the same internet connection, on the other hand, you need a modem to connect to the main supply cable. Also, talk to your service provider first before buying a Wi-Fi router to be sure about compatibility.
What does 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and 5GHz Wi-Fi mean and how does it affect your internet speed
Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz and 5GHz respectively relates to the radio wavelength and are simply called bands. Wi-Fi at 2.4GHz and 5GHz basically decides the speed and range of the connection. A Wi-Fi connection at 2.4GHz will provide a greater range than Wi-Fi at 5GHz but slower speeds. On the other hand, Wi-Fi at 5GHz will offer lesser range but greater speed. Just to be clear, ‘5GHz Wi-Fi’ has nothing to do with 5G mobile networks.
Single vs dual band routers: Which one should you buy
Single band routers operate only at 2.4GHz and offer a maximum speed of 300Mbps. They offer longer range but the internet speeds will slow down if you connect a lot of devices. They are more suitable for small houses with limited numbers of devices. Choose a single band router if you live in a small home with only a limited number of devices to connect.
Go for dual-band routers in case of bigger houses and multiple devices to connect. Dual band routers operate at both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz. The dual band routers offer more speed and wider coverage. This makes it more suitable for multi device connections and bigger homes. Also, you will get two different Wi-Fi networks to connect– one at 2.4GHz and another at 5GHz
For multistory buildings, you can opt for Tri-band routers
Tri-band are usually expensive, but useful for multistory buildings with heavy internet usages. Tri-band routers have an additional 5GHz band. It can offer up to 11000Mbps speed and event wider coverage. Suitable for very big houses and gamers.
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E routers: What you must know before you buy a router
Opting a router with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility is highly recommended in 2021 as the world is slowly moving towards the new standard. Buying a wi-Fi 6 router will simply future-proof your home Wi-Fi network. Of course, your mobiles and laptops should support Wi-Fi 6 in the first place to get the advantage of the new standard. Having said that most new devices are now launching with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
Wi-Fi 6 is basically 802.11ax standard. It is more efficient, offers faster speeds and also consumes less battery on Wi-Fi 6-enabled smartphones or laptops when compared to 802.11ac standard or Wi-Fi 5.
Wi-Fi 6E simply means Wi-Fi 6 with an extended 6GHz band. The extended 6GHz band offers more speed and low latency which makes it ideal for gaming, VR and other heavy use cases. Both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E standards offer better coverage and support faster internet speeds but you need Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices…Read more>>