How to choose a fast Wi-Fi router that will catch all over the apartment (Topic)

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How to choose a fast Wi-Fi router that will catch all over the apartment


Almost every Internet user knows well that a Wi-Fi router is an indispensable device in an apartment that provides wireless Internet transmission. But when it comes to choosing a router, a flurry of questions falls on the buyer: what is the wave frequency range, how many antennas are needed, what does the standard of the router mean? So many questions and so few answers ... until today. Indeed, in this article we will tell you how to choose the optimal and fast router that will extend high-speed Internet to the whole apartment.

First of all, we look at the standard of the router

The main reason for buying this or that router is the maximum data transfer rate of the Wi-Fi module, which depends on the standard of operation of the router. In total, there are 5 generations of standards: from the outdated 802.11a to the fast 802.11ad hadron collider. Immediately, we note that the newly-minted 802.11ad standard has received minimal distribution in USA, so it is better to choose routers that support the 802.11ac format, providing up to 600 Mbps throughput for wireless Internet distribution at 2.4 GHz.

Router standard: what's the difference and which one to choose

The specified speed is quite enough both for full-fledged office work and for distributing the Internet to many gadgets in a large family. Surfing the Internet, watching HD movies online or even downloading applications via torrenting will be done at maximum speed. However, it should be borne in mind that the Internet speed may decrease depending on the number of devices simultaneously connected to the router.

When choosing a router, we recommend paying attention to the products of the company. In the catalog of Wi-Fi modules you can find both the premium model Archer C9 with the 802.11ac standard, as well as budget options at the minimum market value.

Even more speed: select the wave frequency range

A Wi-Fi router transmits the Internet via radio waves operating in two bands: 2.4 GHz and the new 5 GHz standard. The advantage of modern routers is that they allow you to choose which waveband to use. Most often, routers are used in the 2.4 GHz band, which allows you to achieve the maximum area to which the Internet will be transmitted. But there is one important point to keep in mind: household appliances, such as microwave ovens, as well as neighbors' routers operate at 2.4 GHz, which creates interference that slows down the transfer rate.

Want to squeeze the maximum power out of your own router? Then feel free to rearrange the operating mode to the 5 GHz band, but do not forget that the higher the wave frequency, the shorter the range of the wireless Internet. However, for a small apartment, 5 GHz is the best choice.

How to choose a fast Wi-Fi router and set up channels

Another important difference between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands is the number of channels, a kind of sub-frequencies on which a Wi-Fi router operates. When using the 2.4 GHz frequency, 3 non-overlapping channels are available, when using the 5 GHz frequency, 4 channels. The more the channel is loaded, the greater the loss of Internet speed, everything is simple. If you scan the network with Wifi Analyzer, you can find out which Wi-Fi channel is the least loaded and select the appropriate one. dual-band routers automatically find a free channel and connect a device to it, which allows you to increase the speed and coverage of the wireless Internet. Another important point is safety. The WPS quick setup system is disabled on each router, so the router is reliably protected from hacking and especially inquisitive neighbors.

Pay attention to the technical stuffing of the router

If you look under the "hood" of the router, you will find that in many ways it resembles the usual desktop computers or smartphones. For example, routers have a processor, permanent and random access memory, which is responsible for the quality of the Internet transmission. As with other electronic devices, there is a general rule of thumb: the more processor cores and memory, the better.

Wi-fi router

What about the number of antennas?

On the rule "the more, the better", router manufacturers skillfully speculate, releasing real monsters with a dozen antennas. But is it worth chasing the number of antennas? In theory, yes, since if one antenna is installed on the device, then it works simultaneously to receive and transmit data. Obviously, a set of at least two antennas, one of which works to receive a signal, the other to distribute data, allows you to increase the sensitivity of the router and the Wi-Fi transmission speed.

Archer C9 Wi-fi router

But at the same time, it should be borne in mind that quality is more important than quantity and one good antenna will be more productive than a few lower classes. Antenna power is indicated in decibels per millimeter (dBm). Separately, it should be noted that some manufacturers prefer to indicate the sensitivity of the receiver, measured in the same decibels per millimeter, but with a negative value. That is, a receiver with a -60 dBm reading will give a better signal than a similar device with a -90 dBm receiver.

Tips for locating your Wi-Fi router

Choosing the location of the router is a whole art, which can rightfully be called "Feng Shui of the 21st century." Many variables affect the quality of a wireless internet signal, such as the distance from the router to the receiver, interference from electronic devices, and the thickness and material of obstacles. Even despite the fact that radio waves try to bend around obstacles, some of the signal can either be absorbed (for example, passing through load-bearing walls) or reflected (from mirror surfaces).

The most optimal point at which the router should be installed is in the middle of the apartment. Another option is to place the WI-Fi module in the hallway, if the room is made according to a standard layout. Also, do not forget that it is best to place the router as high as possible in the room, for example, by placing it on a closet, thanks to which you can count on the highest level of Wi-Fi signal coverage of the apartment.

If in one of the rooms there is a low speed of the wireless Internet, or even breaks in the signal, then you should not rush to the store for another router. Try turning the router towards the desired room. Even a slight shift in the router can have a beneficial effect on the signal quality.

Let's move on to the direction of the antennas. Some users believe that if you turn them in the direction of a certain room or electronic device, then the quality and speed of the wireless Internet will noticeably increase. Unfortunately, this is a blunder, since the antennas transmit the signal omnidirectionally and evenly to each side. The best choice is to position the antennas strictly perpendicular to the router.

Router attenuation level

And the last point is radio interference. When using a 2.4 GHz router, you shouldn't be surprised if the internet speed drops noticeably, since computers, microwave ovens or smart gadgets operate at the same frequency. To solve the problem, you can install the router in splendid isolation and as far as possible from electronic devices, and there is another way - to switch the Wi-Fi operation to the 5 GHz band.

You can easily save yourself the headache when setting up and choosing the location of the router if you order the Wi-Fi installation on the provider's website.

The Topic of Article: How to choose a fast Wi-Fi router that will catch all over the apartment.
Author: Jake Pinkman