Best Wireless Routers

Best Wireless Router: C2300 – Best Budget Router?

The Best Budget Router: TP-Link Archer C2300 – Best WiFi Router For Gaming?

The Best Budget Router: Netgear R6300 – Best Wireless Routers For Multiple Devices?

The Best Budget Router: Linksys EA9500 – Best Wireless Routers For Long Range?

What Is A Wi-Fi Router?

A Wi-Fi router is a device used to connect your computer or mobile phone to the internet. It allows you to access various online services such as email, instant messaging, streaming media and much more.

You may have heard about routers before but what exactly are they?

They are small computers which communicate with each other to provide internet service. Most modern routers come in two types, wired and wireless. A wired router connects directly to your modem/router while a wireless router uses radio waves instead of wires. Both types work well if you want to use the internet from anywhere in the house or office without having to run cables between them. However, there are times when it makes sense to connect one type of router (wired) into another type (wireless). This process is known as ‘hard wiring’. Hard wiring a router may be necessary if your modem/router is located in a far-away place or simply to improve the speed and reliability of your connection.

What Is A Wireless Router?

A wireless router is a device which allows your phones, tablets, laptops and other devices to communicate with the internet. It does this by sending information through radio waves. These waves are sent from a small box in your home, which is most often placed on a desk or mounted on the wall. Some wireless routers come with four Ethernet ports where you can directly plug your computer or console into the network. If your devices lack an Ethernet port then you can still connect them wirelessly without any issues.

What Is A Router?

A router is a device which allows two or more computers to communicate with each other through cables or wirelessly. There are two types of routers, wired and wireless. A wired router has an Ethernet cable connected to it whereas a wireless router connects to your modem or directly to your computer. You can use a USB cable or Ethernet cable to access the internet through your computer. Alternatively, a wireless router allows multiple devices such as computers and phones to receive a signal from the internet. The range of a WiFi signal is roughly thirty feet but if you need it to go further then you will require a WiFi repeater.

What Is A Modem?

A modem is a device which converts the data sent from your ISP into radio waves which can be transferred over the airwaves. The modem then converts these waves back into digital information which is read by your computer. Your internet service provider (ISP) will provide you with a modem when you sign up to their service. If you already have your own modem then you can tell your ISP which model you have and they will send the appropriate settings. If you don’t have a modem, your ISP should provide one for a small fee which you simply need to plug in and switch on.

How Do I Hard Wire My Router?

Firstly, you need to identify the type of ports your router has. If it has Ethernet ports then you will need an Ethernet cable to hard wire it. If you have a USB port then you will need a USB cable or an Ethernet adapter instead. Both of these cables are easy to obtain and shouldn’t cost you more than a few pounds or dollars.

Once you have the correct cable then all you have to do is plug it into your computer or console and into the router. If you need to hard wire more than one device then you can get a router with multiple Ethernet ports and use an Ethernet switch to allow even more devices to be connected.

If your router has a USB port or a USB adapter then all you have to do is plug your cable into one of these and then directly into your computer or console.

What Is The Best Router?

When looking for the best router, you have a few things to consider. If you buy a cheap router then you might have problems with the connection dropping out or suffering from low quality. However, if you buy an expensive router then it will give you better range and a faster speed but it isn’t necessary all of the time.

The Linksys AC 1900 is a great mid-range router which will give you good coverage and speed. The Netgear Nighthawk R7000 is also worth considering as it has the fastest speeds available and will be perfect for a large house or if you have many devices connected at once.

What Is A Wireless Repeater?

A wireless repeater is a device which amplifies a WiFi signal. If you have a large house or your router isn’t near your television then you can use a repeater to strengthen the signal and broadcast it further. Some routers have these built in but if you need to extend the range there are repeaters available which can be connected to a USB port or an Ethernet port.

You can also connect your own router to your primary router if your main router doesn’t cover your entire house. This is called a ‘multi-router’ configuration and it will mean that you still have the benefit of all of your routers protections and configurations.

Why Do I Need A VPN?

Many ISPs and even some public WiFi services will throttle your connection or bandwidth. This means that they will slow your connection down to either force you to buy a better package or they are just doing it so they can make more money. Using a VPN allows you to connect to a remote server which masks your location and routes all of your traffic through their servers. This allows you to avoid ISP throttling as they will see you as if your connection is coming from the VPN server and not your home.

A VPN also has benefits for security as it encrypts all of the data going in and out of your computer or console. This stops people hacking you or seeing your information.

It also lets you bypass geo-locked content. For example, if you connect to a VPN in the UK then you can watch BBC iPlayer.

Do I Really Need A VPN Provider To Connect To A WiFi Hotspot And What Are The Drawbacks?

You don’t need to but it is highly recommended for security. Free WiFi hotspots are notoriously dangerous as they are usually unprotected and anyone can view your information or hack your connection. Using a VPN will protect you from this as well as protect your identity and stop you from being tracked.

One thing to remember with VPNs is that they do need to be paid for. This does bring the issue of ‘why don’t they just pay for the internet and not charge the users’ but if everyone did that then the WiFi service would no longer be able to run.

Do I Need To Pay For A VPN Provider To Get Better Security & Privacy?

It is highly recommended that you do but it isn’t necessary. Free VPNs will be slightly less secure and should be used at your own risk as they can sell your data to third parties or even be a front for hacking attempts to steal your information. Paid VPNs are more reputable and most are extremely good now as they know people expect a high level of service for their money.

Sources & references used in this article:

Method and system for configuring wireless routers and networks by PR Patel, OT Choksi, KW Davidson, R Dantu – US Patent 7,031,266, 2006 – Google Patents

Method and system for configuring wireless routers and networks by PR Patel, OT Choksi, KW Davidson, R Dantu – US Patent 7,826,463, 2010 – Google Patents

Scrutinizing WPA2 password generating algorithms in wireless routers by EN Lorente, C Meijer, R Verdult – 9th {USENIX} Workshop on Offensive …, 2015 – usenix.org

A novel delay-aware routing algorithm (DARA) for a hybrid wireless-optical broadband access network (WOBAN) by S Sarkar, HH Yen, S Dixit, B Mukherjee – IEEE network, 2008 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

What if wireless routers were social? approaching wireless mesh networks from a social networks perspective by M Kas, S Appala, C Wang, KM Carley… – IEEE Wireless …, 2012 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

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