If someone from your internet provider company has gone through and put you a router at home to connect to the network, be assured that the wireless routers that we are going to show you here are better than any router that you have been able to provide. It is better to buy your wireless router on your own. The speed of your network is going to thank you.
Many times we ask ourselves why the connection in our homes is slow, and the answer in many cases is that we need to buy a new router to take full advantage of the new high-speed connections that ISPs are providing us.
UPDATE: we updated the guide with the best routers of 2019 and added a new section with the best cheap wireless WIFI routers, for those who want to spend less money and do not need as many functionalities, and another with the best routers for gaming (video games), the premium models of this section. We also added a few models that provide us with the new mesh system (WiFi Mesh) that expands the WIFI coverage tremendously.
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What should we look for to buy a good wireless router? Types of routers
Things change really fast in this world and if previously recommended routers with WIFI a / b / g / n, now we have passed at least as WIFI ac (WI-FI 5), and shortly we will have to look for routers with the new WI-FI 6 (IEEE 802.11ax).
The greatest advantages of WIFI ac are that it offers a better range and higher theoretical maximum speeds.
- Wireless WiFi AC uses the 5GHz band for its transmissions, a band that usually has fewer connected devices, experiences less interference than 2.4GHz and therefore reaches higher speeds.
The main advantages of WI-FI 6 are that it offers higher theoretical maximum speeds in environments with many WIFI networks, greater capacity, and performance (the first routers with this technology are now beginning to emerge):
- Wi-Fi 6 will provide an increase in capacity, coverage, and performance, even in dense environments such as stadiums and other public places. The Wi-Fi 6 networks allow a lower battery consumption in the devices, which makes it a solid option for any environment, (smart home or IoT).
The other thing to consider is how much you are willing to spend. Almost all cost less than 200 euros, and you will be able to obtain some advanced features such as a router with a built-in modem VDSL2: it would not be necessary to connect your new router to the one provided by your ISP (you would have an all in one).
Good coverage is especially important if you live in a house instead of an apartment and want to guarantee that all rooms have a Wi-Fi signal. Thanks to the integration of USB ports, the best routers can now connect to printers and external hard drives.
Routers with Dual Band? Well, the truth is that they are the most interesting models. Look for a double band with 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Your connection will improve many integers in the 5GHz band, less saturated.
Security of the router? You have to verify that the chosen router supports WPA2, the most secure way of encryption at this time. Forget about WEP or even the WPS button, although it is very convenient to configure your devices with it, in the end, it only provides a security breach to the smartest.
Power of the WIFI signal? Very important if you have a very big house. You can buy a router with a good number of antennas, or buy a network extender by power line or WIFI.
Mesh system (WiFi Mesh)? Wireless mesh networks (WiFi Mesh) allow us to combine 2, 3 or more routers in a single WIFI network so that coverage reaches the entire house or office. There are systems that come prepared like those of Netgear or Linksys, and brands like Asus make it easy with their compatible routers Ai-Mesh. Totally recommended, although somewhat expensive.
Simplicity? In 2019 the ease of installation is a priority, something that models like the Linksys Velop or the Netgear Orbi have achieved, although paying a little more for them.
What is a wireless router? How is it different from a modem?
The same name tells you. It is a router that will provide wireless (wireless) access to the network. You forget cables (if you want) and you can give access to the network to a large number of devices (tablets, smartphones, computers etc).
And for this, you will use the WIFI 802.11 standard, which gets its name from the radio frequencies that are used to transmit the data over the air.
What is the difference between a wireless router and a modem?
A modem is a device that takes the signal from your Internet service provider and converts it into data that your devices can use.
Basically, they transform the signal that comes through your fiber optics and takes it to your router, which is responsible for managing the connections in your home and assigning an IP to each device that wants to connect to the internet. The confusion comes because many devices are modem and router at the same time.
Then we would have a third category of devices: the external network, which is responsible for amplifying the signal of your connection to your entire house. They are necessary for very big houses or with many WIFI interferences. You can buy a long-range router that gives you a very strong signal or use one of these devices to amplify the signal.
Hardware on which I should look
First of all, we have to calculate more or less how many users we will be at home at the same time. And I do not mean only humans accessing the Internet, but also the rest of the connected equipment that will make updates and downloads on their own (consoles, smart TV, mobile phones, image and sound equipment, etc.). This way we can distinguish between sporadic, intermediate and advanced users.
A single router or a mesh network?
Another option to assess is if we need a router or we should launch through a mesh network. Mesh networks are formed by a router or base station and their respective satellites. This set is responsible for managing the network in an advanced manner so that it provides us with the best Wi-Fi signal in each situation.
Although it is a more expensive solution, it is indicated wide places, where the Wi-Fi arrives with difficulty or where a good signal is required.