A router is now a commonplace device for many offices as well as in modern homes. In increasingly connected world, this piece of computer equipment serves as the backbone or hub of your Internet connectivity. Simply put, it’s a device that allows you to make use of a single Internet connection or service and share it with the devices that you tend to use.
The connection can be shared using a wired network or a wireless network. You can allow mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers to access the network. However, a router performs other functions as well. The more sophisticated your router is then you should expect it to have more features.
Some routers have USB ports on them where users can attach a device such as a printer. The printer (or any device attached to the USB port) will then become a network resource that can be used by any user connected to your local network. The same is true if you connect an external drive into the port, it becomes a shared storage device for everyone to use depending. Of course, you can also prevent other users from using shared resources.
Most routers already have a firewall to protect the entire network from threats coming from the Internet. The more advanced routers allow you to give priority to certain types of data or network traffic. This is known as the QoS feature (Quality of Service). If you primarily use your Internet to watch videos online then you can set video data as a priority over other types of network traffic.
Some routers allow you to monitor and control the sites that your kids can visit. Another common feature among many routers today is MAC filtering; it allows you to restrict access to your network where you specify which devices can use your Internet. To know more visit our website.
What Router Features to Look For
As you can see there are indeed a lot of features that users have to sort through. For those who aren’t that technology savvy they will have to dig up some more info about each feature. All of this doesn’t mean that a feature-heavy router is the best one.
Here’s a little word of advice for anyone doing some router shopping. The first thing you need to do is to stick to the basic features. After you find a brand or model that has some pretty solid fundamental features then you can move on to the more sophisticated stuff.
For instance, test routers for their throughput speeds. A good router should have pretty good throughput even if you are far from the actual device. You should also check how congenial the user interface is to you. More advanced users will have no problem navigating hundreds of menu items. On the other hand beginners and intermediate users will prefer a simpler graphical user interface.
Of course there are also some of the basics like hardware support, price, and all the other stuff. These will come in along the way too. Any rate, the following is a list of some of the best WiFi routers out in stores today. You’ll also find some of their pros and cons itemized as well.
Asus RT-AC66U Dual Band 3×3 802.11AC Gigabit Router
This is one of the more expensive WiFi routers in this list. As some might have guessed, this is one of the more technical routers. It is packed with a lot of advanced features; and it’s really perfect for use in a small office or in any office setting for that matter. If you don’t want to stare at a complicated user interface then this is not the router for you.
This one has outstanding throughput compared to competing brands. It also has excellent range, which is one of its big selling points. It works great when set at 5 GHz N. If you prefer to use 11ac mode then this one won’t disappoint. If you’re interested in setting up true VPN then get this one.
Downsides of course include the price. There is some sluggishness on the UI but that can be excused. There is some loss to Internet connectivity but that doesn’t happen a lot.
Buffalo AirStation Extreme AC 1750 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router
This router is one of the more affordable units that have been considered in this list. It’s a pretty good choice in case you’re looking for a more affordable WiFi router that comes with a few useful features. This is actually one of the better routers that Buffalo has come up with.
It has a pretty good range and an equally good throughput and you can even compare that to the more expensive routers out there. This router is also a pretty dynamic device. Its basic function is that of a router however it can also act as a bridge and also as an access point. It also has commendable management software.
Now, here are the downsides of the Buffalo AirStation Extreme AC 1750. The parts that you use for mounting this router are made of rather cheap plastic. Get something better to protect your investment. Another downside is difficulty in setting up mobile access for USB drives.
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC1600 EA6400
Linksys is one of the major players in the computer networking equipment industry. This is one of the mid-priced routers in our list. The Smart Wi-Fi Router AC1600 EA6400 is the company’s latest offering to match other 11ac routers today.
This router is packed with a lot of features. The set-up is rather easy. It also comes with printer sharing capabilities as well as NAS functionality. This router also supports USB 3.0.
Some people report a minor glitch when deleting files on a shared network drive but that is only a relatively minor issue. It’s also a tad slower when running at 5GHz.
Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR4500
This Netgear router is another mid-priced router in this list. It provides really good throughput on 5 GHz as well as in 2.4 GHz (perhaps the fastest throughput today). It comes with some pretty advanced features including parental control. Setting it up is not a huge problem.
Downsides include the price (it’s the slightly more expensive mid-priced model). Another drawback is the fact that you have to position it vertically.
Cisco Linksys Smart Wi-Fi AC 1750HD Video Pro EA6500
If you can’t get enough of Linksys then get one that comes with the Cisco brand. The price is somewhere in the middle but slightly more expensive than the other routers in this list. Set up is simple and it can be managed remotely. This router supports 11ac and it can run apps. The only downside (other than the slightly jacked up price) is a slower performance on the 2.4 GHz band.
This completes our selection of top WiFi routers for high performance. Remember to start with the basics in your selection and then grab the one that has features that suit your needs.
About the Author
Thomas Ward is the head honcho at HiTech Wireless, a company that has been selling wireless equipment for more than a decade. He and his company have been providing expert advice to people who need different types of wireless hardware.