What Should i Look for when Buying a Router?

Buying a router that provides a fast and seamless internet connection and has a noteworthy coverage range is definitely not an easy job, especially if you are a tech rookie. To make things even more difficult, the makers discuss their routers’ specs using abbreviations and all sorts of promotional tricks that have little connection to the certifiable experience one gets. What’s more, is that even the name and other details of these routers do not reveal much about their effectiveness. 

Due to all such complications, many think that getting a router from their internet provider is a safer option; however, it sure is not. Financially speaking, it is smarter to buy your own router than to pay monthly for a rented router. Having said that, a better option is to sign up with an internet provider that offers such devices in a complementary manner. For example, if you subscribe to Spectrum plans, you can enjoy blazing fast speeds starting from 100 Mbps, unlimited data allowance, and a free modem. As such, while having a great modem on the side, you can conveniently put your money in a good router.

To help you decide on the best router that is suitable for you in terms of budget and specs, we have devised this article discussing the things that you should look for in a router. 

Find out about Processer Quality and RAM

The gear inside your router matters beyond what you can envision especially the processor and RAM. These days, our lives have gotten severely dependent on the internet and Wi-Fi is being utilized for just about everything, whether it is gaming, file sharing, database management, video conferencing, cloud backups, social meetings, or anything else, the internet is what keeps us going. All such online activities require data transfer capacity due to which your router needs decent processing power. 

When buying a router, you should be aware of its processor – whether it is single-core, dual-core, or if it is quad-core. For people who want to engage their router in multiple networks during the same timeframe, we would recommend investing in a multi-processor router. If you are not sure about your needs, you can always start low and invest in a dual-core processor. The only thing you need to know about this is that the number of cores is directly proportional to the performance of your router.

When it comes to figuring out RAM storage, the important thing is that it should at least be 128 MB. The same principle works here too: the more the RAM storage capacity, the better it is. If you are someone without budget constraints, recommended RAM storage capacity is around 1 GB.

Find out the Actual Speed of the Router


The router speed that you are shown are theoretical (for promotional reasons) and are assessed in special laboratories that have ideal conditions. This means that the specifications that are displayed on the router are not all that factual. 

As such, you should research on your own before investing any amount of money in a router. You can browse through online customer reviews, expert feedbacks, and in-depth online analysis to find out about the working speed of a router. For example, websites like Tom’s guide offer detailed reviews about different routers and other tech devices. One thing to check here is the equipment used in reviews; most often, pro-reviewers use extraordinary equipment due to which they get incredible results so you should check reviews that work with ordinary gear too.

Find Out About The Actual Rate 

The actual rate (AC) decides the adequacy of a router. You ought not to put resources into a router with an AC under 1200. A router with AC700 or AC980 is ordinarily equipped with old tech that influences its speed. Such types of routers are not good for your home or business. 

An easy way to remember about the recommended actual rate is that newer and better routers have AX in their specs/names instead of AC.

Check The USB Port Of The Router 

A USB port is pivotal today in companies and homes. There are a lot of exercises that are only possible through a Wi-Fi connection. 

In the event that you have a diverse home network including hardware like external hard drives, printers, modems, etc., you would require a router that provides high-level connectivity with convenience. In this regard, you should always find out about the USB ports of a router. Your preferred router should have 1 USB port at the very least and its version should be 3.0.

Check Security Feature of the Router 


Most modern routers come equipped with advanced security features like VPN and antivirus to protect your network from outside intrusion and malware dysfunction. However, the problem comes when these specs overshadow the weak hardware, which results in poor performance of the router. If you are interested in these features, you should never buy the first one that you like, for example, an AC1200 because it has low-quality gear. Understand that better features are more expensive and so you should invest in a costly router with better gear and improved RAM storage. 

Moreover, in the event that you are keen on a router with such progressed specs, it should have a dual-core processor and 256 MB RAM, at the very least. 

Check Compatibility With Smart Home 

Most U.S. households are equipped with at least one smart home device as of now. If you are one of them, you should consider smart devices’ compatibility with your preferred router. To control the smart devices in the right manner, it is better to purchase a router that is viable with task automation frameworks, for instance, Alexa by Amazon or IFTT model (If This, Then That). This element helps your applications and devices to collaborate for ideal execution. Accordingly, if your router has this kind of mix, you can oversee it through Alexa by providing voice orders and would have the option to do things on the router like turning off the lights at night. 

A couple of makers have carried this synchronization with Alexa to another level and joined it into the real router. 

Check Compatibility with your internet provider

Last but definitely not the least point to consider is to find out about your internet service provider’s stance on your preferred router. Most internet providers share a list of manufacturers or products that are compatible with their services. You can find such details in your service contract or ISP’s website.

In the event that you want better clarity on the subject, we recommend that you contact the service provider. You can do so by calling the customer service department or getting assistance from the chatbot of your provider. 

Final Thoughts

Buying a router is a drawn-out responsibility thus you should do it the correct way. This article houses the fundamental things that you need to consider when buying a router. If you consider all these factors, you will get yourself a router that is powerful, efficient, and modern. However, we do not guarantee that it would also be affordable. If you want to buy a router for long-term usage, spending money on it is a good investment.

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