Choosing a new wireless router for the home

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As the gateway to the internet, the home internet router is probably the most important connectivity device in the home. The demands on the router used to be limited to a couple of devices with light web browsing. Not anymore. Modern routers need to handle multiple family members, each with at least two devices. The load has grown to encompass high-quality streaming video, low latency gaming, home security cameras and even network attached storage devices. With VR, 4K, and game streaming on the horizon, the need for a good router is greater than ever. Fortunately, there are shopping deals on models that handle the new loads well. Here are a few quick tips when picking out a new router:

Band – There are single and dual band routers. The dual band operates at 2.4 GHz and the less crowded 5 GHz frequencies. There may not be many devices with 5 GHz support at present, but most upcoming devices will support the second band. Buy dual band when possible.

Protocols – There are several wireless protocols. The latest and the one that everyone should buy is the 802.11ac protocol. They come with names like AC1200, AC1750, and AC3200 that indicate the combined speed that it can achieve. Higher is better, especially in a crowded house.

Those are the main two considerations for an online buy of a new router. Stick to these two and the result will be a high-end high-performance router. There are other features like guest networks, multiple SSID, QoS, etc. Only look into those if your needs go beyond Wi-Fi.