5 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A New Router

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Has choosing a new router got you flustered or overwhelmed by all the choices? There are many routers to choose from with various features and technical specs to look at, but if you’re in need of something that’s reliable and does its job, don’t fret. Picking a new router isn’t as challenging or as overwhelming as you may be feeling. No matter your internet provider, whether its Verizon, GotW3, AT&T, or HughesNet, we’ve rounded up five things you need to do before buying a new router that’ll make your shopping experience easier.

  1. Wi-Fi 6 Is Here

The next generation of router technology is finally here; Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax. While shopping for a new router, you’ll want one that’ll stand the test of time for the next 2-3 years. Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ac routers are an excellent choice if you can get your hands on one. While they’re not difficult to find, the coronavirus has slowed down production of electronics worldwide. Wi-Fi 6 routers in particular are known for their upgraded security settings, backwards compatibility and ability to handle gigabit internet speeds.

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  1. Think More About Wi-Fi Network Coverage

Everyone worries about speeds while shopping for a new router, but their number one consideration should be how well it covers your home instead. Without proper coverage, your internet won’t reach all your devices making the speeds you pay for useless. Optimal router placement should be in a centralized location of your home. However it doesn’t account for where people like to use their devices and other network interferences that will weaken your network strength and may even cut the coverage area down.

Think of router shopping this way: it’s always better to have reliable and stable internet everywhere in your home, than fast internet in just a few places of your home that may or may not be convenient to you.

  1. Your Router May Be Included In The Cost Of Service

When is the last time you’ve looked at your internet bill? Not just looking at the amount, but when was the last time you really looked at the itemized charges on your bill? If you never have, you should find out exactly what you’re paying for every month. Many providers ow include the cost of their equipment into the price of internet service.

It’s supposed to be an added benefit of subscribing to their service, but if you’ve had the same internet provider for a while, you may be able to get your equipment included and not even know it. If your provider does this, owning your own modem router combo won’t lower your bill, but it can improve the quality and strength of your Wi-Fi. Before you leap into your wallet to shell out your hard earned cash, it’s worth finding out.

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  1. You Will Need To Update The Firmware

When you finally pick out a new router, one of the first things you’ll have to do when you get your Wi-Fi network up and running is to update the firmware. Your router’s firmware keeps your Wi-Fi network security up to date and secure, which keeps the information you’re sending and receiving safe. Over time, router manufacturers release new updates and patches to their firmware to keep cybercriminals out of your network. However manufacturers don’t continuously update their routers to the latest firmware update before boxing up your router and shipping it off to retail stores.

The good news is most routers auto update their firmware for you nowadays, but it’s still an important task to not overlook. The better news is when you download your router’s mobile app, seeing if there’s a required update is only a few taps away.

  1. Look For A Router With A Smartphone App

While you’re shopping for your new router, look for one that comes with a smartphone app you can download. Luckily, most router manufacturers do include apps now, but it’s a feature you won’t want to go without. Gone are the days with tinkering with an outdated interface just to set up and maintain your router. With a smartphone app, it puts all the control in a user friendly interface that’s easily accessible in the palm of your hand. You’ll be able to set up your new router, set up a guest Wi-Fi network, change your Wi-Fi password, set parental controls, test your internet speeds, and more.