If you are planning to buy your first router and you want to pick the best possible one for your money it will certainly be hard for you to choose because there is so many different brands, standards and features that routers have, which will most probably confuse you even more. That’s why I will give you some tips on which things you need to pay attention when you go to computer shop or online store to buy your first router.
Now before proceeding to below tips, let me ask you one basic question. Do you really need a router because not everyone needs it. If you have only one computer, buying a router is a waste of money, even with the safety benefits that it offers. If you want to buy a router to increase a safety of your computer, you can simply install a firewall or use the one offered by your operating system.
However if you want to:
- share broadband internet with 2 or more computers,
- have wireless access in your home, mobile, wireless notebooks and other equipment,
- want to have a reinforced security and more control of how the Internet is being used,
… then you really need to buy a router.
What features a router need to have
Virtually all routers available in the market today have the same minimum set of features that are sure to fulfill your expectations. But here are some features your router need to have:
- Does it support static and dynamic IP address? DHCP server? Does it have NAT for TCP and UDP? Does it support PPPoE and SNTP?
- Does it have DMZ, Firewall, Access Rules, browser administration interface?
- Make sure it have a necessary amount of external ports so you can connect all your computers.
- Make sure it supports wireless protocols such as 802.11a b / g / n
- Check what is the maximum wireless signal range. At normal conditions that range should be around 160 feet.
- What is the capacity for concurrent connections? This is important for those who use P2P such as eMule, Ares and BitTorrent.
- Does it have WLAN port? If so, it is not necessary to configure almost anything to share broadband internet, either cable or DSL. The modem is connected directly to the router.
- Does it included print server? Ethernet or USB? A print server enables access to printer directly, without connecting to a computer. The printer happens to be shared for all machines on the network.
Choose Quality Brand
Choosing quality brand is one of the most difficult questions of all. Some of most popular router brands are: DLink, Linksys, Netgear, 3Com, Trendnet, Encore, Belkin etc… Of these mentioned, the first two are among the most common and the most chosen by users. If you want to choose something beyond previously mentioned brands, always search opinions from users who use it every day. NEVER buy any electronic product without checking what consumers have to say. If a device is not highly rated, avoid it! Also you can find very useful suggestions in TheTechJournal Reviews section so make sure you check that page too before buying any new product.
Once you buy a router you must have time and patience to learn how to setup and use it or know someone who can do it for you. Do not think that you’re going to buy, connect it and everything will work like a charm.
Despite the huge facilities provided by current interfaces, the router, for a complete configuration, can be a huge challenge for the huge number of options available. In one of TheTechJournal tutorial I have covered some of most important things you need to pay attention on when configuring your router, so make sure you read this article too.