Having a wireless router was once a status symbol. Only the proverbial Joneses and those who could keep up with them had these nifty devices in their homes. The thought of an un-tethered home network left many consumers giddy with the concept, and maybe a little intimidated by the process of hooking up such a contraption.
Fast forward a few short years, and most homes now zoom wifi signals through the air without thinking twice about it. Along with the common usage, wireless routers have become more economical than ever. If you are still leashed to the router with bulky Ethernet cables, or if you have yet to build that highly coveted home network, now is the time to buy a wireless router.
To get the best deal, stay away from pricey “big-box” stores. They tend to over-price their merchandise, and they will also hit you with high-pressure sales tactics while they boggle your mind with technical jargon. Do your research online to arm yourself with highly-rated brands and common terminology related to wireless routers. Then shop at a discount store to get the best deal. Online bargain electronic sites and auction sites can be tempting when you see their low prices. Just make sure you know your stuff before shopping this way or you may be disappointed when that cheap wireless router arrives at your door broken or missing parts.
Pay close attention to the description of your wireless router before purchasing it. G routers are much cheaper than N routers, as N routers are newer on the market. But if your wireless adapters bear the N label, stick to the matching router type. N routers are supposed to be backward compliant with G adapters, but there are always exceptions to any rule. To avoid frustration when setting up your wireless network, keep all components – router and adapters – on the same wavelength.
Wireless routers are economical for more reasons than the original purchase price. Laptops and other mobile devices can tap into the wireless router signal using wifi technology. Since laptops and mobile gadgets use less energy than traditional desktop computers, a wireless home network offers a more economical way to connect all Internet devices under one roof.
Once you have decided on a brand and type of wireless router to purchase, don’t be intimidated by the setup process. Most wireless routers come with installation software that will walk you through the process with ease. Windows-enabled devices are the easiest to connect to wireless networks, as the computer or device will likely see the network before you realize what’s happening. Simply click to confirm and you’ll be surfing through the airwaves in no time.
Placement of the wireless router is the key to making home network users happy. Dropped signals and low bandwidth can make surfing, gaming or chatting an exasperating experience. Start by placing the wireless router in a central location in your home. Take into account anything that might interfere with the router’s signal. Microwaves, magnetic devices, thick metal walls or beams, and even cordless phones can wreak havoc on your router’s signal transmission. Try connecting to the wireless router from every location in your home where you plan to use the Internet. Repositioning the router’s antenna sometimes helps. Other times it becomes necessary to relocate the router. Through trial and error, you will eventually find just the right spot to broadcast the wireless signal across your home network.
Once you enjoy the freedom and frugality that comes with wireless home networking, you’ll be wondering how you ever did without it.