Afraid your next shopping trip for a wireless router will end in hair pulling and smashing your head against multiple walls? Worry no more. The many available options and fast advances of technology can make choosing a wireless router somewhat overwhelming, but if you are armed with a few details, your purchase will be easy and relatively pain-free.
The first thing you need to do before buying a router is to evaluate your networking needs and goals. If you are using your computer at home, and are not in need of the latest, greatest technology, chances are that a simple, reliable router will work for you. The best part about fitting into this category is that you may find good deals, discounts, or rebates on popular, lower-end routers. It’s always wise to check into what other people tend to be buying, as these may be your best bet for a quality wireless router. Although this may be done by looking at reviews and comments on the Internet, much of the information provided by random people online may be confusing, misleading, or unhelpful. You may find better information in reviews by consumer report or computer magazines.
You may also want to consider looking for a brand that matches your network adapter, as compatible brands will usually perform better. This will also increase the ease of setup.
You will also need to choose between 802.11b, 802.11a, or 802.11g. Simply put, for those who are not familiar or interested in a lot of technical details, the 802.11g will probably be the best choice. It provides high speeds and can work with the previous 802.11b. Make sure that these numbers are compatible with the numbers on your wireless network laptop card or other wireless devices, otherwise your router will not work properly.
Most models include a firewall feature, and this is essential for the protection of your network. If you are looking for the best firewall available, you will want to find a router that offers stateful inspection support. Stateful inspection means the firewall will investigate every state of the connections.
Finally, there are a few additional small details to consider when buying a wireless router. For example, do you want one antenna or two? Two may help boost performance. Also, some wireless routers may offer Internet filtering systems which could be helpful to families who are interested in that feature.