How to use a router: everything you need to know to access Wi-Fi

Internet connection doesn’t have to be complicated

It’s hard to avoid the need for an internet connection. Almost every company has a website, billions of people have email addresses, and thousands of apps need a connection to function properly.

So accessing the internet in your home doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. However, there are some aspects to consider to make the transition from mobile data to fixed internet a lot easier.

Required hardware

The router depends on your internet line

You may have heard that you must have a wireless router to connect to the Internet. This is true and the most important component, but not all routers are the same. Depending on where you live and coverage, your neighborhood may have access to fiber optic cables.

If so, you will need a fiber optic router to convert the incoming data into a usable Wi-Fi connection. But if fiber isn’t an option, you may be able to access a cable connection or somewhat outdated ADSL internet technology. Either way, you’ll need a router to handle the connection.

Most ISPs provide a router as part of the subscription package, but it is often a good idea to purchase a third-party device. The attached routers are often not fast or reliable and when you switch ISPs, you need to bring them back. But if you buy your own, you are free to choose the brand you prefer and keep the router when you switch.

Get a dual-band router that transmits signal at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Most devices use 2.4GHz but the range is near the saturation point, where interference is almost unavoidable. However, the 5GHz band is less crowded, allowing for a more stable connection.

ISPs and available packages

The connections available in your area depend on which ISPs cover the area. If you can’t find the information by searching Google for your address with the word “fiber”, there are many checkers on the Internet that can help you.

Once you know which ISP operates in your area, browse through the available packages. Keep in mind that prices increase at faster speeds, and aim for a package with unlimited or no data throttling when you hit an arbitrary amount of data.

Cover your property

Routers have different internal components to better suit a particular environment. For example, an ordinary home router is powerful enough to provide Internet to all rooms on one floor. But if you need wider coverage for more rooms, you can look at a more powerful router.

There are also special routers that you can use outdoors, to give you internet while hosting a pool party or working in the backyard.

Extenders and Repeaters

A normal router’s Wi-Fi signal can only go far before you have to intervene. If you live in a house with several floors or several rooms spread over a large area, not a single router will provide the best coverage.

In these cases, it is best to set up some Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters. These tools take existing wireless connectivity and extend it beyond the initial range. For larger properties, you may want to invest in a Wi-Fi system.

Instead of extending the signal, each network node broadcasts its own Wi-Fi connection. This creates a network of nodes that bounce the connection to provide the best coverage while not compromising on quality and speed.

Connect to the router

Hardware

Of course, you can only connect a device to a Wi-Fi connection if it has a built-in wireless receiver. Almost all modern mobile phones and tablets have it. All you have to do is open your mobile settings, tap on the Wi-Fi option and select your network.

You will be asked to enter the password created during the setup process, and once entered correctly, your phone will be on Wi-Fi. The same process is how to connect a tablet, e-reader or smart TV.

What you need to buy to access Wi-Fi

The best routers

TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router (Archer AX73)

For a fast browsing experience, this router offers a maximum speed of 5.4Gbps, although 4.8Gbps is allocated for the 5GHz band. It has six antennas that provide greater area coverage than other routers.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

Netgear Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router

Netgear Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router

This router can simultaneously connect 25 devices to a Wi-Fi network and covers approximately 1,500 square feet. It has four Ethernet ports and a USB 3.0 port for wired connection. The router has dual-band frequencies and three antennas.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

TP-Link AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router Archer GX90

TP-Link AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router (Archer GX90)

Ideal for video game fans, this router has eight antennas operating on the tri-band frequencies HE160, 5GHz and 2.4GHz. It detects and optimizes the signal of game streams and has one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port and one 1Gbps port.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

Amazon Eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router

Amazon Eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router

This standalone router can cover an area of ​​1,500 square feet and connect directly to your modem for more coverage. It is compatible with most ISPs and intelligently routes traffic to avoid congestion or buffering.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Wi-Fi Systems

TP-Link Deco Mesh Wi-Fi System

TP-Link Deco Mesh Wi-Fi System

If you want to cover a large area with stable Wi-Fi, this network kit is the perfect solution. It can cover an area of ​​up to 5,500 square feet and does not need separate login details for each router. Connects up to 100 devices with a maximum speed of 1.2Gbps.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

Google AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi System

Google AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi System

Google’s Wi-Fi option is intended to replace your traditional router (if you have one) and any other nodes that provide connectivity. One knot can cover up to 1,500 square feet while three knots can cover 4,500 square feet. It operates on both 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and offers a maximum speed of 1.2Gbps.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

Orbi Whole Home Network Wi-Fi System

Orbi Whole Home Network Wi-Fi System

This three-node network system can cover up to 4,500 square feet and has a maximum download speed of 1.2 Gbps. It is compatible with all ISPs, is easy to set up and has an Ethernet port for wired connection.

Where do I buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Frib He writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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