Technology, as they say, is here to make life easy. A few years back, reporting physically to your workstation was a must. Not because it was convenient, but because there were things you could not do from home. This includes the manual processing and presentation of work. These days, however, working is online and paper-free; hence you can work from home. For this reason, you need a home office for this purpose whether you are working as a formal employee or an entrepreneur. To facilitate this, you need an internet connection achievable using a wireless router. Unlike the office routers, selecting a wireless router for your home requires you to take precaution on some critical points during purchase to avoid being a victim of counterfeit goods. In this article, therefore, we will discuss these points in detail to ensure you settle for an ideal purchase.
Unlike other ordinary products, the wireless router price is subject to technological advancements. Thus, a router with more technological improvements will cost more compared to one with basic features. Advanced technology also implies quality and hence durability. Therefore, by purchasing your router at a higher initial price, you are likely to spend less in the long run due to its quality features. On the contrary, buying a cheap router may result in high maintenance costs in the long term. This, however, does not mean that every cheap router is substandard. Instead, to be safe, budget well for your router. Also, ensure you review some of the product online first before actualizing your purchase to be sure of the router features.
The range refers to the distance between your wireless router and computer or other devices relying on the router for internet connection. This factor determines the transmission speed. Depending on the size of your house you may require either one or two routers to connect faster to the internet. The placement of the router will also dictate the transmission efficiency as not all the corners in a house are suitable for placing your router.
Most buyers tend to focus more on the wireless router’s range and forget the speed. In actual sense, slow internet speed will not only affect your productivity but also prevent you from loading some pages. Thus, as a smart buyer, go for brands with a speed of 150 Mbps and above. The speed label is at the back of the package box. Where you are not sure of the speed or the package lacks the speed label, ask your ISP.
Wireless routers include the single 2.4 GHz, dual 5GHz and the tri-band which gives both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz networks. For most home office use, the 2.4GHz is suitable. However, if your home area has other wireless routers, then consider installing the stronger dual or tri-band for high frequency and high-speed transmission.
The most basic standards include the 801.11a, 802.11c, 802.11g, and 802.11n and a newer 802.11ac standard. Compatibility with different wireless standards varies greatly among devices with most modern computers using the 802.11ac standard. This newer ‘ac’ standard features a high transmission speed that utilizes the 5GHz frequency thus efficient for use with smartphones and computers.
Router smart features
Technology advancements bring more attractive features to the routers that you do not want to miss. These include the virtual assistants and applications. The virtual assistants make router control much simpler while the additional apps such as the Smartphone app makes the router operation much easier.
Cyber crimes are on the increase and securing your connection is paramount especially if you handle confidential reports as part of your work. To counter recent advances in cyber crimes, therefore, securing your internet connection with the WPA2 is necessary. With this form of security, you will be able to connect to the internet without any threats.
This feature is an important factor to consider bearing in mind the rapid changes technology undergoes within a short period. Thus, to ensure optimum work performance even when these changes come through, ensure your wireless router has the Gigabit Ethernet capability.
LAN ports and USB ports
Most people set their home office convenient for one or two people. However, if you anticipate more users in future, then it is appropriate that you set it in such a manner that will accommodate them. This includes purchasing a wireless router with the capacity to accommodate more computers. Typically, wireless routers have built-in LAN ports that allow connectivity for a limited number of users. However, if you want to accommodate more uses in your office space, consider a powerful router and purchase an Ethernet switch to facilitate connection. To facilitate connection to external hardware which you want to share resources via the network, consider routers with USB ports. The most convenient USB port is the 3.0 though this selection does not affect your router’s performance.
Your home office space
The space in your home will dictate the size of router you purchase. When setting your office space, you need to know the number of devices you want to accommodate in the office such that the router you select serves them efficiently. The number and size of these devices, in turn, dictate the size of your router. If you want to set a big office, then a bigger router will suit you best, bearing in mind the number of devices and hardware that can connect to it. On the other hand, if you have limited space, then consider purchasing a small router.
In conclusion, if you intend to convert your home into an office, it is evident that you need a wireless router for internet connection. A wireless router features more than the above specifications. However, when selecting a wireless router for your home office, a thorough check of the above features will ensure you attain the best selection without compromising on your internet connection. With new advancements in technology every year, you are likely to encounter more changes in the router features available in the market. Thus, to keep up and improve your home office experience, consider the above key points.
Author: Rix Flaxman