How to choose a router

A router is a device for creating a local network. Therefore his the choice should be based on exactly which LAN is needed and where it is will be posted.

choose a router

How to choose a router: what to look for

When choosing a router, it is advisable to consider the following specifications:

  1. Type of internet connection;

  2. Internet connection speed;

  3. The speed of data exchange in the local network;

  4. Frequency and standard of a wireless network;

  5. Antenna power;

  6. Additional features.

But, at the same time, modern routers are such that for most non-special scenarios – for example, for an apartment, a house or office – absolutely anyone will do.

Type of internet connection

how to choose a router

This parameter determines whether the router can connect to Internet networks according to the standard used in the house, apartment, office or in the country. Routers are usually equipped with one of three connection types:

  1. WAN (PPPoE, Static or Dynamic IP LANs, and etc.). The most common connection standard. Network the cable on these connection types is regular Ethernet;

  2. ADSL is still common in some regions. connectivity. Internet and telephone are on the same cable line, and to use them simultaneously, you need a device called “splitter”. ADSL routers are equipped with a special connector and built-in modem;

  3. 4G – mobile Internet. A good solution for a summer residence. Routers designed to work on this network, equipped with a tray for SIM cards and sometimes run in a mobile configuration with built-in battery.

These standards are not interchangeable, so it’s very important to choose compatible with your internet connection router.

Internet connection speed

This parameter means the maximum theoretical speed, s which router can send data to the Internet and download it from there. Its actual value also depends on the characteristics network used by the equipment provider and user tariff. Internet connection speed is determined by performance a network card built into the router and may be as follows:

  1. Up to 10 Mbps – for early generation ADSL networks;

  2. Up to 100 Mbps – for early generation PPPoE networks;

  3. Up to 1 Gb / s – for modern PPPoE networks, including fiber optic.

Connection speed is limited both up and down. That is, if use a 100 Mbps router on gigabit networks, then the maximum data transfer rate will be the same 100 Mbps Similarly, if you use a gigabit router on 100 megabyte networks, then the maximum data transfer rate will be 100 Mbps.

It is important to choose a router whose connection speed matches network speed. Or you can buy just a 100-megabyte (for undemanding users) or gigabit.

LAN data rate

The rate of data exchange in the local network

This parameter determines the speed at which The device’s router will receive data – both from the Internet and from the local network. Theoretically, the higher it is, the better. Not less, even 300-megabit routers are perfect for a home.

The most common data exchange rate standards:

  1. 100 Mbps – at the cheapest and slowest routers;

  2. 300 Mbps – for budget models for home, apartment and office;

  3. 1000 Mbps – for premium models;

  4. More than 1000 Mbps – for special models that are designed for work in high-speed local wireless networks.

It is worth remembering that the 2.4 GHz frequency range used in most routers, provides a speed of not more than 1 Gbit / s. AND if large is required, it is recommended to purchase a router with 5 GHz.

Frequency and wireless standard

operating frequency of the router

Frequency is the range over which a wireless network broadcasts. The most common are 2.4 GHz routers, but also 5 GHz models are regularly found. Density Depends on Frequency signal if the “ability” to “ignore” obstacles as well maximum data rate.

5 GHz routers are most suitable for purchase. However, far from not all end devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) able to connect to such a wireless network. But here is 2.4 GHz networks are “universal” – almost all end networks work with them devices.

Advantages and disadvantages of 2.4 GHz routers


  • Wide compatibility with end devices;

  • Low price.


  • Due to the large number of routers, especially in multi-unit houses, there may be a “clogging” of channels with a garbage signal;

  • Other signals, such as like from a wireless mouse, which leads to additional interference.

  • Walls and other objects create obstacles that may drown out the signal;



  • More resistant to obstacles;

  • Wider coverage with the same antenna power router

  • Less junk due to the small number of such routers;


  • Limited number of compatible devices;

  • High price.


A sufficient solution for the home will be 2.4 GHz, the optimal – dual-band, which supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

Apart from the range, Wi-Fi wireless networks also vary broadcast standard. These are technical hardware and software specifications that determine compatibility and baud rate data on the “air”. There are five most common Wi-Fi standards:

  1. 802.11a;

  2. 802.11ac;

  3. 802.11b;

  4. 802.11g;

  5. 802.11n

Unfortunately, they are not cross-compatible. However many models Routers support broadcasting in several standards at once. If in there are no devices that work exclusively on 802.11a or 802.11ac, it is advisable to take a router that supports the standard 802.11b / g / n – it can broadcast in all three of these standards at the same time, which ensures maximum compatibility with end devices.

Check which Wi-Fi standard is supported by your computer or phone, you can from the list of characteristics of this device. For example, the Realtek RTL8723BS mobile module, which is used in some Windows tablets, supports Wi-Fi 802.11b, Wi-Fi 802.11g and Wi-Fi 802.11n, but only 2.4 GHz. That is, to 5 GHz or to Wi-Fi 802.11a network it will not connect.

Antenna power

Antenna Power

The higher the power (and at the same time the number) of antennas – the wider the area actions of the wireless network created by the router. But at the same time this also leads to an increase in the price of the router.

Antenna power is measured in decibels. Most budget routers are equipped with 2-3 dB antennas, which is enough for covering a small apartment. More powerful models are designed for 5-7 db

Even more powerful routers are designed for use in offices, large production facilities, etc. For home purchase them not appropriate.

Additional functions

The router can perform not only the main function, but also a number of additional:

  1. Media center, file server. In this case, the drive is a flash drive or an external hard drive – connects via USB, and to the data on it can be accessed from almost any member device’s wireless network;

  2. Torrent client. Files are downloaded to the connected storage device;

  3. Print server. A compatible printer is plugged into The USB connector of the router becomes “network”;

  4. Connect to 4G mobile networks. The modem may be built-in or connect via USB.

In most cases, these functions are more expensive. devices, so it makes sense to purchase a router with them, if it’s really needed.


Among manufacturers of routers for home and small office, you can highlight the following companies – TP-Link, Asus and Huawei.

  1. TP-Link produces fairly inexpensive routers with good technical characteristics and capabilities. Top models which offer maximum features, of course, are worth a lot.

  2. Asus and Huawei products are slightly more expensive than TP-Link, although offers the same feature set. However, it is more reliability and often attractive design.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose router for home and office, and the secrets of choosing ischemic heart disease.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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