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Wireless Routers: Your Gateway to the Digital World

Whether you are working from home or playing games online, having the fastest wireless network possible is a necessity. Your wireless router is the center of your wireless network, and having an up to date router is hugely important for maintaining great speed and coverage in your business or home WiFi.

Without the right router, a weak internet connection can make using even the most powerful gaming desktop a hassle. Remote meetings and video calls require significant bandwidth and can put some severe strain on your network. Having an unstable connection can also negatively impact online gaming with frequent disconnects and other issues. By contrast, having a reliable high speed connection can make everything from streaming video to remote work efficient and enjoyable.

The best way to improve the strength of your network is through the implementation of powerful equipment such as high end access points, modems, and routers. Your internet service provider will provide you with basic equipment. This may not include a wireless router, which is necessary to set up a WiFi network. If your ISP offers a wireless router, it may still be advisable to use your own if you plan to connect many devices to your network wirelessly. Additional equipment can take your wireless network to the next level by boosting the range and power of your signal to the most optimal levels.

Choosing the Best Wireless Router for Your Needs

So, what is most important to look for when selecting your wireless router? These are some of the characteristics that determine which router suits your needs the best:

Dual Band or Tri Band Performance: Almost every router today offers dual band 2.4ghz and 5ghz WiFi. This helps ensure the network is compatible with both older and newer WiFi devices, and it offers better speeds for devices with 5ghz capability. It is worth noting whether a router offers simultaneous or selectable dual band capabilities. With simultaneous, you will have both networks available at once, while selectable requires you to choose one or the other. Tri band WiFi routers are also increasing in popularity, which offer one 2.4ghz network and two separate 5ghz ones. This is great for gamers, streamers, or anyone else who wants to use a dedicated high bandwidth network without interrupting others internet use.

Mesh Network Capability: Larger homes or businesses may benefit from creating a mesh network. The primary benefit of mesh WiFi systems is that each device in the network connects together to provide more coverage without compromising latency or speed. Different hardware such as gaming routers or desktop switches can be integrated into mesh networks and work to make the signal as strong as can be in all areas. If coverage without dead zones for your whole home or business is important to you, a mesh router is a must have. WiFi extenders are an alternative possibility for those who want to use a traditional router with simpler setup options.

Speed: While your internet provider ultimately determines the maximum speed of your internet, high throughput routers such as business and gaming routers are an excellent way to improve WiFi signal to the maximum speeds possible by your connection. After all, why pay for a gigabit connection if your router cannot actually give you gigabit speeds? These devices are designed to provide the most powerful yet stable connections for when it matters most. Gaming routers can also function like desktop switches and provide multiple hardwired high speed LAN port connections for other devices. A great place to start with upgrading your network is to purchase a gaming router or a business router. The technology present in these devices helps to boost your WiFi signal straight out of the box. As your needs grow, you can add new equipment to integrate with your router and improve your wireless network quality.

Security: Look for WPA2 compatibility at a minimum. This is essential for protecting your data and your WiFi networks from unauthorized access. Routers with the newer WPA3 standard are even better and include updated security features that harden your network against potential attackers.

WiFi 6 vs. WiFi 5: WiFi 6 routers use the latest and fastest version of the WiFi standard, although WiFi 5 routers are still common and still sufficient for a lot of applications. WiFi 5 devices are still compatible with WiFi 6 routers, even if they will not reach the routers advertised top speeds. That said, WiFi 6 does offer some substantial advantages, including double the number of MU MIMO channels for improved performance with large numbers of connected devices.

Micro Center’s selection of wireless routers has everything you need to set up fast, reliable WiFi in your home or office. Browse our full range of routers from the biggest names in networking like Netgear, Linksys, TP Link, and ASUS right here - and remember to check out our selection of cable modems to complete your home network.