Wi-Fi & Networking
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Building Your Wireless Network
Several key components ensure you'll have a strong wireless connection throughout your entire home. Find out more about wireless speed, router technology and wireless range to create the best Wi-Fi network for your home.
Picking a Router
Consider the number of connected devices in your home that access your wireless internet to determine what type of router is best for you. These can include a laptop, a tablet, smartphones, streaming media players, smart home products, and more.
Also, some activities require more bandwidth than others. If you want to use your smart TV to stream movies in 4K, you'll use more bandwidth than your Nest smart thermostat. Consider upgrading your router if you're experiencing networking problems like buffering when you watch a video.
You'll find a wide variety of power, speed and features in routers. Basic routers with a maximum wireless speed capability of N300–N600 are good for email, web surfing, file downloads and music streaming. Premium routers (N750–AC1200) can also handle low-quality video streaming. If you regularly have more than 10 Wi-Fi devices accessing your network at one time, you might want to consider a high-performance router (AC1600 and higher). You can find out more about router wireless speeds and wireless connection designations in our guide to home networking. You can also separate bandwidth needs with a dual-band router that sends two separate wireless signals at the same time on different frequencies, so they don't interfere with one another. And a tri-band router features three simultaneous signals.
If you find wireless dead zones in your house, you might want to consider a range extender that can pick up the signal from your wireless router. Adding powerline adapters to your network is an easy, low-cost option for expanding the reach of your wireless network. Powerline adapters send a signal through the electric wires in your home so you can extend your network to any location with an electrical outlet.