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Buying a Wireless Router

Finding the Best Wireless Router for Home Use

A wireless router allows you to easily connect your computer to a broadband internet service, so you can share data files and stream media between Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Understanding the function and features of a wireless router is important to maximizing its effectiveness as well as making the smartest purchase for your household.

You want to make sure to have enough bandwidth to support everything you want to do online without interruption. If you're planning on streaming TV shows and movies, you'll want at least 25 Mbps. If you plan on checking email, social media sites, or watching the occasional video, you won't need as much bandwidth. Also, consider getting a dual-band Wi-Fi router, which helps you avoid a slower connection because you won't be using the same frequencies as other wireless networks and experiencing interference from things like microwaves and cordless phones. The interference can also possibly lead to not being able to stream content.

Visitors and Voice Assistants

Do you have a lot of visitors? Is your house the place the kids and their friends like to hang out? If you have more than your immediate family using the wireless connection, a router with a guest network allows you to create a connection for visitors that's separate from your main network so they won't have access to things like your PCs and printers. You can even configure independent security settings on a guest network. For a faster network, check out gigabit ports, which offer a wired connection that can deliver a robust performance.

How smart is your home? Are you interested in being able to control things like smart lights, thermostats, surveillance cameras, music and more with your wireless router? In addition to all of these great features, you can also get a Wi-Fi router that's compatible with voice assistants. And you can keep everything protected with a UPS battery backup, which enables safe shutdown in the event of a power failure.

Connecting Your New Wireless Router

When deciding where to place your wireless router so you can get the most coverage, find an area that's centrally located and doesn't interfere with the signal, allowing for the coverage to radiate outward. Also, the signal is going to be stronger at closer distances, so you'll want to reduce the distance between the router and any connected device. In addition to having it centrally located, you want to place the router in a higher position because radio waves radiate vertically, and stay away from windows and cut down on the number of walls between your device and router.

While these steps can improve your signal, it's important to keep in mind that Wi-Fi dead spots are unavoidable in several homes. Luckily, there's a solution for this and it's called a Wi-Fi extender. The Wi-Fi extender boosts the wireless coverage to those portions of your home that your router just can't reach. To improve a poor signal, you can also use a networking cable that connects to your device and router. So, if after you've set up the router and placed it in a good location and the signal is still not great, remember you have more options. If setting up your Wi-Fi network sounds like a daunting task, you can rely on our Geek Squad Agents to set up your home Wi-Fi. They are trained experts who will help maximize performance, optimize security and recommend solutions for dead spots and slow speeds.