In order to access the internet, you will need a few things such as a modem & an internet provider. If you plan to use several devices with your internet connection, then you’ll also need a router. A router is a device that utilizes your modem in order to connect to several of your devices at once.
There can be a lot of confusion as to which router-provider combo to choose and whether they’re compatible 100% of the time.
Any router will work with any internet provider, as long as they don’t have a modem built-in to them. Your modem is the device that connects your home to the internet; a router utilizes the modem in order to serve the internet to several of your devices at once. You will need a modem to connect to the internet. However, not all modems will work with all service providers, which is why a router with a built-in modem may not work with your service provider.
Below, we’ll discuss more about routers, including how they work and some things to look for when selecting one for your network connection. The market is filled with routers of all types, and we’re here to help you find the one that fits you and your surfing needs.
How Do Routers Work?
When you have an internet connection in your home, there could be a number of things connected. That includes smartphones, home devices, televisions, and PCs. All of these are capable of doing many things, which create traffic from your home to the web, and back.
Routers control this traffic, ensuring that all flows smoothly and things like messages, emails, and more get to their destination safely and correctly. There are routers of all types, some that are better and quicker at transporting data. We’ll hit more on things to consider when purchasing a router, though we’ll first take a look at the router-modem combo.
Different Types of Routers
Though there is a long list of routers on the market, they all fall into two main categories, wireless and wired.
Wireless routers have one single connection to the modem, working with it to receive, pass, and translate information from devices to the internet. Routers of this kind will translate information via antennas, allowing a wide range of devices to connect in the home without the need for wires or cables.
Wired routers use a port to connect directly from the router to the wireless device. With some wired routers, connecting multiple devices is simple, with additional ports that can connect to multiple devices along the way.
Do All Modems Work with All Routers?
A modem is another required piece of the connection puzzle, working on translating signals from the service provider to the internet. While there are some routers integrated with a modem, there are some modems that do not have a router, which requires that users connect one for a successful internet connection.
Not all modems will work with all service providers. Some service providers have restrictions on the type of modem to which users can connect. Routers, on the other hand, will work with any modem. The only thing to look out for is whether the router is already integrated into the purchased modem or not.
Things to Consider when Searching for a Router
If you’ve skimmed the market, you know that there are a large number of options out there when it comes to purchasing a router. We’ll make your search easier with a look at a few things to consider when choosing the router for your internet setup.
First and foremost, you should take a look at the cost. There are routers below $50 and some that come with a price tag over $300. While those with a larger cost promise to deliver faster speeds and more solid connectivity, they may be far out of reach for those with a tight budget.
Before purchasing, it’s good to lay out the budget and find a price range that’s comfortable and affordable for your home internet setup.
Streaming a video to one’s phone or home computer is a pretty simple task, usually just taking a few clicks to start. The speed of your internet connection and your router are there to make the experience enjoyable, ensuring that you won’t have any gaps during streaming.
If you’re into streaming and often have multiple devices connected for multi-tasking work and play online, then you’ll need at least 128MB of RAM and a dual-core processor to go with it. The more RAM, the faster and more smoothly your online experiences will be.
The True Speed
When adding specs about a router, companies speculate and don’t often take everything into consideration. For this reason, you might wind up getting less speed than what the box says, making it an important thing to keep a lookout for.
One way to find the true speed is to check forums and reviews from users, seeing what many of them have to say about speed and connectivity. This will help you do away with any disappointment from not getting the speed you’d hoped for.
It’s a popular thing to connect the entire home to the web, using the help of technology to automate tasks and make life much easier. Though it’s popular, some home setups need a bit of updating to their connections, which is why it’s a good idea to check integrations.
Things like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home now have routers with integrations for their services, working to make multiple connections much easier to achieve. Routers with these connections can typically be controlled by voice and are guaranteed to work seamlessly with your preferred home connection.
Cybercriminals are everywhere and target both large and home networks. That’s why it’s always good to have layers of protection for the home, including a router that has network-level protection.
Check for routers that offer automatic updates, frequent firmware updates, and device quarantine, using those along with your current home security practices to create a stronger, more secure defense against cybercriminals.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a new router or looking to change your service provider, it’s good to know how a router works and key things to look for. Finding a router that fits into your current home network setup is simple and will change your internet experience if you decide to make things run more smoothly.