A router is a networking device that extends the internet connection from your modem or ONT to other devices in your home. The router allows mobile devices, such as cellphones, tablets and laptops, to connect to the internet through a wireless connection.
Aside from establishing wireless connections, users can choose to establish a hard-wired connection to the router, such as from a desktop or laptop computer to the router, for better and faster connectivity. The hard-wired connection is established by connecting an Ethernet cable from your device to the router. It’s important to note that some newer laptop models, such as the MacBook Air, do not come standard with an Ethernet port.
There are a few factors that can affect the speed, stability and reliability of the internet connection of your devices when connected to your router.
When establishing a wireless connection, the physical distance of your device to the router can affect the speed of your internet connection. Typically, the closer a device is to the router, the better the wireless signal, which results in a faster internet connection.
The presence of barriers between your device and the router can affect the speed and stability of your internet connection. Physical barriers, such as walls, doors and furniture between your device and the router can impact your connection. Barriers, such as concrete walls, can extremely dilute or even completely restrict your wireless signal.
Electromagnetic interference can affect the speed and stability of the internet connection broadcast through your router. This type of interference can come from Bluetooth devices and other devices, such as baby monitors, cordless telephones and microwave ovens. To ensure you receive the best connection from your router, keep the router as far as possible from devices in your home that may cause electromagnetic interference.
Network congestion may also be a factor with your internet connection. The more devices in your neighbourhood connected to the same WiFi channel as you, the less reliable your internet connection may become. You can find out what channels your neighbours are connected to by downloading a WiFi analyzer app from Google Play or the App Store.
To get faster speeds with your router, you must already have a fast internet package through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The higher the speed profile through your ISP, the faster the internet connection will be through your router. Aside from the speed profile, the type of router you use can determine the speed of your internet connection. Whether your router is a single band, dual band or tri-band router, can impact the speed of the internet connection being broadcast in your home.
Single band routers are restricted to the 2.4GHz frequency band, which typically have slower internet speeds compared to the 5GHz band. Dual band routers broadcast both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz frequency bands, whereas tri-band routers broadcast one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz frequency bands. Connecting to the 5GHz band is recommended, when possible, to experience faster speeds with your wireless connection.
Your specific device can determine the speed of the wireless internet connection experienced through your router. The network technology of the device, such as your cellphone, can impact the speed of your internet connection. Cellphones with newer network technology will perform better than ones with older network technology. The network technology is identified as: 3G, 5G, etc.
Having too many devices in your home connected to the router may cause a performance degradation issue referred to as bottle neck. Bottle necks occur when too many of your devices are trying to access the internet at the same time. Each device shares a portion of the connection, which can reduce the speed per device. To fix this issue, limit the number of devices using the internet simultaneously.
The wireless standard of the router can determine the speed of the internet connection being broadcast through your router. Wireless standards determine factors, such as maximum speed, that can be broadcast with routers. Presented below are the specifications of different wireless standards.
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11a; RELEASED: 1999; FREQUENCY: 5/3.7 GHz; SPEED: 54 Mbps; RANGE INDOORS: 35m; OUTDOORS: 120m
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11b; RELEASED: 1999; FREQUENCY: 2.4 GHz; SPEED: 11 Mbps; RANGE INDOORS: 35m; OUTDOORS: 120m
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11g; RELEASED: 2003; FREQUENCY: 2.4 GHz; SPEED: 54 Mbps; RANGE INDOORS: 38m; OUTDOORS: 140m
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11n; RELEASED: 2009; FREQUENCY: 2.4/5 GHz; SPEED: 450 Mbps; RANGE INDOORS: 35m;
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11ac; RELEASED: 2013; FREQUENCY: 2.4/5 GHz; SPEED: 450 Mbps/1300 Mbps; RANGE INDOORS: 35m
STANDARD: IEEE 802.11ax; RELEASED: 2021; FREQUENCY: 2.4/5 GHz; SPEED: 450 Mbps/10.53 Gbps; RANGE INDOORS: TBD
When you’re shopping for your next router, there are many different brands for you to choose from. One brand that manufactures and sells routers is Belkin. Belkin delivers innovations to better your life. From wireless home networking and entertainment, to mobile accessories, energy management, and an extensive range of cables, Belkin products enhance the technology that connects us to the people, activities and experiences we love. If you’re thinking about buying a new router, seriously consider Belkin.
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Sokly Sa is Founder, President & CEO at The Lucky Tekkie Inc. He was born on October 7th, 1984 and made his entrance into the world at a United Nations refugee camp located in Thailand. He immigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old and immediately fell in love with the Commodore 64 at his uncle's home. He grew up immersed with computer and technology and enjoyed playing computer games when he was younger. Between being a straight A-student in elementary school and his homework course load, Sokly kept entertained with games such as Sim City, Sid Meier's Civilization and MegaRace. He first learned HTML in grade seven, at the age of 13, when a friend in junior high shared a tutorial on the markup language.
In 2005, Sokly graduated from the Adult Learning Centre in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada as Valedictorian. He then attended CDI/Everest College and graduated in 2007 in the Programmer Analyst/Web Developer program. Sokly's first professional IT experience was as an entrepreneur, when he quickly built up his portfolio to gain an entrance into the industry. Sokly was employed as a Web Developer at The Strategy Institute in Toronto, Ontario, from 2011-2013, then moved onto other companies, including digOnline (Digital Internet Group Inc.) and EyeLook Media. Sokly has also worked for national and global corporations, including Telus, where he worked as a Sales Representative at a Corporate Store; TeleTech, where he worked as a Customer Service Representative (Billing & Technical Support) on behalf of Charter Cable; Convergy as a Technical Support Representative, working on behalf of AT&T; and at Marriott International, working as an Infrastructure Analyst and other roles related to Sales/Marketing, including his current role as a Luxury Service Associate.
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