A broadband router is simply a device that you can use to connect computers or internet enabled devices to an internet connection. This allows you to have more than one device on the same Internet line. There are a few considerations that you need to think about before you choose the best broadband router for your needs.

Do You Need a Consumer or a Commercial Router?

Whether you need consumer or commercial grade depends on the size of your network. Consumer grade routers are designed for small networks, such as those that most people have at home. Commercial routers are designed for small businesses. A home network shouldn't require a commercial router unless the house is extremely large and has an excessive number of devices to connect to the router. However, some heavy Internet users prefer to use commercial grade routers, as they allow more data to be transferred more quickly. Those that participate in online gaming or who download or stream a lot of videos sometimes choose to use a commercial grade router as it is faster.

Wireless or Not?

Wireless routers are pretty much the standard nowadays, and require no physical connection between computers and router. However, in some situations this can mean that connections are slower, particularly in places where there are many “blocks” or furniture and walls that interrupt the wireless signal. You can still purchase wired routers that use Ethernet cables to connect devices on the network, but this is quite inconvenient. Most wireless routers also have ports to enable physical connections if they are necessary.

What Range?

The range of a wireless router is the distance that the signal will reach. Typically a wireless signal reaches around thirty two meters inside and ninety five meters outside. If this isn't far enough for you, then consider choosing an “IEEE 802.11ac” standard device (this should be noted on the packaging of the device). This will allow an indoor range of around 285 meters and an outdoor range of about ninety six meters.

Consider the Band...

Wireless routers come in three types, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or Dual Band (that supports both the other frequencies). This will control the frequency that your data is transferred over. Generally, the 2.4 GHz frequency gives you a longer range (your signal will go further), but the 5 GHz frequency will give you more bandwidth (your data will travel faster). A dual band router will allow you to use both frequencies, sometimes simultaneously.

Think About Memory...

Routers have two types of memory. RAM ranges between 8 and 128 MB, and flash memory ranges between 1 and 8 MB. How much memory you have will affect the performance of your router and the speed at which you receive data. If you're a heavy Internet user who likes to play online games or to download many things then you should look for a minimum of 64 MB of RAM and at least 4 MB of flash memory.