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A Buyer`s Guide to Routers
A router is the connectivity hub of many modern homes, allowing for a broadband internet connection to be accessed by multiple users either via traditional Ethernet cables or wirelessly thanks to Wi-Fi technology. There are a number of big-name manufacturers within the industry and their products can seem confusing to the uninitiated consumers. If you are in need of a router for your home, but would like a little advice first, read on to get the low down on the technology and an analysis of some popular routers.
In general routers either offer wired-only connectivity, or mix both Wi-Fi and Ethernet options to cater to a variety of users. Most broadband providers will give new customers a free wireless router when they commit to a fixed term connection deal, though these can sometimes be inadequate if you have more ambitious plans. You will typically need to plug your router into a microfilter, which will then plug into your phone line if you have an ADSL broadband connection. Routers may be compatible with differing broadband connection types, so if you are purchasing a third party device not supplied from your provider then it is worth taking time to check for complete compatibility to avoid disappointment.
One important thing to consider when buying wireless routers is the type of wireless standards with which the router is compatible. Most lower cost routers should offer Wireless G straight out of the box, but should also be backwards compatible with Wireless B. However, these two standards have since been superseded by Wireless N, which offers much faster transfer speeds in combination with wider coverage levels that are better if you have a larger property and do not want to deal with constant wireless drop out. Routers tend to be advertised based on their wireless standards, so it is easy to distinguish between them. You will of course need to have devices such as laptops or mobiles that are compatible with Wireless N standards in order to take advantage of the improvements, but even if you do not most routers can operate a mixture of standards to make sure older devices can still get connected.
Of the established router manufacturers, there are several who hold the highest reputations. Belkin is one such firm and their F5D7634uk4A is suitable for customers with multiple Wireless G compatible devices. It can transfer data wirelessly at a maximum speed of 54Mbps and it also allows up to four users to connect using Ethernet cables for even faster transfers. You will typically expect to pay slightly more for a high quality brand, but you are assured of better durability and improved wireless range if you spend that bit extra.
If you are a mobile broadband customer then you might think that routers are irrelevant for you as you require a dongle to get online, which makes it difficult to share your connection. However, it is now possible to purchase mobile broadband routers, into which you can plug your dongle. The router will then produce a wireless signal to which multiple laptops or PCs can connect, sharing the mobile broadband connection as if it were any other type of internet service.
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