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Wireless Cable Routers - Quick and Easy Beginner's Guide to Wireless Cable Routers - Different Brands and Different Bands, What Speed Do You Need?

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Do you want to connect all of your home desktops, laptops, or other devices to the internet wire-free, but do not quite know where to start? Then you have come to the right place! As is the case with so many computer peripherals, wireless routers can mystify casual computer users with their confusing labeling terms and technical specifications. That is why this guide is here – to explain the various things to look for in today’s home routers to the average user. We will help you understand what to look for in your new router, and give you a memory-refresh on the different internet devices and their purposes. Read on!

Different Brands and Different Bands

Firstly, you can find many different brands of wireless routers out there, and most offer similar performance and reliability for their spec. That is why it is so important to know what exactly to look for on a router box – the marketing language may make it sound fast, but the actual router speed is slower than a turtle on molasses. You must look at the actual band speed of the router, and not at what the box tells you. Filter out all the marketing hype that the box might throw out there, and just focus on the speed criteria that we will go into further below.

What Speed Do You Need?

So what exactly do you need from a wireless router? Here are the actual numbers to look for on the box:

Router Classifications

802.11a, b, etc. – These used to the the standard class of routers, but they are not any more. These are actually slow by today’s standards, so if you see any of these letters up to “g” preceding your router, then just keep on walking.
802.11g – This is a typical classification for home routers. It entails speeds of around 54-108 megabytes per second, which is good for most typical home internet uses. If you do not use the internet for any of the purposes listed below, then this model of router should work just great for your needs.
802.11n – This is the next level of classification for new router types that usually support dual-band technology. Dual-band routers support two frequencies, both the traditional router frequency and another higher frequency that offers less interference from other electronic items. This can often be a problem in high-population urban areas where there are hundreds of wireless devices in a small space. The most recent dual-band routers also support higher transfer speeds than many of the 802.11g types. This has become necessary with the advancement of resource-hogging high-definition video on the internet and mammoth download sizes for many homes. If you like to stream HD video from the internet onto your television, of if you download very large files on a regular basis, then this should be something you consider.

Routers, Modems, and More

Many internet devices can run together in regular consumers’ minds, so here is a refresher on the basics of the different devices.

Modems are used with DSL and Cable internet services. These usually come with your internet provider’s signup package, so you do not need to worry about purchasing it on your own in the majority of cases.

Routers simply let you connect multiple computers to the same internet connection. Now with wireless technology, connecting any wireless-enabled device to your internet connection is a breeze!

Wireless cards/DrivesT
You will also see wireless cards and USB devices for your computer, which simply allow a non-wireless computer to become wireless. The USB drives are popular because of their simplicity – just plug it in and you are ready for wireless! But do not let them confuse you – they are not the same as a router, even though they are usually in the same section.

Final Things to Consider

Before you buy your router, it is important to verify that your computers have the ability to connect wirelessly to the internet. If you have an older computer that does not have wireless support, then you can remedy that with one of the devices described above. But even if it does support wireless, it still would make no sense getting a super-fast router if your computer or internet connection does not even have the capability to meet that speed. If you only use your computer for email and facebooking, then even the lowest base model of router should be plenty to get you what you need.

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