Setting up your own router at home can be fun and cost saving if you follow a few steps to make sure you buy the right device for your home. By using your own device, you will cut the rental fees that your provider charges monthly, and most routers have more settings to tweak if you are adventurous. Let's look at some of the steps to follow.
Planning Your Home Network
The first thing to be aware of is the network infrastructure your home will require. Maybe you live in a one-bedroom apartment, or maybe you live in a six-bedroom large home with a detached garage where you also want access. These two different types of homes will require different hardware and infrastructure if you want to have access everywhere. If you are in a normal home or apartment a single router should be all you require. For larger homes (over 2000 square feet) with separate structures you should consider mesh Wi-Fi, range extenders, or adding in access points to your network. It is the most important step to plan and design your network out first.
Choosing the Appropriate Hardware
Next consider the need to purchase a modem or router/modem combo. Which one do you want to purchase? If you already have a modem at home you may want to check with your ISP before you replace it just to make sure it will function properly. The router/modem combo can be more expensive but may be easier for someone new to get setup since you are only dealing with one device. If you are techy, going separate would be better for you because there are more advanced settings to control on the dedicated routers since they only have one function. Be sure when purchasing your router what type it is, so when you get home you don't have to go back to the store immediately to exchange it.
How Many Devices Will the Router Support?
The next thing you will want to consider is how many devices will your router support? Do you live by yourself and only use one computer and a streaming device, or do you have a five-person family who all have multiple devices and are always using them to stream and play games? This question will help you decide if you should go with a single, dual or a tri-band router. What are the bands? The bands are frequencies where your wireless communications occur. The frequencies are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Single band routers run in the 2.4GHz frequency, while dual band have both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The tri-band has two 5GHz and one 2.4GHz band. If you live alone and don't use much, a single band router will do fine. The more people and devices hogging up the network you have, the more you should investigate dual and tri-band routers. You can also monitor how many devices are connected to your network in the settings of the device. This can help you decide what you are currently using. Many stores also run buy back programs for routers in case you need more or less power, you can trade your in to get what you need.
Make Sure It's Secure
The last thing to consider is security. WPA2 is the recommended encryption your router should support as of today. When purchasing your router be sure to verify what type of encryption it supports. Older encryption methods are very easy to break, and all it takes is some time searching to figure out how to get by it. If you don't see anything about encryption you may want to contact the manufacturer to be certain.
You Are Ready To Connect
These steps should help you figure out what router and hardware you will require to have your home running at peak performance.