TP-Link Router

The router is often the most overlooked of our digital homes. We installed the operator to offer Internet services and leave gathering dust in a corner of the room without paying much attention, but then we complain that we suffer cuts in the WiFi and we cannot take full advantage of all hired Megs.

Is it time to change the model and supplement or replace the one who has given us our ISP? It depends. It depends on the quantity and quality of users that we are at home. That is, of how we are going to navigate and access the Internet or local services at a time and what these services. Here we review the needs of three large groups of users based on the use of Internet and local network domestic and recommend some interesting models for each group routers.

TP-Link Router
Credit: Google Image

Households with sporadic or low intensity use

The group with fewer problems when choosing router is the households that use the Internet sporadically or with needs of small band width. Access the Internet occasionally to sail a while, using email, chat, instant messaging and more complex they do is watch some videos on YouTube.

Moreover, it was going to be more than one or two users accessing the local network or the Internet at the same time, either from mobile devices or from computers, so that the needs of bandwidth and processing power to manage it are much reduced. In general, these are homes where there is ADSL connections with speeds of 10 or less Mbps, though with the current trend of operators to install fiber even at low speeds can also be the case they have any of these links 30 Mbps or more.

Be that as it may, these bandwidths Internet are usually more than sufficient to meet household needs and routers assigned by the operator on duty perfectly fulfilled their duties as though only have WiFi G or N and Ethernet ports 10 / 100 Mbps, the local network will more than cover basic needs.

Therefore, in general, this type of intensive users with little need not buy a new router. Perhaps there are two cases in which in this first group we can consider buying a better team: when the coverage of the wireless network is very poor (but we also have other options like buying a repeater or PLC) as the stability of our router is very poor (i.e. when it hangs or the connection drops every few minutes).

In these cases, if we can, it is best to choose a model that ideally is also compatible with the type of connection you have (ADSL, VDSL, etc.), to completely replace the equipment of our operator, although we can find some compatibility problems or complications in the configuration and if you only want to improve the WiFi coverage price and the headaches will increase.

Some interesting model? As such we have the Fritz! Box 4020, relatively inexpensive equipment, with WiFi N up to 450 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz, 4 wired Ethernet connections of 100 Mbps and a 100 Mbps WAN also to connect the output of the modem the operator.

Households with intermediate use

Going a little deeper into the ranks of the use of the Internet have a large mass of households need better access speeds to the Internet and local networks with higher bandwidth to support multiple services simultaneously. We are talking about homes in which there will be between 2 and 4 users accessing concurrently to different networks across multiple devices and which are also starting to use video services / online music on demand as usual but not intensively use different teams of the connected home, including SmartTV, media players, AV receivers, etc.

In these cases we need more powerful routers with wired and wireless interfaces that can support multiple streams of information high bandwidth at the same time. No longer useful G N WiFi or more basic or general patterns of a single frequency band.

We must find a team that works on dual band 2.4 and 5 GHz, with various high-gain antennas to be possible to better target the directional signal strength. Moreover he must have a Gigabit Ethernet port for the most demanding applications, while generally 100Mbps ports could be enough to support streaming video at 720p and 1080p.

In this range we have for example the TP-LINK Archer D2, economic ADSL2 + modem router with WiFi connectivity and AC that can run simultaneously in the bands 2.4 and 5 GHz offering speeds of 300 and 433 Mbps respectively. It has three Ethernet ports and one WAN 1Gbps, Beamforming technology USB 2.0 port to connect storage devices and network for a price of around 70-80 dollars depending on the store.

Nor is it more that we have a simplified interface that allows the use of basic functions by household members who are not accustomed to handling such devices. In this respect we have for example teams like TP-Link Touch P5, a model WiFi AC up to 1,900 Mbps that incorporates a 4.3-inch touch screen color from which handle the main computer settings for about 160 dollars.

Homes intensive networks

At the apex of the pyramid of needs inhabit homes that used intensively as both local Internet networks. It is usually homes with fiber connections or coaxial cable at speeds of more than 100 contracted Mbps who do not want to waste a mega, as they need everyone.

They use the Internet not only to surf but also to download all kinds of content at high speed, listen to music, to watch TV, movies or even 4K FullHD have hired an online video service like Netflix or similar assiduously playing for Internet, make video calls and regularly themselves up to social networking platforms and online video content.

Usually houses they usually have at most 4 or 5 users (human or not) constantly accessing the Internet or local network to transmit streaming content and in which there can be no interruptions in any of the services (for example in a video call) when another user is downloading something or watching a video in high definition.

In these cases no longer seek only provide connectivity to all of our digital home devices. We want this connectivity is at the maximum possible speed, with minimal latency (especially for gaming and VoIP services) and support for multiple concurrent users. Our router must have therefore an internal hardware powerful enough to handle many connections without slowdowns or bottlenecks.

Therefore we must look for models with multi-core processors, possibly with coprocessor support and generous amounts of RAM (128 MB or more) to enable them to handle our data packets without flinching. Of course, we need to check that they have wired gigabit ports and multiband compatible wireless connections with WiFi AC.

It is desirable that the router incorporates an advanced protocol for managing the work of such Quality of Service (QoS) to enable redirect traffic intelligently by different frequency bands (such as a 2.4 GHz WiFi N and two 5 GHz WiFi AC) giving priority to devices and applications that require more speed and less delay.

Should also have several USB 2.0 or 3.0 port high speed streaming content sharing directly with all the computers on the network by simply connecting a router memory or hard drive, for automated backups, and even to save BitTorrent downloads if it is capable of functioning as a client of the P2P network without a computer.

Any recommended model? For many you need only go to the best of each brand and choose at will. For example, we have the Synology RT1900ac, who recently passed our test. It has a CPU ARM Cortex A9 dual core at 1GHz, 256MB RAM, three high-gain antennas and can operate at 2.4 and 5 GHz dual band with peak speeds up to 1,900 Mbps.

It has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 and software management and control Synology SRM from mobile terminals to facilitate the management of the basic functions. It costs around 200 dollars, but worth it if we need a team with great power.

Need more options for high-end routers? For this summer I had the opportunity to test the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6, the top model of the brand with three stripes wireless one in the 2.4 GHz (type 802.11 b / g / n) speeds up to 600 Mbps and two in the 5GHz band (from 802.11 a / ​​n / ac) with speeds up to 2 × 1.300 Mbps, making a combined total speed of 3.200 Mbps.

It has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (four LAN and one to connect the modem outputs Internet), a USB 3.0 port, one 2.0 and is governed by a dual-core 1 GHz with 256 MB of RAM. Its price is around 260 dollars, but if you need power and you do not scare her appearance tick giant is a good choice.

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