Buying a WiFi router can be overwhelming. Deciphering the technical jargon to figure out what you need is tough. I will help you find the best WiFi router for your home with this WiFi Buying Guide for 2018.
Do you really need a new router?
First, make sure you need a new router. If you already have a router, take a moment to read this post. If there’s something you can do to speed up your current router, then do that. Upgrading is the answer if none of those things helped you, or if you have dead spots or other problems with coverage.
What does all the jargon mean?
IEEE 802.11 is a set of standards that define how a wireless network will work. The revisions that you will likely see in a store now are 802.11n and 802.11ac. They define the performance capabilities of the wireless network as well as how it works. You don’t really need to be concerned about the details. The main point to know is that the cost difference between the two is low and 802.11ac is faster and better. Because of this, we’re not going to cover any 802.11n routers. We just want you to have an idea of what it means when you see it.
You will also see AC1200, AC1900, AC2400 and AC3200. This is marketing jargon. The number represents the maximum bandwidth possible. The way the router works is it uses multiple antennas to make a single connection. They add up the maximum amount per antenna and come up with the number. Don’t get too caught up in this.
Best option for a large house
If you have a large house, you probably have some dead spots where you don’t get a good WiFi signal. If this is the case, we suggest you look into a mesh system. They’re designed to cover your entire house and can be expanded to add coverage if you still find dead zones. They come with the main unit and one or more satellite units.
What should you buy?
We have personal experience with Netgear and Asus routers and recommend both brands. Specifically, the Netgear Orbi is an excellent mesh system. We’ve used several Asus models. They are excellent and can convert to a mesh system if you buy more than one.