Buying Guide for NetGear 54Mbps Wireless Routers
If youre looking for a Wi-Fi router for your home network, either to replace an older model or add one to your local area network, one of NetGears line of wireless routers could fit your needs. NetGear makes routers that can add wireless connectivity to your home.What is a wireless router?
A wireless router is a networking device that serves as the hub through which computers and other Internet-capable devices can connect to your Internet service. Strictly speaking, a wireless router functions as two hubs at the same time. Its a wireless access point and a hub for computers to connect with a network cable. Routers have another purpose besides providing access: they also can filter incoming and outgoing connection requests to keep your network secure and control Internet access.What aresome features of a wireless router?
- Protocol: Youll see wireless routers list a protocol like 802.11n on their packaging. The numbers stay the same, but as wireless networking technology has advanced, the letter at the end has changed. That letter will tell you what generation of wireless technology a router uses. 802.11ac is the latest version, which superseded 802.11n. Before 802.11n was 802.11g, b, and a. Each generation of wireless technology has increased the range and data speed of Wi-Fi connections.
- Ethernet ports: Routers usually have Ethernet ports, so you can connect computers with cables instead of relying on wireless connections. If you prefer using cables, then consider how many ports youll want the router to have when youre choosing which one to buy.
- Signal strength: Signal strength is an important feature because it determines how easy or difficult it is to interfere with your internet connection. The weaker the signal strength, the more likely it will be for the internet to cut out on you. It can also partially dictate the speed of your internet connection.
NetGear has made a number of different wireless routers through the years, including:
- Wireless-N routers: These are routers that use the 802.11n wireless protocol and are often found with high Mbps connection speeds.
- Wireless-G routers: These routers use the 802.11g protocol. One such model is the Netgear WGR614.
- Wireless print servers: These devices are wireless routers that can also act as servers for printers that are plugged into them using USB ports. Once set up, the printers become accessible to any computer on the network.
- Wireless travel routers: These routers are portable devices designed to used wherever you stay while traveling.