Your router may be doing a fine job keeping you connected to the internet, but is it keeping you safe? The latest security standard is WPA-3, released back in 2018. Any router that uses WPA-2 encryption needs to be replaced.
When buying a router, you might as well future-proof your network. More and more devices support Wi-Fi 6, but that doesn’t mean a thing if your router doesn’t.
Wi-Fi 6 significantly improves two critical categories: speed and range.
Homes with a lot of connected technology — phones, computers, smart TVs, printers, smart speakers, and smart home devices — put a definite strain on a network. Wi-Fi 6 routers can easily handle 50 devices or more.
There’s something even better than Wi-Fi 6, though not many devices can utilize it yet. Wi-Fi 6 uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, while Wi-Fi 6e operates on the 6 GHz band. You’ll find this tech built into many mesh networks.
Your home should have a consistent, speedy network. A single router works fine for small spaces, but what about multiple rooms and floors?
Mesh networks are more popular and affordable than ever. Rather than relying on one router, a mesh network adds satellite modules around your home, blanketing the entire area with coverage.
These systems usually come in sets of two or more units that work together. As far as your gadgets are concerned, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous network that eliminates poor coverage, dead spots, and buffering.
Home internet connection. A wlan router on desk with notebook in background. (iStock)
4. Your devices need more juice
How old is your router? Routers that only support 2.4 GHz frequencies are dinosaurs.
Single-band routers only utilize the 2.4 GHz band and one wireless signal.
Dual-band routers use 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to transmit two simultaneous wireless signals, providing better performance.
Tri-band routers typically have 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and an additional 5 or 6 GHz band to transmit three total wireless signals.
Single-band routers need to be replaced. A dual-band router that supports 2.4 and 5 GHz will do the job for homes with less than five connected devices. Get a tri-band router that supports three signals for homes with more than five connected devices.
5. How to choose a new router
I always get requests from folks looking for help choosing a router. It’s tough if you have no idea what to look for. There are pages for sale on Amazon with prices ranging from $20 to over $1,000.
Good news: My team and I did the hard work for you. Take our patented router quiz. Answer a few questions, and we will recommend the best router for your home that gives you the best security and fastest speeds. It only takes a minute or so.
The bottom line is this: Replacing the router is a must if your connection is spotty, isn’t equipped with the latest security standards, or is more than three years old.
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.
Your privacy could be in danger if you have any smart home devices. In this episode, learn new Google tricks, keyboard shortcuts and a few Facebook dangers. Also, here’s why you should never use in-app browsers. (If you put your info in them, you’re in big trouble!)
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.