Five things to know before you buy a new router in 2020

id=”article-body” class=”row” section=”article-body”Tyler Lizenby/CNET If you’re looking for more horsepower from your home network, a new Wi-Fi router might be in order. Problem is, shopping for 카지노사이트 an upgrade can get confusing in a hurry. What does all of the jargon mean? How fast is fast enough? Is it worth it to spend extra for a multipoint mesh router, or for one that supports the newest version of Wi-Fi, called Wi-Fi 6?

Don’t feel overwhelmed. There are certainly lots of specs and technical nuances that go with wireless networking, but if you’re just looking for a reliable router that you don’t need to think about too much, you’ll do just fine if you understand a few key basics. Here’s what to know before you zero in on a purchase.

Speed ratings are basically bullsh*t

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating: The speed ratings you’ll see on the packaging as you stroll down the router aisle are essentially meaningless.

Enlarge Image”Combined speeds” is a meaningless, misleading term. For 우리카지노계열쿠폰 instance, this router makes it seem like it can hit speeds of 2.2Gbps (2,200Mbps), but in reality, its fastest band has a top speed of 867Mbps — and that’s only in a controlled lab environment.

Ry Crist/CNET I’m talking about figures like “AC1200” and “AX6000.” The letters there tell you what version of Wi-Fi the router supports — “AC” for Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11ac and “AX” for Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax. The numbers give you a rough sense of the combined speeds of each of the router’s bands — typically 2.4 and 5GHz, and perhaps a second 5GHz band if we’re talking about a triband router.

The problem is that you can only connect to one of those bands at a time. When you add their top speeds together, the result is a highly inflated figure that doesn’t represent the speeds you’ll actually experience. If it’s a triband mesh router that uses that third band as a dedicated connection between the router and its extenders, then that band’s speeds don’t directly apply to your device connections at all. 

To make matters worse, those top speeds on the box are actually theoretical maximums derived from lab-based manufacturer tests that don’t take real-world factors like distance, physical obstructions or network congestion into account. Even at close range, your actual connection will be a lot slower.

None of that stops manufacturers from using those speed ratings to describe how fast their products are. For instance, that hypothetical AX6000 router might claim to support speeds of up to 6,000Mbps — which is nonsense. A router is only as fast as its fastest band. Don’t be fooled.

Your ISP sets the speed limit

Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how fast your router is — you’ll only be able to connect as fast as the plan from your internet service provider allows. If you’re paying for download speeds of, say, 100Mbps, then that’s as fast as your router will …