Is your WiFi cutting it?

Most Australian homes and businesses have a standard modem that provides standard Internet. But with the growing number of WiFi (or wireless) access devices like a notebook, tablet, gaming console, camera, smart TV and so on, the number of devices that require a fast and powerful WiFi connection is on the increase.

Like any technology, WiFi technology has advanced over the years. If you had your modem installed a year or so ago, your wireless is probably old WiFi technology and isn’t keeping up with all the devices with the latest WiFi.

Instead of replacing your modem, a lot of people connect a Wireless Router to their existing ADSL or cable modem to turbo-charge their WiFi. What this means is super fast WiFi that penetrates far and wide through walls and windows, allowing you to surf the web, upload and download files at the blink of an eye.

So purchasing a router like NetComm’s NP805N, means you can instantly set up a super fast WiFi network, connect all your devices without changing your existing modem or internet connection.

What is it?

It’s a router that delivers the latest in WiFi technology and helps you create an instant wireless network, connecting all your devices to high speed broadband simultaneously.

How does it work?

The device simply connects to your existing ADSL modem or cable modem and transforms your current Internet connection into a high speed wireless network.

Does it work with the NBN?

It sure does. The router has a Gigabit port which means it’s built to interface with fibre broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps.

What will it do for me?

  • Creates a powerful WiFi (wireless) network that will reach every room in your property
  • Connects multiple wireless devices simultaneously
  • Connects up to 4 concurrent wired devices like a NAS, desktop PC or media player
  • Allows you to share a hard drive so you can wirelessly share all your files, photos, music or videos on your own private network

There are a lot of routers available in the market today, so making the right choice to find the right device that suits your needs can be overwhelming. There are basic routers and routers with a lot of bells and whistles. The choice really comes down to what you need it for. So I guess you have to ask yourself, ‘what do I want a router to do for me’?

Routers come in all shapes and sizes to suit people’s needs so you really need to work out how the router will be used, and also how you think it will be used in the future because it’s always good to get as much mileage out of any device as possible.

The first thing you need to consider is the sort of WiFi (or wireless) you need. A lot of the basic routers feature the latest standard of WiFi (802.11n), which means you don’t need to necessarily invest in an expensive router to enjoy the latest in WiFi. So if you’re living solo or with a partner and use the internet for just surfing the web and sending emails, a standard router will do the job. If you have a family or small business and you’re transferring large files like music, videos or large email attachments, investing in a router with faster WiFi is definitely worth the investment.

WiFi speeds are commonly referred to as N150 or N300. N300 for example means the router will support WiFi speeds of up to 300Mbps. So N300 means better penetration of WiFi throughout your premises and faster transfer of files.

So when you choose which speed will suit you, think about how many devices will be attached to your network, how far and wide does the WiFi need to stretch and the general sort of Internet activity you will do. Once you can understand this, then you can choose if an N150 or N300 router will be the best for you.

Another point to consider is how many wired devices do you need to connect to the router? Routers come with what they call a LAN or Ethernet port for connecting non-wireless devices like your desktop PC, NAS, media player etc. These devices basically connect directly to the router via a cable. So you need to think which of your devices can connect wirelessly to the router – like your notebook or tablet and which devices will connect via a wired connection. Some Routers come with 2 LAN ports and some come with 4. So make sure the router you choose has enough LAN ports to support your non-wireless devices.

Regardless of how many devices you have connected to the wireless network and how many devices you have connected to the LAN ports, it won’t cost you any more money. Your router is taking one broadband connection from your modem and basically sharing it with all the devices on your network. So it’s one broadband account that’s being shared with all your devices. So don’t be concerned about how many devices you have connected to your network – it won’t cost you a cent more... however be careful that you don’t go over your Internet allowance for the month – that will cost you!

For those people who are a bit nervous about wireless security – don’t be. Most wireless routers come with advanced WiFi security out of the box so it’s just as secure as a wired connection and a lot more flexible! If you’re paranoid, you can manually change your Wireless Network Name and your Wireless Password for extra security. This is simple to do and will only take you seconds when you’re setting up your router.

Another thing to take into account is do you need a USB port on the router? A USB port will allow you to connect things like a printer or hard drive so anyone on your network can access the printer or files on the hard drive. A lot of homes have their printer for example connected to their desktop PC which means the desktop PC is the only device that can access the printer. If you had the printer connected to the router via the USB port, it would mean that any device on your (wireless or wired) network will be able to access the printer. The same goes for the hard drive. If you’ve got all your documents and photos on a hard drive, these can be shared with all the devices on your network. So if this is something that tickles your fancy – look for a router that supports a USB port.

The final thing to consider is whether a router is future proofed. With fibre deployments in both Australia and New Zealand, you need to make sure the device has a Gigabit WAN port. This basically means you can use the router for ADSL today and then switch it across to Fibre when you’re ready without investing in a new device. A Gigabit port supports blistering fast broadband of up to 1000Mbps, so if you consider purchasing a router with a Gigabit port, you’ll be future proofing yourself.