Routers: Old standards
Believe it or not, some of my clients still have their original Linksys WRT54g routers. Remember those blue and black devices with the two antennas? It’s amazing how long those have lasted!
That technology from that era is now many generations old in terms of speed and range. That was using the Old wireless G, a mere 54 Mbps. Prior to that standard, it was wireless b, only 11 Mbps and a 150 foot range. I remember upgrading clients in 2007-2009 to G.
The other downside of the older technology had to do with cordless phones and other devices that could interfere with the signal on the router. Many of my clients had cordless telephones that operated at the same frequency as the channels on the router. If the phone rang, they got disconnected from the internet on their wireless device. Yeah, I still have a cordless phone for my house line.
Wireless N, which boasted 600-900 Mbps, was adopted early by Apple for their routers and devices. The speed was nearly 10 times faster than wireless G. It was slowly adopted by other manufacturers and is slowly being phased out.
Routers: New standards
Today’s standard is called Wireless AC. It is far faster than even N and runs at tops speeds of up to 1Gbps, with some boasting higher speeds. The range on these routers is greater and it has multiple channels to handle the streaming of Netflix and other services like it to the devices in your home or office that need it.
Most of my clients have more than one computer, at least one smart phone, a house full of smart TVs with smart blue-ray players and even have gaming systems that all run off the same router signals. There are even kitchens appliances now connected to the internet to assist with ordering food and supplies online!! Most of my business clients have wanted to let their patients and guests use wifi, but must keep the data they have secure.
That’s where today’s technology comes in. There is usually a guest network option for these routers that keeps guests in their own separate wifi space. This comes in handy for letting clients/patients use the internet to check email, play games while they wait for an appointment and keeping your data secure from prying eyes.
The easiest to install (for me) has been the Netgear Nighthawk series of routers and the prices start around $150 and top out just above $300. If you are a Costco shopper, you can save about $20-30 from the lowest prices on Amazon.
While there are other brands of wireless routers available, I have stuck with the Netgear Nighthawks or the Apple routers since they have been reliable and solve my client’s needs for speed and range. Other companies and brands are probably ok, but with the loss of Cisco backing the Linksys product, I am hesitant to recommend that brand. Their parent company is now Belkin, and my bald spot only got larger when trying to get one of their routers to work and stay working before they took over the Linksys product.
For an Apple setup, the routers and Time Capsules are all now on Wireless AC. This give you backups through Time Machine for your Mac devices when using the Time Capsule on today’s speed. If your Apple Airport or Time Capsule is older, you can check the model number online to see what technology is in it.
If you are due for an upgrade – need more speed and range – please give me a call. I can help you setup the new network for your office or home, ensure that the multitude devices are all connected properly and that the network is secure from intruders.
Here are a couple of links to see pricing from Amazon.
(If you do buy one and would like me to set it up, please leave it sealed in the box. It’s easier that way, trust me. Costco members can go to the club and pick it up directly.)
Amazon: Netgear Nighthawk AC1900
Amazon: Netgear Nighthawk AC3200