What’s the best Wi-Fi router for my home?

Australian T3 - - HOME - ALICE P, ADE­LAIDE

SPENCER HART REPLIES:

As you keep adding more and more tech to your home, the first thing to feel the strain is your Wi-Fi router. Hav­ing a ro­bust net­work around your house is a must – ev­ery­thing from turn­ing on lights, to ad­just­ing the heat­ing and alert­ing you to an in­truder is re­liant on hav­ing a rock steady in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

Thank­fully, there’s a new tech­nol­ogy out there to help: Wi-Fi mesh net­works. If you’re build­ing a smart home, these new Wi-Fi sys­tems are per­fect for you. The most well-known, and one of our favourites, is the Net­gear Orbi. This sys­tem con­sists of a Hub and Satel­lite, both blast­ing sig­nal around your house – even boost­ing sig­nal in hard to reach places. They com­mu­ni­cate with each other us­ing a ‘vir­tual wire’, which has clear ben­e­fits over tra­di­tional sig­nal boost­ers.

We also like the fact that Orbi doesn’t look like tra­di­tional routers. They’re ac­tu­ally quite at­trac­tive, and both the Orbi hub and satel­lite fea­ture four eth­er­net ports each. This is use­ful if you have mul­ti­ple smart home hubs (eg, Sonos, Sam­sung SmartThings, Philips Hue) plugged in at one time.

Net­gear isn’t the only brand in this space, ei­ther. You could also look at the Linksys Velop, or Develo Gi­ga­gate, which is slightly more af­ford­able. They all per­form bet­ter than tra­di­tional Wi-Fi routers, es­pe­cially if yours is in an awk­ward place, you have an old house, and lots of de­vices con­nected at once.

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