Stay connected in every room at home
As the internet has become an ever more pervasive element of our lives, one thing that has ascended with it is the virtually ubiquitous free wi-fi. No matter where we go or what we're doing, we've become accustomed to being constantly surrounded by invisible wireless signals that keep us tethered to the web. Bars, cafes, restaurants, shopping centres and airports all blanket us in wireless internet, and it's a good thing too, as it helps take the burden off our pricier and more constrained mobile data.
But nowhere is wi-fi more important than in the home, where it becomes the glue keeping our PCs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and lots more online. In our home, we even have bathroom scales connected to wi-fi – which, frankly, is a ridiculous concept but once you get used to having your weight instantly uploaded to the cloud every day you'll wonder how you ever did without it.
So if you've been suffering dead spots, lag, connection issues or other problems with your own home network, it might just be time to upgrade your gear. PETER DOCKRILL
What is it? Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000
How much? $679 Pros: Remember when wireless routers used to only cost around $100 to $150? Well, they actually still do, but if you want the latest and greatest you'll need to spend a little more. Netgear claims the Nighthawk X10 R9000 is the world's fastest router, on account of it supporting the latest, super-fast 802.11ad wi-fi protocol. If all you need is a speedy, centralised router, this is the theoretical maximum right now.
Cons: Router only, no modem. netgear.com.au
What is it? Linksys Velop
How much? $299.95 (one node), $589.95 (two), $749.95 (three)
Pros: While wireless protocols keep getting faster, the biggest wi-fi innovation in recent times has been the advent of the mesh network. The idea is that, rather than having one router struggle to beam coverage to every corner of your house, a number of dispersed units share the load.
Cons: Might not be as fast as a conventional router but the multi-pronged mesh could be the silver bullet for large dwellings. linksys.com/au
What is it? D-Link PowerLine DHP-701AV
How much? $199.95 Pros: If other solutions don't solve the dead-spot drama in your house – and you can't run a long ethernet cable along the floorboards to move your router to a central location – you might want to think about power-line networking. Simply plug these adapters into the power points in your home, and one adapter transmits the connection to the receiver in another room.
Cons: Connection speed will depend on your electrical wiring; only for devices with an ethernet port. dlink.com.au