Stay con­nected in ev­ery room at home

Money Magazine Australia - - THIS MONTH -

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. net­

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.

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.

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