How to choose a new router

Mac|Life - - BUILD A BETTER NETWORK -

In the mar­ket for a new router? Start by mak­ing sure it sup­ports 802.11ac for the lat­est wire­less tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing faster con­nec­tions at the same dis­tance.

Check the router’s AC rat­ing. The higher the fig­ure, the faster it is, but note the num­ber is a combo of the max­i­mum 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi speeds, spec­i­fied in Mbps — megabits per second. De­tach­able an­ten­nas can help you di­rect the sig­nal to where re­cep­tion is weak.

Look for a model with a built-in mo­dem to re­duce clut­ter. Make sure it’s com­pat­i­ble with your in­ter­net con­nec­tion — that means ADSL for reg­u­lar broad­band, VDSL for fiberop­tic or DSL for cable.

Also, make sure it has suf­fi­cient Eth­er­net ports for your needs, and that they’re Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net if you need them to re­li­ably han­dle 4K stream­ing. Fi­nally, pick a model with USB ports for ex­pan­sion options, such as shar­ing print­ers and hard drives over your network.

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