Before you even start to worry about the price and what all the jargon means, the first question you should ask is; do you need one at all? If you only have one computer that you want to connect to the internet, and you always use it in the same room, don’t forget that you could just connect via a cable.
Decide what you need it for
Wireless routers can vary considerably price, so don’t get bamboozled by a sales person and end up buying something that you don’t really need. Work out what it is you will be using your internet connection for before you start looking around. If you are only going to be browsing the web a few times a day and reading your emails, you will only need a very basic model. On the other hand, if you have one person in the home who likes to watch movies, another who will want to play online games, and you will still want to be able to read your emails, you would need a more expensive model to cope with all that traffic.
This is not the article to get too much into the technical jargon side of things, but speed ratings are something that you need to consider. The speed of a wireless router is shown in megabits per second (Mbps). To give you an idea of what that means; early models were in the region of 11Mbps, a mid-range model would be in the range of 150 Mbps to 600 Mbps, and a top of the range product would offer a theoretical speed of over 1,000Mbps. There is no need to buy the best all-in-one wireless router you can find if your internet usage is going to be light.
If you want to get a wireless signal anywhere in the home, then the range will be something that you should check. Be aware, though, that the range specified in the manufacturers specifications will be the maximum possible range, and there are a lot of things that can disrupt or weaken a wireless signal.
Check the warranties
If you are looking at budget wireless routers and wireless routers for less than $200, then make sure that you check what kind of warranty is offered with the product. If a manufacturer is not prepared to support its products with a decent warranty, it may be an indication that the quality of the product is not as good as it should be.
Shop around and read reviews
One of the ways to discover if what you are buying is really as good as the manufacturer claims it to be, is to read customer reviews. Although some reviews may not be genuine, you can still usually spot the trend in reviews and work out of the product is worth adding to your short list of wireless routers.