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When Should I Upgrade My Router?

A spotty Wi-Fi connection can be one of the most frustrating tech problems to have in your home. Luckily, this issue can be easily remedied by changing the wireless router in your home. Whether you're upgrading to a larger home, buying more devices that need a connection or looking for more control over security, here are some tips to consider when upgrading a router.

Before jumping into ways to amend Internet issues, remember that your Internet speed is not determined by the router. You pay for a certain speed level, measured in megabits per second (mbps), from your service provider. The router simply makes the signal wireless. A better device will help that signal run smoother and with less interference.


Upgrade When You...

Use Multiple Smart Devices

Running a single connection to a smart TV, connected game console, computer or other devices can slow your speed significantly. When shopping for a new router, look for dual-band model. Smartphones, laptops and tablets will be able to use the 2.4 GHz band, and your streaming devices will be able to use the 5 GHz band for better strength.


Want More Control

If your kids are online, you may want to set parental controls that keep them from accessing certain sites. Many routers allow you to go in and set certain limits on the access they would have and keep them from inappropriate content. You can also create a password-protected guest network for visitors to log into. There are also settings that give certain devices or streaming sites priority over the signal.


Need a Direct Connection

For the strongest wireless connection, you'll want to find a new router that features beamforming technology. Beamforming sends a wireless connection to a specific device, instead of spreading a cloud of wireless signal throughout your home. This is especially helpful when streaming media or performing other functions that require a high level of bandwidth.


Lose the Signal around Your Home

If you lose an Internet signal in another end of the house or experience pages loading slowly, it may not be the router's fault. In these instances you'll want to get a Wi-Fi range extender. These little devices plug into an outlet, receive the wireless signal and then repeat it for a stronger signal.