Friday, February 11, 2011

Choose Router for Wireless Internet at Home

Having wireless internet used to be a luxury. These days it's easier and less expensive than running ethernet cables to equip your house with wireless internet. Read this article to learn important steps to choose the right equipment.


  1. First you need to understand the different types of wireless routers there are available. There are three basic types of consumer wireless routers, and they are available at all major electronics stores. The type is defined by the frequency IEEE standard. Here they are listed in order of increasing speed (and cost!): 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11a.
  2. The letter is really the only thing to keep in mind. When you look at routers, the letters will denote the router's compatibility. For example, some routers are A/B/G (all three). Others are B/G only. There are a number of combinations.  
  3. For a wireless router to do any good, all the devices you wish to connect to it must have a wireless receiver. Many laptops and PDAs have this feature built in. Your PDA may say that it is "WiFi enabled." Laptop often have built-in wireless cards. If you have a desktop machine or other device that does not have built in wireless, you will need to purchase a wireless network card or USB peripheral. These are small, inexpensive devices, and will allow your device to communicate with the router.    
  4. Remember the router types in step 1? The wireless receivers on yuor devices must be able to accept the same letter (A, B, or G) as your router! It does not have to accept the same combination of letters as your router, but needs to include at least one.  
  5. Many different companies make routers and USB receivers for computers. The best idea when selecting your wireless equipment is to use the same vendor for all pieces when possible. This will give you the best performance and speed because vendors often have special proprietary features that are enabled when using the same brand of transmitter and receiver. Mismatched vendor equipment will work, but if possible you're better off sticking with the same brand.
Tips and Warnings
  1. Be sure to budget in any wireless receivers you might need to hook up existing PCs without wireless capability!