Which is the right router for you? (Part 1)

5/24/2012 4:16:48 PM

Most readers will already know what a router is, but if you're new to computing, you may be more than a little confused by all of the jargon surrounding networking. A router takes a broadband internet connection and shares it across Ethernet or wireless networks. It differs from a modem in that the latter only provides an internet connection to a single device. If you can think of a router as a little computer in its own right whose sole purpose is to distribute the network around your house, you're halfway there!

Description: Routers

Most internet service providers (ISPs) will give you a router as part of your broadband package. If you've been on the same contract for a long time, however, they are unlikely to replace your hardware unless you ask for it. Because of this, a frightening proportion of the UK population still struggles by using arcane hardware that delivers only a fraction of the speed and features of a more contemporary alternative. An easy way of finding out if you're in living in the dark ages is to look at the kind of connectivity between the PC and your modem or router. If you're using a USB-powered modem for your ADSL connection, it's time to upgrade, either by asking for a new one from your ISP (which will normally be free, but will mean signing up to another 12 to 18 month contract), or by buying one yourself. If you plan on upgrading your own PC soon, this is particularly important, as most USB modems are so old that drivers for Windows 7 don't exist!

An easy way of determining if you have a router or a modem is to look at the back. If it has multiple network ports, it's a router. If it only has one, it's a modem. Almost all modern routers also have one or more antennas attached, providing wireless connectivity. Devices with these are called wireless routers.

ADSL Or Cable?

Description: TP-Link TD-W8951ND

TP-Link TD-W8951ND


Before following any router buying advice, it is critical that you find out what kind of router you need. If you use a cable service such as that provided by Virgin Media or BT Infinity, a router with a built-in ADSL modem won't work for you. Instead you'll need a cable router with a network input. This then plugs into your ISP-provided cable modem and distributes its services throughout your home. If you're on an ADSL connection, a suitable router will completely replace the box provided by your internet service provider. If you've acquired a spare router for a friend or relative, it's easy to find out what kind of model it is just by looking on the back. An ADSL router will lack the 'input' Ethernet connection and will have a telephone cable socket instead.

Free Routers


D-Link DSL-2680

If your contract is up with your internet service provider, you are no longer under any commitment to stay with it. An easy way to get a new router is to therefore leave your existing provider and join up with a new one, or if you are happy with the service you receive, phone and request an upgrade. This will, of course, result in another contract period, but it's a great way of making use of any introductory offers that happen to be available. If your existing supplier tries to charge you for a new router or tells you that you're not eligible for an upgrade to its latest model, ask to speak to the customer retentions department. They will invariably do their best to keep you as a customer and know that the cost of a router relative to 12 to 18 months of regular income is a worthwhile trade-off.

Although this is an easy way of getting a free router, an ISP provided model will rarely provide you with the features and flexibility of one you buy yourself. For novice users this is probably a good thing; enthusiast grade routers ship with a dizzying array of configuration options, many of which you need a degree in networking to understand. It does, however, prevent you from accessing really useful features, such as those that allow you to monitor the quality and noise level on your line, configure your firewall and port forwarding settings, or change the security modes and passwords on your network.

Video tutorials
- How To Install Windows 8 On VMware Workstation 9

- How To Install Windows 8

- How To Install Windows Server 2012

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Change Account Picture In Windows 8

- How To Unlock Administrator Account in Windows 8

- How To Restart, Log Off And Shutdown Windows 8

- How To Login To Skype Using A Microsoft Account

- How To Enable Aero Glass Effect In Windows 8

- How To Disable Windows Update in Windows 8

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Add Widgets To Windows 8 Lock Screen
programming4us programming4us
Top 10
Free Mobile And Desktop Apps For Accessing Restricted Websites
TOYOTA CAMRY 2; 2.5 : Camry now more comely
KIA SORENTO 2.2CRDi : Fuel-sipping slugger
How To Setup, Password Protect & Encrypt Wireless Internet Connection
Emulate And Run iPad Apps On Windows, Mac OS X & Linux With iPadian
Backup & Restore Game Progress From Any Game With SaveGameProgress
Generate A Facebook Timeline Cover Using A Free App
New App for Women ‘Remix’ Offers Fashion Advice & Style Tips
SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th