{Disarmed} How to know if my operator s router is good or if I should change it (2021)

How to know if my operator's router is good or if I should change it (2021)

The router, the main equipment in our digital home, gives us connectivity with the Internet and the local network, allows us to access streaming services, play online, surf the web, make video calls, access email and support the equipment " smart " from the house.

However, it is an unknown element for a large mass of users that after being installed by the operator's technician and finding out the Wi-Fi password, it will probably spend days camouflaged in the living room , without us paying attention, ruling the background in the background. behavior of our Internet access.

As long as everything works perfectly there is no problem, but when we start to suffer slowdowns, cuts in the wireless connection, stoppages in the videos or excessive ping in the games, then the question arises: Is the router that has installed me good enough? my operator as standard or would it be convenient to change it for a better alternative ?

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Assessing our needs

In recent years we have been making a periodic review of the offer of routers that the operators give us when hiring their services, reaching the conclusion that they have progressively improved their capabilities both in speed and in additional benefits.

However, we must not forget that these types of devices have only one reason for being: to give basic support to the activities that we have contracted with the operator and in the best of cases also to be prepared for future updates and improvements in the service. That is, depending on the type of access to which we are subscribed, we will have a router with greater or lesser features.

Router

The router provided by our operator usually offers the right benefits to access the services that we have contracted

For example, if we only have ADSL coverage, the usual thing is that they provide us with an outdated router with little processing capacity and very limited connectivity , both in local networks with ports that will not exceed 100 Mbps and in the WiFi interface that will hopefully be type N at 150 Mbps.

If we have fiber optic or cable coverage, the situation improves considerably, since in recent years the operators have put the batteries and have opted for much more powerful equipment that is prepared for speeds of up to 1 Gbps (even if we have contracted access slower than for example 100, 300 or 600 Mbps), which has resulted in much faster Ethernet ports and wireless interfaces.

That's how bad (or good) are the routers that your operator gives you (2020) In xiaomist.com That's how bad (or good) are the routers that your operator gives you (2020)

So is my carrier's router good enough? Well, it will depend on the use that we are going to make of our local network, the digital services that we access and, above all, how it behaves on a day-to-day basis. If it generally meets our needs with good speed, stability, sufficient wireless network coverage in all rooms, and reasonably fast response, we probably don't need to look for another model or alternative.

If, on the contrary, and despite having a good connection with our ISP, we suffer from frequent cuts in the WiFi, low speed of Internet access, little wireless coverage radius, occasional crashes of the router itself, continuous stoppages in the services of video such as YouTube or Netflix even when we are accessing via Ethernet or similar problems, then perhaps the problem is that our beloved router is poor in performance and we must change it or complement it with another more powerful model.

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The least I would ask a router in 2021

D Link Dir1960 02

Routers are complex computer systems that include processors, coprocessors, input and output ports, RAM memories and operating systems, characteristics that in many cases are not clearly specified in the concise user manuals included in the box.

Hence, it is difficult to assess whether one model is better than another based solely on these types of parameters, especially in the equipment provided by the operators, where the instructions on paper also tend to be conspicuous by their absence, sending us, in the best of cases, , to a web link with little technical information and usually of little use.

However, there are some characteristics or functionalities that we should ask a router in 2021 to be able to offer minimum benefits at the level of the most common domestic services today. If a computer does not meet these minimum requirements, we probably will not be able to extract the full potential of our Internet and local connections and it would be convenient for us to change it.

To begin with, it is advisable to have 3 or 4 free Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow us to move large amounts of data through the local network, to connect demanding equipment and next-generation NAS. But they are also necessary if we want to contract fiber connections higher than 100 Mbps and we are going to use wired links (Ethernet or PLC) at home.

The classic 10/100 Mbps ports that some older routers still offer (and not only routers, but also mesh network sets, WiFi extenders and PLCs) may still be valid for basic ADSL connections, but they are clearly obsolete and if our The router only has this type of connection, we will be limiting the possibilities of the internal network when it comes to transmitting 4K video content or connecting several devices simultaneously at maximum speed.

Back Of Linksys Max Stream Router Mr8300

Regarding WiFi connectivity, the minimum we can ask a router in 2021 is that it have a WiFi AC interface at 5 GHz of 867 Mbps that allows us to connect 4K televisions, multimedia players and high-speed auxiliary systems, even if only in the room where the router is, since the penetration capacity in this band is lower than that obtained in 2.4 GHz, where at least we should have WiFi N of at least 300 Mbps to be able to use it throughout the house.

A good router that boasts of being one should also incorporate compatibility with WiFi 6 (formerly known under the name of the 802.11ax protocol), the new version of the wireless standard among whose advantages we find: a higher connection speed up to 40% higher than WiFi AC (now known as WiFi 5), a better response when there are many devices connected to the same network, the possibility of operating in both 2.4 and 5 GHz and even 6 GHz and greater energy efficiency.

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It is also capable of offering extra connectivity in the form of USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports in case we want to share streaming content with all the computers on the network simply by connecting a memory or hard drive to the router, use it as an automated backup system, a data center. local printing, and even to save BitTorrent downloads if the router can function as a client of this P2P network or to mount an FTP server, although the latter are more typical functions of a NAS that will probably also give us better benefits.

One of the most frequent complaints with the routers of the operators is related to the limitations and blocks of some functions in the user interface

In addition, a good router should not only offer great technical specifications, but it also incorporates a simple to use but powerful user interface that allows us to configure the most common basic parameters (such as passwords, turn WiFi on and off, change frequency channels and the power, etc.) and the advanced ones quickly and without getting lost in eternal menus. This is usually a point that the equipment assigned by the operators does not usually meet, since many of these options and advanced functions are blocked as standard, forcing us to buy additional equipment if we want to access them.

Before buying anything, let's try to optimize

But before going like crazy to a store to buy a new router model, we must think if we are doing everything possible to exploit the possibilities of our equipment. For example, have we properly configured wireless connectivity?

It is very common to have a bad WiFi coverage even when glued to the router and regret its poor quality, thinking that with one from another brand we will achieve a higher connection speed. Then we go to the store, we buy the latest wonder on the market and after installing it at home there are hardly any differences. Is it just as bad as the one we had? The problem is probably in the saturation of the WiFi bands by other adjacent networks and not in the router.

Copy Wifi Network 4

After starting a new router, we must check that it has been able to choose the most suitable frequency band for our home.

The first thing to do after putting a new router into operation is to verify that it has been able to choose the most appropriate frequency band for our home. Generally we will be surrounded by neighbors with their own WiFi networks that will interfere with ours reducing their speed and coverage .

So much so that in the most extreme cases we can hardly connect. The solution, if there are free bands, is relatively simple and involves changing to a less saturated one, as we have seen on previous occasions or if we can bet directly on the 5 GHz one if the preferred use will be near the place of installation of the router.

It is also convenient to optimize which equipment we connect to each connection interface. For example, those that consume the most bandwidth (TV, multimedia players, desktop PC or NAS) it is usually convenient to connect them by Ethernet cable to take advantage of their higher speed and leave the WiFi connection free for smartphones, tablets and laptops. .

Tp linki

Finally, it is worth complementing the router connections with other mixed technologies that help us bring connectivity to the most remote rooms of the house. For example, we can set up a hybrid PLC-WiFi network that frees part of the wireless spectrum by creating a new WiFi or wired access point only in the room that we want, for example in the one that is more problematic when it comes to having good WiFi reception.

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Replace or complement?

Wifi

If after trying to optimize we continue to need more features and / or more powerful connectivity for our local network then we will probably need to take the step and opt for a new equipment , a new router that enhances the network connection.

However, before acquiring it we must bear in mind that, in general, the majority of neutral models (without operator brand) that we will find in stores do not serve all the services of our ISP , they are not 100% compatible, or the The configuration that should be done is not immediate nor is it available to everyone.

In the market we can find a multitude of neutral routers but only a few of them come with an ADSL or cable modem incorporated, essential if we have one of these connections. Even less is the number of models that we can connect to an optical network and are compatible with the VoIP and TV services of our operator.

Tp Link Ax6000 E

Therefore, if what we want is a router that completely replaces the one we already have, we may have difficulties finding it and we should choose more to complement our current model than to replace it completely. In other words, the best option is probably for us to complete and improve our connection with another more advanced device that will be in charge of managing a part of the internal local network, but keeping the operator's router as the central node and to output the Internet.

At this point we have several options. For example, if the problem is in the wireless network, we can choose to use an access point that generates a higher quality WiFi network, regardless of the router of our operator.

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The so-called Mesh networks or mesh networks that establish a wireless network throughout the house by placing several devices in different rooms and connecting all of them to the router of the operator by Ethernet cable are also gaining much importance in recent years.

Finally, a very simple option that usually gives good results (except for the occasional hang-up) are the PLC adapters , either with or without WiFi connectivity, allowing us to bring the connection to all rooms through the house's electrical network. . They are a good complement to the basic router since they extend the connection beyond the standard WiFi coverage, although they are not without problems.

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The news How to know if my operator's router is good or if I should change it (2021) was originally published in xiaomist.com by Paco Rodríguez .

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