Here at NGL Connection, we strongly believe that age is just a number, which is why over the years, we've always been huge supporters of the Evanston Senior Citizen (Surprisingly Overly Aggressive) Street Hockey League (Go Snapping Turtles!)
When it comes to technology, however, our team works hard to stay ahead of the curve and provide our community with the latest and greatest in high-speed wireless internet, which (let's face it) can sometimes be difficult to keep up with in today's fast moving world. (outdated 90's pop culture reference in 5...4...3...2...)
Along with inquiries concerning our Beanie Baby portfolio (listed on eBay), another popular question we're often asked is, "Which router should I buy to get the most out of my money?" Chances are you've asked this question and chances are a well-meaning sales associate left you feeling a bit more dazed and confused than that time you watched a Pauly Shore marathon on TBS. Luckily for you, we know routers like Pauly Shore knows campy humor and hopefully by the end of this blog, you'll be well informed when it comes time to purchase a new router.
The 802.11 Conundrum
So let's talk about keeping up with wireless standards. It's possible that you've run across an odd assortment of numbers and letters (802.11b or 802.11g) when reading the router packaging and it's also possible that this cryptic text has kept you up most nights, pondering your place in the vast scheme of the internet. Existential crisis aside, however, there's a fairly simple explanation. You see, wireless routers have classifications on which wireless standard they are based. The very first generation of routers were classified as 802.11a, followed by "b", "g", and then "n". Today's wireless router is classified as 802.11ac, which offers users faster speeds and longer range than it's predecessors. It's worth noting that not all your hardware will support the latest standard, in which case those devices in question will simply use a previous, less powerful standard.
Single Band, Dual Band, Rock Band...
If you've even thought about purchasing a router in the last few years, you've most likely have heard the words single and dual band tossed around like Beanie Babies (did we mention our portfolio?) at a daycare. So, let's take a minute and talk about what those words mean in relation to your browsing experience. Single band routers utilize a 2.4 gigahertz wireless frequency. Now, sure, this works nicely if you're only casually surfing the world wide web, but if you're looking to stream videos or games, the 2.4GHz band can become congested fairly quickly. Dual band routers are able to utilize and send data over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This means multitasking is your friend and you're now able to browse the net, watch cat videos, and stream movies in HD.
Bending WiFi to Your Will
Depending on how much you've delved into router research, you may or may not have heard of the term, beamforming. In order to understand this concept, we'll begin with how your router traditionally broadcast wireless signals throughout your house. Think about a light bulb, emitting the right amount of light to illuminate the room you're currently sitting in, but confined to it's perimeters. With beamforming, the router itself asses where your devices are located and projects stronger signals in those specific directions.
Wrapping things up, purchasing a wireless router can seem daunting if you're not familiar with all the fancy schmancy nerd terminology, but in the end, you're simply looking for a device that allows you to get the absolute best out of your internet connection. Keep in mind that not all brands are created the same and more $$$ doesn't necessarily mean better quality. On a side note for our internet customers, NGL recently released our own dual band device (The Eclipse Access Device) that slices through interference to deliver the quality speeds.