Wireless routers are becoming more and more common as we move into the wireless technology era. Airpods, headphones and chargers are all now available as wireless accessories. Let's analyse what wireless routers are, how they work and which router is rated as the cream of the crop in 2021.
A wireless router is a small device supplied by your Internet Service provider which is connected to your home broadband line and allows you to share an internet connection with several other computer users. It can provide access to usually about four wireless devices to the Internet.
A broadband phone line is plugged into your wireless router, and data packets (a small amount of data sent over a network) are transferred through the connection to the router. router and packets of data will be sent through the connection to the router. The router converts this data into radio signals which are picked up by Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and game consoles.
If you connect via a BT phone line, then you need an ADSL wireless router. If you connect via cable (i.e., fibre-optic broadband), then you will need a cable router. Confirm your connection type before you buy to make sure you're getting the right router for your broadband.
Virgin Media Hub 3.0 offers the best option for those looking for speed, reliability and affordability. Let's have a look at the features of the main routers offered by the big providers to see how we got to this conclusion.
The second generation of the BT Smart Hub is available to customers who sign up one of BT's superfact broadband packages.
Like its predecessor, the BT Smart Hub 2 is one of the most advanced Wi-Fi hubs available, featuring seven antennae to access a bigger range of Wi-Fi signals than any other ISP's router.
The Smart Hub 2 also has built-in Smart Scan technology, meaning that it will constantly monitor your hub's connection and switch channels or reboot the connection automatically if it detects a problem.
The same firewall and BT Parental Controls from the company's previous models are also included so you can restrict web access if needed. There is also a USB port for connecting printers or creating a network by using a USB dongle.
Virgin Media includes its Super Hub 3 in every broadband package they offer. And while it may only have five antennae compared to BT's seven, it still has the same AC standard Wi-Fi and works with Virgin's market-leading ultrafast broadband speeds.
Produced by Netgear, one of the world's biggest computer networking companies, the Super Hub 3 has four Ethernet ports for making wired connections, but unlike the BT Smart Hub 2, it doesn't have a USB port.
Sky continues to impress with upgrades to the technology in both its set-top boxes and its Wi-Fi hubs. The original and already-impressive Sky Q Hub comes with the same 5Ghz band as its competitors and, according to Sky, can handle having up to 64 devices at once.
The newer Sky Hub has a total of eight antennae for even better connectivity, as well as four Ethernet ports –– as opposed to just two on the Sky Q Hub –– and is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) enabled, allowing you to make calls directly over the internet.
The Sky Q Hub has special powerline networking, which means signals can be sent from your router to a connected Sky Q TV box. This means that you'll be able to stream TV easily without having to worry about the Sky Q Hub's range.
TalkTalk has invested heavily in their Wi-Fi Hub, ensuring that their service is just as good as the other major broadband providers.
Like BT, TalkTalk's Wi-Fi Hub has seven antennae allowing for greater connectivity even at busier times, switching signals between 5GHz and 2.4GHz to get you the most reliable connection.
It does this by using AC standard Wi-Fi and checking where your AC–compatible tablet, smartphone or laptop is. It can then switch to a faster signal without you noticing any loss of service.
TalkTalk has also included a handy USB port for connecting dongles and other web-connected devices such as printers and hard drives, as well as four Ethernet ports.
One of the biggest appeals of the TalkTalk Hub is that its sleek design will mean you won't have to hide it behind furniture or in cupboards. Having it proudly on display will also mean that its signal will be less interrupted and should reach throughout your home with ease.
Yes, it is possible to use two routers on the same home network. A two -router network would improve wireless signal range within a large house.
By connecting your device such as a Laptop to your router via Ethernet cable your router provides a configuration interface page which you can access in your web browser.