If you do a lot of video streaming or online video gaming on your home network, you probably experienced some buffering or stuttering action from time to time. You already pay an ISP a large amount of money each month for 10 to 50 MB of Internet speed. So why are you seeing problems with the overall network performance at your residence?
If multiple devices are all trying to access your network simultaneously, that may cause issues, like buffering or dropped frames. In short, you need to consider investing in a high-end wireless router for the best possible performance on your home Internet network. The best routers offer better antenna coverage and a host of other advanced features to optimize video streaming on any connected device. Let’s take a closer look.
Consider a Dual Band Router for your Home Network
Dual band routers offer some significant advantages over their single band, less expensive brethren. These higher-end routers simultaneously transmit on two frequencies — 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. When you setup your home network using this kind of router, it essentially creates two different networks for devices to connect to.
Newer smartphones, tablets, computers, or even smart TVs are able to see both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks, while most older devices are only able to connect to the 2.4 GHz option. This allows you to have any older devices doing less bandwidth intensive tasks, like email, music streaming, or working with office software, connect to the slower network, while freeing up the 5 GHz network for devices doing HD video streaming or video gaming.
By segregating network traffic on to essentially two “virtual” networks, overall performance is improved, especially for tasks consuming large amounts of bandwidth. Obviously dual band routers are more expensive than the single band versions. You can expect to pay around $200 for a quality model.
If your ISP installed their own wireless router and setup your network, you are probably paying an extra 10 to 15 dollars per month to rent the router. In this case, simply installing a better router saves you money in the long run while giving you better performance. What’s not to like?
Beamforming and other Advanced Router Features
Higher-end routers also boast other advanced features in addition to their dual band signal transmission capability. Most offer a feature known as beamforming, which enhances the wireless signal sent to specific devices. This is a big plus if your router is located in an opposite part of your residence from your home entertainment center.
Most top of the line wireless routers offer also improved administration functionality which recognizes every connected device. You are able to give each device its own nickname, making network management easier. Most importantly, you can then set specific devices on your network to be prioritized and receive an enhanced signal. This is a smart thing to do for any device typically streaming video as well as any video game systems.
Other Factors influencing Home Network Performance
Investing in a dual band wireless router won’t fix all of your home network performance issues. If you live in a large house, make sure to place your router in a central location. It needs to be next to your modem, so talk with your ISP about placement when they first install your Internet service.
Try to keep the number of walls between your router and your prime streaming locations to a minimum. Also, appliances — especially a microwave oven — can adversely impact your wireless signal. As always, don’t forget to use a strong password when securing your wireless router — especially if you live in an apartment complex. You don’t want to be sharing your Internet service with others!
Hopefully, this article convinced you to spend a little extra for an advanced wireless router for the best possible home Internet performance.