Saturday, September 1, 2012

Is it worth upgrading your router to increase your broadband speed?

With broadband speeds set to get even faster in the coming months, it’s difficult to know whether you should upgrade your router. However, routers which are sent free as a package by your ISP are often at the lower end of the price-scale, so it could be worth an upgrade if you’re experiencing slow speeds.

This is especially true if your router is getting on a bit, age-wise, as technology these days moves so fast that your router may at least need a firmware update. Whilst this may be the case, not all users are comfortable with delving into the inner workings of their router, but it may be worth taking a look before you splash the cash on new hardware.

If your router is an older model, then it may be worth upgrading; the most common type of router is a wireless-G (802.11g) and if you’re thinking of replacing it, then you should chose a wireless-N (802.11n) router, which will up your speed and is backwardly compatible with older external equipment such as your network adapters (dongles, network cards etc.).

However, if you’re going to upgrade, you may as well go the whole hog and replace your network adapters too. This just means buying wireless-N equipment to go with your faster router and will further increase speeds.

For desktop computers, this is a fairly straightforward and inexpensive upgrade and you can either opt for a wireless adapter that plugs into your USB port, or purchase an internal wireless network adapter and fit it yourself, or get it done in an independent computer repair shop.

For laptops, although the Wi-Fi adapter is built-in to the device it can be disabled and a USB wireless-N adapter used as the default.

Wireless-N is twice as fast as wireless-G, so this could really make all the difference. While you’re installing, think about positioning too, as this could be impacting speeds. Place the router in as central and clutter-free an area as you can; if you place it right next to a wall then remember that you will need to adjust the antenna so that’s it’s pointing more towards the devices that are receiving the signal.

Before you buy a router, it’s really essential that you look around and study the market for options. I’d recommend looking at sites like CNET and others.

Author Bio: Kerry Butters writes this article on behalf of the consumer advice website Broadband Genie. For even faster internet, check out BT infinity.