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Wireless Broadband routers explained

wireless broadband router

Routers are important for home as well as business networking. The router is the gateway to the whole network. It allows all hardware on a network connect with each other and share one another's resources, such as files and printers.

How does a Wireless Broadband Router work?

Broadband routers are the main point of entry into a home or office network. They send and receive signals from each device that is on the network, allowing data to be transferred between all of them. This usually happens wirelessly, but there are some models which have physical wired connections instead. Those are usually not as popular as they require an ethernet cable to be plugged into your devices, and doesn't work on mobile phones. 

The wireless router on the other hand, is connected to the broadband modem, which can be either a cable or DSL modem depending on your situation. The internet signal is then sent through the router into all of its ports, allowing it to be shared with every device that needs it. There are usually 4-8 ports on routers, but some have more than that. Each port will give one computer access to the internet at once without losing speed or data transfer capabilities.

How to choose a Broadband Router?

Most of the time, your internet service provider will send their own routers to customers which are perfectly sufficient for the broadband package you receive. However, if you happen to live in a large property, or have many users connected to the network, you might want to upgrade your existing router.

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When choosing a broadband router, it is essential to make sure that the one you buy is of good quality. This will ensure that the signal strength remains strong and consistent throughout your home or office, allowing for a safe and solid connection for all your stationary and mobile devices. You should also buy a router with plenty of features on offer so that you get more use out of it. 

For example, a router which has the ability to connect a large number of people at once can be very useful. It will allow your entire household or office staff to connect multiple devices, and provide internet access without any problems arising. Routers with an 'N' connection are also good because they give you superior speeds and connection quality than those with other types of connections.

Ultimately when buying a new wireless router, make sure to get one that has all the right features for your purposes. This may include parental controls (for antisocial behaviour), firewalls (security) and wireless protected setups (secure wireless access). The more features that are available, the more useful your router can be in the long run. 

If you're concerned about speed, you can read our article on how positioning your wireless router correctly, could improve your connection.

How do you maintain a Wi Fi Router?

Routers need to be kept clean in order to ensure that the device performs at its best. To keep it clean, get yourself a can of compressed air and spray the connectors on the back of the router. You could also use this on your computer's fans, which in general can get very dirty. The fan needs access to cool air so that it has room to work properly. If you don't have any compressed air available, then using a cloth or tissue is just as good-just make sure that they're lint free. Never use water or solvents because this could damage your equipment. 

Other maintenance tips for routers include checking cords that may have come loose during moves or changes in the weather, as well as dusting the grills on each of your devices to remove any debris that might be stopping air from getting into them.

Where do routers come from?

The first internet router was made by Nortel Networks in 1996. It allowed up to 256 computers to connect with one another through a dial-up modem. Three years later, Cisco Systems entered the market with their own router which supported around 50 internet connections at once. Since then, it has gone on to become an essential piece of technology for businesses who are looking for ways to share information quickly across teams without having to transfer files manually or put in card requests. 

What's the difference between a Modem and a Router?

A modem is the device that takes your broadband signal from your provider and turns it into something that can be read by your computer or other connected devices. A router is what makes up the rest of your network, allowing you to share an internet connection with all of your hardware. It also acts as a firewall, a way for you to limit access to sensitive information on each device so only they have access to it. Every computer has its own individual IP address, which routers use to keep track of where everything is in relation to one another even if they are being used at the same time. 

Wireless Routers Pros and Cons

There are numerous advantages to owning a wireless router, but only if the model you're looking at offers all of them. The main plus point is that wi fi routers don't have any wires attached to them meaning there are fewer cords lying around. Some devices like mobile phones or tablets for instance can only operate on wi fi networks, mobile data, or mobile hotspots. Wired connections simply don't cut it! In addition, you can also get more range on offer with some router models, allowing you to work in rooms far away from where your modem is located without having to worry about losing signal strength. 

The downside to using a wireless router is that the transfer speeds associated with them are normally lower than what you would see when using a wired connection using ethernet cables. Wireless routers typically need more processing power so they can take slightly longer to send messages across the network. For most people however this should not be an issue, unless you are maybe a professional gamer or specialist user. You can always check the speed availability in your area, using OFCOM's broadband checker.

How to secure your Wireless Router 

When you're setting up a home network, it's important to make sure that your wireless router is secure. This will prevent anyone from hacking into it and stealing sensitive information without your permission. There are a number of ways to do this: 

  • 1. Change the default password 
  • 2. Check what devices are connected 
  • 3. Use encryption 
  • 4. Update firmware 
  • 5. Use a firewall 
  • 6. Disable remote logins 
  • 7. Two-factor authentication 
  • 8. Turn off UPnP 
  • 9. Set static IPs 
  • 10. Limit types of devices 
  • 11. Change the username 
  • 12. WPA/WPA2 encryptions 
  • 13. Keep firmware updated 
  • 14. Do not broadcast SSID 
  • 15. Hide SSIDs 

If you do not want to change your password or turn on encryption, then at the very least it is advisable to set up a firewall. This will stop hackers from getting past your router security and will keep you safe. Remember that just because you have turned on encryption doesn't mean that someone can't get into your wireless network if they know what they're doing.

You can upgrade the firmware on both wired and wireless routers to ensure that the device has the latest updates installed. Routers are constantly being updated with new features and patches so updating them regularly means that they are always secure. If you don't update, there's no telling what vulnerabilities might be left open for hackers to exploit. 

If your signal isn't strong enough

If you have a large house, or just a long layout you might need a router extension to strengthen the wifi signal in your home. Similarly if you're wanting to access you connection in your garden, you can read our guide on how to best set this up.

Conclusion 

To summarise, wireless broadband routers allow you to access the internet by transmitting information across a network with ease. By using wireless routers, you are able to eliminate wires and set up your home network quickly without having to deal with tangled cords, which also allow you to access your internet from longer distances. Routers also allow for security so that hackers cannot access your information over the internet without permission. It is important to have password protection in place on all of your devices, change the default username and keep firmware updated in order to keep your information safe from cybercriminals. 

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