Almost all devices today require you to upgrade them now and then. Think about your phone as an example. Your phone is suitable for a few years, but then new technology or new ways to use technologies come out, and older devices cannot handle them. Routers are the same. Advances in Wi-Fi technology are constantly being developed and implemented. Unfortunately, routers get tucked away and forgotten about unless things start acting up. However, updating your router is essential to get the best out of your Wi-Fi experience.
What has changed with routers?
The tech industry is quickly growing and ever-changing. New technology brings new ways of doing things faster or more efficiently, and routers are no strangers to change. Older routers do not have the range newer devices have and cannot support as many devices. Older routers send out a wide signal to try and capture devices that need to connect to the internet. This is somewhat ineffective because if you were outside the signal zone, you would not have any internet. Newer routers that operate on current technologies can find devices and then target them to send internet signals to them. Modern routers have also improved the range, allowing them to reach further.
Have you ever had an electronic device that said it could no longer support updates? Routers are the same way. With new updates and different technologies coming out, older routers can become obsolete. This is mainly because they were designed to function and do things a certain way. When new processes and ways of doing things emerge, these old routers cannot do the task because they were not built to handle them. Just like a phone, there are constant updates to improve the device or the protection it offers. Having a device to keep up with new changes helps protect you against new threats.
Another reason to upgrade is how much routers can improve your internet without changing speeds or other factors with your internet provider. Newer routers, for example, can operate on the same internet plan but help devices operate quicker and with better range. On the other hand, having an older router can negatively impact your internet speeds, even if you’re subscribed to a high-speed package.
Signs it's time to Upgrade.
There are a couple of signs to look out for with your current router that will tell you if it is time to get a new one. One of those indicators is update eligibility. There are a few ways to check that your device is on the current update. You can look on the manufacturer’s website and enter your device's serial number, check on the device’s mobile app if it has one, or go to the manufacturer’s website app. Like other electronics, routers need to be updated to ensure that the device is running well and to keep the security features of the device current. The router’s firewall protects your devices internally when they connect to the internet. If the router can no longer take updates, your device’s firewall can be less efficient at protecting your devices.
Another indicator that it is time for a new router is performance. If devices are having difficulty using the internet, it could potentially be because of the router. Try running a speed test, and if the speeds are not what you would expect, the router could be struggling to keep up, and it may be time to get a new one.
What should I be looking for when shopping for a new router?
The most important thing to look for when shopping for a router is to see which Wi-Fi standards the device can handle. Currently, six generations of Wi-Fi standards are available - the newest being Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is the name given to newer technology that operates more efficiently and quickly. Some of the advantages of Wi-Fi 6 are:
- Wi-Fi 6 is faster than its predecessors.
- More devices can be handled at once.
- Better range due to having two broadcasting frequencies.
- Better utilization of the speeds you pay for.
All routers leased by Strata can run Wi-Fi 6 and are available with our Managed Wi-Fi service. Our teams will help install and walk you through how to use the router and make sure it’s placed in the best spot in your home so that the signal can get to everywhere you need it. Additionally, with Strata’s Managed Wi-Fi service, we’ll monitor the router to make sure it is up-to-date, and our staff is available 24/7 to provide a deeper level of technical support than with other equipment. Meaning once you have it, you don’t need to worry about it. We’ll ensure you get the best out of your Wi-Fi and take the guesswork out of finding and using a new router.