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Stay away from routers that can’t provide a stable Internet connection. Your devices deserve the fastest Internet connection available.

When buying a wireless router, think about the number of people the router should serve. You should also consider the size of the area that the router will need to cover.

After this, you are looking at, single vs. dual, vs. tri-band models. If you are a gamer, but the rest of your family enjoys using the Internet as well, then a tri-band router might be a good idea.

Contrarily, if you use the Internet only for social media, a single band router could do the trick.

Our list consists of the best wireless routers featuring MU-MIMO (multi-user, multi-input, multi-output). But, that’s not everything the routers on our list have to offer. You will also notice that they feature different wireless protocols, Gigabit Ethernet ports, Quality of Service (QoS), and parental controls.

In Short

Our top recommendation is the Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System. It is a tri-band Wi-Fi system that has a vertical design. It has premium features that you will actually use unlike what we see in their original Netgear Eero.

It also has MU-MIMO technology, parental controls, and it works with Alexa.

A great model on a budget is Asus Dual-Band AC1300. Thanks to MU-MIMO technology, it eliminates buffering when watching HD videos. It also gives you the ability to create a guest network to protect your data.

1. Netgear Orbi - Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System: Best Overall

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  • It supports MU-MIMO technology
  • It offers parental controls
  • Color-coded LEDs help easy setup
  • It can cover up to 6,000ft
  • It supports beamforming technology
  • The system is too large for it to stay discretely in your house
  • It has one less Ethernet port compared to the original Netgear Eero
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Create a fast, seamless home Wi-Fi network with the Netgear Orbi Home Mesh. Designed to cover over 6,000ft, this system can get all your devices connected and performing at super fast speeds.

Design Features

Whether you have a small home full of devices or you want a router that can cover a large house, Netgear Orbi is a very viable choice. It boasts a tri-band system, which means it has two bands that connect over 5GHz while one band can connect over 2.4GHz.

This Wi-Fi System has an exclusive 4×4 1733Mbps for data backhaul between the Wi-Fi router and its satellites. The router has three LAN ports and one WAN port. You can connect it directly to devices like gaming consoles and smart TVs when you want to experience faster speeds.

The Orbi add-on satellite is the second unit in this system. It has four Ethernet ports to which you can connect your wired devices. In this system, you can have up to three add-on units. It’s important to note that every add-on comes at an extra price which drives up the cost of acquiring this Wi-Fi system quite high.

Thanks to its support for MU-MIMO, it can connect to several users at the same time. It eliminates sequential connections so that everyone can enjoy fast speeds no matter their distance from the router.

Set Up and Performance

The first thing you’ll need to do is to connect the router to an Internet source like your cable modem. Next, place the satellite at an appropriate distance from the router, and it will configure correctly as soon as it is in a good range.

To know if you have the satellite in the correct distance, there are LED rings that change their color to guide you. Magenta means that the satellite is too far, amber means it needs to be moved closer while blue means it is in a proper distance for a great signal.

If you tend to experience any buffering when streaming live TV, you could avoid it with Netgear Orbi. It brings wireless performance to a whole new level thanks to the tri-band system. The router does not require similar bandwidth as that of your devices since it delivers Wi-Fi signals to the satellites and back.

Even if you are not in the room where the router is you won’t have any problems. It uses a single SSID to broadcast both of its signals. This way, it can switch between them depending on the device. You should therefore never experience any buffering with this system.

Snags

Apart from being pricey, the mobile app has some limited functions. It gives you basic functionality like the setting of parental controls, guest network, and running speed tests. The good thing is that the app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Summary

Netgear Orbi Home Mesh is a super fast and secure home Wi-Fi router that delivers top performance. It has a wide signal-range, which is good news for users with lots of devices or a large home. It may be an expensive one, but we feel Netgear Orbi delivers value for money.

2. AmpliFi HD - Wi-Fi System

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  • Antennas are adjustable to create a strong Wi-Fi signal
  • It supports MU-MIMO and beamforming technologies
  • It sets up in as little as five minutes
  • Discrete router except for the mesh points
  • It has an intuitive touchscreen control panel
  • LEDs show the signal strength
  • The mesh points location is limited because they have to be in proximity to the router
  • When the signal is lost on a mesh point you have to reboot it
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As home Wi-Fi solutions take on center stage, AmpliFi HD Wi-Fi System by Ubiquiti Labs appears as a contender. It allows professionals, gamers, and everyone else in the house to enjoy reliable Wi-Fi?

Design Features

With a cute cube design, the AmpliFi HD is perhaps the most attractive networking system we have seen so far. The cube measures 3.9 inches, and if it were not for the two long mesh points, it could sit so discretely anyone could think it’s an alarm clock.

On the face of the router, you have a white ring alongside a touchscreen. You can use this touchscreen to see your IP address as well as data usage and how many devices you have connected. After you set up this router, you will need an app to configure it. You won’t be able to configure it on the screen.

This Wi-Fi system has a range of 10,000ft. It is the only one you will need for your large home. It employs the beamforming technology that, along with its antennas, sends signals directly to a device. The beamforming technology is useful since it avoids sending signals in all directions.

Set Up and Performance

The AmpliFi HD connects to your modem through an Ethernet cable. After that, you will connect it to the power adapter, and you are set to begin the configuration process. This router depends heavily on the AmpliFi HD app that is available for Android and iOS. When you plug in the mesh points, it takes only three minutes for them to set up. After that, you can go ahead and update the firmware and test the network speeds.

Being a tri-band model, this router system can transmit three streams of data. It offers MU-MIMO connectivity to distribute Wi-Fi signals efficiently. You will like that it has adequate transfer speeds. It can make up to 127Mbps at 30ft when the router and the mesh points are installed in an office setting where it has a clear path to devices.

Without the mesh points, you can easily get speeds of up to 76.4Mbps on the ground floor of a 3-story building. It showcases an impressive performance that proves that it can work on its own, even without the mesh points.

Snags

One of the constant complaints is the lack of necessary desktop admin software. It makes it harder to perform setups when you don’t want to install the app. There are also complaints about the stability of the network system when a device is over 100ft from the routers.

Summary

There’s so much going for the AmpliFi HD. The router has a discrete design, and it sets up effortlessly making it ideal for those who like to take it easy with gadgets. The app is a nice addition to the configuration. It gives you full home coverage, which is what we want in a good Wi-Fi router system.

3. Synology RT2600AC - 2600Gigabit Wi-Fi Router

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  • It has advanced parental controls
  • It allows bandwidth prioritization
  • Dual-band system offers excellent coverage for average traffic
  • The software is updated regularly to ensure you get the best features
  • Files can be synced across devices using the router’s private cloud
  • The browser does not tell you the status of the connected devices
  • You need to assign one of two frequencies (2.4GHz or 5GHz) to a device
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Synology RT2600AC is a new entry in the Synology line. It is a Qualcomm-based 4×4 router that is MU-MIMO enabled and has dual-WAN connectivity. Being a dual-band router, it caters to the needs of those that like to stream and watch live videos online.

Design Features

Perhaps the first thing you notice about this router is the large and intrusive design. It is massive, and the four antennas signify it is a model that scores high in its throughput performance. The antennas are removable and adjustable to suit your streaming needs.

On the back of the router, you have four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 port, and an SD card slot. It also has a Wi-Fi button and a WPS button. The reset and power buttons are also at the back of this router.

The router also allows you to prioritize bandwidth to where it’s needed most. You will game seamlessly instead of having to suffer rubber banding and disconnects.

Set up and Performance

This router needs to be connected to an Internet source and a computer before you can complete the setup and configuration. When you connect it to a PC, you will then open a browser window which opens a setup window. It will prompt you to name the network SSID, password, and select an operation mode. You will then choose auto band selection and you are done.

Synology RT2600AC also offers a free DS-router app that also comes in handy when you are not connected to a PC.

This router can manage up to 1733Mpbs over 5GHz and 800Mbps over 2.4GHz theoretically. The number is affected by the needs and the range of devices. It has traffic monitoring tools that include parental controls where you can block harmful websites.

Snags

This router has only five network ports. There are times you will feel you need more ports when you have lots of devices that require a direct connection for fast speeds. It doesn’t offer the option of combining two LAN ports to get one super fast connection.

Summary

Synology RT2600AC is a robust device. Being a quad-stream router, you can expect nothing but fast speeds thanks to the solid firmware. You can count on it for continuous reliability.

4. Google Wi-Fi - System 1-Pack Router NLS-1304-25

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  • Super easy to install
  • It can cover small homes up to 1500ft.
  • It is expandable to up to three nodes
  • It has two ports that both act as LAN ports when you have additional LAN points
  • The Google app is straightforward to use
  • It offers reliable control of your devices
  • It does not offer customization of the bands on the app
  • It does not have a USB port
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While boasting a dual-band system, Google Wi-Fi is another new entry in the Wi-Fi mesh industry. With only one pack, this router can give you enough coverage for a small home. It is an expandable model that allows you to include one or two more nodes to get a Wi-Fi signal in a dead zone or weak areas.

Design Features

This router comes in a simple cylinder design with ports and a power cord, a startup guide, and an Ethernet cable. It gives you a coverage of 1500ft, and with three packs, you can get up to 4500ft. With a height of only 4.5 inches, it is a low-profile router that can sit anywhere in a room.

The router has one LED strip that runs around the middle. It gives you the signal strength according to the color of the LED. It will emit a blue LED light during set up and change to a light teal beacon when you have a strong signal. A weak signal emits an amber color.

Set Up and Performance

Google offers a free app for Android and iOS. It helps to set up and configure the router fast and easy. You will find an easy procedure on the app since most of the actions are done automatically. You will be able to prioritize devices such that you can pause networks on kids’ gadgets.

The app also allows you to create guest networks so you will always be in the know about the devices connected to the router. With the help of Network Assist, this router will always select the fastest band for your devices.

Google Wi-Fi enjoys fast data rates. Its combined throughput speed stands at 4,491Mbps. It can give you up to 175Mbps from a distance of 30ft. It is not as fast as the Netgear Orbi or the AmpliFi HD, but it is not as slow as the Synology RT2600AC.

Snags

Google Wi-Fi does not offer the capability to control what band connects to which devices. Getting priority can be a hectic process. Your device might lose priority if it doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth.

Summary

Google Wi-Fi is just what you need if you own a home that is up to 1500sqft. It is a simple Wi-Fi network that you will be thankful for when you install it. Thankfully, you won’t have to spend time browsing the Internet to learn how to install the router. With all the controls and automatic band selection, you are sure to get stable throughput for all your needs.

5. Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300 - Triband Gaming Router

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  • Eight adjustable and removable antennas
  • It has gaming specific features
  • It has eight LAN ports and two USB ports
  • It includes Gamers Private Network Support with WTFast
  • It works with Amazon Alexa
  • The web interface can be a bit complicated for novice users
  • It has too much bandwidth for average users
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If you are looking for excellent Wi-Fi performance, Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300 is the router for you. It suits gamers and nerds that want to meet massive traffic needs. Hardcore gamers will love that it can handle the most demanding data rates for online gaming.

Design Features

Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300 is a large-sized router that looks the part. It has eight antennas that are all removable and adjustable. The router also comes with eight LAN ports. It is a good thing especially for gaming since it is better than connecting over Wi-Fi.

The front hosts LED indicators while the left side has buttons for enabling and disabling Wi-Fi as well as initiating WPS. You will also find a button that turns the LEDs on and off.

Under the hood of this router is a quad-core processor that helps to maximize the data throughput in all your devices. It has been reconfigured such that it can support lots of popular games. Instead of programming the router to prioritize a particular game, you can select it on the router settings.

If you want a second WAN port, it is easy to convert one of the LAN ports into a WAN port. It also supports linking of two LAN ports into one Gbps connection for superior speeds.

Set Up and Performance

Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300 needs connecting to an Internet source. After you have connected the two devices, reset them both. It will configure itself automatically and connect to the Internet. You can then connect it to your PC to access its detailed setup menu on a web browser.

We find the web menu to be one of the most complicated. It has lots of sub-menus that might take you a while to get through and understand. Still, after you spend some time in the menu, you should be able to configure the router correctly.

Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300 can give you speeds of up to 600Mbps on the 5GHz band. It goes without saying that the kind of router you are getting is made for demanding jobs. It has managed to outdo some of the top go-to brands for gaming like Netgear Nighthawk and D-Link.

Snags

This is not a model you will want if you are not a pro-gamer. It requires a bit of knowledge of configuring similar devices, and its data transfer speeds are overkill for non-gamers.

Summary

Only if you are a gamer, you will appreciate the features on the Asus ROG Rapture GTAC5300. It supports gaming to the core with a quad-core processor and the ROG gaming center to help control all your settings. It meets your demands from instant gaming to being able to create an AiMesh for a flexible and robust network for the home.

6. Netgear Nighthawk XR500 - Pro Gaming Wi-Fi Router

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  • It achieves low latency
  • Offers advanced QoS
  • It has geo-filtering for faster connection to online players
  • It can connect to a secure gaming VPN
  • It has a gaming dashboard for device prioritization
  • It uses a 1.7GHz dual-core processor
  • LED lights are too bright
  • It is pricier than other routers in its class
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Netgear Nighthawk XR500 does everything it says it will and so much more. But it is a massive model that will alert everyone of its presence in a room.

Design Features

If you are an FPS gamer, this is a router that could cater to your needs. It reduces latency and boosts speeds to give you a satisfying online gaming experience. It houses a 1.7GHz dual-core processor that is the brains of this router.

The router has four Ethernet ports and two USB ports. Among the gaming features that you can expect, it includes Quality of Service (QoS), which allows prioritizing of gaming devices. Not to mention geo-filtering, which is a feature that helps you locate the closest players in relation to your current location.

With this router, you will be able to connect to a secure VPN server, which helps to protect your network.

Set Up and Performance

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 does not rely on an app for the setup process. Instead, it needs a web page to do most of the settings. It allows you to set the name and password of the network to give you further control of the Wi-Fi settings.

After you have customized the username and password, you will be able to check for updates and get the router online.

Netgear Nighthawk RX500 is faster than most gaming routers. It clocks in at around 510Mbps when your gaming console is at 50ft. It is faster than Linksys WRT 32X at a similar distance.

Snags

This router uses a lot of desktop space because of its large size. Its geo-filtering does not work for all PC games.

Summary

Netgear Nighthawk RX500 targets the serious gamer. It can connect to several gaming consoles and never have to deal with high latency. Though its design could have been better, its gaming features earn it a place among the best.

7. Linksys WRT32X AC3200 - Dual-Band Wi-Fi Gaming Router

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  • It can work with DD-WRT open-source firmware
  • It offers a stable in-game ping
  • Gaming-oriented owing to the Killer Prioritization Engine
  • It can connect multiple gaming rigs
  • The user interface is custom built for gaming
  • 512MB of RAM on a 1.8GHz dual-core processor
  • It's speeds are behind other gaming routers
  • The menu is not user-friendly for novices
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Linksys WRT32X AC3200 is a definite pick for gaming. It automatically identifies laptops that have Killer Network LAN and prioritizes them over others in the house.

Design Features

The Linksys WRT32X AC3200 router looks much like other gaming routers with the antennas sticking out like a sore thumb. You will find that though it needs some real estate on your desktop, you will enjoy working with it because of its Killer Prioritization Engine.

The router will identify gaming PCs and consoles and direct network traffic to your needs. It accelerates speeds and in turn, reduces peak ping by a whopping 77%. With its Wi-Fi control chip, it can double bandwidth as it directs data traffic in four lanes. That is 20-, 40-, 80-, or 160MHz.

You will also like that it continually searches for the clearest frequency. This is an awesome feature if there are many gamers in the house since none will complain about lag.

We like that the design is quite functional for gamers in that it has four Gigabit ports a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a WAN port. As you can see, it’s possible to connect more than a few gaming consoles directly to the router instead of relying on Wi-Fi.

Set Up and Performance

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 will also need to connect to a power adapter and a broadband cable modem; that is after screwing on the four antennas. The set up happens in a web browser, not in an app. Basic configuration, such as the setting of a username and password and updating the firmware, is easy.

After the setup, you can configure the router and set up the Killer Prioritization Engine.

When it comes to performance, Linksys WRT32X AC3200 has middling scores at 464Mbps on the 5Ghz frequency. Compared to ASUS ROG and Netgear Nighthawk, you will find it is a bit slower. And, it may not be able to handle the same number of gaming consoles as the other two gaming routers.

Snags

This router is similar to the Linksys WRT AC3200 in terms of hardware. The Linksys WRT32X AC3200 remains a high-end model even without matching the data speeds as that of other gaming routers.

Summary

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 gives you plenty of bandwidth for gaming. It is suitable for gamers looking for a premium router. Its Killer Prioritization Engine is an essential feature in improving performance. If it had hardware updates, Linksys WRT32X AC3200 would be a perfect fit for most gamers.

8. Asus Dual-Band AC1300 - Affordable Router for Multiple Devices

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  • The ASUS router app helps to monitor settings
  • It switches between 2.4GHz and 5GHz automatically
  • Four antennas give you MU-MIMO coverage
  • Set up is simple on the ASUS web-interface
  • Rubber feet stabilize the router on a flat surface
  • It has four Ethernet ports, a WAN port, and a WPS button
  • It cannot be mounted on a wall
  • Changing the settings is a long process
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Coming in at a budget price, it’s a pleasant surprise to see some advanced features on the Asus Dual-Band AC1300.

Design Features

This router looks outstanding. You will like it alongside your flat screen anywhere thanks to its subtle design. It connects over an 802.11ac protocol, which indicates it has a wider channel bandwidth and the latest features to handle plenty of traffic.

Asus Dual-Band AC1300 offer MU-MIMO to give up to four devices simultaneous bandwidth instead of streaming data to one device at a time. The router uses a Quad-core Qualcomm processor that runs at 717MHz. It is a viable router for streaming and browsing but not for gaming as it has high input lag.

This router gives you four Ethernet ports, a WAN port, and a WPS button on the back side of the router. You will also find a jack to reset the router as well as power on and off button. We like that it has a USB 3.0 port, which means it can be connected to a printer or a portable hard drive.

Set Up and Performance

Asus Dual-Band AC1300 is to be placed on a flat surface. It lacks a VESA mount so you won’t be installing it on a wall. Since the four antennas cannot be unscrewed, you only need to connect it to an Internet and power source.

It then prompts you to do the setup on a web interface. It has an intuitive user interface with organized features. You have useful submenus that help you understand what each menu is all about. It allows you to customize the features like the language, security, WPN settings, and many more aspects.

With the MU-MIMO feature turned on, this router can provide speeds of up to 260Mbps and 220Mbps without MU-MIMO. Speeds on the 2.4Ghz can be as low as 80Mbps at a distance of 100ft. While on the 5GHz they can be as high as 325Mbps at the same distance.

Snags

The LEDs are particularly bright at night, especially in a small room. Although you can customize the LEDs on its user interface, it is quite a process. Applying any other changes in the router is also always a process that requires restarting of the router.

Summary

Most people do not need a high-end router to get their ideal internet performance. If you have only a few devices to connect, an AC1300 router in the likes of Asus is the way to go. The router is straightforward in most of its features. It also offers MU-MIMO technology for fast, seamless connectivity.

Wireless Router Buyer’s Guide

Wireless routers are everywhere around you. Take a look at your phone whenever you are in a cafe or shopping. You will see a lot of Wi-Fi routers, some of them connectable, the others not. The point is that nearly every house, cafe, restaurant, mall, and more, have a wireless router.

Wireless routers allow you to easily connect to the Internet from the comfort of your home, without having to deal with ethernet cables.

The problem is, there are way too many wireless routers available on the market. Purchasing a high-quality one feels like an adventure from which you might return with an empty bag.

We have spent countless hours researching wireless routers to bring you our top 10 list, but we didn’t stop there. This short article will teach you what to expect from wireless routers, and how to find the best ones.

Types of Wireless Routers

Before you can start your search for a wireless router that will suit your needs, you need to know more about their types. Today, there are a couple of different types of wireless routers. We are focusing on the three that are commonly used.

  • Single-band: Single-band routers are, despite their limitations, still very popular. Their name tells you that you are limited to only one frequency – 2.4GHz. The 2.4GHz frequency easily penetrates walls and doors, and almost every device is compatible with it. The worst problem is that you are limited to slower speeds. Another major problem is the fact that single-band wireless routers are prone to interference. While the price of single-band routers is low, they lack modern features that the other routers bring to the table. Our advice is to skip single-band routers and go for one of the following types.
  • Dual-band: Dual-band routers step up the game by utilizing the 5GHz frequency, as well as the 2.4GHz one. The 5GHz frequency isn’t very good at penetrating walls and doors, but it has almost no interference. Yes, dual-band wireless routers are more expensive than the single-band ones. But, they are worth purchasing. They offer you two frequency bands, which means that you can use your old and new devices to connect to the Internet. Another major advantage is the increase in speed brought by the 5GHz frequency.
  • Tri-band: Tri-band routers add a second 5GHz band. The advantage is that the interferences on your Wi-Fi network are brought down to a minimum. The best part is – you don’t have to do anything complicated to make it work, the router does it for you. Tri-band wireless routers are a good choice if you spend a lot of time online. They are also a sound choice for everyone with plenty of devices connected to the Internet. If you live in a crowded city, then a tri-band router is the best choice. If you need a way to future-proof your Wi-Fi, a tri-band wireless router is an excellent choice.

Important Features You Should Consider

Before you can buy a wireless router that will do everything you want it to, you need to be aware of a couple of features. Never skimp on the following features, and your new wireless router will serve you well.

  • LAN ports: While the main idea of using a wireless router is to get rid of the ethernet cables, you still need a few LAN ports. Plenty of smart home devices require a LAN port because their hubs are connected to it. But, LAN ports are useful if you have desktop PCs. Especially if you plan on getting together with a couple of friends for a LAN party. Most of the wireless routers come with 4 LAN ports, which can be expanded if you add an Ethernet switch.
  • USB ports: Some routers come with a built-in print server, so connecting a USB printer to it is a good idea. You can also use the USB ports to connect an external HDD or a flash drive. It is always better to have spare USB ports than to have none.
  • Traffic control: This feature is also known as Media Prioritization, and QoS (Quality of Service.) Traffic control allows you to boost the performance of your wireless router depending on what you’re doing. It gives you the power to focus the bandwidth on video streaming, video games, Skype calls, and more. Traffic control allows you to stream videos without buffering even when someone in your home is downloading a large file.
  • Parental control: It is no secret that plenty of kids spend a lot of time online. It is also no secret that spending too much time online isn’t a healthy habit for children. Parental control allows you to control the time when children can use the Internet. But, it also allows you to block access to social media platforms, gambling websites, video games, adult content, and more.
  • Guest network: The guest network feature allows you to provide limited router access to your guests. It allows you to create a separate network for guests. Your guests will be able to use the Internet, but they won’t have access to your files, USB printers, and other devices.

What is MU-MIMO? Do I Need it?

MU-MIMO(Multiple User Multiple Input, Multiple Output) is a new router technology. It allows the wireless router to connect to, at this moment, up to four devices at the same time.

Routers without the MU-MIMO shuffle data packets quickly between one device at a time. This can make the connection unreliable and slow.

MU-MIMO technology doesn’t shuffle data packets between devices. It focuses on up to four devices and maintains a direct connection to them.

Not a lot of mobile devices can utilize the MU-MIMO technology. So, you should think hard whether you really need it. But, if you want to future-proof your home, then a wireless router with MU-MIMO technology is something you should consider.

How Should I Secure my Wireless Router?

If you don’t take the necessary steps to secure your wireless router, you are leaving your Internet connection open to everyone. Anyone with malicious intent can listen in on your online activities or use your Internet. Some attackers will be able to access your files and even infect your devices with viruses.

First of all, secure your devices with antivirus software. Your second step should be securing the router. Secure the wireless router with at least WPA2 encryption. Avoid WEP encryption at all costs. Anyone with the most basic understanding of computers can crack WEP encryption in a matter of minutes.

WPA2 encryption and antivirus protection should be enough to protect you from plenty of attacks. But, as always, be careful online, don’t open files sent by strangers, and avoid shady websites.