How to find the best Wi-Fi router for a home office

Does your home office Wi-Fi router’s lackluster performance hamper your productivity? Do you constantly deal with wireless connectivity issues that drive you crazy? And do the problems get worse as you add more wireless devices to the network? If you answered yes to any of these questions, an upgrade of your aging, overloaded Wi-Fi router may be the only guaranteed solution.

Before you buy that bargain basement router or even splurge on the most expensive model, it’s wise to make sure you understand the technologies behind your in-home wireless so you can pick the best router for your workspace or small office.

Making sense of Wi-Fi standards and technologies

Mobile devices that support Wi-Fi today conform to the 802.11 family of protocols for wireless communication. That family includes the trusted 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g standards, and newer Wi-Fi devices support the much faster 802.11n and 802.11ac, as well.

To enable speedier data transfer, 802.11n and 802.11ac leverage Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, which uses different antennas to send multiple streams of wireless data for better performance. In theory, 802.11n devices can offer as many as four separate spatial streams, and 802.11ac supports up to eight streams.

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