What to look for in the Best Wi-Fi Router for Smart Home
Best WiFi Router for Smart Home - When you signed up, your internet provider may have provided you with a router. But is it any good? Or is it like one of those cheap earbuds that come with your phone that are better than nothing?
If you own a smart home, there are many reasons to upgrade from the default provided router. After all, you want the best Wi-Fi router for smart home there is. Also, you may be paying a monthly rental fee for that router, a proposition likely to be more expensive in the long run.
Or your ISP may have given you a router with weak signals that do not deliver on the promised speeds. While this is not always the case, you'll want to check and ascertain that your router is not a bottleneck. It should be capable of pushing the speeds you're paying for. After all, you own a smart home and have unique needs.
A new better router can make your linked devices (e.g. doorbell camera, smart TV, laptops, remote hub control) seem a lot faster. Not only that, but an upgrade would equip you with the latest security features and improved user interfaces.
Here's a rundown of essential features to look out for.
Features you need for Best Wi-Fi Router for Smart Home
First, you need to consider the size of your home - this will dictate the kind of coverage you require. Secondly, you want to know how many people will be connecting to the network and the types of devices they'll be using.
A router with speedier, beefier bandwidth options and excellent management capabilities will help keep the peace in your house as more people vie for available bandwidth. So what features do you need to look for in the best Wi-Fi router for smart home?
6 Best Wi-Fi Router for Smart Home needs Smart Home Integration
Routers are getting smarter. Advanced QoS is an intelligent feature that should be high on your wanted list. Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes different types of traffic. Think about it like this; which is more important to you? A steady high-quality stream of HBO/Netflix or a big file download?
In most cases, it will be the former. Plain QoS allows you to allocate bandwidth to each device manually. Meanwhile, Advanced/Dynamic/Adaptive QoS uses clever algorithms to allocate bandwidth optimally to the services you need the most. The best Wi-Fi router for smart home should have such innovative automation features.
The best Wi-Fi router for smart home should also have a smartphone app for easy configuration. No more finicky firmware software. Even better, because you want the best Wi-Fi router for smart home, look for a router compatible with smart platforms such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Task automation services such as IFTTT or CUE are usually included in the best Wi-Fi router for smart home and will make your home smarter with curated trigger events.
1. Dual-band or Wi-Fi 6
2019 released Wi-Fi 6 supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It offers 30-40% speed improvement on the previous 802.11ac standard.
You can also opt for a dual-band router that supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
Why have two bands when you can have three? A tri-band set-up consists of one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. The main attraction is that many connected devices are less likely to slow down your Wi-Fi. If you want the best Wi-Fi router for smart home, then why not go for the tri-band which means you're getting three times the bandwidth, less interference, and can dedicate each band to different devices. The best Wi-Fi router for smart home should be future-proof.
How wide of an area do you want to cover? Mesh network systems will relay traffic all around your house more seamlessly than range extenders. Depending on how many mesh nodes you add, you can distribute a signal over 4000-6000 square feet.
The best Wi-Fi router for smart home will usually need to serve many devices over a larger area, so the range must be good enough.
4. Ethernet Ports
Ethernet ports for a wired connection give the fastest stable speeds out of your router. Great for streaming and gaming. If your router doesn't have enough ports, you can get a switch that adds more ports to your setup.
Though wireless seems ideal, the best Wi-Fi router for smart home will need to support wired connections for some devices which may require it.
5. Security standards
In a world of high-tech cyber-attacks, the best Wi-Fi router for smart home will need the best protection out there. At a minimum, look for the WPA2 standard or, better still, the WPA3 released in 2018, which has more robust encryption.
WPA3 is not bulletproof, so you still want to ensure your router has the latest updates.
Look out for MU-MIMO wireless router technology that improves the previous MIMO. MU-MIMO is one of the most significant advantages of Wi-Fi 6 over Wi-Fi 5. It increases the efficiency and capacity of your router over multiple devices.
MU-MIMO is a must-have feature for the best Wi-Fi router for smart home.
Suggestions for the best Wi-Fi router for smart home
If you want the best Wi-Fi router for smart home, consider these options that take into account both feature set and budget restrictions.