Wireless router

October 30, 2007 RENU

  1. Figure out no of ports reqd in wireless broadband router by determining no of comps that need to be connected to it.

  2. Remember to include all devices such as desktops, laptops,  PDAs.

  3. Wireless broadband routers usually have LAN ports to allow connection to comps (or a network switch) through cables in addition to a wireless antenna. If ur comps r equipped with wireless LAN cards, they do not need to be connected to  wireless broadband router through cables.

  4. Determine the wireless std used by ur Internet Service Provider (ISP) which gives u an idea of the rate of data transfer. This way, routers supporting the reqd data transmission rate can be explored. For instance, acc to the 802.11a & 802.11g wireless networking stds (also known as Wi-Fi), 54Mbps shd be the max data transfer rate. Both the stds however prescribe diff operating freq’s. Newer versions of 802.11g even specify a transmission rate of 125 Mbps & higher. In contrast, 802.11n, the draft of new wireless networking std, specifies data transfer at speed of 540Mbps.

  5. Ensure data security in wireless network by purchasing a Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) compatible router. Security is of prime concern in wireless networks. WEP, data encryption protocol for wireless networks secures data transmitted over radio signals. Wireless data security ensuring protocols more advanced than WEP offer Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) & WPA2 with WPA2 offering the max level of security in wireless networks.

  6. Evaluate if u want a wireless router with an external or internal antenna. An external antenna gives better signal transmission, but may be cumbersome to carry around if user is freq’tly mobile. Some wireless routers with an internal antenna have a port where an external antenna can be attached.

  7. Assess other features of wireless broadband router. Aside from connecting networks & enabling Internet connection sharing, routers can perform several other functions. Routers typically determine the shortest path of a data pkt to its destination.

  8. Some routers additionally function as hubs or switches, provide additional firewalls & support port forwarding ability reqd to host a Web server. Remember that routers with more features also cost more.

  9. Check the interface of wireless router with ur comps. In case of a single computer, u can connect wireless router with an Ethernet cable, a USB cable or simply through the antenna. In case of Ethernet cable, ur comp shd be equipped with a LAN card with an Ethernet port. In case of USB router, u simply need a USB port on ur comp. If ur comp has a wireless LAN card, u do not need any cables to connect — the antenna of the wireless broadband router would communicate directly with ur wireless LAN card. If connecting the router to a switch or a hub, the switch must either have an Ethernet port (all switches have this port) or have a wireless antenna.

  10. Call ur ISP after identifying a router. Check with the service provider if they sell the reqd wireless broadband router. Sometimes, ISPs lease routers for an extra monthly charge. If u need a multi-feature high-end router beyond ur budget, leasing it in the beginning might be better option.

  11. Alternatively, buy the wireless broadband router from online vendors, a list of which will be available in the above-mentioned buyers’ guides. Browse through popular online stores such as CompUSA, Best Buy and Circuit City.

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Entry Filed under: Computer

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