Since most users now use portable devices like laptop, mobile phones, tables, the existence of a highly stable wireless network is more important than a wired network. In such a wireless network, users must be able to access each other’s devices and network servers, and at the other hand, they need to access to the Internet also, which makes a series of challenges.In this article, we intend to propose 5 recommendations for choosing a good WiFi router for your office to fulfill all of your requirements.
1- Router’s technology
Up to now, 6 technologies have been introduced in WiFi networks. These standards are listed in the following image:
In general, the 802.11n standard is the most widely used technology in WiFi networks, and the 802.11ac is the fastest technology in WiFi networks. (The 802.11ax standard has recently been introduced and compatible equipment is not available everywhere). Currently, the 802.11ac technology has two generations, known as Wave1 and Wave2. Wave1 with the maximum speed of 1300Mbps and Wave2 with the maximum speed of 3600Mbps. so, it’s better to use an 802.11ac – Wave2 standard router.
2- The Number Of Router’s Antenna
Technically, the number of antennas on the router has a tremendous impact on the quality of client’s communication. And enables the router (especially the 802.11ac and 802.11ax routers) to use its own capabilities such as Beam-forming and MU-MIMO (beam-forming focus the router’s signal and sending it directly to your devices in a straight line, minimizing surrounding signal interference and increasing the strength of the signal and MU-MIMO allows multiple WiFi devices to simultaneously receive multiple data streams). Usually, there are up to 4 antennas available in 802.11n and up to 8 antennas available in 802.11ac technologies.
3- The Number of Router’s Ports
Generally, most routers are equipped with up to 4 ports to communicate with the wired network and servers, along with one WAN port for the Internet communication.The speed of LAN ports is 1Gbps but some routers have two specific ports with the Link-Aggregation capability. These two ports are integrated as one logical port with 2Gbps speed, for serving the high-bandwidth required servers like file servers, storages, data-base servers.
4- QOS and traffic-Shaping features
Advance routers have specific capabilities to manage the services and users bandwidth separately. By the QOS capability you will be able to assign a certain bandwidth of the total Internet traffic into a particular application or service. For example, you can dedicate 20 % of the overall bandwidth to web-surfing and allocate 40 % of the overall bandwidth to Video Streaming services .by using the Traffic-Shaping capabilities you can assign a certain amount of bandwidth to one or a group of users, for example, you can assign 5Mbps bandwidth for each client or 20Mbps bandwidth for a group of clients. Consider in mind that you can assign these limitation to clients’ devices based on the client’s IP or MAC addresses.
5- Adjustable Output Power
In advanced routers, you are able to set the router’s output power(TX Power) between 17 and 25 dbm ( the wireless output power is measured in dbm) depending on the extent of the workplace and the existing obstacles and walls. This value should be adjusted carefully so that all users have a RSSI around -65dbm. (RSSI means the received signal level at a certain point, this number can be between -30dbm and -85dbm, and you can measure the RSSI at a certain location by WiFi-Analyzer free mobile Apps) . Keep in mind that increasing the router’s output power may cause users to lose quality in communication, so try to choose the right amount for this option and avoid unnecessarily increasing it.