Six Reasons to Upgrade Your Router
There are lots of things that can cause poor home network performance or problems with streaming content from the Internet to your TV set. One of the more common reasons is often a home network running an older Wi-Fi router that might not be able to keep up with the demands of streaming high-def video. It’s no wonder that consumers are reluctant to upgrade their old routers. In the past, Wi-Fi routers required quite a bit of technical expertise to set up and configure. With today’s routers the process has become very friendly and fool-proof and the price for a new router now typically runs from around $50 to $150 although some higher end routers with all the bells and whistles can cost in the $200 - $300 price range. Here’s a rundown of some of the new features that should convince you to make the relatively inexpensive upgrade to a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi router.

At the Very Least, Move up from G to N

The latest Wi-Fi standard is 802.11n which supports multiple frequency bands and high speeds. Older 802.11g routers max out at 54mbps and operate in the 2.4GHz frequency. Most new routers and Wi-Fi enabled devices support 802.11n so if you are going to upgrade your router for one reason make it to move to an “n” router however, even 802.11n may soon be superceded by a new IEEE standard 802.11ac (see below).
What’s Next After 802.11n?

Although the newest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, isn’t expected to receive official certification until the end of 2013, that isn’t stopping manufactures from starting to support it. In fact at CES this year Broadcom announced they were about to start sampling 802.11ac chips. These Wi-Fi 5G (for 5th generation) chips should run 3 times faster than 802.11n. Although 802.11ac uses 5GHz exclusively most vendors are expected to design in dual-band chips for backward compatibility.
Dual Bands Cover the Bases
Many older routers use the 2.4GHz frequency which, although has a little better range than the newer 5GHz frequency can get very crowded with other Wi-Fi devices in neighboring wireless networks as well as other wireless devices like cordless phones and baby monitors. The 5GHz spectrum is less likely to compromise performance but the best solution is to have a router that supports both bands. Even better, the router should have a separate radio for each band so they can both work simultaneously increasing throughput. Some of the new high performance routers claim they can run two 450Mbps streams resulting in an effective 900Mbps, much higher than a typical router’s 300Mbps data rate. Some routers like the D-Link HD Media Router 3000 allow you to direct more demanding traffic to the faster band.
Guest Access Protects Your Privacy
How many times has someone come to your house and asked for your Wi-Fi key? It’s happening more and more and chances are if you let someone access your network they can get access to all your shared files. Router makers have come up with a nice solution to this problem offering an additional radio for quest access that lets users access the Internet but blocks them from your home network.

Better Security Keeps
Hackers Out

If you’ve got an older router you’re probably using older security methods like WEP which although makes your network safer than no security at all, it’s easier for someone to crack. New routers use protocols like WPA2 which provides security that’s almost impossible for most hackers to break into.

USB Port Can Add Network Storage Devices

As routers become the hub for your network activities, it seems like a logical place to attach a shared access storage device like a hard drive holding your music, photos, or videos. Some newer routers have USB ports where you can attach a USB hard drive as NAS (network attached storage). The Netgear WNDR4700 goes a step further and adds a 2TB hard drive right in the router.

While You’re at it,
Consider IPv6

The organization that gives out IP addresses ran out of numbers recently and has since moved up to longer addresses that provide a greater range of numbers. The new addresses are part of IP version 6 (IPv6). For the most part, consumers will not have to concern themselves with IPv6 but it doesn’t hurt to have a router that is IPv6 certified.

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Dual Bands is very

Dual Bands is very impressive!

But when will the recievers do dual band?

Routers, but what about the other end?

Until we KNOW that dual band is IN the laptops, printers, and all the other stuff, where is the reason to upgrade?

Just for an example.....

Dual Band

The more your router can output, the less chance of a network bottleneck.