Are you in the market for a wireless router or a network switch? First, let’s look at what you are really buying. A modern appliance that is marketed as a Wireless Router is typically 3 devices in 1 package.
- Router – A device that connects 2 or more networks.
- Wireless Access Point – connects wireless devices to a wired network
- Network Switch – connects wired devices together on a network
For home and small office, here are some of the wireless routers people recommend. Typically I link to products I use, but for my personal and business use I use the discontinued Cisco Small Business Pro model AP541n.
Here are some features you might want to look for in a wireless router for home or small office.
- Easy setup – You can just turn it on and connect one cable end to your broadband.
- Default SSID and password is written on the router for immediate use.
- Self healing, which means it reboots itself weekly or even multiple times per week if you want.
- They are very easy to switch to access point mode for small office installations.
If you are wondering what the Difference between 802.11n and 802.11ac is then you might like this tech article from Electronic Design.
Do you need more than 4 network ports? This Keebox brand 5-port switch is a real bargain for home networks. For small office networks I like Cisco brand network switches.