Home networking buying guideCNET editor Dong Ngo spills the beans on how to shop for your home network.
-Hi guys, it's Dong Ngo here, and today, I'm gonna show you how to shop for your home network, basically means the wireless browser. Now, if you want me to tell you just what to buy, I have a bunch of them here in front of me, but just for a record, these are not the only device you should get. This has happened to be around 198, but they do represent they 3 three categories of router I wanna tell you now-- The above minimum, the just right, and the cutting edge. Now, let's talk about the above minimum. Think about it, at home, you just want to share the internet and maybe some files or something and for that this D-Link 605L meets the need perfectly. This is a single band router that offers very good range and very good data rate. It has 4 LAN port on the back here for you to plug in Y devices. Now, it lacks many things. It doesn't have a gigabit as an app, no USB ports, and no dual band either, but it's perfect for small apartment or a dorm room or a flower shop. You know, people don't go to flower shop expecting for your WiFi. Now, if you want more than that, you probably want to jump to the just right category. I suspect that this is actually the most public categories because that's where smart shoppers shop that because these devices offer you just what you need without going overboard and it's not too expensive. For that category, this Asus RT-N56U is the best example. This is a true dual band N 600 router. Now, true dual and because it can work on both the 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz frequency bands at the same time. N 600 because on each band can have up 300 megabit per second or 600 megabit per second combined. Now, 300 megabit per second is not the fastest WiFi can get, but that happened to be the standard that most WiFi client such as laptop, iPad, [unk], iPhone etcetera support, and when comes to networking, the speed is determined by the slowest party involved. In other words, when you've got superfast WiFi router, we are no so superfast WiFi client. You will have the not so superfast WiFi speed. On top of that, this router also have a gigabit Ethernet Offering very fast Y connectin and 2 USB ports to host printers or external hard drive. When working with external hard drives, it's helpful to network storage for both data sharing and entertainment-- streaming contents to connected network players. Now, the price, about $100, but if you have more than $100 to spend and you do want to spend it, you're gonna think about the cutting edge category and for that this Netgear R 6300 is a very good example. Now, this router here has everything Asus has plus more. You see gigabit Ethernet, 2 dual band, 2 USB ports plus it also supports the latest 802.11 AC WiFi standard that offer the speed of up to 1.3 gigabit per second, 1300 megabit per second, that is. Of course, you can only have that kind of speed. Of course, you can only have that kind of speed if you also use client that support the 802.11 AC standard, and unfortunately, there are not many of them if that all of the market now. There will be a lot of them in the future and the price future proof about $200. Now, obviously, there are many other routers on the market that fit those 3 categories and stay somewhere in the middle. For example, this D-Link DIR-827 is another great router in the just right category or this Asus RT-AC66U is also another great cutting edge router or these 2 routers right here, the D-Link DIR-857 or Cisco Linksys EA4500. These both are a lot faster and better than the just right category, but not fast enough to be cutting edge. To find out more, go to CNET and check out the detailed and written version of the buying guide that you can also find links to more products and learn more about other networking products power-line adaptor or access point. One last thing, when shopping for a whole network product, make sure you do your homework, your own research because you cannot rely on just commerce show or seeing rap about the performance and features of the product. There are many things you cannot see. For example, the WiFi signal. As we got here, we actually test every single router to determine how stable the WiFi signal is. There are many things you cannot deduce from look of the router. I can though, but that's because I'm Dong Ngo, and this has been pre-guide on how to spend your money on hardware products, happy shopping.