High speed internet is essential now for people of ages, from business owners trying to communicate with customers to kids who need to look something up for a school project. If you want to turn your home into a wireless hot spot so residents and visitors alike can surf the Internet without being tethered to a cord, consider buying switches, routers, and other equipment that work in addition with the modem provided by the internet service provider (ISP). Buying at least some of your own equipment, even if you're new to the world of wireless networking, comes with five important benefits.
Using a wireless network in your home allows you to enjoy the Internet from any room, but it also puts your data at risk unless you secure the network with a password and strong encryption. These settings are changed through the router itself, and many ISP-provided routers are locked so that the user can't change the password or select a different encryption method without calling for help from tech support. If you're the kind of person who prefers to change your network passwords regularly or wants to play around with the advanced security features, invest in your own router to hook up to the ISP's modem.
The ISP has to send out thousands of modems and routers and make sure they're all reliable enough to work without constant attention from service technicians, so they tend to stick with well-tested and reliable models rather than the latest releases with cutting edge technology. This means your gaming performance or video streaming power will be limited by the router provided. Investing in your own router also allows you to boost performance by doing the following:
- Installing different firmware to maximize the internal power of the equipment
- Using flashing software to tweak essential settings and squeeze a little more speed out of the connection
- Upgrading models regularly as the newest advancements make their way to the market.
Did you know that some ISPs use their customers' routers and modems to create public wi-fi hot spots for strangers to use? It's not usually a drain on speed or a threat to security, but many people aren't aware it's happening in their own home. If you don't want to encourage people to park in front of your home to take advantage of your wi-fi, you'll need to buy your own router and only use the wireless network it creates. Of course, many companies that use this practice also allow customers to opt out without having to invest in new equipment.
It only takes one power surge or a misplaced glass of water for a modem or router to end up permanently dead. While all companies leasing networking equipment will ship out a replacement as quickly as possible, even the fastest shipping methods leave you without a connection for at least a day or two. If you're already relying on equipment you purchased and installed yourself, you can run to the nearest 24 hour retailer with an electronics department and be back online within the hour.
Finally, buying at least a wireless router outright will likely save you a few hundred dollars in the long run. Most ISPs charge between $4 and $10 a month for renting the equipment, which adds up over the course of five years. A $50 router would save you $250 over a five year period if you're paying $5 a month to rent a router. Even if you're upgrading every other year or so to keep up with the latest wi-fi improvements, you'll still spend the same or less as you would when leasing.
For more information and options, talk with a local internet service provider, such as Reserve Telecommunications.Share