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They operate on the 2.4GHz radio band and are generally well suited for Web browsing, connecting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and wireless printing.But they have to compete with other 2.4GHz devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, and Bluetooth hardware.Expect to pay upward of 0 for a multi-band router.If You Can Afford It, Futureproof With Advanced Features When shopping for a router you'll have to decide if you want an 802.11n model or an 802.11ac model.Most laptops, smartphones, and printers currently use the 802.11n protocol, which is capable of maximum throughput speeds of up to 600Mbps.
They operate on the widely used 2.4GHz band and the less crowded 5GHz band, which offers better throughput and less interference.
Not long ago most households could get by with a basic single-band router to keep a handful of devices connected to the home network.
These days you'd be hard pressed to find a home that doesn't have multiple smartphones, gaming consoles, tablets, and laptops vying for online access.
With a dual-band router you can have your smartphones and laptops connect on the 2.4GHz band, and save the 5GHz band for content that requires stronger bandwith, like streaming HD video and playing video games.
For maximum coverage in a high traffic home network, consider a tri-band router which gives you one 2.4GHz radio band and two 5GHz bands to share among your devices.If you're using newer devices equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters, you'll need an 802.11ac router to take advantage of the increased speed and bandwidth that this Wi-Fi protocol delivers.