It is hard to believe that it’s back to school time again, and for many of us, the start of the school year is looking much different than usual. Some of you may be starting school 100% online, some are opting for a combination of in-school and online learning, and some, of course, are 100% in-person learning. Regardless of how you are choosing for your kids to learn in the midst of this ongoing pandemic, the only thing that’s for sure is that no one is sure how school – or work – is going to look a month from now, 3 months from now, or into next year. Chances are that we are going to continue to find ourselves working and learning from home at some point, and we would like to help you prepare for that as much as possible with our unique expertise in home networking.
Owning vs. Renting a Router
The number one thing you can do to ensure a strong home network speed is to ensure you have a quality router. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer routers to rent as part of their monthly internet price, and while convenient, it may not be the best ‘route’ to go. You may want to consider purchasing your own router for a few reasons.
- Buying a router makes the most economical sense. Most ISPs will rent you a router from anywhere between $8 and $15 per month. OR you can purchase your own router for anywhere from $40 – $200 for the exact same quality.
- ISP Throttling. Most people do not know that ISPs will limit bandwidth or connection speeds when it’s convenient to them. This means slower internet at random times to your ISPs benefit and they can do this as much as they like without notifying you or providing any kickbacks on your monthly bill. How do they control this? Yep, that router they are renting you. Own your own router and your ISP is no longer able to throttle your service.
- You can customize your privately owned router. Renting a router will have its limitations in terms of speed and additional features. With a privately owned router, you can setup a guest Wi-Fi connection, so you don’t have to share your Wi-Fi password (think babysitters, house sitters, or your daughter’s boyfriend).
Are there cases where owning your own router does not make sense? There are, but we would say these are the exceptions, not the rule.
- If you have roommates, you are better off renting your router. It will be less hassle when it comes to divvying up the bill each month.
- If your employer is paying the bill, there is no sense in footing that extra cost (In our opinion).
- If you are planning to move within the year, we are suggesting sticking with your rented model. Every ISP has different routers it can work with so before you run out and buy a router, wait until you move and are certain of the ISPs that will service your new home. Then search for a router that will work with your ISP.
A final reason you may not want to purchase a router is if you just do not feel like dealing with the hassle of setting up your own router. We realize that convenience can certainly be a factor here, but we just could not file this under the cons because we believe owning a router really gives you the best home network experience. If you are intimidated by the thought of setting up your own router, give us a call and we can help you virtually identify a router to purchase and set it up. All without stepping foot in your home!