HomeTechHacker: 7 Wi-Fi Router features to look for

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Marlon Buchanan
By Marlon Buchanan

Your Wi-Fi router is the most important network device in your home. 

It plays a large role in your home network’s security, speed, and stability. 

Here are 7 features to look for if you are in the market for a new Wi-Fi router:

1. Guest network capability
You want to have a separate network for guests for security purposes. It keeps your home network devices safe from potentially compromised devices that you don’t control. It also allows you to keep your primary home network password private.

2. Mesh capability
Strong Wi-Fi throughout your home is sometimes hard to achieve with just one device providing your Wi-Fi access. A mesh Wi-Fi router system provides multiple points of Wi-Fi access all integrated into one system. This is especially useful if you have a larger home, or have trouble spots where Wi-Fi coverage is spotty or slow.

If you aren’t sure if you need a mesh Wi-Fi router system you don’t have to start off buying one. You can buy a router that has the capability to integrate into a mesh system so you can expand in the future.

3. Automatic firmware updates
Keeping your router up to date is one of the most important ways to keep your home network secure. New exploits are found frequently and these updates contain fixes that protect against new security vulnerabilities. Your router should at least be able to notify you of available firmware updates.

4. Management App
Older routers have basic features that you can access and configure by logging into a website and navigating the web pages for the features you want to configure. Many newer routers come with apps that make navigating all of these features easily and conveniently done from the comfort of your mobile device.

5. WPA3
WPA3, or Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, is the latest standard for securing Wi-Fi connections. It uses more powerful encryption than WPA2, better protecting your network from snooping hackers. Most Wi-Fi devices don’t yet support WPA3, but newer devices do and soon it will become ubiquitous.


MU-MIMO, which stands for Multiple User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output, is a Wi-Fi technology that increases the capacity and efficiency of your router’s Wi-Fi connections, allowing it to handle more WiFi-intensive activities such as streaming and gaming. This technology is more important if you have a lot of Wi-Fi devices on your network.

7. Wi-Fi 6
Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the latest Wi-Fi standard. It is faster and more stable than its predecessors. Theoretical speeds for Wi-Fi 6 top out at 250% of the previous standard, Wi-Fi 5. As a bonus, Wi-Fi 6-certified devices come with WPA3 and MU-MIMO.

Look for these seven features when shopping for a Wi-Fi router. If you get one that has Wi-Fi 6, it is likely to have many if not all of the other features as well. Check out my HomeTechHacker Technology Advisor for personalized advice on which Wi-Fi 6 router to buy.

Marlon Buchanan is a best-selling author, IT Director, and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, a website with free resources to help you make the most of your home technology.


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