Nearly half (47%) of American adults access the Internet via WiFi or Mobile Broadband Internet connections. [source] I would think about 20% of Americans have WiFi connectivity within their home and probably only half of them bought a WiFi router for their household. In my experience I’ve found that you get what you pay for in WiFi routers (or any Internet connectivity hardware for that matter.) In saying that I’ve always found Linksys-Cisco technology to be one of the better consumer products as well as the higher-end Netgear items ($100+). Of course if you can afford it, you might want to go with Hawking Technologies, they make some outstanding WiFi routers, especially if you need to cover some extra distances. Belkin is a brand I suggest staying away from, their cheap & are frequently returned.

What would I suggest?

netgear-routerThe Netgear WNDR3700 WiFi router (~$170) works well. It has the added feature of allowing you to connect a USB drive to the router for network storage. Some people have claimed that using attached storage is slow – one of the common causes for being slow is that people attach a hard drive that has a “spin-down cycle” meaning the unit actually stops spinning the hard drive to conserve power. So the next time you access it, that hard drive has to spin-up before it can be accessed. One of the best ways to avoid this issue is to use a solid state hard drive of thumb-drive – a cheap alternative is to buy a $10 SD memory card reader and a decent priced SD memory card and use that.

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Another option and a bit cheaper is the Netgear WNDR3300 WiFi Router (~$110) which is also a good wireless router. I’ve set up several of them without an issue. the only real complaint I’ve heard is that the blue light on the unit is bright and can be annoying if it is in a bedroom. Maybe the use of black electrical tape would work here?

What should you stay away from?

The Belkin brand. Or anything below $99.