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Choose the brand of your router carefully! Keep all this in mind before purchasing

Wi-Fi routers are one of the most important elements of any home network. All connections to the Internet pass through them, and also to the rest of the equipment on the local network, whether wired or wireless devices. In addition, routers increasingly have more complete firmwares with a large number of services, perfect for getting the most out of their hardware.

One manufacturer is not the same as another

On some occasion you will have heard the popular saying “cheap is expensive.” This means that sometimes we buy low-quality products that will leave us satisfied for a short time and that after a short period we will have to replace them. So if we want to buy a good router that lasts and is safe, we must take these criteria into account:

  1. The manufacturer’s choice in which we must look at their prestige and awards that they have accumulated with their network equipment.
  2. He firmware update support that they offer in which the number of years that they guarantee it to us is important.
  3. The Wi-Fi technologies that they offer where some of those that must currently be included are MU-MIMO, OFDMA and Beamforming.
  4. The Ethernet ports The minimum must be Gigabit but if one is 2.5G, 5G or 10Gbps better.
  5. The manufacturing materials they use influence their durability and resistance.
  6. Have 3 USB ports.
  7. Which include innovative technologies such as QoS to prioritize network traffic or let you install a Samba, FTP, DLNA or VPN server.

As you can see, not only is it very important to have good hardware in our router, it is also very important to have a very complete firmware with which we can get the most out of the router.

Choose a good brand for your router

There are certain manufacturers that more than meet the requirements that we have mentioned before, such as ASUS, NETGEAR, AVM FRITZ!Box either D-Link. If we buy network equipment from these manufacturers we will have the guarantee that we will obtain good support over time. This is achieved through firmware updates that implement new options and also fix security flaws that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

In this case we have chosen the FRITZ!box 3490 whose analysis we published in RedesZone in January 2015. More than 8 years have passed and they have recently released update 7.31 as you can see here:

That after so many years they continue to release updates is something to be grateful for. Although this router is not Wi-Fi 6, it is still up to par for everyday tasks. In addition, the rest of the brand’s routers also have the same update policy. The same happens with other brands such as ASUS and its Asuswrt firmware, which will provide us with updates for many years, both updates to correct bugs and also to add new features, especially if you buy a router with hardware compatible with the latest versions of Asuswrt 388 firmware where we have important improvements such as the incorporation of WireGuard VPN.

How the FRITZ!Box 3490 has been improving

Over time, this AVM router has been improving by implementing new functions in its FRITZ!box routers, including the 3490. In this case I am going to talk about two that, from my point of view, have been differential. One of the updates that happened about 4 years ago was the introduction of Wi-Fi Mesh support or mesh network. With this, if we use devices from the same manufacturer we get a repeater to act in conjunction with the router as if it were a single Wi-Fi network.

This is a very different way of working than what we did before with repeaters in which we had two different Wi-Fi networks, that of the repeater and that of the router. In this case we can see a Wi-Fi Mesh network in which a FRITZ!box 3490 and a FRITZ!Repeater 1200 work.

Also, an interesting thing is that this FRITZ!box 3490, if we later buy another AVM FRITZ!box router, we can use it as a repeater to complete our mesh network. The other big update was about two years ago and was the introduction of encryption Wi-Fi security WPA3.

Currently, the minimum recommended is to use WPA2 along with a strong password with 12 characters that include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols. WPA3 encryption is usually seen on more modern routers, which are generally Wi-Fi 6. Without a doubt, AVM has done a great job with this router and many others as you can see.

Finally, before buying a router, think carefully and try to choose a good manufacturer like those mentioned because in the long term we will obtain greater durability and also better support.

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