Single or dual band?
Single-band Wi-Fi routers transmit data in the 2.4GHz range, and dual-band routers operate at 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz. While single-band routers are adequate for most users, those living in highly-populated areas might face signal interference from wireless routers in the vicinity – as well as from other devices such as microwave ovens and cordless phones that also operate in the 2.4GHz band. In such cases, a dual-band router is recommended.
It should be noted that while the 5GHz band is less used, its signals don’t travel as well when compared to 2.4GHz. So if you’re operating at 5GHz, you would have to stay closer to the router for better fidelity. That said, you will have to make sure that the devices you use, also support dual-band Wi-Fi. All tablets and phones specify if the device is Wi-Fi compliant, but rarely mention whether they also support 5GHz. Also, dual-band ADSL routers are expensive and well beyond the Rs 3,000 budget.
WPA2 is the highest level of security in routers and is the recommended standard.
Number of ports?
Most routers come with up to four Ethernet ports to connect PCs for shared internet access. The addition of USB ports means you can also connect external storage or a printer to the router, to be shared by devices on the network. Some routers also offer support for 3G USB dongles, allowing you to switch to an alternate internet connection whenever required.
Internal or external antenna?
In case you want Wi-Fi access in other rooms – through walls or glass partitions – opt for a router with one or more external antennas. These increase the overall range of your router. Some routers have internal antennas. Consider an antenna-less design only for a small apartment. For medium to large houses, a two-antenna router should serve you well.
What to buy? ADSL
With USB: D-Link DSL-2750 U (Rs 2,290)
Without USB: Asus DSL-N 10E (Rs 1,940) Non-ADSL
With USB: Belkin N600 DB (Rs 3,690)
Without USB: TP-Link TLWR 941ND (Rs 2,838)