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With a wireless router you can share an internet connection, and network multiple computers and devices, including smartphones and tablets, to share files and stream media wirelessly.
A wired router provides a more secure and reliable connection, with potentially faster data transfer speeds, especially when you choose one that supports Gigabit Ethernet.
Range Extenders & Powerline Networking
With a range extender, you can amplify and expand your WiFi range. To semi-wirelessly connect devices that don't have built-in WiFi, powerline networking transfers data using existing electrical wiring.
Hubs, Switches & Modems
A modem connects you to an Internet Service Provider via cable or DSL. Hubs and switches share the connection, and let you network devices, with more LAN ports for wired connectivity than a router alone.
Wireless USB Adapters
Wireless USB adapters, also known as USB WiFi adapters, are external mobile internet sticks that resemble jump drives. Simply plug into your computer to get online access wherever there's a WiFi connection.
Networking Cables & Accessories
Find the right length and category rated fibre optic or patch cable, along with adapters, antennas, cable testing kits and media converts to keep your network running.
A wireless or WiFi network is a way to share an internet connection with other devices in your home without the messy wiring. It enables you to connect computers, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, printers, network storage devices, home theatre systems, even surveillance cameras, without the hassle of cumbersome cables. Think of the router as a hub that takes the signal from your modem and sends it out to your compatible WiFi-ready devices.
A wired router tends to offer a faster, more reliable and secure connection. This is great for businesses that need to share large files or sensitive information on a network. It's also appealing to gamers who value a consistent connection, unaffected by interference from weather, walls, or other wireless signals. A wireless router acts as a hub for computers and other WiFi-enabled mobile devices so they can communicate seamlessly with each other and share an internet connection.
When shopping for a router, the first thing you might notice is the number 802.11. It refers to the standard for WiFi connectivity and the letters that follow – AC, N or G– define the wireless protocol. 802.11ac is the fastest protocol residing within the 5GHz band and offers increased transfer speeds over long distances and less interference with other wireless devices, making it ideal for gaming and HD video streaming. Keep in mind, however, that your wireless AC device cannot go any faster than your internet connection allows.
802.11n is the most widely used wireless protocol, operating within either a 2.4GHz or 5GHz band, and can support transfer speeds up to 300Mbps/second. A great option for the budget conscious, wireless N can support all your basic tasks, such as web surfing and email, while providing faster technology for HD video streaming, online gaming and other bandwidth-hungry tasks. 802.11g is an older protocol that operates within the 2.4GHz band and can support speeds up to 54 Mbps – perfect for basic web surfing and emailing.
For your security, wireless routers use encryption technology to make it difficult for hackers and snoopers to access your information. WEP was the first security protocol introduced in wireless routers, with the more recent WPA and WPA2 offering stronger data encryption and greater security. Most routers also let you set up a password for your network, preventing outsiders from accessing it.
Read our Networking Buying Guide
Cable Jacks & Adapters
Cable Testing Kits & Tools
Other Networking Accessories
Whether you’re looking to create a wireless hub in your home or to stay connected while on the go, networking technology will help you forge your connection. Best Buy carries a wide selection of routers, extenders, hubs and adapters from brands like D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, ASUS and Startech, and that work with networks from AC to N. Access the internet, share your world over social media, and stream content from one device to another without worrying about messy cables or complicated configurations.
A wireless router is designed for creating a network within your home or office. Wireless AC is the latest of the wireless technologies and offers the most robust and reliable signal for your devices, using speeds up to 4.3 times faster than Wireless N connections can manage. It’s also backwards compatible with Wireless N and G devices, and lets you share peripherals like printers with other computers on your network, as well as wirelessly stream content to and from media servers and multimedia players. The addition of a range extender or powerline device to your wireless network can strengthen signals and bring life to dead zones.
A wired router allows you to plug your devices directly into a unit for a fast, solid connection to your network. Several Ethernet ports are made available so you’ve got plenty of room for a variety of devices like a game console, computer, laptop, TV and more. And just like a wireless model, a wired router offers advanced security features so you can feel totally safe downloading files and sharing information over your network. The addition of a range extender to your wired network can strengthen signals and bring life to dead zones.
Mobile internet sticks are designed for use with your laptop, letting you access your online world from wherever you roam. These handy and innovative devices plug directly into a USB port on your laptop to give you access to broadband connectivity through a service provider. Most are so easy to use, you simply plug it in and you’re good to surf, stream and share as you please on a solid, high speed connection that moves around with you.
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