These days, a weak Wifi signal is more than annoying – it can totally disrupt your workday or, worse, put a much-needed Netflix binge watch on pause (the horror!). Depending on your type and frequency of use, a momentary lag every once in a while is understandable, but if you find yourself constantly re-booting your wireless router to get a strong signal, it may be time to get a new one.
A new generation of wireless routers does more than give you uninterrupted WiFi access: They’re equipped to defend your network against hackers and viruses, update automatically, filter content, and more. Using three of my favorite models on the market as examples— the Eero, Google Wifi (above) and the nearly-available Norton Core— I’m outlining eight things your wireless router should be able to do. And if it misses the mark? Well, your security and frustration level is worth an upgrade, don’t you think?
Strong signals everywhere
Using one wireless router to connect your home is like using one lightbulb to light your entire house. Both the Eero and Google Wifi systems lets you string together multiple devices to strengthen the signal in every corner of your home so there are no dead zones— kind of like how you can link wireless speakers for whole home audio.
Super fast processing
You like your Internet fast, right? (Rhetorical question.) The speed of your router is dependent on the speed of your internet service provider, but each of these three routers has a fast processor and can support blazing fast upload and download speeds. Check your routers specs to see if they compare with what’s out there, and you can always do a speed test to see if it’s living up to its promise.
With how easily hackers can break into anything these days, it’s important to protect your WiFi network, even at home. Norton Core automatically creates a secure connection that protects your home from hackers and viruses at the network level, and alerts you of suspicious behavior so you can block it immediately via the Norton Core app. Google Wifi’s firewall creates a barrier between your Wi-Fi network and the Internet, protecting your data from unsolicited connections or connection attempts. Eero is protected with state-of-the-art WPA2 encryption.
Tired of fumbling around with buttons when your router needs an update? Be sure to get a model that updates itself (All 3 routers here fit the bill).
No more unplugging and replugging
Why? Because you can do it all from your smartphone. Eero’s app let you see the health of your network and who’s connected to it at any time so you have better control, while Norton’s keeps you updated on security level, weak links, and allows you to pause the Internet or give it a “bed time.” Google Wifi’s app lets you see which devices are connected at any time, and how much bandwidth each is using, so you can see just whose causing your Netflix to buffer…
If you have kids, the ability to monitor screen time is a major plus. Google Wifi, Eero and Norton let you take the reigns by setting limits to your kids’ internet access at home. Eero lets you set profiles for each child, set schedules, and pause the Internet for bedtime or dinner. Google Wifi also lets you press pause for dinner or bedtime. Norton Core does all this and goes a step further, allowing you to filter content for each child at the router level.
Easy Guest Network Creation
Your wireless router should have a long, complex, secure password to keep your home safe. But how safe is it if you give it to everyone who wants to connect while they’re over? (And how annoying is it to rattle off a 16-digit alphanumeric code to get them connected?) Setting up a guest network with these routers is simple, and inviting someone to join it is as easy as sending a text. Plus they (or anyone who gets that password) won’t have access to the home’s network and all it’s devices.
Lastly, but not leastly, having a sleek router that isn’t black and boxy, and doesn’t have random blinking lights and tons of cords definitely changes the game. All these routers are sharp and ready to be out on display. The Norton Core especially wins points here, looking like a metallic objet for your bookshelf.
Do you think you need a wireless router upgrade? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!