Choosing the right router for your setup means understanding the ins and outs of each option.
Most people will have a generic understanding of what a router does and how it will affect their Internet performance. This is why it’s best to break down the nuances of each option and which router is best for you moving forward.
Two options you are going to come across will be gigabit routers and non-gigabit routers.
You will often be left wondering, do I need a gigabit router?
You don’t need a gigabit router in the existing ecosystem. Modern ISPs don’t offer an output to match the gigabit router’s performance threshold. This means you pay more for a router that offers minimal performance improvements. It’s better to save money and go with a non-gigabit router.
What if you are stuck on getting a gigabit router? Is this still a viable option if you have the funds?
Yes, there is nothing specifically wrong with investing in a gigabit router if you have the money to do so. It is still a new technology and will do well with the existing output too.
This article will help showcase what a gigabit router is, how it works, along with what the pros and cons of a gigabit router are.
What Is A Gigabit Router?
A gigabit router is a new-age device designed to manage gigabit ethernet speeds. These routers come with a built-in mechanism to help manage performance if a gigabit of speed is required. Wired speeds can be 10x faster depending on the input.
It’s important to note that modern ISPs don’t hit these numbers.
As a result, the gigabit router is good for the future but might not yield the type of results you’re assuming will be the case from day one.
Benefits Of A Gigabit Router
1. Slight Improvement In Speed
When comparing a gigabit router vs a normal router, you are going to have one factor in mind and that’s the speed.
In the end, it is the speed that is going to matter most.
Will the speed improve with a gigabit router?
Yes, but it is not going to be as much as you think. It will certainly not be 10x as marketed by manufacturers. The reason has less to do with the router and more to do with modern ISPs.
They simply don’t offer the type of speed a gigabit router promises to manage. This means you have high-powered equipment but the input is not on par with what the router can do.
However, you are still going to see a small improvement in speed because the gigabit router is still optimized to handle the input better. This means you have to decide whether or not that small improvement is worthwhile when investing in a new gigabit router.
2. Future-Proof Your Setup
Do you have to get a gigabit router?
No, you don’t need to buy a gigabit router for your setup. In most cases, you will not maximize the gigabit router as soon as it is installed nor is it going to offer the type of speeds you are assuming it will.
Yet there is one thing you have to account for.
Your ISPs are going to improve their networking output, which means there will come a day when the gigabit router is valuable. This is when the technology could be useful.
While most people will invest in these gigabit routers then, you might want to get started now. There is nothing wrong with this mindset as it will future-proof your setup.
A gigabit router is good when it comes to thinking about the future and the performance you are going to need at that point.
3. Increased Consistency In Speed
There will be increased consistency in the speed you are getting.
Let’s assume you have a set input from the ISP that you have signed up with. They are going to continue to provide this output as long as you are paying them, but the consistency of speed is never guaranteed.
This means what your router is capable of doing might change.
A normal router is not designed to provide the same level of consistency unless it is a top-grade router. This is why you might start leaning towards a gigabit router even if it doesn’t offer the 10x speed that you were hoping it would.
Just consistency can be valuable for those who want to maximize their setup moving forward.
Once again, you will have to decide whether or not that consistency is worth footing a larger bill to buy a new gigabit router for your setup. Some will say yes, and others will say no.
Cons of a Gigabit Router
1. Increased Cost
One negative with a gigabit router would be the cost.
You are going to be paying a premium to get this new technology and it might not offer the type of performance you are hoping for. At that point, you have to figure out what works for you and what does not.
Some will not want to pay the increased cost and rightly so.
If you have a budget then it is likely not worth investing in a gigabit router right now. It might be worthwhile in the future, but the gigabit router does not add enough value for it to be a good buy right now.
2. Minimal Improvements
You will also have to think about the type of improvements you are going to see with the gigabit router.
Yes, this type of router is going to improve your speed and it is also going to help with consistency. On the other hand, the type of improvements you are going to see will be minimal.
This is due to the input you are getting from the ISP that you signed up with.
They are just not going to provide the speed your gigabit router needs to run at 100% capacity. This means the improvements you do see will let you down considering the investment that has gone into the gigabit router.
3. Modern ISPs Don’t Offer Compatible Output
For the most part, modern ISPs are not going to offer the type of output you are on the lookout for.
When a person buys a gigabit router, they are looking for gigabit Ethernet speeds. This is just not going to happen regardless of which ISP you are going with worldwide.
This means you are just not going to reach the numbers that you want.
This alone is reason enough for you to go with a normal router and just pay a premium in that segment of the market. It is likely better to go out and get a high-grade normal router than to invest in a low-tier gigabit router.
Do I need a gigabit router?
You do not need a gigabit router in the existing ecosystem. Modern ISPs do not offer gigabit ethernet speeds, which means the router will not provide a maximum output when set up. It’s best to invest in a high-grade non-gigabit router as it will help with consistency, reliability, and speed.
For most users, a normal router is going to suffice.
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