Among many other things, 2020 will be remembered as the year working from home went from something some people did once in a while to being the everyday reality for a large chunk of the population. The initial days were a welcome change at least for some, but pretty soon came the realisation that most of us are desperately unprepared for the reality of taking endless Zoom calls from our kitchens.
The “new reality” has been here for between six to eight months now, so I hope you have the basics figured out. That’s to say I hope there’s a dedicated corner of the house that you call your “home office”, though I realise not everyone has the financial means or physical space (often both) to setup a workstation consisting of a(n ergonomic, hopefully) desk and chair at the very least.
Many employers have stepped up to fund or facilitate purchase of different types of equipment to make working from home a more comfortable experience. But the one part of the setup that often gets neglected is one that quite literally enables the work-from-home economy: the humble Wi-Fi router.
Most people continue to use the Wi-Fi router provided by their Internet Service Provider (ISP), which might be good enough for some users, but if you are the guy on Zoom calls whose video is always freezing, or if there are certain parts of your house that are dead zones in terms of Wi-Fi coverage, it might be worthwhile in investing in a better Wi-Fi router.
Yes, I know the last thing you want to do is deal with yet another gadget, and you actually like the fact that your router is hidden away in some corner and it’s something you literally haven’t thought about in months, if not years. But in a world where it’s increasingly common for multiple people to be working and/ or studying from home at the same time — not to mention we are streaming more video than ever before — the router is now (if it wasn’t already) arguably the most important piece of tech in your home, so it’s worth giving your choice a second thought.
Over the years, I have tested and reviewed my fair share of routers, and in a new series of a posts on this blog, I will talk about the things you need to keep in mind while buying a new router; how to know if you even need a new router; as well as share recommendations of my favourite networking gear.