If you’re looking for a WiFi router for the home there certainly is almost limitless options for you out there. High end, big features through to low-end and lacking features. So, with a $99 “AC Router” available from Kogan the question is – who’s it for?
If you’ve got network storage in your home, IPTV, VOIP, multiple computers and devices then I have to be honest with you – you really do need to invest in a solid network. The traffic features on high-end routers like Belkin and Netgear really can help improve the speed and reliability of your network.
However, if you’re on a budget and perhaps you live in a small apartment or don’t own a lot of devices – your problem will be that many of the lower price routers don’t actually support a couple of features which quite frankly should be mandatory for all router purchases today.
Dual Band WiFi & Wireless AC.
Wireless AC is the newest WiFi standard. Browse some online retail sites and you’ll see a few routers around the $100 mark, certainly under $170. Most of them only support “802.11 a/b/g/n” those are all WiFi standards, all the latest devices will use them – however “ac” on the end there would mean they provide the best speed and range.
Dual-Band WiFi means the router actually creates two networks for you, allowing you to put your devices on a suitable network with as little compromise on speed as you can hope for.
Kogan have a “Wireless AC” router with both these features for just $99.
It’s small, and cheap. Simple as that. And it works.
When compared to a device three times the price the range isnt’ as good, and nor are the speeds. However, when you realise that in fact your WiFi speeds are only as fast as the slowest device on your network this thing starts to make sense in a small apartment.
Throw your basic devices onto the 2.5g network, with your wizz bang latest stuff on the 5g – that’s the best you can hope for.
Remembering that your Internet speed is less than 100mbps (most likely less than 20) the speed thing isn’t really going to be an issue for you.
If you had networked storage and video streaming going on, then the higher end devices with things like “beamforming” and greater range would be a better thing to save for.
Overall, for $99 this thing is a steal, and for small apartments or people living alone with just a few devices – it’s going to do what you need it to do.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.