The router is the wireless hub of your home and creates a local network of all your wired and wireless devices. Routers achieve a rating based on maximum speed and the number of devices that can connect at once - the higher the number, the faster and more stable the connection between your devices and the internet will be.
Powerline kits turn any plug socket in your home into a wired or wireless access point. They do this by sending a signal through the electricity ring main in your home - all you need to do is connect an adapter to the router and another near the device you want to get online.
Range extenders take your WiFi signal and pass it on further into your home. They’re the ideal solution of you don’t get a stable connection when using your tablet in bed or struggle to stream music on your laptop around the house.
More suited to business or enthusiast use, network switches connect a single device or existing network to the internet. Although typically cheaper than routers, they don’t feature wireless connectivity or offer the same protection and ease-of-use.
Wireless cards and adapters allow the device they’re plugged into connect to the internet. If you have an older PC or stream, game and download a lot, a higher rated wireless card will allow you to get the best from your internet connection.
Smart home puts control of the important things in your home at your fingertips. You can adjust your home’s heating from the office, change the colour of a room’s light and monitor your property from abroad all from your smartphone or tablet.
Things to consider
I want to improve the internet speed at home
While the only way to actually speed up the internet connection in your home is to contact your service provider, you can make the most of the connection you have, as chances are you aren’t getting the best speed and connectivity you could be.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to replace the router with a higher rated one. If you’re using the router supplied by your service provider or haven’t upgraded in a while, it might not be suitable for HD media streaming, online gaming or be able to provide a stable connection to all your online devices at once. Look for one with an AC rating for the fastest connections currently available.
I have an unstable connection at points around my house
If you can’t maintain a connection on your tablet while browsing upstairs or wireless media streaming is unstable, a range extender or powerline kit can help. They both extend your wireless signal further into your home, but work best for different things.
Range extenders are great for improving a weak wireless signal and sending it further into your home. They don’t need setting up and can be moved around as and when needed. Powerline kits are ideal for smart TVs and online gaming, and come in wireless or wired variants. They turn any plug socket into an internet access point for a cable-free connection anywhere.
I have an old computer and want to make the most of my new router
The built-in wireless card on an older laptop or desktop won’t be able to make the most of AC or dual-band routers. Wireless cards and adapter are rated just like routers, so look for one with the same rating as yours to get the best connection possible.
For laptops, a wireless adapter simply plugs into any spare USB port and improves the stability, range and speed of you connection. While there’s nothing wrong with using a USB adapter with a desktop PC, most have space inside the case for a wireless card. They plug into a PCI-Express (PCIe) slot and deliver all the benefits of a USB adapter without taking up a port.
I want to control the technology in my home using my smartphone, tablet and PC
With smart tech, your WiFi connection is much more than online shopping, social media and streaming media. Smart tech features plenty of ways to control the important things in your home using your smartphone, tablet or computer for complete convenience.
You can set your home’s heating from the office, adjust the lighting in seconds using your tablet or monitor your property from anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless, so why not discover how to create a truly connected, modern home.
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