Why you should buy a new router right now
In essence, it is not surprising that most people dream more about buying a new, modern laptop or desktop than about replacing the not infrequently ancient (ISP) router that is collecting dust somewhere in the back of a cupboard. For most of us, such a potently designed device with all its excellent antennas speaks less to their imagination than a slender laptop or lightning fast desktop. Understandable, but no less regrettable. After all, the router is the device that is responsible for your home network, which should preferably not only cover your house well, but also be fast and reliable. That is certainly not an easy task, because we live in houses with often thick walls made of stone or concrete, in busy cities with almost as many networks as people that transmit closely together and with more and more devices that demand bandwidth.
In many households, the modem routers once obtained from the ISP are responsible for the network. Many of these devices are, to put it mildly, not equipped to deal adequately with such challenges, which irrevocably leads to an inadequate network that will annoy users. Of course, there are also enough people who have exchanged an ISP device for their own router, but in that case, too, you are not automatically in good shape.
802.11ac wave 2 vs. 802.11ax
The current WiFi standard is 802.11ac (wave 1), which was officially certified in 2009. In 2015 we saw the certification of wave 2, which was the last major iteration of 802.11ac and with the imminent introduction of the successor 802.11ax we can state that 802.11ac has been fully worked out. This means that now is the best time to buy an 802.11ac (wave 2) router; the technology is fully developed and the market has had time to normalise prices. In addition, the roll-out of 802.11ax with the necessary teething troubles, price madness and technical developments is likely to take years.
Which (mesh) router is best for me?
We can therefore strongly recommend to anyone who is not entirely satisfied with their current network administrator that they purchase a new router. In the present time, you cannot avoid choosing between a regular, stand-alone router and a multi-room WiFi system, also known as mesh. Since no situation is the same we can only give guidelines for this, you will have to decide for yourself what is best for you.
Simply put, an ordinary router is usually sufficient for a small to medium sized house of one or two floors in which the router can preferably be placed as centrally as possible. Do you live in mansion of a house with three or more floors, a peculiarly divided castle or concrete bunker, then a multi-room wifi system is probably more for you. A mesh-system can bring the wifi signal to the farthest corners of your home by using various support points (nodes), without the disadvantages that come with for example WiFi repeaters, range extenders and powerline adapters.