ISP modem routers. – Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as the British companies BT, EE, Virgin Media, Plusnet, Post Office, etc., provide broadband customers with a modem router to connect to the web. It is a modem that connects to the Internet and a router that can create a wired Ethernet and a WiFi network. However, these modem routers are usually inexpensive devices that are not up to the Wi-Fi demands that many users require of them due to the number of devices that the user can network and connect to the web.
Note that dual-band routers can broadcast on both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, but they cannot swap between them in order to broadcast the best signal. What they do is make it possible for client network adapters on computers that support either or both of the bands to receive broadcasts. For example, some older network adapters on laptops might only support the 2.4GHz band, so they will be able to receive a signal as well as laptops set to use the 5.0GHz band.
Solve the problem by using a dedicated router that does not have an inbuilt modem
Fortunately, that problem is easy to solve by adding a dedicated router to the network that does not have an inbuilt modem. The dedicated router is connected to the broadband modem router that the ISP provides. The dedicated router handles the Wi-Fi demands of many devices that the more basic ISP modem router cannot handle nearly as well.
The many devices that a dedicated router can network and handle at once are desktop and laptop PCs, tablets, smartphones, printers, Blu-ray disc players, wireless Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, etc. Moreover, it can also connect many of them to video-streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime in the US and UK.
How to Use Your Router and an ISP’s Modem/Router Combo In Tandem –
Amazon eero standalone router
Here is a link to the Amazon eero standalone router that comes in pack versions that extend WiFi through a house depending on how large the house is.The larger the area to cover the more expensive a pack is. It can be set up by using a smartphone app. Professional installation is available.
Introducing Amazon eero mesh Wi-Fi router/extender –
ISP modem routers – Only a cable modem or modem router can go online
You can purchase both modem routers and dedicated routers. Both types of router can be connected to cabled Ethernet and wireless WiFi devices, but only a modem router can go online using a cable or ADSL modem. In short, a modem is necessary to go online. The UK telephone landlines require the use of an ADSL modem for a broadband connection.
Superfast cable broadband connections are also available that require their own types of modem. Cable modems can connect directly to an Ethernet port on a computer or connect to a modem router (a dedicated router can be added to the mix), in order to connect multiple devices to a wired/wireless network and to the Internet.
ISP modem routers – The 802.11 WiFi protocols
The wireless network protocol currently most in use in the UK is 802.11ax. Earlier standards are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac that became available in that order. Most UK ISP-supplied WiFi routers use the 802.11ac WiFi protocol.
Here is the information that Wikipedia provides on the 802.11ac and 802.11ax protocols:
Wikipedia: “IEEE 802.11ac is a wireless networking standard in the 802.11 family (which is marketed under the brand name Wi-Fi), developed in the IEEE Standards Association process, providing high-throughput wireless local area networks (WLANs) on the 5 GHz band. The standard was developed from 2011 through 2013 and approved in January 2014.”
IEEE 802.11ac – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac
IEEE 802.11ax – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ax
Examples of dedicated routers
An example of a dedicated router is the ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 AiMesh – current price is £119.00 on Amazon in February 2020 – that supports all of the current Wi-Fi standards – 802.11b/g/n/ac. Which means that no wireless WiFi device needs to be discarded – or all devices can be upgraded to the fastest 802.11ac standard.
The extra features that a dedicated router can supply
This Asus router (shown above) also provides many features that ISP-supplied router modems do not, such as the ability to connect to multiple devices simultaneously (older routers can only serve one device at a time) and can be set to give devices priority. It comes with an Ethernet cable that connects it to a modem router.
There are apps that make customisation of devices that use Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems easy.
Among this router’s other useful features is an eSATA port that can be used to connect an external SATA hard disk drive that can be used as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that can be used as a file server or video-streaming device instead of using a Wi-Fi NAS.
Another example of a dedicated router is the Linksys WRT 1900ACS.
Visit the following page on the Linksys site to find out the features that it provides.
Here is a good YouTube video review of that router:
An alternative, cheaper (£150.00) dedicated router is the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router.
Here is a good YouTube video review:
Linksys EA8500(AC2600) Review – Best Router for Android! –