Faster internet with a new router? no!

The older your router, the more likely a new device will speed up your Internet access. But this cannot be generalized in advance, because a lot depends on your provider, the selected tariff, your connected devices and your apartment. With a few tips, you can find out if a new purchase is worth it. First you need to check your “current status”…

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What router do I own?

An example: the Fritzbox 7412 is still present in many homes, as providers like 1&1 made it available with new DSL connections as early as 2014. After all, the now-obsolete router supports VDSL2 and vectoring – so it’s still easy to use. But there is only one Ethernet connection with a maximum of 100 Mbit/s and the device only supports WLAN networks in the range of 2.4 GHz to 300 Mbit/s (Wi-Fi 4).

An antique, so to speak. Fritzbox 7412 is still quite widespread, but technically obsolete for a long time. (Photo: AVM)

Such a Fritzbox already slows down the Internet if you have reserved a faster Internet connection with more than 100 Mbit/s. The 7412 does not support data rates above 100 Mbit/s and supervectorization. You are also deprived of the benefits offered by newer, especially faster Wi-Fi standards (Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6).

What does this mean for you and your “old” router? Check what it does! The crucial aspects are:

  • What speeds do LAN ports offer?
  • Is there a WAN/Link port? (Required to connect fiber optic modems)
  • Does the router already support Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6? (That is if it supports 5 GHz network)
  • Could a router be limited by the provider via software, as usual with O2 or Vodafone? Do the restrictions apply to you?
  • What internet connection have you reserved?

Admittedly, this requires some research effort, but it can be worth it. Because if your internet access is theoretically faster than your router technically, you can be sure: a new router will make your internet faster.

On the other hand, you may also find that your three-year-old router is good enough for now and for the future. For example, you rarely need to replace a Fritzbox 7590 (from 2017). The manufacturer AVM has modernized the WLAN network here and continues to provide them with updates.

Points:

You can often tell which router you have by looking at the bottom or back. You’ll usually find the type definition there, which can then be googled.

What should my new router do?

If you want your new router to speed up the internet, it needs to have the potential. Therefore, the following properties, common nowadays, are recommended:

  • Multiple LAN ports with 1 Gbit/s (“gigabit LAN”)
  • Existing 2.5 Gbit/s WAN/Link port for connecting external modems (optical fiber, VDSL…). Alternative: Router with built-in modem
  • Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 better for wireless data transfers up to 2400 Mbps (Wi-Fi 6; 5 GHz)
  • Wi-Fi network support (better home network coverage)
  • USB port (3.x) for connecting data carriers or printers
  • Optional: functionality for media server and NAS storage
  • Optional: DECT phone system (if required)
It doesn't have to be a high-end router like the Fritzbox 5590 Fiber for fiber optic connections.  It is more important that the router adapts to your internet connection and does not slow it down.  (Photo: Sven Wernicke)
It doesn’t have to be a high-end router like the Fritzbox 5590 Fiber for fiber optic connections. (Photo: Netcost)

Also note that fast Wi-Fi and high-speed LAN connections don’t do you any good with your new router if you only have a relatively slow Internet connection. Speed ​​benefits should only be noticeable from connections above 100 Mbps. In any case, the router and the Internet must be compatible.

How New Routers Make Your Internet Faster

It’s clear: a new router has more up-to-date technology than a device that’s eight or even ten years old. Many things have changed and improved during this time. This applies, for example, to WLAN. Today’s routers often have dual-band 4×4 WLANs – they transmit on 4×4 channels in two frequency bands (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz). Only this can provide more consistent, faster and better coverage in your home.

If connected devices like smartphones, tablets or even smart TVs support the faster 5 GHz network, you can even clearly feel the speed advantage. Also because current routers are better able to control several connected devices at the same time and bring them more speed.

Now there is a suitable router for every requirement - for example the R7000 Nighthawk with a focus on fast WLAN.  (Photo: Net Gear)
Now there is a suitable router for every requirement – for example the R7000 Nighthawk with a focus on fast WiFi. (Photo: Net Gear)

Ethernet connections offer similar benefits. Today’s computers and laptops rely on gigabit connections for the fastest data transfer possible. If they are “hung” directly on a router with gigabit LAN ports, it is optimal. Also for data transfer between them.

There are also other features such as the WLAN network and the optimization of the internal distribution of data volumes.

What can I do with my old router?

The new router is here, ready to go and working perfectly. Impressive. But what are you going to do with the old one? Very good for recycling but not worth anything on Ebay (classifieds) anymore – so what to do? Some possible ideas:

  • Repeater: Use your old router as a repeater to strengthen your home Wi-Fi network. Many devices support the feature, e.g. routers from AVM (Fritzbox).
  • Access point: Connect the old and new repeater with a LAN cable to use it as an access point. Configure your WiFi network for specific devices (office, etc.), application areas (smart home) or guests.
  • DECT base: In the future, you can still use routers with an integrated DECT base as a telephone system, even for IP-based phones.
  • Donations: Search for local institutions that accept router donations. These are mainly social institutions.
  • DIY Platform: The Fritzbox 7412 mentioned at the beginning can be turned into a VPN or TFTP server by DIY enthusiasts. Many routers have long become a platform for amateur developers. It can be very exciting to play, try things and learn.

Faster Internet with a new router no

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