Networking buying guide





Understand the world of networking.

If you want to better understand and improve your internet connection, our networking buying guide covers all the important questions to consider when upgrading your connectivity. The below sections explain all the products you might need to solve a variety of problems, ensuring you pick the right product for your home. Choose from powerlines and network adapters, as well as switches and range extenders, to optimise your home networking.

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Contents
Routers

For a quick and easy way to get better performance from your internet, an upgraded router is a great way to achieve improved range, as well as faster and more stable connections. There are several types of router available, with many offering improved performance over the router supplied by your service provider.

Why should I upgrade my router?
Do I need a cable or modem router?
What is the difference between N and AC speed?
How many bands do I need?

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Powerlines

Easily connect non-wireless devices to the internet without having to plug in an Ethernet cable with a powerline. Powerlines work by sending your internet signal through your electrical mains system, effectively turning any plug socket into an internet access point.

What is a powerline kit and when do I need one?
How do powerlines work?
What speed do I need?
What is a pass-through?

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Range extenders

Range extenders, sometimes called signal boosters, offer a solution for homes or buildings that lack complete internet coverage. By placing a range extender in the direction of poor reception but within the reach of your network, you can relay the wireless signal further for a better connection. This works well in homes with thick walls where your device can see the network but can’t connect. A range extender can also be used to send your wireless signal into an open space or outside – perfect for lazy summer afternoons in the garden.

Why do I need a range extender?
How do they work?
What speed do I need?

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Wireless adapters

Wireless adapters fit easily into any USB port on your PC and laptop, letting you connect to the wireless network where you are. Perfect for older laptops that might not be compatible with AC WiFi speeds, wireless adapters let you access high speed internet without having to upgrade your laptop.

What is a wireless adapter?
Why should I buy a wireless adapter?
Which speed should I opt for?

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Network switches

Wireless adapters fit easily into any USB port on your PC and laptop, letting you connect to the wireless network where you are. Perfect for older laptops that might not be compatible with AC WiFi speeds, wireless adapters let you access high speed internet without having to upgrade your laptop.

How does a network switch work?
When would I need a network switch?
Why shouldn't I purchase a router instead?
What about speed?

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