Buying or updating wireless routers is a great way to save money. When the time comes to create your Wi-Fi Network or upgrade your existing network, keep in mind the ways you can save money before you make a purchase. A few tech tricks, a little imagination, and some careful research will yield pleasant results in today’s vast router market.
1. Cut the Cords Around Your House
Even if you already have a router, take some time and look for ways to avoid power cables and save energy around your home. Wireless routers can offer multiple Home Automation and Home Security control options, removing the need to run expensive cables in even more expensive installation projects.
Everyday devices may also benefit from your wireless network. Do you really need an alarm clock and a smartphone? Do you need to buy remote control batteries when you can just use your Wi-Fi network and a remote app to control your TV? Unplug those radios and use wireless speakers instead. Control your thermostat remotely to save on air conditioning.
The list of ideas keeps on going — and the chances are good that you are not using your router to save as much money as you could with a little forethought.
2. Look for Deals and Bundles
When purchasing a wireless router, shop for deals. The key here is to save money while still getting a high-quality router. Start by looking at the lists of the best-rated wireless routers to find out which brands and features come recommended. Then dig deeper and search for discounts.
Electronic stores run promotions for routers frequently. Look for bundles that include additional components like cables that you may need to install the router. Try to find Internet provider deals where you can get a router discounted or even freely delivered by signing up for the right package at the right time.
3. Avoid Features You Don’t Need
Match your router needs to your household uses. If you do not need extra features like dual-band or triple-band capabilities for lots of different devices, then do not pay extra money for a router that has them. Likewise, do not pay extra for a series of multi-angle antennae if you can place your router in great location to improve reception.
If you do not need backwards compatibility, do not worry about support for “a” and “b” network standards — choose a basic “n” or advanced “ac” instead. If you do not stream large amounts of data very often, settle for a lower maximum speed to save money.
4. Share Wireless Routers
This option works if you live next to especially friendly neighbors, close apartment friends next door, or family members. Buy a single, powerful wireless router, designate a manager for that router, and allow two or more buildings/apartments to make use of it. Split the initial costs of the purchase and the monthly Internet costs to help save money.
Sharing routers only works if you can absolutely trust the people who live next to you, but if you can create a workable contract with them, the tactic can lead to significant savings.
5. Buy a Used Router
Search for used routers at local shops and perhaps even on Amazon or eBay. You need some type of quality control to make sure that you are not getting a piece of junk, but sometimes buying used wireless routers can offer amazing deals.
Look carefully for signs that the router offers support for newer devices and is not damaged or worn in any way. Be careful of buying a used router online unless it is from a trusted dealer.
6. Replace Your Old Router with a New Version
If you have a router and a perfectly acceptable wireless network, think about buying a new router anyway. While the initial cost will be money out of your pocket, the purchase can still help you save money.
Older routers run constantly and are an energy drain, raising your electricity bills and typically taking even more energy the older they are.
Newer routers are designed to operate more efficiently and will help you save money on your bills. For maximum savings, look for Energy Star rated routers that are built with efficiency in mind.
7. Use Repeaters to Boost Signals
If you do buy a new router or have an old router waiting around your house regardless, consider using it to boost your wireless signal by turning it into a repeater rather than buying a repeater or expensive signal boosting solutions. This works especially well for larger buildings or homes.
With a little tinkering and the right documentation, you can set up the old router to repeat or boost the signal of the new router, creating a more effective network with no additional costs.
Whether it’s time to shop for wireless routers or it’s time to plan for the next time to shop, these tips should come in handy, as you try to improve your home network.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee