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How Do I Choose the Best USB Wireless Router?

USB cables are used to connect devices -- such as wireless routers -- to computers.
A USB wireless router.
A USB cable connects a USB wireless router to a computer.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2014
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When choosing a universal serial bus (USB) wireless router, you most likely will be confronted with several choices. This doesn't have to be a confusing issue or a dilemma to solve haphazardly. Choosing the best USB wireless router is as easy as determining whether it is completely automated with a fairly broad range of coverage and decent transfer speed. It also should be firewall-enabled, should be easy to set up and install in a short amount of time and should incorporate a user-friendly interface.

Not all wireless routers are made alike. First and foremost, you will want to be sure to purchase one that provides connectivity to your USB-enabled computer. That is the entire point of a USB model. Another point to consider is size. If you have limited space, a compact size obviously will suit your needs better than a larger, more bulkier model.

Look for a USB wireless router that has high speed, preferably 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) 802.11g. In choosing a high speed rate, the transfer time of data and page loading will be faster and will eliminate those excruciatingly slow wait times. You'll also have the ability to view streaming media in real-time at a decent speed.

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It is a good idea is to read the package and note whether the USB wireless router has been tested and verified. What you want to ensure is compatibility with various access points in your local area. It needs to be compatible with local service providers of course, but although most any reliable unit should have no difficulty, some work better than others.

Just about all recent models come installed with built-in firewall protection. In choosing the best USB wireless router for your particular needs, assess whether you feel more secure with this added feature. Understand that a firewall built into the particular model will minimize the potential threat of hackers infiltrating your network.

Routers that incorporate a code called Network Address Translation (NAT) will use a standard NAT firewall. With this means is that a NAT firewall will allow Internet access for several computers through one primary Internet connection. If you are connecting more than one computer to your network, this probably will be satisfactory for your needs.

When shopping for your new USB wireless router, keep in mind that some deals include a packaged bundle. The package might include the wireless router along with a USB wireless adapter. This purchase will work to your advantage if you don't already own a USB adapter or if your current one is incompatible with the new router.

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Markerrag
Post 2

@Logicfest -- I'm using one of those setups for my personal cloud, but there is a problem of which everyone thinking about hooking up hard drives to a router should consider. Some of those routers have built in firmware that can only access a certain number of files (mine is capped at 5,000) before the router can't index them any more.

That might not be an issue for most people, but it could become one in a hurry if you store a lot of media such as photographs on that file.

Logicfest
Post 1

I can attest that a USB wireless router is a great thing. Of course, the one I have has the standard ethernet ports, but it also has two USB ports to which I can attach peripherals such as hard drives (probably the most common use for these).

Why bother with attaching hard drives to a wireless router? Simply put, that is a great way to have your own, personal cloud that every computer, tablet, phone or other device hooked up to the network can use for reading and writing files.

Convenient? You'd better believe it and that personal cloud is great for backing up important files, too.

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