This article explains the factors on a router which affect internet speeds. A FAQ section is included at the end of the post to understand the different types of routers you need to purchase for improving the internet speed.
There could be situations where you have a high speed internet but still not receiving the intended speed or your network is generally slow when accessing the internet.
Your wireless router could be a major factor which could be causing this slow speed. The following factors would help identify the different reasons as to why your router is causing this issue.
Router factors affecting internet speed
Can Router WAN interface affect internet speed?
The WAN interface or the WAN port of the router connects to the internet. This is normally a single port which you see on the router unless you have a Dual WAN Router.
This interface of the router can support fast ethernet or gigabit ethernet. Fast ethernet supports speeds upto 100 Mbps and Gigabit ethernet support speeds upto 1000 Mbps.
If your internet speed is less than 100 Mbps, then a fast ethernet WAN interface would suffice. If it is greater than 100 Mbps, the effective speed would would only be 100 Mbps irrespective of internet speed.
If you are planning to purchase or upgrade your router, then it is always recommended you buy a router which supports gigabit WAN interfaces else an internet upgrade may not prove useful.
In this scenario, it is recommended that the router is upgraded to a router which supports gigabit WAN interface.
Can router Radio affect internet speed?
There are different types of routers like single band and dual band. Single band supports 2.4 Ghz and dual band supports 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. The 2.4 Ghz supports longer range than 5 Ghz but the supported speed would be lower than 5 ghz.
Lets take an example of a wireless router which supports 1750 Mbps. This speed is allocated to 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz radios on the router. The 2.4 Ghz radio can support speeds upto 300 Mbps whereas 5 Ghz radio supports 1450 Mbps.
If you are using a dual band router, ensure you connect to 5 ghz radio to get the optimal speed. If you are using a single band router, plan to upgrade your router to a dual band router and use the 5 Ghz radio for the best speed and performance.
Can router Wifi Speed affect the internet speed
The speed supported by routers is a major factor which affects the internet speed. The more the speed, the LAN speed would increase , which would proportionately increase the internet speed. For example a router which supports 1200 Mbps would deliver lower LAN speeds , than a router which supports 1750 Mpbs.
Lets take an example where you have two routers which are 1200 Mbps and 1750 Mbps. You are using the frequency range of 5 GHz to connect to the routers. The 1750 Mbps router delivers 1300 Mbps and the 1200 Mbps router delivers 867 Mbps on the 5 Ghz
The 1750 router would give you a maximum speed of 1300 Mbps and the 1200 router would have a maximum speed of 867 Mbps. The data travels from the wifi client (laptop, mobile) to the router at a speed of 1300 Mpbs and 867 Mbps respectively based on the model of the router and then it uses the speed which is allocated by the ISP.
It can be observed that the net effective speed on the network is affected by the speed supported by the wireless router. Consider upgrading your router if it supports slow speeds.
Can Router LAN interface Speed affect internet speed
The LAN interface of the router can support fast ethernet or gigabit ethernet speeds. Assume that you have a PC connected to the LAN interface of the router and the interface supports fast ethernet or 100 Mbps. The data travels from the PC to the router at a speed of 100 Mbps and then it uses the speed which is allocated by the ISP.
If the interface is gigabit, data is transferred at a speed of 1000 Mbps till the router and then it uses the speed allocated by the ISP. So it can be observed that the effective speed would be much higher when a wireless router with gigabit ports are used.
If there are PCs connecting to the router interface, it is highly recommended you purchase a router which supports gigabit LAN interface. It should also be observed that the network card on the PC also supports gigabit speeds for achieving the intended speed.
1. My router is dual band but it does not support gigabit Wifi speeds. What router should I purchase
You should purchase a wifi router which supports gigabit speeds. You can check out Wifi routers with gigabit speeds here Wifi gigabit routers
2. My router does not support 5 Ghz. Which router should I buy.
You need to buy a dual band gigabit router for the best speed . You can check it out here Dual band gigabit router
3. My router supports gigabit, but my laptop supports only 2.4 ghz. What should I do.
You need to purchase an external Wifi adapter which supports 5 ghz. Check out Wifi adapters here
4. Which router should I buy to support gigabit internet speeds
You should buy a router which supports gigabit WAN interface. Check out Wifi router with gigabit WAN interface