Routers are a part of our lives. No matter where you are if you turn on your phone’s WiFi and see the list of available WiFi networks, you’ll find some names in the list. Routers are available for purchase online for a price starting at 10 USD. You can also buy them at a nearby computer accessory store. Below, I’ve shared the disadvantages and advantages of routers:
Advantages of routers
Many households today have a smart television, computer, smartphones, etc. If you’ve purchased a broadband connection, you can share the internet with all WiFi-enabled devices at your home. As a single connection will be shared with multiple devices, you’ll save money as the person using the smartphone, computer, smart television won’t have to purchase a separate mobile data or WiFi plan.
WiFi routers support encryption. They also allow you to set a password and show the number of devices connected to the router. If you’ve set a strong password, you won’t have to worry about unauthorized users connecting their phone/tablet/computer/TV to your router and using the broadband connection you have purchased. Routers ship with a firewall that will function as a protective shield between the user and the internet.
Children may browse sites that are not safe for them, download very large files, or they may waste time on gaming, social media sites, etc. Most routers sold online today have parental control settings through which parents can block access to websites of their choice. For example, you can block access to all links containing the word “download” with a router. Whenever your child opens a link containing the word download, the browser will display an error. Routers also allow administrators to allocate data to IP addresses. For example, you can configure the router to allow one IP to use 1GB of data and another 2GB of data. You can also set the maximum upload and download speed for IPs connected to the router.
Imagine you’re living in a hostel room along with 3 other students. Each student owns a laptop. If each student purchases a separate unlimited broadband plan which costs $20 per month, the total money students will spend every month is 80$. If the students spend money on a router instead of buying a separate connection, they’ll save a lot of money.
Routers keep a track of the amount of data you’ve used in one session or entire day or month. If you don’t have an unlimited broadband plan, you can check the data usage and prevent shocking bills by simply logging into the admin page of the router and checking the data usage.
Long lasting compared to mobile hotspots
If you buy a router manufactured by top companies such as D-Link, TP-Link, Cisco, Netgear, etc, you can use the router for as many hours as you want without worrying about the damage that can occur to the router’s hardware because of heat. This is because routers manufactured by leading companies are long-lasting. We had purchased a TP-Link router in 2014. 7 years have passed by, we’re still using the router. If you purchase a battery equipped mobile hotspot, you may have to change the hotspot’s battery after a year. Why is this so? Whether it’s a phone or hotspot, the performance of the battery of a mobile device deteriorates after 1 or 2 years. Because of this, the phone’s battery may last for few hours only after a full charge. You’ll have to replace the battery to fix this problem.
Disadvantages of routers
Can waste time
If you have bought an internet connection that offers unlimited data, you will spend more time on OTT applications, video streaming sites, etc. Imagine you have created an account on a free OTT application. You watch one episode of an 8 season web series wherein each season has 8 episodes. You like the 1st episode of the 1st season and will watch the remaining episodes at any cost. Thereby wasting time. Instead of an unlimited plan, you can purchase a plan that provides limited data.
If you keep the router switched on for several hours, you may notice a slight increase in your monthly electricity bill. This is because routers must be connected to an external power source. Even if you use the phone’s hotspot to share the internet, the phone’s battery will drain faster. Once the phone is discharged, you will have to charge its battery.
If you have a large house, not all devices will be able to connect to the router. This is because the routers can cover an area within 150 to 300 feet. To increase the range, you will have to purchase a separate networking device called “Range Extender“.
If the WiFi signal strength isn’t good, you will experience network disconnection even if the internet connection is working. You will have to change your location for interrupted access to the internet.
You won’t be able to change the position of the router even if you purchase a router UPS. It is risky to change the position of WAN/Fiber optic cables manually as the wire may fall short or the RJ45 pin may break. You will have to call the technical support team of the internet service provider if you want to reposition your router.