What is a WiFi router?

A WiFi network (a.k.a wireless network) uses a radio frequency signal instead of wires to connect your devices - such as computers, tablets, and smartphones - to the Internet and each other. The WiFi signal can be carried up by any wireless-capable device such as a laptop or tablet within a certain distance in all directions.

A router is the central hub of your home network. It connects directly to your network cable or via a modem. All inbound and outbound traffic pass through the router.

what is a wifi router


Technically speaking…

It is used to provide access to the Internet or a private computer network. Depending on the manufacturer and model, it can function in a wired local area network, a wireless-only LAN, or a mixed wired and wireless network.

WiFi Generations from 1999 to today

Yes, WiFi now has version numbers! Even those old confusing WiFi standard names like “802.11ac” have been renamed to user-friendly names like “WiFi 5.”

Here are the versions of WiFi you’ll be seeing:

  • WiFi 4 is 802.11n, released in 2009.
  • WiFi 5 is 802.11ac, released in 2014.
  • WiFi 6 is the new version, also known as 802.11ax, released in 2019.
802.11a to wifi 6 802.11ax

Image: the path of WiFi standard evolutions

The WiFi Alliance also announced would like to see these numbers appear in software so you can tell which WiFi network is newer and faster while connecting on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. So you may be seeing WiFi numbers on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Older versions of WiFi aren’t widely in use and aren’t officially being branded. But, if they were, here’s what they’d be called:

Earlier WiFi Generations:

  • WiFi 1 would have been 802.11b, released in 1999.
  • WiFi 2 would have been 802.11a, also released in 1999.
  • WiFi 3 would have been 802.11g, released in 2003.
wifi router in early years

Image: an early WiFi router


wifi 5 router ac2100 dual band speedefy k7
Image: Most popular routers today, is WiFi 5 (802.11ac)

What Kind of WiFi Router Do I Need?

Depending on your internet service provider (ISP), you may need to buy a router, a router, and separate modem, or a router modem. Nearly all ISPs use either DSL or fiber for their service, requiring a modem's signal conversion. Most modern routers have modems built-in, so you only need one device.

Since most of the modem router combo’s performance is not good enough, if you want a better WiFi experience, it’s better to purchase a separate router.

 Image: Speedefy WiFi 6 router

WiFi Routers from Speedefy

Speedefy provides various WiFi routers at an affordable price, from elementary dual-band AC1200 router to the most advanced AX1800 WiFi 6 router. You can check the Speedefy products here.

Speedefy AC1200 router has basic specifications and the best price; if you live in an apartment, this would be your best choice. It is one of the best in the under $50 price range.

For most families who live in a 2-story or 1-story house, Speedefy K7 AC2100 dual-band smart WiFi router may be an excellent choice for you. It is the best selling product model of Speedefy.

And if you are a game lover, or chase for the latest technology, then Speedefy KX450 WiFi 6 Router is a great fit for you. This model integrates the most advanced WiFi 6 standard, and you will love it.