Let’s say it’s five o’clock on a weekday—everyone’s home from work or school. To decompress, you all reach for your Wi-Fi devices of choice. But with everyone online all at once, the connection starts faltering. HBO Max keeps pausing to buffer, the PS5 game is lagging, and nothing’s loading on Instagram. In a scenario like this, the solution may not be to buy a more expensive router or pay for the fastest internet speed available. Every household’s internet needs will vary and finding the right fit for your home can be confusing. To help clear things up, we’ve compiled a list of five common misconceptions about home connectivity.
1. I need the fastest internet possible
When it comes to internet speed, faster is arguably better, but paying for unnecessarily high internet speeds means throwing money away every month. Internet speed, the time it takes for data to transfer from a server to your device, is measured by megabits per second (Mbps). Five to 10 Mbps will typically give you a smooth viewing experience with YouTube or Netflix. But if you want to stream something in 4k or HDR, your internet will need to operate at a minimum of 15 – 25 Mbps.
The best place to start is assessing how many Wi-Fi devices are in frequent use in your household and what kind of tasks they perform. From there, you can estimate an appropriate speed for your home and avoid overpaying for frivolous megabits per second.
There are plenty of online resources that can help you decipher your household’s optimal internet speed, like highspeedinternet.com’s “What is a good internet speed?” chart.
2. A more expensive router means better connectivity
And that brings us to the next common misconception: A more expensive router means better connectivity. Of course, this principle of higher prices equating to better services has never been a good rule of thumb, but especially not when it comes to internet services.
If you’re getting the appropriate internet speed to your household and are still having issues with connectivity, a more expensive router won’t fix it, but a Wi-Fi Mesh system will. A Wi-Fi Mesh system uses several wirelessly connected routing devices to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal throughout an entire home. This consistent spread of signal eliminates dead spots and lets you roam free without having to connect to a different network or resort to using cell data.
When it comes to Wi-Fi Mesh systems, Vilo Living is the best in the business, offering an excellent mesh system at an affordable cost. The Vilo App is also ideal for household connectivity as it lets users monitor their devices, has an intuitive parental control feature, and more.
3. My device won’t connect so it must be a problem with my internet
Since routers represent the only physical manifestation of internet in your home, it’s easy to see them as the source of all connectivity-related problems. Another one of the common misconceptions about home connectivity for many internet users is that if their device won’t connect, it must be a problem with their internet. While there are scenarios where this might be the case, there are plenty potential issues you can resolve without having to contact your internet service provider (ISP).
If you have a device that won’t connect to Wi-Fi, try focusing your efforts first on the device itself. Often the solution is as simple as turning the device off and back on. You can also reset your device’s network’s settings or have the device “forget” your Wi-Fi and reconnect a few seconds later.
4. Bigger ISP brands means fewer complications
Let’s face it, convenience sells. It’s why Starbucks made almost 30 billion USD last year—people don’t want the hassle of making their own cup of coffee. For consumers, the less complicated the better, and Wi-Fi is no exception. Many internet users don’t care to know what type of Wi-Fi they’re getting, and not even necessarily what speed—just as long as it works.
That’s one of the reasons why so many internet users prefer ISPs they’re familiar with like COX, Comcast, and Xfinity. They know the name means they’ll get to watch Netflix and shop online. What many fail to consider, though, is that smaller ISPs offer the same, if not better network quality for more affordable prices.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of these smaller ISPs is that they offer more personable services. In other words, when you call your ISP with an internet issue, a real person will answer the phone. Forbes reported in 2019 that the majority of customers prefer speaking to a real person on the phone, as opposed to an automated assistant. While the prospect of having a personable internet service experience may be new to you, it will be a welcomed change of pace.
5. All Wi-Fi is the same
For many people, Wi-Fi is a mysterious invisible force that connects their devices to the cyberworld, so it’s understandable when someone assumes that all Wi-Fi is the same. But in reality, Wi-Fi signals come in the form of 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequency bands. Wi-Fi networks use either of these frequencies to transmit data between routers and smart devices.
The most common Wi-Fi frequency band is 2.4 Ghz. The only problem is that other devices in your home, like your microwave or television remote control, often use this same frequency which can interfere with your connectivity.
Wi-Fi operating with 5 Ghz frequency bands was developed to overcome this interference problem, but there’s still a list of pros and cons between the two frequencies. For instance, the 2.4 Ghz frequency has a wider range than the 5 Ghz, but the 5 Ghz is significantly faster.
Any way you want to spin it, though, the Vilo Wi-Fi Mesh system provides the best of both worlds with its simultaneous dual band design. So if you’re still unsure which kind of Wi-Fi is best for you, you can be reassured that you’re getting the best of both options with Vilo Living.
Still, in some extreme instances where Wi-Fi may be insufficient, you might need hard-wired internet connection, otherwise known as “Ethernet.” While Wi-Fi and Ethernet have their pros and cons, the bottom line is that Ethernet is more reliable and will transfer data from the internet to a computer faster than Wi-Fi. So, if you’re a professional online gamer and can’t risk losing connection even for a second, having hard-wired Ethernet connection might be the best option.
Get the internet that’s right for you
Every household’s internet needs vary. For some, connectivity is simply a means to an end, for others, their livelihood depends on it. Whatever the case may be, clearing up these misconceptions about home connectivity is a great first step to understanding your unique internet needs and, ultimately, getting the internet service that’s right for you.