My current router, which I know is older than 2011, is just about useless these days. It was given to me by a friend. My needs are very basic. I live in a 520 sq ft apartment. I have 2 laptops (one work, one personal), an iPhone, an iPad, Apple TV, and a blu ray player which use wireless. I am computer literate but far from a techie. I am not a gamer. I watch movies and sports as well as listen to music, all by streaming.
This is one router that I saw online that I’m thinking about. I really don’t want to spend a lot of money for a new router unless it is necessary.
Who provides you with your service? My cable company provides my service, and they now provide the router-- it’s a combined modem/router unit in one. Check with your service provider, and see if they offer a modem/router in one. Not only would it save you money, but there would be fewer cables running around.
If you do have to install it yourself, it’s not hard. Just attach all the cables like they were before. They usually have a button on top you can push to connect, so if you are in the same room, you don’t need the password. If it gives you any trouble at all, either call tech serve, or your cable company; one or the other can talk you through whatever the hiccup is.
I will have to check with RCN. Cable TV, internet, and TiVO are all included with my assessment fee at my building every month. When they installed it, they gave me a new cable modem, which replaced my 2008 model, but I don’t remember them offering a new router.
If you know the security stuff on your old router (name (SSID) and security string (PSK)), you don’t have to change any of your devices. Just put the old SSID and PSK into the new router, unplug the old router, and you’re done.
I bought the cheapest one WalMart had, it worked fine. But mine got hacked by a neighbor, and I’ve been told that they are easy to hack, so at least change the factory-installed password. Check your network status data usage often.
I suggest you cable up as much as possible to minimise your wifi usage and thus contention. If it’s in a fixed point, like your TV, then run a cable to it. You’ll want a router that supports VLANs. You’ll want one VLAN for yourself (wired + wifi), one for guests (ditto), one for IOT devices, and one for your home entertainment stuff. I will just add that even in a flat as small as yours you may find that you have a dead spot or two for wifi and in that case you should buy a wifi access point, not a repeater or extender. So buy your main router with that in mind.
I vote for not, definitely not, going with your ISP for a router.
They charge extra per month, which really adds up, and you get full control of your router which is a good thing.
It isn’t at all hard to set up a router. The router makers know the level of skill (and lack thereof) of their main market segment and set things up. If you’re really hopeless, there’s a bunch of YouTube howto videos.
Since your place is so small, range won’t be an issue, but if you are using all or many of those devices simultaneously, or often have guests who will be using multiple devices, a more sophisticated router might be helpful.
On the other hand, if only a couple of devices will be in use at once, almost any router will probably be acceptable.