Networking

Published on December 6th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi

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5 Reasons Why You Should Not Use Your ISP’s Router

Whenever you decide to sign a deal with a certain ISP (Internet Service Provider), they’re going to send you a router and a modem. That is definitely very nice of them, but unfortunately, some people enjoy this offer so much, that they just stick with it without wondering if they have a better alternative or not. The truth is that you actually could have many more advantages if you do change the router provided by your ISP. In this article, we’ll list the five main reasons why you should not use your ISP’s router.

Lower Cost

As we already established, most internet providers will give you a router once you sign a deal with them. But what people tend to overlook, is the fact that they actually charge you monthly for that router. Of course, it’s just a few dollars, but if you just buy a router of your own, you could make up the cost in less than a year. And if you buy a modem too, it might take a while more, but eventually, it will be worth it.

The initial savings brought on by the lower rental cost will accumulate over time, but you might wind up paying more with your valuable time. Many commercial routers sent out to new customers are far from the highest quality model available and may put you through the paces of suffering in downtime, connection instability and other recurring issues. If the loss of time isn’t bad enough, you may find yourself out even more money over time if rental prices fluctuate after you’ve locked into a rental agreement.

Parental Controls

For those of you out there who are parents, this benefit might interest you. With the advanced technology that we have today, buying a modern router means that you have more control over what your kids are doing on the internet. You don’t want your kids to be exposed to sensitive, violent content, and if you just settle for the router from your ISP, you definitely won’t be able to control these things the way you want to.

Increased parental control and better administrative access to your router in general go hand in hand with installing third-party firmware for your router if it is available. Not every router has a custom firmware set available, but those that do often have increased security, better quality-of-life options and an extended shelf life thanks to support going beyond the natural life of the router manufacturer’s planned obsolescence.

The Wi-Fi

When you settle for the router provided by your ISP, you are never sure about the performance of that router, and how the internet connection is going to work while using it. When you invest in a router of your own, you actually get to choose one that you know that can offer you a great performance. This is a great thing to do, especially if you’re paying for something like unlimited wireless broadband, because you want to get the most out of it.

Different Wi-Fi standards allow for different access speeds through your wireless connection. In a worst-case scenario, your ISP might set you up with a router that isn’t prepared to handle the highest end of your internet’s advertised speeds. In essence you may be left paying for internet speeds you cannot fully utilise. If you live in a crowded urban area where multiple wireless signals clash, you may further benefit from purchasing your own router that supports dual-band traffic that can take advantage of lesser-used frequencies to ensure your wireless signal isn’t lost amidst other traffic.

Wi-Fi Guest Access

This is a great benefit that you could take advantage of, especially if you have a lot of people coming over to your place all the time. What you can do, is to create a guest network (if you get yourself the right router, of course) and all your guests are going to need in order to get online, is a simple password. If you go for this option, you’ll be able to keep your password all to yourself, without having to type it in other people’s devices. A router that comes from your ISP is less likely to offer this kind of option.

Guest networks offer an additional layer of security in that your guests aren’t likely to accidentally spread infections across your home network if they happen to use a device that has been targeted by malware or other viruses. Keeping devices separate is a vital part of network security that many home admins fail to account for and stopping an infection from ever accessing your home network is far easier than troubleshooting problems after you’ve been afflicted.

Bandwidth Prioritization

If you know there are certain apps or certain devices that you use more frequently than others, you should definitely prioritize them on your bandwidth. For example, if you know that the main thing that you do online is watch Netflix, you should prioritize it on your bandwidth, and that way you’ll never have to wait for another video to load. Of course, you need the right router that allows you to one such thing.

Most ISPs definitely won’t give you a router that allows you to benefit from all of the things mentioned above. And even if they do give you a very good, capable router, you are still paying rent for it. So at the end of the day, you’re still winning if you get yourself one of your own.

Furthering proper use of your bandwidth means finding a router that correctly deploys Quality of Service (QoS) and Wireless Multimedia Extension, which has since been renamed Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM). Together, these two options help route bandwidth through your network efficiently in a way that keeps your connection free from potential bottlenecks created by large chunks of traffic choking your bandwidth. Unfortunately, older models of routers had very serious issues reconciling these two features and may outright damage your internet speeds without tweaking or disabling them entirely. Newer routers handle these services much more efficiently.

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About the Author

I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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