Modem routers are the backbone of connected homes. Think of all of the devices whose functionality depends on having access to a wireless internet connection. These include our smartphones, tablets and computers; our savvy televisions and home theatre systems; our internet radios and our connected gaming consoles.
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With all of these devices competing for limited internet bandwidth, home networks will struggle to deliver next generation perks like Ultra High Definition content, video calls over televisions and connected white-goods. But rest assured for the folks who dreamed up wireless have delivered a new wireless standard capable of accommodating our hunger for data. The new standard is known as 802.11ac (or 'Wireless ac') and it can handle up to 1300 megabits per second, which is almost triple the 450 megabits per second of the previous 802.11n ('Wireless n') standard. The extra grunt lends not only to serve the multitude of devices populating your home (and to serve them by downloading heavy data quickly), but it also paves the way for future needs, such as offering support for the spiffy National Broadband Network currently underway.
Amongst the best modem routers compatible with the new wireless ac standard is D-Link's DSL-2890AL. It promotes a combined 1750 Mbps dual-channel functionality, where it allocates less intensive devices onto the 450Mbps wireless n bandwidth, as to accommodate hungrier devices on its 1300Mbps wireless ac bandwidth. This way more devices have access to a more stable and faster internet connection.
Break out box: Your existing wireless n devices will continue to work with D-Link's wireless AC modem router.
It does a lot more than host internet though.
Along its spine are two USB ports (one of which is USB 3.0). By plugging a hard drive into the modem router, the stored photos, videos and music can be accessed wirelessly from any of your compatible devices. This personal cloud will free up some of the memory that would otherwise be used in your smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions. Printers too can benefit from this connectivity.
By plugging in a printer into the second USB port, you can print documents from your computers, smartphones and tablets wirelessly.