With more and more content becoming available for digital delivery, and many services (especially gaming) requiring an 'always-on' connection, the speed of your network connection is now more important than ever. In the past, we were limited to slow 14.4kbps dial-up modems, but with the advent of cable and and now fiber optic broadband, we have achieved speeds of 200Mbps and above.
These technological advancements also demand equally proficient hardware, at the consumer end at least, to optimize their blazing fast speeds. As such, it is important that you pick the right router to suit your broadband capabilities. For instance, utilizing an old N-router when you're subscribed to a fiber network is like listening to 128kbps songs with a pair of high-end headphones. So if you've upgraded to fiber recently, be sure to get a high-speed router (and preferably NGNBN-certified) to match your network.
The Aztech HomePlug AV 500Mbps is one of the best choices for users with high bandwidth-demand applications, such as online gaming or HD streaming, with speeds of up to 500mbps. Setup is simple, just plug in and connect one homeplug to your router, and another to the device of your choice, then pair them by pressing the Simple Connect button on both. The Simple Connect button also doubles as a security feature providing 128-bit AES encryption. For extra convenience, this model comes with an integrated noise-filtered power outlet, so you won't lose a power port when you're using it.
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Powered by a Broadcom BCM4718 chip, the Cisco Linksys E4200 is marketed, not surprisingly, as a compatible companion to fiber networks. Theoretically, it is capable of top speeds of up to 450Mbps on 5GHz, and 300MHz on 2.4GHz.
Its deviation from the usual (and boring) router dress code also makes it one of the few aesthetically appealing routers; and it's got substance to back up that style too, with many built-in features you want in a modern day N-router, like guest access and access policies. In our testing, the router's 3x3 and 2x3 MIMO streams translated into stable throughput figures, while its UPnP media server and IPv6 support also lends a hand to its multimedia and future-proofing accolades.
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