Check What Wireless Standard you Need
There are many wireless routers supporting different wireless standard, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n (draft n), so which standard should you use?
The most popular and mature standard is 802.11g but the latest is 802.11n (draft n), however I would advise to choose the one with 802.11g standard if possible.
802.11g can support bandwidth up to 55Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. It’s compatible with 802.11b products because they both use the same radio frequency. That means 802.11g wireless router will be able to talk to 80.11b wireless adapter. The only problem of 802.11b/g is its interference with other electronic devices that utilize same 2.4GHz radio frequency and this will affect the wireless signal strength.
Then how about 802.11b? Since 802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11g, so I don’t recommend you to use 802.11b product. 802.11a wireless router is not so popular and normally used by business users, so you can forget about it.
As for the router with 802.11n (draft n) standard, it’s still new and the standard is yet to be finalized by IEEE. The expected speed is 10 times faster than 802.11g and the coverage is much wider. If you plan to buy it, be prepare to pay more as the price is expensive.
Compatibility with Other Wireless Devices
Think about the compatibility with wireless adapter, access point or other wireless devices when you choose the router. That’s no point you bought an 802.11g wireless router when other wireless devices are 802.11b aware only.
Always take into accounts of how do you plan to deploy the wireless network, what wireless devices you have and what others you plan to buy when choosing the wireless router.
Wireless Encryption Support
You must always enable encryption on your wireless router, so choose the router with at least WAP encryption. The best you can choose is the one with WPA2 encryption support. Having encryption in your wireless network would allow authorized users with correct encryption key to join the network. It would also avoid your network bandwidth from stealing by neighbor or strangers.
Don’t use WEP encryption on your router if you have better choices, this type of encryption is easily to be hacked by using hacking tool that freely available on Internet.
Other Security Features on Wireless Router
Look for the router that provides firewall feature! This will add an additional layer of protection to your network. If you manage to get the one with stateful inspection support, that would be the best. Stateful inspection firewall will inspect every state of the connections providing better capabilities to drop the malicious traffic.
Check also about the URL, IP and MAC address filtering features. These mentioned security features should be common nowadays, but just check about it to make sure the features are there.