A router allows you to network multiple computers and other compatible devices, like game consoles, so you can stream media, transfer files, and share an internet connection between them. A wired router connects to each device through a Local Area Network (LAN) port, using an Ethernet cable that can carry data at very high speeds. A typical router will have four LAN ports, and one Wide Area Network (WAN) port, which connects to your existing broadband modem, i.e. the internet, also via an Ethernet cable.
A wired router offers a potentially faster, more reliable and secure connection, at a lower cost than comparable wireless routers. This is of particular benefit to businesses that need to share large files or sensitive information on a network. It's also appealing to gamers who value a consistent connection, unaffected by interference from weather, walls, or other wireless signals. The inherent restriction is that you cannot share your internet connection with wireless devices like tablets or smart phones, like you can with a wireless router.
The best wired router to look for is one that one that fully exploits its potential for speed and security. In addition to the basics, like an adequate number of LAN ports for your needs, look for security features like a built-in firewall, ping blocking, and port forwarding. Consider convenient features like remote management and VPN capability, so you can change your router settings and access your network from an internet connection while away. To get the fastest possible data speeds, your router should support Gigabit Ethernet, capable of transferring at a rate of a gigabit per second, ten times faster than the 100 megabits per second offered by standard Ethernet connections.
If your cable internet provider charges you an expensive modem rental fee every month, consider buying your own modem instead. A modem generally pays for itself in the first year of ownership, and most will give you speedy internet for years to come. After researching nearly 100 cable modems over the past six years, we recommend the Motorola MB7621 as the best cable modem for use with most internet service providers (ISPs) and internet plans.
If you have a gigabit or multi-gig internet plan and your ISP allows you to use your own modem, the Motorola MB8611 is the best of the DOCSIS 3.1 modems that are widely available right now, thanks to its relatively low price and two-year warranty. You need a DOCSIS 3.1 modem to guarantee gigabit speeds from most cable ISPs, and some ISPs like Sparklight recommend DOCSIS 3.1 modems for new cable modem activations.
The MB8611 supports gigabit internet plans (up to 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps) as well as multi-gig plans (between 1.2 and 2.5 Gbps). It supports those faster speeds using a 2.5 GbE (2.5 gigabit Ethernet) port on its back panel, just above the usual coaxial (round Cable TV-style) cable. The modem's port will connect to older routers with 1 gigabit Ethernet ports up to single gigabit speeds, and newer routers and mesh networks with 2.5 GbE ports at 1.2 to 2.5 gigabit speeds.
Motorola's MG7700 (view at Amazon) checks all the right boxes when it comes to delivering the performance and features most users need in a cable modem/router. If you're looking for even broader coverage, then Netgear's Orbi CBK752 (view at Amazon) combines a top-rated Wi-Fi 6 mesh system with a fast (and future-ready) cable modem to let you take full advantage of the fastest internet plans in even the largest of homes.
A cable modem/router combo is a single device that combines the capabilities of a cable modem with the features of a Wi-Fi router. You plug it directly into your coaxial cable just like you would a cable modem, and then connect your computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices directly using either wired Gigabit Ethernet connections or via Wi-Fi.
Buying a cable modem/router combo can save you quite a bit of money since these all-in-one units are usually far more affordable than buying a cable modem and a router separately. And if you're renting your cable modem, you can save even more by returning that to your ISP, reducing your monthly bill. That said, while modern cable modem/routers are very capable if you have more advanced needs, there are many more options and advanced features to be found among the best wireless routers.
Get the best cable modem, and you no longer have to worry about hidden fees popping up on your internet bill. That's because supplying your own modem gets rid of the equipment rental fee your internet service provider could be charging you if you're using the ISP-supplied modem they gave you with when setting up your service.
You'll need to find a modem that works with your internet service, but that's not a huge challenge. All of the best cable modem contenders we've assessed work with major ISPs in the U.S. So really, all you need to do is find a modem that's easy to hook up and comes with a generous warranty. Here's what we'd recommend based on testing assorted cable modems over the years.
While most homes opt for internet plans that promise speeds of around 100 to 300 Mbps, some people prefer higher-speed service. If your plan promises download speeds that top 300 Mbps, you'll want a cable modem that can take advantage of that greater performance. Netgear's CM600 is the best cable modem for those higher speeds, though you'll pay a little bit more than you would for the CM500.
The Arris Surfboard SB6183 was once our pick for the best cable modem thanks to its solid performance that will satisfy most home internet customers who don't pay for high-speed service. Like the CM600, some retailers are charging more for this harder-to-track-down modem, but if you can find the SB6183 for around $60, then it's worth getting.
So the best advice is to make sure to do some research before you head to a new place to see what its WiFi connection speed and mobile signal is so that you can see if it a place that you would be able to work from or not. If so, then if you have a travel router and/or mobile hotspot, it should help you work remotely when needed.
So the answer as to whether the hotel WiFi is faster than your cellphone 4G is a difficult one to answer. WiFi is definitely capable of being faster than 4G, but this depends on a number of factors, including the speed of the internet connection the hotel has, how far from the router your device is, and how many other people are using it. 4G also has similar issues, depending on factors like how far away the nearest mast is, if your room is near to a window (walls can weaken a signal), and so on. 781b155fdc