It’s Time for a New Router

If you recently bought a new smartphone or tablet but are already looking ahead to your next purchase, then you are not alone. With the manufacturers bringing out new devices every few months and the wireless carriers only too happy to accommodate early upgrades, the lifespan of the average smartphone is becoming shorter and shorter.

Contrast this with our approach to another piece of equipment that is equally important to our digital well-being: the router. Yes – I am talking about that mostly forgotten dusty black box that sits blinking in the corner of your office.

The router is one of those devices that only gets noticed when something goes wrong. Like the time your kids finally settle down to do their homework and someone shouts: “Mom, there’s something wrong with the Internet!” You turn the router off and on a few times, move the cables around a little bit, and miraculously everything is restored to normal.

If you consider how much mobile technology has advanced since the last time you upgraded your router, it’s a surprise the device is still working at all. Faster laptops and data-hungry smartphones and tablets are using dramatically more bandwidth than they used to, to say nothing of the myriad of other connected devices in the home, including gaming consoles, smart TVs, DVRs, and even thermostats and security cameras.

Last week I installed a brand new Verizon FiOS Quantum Gateway router in my home and it’s difficult to overstate the difference it has made. When you get into the tech specs of routers (not something I would recommend!), you learn a lot about frequencies. The Quantum Gateway essentially gives you two separate frequencies, allowing you to perform both high and low bandwidth activities (such as checking e-mail and streaming movies) simultaneously.

With greater data handling efficiency comes greater speed. The increase in speed is particularly noticeable during the Internet “Rush Hour” – that’s 7 – 11 pm in the evening, when everyone is downloading files, refreshing social networks and searching the Web. Verizon’s dedicated, high-bandwidth fiber-optic connection essentially provides each customer with a fast lane to avoid the increased traffic.

The Quantum Gateway has also dramatically improved network reach, eliminating those Internet dead spots in my kitchen and certain other rooms in our house. The Quantum Gateway also comes with guest access features and a full suite of parental controls, which includes the ability to limit Internet access for individual devices.

So before you think about upgrading your smartphone or tablet, give some thought to upgrading your home network. When it comes to improved data-handling and performance, a brand new FiOS router will make all the difference!

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional activities for Verizon.

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