But now with 100 Mbps becoming the baseline for Internet speed, it isn’t enough to buy a router that only has 100 Mbps wired Ethernet ports.
It is also important to note that whatever speed a port is rated at, it is a theoretical maximum.
In the area I live, Charter Communications is the cable Internet provider.
At the beginning of the year, Charter publicized an increase in standard residential service bandwidth from 30 to 60 Mbps with no increase in price. Then sometime in the summer, they quietly increased the residential bandwidth to 100 Mbps! Just a few years ago 100 Mbps was an expensive option reserved only for businesses that were willing to shell out for it.
This is what users should look for when buying a router to support the new generation of high-speed Internet services.
Specifically, buyers should make sure that the Internet (or WAN) port supports gigabit speeds, however it is rare anymore to see a router that supports gigabit on the other ports but not the Internet port.
Many wireless routers still in operation only support a maximum wireless bandwidth of 54 Mbps.
Since wireless routers must connect to a cable modem through a wired port, the throughput of the wired port can become another bottleneck.
It would seem the simple answer would be to buy a newer wireless router that supports higher bandwidths.
While that answer is true, this brings up the second bottleneck.
So even if you have a router with 100 Mbps ports, most likely you will only see around 90 Mbps of real-world throughput.
One confusing issue for would-be router purchasers is that many wireless routers with 100 Mbps Ethernet ports may support faster wireless speeds.