Why You Should Use Your Own Router Instead of Your ISP's
July 6, 2021
If you’ve been receiving Internet service from Tachus, you know that our technicians install a modem in your home, and that we encourage our customers to purchase their own routers. In this post, we’re going to explain our reasons for this, and why we recommend that any Internet user buy their own router regardless of which Internet service provider they use.
You may already know the difference between a modem and a router; with a modem creating your home’s connection to the Internet, and your router creating a local network that links your household’s devices to the Internet connection provided by your modem. At first you might think it’s convenient that ISPs provide both modems and routers. However, depending on how you use the Internet and what your bandwidth needs are, using the router offered by your ISP has some disadvantages. You’ll likely be much better off selecting and using one of the many store-bought options available. Here are some reasons why.
Buying a Router Can Save You Money in the Long Run
When you use a router provided by your ISP, they’ll usually charge you an equipment rental fee each month. This becomes an additional cost to your monthly bill. So while purchasing your own router has a higher upfront cost, it’s a one-time payment that spares you the long-term costs of a rental.
Your ISP’s Router Might Be Too Weak
While some ISPs provide routers that are perfectly capable of bringing Wi-Fi to your entire home, others provide routers with weak signals and speeds that dramatically affect your home’s connection to the Internet. What areas of your house do you need to be in to successfully connect to Wi-Fi? How close to your router do you have to be to get a good signal? If you’ve placed your router in a central location in your home but you’re still not able to get a strong signal from it, your ISP might have given you a weak router. Find out what speeds your router can handle and make sure they’re greater than the speeds your ISP is providing.
Even if your Internet provider’s router is a capable one, there’s a chance that certain conditions in your home could make it difficult for its wireless signal to cover it. If your home is either larger than 2,000 square feet or has several dense walls or obstacles, especially metal ones, most standard routers would leave dead spots in their coverage. Finding a long-range router or a mesh system would be the best option for you. If you’re unable to replace your router, supplementing it with a range extender or repeater will benefit you as well.
You Can Find Routers With Better Parental Controls
Many store-bought routers have great options for parental controls. While parental apps on a computer work well, a router’s parental controls are generally better and more secure. There are some routers offered by Internet providers that have parental controls, but you’re likely to find more options and features in store-bought routers. For example, some routers come with free apps in which you can remotely adjust parental control settings, choose which sites to block, and set specific times you want sites blocked.
Setting Up a Guest Network
Most of the big Internet providers will rent you a router that will allow you to set up a guest network. Make sure your ISP’s router is capable of this, because creating a guest network is a great way to protect your home network as well as your devices and files. If you find out that your ISP does not offer routers that support guest networks, it would be a good idea to consider store-bought options instead.
You May Not Have Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of service (QoS) is an underrated feature on routers that enables you to choose the apps or devices that should get priority bandwidth. It’s a great tool for managing traffic on your home network. If you want to stream TV, you could adjust your QoS settings to give priority to Netflix, for example. If you use several devices simultaneously, a router with advanced QoS features that are tailored to your preferences will make your network and how you use your Internet connection far more efficient. If QoS is not available on your ISP’s router, there are plenty of store-bought routers that offer it.
Buying a Router Directly From Its Manufacturer Will Make Your Network More Secure
Purchasing a router from a manufacturer enables them to remain responsible for that router’s firmware, meaning your router’s manufacturer can keep it secure and fully-functional by updating it when necessary. If you’re using a router from your ISP, it’s very likely your ISP does not manufacture that router. This means that while your ISP has control over your router, they are not the best ones to support, update, or fix any issues with it. Your Internet provider would have to coordinate those actions with the router’s manufacturer.
When connecting your home to your Internet provider’s service, keep in mind that there are many different ways you can do this. ISP routers may work well for a lot of people, but not for everyone. Before agreeing to rent a router from your provider, make sure it’s capable of accommodating you and your needs. Your home, household, and use of the Internet are unique. Finding the right router to suit your needs should be an important part of setting up your Internet connection.
It’s for this reason that Tachus does not sell or rent out routers. No two customers are the same, which is why we encourage you to find the router that best fits your home, Internet use, and needs. Choosing the router that’s right for you enables you to get the most out of your wireless network and our blazing fast fiber Internet speeds.