Wireless routers: How we test wireless routers
Wireless routers can be tricky to set up so we assess instruction manuals and setup wizards for how intuitive they are to use.
It's crucial to make sure that your wireless network is secure to prevent strangers from hopping on to your wireless network. In order to secure your network, you'll need to create a password for it.
The best wireless routers we've tested will ensure that your network is secured as part of the initial set-up process. We penalise routers that allow you to set up your wireless network and don't help you to secure it as a default. We award extra marks for routers that make it easy to set up security features.
Ease of use
We look at how easy it is to use to your router - to solve any problems, for instance - once you've got it up and running. We look at the router's onscreen menus and settings and assess how user-friendly they are and how easy it is to make basic and advanced changes to your network.
We note how quickly data is transferred between the computer and a laptop in various locations in a house.
We start by testing the speed of the connection in the same room as the router, then move to a room next door, then to another room beyond that and perform the same test in each room. After this we test the performance of the routers by going upstairs and connecting one floor up, then two.
Each router is tested using a standard wireless adaptor built into our test laptop – a typical home setup.