Recommended Hardware: Router

Recommended Hardware: Router

Our job is to get you rock-solid, reliable internet at a fair price. Our hardware ends at the port that you can plug your hardware into. What you plug into our port is essentially up to you – including your router and WiFi access point(s).

Unifi Dream Router (UDR)

A router is a device which enables you to connect multiple devices into the Crave Broadband service. Most modern routers provide both wired (ethernet) as well as wireless (WiFi) connection capabilities (that latter part is technically a Wireless Access Point, or WAP, just in case you were interested).

When it comes to speed and reliability, WiFi is the wildcard. Every setup, every environment, and every device is different. To a certain degree, it’s less important “which” router you have than it is “where” you place your router.

The “best” place to position your Router is in the middle of your home – where its signals reach out equally in every directly. However, most routers look like some sort of alien contraption which nobody but the geekiest among us wants to see, so routes are usually tucked away in a cabinet, or behind a desk, or some other place where its signals are reduced by its environment. Even the most expensive, most high-tech router out there will have a hard time providing a good WiFi signal if it’s on top of a computer, behind a bookshelf, in a closet, etc. Relocating your router to a better position may solve the bulk of your WiFi problem – and doesn’t cost much to do so.

A cheap router will have relatively low processing power (slow CPU, limited RAM, etc.) and can be a bottleneck for your home – resulting in buffering, slowness, dropped connections, and generally frustrating experiences (most of which can be solved by powering off your router and all devices connected to it for a few minutes). A quality “prosumer” or “small business” router can significant differences in your experience.

We recommend the Unifi Dream Router because of its power, compatibility, features, and upgradability.

What about Mesh networking?

If you have a large house, or metal or stone walls, your WiFi signal may have a hard time getting where you need it. Many times the advertised “solution” is a “WiFi Mesh” network.

While mesh networks have their applications, they can quickly eat up what limited radio spectrum you have in your house – slowing everything down. Put simply, the way they work is by allowing your device (for example, your phone or tablet) to connect to a a mesh “node” over the WiFi radio spectrum; that signal is processed, repackaged, then re-transmitted over the WiFi radio spectrum again to another mesh node, or to the base station. This doubles (or more) the amount of WiFi spectrum you would have needed if you’d have connect to the base station directly (or to a hard-wired WAP). A better approach is by using hard-wired ethernet ports from the base station to the “nodes” (turning them into Wireless Access Points – WAPs). They take care of the WiFi, and send the data down a cable back to your router.

Sometimes new homes are constructed with “Ethernet Drops” in each room that are “Home Run” back to a mechanical room when you can quickly and easily connect a few WAPs back to your router. (If you are building or renovating your home, it’s well worth the time and added expense to have a one or two CAT-6 cables pulled from a single location to every room in your home – even if you won’t “need” it for a few years.)

If you start your network with a Unifi Dream Router, not only will you have enough processing power and RAM to get your home network started, you also have room to grow, adding intelligent mesh nodes and hard-wired WAPs where you need them.