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Does Router Affect The Internet Speed? Here’s The Truth

Routers are responsible for processing and managing the internet in every device in your home and can also affect internet speed. If you have a quality router, it will help you maximise your internet speed. On the other hand, if you have a router with old technology, it may slow down your internet speed. However, it is important to remember that your internet speed is only as fast as the plan you choose from your internet service provider, regardless of the type of router. For example, if you are paying for 200MBps, you can not get a speed higher than that unless you upgrade your internet plan.

Your router is like a traffic cop dedicated to routing your network traffic. If your bandwidth is overloaded with many devices or congested during peak usage hours, the connection can slow down. Similarly, if your router is outdated, it can hinder the performance of your internet connection. Your internet speed may also slow if you place the router too far from your devices.

If your router cannot provide the speed mentioned on your plan, you need to upgrade your router. Otherwise, you will pay for a speed you are not getting. Since internet technology constantly evolves, routers with old technology cannot provide a high speed.

For example, if your internet plan is providing 500 Mbps on an N300 router it will automatically lose 200 Mbps of bandwidth. However, devices connected with ethernet cable can benefit from the speed proffered on the plan. Upgrading your router can help you increase your internet speed.

This article will explore whether modems affect your internet speed and router factors that affect internet speed.

Do Modems Affect Your Internet Speed?

The concept of routers also applies to the modem. Older or low-tier modems have issues with speed limitations. Outdated and older modems cannot support the speeds provided by your internet service provider.

With the help of a speed test, you can determine whether your modem is the reason behind your slow internet speed. If the speed test indicates that it’s time for an upgrade, reaching out to your internet service provider is a good idea. They can list compatible plans that suit your needs and offer faster internet speeds.. Some providers in the market combine a router and modem into one with the latest technology reliable for full home or office coverage. 


On the other hand, if your router and modem are updated, and you are still not getting the expected speed, then the issue is in your wireless devices. Like modems and routers, every wireless device has its speed limit it can support. If you have a laptop or smartphone that can support WiFi 5 and you upgrade your router speed to WiFi 6 technology, you can not get the upgraded speed on those devices.

Router Factors That Can Affect Internet Speed

Now that you understand that your router can affect the speed of your internet, let’s see router factors that can impact the speed of your internet connection.

1. Router WAN Interface

The WAN port or WAN interface of the router is the part that connects to the internet. Normally, you see a single port on the router unless your router is a Dual WAN router.

This router interface can support gigabit ethernet and fast ethernet. Fast ethernet can provide speeds up to 100 Mbps, and Gigabit ethernet can provide a speed up to 1000 Mbps.

If your internet connection is less than 100 Mbps, then a fast ethernet WAN interface is enough. However, if it is more than 100 Mbps, the effective speed would only be 100 Mbps regardless of your internet speed.

If you are considering purchasing a new router or upgrading the existing one, buy one that supports gigabit WAN interfaces; otherwise, upgrading your internet speed is useless. In this case, upgrading the router to support a gigabit WAN interface is recommended.

2. Router Radio

You may find different types of routers in the market, including single and dual-band routers. Single-band routers support 2.4 Ghz, while dual-band routers support 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. The routers with 2.4 Ghz support a longer range than 5 GHz, but their supported speed is less than that of 5 GHz.

Let’s understand with an example of a wireless router that supports 1750 Mbps. A router with a 2.4 Ghz radio can support up to 300 Mbps, whereas a router with 5 Ghz can support 1450 Mbps speed.

A dual-band router will ensure you connect to a 5 GHz radio and get optimal speed. If you still use a single-band router and need a high speed, upgrade your router to the dual-band and use a 5 GHz radio for better speed and performance.

3. Router LAN Interface Speed

Regarding the LAN interface of your router, it can support either fast ethernet (100 Mbps) or gigabit ethernet (1000 Mbps) speeds. If you have a PC connected to the router’s LAN interface, the data will travel between the PC and the router at the supported speed (100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps). Then it will use the speed your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides.

If your router’s LAN interface is gigabit, you can enjoy faster data transfer speeds up to 1000 Mbps until it reaches the router, and then it will utilise the speed allocated by your ISP. A wireless router with gigabit ports can increase your network’s effective speeds.

If you have multiple PCs connecting to the router’s interface, purchasing a router that supports a gigabit LAN interface is highly recommended to maximise your network’s speed potential.

Additionally, ensure that the network card on your PC supports gigabit speeds to achieve the desired speeds.

4. Router WiFi Speed

The speed supported by the router significantly affects your internet speed. The more speed your router can support, the more would be the LAN speed, which is proportionate to increased internet speed.

Now suppose that you have two routers which are 1200 Mbps and 1750 Mbps, and you are using a 5 Hz frequency range to connect the routers. The 1750 Mbps router will provide a speed of 1300 Mbps, and the 1200 Mbps router provides 867 Mbp on a 5 GHz frequency.

It means that with these routers, data travels from your laptop or mobile to the router at a speed of 1300 Mbps and 867 Mbps, respectively, and then it uses a speed allocated by your Internet Service Provider.

It can be observed that the net effective speed of your internet is affected by the speed supported by the wireless router. You should upgrade your router if it supports slow speed.

How Do Smart Devices Affect Internet Speed?

Internet speed is also affected by the number of devices connected to your internet connection. With the advancement in technology, numerous smart devices in homes, such as lights, cameras, and locks, need to be connected to your internet connection to work.

These devices can consume a lot of bandwidth. You can maintain your internet speed with enough bandwidth to support all your devices. You can also improve your network speed by disconnecting WiFi from devices, not in use.

It is also possible that old devices use more bandwidth that slows down the speed of your connection for the rest of the devices. Older devices can slow down your connection, affecting other devices’ performance. Always update your devices to enjoy the internet speed you signed up for.

Why is Your Router Slowing Down Your Internet Speed?

Your router is a middleman between your modem and devices, managing network traffic flow. If your router is overwhelmed or outdated, it can create a bottleneck, causing slow connections like a traffic jam. Investing in a newer, high-quality router can help prevent such issues and ensure faster, smoother connections for your devices.

In both cases, the router becomes a chokepoint, not the internet connection. Upgrading your internet plan can not help you in increasing your internet speed if your router can not handle the current load. You may need to reset, swap or reboot it for a better router model.

For example, suppose you have signed up your internet plan to a 500 Mbps speed but using an N300 router. Your connection will automatically lose 100 Mbps bandwidth because your router only supports 400 Mbps. However, it may not affect your wired connection.

Final Words - Router Affect The Internet Speed

Your router plays an important role in determining your internet speed. An outdated or low-quality router can create issues and slow down your internet connections, just like a traffic cop overwhelmed during rush hour. Investing in a newer, high-quality router can help maximise your internet speed by efficiently managing network traffic. However, it is important to note that your internet speed is ultimately limited by the plan you choose from your internet service provider. Upgrading your router alone would not increase your speed beyond the limit set by your plan. Therefore, it's essential to consider both your router and internet plan to ensure optimal internet speed and performance.

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