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Do I Have the Right Modem and Router For My Home Internet Plan?

Internet modem router

Finding the right broadband service can require a fair bit of research at times, and once you’ve landed on the one for you it’s important to ensure you have the right hardware to make the most of it. This starts with your modem and router: your gateways to internet access.

While most home internet providers will help take the confusion out of this by offering a modem/router with your service at a fee, we’re here to tell you how to make sure you’ve got the best tech for your internet.

Supplying your own suitable router and modem can help bring down the costs associated with your internet plan, and increase the speed of your connection.

A modem and a router are the first stages to accessing the internet, and having either of them not meet the needs of your internet usage or your household could leave you with a slow, ineffective connection. Choosing the right tech will ensure you’re not only connected to the internet, but getting the most out of your broadband plan.

Choosing the right tech

Here at Mozo we’ve already discussed the difference between a modem and router, but ensuring you have the right units for your internet plan is a separate battle.

In terms of a modem, you’re going to need something a little more powerful for a higher number of devices you’re planning on your internet supporting, but you don’t need to go overboard.

Most modems will need to be VDSL2-ready in order to connect to the NBN. For an FTTP or HFC connection you’ll need separate equipment, not a modem.

It’s also important to note that some internet service providers won’t support all modems, so investigate how a device might limit your choices before purchasing.

To get the most out of your NBN plan you’ll want to ensure your modem can make the most of your download and upload speeds. These will be listed somewhere in the product information. There’s no point in signing up for an NBN 100 plan if your modem can’t handle speeds that high.

Many modems feature routing capabilities inbuilt

Many modern modems feature routing capabilities, which will save you the effort of purchasing separate devices. However a combined modem/router may mean sacrificing top-tier performance to fit all of the necessary components into the one device. If you want to get the most out of your internet connection consider purchasing separate units.

If your internet service provider includes devices with your plan, note they are unlikely to go above and beyond in providing a modem/router for you. To squeeze the most out of your plan, finding your own tech might be the better option.

If you’re purchasing a router separately to a modem you again need to ensure it will support the number of devices you’re intending on having connected to your internet. This will be somewhere in the product information, or you can enquire with the manufacturer. If you’re looking for help in selecting a router, check out modem router reviews on Techradar.

Most routers will be ‘dual-band’, allowing them to connect your devices to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz internet. Having this capability is pretty standard for a modern router, whether it's a standalone unit or a modem with routing capacities.

  • The 5GHz band allows faster connection speeds, but provides less coverage
  • The 2.4GHz band allows for a greater coverage but sacrifices some speed.

Keep in mind that upgrading your router may also offer a more reliable wi-fi connection inside your home, but it won’t be able to increase your internet speed the modem handles from the connection to your home.

If you are really keen to optimise your home’s wifi connection, wifi-mesh devices are an option. This is separate technology that can be spread around the home to create different wi-fi ‘points’ all connecting you to the same network. This is especially useful for those with a large home, or those who find their wi-fi doesn’t quite reach certain areas of their house. Just keep in mind that these work to extend the range of your wifi, but not increase its speed.

Searching for a new broadband internet plan? See our list of providers below and find a service that works for you:

Cooper Langby
Cooper Langby
Money writer

Cooper writes across all aspects of personal finance here at Mozo. With a double degree in Journalism and Communications & Media from the University of Wollongong, Cooper has previously written sports content for the Fansided network. He is now turning his focus to finances and is always looking for new ways to educate himself and our readers on the best ways to save money, and budget effectively.