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What is a wireless router?

Internet routers can be wired or wireless. With the exception of 3G or 4G connections, it's not the broadband connection or package that is wireless, it's the type of router.

Wired routers are becoming less and less common and are now used mostly in households where the primary means of connecting to the internet is a fixed-line PC.

How a wifi router works

Wireless models are the most common type of internet router. Basically speaking, internet data comes in to the router from the phone line and is converted into radio signals. This signal is then picked up by the network card in your computer, smartphone or games console and translated into internet data again.

Wireless, or wifi routers are included in wireless broadband packages, and are essential in homes where multiple devices connect to the internet at the same time.

Compare the best wireless broadband packages at uSwitch now.

What wireless routers do:

  • Provide wireless internet to wireless-enabled devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and gaming consoles
  • Can be used to make VoIP calls
  • Facilitate digital TV

Which are the best wireless routers?

Wireless routers come in all shapes, sizes and specifications. But perhaps the best on the market are BT's and Virgin Media, whose offerings are called the Home Hub and Super Hub respectively. Below we'll talk you through what makes them so highly rated.

what is a wireless router?

BT Home Hub

Hailed as the iPhone of broadband routers, the HomeHub makes it easy to connect PCs, laptops and gaming consoles to the internet wirelessly. It also allows you to make calls over the internet, has a built-in firewall and parental controls and provides security updates automatically.

Using improved N-standard technology, the HomeHub can provide greater speeds over greater distances. The HomeHub is now on its fifth-generation and is free on select BT broadband packages.

Compare the best BT broadband packages at uSwitch now.

Virgin Media Super Hub

Virgin Media's Super Hub is free with every one of its packages. The Super Hub's USPs take in:

Wireless ‘N’ technology for fast, secure connections 152Mbps+ fibre broadband speeds 5GHz compatible

Mobile broadband routers

Wireless routers are mostly associated with the use of home broadband. However, more recently they have been designed so they can also be used with mobile broadband. To get started, all you have to do is plug your USB stick/dongle into your mobile broadband wifi router and you can create a wireless network wherever you are.

Compare the best wireless broadband packages at uSwitch now.