In general, any standard wireless router from a reputable brand (Netgear, Linksys, Asus, etc.) will work well with LiteWire internet service.
However, we do have some recommendations on what to look for and what to avoid when you're shopping for a router to use with LiteWire Internet service.
- Dual band routers, which use both 5ghz and 2.4ghz are best
- WiFi 5 (802.11AC) or WiFi 6 (802.11AX) will work fine. The faster speeds advertised on the higher end routers typically are not beneficial, as any 802.11AC or newer router will be able to handle higher speeds than your Internet connection, in most cases. There may be other benefits, such as better range, integrated parental controls, etc. on the higher end models, but for basic functionality, any newer router will work just as well.
- Avoid anything that's labelled a "modem" or router/modem combo. Those units are designed to replace the modem that's provided for cable or DSL type internet services. Our service does not use a modem, and those units will not work.
- Avoid "Tri-Band" routers. These routers use two 5ghz WiFi channels, which will make it difficult to avoid interfering with the connection to our tower, and cause various issues (more on that below). In most cases, the secondary 5ghz wifi channel can be disabled, and they'll work fine, but you're just going to be paying extra for functionality that you aren't using, or is detrimental to connection performance. The extra speed provided by this routers typically won't give you any benefit, as noted above.
- If you are looking for a mesh or "whole home" type wifi system, you need to be more careful when selecting one for use with our service. The reason for this, is that the mesh systems often do not give you the option of manually configuring the wireless channel/frequency they use, and will often interfere with the connection our tower.
When your WiFi system is using a channel that conflicts with the LiteWire connection, it is common to see occasional disconnects and reduced speeds. With most wireless routers, this can easily be resolved by manually setting the router to use a channel that does not conflict (the specific channel that it needs to be set to depends on your location, so you will need to check with LiteWire support), but some wifi systems, particularily several of the popular "Whole Home WiFi" or "Mesh WiFi" systems will only automatically select the channel they operate on, and do not give the user any control over it - because of this, there is no way to permanantly resolve a channel conflict.
The systems from the brands listed below have been identified by us as being problematic for these reasons:
Additionally, there are other systems that we have not specifically tested that also have this problem, which includes most of the 802.11AC (WiFi 5) mesh systems, so if you are considering that type of system, it's recommended that you verify that it has the ability to manually set the WiFi channel. We haven't come across any standard single-unit type routers that have this problem, but there could be some out there.
It is possible that the ability to manually set the channel could be added to these devices in future firmare updates, so I would recommend checking with the manufacturer if you have a device on this list.
The only mesh wifi system that LiteWire has tested and recommends for use with our service at this time is the Asus ZenWiFi AX Mini System, but we have not done an extensive review of the newer WiFi 6 systems, and others may have the ability to manually configure the channel.
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