Renting vs Buying a Router

What is my devices max wi-fi speed?

It doesn’t get much more frustrating than upgrading to a high-speed internet package and then experiencing sluggish performance when you connect your smartphone. It doesn’t mean the speed isn’t there and available for you. It may be your devices are not capable of supporting the speed you subscribed to and they are only giving you the best they can. If you run a speed test on each device, you might notice each device’s “best” might vary.


Think about Wi-Fi as speaking a language. Your router speaks this language to your connected devices. There are five different Wi-Fi languages with a sixth on the way. Wi-Fi 1-3 are the slowest of the Wi-Fi languages and are only found in older devices. Wi-Fi 4 and 5 are capable of much faster speeds and are found in new devices.

Whatever device you have connected, your Reliance Connects provided router is backwards compatible —basically meaning it can speak any Wi-Fi language. The problem comes when only one device can speak at a time.

Imagine a circle. At the center of that circle is your router. Surrounding it are all your connected devices. Just like most people, the router can’t understand all the devices at one. So, a talking stick is used. Each device can only communicate with the router when it holds the talking stick. Each device can only hold the talking stick for a specific amount of time before it has to pass it on and each device has to have a turn as long as it sits in the circle.

When all the connected devices are speaking the same language, it works great! Especially if that language is Wi-Fi 5. All of this is happening in milliseconds and when devices are speaking Wi-Fi 5, that talking stick gets passed around so fast, you don’t notice any lags. However, things begin to slow down when you have one or more devices in the circle that speak a different language than the rest. Because the router communicates with only one device at a time, it now has to take the time to switch the language it’s speaking to communicate with that device and then take time to switch back. This alone can eat up to 30% of your subscribed speed. This is because the talking stick is moving so fast around the circle, the router is constantly having to take a moment to switch languages.

Connected Devices

A connected device’s age, type, and software it’s running all factor into what speeds it can support. The chart below will give you a general idea of what speed each device is capable of, based on the type of device and language it speaks.


How Does Wi-Fi Work?

We use it every day. We get frustrated when it lags or doesn’t work. Wi-Fi has become an integral part of the way we live. But do you really know how it works? There is actually a lot going on in the airspace around our home that we can’t see or hear. Understanding how it works will help you get the most out of your internet package.

The Router

To connect your wireless devices to Wi-Fi, you need a router setup in your home. Modern day routers have come a long way and now actually often encompass several devices into one device. An ethernet cable is plugged into your router that brings the internet to your home.

Routers are often updated and improved to handle faster speeds and communicate between devices more efficiently. Recently, new routers can communicate to multiple devices at a time as well as on different frequencies. This helps eliminate over-crowding and brings optimal speeds to all capable devices.

Wireless Connection

Once the router is setup and you begin connecting wireless devices to it, you can now access the internet! The router communicates with your devices through radio wave frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz can provide coverage for a wider area but is often slow. 5 GHz provides coverage for a smaller area but can bring you faster speeds. Newer routers and devices are dual-band which means they can work on either frequency. This is especially helpful because the 2.4 GHz airspace is often over-crowded. Other devices such as baby monitors, microwaves and garage door openers also communicate using the same frequencies and can disrupt or slow down your internet speed. 5 GHz offers more private space dedicated to you and your devices. The only problem is it has a harder time travelling through solid objects like walls or bookshelves.

Speaking Different Languages

All connected devices speak a certain language. Languages range from Wi-Fi 1 (the oldest and slowest language) to Wi-Fi 5 (the newest and fastest language.) Older devices tend to speak slower languages while newer devices tend to speak faster languages. Your Reliance Connects provided router can understand each of these languages. If you have too many connected devices all trying to communicate with your router at the same time, you will begin running into speed issues. Especially if you have connected devices speaking different languages. Although your router can communicate with each one, the router still needs to take some time to switch the language it’s speaking to understand the device that is trying to communicate with it.

You can use the analogy of the talking stick. All connected devices get a turn with the talking stick, even if it’s just to pass it on. They can only communicate when they are in possession of the talking stick. On top of that, each device is only allotted a certain amount of time with the talking stick before having to pass it along. If it does not finish what its communicating, it needs to wait until it gets the talking stick back before continuing.

Reliance Connects is now offering a high-powered dual band AC Wi-Fi router for a low monthly charge. This means worry free replacement and gives our support team more tools to assist you if you do have troubles. What’s even better is your Reliance Connects provided routers are configured to automagically switch devices to less crowded frequencies as needed. This means each device has more opportunity to communicate. Coming soon, we’ll have an app so that you have more control over your home. Set parental controls, do speed tests, change your Wi-Fi password and more!

If you have any issues with your router, please contact our Help Desk. The Reliance Connects Help Desk is available Monday-Friday from 7am-9pm and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-5pm. If there are any problems that come up with a rented router, please don’t hesitate to call us.

In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909

In Mesquite 702.346.0040

In Elkton, Haines and Antelope Toll free 1-866-894-4657