Whether you get your Internet and VOIP telephone service from your local phone carrier or cable company, you likely use their “gateway” as a router. They’ll tell you it’s free, but it’s not. You pay a monthly rental fee, for one thing, and you may be bound by the strings attached – later if not now.
You have choices when it comes to choosing and setting up the equipment and configuration of your communications and network systems. For starters, you can have your service provider configure your gateway, which can bring in your TV, Internet and phone service, to be just the modem. That way, you can use your own router for your Wi-Fi network.
Using your own router has its pros and cons.
- You can use your existing network configuration or, if you get a new router, set up your configuration to match the needs of your office or home.
- You can control the bandwidth going to computers, printers, TVs, devices, etc. on your network and to any applications that run over your network.
- You – or anyone you hire – can make changes to fine-tune your network as needed. Your provider’s tech support may not cover everything you want to do, regardless of whether they give you support by phone or send a technician.
- You control all access to your network.
- Depending on the provider’s set-up, you may lose some features they provide, such as remote controls or caller ID on your TV screens. In some cases, you can work around those issues.
However, the aspect of provider-provided gateways that we dislike more than anything is that your provider can use your gateway – the device they put in your home or office – to create a public hotspot. While it won’t give outsiders access to your network, we see it as a way to use your service fees to expand their networks when they should be spending money on infrastructure. In some ways, it also makes you dependent on their customer base to provide your service in an urban or more densely populated area.
Once they create that network of hotspots, it becomes easier for the provider to control the bandwidth and affect how you use your network.
Personally, I think that’s just wrong.
If you have any questions about gateway and router technology or need advice or assistance in setting up or optimizing your network, we’re ready to help. We can service any technology system that comes into your house or business and make sure it meets your needs – not your provider’s. Send us an email or call us at 973-433-6676 to discuss your needs or make an appointment.