Wifi routers, are a critical piece of equipment when it comes to connecting devices at your office to the Internet.

In New Zealand most service providers, (ISPs) give or rent a modem/router for free upon sign-up to a new broadband plan (although some charge for delivery) and some even throw in a wifi mesh system.

But with some ISPs now choosing to charge over $100 for their standard wifi router or modem, it raises the question whether to buy your own equipment or use the one they provide. The answer is a muddy “maybe” as it really depends on how you use the internet day-to-day at your workplace.

First off, what exactly does your router do?

Your router is your gateway to the Internet. That’s why it’s sometimes known as a RGW or residential gateway as all your devices in a property need to talk to the modem in order to get internet access.

How it works is the router converts the signal from the broadband network (e.g. fibre network) to your office network. Your computer and other devices can then pick it up by plugging into the modem with an ethernet cable or tuning into radio signals via wifi.


A key cause of slow wifi and internet in the office is outdated or low spec equipment, in particular the wifi router /modem. With technology in this space evolving all the time, you should really be looking to upgrade your wifi router every two to three years.

A good place to start is to talk to your ISP to see what they can do. While you certainly need to read the fine print on your contract, in most cases, free tech support, free router replacement (in the event of it breaking) and free upgrades will be in the mix.

If your current ISP can’t deliver, it’s worth shopping around as some ISPs now even throw wifi mesh systems into the package, they offer new customers.

If you luck out with getting an equipment upgrade from an ISP, or you’re not happy with what they’re offering that’s when it could be time to purchase your own.

If you’re on a fibre business broadband plan it’s really easy to swap your modem, but if you’re on a wireless broadband plan you have to use the modem your ISP provides as the broadband tech is baked into the equipment.

Things to consider if you BYO router

Before you think about purchasing you need to make sure the wifi router you are considering is compatible with the broadband service your ISP is providing and that they allow the use of alternate routers.

It is also worth noting that unless you fancy yourself an IT expert the remote troubleshooting and phone support via your ISP can be a Godsend should something stop working.

On the plus side if you buy your own router, it’s yours to keep and you can pick the model you want.

Either way, we can’t emphasise enough to get the best out of your broadband service you need to have the most up to date technology and equipment. If you decide to buy yourself check out about what to look for when purchasing a modem.

If you’d prefer to see if you can upgrade via an ISP, contact your existing ISP or check out www.broadbandcompare.co.nz to see what’s on offer from others.

Either way, hardware aside, if you are looking optimise the internet set up at your workplace, it may be worth looking at the type of internet connection you are on.

Business grade fibre connections on the Chorus network are a little bit different from the standard residential connection that underpins a broadband plan. Features include a restore priority service which ensures that if there is a network fault that it will be fixed fast with guaranteed restoration times as well as solid upload speeds. Just ask your provider about Chorus business grade fibre or go here to find out more.

Pros to BYO router

  • Choice – there’s plenty of models with different features and benefits to choose from
  • Flexibility – you can take the modem with you if you move
  • Performance – if you choose wisely, you can get equipment that offers much better performance than a router/modem an ISP will provide

Cons to BYO router

  • Cost – you can end up paying a lot more if you BYO but then again you get what you pay for
  • If you’re not very tech savvy, you might find it more difficult to troubleshoot any equipment issues
  • Most of the time you can’t sell the modem or use it with another ISP


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