Slow Wi-Fi speeds? Spotty connections? Dead zones? Slow buffer and load times? Are your kids looking at questionable content online instead of doing their homework?
All these problems could be stemming from your router. You know, that little device you connect your devices to for internet access and Wi-Fi. Routers are essential for your internet connection, but dealing with them can be a major pain.
Luckily, it doesn't have to be. You can control certain brands of routers with your smartphone, making adding parental controls, running performance tests and the like, easier than you would expect.
Instead of using a web browser to access your router's settings, managing your home network is simplified with apps developed for controlling your specific router model.
Here's our list of the best router management apps for the more popular brands:
If you are a Netgear router owner, we recommend that you install the excellent NETGEAR Genie app on your mobile device.
Genie will let you change your network name, channel, and Wi-Fi password conveniently right in the app itself. You can even turn on or off your guest network on-the-fly for times when visitors need internet access.
There's also a Traffic Meter section where you could monitor and set limits for your internet data.
Other useful features included are a network map diagram (lets you see all your network's connected devices), and parental controls.
If your Netgear router supports USB connections and you have a connected storage device, you could even stream your media files, such as movies and music, straight to the Genie app itself.
Paired with their Windows or Mac version of Genie, you could even print off your iPhone or iPad and make any printer AirPrint compatible.
This is one of the most fully featured brand-specific router apps out there.