One drawback of most routers is that it’s not easy to see who’s using it. To see how many computers are accessing the Internet via your router, you’d have to log into the admin panel and know your way around. Your router might not be able to tell you other useful information, like the name of each device -- it would tell you only the MAC address, which might not be so helpful to a lay person -- or how much data each device is using and whether it’s a safe device.
A new generation of routers is changing that. For example, the Starry Wi-Fi Station ($349.99, www.starry.com) uses a graphical touchscreen interface to tell you all of this information and more. It also has a handy mobile app that lets you manage the station and your network.
The main point of these routers is to make your home network more manageable, which, in turn, makes your home network more secure. And that’s worth a lot.Plus, it looks pretty darned cool -- which is something you can’t often say about a router.