Best Wireless (WiFi) Routers 2018 – Buyer’s Reviews
Hey guys! Are you looking for that Best wireless router to make your life easier?
I am sure you will agree that with a gaggle of smartphones, tablets and computers dominating our lives today, every home needs a robust wireless router that can provide a piece of the WiFi cake for each one in the family!
The popularity of high speed fastest routers has increased in leaps and bounds, as a result several manufacturers have come up with brilliantly designed products. It is easy to get confused amidst the brand war and battle for supremacy.
Furthermore, different people have different requirements. Some WiFi routers come with an unusually high price tag but they are not for everyone. It’s not necessary to buy the most expensive router available if your needs are easily met by a cheap wireless router.
Hence I have created for you a list of top performing wireless routers right now available in the market with their unique features, pros and cons in this router guide. We have spent hours testing each of these routers to check whether their performance meet our expectation levels. I think you might be interested in Best WiFi LED Bulb Reviews for 2018.
I strongly recommend that you check out the detailed reviews of the best wireless (Wi-Fi) routers before buying it for gaming or Internet use.
Table of Contents
Why you must choose a wireless router?
If you are among those who are wondering what makes a wifi router better than a normal one then here’s the answer – it allows you to connect with multiple devices without a modem. Almost any device that has a WiFi chip in them can be connected to the wireless home network and you can access Internet from any part of the house. A wireless router will be free of cables so installing and maintaining them properly is a breeze. Furthermore, most of the wifi routers come with a lot of features that make online gaming and streaming videos a lot more fun!
The modern day wireless routers come with the ability to provide an IP address that is unique for each of the devices connected to the Internet. As this IP is unique and not available to public, the home network will not be vulnerable to attacks by hackers. Hence, you get enhanced security with a wireless router.
Now, let’s check out the top ten routers based on their features, price, and performance.
Best Buy Wireless Routers 2018 In Tabular Form
1.TP-Link Talon AD7200 – Best Performing Wifi Router
For those looking for an ultimate performing Wi-Fi routers around, TP-Link Talon AD 7200 answers it profoundly. It remains the best in line Wi-Fi router around and comes with many cutting edge specs and offerings. It’s even the first 8.02.11ad router in the tech market.
The router comes with an imposing design and size and is set to hook you onto it. It’s pretty gigantic adhering to its product dimension of 9.0 x 9.0 x 1.7 inch. It has a smart antenna design that allows you to even fold all of its 8 antennas for a flat top look. It’s pretty easy to set up for and comes with an illustrated guide out of the box. There’s also the LAN cable that you can connect to your PC for access.
It’s performance metrics speak of as 450 Mbps at a close proximity of 5GHz and a speed of 250 Mbps at 30 feet. It also runs on 2.4 GHz bandwidth with a speed of 100Mbps in close proximity and around 8Mbps of speed at 30 feet distance. Also available is the 60GHz frequency band that serves a whopping 950 Mbps of speed.
It also offers Multi-user MIMO technology and offers simultaneous streaming options. Furthermore, it also has two high-speed USB 3.0 ports for transferring the files to HDD’s and all directly upon.
- Runs on multi-band support that allows access to three Wi-Fi bands at once.
- Offers a combined speed of 7.2 Gbps. The same can be segregated as 800 Mbps @ 2.4 GHz for Band 1, 1733 Mbps @5 GHz for Band 2 and 4600 Mbps @60GHz for Band 3.
- Sports 1.4 GHz dual core processor enabling Wi-Fi access to multiple users at once.
- MIMO technology facilitates Multi-user streaming simultaneously.
- Placement of 8 antennas allows it too offers the Wi-Fi range to maximum distance.
- Comes with two high-speed USB 3.0 for file transfer.
- Has 1 WAN along with 4 high-speed Ethernet ports.
- Can be set-up, managed and looked for via an easy one-app option.
- Here’s what we make of it in our verdict side of things.
- Impressive performance on all band speeds
- Easy to install and use for
- Quite reasonably priced against the backdrop of other competitors
- Offers 3-different band frequency with optimum speeds.
- The AD frequency band cannot penetrate through walls as easily.
- Has huge footprint making it quite big.
2. Google Wi-Fi – Best Router for Complete Home coverage
Unlike any other Wi-Fi routers in the market, Google Wi-Fi seems like a device from a future. If you were to glance at it, you’d be amazed to even call it a router by design. But that’s the beauty of it. It’s certainly the best one when it comes to performance. We here would profile it further in our review.
With an eye-catchy design, this one suits to any of the room or workspace settings. It has a product dimension of 4.1 inches’ diameter and 2.7 inches’ height. The dimension does make it look tiny to those of traditional routers around. It is further supported by LED lights that lend an exuberance to the router.
It’s pretty easy to install for and can be done via a simple app download. It will just require a scan process and will allow you to configure the network settings as per your desire. The mobile app further enhances the experience of using this router.
As far as it goes for performance segment, this tiny little router packs in great performance bearings. It has 2 bandwidth settings that work as 5GHz and 2.4 GHz one. The 5GHz bandwidth allows you to have a speed of 450Mbps in close proximity space and 200Mbps in long range distance. For the 2.4 GHz bandwidth, it works at a speed of 100 Mbps for close distance and 70Mbps for long range distance.
- It sports dual-band settings of 5GHz and 2.4GHz supporting IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/as network standards.
- It comes with 3 pack Wi-Fi system that works enough for a home of space 3000-4500 sq. feet.
- The antennas less aspect of this one makes it elegant and praiseworthy.
- It sports two Ethernet Ports that are high speed.
- The available ports function as LAN and WAN units.
- It can also be controlled using the Google Home and Alexa voice options.
- Impressive Performance on all bandwidths
- Nice and compact design
- App control
- Affordable than most other routers
- The app can control other activities like smart home too.
- Requires constant logging in the Google account to use the Wi-Fi
3. ASUS RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 – Best Triband High Speed Router
If I don’t assume that you have been living under the rocks all this while then you are most probably familiar with the
brand named Asus. They have gained immense popularity for their amazing line gaming hardware. However, not many people are aware that besides manufacturing netbooks, notebooks, graphics cards, and motherboards, Asus also has the expertise of creating high-end routers. Today, we will talk about ASUS RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 which is a tri-band gigabit router. It is one of the best WiFi routers available in the market now.
When I first looked at this high-speed wireless router, it looked like a uniquely designed UFO to me. The smooth and shiny black box in the middle with antennas protruding from all sides gives it a stylish appearance. It looks like straight out of Hollywood movie. If you are like me who has used several Asus products in the past, you will be able to identify that familiar design which is so much similar to other Asus products. If you are a gaming enthusiast and you are looking for the best modem for gaming, the very look of this product will convince you that you are about to experience the best in quality!
ASUS RT-AC5300 boasts the 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology by Trend Micro. This is a tri-band router that promises to deliver speed at its best. When we tested the router, we were completely blown away by its amazing speed which is the best I have seen so far! It features a combined 5334 Mbps speed that can easily cover the entire house. I was also impressed by the security features of this router which is absolutely unbeatable.
- Tri-band router which includes dual 5 GHz, single 2.4 GHz and the cutting-edge 802.11ac 4×4 technology for maximum coverage
- It features the MU-MIMO technology that makes it possible for numerous compatible to connect with each client’s maximum speed
- It provides an integrated access to WTFast Gamers Private Network (GPN) thus ensuring ensures low yet stable ping times for the gaming enthusiasts.
- AiProtection technology is powered by Trend Micro. It offers multiple stage protection from online threats to keep the sensitive information secure.
- ASUS Smart Connect offers consistent bandwidth. It works by dynamically changing devices between its three bands depending on three main factors – speed, load and signal strength.
- When we tested the ASUS RT-AC5300 for coverage, we were impressed to find that the four-transmit – four-receive antenna design dramatically improve the signal strength. We were able to access the Internet from any part of the house. This makes the router a sought after product by the avid gamers.
- It comes with an intuitive and enhanced user interface that provides you an easy access to three step installation process as well as many other advanced options.
- We tried the ASUS Router app to monitor the ASUS router and found that it makes it easier to manage security settings and monitor traffic.
- Although the range was pretty impressive when we tried it, some customers have complained that it keeps dropping after a few days.
- Also, it should be noted the when we connected about 10 computers with the router, the connection started wavering.
When it comes to speed and security, none can beat the ASUS RT-AC5300 however I feel this robust router is not for average users. It is built for those who wish to play the high end games using multiple devices. It is clearly one of the best routers for home wireless networks.
4. Wise Tiger Wireless Wi-Fi Router Ac1200Mbps- Best High Speed Fastest wireless Dual Band Router
The second product on our list is from the stable of Wise Tiger, a company known for making mobile accessories. Not many people are aware that the company also offers an excellent lineup of routers perfect for a mind blowing gaming experience. The smooth white exterior of the router with four antennas attached to the body gives it a super cool appearance.
While reviewing this product, what really caught my attention was the -3 minutes set up promise and I was actually curious to find out how true it is. Our team tried setting up the Wise Tiger wifi router following the instructions provided in the manual, and voila…it was much easier than we thought. I certainly have to give it an extra point for easy and quick installation.
This is a dual band router, which promises a speed up to 300Mbps at 2.4GHz and up to 867Mbps at 5GHz. I played some of my favorite online games using the connection and I found that it delivers unparalleled performance at 5GHz. Video streaming was also uninterrupted. It is definitely one of the best long range wifi routers available in the market.
- High speed dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) connections for smooth gaming and video streaming experience
- It allows users to choose different bands on diverse environments. When the bandwidth is low, the router can immediately switch to another band.
- Long Range wireless coverage throughout the home, garage, and basement
- It comes with mobile parental control app that can be downloaded on Android and iOS device. It can help monitor the speed, home network, URL filtering and so on.
- It provides a two year warranty or easy replacement is the item is not up to your satisfaction
- Customers get 24/7 technical support service
- If you want a powerful Wifi connectivity throughout your house then this is one of the best home wireless router available in the market.
- When we checked the performance and speed of Internet using the router, we found it 25% faster than any average router in this category.
- At this price, the router offers really good speed and has some decent features.
- The Internet connection is strong and stable. We connected several devices to the router and the speed was good enough.
- Although setting up the router was really easy and quick, I wish the instructions were a bit clearer. Those who do not have a lot of knowledge about routers may find the instructions lacking.
The low cost and decent performance of the router make it a good choice for those who want a router with long range. Overall, it is a good router and I would be happy to recommend it to those looking for the best wifi router for streaming hd video and online gaming.
5.Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)- Best Router Under $200
The next router we have included in the list is a dual-band router from none other than Netgear. If you are a gaming enthusiast then you have probably already heard of Netgear wifi routers. The company has earned its reputation for developing a plethora of high quality networking hardware including some of the best wireless routers in the market. The product we will review today is the Netgear Nighthawk R7000.
We actually had two competitors for the third position in top wireless routers – R7000 and R8000. Although both these routers are equally good, I personally prefer R7000 more because it is easy to install and much more affordable.
When I set my eyes on the Netgear Nighthawk R7000, it was love at first sight. I have always been crazy about fighter jets and the cool resemblance this router has to fighter jets just stole my heart! It has an all-black design with three stylish antennas jutting out of the body.
On the technicalities front, the router delivers 600 Mbps speed in the 2.4 gigahertz band and 1,300 Mbps speed in the 5 gigahertz band. During performance tests, the router fared well on different ranges and the results were up to our expectations. You get what you pay for!
- It is a dual band router which means that it reducesWiFi interference for improved Internet connections
- It offers strong WiFi connectivity even in large homes
- It features a powerful 1GHz dual core processor that delivers high quality wired, wireless, WAN-to-LAN performance
- The dynamic QoS offers the best live streaming and gaming experience
- It features one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port for easy backup and access to media
- The dashboard is easy to monitor, control and use with the app. It can be used to repair home networks
- R7000 is compatible with Amazon Echo so you can smartly manage your home network via voice commands.
- When tested the performance on both bands, the speed on 5 gigahertz band bowled us over. It is absolutely a winner if you are seeking a long range wifi router.
- It has a great price to performance ratio. This router has a plethora of amazing features and it is highly affordable too.
- The thoughtful and stylish exterior design makes it a star router. The user interface is also pretty simple and easy to understand.
- Although we can’t help praise the awesome design, it cannot be ignored that the design adds extra weight to the router making it bulky. Hence it consumes a lot of space.
- The software is good, but we feel it could have been better.
- We told you how much we loved the 5 gigahertz band performance. However, the 2.4 gigahertz band speed falls short when compared to other rival products.
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 offers good speed and has some really good features. Although it lacks in 2.4 gigahertz band, the range for 5 gigahertz band is far impressive. When we compare price to performance ratio, it comes across as one of the best 5 GHz routers!
6. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router
Another wireless router by Asus finds its place in our list of top ten best wireless routers available in the market. Unlike the one we listed above, this is a dual band gigabit router. If you are looking for a best value wireless router then ASUS RT-AC88U fits the bill perfectly. I was amazed to find that it is actually available for less than $300.
When I started reviewing this router, one thing that really grabbed my attention is the familiarity of this device. The aesthetic design and stylish exterior is much more than what meets the eye. I have used several Asus products and I can tell that the company has taken great care to ensure that the router matches the expectations people have from the brand. Take a close look at the router and you will know that it means serious business.
The RT-AC88U comes equipped with 8 Gigabit LAN ports and when we checked it for performance, it delivered an amazing high-speed internet without performance issues. Both the 2.4 gigahertz and the 5 gigahertz bands delivered consistent speed without dropping.
This is a dual-band router which can also work like a NAS. We were also pretty impressed with the web interface of this router which came across as easy to use and highly intuitive.
- The router offers up to 2100 Mbps on the 5 GHz and up to 1000 Mbps speed on 2.4 GHz
- With its 4-transmit and 4-receive (4T4R) antenna design, the router is capable of reaching out to the widest coverage (up to 5000 square feet)
- This high speed router has 8 Gigabit LAN ports which can be connected to 8 Ethernet-compatible devices simultaneously
- It features a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor with high speed USB data transfers to deliver up to 100 MB/s speed
- The Internet connection waivers, the router automatically shifts the bandwidth to select the band for you
- It comes with Asus’ AiProtection that keeps your online experience protected from malware and virus attacks. The features include parental controls, vulnerability detection, malicious site blocking and so on
- We were happy to see that the web interface made installation process easy for all. Once you connect the device to a computer and Internet, the Asus Web Interface launches automatically. It gives you two options – launch the wizard or configure the settings manually.
- When we checked for data streaming with its multi-client MU-MIMO we found that it works well on both 2.4 Gigahertz and 5 Gigahertz bands. Reading, writing and transferring files tool place at an amazing speed.
- Although we didn’t really find any downsides worth mentioning, when we tried using the dual band as NAS, it gave mediocre performance.
If you are looking for a good cheap router then this might not be the right product for you. However, if you ate willing to splash some cash to give high speed Internet for an amazing gaming experience and better features then ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router is a good choice.
7. D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router
The next product on our list comes from the house of D-Link, a Taiwanese multinational company known for manufacturing home and business devices, security cameras, firewalls, broadband devices and so on. We are already aware of the long history of D-Link producing the best networking products in the market so when we started reviewing AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi DIR-890 we had a faint idea of what we were in for.
To be true, the very look of AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi DIR-890 exceeded our expectations. Until now we were going gaga over Nighthawk looking like a stylish jet and here’s a masterstroke by D-Link – a router that looks like an expensive race car!
So, if you feel stuck with your computer all day due to workload but dream of being on the track behind the steering wheel then this router can boost your spirits. Gaming enthusiasts are surely going to love the design, but wait! We can’t judge a router by its looks, it’s the performance that matters so let’s find out what the tests say.
Our team performed several tests using this tri band wifi router and we found that it fared well in most of the tests. The web interface is easy making the installation a piece of cake. It offered commendable internet speed and the WiFi range was also good. It can be used as a NAS by adding an external hard drive to it.
- It offers up to 600 Mbps speed on 2.4GHz and up to 1300 Mbps speed on 5GHz to enable you to connect numerous Wi-Fi devices
- The six high-performance antennas and three data streams deliver 4K/HD video streaming and online gaming experience
- The computer features a 1GHz Dual Core processor that delivers high-speed wireless and wired connection
- SmartConnect features enable router to automatically choose the band that delivers optimum Wi-Fi performance
- The Advanced AC SmartBeam enables you to track the connected devices for improved Wi-Fi speed, better connectivity, and range throughout home
- TheQoS traffic optimization helps the device deliver smooth performance for all connected devices
- The super cool appearance of the router certainly deserves an extra point. If looks could kill then this would certainly be a heart slayer!
- The web interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can manage the network using your desktop or mobile device. It is the best router for large home.
- The advanced security features such as WPA/WPA2 encryption make the home network highly secure. So, you can use the Internet with a safe mind while playing online games or performing other activities on the Internet.
- The antennas cannot be removed thus it takes a lot of space on the desk.
- It is priced slightly higher than other top wifi routers in the market
It’s difficult to not like this router because the stellar design combined with rich features makes it a heart winner! No wonder it is one of the best wifi routers available on the market. If the price is not an issue then this is a recommended router that delivers what you pay for!
8. Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station
If you thought Apple only produced iPhones, iPads and iWatches, then let me introduce you to another amazing product by the tech giant – the Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station. When I first looked at this wifi router, I found it difficult to believe that it was actually a router. The design is pretty different from images we usually conjure up while talking about routers – a flat square or octagonal box with antennas protruding out!
Well, this just goes to prove that we are actually reviewing a router that comes from the house of Apple, a company that is known for innovating things. Although the design of the sixth-generation Apple Airport Extreme Base Station came across a little weird at first, we slowly got used to it and actually out team started loving it! It is like a breath of fresh air…a nice change from looking at the similar type of designs.
Now, let me take you through the technical details. It comes with a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies and it fared really well during our tests. It works silently in the background to connect your devices with the best possible band available in the network to deliver incredible performance. The router fared well in most of the performance tests which just goes to testify that Apple continues to fly high with its supremacy tag. It came across as the best signal strength router.
- The router offers an incredible wifi range and it can connect numerous devices together
- Smart bandwidth offers dual-band connectivity and the router automatically shifts the band to give your optimum connectivity and best gaming experience ever.
- The six non-protruding antennas are located on the top and it helps in delivering high-quality performances.
- It can be installed with ease on iOS and Mac devices.
- If you are looking for the best wifi router for Mac or iOS, Apple AirPort delivers unparalleled performance
- The tall design of the router enables it to create a higher and advanced platform for dispersing the Wifi signal
- This router is an upgrade from its predecessor and it has 6 antennas – 3 for the 2.4GHz band and 3 for 5GHz band.
- The vertical and compact design of the router delivers high-speed Wifi, and it also saves a lot of space on your desk. The power supply has also been built in to keep things tidier.
- Although we did find a few upgrades over the previous devices, they were not as expected.
- You will need to buy a modem separately to work with this router.
Overall, the Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station impressed us with its stellar looks and awesome Wifi range. Don’t forget this is an Apple product, so you are in safe hands. The support services are excellent if you need any replacement help or advice.
9. Amped Wireless ATHENA High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router (RTA2600)
The next product on our list of top ten wireless routers is the Amped Wireless ATHENA High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router. Amped Wireless is the leader in manufacturing long range, high-speed WiFi routers and Wi-Fi range extenders, and they are experts in what they do. Look wise, the ATHENA AC2600 may fall short when compared with the other routers we have reviewed in this list, but it has some awesome features that average consumers might want on their router.
As I have already mentioned above that looks cannot decide whether a router is good, bad or just about average. So our team went into testing the device for performance and the AC2600 came out pretty decent in all the tests conducted. Feature-wise, it has everything an average customer might want in a router. Although it is not sophisticated, I was happy to see that it is simple enough for beginners to understand. You will not have to spend hours figuring out the features.
The powerful hardware performs well as expected and I really like how everything has been tucked in so compactly and neatly. During our tests, we did not face any disconnections or network interruptions. You can connect multiple devices to the router which makes it a winner!
- It comes equipped with 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Processor that comfortably handles high traffic
- It offers wireless range for entire home with its four antennas and 16 amplifiers
- The WiFi speed is commendable and it delivers up to 800Mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 1733Mbps on 5GHz.
- MU-MIMO aids in delivering data to the numerous connected devices at once and offers an impressive speed
- Users can enjoy gaming experience or enjoy live video (HD and 4K) streaming without any interruption
- It has some really advanced security features such as website blocking, coverage control, and SPI Firewall
- The USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports offer amazing file sharing and the four Gigabit ports are meant for network devices
- The router delivered an amazing performance even after we connected multiple devices to it. So, if you have numerous smart devices at home and everyone eyeing for WiFi, this one offers good speed and connectivity.
- The rich features and awesome speed of the router make it a suitable product for networking enthusiasts. Playing online games and watching online videos is also a breeze with this product.
- Setting up this router is pretty easy and almost anyone with limited networking knowledge can do it. The instructions are easy to understand and follow. It will be up and running in a few minutes.
- If we compare it with competitor wifi routers in this price range then it certainly lacks a few features that you may get at the same price.
- The high price tag might be c constraint for some buyers.
We would not recommend this product for the beginners or average users because you can get a better deal if you buy some of the other routers mentioned in list. However, if you are an ardent networking enthusiast then this router is a great option for you to get the best, no–nonsense performance!
10. Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)
The next product we will review is Linksys WRT1900 AC and the classic color combination immediately reminds of the other Linksys products we have used and reviewed. Although the design looks good, the bulkiness of the router worries me. It will require some cleaning work on the desk to ensure that you can place the router on it. However, don’t let the large size of the router intimidate you and it should of course not be a reason for not buying it.
We quickly went ahead to carry out some performance tests with the Linksys AC1900 and we were absolutely bowled over by the results. It is undoubtedly one of the fastest wifi routers available in the market. It is easy to install and has an awful lot of features that can make any networking enthusiasts fall in love with it.
The one thing that really made us a fan of this router is its NAS capability. When we tried using the router as a NAS, the performance really surpassed our expectations. It is clearly better than several other competitor routers we have reviewed. Another feature worth mentioning is that Linksys AC1900 supports DLNA and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play).
- It offers up to 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and up to 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz
- It has four antennas built to improve the dual-band communication and offer an amazing Wi-Fi signal strength
- The dual core 1.6 GHz CPU offers high-speed data processing
- It features enhanced parental control over selected devices, network activity monitoring, and creation of select password for guest networks.
- You also get a network map that allows you to get a complete visual of the home network.
- It comes equipped with a dual core 1.6 GHz ARM-based
- The 512MB RAM offers enhanced storage capacity and data transfer
- The NAS capability is the best so far which makes it the best linksys router.
- The hardware is powerful to support avid gamers and networking enthusiasts.
- Wi Fi speed and range are incredibly good
- It is capable of handling multiple devices with great ease. We connected several devices during our performance test and the Internet connection was good for all devices.
- Beginners will find the default software slightly confusing
- The size of the router is large and it looks bulky. It needs a lot of space on the desk
- The price is slightly on the higher side when compared to competitor products, so this is not suitable for budget oriented customers.
Despite the bulky design of the router, there’s no other significant reason to not buy this product. Performance wise, it is a true winner! So, if you are not limited on budget and want a really powerful and robust router then thus one fits the bill!
11. TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750)- Best Budget Wireless Router
Even before we started creating this list, we really wanted to include a good router for the beginners and those with budget constraints. I have always been asked by people what is the best router available for someone who doesn’t need a lot of features, but just want a enjoy internet gaming and video streaming. So, here’s your answer – the TP-Link Archer C7 that delivers a speed of 1.75 Gbps.
When we looked at the TP-Link Archer C7, it came across as fragile and made of cheap plastic. However, if we ignore that part the router fared pretty well in all the performance tests. It does not come with an awful lot of features but that’s not something we expect from a low cost router. I think we can safely call it one of the top rated wireless routers under $100.
- It delivers speed up to 450Mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 1300Mbps on 5GHz
- The dual USB Ports enables you to share files and media with networked devices
- IP-based bandwidth control makes enables users to control the bandwidth of separate devices
- It offers a decent speed even when connected to multiple devices
- It features WPA wireless security encryption with one-touch button
- The router fared well in most of the performance tests, hence it has an impressive price to performance ratio. It delivered good performance on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
- It comes with NAS capability which is a good addition to this budget. We were impressed by the inclusion of this feature that worked well when we tested.
- We tried online gaming and video streaming and it came out pretty well. At this price, we definitely couldn’t have asked for more.
- The build quality of the router is average. It is made of plastic which can be easily damaged if you happen to drop the router by chance.
TP-Link Archer C7 is clearly an entry level router as it lacks several features that you would normally find in a high-end router. However, given the fact that it is aimed at the customers with budget constraint, we don’t seem to mind. If you looking for a respectable budget router that offers the best internet for gaming, this is the one!
12. Buffalo AirStation HighPower N600 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router (WZR-600DHP)
This dual band router by Buffalo stands ninth in our list of top ten routers. It is ideal for home as well as business use. It is the best router for gaming, streaming HD videos, music, etc. When we tested the router for speed, it delivered good results with an exceptional range. We connected multiple devices to the router, and the WiFi connection worked well in all of them.
- It offers seamless wireless operation on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
- The HighPower Technology offers enhanced wifi range and string home network
- It comes with multi-level wireless encryption options
- The step-by-step setup wizard is easy to follow
- USB Share Port can be connected to USB hard drive for file sharing and media streaming
- AirStationHighPower offers the highest level of security with multi-level wireless encryption to keep your data safe and secure.
- Setting up the router is so easy and simple that even a beginner can do it with ease
- You can connect the router with any device that supports VPNs.
- speeds up to 600 Mbps and can extend the range of your network.
- There’s not much bad to say about the router. You get what you pay for.
Buffalo AirStationHighPower N600 is a cheap router that offers uninterrupted connectivity and enhanced security. We would call this one of the best affordable routers. At this price, this is definitely a good deal!
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Technology Behind Wireless Router:
Wireless Routers aren’t something that you just wander off and buy for. It’s something that requires a host of consideration. The reason, because with every router out there, you’ll see different speeds, settings, and Wi-Fi standards for them. You need to get the best one that suits you.
But should that be an issue for you? Getting yourself a piece of damn good Wi-Fi router. We don’t think so. We’ll help you along with our Wi-Fi router buying guide down below which shall work wonders for you.
The Wi-Fi Range
Wi-Fi range deals with the distance covered by the signal of the router. These ranges are often tested by the router manufacturers in their lab-based setup for the stipulated speed. However, these speeds tend to differ in real life home and office set-up adhering to the wall obstruction and the signal interference. However, a good router shall hold its stead up to 150 feet area inside of the house. The market these days also offers those of the dual-band and tri-band routers with a range of 300 feet and above.
Wi-Fi routers come in three band option, being the single band, double band, and the tri-band ones. The normal routers come in single band ones but that of those high range options come in the dual band and tri-band options. The single band frequency comes at 2.4 GHz while the dual-band has both the 2.4GHz and the 5Ghz ones. As for the tri-band options, they offer additional 5GHz bandwidth frequency for more signal.
A single band frequency router of 2.4 GHz will work well for a home and is mostly used by all. However, the 5GHz band has better strength in frequency terms. However, as for the range of routers, the 5GHz band has a lower range than that of 2.4 GHz one. All that said and done, it’s always advised to get the router will multi-band support as that will help you gain better connectivity options as against the congested system.
The Wireless Signals
Wi-Fi routers mechanism run son four standard wireless signals as 802.11a, 802.11b 802.11g, 802.11n and that of 802.11ac. These are marked as such that the least of the alphabet offers the lowest signal strength while those of the larger ones will feature higher signal strength. Many entry level routers come up with the set-up of 802.11a while those of high-end comes with other ones. The newest addition to the router signal is 802.11ac which is found in the top-line routers.
The signal broadcast frequency for all these signal segregations are as follows-
- 802.11a- Frequency of 5GHz and Data transfer speed of 54Mbps.
- 802.11b- Frequency of 2.4GHz and Data transfer speed of 11Mbps.
- 802.11g- Frequency of 2.4GHz and Data transfer speed of 54Mbps.
- 802.11n- Uses Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system and Data transfer speed of 600Mbps
- 802.11ac- Uses Multi-User MIMO with a frequency of 5GHz and Data transfer speed of 867Mbps.
Wi-Fi routers come with security set-up that can be established at the very beginning of the network setup. However, it can be further changed upon when needed for. There’s three different security protocol option when it comes to router’s security aspect as WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
WEP is a security protocol that connects the devices through the point-to-point transmission. It has a pre-shared key or passcode as it suits, to connect the devices to the router. The WAP set-up is more secure than the WEP one and uses a temporal key integration protocol for connectivity. It generates the 128-bit key for connection packets and thus protects it from attacks.
There’s also the WAP2 connection protocol which uses the advanced version of security in form of AES (Advanced Encryption Standard).
Additional Things to look at
a) USB Connection
These days some routers come with the USB port connectivity options which allow you to connect your device to the router. This allows you to share the files via the Network Attached Storage (NAS) among the devices connected between the wireless connections. It’s better advised to get your hands on one of these as it might come to use later on.
b) Antenna Type
Wi-Fi router comes with two types of antennas as part of its design, the internal and external one. The internal side of things is encased within while the external is placed on the outside so that it offers signal to the connecting devices. As of a general note, the antennas placed on the external side of things connect things better. So it’s finally up to you to decide whether you want the external antenna router or can suffice with the internal antenna build.
c) Wired Points
Routers come with access points that connect them to the nearby PC with a wired connection. These wired connections allow for uninterrupted service and high speeds of data transfer. Many Wi-Fi routers come with 4 or 8 LAN ports for wired connection alongside their wireless options. So it’s always better advised to get something with the best of both the things.
d) Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO)
One of the newest techs in the Wi-Fi market, MIMO offers fast data transfer and quick signal. It also allows you to broadcast multiple of signals at once. These days the 802.11n and 802.11ac come with MIMO facilities.
e) Support for IPv6 address
With not many IPv4 addresses in the market these days, it’s always better to be at the forefront with the IPv6 support. You should look to be on the present rather than fall on the outdated IPv4 web address.
How to Speed Up Signal Strength of Your Router
There are some quick ways which can help you in increasing the signal strength of your existing router and you must try out these ways. These ways can certainly help you in increasing the signal strength. If you are wondering about how to do it then follow the steps mentioned below
Re-locate the Router–The first thing to try in order to increase the signal strength is to relocate the router to a better place. You need to keep the router away from the concrete walls which can block the signals and in addition to this, keep the router in an open area. If possible, relocate the router in the central area of the house and try to keep it at a higher place. This will drastically improve the signal strength.
Move Away from Interfering Device– Do you know that the devices like microwave, baby monitor and TV can interfere with the signals of the router? Well, they can largely impact the signal strength of the router by creating an interference and hence if your Wi-Fi router is located near such a device then you need to either move the router or the electronic appliance.
Adjust The Antennas– You can also try and adjust the antennas of the router so as to get the better signals. If this doesn’t work then you must know that you can also upgrade the antennas of the router. There are many antennas available in the market which can be used with your external router.
Changing the Channel– Another way to boost the signals of the router is to change the channel on which your router is working. To begin this process, you need to check the channels on which the other networks are programmed and you need to choose a different channel for your router. There are many tutorials available for the same.
Upgrading the Firmware– You can also try to upgrade the firmware of the Router as the firmware can have a direct impact on the performance of the router. You can check if there is any new version of the firmware available on the web.
Installing Wi-Fi Repeater– To implement this way, you need to spend a little money as you can install the Wi-Fi repeater to enhance the signals in your house. You can use this repeater away from the router and the signal strength would certainly increase. Apart from this, you can also use an old router as a repeater by configuring it that ways.
Buying a New Router– If none of the above methods works then you probably need a new router and below is a list of the latest routers available in 2018 and you can purchase one of these to get a better strength.
These are the ways to boost up the signal strength of your router and one of these ways or a combination of these ways can certainly help you in increasing the signal strength of your router.
The Bottom Line
With so many offerings available in the market, there does arise a confusion as to which one is the best. As such it’s advised you go through plenty of research before diving deep into it. This overall review and guide will help you along with it.
That’s all from out end. We hope this carefully crafted list of top ten routers helps you find a suitable router for your home or office use. Please bear in mind that there’s nothing called ‘perfect’ and above list is based on features, price of the product, and performance tests. So, take into account your budget and your requirements from a router buying choosing a suitable product.
We hope you had a good time going through it just as we had. We will be back with another one the next time. Till then, it’s us bidding adieu.