Best Wireless Routers Reviews

We are now living in a connected age and a large number of devices that we use for personal and professional reasons are getting increasingly smarter and can be connected to home networks. You streaming HD video on Netflix in the living room, your wife uploading recent vacation pictures on Facebook in kitchen and kids enjoying online games in their room – This has turned into a very common sight in most of our homes today. And it is by being connected to the internet that we are able to keep up with our everyday life.

While there is no denying that wired connections are more secure and faster, one needs something more mobile if they are looking to connect multiple devices. A wireless router is that device which allows you to distribute the internet connection between several devices present at your home, like laptops, desktop computers, smart TVs, smartphones, smart cameras, and streaming devices like Google Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV while also eliminating the clutter caused due to cables.

If you are looking to buy a best wireless router, avoid making any haphazard decisions as choosing one as per your need is a must to avoid frustration while connecting and using multiple devices. But with hundreds of options and their countless technical specifications, it can be very daunting for an individual to choose a wireless router. So to make things easier, we have reviewed 10 of the best wireless routers currently available on the market to allow you to make a batter decision. No matter if you are searching for the best router for large home, best routers for gaming, or best router under 100, this Best Wireless Routers Reviews post has something for everyone.

Top Rated Wireless Routers

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source Wi-Fi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)

Linksys is one of the most popular names when it comes to Wi-Fi routers. WRT1900ACS from the brand is an improved version of its very popular WRT1900AC, launched in the year 2015. As compared to its predecessor, this best home router has a better processor and two times the RAM to deliver an improved overall performance, especially if the connection is to be used by multiple users.

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Apart from these changes, the wireless router shares similar specs and is able to offer Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1900AC with its 4-aerial, dual-band setup. The router also features 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 x USB 2.0/eSATA port and 1 x USB 3.0 port. Moreover, this advanced version just like its predecessor supports OpenWRT, making it an excellent choice for people who want to customize their wireless network.

The dual-band setup of this router is able to handle 4 different data traffic lanes. Theoretically, 1900ACS is able to move 1,300Mbps when it is in 5GHz mode and 600Mbps when in 2.4GHz to deliver a peak of 1.9Gbps. It uses the innovative beam-forming technology to ensure that every megabyte is effortlessly squeezed from the wireless signal.

Unlike the OnHub from Google (reviewed below), 1900ACS can be configured with a web browser or with its mobile app. Right from changing the name of 5GHz and 2.4GHz connections, security code, to encryption types, a variety of configurations are available. Moreover, one can also select a particular channel width and allocate it to a game, app or client for priority over others. The router also has parental control for scheduling network access and blocking websites. And if you have a party at your home, you can also create up to 2 guest networks.

The only thing missing in this wireless router is MU-MIMO technology which allows users to manage the data traffic more efficiently. But even without MU-MIMO capabilities, 1900ACS is still an excellent option for any digital home which has multiple connectable devices. Moreover, the router also comes with a 2-years warranty.

Specifications

  • Brand- Linksys
  • Model Number- WRT1900ACS
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11n, 802.11B, 802.11G
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.6GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 1.9GB per second
  • Color- Black and Blue
  • Dimension- 7.67 x 9.76 x 2 inches
  • Weight- 1.77lbs

PROS:

  • Quick setup
  • Excellent performance
  • Multiple ports for connections
  • eSATA and USB ports
  • Excellent USB data transfer speed
  • Powerful UI
  • Supports OpenWRT

CONS:

  • No MU-MIMO capability
  • Routers design could have been better
  • Larger than other top Wi-Fi routers


ASUS RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router

While AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router from ASUS looks like a gadget from a futuristic sci-fi movie, it is packed with features that can provide you with the latest and the best from the world of Wi-Fi technology. It has NitroQAM for faster throughput, MU-MIMO technology which the above mentioned Linksys router lacks, and offers dual 5GHz and one 2.4GHz for impressive multi-user capabilities. If you are searching for the best router for large home to stream 4K videos and play online games, this wireless router is the way to go.asus-rt-ac5300-wireless-ac5300-tri-band-gigabit-routerThe router measures 6.5 x 24.5 x 24.5 inches, making it one of the heftiest of the top wireless routers and will definitely need quite a bit of space on your desktop. Its matte-black enclosure has beveled edges and red trim and features a total of eight adjustable and removable antennas. The router is powered by 1.4GHz dual-core processor and offers three different radio bands, making it one of the best 802.11ac routers. Theoretically, the router offers 1Gbps on 2.4GHz and 2.167Gbps on 5GHz.

Just like the above mentioned, Linksys router, ASUS AC5300 is also a 4 x 4 router which uses four different streams for receiving and sending data. The router also provides the users with advanced as well as basic management settings. One can use the ASUSWRT through a web browser to adjust a variety of settings. If you are into gaming, you are sure to love the Game Boost feature of this router which allows you to easily adjust QoS setting to give your games a priority on the network. Moreover, there is also WTFast subscription which is a game-acceleration feature to automatically route the game data for achieving maximum bandwidth.

For enhanced protection to sensitive data, the router has AiProtection which is powered by Trend Micro to offer enhanced protection from detection of vulnerabilities. At the back one can find, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 and 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports. Overall, ASUS AC5300 is an excellent wireless router if you are looking to use multiple devices in a large home and want to stream 4K videos or play online games, two of the most data-consuming activities. However, its cost is a major drawback.

Specifications

  • Brand- ASUS
  • Model Number- RT-AC5300
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 A/C, 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.4GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 5.3GB per second
  • Color- Black and Red
  • Dimension- 6.5 x 24.5 x 24.5 inches
  • Weight- 3.21lbs

PROS:

  • 4 x 4 802.11ac configuration with NitroQAM for faster throughput
  • 8 adjustable and removable antennas
  • 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 x USB3.0 and 1 x USB2.0
  • Top speed is highly impressive
  • Idea for 4K video streaming and online gaming
  • ASUSWRT for easy web-based configurations
  • Free WTFast subscription for better gaming experience
  • MU-MIMO support

CONS:

  • Highly expensive
  • USB3.0 performance is not that great
  • No support for wireless bridge


Netgear AC5300 Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (R8500-100NAS)

If one is looking to buy a popular wireless router, Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router from NetGear can be a great choice. In simple words, this router is a behemoth of networking which has everything latest from the wireless networking technology, along with a matching price tag. It features amplified antennas, MU-MIMO technology for efficient management of bandwidth, and 6 LAN ports to provide data to a variety of devices at network speeds.

netgear-ac5300-nighthawk-x8-tri-band-wifi-router-r8500-100nas

While the above mentioned Linksys WRT1900ACS is pretty large already, Nighthawk is around a third larger. The black router has a curved surface at the top and features multiple vents to ensure that the router stays cool. Unfortunately, it is large and will most probably not fit on a bookshelf. Most of the users prefer hanging it on a wall, but unlike the template available in the Linksys router, there are no templates on Nighthawk to make drilling easier. Like most of the other best wireless router, Nighthawk also has 4 antennas which can be adjusted to get a stronger signal.

The tri-band router offers one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands for peak data throughput performance of 5.3Gbps, making it a perfect choice for homes that use multiple data-hungry devices. It has built-in software for load-balancing which shifts slower devices, like IP cameras and printers automatically on 5GHz channels to ensure that there is an abundance of bandwidth for other activities.

Apart from being a wireless router, it can also be used as a range extender, media server, and access point. One simply needs to plug the AC adapter of this router and connect the modem with its WAN port to use it as an extender or server. Just like the above mentioned wireless routers, Nighthawk from NetGear also offers an abundance of customization. One can use a web browser or NetGear’s mobile application for the customization options. However, a minor drawback is the online interface of this router which is a little sluggish at times. There is also a ReadySHARE Vault app of NetGear which can be used to store files online and even create a backup of the connected PCs in a USB.

X8 also has parental controls which can be used to prevent kids from accessing particular websites or content depending on the keywords. Whole the router excels in almost every aspect, its price is a little too steep. Moreover, a large number of tablets and laptops are not yet compatible with the peak throughput offered by AC5300 standard routers.

Specifications

  • Brand- NetGear
  • Model Number- R8500-100NAS
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 A/C, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 5.8GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.4GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 5.3GB per second
  • Color- Black
  • Dimension- 13.8 x 11.6 x 4.6 inches
  • Weight- 7lbs

PROS:

  • 6 Gbps LAN ports
  • Data integration support
  • 4 internal and 4 external antennas
  • Tri-Band setup to offer peak throughput of 5.3Gbps
  • Abundant customization options
  • Ideal for multiple data-hungry devices
  • ReadySHARE Vault app for storing files online and creating backups
  • Supports DD-WRT firmware and MU-MIMO technology

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Web interface is sluggish at times
  • Big and bulky


Linksys AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router (Max Stream EA9500)

If budget is not a problem for you and you are looking to cover a larger area with a wireless network, Max Stream EA9500 AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router from Linksys can be an excellent option. It is one of the fastest of the wireless routers currently available on the market and its speed is line with the above mentioned NetGear R8500 and ASUS RT-AC5300.

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EA9500 is a quad-stream, tri-band router which can provide a peak performance of 5.3Gbps. It has dual 5GHz bands and one 2.4Ghz bands. However, as mentioned above, you’ll not be able to experience such high speeds, not currently at least as most of the currently available clients, like laptops and tablets are not ready to handle such high speeds. So, in a way it can be bought to prepare yourself for the future.

It supports MU-MIMO technology to handle Wi-Fi bandwidth more efficiently. While most of the routers feature 4 LAN ports, Max Stream has 8 ports. 4 LAN ports are generally enough for a household, however, it won’t hurt to have a few additional ones. For seamless roaming, this router can be paired with Max Stream AC1900 + MU-MIMO range extender and once paired, the device you are using will switch to strongest available Wi-Fi signal automatically as you move around your house.

The router makes use of Beamforming technology to send Wi-Fi signals that are focused to further increase the range of the wireless network. Right from streaming 4K videos, playing online games, to uploading pictures on Facebook, one can do all of it simultaneously without worrying about the network speed. Moreover, the router also comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty and tech support for complete peace of mind.

It also features WPA/WPA2 encryption along with SPI firewall to ensure that the network is completely safe and secure. There is also a handy Smart Wi-Fi app from Linksys with the help of which users can easily monitor and modify their network in real time even when they are not at home. If streaming 4K videos, playing online games and connecting multiple power-hungry devices are the reasons for which you need a wireless router, this Max Stream EA9500 from Linksys can be an excellent choice.

Specifications

  • Brand- Linksys
  • Model Number- EA9500
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 A/C, 802.11 a/b/g, 2.4GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.4GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 5.4GB per second
  • Color- Black
  • Dimension- 14.3 x 5.4 x 11.7 inches
  • Weight- 3.2lbs

PROS:

  • 8 LAN ports for impressive Wi-Fi performance
  • Support for seamless roaming and MU-MIMO technology
  • Beamforming technology for targeted signals
  • Several management settings
  • Stellar throughput
  • Parental control feature
  • 3-years manufacturer’s warranty
  • Smart Wi-Fi app to monitor and modify the wireless network

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Bulky
  • Specs are way too much for most households


ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router

ASUS is sort of a market leader when it comes to innovation and designing. Just like the above mentioned RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router, RT-AC88U also looks futuristic but only features 4 antennas. Apart from the Linksys AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router, ASUS RT-AC88U is the only other wireless router with 8 LAN ports. As a matter of fact, it was this ASUS model which was launched before Linksys 8 LAN port router.

asus-rt-ac88u-wireless-ac3100-dual-band-gigabit-router

While most of the other top wireless routers on this list are tri-band routers, this RT-AC88U is a dual-band model which can offer a peak performance of up to 3.1Gbps. Apart from the 8 LAN ports, the router also supports port aggregation by combining two LAN ports and Dual-WAN by converting a LAN port into WAN port. The router supports MU-MIMO technology for efficient use of bandwidth to ensure multiple connected clients are able to enjoy maximum throughput. And apart from LAN ports, it also has a USB2.0 port at the back for quick data transfers. However, the USB3.0 port of this router is abruptly placed in the front.

The router also offers a variety of management features which one can access with the help of its web-based interface of the mobile app. There is General Settings page, Guest Network Page, Adaptive Quality of Service page, Traffic Analyzer page and GameBoost page where gamers can connect to WTFast GPN (Gamers Private Network), which is a subscription-based solution for accelerating online gaming speeds. Availability of this WTFast GPN makes this ASUS RT-AC88U one of the best gaming routers.

The wireless router also has AiProtection which makes use of Smart Home Network from Trend Micro Technologies for monitoring wireless network and detecting viruses and malware. With this, the users also get parental control for scheduling, app filtering, and blocking websites. Moreover, there is also AiCloud feature with the help of which users can easily access all their data right from a tablet or smartphone with the help of an app.

The majority of the users are thoroughly impressed with the installation wizard of this router. People have mentioned that it is quick, intuitive and pretty easy to use. While RT-AC88U is definitely one of the best gaming routers and comes with plenty of management features, it struggles when it comes to file transfer speed. With a total of 8 LAN ports, this router is a perfect choice for people who want to connect multiple wired and wireless devices to the network, like smartphones, laptops, printers, NAS devices, home automation hubs, printers, IP cameras, and gaming consoles.

Specifications

  •  Brand- ASUS
  • Model Number- RT-AC88U
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 AC, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.4GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 3.1GB per second
  • Color- Black
  • Dimension- 30 x 6.5 x 18.8 inches
  • Weight- 2.6lbs

PROS:

  • Features 8 LAN ports, 1 USB2.0 port, and 1 USB3.0 port
  • Can offer a maximum speed of 3.1Gbps
  • Can cover areas up to 5,000 square feet
  • AiProtection by Trend Micro for enhanced network protection
  • Several management features
  • Support for WTFast GPN for better gaming experience
  • Easy and intuitive setup wizard
  • Supports MU-MIMO technology to efficiently distribute bandwidth among multiple devices

CONS:

  • USB3.0 port is abruptly placed at the front
  • Data transfer speed is not that good
  • Expensive


NetGear Nighthawk X4S-AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi Gaming Router (R7800-100NAS)

X4S-AC2600 from NetGear is an updated version of its X4-R7500 router. It is faster, has better reach, and has a number of features that make it an excellent wireless router for gamers. While the previous version didn’t support MIMO technology, X4S does and this allows the router to use the bandwidth efficiently. However, every client should he a built-in MU-MIMO network adapter to take benefit of this feature.netgear-nighthawk-x4s-ac2600-4x4-mu-mimo-smart-wifi-gigabit-gaming-router-r7800-100nasJust like its predecessor, X4S also has an angular, black chassis and 4 adjustable and removable antennas. The router can send and receive data from 4 separate channels to optimize the throughput. It features a 1.7GHz dual-core processor which is faster as compared to the other wireless routers on this list which generally feature a 1.4GHz dual-core processor. Theoretically, this dual-band router has a peak throughput of 2.53Gbps.

If you are looking to adjust the settings of this router, you can use NetGear Genie, which is a web-based router management console. Apart from the web-based interface, there is also an app for Apple and Android smartphones. Just like the above mentioned NetGear router, X4S also supports ReadySHARE Vault app for sharing, storing files and creating a backup in USB drive.

Apart from standard basic settings, there is also an Advanced settings page which one can use to activate site blocking, create schedules for network access, monitor the network, view log, manage port forwarding and activate remote management. Moreover, you can also use this wireless router as an access point or bridge from the Advanced settings page. But just like the above mentioned NetGear AC5300 Nighthawk X8, the web interface of X4S is also sluggish and many users have also mentioned that the network storage performance of this router, when it is used with external hard drive, is not very good. A lot of users have also said that this router is pricey and one can get a better performing router at a cheaper cost.

If you are someone who is looking for a gaming router or want to take advantage of the MU-MIMO technology, X4S can be a great choice, especially if you need to cover larger areas like 4,000 square feet or more. A large number of users have confirmed that its MU-MIMO performance is pretty good and its throughput to is highly impressive. While its file-transfer speed is not that great, it can still be an excellent wireless networking companion.

Specifications

  • Brand- NetGear
  • Model Number- R7800-100NAS
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 AC, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.7GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 2.53GB per second
  • Color- Black
  • Dimension- 10.2 x 13.79 x 3.23 inches
  • Weight- 3.5lbs

PROS:

  • Features 1.7GHz dual-core processor
  • MU-MIMO technology for efficient bandwidth management
  • Maximum throughput of 2.53Gbps
  • 2 x USB3.0 port and 1 x eSATA port
  • Multiple features to support gaming
  • Beamforming technology to target signals
  • Ideal for gaming and streaming 4K videos
  • Can cover larger areas up to 4,000 square feet
  • Several Basic and Advanced management options
  • Supports ReadySHARE Vault app for online storing, sharing and creating backup in USB drive

CONS:

  • Web interface is sluggish
  • Network storage performance is not at par with other top wireless routers
  • Pricey


Google OnHub

The increasing popularity of wireless routers has contemplated biggest of tech giants to be a part of this router arena. And one of the latest entrants to the market is none other than the search giant Google. The company launched its wireless router, OnHub in the year 2015 and since then it has gone through several changes to try and compete with other best Wi-Fi routers. OnHub routers are actually manufactured by TP-Link and ASUS and Google just updates them before selling. While the router does have some unique features, like wave control and front facing antenna, other top Wi-Fi routers are already in a different league and have advanced by leaps and bounds.onhubOnHub has a cylindrical design with a wider base and tapered top. It is an AC1900 router which features a single LAN port and a single WAN port. Two of the routers mentioned above feature 8 LAN ports and almost all of them have at least 4 ports. The single LAN port severely limits the performance of this wireless router and one can only connect a single wired client to it. Google has said that it has intentionally designed OnHub with a single LAN port to eliminate the clutter of cables and ensure that one can easily place the router out in open to get better coverage.

It is a dual-band router that can provide you with 1.3Gbps on 5GHz and 600Mbps on 2.4Ghz band. Also, unlike other routers mentioned in this best wireless routers reviews post, OnHub doesn’t allow users to create two separate wireless networks for different bands. Only a single network can be created for both 5GHz and 2.4GHz so one can never know the band on which the client is connected.

The router also features a USB port at the back, however, you cannot use it. Google has said that there will be a firmware upgrade at a later stage for activating this port. Apart from this, it also supports Thread wireless standard which is used for home automation systems. But this too is not activated yet. The router also features a speaker at the top but doesn’t have an inbuilt microphone.

Also, while most of the top wireless routers offer a web-interface as well as a mobile app for managing the settings of the router, you can only manage this router with an Android or iOS mobile phone as there is no web-based interface. There is a Google On App which one needs to activate and then manage this router. Also, you need to have a Google account to use this app. While the app is great when it comes to managing the router, availability of a web-based interface could have been a considerable advantage.

If one is looking to try something innovative and is in no need of a lot more powerful router for connecting multiple data-hungry devices, this OnHub from Google can still be a great choice. However, one can get a much better router in the amount one needs to spend for this router from the tech giant.

Specifications

  • Brand- Google
  • Model Number- TGR1900
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 AC, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 5.8GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 1GB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.4GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 1.9GB per second
  • Color- Blue
  • Dimension- 4.1 x 4.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight- 1.9lbs

PROS:

  • Doesn’t look like a standard wireless router
  • Setup is pretty simple
  • Google On app is packed with loads of features
  • Throughput is great in close-range
  • 1GB RAM for powerful performance
  • Can support more than 100 devices simultaneously
  • Wave control

CONS:

  • Wave control is confusing
  • Single LAN port
  • USB port cannot be used
  • No web interface
  • Lacks a number of basic management options


D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R)

Apart from ASUS, D-Link is another brand which loves to experiment with the designs of the routers that it manufactures. This spaceship-like AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R) is D-Link’s flagship router and us 6 antennas to provide speeds of up to 3.2Gbps across its three bands (2 x 5GHz, 1 x 2.4GHz). Apart from spectacular specs, the red angular build of this wireless router is something that is widely appreciated by the users.

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But while the design is pretty cool, its size is pretty big. The router measures 15 x 9.75 x 4 inches and is nothing short of a hefty brick. However, the large build of this router enables adequate cooling and also offers adequate space for all the different connectivity options. The router features 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and another Ethernet socket which can be used for connecting your modem. It also has a USB2.0 and a USB3.0 port for quick data transfers. While the router surely has a great set of connectivity options, there is nothing special about it. Once can get the same connectivity options in a much cheaper router.

Also, at 5GHz band, DIR-890L can only hit 1.3Gbps, whereas, the above mentioned X4S provides 1.9Gbps. Also, to make sure that the router is actually able to hit the top speed, one of the devices should support the highest rated speed of the router. Or else, the network speed will be the maximum speed of the devices and not of the router. This is again a major drawback as there are only a few client devices that can support such high speeds.

Setup of this best wireless router is pretty simple and quick. All you need to do is to connect the router to the modem and you are good to go. There is a web-based interface for managing the router and there is also a handy mobile app. But while the interface is pretty neat, it is limited when it comes to management options. For instance, while you can place a client in priority spot, you cannot prioritize them on the basis of their categories, like internet traffic or applications. Apart from this, there is an overall lack of depth of features and settings.

AC3200 routers are not really recommended for users unless they don’t have multiple devices which actually hit the wireless network hard. It provides excellent range, its speed is pretty impressive and overall it is a highly reliable router. Also, if you have a desktop PC with AC1900 adapter, its spectacular 5GHz speed can be of great use to you. But if you are searching for a top-class wireless router for your day-to-day online activities, there are several other amazing models which you can buy at much cheaper cost.

Specifications

  • Brand- D-Link
  • Model Number- DIR-890L/R
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 AC, 802.11 a/b/g/n, 5.8GHz radio frequency
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 3.2GB per second
  • Color- Red/Black
  • Dimension- 9.75 x 15 x 4 inches
  • Weight- 2.5lbs

PROS:

  • Tri-band router offers peak performance of 3.2Gbps
  • Ideal for 4K video streaming and playing online games
  • SmartConnect feature to automatically connect the device to band with maximum speed
  • SmartBeam technology for farther reach
  • Advanced QoS optimization of traffic
  • Easy installation
  • WPA/WPA2 encryption for enhanced security
  • Eye-catching design

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Large and hefty
  • File-transfer performance is not very good
  • Limited management options


TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router

If you are looking for the best budget router, Archer C7 AC1750 from TP-Link is the one for you. It is an 802.11ac standard router to provide the latest in the Wi-Fi technology currently available. It offers excellent throughout, especially if you are looking for a best long range router. While this best wireless router for the money lacks the bells and whistles which you can find in other 11ac wireless routers, it is still a pretty great router if you are looking for something simple.

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The router measures 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches and has a black, shiny enclosure. It comes with 3 removable 5dBi antennas which are pretty sturdy. It has the standard LEDs on the front panel and has 2 x USB2.0 ports, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 x Gigabit Wan port on the back. Apart from the 3 external antennas, there are also three internal antennas to ensure that the router is able to cover larger areas. Theoretically, the router can reach up to 450Mbps on 2.4GHz band and 1.2Gbps on 5GHz band. While there are other 11ac routers on the market which can reach up to 1.7Gbps on 5GHz band, they are almost twice the cost of this Archer C7.

The router comes with a mini disc which can be inserted in a Windows, Mac or Linux computer to launch the Easy Setup Assistant. Apart from the disc, there is also a guide to make the installation process quick and simple. The web-based setup is pretty quick and the interface is highly intuitive. While many of the 11ac routers now have graphics on their web-based interface, the interface of C7 is pretty much text-based. Moreover, one can also find advanced management options, like configuring the IGMP proxy to manage IP multicasting, which is not available with a number of top wireless routers.

However, the wireless settings are somewhat limited. For instance, most of the 11ac routers allow you to set 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands to operate on 802.11n. However, C7 lacks this feature. Even the wireless configurations are limited and one only gets to select from 11b/g/n and 802.11b/g Mixed mode at 2.4GHz, and 11a/n/ac and 11a/n Mixed mode at 5GHz. Even the NAS functionality of this router is pretty basic.

As far as the performance of this router is concerned, I’d say that it is in line with what one is paying for it. As mentioned above, this wireless router is for people who just want to keep up with their day-to-day online activities and are not into heavy data-consuming applications. It is simple, fast, covers a large area and is an excellent bang-for-the-bucks product.

Specifications

  • Brand- TP-Link
  • Model Number- Archer C7
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 AC
  • RAM- 128MB
  • Processor- Single Core 720-MHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 1.75GB per second
  • Color- Black
  • Dimension- 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight- 1.9lbs

PROS:

  • Highly affordable 11ac router
  • Coverage is pretty great
  • External antennas are very sturdy
  • Features 3 internal antennas for better coverage
  • Top speed of 1.75Gbps
  • Features 2 x USB2.0 ports for data transfer
  • Quick and simple installation
  • Web-based interface is good
  • Several management options

CONS:

  • Wireless settings are limited
  • Throughput is not highly impressive


Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station (ME918LL/A)

And when we are talking about tech giants entering the wireless router arena, how can Apple stay behind? The 6th generation of AirPort Extreme Base Station was launched last year and is basically AirPort Time Capsule without internal storage feature. This dual-band router is prettier and a lot more compact as compared to its predecessors. Now it also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard to provide users with the latest in Wi-Fi technology.

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While it is definitely one of the most reliable and fastest Wi-Fi routers, it lacks a lot of features, like general networking customizations, media streaming, and support for external hard drives. While its predecessors were square in shape, the new AirPort Base Station is more like a rectangular tube now and measures 3.9 x 3.9 x 6.6 inches.

The router features 3 LAN ports and 1 Gigabit WAN port. There is also a USB2.0 port for file transfers. The latest generation of AirPort has the same port configuration like its predecessors which is a bit of a letdown as most of the wireless routers now feature 4 LAN ports and many of them also come with USB3.0 port. The router offers 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands simultaneously. So, no matter what kind of existing client you have, this Wi-Fi router will support it. The maximum speed that one can expect from this router is 1.3Gbps which is pretty decent.

The router also offers a variety of other features, like guest networking on the 2.4GHz band, port forwarding, IPv6, Access Control, DynDNS, file sharing and print serving capabilities. But given its price tag, it also lacks several features such as Parent Control, QoS traffic priority customization, VPN server, etc. Another major drawback of this wireless router is its weak support for features related to network storage.

Overall, Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station is a good router for people looking for a reliable and fast wireless router for their home. Lack of management options and ease of use suggests that this router is focused towards users who are new to the world of wireless routers and are looking to get the best from the home network. But while it does lack a lot of features, its stylish design definitely makes up for its expensive price tag.

Specifications

  • Brand- Apple
  • Model Number- ME918LL/A
  • Connectivity- Wireless
  • Wireless Compatibility- 802.11 B, 802.11G, 802.11n
  • RAM- 512MB
  • Processor- Dual Core 1.1GHz
  • Data Transfer Rate- 1.3GB per second
  • Color- White
  • Dimension- 3.9 x 3.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Weight- 2.1lbs

PROS:

  • Classy design
  • Supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard
  • 3 x LAN ports and 1 x WAN port
  • USB 2.0 port for file transfers
  • Maximum throughput of 1.3Gbps
  • Ideal for standard household use
  • Very easy to use

CONS:

  • No major changes from its previous version
  • Very limited network storage features
  • No support for media streaming from USB


Be it a wireless router for a large home, for gaming, or something more affordable, choose one from the above-mentioned options to enjoy the best of Wi-Fi. But if you are still finding it difficult to choose one, we have picked some across multiple categories.

Best Wireless Router

If you are looking for the best overall router and budget is not a concern, Max Stream EA9500 AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router from Linksys can be an excellent option. This tri-band (Two 5GHz and One 2.4GHz) router has a peak performance of 5.4Gbps. While most of the best long range router features four LAN ports, Max Stream is from the handful of routers with eight LAN ports.

Support for MU-MIMO technology, basic and advanced management tools, beam-forming technology, and WPA/WPA2 encryption along with SPI firewall are some of the other features of this wireless router. Right from simultaneously streaming 4K videos, playing online games, to uploading pictures on social platforms, this Max Stream router can do all of it and a lot more.

Best Router for Gaming

If you are looking for the best routers for gaming, X4S-AC2600 from NetGear can be a great choice. The router has a 4 x 4 Wi-Fi architecture to make to make sure that your online gaming is free from lags and apart from playing games, you are able to do a variety of heavy data-consuming activities simultaneously. Support for MU-MIMO technology, dynamic QoS, and Beamforming+ technology are some other features that are sure to add up to your gaming experience.

Best Long Range Router

People looking to buy a wireless router that can cover larger areas are sure to be impressed with Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router from NetGear. Just like the above mentioned Max Stream EA9500, X8 also offers 2 x 5GHz and 1 x 2.4GHz bands simultaneously to deliver a peak performance of 5.3Gbps.

The router has built-in loan-balancing software to automatically shift slower devices on the 5GHz band and ensure that there adequate bandwidth for other faster devices. It offers an abundance of customization options which can be accessed from its web interface or mobile app. Moreover, it also features 6 x LAN ports to allow you to connect multiple wired devices. If a router that can cover 4,000 square feet or more is what you are looking for, this X8 can definitely be a great option.

Best DD-WRT Router

DD-WRT is a firmware which helps in improving the performance of wireless routers. Right from the stronger signal, better traffic management, to enhanced security, DD-WRT aids a router in several ways. However, not every router supports DD-WRT. If one is looking for a router that supports DD-WRT, WRT1900ACS from Linksys can be an excellent option.

It is a dual-band router which features 4 antennas and can achieve a top speed of 1.9Gbps which is pretty great for the majority of the clients generally used at homes. It supports OpenWRT and also features a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port for data transfer. While this router does not support MU-MIMO technology which helps in distributing traffic efficiently, it offers an abundance of management options for customizing the router.

Best Wireless Router for the Money

If one is looking to buy a router that offers best-bang-for-the-bucks, the above mentioned WRT1900ACS from Linksys perfectly suits this requirement as well. With peak speeds of up to 1.9Gbps, the router can support multiple data-hungry devices simultaneously. It has 4 antennas and makes use of the Beamforming technology for focusing the signals and allowing them to cover larger areas. If you need to cover 2,000-3,000 square feet area and don’t want to splurge on high-end wireless routers, Linksys WRT1900ACS is surely a great choice.

Best Router under $100

If you are looking for the best wireless router under $100, Archer C7 AC1750 from TP-Link is the way to go. The dual-band router can simultaneously offer a 5GHz band and a 2.4GHz band to provide a peak throughput of 1.75Gbps. The router supports 802.11ac and has two USB2.0 ports for data transfer. Guest Network Access, IP-based Bandwidth Control, WPA encryption, easy setup, and installation, and 2-years warranty are some of the other reasons that make it a much better option as compared to other best wireless routers under 100.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying the best home router, it is very important to first understand your requirements from a wireless network to make sure that the one you choose is able to keep up with your expectations. As you can see in this Best Wireless Routers Reviews, there are routers with the most advanced of features and ones that come with a basic set of features. Thus, thoroughly understanding the wireless needs of your home is very important to make a smart buying decision.

We have tried to include a variety of wireless routers in this post to make sure that there is something for everyone. In case of any queries about the above-mentioned options, feel free to use the comments section below and we’ll try to answer as soon as possible. And if you are looking for other amazing products, like smart cameras, smart locks, smart thermostats, or smart hubs, do visit other pages of our website as we’ve reviewed some of the best products in those categories too.

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