Your plan is simple: Go on the Internet, choose the router, and click buy.
However, as you start to navigate the plethora of choices, your stress level goes up. It seems all the manufacturers are banding together to confuse you personally.
Your mind starts to generate a whirlwind of questions:
- Should I buy 802.11n or 802.11ac?
- Should I go for the best ac router or the best dual-band router?
- Are routers safe to use?
- Is the speed enough for my needs?
- Is the router going to be compatible with Comcast or Time Warner?
- What is the significance of numbers like N900, AC1200, AC3200, AC5400 etc.?
It is okay to feel a bit overwhelmed. Wireless technology is evolving. Specifications are changing fast. Manufacturers are trying to keep up and create products for customers with different needs.
Choosing a router in market is complicated. Thus, in order to help you choosing routers wisely, I provide a list of 11 best routers 2017
Best Router 2017 & 2018
To make your life less stressful, I have put together a list of the best wifi router reviews. Because gamers and large home/office owners have different priorities, I have two sets of router reviews. The first one looks at routers from a gamers perspective and the second one focuses on routers with large area coverage capabilities.
|Name||Band||LAN Ports||MU - MIMO||IPv6||Wireless Specification||Weight||Price|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000||Dual-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||3.5 lbs|
|D-Link DIR-890L/R||Tri-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||2.5 lbs|
|ASUS RT-AC88U||Dual-band||8||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||2.6 lbs|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X10||Dual-band||7||Yes||Yes||802.11 ad||4.1 lbs|
|TP-Link Archer C5400||Tri-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||3.0 lbs|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X6||Tri-band||4||No||Yes||802.11 ac||2.4 lbs|
|TP-Link Archer C9||Dual-band||4||No||Yes||802.11 ac||3.0 lbs|
|TP-Link Archer C7||Dual-band||4||No||Yes||802.11 ac||1.9 lbs|
|ASUS RT-N66U||Dual-band||4||No||Yes||802.11 n||1.8 lbs|
|NETGEAR R6400||Dual-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||3.2 lbs|
|Linksys WRT1900AC||Dual-band||4||No||Yes||802.11 ac||1.8 lbs|
|Google Wifi System||Dual-band||2||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac||0.7 lbs|
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) – Best Budget Router under 200
- Dynamic QoS: Prioritizes network traffic by application & device
- Advanced features for lag-free gaming
- NETGEAR genie® for remote access
- Implicit and Explict Beamforming improves range and performance
- High powered amplifiers & antennas for WiFi coverage
- Airtime fairness prevents network lag when slower devices connect
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 will accelerate your Wi-Fi network to provide a high-quality gaming experience. Its 1 GHz dual core processor makes it one of the fastest 802.11ac routers in the market. The dual core processor can handle more packets at a time to ensure you have uninterrupted gameplay.
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is a large router with a black ultra-modern design. With its three antennas, it looks like the F-117 Nighthawk fighter plane. It got its name because of the design similarities. The meshed side panels provide ventilation for the powerful processor while adding a modern look to the router.
The router is designed for maximum efficiency and ease-of-use. You will see all the status of your channels, USB ports, WAN and LAN connections on the front panel LED. There is also an ON/OFF switch for wireless connections and WPS switch.
On the back panel of the router, it has 4 LAN connections and a WAN connection. All of them are Gigabit ports. There is a 2.0 USB port on the back and a 3.0 USB port on the front. Also, on the back is the 3 SMA connections for the detachable antennas. With SMA connections, you can replace the antennas with higher quality omnidirectional or unidirectional replacements.
Nighthawk AC1900 dual channels run at 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz. It has the Broadcom chip with the TurboQAM technology, which makes it a true dual-band router. Besides, it supports all previous router standards.
OpenVPN and Genie App
For security, it offers OpenVPN. With OpenVPN, you can connect to your wireless router from remote locations. It keeps the traffic between your home network safe from external intrusions.
The NETGEAR Genie app provides a graphical user interface to the router. It allows control of the network functionalities. Also, the Genie mobile app (available on iOS and Android) gives you the ability to control your router without connecting to it physically. It makes it easy and convenient to setup your router.
The Quality of Service (QoS) service panel provides options for both upstream and downstream data control. So, you can be precise in your setup of your QoS. This feature enables you to ensure the best QoS for your gaming experience. Also, the default QoS settings already prioritize Xbox One/360 traffic.
Nighthawk AC1900 has beamforming+ technology to make sure that your gaming console or PC receives focused and uninterrupted signal.
Why is this router worth it?
With a fast 1 GHz dual-core processor handling dual-band technology that gives precise control of the network traffic, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is the router that gamer will love in terms of performance. The Nighthawk design also adds a “cool” factor to the whole package. Overall, this is a high-performing router that will give gamers what they want – speed and stability.
2. D-Link AC3200 DIR-890L/R – Best Range Wifi Router
- Ultimate Wi-Fi performance with AC3200 Tri-Band speeds
- 3 x 3 data streams and 6 high-performance antennas
- 1GHz Dual Core processor
- Advanced AC SmartBeam tracks your connected devices
- Advanced security features WPA/WPA2 encryption
- Intuitive user interface for easy installation
D-Link AC3200 DIR-890L/R is an 802.11ac device with tri-band and beamforming technology to give maximum speed and range. It has Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to prioritize data for streaming, gaming, and voice.
The D-Link DIR-890L/R is known for its unique design. With its 6 antennas, stealth fighter shape, and smooth red bright color, it looks like a spaceship from outer space. It has one of the most eye-catching router design today.
Under the beautiful design, there is also some great hardware. The 1 GHz Dual Core processor provides the power necessary to run the tri-band channels with speed and efficiency.
On the front of the router, the LED lights for power, Internet, 2.4 GHz channel, 5 GHz channel, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 keeps you up-to-date on the status of the device. On the back, the router has the power port, power button, WAN port, 4 LAN ports, WPS button, reset button, USB 2.0 port, and USB 3.0 port.
The tri-band channels consist of a single 600 Mbps 2.4 GHz channel and two 1300 Mbps 5 GHz channels. It uses SmartConnect technology to make sure that your older devices don’t hinder the performance of your latest devices.
This router is mydlink-enabled which means you can access and monitor your home network from any location. You can configure it to send emails to your mobile devices. So, if you want to aware of what your children are up to on the network, this device has the necessary features to help you keep track.
Advanced AC SmartBeam Technology and QoS Control
The Advanced AC SmartBeam technology combined with the Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) technology can ensure that your gaming console or computer receives the network traffic attention it needs. You will get a lag-free gaming experience with this router.
Why is this router worth it?
The D-Link AC3200 DIR-890L/R provides excellent speed, best range, fast ports, and great security. It has a design that is going to make your guests take notice. The installation process is simple and easy. Overall, this is a great router for gamers or anyone who wants a high-end router.
3. ASUS RT-AC88U – Best Dual-Band Router
- Dual band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
- 4-transmit, 4-receive (4T4R) antenna design
- 8x Gigabit LAN Ports
- Powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
- ASUS AiProtection
- Faster Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO Technology
- WTFast Game Accelerator
ASUS RT-AC88U is a dual-band router with great speed and security to meet your gaming needs. It has a powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor that can handle data upload/download speeds up to 1.8 Gbps. ASUS AiProtection powered by Trend MicroTM ensures the security you need for protecting your information. Also, MU-MIMO Technology provides simultaneous transmission at improved speed.
With 4 detachable antennas and spaceship-like design, ASUS RT-AC88U router is aesthetically pleasing. The design is elegant enough that it can blend into any office or home environment.
The look is fierce. In the front area of the top panel, it has Power LED, 5GHz /2.4 GHz LED, WAN (Internet) LED, 8 LAN LEDs, USB 3.0 LED, USB 2.0 LED and WPS LED. The front panel also has 3.0 USB port and WPS On/Off button.
The back panel of the router has a Wi-Fi On/Off button, reset button, WPS button, USB 2.0 port, 8 LAN ports, WAN port, power port and power button. All the antennas are detachable.
Hardware to Support Dual-Band Performance
ASUS RT-AC88U router’s impressive 1.4 GHz dual-core processor with 512 MB of memory gives it the necessary power to support true dual-band performance on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth.
ASUS has designed this router for gaming. For best online gaming performance, the efficiency of network hops plays a vital role. It affects the ping speed. To optimize ping time and decrease packet loss, RT-AC88U has a built-in WTFast client for the GPN. GPN ensures that each client gets the lowest possible ping times. This technology can drastically boost game performance.
The RT-AC88U comes with Multi-user Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technology. It allows multiple users to take advantage of the dual-band simultaneously.
Security and User-Friendly Interface
AiProtection supported by Trend Micro provides online protection to keep your devices and information safe. The security settings can be accessed from a user-friendly ASUSWRT interface. There is also an app to control your router. It makes the task of router management simpler.
Why is this router worth it?
With a great processor, MU-MIMO technology, and excellent dual-band performance, the RT-AC88U is the best wifi router in the mid-range category. However, the game acceleration feature makes it a more lucrative purchase for game enthusiasts. Additionally, this router provides great security protection from malware and other threats on the internet.
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 – Latest Technology
- Quad-core 1.7 GHz processor
- Both 802.11ad and 802.11ac compatible
- Plex Media Server to serve 4K and VR media
- Up to 4600+1733+800 Mbp speed
- MU-MIMO Technology and Dynamic QoS
- High-Performance antennas for maximum coverage
- NETGEAR Genie® for web and mobile access
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 brings the power of 802.11ac and 802.11ad to your home with The 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor, 60 GHz 11ad and Quad-stream architecture handling streaming. So you will have a great experience with 4K streaming, VR gaming or any instant downloads.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 series follows the design style of its predecessors. The router has the look of the F-117 Nighthawk fighter plane. With its four antennas and triangular finish on the top, the design looks more elegant than ever.
The router front view will give you easy access to all the status information. All the LEDs are conveniently in a single line. You can see the LEDs for the power, the internet, 2.4GHz WiFi, 5GHz WiFi, 60GHz WiFi, Guest WiFi, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 10G fiber connection, 6 Ethernet ports, WiFi on/off, and WPS on the top. The WiFi on/off and WPS LEDs also function as buttons.
The USB 3.0 ports are located on the left side of the router. On the back, the four antennas are detachable. The back also has the WiFi LED On/Off switch, reset button, 6 Ethernet ports, internet port, 10G LAN SPF+ port, power on/off button and power connector.
Powerful Quad-core Processor for Maximum Performance
The 1.7 GHz Quad-core CPU is the hallmark of this powerful router. In today’s high-demand real-time video and gaming environments, this power can help your network traffic stay ultra-smooth.
Advanced 802.11ad Wireless Capabilities
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 has the 802.11ad technology, which is 3×3 times faster than 802.11ac. It can reach up to 4.6 Gbps. However, your devices need to be 802.11ad compatible to take advantage of these speeds. With the combination of 802.11ad and 802.11ac, it can reach up to 4600+1733+800 Mbps (~AD7200) speed.
High-Speed Fiber Connection, Lots of Gigabit Ports, Link Aggregation, and Plex Media Server
The 10 Gigabit LAN SFP+ port allows you to connect this router to a fiber and enjoy lighting fast speeds from Network Attached Storage (NAS). Also, you will never run out of ports with the 6 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. You can use 2 of these Gigabit ports in an aggregate link to stream 4K content faster. Furthermore, the router comes with Plex Media Server to allow you to stream media from your USB or NAS device. It is probably best wifi router 2017 for 4K streaming considerations.
Dynamic QoS with MU-MIMO Technology
The router has the capability to dynamically route traffic to ensure the quality of service (QoS) to your most important devices. Another important feature is the Multi-user Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technology. MU-MIMO allows Nighthawk X10 to concentrate the signal strength towards the areas where your devices are located.
Why is this router worth it?
The Quad-core fast processor, the 802.11ad capability, lots of Gigabit Ethernet ports, and MU-MIMO technology make the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 an appealing buy. However, if you are looking for the best cheap router, this is not it. The price of this router reflects the cutting-edge technology and features. It is a great router to buy if you want to invest in the future.
5. TP-Link Archer C5400 – Tri-band Router for Multiple Devices
- AC5400 Tri-Band with 4-Stream and NitroQAM technology delivers up to 5400Mbps
- Faster Wi-Fi for every device with MU-MIMO technology
- Smart Connect: faster speed by intelligently assigning them to the best available connection
- Powerful 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and 3 co-processors
- Share files, photos, music, and video via the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
- Send targeted Wi-Fi signal tol devices with beamforming
The TP-Link Archer C5400 is a tri-band gigabit router with 4-stream and NitroQAM technology. It can deliver up to 1000 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2167 Mbps on the two 5 GHz bands. This makes it one of the fastest and the longest range router on this list. Also, MU-MIMO technology delivers multiple reliable connections with more efficiency.
The Archer C5400 has a flat design with black matte finish and eight antennas that can be folded into the main body. The unit is large and requires dedicated space to place or mount on the wall.
On the front panel of the router, you can check the LED status of the power, the 2.4 GHz wireless, the 5 GHz-1 wireless, the 5 GHZ-2 wireless, the Ethernet, the Internet, the WPS, and the USB ports. The front panel also has a Wi-Fi on/off button, WPS button, and LED on/off button (to turn off the LED status lights). The back panel has the reset button, USB 2.0 port, Internet port, 4 Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 port, power on/off button, and the power port.
MU-MIMO and NitroQAM Technology
The Archer C5400’s MU-MIMO and NitroQAM technology allows it to communicate with 4 devices simultaneously. A Single-User MIMO technology connects to one user, then moves to the next user. But, the latest Multi-user Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) uses the full power of the 1.4 GHz dual-core processor to connect to 4 users at the same time. This improves performance, speed, and range.
Eight Antennas With Beamforming Technology
The eight antennas with beamforming technology allow Archer C5400 to concentrate the wireless signal on the device locations to maximize range up to 10,000 square feet. The USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports can be used to create a networked storage system.
TP-Link Tether App Features
TP-Link Tether app on iOS and Android makes it easy to setup the router from mobile devices. You can also use the desktop app to directly set up more advanced settings. Customizable Quality of Service (QoS) on the advanced settings allows you to control the traffic to your 4K streaming and gaming laptops.
VPN For Remote Access
TP-Link Archer C5400 comes with VPN (Virtual Private Networking) support. It offers OpenVPN and PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) VPN. This means you can setup a VPN server and securely connect to your home network from a remote location (office or across the world) without hackers able to penetrate your network.
Why is this router worth it?
TP-Link Archer C5400 is a high-end tri-band Gigabit router that will offer best coverage to all of your devices in your home. It is a great router for a large house.
6. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 (R8000) – Powerful yet Expensive
- 3.2Gbps: The fastest Wi-Fi speed for uninterrupted streaming
- Tri-Band Wi-Fi delivers more Wi-Fi to more devices
- 1GHz dual core processor with three offload processors
- Implicit & explicit beamforming+ focuses Wi-Fi signals & delivers stronger connections
- Free ReadySHARE Vault app provides automatic backup for Windows PCs
- Now with NETGEAR genie with remote access
NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 tri-band wireless router will be a game changer for game enthusiasts. It has the tri-band channels with a 600 Mbps 2.4 GHz channel and two 1300 Mbps channels. It will keep your games running clear and lag-free even when a lot of devices connect to the router.
Nighthawk X6, like its AC1900 cousin, gets its name because of its Nighthawk fighter style design. The design has been updated on this next-gen router to make the antennas part of the body. The 6 antennas fold into the flat body of the router which is convenient and gives a futuristic look to the unit.
On the top, the router has LED lights indicating the status of the power, the Internet, the tri-band channels, the WAN connections, and USB ports. It also has a WiFi on/off and WPS button with LED.
On the back of the router, you have a Gigabit WAN port and 4 Gigabit LAN ports. There is a 2.0 USB port and a 3.0 USB port. Besides power connector and power on/off switch, the back panel also has a LED on/off switch and a reset button. LED on/off switch is useful if you want to turn off the status lights when you are sleeping.
NETGEAR ReadyShare Vault App
The USB ports give you the ability to share your content across the network through a shared drive, plug your printer directly into the router, or backup your devices using the NETGEAR Readyshare Vault app.
The tri-band allows X6 to intelligently assign devices to the different channels of the router. It will determine how to connect to slower and faster devices, so network traffic can flow unhindered. This helps gamers get better signal stability for their video game consoles. It also does load-balancing across the two 5 GHz bands to enhance network performance.
WMM QoS Prioritization
Wi-Fi Multimedia Quality of Service (WMM QoS) prioritizes video and voice network packets. WMM QoS prioritize packets in the following order: voice, video, best effort, and background. The client device has to be WMM compatible to take full advantage of this technology. Otherwise, the device will get the best effort category service which is still an improvement.
Why is this router worth it?
With tri-band technology and WMM QoS, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 is a great choice for supporting video games on desktops or consoles. However, even though under 300, it is not cheap. It makes sense to get this router if you live in a household with lots of devices. The intelligent channel selection, load balancing, and QoS control can give the value for the price in a crowded household. You and your family members can enjoy high-traffic applications without conflict of interest.
7. TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9 – Best Wireless Router for Home
- Wireless AC1900 WiFi. Supports 802.11ac, the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Simultaneous dual band networks 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- 3 detachable high performance antennas
- Beamforming technology for locating wireless devices
- Powerful 1GHz dual-core processor
- USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports to easily share printers, files, and media
- TP-LINK Live 24/7 technical support
The TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 wireless dual-band Gigabit router supports 802.11ac specifications while being backward compatible with earlier WiFi specs. Simultaneous dual bands offer 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz. The powerful 1 GHz dual-core processor can handle 4K Ultra HD video streaming through its wired and wireless connections.
The Archer C9’s white and glossy polycarbonate body has the look and feel of the Apple’s white iMacs. The white hand purse-like shape is held up with a silver stand. The three white antennas are attached to the top border of the router. Overall, the design looks elegant.
On the front panel, it has LED status lights for power, 2.4 GHz wireless, 5 GHz wireless, Ethernet, Internet, WPS, and USB. The back panel has a mesh to allow proper ventilation. It also has a USB 2.0 port, a reset/WPS button, an Internet port, 4 Ethernet ports, a power on/off button, and a power port. On the right side panel, there is a WiFi on/off button and a USB 3.0 port.
Share Your Files
If you want to share photos, music files, and other documents, you can use the USB 3.0 and the USB 2.0 ports to connect to external drives. Even though reads are fast on the shared drives, the writes are slow. So, if you are using the shared drive to updated files in real-time, you might face some problems.
Multiple Levels of Setup with QoS
TP-Link Archer C9 setup has 3 different levels – Quick Setup, Basic, and Advanced. If you are a novice user or in a hurry, you can use the Quick Setup to get started fast. On the Basic setup, you can control your network on a user-friendly graphical interface. If you really want to gain control over your network, you can use the advanced features like NAT boost, DHCP server setting, and bandwidth Quality of Service (QoS).
The Archer C9 comes with beamforming technology that allows the router to divert signals to where your devices are located. NAT boost will automatically optimize the traffic for you. However, if you want to fine tune QoS yourself, you can do it from the Advanced Setup menu. Users can use the mobile TP-LINK Tether app to control the router from iOS and Android devices.
Advanced Security Features
This wireless router has predefined security features to protect your network from cyber attacks. The SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) firewall and DoS (Denial of Service) protection give you peace of mind.
Why is this router worth it?
The TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 wireless dual-band Gigabit router is a great choice for large homes that need strong and stable signals through thick walls and furniture. It provides you with superior service that your home deserves.
8. TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750) – Best Budget Wireless Router 2017 (Under 100 Bucks)
- The Top Rated Router for Most People – The New York Times
- 1.75Gbps total available bandwith
- Supports 802.11ac
- Dual USB Ports to share files & medie
- IP-based Bandwidth Control
- Easy one-touch WPS button for WPA security encryption
- Easy Setup Assistant with multi-language support
The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 wireless dual-band Gigabit router provides great speed and range for small office or home office environments at an affordable price. The dual band has a max speed of 450 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz. You can select the radio band for your network to avoid interruptions from busy signals. This 802.11ac router is backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n devices.
The simple black flat design of the TP-Link Archer C7 make it blending in with your room decor easily. The three detachable antennas are attached to the back of the unit.
On the front of the panel, the green LED lights indicate power, system status, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, Ethernet, the Internet, and WPS. On the back of the router, there is the power socket, power on/off switch, Wi-Fi on/off switch, 2 USB ports with LEDs in the middle, Internet port in blue, 4 Gigabit Ethernet in yellow, and WPS/Reset button.
Archer C7 comes with multiple security protection. It has 64/128/152-bit WEP encryption, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2, WPA), SSID broadcast control, and firewall protection.
Quick Setup Wizard will help with the easy installation process. It has customizable Quality of Service (QoS) options. However, the options are limited.
TP-Link Tether App
Archer C7 wireless routers can be controlled using the intuitive TP-Link Tether app. The app is available both on iOS and Android devices. The simple user-interface makes it easy to control connected device access and monitor network performance.
Virtual Server, DMZ, and Other Features
This router has flexible access control. Parents and network administrators can easily set up policies for children or other users. It also supports Virtual Server and DMZ host for Port Triggering. It supports UPnP, Dynamic DNS, and Static Routing. So, network administrators can easily monitor network functions in real-time.
Why is this router worth it?
Overall, the TP-Link Archer C7 wireless dual-band Gigabit router is the best router 2017 to buy under 100 for long-range use. It will provide you the best performance within a reasonable budget.
9. ASUS RT-N66U – Top Router of 802.11 N
- 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Concurrent Dual-Band Transmissions
- Ultra-Fast Connection Rates up to 900Mbps
- ASUS AiCloud service: Access, stream, share, sync – unlimited storage
- Gigabit Ethernet Ports for fast performance
- ASUSWRT Dashboard UI for Easy Setup, Signal Monitoring
- Expanded Wireless Coverage with Detachable High-Powered Antennas
- Two Multi-Functional Built-in USB Ports
ASUS RT-N66U is designed with dual-band capability to do bandwidth demanding tasks like video gaming and streaming. The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band transmission have a joint speed of 900 Mbps. Each channel has a max speed of 450 Mbps.
NVIDIA GameStream Ready
Gamers will be particularly enthralled to know that it is NVIDIA GameStream ready. It allows lag-free streaming from NVIDIA GRID cloud gaming systems or NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards.
The ASUS RT-N66U has a sci-fi look with its smooth black finish, ultra-thin body, and three adjustable antennas. The flat design allows you to put it on your TV, coffee table or mount it on your wall. ASUS also provides a mounting stand if you want to keep the device in an upright position.
The antennas are detachable. It has 1 Gigabit WAN and 4 Gigabit LAN connections. It has two built-in USB ports for P2P downloading, media streaming, and print sharing.
The front of the device has LEDs to indicate power, LAN connection, WAN connection, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz signal on/off status, and USB status. The back panel of the router has power input, power button, USB 2.0 port, reset button, WAN port, 4 LAN port, and a WPS button.
ASUSWRT dashboard user-interface makes it easy to set up your network. You can get your network up in 30 seconds using the network wizard.
As a gamer, you will find that the Traffic Manager’s Quality of Service (QoS) tab very useful. You can set it to automatic which will prioritize the traffic for online games and web surfing.
If you want to prioritize specific network applications or devices, you can click the QoS slide switch and set up user-defined rules. This gives you full control over your network traffic. You can use this to make sure that your games get the highest traffic priority.
Also, the clear graphical interface makes it easy to monitor network activities.
Support For File Sharing
RT-N66u support SMB servers, UPnP AV servers and FTP servers. You can use these technologies to share your files across the network easily.
Why is this router worth it?
RT-N66u dual-band wireless-N900 is one of the best router under 100 price range. If you have budget constraints, this router will keep you in the game while keeping you within budget.
10. NETGEAR AC1750 R6400-100NAS – Mid Range Router for Home User
- Compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa
- AC1750 WiFi: 450+1300 Mbps speeds and high-power external antennas
- Dual band: Reduces interference for better connections to more WiFi devices.
- Get up and running in minutes using your mobile device with the NETGEAR Up app
- Beamforming improves range & performance
- Parental Controls – Web filtering for all your connected devices
- NETGEAR genie App for emote access
NETGEAR AC1750 Smart WiFi Router R6400-100NAS delivers speed and range for large homes with 12 or more devices. The dual-band on this router provides a maximum speed of 450 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 600 Mbps at 5 GHz with high-powered antennas. It has an 800 MHz dual-core processor to support the signal and bandwidth. It is backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n.
NETGEAR RS6400 has a black glossy rectangular design with three detachable external antennas in the back of the unit. The back is higher than the front of the router. The side of the router has meshes to allow cooling.
The status LEDs are placed on the top-front area of the device. It has LEDs for power, the Internet, 2.4 GHz WiFi, 5 GHz WiFi, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 4 Ethernet ports, WiFi on/off, and WPS button. The USB 3.0-storage port is located on the front panel. On the back panel, the router has a power connector slot, a power on/off switch, a USB 2.0 port, an Internet port, 4 Ethernet ports, and a reset button.
NETGEAR RS6400 has Beamforming+ technology to create reliable connections with faster speeds. It supports dual-band clients which can improve speed significantly. Also, simultaneous dual band transmission decreases signal interference. Simultaneous dual band means that when the router is transmitting multiple devices, it will have more reliable connections.
RS6400 improves performance through using Airtime fairness and implicit beamforming. Airtime fairness ensures that all the devices connected to the router get equal playtime. With explicit beamforming, a router tracks the client location and supplies power to the nearest antenna to the client. Whether the client supports beamforming is not important. In the case of implicit beamforming, the router uses the client’s specifications to provide a better WiFi signal.
DNLA Compliant and USB Share Ready
RS6400 is DNLA compliant. So, you can share media with DNLA TVs and consoles. The USB ports provide access to network shares and printers.
NETGEAR Genie App Features
NETGEAR Genie app makes it easy to install the router. Genie app is available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. The app works as a network management software showing Internet status, WiFi connection status, router settings, network map, parental control, and ReadySHARE technology. It also supports Apple’s AirPrint.
Why is this router worth it?
Overall, the NETGEAR AC1750 Smart WiFi Router R6400-100NAS provides speed, range, and reliability. Under 200, it isn’t too expensive for most people’s budget. So, if you need a long range router with great features and great value, the R6400-100NAS model is a great choice.
11. Linksys WRT1900ACS – Best DD-WRT WiFi Router
- Wireless- AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology
- 4 high-performance antennas
- Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU
- Share content via an external storage device with ultra-fast USB 3.0
- Network Map offers a visual map of the home network
- Open Source Ready: Users gain unprecedented access to customize the router
- Processor: Dual-Core 1.6 GHz ARM-based
Linksys WRT1900ACS is a dual-band Gigabit router with a max speed of 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz channel and 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz channel. Its 1.6 GHz dual-core processor has the necessary power to handle high-speed data transfer. The router is backward compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n.
Linksys WRT1900ACS with its black and blue plastic cover has an old-school 80s look to it. The four antenna stand up on the sides to make it look like a small spaceship. The black mesh on the top has enough ventilation to keep the unit cool which is important given the powerful processor inside.
The front of the device has LED status lights for power, the Internet, 2.4 GHz channel, 5 GHz channel, eSATA, USB 1, USB 2, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and WPS. On the back of the device, there are the power switch, the power port, the reset button, the combo USB 2.0/eSATA port, the USB 3.0 port, the Internet port, 4 Ethernet ports, and the Wi-Fi protected setup button. On the bottom, there are wall mount slots.
Dual-core Processor and 512 MB RAM
Linksys WRT1900ACS has powerful components under the hood. The 1.6 GHz dual-core ARM processor and 512 MB of RAM ensure that your router will have great speed throughout the house, and it will be able to handle a large number of users.
Powerful Antennas with Beamforming Technology
The four detachable and adjustable antennas ensure maximum signal strength and signal range. This router has amplifiers to ensure that you have the best possible signal strength, so your devices can connect through thick walls and metal barriers. Also, it has beamforming technology to concentrate the signal to where your devices are located. This means your devices have a better chance of receiving clearer signals.
Router Repeater and Bridge Mode
If you have a large house and one router is not enough, you can use multiple to WRT1900ACS routers to increase the range. WRT1900ACS comes with Wireless Repeater mode and Wireless Bridge mode to increase the range of your Wi-Fi coverage.
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi App
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. It gives you the ability to manage your network from the palm of your hand. You can use it to prioritize bandwidth for specific devices to get the best throughput. Also, you can setup your network to be N-only, A-only, AC-only, or mixed mode giving you the flexibility on what kind of network you want.
OpenVPN and Easy Network Map
WRT1900ACS has OpenVPN. OpenVPN allows remote users to connect securely to your network. So, if you want to log into your home network from your office, you don’t have to worry about hackers using it as a way to gain access. You can also view all your wired and wireless devices on a Network Map on the Smart Wi-Fi app. So, you can visually select and assign changes to particular devices.
Why is this router worth it?
With a powerful processor, amplified signal strength, beamforming technology, and great network management tools, Linksys WRT1900ACS is the best wireless router for your large home or office.
12. Google WiFi System – Long Range Router Pack
- Mesh WiFi capability eliminates dead zones
- Network Assist technology helps with setup
- Quad-core ARM processor
- Dual-band WiFi capability
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Mobile app designed to monitor units
- Special discounts available for multiple-units
Google WiFi system is designed to make networking easier. The Quad-core ARM CPU based router supports dual-band Wifi (2.4GHz / 5GHz) for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. You can buy a single unit or a set of three. The router is designed to communicate with other units and provide maximum coverage for your home. So it’s easy to set up an expandable mesh WiFi.
Google has designed the routers to be aesthetically pleasing. The routers are white with a short cylindrical shape and a vertical LED ring in the middle of the cylinder.
On the bottom of the router, there is a Gigabit WAN and Gigabit LAN port. The unit can either work as a router or an extender. You will need an internet-connected iOS or Android device and a Google account to connect to the router’s interface. Google has gone for the minimalist design to make network setup easy for you.
Network Assist for Fast and Reliable Connections
Google uses software to ensure your devices are getting the best possible connection. It covers your house on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidth. It has support for IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. You can turn the routers to extender mode to increase the area of coverage. Google software will take care of all the configurations.
Simple Mobile Controls to Create a Network
With Google WiFi System, you can easily create a sophisticated network system without the hassle of understanding the complications. You can buy as many WiFi units you need and then use mobile apps to connect those units and set up the network. A single unit can cover a 500-1500 square feet home. Two units can cover 1500-3000 square feet and three units can cover 3000-4500 square-feet. So having reliable wireless coverage becomes easy. You can also pause connections on certain devices to have more control over who uses the internet. It’s a great way to impose discipline on your kids’ online usage.
Google WiFi routers are equipped with Quad-core ARM processors and 512MB of RAM. It has AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 WiFi capability with expandable mesh WiFi and TX Beamforming. It is BlueTooth ready.
Why is this router worth it?
With the Google WiFi system, you don’t have to worry about depending on a single router to cover a large area. You can strategically place units around your home to make every corner of your house network accessible. Due to the special discounts available for buying sets of three, it can be one of the best cheap routers available today.
Best Gaming Router to Buy
Each router on this list has its own charms and high points for gamers. Besides signal strength, transfer speed, and signal range, I also kept an eye on the price.
As a gamer, you want a wireless router that will give you uninterrupted gameplay. The data transfer should be fast and efficient. When you are trying to find the best gaming router, the things you should consider are:
- Signal stability
- Transferring speed
- Signal range
With high-level of interactivity in video games, it is important for your router to provide a stable signal and a high-speed transfer rate to ensure smooth gameplay. Otherwise, you might experience frequent interruptions.
Considering everything, the best value seems to be the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900. With a reasonable price, it provides the best speed and reliability with all the features that you would expect from a router designed to serve the gaming community.
However, if you have a higher budget you can go for the Nighthawk X10 or D-Link DIR-890L/R. If you have budget constraints, both ASUS RT-N66U and NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 are good choices to satisfy your need for a fast and reliable gaming router.
Best Long Range Router to Buy
A router for a home/office with a large area needs a different set of considerations. It needs to be able to provide coverage to the whole area while holding stable connections with multiple users.So, when you are looking for a router for your large home or office, you should consider the following:
- Signal range
- Signal strength
- Ability to connect multiple devices
With signal range, you can figure out if the signal will cover the area of your premises.
You have to also look into signal strength. This strength can be dependent on how your building is organized. You can use a tool like inSSIDer to determine if you are getting the necessary performance at different access points in your desired coverage area.
All of the long range routers on this list are great choices. However, considering the price range and the value that it provides, I recommend the TB-Link AC1900 Archer C9 because it provides long range wireless connections with great stability. Also, the design looks great.
If you have a little cash to spare, then I would suggest going for the TP-Link Archer C5400 which will give you better speed but you will have to pay for the extra privilege. For budget-constraint users, TP-Link Archer C7 is a good option.
Wi-fi Router Buying Guide
If you have no ideal about how to choose a router, let’s look into some basic concepts. Choosing the right router depends on multiple factors. So, if you want to make a smart purchase, you need to understand the basics. The following should help you choose a router that is right for your particular needs.
When you started, all you wanted was to find a great router to buy and click. Now, you have more questions than answers. You cannot distinguish the good routers from the bad ones.
Bellow are factors you should consider before choosing a router:
IEEE 802.11 is the specification for Wi-Fi. The first specification was 802.11 created in 1997. Since then, the following specifications have been released: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. Let’s have a look at the latest three specifications.
- 802.11g runs at 2.4 GHz frequency with a maximum speed of 54 Mbps with a distance of 460 ft
- 802.11n runs at 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency with a combined speed of 300 Mbps to 900 Mbps with a distance of 820 ft (2.4 GHz) and 460 ft (5 GHz)
- 802.11ac runs at 5 GHz frequency with a combined speed of 433 Mbps to 1733 Mbps with a distance up to 820 ft
When you choose your router, you should look at the frequency compatibility before speed. If your device only has 2.4 GHz frequency then it will be compatible with an 802.11n router but not with an 802.11ac only router. If the router package says, wireless compatibility 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, that router can support all the specifications.
Dual-band routers have 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency capability. Tri-band routers have a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. It is basically broadcasting on 3 bands.
If a dual-band router has the max capability of 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz, the two speeds are combined to call it an AC1900 (600+1300 = 1900) class router. If a tri-band router has the max capability of 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1300 capability on its two 5 GHz channels, then it is called an AC3200 (600+1300+1300 = 3200) class router.
However, the max capability is not realistic in working environments. It is a general indicator of how fast the routers can be. You can safely assume that AC3200 will deliver data faster than AC1900.
With the rise of cyber crimes, it is important that your wireless router has a good security system to protect your information. WEP, WPA, and WPA2 are encryptions available today. If you are not sure how to set it up, make sure you get professional help to secure your Wi-Fi network.
Higher price doesn’t always mean better performance for your devices. If you buy an expensive wireless router with the latest available speed, it might not be useful to you if your mobile and other devices are using older 802.11 specifications. Thus, you might have to upgrade your devices to get the benefit of your newly purchased router.
Hopefully, the best wireless routers 2017 list will lessen the stress of choosing the right one for you. The router market has matured over the last few years. So, whatever you choose, you can be confident that you will get better performance than what you are getting from your current unit.
Upgrading to a new router will make your new client devices perform better. So, you will get more out of the investments you have made in your 4K TVs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices.