Many of you have complained that after having invested in a nice wireless router you didn’t get the performance at home that you expected.
Now the key word here is expectation ..
.. and today I’m going to set that right ! 🙂
When it comes to buying networking equipment there are three speed that you need to be aware of the advertising speed, the ceiling speed and the actual real world speed.
The last one is most important to you and me.
That is why this guide happened , after spending countless hours online reading real world customer reviews and 17 hours of testing a good number of routers we have come up with top 10 wireless routers of 2020.
These are The Best Wireless Routers Based on Real Consumer Reviews of 2020
It’s important to understand your needs, maybe you have a small house and a couple of devices to run then you don’t need to spend $300 on routers.
Before you decide on any router, I will suggest you to learn more about the whole scenario from our buyers guide.
Tips for Choosing The Right Wireless Routers for Your Needs
- Make sure that your new router will have a comprehensive coverage and a minimum range of 150 feet for indoor use.
- It’s best to get a router with dual band.
- Your new router should be able to broadcast 802.11n and older versions as well.
- The router should also be WAPA2 secure.
- Your new router should come with a USB functionality and also with a wired port.
- A suitable antenna type is necessary, and it’s preferable to get an external antenna.
- High price doesn’t always translate to a great network.
- Famous brand names don’t always equal high quality.
- Consider the size of the coverage area and also the number of clients who will be using the router.
- Also, consider the types of devices that you will connect to the router.
- If you have a small apartment, look for a router that performs with excellent or very good throughput in near and midrange situations.
- If you live in a larger house with lots of rooms and more than one-floor look for a router that performs great in far situations.
- Look for the guest network functionality because this allows you to give your guests at home access to Wi-Fi while at the same time denying access to your personal files or other devices connected to the router.
- The parental controls option allows you to dedicate traffic to specific apps and clients while deciding which users get access to the network and at which times.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 – Best for Streaming Video ( Budget option)
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is perfect for streaming, gaming and for connecting lots of devices to it. The router is easy to set up, and it offers one of the fastest combined Wi-Fi speed for streaming without interruptions.
The Tri-Band Wi-Fi delivers more Wi-Fi to multiple devices, and the 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports allow you to remain wired for the most stable connectivity.
You will be able to access your media and backup all of your data with the attached USB hard drive that is connected to the router.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 provides enhanced speed, range and reliability and the router will communicate with the devices that are connected to it.
The Beamforming feature allows the router to directly beam the Wi-Fi signal to all devices and boost speed, range and reliability.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 wireless router increases Wi-Fi performance by assigning every device to an optimal Wi-Fi band and allowing them to connect at maximum speed.
- The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is the ideal solution for users with many devices each of them using different wireless technologies.
- It can handle multiple connections at the same time without problems.
- The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 provides seamless clarity and minimal lag.
- It comes with NETGEAR genie with remote access.
- All of your devices will be faster.
- The interface of setting up and using the router is user-friendly.
- The Access Control feature allows you to permit a specific device to connect to your wireless router.
- The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 comes with just one access point for the 2.4GHz frequency band, and this band is slowly becoming obsolete because there are lots of clients using and routers that are using it. On the other hand, for the same reason, it’s essential that a router supports it for backward compatibility because you don’t want to leave any 2.4Ghz clients without a connection.
TP-Link Talon AD7200 – Most Potent Wireless Technology
With the Talon AD7200 wireless Tri-Band router, you’ll be able to game, share and stream in 4K on Wi-Fi really fast. This is the world’s first router to support 802.11ad which is the latest and the most potent wireless technology.
The router uses wireless AD, and it runs a new 60GHz Wi-Fi band that can reach speeds faster than Gigabit Ethernet.
For instance, you’ll be able to download 100 photos in less than a minute, and an HD film is less than 40 seconds. You can download a full 4K movie in almost eight minutes.
The router comes with one of the leading-edge antenna designs for the strongest Wi-Fi. The router includes eight antennas. Seven antennas and external and one is internal.
It also comes with an external antenna array of 60GHz to create strong Wi-Fi connections all over your home.
This router uses the Beam-Steering Technology to detect objects and direct the router’s Wi-Fi along the clearest path to all the devices from your home.
If there will be something between the router and a wireless device such as a chair, the Bean-Steering Technology will be able to send Wi-Fi around the object for maintaining a strong connection.
The 1.4GHz Dual-Core processor balances the demands of your devices to keep the connections fast and uninterrupted.
- The installation process is effortless, and it’s also appropriate for beginners.
- You will be able to connect your devices to a smooth network.
- The router comes with MU-MIMO technology.
- You’ll be able to enjoy high-speed connections without interruptions.
- The set-up is quick and easy, and management is also effortless via the web app and the iOS app.
- It provides blazing fast download speeds.
- If the router stops routing through the LAN ports, all you have to do is reboot it, and the issue is fixed. It’s good to restart it even if it doesn’t cause any troubles, at least once a week.
NETGEAR Orbi – WiFi System Can Cover Up to 5000 Square Feet
The NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System can cover up to 5000 square feet with high-performance Wi-Fi. The kit includes the Wi-Fi router and Satellites.
This Tri-Band router is not like other Wi-Fi sets that lose speed when you add more devices; it will maintain the data flow for all the connected devices via the dedicated backhaul connection.
NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System provides a seamless roaming throughout your home.
Its setup is quick and easy, and you will not need to create a new account. All you have to do is download the Orbi app, plug in your system and then follow the simple instructions from your PC, Mac or any kind of mobile device that you might have.
The router also comes with a guest Network features that will make it effortless to set up a separate and secure Wireless network for your visitors and guests.
You can use the Orbi app or any web browser to create a stable Wireless connection in just a few minutes.
- The NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System is the perfect mix of movie streaming and gaming sessions.
- It’s easy to set up and configure the router.
- You can manually download and install the firmware update.
- If you have a larger home, this is the perfect solution for your connections.
- The system can manage more network connections without compromising speed.
- It enables seamless indoor and outdoor connectivity.
- The only device that showed a few fluctuations in wireless download speed during tests was the Moto Z Play smartphone, but it turned out that the issue was phone-related since no other device on the network had such problems.
ASUS RT-AC88U – Best for Hardcore Gaming
The ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router is one of the best routers that you can buy right now, and it provides a sleek and stylish look.
It comes with a black construction with red accents along the antennas, and it will turn out to be one of the best routers for gaming enthusiasts.
It comes with 8 Gigabit LAN ports that can deliver high-speed Internet without sacrificing performance.
Its web interface is really intuitive and user-friendly. The wireless performance of the router is flawless on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The installation process is effortless thanks to the amazing web interface.
When you connect the router to the PC and the Internet for the first time, the interface will automatically launch and give you the options to configure the router after you turn on your PC.
You can set it up manually or continue with the wizard.
When it comes to performance, the ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router offers multi-client MU-MIMO data streaming, and it works great on both bands.
- The ASUS AiProtection powered by MicroTM provides a safe online experience.
- The AiProtection combines automatic vulnerability detection, parental controls, and malicious site blocking.
- The router comes with a WTFast Game Accelerator inside, and it provides impressive gaming experiences.
- The 8 Gigabit LAN ports easily handle the fastest Internet connection.
- The web interface is one of the best interfaces that come with a wireless router due to its high-intuitive and user-friendly features.
- Setting up the router is as effortless as possible.
- ASUS keeps the firmware up to date.
- The placing of the USB 3.0 is not the best one on a wireless router, but this is definitely not a problem considering what amazing features are packed in the ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router.
Google Wifi – Best Wireless Router Range Through Walls
The Google Wi-Fi system is installed easily in your home, and it provides a fast signal in every one of your rooms thanks to its new type of connection.
The new type of connected system used by this router will help eliminate dead zones and buffering throughout the home.
This Dual Band Google router will successfully replace your old router, and it is compatible with major Internet providers.
The router can keep itself fast via the Network Assist feature that makes advanced software work in the background to manage your network.
Network Assists will always select the clearest channel and the fastest band for all your devices.
You can use the companion app that comes with a straightforward interface, and via this app, you will be able to easily share your password with guests, see who’s connected and prioritize the devices on your network.
- It comes with a sleek and modern design.
- The start-up takes about 15 minutes, and the app is also simple to use without having to log in to a computer to change the settings.
- The download rate is really high.
- The auto-updating software is one of its best features.
- This system is designed to make sure that you get the best setting for your home.
- It supports Alexa, and the concept is designed to be closer to a smart home interface.
- This device is an “install and leave it alone” kind of router, and it’s best suited for beginners. If you are looking for extremely complicated and advanced options, you should know that this router comes with a few limits on customization.
Linksys AC1900 – Best Router for Multiple Device
The Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router can serve multiple clients simultaneously without bandwidth degradation.
These clients must be equipped with a network adapter that supports MU-MIMO technology to be able to take advantage of the enhanced throughput.
The Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router is a dual-band, 802.11ac, AC1900 router with a maximum potential bandwidth of 600Mbps. A Qualcomm processor powers it and it uses three detachable antennas for streaming.
It has a black finish and a backlit Linksys logo that flashes when there’s a connection error. It includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a WAN port, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port.
Installation is rapid and easy, and you’ll have the opportunity to use the Setup utility to configure the router, or you can skip Setup and configure it manually.
After you finish setting the router, you can create a free Smart Wi-Fi account to control both your router and home network from anywhere using a mobile app.
The performance is flawless, and the router also provides a robust management console. The web-based console offers lots of settings and services for managing your clients and router.
- The Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router provides enhanced Internet speeds.
- The router comes with a multi-user, multiple-output enabled.
- It comes with a good port selection.
- The router features lots of management options.
- It comes with three external antennas that expand the Wi-Fi range throughout a medium-sized home.
- Setting the router up is effortless.
- It offers band speeds up to 1.9Gbps.
- The router works with Amazon Alexa.
- It provides excellent coverage in all the corners of the house.
- If you see the router drop offline, this might happen when there are too many devices connected to it, but you will be able to simply resolve the issue by resetting the router.
Linksys Velop – Best Tri-band Wi-Fi Router for Home
Linksys Velop is a high performing modular Wi-Fi mesh system of nodes that is built in such a way to provide fantastic Wi-Fi coverage throughout the user’s home.
It’s effortless to set up in just a few minutes, and it’s able to deliver an ultra-fast signal with full-strength.
When you pair it with Amazon Alexa, Velop allows you to manage the Wi-Fi with various voice commands.
The Tri-Band Velop Mesh System, on the other hand, operates as a single network that continually searches for connected devices. In other words, you’ll have a seamless connection all over your home.
The straightforward Linksys app offers an effortless to use interface and a robust suite of Wi-Fi customization tools to monitor and manage the Wi-Fi from anywhere via a mobile device.
Another useful feature is the option to use parental controls just to make sure that your kids will have a safe Internet experience whenever you’re away from home.
- By using the Linksys App, you can create a guest network that is separate, and you can share the Wi-Fi password with them via email or text messages.
- If you encounter interferences or congestions while you’re connected, you can fix the issue with the Auto-Fix feature.
- There’s also a convenient speed test function that allows you to see what Internet speed you’re clocking.
- The router is extremely easy to install, and the app’s user interface is effortless to use even for beginners.
- The router does not come with a web-based admin, but you will be able to perform everything you need, by just using the mobile app. The web app will also provide more advanced features.
TP-Link Archer C7 – Wireless Router Under $100 Dollars
The Archer C7 is extremely easy to install in your home and to use it. All you have to do is press play and forget about slow Internet speeds.
It uses six powerful antennas and advanced AC technology to create high-speed Wi-Fi that will be able to reach every room in your house.
Repositioning the antennas according to your needs is effortless. It comes with a Dual Band allowing you to run all the devices in your home at a maximum speed and providing more bandwidth for more streaming.
The processor balances the demand for your devices to keep all your wireless connections running flawlessly and at a blazing speed.
You will be able to easily share content within the network via the dual USB ports. You can connect printers and external hard drives to this router and shared photos and files, videos and music easily.
To effortlessly set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all you have to do is use the TP-link Tether app that comes available for both iOS and Android as well.
- It comes with a total of 1.75Gbps available bandwidth.
- It supports 802.11ac which is the next generation of Wi-Fi.
- It provides a reliable signal, and it reaches all the rooms in your house.
- It won’t drop the connection or reboot itself.
- It can deliver a strong and steady stream of data to all the devices that are connected to it.
- The router can boost the speeds up to 50%.
- The New York Times called this router “The best router for most people” so, you can tell for yourself that it’s best suited for beginners and for users who are not looking for extremely advanced features and customization options.
D-Link EXO – Another Gaming Router Under $150 Dollars
The AC2600 router is one of the best router options for gaming enthusiasts because it includes a Dual Core Processor and advanced QoS experience for ultimate gaming without any lag.
The router’s high speeds and MU-MIMO technology offer fast downloads and smooth streaming to all of the devices in your home at the same time.
The double bandwidth allows intense data transferring, and this router is ideal for 4K HD streaming and also for online gaming.
The advanced AC SmartBeam feature tracks your connected devices for increased Wi-Fi speed and range as well. Its high-power antenna offers extensive coverage throughout your entire home.
The Band Steering feature will automatically assign devices to the less crowded 5GHz network to increase bandwidth availability and efficiency as well.
- The AC2600 router comes with a nice design and high-quality materials.
- Due to the Smart Connect feature, this router will not drop the Internet connection.
- It provides an excellent download speed.
- The Wi-Fi speeds are 800Mbps in 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps in 5GHz.
- The Dual Core processor offers you powerful wireless and also wired network speeds.
- The intelligent QoS traffic optimization offers impressive performance for all your apps.
- It comes with two USB ports, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0.
- There is not much you can change or customize in the router’s user interface, but you’ll see that it’s effortless to install. All you have to do is install the router and leave it to do its job without having to come back and re-customize all kinds of settings. The AC2600 router is one of the best choices for beginners who like to keep things simple.
TRENDnet AC2600 – Effortless Installation for Beginner Users
The TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO, Wireless gigabit router provides the MU-MIMO technology that can efficiently send data over four streams to more clients at the same time.
The Beamforming, on the other hand, reduces power consumption on all the portable devices from your home by efficiently sending the strongest possible signal that’s based on your location.
The StreamBoost minimizes latency for gaming, voice streams, and videos as well to eliminate stutter and potential lag caused by high bandwidth traffic such as torrents.
The StreamBoost also intelligently allocates the optimal amount of bandwidth for every device or app, and users will be able to assign the device priority manually.
This Dual Band router is really easy to install, and you will also be able to enjoy smooth management controls to optimize BitTorrent sharing, iTunes server streams and Samba clients as well.
- The MU-MIMO can boost performance in a busy home.
- The TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO Wireless Gigabit Router lowers latency and provides gaming and voice prioritization.
- The Dual-Core processor provides high performance.
- This router comes with USB 3.0 share ports.
- It also includes detachable high gain antennas.
- The software is straightforward to use thanks to its user-friendly interface.
- The router is extremely reliable, and it will not crash.
- It comes with a pre-set password, and this means that your network is secure from the very beginning.
- All routers might drop clients from time to time, and then they will automatically reconnect. If such a thing happens, try rebooting the router once a week just to offer it a refresh when the network is too busy.
Buyer’s Guide – Factors to Consider Before Buying The Best Wireless Router
There are lots of important factors to consider before purchasing a new wireless router.
The router’s limits are such a factor worth taking into consideration and it’s good to know that a router with top speed will not necessarily enhance the streaming performance of YouTube videos or Netflix.
Across any network, data will only move as fast as the slowest connection. The slowest connection for Internet traffic is the one that’s between your house and the Internet service provider.
Mesh network is also important to consider because if your modem is located in a far corner of your home, even a router with a lot of throughput cannot guarantee a great connection on the other side of your house.
For such a situation, mesh networks that include two/three small routers that work together will be the ideal solution by expanding the reach of your network without a significant drop in speed.
Wireless Networking Standards
Networking standards are essential because the type of router that you are using can impact the transmission of your Internet speed. This is the reason for which it’s really important to know and understand as well the different wireless networking standards.
The number that you see in the router’s specifications that read “802.11” shows the protocols that wireless networks use for data transmission.
This number also comes with letters such as 802.11a,-802.11b,-802.11g, -802.11ac or -802.11n. These numbers are wireless networking standards that dictate the router’s capacities regarding maximum speed and also transmission capabilities. The standard 802.11n is the most widely accepted network standard these days.
The other thing that confuses a lot of people is AC number. You’ll see a router that says AC-1700, AC-3200, AC-5400 it’s basically all marketing.
What they’re doing is taking the maximum speed of all the bands and adding them together. So let’s use for example the AC-3200 router;
So an AC-3200 router is going to be a Tri-Band router which means it has two 5 GHZ bands and each one of those bands is going to support up two 1300 Mbps a second, and then you have the 2.4 GHZ band which supports 600 Mbps per second you add all of those together and you get = 3200 Mbps.
Wi-Fi Speed and Range
Wi-Fi speed and range are also obviously essential factors to consider when you’re buying a router. The latest wireless-AC routers are almost three times faster than the wireless-n routers.
A router’s range is affected by the wireless network standards, the number of radio bands that it operates on, the number of antennas, the communication technology and more.
If you’re looking to get an enhanced signal and strength across your home, consider a wireless-AC router.
Security of The Wireless Routers
Security is also essential, and it’s recommended that you secure your router with a password using WPA2 encryption.
You will have to enter the password into each one of the wireless devices that you use just once. The device will then remember it. Security is crucial especially if you live in close proximity to others such as a crowded urban area.
Remember that without proper security measures, almost anyone can gain access to your online network and access your personal data or infect your system with a virus.
It’s recommended that you avoid a router with WEP because it’s easily cracked by all kinds of online tools that are freely available.
LAN ports are also essential factors, and these are used to connect a computer to the router using an Ethernet cable.
Lots of Internet-connected smart-home devices need a LAN port-connected hub to function. If you need more LAN ports than the built-in one, you will be able to expand their number by adding an Ethernet switch.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of Service also known as QoS is sometimes also called Media Prioritization or Traffic Control, and it’s another important factor worth considering when you’re getting a new wireless router.
If you like to play with your computer settings, you’ll appreciate the flexibility offered by this feature.
It will allow you to optimize the router’s performance depending on what you are doing at a particular time. For example, you’ll be able to change the settings to work best for making Skype calls, streaming videos, or playing games.
The number of radio bands that your router has access to is also essential because it impacts the strength of Wi-Fi connectivity that you’ll be able to enjoy. There are two types of radio band frequencies that a router can access: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
The routers mostly communicate via the 2.4GHz that is less expensive than the other. The reason is that this frequency is easily congested due to higher traffic because lots of household appliances operate on this frequency band.
A dual-band wireless router can run on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. The 5GHz is less congested, and that’s why it’s ideal for streaming or gaming.
There are also routers that operate on three radio bands, one of 2.4GHz and two 5GHz. These are perfect for households with tons of devices that are streaming, gaming and downloading.
The communication technology is also essential, and there are SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO routers. SU-MIMO tech routers can only communicate with a single device at a time, and MU-MIMO is the modern technology that allows routers to communicate with multiple devices.
Benefits of Buying a Wireless Router
All wireless routers come with a few basic benefits providing you strong reasons for purchasing one of your own.
For starters, the main advantage of a wireless router is convenience. The ultimate goal of modern technology is definitely to make our lives easier.
Wireless routers successfully manage to make our lives much more convenient by eliminating the need for tons of wires. By choosing a best wireless router, you will be able to avoid the mess resulted when you’re having tons of cables all over your home.
Another benefit of such a device is the new technology that it brings to your home. Wired connections will soon become obsolete because we’re now witnessing the fast pace of advancement.
Wireless routers also use radio waves technology to provide an Internet connection. Most likely, they will soon become a necessity because no one wants to use outdated technology.
Easy Access to The Internet
Easy access to the Internet is another advantage that you will be able to enjoy after purchasing a wireless router. After establishing a proper connection to the Internet, you can use it anytime. It will let you access the Internet easily 24/7.
Portability is another benefit when you get a wireless router because this device promotes high mobility. You will be able to carry on with your work while moving around the house or even your backyard. A wireless router will allow you to move freely within the area of the network.
You can also carry a portable wireless router in your pocket, and this makes it a great device to use in conference areas or hotels. You can also establish a secure connection for conducting your business on the road.
Multiple connections are another benefit of wireless wireless routers because it’s good to know that a wired connection will restrict the number of potential connections that you have available.
With wired connections, you are only able to use just one device at a time. You will, therefore, need extra wired and equipment to use multiple devices and this will turn out really inconvenient.
With wireless routers, you’ll benefit from numerous connections to the router, and you’ll be able to connect more devices each of them having a unique IP address.
Another significant advantage of a portable wireless router is that it provides increased security over a public Wi-Fi access point. Even these access points are also convenient, they can pose risks to your privacy because this type of networks are usually unsecured.
In other words, your connection is susceptible to hackers and losing personal information. A portable wireless router will protect you from the risks that come with entering passwords and banking data over a free public Wi-Fi network. The security is achieved by activating the firewall and by also using password protection control.
Wrapping It Up
After getting the chance to test all these ten best wireless routers presented in this roundup, I can certainly state without a doubt that my top pick is the ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router.
It provides 80% faster speed on the 5GHz band up to 2100Mbps and 66% faster speed up to 1000Mbps compared to other models of routers.
Its extensive connectivity options, powerful Dual-Core processor and blazing fast USB data transfers with up to 100MB/s speed make it the best choice of a Wi-Fi router for your home no matter if you are a beginner or a tech enthusiast who is looking for some more advanced features in a Wi-Fi router.
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