Electronics

The 10 Best WiFi Routers for Fast Internet Connection

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
9 July, 2020 • Updated 25 days ago
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Strictly speaking, you don’t need a wireless router to get internet service. A wireless modem is all you need. But if you want excellent internet access, a WiFi router is hardly optional.

There are some reasons why you should get a WiFi router. Let’s break it down briefly, shall we?

For starters, there’s security. While some internet modems are equipped with a basic firewall, wireless routers offer far more protection against hostile attacks than a modem by itself. While a router can’t protect your computer from viruses, it does have built-in firewalls that work to protect you from hackers or people who might want to steal your data.

This ties into the next reason you want a WiFi router: wireless protocols. One thing a router does is it mixes up and complicates your wireless signal, making them harder to hack.

But by updating your internet protocols, they also allow your computer, gaming console and other devices to take advantage not just of the latest security, but the latest technology. This leads to better connectivity, faster results, and quicker download and upload speeds.

That’s right. WiFi routers make the internet better.

Of course, it’s also important to consider the wireless standards of your computer and other internet devices. All computers are rated to work with a certain classification of a router, known as a Wi-Fi AC specification. You reap no benefits if your computer’s wireless rating is better than the rating of your router. This means that it can be a good idea to update your router along with your computer.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Now that you know a thing or two about why you should get a WiFi router let’s talk about what features you should look for in an individual unit.

Things to Consider

Your internet speed may be only as good as your modem, but your Wi-Fi connection will only be as good as your router.

As much fun as it is to talk in riddles, what exactly do I mean by this? Well, it’s simple. When you log onto the internet with a Wi-Fi connection, your speed will be much faster if you have a wireless router, rather than simply piggy-backing off of your modem.

But the speed of the Wi-Fi signals is directly connected to the speed of the router. This means that if your modem has a speed rating of 750 Mbps but your router can only handle 300 Mbps, your Wi-Fi connection will be tied to the slower speed of the router.

This is just one thing you need to consider before buying a router. There are several other factors to remember as well.

1. Speed Rating

It’s important to make sure your router is rated for the same speed rating as your modem and your internet service connection. Otherwise, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. Conversely, however, a router that is rated for a higher speed connection than your modem or internet service provides will also be tied to the slower speed.

2. Internet Protocol

There are several different internet protocols. The three most popular are 802.11ac, 802.11n and 802.11g. Knowing which protocol your modem and internet service is running off of will help you to buy a better router.

3. Compatibility

Just as not all modems are compatible with all internet service providers, not all routers are necessarily compatible with all modems. Compatibility may be limited by the internet protocol you’re running, or it could be limited by a competing brand.

4. Style

For most of us, the style of our router isn’t all that important. It sits in our office somewhere, quite possibly out of site, except for when we want to connect a device to it. But for others, a stylish router is a big deal. It’s good to know what you want, but don’t pay extra for a fancy design you don’t care about.

5. Price

Unfortunately, the price will often be a driving factor in what kind of router you purchase. Faster routers will always be more expensive, sometimes even prohibitively so. However, it is always best to try to match up your router with your modem speed if at all possible.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best WiFi Routers


Products
Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.2
2,585+
2585+
  • Up to 7.2 Gbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac and 802.11ad devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Up to 7.2 Gbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac and 802.11ad devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.3
42,760+
42760+
  • Up to 1900 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
  • Up to 1900 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4
560+
560+
  • Up to 5334 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Up to 5334 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac devices
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4
6,420+
6420+
  • Up to 1200 Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
  • Up to 1200 Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Nighthawk X10 AD7200
Wi-Fi Without Limits

The best wireless router will vary from person to person depending on the speed of your internet connection. However, if you’re looking for a solid recommendation for an excellent router, look no further than the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200. It delivers performance where it matters.

4.2
2,585+
2585+
  • Up to 7.2 Gbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac and 802.11ad devices
  • 8.81 x 6.61 x 2.91 inches
  • Excellent performance with multiple devices
  • 6 Ethernet ports
  • Fast installation
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

Best WiFi Routers Under $50

TP-Link N150 Wireless Nano Travel Router

TP-Link N150 Wireless Nano Travel Router

Features

  • Up to 150 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11b/g/n and 2.4GHz Wi Fi devices
  • 2.2 x 0.7 x 2.2 inches

Although most wireless routers are designed for home or office use, there are exceptions to the rule. The TP-Link N150 Wireless Nano Travel Router is one such exception. Although the N150 wireless nano travel router can be used at home, it is especially useful for travelling.

The N150 serves as a local access point or WiFi hotspot. Unlike wireless hotspots you find at cafes and restaurants, however, this is a private, secured hotspot, meaning only you and your friends/family can access it.

In addition to granting greater privacy, this also often ensures better service and connections, as you aren’t jostling with other patrons for a share of the wireless network.

The N150 is powered by a USB-C, which can be connected either with an external adapter or a USB port. It is compatible with 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n protocols, and it is compatible with 2.4 GHz WiFi-powered devices. In addition to functioning as a router or mobile hotspot, it can be set up as a range extender or a bridge as well.

The N150 Nano does a lot of things well, but none exceptionally, and its slow internet download speeds are problematic for use as a primary router. If you’re looking for an extender or a mobile hotspot, however, the N150 works well, and it is also backed by an industry-leading two-year warranty. There are a lot of worse ways to spend your money.

Pros
  • Functions as mobile hotspot
  • Can serve as router, extender or bridge
  • Compatible with 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n protocols
Cons
  • Internet speeds are pretty slow

NETGEAR WNDR4500 N900 Dual Band Router

NETGEAR WNDR4500 N900 Dual Band Router

Features

  • Up to 1200 Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz
  • 11.57 x 10.35 x 3.39 inches

Not everyone wants to pay premium prices for internet speeds they don’t need. That doesn’t mean you should settle for a subpar router. Although the NETGEAR WNDR4500 N900 WiFi Router doesn’t offer internet speeds as fast as the TP-Link AC1200, it protects your internet with various security provisions.

Like most high-speed wireless routers, the WNDR4500 provides dual-band Wi-Fi simultaneously broadcasting at both 2.4 and 5 GHz. In this case, both are rated for up to 450 Mbps. It has one WAN, and 4 LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports and is supported by all the latest security features.

These include WPA/WPA2, double firewall protection from SPI and NAT and DoS (denial of service) attack protection.There are some other useful features as well.

The NETGEAR Genie app makes it easier to monitor and modify your home network. Parental controls let you decide what your kids access and when they access it. If you’re looking for a good mid-range WiFi router, the WNDR4500 is a good place to start.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 1200 Mbps
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual-band networks
  • Provides a variety of safety features
Cons
  • Lack of antennas limits range

Best WiFi Routers Under $100

Securifi Almond 3

Securifi Almond 3

Features

  • Up to 1300 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11bgn devices
  • 1.90 x 4.80 x 4.30 inches

Securifi Almond 3 is a completely different type of wireless range extender. Instead of functioning solely as a router, the Securifi Almond can also function as a WiFi extender. You can combine it with multiple Almond 3s to improve your range and wireless functions.

One of the big differences between the Securifi Almond and other WiFi routers is its interface. The Almond was the world’s first touchscreen wireless router, and its touchscreen interface makes it easier to install the Almond and manage your wireless household.

The Almond 3 uses a wireless mesh system to blanket your house in a new kind of wireless connection with better reception and coverage. The Almond 3 offers dual-band 2.4 Ghz/5.0 GHz at speeds of up to 1300 Mbps. It is compatible with the latest security standards and wireless protocols.

The main problem with the Almond 3 is that it isn’t compatible with ordinary range extenders. While you can always purchase additional Almond 3 units, they cost well over $100 each. Although they cover a greater area than a standard range extender, they’re also significantly more expensive.

A single Almond 3 router can cover an area of approximately 1300 square feet, so if you have a large home or office, the Securifi Almond can be an expensive way to go.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 1300 Mbps
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual-band networks
  • Combines with additional units for superior range
Cons
  • Extending your network area is fairly expensive

TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

Features

  • Up to 1200 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac devices
  • 12.5 x 2.8 x 9.5 inches

If you’re looking for speed, this is the first router on this list capable of delivering it. Where the previous routers were limited by maximum download speeds of 150 and 300 Mbps, the TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Router offers download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps.

The TP-Link AC1200 is quite a bit more advanced than the TP-Link N300. For one, it supports dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz networks simultaneously, making it easier for families to share internet without slowing it down and using bandwidth unnecessarily. It supports 802.11ac, the latest generation of wireless internet protocol.

The router provides four Gigabit Ethernet ports and cleaves to the latest WPS security standards. Your important data is protected by security encryption. The router also allows you to create guest networks, set parental access controls and carefully controlling internet bandwidth. The router is backed by a two-year warranty.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 1200 Mbps
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz dual-band networks
  • Compatible with the latest wireless protocol
Cons
  • Network coverage could be better

Best WiFi Routers Under $150

TP-Link AC2600 Smart WiFi Router

TP-Link AC2600 Smart WiFi Router

Features

  • Up to 1733 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11bgn devices
  • 8.50 x 6.46 x 1.45 inches

TP-Link AC2600 has extreme dual-band wi-fi speeds with 800Mbps on 800 GHz and 1733Mbps on 2.4 GHz. It has a WAN (Internet) port, 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, a power jack, and a Power switch.

There are 3 external antennas for greater reach and one internal antenna to amplify the WiFi. It works with the MU-MIMO technology, Airtime Fairness, and Smart Connect to give you the perfect connection to multiple devices simultaneously.

It is the perfect router for gaming and streaming 4k videos and gives you a long range coverage so you don’t have to worry about those dead spots in the house or in the apartment. The parental controls enable you to watch out for your kid.

The best thing about this little device? You can control it remotely with an app and set it up in seconds. Moreover, it works with Alexa, which enables you to turn on and off guest WiFi from the comfort of your couch.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 1733Mbps
  • Three antennas improve wireless stability and coverage
  • Meets latest security encryption standards
Cons
  • The reboot is very slow
  • The interface isn’t really intuitive

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router

Features

  • Up to 3 Gbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ax devices
  • 12.99 x 2.95 x 9.65 inches

The AX3000 Smart WiFi Router from TP-Link achieves blazing fast speeds. The 4-stream dual-band device can reach up to 3Gbps to give you the best gaming and streaming experience. It offers a 75% lower latency than the WiFi 5 and gives you a smooth surfing experience.

The AX3000 uses the OFDMA technology to give you the option to connect more devices simultaneously. The target wake time technology extends their battery life by reducing the power consumption. The app lets you do the setup in no time as well as manage different features of the router. 

Those features include antivirus software, parental controls, and QoS with the TP-Link HomeCare. The device supports 802.11ax and previous devices.

Pros
  • No reboots required after changes
  • Real value for money
Cons
  • QoS can’t be turned off
  • No default admin

Best WiFi Routers Under $200

NETGEAR Nighthawk Router (R7000) – AC1900 Wireless Speed

NETGEAR Nighthawk Router (R7000) - AC1900 Wireless Speed

Features

  • Up to 1900 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices
  • 11.22 x 7.26 x 1.97 inches

The NETGEAR Nighthawk has long been a favourite of gamers and stylish users who enjoy a sleek, high-tech look to their electronic devices. The Nighthawk is also known in gaming circles for its beamforming technology and excellent wireless download speeds.

The AC1900 Nighthawk provides dual-band Wi-Fi with 450 Mbps download speeds at 2.4 GHz and speeds of 1900 Mbps at 5 GHz. Three high-powered wireless antennas help improve the range of the router while also improving both coverage and performance.

Beamforming+ technology helps to focus WiFi signals directly to your WiFi devices, leading to better connections and faster speeds.Like all NETGEAR routers, the Nighthawk comes with the genie app, which guides you through the installation and makes managing your network a cinch.

A built-in 2.4GHz dual-core processor manages your data services to keep your devices connected at all times. Ports include one WAN, four LAN, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 1900 Mbps
  • Beamforming technology improves wireless connection
  • Backed by two-year warranty
Cons
  • Sometimes struggles with IPv6 optimization

Best WiFi Routers Under $300

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Features

  • Up to 7.2 Gbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac and 802.11ad devices
  • 8.81 x 6.61 x 2.91 inches

The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is a seriously powerful wireless router. In addition to having four antennas for incredible signal strength and coverage, it offers triple-band Wi-Fi, allowing more devices to connect and take full advantage of the download speeds provided by the Nighthawk X10. 

This includes one router with speeds of 800 Mbps, one at 1733, and one at 4600 Mbps, for a combined total of 7.2 Gbps. In addition to its 1.7GHz quad-core processor, it also has Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, and Dynamic QoS features to help share the computing load and you can control it with Alexa.

The Nighthawk X10 uses Smart parental controls to filter out websites for your kids. Streaming movies or online gaming will connect you with a higher bandwidth while browsing pictures of kittens will keep you at slower speeds. This is an ideal router for college roommates or professionals who work at home.

If you have several people in your dorm or household who stream frequently or play a lot of VR gaming, this router is a lifesaver.

Pros
  • Excellent performance with multiple devices
  • 6 Ethernet ports
  • Fast installation
Cons
  • Not made to last very long

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 Smart WiFi Router (R8000)

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 Smart WiFi Router (R8000)

Features

  • Up to 3200 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac devices
  • 2.14 x 11.54 x 8.92 inches

The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is a seriously powerful wireless router. In addition to having six antennas for incredible signal strength and coverage, it offers triple-band Wi-Fi, allowing more devices to connect and take full advantage of the download speeds provided by the Nighthawk X6.

This includes one router running at 2.4 GHz with speeds of 600 Mbps and two 5.0 GHz bands offering speeds of 1300 Mbps, for a combined total of 3.2 Gbps. In addition to its 1GHz dual-core processor, it also has three offload processors to help share the computing load.

The Nighthawk X6 uses SmartConnect technology to automatically pair you with the ideal bandwidth for your activities. Streaming movies or online gaming will connect you with a higher bandwidth while browsing pictures of kittens will keep you at slower speeds.

This is an ideal router for college roommates or professionals who work at home. If you have several people in your dorm or household who stream frequently or play a lot of HD gaming, this router is a lifesaver.

Pros
  • Speeds up to 3200 Mbps
  • Triple-Band WiFi allows for more connections
  • Six antennas improve wireless stability and coverage
Cons
  • None

Best WiFi Routers Under $400

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

Features

  • Up to 5334 Mbps
  • Compatible with 802.11ac devices
  • 11.46 x 4.72 x 14.88 inches

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is a real deal. Its dual-band data streams at rates of 600 and 1300 Mbps. A 1.8GHz quad-core processor keeps the connections clear, and many LAN ports are provided, as well as a WAN connection. Also, there are eight gigabit LAN ports and two 3.0 USB ports. None of these things is a surprise by now. 

This is all sort of what you expect from a wireless router. So what makes the tri-band ROG Rapture stand out from other WiFi routers? It comes with VPN Fusion, which gives you the option to run the VPN and internet connection to maximize gaming server speed. It is the perfect router for gamers. 

It also has features like Game Boost, Game IPS, and it is AirMesh supported, meaning you can connect it to other Asus routers for a more powerful home network.

Pros
  • Excellent for gamers
  • Smooth setup
Cons
  • Limited mobile app
  • Not made to last very long

Conclusion

There is no shortage of reasons to invest in a wireless router. Whether you’re tired of paying an arm and a leg on smartphone data plans or you need to take advantage of faster upload speeds for work, a good router can make your life a lot easier. And now that you have a better understanding of what you need in a router, you’re ready to make a decision. Have fun!

*All prices mentioned above are at the time of publishing.

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.