The best wireless routers are those routers with extensive wi-fi coverage, with complex functions, able to maintain stable connections. Depending on the space in which they are located, the best wireless routers must be at least dual-band, offering a speed of 433 Mbps on the 2.5 GHz band and 450 Mbps on the 5 GHz, with a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi standard. generation.
Identifying the best wireless router has become indispensable, given that almost everything we do now in our homes and offices is online. After all, we work, play, do business and even socialize online. Therefore, buying a top router can make all the difference in our daily lives.
Whether you're just watching your favorite programs on Netflix or dreaming of being at the top of the top PC games, a poor connection won't do you any good. Before upgrading your Internet subscription, first consider upgrading your router to one of the best wireless models.
First, you need to decide if you need a router for personal use or a model that has the ability to support multiple people on the network at the same time. If you are looking for a home device, you can turn your attention to a model with a core. Otherwise, it is recommended to buy one with two or four cores, if you want performance. Also, pay attention to the processor frequency.
Other important features are the speed of the processor, the existence of a USB port (preferably 3.0), the wireless signal output on at least two bands (the name under which you find this specification is dual-band) and be able to connect to a mobile application, to be easy to operate even remotely. Below is a brief list of the best wireless routers of the moment.
Netgear R7000P Nighthawk is the best wireless router for home. It is a dual-band, three-way 802.11ac router. It comes with a simple yet functional network load balancing and balancing system, a feature that minimizes frustration by automatically distributing connected devices between the router's two wireless bands.
With this model you have the certainty that straight out of the box the R7000P will work better than any router you have ever had and you will never have to decide which band to connect to.
The device has a considerably longer signal range than previous Nighthawk models, both on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The full-featured web interface is easy to use for both novices and experts. Add to all these qualities the simple configuration and automatic routing of traffic between the two lanes, and this model becomes the best router for most people.
The processor of this Nighthawk router model is dual core and clocked at 1 GHz, which means it gives you a short load time, few errors or crashes while playing, watching movies or playing different applications.
If you want to connect an HDD to back up or a USB flash drive device, you can use the USB port, generation 3.0. However, it is advisable to use it only when you want to upgrade your router speed. Otherwise, you can take advantage of the performance of the 2.0 generation, which is just as suitable for everyday activities.
The TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 is a two-band router, but a very mobile one. TP-Link suggests using the 5 GHz band for more intense data activities (teleconferencing, local servers), while reserving the 2.4 GHz band for other wireless connections. Despite its size, the router offers beam-forming technology and a top speed of 1,900 Mbps.
It's ideal for setting up wireless networks in small spaces and offices, but keep in mind that there are also larger and more durable versions of this model if your lifestyle requires it.
This router model is equipped with a dual-core processor, which is clocked at a frequency of 1 GHz. For this reason, the device is perfect for situations where you want to lay the foundations of an online network in which to play or to transmit video content, at an Ultra HD (4K) resolution, because it gives you a very stable internet connection. In addition, wireless speeds can even reach up to 1.9 Gbps.
The wireless signal is emitted on two bands: one of 5 GHz, excellent for applications that consume a lot of energy, and one of 2.4 GHz, dedicated to emails and internet browsing. The TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 features a 3.0-generation and a 2.0-generation USB port, giving you the ability to share files between devices connected to your network.
An advantage is that this wireless router has a compatible mobile application, which can be installed on both iOS and Android. The application called Tether is easy to use and allows you to configure parental control, set the privileges you want to grant to users, and set all access rules.
TP-Link Archer AC1200 is the best cheap wireless router if you are looking for a low budget option. It offers dual-band AC1200 speeds, two USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet ports to manage your internet connection.
This model of wireless router does not have features that split the earth, but they are the basics for a good Wi-Fi configuration, and the TP-Link Tether application is one of the best router applications in existence. In other words, installing and managing the router should not be a problem.
The device is a perfect choice for a home that only needs a simple internet connection for email, browsing and some streaming. However, if you plan to stream 4K content constantly, are a fan of gaming or other heavy data tasks, then we recommend upgrading to a more powerful model.
The wireless signal is broadcast in two bands: one of 2.4 GHz, which offers speeds of up to 300 Mbps and is perfect for surfing the Internet and answering emails, and one of 5 GHz, which offers speeds of up to at 867 Mbps and that helps you use more complex applications without problems.
This router also uses Wi-Fi 802.11ac technology, which provides speeds of up to 1200 Mbps and allows you to enjoy fluidity during games, but also when streaming HD video.
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is the best wireless gaming router. It can intelligently manage the allocation of data on different bandwidths, specially designed for intense gaming. At AC5300, you don't have to worry about streaming your games in perfect quality – 4K.
In addition, this router includes mesh network software and a multi-device QoS adapter to make sure you always have a good connection, no matter where you play. Other features include gaming ports, a ROG mode dedicated to gaming sessions and proactive security. It has everything you need, especially if you aspire to become a professional streamer.
This model is the successor to the Asus RT-AC5300 and compared to it, the GT-AC5300 comes with some considerable improvements, especially in terms of hardware. Impressive differences can also be seen in Wi-Fi connectivity – here, excellent speed ranks it in the top of the best routers.
The processor of this gaming router has four Broadcom BCM4908 cores, clocked at a frequency of 1.8 GHz. In addition, we also list the 256 MB, representing the storage capacity for firmware and 1 GB DDR3 RAM. In addition, if you purchase this model, you will receive support for all modern standards (802.11ac Wave 2). At the same time, the router offers 4 × 4 MU-MIMO, which means that it has four spatial streams, needs four antennas and offers the possibility to connect four clients at the same time.
Asus GT-AC5300 is a tri-band router, a feature that makes it suitable for connecting more people, and here we think not only of online games, but also of workspaces and offices. The wireless network is divided, in this case, into three frequencies: one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz.
Netgear Nighthawk X4S AC2600 now supports MIMO, a growing popular feature that helps increase speed for Wi-Fi users. If you want to cover a large house (or even an office floor) and have a dozen Wi-Fi devices connected, the X4S is a great choice.
The X4S AC2600 has quad-stream (4 × 4) support with a maximum speed of 1733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. Combining the two bands, the router has a maximum Wi-Fi bandwidth of 2553 Mbps, which gives it the name of AC2600.
The router has the most powerful hardware on the market, a dual-core 1.7 GHz processor, with 256 MB of RAM and 512 MB of flash memory. In our experience, powerful hardware does not always translate into fast performance, as was the case with the X4. But the X4S , for the most part, lived up to expectations in our tests.
The model is also equipped with the MU-MIMO function that allows you to transmit data to multiple users at once, in real time. And for this process to run optimally, the router also has a frequency support of 160 Hz. Also worth mentioning are the Dynamic Quality of Service, Dynamic Frequency Selection, Beamforming, IPv6 and VPN support functions that help you by prioritizing internet traffic, analyzing how data is transmitted and protecting against DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.
In addition to the web interface, you can also use the free downloadable Netgear Genie app for installation. Overall, it is an ideal option if you want to cover a larger space.
TP-Link Archer C5400 is one of the best professional routers. It is a tri-band router with a 2.4 GHz band (1000 Mbps) and two 5 GHz bands (2167 Mbps). These are enough for all your games, 4K videos and intense file transfers.
Archer C5400 has MU-MIMO support to connect several devices with an extra-reliable connection and smart functions that work with Alexa and IFTTT, for easier control of your smart devices. In addition, the processor has a frequency of 1.4 GHz and is equipped with three other separate co-processors that increase the power level and, implicitly, the performance. This way, you can run several applications simultaneously that are very demanding on the router.
You can even set up a personal VPN through integrated software options to create more privacy. All this makes this TP-Link model one of the best routers on the market, great for a busy family with lots of streaming-oriented mobile devices or a home business that may require additional router capabilities.
The device is equipped with two important technologies: 4-Stream and NitroQAM (1024-QAM), which have the ability to increase the performance of the router by up to 25%. At the same time, these technologies give you excellent speeds, such as 1000 Mbps (on the 2.4 GHz band) and 2167 Mbps (on the 5 GHz band). These speeds ensure online activities without errors, interruptions or long waiting times.
Questions and answers
A good router is more important than ever. Online streaming, making calls, turning on lights and adjusting the temperature in your home can now be managed via wireless internet, managed by a Wi-Fi router. Moreover, given that more and more people work from home, investing in a quality router is a very wise move. When choosing the best wireless router, here are a few things to consider:
The wireless standard used
Wi-Fi is a global standard, and to ensure seamless connection of devices, there are specifications that wireless networks must meet. This standard is known as 802.11, and the following letters: a, b, g, n, ac, and ax designate the version. Versions are compatible with each other, but connecting to an earlier version means that your device will be limited to a lower speed. The latest versions are 802.11ac (also known as Wi-Fi 5) and 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6). We recommend that you do not go below these standards when choosing a new router, given how dependent our homes become on a strong wifi network.
Connection speed and frequency bands
Within each Wi-Fi standard there are additional classifications that determine the actual performance you will get. You may see a router advertised as AC1200 or AX6000, but that doesn't mean you'll get a maximum speed of 1,200Mbps or 6,000Mbps. This number is a combination of the speeds of both lanes. For example, an AC1200 router will have two signal bands: a 2.4 GHz band with a maximum speed of 300 Mbps and a 5 GHz band with a maximum speed of 867Mbps (rounded to the nearest hundred).
Even though these speeds are theoretical, in the real world you probably don't get close to these numbers. So looking for and buying the most expensive router can be tempting, but giving the money for something you don't need will be more of a disappointment.
If you live in a large house this can cause problems when it comes to serving Wi-Fi for all your devices, especially when using the 5GHz band. In the case of smaller apartments or houses, a single router with a strong set of antennas will have no difficulty. Reading reviews is a great way to get an idea of how good a router's signal is.
If you know that you will have a lot of space to cover and you don't want to buy a single very powerful router, you can always take a look at the Wi-Fi mash kits. These systems are basically a network of routers that work in unison to provide Wi-Fi in a large area, often covering hundreds of square meters of interior space.
If you want total control over everything that goes through your router, choose one with advanced firmware, which includes a decent firewall and offers those extra features you need that can support the installation of third-party firmware, such as DD-WRT , which can provide these features.
If you are concerned about exposing your children to inappropriate information on the Internet, choosing a router with built-in parental controls can be helpful. Some routers even allow you to restrict internet access for your children at specific time slots and provide visitor access for your guests, so you won't have to provide them with your Wi-Fi password.
Top router prices are based on performance and features. An entry-level router AC1750 802.11ac will cost anywhere from 250 to 400 lei, but if you want an AC2400 router with MU-MIMO streaming capabilities, expect the price to be between 400 to 900 lei. An AC5400 tri-band gaming router with all the latest functionalities could cost up to 2000 lei, while the new 802.11ax routers are between 1300 and 2200 lei, depending on the specifications and characteristics of the router. As I said, the price of the best router depends on your needs.
Wireless communication happens through radio waves (also called tapes), which can be seen as the paths that your data travels. While routers up to 802.11g run exclusively on the 2.4GHz band, support for 5GHz bands has been added to the 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax versions. This was done as the 2.4 GHz band became crowded, leading to a scenario where traffic became blocked at peak times.
Devices that can only use the 2.4 GHz band are called single-band devices, while dual-band devices can use both the 2.4 GHz band and the 2.4 GHz band. 5 GHz. While the lower frequency band has a lower speed limit and is narrower, the 5 GHz band is much wider and has a much higher speed limit.
However, there are some disadvantages to the 5GHz band. The higher frequency means that the signal loses more power as it is forced to pass through walls, furniture and other obstacles. However, modern routers have something called beamforming that will send a signal in the direction of a device, rather than spraying a signal into a sphere around the router. However, the increased speed and increased bandwidth means that it is perfect for streaming video and high resolution games.
Wireless security protocols not only prevent unwanted third parties from connecting to your wireless network, but also encrypt private data sent over airwaves. Different types of wireless security protocols have been developed to protect networks over time. Wireless security protocols are WEP, WPA and WPA2, which although serve the same purpose, have major differences between them.
WEP was developed for wireless networks and approved as a Wi-Fi security standard in September 1999 and was abandoned in 2004. Despite all the changes that have been made to improve the WEP system, this solution is still very vulnerable. Systems based on this protocol should be upgraded or replaced if upgrading is not possible.
For the period when the 802.11i wireless security standard was developed, WPA was used as a temporary improvement of the previous protocol – WEP. WPA, like WEP, after going through practical tests and applied public demonstrations proved to be quite vulnerable to intrusion.
WPA2 was introduced in 2004. The most important improvement of WPA2 over WPA was the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). AES is approved by the US government to encrypt information classified as top secret, so it must be good enough to protect our home or office networks. At this point, the main vulnerability to a WPA2 system is when the attacker already has access to the secure WiFi network and can gain access to certain keys to attack other devices on the network.
While WPA2 offers more protection than WPA and therefore more protection than WEP, the security of your router depends a lot on the set password. WPA and WPA2 allow you to use passwords of up to 63 characters. Use as many different characters in your WiFi network password as possible.
The best way to secure your network is to disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and set the router to WPA2 + AES. This is excessive for the average user, but if maximum security is crucial for you, then WPA2 + AES is the complete solution.
The best manufacturers of wireless routers are those companies that have not only created high-performance routers, but have been able to constantly provide amazing value for money for their customers. Here are some of the most important brands of wireless routers:
ASUS – Asus hardly needs an introduction because it is one of the leading brands for wireless routers, computers and even mobile phones. As proof we have the 802.11ac RT-AC88U which is constantly at the top of many lists of "best routers". For those of you who are looking for the best gaming routers, make sure you are interested in the ASUS ROG range.
TP-Link – Founded in 1996, TP-Link has a long and rich history in providing some of the best WLAN devices ever built. Their innovative approach can be seen in one of the newest products launched by the company, Deco M5 . This Wi-Fi router package offers a superb system of routers that can cover from 1,500 square meters with a single unit to over 4,500 square meters with a package of three, thanks to the wifi mesh design. It is no coincidence that half of the choices in our article on the best routers are produced by TP-Link.
Netgear – Founded in 2002, Netgear has consistently been at the forefront of networked consumer products, and its line of routers is widely regarded as the best in its class. Netgear makes some of the most advanced and high-performance standalone routers you can find. We highly recommend their Nighthawk line , which, although a bit expensive, is worth every penny spent.
For more details and product reviews, take a look at our article on the best wireless routers .
The best wireless router for RDS is the one that allows you to enjoy all the bandwidth offered by your DIGI RDS subscription. Currently, DIGI RDS offers a subscription capable of 940 Mbps download and 450 Mbps upload. Precisely for this reason the best router for RDS is one that allows you a download rate of at least 940 Mbps. If you are not interested in dual band capabilities, wifi mash functionality or print server, then we recommend Tenda AC9 . If you are still looking for a dual-band model then TENDA AC18 offers you the best value for money.