A router is a networking gadget that transfers data packets in computers. Routers direct internet traffics in computers. Internet routers are of two types. That is wireless and wired routers. In this article, we shall cover the most important things that you should know about wireless routers. We shall also review some of the best wireless routers on the market today.
Table of Contents
- Best Wireless Routers 2018 Comparison
- Definition of a wireless router?
- Factors to Consider When Searching For The Best Wireless Routers
- Types of routers
- This Is How a Wi-Fi Router Functions
- Advantages of wireless network
- Disadvantages of wireless networks
- Protecting Your Wireless Network
- How to secure networked devices
- Methods You Can Use To Boost Your Wireless Router Signal
- Things You Should Do After You Have Purchased a Brand New Router
- Top 10 Best Wireless Routers Reviews
- 1. TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750)
- 2. TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router (Archer C1200)
- 3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)
- 4. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router
- 5. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router (R8000)
- 6. Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source Wi-Fi Wireless Router
- 7. Securifi Almond – (3 Minute Setup) Touchscreen Wi-Fi Wireless Router
- 8. D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router With 6 High-Performance Beamforming Antennas (DIR-890L/R)
- 9. D-Link Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (DIR-880L)
- 10. Apple 5th Gen AirPort Extreme Base Station (MD031LL/A)
- Wrapping it up
Best Wireless Routers 2018 Comparison
|Device Picture||Device Name||Weight||Wireless Type||LAN Ports||Rating|
|TP-Link Archer C7 Dual Band(AC1750) (Under $100)||1.9 pounds||802.11 A/C||4||4.1|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band(R7000) (Editor's Choice)||3 pounds||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||4||4.3|
|TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit (Archer C1200)||2.6 pounds||802.11 A/C||4||4.4|
|ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band (Editor’s Choice)||2.6 pounds||801.11 AC, 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency, 802.11 a/b/g/n||8||4.1|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band||4.7 pounds||802.11 A/C||4||4.3|
|Linksys AC1900 Dual Band||1.8 pounds||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||4||4.0|
|Securifi Almond - (3 Minute Setup) Touchscreen||12.8 ounces||802.11bgn||2 LAN + 1 WAN Ports||4.3|
|D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band||2.5 pounds||802.11 A/C, 5.8 GHz Radio Frequency, 802.11 a/b/g/n||4||3.9|
|D-Link Wireless AC1900 Dual Band||1.4 pounds||802.11 A/C, 802.11 a/b/g/n||4||4.2|
|Apple 5th Gen AirPort Extreme Base Station (MD031LL/A||2.7 pounds||802.11n||4||4.3|
Definition of a wireless router?
This is an electronic gadget that transfers data from the internet cable to a device. The transferred data can be distributed through a radio signal without the use of wires.
When you register for a new broadband, you get a wireless model and not a wired one from an internet service provider. Wireless routers & best wireless routers are of different types. They include the following.
- Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN)- They allow users in a local area like a library or university to access the internet. A small number of users can create a temporary network without having an access point.
- Wireless Metropolitan Area Network– They have a technology that allows connection of different networks in an area such as different buildings in a town or a city. Some have a backup of fiber cabling or laying copper.
- Wireless Wide Area Networks– These can be maintained in large areas such as cities or countries through different satellite systems. They are commonly referred to as 2G ( Second Generation)systems
- Wireless Personal Area Networks(WPANS)– These are two types. There is Bluetooth( IEEE 802.15) and Infra Red(IR). They enable you to connect to your personal, devices within a range of 30 feet.
Factors to Consider When Searching For The Best Wireless Routers
If you have several devices that do not connect directly to your wall jack using an Ethernet cable, you may consider buying a router. You can find so many options in the market. You should be very keen to choose what you may need for your internet. Considering the following is good.
- Range – it is imperative to find the range of a signal if a router. There is a difference between the range of a signal in a single and a dual band wireless router.
- Single band wireless router – these usually have a weaker signal which means they have a shorter range.
- Dual band wireless router – it has the same range but greater strength since they have multiple signals. They are ideal for homes and offices. They can serve several devices on the same network.
- Speed –a good wireless router should have a very high speed. The speed of a wireless router depends on whether its single or dual band wireless router.
- Single band wireless router – this one uses a 2.4GHz band. If it used by a single user, the speed should be sufficient, and there should be no noticeable delays.
- Dual band wireless router – it uses both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz band which distributes connections well. These provide a higher speed as compared to the single-band wireless router. It is ideal for people with multiple users who are connected at the same time.
- Internet usage – For people who do a lot of media or music streaming may experience lag in connections, unlike an individual who uses the internet to check emails. A dual band wireless router can be the best.
- Security – Whether you are looking for a single or dual band wireless router, you should ensure that it has encryption security options to protect your network from being used without your consent.
- Age of your hardware – A new device will require more bandwidth as compared to old machines. If you would like to connect several devices like tablets, laptops, and smartphones at the same time, a dual band wireless router may be the best for you.
- Wired connections – There are some best wireless routers which enable users to connect them directly to devices like desktop through an Ethernet cable. Wired connections have a faster internet which can help you if you have several devices that you would like to connect at the same time.
Types of routers
- Edge router – It is kept at the edge of ISP network. These routers are usually connected to external protocols such as border gateway protocol(BGP) of larger organizations or other ISPs.
- Subscriber edge router– This type is meant for the end user organization, and it’s usually configured to broadcast external BGP to the provider.
- Inter– provider border router This is usually meant for interconnecting Internet Service providers. It is BGP speaking router which maintains BGP sessions with other BGP routers.
- Wired and wireless network – these are used for home and office connections. They help to filter traffic of incoming and outgoing data packets based on IP addresses.
Some wireless routers have both functions of network switch routers and firewall routers.
This Is How a Wi-Fi Router Functions
Connect your phone or computer to a router and data will be transferred through the router. The Wi-Fi receives this data and changes it into the radio signal which is then taken up by gadgets with Wi-Fi enabled such as phones, tablets, game consoles, and laptops.
To connect any device to a router, you will be required to enter a password on the device which you are using. Your Internet Service Provider regularly provides the password, and you can find it at the bottom of the router.
Passwords are usually a combination of numbers and letters which are made to protect your network from being used by others without your consent.
Apart from enabling you to connect to the internet, a router enables to make calls on the internet which save the costs you incur to make calls.
It also allows you to access digital TV using Google Chromecast, Amazon’s Firestick, a smart TV or Apple TV.
Advantages of wireless network
- Better coverage – Wireless communication allows you to communicate when moving. This is because you do not require any cables to access the network.
- Flexibility– In an office, workers connected to a network do not need to use specific computers which are connected. They can also be able to even work from their homes.
- They are affordable – Wireless connections are very easy to install. They are also cheaper.
- Leads to new opportunities– It allows you to offer new services or products. For example, many restaurants and cafes, train stations have installed wireless connection which lets users connect to their gadgets while doing other things.
- Improved efficiency– increased data communication makes the transfer of information faster between customers and business partners.
Disadvantages of wireless networks
- Coverage – it may difficult to get consistent coverage especially in some buildings where signals can be unavailable.
- Installation problems– there might be problems in buildings which also use different wireless technology. This may lead to poor communication or loss of wireless network.
- Speed –wireless transmission is not fast as compared to wired networks.
- Security – unauthorized users can attack wireless network quickly if security measures are not put in place.
Protecting Your Wireless Network
- Ensure that your wireless network is password-protected. Most of the products come with this feature, but you should make sure that it is activated.
- Use a secure password. They should not be easy to guess. A strong password has a combination of numbers, special characters, and symbols.
- Always ensure that the data encryption methods are enabled. Changing the default password is good.
- You can also apply the use of VPNs to enhance security.
How to secure networked devices
- If a Smartphone, laptop or a tablet is stolen, you can restore the network by canceling all the access privileges associated with passwords and usernames.
- You can boost the device security by use of the encryption options and inbuilt security features. You can go through the manual of your device if you are not sure of how to do this.
- It is recommended to have a personal firewall software to know to permit data in some locations.
- You can use antimalware programs to prevent keystroke loggers and Trojans.
Methods You Can Use To Boost Your Wireless Router Signal
- Physical position – a wireless router may work well in specific places in your house. You may need to change its location if you experience slow connections. The distance also matters, the nearer you are to the router the better the connection.
- Interference – other electronic devices such as TV might affect the connection of a wireless router. Make sure there are no such devices near the router.
- Height – Placing your router in a high place lie on a shelf will substantially boost its performance.
- Walls– these one affects the strength of a signal. The effect depends on what the wall is made of. Solid concrete significantly affects the power if the Wi-Fi signal. Wooden and sheetrock walls are better.
- Router antennas – ISPs provides a default router after you have registered for their services. Most of these routers are of low quality. You can consider buying a quality router which has a more powerful antenna.
- USB antennas– If your router does not have an antenna, you can consider purchasing a USB antenna for your device. It is good to look for one that has a cable. This allows you to place the receiver in the best position without moving your computer.
- Wireless range extenders – These are very affordable and works well with almost all modems and routers. They help to boost the signal thereby increasing the speed in connectivity.
- Router frequency – A wireless router with 5.0 GHz frequency is the best. This is because it has more channels which are spaced farther apart, unlike 2.4GHz frequency.
- Firmware updates – a firmware controls all the functions of a router. Advanced routers will allow you to update the firmware from the admin portal. If you are not sure whether you can do that, it is good to check the instructions from the router manual. You can contact your ISP if you do not find the instructions.
Things You Should Do After You Have Purchased a Brand New Router
- Place it in the best position – Wireless routers works through radio waves which can be effected by brick walls. The strength of the signals depends on the distance between the router and your device. The nearer to the router the stronger the signal.
Where should you place your router?
- It should be put at the center of your home.
- It should not be placed on the floor.
- You should not place it near a wall.
- You should not place it near devices such as TV which emit wireless frequencies.
- Adjust the antennas – If the router contains external antennas, you should ensure that they are pointing in the right direction to boost performance.
- Change the password of your SSID– You can change the admin settings of your router by typing your router’s IP address in a web browser. It is always good to modify the default password of your router.
- Update the firmware – It is always good to check whether a firmware update is available for your router. This helps to boost its performance.
- Set a Wi-Fi password – Most of the routers comes with security settings and a Wi-Fi password which you will be required to enter when you want to connect to the internet. It is always good to change the default password to ensure your network is safe and cannot be used by anyone else.
- Enable parental controls– If you have children, it is good to add restrictions on what they should do or the amount of time they spend on the internet. These features will block them from getting access to some websites and limit the number of hours they can devote to the net.
- Select the best network mode and the correct channel– This will help to access the fastest speeds. The default for most of the .4GHz is channel 6. Most of the modern routers can select the best channel automatically.
- Disable or enable guest browsing – Anyone who comes in your house will be required to enter the Wi-Fi password when using the internet. You can allow guest browsing for this reason.
Top 10 Best Wireless Routers Reviews
1. TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750)
This is an affordable dual band wireless router which delivers a very high-speed performance. It contains the next generation Wi-Fi standard known as the AC technology. It gives a combined wireless data transfer of up to 1.75Gbps. This router also provides two different speeds at 5 GHZ band. It gives you up to 1300 Mbps of wireless speed. At 2.4 GHz, it provides up to 450mbps of wireless speed.
If you are looking for a router that will allow you to play online games and stream HD media, this one can be the best for you. It contains a 5 Gigabit Ethernet port which transfers data 10 times faster than other ports. The antennas cover a wide area and also provides a reliable connection.
It comes with 4 USB ports located at the back; you can use them for connecting devices or printing. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
TP-Link Archer AC 1750 is one of the best wireless routers under $100.
It is one of the best and greatly favors people on a budget. You spend less for a quality router. Our No #1 Rank best wireless routers.
2. TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router (Archer C1200)
It offers a fast and reliable internet connection and is also able to reach 1.2Gbps of the available bandwidth. This router has a separate 5GHz and 2.4GHz which works together to ensure that media streaming and gaming sessions continue without interruptions. One of them tackles simple tasks such as browsing via smartphone while the other is capable of handling heavy tasks.
TP-Link AC 1200 comes with 4 USB ports which enable you to share files, media, and printers with other devices. It has four Gigabit Ethernet ports which provide speed ten times faster than other ports. This device also has IPv6 and a guest network which has a tether app which manages IOS and Android devices. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
- It has 4 USB ports for sharing files, media and printers.
- Supports the most recent 802.11ac technology.
- It has an IP-based bandwidth.
- It comes with a two-year warranty.
- Multi- language set up to assist you during installation.
- Allows Guest Network Access.
- WPS button.
- It has a 2-year warranty.
TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router is one of the best wireless routers.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)
It is one of the best wireless routers under $200 and has a beamforming that allows it to know the location of the connected devices. This helps to distribute signals towards the devices rather than distributing it in all directions. Netgear AC 1900 also has WPA2/WPA security and guest network support. A free URL is provided if you would like to set up a personal FTP server.
The four Gigabit Ethernet are connected by one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 and not a pair of USB 3.0 like the EA6900. This makes it be one of the fastest routers. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
In general, this is a superb router despite the cost. It is heavy, and performance may not be the best on the 2.4 GHz band, but despite this, it still stands to be one of the best wireless routers on the market today.
4. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router
ASUS RT-AC88U is one of the best wireless routers for gaming and streaming videos. It has a stylish, sleek appearance and contains red accents on the antennas. This router has a total of 8 Gigabit LAN ports which provides the high-speed internet with no performance issues. The Wi-Fi performance of this router on both 2.4 GHZ and 5.0 GHz remains fast and does not have any performance issues.
It is very easy to install due to its fantastic web interface. Once you have connected it to your computer, it will automatically launch and provide you with two options to install. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
This router is excellent choice despite the cost.
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router (R8000)
It is ideal for people who are interested in media streaming and online gaming. The router contains six antenna which provides fast data transfer of up to 3.2GBPS at 5GHz. The 2.4GHz is not the best, especially for gaming and media streaming. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
This one is a quality route and one of the best routers to buy in 2017. However, it ay not be ideal for people on a budget because it is a bit expensive.
6. Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source Wi-Fi Wireless Router
The 5 GHz band of this router offers a speed of 1300 Mbps, and the 2.5GHz has a speed of 600 Mbps. It has a color scheme mostly familiar with other Linksys and a classic design. You will need to create space for it because it is one of the largest routers in the market today.
It is one of the fastest routers in the market and has four antennas. The router is easy to set and has a lot of features. As compared to other routers, the NAS performance router is one of the best. This router also supports plug and play. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
Linksys AC 1900 router is an excellent choice except for some minor problems like the bulky design. The software may not be friendly especially for starters, but if you are looking for a quality router, this can be the best for you.
7. Securifi Almond – (3 Minute Setup) Touchscreen Wi-Fi Wireless Router
Unlike other routers, this one has a 2.8-inch touchscreen which enables you to adjust the settings. You do not require to use a computer to provide the IP address. It may not be user-friendly especially to people who have never used touchscreen features before. It does not have the 5GHz band and only works with the 2.4GHz band. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
Even if it has some limitations, Securifi Almond remains to be one of the best routers under $100. It is also easy to use and install which makes it ideal for everyone.
8. D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router With 6 High-Performance Beamforming Antennas (DIR-890L/R)
D-Link AC3200 is one of the best wireless routers under $200. It comes with six adjustable antennae and has a shiny red finish. You can use it to any gaming setup. If you are looking for a fast tri-band model, this can be the best for you. It may not be pocket-friendly especially to people on a budget
This router has a pyramid design and has a shiny red finish. It is one of the largest models and requires s lot of space. It has six indicators on top which displays the performance of the USB ports. It also has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back. You can also reset the passwords through the Wi-Fi Protected Setup(WPS). This router offers a speed of up to 3200 Mbps at 5GHz and 600mbps at 2.4GHz. It is easy to use, and you can operate it remotely through a smartphone. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
D-Link AC 3200 remains to be one of the best routers in 2017 despite its cost and size. It is ideal for anyone looking for a fast tri-band model.
9. D-Link Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (DIR-880L)
Unlike other D-Link routers which have a cylindrical shape, this one is square in shape. It comes with three detachable antennas found at the back. This makes it difficult to access the router’s ports which are also located at the back. The router should be kept on a flat surface, but you can also mount it on a wall.
It has four Gigabit LAN and a single Gigabit WAN to connect to internet devices such as modems. You can find LED lights which display the status of the ports at the front of this router. On the left is a 3.0 USB port, it also contains power port and a reset button. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
This is an excellent router for people searching for a quality router. It is one of the best wireless routers in 2017.
10. Apple 5th Gen AirPort Extreme Base Station (MD031LL/A)
It is one of the best wireless routers under $200 with a very high speed. This model has an unobtrusive design with a white housing. It has a hidden LED at the front which shows the connection status.
This router also contains a WAN port which enables to connect internet devices like modems. It also has three Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB port which allow you to connect external hard drives. >>> Click Here To See Full Specifications, Customer Reviews & Rating <<<
Unlike other routers, this one does not have a web-based setup wizard to assist you through the installation process.
This router can be the solution for people who experience network problems. It is also to set up.
Wrapping it up
That is all that you need to know about wireless routers. I hope the article has answered most of your questions regarding wireless routers. Have you learned something?
As we have seen, searching for the best wireless routers may not be an easy task due to the different brands available in the market today. With the above information, you it will now be very easy for you to select the best.
It may be hard to get a perfect device, and that is why each router has different features to fit the various demands of customers. You just need to go through the features and select the one you feel it’s the most ideal for you.