Best Wireless Routers 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Finding the best wireless router can be a tedious task if you have a pro gaming gang, large house, a big family (having a lot of gadgets), or you like to download a lot from the internet. We have tested several top wifi routers in 2019 and have come up with a list of top 10 wireless routers for your needs. You can read in depth wireless router reviews and buy the one which suits you the most. You can directly jump into the topic as per your need by clicking below:-

If you’re focus is more on performance and money is not your primary concern, our recommendation for best Wi-Fi router for 2019 is the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000). This dual band wireless router is stacked with great features, provides amazing performance (speed and range) and is powered by groundbreaking hardware. And, it’s available for less than $200!
On the other hand, if money is tight and you’re on a budget, we recommend the TP-LINK N300 (TL-WR841N). This router delivers exceptional wireless-n speed (up to 300mbps), is easy to manage and is ideal for large apartments or small offices.
If you are in a hurry (actually you should not be !!) and don’t want to read the in-depth reviews and buying guide, then you can check the table mentioned below which covers the top 10 best wireless routers for you.

Best Wireless Routers 2019

Device NameNetwork StandardData RateBands
TP-LINK N300 (TL-WR841N)Wireless – N300 mbpsSingle
Securifi AlmondWireless – N300 mbpsSingle
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900Wireless – AC1900 mbpsSingle
ASUS (RT-AC88U)Wireless – AC3167 mbpsDual
D-Link (DIR-890L/R)Wireless – AC3200 mbpsTri
ASUS RT-N66UWireless – AC900 mbpsDual
Linksys (WRT1900ACS)Wireless – AC1900 mbpsDual
ASUS RT-AC5300Wireless – AC5334 mbpsTri
Google Wifi SystemWireless – AC5334 MbpsDual
Apple AirPort Extreme Base StationWireless – AC1.3 GbpsDual
Now that you have already gone through the table and you have checked the top routers in our list, you can read in-depth reviews which will tell you why these routers are selected among several routers present in the market.

Best Wireless Router Reviews 2019

Before reviewing the products, we identified certain key parameters that are essential in contributing to the overall quality of each router we tested.

1. TP-LINK N300 (TL-WR841N) - Best Budget Wireless Router 2019

  • Network Standard: Wireless – N
  • Bands: Single
  • Wifi Speeds: Up to 300 Mbps
  • Antenna: 2 5dBi antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 4
  • USB Connections: None
  • Coverage Area:
  • Security: Easy WPA/WPA2 setup
  • Guest Networks: No Guest Network
  • MU-MIMO: No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: No
  • Installation: Quick & hassle free installation
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Over the short course of its company history, the TP-Link brand has become synonymous with providing quality networking devices and accessories. This industry giant has made its presence, and its brand quality is known in over 120 countries worldwide and had served millions of people across the globe.

If there is one company in the networking space that has the skill, expertise, and knowledge to offer a budget product wireless router that provides great value at the same time, it is TP-Link.

Why #1 Budget Router ??
We tested the TP-Link N300 in three different locations including a 500 sq ft studio apartment, a one bedroom apt (600 sq ft) and a small office space (800 sq ft). We spent a month in each location and adjusted the furniture to include several obstacles in the path of the router to test whether its throughput held up. This compact, single band, wireless-n router did not disappoint. Signal strength held up despite steel or concrete walls and was effective even at long distance.

If you’re working in small office space or sharing an apartment with a mate, at under 30$, this TP-Link N300 is perhaps the best budget wireless router in the market that provides superior Wireless-n speeds of up to 300mbps.

Top Benefits of TP-LINK N300 (TL-WR841N)

1. Superior Wireless/Wired Performance:-
This is TP-link wireless router far exceeds IEEE wireless-g network standard speeds and range. It offers close to 15X the bandwidth at 300mbps and 5X the range offered by 802.11g protocol routers.

As we have mentioned above, during our testing period we found that it delivered steady and consistent signal strength even at long distances where the user’s device was obstructed by a wall or some furniture. For a single band router operating on a 2.4GHz level, this best budget router offers an incredible video streaming and gaming experience.

The two 5dBi antennas broadcast Wi-Fi with robustness and stability. Also, there are 4 Lan Ethernet ports at the back, in case you wanted dedicated speeds with less lag. Also, this N300 router is also backward compatible with conventional wireless-g products, so in case you’re currently using any devices of this protocol, you will still receive superior Wi-Fi connectivity.

2. Effortless Management:-
The N300 offers easy management with IP-based QoS that allows you to prioritize and allot bandwidth to the different application, PCs, and devices according to your preferences. It also features parental controls, in case you want to limit or oversee your network’s access of your children or employees.

3. Easy Setup and Security:-
With the TP-Link N300 all, it takes to setup is to run the Easy setup assistant or to run the Quick Setup from your browser. Also, Wi-Fi connections can also be setup with the simple push of the WPS button. Even advanced (WPA/WPA2) encrypted security for your Wi-Fi network is easily available at the push of the WPS button which guarantees that your network remains free from intruders.

Pros

  • Superb wireless performance at a great value for small offices and medium sized apartments.
  • Setup is easy and quick.
  • Robust and Stable long distance signal at up to 300mbps speeds.
  • Advanced WPA2 encrypted security that is available at the push of a button.
  • Easy and efficient network management with IP based bandwidth control.

Cons

  • Single band radio frequency that is susceptible to signal congestion.
  • This router is limited to 100Mbps connections.
  • Not good for streaming several devices at the same time.
Verdict

This is the best budget wireless router for those looking to operate a handful of devices in a small office or large apartment. It comes with super easy installation, QoS, and advanced security to keep your network strong and safe. However, if you’re looking to stream or game on several devices at the same time, this is not the best wireless router for you.

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2. Securifi Almond - Best Router for the Money

  • Network Standard: Wireless – N
  • Bands: Single
  • Wifi Speeds: Upto 300 mbps
  • Antenna: 2 antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 2
  • USB Connections: None
  • Coverage Area: Range Extender
  • Security: WEP, WPA and WPA2
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): No Parental Controls & QoS
  • MU-MIMO: No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: No
  • Installation: 3 min Touchscreen Setup

Since their first product launch in 2012, Securifi has quickly become a customer favorite in the Wireless router space. They revolutionized the world of router design and applications with the first ever touchscreen router for which they have won critical acclaim from ‘PC mag’, ‘CNBC’ and the prestigious ‘New York Times’. The Almond, which is one of their first top wireless routers that started the revolution, has been successful at transforming the way in which users approach Wi-Fi setup, configuration, and maintenance.

Why #1 Best Router for the Money ??
We take nothing for granted with the products we review, so despite all the appreciation we saw for Securifi’s Almond online, we did what we do for all the products we suggest to our customers, we tested it for several months.

We found that among other things, not only did it live up to its reputation for having a sublimely intuitive touch screen but it also passed our test for being a multi-purpose gadget that can be used as a router, range extender, access point or wireless bridge.

We tested its range extending capability by placing the router at varying distances from the primary router in the house, including in the basement and it worked extremely well in broadcasting a reliable and robust signal for pads and laptops. We would highly the Almond to all homeowners looking for a budget router to use as their primary or as an extender that serves as a hassle-free device with easy setup.

Top Benefits of Securifi Almond

1. Intuitive Touch Screen and Range Extender:-
Unlike the plethora of routers on the market with elaborate setup and maintenance rituals, the Almond offers a unique and straightforward solution to users via its intuitive touch screen surface. All setup and configuration can be accessed directly from the touch screen on the router, so there is no need for cumbersome PC/Mac based 0073etup.

With the Almond, an instruction is given as soon as the router is powered on and from there it only takes a few quick steps to install and setup. All in all, it should take you under 5 minutes to get it all setup and ready to work! The other eye-catching aspect of this best wireless router for the money is its multi-purpose functionality. Not only does the Almond serve as a primary router, but it can also serve as an access point, range extender, or wireless bridge.

As we learned from our testing, this little router serves as a great range extender which is more than capable of boosting your Wi-Fi network over 100 feet. However, users should bear in mind when boosting over long distances that signal strength can be compromised if multiple devices are used at the same time.

2. Wireless-N Capabilities + Built-in Compatibility:-
Powerful, compact and sleek in design, the Almond offers wireless-N capabilities with bandwidth speed of up to 300mbps. As mentioned above, it works well as both a primary router and a range extender. However, it cannot serve as both at the same time, so users will have to decide whether to use it as their primary or to extend range.

If you decide to use it as a range extender, it is compatible with the majority of routers available on the market, including Apple, Netgear, Linksys, Cisco, Belkin, Dlink, Asus, Verizon, AT&T routers. Also, it is also compatible with any IPS modem, and any router in extender mode PC, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

3. Out of the Box Security:-
The Almond comes fully secure out of the factory. Each router is configured with a unique, random name SSID and password before it is shipped out for sale. In case you’re worried about location tracking the built-in default ‘nomap’ keeps the Almond hidden from Google’s Location tracking. And, also, it comes with WEP, WPA and WPA2 options right out of the box.

Pros

  • Revolutionary and Intuitive touch screen functionality
  • Quick and Easy Installation for non-nerds that takes under 5 minutes
  • Serves as a router, range extender, access point or wireless bridge
  • Powerful, compact and sleek
  • Comes with out of the box security
  • Offers great features at a great value
Cons

  • Single band router
  • Single strength gets sporadic over long distances.
  • Cannot support multiple devices at the same time.
  • No external antenna which compromises signal strength
  • Only 2 LAN Ethernet Ports, no USB ports
Verdict

Perhaps the easiest setup and maintenance compared to any router on the market for non-nerds. The Almond offers an extremely intuitive and easy to use touchscreen interface that allows for super quick installation.

It works well as a range extender and is perhaps the best wireless router for the money, however, if you’re looking to use solely as a router, there are more powerful options available on the market.

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3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) - Best Wifi Router for Home (under200$)

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Dual
  • Wifi Speeds: Upto 600 + 1300 mbps
  • Antenna – 3 antenna
  • Number of Lan Ports: 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports (1 WAN, 4 LAN)
  • USB Connections: 2 USB ports; 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Coverage Area: Superior coverage throughout very large homes
  • Security: High level wireless security with WPA/WPA2, Double firewall protection (SPI and NAT) Denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO: No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: Easy install with easy push button Wi-Fi connections (WPS)
NETGEAR has been in the business of providing a seamless online experience for the last decade, and they have gotten increasingly good at it. They are dedicated to providing the latest and fastest networking technology for the home and business.

Their best home routers are not only easy to use, but come outfitted with the most developed wireless connectivity, which allows for better streaming, remote monitoring, and storage while delivering the best speed, range and performance to convert your home into the smartest home on the block.

Why #1 Wireless Router For Home??
During our testing, we were convinced beyond a shadow of the doubt that the NETGEAR AC1900 (R7000) is indeed the Best Wi-Fi router for home. It is the second on the market to use the Broadcom BCM4709 Wi-Fi chipset, which utilizes ‘Turbo QAM’ technology to boost Wireless-N 2.4ghz speeds from 450mbps to 600mbps.

On the overall, when combined with Wireless-AC speeds of 1300mbps, this router delivers a total 1900mbps (theoretical limits). However, the AC1900 isn’t just content on competing; it wants to break limits and usher in the next level with a dual-core CPU that runs at 1000MHz (1 GHz), contains 128GB of flash memory, 256MB of DDR Ram and has a USB 3.0 port on the front.

Not only is this router stacked with a host of amazing features, but it was also designed with the single purpose of delivering the fastest, most robust and extensive Wi-Fi signal across the home.

Top Benefits of NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000)

1. Stellar Performance and Range (With Beamforming):-
If you’ve followed along thus far, you’re probably already privy to the fact that the Netgear AC1900 comes with a dual-core 1GHz processor, which is a one of a kind processor that delivers superior wireless and wired speeds with considerably reduced lag and less buffering.

Along with a remarkable processor, this router also offers the highest theoretical bandwidth at both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, which makes it only 1 of 3 in the market (the EA6900 and the RT-AC68U) to do so.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, the AC1900 also comes equipped with Beamforming + technology, which is an upgrade from regular beamforming technology that NETGEAR has built into its product to deliver an enhanced signal at the 5GHz band.

Did you Know?: Beamforming is a technology that enables a router to pick up on the locations of wireless devices to focus and boost the Wi-Fi signal in their specific direction rather than broadcasting it in all directions equally.
Coupled with the Broadcom chipset, a powerful processor, and heavy duty antennas, this Netgear router delivers a faster and more robust signal that any AC1750 router on the market.While this Netgear wireless router delivers good speeds at 2.4ghz at a considerable range, it starts to shine at the 5Ghz band. We tested it at 200 feet as well as upwards of 200ft with a few obstacles such as 1-2 walls in the path and found the signal strength to be consistent and strong even at this long range.

However, the signal does start to dwindle, especially more than 200ft and maintaining a Wi-Fi connection becomes difficult. Regardless, it is still one of the fastest and rangiest routers on the market.

2. Setup, Built-in VPN and More…
Although NETGEAR is some what old school in its installation approach and comes with a preset Wi-Fi network name and password stuck to its bottom, installation is still easy enough. The attached installation guide comes with precise and easy to follow instructions that take you through the steps needed to connect the device.

If for some reason you lose the imprinted password sets at the bottom, don’t worry, when you’re plugged in and access the browser for the first time from a connected device, you’ll be directed to NETGEAR’s online web interface: Genie. From here, you can see the same information and print it for future use. NERGEAR’s Genie interface is the hub from you can customize your router, monitor, connect and control your home network. It gives you access to your entire network and allows you to share videos and music, troubleshoots and repair pending network issues as well as set up parental controls, configure QoS and more.

If you prefer working from your phone, that’s fine too, just download the genie app, and you’re good to go. However, we recommend using the web interface, since it has more functionality built into it. Another feature that makes this Netgear wireless router stand out is its advanced QoS which lets you manage both upstream and downstream. With QoS you can allocate your bandwidth to applications that you prefer, giving them priority over others so that they receive a steady connection, thus allowing you to receive a seamless online experience.

You know you’re getting a good deal when the features just keep coming. We bet you never thought that you’d get a built VPN in your router. The AC1900 offers full blown VPN capabilities which are great for business and allows you to secure access to your home network when you’re away.

Finally, you have the ability to create a safe and secure network for your family and kids. Whether you’re looking to setup access for guests, keep an eye on what your kids are streaming with parental controls or prevent anyone from gaining access and snooping around in your personal files, the AC1900 does it all. Also, not only can you secure your network with by setting up WPA/WPA2, but you can also create a personal FTP server so that you can retrieve files saved on your computer from anywhere!

3. Share, Game, And Stream:-
Netgear’s USB performance is second to none, and with the AC1900 it annihilates its rivals offering superb storage. Forget Dropbox and GDrive, with NETGEAR’s ready CLOUD USB access; you can access and share your files stored on your USB when plugged into the router from anywhere in the house for free.

Along with sharing, this best wireless router under 200 also offers automatic PC and Mac backup to a USB connected to the router via ReadyShare Vault which is free to download.

With built-in capabilities such as wireless-ac speeds at a 5GHz radio frequency, along with Beamforming + and downstream QoS, you can enjoy uninterrupted gaming on your favorite console (Xbox or PS4), as well as unlimited HD streaming and media. Also, especially for PC gamers, NETGEAR offers NVIDIA GameStream for an even more enhanced gaming experience

Pros

  • Wireless-AC
  • 1 GHz dual core processor
  • Combined theoretical speeds of 1900 mbps
  • Dual band (2.5GHz and 5 GHz) operation at superior range throughout the home
  • Full Blown Built-in VPN
  • Incredible 3.0 USB storage and cloud sharing capabilities
  • Beamforming + for enhanced signal, advanced QoS to set priorities for upstream/downstream
  • WPA/WPA2 security levels with parental controls and guest network access
  • Create an FTP server to retrieve files saved on your computer from anywhere on the go.
  • Super Gaming and HD streaming experience
  • 100% faster Mobile speeds
Cons

  • Bulky Build
  • Slower speeds at 2.4Ghz and less range
  • Installation and setup can be a little too old school for some users
  • Settings take time to be implemented
Verdict

The NETGEAR AC 1900 is not just fast and rangy at both bands but comes with superior technology that promises to deliver an excellent home network. It comes with the ground breaking hardware and superior USB performance that takes home entertainment to a whole new level. Leaving aside it’s somewhat bulkier build and its old school installation, this wifi router is ideal for a large home with multiple users operating several different devices.

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4. The Asus RT- AC88U Wireless Router Review - Best Router for Gaming 2019

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Dual
  • Wifi Speeds: Upto 3167 mbps
  • Antenna – 4T4R (4 transmit 4 receive)
  • Number of Lan Ports: 8
  • USB Connections: 2
  • Coverage Area: 5000+
  • Security: Asus AiProtection for enhanced security
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO : Yes
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: intuitive web interface (ASUSWRT) 3 – Step installation
Asus is one of the most advanced and innovative companies in creating digital products. Asus is a popular choice for gamers and geeks as it manufactures the best gaming hardware. With that being said, Asus wireless routers are among the best gaming routers present in the industry.

In a recent survey conducted by the J.D. Power 2015 Wireless router satisfaction report, Asus earned the prestige of having the highest customer satisfaction with top wireless routers in the U.S. where 6 study factors were measured, including, Reliability, Security, Wifi range, capabilities, upload/download speed, ease of connection restoration and a variety of other features.

At the very top of the Asus, a fleet is the RT – AC88U. This Dual-band AC3100 wireless router is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it comes with 8 Gigabit LAN ports equipped with Asus-exclusive Ai protection that delivers higher speeds along with greater security so you can game faster, farther and safer. It offers great 2.4ghz coverage with a 4-transmit, 4 receive antenna design and greater speed at both 5GHz and 2.4GHz.

Why #1 Wirless Router for Gaming ??
After several hours of research, testing, and analysis, we recommend the Asus RT-AC88U for all you gamers out there.

During our three months-long testing period, we pitted this dual-band Asus wireless-ac router against 10 of the top wireless routers for gaming in the industry, and it did not disappoint on a single occasion.

With superior speed (combined 3167 Mbps), an inbuilt gaming accelerator that boosts connection and speed, cross-platform compatibility for all your gaming devices (PC’s and consoles alike) and the ability to dedicate full bandwidth while gaming, this RT AC88U is perfect for gaming anywhere in your home.

Top Benefits of The Asus RT- AC88U Wireless Router

1. Better Game Acceleration/8 Giga Lan ports:-
This Asus RT-AC88U is the best wireless router for gaming in the 2019 market for top wireless routers. Gaming acceleration is directly affected by ping time and stability which depend upon the route that gaming packets take when they exit your network. This Asus router is equipped with a WTFast client to access the GPN which ensures that the game packets take the route of a private network of game optimized servers that guarantee lower ping times and greater stability.

Another great attribute of this router than enhances gaming capabilities and one that we mentioned above, is its 8 gigabit LAN port functionality which is ideal for creating an uninterrupted gigabit connection for your gaming PC’s or set-top boxes as well as another device you may have.

In addition, this router offers a cumulative data rate of 3167 Mbps for extended coverage and smart connect which delivers a faster and more stable connection across any and all of your Wi-fi devices.

2. Inspiring Hardware Capabilities:-
This top-of-the-line wireless AC3100 router is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor. The processor has 512 MB of memory with a more than sufficient capacity to balance its dual-band network capability: 24GHz and 5GHz networks.Also, it’s 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports come with 2 Gbps link aggregation capability and USB 3.0 and 2.0 storage functionality.

As for speed, built-in 1024-QAM technology supports 80% greater speed at 5GHz up to 2100mbps and 66% faster speeds at 2.4GHz up to 1000mbps. Also, the tech and hardware support quicker USB transfers and faster upload/download router speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps.

3. Enhanced Coverage, Connection, and Security:-
Much like the winged horse in Greek mythology, Asus soars above industry standards to deliver revolutionary technologies that break boundaries and raises the bar for its competitors the world over. One such technology is the MU-MIMO which lends its dedicated full-speed Wifi-connection to every compatible device so that multiple device networks can connect simultaneously without any loss in speed.

Also, what this means is that MU-MIMO-compatible clients will pick up each other’s maximum speed instantaneously and connect at that higher speed. In addition to better connectivity, this top gaming router showcases a four-transmit, four-receive (4T4R) antenna design which maximizes Wifi range as well as signal strength and stability so that it reaches the far corners of your home.

Exactly how far you ask? With this router, Asus delivers its widest coverage of 5000 square feet along with 33% greater 2.4 GHz coverage. Now add AiRadar beamforming which further streamlines Wi-Fi signals to your devices, and you have greater reliability, stability, and speed in your connections. With greater reliability, stability, and speed, you also get enhanced security with ASUS AiProtection powered by Trend MicroTM.

To compensate for increases in online threats, and to curb their malicious effects, AiProtection debest budget router for gaminglivers multi-stage protection that involves vulnerability protection and malicious site blocking that restricts the transmission of personal data from infected devices, thus keeping your network healthy and safe.

Game faster, farther and safer with the Asus RT-AC88U router. This best budget router for gaming router supports the connection of up to 8 devices simultaneously and ensures that multiple devices can connect at the same time without any loss in speed (MU-MIMO technology). Also, with four transmit, 4 receive antenna design (4T4R), it provides the widest ever Wifi range (5000 sq ft.) regardless of the structure of your house or building.

Pros

  • Built-in game accelerator from WTFast that supports smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience
  • The router comes with 8 Gigabit LAN ports that allow for multiple devices to connect simultaneously.
  • An enhanced and intuitive web interface (ASUSWRT) which provides easy access to a 3 step web installation process as well as other advanced features.
  • Access to an incredibly wide Wifi range (5000 square feet) that is compatible with any building design or house structure
  • Access to incredibly fast (3167 Mbps) and secure (AiProtection) speeds
  • Enable Link Aggregation on your NAS and enjoy higher transfer periods.

Cons

  • The placing of the USB 3.0 isn’t the best we’ve seen.
  • A little on the expensive side.
Verdict

For above and beyond industry standard, hardware, coverage, connection, performance and installation, the Asus RT-AC88U wireless router is the crème de la crème of routers. Although, the price is a little higher on this wireless device, if you’re a gamer with a wide network, it’s well worth every penny.

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5. D-Link (DIR-890L/R) - Best Long Range Wireless Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Tri-Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Upto 3200 mbps
  • Antenna: 6 High Performance Antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 4
  • USB Connections: 1 USB 3.0 Port + 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Coverage Area: Longest range coverage powered by 6 high performance antennas
  • Security: Parental Controls, Secure Wi-Fi Encryption (WPA/WPA2) and more
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO : No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: Easy Setup and Installation, QRS app for Smartphones, WPS push button setup
Coming from humble beginnings in Taiwan over 25 years ago and being the first networking company to appear on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, D-link has grown into a global powerhouse that provides the very best in networking products and services.

D-link is continuously pushing the envelope and breaking new ground in networking technology. The AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi router is a remarkable example of their dedication to creating the highest quality networking products. This wireless router monster was awarded the best of the year 2015 Award by PC Mag and was their Editors Choice as well.

Why #1 Wifi Router for Long Range ??
We tested this D-Link AC3200 wireless router at a close range of 5-10ft, as well as a longer of 10m or 30ft within a home setting for a one-week stretch to gauge not only speed but also network stability. The results were nothing short of exceptional on both bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

On the 2.4GHz band at a distance of 5-10 ft, it clocked an impressive 95mbps (approx), and on the same band at 30ft it clocked an approximate 85mbps: both these speeds are the fastest we’ve seen so far from any router. On the 5GHz band in our wireless-ac test, this D-Link was even more impressive. At 5ft it delivered a whopping 600mbps, and at 30ft it clocked in at 390mbps.

Over the duration of our testing, we also noted outstanding stability in the network connection with speeds fluctuating only marginally.

Top Benefits of D-Link (DIR-890L/R)

1. Powerful Hardware, Performance, Coverage and Sci-Fi Esque Design:-
The first thing you’ll notice about this powerful router is its look. It looks more like an alien spaceship than a router, but it sure performs like it’s from a different dimension. Similar to the previous Netgear NightHawk, this long range router also boasts a 1 GHz dual-core processor as well as 2 USB ports: a 3.0 and a 2.0, both of which are on the front of the router.

However, unlike the previous router’s double band capability, this D-Link has a tri-band capability: one 2.4GHz for wireless-n clients and two 5GHz bands for wireless-ac clients. Combining these limits, the router delivers 3200mbps speeds.Although this router does offer three different bands, this feature is only useful when multiple clients use the network at the same time.

You may be wondering what the point of mentioning a 3200mbps speed is if it isn’t intended to serve as the potential speed (throughput) for a single device. You should know that the 3200mbps speed is an aggregate of 3 different band speeds (600n+1300a+1300a). This setup becomes especially useful when there are several devices connected to the network.

With three different bands to choose from, at any given time even 10-15 devices can function smoothly when connected to this router. Add in Smart Connect and Beamforming technology and your Wi-Fi gets that much more effective and smooth.

Smart Connect technology is great because it can read any device on your network and match it with the best and clearest band that your device would benefit the most from. So, if it’s a device with wireless-ac status, it’ll match it to any one of 5 GHz bands (depending on traffic) so that it receives the better connection and doesn’t adversely affect the other bands.

On top of this, the D-Link AC3200 also offers smart beamforming ensuring that your devices get focused and streamlined Wi-Fi connectivity for an even more enhanced experience.

2. Setup and QoS:-
The all new D-Link user interface isn’t just good to look at, but also offers easy navigation and usability. Along with the user interface, D-Link also revamped the setup process which now only takes three simple steps to get connected. When you log onto the user interface, you’ll be met with a simple home page which displays options for ‘internet,’ ‘USB device,’ ‘Router Name,’ ‘Connected Clients’ as well as default gateway information.

When you click on ‘internet,’ you’ll be able to see all your internet settings as well as tell whether or not you’re connected. As we said earlier, connecting is easy and only requires three steps to complete. Once you’re connected, you’ll be able to see all devices (wired or unwired) that are attached to your network, and you can rename them so that you don’t get confused.

If you want to regulate the overall quality of your Wi-Fi network, you can dig down into the QoS Engine Tab where you’ll see a priority chart listed in three sections: Highest, High, and Medium. Here you can easily allocate your internet connection and set priorities by simply dragging and dropping your connected devices from a scrollable row above the chart.

If it’s your media and streaming devices that you want in the highest priority, simply drag them there or select your gaming devices from the chart if that’s what you wish to set the highest priority for.

3. Enhanced Coverage, Connection, and Security:-
D-Link offers a free Shareport app to share and stream pictures, videos, and other media to your mobile devices. Plug in a USB hard drive into the 3.0 port in the front and enjoy sharing and streaming your videos with your friends.

Like the previous router, this AC3200 also offers an amazing gaming experience. Smart connect, smart beamforming and smart QoS allows helps deliver a strong and steady signal at long ranges so you can game from anywhere in the house without interruption.

Pros

  • Wireless-ac
  • Tri-band connectivity
  • Combined bandwidth of 3200mbps
  • 6 High powered antenna for extended coverage
  • Super fast speeds at both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands over 30ft to 100ft
  • Smart connect and Smart Beamforming technology create a more enhanced Wi-Fi experience
  • New User Interface that’s easy on the eyes as well as easy to use
  • Quick and easy setup and installation
  • Superior security with easy access to parental controls, guest networks and overall easy management
  • User-friendly QoS

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large size and bulky
  • Overkill for most clients
Verdict

The D-Link AC3200 wireless router stands apart, not only in design but in features as well as performance. This wifi router with the best range delivers great speeds at long ranges while providing a stable and reliable network connection. Owing to its tri-band capability, you can have multiple users access your network at the same time without worrying about a lagging connection.

On top of all this, you can add great features and a user-friendly interface from which to manage your router and you network. The only pain point in our opinion is the price which is asking a little too much from most users to use tri-band functionality often.

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6. ASUS RT-N66U - Best Dual Band Wifi Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Dual Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Upto 900mbps
  • Antenna: 3 High Performance detachable Antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 5 (4 Lan, 1 Wan)
  • USB Connections: 2
  • Coverage Area: Upto 300ft
  • Security: Parental Controls, Secure Wi-Fi Encryption (WPA/WPA2) and more
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO : No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: ASUSWRT Dashboard UI for Easy Setup, Signal Monitoring, and Network Application Control
The ASUS RT-N66U is yet another powerful device from ASUS. It is has a sleek design with three detachable antennas, 5-gigabit Ethernet ports (4 LAN + 1 WAN), 2 USB ports. It can easily be placed on a flat surface or mounted on the wall. Along with a sleek design, this dual band wireless router offers impeccable speeds at both concurrent bands (2.4 GHz and 5GHz) and excellent coverage (well over 200 ft) as our testing has indicated.

Top Benefits of ASUS RT-N66U

1. Incredible Performance:-
This ASUS dual band wireless router functions extremely well on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It delivers a combined speed of 900mbps across both bands with stability and consistency.

Under the 2.4GHz band, users can perform lower bandwidth tasks such as browse the web, stream smaller videos or download files with relative ease, while streaming HD videos, gaming, performing USB file sharing or USB connected printer sharing under the higher 5GHz band with negligible interruptions in the signal.

To strengthen connections further and enhance Wi-Fi connectivity, this wireless router utilizes ASUS AiRadar which works much in the same way as beamforming technology. Through the agency of high-powered amplification and focused beam packages, it broadcasts concentrated and optimized signals in the direction of your wireless devices which results in better coverage and greater signal integrity.

2. Smart and Easy Setup + Cloud Storage :-
Asus is perpetually looking to make things easier for their clients. A good example is their new Smart auto-detection design which allows users to complete setup in just 30 seconds! This transforms the entire setup experience, since most routers still live in the dark ages as far as setup is concerned, requiring their clients to partake in lengthy, archaic installation protocols.

What’s more, once you power on the router and connect it, you can setup your network through a tablet, mobile or PC (any Wi-Fi enabled device). Upon opening a browser on your device, you’ll be directed to a setup page where you enter the ID/password given to you by your ISP, and you’re done.

Management is as easy as setup with the ASUSWRT Dashboard UI which an incredibly intuitive graphical interface from where you can monitor and control all your network applications. From here you can manage the quality of your network (QoS), setup up parental controls, share your connection with guests via ASUS guest network (up to 3 separate guest networks with passwords), access Download master (which lets you download and play media files stored on a USB drive attached to your router) and do a whole lot more.

With the ASUS AiCloud app for Android/iOS smartphones as well as any web browser to access a cloud USB device connected to your router. The benefit of this is that you can share, edit and download any all media files with your friends and family from wherever you are.

Pros

  • Wireless-N up to 900 mbps
  • 3 antennas
  • Coverage up to 300ft
  • Asus Airadar with beamforming for enhanced signal strength
  • Parental controls, guest network access and superior security encryption (WPA/WPA2)
  • Good QoS
  • ASUSWRT Dashboard UI for Easy Setup
  • Amazing cloud storage via USB dongle

Cons

  • The router’s USB ports lack support for the latest USB 3.0 standard which more powerful than the 2.0.
Verdict

The Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight Double 450Mbps N Router showcases great design and can create a solid network for your home and smaller-offices. At a reasonable price, this best dual band router offers good performance and great features that are guaranteed to satisfy the majority of users.

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7. Linksys (WRT1900ACS) - Best 802.11ac Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Dual Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Up to 1900mbps
  • Antenna: 4 Dual band detachable Antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • USB Connections: 1 USB 3.0 + 1 combo port that can accommodate both eSATA or USB 2.0
  • Coverage Area: Very Large Homes
  • Security: Advanced wireless security with WPA/WPA2 encryption
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO : No
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: Quick and Easy Setup with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi
Linksys is one of three brands that belongs to the Belkin International family. Belkin at large is driven by the passion for solving customer needs. They create technologies that enhance our lives and help us connect to people and experiences in a more holistic way.

Its sub-brand, Linksys, has delivered top notch wireless connectivity to the world for the past several years and continues to make groundbreaking contributions to the world of Wireless connectivity. The Linksys WRT1900ACS wireless router comes with powerful hardware (1.6 GHz dual core processor/ 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 128MB of flash memory) and provides excellent wireless-AC performance, which is why it is our best 802.11ac router. This dual band phenom offers great throughput at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, offering a combined bandwidth of 19000mbps.

Top Benefits of Linksys (WRT1900ACS)

1. Excellent Wireless-AC Performance:-
The WRT1900ACS provides perhaps the best wireless-ac performance we’ve seen so far. Under both bands (2.4 and 5 GHz), it delivers great speeds with a consistent connection, but it shines at the 5GHz band at close distances (3m) as well as longer distances (7-10m). Along with great speeds, it covers long ranges comfortably, whether there are obstacles in the path or you’re up /down another floor and provides high stability. Although it doesn’t have MU-MIMO,

Along with great speeds, this Linksys wireless router covers long ranges comfortably, whether there are obstacles in the path or you’re up /down another floor and provides high stability. Although it doesn’t have MU-MIMO, in-built beamforming technology strengthens Wi-Fi connectivity and directs it towards your connected devices instead of throwing it out in all directions. Coupled with powerful wireless-AC and beamforming, even if you have several devices vying for connection simultaneously, this router is more than capable of satisfying them without lag.

2. Great Features including Open VPN :-
Via the powerful UI and the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app, users have the ability to manage and control their network connection from anywhere at anytime. Manage and set parental controls to keep an eye on what your kids stream by restricting access to inappropriate content, block certain devices from accessing the internet etc; grant access to over 50 guests by creating a separate password protected network and prioritize your internet connection to devices or applications that you prefer to give the most network weightage to. Looking to send and stream large media files across your network, plug in a USB dongle or use a SATA

Looking to send and stream large media files across your network, plug in a USB dongle or use a SATA storage in the Esata port. Also, you can change the default setting that gives all connected clients access to the storage device by turning on secure sharing by user accounts.

The only negative is that Mac’s won’t be able to use the connected device as a time machine backup. This Linksys wireless router also features open VPN. This function helps remote users connect securely and can be especially useful for business purposes where remote and in-room users can connect as though they were in the same space.

Pros

  • The best Wireless-AC performance and speeds
  • 6 GHz dual core ARM-based processor easily handles several data streams simultaneously
  • Four external antennas provide greater coverage across large homes
  • Beamforming enhances signal strength and focuses the Wi-Fi signal directly on connected devices
  • Installation and setup is quick and easy with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi App
  • Advanced security encryption (WPA/WPA2)
  • 1 USB 3.0 port for more powerful and 1 combo port that supports both eSata and USB 2.0 capabilities
  • Powerful UI
  • OpenWRT Support

Cons

  • Hefty and Bulky design
  • No Time machine backups for Mac Users
  • No MU-MIMO for dedicated Wi-Fi connections
Verdict

The Linksys WRT1900ACS is the best 802.11ac router in the market as it stands today. It comes with powerful hardware, great features, quick setup and a robust UI for easy management. If you’re looking for great dual-band speeds and coverage under 200$ this router is a great option.

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8. ASUS RT-AC5300 - Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC 4×4 Technology
  • Bands: Tri-Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Up to 5334Mbps
  • Antenna: 4t4R Antenna Design
  • Number of Lan Ports: 4 Gigabit LAN + 1 WAN
  • USB Connections: 1 USB 3.0 + 1 USB 2.0
  • Coverage Area: Up to 5000 sq. ft
  • Security: AiProtection Powered by Trend Micro provides multi-stage protection
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Yes
  • MU-MIMO : Yes
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: ASUSWRT UI enables easy 3 step installation
Think you’ve seen it all? Enter the monster router from Asus, the RT-AC5300. This beast isn’t just intimidating to look at; it’ll swallow all your connected devices and still have room for more. Although some may say its overkill, if you have the need and demand for connecting a large number of devices simultaneously, this top tri-band router can more than satisfy your network needs.

This ASUS wireless router is big, bulky and full of potential. It operates on three distinct Wi-Fi bands: 2.4GHz, and two 5GHz bands and offers a combined data rate of 5300Mbps at any time. Along with incredible speeds, it also delivers equally incredible range, courtesy of its eight antennas that function as a 4T4R system to deliver up to 5000 sq. Ft of steady Wi-Fi coverage.

Top Benefits of ASUS RT-AC5300

1.Monster Performance from a Monster Router:-
We’ve already mentioned the combined data rate (5300Mbps) and coverage (5000 sq. ft) that this router offers, but we’re yet to tell what makes this router special. This best tri-band router comes with Tri-band Smart Connect, AiRadar Beamforming, and revolutionary MU-MIMO technology that transform the overall quality of your network manifold.

Tri-band Smart Connect is great because it assigns each of your connected devices to the least congested band. It’s one thing to have tri-band capability that offers devices with varying protocols (wireless- b,g,n, ac) the option of better connection, but it’s quite exemplary to have your router pick and choose which of your devices deserve a higher band and then assign them to that band thus improving the overall quality of your network.

Subsequently, AiRadar helps to streamline your Wi-Fi signal directing it your connected devices, instead of throwing it out in all directions, so your devices can benefit from a stronger connection.

Finally, MU-MIMO technology seals the deal by providing a dedicated connection to each of your devices, which helps several devices connect simultaneously in a manner that doesn’t affect the overall speed of your network.

MU-MIMO vs. Single-User MIMO: SU-MIMO tech routers could only talk or communicate with a single device at a time, even though it might’ve seemed contrary to the fact. With MU-MIMO, a router can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously without any lag or interference. In short, it’s as if each device has its unique router.

2. Superior Gaming, Streaming:-
The immense capabilities of this monster router allow for extreme Gaming and Streaming. Also, to Adaptive QoS which enables users to assign priorities to game packets as well as full dedicated bandwidth under solo mode, the RT-5300AC also contains a built-in game accelerator that chooses the quickest router for gaming packet, thus resulting in less lag and ping time. In addition, it also provides full bandwidth and coverage across all your gaming platforms, from PCs to mobiles.

Pros

  • Incredible Tri-band capability
  • A combined data rate of 5300Mbps across 5000 sq. ft
  • MU-MIMO enabled technology provides dedicated bandwidth to each device
  • AiRadar and Beamforming further enhance overall network quality
  • Adaptive QoS and a built-in game accelerator allows for an enhanced gaming experience and unlimited 4k streaming
  • ASUSWRT allows for easy management of your Wi-Fi network
  • Enabled link aggregation doubles wired transmission speed by 2

Cons

  • Overkill for most Users
  • Big and bulky build
  • Limited ethernet ports for such a robust wireless router
  • Expensive
Verdict

For frequent gamers and users who frequently use several devices simultaneously to stream 4k video, this best tri-band router delivers incredible speeds at both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz throughout the width and breadth of your home. Over and above this, it also provides the most dedicated signal strength and stability you will get from any router in the market since it has MU-MIMO capability built into it. However, this is a premium router for folks who have an extremely high bandwidth demand and would be overkill for the average user.

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9. Google Wifi System - Best Mesh Wifi Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 Wifi
  • Bands: Dual-Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Up to 5334Mbps
  • Antenna: 4t4R Antenna Design
  • Number of Lan Ports: 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • USB Connections: No USB
  • Coverage Area: 1200 sq. ft per point (Set of 3 covers: 4500 sq. ft)
  • Security: WPA2
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): Via Companion App
  • Network Assist: Clearest channel and fastest band
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: Uber easy installation via Google Wifi App
While a top-of-the-line wireless router can deliver strong speeds and sufficient coverage, if you live in a large home (>4000 sq ft) and use multiple smart home devices, the traditional router + Wifi extender setup will most likely fall short.

Both range extenders and access points serve as fillers and only deliver a small part of the bandwidth of your main router. Add-in thick walls, furniture and other obstacles and your Wifi signal is cut short dramatically leaving you with only a few dedicated spots to enjoy your internet access.

A Wifi System or mesh Wifi such as the Google Wifi System, on the other hand, consists of multiple components or nodes that can be placed throughout the house. Unlike range extenders that communicate directly with the router, the nodes in a Wifi system communicate with one another and bounce the signal of each other which helps them deliver a strong signal regardless of their distance from the main router.

The Google Wifi is a look at the future of in-home internet connectivity. This Wifi System is designed to deliver coverage to your entire home, regardless of its shape or size and it is hands-down, one of the easiest router systems to setup and manage. Also, not only does Google’s 3 unit mesh Wifi system cost less than all its competitors, its units are sleek, compact and uniquely designed to blend into the surroundings in your home. Take a closer look at the top benefits of using Google’s Wifi System below:

Top Benefits of Google Wifi System

1. Setup, Design & Management:-
Unlike the Netgear Orbi or the Linksys Velop, Google Wifi has the sleekest looking units on the market. The round nodal units are compact and feature a single LED light which separates the top half from the bottom half.

These units are inconspicuous enough to be placed anywhere in your home and blend in seamlessly into the surroundings. The bottom side of each unit features three ports: two for Ethernet and the one for WAN. There is no provision for a USB port for the time being.

One of the best aspects of this mesh Wifi system is its setup. Google’s new companion Wifi app for iOS and Android walks you through the entire setup process within minutes. The setup includes establishing a network, naming and securing it as well as strategically placing the units in your house to maximize data coverage and connectivity.

Additionally, the app also allows you to control, manage and monitor a host of different things. For instance, you can monitor your entire network and check the strength of the signal from each unit as well as the network speed from your ISP via a speed test which is similar to an online speed test.

Also, with the help of Google’s Network Assist, you can run diagnostics to check the health of your internet connection as well as learn how to maximize your connectivity by placing your units in ideal formation throughout your home. Looking to create a guest network and prioritize your bandwidth? Google Wifi lets you view the number of devices connected to your network, set priorities as well as pause Wi-Fi access to any device of your choosing and the best part is that you can manage your entire network from anywhere.

Scheduled Pause: While the ability to you ‘pause’ your internet has been available for some time now, Google has rescued it from the depths of complicated administration and made it simple and easy to access. You can customize a pause to start and end at any time of your choosing and apply it to as many devices you choose. As you can imagine enabling internet downtime for your kids or yourself before bed can prove to be hugely beneficial regarding getting a good night’s rest as well as inculcating good sleeping habits.

2. Performance & Coverage:-
As we’ve already mentioned, setting up Google Wifi is extremely simple and you can have your entire wifi system setup in under 15 minutes without any understanding of technical network lingo. Once setup, Google Wifi quickly establishes its presence and your devices can connect to the nearest network point to get the most out of your internet bandwidth.

And, through the Wifi app, you can check at a glance which devices are connected to which network points however you cannot assign devices to different points via the app. But, you need not worry since Google’s built-in Network Assist feature prioritizes traffic and automatically assigns devices to different network points or channels depending on the level of congestion. However, one drawback of Google Wifi is that unlike the Netgear Orbit which has a tri-band system, Google only operates over the standard 2.4

Once setup, Google Wifi quickly establishes its presence and your devices can connect to the nearest network point to get the most out of your internet bandwidth. And, through the Wifi app, you can check at a glance which devices are connected to which network points however you cannot assign devices to different points via the app.

However, one drawback of Google Wifi is that unlike the Netgear Orbit which has a tri-band system, Google only operates over the standard 2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz channels which do limit its performance from time to time. Another great advantage of Google Wifi is its self-repair capability which kicks in when the network is compromised and any one of the network points are accidentally tripped or unplugged.

During our testing, we found that Google Wifi was able to get the most out of our 250Mbps internet service and deliver good performance even in our basement as well as up to 100 Mbps in the bedroom farthest from any network point. This is pretty impressive considering we live in a house that borders on the 5000 sq ft mark! In comparison to the both Netgear’s Orbi and the Eero, Google Wifi does lack in throughput, however, the difference in performance is more than compensated for by its coverage and its price.

Pros

  • Sleek and attractive design
  • Extremely easy to setup and manage, takes less than 10 minutes to setup
  • Excellent coverage; in excess of 4500 sq ft with 3 units
  • Easy to navigate intuitive mobile app lets you remotely manage your entire network
  • Great value

Cons

  • Limited channels, dual band system
  • Limited throughput due to lower AC output (1200)
  • Limited control over hardware settings
Verdict

Google Wifi does have its drawbacks regarding overall throughput, it certainly delivers on ease of use, management, design and coverage. And even though the competition can match Google Wifi’s coverage in terms of square footage its modest 3 unit setup covers even the hardest spots regardless of the shape or size of your house.

Finally, when you factor in its affordable package that offers more network units than all its competitors (3 as opposed to 2) along with its easy setup and management, you get a neat network solution that delivers good performance and solid coverage.

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10. Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station - Expensive and Elegant Looking Router

  • Network Standard: Wireless-AC
  • Bands:Dual-Band
  • Wifi Speeds: Up to 1.3 Gbps (ac) + 450 mbps (n)
  • Antenna: 6 Antennas
  • Number of Lan Ports: 3 Gigabit LAN + 1 WAN
  • USB Connections: 1 USB 2.0
  • Coverage Area: Up to
  • Security:WPA/WPA2
  • Guest Networks, Parental Controls & QoS (Quality of Service): No
  • MU-MIMO : Yes
  • Wireless Signals and Beamforming: Yes
  • Installation: Via Apple Airport Utility Software
Apple was a pioneer in Wi-Fi technology, the first company to bring the freedom of viable wireless connectivity to computers in 1999. Since that time the base station has evolved from circular UFO shape, to flat white square pancake, to this new tower-block form that was released last year. It joined the MacBook Air as the first 11ac wireless products from Apple.

Top Benefits of Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

1. Design & Setup:-
The new Apple Airport Extreme router is considerably slimmer than its predecessor. It has a footprint that is 64% smaller than the previous installment, and it weighs only 2.08 lbs. On the front side of its smooth white exterior, there is a single LED light that flashes green when things are kosher and orange when even the slightest error is detected in transmission. The posterior side of the Apple Extreme features 3 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, 1 USB 2.0 port and mains cable inlet, which is a matching white cable that Apple provides in the package. Unlike most other bulky, box-shaped routers that need to be hidden from sight, the Apple Extreme fits in perfectly into the surroundings. In keeping with Apple’s famous aesthetic, the Airport Extreme Base Station is built to cater to both form and function. Its power supply is mounted inside to keep things neat and to avoid the clutter caused by annoying wires. Additionally, the Apple Extreme has six

The posterior side of the Apple Extreme features 3 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, 1 USB 2.0 port and mains cable inlet, which is a matching white cable that Apple provides in the package. Unlike most other bulky, box-shaped routers that need to be hidden from sight, the Apple Extreme fits in perfectly into the surroundings. In keeping with Apple’s famous aesthetic, the Airport Extreme Base Station is built to cater to both form and function. Its power supply is mounted inside to keep things neat and to avoid the clutter caused by annoying wires. Additionally, the Apple Extreme has six

In keeping with Apple’s famous aesthetic, the Airport Extreme Base Station is built to cater to both form and function. Its power supply is mounted inside to keep things neat and to avoid the clutter caused by annoying wires.

Additionally, the Apple Extreme has six in-built antennae placed just below the top of the router: 3 for each band of wireless transmission. Unless you’ve owned an Apple Airport device before, the set up might throw you off a little bit, but it’s nothing to worry about. While most other top wireless routers can be configured via a web browser, Apple Airport routers can only be configured through Apple Airport Utility Software.

This software is easily accessible and can be downloaded for free from a Mac device. Once you access Airport Utility, you’ll find that Apple Extreme comes pre-configured with an SSID so you can connect to the base station instantly. Airport Utility gives you access to perform some basic customization on your wireless network. For instance, you can setup separate SSID’s for different bands through WPA2 security, enable Mac filtering based on Mac address, setup a firewall that will safeguard your home network and more. You also get access to WPA/WPA2 security, VPN passthrough, port forwarding, IPv6 and other common router features. However, if you’re looking for more advanced control and customization such as QoS, Parental control, and web filtering based on keyword, website or specific web services, the Apple Extreme doesn’t fit the bill.

2. Performance:-
The Apple Airport Extreme is a classic dual band router that is capable of the broadcasting wireless signal over the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz band. It operates on both wireless-ac and wireless-n network standards. And, although the Apple Extreme is advertised to achieve speeds of up to 1.3Gbps when paired with wireless-ac clients and up to 450 Mbps with wireless-n clients, these speeds only represent theoretical limits and should not be taken at face value.

During our testing, we found that when paired with wireless-ac clients, the Airport Extreme delivered an average of 279mbps across 10-15m, which is pretty impressive, but these speed tapered off over longer distances of up to 30- 40m where we found it scored an average of 198mbps.

Although these 3 figures average speeds are good, they’re not nearly as impressive as those delivered by other top tier wireless-ac routers on the market. However, in wireless-n mode, the Apple Extreme was plenty impressive, scoring speeds both over short and long ranges that easily warrant its mention in the top 5 of the fastest routers in the market.

It averaged speeds up to 200mbps over short distances and up to 140mbps over a longer range on the 5GHz band when paired with wireless-n clients. As for range, the Apple Extreme delivered a maximum range of 250 ft during our testing, beyond which the signal strength diminished significantly and was only barely sufficient for light browsing and surfing.

However, within 250ft, the signal is not only consistent but also extremely focused due to the built-in beamforming technology which streamlines the signal to any and all visible wireless clients. The Airport Extreme’s performance does satisfy most needs, however, if you’re a gaming buff or if you have multiple users streaming simultaneously, you would probably benefit from another top of the line router such as the Asus RT AC88U router.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Good throughput and consistent connectivity

Cons

  • No support for Time Machine backup or media streaming
  • No USB 3.0 port
  • Poor customization and low storage space
  • No Airplay support
Verdict

The new Apple Airport Extreme base station is a significant upgrade from its pancake shaped predecessor. This newer version is slim, tall, elegant and packs quite the punch in terms of performance.

However, the absence of time machine backup and the superior customization features, including QoS and parental make it better suited to the novice user as opposed to someone looking to get the best bang for their buck. All in all, the Extreme is a fast and reliable router for a user with basic router needs that sports a classic apple design.

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Best Wireless Routers 2019 - Buying Guide

As we’ve mentioned above, the wireless router is the broadcast beacon of your home's internet connection which ensures that all your devices enjoy a steady Wi-Fi connection without any glitches. However, the strength and consistency with which your myriad devices receive Wi-Fi connectivity throughout your home depend on the capabilities of the Wi-Fi router you choose.

There are several factors that influence a router’s performance, from the built-in wireless network standard, number of bands, bandwidth capabilities, coverage area, security, and parental controls to the number of Lan ports and USB connections as well as other special features available on board.

In the following guide, we will give you a comprehensive overview of all the important features that you need to consider while choosing the best wireless router from our list of the top wireless router reviews.

While not everyone needs a top-rated wireless router that delivers the best performance along with great features that you may never use, if you have a relatively large family with kids playing video games upstairs while you watch the latest Netflix on the living room couch, the quality of router you choose will go a long way in keeping your family happy and entertained.

1. Networking Standards

The type of router you use can very literally impact the transmission of your internet speed, which is why it's important to know and understand the different wireless networking standards and the upgrades that have been made in recent history.

That strange number you see in the router specifications that reads ‘802.11’ simply signifies the protocols that Wireless networks use for data transmission. This number is also accompanied by an alphabet, as in -802.11g, 802.11n or 802.11ac. These numbers represent wireless networking standards that dictate router capacities regarding maximum speed and transmission capabilities.

Wireless-b, g and n:-
Router speeds have seen considerable improvements since the time they first entered the market. While the earlier 802.11b and 802.11g standards were limited to 11 and 54mbps data rates and only operated in the 2.4ghz band, the later 802.11n updated data rates almost ten-fold to 600 Mbps and operated in both the 2.4ghz and the 5ghz band.

The newest network standard 802.11AC has further exponentially increased data transmissions by 3x to 1200-5300 Mbps. However, upgrades in networking standards aren’t only limited to improvements in speed but also in transmission.

Apart from increasing data transmissions rates, the 802.11n network standard also uses multiple input multiple output technologies (MIMO) which enhance the strength of a signal through the use of several antennae to send and receive data streams.

The standard 802.11n is the most widely accepted network standard today and most of the today’s computers, phones, and other devices use 802.11n.

Wireless-AC:-
However, the latest wireless-AC is also backward compatible so that you can buy an AC compatible device, and it’ll work just fine with your existing wireless-b,g, or n router. Likewise, all you existing devices will work just fine with a wireless-ac router if you choose to upgrade.

The catch, however, is that to fully enjoy the benefits of a Wireless-AC router, you’ll need to use AC devices as well. The greatest benefits of Wireless-AC routers, aside from the vast improvements in speed, is the range on offer as well as the use of beamforming. Wireless-AC routers thrive in the 5GHz range which receives much less interference from neighboring Wi-fi signals so that you can work with a more steady connection. But, perhaps the greatest benefit it offers is the use of beamforming technology which beams (focuses) the Wi-Fi signal directly to the device instead of throwing it out in all directions.

Wireless-N vs. Wireless-AC:-
If you live in a small flat by yourself or you share it with a mate or two, and you only have a handful of devices that require connectivity, then you probably don’t need wireless-AC functionality. Wireless-n is good for you. However, if you live in a large home with multiple family members (users) and you have several devices working simultaneously on most occasions, Wireless-AC routers have a lot to offer.

2. Wi-Fi Speed & Range

Speed As we mentioned above wireless router speeds has increased exponentially since they were first introduced in the market. The Latest Wireless-AC routers are nearly 3x faster than the Wireless-n routers that have bandwidth capabilities of up to 600mbps. So, for all you gamers and Netflix buffs, wireless-as is your best bet.

Caveat 1:-
Never take the speed limits mentioned by manufacturers literally and remember that the numbers only indicate theoretical bandwidth limits. Although speeds as high 1800 to 2000MB/sec may be reached in ideal settings, such bandwidth speeds are rarely ever achieved in the real world where any number of blockages such as doors, walls, and furniture separate the router from a user’s device.
Caveat 2:-
The best wireless routers 2019 can at best only enhances your Wi-Fi connectivity, but it does very little to increase your internet speed. Where it will undoubtedly help is by improving your signal distance, which brings us to Wi-Fi range.
Range: A Top ten wireless router can enhance signal distance and strength pretty significantly. A routers range is affected by its wireless network standard, the number of radio bands it operates on, the number of antennas it has, the communication technology it uses (MU-MIMO vs. SU-MIMO) as well as other factors. In short, though, if you’re looking to get enhanced signal distance and strength across your home, right off the bat you consider a

In short, if you’re looking to get enhanced signal distance and strength across your home, right off the bat you consider a Wireless-AC router. If that is out of the budget, then wireless-n is your next best bet.

3. Bands –Single, Dual and Tri-band

The number and type of radio bands that your router has access to also has a huge impact on the strength of Wi-Fi connectivity you enjoy. There are two types of radio band frequencies that router can access: 24.GHz and 5Ghz. Most of the earlier models, as well as some today, can only broadcast over a single radio band.

These routers mostly communicate over the 2.4Ghz band and commonly cost much less than their counterparts that can operate across both 2.4 and five frequency bands. The reason being that the 2.4Ghz frequency band is easily congested since traffic is high because several household appliances such as Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens, and even phones operate on this frequency band.

If you have a setup where multiple users working on separate devices simultaneously while gaming or streaming a movie, you’re better off using a dual-band wireless router. These routers can operate on both 2.4ghz and 5ghz at the same time, and they allow you to assign a band to any particular application or user.

The 5Ghz band is much less congested since most devices operate on 2.4ghz, which makes it ideal for gaming or streaming. Live in a house flooded with multiple members streaming, gaming and torrent downloading? Try the newer tri-band routers such as the D-Link (DIR-890L/R). These routers operate on three radio bands – one 2.4Ghz and two 5Ghz bands.

4. MU-MIMO

Before, even with SU-MIMO tech routers could only talk or communicate with a single device at a time, even though it might’ve seemed contrary to the fact. While you might have been streaming a video online at the same time you’re brother played a game on another device, your router still only sent data to a single device at a time albeit pretty quickly depending on the number of antennas it had. However, MU-MIMO completely transformed how routers communicate with multiple devices. With MU, a router can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously without any lag or interference. In short, it’s as if each device has its unique router. MU-MIMO is especially useful when you’re performing high bandwidth tasks like streaming, downloading or playing video games or when there is a much greater demand on your Wi-Fi network such as when you have company. While not all routers support MU-MIMO, that day is approaching pretty quickly. One of the major limitations to MU-MIMO tech as it stands today is that you can only support four devices after which the router reverts further devices will be forced to share a stream.

However, MU-MIMO completely transformed how routers communicate with multiple devices. With MU, a router can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously without any lag or interference. In short, it’s as if each device has its unique router. MU-MIMO is especially useful when you’re performing high bandwidth tasks like streaming, downloading or playing video games or when there is a much greater demand on your Wi-Fi network such as when you have company.

While not all routers support MU-MIMO, that day is approaching pretty quickly. One of the major limitations to MU-MIMO tech as it stands today is that you can only support four devices after which the router reverts further devices will be forced to share a stream.

5. Beamforming

While most routers utilizing MIMO broadcast a Wi-Fi signal in a donut shaped pattern over the spectrum of the coverage area, more recent routers with the network standard 802.11ac incorporate Beamforming technology which enhances performance by streamlining the Wi-Fi signal to any and all detected devices. This intensification of the broadcast Wi-Fi signal to specific devices enhances signal strength and consistency thus improving the overall surfing experience for users.

6. Lan Port and USB Connections

Lan ports and USB ports are valuable considerations while purchasing a router. Lan ports allow connecting to multiple devices such as desktop PC's, laptops and other NAS devices via Ethernet cable for which you may want to work with a dedication connection. Look for a top wireless router with at least 4-5 Lan ports as well as 1-2 USB ports, in case you want to connect a USB drive or printer.

7. Mangement

Fancy some administrative control over your Wi-Fi network? Look for a router that has a quality of service options, parental controls, and a guest-network feature.

Quality of Service (QoS):-
If you like to be proactive with your computer settings, choose a router with QoS settings or Traffic control. This feature gives you control over network traffic and allows you to dedicate traffic to specific applications and clients.

So, you can modify the settings to give priority connectivity to applications that you prefer, such as streaming on Netflix, Skype calls or a gaming console. This will ensure that the applications you prefer receive uninterrupted connection so you can enjoy a greater experience and utility of your online resources.

Guest Networks:-
Another useful aspect of administrative controls is guest network functionality. This feature allows you to give your guests at home access to your Wi-Fi network while denying them access to your personal files as well as other devices that may be connected to it. This is achieved through establishing a separate network with a unique Service Set Identifier (SSID) and password.
Parental Controls:-
Much of the same as QoS allows you to dedicate traffic to specific applications and clients, with a parental controls option you can decide which users get access to which times as well as keep a close eye on your child’s social networking and online gaming.

8. Security

Wireless router security is crucial these days especially if you live in a rented apartment building or home which is likely to be crowded with several other users nearby. Without proper security measures in place, almost anyone can gain access to your online network, access your personal files and snoop around as well as infect your system with a virus if they wanted to.

Avoid a router with WEP, since it is easily cracked by online tools that are freely available, instead look for a router that supports at the very the least the second installation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol (WPA2).

With WPA2 you will need to setup a network password for every individual device that you want to connect to your network. This will be a one-time password that will then be remembered by your devices. There are also routers that offer a higher level of security such as WPA-Enterprise that offer special features that include the ability to monitor devices, block specific users as well as keep an eye on people’s browsing.

9. Price

Depending on the features and the specs on offer, the price of wireless routers can vary between as little as 25$ to 300$. The best wireless routers with dual band capabilities that operate on the latest wireless-ac network standards cost between $100 to upwards of 280$.

However, as it stands today, only a handful of devices, including smart phones, tablets, and laptops operate on wireless-ac protocols, so for most users, a high-quality wireless-n router should do the job. Check out our wireless router reviews up top to choose the best router for your needs.  Remember to factor in, the number of wireless devices you wish to connect as well as the overall layout of your home when making your final decision. It all boils down to the demand for Wi-Fi connectivity.

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