The internet has become one of the most important entities in our daily life. If you want to get the most out of it, then it’s simply not enough to go for the best cable service or a costly modem. You also need to have in your possession a best-in-class WiFi router to help you get an uninterrupted high-speed internet signal across every corner of your home.
If your usage is limited to only using the internet from your laptop, you may not require a WiFi router as you can simply connect using your laptop. However, if you intend to connect more than one device to the internet, then you definitely need to go for a WiFi router.
When it comes to choosing the best WiFi router, you’ll need to decide which one best fits your needs based on various factors including the size of coverage expected, the number of devices you need to connect to the internet, and a few other considerations. It’s always better to go for routers that satisfy your needs rather than buying an expensive router and not getting to use its advanced features.
A new router can definitely play a big role in providing internet to all your family members. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best WiFi routers suited for various activities like the best WiFi router for gaming, security, long-range, etc.
Best Overall WiFi Router – Google Wifi
Google is a popular name that is known to everyone using the internet not only because of their search engine, but also because they do many things to make people’s lives easier through various tools and software. Google also has started venturing into the field of product design, and one such product is the Google WiFi router.
The Google WiFi router system is exclusively designed to provide complete high-speed WiFi coverage to your home in an uninterrupted manner. The Google WiFi router is a mesh-type router that offers seamless coverage to every corner in your home without any added range extenders or additional wiring.
These routers from Google make use of extension nodes to extend their WiFi reach in your home when compared to other routers in the market, and it also comes equipped with 3 satellites, each one covering up to 1500 sq. ft. Even houses that cover almost 3000-4000 sq. ft. can comfortably receive uninterrupted and seamless WiFi signal in each and every room with the help of Google WiFi router.
Google is known to come up with simple and cool designs with its products, and the Google WiFi router looks completely simple and humble in its completely white design and definitely doesn’t look like your traditional router system. While most of the routers out in the market come with some unique and weird looks with their antennae and design, the Google WiFi design certainly looks premium and can add a touch of elegance to your home. Another interesting feature about this WiFi router is that you can buy all the 3 satellites or just one satellite according to your requirements. If you feel you need extra WiFi coverage, then you can extend the router by adding another satellite to the unit.
- Comfortable & Easy-to-use
- Interactive & attractive design
- Various customization options
- Allows you to manually control the WiFi
- Expandable 2×2 mesh WiFi
- Comes equipped with various connectivity ports for LAN and WAN
- Easy & Quick setup
- Premium design
- Easy to use interface
- Great processing speed
- Needs google account
- Not compatible with most devices
- Only 2 external ports available
- Requires external modem support
Best Budget Friendly Router – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
If you’re looking for the best budget-friendly router (under $100) that offers great speed and power, then take a look at the Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 Smart WiFi Router. It’s certainly a steal as the WiFi router comes with all the features that can be found in pricier routers. It also extends WiFi reach to your home as you can get seamless WiFi connection across each and every corner in your room.
This WiFi router is also perfect for gaming as it can offer speeds up to 1750 Mbps along with dual core processors. The latest QoS guarantees hardcore gamers with a great gaming experience without any kind of lag or disturbances.
The AC1750 is also great for streaming videos as the unique beam-forming technology in the router helps to provide greater HD coverage and seamless streaming of videos. Furthermore, it also comes equipped with high-powered amplifiers that, along with external antennas, help in increasing the signal range to greater levels.
Along with these great options with the AC1750, you also get the option of gaining huge security coverage over your network, and your privacy is guaranteed at all times. The Parental control feature helps parents block certain websites for kids and guests.
- High security and parental cover
- Maximum speed of up to 1750 Mbps
- Dual band WiFi router
- Provides 1 USB 3.0 port and 4 LAN ports
- Powerful WiFi router available at budget price
- Better suited for gaming
- Manage your settings easily with the Netgear “UP” app
- Packed with advanced features
- Great for streaming videos
- Can easily break as it is made using poor-quality material
- Restarts often
Best Router for Long Range - Netgear Orbi RBK50 Mesh WiFi Router
If you are looking for the best WiFi router with a long range of complete home coverage, then you’ll want to check out Netgear’s Orbi RBK50. It will certainly fulfill all the requirements you are looking for in a WiFi router. Whether you are buying for your home or office use, the Netgear Orbi is arguably the best suited WiFi router that provides you with everything you’d want.
The RBK50 is generally a pair of two routers that are strategically placed and work in tandem to acquire strong signals. While one of the routers works to get the best signal, the other works simultaneously to extend the reach of the signal throughout your home or workplace.
Basically the design of the RBK50 doesn’t look like your traditional WiFi router as you can separate the two routers, and one can be connected to your modem while the other can be placed in a strategic area to give complete signal coverage to your home. The unit is pretty simple and compact and can be carried to every corner of the house.
The Orbi provides a powerful WiFi signal as it utilizes the latest and advanced tri-band signals capable of reaching top speeds even up to 3000 Mbps. Other than high-speeds, the tri-band signal feature helps in providing users with a stable and reliable internet connection all the time. Even if many devices are connected to the router, at no point in time will you experience any kind of lag in the signal.
Similar to other WiFi routers, the Netgear Orbi comes with a singular WAN port along with 3 LAN ports and 1 USB3.0 port. Users can download the Orbi app that is available for the iOS and Android, which can be used to control their internet speed. With the Orbi app, you can easily set-up a guest network over your WiFi network for visitors and guests while holding a birthday or a get-together.
If you need to extend the reach of your signal for a longer period of time, then you can even buy additional satellites to allow your visitors seamless internet services. And according to Netgear, setting up the router is pretty simple as it takes less than 5 minutes.
- Fast and secure internet connection
- Stable and reliable connectivity
- Seamless indoor/outdoor connection
- Connect several multiple devices at the same time without any kind of lag
- Provides 1 USB 3.0 port and 4 LAN ports
- Smart WiFi Management
- No more WiFi boosters needed
- Easy to setup
- Quite expensive
Best Wifi Router for HD and 4K Streaming - Linksys WRT AC3200 (WRT3200ACM) Wireless Router
If you’re looking for the best-in-class WiFi routers for HD and 4k streaming, then better checkout the WRT AC3200 from Linksys. With the AC3200, you can create guest connections easily and even prioritize the signal for your media devices. Enjoy uninterrupted, seamless, and high-speed internet connection with the WRT AC3200. At no point in time will you ever see a lag in the connection.
The AC3200 comes equipped with tri-stream 160 technology that helps give this seamless internet experience. People who stream HD videos from the internet often or play the latest games can certainly go for this WiFi router as they would not be disappointed with the performance it offers. Priced at just around $216, it’s certainly a budget WiFi router when you compare it with other routers in the market. But even with such a decent price, the router offers blazing speed and also comes equipped with the latest advancements in WiFi technology.
If you already have a Linksys WRT1900ACS smart WiFi router, then it’s time you get it upgraded with a more powerful and stable WiFi router in AC3200. The latest version provides you with more power, extended signal range, and signal strength than its predecessors. Even though you can say the design is a mediocre one, when it comes to the performance, it certainly ticks all the boxes. Since it’s built using the open source firmware, people can easily customize the router according to their requirements.
- Blazing fast WiFi speeds
- Smart WiFi App helps to control the network
- Customize the router with openWRT and DD-WRT
- Best router for streaming videos
- Tri-stream 160 enables faster internet speeds
- LED status indicators
- Speed of up 2600 Mbps
- Average Design
Best Looking Router - ASUS Dual Band RT-AC88U Wireless Gigabit Multi-Functional Router
If you are looking for a router that combines great design with blazing fast internet speed, then take a look at the ASUS Dual band RT AC88U wireless gigabit multi-functional router. When it comes to internet connection, no one will compromise for a slower or saggy connection, and with the AC88U at your disposal, then you can have high-speed internet connection guaranteed across every corner of your home. It’s also MU-MIMO enabled with air protection, and you can easily control and restrict the internet usage across various devices in your home. This helps you give your kids only limited access to the internet and have them focus on other things. This is definitely one of the best parental control features that every parent would love to have.
- Blazing fast WiFi speeds
- Easily control and restrict internet usage
- MU-MIMO enabled
- Attractive design
- High-speed connectivity
- Many user options available
- Fluctuating Signal strength
What is an MU-MIMO Router?
WiFi routers have grown in leaps and bounds, and MU-MIMO is the latest technology that many WiFi routers come equipped with these days. Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) enables users to connect various mobile devices to the router simultaneously. Previously, it was just SU-MIMO where SU refers to Single User, but the advent of Multi-User (MU) has enabled manufacturers to increase the number of antennas for both sending and receiving signals.
MU-MIMO is certainly considered to be the next-gen technology of the future, but we can say that it’s not completely out there yet. Not all mobile devices support MU-MIMO enabled WiFi routers, but we can guarantee that every router in the future will come equipped with MU-MIMO technology.
What is a Mesh Network?
A wireless Mesh Network is a type of network that is being used in many WiFi routers that uses radio nodes that are organized to resemble a mesh network. The word mesh refers to the high-quality and rich connection being made between the connected device and nodes in the network. You can even see the mesh network being used in the popular Google WiFi routers. These kinds of WiFi mesh routers can be of great help when you live in a large home and a single router can’t provide you with the necessary signal reach. Here mesh network routers can be of great help as you can provide seamless and high-speed internet connection across a wider area.
Types of WiFi Routers - Things to Consider While Buying a WiFi Router
When it comes to choosing the best WiFi router, you need to consider the following factors:
Even though WiFi routers have improved leaps and bounds, the antenna still plays a huge role in your connectivity and signal strength. So if you have a large house, then better go for a router with multiple antennas. The larger the number of antennas, the larger the range of your internet connection. Just remember that some of the latest routers come with internal antennae and still can provide great signal strength.
Dual-band or Tri-band
Most of the routers available these days are dual band routers because there are other pieces of equipment in your house that also operate in the same frequency range of 2.4 GHz, such as your microwave oven, cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices. To overcome this problem, you need to go for a dual-band WiFi router that can operate up to 5GHz frequency bands.
Having a router equipped with a USB port allows you to connect a USB drive, printer, or even your hard disk easily. Some WiFi routers even provide support for USB dongles. This allows you to easily share the resources wirelessly.
Another important aspect is security. You’ll want to look for WiFi routers that offer various security protocols including WEP, WPA, and WPA2. If you have kids, better look for routers that come with parental control options.
When it comes a WiFi router, the important aspect is the speed it offers and routers come at various speed levels right from 300 Mbps to 4000Mbps, so it’s best to choose a router that satisfies your speed requirements.
When looking to buy a WiFi router for your home or workplace, it’s important to understand the standards behind the WiFi router. You can see some letters inscribed in the routers like ‘b,’ ‘g,’ and ‘n,’ but do you know what these letters stand for? These generally refer to wireless communication standards as you can see in 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. The first generation WiFi routers were normally indicated with the ‘b,’ which was followed by 802.11g, and the latest generation routers come with a standard of 802.11n. Basically what these standards mean is the difference in speed each generation offers. So if you have a router that comes with 802.11n, it means you are using a WiFi router that comes with more speed and stability.