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The Best Wireless Router
When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. New protocols are standardized every five years or so; the most recent is Got a new router? Its throughput was also poor at the relatively short-range office test site. The signal strength, the number of onboard features, and the price.

The Best Wireless Router

The Best Wireless Routers of 2018

Setup is incredibly intuitive; Amazon reviews report it takes about 15 minutes. Just plug the system in and follow a few steps in the mobile app. Granted, initializing on any mesh network is fairly easy , but Google Wi-Fi makes advanced features, like Quality of Service and beamforming, accessible for any user to enable through the app. For the network nerds who like to hack their router to do things like host their own VPN or enable link aggregation , the Asus AC88U is a solid choice.

With eight ports, you can integrate several ethernet wired connections into one. The result is the ability to transmit separate data packets down separate links, which improves performance and adds a layer of reliability. If one connection fails, that data can hop onto another. This means it beams data directly to your devices plus, it looks like a spaceship. Its same-room speeds reached Mbps on the 5GHz frequency.

Even at ft, the Asus still delivered Mbps and managed Mbps on the busier 2. While not all games are supported yet, several popular PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One games already are , and that list is growing. Amazon reviews claim setup gets increasingly complicated as you start accessing more advanced features. But there are a few ways to help narrow your search. The internet bandwidth can get crowded and slow down as it connects to more devices.

When it comes to the design of your home, the bigger and denser-walled your house, the more difficult it is for your wireless router to send signals to devices. If your internet speed is struggling, you may want to review your plan before purchasing a new router. To help you find the right speed for your household, we gathered recommendations from a variety of internet service provider websites, as well as HighSpeedInternet.

Then, we consulted with the team at BroadbandNow to find the ideal speed ranges for most households. Advanced features can be expensive, and they take work both to set up and optimize. For more advanced users, however, these features may be worth the investment. The short answer — nothing. You may have heard it stands for wireless fidelity, but that longer name came later.

Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it can increase your internet speed. Place your router where your devices are. It should be out in the open, unobstructed, and as central to your most used devices as possible. If your router has antennas, play around with those and try positioning them vertically or horizontally based on where you tend to have the weakest signal.

Home networking consultant Ryan Hunt explains why: Putting it in a cupboard, closet, corner, behind a desk, and in other claustrophobic placements will decrease the signal quality and slow down performance. After an unraveling of traditional WPA2 security in , some are worried their devices are at risk. Since then, all major operating systems have rolled out updates to combat the recent vulnerabilities. Makeup Foundation Mascara Lip Balm.

Sorry, something went wrong. If you want a inexpensive router that will still keep your modem sweating through streaming and gaming, this is the one to get.

If you need speed, this is your router, offering the best combination of range, speed, reliability and price. The Linksys EA might be a bit overkill, but for the serious gamers or media streamers who want to use multiple devices, the MU-MIMO radio on this router is undoubtedly one of the best. The signal strength, the number of onboard features, and the price.

Equipped with a ACM radio, the throughput, reliability, and speed of our fiber connection were consistently posting results well above the curve of what any other router on this list could do.

Sure, some might seem faster on paper, but from a day-to-day usage standpoint the level of quality you get from the Linksys WRTACM still has yet to be matched. Sure, its range was a little weaker than we would have liked, but that small complaint aside, Linksys continues to knock the ball straight out of the park with another solid router in the Linksys ACM — earning it the 1 spot on our list for the best routers of !

The Linksys WRTACM features a range of advancements and improvements over the original WRT54G that it emulates with its nostalgic design, and all of them add up to one of the best wireless routers for See our full review by clicking the link above.

We were blown away by its download and upload speeds, especially at a distance of 20ft or less. While I was testing, I noticed that the Archer C9 struggled with longer distance connections, or those that had to jump through a number of walls or ceilings before getting to the intended destination. But although it may not have as much range or stream reliability as some of the other contenders here, but what it lacks in signal strength it more than makes up for in raw, unadulterated speed.

Just note, those LED indicator status lights can be a bit pesky, especially in a dark room. Check Price on Amazon. Compact design, user-friendly setup. The Archer C9 has no business being as fast as it is at this price, but every time we tested it it blew away the competition in this cost tier. If you want a cheap router that will still keep your modem sweating through the heaviest of downloads, this is the one to get.

With six massive antennas jutting out from each side and a tri-band WiFi throughput that can self-designate which devices in your home should receive the most bandwidth all on its own, the Nighthawk takes most of the heavy lifting out of getting all the power you can out of your router with minimal setup required.

It strikes the perfect balance of high performance and reasonable cost, however its more extreme design choices may not be the perfect fit for every home. Even so, the performance of the Nighthawk X6 is still enough to excuse it from these minor sins. Netgear Nightawk X6 Review. Six tri-band antennas, 1GHz dual-core processor. When we first got a gander at the insane specs on the new Linksys EA Tri-Band MU-MIMO router, we were admittedly a little scared of what it would be capable of when we really opened it up on a pure fiber connection.

Of course, those fears quickly no pun intended melted away as the router proceeded to blow every one of our tests clean out of the water with insane speeds, solid connection reliability, and extensive range that reached to every corner of our homes.

Admittedly, this router could be considered overkill for most households. Its higher price and almost confounding list of additional features could be an imposing entry point for the average consumer. The Linksys EA might be a bit overkill for most households, but for serious gamers or media streamers who want to be able to use multiple devices in one area of the home at once, the MU-MIMO radio on this router is undoubtedly one of the best in the business.

With a central base station that measures just 3. Everything from the Apple-white shell to the 1. Mesh routers and networking systems work by creating multiple antenna arrays that all communicate with one another, and plug into standard outlets wherever you need signal the most. The only drawback of the AmpliFi HD system is that instead of using a prebuilt dashboard, the company has started their own from scratch.

This means many essential features like QoS management and parental controls are being piecemealed in over time, rather than being available straight out of the gate.

Mesh networking, 1GHz dual-core processor, AC radio. The AmplifiHD turns traditional router conventions on their head with a beautifully minimal design, insane speed test results, and enough style to go around. Mesh networking in particular is probably one of the best reasons to upgrade in , as it gives you a way to get signal in places like the basement, attic, or backyard which were previously thought to be total deadzones for all but the most powerful routers out there.

These reasons are just a few of the dozens that should give you all the motivation you need to look into investing in a new router this year! For starters, all the routers we chose must have a minimum bandwidth rating of AC and pump out at least Mbps on the 5GHz spectrum.

To see why the ACACM beat out the rest of the competition, continue reading on in our annual roundup of the best routers in ! If your home is larger than that, extend the range with additional access points or a WiFi extender. If you want to connect computers or other devices directly to the router using an ethernet cable, make sure your chosen model has sufficient LAN ports. Some wireless routers allow you to change the settings via a dedicated app — perfect if you want to be able to control every aspect of your wireless connection.

If your router has two external antennae, you'll get the best signal if one is pointed vertically and the other horizontally. Consider a home mesh system, instead of a conventional wireless router, if you have a very large home. Quite a few owners like this approach! Most owners find that this router offers more than they need.

Security and parental controls are all industry standard, and you can create a guest network. If you want a cheap router and you're not too concerned about speed, an The price of a high-end These models should have a range of extra features, like a boosted signal range, multi-stage protection, game acceleration, and more.

Tri-band wireless routers are rare, mainly because they're overkill for most folks. The main benefit of tri-band routers is that they can handle a large number of connected devices at once.

Even a large family will find a dual-band router more than sufficient, but tri-band models would be useful for offices or dorms. It's natural to want the best product out there, but realistically, the average home user is never going to need a router that can handle speeds of 1.

However, if you're an avid online gamer or you regularly stream movies, the faster the better. An acceptable choice if budget is your top concern, but others have more to offer. A feature-packed device that provides great value for the money.

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey, and give us feedback about your visit today. Best Wireless Routers Updated September BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Best of the Best. Best Bang for the Buck.

How we decided We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Zero products received from manufacturers. Last Updated September Stay connected Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews delivered to your inbox. The term "WiFi" can be used interchangeably with "wireless internet" or "wireless connection. What is a wireless router, anyway? A note on frequency bands and network standards. Many wireless routers include parental controls to help kids stay safe while surfing the web.

Considerations for selecting a wireless router.

Single- or Dual-Band?

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