Let’s talk about wireless routers. A wireless router may not look as sexy as a sleek smartphone, a thing & light tablet, a camera or a laptop but it is one of the most important tech purchases of your home.
A wireless router is a small box that connects to your high-speed internet connection and allows multiple devices to get online without even having to be plugged into the modem. These devices include computers, printers, smartphones, gaming consoles, smart TVs and much more.
Wireless routers are liberating because now you do not need to tether to the wall. You can work and play anywhere in or around your home and remain connected to the internet whether you are searching for the recipe on your laptop on the kitchen table, or flicking through magazines on a tablet while sitting in a backyard or maybe playing Online Games via Wireless Networks on your handheld while reclaiming in bed.
So how do you decide which wireless router is for you? The market is flooded with wifi routers where everyone claims that they have got the best router for you. Their marketing terms and strategies tend to sometimes confuse the customers in buying the router and hence not seeing the advertised speeds.
The wireless routers work on the 802.11 wireless standards. The latest standard in this category is 802.11ac which can deliver up to Gigabit speeds on wireless which is faster than older standard 802.11n or 802.11g. It also supports MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple in, multiple out) which can improve the wireless speed, range and stability over distant connections and much more.
The Best Wireless/Wifi Router for you depend upon Your needs, whether you just want to Build a Wireless Network at Home OR You want to Play Games Wirelessly. Maybe you are looking for an Enterprise Grade Wireless Router for Office Space.
These numbers often can get very confusing when deciding which router to purchase or what best suits your needs. Here we have compiled a list of Top 10 Best Wireless Routers of 2018 that will offer you best speed and performance.
Best Wireless AC Routers 2018
10. TP-Link Archer C50 – Best Bang for the Buck – Buy Now
This wireless router is made out of glossy plastic in a dark midnight blue color. The glossy finish on this router makes it a fingerprint magnet and prone to scratches, but you are not going to be touching your router all the time so it should not be big of a deal. Just dust it off sometimes to keep it looking new and you are good.
This wireless router is a great way to get into the Wireless AC and speed up your wireless network speeds up to 1200 Mbps. This router can deliver theoretical speeds of around 900 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 300Mbps on 2.4 GHz band. In my testing, the two external antennas provided enough coverage for a small to medium sized home this router can go up to 500 Mbps of (real world) wireless speeds which is impressive for a wireless router of this price range.
On the back, it has a basic set of 4 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, and a USB port for adding storage and accessing it through your local network. You can also control the router and manage it through your iOS or Android device using the TP-Link Tether App.
If you want a really inexpensive and reliable way of getting into Wireless AC standard, this router from TP-Link, which comes with a 3-year warranty and a 24/7 technical support, is the way to go.
9. ASUS RT-AC87U – For the love of Wifi – Buy Now
If you are looking for gift ideas for your tech-savvy boyfriend or nerdy girlfriend (or anyone) who needs a best wireless router, nothing more seems romantic than this.
Apart from being romantic, there is more use to it. It’s useful with the top speed of 1733 Mbps but let me clear this out first, no tablet or laptop can achieve those speeds but with a compatible wireless card or laptop, it can go up to a gigabit of wireless speed in a real-world usage. In short, it’s fast. Crazy fast.
This router has 4 LAN ports and 1 WAN port, all of them are gigabit. If you want to go super speed (more than a gigabit) then sure, you can aggregate two of those LAN ports to double the speed of up to 2 Gbps.
Most of the routers with fast speeds are a pain to setup and use. But ASUS has done some real good deeds regarding its web interface. It’s easy and fun to use. Nothing seems cluttered here.Overall, this router can deliver excellent performance without any hiccups or bad feelings.
Overall, this router can deliver excellent performance without any hiccups or bad feelings.
8. Netgear Nighthawk X4S – The Bat-router – Buy Now
Do not get confused with the Nighthawk X4 which came around two years ago. Although they might look the same, this new one is much better.
This wireless router from Netgear has 4×4 configuration for wireless AC which means that it has the top speed of 1733 Mbps. But do not get too excited because you can not achieve that anyway. In a real world, it can go up to 850 Mbps with a compatible wireless AC client. The speed of any wireless router depends on its range and this router also features quite a long range wireless coverage.
This router has a lot of ports for expanding your home network. Two USB ports for connecting a printer or a hard drive to your network and even an eSATA port for connecting high-speed external SATA hard drives to it. In the case of storage devices, the router also functions as a pretty solid file storage server. It is not the best in the world but perfectly ok for sharing files across your network.
The web interface of this router is also not very intuitive but cluttered with many options. It is not only this wireless router’s problem. In fact, all routers from Netgear have the same, confusing web interface.
All things considered, this router looks badass and performs excellent and costs only around 200$.
7. ASUS RT-AC3200 – Super-fast Netflix and Chill – Buy Now
This one is a huge router with six detachable antennas. This one is a tri-band router meaning, one 2.4 GHz band (600 Mbps) and two 5 GHz (1300 Mbps each) bands making a total bandwidth of 3200 Mbps at any given time. This router is powerful inside out.
This wifi router is very helpful for when you have a lot of devices connected to it and doing a lot of local (wifi) network-intensive tasks such as media streaming to multiple devices, backing up your files, sharing data among different computers, or even streaming 4K UHD video files to your TV. If you just want to share the internet or stream Netflix video, this router is probably an overkill for that.
It comes with the usual 4 Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN ports, It also comes with two USB ports, the 2.0 port is on the back and most people will use this to share a printer on the network. USB 3.0 high-speed port is on the front of the router so you can easily plug or unplug storage devices.
It has a very nice and robust web interface that is fun to use and many unique features like the ability to turn one LAN port into a second WAN port so you can hook up to two separate internet connections for an always-on internet experience. With an attached hard drive, the router can work as a powerful NAS. ASUS has done a great job building this beast. In short, this router offers fast wifi speed, long range, and stable signal.
If you are willing to spend 300$ then this is the one for you.
6. Netgear Nighthawk X8 – The Batman’s Choice – Buy Now
This thing is huge, in fact, the price tag is also huge costing the retail price of $400. Don’t worry, our affiliate links offer best and updated prices (on all products) all around the year. This router is expensive because it meets the AC5300 wireless standard.
This router has two 5 GHz bands and one 2.4 GHz band. Each of the 5 GHz band can max out to 2166 Mbps and the 2.4 GHz bad max out 1000 Mbps. But you can never get the advertised speeds because no laptop or tablet in the market can go up to those speeds. But having those big numbers is always better than having smaller ones. It also means that you are future proofing so all the new gadgets that you buy in future will work full speed with this router.
This router also has four external active antennas which means that each of the external antennae has their own wifi amplifier. To mark those active antennas, Netgear also put a subtle blue light on each of it. It looks beautiful at night. But if you are not a fan of the LED’s you can always turn them off with a switch on the front.
On the back of this router (unlike most) it has six Gigabit LAN ports. You can aggregate two of the LAN ports together for a total bandwidth of 2 Gbps. So if you have a server or NAS with two-gigabit ports, this is the router for you.
This is the router for the rich. If the Batman was out in the market for Wireless Router, he was definitely going to buy it. But you do not have to be the Batman to afford this router.
5. Synology RT2600ac – Sometimes NAS & Router comes together – Buy Now
Synology wants to redefine your network and they are doing so by introducing their best wireless router: Synology RT2600ac.
This uses Synology’s Router Manager (SRM) as its operating system which is the like the same thing as Synology Diskstation Manager (SDM) so it’s very easy to use and can even be configured through its App from your iOS or Android device.
The most interesting and cool feature is that you can add more functionality to what is already feature-rich router. You can even use this router to block secure websites like Facebook, which most other routers fail to do. With a powerful dual-core processor inside and a robust 4×4 wireless radio which can provide transfer speeds of up to 800 Mbps. This router is designed for homes and offices.
This router offers 4 LAN ports but you can also configure one LAN port to be a WAN port so you can provide two internet connections to this router for load balancing zero downtime. You can even connect a 3G/LTE USB dongle to serve the internet for devices connected to this router. This ensures that your online business and entertainment never goes 404. This router also has two USB ports and an SD card slot. Once paired with an external hard drive it can work as a very powerful NAS.
Wireless radios inside this router ensure more devices can connect at the same time without losing bandwidth or slowing down the network. Synology Router Manager allows the user to set parental and traffic controls of set devices.When you buy this router, it comes in a plain brown box, which is not that exciting but is a good thing. This ensures that all the money you are paying for this wireless router is going to the device and not to the packaging.
When you buy this router, it comes in a plain brown box, which is not that exciting but is a good thing. This ensures that all the money you are paying for this wireless router is going to the device and not to the packaging.
4. ASUS RT-AC88U – King of dual-band – Buy Now
This latest dual band wifi router from ASUS. just might be the most powerful wifi router from ASUS (ever).
This router features eight gigabit LAN ports. That’s not a typo, but is the double number of LAN ports usually found on most home wireless routers. You can even bind two of them into a single, high-speed connection or configure one of them as a second WAN port in case your main internet service provider is down. Theoretically, this means zero downtime no matter what conditions are.
As for the wireless part of this router, it can deliver 2167 Mbps on the 5gHz band and 1000 Mbps on the slow, but a long-range 2.4gHz band. Of Course, these are on the paper, in our perfect world, there is no device capable of taking full advantage of these speeds. In our tests, it delivered transfer speeds of around 600 to a 1000 Mbps. If you plug in a hard drive through its USB port, it can function as a pretty solid NAS too.
This router’s wireless range is great too. It can easily cover a medium to large home without the need of a wireless repeater or range extender. This wireless router has an easy to use interface but once you set it up, you hardly need to change anything. Yes, it is that reliable of a wireless router.
This router also includes game boost mode which is like overclocking your CPU, here you just need to toggle one switch on to win your Call of Duty match. It features real-time network monitoring so you can find out who is eating all your bandwidth.
There are a lot of other router’s more expensive and bonkers, but I think this is the best and reliable wireless router for anyone.
3. Linksys WRT1900ACS – Best DD-WRT Router. Period. – Buy Now
First things first. Linksys WRT1900AC and Linksys WRT1900ACS are the two different routers from Linksys that look the same. Same color, the same number of antennas, same number of ports. They look exactly the same. Which is not a bad thing because this router features the iconic design of Linksys’s old WRT54G wireless router which was the favorite router of modding community. With this router, Linksys wants to bring back the old glory when 10 years ago WRT series was the best router available in the market. The new router also shares a stackable design of the old WRT series.
Linksys also makes switches that are stackable on top of this router so you can expand your wired network without having to worry about space or heat problem. There are not three, but four antennas on this router. This doesn’t mean that this router is a 4×4 router. It is still a 3×3 router but 4 antennas are always better than three. The 4 antennas work together to enable beamforming technology which actually locates where the devices actually are and then direct signals towards them.
All the differences are from inside. The very first difference that you can see inside is that the old one has a fan and new one doesn’t. This doesn’t mean that the new one is going to run hot or may encounter a problem under heavy load. This is due to the new dual-core 1.6 GHz power efficient chip which runs cool even under heavy loads. This router also has 512mb of DDR3 memory.
This router has the top sustained speed (in real-world usage) of around 600Mbps. When paired with an external hard drive, this router offers by far the fastest NAS performance ever seen (in a router). This router can go up to 75 MBps of writing and more than 100 MBps of reading from the attached storage. These numbers put this router among many high-end dedicated NAS servers.
On the front of the router, you get the usual fancy array of lights to tell you whats going on with the router. On the back of the router, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports, 1 Gigabit WAN port, It also has a 1 USB 3.0 port and a 1 USB 2.0 port which also doubles as an eSATA port for faster storage and sharing.
I love these activity lights but if you don’t, you can always turn them off in the routers web interface. The web interface is very same to the Linksys recent routers. It comes with a very nice QoS control feature, fancy network map, and a handy speed test utility to check internet speeds. You can name your guest network to your liking which was not possible on the previous model. Other neat features, such as dynamic DNS, parental controls, port-forwarding are also available on this router and they are easy to use. Finally, you also have the option to use the Linksys SmartWifi app to manage your routers settings from even a mobile or tablet.
In short, This router kicks some serious buts, it has the longest range of all the wireless routers and offers excellent wifi speeds and stability even on the far ends. This is the almost perfect router for any home. This is the router that most tech-savvy people will be looking forward to due to its support for OpenWRT, DD-WRT and other open-source firmware and mods.
2. Google Wifi – Made by Google – Buy Now
There are more people on the market who spend countless hours choosing curtains than there are who spend any time to choose a wifi router.
Many use the router that they got with their cable modem or let the wallet choose it for them. The result of such wireless configuration is a mess of cables, continually leaning to the corner for best wireless coverage, restarting everything over and over in hopes of getting it to work.
To rescue this situation comes to the Google Wifi. According to Google itself, Google Wifi is a modular wireless router system that can expand up according to your needs and guarantees you to put the end of dead zones.
The first thing to notice is how Google Wifi looks. Yep. It’s nothing like your typical router. But why does that matter?? So you no longer need to hide your networking stuff behind the corner. Google Wifi blends in your environment pretty well. Setting up google wifi is really simple. It comes with three identical devices so you can connect one of them to your modem and it will act as a normal router. And the other two acts as the extension of the other router. So you can get better wifi with no hiccups.
Think of it as a wireless range extender, but it works in a much more sophisticated way. If you own a Google On-hub wireless router, then with a firmware update, you can also add it to your Google Wifi mesh.
But why choose Google Wifi System over any other wireless router?
It’s price. It costs way less than its competitors at around 265$. Also, it is connected to your Google account which lets you manage your home network remotely. You can set traffic rules, block websites, see who’s connected and taking up the most bandwidth of your network or even block the internet to select group of devices. This all sounds very technical and nerdy thing but Google Wifi App is what takes care of it from start to end so you can have the ultimate and reliable wireless experience.
John R. Delaney from PC Mag said: “If you’re looking for a super-simple way to get Wi-Fi to every corner of your home, Google Wifi could be the answer. Delivering seamless wireless connectivity on a single network, the system is easy to install and configure, looks great, and delivers solid throughput.”
If you want best of the Wifi Signal in your home, look no further than Google Wifi.
1. Netgear Orbi – Wireless in every corner – Buy Now
Netgear Orbi is a modular wireless router system that can expand on your needs much like Google Wifi.
You just take one unit (which is the router part of the system) and connect it to the modem to provide the internet. Then take the other unit, place it almost 40 to 50 feet away and plug it in. This extends the range of your wireless signal and unlike any aftermarket wireless range extenders or wifi repeaters, there is only one single SSID and all the device handling is transparent.
The two units that come in the box are configured to work together so if you change wifi name or password on your router, it will be reflected on the wireless range extender. But this is not the typical wireless range extender. I know those suck and you constantly need to lean towards them to restart them in hopes of getting the internet connection working again.
This wireless router system uses Backhaul link which is a third 5 GHz wireless band other than the usual two bands found on most wireless router these days. This ensures that your connection to the device is reliable while the two units can talk to each other without a hiccup. Result: Better wireless signal quality. This router performed excellently in my testing with a 450Mbps consistency wireless speed over my house.
But if you think your house is way bigger than 5000 sq ft, you can add a third one into your network and extend the range further, if three of these are not enough then you can even add the fourth one. The Netgear Orbi wifi system costs around $400 for a pair of two. Extra units can be purchased separately for 250 each.
But wait, Google Wifi System is way cheaper than this and does the same things with few extra features up its sleeve. So why should anyone buy this??
Here’s why. Netgear Orbi has 4 LAN ports (which Google Wifi doesn’t) on either of the wireless unit. So if you are someone who wants to plug more wired devices into your home network, other than just a modem, than Netgear Orbi is for you and you won’t mind spending an extra money on it. Also, the wireless handling is better on Netgear Orbi than google wifi because of its third band which is used to connect the wifi system together.
Wireless standards are mostly backward compatible so you should not worry about that if your router will work with your existing or new devices or if it will not at all, instead all you should care is how to get the most out of your wireless router. Wireless networking depends on protocol overhead, distance, and obstacles between client and access point.
If you only surf the internet and check email or watch some Netflix, then investing 300$ in a wireless router might not be a good idea for you. But if you are someone who is constantly looking to transfer a lot of files over your local network, monitor traffic, set rules on your network, and maybe like to manage your network from outside, then investing in a good wireless router is probably the best purchase.
If you are also into expanding your network over a wired connection to ensure more stability and performance then you can invest into a high-speed network switch to add more high-speed ethernet devices to your network.
If you invest in a good router, its boring but in good ways: easy to set-up and it just works all the time. As we already have explained specifically that which router is best for what kind of conditions and needs, you just need to pick up the best router for your needs and go Buy that wireless router.