Last updated on January 13th, 2020
Today you’re going to learn about wireless routers. We’re also going to show you how to choose a wireless router as well!
Your at-home wireless network is the life-blood of your overall online experience at home. The main hub of your network is your router. Your router works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure your network is always connected. Your ISP (Internet-Service-Provider) determines your network speed and your bandwidth as well.
Choosing the right wireless router for home use is absolutely crucial because it can literally make or break your network. You don’t want to go into Best Buy and have a sales guy talk you into buying the most expensive one just to find out it’s not right for your network. That scenario would be a headache and a half in itself!
Something to keep in mind before purchasing a new router is that we can’t give you recommendations with 110% certainty. We can only give you recommendations based on our tests and what has worked for us in the area of our facility. That’s the biggest problem with home networking, the environment will be different for each person. Your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, walls, floors, and even your appliances can all have an effect on your overall Wi-Fi signal.
Don’t worry about this too much though, there are literally dozens of options to choose from. Later in the article, we’re going to share our top 5 routers that we concluded in our tests.
Your ISP will usually offer a modem/router bundle that you can rent, but it’s better to buy your own router. The reason why is because you don’t want to end up paying any hidden costs that might pop up with you renting that router.
How Do You Choose A Wireless Router?
Well, I won’t get too technical with this considering most of you probably have no idea what to look for so I’ll just cover the basics here.
When you’re looking for a new router, you first want to make sure it’s defined with the 802.11ac standard. AC is a standard that was given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for Wi-Fi. It relates to the overall generation as well as the speed of the router.
If you want to be on the safe side when it comes to having a good router for the future, get an 802.11ac. With this type of router, you will have the latest technology that a router has to offer. In addition, you’ll be set up for the best gigabit speeds and coverage for any home up to 2,500 square feet as well.
NOTE: When you get your router, you’ll want to put it in a central location of your home. This will ensure maximum coverage, which will also minimize dead spots as well.
Another aspect you want to think about is the price. Remember that “expensive” doesn’t mean that it’s better. You can find good routers for less than $200 that will last you 2-3 years at least.
Should You Rent A Router From Your ISP?
Rental routers will surely get the job done. The problem is that you’ll be spending extra money on something that you don’t need to spend money on. Would you rather buy your own router for $200 or less, or rent a router for $10/month for 2-3 years? The latter would be cheaper, it’s best to just buy your own.
In addition, when you rent a router from your ISP, that means they’ll be bugging you when it’s time for them to replace it when they need to. This usually means taking off work just so they can come and replace a router. Nobody wants to take off work just for that!
Top 5 Best Wireless Routers For Home Use
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro
XR500 Nighthawk Pro Gaming Wi-Fi Router uses state-of-the-art software to optimize your internet connection by stabilizing ping, reducing lag spikes, and keeping you in the game with reliable wired and wireless connectivity for fast-paced gaming. Personalize your gaming dashboard to view real-time bandwidth utilization by device, ping and many other parameters.
Limit lag and get a guaranteed local connection with Geo Filter or enable Quality of Service for prioritized gaming devices and allocated bandwidth. VPN Client protects your network identity and prevents DDoS attacks. Blazing-fast 2.6Gbps Wi-Fi speeds, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a dual-core 1.7GHz processor make online and network gaming frustration-free.
- Minimize ping and maximize performance with four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for lag-free, wired connectivity and 1.7 GHz dual-core processor network efficiency.
- Amp up your WiFi with an AC2600 dual-band router that delivers blazing-fast speeds up to 2.6 Gbps.
- Put your gaming traffic in a designated express lane with advanced Quality of Service, bypassing network congestion and reducing lag spikes, jumps and jitters.
- Make every millisecond count by using geo-filtering to connect to the closest servers and players so you can respond and dominate.
- Monitor your network and game ping in real-time so you can see who’s hogging the bandwidth by device and application.
- Protect your network identity by connecting to a secure gaming VPN server.
2. Linksys Max-Stream (Most Popular)
Stream 4K content, enjoy favorite online games, browse online – all without interruptions using the Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 Wi-Fi Tri-Band Router (EA8300). Ideal for homes that push their Wi-Fi to the limit, the Max-Stream EA8300 wireless router features revolutionary Multi-User MIMO technology that delivers Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time and speeds while improving the overall efficiency of your home Wi-Fi.
Intelligent Tri-band Wi-Fi speeds up to 2.2 Gbps, four high-performance antennas and four Gigabit Ethernet ports provide non-stop entertainment for the entire household. Seamless Roaming and advanced Beamforming+ round out the EA8300’s impressive suite of Next-Gen features found on any router in the market.
Easy setup using the Linksys App, which also allows you to control your home Wi-Fi from anywhere and at any time using a mobile device. Refer to page 15 in the user manual for troubleshooting steps.
- Next-Gen AC fast wireless router provides WiFi coverage for your home. (works with existing modem)
- Tri-band technology delivers the fastest combined WiFi speeds to all your devices.
- Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering.
- Tri-band WiFi speeds up to 2.2 Gbps (5 GHz / 400 Mbps) + (5 GHz / 867 Mbps) + (2.4 GHz / 867 Mbps).
- Quad-Core Processor provides ultra-fast data transfer speeds.
- MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) provides WiFi to multiple devices at once, at the same high speed.
3. ASUS Whole Home
This router is one of the world’s fastest Wi-Fi routers, with combined dual-band data rates of up to 1900 Mbps. The 5 GHz band delivers 1300 Mbps 802.11ac for Gigabit wireless data rates, while the super-charged 2.4 GHz 802.11n provides up to 600 Mbps.
With built-in USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, you can connect USB-enabled devices, such as external storage drives, printers, or a 3G/4G dongle to your ASUS router and share them via Wi-Fi while AiProtection powered by Trend Micro keeps your network secure.
- Dual-band with the latest 802. 11AC 3×3 technology for combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps.
- 1GHz dual-core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wi-Fi and USB data. Network standard: IEEE 802. 11a, IEEE 802. 11B, IEEE 802. 11G, IEEE 802. 11N, IEEE 802. 11AC, IPv4, IPv6.
- Effortless router setup with the ASUSWRT web-based interface. Dual-band connectivity for compatibility and performance.
- Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS router app.
- Protection powered by Trend Micro provides multi-stage protection from vulnerability detection to protecting sensitive data.
4. TP-Link AC1900
This AC1900 WiFi router is best for a connected home. Whether you have smart home products, 4k streaming, online video gaming, or the whole family’s smartphones, the Archer C9 is engineered for fast and reliable WiFi for the entire home. The 1GHz dual-core processor will ensure that your media streaming will not buffer if someone else is downloading a 4K movie in another room.
Perhaps you have simultaneous devices connected taking up bandwidth, the beamforming technology will laser-focus your wireless signal to where you need it most. Superior WiFi bandwidth utilization increases the WiFi range, delivering highly targeted and efficient wireless connections. Nevermore will you need to miss that climatic action scene, or booted out of a gaming server.
TP-Link’s AC1900 wireless router is the solution for your home network.
- One of the best wireless routers for the home which is compatible with all WiFi devices, 802.11ac and older.
- Gigabit router with 4 gigabit LAN ports, fast access to multiple connected wired devices, also ideal as gaming router.
- Long-range coverage by 3 external antennas.
- Beamforming technology makes the router smart detecting where you need fast WiFi.
- 1GHz powerful dual-core processor easily handles multiple devices (laptops, tablets, phones, smart home, Alexa-enabled devices & more).Operating Temperature: 0℃~40 ℃ (32 ℉~104℉).
- Easily share media with 1x USB 3.0 and 1x 2.0 ports to easily share printers, files, and media across your network.
- Includes industry-leading 2-year warranty and FREE 24/7 technical support.
5. NETGEAR R6700 (Best Budget)
Homes come in all shapes and sizes and Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router provides WiFi coverage no matter where you connect in your home. Get the fastest WiFi currently available & enjoy a blazing-fast, lag-free WiFi experience for gaming, video streaming or surfing.
Maintain high security across your network to help ensure your privacy & family are safe while online. Whether it’s preventing phishing & spyware or just limiting access for kids & guests, NETGEAR has you covered.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router delivers extreme Wi-Fi speed for gaming up to 1750Mbps. The Dual Core 1GHz processor boosts wireless & wired performance. High-powered amplifiers and external antennas increase range for whole-home mobility, while Beamforming+ boosts speed for mobile devices, up to 100% faster.
- AC1750 WiFi—450+1300 Mbps speeds.
- 1GHz Dual Core Processor.
- Ideal for homes with 12 or more WiFi devices.
- Advanced features for lag-free gaming.
- Prioritized bandwidth for gaming, streaming videos, or music.System requirements: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Safari 1.4, or Google Chrome 11.0 browsers or higher.
- Refer user manual for troubleshooting steps.
- Fast access to USB HDD with USB 3.0 port.
- Smart parental controls let you filter content, manage screen time, and monitor usage on any connected device, anytime, anywhere.
When you're in the market for a wireless router for your home network, it's important to make sure you're getting the right kind so that your home network stays protected at all times. In addition, you want to make sure that whatever you get is going to last you for at least 2-3 years, don't get a cheap piece of junk.