Living in a house of six people, I know how hard it is to share a WiFi router with others. Especially when everyone’s on their phones, or when you have a Smart TV that streams movies and dramas all the time. Not to mention, my brother whose online video games never seem to stop. It can be hectic to deal with a slow internet connection. With all these problems, I had to look for a solution. A piece of equipment that would handle all these devices simultaneously, and still not lag behind in providing a stable internet connection. I came across several articles that provided in-depth detail about how to find the ultimate solution. A wireless router that can handle all your internet needs.
Best Wireless Routers of 2017
|Asus RT-AC88U||$ 269.99|
|Linksys WRT 3200||$ 243.97|
|D Link DIR 890L||$ 199.99|
|NET-GEAR Nighthawk R7000||$ 156.95|
|Asus RT- AC3200||$ 199.95|
We’ll jump right on to the reviews of the top-rated routers that are highly recommended by users and have plenty of features that will fulfill your needs:
1. Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band Router:
The Asus RT-AC88U is a dual band router, and comes loaded with multiple features. This router comes with high recommendations from computer enthusiasts and gaming lovers. It is a high end product and is priced at $300. With stylish and sleek looks, the Asus RT-AC88U brings you an exquisite product, which not only looks great but also gives an excellent performance.
It comes with a total of 8 Gigabit LAN ports, which have the capability of transferring high- speed internet without any technical issues. Being a dual band router, the Asus RT-AC88U can act as an NAS too. Both the 5 Gigahertz and 2.4 Gigahertz bands are made so intuitively that the wiFi performance of both the router is invincible.
The installation and configuration process of the Asus RT-AC88U is easy and convenient. You can either do it manually or continue with the wizard. When you plug in the device and connect it to your computer, it automatically launches its wizard and the web interface gives you two options; to install it manually or by default.
I’ll walk you through the easy configuration steps. The internet setup is so designed that you can work it out without a hitch. It automatically configures your routers’ type, whether it is a Static IP, Dynamic IP or PPPoE. (It also depends on your internet connection type) Moving on, it creates a network encryption key for each specific band and you have a stable internet connection at the tip of your hands.
We carried out a number of tests to see if the two router bands performed efficiently together and the results were synonymous with what the creators had claimed. The router delivers multi client MU-MIMO data streaming, which is exceptionally quick for both the routers.
The Asus RT-AC88U comes with the following essentials:
- RT-AC88U Dual-band Router
- 4 detachable antenna
- RJ-45 cable
- Power adapter
- Warranty Card
- User manual (CD)
This incredible router record-breaking, unrivaled wireless performance but even the best of products come with some drawbacks. We’ll put before you the pros and cons of this device so that you can decide for yourself what best suits your needs.
- The high spend 8 Gigabit LAN ports will make your life easier for the better by providing the fastest possible internet speed.
- With its high recommendations and ratings, its wiFi performance happens to be one of the best in the market.
- The easy-to-use and intuitive web interface just happens to be cherry on top of this wondrous device.
- It is a high-priced product, but if you’re willing to pay a good amount of money for a router, this is definitely the product you’ve been looking for.
- If it is used as a NAS and coupled with an external hard drive, it manages to deliver only mediocre speed and performance for the high price you’re paying.
- According to some, the placing of the USB 3.0 is quite unsatisfying.
The Asus RT-AC88U, in conclusion, has a slew of finest network-supervision features plus an in-built VPN server. It also serves to protect you from any kind of malware that might harm your home network. It also consists of special features for gamer, and supports MU-MIMO (Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output technology), which handles Wi-Fi bandwidth quite effectively. The Asus RT-AC88U uses Broad-com WiFi chip that supports the MU-MIMO technology.
Going into a detail with this technology, the multiple transmissions simultaneously of different WiFi tiers are sent to different equipment’s. The speed provided depends on the needs of each client. It’s like having different WiFi tiers for multiple routers. Each router provides internet connection for its specific tier and that way high connectivity and speed is conveyed. This doesn’t slow down or hinder the performance of its adjacent tier. With the advancement in technology, the MU-MIMO has been adapted by clients as well as routers. And hopefully, in the near future most WiFi devices will adopt this technology.
2. Linksys WRT 3200 ACM Router:
With a flattering design and ingenious technology, the Linksys WRT 3200 definitely is a refreshing router. It comes on as a nemesis to the Net gear Obi or Google WiFi, because not only does it provide an un-ostentatious design but quality as well. That’s the problem with most stylish and personalized devices, which lag behind in performance. Well you can be assured that that is not the case with Linksys WRT. It provides you unanimous control over your wireless internet connections.
Its configuration can be a little tricky but once you’re done with it, you’ll be saying goodbye to your slow internet problems. It also provides open-source advocacy, which means that you can use any firmware you like plus you get to enjoy all the functionality and performance you can expect from a device of this price. You can easily connect your media devices, operate parental control or use the open VPN server.
With its neat and sturdy design, it packs in some meaty features. The antennae help the device broadcast its signals across the house or office for best possible performance. The Linksys WRT 3200 also allows streaming, gaming and file sharing simultaneously on different devices connected to the wireless connection.
The Linksys WRT 3200 ACM Router also provides Tri-Stream 160 technology. It doubles the speed from 800 Megahertz, concluding that even if your house/office is super busy, you never have to worry about your internet connection slowing down. Other features of the router include 1.8 Gigahertz dual-core CPU, 256 MB flash memory and 512 MB RAM. There are also four Ethernet ports with Gigabit variety and there’s a fifth one that connects to your modem. There are two USB ports; one is 3.0 and the other is 2.0. One is for connecting printers to your network or file sharing while the other one is an ESATA port with a convenient design.
The Linksys WRT has a WiFi app that makes it convenient for you to configure and manage the router from your tablet or Smartphone. It also includes an open source firmware. You can also install DD-WRT or an Open WRT to add advanced features to your router like TOR network browsing, incognito browsing, Secure VPN etc without any worries about malware or intrusion.
It is also DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) certified and works under authorization which is denied to the traditional routers. It is due to this certification that the Linksys is able to provide Tri-Steam 160. The numbers of channels available at 80 Megahertz also become thrice their usual number.
In addition to all this, it provides MU-MIMO (Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output technology). This makes it convenient for the users to download large files, play online games or even stream online videos without any hindrance.
Without any more delay, let us have a look at the pros and cons of the Linksys WRT 3200 Router, to help you compare it with other potential products and make a decision:
- It comes at a reasonable price for the various features it provides.
- It provides open source firmware support.
- It has bandwidth widening options, which are seldom seen in other products.
- It has an Enterprise-Grade 1.8 Gigahertz Processor for handling heavy traffic.
- Many people have claimed that it looks better at an office rather than a home because of its bulky appearance.
- The default software might be a little challenging in configuration for newcomers.
In conclusion, the Linksys WRT 3200 provides a huge range of features which might have convinced you on buying the product but if they have not, you need to consider the WRT community that consists professionals who’ll be working to provide you innovative and cutting edge technology.
For performance and configuration, the Linksys has proved to be quite resourceful and convenient. You can configure it manually or through a step-by-step process, which guides you throughout the configuration. Once the router is plugged in and connected to your device, it smoothly carries out the configuration, letting you know what is going on. After it has done, all you need to do is set up a password and you are good to go. You can even have separate names for the 2.4 Gigahertz band network and 5 Gigahertz band network so that you will know which devices need to be connected to which network for better performance or you can even opt for a single name for both networks to make them appear as one.
In my opinion, the Linksys WRT 3200 will let you gain complete control over your network and you can enjoy uninterrupted networking at your place of convenience.
3. D-Link DIR 890L-Best Range Wireless Router:
Plunging into the sea of wireless routers, one might get confused as to what is the best option. The D-Link DIR 890L is a tri-band router, and if you are looking for a normal router for general use then it might be overkill for you. However, if you want an incredible router in terms of functionality as well as speed, then you have come to the right place.
The AC3200 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router comes with tri-band technology and provides ultra fast streaming as well as unprecedented gaming speed. It is like having three routers in one. It has two 5 Gigahertz wireless band that can provide up to 1300Mbps and one 2.4 Gigahertz band which provides speed up to 600Mbps.
Being one of the most stylish and trendy looking router in the market, the D-Link DIR 890L does not disappoint even in its performance. It supports open source firmware, and it also provides MU-MIMO (Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output technology), meaning that you can simultaneously play online games, stream videos and movies and use social media as well, without any trouble in the speed.
The D-Link DIR 890L is known for its Wi-Fi performance. It has a oneGigahertz processor. There are five ports on its back, the usual one Gigabit Internet (WAN) and four Gigabit LAN ports. It also includes a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port that can connect to an external printer or hard drive. There is also an array of lights in the fronts, showing you the status of internet connectivity. Being a tri-band router, it has three in-built access points, two 5Gigahertz access points that provide a speed of 1300Mbps and one 2.4 Gigahertz access point, providing 3200 Mbps bandwidth at all times.
Using the D-Link DIR 890L tri-band router, you have two options, you can either use all three bands into a single network using the Smart connect option or you could use them separately as Wi-Fi networks.
It has another resourceful feature, which comes by the name “Smart Beam Forming” which means that you no longer have to be worried about the Wi-Fi signals zoning out when you move around the house because this device improves coverage and increases the bandwidth as you roam around the house. You get to have the best internet experience. This feature is brought into effect by more antennas that provide better coverage and performance.
The pros and cons of this device are discussed below to provide a satisfactory review of the device:
- The D-Link DIR 890L has a quick and accelerated Wi-Fi connection.
- The connection is trustworthy and malware free.
It has perfect selection of features and is easy-to-use.
- Keeping in mind its financial value, it does not provide as fast internet as its contemporaries.
- The antennas cannot be detached.
- The web interface lacks depth and has limited configuration options.
- There is an option that connects it to the printing software, which lacks quality.
- Some of the settings are limited and it might turn out to be overkill for most users.
In conclusion, the D-Link DIR 890L is improved and more polished than the previous D-link routers. It has improved even the old granular menus, and now it consists of four category buttons. They include Settings, Management, Home and Settings. The home category is a little bit more perplexing, because when you move your courser over the home option, it shows a drop-down menu that provides the sub-settings of the specific category. This helps in jumping from one section to another, without having to worry about closing the window.
When we conducted a series of experiments on the D-Link DIR 890L, to test its speed and performance, it proved good and ample results but the speeds tests were a little disappointing. It did show good speed results but when comparing them with high-end routers; it did not quite match its competitors.
The question you must be asking yourself here is that should I really be buying the D-Link DIR 890L? The answer is simple. If you are looking for a genuine router, that provides a stable and fast internet connection, then you can get that for a cheaper price. However, if you have a large number of devices that need fast connectivity and speed, it offers a reliable and fast internet connection. Moreover, if you pair it with an AC1900 adapter, you can achieve its fast five Gigahertz transfer speed.
4. NET GEAR Nighthawk R7000 – AC1900 Dual Band Router:
Coming back to another dual-band router on our list, we focus our attention on none other than NET GEAR electronics that have a good reputation for providing quality products. Built with the intention of providing quality and speed to streaming, gaming and mobile devices, the NET GEAR Nighthawk R7000 has a one Gigahertz Dual-core processor.
First of all, we have to consider its physical attraction. It comes in a sleek, black and matt design, which definitely makes a statement. It also has three black angular antennas that make it somewhat of a Nighthawk and hence the name. Its design makes it seem kind of hard-rooted, adding just a pinch of aggressive vibe, as it actually means business. It has quite a durable structure and has a weight of about 750g, with dimensions 285 X 184 X 50 mm, that makes for the broadest router we have come across. Meaning it would definitely take up quite a lot of room in your work space.
Moving on to the features, the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 does not lag behind at all. The AC1900 branding makes it quite evident that it has a Broadcom BCM 4708A chip-set. This chip-set provides an innovative technology that boosts up speed from a usual 450 Mbps to 600 Mbps.
- Great performance at 5 ghz band
- Classy design and ton of features
- Not best at software side
5. Asus RT- AC3200 (Tri-band Wireless Router)
By looking at a heavy price tag you may ignore this tri-band router, but I can tell you the features this beats got worth more than the price it comes with. Its great performance and lot of other feature that networking expert can think off will make you spend money on this router.
Starting with design, as you know Asus is the best. It comes up with 6 detachable antennas that can be replaced at any time. Although it look little bit bulky but the way everything set together makes its design totally stunning.
RT-AC3200 is incredibly fast when it comes to speed and is also best at Wi-Fi performance at long range as well. Its user friendly web interface make it much easier to setup but you may have to look up for guide on specific features in user manual. This router is capable of increasing OpenVPN server up to 2x and now you can also use it as Network Attached Storage (NAS).
- Powerful Hardware
- Great at performance even in long range
- NAS and OpenVPS support
- Amazing Speed with best security system
- Only 4 LAN ports are available
- Looks little bit bulky
Overall, RT-AC3200 from ASUS is the best choice for professional and normal consumers. Its classy design, ton of features and amazing performance makes its no. 5 best router in our list.
A Basic Guide to Finding the Most Appropriate Wireless Router for you:
A Wireless Router has some basic features you need to get yourself accustomed with before choosing what you actually need. There are three basic kinds of routers that exist in the era of modern technology:
- Single-band router
- Dual-band router
- Tri-band router
1. Single-band Router:
A single-band router has an operating frequency band of 2.4 Gigahertz frequency. Since not all routers are made for the same kind of work-load, these single-band routers are comparatively least expensive. But with their frequency range, they have to contend with other equipment’s in your home that have the same frequency range for example, wireless phones, microwave ovens and other kinds of Bluetooth devices. This kind of router serves the purpose of surfing YouTube, downloading movies or videos and connecting to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).
2. Dual-band Router:
For a slightly sharpened experience, you might want to opt for a dual-band router that has two radios and each connects to different frequency bands. One is of 2.4 Gigahertz and the other is of 5 Gigahertz. This means that both the bands become less- crowded, there’s more output and higher efficiency. This implies that you can use different high out-put devices simultaneously without worrying about the internet slowing down. It is ideal for video streaming and online gaming services.
3. Tri-band Router:
The tri-band radio is innovative and uses three radios instead of one or two. The three radios operate at different frequencies, two at 5 Gigahertz and one at 2.4 Gigahertz. A house-hold where people use different devices at the same time and there is demand of a high out-put, then this router is ideal. It manages all devices at once, whether it is online gaming, torrent downloading, video streaming, etc.