The Best Wireless Routers for Long Range in 2018
When buying a long range router, range might not be the criterion that immediately comes to your mind. After all, you’ll only be using the device within the confines of your own home, so range must be pretty insignificant, right?
The truth is much more complicated, as things like the number of internet-capable devices you have, the interior layout of your home, your router’s antennas and more determine signal strength and coverage, not the actual distance between the router and your PC.
That is why many people look for routers with the highest possible range and coverage in order to maximize their internet performance. And that is also why we will now take a look at some of the best of these high-range wireless routers.
In Our Comprehensive list of Top 5 Routers, You Are Sure To Find One Long Range Router
The Asus RT-AC88U. This router, if you can believe it, is priced above the already outrageous AC3200 we looked at earlier and, like its competitor, features an aggressive exterior design as well as four dual-band antennas.
Primarily targeted towards gamers, the RT-AC88U features many speed-enhancing measures like the so-called WTFast accelerator chip and QAM technology, which allow it to operate at higher speeds than the usual limits imposed by the 2.4 and 5.0GHz bands. In other words, the absolute max speed you can reach with it, 2.1Gbps, exceeds most, if not all wireless routers on the market.
With 8 Ethernet ports and a total coverage area of over 5,000 square feet, or 465 square meters, the ASUS fails to disappoint in any particular category. That includes connectivity, range, firmware and more. However, its radicalist looks and many complicated features, most of which can be modified via the device’s interface, might be a bit too much for some.
- Radical design.
- Four dual-band antennas.
- Various acceleration technologies
make internet speeds faster than ever.
- Great range.
The first in our roundup of the best long-range wireless routers is the AC3200 by D-Link. This router has been called “the most insane wireless router in the history of mankind” by The Verge, and we think it rightfully deserves that title.
And thanks to tri-band connections at speeds of up two 1.3Gpbs per band adding up to a top speed of 3.2Gbps, faster than any other router on the market, the AC3200 doesn’t just make your internet go fast, but fast across all your devices equally.
However, that doesn’t mean the AC3200 is a flawless device by any measure. For example, range is where it surprisingly falls short. Though its absolute maximum range is still above average at roughly 100-150 feet (30-45 meters), it doesn’t come close to matching, let alone exceeding the D-Link’s performance in other aspects. Or its competitors’, for that matter.
Other issues like the high price further complicate matters and distract from the AC3200’s otherwise plentiful positive qualities.
- Radical design incorporating six beamforming antennas.
- Tri-band antennas allow many different simultaneous connections without any compromise in speed
- Insane 3.2Gbps top speed.
- Supports all wireless standards up to 802.11acGr
The Linksys WRT1900ACS, although significantly less expensive than our previous two entries, very much is a premium router. Offering four dual-band antennas, just like the ASUS RT-AC88U, boosted Wireless-N speeds of up to 600Mbps as well as 1300Mbps on Wireless-AC, this router can and does effectively compete with all other models on this list, making it one of the five best on the market today. Range is extremely good at a top limit of about 150 feet, or 45 meters.
The price used to lie at $250, which is pretty hefty, but ever since the model’s release in early 2015, this value has continuously dropped.
Nowadays, it isn’t hard to get an WRT1900ACS for $165 or less. The MSRP, however, still remains pretty high at $200, so if you’re considering buying one of these directly from Linksys, prepare for paying a little extra.
- Affordable compared to competitors.
- High Wireless-N speeds.
- Four dual-band antennas.
- Great range and coverage.
The next router on our list is the NETGEAR Nighthawk. At just $150, it has great value, especially when you take a look at its specs, which leave almost nothing to be desired. Armed with three dual-band antennas, a 1GHz Dual Core CPU and a combined top speed of 1900Mbps, this router is just as fast as the Linksys WRT1900ACS tested above, though it isn’t that much cheaper, anyway.
However, as the NETGEAR only features three antennas, range is where it falls short. The maximum is about 100 feet, or 30 meters, but even at those distances, performance is severely limited. As such, the maximum effective range is closer to 75 feet, or 22 meters, making this one of the worst routers on our list in terms of range. In most other aspects, though, the Nighthawk makes for a quick, cheap and efficient router.
- Low price.
- Dual-band capability.
- Combined top speed of 1.9Gbps.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is a compact, inexpensive and effective router. However, it pales against the competition in terms of both range, connection quality, coverage and general performance. Its only saving grace is the low price.
The TP-Link AC1900, the least expensive model on our list at just $110, is also the only one to be actually advertised as a “long range” device by its manufacturer. Do these claims hold any merit or are they just meaningless PR? Let’s take a look at the specs.
First, there’re the antennas. The AC1900, like the NETGEAR model with a very similar name above, uses three of these, mounted on top of the device. Unlike the NETGEAR, though, they are removable and replaceable, which can come in handy.
Including dual-band connections, 802.11ac, a combined top speed of 1.9Gbps, a Dual Core Processor and even Beamforming, looking at the AC1900’s specs, you start to wonder what made TP-Link set the price for this router so low. Range is amazing, especially considering how cheap this device is, topping out at 200 feet, or 60 meters, though the connection will start to get significantly weaker in the 5GHz band when your device is more than 165 feet, or 50 meters away from the router.
The only real flaw of this device? It doesn’t have any funky extra features like most of the much higher-priced competition above. Three antennas instead of six, no tri-band connection, no super-intuitive, highly complicated interface, no radical exterior design and no boosting chip or speed enhancement of any kind. Just a simple router that works.
- Insane value for the money.
- Very low price.
- Performance leaves nothing to be desired.
- Upmarket features like Beamforming and Dual Core CPUs on a low-end machine
- Works flawlessly.
other routers on this list.