7 Best Wireless Routers Under $100: Reviews & Ratings By Active Users
Why people are still buying old routers with older technologies? Well, I am going to break this protocol. Let’s dive in together and buy best under the budget router.
Your happiness turns into sorrow when you search “best wireless router under 100” on Google. Why?
Well, lots of websites with lots of different routers’ recommendations create confusions.
A couple of years ago, I did the same thing. I searched on Google and went through all the top SERP’s results and reviews. After doing research and wasting a lot of time, I could buy a good router.
But, I regretted afterward as I spent too much time on such a small thing. I noticed it was all happened because of not knowing my needs or requirements for a router. That’s why I decided to write this article to let you know how easy it would be if you consider only four following points, which I am going to mention.
After going through them, I am 100% sure that you’ll be smart enough to find the best one by yourself. However, it is also my duty to think about those people who are not interested in reading, or having enough knowledge about routers. The following list is only for those.
7 Best Routers Under 100 dollars For 2021:
Here Are My 7 Top Picks For Best Routers Under $100
So This Is What You Need To Consider?
I know that we don’t have much time to read the entire post. Therefore, I’ll keep it short and point-to-point. I only need 2 minutes of yours. That’s it.
Keep these four things in your mind before you buy:
1. Single Band or Dual Band:
The single-band router is a thing of the past. So say no to the single band routers. Unfortunately, One and the only option is “dual-band router.”
I wish, I could include “tri-band,” but we can’t afford it in 2021. Till then, We will be saving money and would buy one in 2021.
Verdict: The dual-band router.
2. Ethernet Ports:
Only two standards are available for us: Fast Ethernet and Gigabit
The fast Ethernet:
It has a maximum throughput of 100 Mbps and refers to as “10/100”.
The Gigabit Ethernet:
It has a maximum throughput of 1000 Mbps and refers to as “10/100/1000”.
Verdict: The Gigabit Ethernet Ports
But, How many ports?
It depends on our needs that how many ports we actually need. However, I do have a solution for this too.
Remember, we are looking for a router under $100, meaning in this price range, we can’t get more than 4 Ethernet ports with 1 WAN port.
USB Ports: 3.0 or 2.0?
We don’t need to worry about this as all modern routers are coming with one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port.
Final Verdict: At least 4 Ethernet Ports, 1 WAN port, and the conjunction of a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
3. Wi-Fi Standards: ad, ac, n, g, a or b?
You might have heard of that weird looking 802 number at least once in your life. All the networking standards used this number as a naming system. For example:
Ethernet Networks – 802.3
Bluetooth – 802.15
WiFi – 802.11
The WiFi 802.11 standards are followed by a letter or two, which basically lets us know about the device’s range and speed, and these standards use different bands or frequency bands.
|Max Speeds||1.2 Mbps||54 Mbps||11 Mbps||54 Mbps||150 Mbps||5400 Mbps||7200 Mbps|
|Frequency||2.4 GHz||5.8 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz||2.4 & 5 GHz||2.4 & 5 GHz||60GHz|
Verdict: We will stick to the 802.11ac standard with max speed up to 1200 to 1900. (Sorry, but we can’t buy AC5400 router under 100 bucks)
4. MU-MIMO & Beamforming:
What is the difference
It is a Multi-user, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output technology. With the help of this technology, our router will be able to communicate with multiple devices at the same time. Want to know best routers for multiple devices?
A typical wireless router emits or broadcasts a WiFi signal in all directions, but with Beamforming, it focuses a Wi-Fi signal in a specific direction or towards the active devices. However, Beamforming doesn’t make your router the best long-range router. It only improves signal strength.
Note: Both the technologies improve the stability and range of the router by enabling bandwidth.
Verdict: We need a router which can support at least one of two.
Final criteria for buying routers under $100 is:
It is important to a router to have a dual-band radio frequency.
Gigabit Ethernet ports:
At least 4x Ethernet Ports with 1 WAN, 1×3.0 USB & 1×2.0 USB port.
AC Wi-Fi standard’s router with the speeds of ( Minimum 1200Mbps and Maximum 1900Mbps)
Beamforming & MIMO
Beamforming and MU-MIMO supported router.
7 Best Routers Under 100 Comparison & Reviews, which will fit into this criteria.
I didn’t include those old routers which used to popular in 2018. So all the WiFi routers under $100 which have been listed here are fully trustworthy, reliable and best for 2021.
|Picture||Router Name||Max Speed||Ethernet Ports||Standards||Check Now!|
Netgear R6700 AC1750
|Netgear R6700 AC1750||1750 Mbps||4x Gigabit ports||802.11 AC|
Best For Home
Tp-Link Archer A9 AC1900
|Tp-Link Archer A9 AC1900||1900 Mbps||4x Gigabit ports||802.11 AC|
Best Under $70
D-Link DIR-867 AC1750
|D-Link DIR-867 AC1750||1750 Mbps||4x Gigabit ports||802.11 AC|
NETGEAR R6230 AC1200
|NETGEAR R6230 AC1200||1200 Mbps||4x Gigabit ports||802.11 AC|
Good At Range
ASUS RT-ACRH13 AC1300
|ASUS RT-ACRH13 AC1300||1300 Mbps||4x Gigabit Ports||802 11 AC|
Ideal For A Small House
|Medialink MLWR-AC1200R||1200 Mbps||4x Gigabit Ports||802.11 AC|
Best Under Budget
Motorola MR1700 AC1700
|Motorola MR1700 AC1700||1700 Mbps||4x Gigabit Ports||802.11 AC|
7. Review: Motorola MR1700 AC1700 WiFI Router
Best Gigabit Router
The Motorola MR1700 takes seventh place as it doesn’t support MU-MIMO and Beamforming. It costs under $70 to $80. MR1700 is a newly launched router by Motorola. It is good and comes with a built-in extended range feature.
Motorola MR1700 is a dual-band Gigabit router. It can work on both bands 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz simultaneously and derive the maximum speeds up to 1700Mbps (867Mbps using 2.4Ghz band, 867Mbps using 5Ghz band). It has six adjustable external antennas, where four of them are dedicated to the 2.4GHz band. Wireless-AC ensures great performance and flexibility.
- Wi-Fi range and throughput are excellent.
- It can be used as a bridge mode.
- Setup is easy; installation is possible within minutes.
- No issues while using multiple devices at the same time.
- Customer support is excellent and friendly. You can contact via email, phone, and web.
- 2-years of warranty.
- Well-priced router and comes under $80.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t support beamforming and MU-MIMO technologies.
- No USB ports.
The MR1700 is an excellent router in terms of the range. However, it doesn’t support the beamforming; still, you get an excellent range and speeds through the Wi-FI using 2.4Ghz frequency band. You can connect multiple devices and use them at the same time without a hassle.
At this price range, I’ll give the Motorola MR1700 a thumbs up! As you get great range and performance with some advanced features, which you might only see in high-end routers.
6. Review: Medialink AC1200 Wireless Gigabit Router
Best For A Small House
The Medialink AC1200 deserves the sixth position on the list. It is the best selling router by Medialink. Even you won’t have to pay more for this router as it can come under $70, at this price range, it can easily beat the Motorola MR1700.
Medialink MLWR-AC1200R is a Gigabit router dual-band router. Its combined wireless speeds (300Mbps ~ 2.4Ghz + 867Mbps ~ 5Ghz) are up to 1200Mbps. You don’t need to be a tech-savvy as its setup is simple and easy. It has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for lag-free gaming and 4k video streaming.
- Beamforming technology focuses the wireless signal directly using two external antennas.
- We can extend the range using the universal range extender mode.
- We can have full control over the router. Even we can turn off the status lights.
- In-built firewall ensures safety and secures us accessing malicious websites.
- Setup becomes quite simple and straightforward, go through a well-written and user-friendly instructions.
- USA-based customer support.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t have a fast 3.0 USB port.
The MLWR-AC1200R is one of the best newly released routers on Amazon. However, its maximum speeds 1200Mbps may be an issue for some people, but you should also consider that it is a low-cost router. It supports all the major ISPs (Xfinity, TWC, Fios & more). You can also use it as a range extender or wireless access point. I don’t face any network issues, even if I connect 20 devices at the same time.
5. Review: ASUS RT-ACRH13 AC1300 Dual-Band Gigabit
Good At Range
The Asus RT-ARCH13 has reserved the fifth position on our list. Unlike Medialink AC1200, It supports MU-MIMO technology. However, it doesn’t offer beamforming. It costs you lower than Medialink AC1200, under $60. You can have good control over devices as its app is quite well-designed and user-friendly.
Asus ARC13 is a dual-band gigabit router that offers combined speeds ( 867Mbps on the 2.4Ghz and 400mbps on the 5Ghz band) up to 1300Mbps. It features 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and one fast WAN port. You also get one 3.0 USB port on the front side of the router.
- It offers MU-MIMO technology for connecting multiple device.
- It has four 5dBi external antennas enhance coverage and WiFi range.
- Web-based interface for setting it up.
- Asus Router app is very useful and lets us monitor and manage our network with ease.
- It comes with two years of warranty.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t feature beamforming.
- The LED lights are too bright.
I consider the ASUS AC1300 is the best router under budget. At this price point, I don’t think there is any other router that can offer this much features. No doubt! It is better than the Medialink. However, it doesn’t feature Asus AiRadar “beamforming,” but range and performance is top of the line. It also has two operation modes like wireless router mode and access point mode.
4. Review: NETGEAR R6230 AC1200 Gigabit Router
Best Internet Router
R6230 AC1200 is better than ASUS RT-ACRH13. You might be thinking that R6230 is neither offering MU-MIMO nor beamforming, then why the fourth position? Well, the only reason is its price. Under $60, it offers great features.
The Netgear R6230 AC1200 is a dual-band Gigabit router. It is quite fast, reliable and can provide combined speeds (300Mbps using 2.4Ghz band and 900Mbps using 5Ghz band) of up to 1200Mbps. It comes with two external antennas for better coverage and range.
- Beamforming+ technology is a big plus; it ensures robust connectivity.
- Using the Nighthawk app, you can set up the router, manage and monitor connected devices.
- Dynamic QoS lets you prioritize bandwidth, helps while playing games and streaming HD videos.
- Simultaneous dual-band allows you to connect multiple devices without any interference.
I don’t like:
- No USB 3.0 port.
Despite Being AC1200, the Netgear R6230 is faster than other AC1200 routers. I tested this router on my own and found its speed, WiFi range, and Reliability is better than AC1700 or even AC1750 standard’s router. However, it doesn’t support MU-MIMO. Still, performance and stability are beyond expectations. I didn’t have any issues while streaming videos or playing games. You don’t have to spend more as it is under $60 router.
Still, if you are TP-Link’s fan and your requirement is still stick to AC1200, then you should consider TP-LINK Archer 1200. Archer 1200 is an excellent rival to Netgear R6230 in terms of performance and features.
If it is compared to Netgear R6230, you will see a few difference like R6230 has two external antennas, whereas Archer 1200 has three external antennas. On the other side, you see beamforming+ technology is being used by R6230. Whereas, Tp-Link archer 1200 has none of them.
However, It is not possible Archer 1200 to provide such advanced technologies under $40. Yes, you heard it right, It is cheap, yet very powerful. So if you are willing to buy under $50 router, then the Archer 1200 is made for you.
3. Review: D-Link DIR-867 Dual-Band WiFi Router
Best Under $70
The D-Link DIR-867 is the only router that supports MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology. I wish I could take this router in the first position, but due to some missing features, it was not possible. However, Under $70, it comes with some great features.
D-Link DIR-867 is a dual-band router. It is a feature-packed router. It has four external high-performance antennas which ensure a fast and reliable connection. It works on a dual-core processor that provides powerful wired speeds. It combined speeds (450Mbps using 2.4Ghzs band + 1300Mbps using 5Ghz) are upto 1750Mbps.
- MU-MIMO technology allows multiple connections at the same.
- Traffic can be optimized for seamless performance using QoS.
- Beamforming for improving coverage and more faster connection directly to our devices.
- For sharing the WiFI with all the devices, it uses 3×3 data Streams. It reduces wait times.
- High performance, you can enjoy simultaneously 4K video streaming and online gaming without any issues.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t have USB ports.
The D-Link DIR-867 is a very powerful router. It has all the features that we need in our daily lives. I don’t know, at this price range how D-LINK manage to provide such advanced features and technologies. However, it doesn’t have USB ports, which is a drawback of this router. USB ports are very helpful while sharing files and using a wireless printer.
Still, if you want a USB port and your budget allows you to go beyond 100 dollars, then consider its AC2600 DIR-882 Model. In this model, you’ll find one USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ( on the front side).
Like Archer A9, the D-Link 882 would be under 100$ bucks in near future or 2021.
2. Review: Tp-Link Archer A9 AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router
Best for Home
I was so curious to review the Archer . I gave it the first position on our list. If we compare A9 to the rest of the routers, you will notice some significant differences. However, it is true; Archer A9 is more expensive than others. Don’t worry! It comes under $100. I still remember, last year its cost was above $100. That’s why I couldn’t include Archer A9 on 2018’s list. So 2021 under budget router’s list would be incomplete without it.
The Tp-Link Archer A9 is a dual-band router. Its beamforming technology makes the router smarter. A 1Ghz powerful dual-core processor powers it. It has three external antennas for long range and capable of providing good coverage. Media file sharing is also fast as it has one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0. It features four Gigabit Ethernet ports along with one fast WAN port.
- Its powerful WiFI can reach up to 1900Mbps using both bands ( 600Mbps ~ 2.4GHz + 1300Mbps ~ 5Ghz).
- Simultaneous dual-band the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz allow us to connect multiple devices at the same time.
- Beamforming technology ensures a stronger and reliable Wi-Fi connection.
- Tp-Link Tether app is for setting the router up and lets us manage WiFi.
- Being AC1900, It makes 4K Streaming and HD Gaming experience smoother.
I don’t like:
- its status lights are a bit bright. At night, it becomes really annoying.
- It is not mountable.
The Tp-Link A9 is worth $100 as it is the only router which offers speeds up to 1900Mbps. It is a complete home wifi router. A couple of years ago, I bought this router at $119 and used it for a long time. I used to stream 4K and play HD games without any issues like “connection lost or stability.”
1. Review: Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 WiFi Router
The Netgear R6700 holds the second place on this list. If compared to the Motorola MR1700, it has better features and performance. However, if the range and coverage are concerned, the MR1700 will win in that segment.
Netgear R6700 is a dual-band smart WiFi router. It is capable of providing the maximum speeds up to 1750 (450Mbps using 2.4Ghz band and 1300Mbps using 5Ghz bands). The Dual-core processor is powerful enough for boosting wired and wireless performance. It lets you priortize the devices for better Streaming videos and playing HD games.
- It features advanced QoS for enhancing the streaming and gaming experience.
- Beamforming technology for boosting and improving your Wi-FI range and speeds.
- It also comes with Airtime Fairness feature which prevents network lag when you connect any slower device to it.
- It has the fastest 3.0 USB port for accessing media or adding external storage drive.
- Smart parental controls feature allows you to limit the daily internet time for your family members.
- Great free backup software for your media files, works as a safeguard.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t support MU-MIMO technology.
The Netgear R6700 is a fast, reliable and feature-packed router. It is a better option than Motorola MR1700 as it has USB ports and beamforming technology, which are missing in MR1700. However, it costs $10 more if compared to MR1700, in other words, you can say the best router under $90. Both are good, but Netgear R6700 slightly better.
Some Basic Network Components
Computer network uses so many other devices too. If you are someone who only knows about routers, then this information is for you as today you will learn other basic network devices as well.
I’ll start with a popular one or basic to advanced.
Our computer uses a modem to send and receive data over a cable or telephone line (DSL, ADSL) or satellite connection. It is a hardware device.
How does it work?
As you know our telephone line is analog and our computer is digital, right? So the modem converts analog form to digital form. There are two most common modems types – the Dial-Up Modems and Broadband modems.
With a modem, you can’t share internet connection wirelessly. Whereas, the router is used to join multiple devices together via a wireless or wired connection. Read my complete post about – the comparison of a modem and router.
3. Extender or Repeater:
As its name implies, A WiFI extender or repeater is used to expand the reach of a WiFI network, it boosts the existing signal. With extenders, you can turn “dead zones” into “working zones”. Place the repeater where your devices don’t receive enough network. check here some good extenders.
4. Wireless Access Points (WAP):
An access point uses wireless frequencies and works as a router for routing data between devices. In other words, It creates a wireless local area network (WLAN). Via an Ethernet cable, you can connect it to your wired router, hub, or switch. I also reviewed some great access points here.
5. Network Hub:
It is a hardware device which contains multiple ports and connects multiple devices on a network. Unlike a switch or router, It doesn’t route data to a specific device, broadcasts data across each connection instead. You can read more about network hub here.
Through this article, I’ve tried to list the best routers, which come under 100 dollars, keeping users in mind. If you are a gamer, an average person, light user, beginner, and even a heavy user. Yet, there might be no problem with you as you have the criteria now.
It doesn’t matter whether you need a router for home uses or business. The criteria will remain the same. You can customize it according to your needs.