Best Routers Under 50: 3 Top Below $50 WiFi Routers For 2021
There is no need to invest a lot of money to get high-speed internet throughout your home. Instead, you need only 50 bucks or less in your pocket in order to buy the best routers under 50 dollars in no time.
Since the times have changed, and inexpensive routers can deliver a reliable and faster internet without any network issues as networking devices’ manufacturers have achieved something which was previously unimaginable.
However, if it is high-level security, future-proof, feature-packed, advanced technologies you’re looking for, then you’re going to need to spend more than $50. In this case, you can incline toward the best cheap wireless routers. And, if you are more flexible, then take a look at my picks for the best WiFi routers in 2021.
In this article, I will be reviewing three top routers of 2021. So without breaking the bank, let’s get into some deep and take a look at my full reviews and the ultimate buying guide.
Here Are My Top 5 best Wireless Routers Under $50 For 2021:
TP-Link AC1200 Archer Archer A6 – Best Overall
Tenda AC1200 AC6 – Runner Up!
NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) – Best Price!
TP-Link AC1200 Archer A6 – Best Overall
- Wireless 802.11ac standard
- Max WiFi speeds up to 1200Mbps
- MU-MIMO & Beamforming supported
- Four external Antennas
- 2-year warranty
The TP-Link Archer A6 is a dual-band router, costing less than $50. It is mainly designed for users who are on a tight budget. In spite of an affordable router, it offers high-end technologies such as MU-MIMO 2×2 data streaming and Beamforming. Besides, it promises up to 867Mbps WiFi speed on the 5GHz band while on the 2.4Ghz band, you get up to 300Mbps. As a result, the router is capable of delivering combined maximum WiFi speeds of up to 1167Mbps.
The Tp-Link Archer A6 comes in black color, and it is made from glossy plastic. Plus, A wave-like-texture covers its entire body, which makes the router pretty attractive and quite elegant. On the back panel, you will find a large number of ports and buttons, including four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one Gigabit WAN (Internet port) port, a reset button, WPS button, and Power On/Off button. Moreover, its Ethernet ports are designed to pulling a full Gigabit of bandwidth.
On the hardware side, the Archer A6 is equipped with a single-core processor — Qualcomm QCA9563 — with a clock rate of 775MHz. Coupled with MU-MIMO, the Archer A6 can serve multiple devices simultaneously. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about latency and bandwidth congestion as MU-MIMO helps all connected devices to get their data more efficiently with faster WiFi.
Pros & Cons:
- Its Tether App allows easy setup and network settings management, available for both IOS and Android devices.
- It supports MU-MIMO 2×2 and beamforming technologies.
- It ensures a stable, consistent, and reliable WiFi connection between devices.
- Parental controls and guest network features for creating a separate network for your kids and guests.
- A 2-year warranty with 24/7 technical support.
I don’t like:
- It is not wall-mountable.
Note: TP-Link Archer A6 doesn’t provide 4×4 MU-MIMO; instead, it offers 2×2 MU-MIMO. Meaning, you get two separate networks rather than four.
The most searched question: Can TP-Link Archer A6 be used as an Access point?
Ans. Of course, It allows you to switch the router’s working mode to Access Point Mode.
The Tp-Link Archer A6 is one of the most budget-priced routers I’ve ever seen. Trust me, the features and technologies — MU-MIMO, Beamforming, and Advanced QoS — can only be found on high-end routers or expensive models.
Moreover, in my testing, I was impressed by its solid 5Ghz performance and long-range coverage. However, it doesn’t include a USB port, which is one of its cons. Except that, the TP-Link Archer A6 is going to be a perfect choice for people in apartments and small homes.
2. Tenda AC1200 AC10U – Runner Up!
- AC1200 dual-band
- 802.11ac wireless standard
- Tenda Smart App
- MU-MIMO & Beamforming +
- USB 2.0 port
The Tenda AC1200 AC10U router is a more affordable router than Tp-Link Archer A6. Despite an affordable router, it offers advanced technologies such as MU-MIMO and Beamforming+. Like Archer A6, Tend AC10U shares the same 1GHz single-core processor with 128MB of RAM. As a dual-band router, it offers two frequency bands: 5GHz and 2.4GHz. And both bands deliver the fastest combined WiFi speeds of up to 1167Mbps as on the 2.4GHz band, it tops out 300Mbps and on the 5GHz band up to 867Mbps.
With respect to its design, it looks better than the Archer A6. However, it shares the same color pattern and four undetectable external antennas on the back. In addition, the AC10U is made of plastic and comes in a matte finish. On the front, you’ll see only four LED lights, unlike typical routers, including Power LED, WAN LED, LAN LED, and WiFi LED. And on the bottom, there are some ventilation grids and four feet to place it.
On the hardware side, the router is lacking one Gigabit port; therefore, you will see only four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one of which will be occupied while making a connection to the internet. The rest can be used for the local network. Additionally, it has two separate buttons for WPS and WiFi.
Pros & Cons:
- Its performance over the 2.4GHz band is outstanding.
- It offers a multi-function USB 2.0 port for sharing files and other media content. It also supports storage sharing.
- It offers advanced MU-MIMO 2×2 and Beamforming + signal boosting technology.
- It boasts 5dBi Omni-directional undetachable four external antennas.
- Its Tenda WiFI app lets you upgrade online and manage the entire network and devices.
- It is extremely easy to configure and set up.
I don’t like:
- Its software is not good compared to Archer A6.
3. NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) – Best for Home & office
- 802.11ac wireless standard
- 4 Fast Ethernet Ports
- IPv6 Internet protocol supported
- 1000sq.ft coverage
- NAT firewall protection
The Netgear Nighthawk R6080 is equipped with the latest WiFi standard 802.11ac, which is three times faster than older standards, and works with all older WiFi standards 802.11a/b/g/n. The R6080 tops out maximum WiFi speeds of up to 1000Mbps and offers two frequency bands. On the 2.4GHz band, it promises up to 300Mbps WiFi speed and 700Mbps on the 5GHz band.
With the fastest possible download speed of up to 1000Mbps, it ensures better video streaming, online gaming, and multiple devices without compromising the speed. It also provides excellent coverage of up to 1,000 sq.ft.
Pros & Cons:
- It provides reliable wireless coverage throughout the home for up to 15 devices.
- The Nighthawk App makes its setup quite simple and straightforward.
- HD gaming and streaming is possible
- It offers advanced WPA/WPA2 wireless security encryption for more secure WiFi connection.
- Excellent WiFi coverage of up to 1,000 sq.ft for medium to large homes.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t include a USB port.
There is no doubt that the Netgear Nighthawk R6080 provides improved performance and excellent coverage throughput, and it comes under $50 too. Moreover, it uses the latest WiFi standard 802.11ac and supports older 802.11a/b/g/n standards as well.
Compared to the other two routers, the R6080 lacks some features and technologies, such as USB port and MU-MIMO. That’s why it is my third pick for the list of ‘best routers under $50.’ So the router (R6080) is an ideal choice for those who have small to medium-sized homes.
The most searched question: How Many devices can be connected to AC10U at once?
Ans: Tends claims that AC10U can handle up to 30 devices at the same time. However, the overall speed depends on network bandwidth and data traffic.
The Tenda AC10U is one of the popular routers under $50. It is popular because of its performance over the 2.4GHz band and, of course, budget-priced. Unlike Tp-Link Archer A6, it offers one USB port and can be mounted on a wall as it has two holes on the back.
So Tenda AC10U is a suitable choice for those who want a low budget router yet feature-packed. So it is perfect for a small to medium-sized home. However, for better performance, I would suggest you buy TP-Link Archer A6.
Buying Guide: How to shop for the best routers under 50?
Shopping a good WiFi router can be a bit confusing for you. Therefore, most of the time, you ignore the fact that our router is not working perfectly as you don’t want to mess with it. Believe me; you should replace your router if you haven’t upgraded for a long. For that, I’m going to share some tips that will help you while buying a good WiFi router under $50. In this buying guide, I’ll not include those high-end features since cheap WiFi routers can’t offer.
At least 802.11ac:
There is nothing to say about wireless standards. Just make sure your desired router comes from the same 802.11ac wireless standard’s family. Since we’re looking for $50 routers, we can’t expect ‘ad’ and ‘ax’ wireless standards in this category.
The 802.11ac standard is capable of delivering 5.4Gbps of throughput and also backward compatible. The most modern devices, such as smartphones, PC, tablets, gaming consoles, video streamers, support 802.11ac standard. So there will not be any issue with compatibility.
These types of ports are responsible for connecting a computer to the router via an Ethernet cable. In order to make multiple wired connections, we need the same number of LAN ports and, of course, Ethernet cables. It’s always better to have a router that offers at least four Gigabit Ethernet ports, even $50 router can offer four LAN ports these days. For example, all the listed $50 routers include the same number of ports. However, you can use an Ethernet switch if you want more LAN ports or expand the number available.
USB ports can be a great plus if your router offers them since these USB ports are used for sharing data and storage devices, such as a flash drive, NAS, an external hard drive, and many other storage devices.
A dual-band router can broadcast two signals, one on the 5GHz and one on the 2.4GHz band. A dual-band router has the capability to transmit and receive data simultaneously from different devices. As a result, we get a more reliable and consistent WFi network. So always look for a dual-band router.
The three top picks for ‘router under 50’ with the buying guide above will help you to narrow down your well-suited router. In my testing, I was completely surprised by Tp-Link Archer A6. For less than 50 dollars, it offers great coverage throughput of up to 2,000 square feet with the compatibility with MU-MIMO and Beamforming.