The 7 Best Wi-Fi Routers For 2018
With the overwhelming number of wireless routers available on the today’s market, selecting the best model isn’t a piece of cake!
That’s why we spent many hours researching and testing the latest routers to compile a review of the absolute best. You can rest assured knowing that each of the routers has been comprehensively tested and thoroughly vetted before their inclusion in our review.
Do you have a super quick internet connection, but repeatedly find your Wi-Fi connection drop in and out? Or do you experience frustrating speed issues when watching Netflix? Then, you need to upgrade your wireless router.
The models we featured below can solve all your connection problems quicker than ever before. Let’s dive in…
Here is a list of 7 top wireless routers you can trust to choose from. As it is clear that some routers are equal than others concerning features and capabilities, others are just expensive with nothing much to offers. The list is updated monthly and was last updated Feb 12, 2018
|Router Name||Max Speed||Features||Check Now!|
NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S - AC2600 Dual-Band Gigabit Gaming Router (R7800-100NAS)
| ||Four-stream (4x4) WiFi Architecture for smoother 4K video streaming and lag-free gaming and 160MHz radio for double the bandwidth for mobile devices.|
AC2600 WiFi-800+1733 Mbps speeds with a powerful 1.7GHz dual core processor and dynamic QoS for jitter-free gaming, Ranked #1 by Small Net Builder.
Multi-user MIMO technology for more throughput, Top spot in MU-MIMO router performance comparison by Small Net Builder
TP-Link AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router (Archer C7)
| ||Dual Band 2.4GHz (up to 450Mbps) + 5GHz (up to 1300Mbps).|
Supports 802.11ac - The next generation of Wi-Fi, and be connected to extra devices
4x Gigabit Ethernet ports + 1x Gigabit WAN port with 3x External Antennas + 3x Internal Antennas
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router (R7000)
| ||AC1900 WiFi - 600+1300 Mbps speeds. 1GHz Dual Core Processor.|
Beamforming+ improves range & performance plus High powered amplifiers & antennas to extend your Wi-Fi coverage.
Easy Setup - NETGEAR Up to set up & manage your network. Includes Circle with Disney Smart Parental Controls to manage your family's internet use
ASUS AC3100 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router [RT-AC88U]
| ||Powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, Faster USB data transfers enjoy up to over 100 MB/s speed and the router download/upload speed up to 1.8 Gbps.|
1024-QAM technology - 80% faster 5 GHz at up to 2100 Mbps, 66% faster 2.4 GHz at up to 1000 Mbps.
Expansive Connectivity Options: with exclusively has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports for up to eight Ethernet-compatible devices to connect simultaneously
Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)
| ||Wireless-AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology: Simultaneous dual-band speed up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 1300 Mbps (5 GHz) for media.|
Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU: Powerful CPU promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing allowing multiple users to simultaneously game online.
4 high-performance antennas: Engineered to enhance dual-band communication, four external, adjustable antennas ensure supreme Wi-Fi signal.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router (R8000)
| ||3.2Gbps - The fastest combined Wi-Fi speed for uninterrupted streaming.|
1GHz dual core processor with three offload processors to boost performance, Smart Connect intelligently selects best Wi-Fi for every device.
Tri-Band Wi-Fi delivers more Wi-Fi to more devices, Six high performance antennas and powerful amplifiers deliver maximum range throughout your home
ASUS AC5300 Wireless Tri-Band Gigabit Router [RT-AC5300]
| ||Tri-band (dual 5 GHz, single 2.4 GHz) with the latest 802.11ac 4x4 technology for maximum throughput (5334 Mbps) and coverage (up to 5,000 sq. ft.).|
MU-MIMO technology enables multiple compatible clients to connect at each client’s respective maximum speed.
ASUS Ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Wireless Routers in the U.S.”– J.D. Power.built-in USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
Why the Latest NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 and TP-Link AD7200 Routers Not On Our List
Well, if you are aware of the latest wireless routers to hit the market, unfortunately, we didn’t include the latest high-speed Wi-Fi Router from Netgear and TP-Link. Of course, there are very good yet genuine reasons for this omission.
- For starters, the latest router models are seriously expensive, their price can be deemed absurd especially if you can’t utilize all its features.
- When compared to the cheaper routers in the market the client’s experience is just but the same. It really matters what where you want to use the router, if it’s just for your normal home connectivity, it would be wasteful to get the best yet expensive model while a cheap yet relevant router is available.
- With the type of speed standards that these latest devices offer, there are no clients who can take advantage of it.
In simple terms, it is quite useless to spend more on such routers, in fact, they wouldn’t add much value to your connection except for their fancy high-speed Wi-Fi router properties that you wouldn’t use for now.
However, within the year, probably mid-year or so these Wi-Fi routers will be relevant to some individual with high demand for speedy connection.
Netgear R7800 is the updated version of R7500 model. It’s definitely one of the leading Wireless Router To Buy in 2018. Not only was it upgraded with much quicker speeds, but has much better Wi-Fi signal strength. Not forgetting that this router also supports MIMO a popular feature that adds in boosting connection speed for your Wi-Fi clients in a crowded environment.
The X4S has proved to be a great choice especially if you have a large coverage area of about 4,000 square feet and have a dozen Wi-Fi devices that need connection. However, this versatile router might not be perfect after all and still has a bloated Web interface just like its predecessor.
- It has powerful hardware that sets it apart from other Netgear router models.
- This X4S router is fast.
- It has quite a long range and stable signal to offer better Wi-Fi coverage.
- Has two 3.0 USB ports and eSATA port.
Archer C7 is designed with next-generation Wi-Fi features. It is three times faster than the wireless N speeds and with a combined wireless transfer rate reaching a maximum of 1.75 Gbps. For online gaming, seamless HD streaming or other bandwidth-intensive tasks Archer C7 proves to be the superior choice.
This unique router operates on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands to ensure you get super amazing wireless performance. With the simultaneous Dual band options, you can enjoy the flexibility of two different yet dedicated networks. Furthermore, it contains a single gigabit WAN port including 4-gigabit LAN ports.
- It has wireless speeds of up to 1750 Mbps.
- This router has the capability to support DD-WRT.
- It contains IP-Based bandwidth control feature which makes it easy to manage the network.
- It has a wireless AC which provides faster Wi-Fi connections.
Well, this router is just as good as the name sounds. In fact, its name is inspired by the way is design shape resembles the famous fighter jet. You’d think that Nighthawk is just dressed to impress with its magnificent appearance but it has abundant great features that make it an excellent choice for home networking needs. This router was basically designed to handle heavy-duty throughput tasks. And for the networking geeks, you will love that the router allows you to flash it with open-source firmware.
The R7000 operates horizontally but can also be mounted on the wall. Netgear’s slickest router has a wide sturdy base with rubber feet making it hard to slip from flat surfaces.
- It has a sharp slick design.
- Has a great throughput.
- Has an excellent range.
- Wonderful QoS.
- It includes Full VPN capability.
Well, this AC3100 is the first router containing 8 Gigabit LAN ports and with additional support for a Dual-WAN and port aggregation. Moreover; it has a robust interesting Web interface for easier configurations. Firmware has some excellent network-monitoring features, ability to secure your home network from malicious intruders and malware, and an inbuilt VPN server.
This magnificent router also supports MU-MIMO including a number of unique features for the gamers. So if you are looking for the Finest gaming router you can never find a suitable one than the AC88U model.
- It includes 8 Gigabit LAN ports that are quite fast.
- It has a fast Wi-Fi performance with lots of great features.
- With a smartly designed Web-based interface, you will find it easy and fun to use.
If you are searching for DD-WRT Supported Router then look no further than Linksys AC1900. For those who always find the need to configure their routers with open source firmware, you will be greatly fascinated with this outstanding model. While its designed to use a Linux-based OS (OpenWRT), the router contains an additional layer of features for easy customization.
With a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, you will find this powerful router to be quite fast for data transfer and connections. It also includes four antennas which help increase the range and coverage. Not forgetting that its designed with Beamforming feature that focuses the wireless signals direct at the receiving devices for stronger and more focused connections.
- Includes powerful networking hardware for magnificent throughput.
- It has the superb Wi-Fi range and speedy data rate.
- Supports OpenWRT.
Introducing one of the best Netgear’s models that will really fascinate you with abundant yet great features. Well if you are in dire need of the Top Rated Wireless Router For Multiple Devices without compromising performance then the Nighthawk AC3200 is your best pick. While Netgear boasts of being among the first company to offer tri-band router, this device is specially designed to serve Internet of Things which simply means it will easily handle a variety of devices simultaneously.
By automatically configuring its two 5GHz bands to different channels, it offers the option of connecting two or more devices without hindering performance. Though its price may seem a bit hefty for some, its performance in terms of handling numerous devices is such a great advantage.
- It is a tri-band router hence it can handle a good number of devices at once.
- It has excellent Wi-Fi data rates.
By now you have probably come across a couple of tri-band routers. As they say; the best is yet to come and now you have a great opportunity to learn about the Perfect tri-band router in the market. Asus has proved many times that they are among the best router companies around. The RT-AC5300 seems to be a monster of a router with a variety of exciting features.
Well, this router was actually designed for the larger homes with demand for bandwidth. If you are a gamer, then this was designed basically for you. Even if you love streaming 4K videos don’t despair, this router is the best you’ve come across.
- It has very fast throughput.
- It has a good number of management settings.
- It supports MU-MIMO feature.
- It is a tri-band router.
Best Wireless Router – Buyer’s Guide
Before you go out to buy a router for your home networking needs, there are a couple of things you must know to make the most appropriate decision.
10 Thing You Must Know Before Buying a Wireless Router
1. What is Router’s Wi-Fi Standard?
Also known as the IEEE standards, this is simply computer communication specifications that aide in the implementation of (WLAN) 900 MHZ to the 60 GHz frequency bands.
The Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers Standards Committee are tasked with the creation and maintenance of the standards.
In much simpler terms all you should know is that in router world there exist a variety of Wi-Fi standards and they include;
- 802.11 – this was a 1st WLAN standard and unfortunately it only supported network bandwidth of up to 2 Mbps.
- 802.11b – supports the bandwidth of up to 11 Mbps.
- 802.11a – it supports the bandwidth of up to 54Mbps.
- 802.11g – supports 54Mbps and uses 2.4 GHz frequency.
- 802.11n – also known as the “Wireless N” which provides up to 300 Mbps.
- 802.11ac- this is the latest standard which provides up to 5.4 Gbps
- Single band: This is simply the type of routers just a single Wi-Fi band. Now it is quite hard to come across a single band router as they have been outdated. Well, if you can find one, you’ll notice that they are extremely cheap and whats worse is that for almost the same amount you can get a dual band which is much better.
- Dual-band: For this type of router, there are two Wi-Fi bands to be used. You should note that most of the recent dual-band routers can run the two bands simultaneously. However, each band has its own SSID and you have the option to choose the suitable one to log in to.
- Tri-band: This is simply a dual band with an extra band on the 5GHz range. Wel this can be a bit confusing for the rookies, as when you see rates of about 3.2 Gbps it really doesn’t mean that they are the real transfer rate as per device but just a summation of the capacity of the three bands. Tri-band is efficient only when the there are more than enough number of clients on your network.
Routers have all sorts of speeds and that is why it really matters for you to understand this before purchasing one. As the are advertised per the router; you should note that the higher the number, the faster they are. It is quite important to note that the advertised speeds are theoretical maximum and you can only experience the actual maximum speeds practically and it depends on; your modem, ISP, the layout of your home and so much more.
For an average internet user, the AC1200 would prove sufficient. Of course, the cost of the routers will also vary with the kind of speed that they offer. The higher the speed the more expensive they get, with all due respect, your budget also matters a great deal.
4. Your purpose
This is one of the most important factors to consider before you make a decision on which router to pick for your home needs. By identifying the purpose or need of your home networks, you can easily narrow down to the few devices that are really capable of managing your networking needs. Well; for home networking, it is not always about you but all the members of the family and guests. but in general what are you users mostly engaging on while connected?Routers are designed with the purpose in mind. this is what makes other routers stand out from the rest. For example; if you love to game online, then you will have a good time if you used a router that supports such heavy processes.
For some other users, it might just be for sharing simple stuff with less network traffic, this will call for a simple router can be much cheaper than the rather technical ones. If you have no clue of what you need in your home, you might end up on something that will be of no good use to your life. So, rather than hoping you choose the best router, why don’t you simply make a list what your networking needs are and the main purpose of installation.
Take note that some Wi-Fi routers offer several functions in one and can be a bargain if you choose a device to serve more than enough purpose that you require.
Security to your home network should always be a concern to you at all times. As security is one of the critical issues to be managed, the different types of routers offer different security features that you can use to protect your home network from malicious intruders. Here are some of the features you need to be aware of.
- WPA2 Encryption
- Guest Network Access – Provide limited access to your network to your guests without sharing passwords.
- Built-in Firewall – Aide you to deny traffic originating from the internet.
- Enhanced Parental Controls – use advanced control features such as content filtering DNS.
- Time-Based Access Restrictions – this will help you automatically shut off your internet connection.
6. Additional features
For a long time, the router has been on point for bringing internet to ones home. But in fact, these devices offer more features than just supplying the internet. There are a variety of features that a router can contain but here are some important features you ought to know about.
- USB 3.0: This high-speed USB port allows you to connect the external hard drive to your router for easier and faster sharing of data and media files. Take note that even though some routers might have this feature, they actually underperform when coupled with the hard drive.
- Gigabit Ethernet Ports: This add-on feature to some of the best routers in the market allows one to connect modem stick to enable for network sharing. you should also know that not all routers can double as a network router and a modem so you will have to have this in mind while choosing the right device.
- Printer sharing: This feature allows you to connect a printer to share with your other network devices. by connecting the printer to the USB port you are able to configure the settings to allow easy sharing.
- Remote Access: A router that has remote access allows you to easily configure and monitor your router from a remote location. This means that you can access the configuration interface wirelessly.
7. upgrade capabilities
As you know, technology keeps changing and so are features and other configuration settings. While some routers are designed with firmware that can easily be upgraded others are just as tough as the nut. While searching for a router that can serve your home networking needs for a very long time, you need to consider a device capable of upgrading when the time comes.
Some unique routers also allow for open source firmware to be installed in replacement of original software, which proves to be a good feature that networking experts can gladly appreciate. Some of the Top router companies will always make available recent upgrade version of the system software to enable easy up-to-date upgrading of your router’s firmware.
8. Latest Technologies
With the speed that technology moves in we need to keep our heads high as new technology takes the center stage. Nowadays; routers are employing some fascinating technological advancements to improve delivery of services to its network clients.
- Beamforming: You’ve probably come across the term beamforming a couple of times. The 802.11ac routers are standardized to offer the beamforming feature. It’s wise to note that not all devices in the standard have the feature so you have to find out if the router you desire to buy has it.In simple terms, beamforming feature is about focusing the Wi-Fi signal to the receiving device, unlike the traditional method that had to broadcast Wi-Fi signal in all direction. Beamforming technology allows the router to figure out your device’s position and project a strong signal towards that specific direction.
- MU-MIMO: This is one of the latest Wi-Fi technology that is set to revolutionize networking forever. Mu-MIMO (multi-user, multiple inputs, multiple outputs) is a technology that allows the router to communicate with several devices but using the separate stream for each device. This enables for increased connectivity performance you might think each device on your network connects to its own personal router.With this smart networking technology, you’ll notice faster internet speeds and you will be able to use multiple devices on your network simultaneously which could be handy if your friends happen to visit you or in a corporate network.
9. Warranty & Support
Wireless router manufacturers will always provide warranty package along with the package you are purchasing. Of course, the lengths and terms will vary in relation to the router model and company. Obviously, a better warranty can indicate the company’s commitment to offering support to clients who opt for their products, while lesser warranty could mean a substandard quality or reliability of the package.
While searching a good router to buy, you can make a wise decision if you consider the warranty and support. In fact, the company should be ready to support their clients whenever they need assistance or want to inquire about their products.
10. Buy A Cable Modem if required
While this digital times means that we can’t do without an Internet connection. In fact, we are now more socially connected through the internet than we’ve been in decades. Wireless routers come in different varieties and specifications.
So as you identify your networking needs, it is equally important to understand that while some routers can double as modem and router, others don’t have such capabilities. So if need be you might decide to purchase a cable modem so that you share internet through the router.
Wireless Router’s FAQs
Why Should You Upgrade Your Wireless Router to the new one?
Many at times, people ignore the importance of upgrading their router to new ones. Most often, guys think that because you don’t have new technological devices you don’t need to upgrade. Well, this is a false ideology and might cost you network performance.
Upgrading to a current router model has various benefits including;
• It’s the cheapest way of improving your home network in every way possible.
• Improve your networks Wi-Fi range.
• Increase the signal strength
• Enjoy new technological advances offered by the modern devices.
When you start to experience symptoms of an underperforming or overwhelmed router e.g can’t get a Wi-Fi signal in your home. It is a serious reason for you to do an upgrade.
How do you find or change Your wireless network password?
It is always safe to keep changing your wireless network password to keep intruders away. Well, the process can be done in a different number of ways. But here is the simplest process of finding and changing your password.
• Begin by opening the run command from your laptop.
• Then type ‘ncpa.cpl’ without the quotations and hit enter key.
• This will display all network adapters available, just right-click the Wi-Fi connection and click on Status.
• Now on the Wireless Properties, click Security tab and check the Show Characters box.
You can see the password and change it at this point.
How many computers or devices can be connected wirelessly to a router at the same time?
well, there is no limit to the number of devices or computers connecting to a router. Nevertheless, the router performance can be drastically hindered especially if its a large number of devices connected at the same time and with a thirst for bandwidth.
The new tri-band routers are designed to handle multiple devices simultaneously without interfering with the device’s performance. If you need your router to handle numerous devices you will be in good hands if you have a tri-band device. You can also check for a router that supports MU-MIMO feature.
How to use wifi router as an access point?
After picking the router that you want to convert to an AP connect a computer that will automatically obtain IP address to a LAN port on the wireless router.
To avoid conflict, you will have to turn your LAN’s router DHCP server. So through the routers configuration interface, you disable the DHCP server.
Find the LAN router’s range by visiting the configuration page that controls the DHCP server, notes that this varies with the make of the router.
• Now change the IP address to be within the new router’s subnet. e.g if the new routers address is 192.168.0.1 then make old’s router have 192.168.0.2.
• Then set the channel to one of the 3 non-overlapping channels.
• Finally setup encryption on the Access point (preferably WPA2 or WPA)
When the configuration process is done, put the AP router in place and connect the new and the old routers with an ethernet cable through the ethernet ports.
How do you reset your router to factory default?
When a router is reset to factory settings the following settings are affected.
• The Router’s Username and Password.
• Your Wi-Fi’s Username and Password.
• ISP’s Username and Password.
• all port forwards that you have set up.
• Firewall settings.
What is WPS? How To Disable or Enable WPS Button?
In full; WPS simply means Wi-Fi Protected Setup and is a standard that helps make connections between wireless devices and router easier and faster. Disabling or enabling WPS button on your router is an easy task. Depending on the model device that you are using, you can either find a related button on the router or you can do this by finding the correct settings on the configuration interface.
Disabling is equally as simple, just from the press of a button, you can easily turn off WPS. Relatively; you can advance to the routers settings and disable the Wi-Fi Protected password.
How do you Boost your Router Speed?
Know that you have the perfect router to serve your needs how do you boost its speed? Well, there are several things you can do.
• Suitably place your router out in the open free from any obstructions
• Use up-to-date hardware.
• Use features like Wi-Fi Stumbler to find the best channel for your router on.
• Ensure that other mediums that can cause interference are placed far from your router.
• Use WPA password to lock out Wi-Fi thieves.
• Use QoS to control bandwidth hogging activities, Simply prioritize certain applications over others.
• If you can hack the router in order to install DD-WRT firmware, you can extend its coverage range.
• If you have an older router then you can turn it into a Wi-Fi repeater. But if it doesn’t help you will have to purchase a range extender.
How to Setup a guest Network?
Setting up a guest Network depends on the router type that you are using. If it doesn’t support interface for guest access then you’ll have to support a different router that has the function. If it gets complicated, you can check online for instructions relating to the specific router that you are using.
Some of the good routers will allow you to isolate the guest devices from the others for greater security. you can also choose to hide SSID name to avoid broadcasting it. Other firmware has options to limit the number of guests who can connect simultaneously.
How to Troubleshoot Wireless Router Problems?
Routers just like any other technological device can have problems be it Wi-Fi problems or Internet connection. By troubleshooting the router you can simply fix most of the problems. But the question is how do you troubleshoot a router?
1. Rebooting – as always, rebooting works miracles in case you were having problems with your router.
2. Check for Overheating – overheating can cause your router not to function well and over time it will damage the device. Check the vents or if the device is getting enough airflow.
3. Check cables – are they securely connected? Funny thing is that we always complicate router issues yet the cables are just not connected as they should have been or even loose.
4. Try repositioning the router.
5. Try changing your router’s wireless channel.
6. As a last option try to reset the router to its default factory settings.
How do you upgrade Your router firmware?
Well, most routers have an inbuilt update checker which might or might not perform the whole process by itself. Now here is how you can go about the process.
i. Find your router’s address. It might be written on the physical device if not just follow the below procedure.
• Open start button and type network status by pressing enter it will open [Network and Sharing Center] window.
• At the screen’s top right corner, click on the name of your connection to the router.
• In the new window click [Details]
• In the list find the specific IPv4 Default Gateway entry and note that the address listed is actually your router’s address. Just make note of it and move on.
ii. Now connect to your router via the ethernet port in order to access its configuration page.
iii. The enter the router’s IP address you’ve just learned about on the web address bar and hit enter.
iv. Key in your log in information.
v. After successful log in open the Update page right under ‘Utilities,’ ‘Administration,’ or ‘Maintenance’ section.
vi. Click on the “Check” button to confirm if the updates are available.
vii. If there are any latest downloads are available click on the link to download. If no link is given, try visiting manufacturers support site.
viii. On the site, enter your model number into the search textbox.
ix. Check to see the latest firmware to download.
x. After downloading, extract the file.
xi. Now upload the file to your router and wait as the update is being applied.
xii. If the update fails and you can’t access the router, just reset it.
- Considering that the wireless router market is seriously saturated, finding the best device can be a daunting task. In essence, without a good guide, you will have trouble getting the right device. This guideline was specially crafted, keeping in consideration the client’s needs and the amount they are willing to spend on routers.
- It further goes on to provide a list of the best routers in the market and all you require to know about them. Further down the line, you find FAQs to help you have a further understanding of some of the issues and questions being asked by others concerning routers. The troubleshooting section should help you perform several tasks common to routers.
- All in all, this guide has everything pertaining your issues relating to routers, we hope that it can effectively help you make an informed decision while picking the best router for your case.