Everyone needs safe and fast connectivity for all devices. Several manufacturers are rising up to the challenge today and offering different solutions to this need.
While most of the products today are generally decent in this performance, we will be exploring the main features one should seek when buying a long range WiFi router for a home network or a professional environment.
We will also cover the standards one should follow in this respect. Whether you are looking for the best cheap router or the best router under 100 $, these parameters should always be followed.
Parameters Needed to Pick a Right Router
This guide should enable you to better understand the functions and features of routers, as well as enable you to choose better when finding a router for yourself.
So, without further delay, here are 5 reviews of high tech routers today that are considered to be top of the line, but can be considered the best budget routers.
Best Router 2018
|Name||Band||LAN Ports||MU - MIMO||IPv6||Wireless Specification||Price|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X10||Dual-band||6||Yes||Yes||802.11 ad|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000||Dual-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac|
|D-Link DIR-890L/R||Tri-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac|
|ASUS RT-AC88U||Dual-band||8||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac|
|TP-Link Archer C5400||Tri-band||4||Yes||Yes||802.11 ac|
This model comes in a large, good looking, and quite descriptive box. It is one of the first home routers that use the new AD technology. It uses 3 bands: it uses 2.4 and 5 GHz with ac, and 60 GHz with the AD. This means it has 4 times faster speeds at 4600 Mbps when using the AD connection, which is 4 times faster than the current speed in most homes.
This is also one of the first routers that come with the PLEX server built right in. This means it has a server without a PC. You can be fill it up with data like music, movies, and stuff for serving it up to all your PLEX clients in and out of your home.
The contents of the box are very neatly packed. The router is pretty big, about the size of a standard notebook and it can be mounted on a wall if necessary. It is completely in black color.
Design and build
The antennas on the device are placed in such a position that it will help with reducing interference from other 2.4 GHz devices you may use in your home.
The router body has two stickers on it. The first one contains your default password you are going to use when you set it up first, and the second one tells you everything about the app and how to install it. The stickers are to be removed after the initial setup, but it is a good idea to keep them around.
The front part of the router has the LED light indicators for its various functions like: power, internet connectivity, 2.4 and 5 GHz, 60 GHz (the AD band), guest Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, 10G SFP+ connection, all 6 LAN ports, and the WPS button as well as the lock key.
On the side you can find two USB 3.0 ports for connecting various gadgets, and in the back is where you’ll find the 6 LAN ports, the 10 G SFP+, the button for turning off the front LED lights, the reset button, the power button, and the main power port.
Other contents of the box include the quick start guide, the power brick, and the modem connection cable.
The router is pretty versatile for positioning. As mentioned, it can be mounted on a wall, but it can also be placed to stand in various ways.
- Can be a bit expensive
- Not a lot of in-depth customization options
This NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 model comes in a good looking, descriptive box, as most NETGEAR models do. According to the indications, this model seems to be particularly adapted for gaming needs, streaming, and mobile services.
This is made possible by a few advanced features. Those are: 1900 Mbps Wifi speed, its dual core 1GHz processor, the automatic prioritization of Xbox One/360 online gaming modes, advanced QoS lag free gaming, and it’s extremely long range in general ( If you still need a wider range, your only option is having a wifi extender or learn how to extend wifi range outside).
The router also offers video streaming capabilities for Netflix, Youtube, Amazon, and such…
The box contains: the user’s manual, a warranty card, a 25$ music credit for Emusic, some various pamphlets and licenses, one Ethernet cable, the main brick power cable for the main device, three antennas, and the main router itself.
The AC1900 is combining the 600 Mbps from the 2.4GHz band with the 256bit QAM and also with the 1300 Mbps from the 5GHz. It is a dual band WiFi, so it can transmit and receive on both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
It has a 128 MB flash and 256 MB RAM for memory, to help the 1GHz processor. The feature ReadySHARE USB hard drive allows you to share your USB hard drive or printers via this router, and it supports IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6).
Design and build
This router is a bit larger than average. It comes with a protective foil you are to remove when you first install it. The front side holds a sticker with your password, as well as various LED light notifications for: power, internet connection, 2.4 GHz connectivity, 5 GHz connectivity, USB for 3.0 and 2.0, Ethernet ports 1 to 4, and on and off switches for WiFi and WPS.
The back holds the ports for: 3 SMA jacks, the reset button, LAN ports 1 to 4, WAN port, USB 2.0, and the main power button and port.
This model has plenty of ventilation surfaces, which is noticeable right from the start and seems as a good thing to have. Besides, all of these ports and buttons, there is an additional USB 3.0 port on the front side, in case you mount the router on a wall.
- The body is a bit larger than average
- Can be a bit expensive
This D-Link AC3200 model comes in an incredibly sleek and good looking box. It is very nice to the touch and pretty descriptive. Some of the main qualities this product boasts includes: Dlna certified, 5GHz, 24/7 support, 1 year limited warranty, 0 configuration, super speed USB (2.0 and 3.0), the application comes from either App store or Google Play store.
It also has a tri-band Wi-Fi, smarter bandwidth, remote access and management, 4Gig LAN ports, WPS button, ultimate Wi-Fi AC3200, and a 1 GHz dual-core processor.
The contents of the box are incredibly neatly packed. The cables are tucked away in separate compartments, while the main unit is safely tucked in the middle of it all. The main unit is in metallic red and black colors, while other stuff like cables are in black. You will also find a separate file holder where they placed the pamphlets for the warranty information and instructions.
The installation is quite simple and easy.
This unit’s tri-band channels feature includes one 600 Mbps channel with 2.4 GHz speed, and two 1300 Mbps channels with 5GHz speeds. The Smart Connect tech keeps other devices from interfering in its signal . Also, MyDLink feature allows you to always keep track of what is happening on your home network, from any location.
This router takes special care for gaming networks, utilizing its SmartBeam technology and combining it with the QoS, providing the best network traffic possible, removing lag completely. The wireless router range on this model is also quite wide, so it can adapt to any space and suite your every need.
Design and build
This is perhaps the most beautiful router ever seen in the market. Its shiny red color makes it very attractive, and it is designed to look like a scarab in a way, with its antennas up. When mounted on a wall, it looks like a very sleek and cool decoration for your home.
The front side has the plastic protection you should remove when un-boxing the unit. The antennas are also protected with a film and they are pretty firm and move slowly, promising a long lasting duration.
On its back side you’ll find the USB 3.0/2.0 ports, the reset button, the WPS button, the LAN/WAN ports, and the main power port and button.
The ventilation openings are not noticeable as they are on perhaps some other devices, but they are very cleverly incorporated into the design of this router, only adding to its beautiful look.
- Can be considered pricy for some casual users
A quite large box, with pretty descriptive indications, holds all the components firmly and neatly packed. Besides the router itself, there’s the set up guide, user’s manual, warranty card, antennae who come detached of course but they are easily attached, and the brick power cord.
This model boasts with 8 Gigabit LAN ports, a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, Mu-MIMO Technology for fast Wi-Fi, 4T4R antenna feature, and a dual-band 2.4GHz and 5 GHz connectivity.
The first thing that you’ll notice is that this router has a bit faster 1.4GHZ dual-core processor than the usual routers, who mostly operate on 1GHz. While 8 gigabit LAN ports speak for themselves, the MU-MIMO tech allows the usage of the two bands simultaneously, ensuring speed and functionality.
The interface for setup also looks much more advanced than what routers usually have. While most routers come with simple style software, this one has a very modern and easy to navigate set up program. You also get a phone app so you can control the router via smart phone.
Design and build
The router has a standard look with the four antennae on its back half. A rather interesting feature noticed immediately is the 3.0 USB port in the front side with some network storage capability, so the router can act as a server. The middle front part has a ventilation shaft, and the other part of the mid, opposite to the USB port, holds the Wi-Fi off switch.
The back side looks pretty impressive at first glance. The thing that captures attention immediately is the 8 LAN ports, which is much more than usual routers who have four. There’s the reset and power buttons, WSP button, and power and USB 2.0 ports. The top part also has a vent and LED indicator lights.
- A somewhat weak customer support program
- Plain design
This model comes in a very cool metallic blue box, quite large at first glance. The indications on the box claim that this product is adaptable for the apps from the Apple store and Google Play. It also claims this router has the fastest Wi-Fi with a MU-MIMO tech. It is indicated that this Archer C5400 model uses the NitroQAM with a 4-stream capability. This means you can use four different devices at the same time and still send out messages and do other stuff on it, without any interference.
The contents are neatly packed and are: the brick power cable, instructions and quick install guides, USB cable, and the device itself.
At first glance, the device actually looks a bit smaller than the average size of these gadgets, but feels a bit heavier. The thing noticed straight away is that the antennas come already attached to the router, and not separate like it’s usually the case.
The Archer C5400 operates on a dual-core 1.4 GHz processor and is able to connect 4 users simultaneously. This is achieved with the previously mentioned MU-MIMO and NitroQAM tech. It also enables the device to operate without any interference even when serving 4 different users, having impeccable performance, incredible speed, and long range.
This device also features its own Virtual Private Network (VPN), which offers the user Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). You can join your home network remotely, being completely safe from foreign invasions and hacks.
Design and build
The main advantage of this model is that it has 8 external antennas that are not detachable. But instead simply fold down into the device, removing that installation process and making it portable. The design is nothing flashy, but looks pretty good. As the rest of the top and bottom surfaces is completely turned into ventilation shafts.
The back side holds the two USB ports (2.0 and 3.0), the Internet port, 4 Ethernet ports, reset and power buttons, as well as the power port.
The front side holds the LED light indicators for power, 2.4 and 5GHz connectivity, internet connection, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, the WPS, as well as the Wi-Fi and WPS buttons, and LED lights on/off button.
The device is a bit smaller than the usual routers, but with all antennas up id does seem to require to be placed standing on a flat surface, bottom side down, meaning it can’t be mounted on a wall for instance.
- A bit expensive
- In order to get the full benefit of its speed and functionality you’ll need the latest apps and devices
- Limited positioning capability