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Best Modems 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated February 1, 2019
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Maurice TurnerHi, I’m Maurice Turner. I spent 31 hours researching and testing 21 different types of modems and found that material, variety of sizes, and style were most important.

The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing. Without further-a-do, let’s take a look at the Top 3 list in 2018 which are available in the market.

Best Modems of 2018

I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best modems that you can buy this year. Come with me. You must have heard that the best modems should allow you to save money, right? Sure, but that’s not the only reason you should consider getting one. Following is the list of top three modems of 2018.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Product
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
5 points
4 points
4 points
Size
5 points
5 points
4 points
Durability
4 points
4 points
4 points
Price
5 points
5 points
5 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

 

 

№1 – ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem – Retail Packaging – White

 
ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem - Retail Packaging - White

Pros
Approved on Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse Networks), Cox, Mediacom, Suddenlink and most other US Cable Internet Providers. NOT compatible with Verizon, AT&T or Centurylink. REQUIRES Internet Service.
32 Download and 8 Upload Bonded Channels capable of up to 1.4 Gbps download and 262 upload speeds. Recommended for Internet Plans 250 Mbps and above.
Cons
Everything is OK.
 
Total:
4.8

Why did this modems win the first place?

The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day.

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Ease of use
5

5star

Size
5

5star

Durability
4

4star

Price
5

5star

 

 

№2 – Motorola 16×4 Cable Modem

 
Motorola 16x4 Cable Modem

Pros
This 16×4 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem provides speeds up to 686 Mbps, sixteen times faster than DOCSIS 2.0. A Full-Band Capture digital tuner ensures a faster, more reliable Internet.
Cable modem’s Ethernet port connects to a computer, HDTV, game station, or wireless router. (This Model MB7420 cable modem does NOT have a built-in wireless router and does NOT have a telephone adapter or phone jack. The Motorola MG7310, MG7315, MG7540 and MG7550 have a built-in wireless router.)
Cons
It lacks advanced features.
Has some durability issues.
 
Total:
4.5

Why did this modems come in second place?

The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.

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Ease of use
4

4star

Size
5

5star

Durability
4

4star

Price
5

5star

 

 

№3 – NETGEAR CM400

 
NETGEAR CM400

Pros
Support Cable Internet Service plans up to 100 Mbps. Separate router required for WiFi
DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port. DOCSIS 3.0 up to 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0
ELIMINATE MONTHLY CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES – Up to $120 per year
Cons
Requires some skill/knowledge to use.
Small size.
 
Total:
4.3

Why did this modems take third place?

It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.

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Ease of use
4

4star

Size
4

4star

Durability
4

4star

Price
5

5star

 

 

Modems Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy modems, right? No!

Finding the Right Router

With the gaggle of connected home products, smart TVs, smartphones, and other mobile devices ruling our lives, it’s more important than ever to outfit your home or business with a wireless router that can handle the increased demand for Wi-Fi connectivity. When choosing a new router, you should consider the size of your coverage area and the number of clients, as well as the types of devices that will connect to the router. Granted, not everybody needs the kind of performance that you get with the latest and greatest models, and there’s no reason to pay for features that you will likely never use, but if you have several family members vying for bandwidth for things like streaming video and playing Overwatch online, a new router can make a world of difference and help keep the peace. We guide you through choosing a router that will handle your current and future wireless networking needs, and offer our top picks to get you started.

Wireless Protocols

Wireless Ethernet networks use 802.1protocols to send and receive data. Devices that use the older 802.11b and 802.11g standards are limited to data transfer rates of 11Mbps and 54Mbps, respectively, and they only operate on the 2.4GHz band. The most widely used Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11n, allows for maximum data rates of up to 600Mbps and operates on both the 2.and 5GHz bands. It utilizes Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, which uses several antennas to send and receive up to four spatial streams, resulting in enhanced performance. Most of today’s laptops, smartphones, and connected home devices use 802.11n, so an 802.11n router is a good fit for households that have a handful of these devices sharing Internet access. But if you’re using your network to share large files and have several smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices, and media streaming devices connecting wirelessly, a more powerful router that offers the latest Wi-Fi technology may be in order.

The newest class of Wi-Fi routers use 802.11ac technology, which brings several improvements over previous protocols, including wider channel bandwidth (up to 160Hz, compared with 40Hz), more MIMO spatial streams (as many as eight), and beamforming, a technology that sends Wi-Fi signals directly to a client rather than broadcasting in all directions.

The 802.11ac protocol also offers downstream Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology, which is designed to provide bandwidth to multiple devices simultaneously rather than sequentially. That means up to four clients can have their own data streams instead of waiting in turn to receive data from the router. In order for MU-MIMO to work, the router and the client devices must contain MU-MIMO Wi-Fi circuitry. MU-MIMO routers and clients are still relatively uncommon, but more MU-MIMO-enabled devices, including smartphones and smart TVs, are hitting the market all the time.

You’ll see 802.11ac routers with labels like AC1200, AC1750, AC3200, and so on. This designates the theoretical maximum speed of the router. For example, a router that can achieve a maximum link rate of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band is considered an AC1750 router. A tri-band AC3200 router gives you 600Mbps over the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps over each of the two 5GHz bands. It’s important to note that routers rarely, if ever, reach these “maximum speeds” in real-world applications, but if you’re looking for performance, consider one of the high-speed routers (but be prepared to pay a premium).

Features

Wireless routers come with a variety of features, and as is the case with just about everything, the more features you get, the more you can expect to pay. Look for a router with at least four 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet ports, which allow you to connect to wired devices such as desktop PCs, network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and home-automation hubs. Having at least one USB port makes it easy to plug in a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network, but with two ports you can do both. Additionally, try to choose a router that offers removable antennas.

If you want to manage how your Wi-Fi network is being used, make sure your next router has parental controls, Quality of Service (QoS) options, and a guest-network feature. Parental controls allow you to limit network access for certain users to specific times and days and is ideal for parents who want to keep tabs on their child’s online gaming and social networking activities.

A guest network lets you offer Wi-Fi connectivity to guests without leaving your entire network vulnerable. In a nutshell, you’re creating a separate network for guests with a Service Set Identifier (SSID) and password that are different from your main network credentials. This lets your guests connect to the Internet, but doesn’t give them access to your files, printers, and other connected devices. or the Sony PSPro will help eliminate lag time and improve overall gameplay.

How to Extend Your Wireless Signal

If you live in a large or multiple-story home, you may have Wi-Fi “dead zones.” These are areas of your home where your main router isn’t able to reach with a wireless signal. An easy way to solve this, without the hassle of running long cords around your home, is a wireless range extender, which will pick up your router’s Wi-Fi signal, amplify it, and rebroadcast it. They come in both desktop and plug-in variations, and are relatively easy to install. They do have limitations, though: The rebroadcasted signal is typically half the strength of what you get from your main router, and they create a seperate network that makes seemless roaming through your home difficult.

Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems

If a range extender doesn’t do the trick, consider overhauling your network with a Wi-Fi system. This technology offers an easy way to blanket your home in Wi-Fi without the need for additional wiring, range extenders, or access points. They utilize extension nodes, or satellites, to extend your Wi-Fi signal across a larger area than most routers are capable of. Systems such as Google Wifi and the Linksys Velop employ mesh technology, where the satellites communicate with each other to provide coverage throughout your home, while others, like the Netgear Orbi High-Performance AC3000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi System (RBK50), use a dedicated Wi-Fi band to communicate with its satellite. Depending on the number of nodes in the system you choose, you can spread a consistent internet connection across as much as 4,000 to 6,000 square feet of space.

Satellites in a Wi-Fi system are all part of the same network and provide seamless connectivity as you roam throughout the house, and they do not usually require any configuration or management beyond a few taps on a free associated mobile app. A number of the solutions in this category support high-end features like guest networking, device prioritization, parental controls, and MU-MIMO, but because Wi-Fi systems are designed to be simple, in most cases you won’t be able to access the same kind of in-depth settings you can on routers. For that reason, power users and compulsive tinkerers might not love Wi-Fi systems, but for everyone else who finds network setup intimidating, these are among the friendliest and most innovative options you can find today.

For more details, read about The Best Wi-Fi Mesh Network Systems.

Absence of tri-band operation

A lot of marketing hypes up gamer-related aspects, but the new

ASUS RT-AC88U from Asus is one of a few which was really designed from the beginning with gamers’ needs in mind. The black and red-accented shell contains a sizeable -port LAN switch which will benefit users seeking to host low-lag co-op gaming sessions or data servers on their local network.

Its specifications include USB 2.0/3.0 ports supplying up to 1MBps of bandwidth, a fast dual-core CPU, and a 4Tx4R antenna cluster providing for two high-speed wireless streams. The company has integrated gaming-oriented QoS and WTFast WAN clients right into the router OS, with no need for you to install helper apps on the desktop. Antimalware services from TrendMicro are similarly integrated into the firmware, which when activated can independently survey and protect the local network and its clients. However, you should think of the router’s malware surveillance features as just another supplementary line of defense, and keep malware scanners active on your devices just to be sure.

The capacity for another wireless band has been traded for an advanced LAN feature set, and the AC88U’s balanced design elevates it above the other models tested. This has been further enhanced with link-aggregation functions for much faster line speeds, a practical benefit given the additional Ethernet ports on this model. With two pairs of ports dedicated to aggregating high-speed client links, the other four will still remain available in addition to the suite of wireless connections.

And speaking of Wi-Fi connectivity, this router scores highly in MU-MIMO range and speed as its sustained and top transfer rates marginally exceed that of the other models, although that’s only in the absence of signals congestion in the wireless channels you limit your connections to.

ASUS RT-AC66U

Still, there are a few disadvantages to considering the AC66U for gaming duties despite its well-earned reputation. For one thing, it features an older single-core CPU, so you won’t be enjoying extremely fast USB data transfers or advanced multiple-channel wireless operation outside of that already established in the base 802.11ac standards, which all these models meet anyway. For MU-MIMO compliance or beamforming enhancements, you will have to look into the next higher rung of models and spend the difference in order to enjoy a higher level of performance and service.

This well-known model is already being relegated to ASUS’s legacy ranges, and most enthusiast sites have moved on to recommending newer routers with more advanced capabilities. It’s a mark of the RT-AC66U’s staying power that it continues to sell well. It is still in great demand by those who put a premium on known reliability and performance at a reasonable cost and remains our choice for best budget gaming router.

TP-Link M7350 4G Mobile Router

TP-Link’s M7350 sits at the top of our chart in large part thanks to being network-unlocked. That means although you’ll pay in full upfront, you can choose any data deal from any UK network operator, and you aren’t tied to a contract.

The TP-Link’s 2550mAh battery should be good for up to hours of 4G connectivity, but lasts days on standby.

EE 4GEE WiFi Mini

EE’s 4GEE WiFi Mini is a good-looking MiFi that comes with three interchangeable colour bands and a cloth pouch. It lets you connect up to devices at once, and has a 1500mAh battery inside for up to 50 hours battery life on standby. A benefit of buying from EE is the decent-value data allowances and ‘double-speed 4GEE’ fast network. However, don’t be fooled by the 100MB of free EU data per month – you’ll quickly whizz through that when using the Mini abroad.

Several plans are available for the Mini, and EE recommends the £23-per-month 16GB plan for which you pay nothing up front, but it goes up as high as 64GB for £30.50 each month.

GlocalMe U2

The GlocalMe Uis an Indiegogo-funded project that offers a mobile Wi-Fi router quite unlike others on the market. It’s best suited to frequent travellers who want to quickly and cheaply get online anywhere in the world, but it’s a useful device for back home too, especially for business users who are tired of dealing with flaky internet connections while commuting.

With embedded encryption the Ualso presents a safer method of getting online than connecting to potentially vulnerable public Wi-Fi hotspots.

It’s able to work as a standard Mi-Fi device, sharing the data connection of a mobile SIM (the network-unlocked Glocal Uaccepts both full-size and Micro-SIMs) with up to five devices, but what’s more interesting about the GlocalMe Uis its cloud-SIM functionality. You don’t need to insert a local SIM in this mobile router in order to get online in over 100 countries – you simply put some PAYG credit on it or buy a data pack and away you go.

GlocalMe works with multiple network operators including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Orange, China Mobile, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, China Telecom and China Unicom, and supports a wide range of connectivity bands. Because it will automatically connect to the best network wherever you are, you’ll often find – as we did – that getting online via the Uis faster than with your current SIM.

Most data packages last 30 days, and the Uitself can keep going for up to 1hours on a single charge, which should easily power you through any working day. When the 3,500mAh battery runs down charging is fast (around 3.hours) over a 3A Micro-USB connection.

Vodafone Huawei R216

Vodafone’s offering is just as fast but not quite as good as those from Three or EE, allowing you to connect only up to five devices at once. The

R214G Mobile Wi-Fi is great value if you use a lot of data, though, with as much as 50GB of data available for just £30 per month – that’s with no upfront fee on a 24-month plan. If you don’t use a lot of data then the £1a month you’ll pay for just 2GB sounds a little steep.

Three Huawei E5330

The E5330 is a basic MiFi that supports only a 3G network, but if you can’t access 4G where you live then it might appeal. At its lowest price the E5330 starts at £per month with 2GB of data on a two-year contract, but you can get as much as 20GB for £2per month on a two-year contract. Opting for pay as you go or reducing the contract term increases the price.

Performance

The router allows multi-client multi-user, multi-in multi-out (MU-MIMO) data buffer, which was incredibly fast on the 2.and Gigahertz bands that we used. But in terms of file transfer, the ability to read/write data was not up to the mark.

To sum it up, the RT-AC88U router is a great choice if you are looking for speed and performance. In simple words, it’s worth what you are paying for.

Negative

NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 – The fastest, rangiest Wi-Fi router 

Some people consider this as the best wireless routers 201from Netgear. If you are not aware, the brand is well known for launching a range of high-end wireless routers that are a huge favorite among users. Over time, the name Netgear has become synonymous with state of the art networking hardware and top notch wireless routers.

Personally, I prefer R7000 to R8000 as it is more economical and easy to install.

When I asked some of my friends who have used R7000, I was told that it might not be the most powerful Netgear wireless router in the market. But I decided to find it out myself. So come on, let’s review.

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

Okay, here is one from Apple. It’s called Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station.

Nope, the router was not designed by accident. Apple doesn’t do that! This top-notch router from Apple is wireless and is pretty impressive in a lot of ways. Let’s take a look at some factors that differentiate the Apple router from its rivals.

Let’s start with the physical aspects. We all know that Apple is a renowned name for world-class designs that are hard to find elsewhere. The router from Apple looks no different than its other computer products. That said, the design is still good enough to grab the attention of Apple lovers and new users. In terms of performance, the router is simply top class. However, the Airport router is a dual-band router and is capable of entertaining the newest Wi-Fi standards. It is very fast, and it easily handles large volumes of Wi-Fi data from multiple devices at consistent speeds. Simply put, the router is bang on target when it comes to speed and performance, and is just another proof that Apple is indeed a name to be reckoned with when it comes to technology-friendly gadgets.

If you ask me to pick out the negatives of the router, I must say there aren’t many that would make a buyer reconsider his or her purchasing decision. The only issue could probably be the fact that it could have been a better upgrade over its earlier versions. However, it’s already fast and awesome, so upgrading is more of a personal thing to worry about.

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station is still one of the best wireless routers 201from Apple. It’s fast, consistent, and performs well throughout with no jitters.

Easy Setup And Installation Processes

Both the setup and installation processes are fairly simple. You just basically plug the coax cable into the modem and electrical cable into a receptacle. Wait a few minutes for the provisioning process to complete and you will have access to a strong Internet connection.

Backed With Years Of Experience

If you know anything about cable modems and Wi-Fi routers, you know that the ARRIS name is a name that can be trusted. Ever since the company’s first modem release in 199they have been leading the market in quality, speeds, and reliability. Once you try out their products, you will easily see why they are the leader. When you have a company that has been in business for 20 odd years, you know that they are doing something right.

Superior Range

This particular Wi-Fi router is designed to offer superior range, which is a requirement in larger homes. The router offers prioritized bandwidth for streaming music and videos. Beamforming+ is also guaranteed to improve performance and range. For the price, you will not beat the Neatgear Nighthawk AC1900, plus it is backed by a decent warranty. So, you can return if for a full refund, if you are satisfied with the results or if it arrives damaged.

If your computer malfunctions, there will be a risk of losing all your data. The Netgear AC1900 comes with free software that performs automatic backups, which works for MAC and Windows PC computers.

Good Speeds

This router offers excellent speeds. In total, the speeds delivered will max out at 300 Mbps. This makes it much faster than previous generation routers. Plus, this router delivers excellent range. Once you’ve invested in this product, you will not have to worry about any dead spots!

Does not work with most Internet providers, such as AT&T and Xfinity from Comcast

Compatible With Most ISPs

First and foremost, you should know that this router works with most Internet service providers. It is compatible with Xfinity, Time Warner, Bright House and Cablevision. It may be compatible with Cox, WOW and Charter sometime in the near future. Once you’ve connected this device to your ISP, you’ll be able to return the rental modem and save money from month to month.

Wi-Fi Standard

Today, there is an abundance of Wi-Fi standards available with AC being the latest. It is essential to make sure that you have the latest standard. If you do not, you will not be able to access the fastest speeds. Simultaneously, you’ll want to make sure that your devices are able to connect to the router and this is where the standard will be important. The good news is that the AC standard is backwards compatible and will work with all modern standards.

Range is another thing that needs to be considered. It is widely believed that the best modem router combo will not be able to perform as well as separate devices, but this isn’t always true. In fact, a combo kit can work exceptionally well and it’ll save space. Just remember to carefully research each individual product to ensure that you get the speeds and range that you need! Many of these devices do not provide great insight into the range, so it must be important to read reviews from past users to determine the average range of the device.

Dual Band Service

It should be known that most routers today offer dual band access to the Internet. However, it is always a good idea to check just to be safe. With a dual-band router, you’ll be able to access the Internet on two frequencies. This includes 2.GHz and GHz. The GHz offers faster speeds than the alternative. On top of that, the dual frequencies also help to eliminate the potential of interference. It is generally in your best interest to ensure the router of choice offers dual band service.

The two most important features

While it’s still possible to purchase a wired router, the type that require you to physically plug in your devices with an Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi (wireless) models are the most flexible tools for connecting devices in today’s increasingly wireless world.

Here’s some quick info on the top two features that matter most when it comes to wireless routers: wireless range and wireless speed.

Wireless Speed

Wireless speeds have come a long way since Wi-Fi routers first hit the market. Wireless AC routers are 3x faster than Wireless N and Wireless N routers are 14x faster than Wireless G. Moral of the story? If you use real-time applications, like gaming or streaming video, Wireless AC will offer a superior experience to N or G.

Wireless Signals & Beamforming Technology

In typical wireless routers, Wi-Fi signals broadcast using multiple antennas and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. MIMO allows for higher data transfer rate due to the transmission of multiple data symbols by simultaneously using multiple antennas.  The Wi-Fi signals are broadcast in a donut shape pattern from the router to blanket the area with Wi-Fi coverage. In more advanced routers, beamforming technology is added, which provides additional performance and coverage to devices. Rather than emit Wi-Fi waves in a donut shape, routers with beamforming technology find and track devices on your network and aim Wi-Fi signals directly at them, providing a much stronger signal especially beneficial for mobile devices.

The Monster

You only want the best of the best, whether it’s 4K media streaming, or lag free online gaming all on multiple  devices you’re looking for top 11AC speeds, and the latest wireless technologies like Smart Connect, AC Smart Beam, Tri-Band Wi-Fi and MU-MIMO Technology D-Link recommends the AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R).

Maximum wireless signal rate derived from IEEE Standard 802.1specifications. Actual data throughput will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, buildings materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate. Environmental factors will adversely affect wireless signal range. D-Link is a registered trademark of D-Link Corporation or its subsidiaries. All other third-party marks mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Routers

These are single networking hardware units that are suitable for homes of around 2,500 square feet or less, though you can always extend Wi-Fi via additional access points (recommended for best performance) or extenders (easier, but slow in speed.) Setups like these are ideal for those who want to get the most out of their home network, including the best security, most features, total control and fastest speed.

Despite the unassuming design, the Synology RT2600ac is one of the best routers on the market.

Wi-Fi systems

Wi-Fi systems, also known as home mesh systems, are sets of multiple hardware units that works together wirelessly to increase Wi-Fi coverage over a wide area. Wi-Fi systems generally can cover some 4000 square feet or more and are typically very easy to use. They are great for novice users who just want to get online quickly and conveniently. In return, they have limited features/settings and are expensive. I don’t use a Wi-Fi system in my home, but these two are my favorite nonetheless.

Who it’s good for: Anyone who wants to have an easy Wi-Fi network without compromising the local coverage range and fast broadband speed.

How we picked

Nobody really reviews cable modems—it’s difficult, because you can’t know whether it’s the modem or the ISP that’s to blame for slower speeds—so the few reviews that exist aren’t very scientific. We also don’t have the capability to test multiple modems on multiple ISPs ourselves. But generally speaking, modems either work or don’t.

Compatibility: ISP compatibility is the main factor in choosing a cable modem. A modem either works with your ISP or doesn’t. The first thing to do is to check your ISP’s approved-modem list—here’s where to check for Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Suddenlink, Cable One, and WOW (PDF). If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where you can choose from multiple ISPs, the capability to bring your modem from one provider to another is a nice bonus.

Warranty: Most modems come with a one- or two-year limited warranty that covers any catastrophic failure. A warranty is useful, because a company will typically replace a modem if it stops working due to defects. Malfunctions are not a common occurrence with modems, but since purchasing your own means you don’t get a warranty through your cable provider anymore, the warranty is good to have in case anything goes wrong.

Heat: Read the owner reviews for almost any modem, and someone will mention that the modem gets hot. Most manufacturers list the operating temperature on modems as up to 10degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty hot for any electronic device. To keep your modem from overheating, make sure the vents aren’t covered up and it’s in an open space. Modems might be a bit ugly, but that doesn’t mean you should hide yours away in a drawer.

We also identified a few features that aren’t particularly useful for most people:

After researching all the modems currently available, we landed on four contenders for 16×modems: the Arris SURFboard SB6183, Motorola MB7420, Netgear CM500, and TP-Link TC

7620. We also considered two popular DOCSIS 3.0 32×modems, the Arris SURFboard SB6190 and Netgear CM700, as well as three new DOCSIS 3.models, the Arris SURFboard SB8200, Motorola MB8600, and Netgear CM1000.

The Netgear CM500 is compatible with most major ISPs’ common speed tiers. Photo: Kyle Fitzgerald

Optimum

The CM500 is a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with 1downstream channels and four upstream channels. This is plenty for most Internet plans, which top out at 300 Mbps, and many ISPs require a 16×modem for their top non-gigabit plans, such as Comcast’s Extreme 250 plan or Cox’s Internet Ultimate plan. Even though DOCSIS 3.has begun rolling out, that standard is backward compatible, so all DOCSIS 3.0 modems will work with DOCSIS 3.service.

While the CM500 has solid support from every major ISP right now, double-checking your ISP’s compatibility page before you purchase the modem is still a good idea. ISPs update their modem-compatibility lists often, and they occasionally drop support for a modem with little to no warning. That’s what happened when WOW dropped our previous pick, the Arris SURFboard SB618That change, combined with the SB6183’s complications with IPvon Spectrum, prompted us to turn to the CM500 as the better choice. The SB618is still wildly popular, though, and if you already have the SB618(or even the older SB6141) and it’s working fine for you, stick with it—you have no reason to switch over to the Netgear CM500.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

While reviews suggest that the CM500 is a reliable modem, Netgear’s included one-year warranty isn’t great considering most other modems come with a two-year warranty. Modems tend to run pretty hot—the maximum operating temperature for the CM500 is 10degrees Fahrenheit (PDF)—so there’s always a possibility of something going wrong if, for example, you don’t place yours in a well-ventilated area. That said, we think the popularity and the consistently lower price of the CM500, compared with our runner-up, outweigh its lackluster warranty.

The TP-Link TC-7620 is just as good as the CM500, but it can be a bit pricier. Photo: TP-Link

The TC-7620 is a DOCSIS 3.0 16×modem and works with all the same ISPs as the CM500. It’s not on Suddenlink’s compatibility list, but the company’s customer support department assured us that it (or any DOCSIS 3.0 modem, for that matter) works. If you’re a Suddenlink customer and you’re considering the TC-7620, it’s still a good idea to give

What to look forward to

As DOCSIS 3.rolls out across the US, more people will have access to gigabit speeds that require new DOCSIS 3.modems. We expect to see the prices of those modems drop as the higher speed tiers spread.

Cable isn’t the only option out there. Fiber is generally faster than cable, especially in upload speeds, but it involves added cost for companies because it requires new cables and network architecture. That installation cost is at least partially why Google Fiber dialed back plans for its broadband rollout.

The competition

You have a ton of choices in DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, and each ISP has its own list of compatible models. We like the Netgear CM500 because it’s reliable and it’s widely compatible across ISPs. If you plan on staying with the same ISP and in the same speed tier for a while, you might be able to save a little money by buying a less-flexible alternative. Either way, always check your ISP’s compatibility list before making a purchase.

The Arris SURFboard SB6190 and Netgear CM700 are the most widely supported options for plans that are faster than 300 Mbps but not DOCSIS 3.Don’t spend more for these 32×modems if you’re not on one of those high-speed plans, though, since you won’t benefit unless your ISP provides those channels. We also hesitate to recommend these modems, especially if you play online games, because both modems use the Intel Puma chipset, which The Register reports can cause latency issues. DSLReports has more details as well as a list of modems that use the Puma 6.

We reached out to Intel, Arris, and Netgear to investigate, and learned that Intel has released a firmware update to modem makers. Arris is currently rolling out the fix to ISPs, and Netgear has acknowledged the issue as a security vulnerability but hasn’t yet announced a fix. Both the SB6190 and the CM700 have sizable pools of positive owner reviews, but if you’re still concerned, rent a modem from your ISP (so the ISP is liable and will replace it if anything goes wrong) until the firmware rollout is complete.

Our previous pick, the Arris SURFboard SB6183, is still a great modem and a terrific option if your ISP supports it. But the SB618doesn’t have as widespread support as it used to, especially compared with our current picks. We’ve also seen some reports of overheating issues with the SB618When we reached out to Arris about the issue, a representative replied via email, “ARRIS devices are fully tested to meet the stringent UL (Underwriters Laboratory) requirements as well as our own heat and safety requirements. For example, our SURFboard SB618modem is designed to operate in an ambient temperature range of 32F to 104F (0C to 40C) and continues to perform well in rigorous testing.” That said, don’t store your modem in an enclosed space or somewhere that blocks the vents. If you do have the SB618and are experiencing issues with overheating, you can contact Arris customer service.

In the chart below, we list which of our cable modem contenders work with which ISPs based on information from each ISP. (Optimum doesn’t provide a list of compatible modems.) Where applicable, we also include the maximum speeds each ISP supports. We didn’t include modem/router combos, because we don’t recommend them.

Sources

Broadband Internet Access & Services in the Home 201(Table of Contents; PDF), Leichtman Research, August 16, 2016

Greg White, How DOCSIS 3.Reduces Latency with Active Queue Management, CableLabs, June 6, 2014

Why It’s Important to Upgrade End of Life and Unsupported Equipment, Comcast

Search Results: Broadband Providers for this Area, National Broadband Map

Jon Brodkin, Why Comcast and other cable ISPs aren’t selling you gigabit Internet, Ars Technica, December 1, 2013

Mark Bergen, Google Fiber is pulling back on its broadband rollout as pressure grows to cut costs, Recode, August 25, 2016

Wireless Band

Single band Router: A single band router usually operates at a frequency of 2.4GHz (while some routers operate singly at 5GHz). Although these wireless routers are less expensive, you may, however, experience some performance issues, especially if you are an internet-freak wanting faster connectivity all the time. These routers have to compete with other devices in your home that are connected with radio signals in one or the other way, for instance, any wireless phones, any Bluetooth gadgets, or even your microwave oven. Therefore, they tend to be a little slower than the other two routers working at higher bands. Nevertheless, they work well for the routine online activities such as using Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts, and standard web surfing. If you are just another social media fan with no other engagements then maintaining an active digital presence, then a single band router will work well for you.

Dual-band Router: Talking about the dual-band router, these routers can work over two different radio bands, and hence tend to be faster than the single band devices. These routers operate both at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The advantage offered by a dual-band router is that the 5GHz band is not much crowded, hence it provides maximum throughput with minimum interruptions. The dual-band router is ideal for the gamers and movie lovers so that they will experience a seamless streaming and gaming with uninterrupted connectivity. As these routers operate on both frequency bands, you can even manage the load by assigning a specific band to a particular set of applications. Such as, you can use the 5GHz band for gaming or video streaming, leaving the 2.4GHz band free for regular web surfing.

Range of Signals

The next thing which you should necessarily check before buying a router is the range of signals. By the term range, we refer to the area in which the router can send signals efficiently. Every router has a specific range, beyond which it cannot support connectivity. The predicted range of signals for any router may vary from what is actually experienced after its formal installation. This difference may be attributed to various reasons.

Allowed Number of Connections

The number of connections which a router allows at a time depends entirely on the specs mentioned above. Those routers that work on higher radio bands may not support enough connections over long distances. Likewise, if you have an 802.11ac router, but your smartphone endorses 802.11b, you might not be able to get it connected to the router.

Features and Specs

MU-MIMO technology ensures robust connectivity to every gadget connected wirelessly to it.

Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Wireless-N Router

Although, this Cisco wireless router may not be as advanced as the other routers reviewed above, yet it is a considerably modernized device that offers a bunch of specs stolen from other top-rated routers. In fact, its exceptionally vast and durable signal range is one of its traits responsible for the popularity of this router. Talking about its design, the absence of external antennae gives an opportunity to the manufacturers to leverage their creativity in designing this device. Hence, the designers seem to have worked meticulously in coming with a shape that is slim, decent, catchy and sufficient enough to sport an appealing design. The top of the Cisco WIFI router is a matte surface over which gleams a sleek silver metallic strip bearing the company logo. The perfect combination of grey and black colors indeed adds radiance to it.

Wireless Gigabit Dual Band Router

Here comes an innovative device from the Chinese tech company that is a delightful addition to the range of dual-band routers. We are talking about the TP-Link Archer CAC1750 wireless router. Sleek design, enchanting performance, and affordable price tag – these attributes combine together to make up the fantastic TP-Link WIFI router. In an attempt to wrestle with Linksys and NETGEAR, the TP-Link wireless router comes in with a shimmering look that is adorned with brilliant indicator lights to show the connection status. Whereas the decent shape of the device lets it be comfortably placed anywhere.

In addition, this TP-Link router bears an affordable price tag. In fact, if you are looking for a cheap router that brags about high-end features and specs, then this indeed is the best router under 100 that takes your networking experience to the next level.

Asus RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual-band Gigabit Router

Our list of best wireless routers would remain incomplete unless we include the Asus RT-AC 68U review in it. The RT-AC68U is an advanced successor of the previous Asus wireless router variant of RT-AC66U. The device bears a design similar to the RT-AC66U, but the specifications it sports are much improved as compared to the older variant.

Google OnHub

Stepping into the world of WIFI routers, Google launched its debut product in collaboration with TP-Link, the OnHub. Although, the device didn’t get many hits due to an average performance, and every OnHub review available online shares a different viewpoint. Nevertheless, in the world overwhelmed with rectangular black boxes with scary external antennae, the production of OnHub was a good step.

The OnHub rebels the typical design of wireless routers by adopting a cylindrical columnar shape, inside which lies a ridged column-like router system. Its sleek design is truly appealing, making you to proudly place this stylish device over the central table to beautify the room interior. With a cylindrical design, all the antennae are situated near the router and are enclosed within the cylinder. So, you don’t have to tolerate those weirdly protruding antennae anymore.

WRAPPING IT UP

You may find several wireless routers in the market today, each claiming to deliver the best performance. They may or not be the best regarding the design and the functionality. However, the ultimate decision would be yours that which device suits you the most.  Believing on the word of mouth or other promotional stuff will only frustrate you in the long run since you are likely to make wrong decisions after being impressed with the flattering content. You actually need a wireless router that efficiently caters your requirements. Therefore, we have attempted to present to you a comprehensive review about some of the best wireless routers available in the market, along with a brief guide about how you would proceed to make a choice. We hope this review will benefit you the next time you go out to purchase a wireless router.

ASUS RT-AC5300

ASUS RT-AC5300 is the ultimate wireless router for both home and office use. It is regarded as one of the best wireless routers for multiple devices. It takes every aspect a notch higher for even greater speeds, coverage, and reliability.

Speed is guaranteed with the

ASUS RT-AC5300  wifi router in several respects. The router features the AiRadar beamforming technology for boost network strength and fine-tuning connections. Additionally, the router features eight high-power antennas; a high number than most other routers feature. These antennas help to boost both speed and coverage. Also, they aid in focusing a strong connection to a particular direction. What’s more, it functions flawlessly even when multitasking thanks to its advanced data pipeline system.

Gamers and movie junkies will also appreciate the power under this router’s hood. For starters, it has a powerful CPU that easily supports data-intensive tasks such as gaming. It also features an adopted QoS for optimizing and prioritizing bandwidth. This allows users to dedicate more bandwidth to specific tasks without derailing the others.

The ASUS RT-AC5300 wireless router is compatible with many devices and programs, and upgrades are always underway for even better user experience. It also supports security and privacy using programs such as its VPN app.

Linksys Velop

The Linksys Velop Tri-band 3-Pack (WHW0303) is as efficient as it is compact. It is designed for all-round use from office work to entertainment, and everything from setting it up to controlling the system is made incredibly easy, hence the best wireless router for large business and homes.

Asus RT-AC88U

It is all about connectivity with the ASUS RT-AC88U. For starters, it puts many other wireless routers to shame thanks to its fast speeds. Additionally, it features multiple USB ports that connect to diverse devices, and it is compatible with virtually all devices.

ASUS RT-AC86U

The real power, however, rests with the powerful CPU and processors. The

ASUS RT-AC88U  wireless router has double dual-core 1.4GHz processors that boost USB transfer speeds by over two times. They also make the router ideal for business use especially when there are heavy tasks involved as it can multi-task twice as well as ordinary routers with a single processor.

It also impresses for entertainment tasks such as streaming videos and gaming online. This wireless router’s outer hardware is also as compact as its powerful chips under the hood as the body is strong and sleek.

The ASUS RT-AC88U is compatible with a wide range of devices thanks to the multiple ports located in its sides. Its CPU and powerful processors makes it easy to multi-task both online and directly with other devices.

Google Wi-Fi system

The Google Wi-Fi system router has a sleek modern design and is compatible with major internet service providers. The three-pack system covers a house of between 3,000 to 4,500 square feet. Setting up the wireless router takes about 1to 20 minutes. One of the reasons for choosing this wifi router is that it has a network assistant technology that always selects the fastest and clearest channel to use for the connected devices.

Linksys AC5400

The Linksys AC5400 wireless router is a powerful router that is easy to set up by following the quick starter guide provided. The router has eight antennas that ensure optimal performance of the Wi-Fi network. For gaming lovers, a powerful 1.GHz processor that is dual-core is put in place to facilitate efficiency in handling multiple high-speed streams of data.

NETGEAR Nighthawk X8

NETGEAR Nighthawk Xis one of the best tri band wireless routers for streaming. It features the fastest connection speed in the range of 5.3Gbps. It has a high quality Quad Stream technology, which delivers close to four data streams of Wireless Fidelity band. And just in case you are wondering if it comes with customer support or otherwise, yes it does.

TP-Link AC5400 

The TP-Link AC5400 wireless router is a compact and high-performance router. It has a 4-Stream and NitroQAM that increases the throughput leading to lag free performance. The TP-Link AC5400 is able to provide a Wi-Fi connection across houses up to 10,000 square feet, which is relatively large compared to other products available.

Durable Products

Ideally, we all want a router that lasts for years without the slightest malfunction, but that is impossible. All machines undergo wear and tear, and they eventually have to be phased out and replaced with new ones. Wireless routers accord us conveniences. Multi-users can use wireless routers without the unsightly wires running all over the premises.

Wireless Standards

There are three broad types of routers. They are the single or the dual band models and the tri-band models. The single band models are on the 2.5GHz frequency. The single band models are cheaper than their counterparts are. The latter and the tri-band models are better when the network traffic is heavy. Alternatively, experts categorize routers using the 802.11n, 802.11g, and the 802.11ac wireless standards conventions.

USB and Ethernet Ports

The best wireless routers often come with around four to five Ethernet ports. These ports ensure the connection of the router to several devices simultaneously. The leading routers come with removable aerials or antennas. They have a USB port for connecting to devices like printers.

QoS and Parental Lock

Nowadays, wireless routers come with an in-built parental lock feature. This helps the parents to keep close tabs on the sites their kids are visiting. Select the models, which have a Quality of Service (QoS) function. That feature allows the user to give a particular task a higher priority. For instance, you might want to prioritize calls over game users.

Frequencies Supported

The best wireless routers models to use are the ones who support both the 2.GHz and the 5GHz spectrum. The dual and the tri-band wifi router devices offer better coverage as their signals can be split to serve multiple users. It’s smart to ask about the number of bands a particular model supports.

Before you buy a particular model, it is important to look at the graphic user interface. Most of the best wireless routers are not as user-friendly as the consumers would like. Making simple changes and edits to the default configuration settings becomes a nearly impossible task for the regular person.

Wireless Router Features to Look Out For

Routers have become part of our everyday lives. The vast plethora of gadgets and devices available in the market today all come with a ton of impressive inbuilt features. These features facilitate the eased synchronization with other remote devices. There’s one slight problem, though: Purchasing a wireless router isn’t as straightforward as it once used to be.

IPV Vs IPV 4

There is always a real risk of being attacked via your routers. The wireless devices are at a higher risk than their counterparts are. Stick to using the WPA or the WPA protocol enabled commodities to reduce the risks of being hacked. Consumers are encouraged to switch from using the Internet Protocol version devices and instead opt for the 12but protected systems known as the IPVBefore you take out your wallet and order a particular model, it’s a prudent idea to compare and contrast the rates from several retailers. There’s an excellent chance that you find a cheaper deal elsewhere.

Utilities

Congratulations! You picked an internet provider. The hard part is over, right? Well, almost.

After you select your speed — and your bundle, if you go that route — you need to make one last decision: Rent a modem and router from your provider or buy your own.

When to rent

Buying your modem and router will save you money in the long run, but there are a few scenarios in which renting makes sense.

You have roommates. Splitting the cost of a modem and router is easy. Figuring out how to divvy up the device should one or more roommates move out — not so much. Unless you can settle on a system that works for everyone, renting and splitting the bill will likely save headaches down the road.

Your employer foots the bill. Some lucky folks don’t pay for their internet service. Instead, their company pays the monthly bill. They may not pay for equipment, though. If that’s you, don’t dig into your wallet for a new modem.

You’re moving soon. If your living situation is temporary, renting might make the most sense. Especially if you don’t know where you’ll land next and what your internet options will be when you get there. That said, if you know those things, you might be able to buy equipment that will work when you settle into more permanent digs.

If you’re particularly tech averse, you may also be inclined to rent, since your internet provider may offer free troubleshooting and repair services only on modems leased or purchased through it. Just keep in mind that most modems and routers are easy to set up and require little to no fiddling once they’re up and running.

Single or Dual Band

There are two basic types of routers, one that communicates over a single radio band, and the second that can communicate over two. Single-band routers are perfectly adequate for things like Web surfing and connecting to social media services like Facebook and Twitter. However, if you are going to be streaming video from a service such as Netflix, or connecting to an online gaming service such as Xbox Live, consider a dual-band router.

Wireless Protocols

Wireless networks use 802.1protocols to send and receive data. Devices that use the older 802.11b and 802.11g standards are limited to data transfer rates of 11Mbps and 54Mbps, respectively. These only operate on the 2.4GHz band.

802.1protocols are the most widely used WiFi protocol and it allows data rates of up to 600Mbps. This protocol operates on both the 2.GHz and GHz bands and it utilizes Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. The routers with 802.11ac have labels like  AC1200, AC1750, AC 3200, and so on. The number designates the theoretical maximum speed achievable by the router.

Features

Routers come with all sorts of features depending on the price tag. When buying a wireless router you need to make sure to buy one that comes with at least four 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports which allow you to connect to wired devices such as desktop PCs, network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and home-automation hubs.

The next feature you need to look out for is a USB port, it will make it easy to connect a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network. If you want to connect both simultaneously then look for one with multiple USB ports.

Routers also come with detachable antennas. This will offer you an easy way to extend or limit the range of your router easily. To manage you WiFi usage, look for options like Quality of Service (QoS), and a guest network.

Last and most important of all is security and all routers offer some sort of it. The more you are willing to spend the better security yo can get. Routers with WPA-Enterprise security offer a higher level of security than WPA/WPA2 but require a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server to authenticate each client.

Asus RT-AC88U AC 3100 Wi-Fi Routers

The smart connection technology in the AC88U can choose the best band for your device and location. Its range can span across 5,000 square feet thanks to the antenna design. The router includes eight Gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 port. All the LAN ports indicate that the router is ready for a business environment, but it can also be used in homes, dorms, and apartments with ease.

The AC88U also comes with AiProtection, Trend Micro software that searches for vulnerabilities, detects threats, blocks suspicious sites, and offers the level of parental control that has become a must-have for growing families. Best of all this is MU-MIMO prepared. MU-MIMO is a new type of wireless standard that allows a router to communicate with several compatible devices at the same time.

Synology Router RT1900ac Wireless Router

If you are going to be  hosting an external hard drive connected to its USB 3.0 port, the RT1900ac is indeed a formidable storage server. However, this router is great in both cases as either a Wi-Fi router or a NAS server. It is brilliant and is even overthrowing better more expensive competitors, such as the Asus RT-AC68U or the Netgear R7000.

Most of the users love its range and easy setup. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router. This router is also wall-mountable. The router is also feature reach and it is very easy to add functionality through packages that quickly install.

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wireless Routers

This router is great for gaming and for connected homes that have high WiFi demands. The Router management is done via an app that you can access and monitor from anywhere. The only con is that the 1GHz processor is a little slow, and those six antennas may need a little extra room than a router typically requires. The antennas are also not detachable and the router is a little expensive but the pros of this device balance out the cons.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Wireless Routers

This router is perfect for those who are looking for a powerful and dependable router that can handle gaming and streaming. Netgear Nighthawk X4S comes with great cutting edge features. It  also has four antennas and can deliver much faster speeds than a standard 802.11ac router. It also features MU-MIMO for faster results and more reliable Wi-Fi, along with an eSATA connection for linking up an external hard drive more easily. This router comes wit a 1.7GHz processor and offers boosted speeds with an 800Mbps 2.4GHz band and a 1,733MBps 5GHz band.

Nighthawk X4S also has a VDSL modem built-in. The software is pretty good too, with a simple Dynamic QOS system to make it easier to manage a home network with a massive amount of devices. However, it  Lacks 1024-QAM and before buying it make sure your hardware is capable of achieving the fastest speed that this router can offer.

This Nighthawk router also comes with smart beam features. Smartbeam can lengthen the range of the router. The built-in ports include two USB 3.0 connections and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, Which will allow you to setup even the craziest, multi-device gaming setup. Pretty much everything about this router is perfect for gaming and the only slightly awkward thing is the design.

Many experienced users even claim that this is the best router currently available in the market. It is also easy to configure and the user interface is also easy to use. This router is also quite bulky and covers up a lot of space.

Netgear R6220 Wireless Router

This router comes with 802.11ac technology, a USB port, and user-friendly management setting. Its performance is great compared to other budget routers. It is slightly bigger in size than most routers and uses a glossy black enclosure with LED activity indicators on the top panel for power, Internet, Wi-Fi, wired ports, USB, and WPS.

Most of the users find it is reliable and has great features. They like the performance and range of the Netgear R6220, especially given its price tag. Users also cite easy set-up as an added bonus.

Google TP-Link OnHub AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Router

The OnHub is an AC1900 router that can theoretically provide up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The OnHub had a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of eMMC flash storage, and 1GB of DDRmemory. There are also six 2.4GHz antennas and six 5GHz antennas arranged in a circular pattern for maximum coverage in all directions, a reflector antenna that boosts signal strength, and a congestion sensing radio that continually polls wireless activity and changes channels to increase performance.

This router is best for large homes that have many connected devices. However, it is not without faults, the router has only one wired port and no PC/Web browser app. It also lacks many standard management options and some features have to be enabled. But, the  Google OnHub makes it easy to bring dual-band 802.11ac networking to a large home and its discrete design is one of its greatest selling points.

Users using the Google OnHub love its range and easy setup, even if they find the price tag a little steep. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router.

Disable SSID broadcast

You need to disable your broadcast. However, this procedure is quite controversial. There is speculative debate over this measure being more a problem inducer than solver. To have an even footing where this strategy is concerned, you need to first have a little background knowledge of your router.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network incapacitates people to keep tabs on you by enabling private browsing. To activate a VPN, you need to subscribe yourself to one. This article explains VPNs dutifully. But remember to use the secure VPN else you will face the same issues getting hacked and privacy breach.

Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

This one is straight from the book. You need to have the latest Wi-Fi technologies—meaning, you need to have an up-to-date hardware and firmware. Take a look at what the computer connoisseurs out there have to say about this and then adapt accordingly.

DIY Way

Try out some exceptionally weird but optimistically helpful DIY hacks to gain some speed. There are tons of those out there. Most of them require the use of household items and whatnot. Cut open a can and place it around your antenna like a satellite, for example. As absurd as it sounds, people have reported this little activity provided a little bit of juice, if not a whole lot, and their routers sped up a little.

Rimsha Salam

Rimsha Salam writes on the latest tech trends. She is a self-proclaimed tech geek, bookaholic, realist, introvert, and gamer.

About Us We at MobileSiri tend to bring the latest technology updates and news at the earliest from different reliable sources. Along with news and updates, we collect the specifications, unboxing videos, pricings and other details of the latest cell phones and gadgets and present you the pros and cons of the latest gadgets.

News 

Fact: Selecting the right wireless router can be a challenge. Businesses often spend thousands of pounds to hire wireless networking professionals to perform site surveys to determine the best equipment and means to deploy a wireless network. Small wonder, then, that home and small business users can feel frustrated when attempting to purchase, set up, and indeed maintain a wireless router and their own wireless networks!

To add to the confusion, router manufacturers now offer a new generation of wireless routers. These routers feature the latest 802.11x technology – 802.11ac – which is a step up from 802.11n, offering higher throughput speeds and better range. Sounds great, but does 802.11ac currently deliver any gains over 802.11n? Do you need a lesser expensive single-band router or a more expensive dual-band model? Do you need to upgrade or purchase an 802.11n router? What benefits does 802.11n give? Does a higher-end router mean better Internet connectivity? What about IPv– is it best to get a router that supports IPv6?

These questions, as well as factors like security, parental controls and extra features such as the ability to connect USB printers and external storage drives to a router for sharing in your personal network, are all considerations to weigh up when deciding to purchase or upgrade a router.

At any rate, here is a checklist and some information to help in your search for the perfect router for your networking needs:

Other considerations

If you are looking for a router that you don’t want to upgrade anytime soon, consider going with one that supports IPvWhile the switch from IPvto IPvnetworking appears to still be some time coming, a router that supports IPvwill help keep your network intact when your ISP transitions over to IPvas well.

Some routers also offer extras such as SD card slots, and USB ports for printer sharing and external drive sharing. If those are features you want in your network, bear that in mind during your search, and look for routers that support those features.

For more router tips, see our guide to setting up a wireless router, and our guide to testing your wireless router’s performance. You might also want to read up on how to secure your wireless router, and we’ve also got some tips on boosting your wireless router’s signal.

Anchor · Edit

Do you want to run an email, web, games or other server? If so, note that: • Depending on the type of server, the minimum acceptable upload speed will probably be 128Kbps (a 512/12connection). Some games servers will not run acceptably on an upload speed of less than 256Kbps (a 1500/25connection) and even then, may be limited to a maximum of players before becoming unplayable. • Some ISPs do not provide static IP addresses to “residential” users which makes running a server more challenging but not impossible as various dynamic IP address DNS services are available for free or a small charge; other ISP’s charge extra for static IP addresses, and some only provide static IP addresses to those who sign up for the more expensive “business” plans. It pays to shop around. • Xbox live gamers;• Those, especially gamers, who have to share the connection with others;• P2P users; and• Remote VPN users.

Brands

Some brands that make switchboard devices are (in no particular order, Australian market) : ABB, Clipsal, HPM, NHP, Eaton, Erico (Critec)

Some brands that make plug-in devices are (in no particular order, Australian market) : Thor, Crest, Belkin, Powertech (Jaycar), DSE (in house brand), APC, Eaton, Critec, PowerGuard, Cabac, HPM, Arlec, Arista, Huntkey, Laser, even Monster.

Telequip productsTo come…

Avico products• Avico Way Power Protector/Filter Board (MSD36) – user had to disconnect this surge protector from the phone line as it caused incoming voice calls to drop out after a single ring (odd, because it was only protecting the modem and not the phone). Info from blitzwurst

The number of bands

Most of the wireless routers are dual band, but we now have tri-band routers. The number of bands determines the number of users that will be able to access the network. Dual band routers have two radios that operate at 2.4Hz and 5.0Hz. This is the standard router for home use and can support an average number of users. However, for many users like a hostel or a small office a tri-band router is the ideal one because it can support a bigger network of users.

Number of ports

As much as Wi-Fi internet access is good, you can never compare it with a wired connection. This is especially true if you are looking for fast video streaming. When looking for a router, make sure that will offer you high speed wired connection in addition to the Wi-Fi connection. There are routers that can allow you to connect more than one computer using the cable connection.

Parental controls

If you use you share your Wi-Fi internet with kids, then parental controls are very important. A good router should allow you to block some website on the internet. This is a good way to make sure that your kids do not access website that you think that they shouldn’t access.

The access range

The case range of the router is determined by the channel and also the size of the antenna. The common channels are 2.4HZ and 5.0Hz, and they will determine the range of your connections.

However, it is important to remember that the range is also affected by some other things like walls and doors and this might affect your range. If your antenna is long enough, then the range is also increased.

These are some of the basic features that any decent wireless router should have. The list is not inclusive because technology keeps changing and new features are coming every day. It is important to choose a router with the latest technology because this translates to better performance.

Design and appearance

The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a rigid and solid router that comes in a black color. At a glance, the exterior design speaks power because it has many angles. The beautiful design of this adapter means that you don’t have to hide it.

The front part has some led lights that blink when it’s in use. This can be annoying especially when it is dark but thankful; you can switch the lights off. It has four antennas, and you might need to look for some extra space to keep it.

Like you already know, this is one of the fastest routers available. Netgear promises a speed of 1733mbps for the 5.0Hz and 800mbps for the 2.4Hz band version. This is a good speed that justifies the large size of the router.

Installation

Once you connect it to your computer, a setup automatically appears on the screen. This allows you to do the initial setup which is quite simple. From the screen, you will be able to do all the settings and the configurations that you need in a quick manner.

What did we like

High speed – the router did not disappoint us when it comes to speed. The 4*wireless connection is something worth mentioning, and the speed is even better for wired connections.

Good range – a range of meters is quite good although minor interruption due to walls and doors were inevitable.

Room for expanded connectivity – it was easy to expand the connectivity owing to the eSATA port and the usb 3.0 ports.

Downside

The router is quite big and bulky, and this means that you might be required to create some extra space to accommodate it. It is also quite pricy for people who are working with a tight budget considering that it is a dual band router. However, the reliability and performance of this router are unmatched.

Dual band

The ASUS RT-AC88U is a dual band router, and this means that the speed and range are good for both the 2.4Hz and 5.0 Hz. However, Asus RT-AC5300 counterpart is a tri band, and this means if you are looking for more speed and a wider range, you should look for the counterpart.

Despite being a dual band, it still doesn’t disappoint when it comes to streaming of movies as well as live gaming from the internet.

Why we liked it

Fastest wired speeds – the router comes with Gigabits LAN ports, and this only tells you one thing. The speed for wired connections is out of this world. In instances where you need the fastest streaming, all you have to do is to connect your devices to the LAN ports.

Sleek look – Gamers will particularly like the look of this router. It has all the looks that gamers are looking for, so there is no need to hide it.

Speed performance

The Zyxel Armor ZAC2600 might not be able to compete with the tri band versions, but this doesn’t mean that it should be underestimated. The speeds are still decent even in the maximum range of meters, and they keep improving with shorter distances. This means that this is a router worth buying especially if you are not looking for anything fancy and you won’t something practical that will do the job. The slim design is a bonus, and we must give it a thumbs up.

What we liked

Reliability – the Zyxel Armor ZAC2600 might not be the fastest router in the market right now, but it offers reliability. Once you get this router, you will be guaranteed that the job will be done without any disappointments.

Slim look – this might be a gaming router, but it doesn’t put the other users off. The best thing is the fact you can use it for both your gaming needs and also your professional needs without looking like a gamer in an office.

Tri-band

Most of the routers in the market are a dual band to accommodate home and small office use. However, it is refreshing to note that the Asus RT-AC5300 is a tri band router. The implication of this is better speed and also a wider range.

The Asus RT-AC5300 cannot compete with its dual band counterparts, and it commands a speed of 1000mbs for its 2.4Hz band. This is a router that concentrates on gaming and video streaming, so you do not have any issues with the speeds.

Connections

The router has gigabit Ethernet ports, but unfortunately, one is dedicated to modem connection. This means that you have to connect your modem here because it lacks an inbuilt modem. However, to enhance the flexibility of the router, it has both usb 3.0 and 2.0 routers giving you a chance to connect as many devices as you want to the router.

Setup and installation

This might be a powerful and high-end router, but it doesn’t mean that the installation is difficult. The process of setup is very easy, and you don’t need to be tech savvy to do it. With easy installation, you won’t have any future problems with this router.

High speed and range

When it comes to speed and range, you can trust the Netgear Nighthawk Xfor reliability. You don’t have to worry about keeping your big office or home connected. This router offers the most advanced tri band router technology.

Friendly to use

It is surprising to note that the power offered by the Netgear Nighthawk Xdoesn’t make it difficult to use. Even with the high power, you can easily install it, secure and adjust your Wi-Fi connections to your preference. There are also on and off buttons that are easy to use.

Security is important for every router and secure connection is what the Netgear Nighthawk Xoffers. Using this router, you can set your parental connections options and other internet connections.

Downsides

The only downside of this router might be the high price of the router. However, this is not a disadvantage keeping in mind the high performance that the router offers the users. It is fine to sacrifice the initial high price for the unique features and performance of this router.

What a router does

Broadband routers  work well for routing small amounts of information between computers in small offices or home networks. A router in your home can help create two types of networks.

Ad hoc networks can work with or without a router, connecting one computer to another for transferring files.

Wired connections

Computers typically connect to routers through an Ethernet connection, which looks very similar to a phone line, only larger. Ethernet connections tend to be faster than wireless connections. Most routers have multiple Ethernet ports to allow connections for multiple computers. An Ethernet connection is also the most common connection between the router and cable or DSL modems.

Wireless connections: Wireless routers

Wireless routers are probably the most popular computer networking tools, since they can be used by multiple devices without cables. Different wireless frequencies have been in use during the last decade, including 802.11a and 802.11b. Now, 

Router-modem combinations

A router is often combined with a broadband or DSL modem, eliminating the need for separate devices. These routers will plug directly into your DSL or cable connection. They can also be easier to install, since separate modems and routers sometimes have trouble linking during setup.

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

The D-Link is yet another affordable high-speed Wi-Fi router that will let you do more with your high-speed internet connection.

You can connect everything from your smartphones to tablets to laptops, smart TVs and game consoles to this ultra-fast router. What’s even better is that you can experience speeds of up to 3.Gbps.

Just as any other Tri-band Wi-Fi router it is huge and looks good with its shiny red color, a pyramid-like design, and six external antennas. It has two 5GHz and one 2.GHz so that all your devices can work at their maximum speed.

The Smart Connect ensures that the router automatically chooses the best band for each of the devices that are connected. This means you can stream movies, play games online and connect to Facebook on multiple devices and never feel any annoying lag.

Smartbeams are formed around the router that detect your movement and directs the bandwidth where it is required. Everything is managed by the powerful 1GHz dual core processor that is at the core of this router.

Hardcore gamers will love this router as it comes NVIDIA gamestream ready to give you the ultimate experience in gaming.

All in all, the Ultra Tri-band Wi-Fi router is a must have for the home network that is thirsty for speed.

TRENDnet AC3200 Gigabit Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

If you are looking for a budget-friendly AC3200 router that does not compromise on quality or features, then you should consider the one by TRENDnet.

You will feel the power of the Tri-band as it maximizes the speed of all the devices connected to the network. The Smart Connect feature automatically detects slow and fast devices and choose the correct band accordingly. If that wasn’t enough, there are Gigabit ports through which you can connect additional devices.

The maximum speed supports by this router is 3200 Mbps and is split as 600 Mbps and 1300 Mbps on the 2.GHz band the two 5GHz bands respectively. You can enjoy this maximum speed from any location in your home as the router comes with powerful amplifiers and high gain antennas to expand the wireless coverage area.

This router is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor for unmatched performance. This in combination with the integrated co-processors gives you maximum speed. The beam forming technology ensures that the bandwidth is directed at the devices instead of sending out signals in random directions.

Connect a printer or storage devices using the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. Stay protected with TRENDnet’s network protection tools with which you can use features such as parental controls, dedicated guest network, and pre-encrypted Wi-Fi.

Setting up the router is quick and intuitive with the easy-to-follow guided set-up. You can also access your home network remotely with the use of the Open VPN support. You can also make use of the DD-WRT open source firmware as the new and improved version of the router is compatible with it.

This router is backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty for complete peace of mind.

ASUS RT-AC3200 Wireless-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router

If you do not want to shell out those extra bucks on the all too powerful ASUS AC5300, then the next best choice would be the ASUS RT-AC3200.

It comes with two of the latest 802.11ac networks which can handle maximum speeds of up to 3200 Mbps. So you can play online games without any latency issues or even stream high-quality 4k videos or share files at lightning speeds. The tri-band comprises of two 5GHz bands and one 2.GHz band. The Smart Connect technology automatically detects the device speed and assigns the correct band for maximum speed.

But if you want to use a wired connection then you can also do that using the single Gigabit Ethernet WAN port or any of the Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. There are antennas that not only look majestic but come with AiRadar beam forming feature that directs the bandwidth to the devices for a wide Wi-Fi coverage. Transfer data quickly with the USB 3.0 port or even connect a printer to your USB 2.0 port.

The RT-AC3200 comes with a user-friendly and intuitive ASUSWRT interface with which you can set-up your router in just about 30 seconds and in simple steps. You can also check how many devices are connected to the W-Fi or analyze the traffic to see the network bandwidth used up by each of the devices.

AiProtection from Trend Micro gives you security that you can depend on by constantly monitoring your network for vulnerabilities. It also allows for parental controls and privacy settings.

You can keep all your favorite data safe using the ASUS Aicloud that can be quickly accessed via the Aicloud mobile app.

With so many features the ASUS RT-3200 is sure to win your heart and also comes at a very happy price too.

Linksys WRT AC3200 Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit Smart Wireless Router

Adding itself to our list of affordable  AC3200 routers is the Linksys WRT AC3200 router. If blazing fast Wi-Fi speeds is what you are after, then you will love this router.

The unbelievable speeds are achieved using the Tri-stream technology. This basically means that in addition to a 2.GHz band, it has a dual 5GHz band that can give you top speeds of up to 2.Gbps.

The core of the router that helps you achieve these top speeds is actually the 1.GHz dual core processor and a powerful 512MB RAM.

It is not just a super-fast bandwidth that you will get with the WRT AC3200, but you can enjoy the same even with multiple devices are connected at the same time. This is made possible due to the MU-MIMO technology which boosts the total throughput and distributed the bandwidth to all the connected devices. So there is no sharing of bandwidth and each device can enjoy its own stream of bandwidth and not affect the connection of another device.

The router is also open-source ready which means you can configure and customize it using browser-based or Linux-based settings. You can also create a dedicated network for your guests and allow up to a whopping 50 users.

You can also make use of parental controls to keep your kids safe from explicit content. What’s even better, you can even choose which devices are the most important so that those will get the maximum speed no matter what.

With so many features packed into a neat-looking and sturdy router, it gives you more value for your money.

TP-Link AC3200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Archer C3200)

The best AC3200 routers do not always have to be the most expensive. This is why you should buy yourself the TP-Link AC3200 wireless router. It comes at a budget-friendly price that you can forget buying cheap router that leave you frustrated. It has features that are comparable to some high-end routers as you will see in our review below.

It uses Tri-band technology to allow you to freely connect multiple devices to your router without any compromise on speed. It can handle top speeds of up to 3200 Mbps which is split between the three bands as 600 Mbps on the 2.GHz band and the 1300 Mbps each on the two 5GHz bands.

Even better than the Tri-band itself is the Smart Connect technology that detects devices to allocate them to the right band for maximum speed. This way there is no lag even if one of the devices uses up more bandwidth.

The router comes with six sturdy antennas that maximize the Wi-Fi coverage area giving you freedom of movement. They forms beams to direct the bandwidth where it is required and not in any general direction.

Multiple devices are effectively handled by the router as it is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor and co-processors that work tirelessly to give you seamless connectivity.

You can also enjoy lightning speeds with wired connections using the Gigabit Ethernet ports. These are useful for connecting game consoles, Smart TVs and PCs permanently.

You can set this router up in no time with the user-friendly web interface and the free Tether app. As for security, you can use parental control settings, dedicated guest network with password protection and WPA/WPAencryption. This is a must buy router for the budget-conscious who does not want a compromise on features.

AC3200 Wireless TriBand Gb Router Electronics Computer Networking

When you want nothing but only the best, then you should consider this AC3200 router. This is the high-end version of the TP-Link Archer 3200.

It uses Tri-bands that can handle a top speed of up to 3200 Mbps. This is split between the three bands as 1300 Mbps at two 5GHz bands and 600 Mbps at 2.GHz band. Due to this you can connect multiple devices to your router and never experience any latency issues. This is made possible by the Tri-bands that give the maximum bandwidth that each of your devices require.

The router follows the latest 802.1ac protocol and is also backward compatible with older protocols such as the 802.11a/b/g/n. All your devices can be configured to automatically connect to the network.

There are enough ports on the router giving you maximum flexibility in terms of connectivity. There is one Gigabit WAN port, ports, Gigabit LAN, one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port. There is also a wireless on/off switch that you can use to experience blazing speeds with the wired connections.

You don’t have to worry about poor Wi-Fi signal strength when you move about in your house. The antennas ensure that there is a wide Wi-Fi coverage and they form signal beams to direct the bandwidth directly to the devices.

ASUS AC5300 Wireless Tri-Band (Dual 5GHz + Single 2.4GHz) Gigabit Router (Best Overall)

TP-Link AC3200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Best Cheap)

Wi-Fi range

What can you do with just top speeds if the Wi-Fi coverage is poor? Look for technologies such as Smart Connect that manage the bandwidth by detecting devices and their required band. Powerful antennas also help in better Wi-Fi coverage. SmartBeam technology is another feature to look for in you router as it helps direct the bandwidth to devices for better performance.

Virtual Router

A virtual router is not an individual hardware device. Rather, it is a software-oriented router framework, which helps certain hardware devices like laptops or PCs to act as a host, and provide internet same as a typical hardware router. The virtual router functions the same as Wi-Fi router, but is very much different from it.

The routers just help different electronic devices to connect to the internet.

What is a Modem

You get connected to the network of your ISP through a hardware device, known as a modem. The router then shares your internet connection among multiple devices. Modems are of two types: cable modem, which uses a cable to connect to the network, and the other one is a DSL modem, which uses your telephone line to provide you connection.

D-Link DSL-2750U Wireless N 300  Wifi Router with Modem

WiFi standard

802.11n  Why one should consider this as a best Wifi router in India 

This D-link router is one popular product, and lot of customers rely on it for their router use. Based on its popularity and its features, we give it a Star on our popularity meter.  2.TP-LINK TL-WR940N Home Wifi Router Review

This TP link router is imported for you from the USA. There are no hidden shipping or other charges. You can avail this product online at a router price range of ₹1750-2000. At this price range and with the brand image of TP link router, this router promises to fulfil all your expectations.

This home router has an input type of RJ-4(Ethernet cable) and it supports all the major ISPs, like BSNL, MTNL, ACT Fiber net, Spectra net, Hathway, etc. This TP link router helps you connect from any corner of your home due to its excellent range. So, all of you out there, who are looking for a router for a really big space, we recommend you to go for this product.

This device is really easy to install, and you don’t have to an expert to do it all by yourself. It does not show any decrease in its connectivity even when or more devices are simultaneously connected to it. The three antennas provided on it help it improve its connectivity.

The router’s Wifi standard is 802.11n, with MIMO technology, which makes it better than other routers of its range. This device has got WPA and WPAencryptions to make it secure. You can enjoy an amazing 450 Mbps internet transmission range on this device.

Internet or No-internet

An important fact about the routers that you all need to know is that they do not just serve the purpose to connect devices to internet. Even without an active internet connection, you can use a router to connect your devices among themselves to transfer files, stream videos, etc. So, define your need of the router first.

Router’s Standard of Wi-Fi

An orthodox Wi-Fi router comes with 802.1‘b’ or ‘g’ Wi-Fi standard. But, the best Wi-Fi router in the present comes with 802.1‘n’ standard, which allows you to transfer data at the rate of up to 600 Mbps. The latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.1‘ac’ allows a data transfer rate of up to 1.Gbps.

Router Ports

Modern routers provide additional USB ports. Check for the number of LAN ports available to connect in the area where you wish to set up the connection. You may require them for network printing, file sharing, etc.

The best Wifi router supports 128-bit encryption and WPAstandard compatibility.

Read on!

ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router – Best Wireless Router for Home

Asus’ products never cease to amaze us. The routers are no exception. Asus RT-AC88U is a dual band router with everything necessary for a home which depends on the internet. Overall, it is not only the best router for home but the best router overall. Let’s talk about what it has.

When it comes to the design, you will see that the ergonomics of the RT-AC88U are a bit bulky. Don’t let that worry you. When you see all the antennas peeking out of this beast, it won’t take you long to figure out that this monster is out of this world.

These antennas are detachable, meaning you can take them off if you like. Something that took away our attention is definitely Gigabit LAN ports. We mentioned above that the utmost standard is four, and now Asus decided to step up their game. Of course, this is useful only if you have more than four computers in your home that could use the wired connectivity.

There are also two USB ports for you to connect an HDD or a printer. The USB 2.0 is located on the rear of the router while the USB 3.0 took its’ place on the front. This is not too impressive, as faster USB port means a more reliable device attached to it.

The RT-AC88U allows you to merge the first two ports to deliver a swifter and a more reliable connection. It supports the 2Gbps connection. This means that the users with top-end NAS server can sacrifice the four ports in order to add a new internet connection.

Features of ASUS RT-AC88U

The 1024-QAM technology results in a much faster performance than one would expect. Given this is a dual band router, it results in the GHz spectrum reaching up to 2100 Mbps. Additionally, the 2.GHz spectrum reaches up to 1000 Mbps for the older devices. It won’t take long till you figure out how fast this router actually is.

The most beneficial feature clearly belongs to Gigabit ports which enable up to devices that connect to the wires. Additionally aggregating two ports and opening a new spot for another broadband connection is a big plus.

MicroTM powers the ASUS AiProtection which serve as an antivirus in the world of malicious internet. It includes various protection benefits such as virus and malware protection, parental protection and much more.

Just like the most of the top-notch wireless routers, the RT-AC88U has the powerful MU-MIMO technology which treats all the Wi-Fi clients equally. The vast majority of the 802.11ac routers are sporting this technology already, and this router is no exception. exclamation-triangle

The USB 3.0 is located on the front of the router exclamation-triangle

It is quite expensive

Even though it is backed up with the great variety of bells and whistles, the RT-AC88U contains some moderate drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that it is very expensive. But, that shouldn’t be the matter given all of its high-end features and advantages.​ ​2. 

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Tri-band 4xAC5300 Gaming WIFI Router – Best Wireless Router for Gaming

When it comes to games, the most popular ones are the online games. With the development of the mobile gaming, the vast majority of gamers want to use the wireless connections for their gaming endeavor. This being said, there is the need for the best wireless router for gaming.

The GT-5300 has the regular ROG ‘look at me’ appearance, just like the vast majority of other ROG products. However, it still resembles of various other routers such as RT-AC5300.

It features the square-like design, accompanied with detachable antennas for a more badass look. As a tri-band router, GT-5300 features two GHz bands and one 2.GHz band for the old-fashioned devices. The GHz bands reach up to 2,16Mbps. On the other side, the 2.GHz reaches the speed of 1,000 Mbps, making it very agile.

Additionally, the MU-MIMO supported on this device allows the even connect to multiple devices. As a result of this, you can stream Netflix on TV while playing your favorite online game.

Features of GT-AC5300

The Dual-WAN feature is a new technology which allows you to make one LAN port a second WAN port. This results in the ability to host two connections at the same time. For example a cable and DSL.

Link aggregation is something the vast majority of Asus routers have. Thanks to the combination of two LAN ports you can get a Gbps connection.

Lifetime built-in protection protects your devices from the unwanted viruses such as Trojans, dangerous spyware, and malware. The TrendMicro powers this protection, which works on smart devices as well. It is important to note that this protection is free.

The QoS, which is included in the router allows you to prioritize the demands of your internet connection.

GT-5300 includes a USB port which makes connecting the storage devices or printers much easier. The USB port will work just well with other peripheral devices.

The GT-5300 has an amazing gaming feature. This feature enables the system memory to jump from the standard 51GB, including the flash memory to GB.

Just like the model we described above, this router comes with LAN ports. More ports in a gaming router are handier than in the one for home use. Not just your network is safer, but the wired network is more useful to the gamers because of the steady connection.

Probably the most important feature for the world of gaming is support for online gamers. You can prioritize the home network to focus on your favorite game in an online game. This means that there won’t be lag outrages because the network will be focused on what you are doing.

TP-Link AC1900 Long Range Wireless Wi-Fi Router – Best Wireless Router for Larger Home

It is extremely hard to find the router that will blanket your entire home. The AC1900 not only looks elegantly stunning but is also able to live up to its’ purpose.

The white, brushed wireless router with the long-range capabilities possesses the three antennas for broadcasting the signal. Unfortunately, its’ stands allow it to stand only firmly, unable to lay it flat.

Despite these handles that keep it straight, the router can effortlessly tip down, making it extremely difficult, and also annoying to fix in one position. Eventually, after you get tired of straightening it, you will find yourself leaving it in whatever the position it ended up in.

Despite these minor issues it looks perfect and works so as well. There are the LED lights, which indicate power, Wi-Fi signal, and so on. On the rear of the router the USB 2.0 port, WPS and reset catch compliment it. There is also the Ethernet port which later connects to your modem.

The router also has the USB 3.0 for sharing the external HDD or other types of memory holders. On the other side, the USB 2.0 is perfect for the printers.

Features of TP-Link AC1900

The AC1900 supports the newest 802.11ac followed with the MU-MIMO technology. The fastest and the most reliable network standard there is for the wireless routers.

The router is a dual-band. It contains two bands, one of 2

GHz which reaches 600 Mbps. The other band has GHz frequency spectrum, which reaches 1300 Mbps.

The router is equipped with separable radio wires. This allows the efficient remote scope with the lasting quality.

GHz center processor allows the internet connectivity without the interference, in both terms of wired and wireless connectivity.

Like mentioned above, the router is a definite catch. Basically, thanks to the router’s USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, it is more than easy to attach removable devices such as storage devices and even the router.

NETGEAR Nighthawk XAC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router (R8000) – Best Wireless Router for Streaming

The Netgear Nighthawk XAC3200 Wi-Fi Router is better known to the users as the Netgear R8000. This is another router to include the popularizing Tri-band technology.

For a reminder, it contains one 2.GHz frequency spectrum compatible with the 802.11b/g/n standard. Other two bands have the GHz spectrum followed with 802.11ac standard.

The future proofed and futuristic appearance is backed up with the radio wires, making the entire router resemble of a time traveling space ship. This router also contains Gigabit Ethernet Ports, followed with one additional Gigabit WAN port. Thanks to the USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, you can use the routers for utilizing the external hard drives and printers.

As the manufacturer knew that the router should secure the top-end performance, range, and bandwidth, they included the double center processor with GHz performance frequency. To back it up, there are offload processors accompanied with 25MB RAM each, together with 12MB blaze memory.

The Netgear R8000 is efficient with its’ Readyushare USB. This is where its’ streaming compatibility comes forth. The Readyshare USB allows you to save the media directly to the USB. The Netgear R8000 is used mainly for the amusement purposes. If you are a local Netflix follower, the Nighthawk Xwill provide you with everything necessary to stream a quality 4K video. It works great for PCs, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and much more.

Lack of the MU-MIMO functions

Linksys AC5400 Tri Band Wireless Router​ – Best Wireless Router for the Long Range

Thanks to the great numbers of antennas complimenting it, Linksys AC5400 is a great addition to the home with the tendency for extending the available range. The AC5400 sports the new Tri-Band technology which consists of one 2.GHz frequency spectrum and two of GHz frequency spectrums.

It sports the powerful 1.GHz dual core processor and provides eight Ethernet ports, perfect for the multiple wired connections, making it ideal for the gaming and video streaming. However, it is perfect mainly for the extended range, thanks to the larger size.

Linksys AC1900 Dual-Band Smart WiFi Router (EA6900) – Best Wireless Router for Business

Features of RT2600AC

The RT2600 is known mainly for these high-end features which compliment its’ performance.

The router is equipped with the top-notch processor of 1.GHz. The dual core processor offers swift and reliable performance and fast internet in the process.

Given that this is the AC router, the enormous speeds are merely expected. The 4×802.11ac is included with two radios which support the late MU-MIMO technology, which we in-depth of explained in the previous sections.

Let’s not forget the memorable Package Center.

This is one of the router’s most important features. If you know about the Play Store on Android smartphones, Package center is the same. It allows you to add more plugins/features in the router. For example, you can install the VPN package which will turn your router into the high-end VPN server. There is everything for everyone. exclamation-triangle

Only four LAN ports.

Overall, the Synology RT2600 is an amazing router. The four antennas and the sleek and elegant design make it excel in the outside looks. The stress tests and performance tests ended all successfully. We are overall satisfied with what this router offers and how reliable it is. It is of the utmost importance for the AC routers to keep up with its’ standards.​

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)​ – Best Wireless Router for Multiple Devices

The development of the MU-MIMO technology allowed the multiple devices to have the same priority on a wireless network. This made multiple things easy. The

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) is known for the high-end performance, aside from the stylish, futuristic design.

The dual band router supports two frequency spectrum. The 2.GHz spectrum is familiar with the older devices dedicated to the 802.11b/g/n, while the GHz frequency spectrum delivers the amazing bandwidth, and gets rid of the interference with other frequency-friendly devices in your home.

When it comes to the configuration, the GHz dual core processor works swiftly and efficiently. It additionally supports WAN-to-LAN performance.

The range also plays a great role in the larger homes. So, if you are not satisfied with the overview of the

Google Wifi we already reviewed, the AC1900 is greatly handy for the larger homes thanks to its’ amazing range coverage.

It also has two ports. One USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port which smoothly accesses the external storage devices you attach to them. They can work with the routers as well.

The vast majority of home routers, especially those with MU-MIMO have the popular QoS technology. If you want to prioritize a certain action on the internet, this technology will greatly come in handy. It is especially seen in the home routers and those with the accent on the MU-MIMO technology and 802.11ac technology. exclamation-triangle

Quite large and bulky ​Budget For Your Wireless Router

Budget is a tough factor to consider. The more feature-rich devices often cost more. While it is hard to hit the sweet spot when it comes to a bargain, we prepared five wireless routers sorted in price ranges. arrow-right

Other types of routers with the richer specter of features usually sport the price which is too high to bear with the needs of one normal household. Despite that, the Netgear managed to pack th e dual band technology in its’ router, sporting 2.GHz and GHz frequency.

The dual band Wifi delivers 300 + 300 Mbps, which is ideal for the entry-level of a router. A ditionally, it has the range sufficient for covering either apartment and medium to large households, giving the necessary mobility every Wi-Fi user demands from a router.

The GHz band disallows the device interference issues, thanks to the newer standards of 802.11ac in the GHz frequency.

Securifi Almond Touchscreen WiFi Wireless Router

The Securifi Almond is as cute as the button, and it is a great deal of a wireless router. Perhaps, it is the single band router. However, it can be proficiently used in a form of the signal extender in larger homes. Being the single band router, it is limited to the 802.11b/g/n standard with the maximum frequency spectrum of 2.GHz. It comes with three Ethernet ports for streaming the wired devices.​

Despite being so compact, it sports some remarkable features:​

The touchscreen is implemented for an easier access and more intuition when being used. The 3

5-inch touchscreen has a lot to offer, allowing the user to find what they are looking for with ease. 

The touchscreen erases the limitations to set up, meaning that you can set up the network without the use of the computer. SSID and password crafting has never been easier, eligible for not too tech savvy users.​

The single band router offers the speed of 300 Mbps. While the speed can be quite disappointing, pairing with an already existing router will extend the network range and bandwidth, which is why the main point of interest towards this router lays in the network extending. The best part of the extraordinary range definitely lays in the fact you can still have the perfect connection even to meters away.​ exclamation-triangle

Netgear A

C1750 (R6400) is a du al-band router with 450 Mbps speed for the 2.GHz range, and the 1300 Mbps speeds for the GHz spectrum. The connection and speed are highly reliable and independent. The dual band technology reduces the interference between the nearby devices at the close frequency range.

An additional security is provided by the Netgear Up application, together with the protection from viruses, malware, spyware, but also the parental protection which filters only the appropriate information.

The range is extended with the set of amplifiers and antennas put to extend the coverage of the network. The coverage easily overcomes the firm barriers such as walls and other objects, securing you with the steady and reliable connection.

Needless to say, the QoS is there to smoothen the HD streaming, and gaming as well. The importance of prioritization of network is essential when the packages such as 4K Netflix videos or the play round of Diablo are in use.

Slightly bulky

ASUS RT-AC87U Wireless-AC2400 Dual Band Gigabit Router​

Nearly flawless wireless router introduced by Asus can be yours if you are not as tight on budget as with the models we mentioned above. The dual band wireless router enhances the overall Wi Fi performance.

Thanks to the powerful hardware and impeccable firmware it outperforms the vast majority of routers. Sporting this router (ASUS RT-AC87U), make sure that you have enough space in your apartment or household in order to ensure that space can cover its’ demanding and bulky design.

It is extremely easy to use. The dual band ensures the high-end performance and speed for either 2.GHz devices and the GHz devices. The speed of the lower frequency spectrum reaches up to a sufficient level, while the GHz spectrum boosts the amazing 173Mbps.

There is also the AiProtection powered by the Trend Micro, just like other Asus routers. This protection features the parental filtering, and the ultimate antivirus protection from the Trojans, Malware, and Spyware. Make your internet environment safe for use.

As a 4×802.11ac wireless router, it lives up to its’ potential. Additionally, it has a NAS server and USB ports. The Gigabit LAN ports enable you to connect up to four wired devices, and of course one WAN Gigabit port for the modem it connects to. exclamation-triangle

LAN PORTS

LAN ports, also known as the Local Area Network ports are designed in order to connect your desktop computer or another device that doesn’t support the wireless network. When it comes to the regular, home routers, they usually come with around four LAN ports. Basically, four computers can share the wired network from the LAN ports they connect to.

As wired networks still rule, even after the rapid development of the 4G wireless network, and the upcoming 5G network, inside the enterprise. However, the next question emerges, and that is how are the computers connected if there are only four LAN ports per router.

The wired network can be extended, thanks to the devices such as switch or hub. When you connect your router to the switch or a hub, you extend the number of devices that can be connected to the internet. Thanks to the switch, a router can provide the internet for up to 200-250 devices, which is more even than the small businesses would suggest.

The speed of the network shared via the wires depends on various things. The more devices are connected to the same network, the slower will the connection be. Also, the quality of the cable in great matter decides the speed of the network.

For instance, you can choose between the coaxial cable, optical cable, and many othe

There are two speed standards to be considered. LAN ports currently sport Ethernet, with the speed of 100 megabits per seconds. Also, there is the Gigabit Ethernet, which, as its’ name suggests runs at gigabit per second. If you are not familiar with this terminology, the Gigabit Ethernet is faster than the Fast Ethernet, taking it much less to transfer a lot worth of data, than it would normally take the Ethernet.

Even though the Gigabit standard is becoming fairly popular and used around the globe, especially in the USA, it is still not considered a commonplace. The Gigabit routers are not overly-priced, at least not all of them. While the upgrade is not essentially necessary, it is recommended as the computer networks always develop and tend to stay future proofed.

If you are looking for the Gigabit Ethernet routers, our personal recommendation is to go for the TP-

LINK rout ers. Their quality has always been amazing, and it never compromised the expenses too much.

USB Ports

USB ports on a router provided by your ISP is a rare find. However, when you are springing for a new wireless router, you will often be greeted with two to three USB ports.

Before the wireless printers were introduced to us, the USB ports allowed us to connect our already existing printer to the network, which allowed all the devices connected to the network to print what they need to print.

Now that there are wireless printers available to us at every corner, the router with USB ports has a different purpose. You can use them for a great variety of things. If you own an external HDD, you can plug it as an additional network storage. Same works with the general USB flash memory drive.

If you want to own a wireless router with USB ports, make sure to have a need for at least one of the things that were mentioned above. If you don’t use and don’t plan to own these devices for such purposes, there is no need to spend additional money on USB ports that will do nothing, but collect the dust.

Naturally, you don’t want the router which takes ages to connect to the wireless network. Also, you don’t want the router that will never be able to stream the video to your screen. Speed is an important factor to consider. The fastest routers have the independent connections. They are based on the latest 802.11ac standard which includes the Multi-User MIMO analytically described below.

When you are purchasing the router, the speed will dep end on the purpose you need. However, it is more than essential that the primary speed of your router needs to be reliable.

Multi-User MIMO

MU-MIMO (Multiuser, multiple inputs, multiple output) is a standard every newer router and computer should have. The Older generation of routers has a hard time streaming the equal signal to the different users of the same networks.

This standard makes multiple uses a lot easier. Mu-MIMO is a descendant of the SU-MIMO and SDMA (Space Division Multiple Access). Thanks to this newly developed technology, one wireless router can flawlessly maintain the connection with multiple devices separately.

Each device is virtually connected to the separate router, preventing the interruptions and errors in streaming the signal. In short, one router is able to conversate with multiple devices at the same time.

There are quite a lot benefits of the Multi User MIMO. The SU-MIMO made communication with the other devices possible at the same time thanks to the multiple antennas implemented in the main router station. As a result of the newest technology, you will no longer need these antennas. Moreover, the connection between the router and devices connected is much more stable and steadier.

For instance, if you are a gamer fond of LAN parties, and additionally, you own a gaming router, your friends will feel comfortable to stay over for a good party of LoL, or your other favorite games. The connection to each laptop will be superiorly stable and the speed much more reliable.

Considering that the MU-MIMO is a new technology, it doesn’t hurt to mention the little drawbacks it has. Adding more than four devices to the network results in stream sharing, which can be really bad, and resemble of the times when we had to use the antennas in our routers to stream more devices.

Routers with the MU-MIMO are a commonplace. When purchasing the new router for your home, make sure to get in contact with the retail worker, or the manufacturer itself (If you are shopping online) to make sure that the offered router has the MU-MIMO. It is also important to note that only newer computers and other devices support this standard.

Eventually, the MU-MIMO will be available to all of us. However, if you want to keep up with the rapid growths in technology, we advise getting a router that sports MU-MIMO.

Single WAN or Dual-WAN

As the name suggests, a single WAN is a router with only one internet port, which allows it to connect to only one internet network at the time. For the home routers and internet connections, a single WAN wireless router is more than sufficient for the basic, day-to-day, needs on the web.

On the other side, the routers with the possibility of Dual-WAN connection allow you to connect on two WAN(s) at once. This means that you can have two internet connections at the same time. People usually tend to do this and set one connection as the main one, and the other one as the backup.

As the internet connection is extremely important to the enterprises, the dual WAN routers are mainly implemented there. To be frank, the internet providers are never completely reliable, and it often happens that our ISP lets us down when we need it the most.

If your tolerance for this kind of occurring is low, you can provide yourself with the more reliable and swifter internet connection and service itself.

Although this method is used in the enterprises most of the time, as mentioned above, it doesn’t mean that the home edition is limited. Gamers fond of online games complain about the internet malfunctions all the time. This makes it an essential need for the primary and backup connection to be added.

Convenience

Yes, the wireless connection is convenient. It allows the user to be online anywhere, as long as he is covered by the range. While the wired connection will always be safer and agiler, the wireless offers all the comfort the wired can’t.

We are pretty sure that you would rather enjoy browsing the internet, watching your favorite movies, and even playing games from your very bed than chained to the desktop computer all day. The convenience also comes from the lack of annoying wires which spread all over the place.

New Technology

Like mentioned above, the sniffers and hackers keep finding the ways to easily penetrate through the networks. Breaking through the wireless network is easier than breaking into the wired network. This is why there is always a tendency towards the development of new network systems.

The newest, and currently most common technology is an 802.11ac protocol which offers more reliability and an enhanced MU-MIMO, which offers larger bandwidth for the multiple devices like mentioned above. You will find this protocol even in the routers designed to fit the budget, which means that everyone can have it.

Easy Access to the Internet

The connecting to the wired internet can often be a drag. On the other side, the aim of a good wireless router is to provide the decent speed of the internet access. What does this mean for the user?

In the past, it would take up to minute for the device to connect to the internet. The aim of a good-quality wireless router is to establish the decent connection as soon as possible.

If you are impatient about the connecting anticipation, it is the best to check the description of the router to see how much does it approximately take it to connect to the internet.

It doesn’t hurt to mention that the development of the newer network operating system has allowed a faster access to the internet, without too many settings and other things which take away the time.

Multiple Connections

Multiple connections depend on the number of access points from one router, or more of them, of course. Either smaller and larger homes usually have only one access point, which is enough to handle multiple devices thanks to the MU-MIMO.

Inside the smaller and larger businesses, it is practical to install multiple access points, in order to ensure that every device will uninterruptedly be connected to the internet. The benefit from MU-MIMO, like mentioned already is having multiple devices connected without losing on speed and the steadiness on the connectivity.

Broadband Routers​

Routers that are mainly located in the residential places and provided by the ISP are the broadband routers. Aside from broadband routers they are also called residential or home gateways.

The benefit of the broadband routers is that they are extremely easy and comfortable to use. Additionally, they are not hard to set up, thereby, a person with little to no technical knowledge can set them up without a problem.

Broadband routers are eligible for the high volume of internet traffic, as they provide a superb service. Sharing the network is easy. A dditionally, broadband routers are perfect for sharing printers, files and other devices that can connect to it.

As wired devices are mostly normal, there are the ethernet ports for the connections which use wires. The vast majority of the older broadband routers utilize only the Ethernet ports with the wireless connection excluded. The newer generations utilize the wireless connection with the great selection of devices aside from the regular Ethernet ports.

The broadband routers utilize many protocols. The most popular ones are certainly 802.11ac, 802.11n, and 802.11g routers.

Wired Routers

It is a well-known fact that the routers fall into two groups. While the wireless routers are extremely versatile in their use, wired routers have a great purpose in medium to larger businesses. The wired routers are less expensive as they support a smaller selection of features.

As mentioned above, the wired routers are used in businesses, where every office possesses the separate wiring system. Wired routers provide a greater safeguard and security for the interchanged data.

These wired routers replace the DSL modems and hubs. Additionally, they act as the firewall in both terms of hardware and software. Firewall is designed to filter only the secure information and disallow any kind of fraud or theft. This leaves the hackers nearly powerless.

Every IT company, or company that handles large amounts of sensitive and strict data need a secure wired router that can protect the data and information from leaking out into the hands of hackers. This is achieved through the high-end wired equipment and a proficient network administrator who maintains the system on a regular basis.

Otherwise, the network will be prone to the hacker attacks which threaten to destroy the businesses’ identity and reputation. The viruses, spyware, and malware can flow in much easier through the unprotected wireless networks than these that are protected with the ethernet cables and safe password.

It doesn’t hurt to mention that wired network is much simpler to install than the wireless networks. Additionally, the speed of the wireless network can’t be compared to the speed of a wired network. In combination with the agile broadband internet connection, you can achieve indeed high speeds.

GHz frequency.

It doesn’t hurt to mention that the N standard is backward compatible with the B standard. This is important because devices compatible with the 802.11g standard will also be compatible with the 802.11b network adapters. This applies to the both sides.

Also known as the “

Wireless ”, is the major improvement on 802.11g. It uses more than one wireless signals and antennas. This is where the MIMO technology was the first time introduced.

The standard started its’ use back in 200It provides up to 300 Mbps bandwidth. Additionally, the new standard offers a more powerful range compared to the past standards introduced in the networking.

Also, just like the previous standard, this one is compatible with the 802.11n/b and vice versa. This means that you don’t have to buy the new device in order to solve these problems. The previous problems caused by the standards were solved with more intensified signal.

The newest standard, already discussed before, supports the dual-band wireless technology which supports either 2.GHz frequency spectrum and GHz frequency spectrum, ideal for either older and newer devices. The bandwidth reaches up to 1300 Mbps on the GHz spectrum and an additional 450 Mbps on 2

 

 

 

 

How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the Modems by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.

 

 

Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Modems wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Modems

 

 

Questions? Leave a comment below!

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