Choosing the best wireless router for your network can be a challenge, especially for the non-technical consumers. Countless product reviews and ads claiming that each router model has its benefits and disadvantages can definitely add up in this difficult task of picking the right product for your network.
Just like this review, make sure that the review selections have actually been performance tested.
In addition to the information in this review, a smart shopper must be armed with a decent understanding of just what it is they are buying:
- A wireless router is the hub of your home or business network.
- A router delivers a single Internet connection to other devices on the network either through wired Ethernet or wireless connectivity.
- Routers often provide additional capabilities such as a USB port for attaching an external drive or printer and then sharing those devices on a network, built-in firewall to protect against Internet threats from invading the network, and services such as UPnP and DLNA to allow streaming of multimedia content throughout the network.
Wireless routers can also perform other useful tasks, such as allowing you to set up access for guests to connect to your wireless network and use your Internet service on limited access.
Therefore, even if a router’s main function is to deliver Internet or WAN access, you can still set restrictions on what your children can access on the Internet, (like most Linksys routers) including as to which devices can connect to your network via the MAC filtering feature.
Routers can vary from feature-heavy to bare-bones. Some routers are easy to set up and are almost plug and play, which is ideal for novice home network users while others are designed for enterprise use that require a more complicated configuration.
When testing routers, look at its features such as throughput speeds, how well the device keeps decent throughput as you move a wireless client farther from it, how easy or difficult the router is to set up, its manageability, its feature set, and pricing. The following top 5 routers strike the best balance among all this criteria.
Netgear N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
Netgear’s N750 is a throughput thoroughbred in the 5GHz band. Performance at the 2.4GHz band is slightly above average with other top 2.4GHz routers on the market. Advanced features and easy setup makes the N750 router a good recommendation, despite its anemic NAS capabilities.
Trendnet AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router
Definitely one, if not the best, pre-draft 11ac routers on the market today. Superior throughput, a good feature set, and easy setup makes the Trendnet AC1750 (TEW-812DRU) an excellent 11ac router choice.
ZyXel MWR102 Travel Router
The tiny ZyXel MWR102 router is definitely convenient for business travelers who want to set up a network on the fly from a wired Internet connection, or to bridge to an existing wireless network.
Linksys (Belkin) EA3500 App Enabled N750 Dual Band Wireless Router with Gigabit and USB
More technical and small business users, including those who want to have a true VPN server and granular control over the wireless signal will find the Linksys EA3500 a delight. It offers an amazing user-friendly set up and hardware that gives excellent throughput.
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi AC 1750HD Video Pro EA6500
The EA6500 may not have sustained range, but it does feature an improved Cisco connect cloud interface, decent performance, and wonderful management tools.