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Top Ten Best Wireless Routers For 2018

There are very few things in homes today that are not in some way connectable to the Internet. But obviously, you don’t want wires running all over your house, just to make sure that your Smart TV, home security and thermostat are all accessible.

Fortunately, modern communications technology has improved so much that wires are practically a relic of the last millennium. As long as you have an Internet connection coming into your home, you are good to go. There will be no need for adding a single additional wire. All your smartphones, computers, tablets and laptops are most likely Wi-Fi enabled. And many household appliances are doing this as well.

So, all you will need to do is invest in one of the best wireless routers on the below review list. And once you have picked one that suits your needs, you will have solved practically all your connection issues.

We have even reviewed one of the longest range wireless router products. That means that if you have a large house or very thick walls, you won’t be left with crappy connection speed.

The best part:

All the analysis that would take endless hours of research is available right here for you for free. Just keep reading and you will definitely find a product that suits your needs and budget.

Our Top Best Wireless Router Recommendations

Dependent on what you need your router for, you will have different needs. Big time gamers will be looking for a wireless gaming router that is optimized for HD streaming. That same technology will also help the movie lovers to watch the latest blockbusters in HD and even 4K without lag.

Other readers might need a portable Wifi router that they can move around the home. Or maybe you want to bring it with you on a camping trip.

Essentially it comes down to this:

Every one of you will have different needs for this technology. There will be different budgets and technology needs. And to help with that we have created a list of top recommendations. And these products will cover all possible wishes and price ranges. So, let’s start you off with info about the best wireless routers.

 

1 – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

Finally, there is the Nighthawk model which provides some pretty amazing speeds. This makes it another ideal wireless gaming router where you can connect either through a LAN port or wirelessly. When you do head into a major online gaming session then you can adjust the router settings to allocate more bandwidth to gaming data.

The wireless signals are highly targeted, which means that the range is significantly improved. With backup software built in as well you can make sure that all your devices are fully backed up without having to go through manual copying. The only limit you have is the size of the portable drive that you connect.

 

Pros:
  • Dynamic service allocation for dedicated gaming channels
  • USB 2 and 3 connection for sharing storage devices
  • Easy to use app for installation and monitoring
  • Improved range through targeted signals
  • Backup software included

Cons:
  • Limited connection controls
  • Inconsistent speeds
  • Long reboot times

 

2 – ARRIS SURFboard SBG6580-2 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

If you just need something to connect to the Internet and give you wireless access for your home devices, then this low-priced option is ideal. It will cover a pretty decent range covering most average to large houses.

The speeds are not equivalent to the latest technology. But if you’re not into HD online gaming and 4K video streaming then it will be more than enough. The cool thing is that a cable modem is built in so you don’t have to buy or rent that separately from your Internet provider.

 

Pros:
  • Very reasonably priced for feature set
  • 4 LAN ports for wired connections
  • Cable modem built in for most cable providers
  • Good range for homes up to 2,500 square feet
  • Great for basic home use

Cons:
  • Only supports 802.11n which results in slow Wi-Fi connections
  • Unreliable IPv6 connectivity
  • Significant speed drops with multiple device connections

 

3- TP-Link Deco M5 Wi-Fi system

If you don’t want to go for the best range Wifi router as a single product then this extender set is great. It essentially works like the Goole products above, but it has some better remote management tools. This means that you can use a Smartphone app and monitor connections and usage, even when you’re not at home.

This set up also has some really good built in security monitoring. That can be worth a lot in today’s world of cyber hacking. It also has some great parental controls that allow you to disconnect devices at certain times. That means that your kids cannot be up all night on their tablets.

 

Pros:
  • Another great dead zone killer
  • Easy to use visual set up guide
  • Remotely mange settings through app
  • Great security options built in
  • Good parental controls

Cons:
  • Quite expensive
  • Problems with network printing on Macs
  • Limited advanced network features

 

4 – NETGEAR AC1600 (16×4) WiFi Cable Modem Router

A lot of Internet providers will charge you for providing a cable modem. Either it’s an upfront cost or it’s added to your monthly bill. Either way, there is a simple way to avoid that cost. By investing in a router that functions as a cable modem, all you need is your access details.

This Netgear model will work with the majority of the large Internet providers. But it’s always a good idea to double check for compatibility first. Once set up you’ll enjoy fast and reliable connection speeds. And all that for a very affordable price.

 

Pros:
  • Functions as cable modem with main broadband providers
  • 16 down and 4 upstream channels for reliable speeds
  • 2 LAN ports
  • Share files over USB connection drives
  • Easy connection with one button (WPS)

Cons:
  • Requires regular reset when used with many devices
  • Not compatible with phone and voice services
  • Range is a bit limited

 

5 – Google Wifi System: Portable Wifi Router

The Google WiFi system is a great solution if you need to cover a large area. If you usually have dead spots in your home or office environment, then this will solve the problem. The setup is very easy. And with 3 separate devices you can get coverage over long distances and several floors as well.

You can even use it as a portable Wifi router because it is so small. Each device can operate individually if needed. So, if you are going away for a few days then you can bring your router. It takes up almost no space and will already be fully set up.

 

Pros:
  • Best solution to get rid of dead zones
  • Coverage for up to 4,500 square feet
  • Smart channel selection reduces connection interference
  • Parental controls to pause connection for certain devices
  • Mobile app set up with Google’s simplicity

Cons:
  • Limited customization
  • No VPN for secure external connections
  • No content controls.

 

6 – NETGEAR Nighthawk X4 Ultimate Gaming Router

best wifi router for gaming

For extreme high end resolution gaming this is the absolute best option. With some of the fastest speeds on the market you won’t have to worry if multiple devices are connected. So, you can host a gaming party with multiple people and not suffer from any data lag. The router can be set to prioritize certain bandwidth especially for gaming. The results are amazing.

This is also one of the best long range wireless router options on our list. If you have a large house then this is possibly the best option other than using extenders. But this is also convenient if you tend to have areas in your home where the connection is just a bit intermittent. Power up your range with this device and stop worrying about dropped connections.

 

Pros:
  • Extreme speed for smooth gaming and video streaming
  • Network storage ready over USB 3 port
  • Dynamic quality of service for dedicated gaming bandwidth
  • Gigabit LAN port for fastest wired connections
  • Very long range

Cons:
  • No full VPN support
  • Can have problems with extenders
  • Storage media connection can be intermittent

7 – TP-Link AC1900 Best Range Wifi Router

If you have data intensive Internet usage then this is possibly one of the best options. Wireless speeds are fast enough for high end video and gaming streaming without any lag or stuttering. The only limit will be your connection speed to your Internet service provider.

Chances are that you’ll also need to have access to a lot of data storage. With 2 USB ports, you can connect some pretty large external drives. These can then be accessed from all connected devices. Effectively the router acts like a NAS drive which can be very convenient.

Pros:
  • Very high speeds for gaming and 4K video streaming
  • Connect multiple USB storage devices
  • Detects direction of wireless devices to improve signal
  • 4 LAN ports for wired devices
  • Easy to use mobile app

Cons:
  • Can require regular restarts
  • MAC address filtering can lock out all devices
  • Can get hot with heavy data usage

 

8 – NETGEAR Smart WiFi Router AC1750

best range wifi router

A smart router for the smart home. If you have other smart home automation devices then you are used to being able to access them from anywhere on your phone. And this router fits in perfectly. With the app that comes with it you can access and monitor all connected devices.

Even if you are not directly connected to the router, you can keep an eye on things while away. For security purposes this is ideal.

With very high speed wireless connections this will be ideal for anyone that loves streaming TV shows or is into online gaming. And with a powerful enough range, even a large home can be fully covered with one device.

 

Pros:
  • 11 A/C speeds up to 1750 Mbps for high quality streaming
  • Excellent range boosting for large homes
  • Remote access monitoring with Netgear App
  • USB 2 and 3 ports for connecting hard drives
  • Powerful processor to handle 12 wirelessly connected devices

Cons:
  • WiFi range can be intermittent
  • Speeds can drop with lots of connections
  • Some connection drops

 

9 – ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300

portable wifi router

This Asus product is one of the best entry level products on our list. At well under $100 this will give you everything you need for the majority of homes. The connection speed is fast enough to be able to stream HD video for movies as well as gaming.

The range is not great, but if you don’t have a large home then you don’t want a neighbor half a block away to pick up your connection. But with the external antennae you will make sure that you have a constant and powerful connection.

The great thing about this product is that it is really easy to set up and monitor your usage. With both a web based and mobile app you can make updates to the settings in a matter of seconds. And the built-in setup guide means you don’t have to be an IT engineer to get it running.

 

Pros:
  • Improved connection with 4 external antennae
  • Connection speed up to 1267 Mbps
  • Very easy set up and installation
  • Share external storage over USB 3
  • Easy usage monitoring

Cons:
  • No LAN ports
  • Updating settings can take a long time to load
  • IPv6 set up is not stable

 

10 – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Dual Band WiFi Router

best wireless routers

This Netgear product is one of the longest range wireless router options at the mid-range price level. For the average home or even homes with lots of thick brick walls, this product will keep you connected.

The boosted connection speed will give you speeds up to 1750 Mbps. If that number doesn’t mean anything to you then rest assured. This is very fast and will allow for HD gaming and streaming of very high quality movies.

If you have lots of computers and tablets at home and want to share files on one central hard drive then the built-in USB port will allow you to do that. It is very simple to connect and then set up the access to all your devices at home.

 

Pros:
  • Connect 12 wireless devices
  • USB 3.0 Port for data device access
  • Speeds up to 1750Mbps
  • Boosted Wi-Fi range
  • 4 LAN ports for wired access

Cons:
  • OpenVPN set up is difficult
  • Can suffer from other radio interference
  • No traffic logging

 

 

What Features You Need To Focus On

As you can see above, there are many different routers available. They look different and have wide ranging prices. But there are certain features they all contain. These are the features that you need to focus on in order to make sure that you properly and fairly compare the different models.

Signal Range

Ranges can vary widely. The smallest and cheapest will be perfectly fine for a small apartment. But put them in a large house and you will end up with a load of dead zones.

You then have 2 options:

Firstly, you can invest in a powerful WiFi router that sends a strong signal in all directions. It’s kind of the brute force way, but it is highly effective.

Secondly, you can try out the latest in directional signal technology. Some of the best range router devices will detect where your devices are located. They then power up the signal strength in the direction of the devices. And they can do this for multiple connections at the same time.

It’s a bit more expensive, but very effective.

Wireless Technology

Wi-Fi has been available for home use for pretty much 20 years now. Over that time the standard, known as 802.11 has gone through many iterations. You will see a lot material referring to 802.11g or 802.11n and the likes. These are all different versions of the same technology.

The currently fastest technology is 802.11ac and it will provide you with amazing speeds. These speeds will be suitable for online gaming in High Definition as well as watching full HD movies with streaming providers.

Speed

While you just read about technology and the impact on speed, it is important to note that speed is also dependent on signal strength and reliability. With highly targeted signals you will be able achieve very consistent connection strength. When that is coupled with very high speed technology you will see some amazing results.

You could be 100 feet from your router and still get wireless speeds over 1000 Mbps. But for such results you will have to invest in some more expensive equipment.

External Ports

The most basic routers will have very little ability to connect devices. By going to the mid-range, you will be able to get USB ports. And those will allow you to connect an external USB drive. This is ideal if you like to share files or need to have access to large storage devices from anywhere in your home or office.

You might also need to connect things like printers over USB or LAN ports. Having the option to connect through a network cable is a great option for more flexibility. Essentially you could have certain devices directly connected that need to have speeds higher than WiFi can provide.

Security

Last but not least, security is a big thing to look out for. With wired connections, you can tell whether someone has physically interfered. But with a wireless connection someone could be sitting next door and try to hack your devices without you knowing. To stop that from happening you want to have reliable and up to date security features.

Best WiFi Router For Gaming

When it comes to the latest online games your network connection has to be all about speed, speed and more speed. And that speed has to be consistent and reliable. You don’t want drastic fluctuations while you are in the middle of a game.

The best wireless router for gaming we found to be the NETGEAR Nighthawk X4 Ultimate Gaming Router. With very easy to do adjustments you can designate bandwidth to gaming data. That will make a significant difference to online gaming speeds. And when wireless is simply not enough then you can always connect to a LAN port and get a Gigabit network connection.

For some really high end gaming that may be your only choice. But at least you’ll have the flexibility to do so. And for all your other Internet needs you’ll have WiFi available at all times.

Best Router For Large Home

If you have a large home then you might be struggling with wireless connections in certain parts of your house. To get you covered in all areas you will either need a powerful Wifi router or you will need to have extenders in place. One of the best range router extension products in the list above is the TP-Link Deco M5. It consists of 3 devices that all essentially connect together.

As long as you are logged into one, you will have constant coverage. If you drop the connection to one, the next available one is picked up. The only downside with these devices is that they are not that cheap to buy.

Alternatively, you can go for one of the best long range wireless router devices on our above list. The TP-Link AC1900 has an exceptionally long range for a single device and will maintain signal strength while connected. At around the $100 range it is a very good price and a great solution for multi-story homes.

Conclusion

As you have seen there are many different aspects to consider when buying a router. You might just need a basic and reliable one. In that case spending on a best wireless router for gaming is going to be completely unnecessary. An entry level device will provide you with more than enough speed to search the web, check your social media and even stream movies on Netflix.

If you have difficulty connecting from certain areas in your home then you should consider one of the options in the best range Wifi router category above. For most people dropped connections will be more annoying than not having the highest speed connection.

And keep in mind:

Your wireless connection will be faster than your Internet connection. Those high-speed connections are most relevant for internal data speeds between your devices.

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