What to look for when choosing the best router for home with WI-FI in 2021, prices and description of top-9 rating models
Wireless access has become as necessary as electricity or water.
Laptops, tablets, smartphones, home smart gadgets – all these require a network connection. We’ve picked the best Wi-Fi routers for the home of 2021.
The Best Routers Consumer Report 2021
1. Asus RT-AC86U
ASUS RT-AC86U Dual Band Wi-Fi Router offers a number of interesting features and solutions. For example, three detachable MIMO antennas and one internal one are used to increase the coverage of the signal area. And the router itself runs on a dual-core ARM processor with a frequency of 1.8 GHz. The amount of RAM is 512 MB, flash memory is 256 MB.
In addition, the user can choose one of several network connection modes using the Adaptive QoS function. And AiProtection technology allows you to protect all existing connections to the router, which may not have their own anti-virus systems. Among other pleasant things, it is worth noting support for the Time Machine backup program.
- Great speed and coverage
2. Netgear Orbi RBK30
The RBK30 is a simple kit, using only one cheaper AC2200 router from Netgear, complemented by an RBK30 socket repeater. As a result, the coverage area is up to 200 square meters. And, perhaps, this is the best choice for small houses in terms of price-quality ratio.
The Orbi’s color coding shows the status of your Wi-Fi network and automatically turns off once a stable connection is established. And a dedicated service channel between the router and the satellite ensures the best performance. There are two working channels for receiving and transmitting: 2×2 (2.4 GHz) + 2×2 (5 GHz). One more service channel: dedicated 2×2 (5 GHz).
- Easy installation and setup
- Good coverage area
- No Ethernet port
3. TP-Link Archer C5400
TP-Link Archer C5400 is a tri-band model, it creates one network at 2.4 GHz and two at 5 GHz. The maximum connection speeds to these networks are 1000 and 2167 Mbit / s, respectively. All network ports (1 WAN and 4 LAN) are gigabit. There are also two USB ports – 2.0 and 3.0.
The C5400 has added remote control functionality, built-in antivirus, and NitroQAM support, which allows for faster data transfer rates when using compatible adapters.
- Fast and powerful
- Long range
4. Linksys WRT32X
The WRT32X router is primarily aimed at game lovers. And all thanks to the Killer Prioritization Engine, with the use of which the router gives priority to the gaming traffic of personal computers.
The device complies with the 802.11ac specification and is built on a dual-core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz. The WRT32X has a throughput of 600 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 2600 Mbps in the 5 GHz band. The equipment includes five Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 / eSATA combo port.
- High speed Wi-Fi
- Easy to use
- Very expensive
5. Linksys EA6900
A great alternative to the previous model is the Linksys EA6900 Home Router, which also has three antennas and can simultaneously broadcast 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. Most of all, the Linksys EA6900 is attracted by the ease of use – for example, the presence of the dedicated Linksys Smart Wi-Fi mobile application.
This debugged app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets simplifies the operation of the device and also greatly simplifies the router setup, allowing the user to change the password or activate parental controls in a few simple steps.
6. Asus RT-AC88U
One of the main features of the model is the presence of nine Gigabit Ethernet ports. They can be used to create wired LAN connections for computers and other network devices. Also RT-AC88U is equipped with four external antennas, which have a high gain and use a separate stream for each antenna for data transmission.
The router works on the basis of a modern dual-core processor with a clock frequency of 1.4 GHz, which has high performance. It provides data transfer rates of wireless clients with devices connected via USB interface in excess of 100 MB / s.
- Connect up to eight clients to the local network
- High routing speed
- Heats up a lot
7. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is geared towards gamers and therefore overwhelmed for most home users. It provides the fastest 5Gbps performance in its segment.
Other nice features include the AiMesh function, which allows you to expand the coverage radius by linking the router with another router, the Gaming Center software interface, and the Game Dashboard control panel, which provides accurate information about all active network connections and connected devices. In addition, the IPS defense system fights online threats, and the Game Boost function accelerates the performance of online games.
- Plenty of features for gamers
- Fast and powerful
8. Zyxel Armor Z2
The router is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 4GB eMMC flash and the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO technology, which delivers faster Wi-Fi speeds. The home router is equipped with four beamforming antennas.
The router is configured with five Gigabit Ethernet ports (WAN and four LAN) and one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports. There are a number of unusual solutions: for example, the Usage Monitor function shows the bandwidth usage of the home network by applications and clients. You can also configure alerts about the imminent exhaustion of the traffic volume provided by your ISP.
- Fast speed and many features
- Affordable price with regard to functionality
- Not a very convenient application
9. TP-Link Archer C1200
Despite the price, the device boasts good speed – up to 1.2 Gbps at speeds up to 867 Mbps at 5 GHz and up to 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz, and the gigabit ports of the router will help to achieve higher transfer speeds data. The model can also be controlled from a smartphone or tablet using the Tether application, which is available for Android and iOS mobile devices.
The Archer C1200 features VPN server support, one USB port and three external antennas for faster connection speeds and more reliable Wi-Fi coverage.
- Good speed
- Easy to use
- Not suitable for large spaces
Rating Of The Best Routers 2021
Netgear Orbi RBK30
TP-Link Archer C5400
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Zyxel Armor Z2
TP-Link Archer C1200
What to look for when choosing a router for your home
Correct Wi-Fi standard
Just like smartphones, router manufacturers are constantly introducing new and more powerful wireless standards (IEEE protocols). The standards are called 802.11 g, 802.11 n and 802.11 ac – these are not just random numbers, they are descriptions of the router’s capabilities.
The newest standard is 802.11 ac. Such a router can support speeds of up to gigabits, much faster than the previous 600 Mbps limit. As with previous standards, “ac” is backward compatible with devices made for older standards. The vast majority of routers and devices are now 802.11 ac compliant, so this is a good time to upgrade.
Wi-Fi network speed
It’s no secret that many manufacturers list a “theoretical” maximum throughput on their boxes. You’ll find anything between 350MB / s to 3500MB / s, but you’ll rarely see bandwidth like this in real life.
Almost all wireless routers have built-in Ethernet for wired network connections, but cheaper routers will have switches rated for only 100MB / sec. And you won’t regret spending the money to buy a model with a gigabit switch (that’s 1000 MB / s).
Manufacturers have been selling dual-band best routers for the home for years, but now many are starting to make tri-band.
Dual-band generally means that the router is equipped with two radios, one operating at 2.4 GHz and the other at 5 GHz. This allows you to set up two separate wireless networks to improve speed on a crowded wireless network by switching some devices to a different frequency.
Tri-band routers remain a rarity because few people need them. They can be useful in the office, but they are not needed for a regular apartment.
Wireless networks are just as insecure as they are convenient – if you don’t take steps to keep your network secure, almost any intruder within range can disable or intercept your Internet connection, access any of the files stored on your computer, infect your device with viruses and cause other problems.
Any router you buy must support at least the WPA2 certification program (the second implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol). But every device you add to your network must also support WPA2 for this to work.
Also keep in mind that some routers are designed with corporate or extended family safety in mind. These devices come with many advanced features, including the ability to add additional encryption, track devices, block unwanted users from the network, and even see what people are browsing.
You’ll find USB ports on many routers, but it’s important to figure out what the port is used for. On some routers, this is simply a means of transmitting setup information (such as network ID and password) from the router to the client using a USB memory key.
More expensive routers will let you plug in a USB storage device to add NAS (Network Attached Storage) functionality. Plug a large USB hard drive into your router and every device on your network will have access to that storage resource – it’s like a cheap server.
Price or performance
Router prices vary greatly depending on their features, antennas, ports, and more.
A cheap home router that provides low performance is not very profitable.
Product reviews will give you a hint of what you can expect, but setting up one in your own home is the only surefire way to know how a router will perform in your unique environment.
An expert in household appliances and electronics. I prepare and publish reviews, ratings and instructions for choosing the best models and brands. Higher education – IT engineer.