Paying for high-speed internet but still encountering dead points or slowdowns at home? Change your wi-fi router right away!!
With hours of case studies, I’ve concluded that most people emphasise over the Wi-Fi plan, data speed, data limit, etc. before getting a connection but not enough on the Wi-Fi routers. And if you’re one of those, here’s a friendly reminder – Wi-Fi router plays an important role in how good or bad your internet experience is.
Technically speaking, a Wi-Fi router is an electronic device that sends data received from an internet cable to other devices. It also acts as a wireless access point sharing data via radio signals to the connected devices.
So, if you want your online surfing or viewing experience — whether on your laptop, tablet, TV or smartphone — to load fast and to load reliably, having a strong Wi-Fi router is a must. However, not all wi-fi routers are born same and so here’s an exclusive buying guide on Wi-Fi Routers. Let’s get started with-
Things to consider when choosing a Wi-Fi router
It refers to the frequency of the radio signals that routers emit to transmit internet to your device. There are three main frequencies router functions at, namely-
- Single band - supports 2.4 GHz, least expensive, suitable for minimum devices, ideal for web surfing & checking on e-mails, offers slow speed but wider coverage
- Dual Band - supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, ideal for online gaming and video streaming, offers good speed but limited coverage.
- Tri band - supports 1 x 2.4Hz and 2 x 5 GHz, suitable for homes with heavy network traffic, ideal for multiple devices video streaming, file transfers, torrent downloading simultaneously, offers great speed and wider coverage.
Wireless devices can be handy, but security is always a problem. To be digitally safe, ensure having an upgraded firmware, firewall and additional security features such as automated upgrades, system quarantine, and signed firmware updates. The most stable of the three available Wi-Fi encrypted access protocols is WPA2 (any router with the "AC" designation should support WPA2 encryption), which is followed by WEP and WPA.
USB Port Availability
While many people overlook this feature, it is indeed a smart option to get a Wi-Fi router with a USB port. Pen drives and printers can be plugged in to improve compatibility. This will allow you to connect to the wireless network without using any of the available bandwidth.
Another important factor when selecting a Wi-Fi router is the speed that it can provide. What's the point of having a 1Gbps internet plan if your router can only support 300Mbps? Always verify the maximum speed that the router can reach before buying a router to ensure that you get the most out of the available speed.
Type of router – Traditional or Mesh
The size and layout of your home and what it’s made of are some of the biggest factors in deciding which type of router is best for you. The performance of your router can be hindered by a variety of factors in your house. The more floors, windows and walls, the worse for the signal.
A traditional router is usually all you need if your home is less than 1500 square feet. Mesh networks are reliable for homes greater than 1500 square feet. It's a group of two or more routers that work together to distribute Wi-Fi in your home. No wi-fi dead zones guaranteed with mesh networks at home!!
WI-FI 6 or 802.11ax is the latest standard for WI-FI connectivity offering better speed and efficiency, decreased crowding, and better battery life for connecting devices. It allows up to 12 streams simultaneously and can offer buffer-free streaming along with quicker downloads.
MU-MIMO, an acronym for "Multiple User - Multiple Input, Multiple Output" is the latest router technology allowing Wi-Fi router to communicate with multiple devices, ultimately decreasing each time device has to wait for signal.
If you have 8 or more devices that connect to the wireless network in your home, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi router with MU-MIMO for experiencing stable and much faster internet connections.
Best overall Wi-Fi router
The built-in Mesh Wi-Fi on the MR8300 Wi-Fi router allows you to scale your household internet needs. You can extend your coverage by adding a Linksys Velop node as your demand grows. The nodes will operate together seamlessly, eliminating the need for manual network switching.
- Manage multiple devices without any overloading issues
- Easy installation and quick set up
- Offers Alexa integration
This router lets you bid goodbye to the slow devices providing seamless internet connectivity to every corner of your home without any Wi-Fi dropouts. Moreover, it features AIProtection Pro powered by Trend Micro to protect your devices from external threats.
- Streaming on up to 15 devices at a time
- Auto connection based on the signal strength
- MU MIMO Technology integrated
Best Wi-Fi routers under 10,000
This Wi-Fi router is mainly intended to deliver high-speed internet to game streaming, allowing gamers to stream without interruption. It has a very safe and simple control system. You can use it by connecting to mobile devices with the help of the ‘NETGEAR Up’ App and also generate a Wi-Fi password on it.
- Better Wi-Fi coverage area
- Faster speeds with excellent performance antennas
- Monitor current internet status and connected devices
The Intel Home Wi-Fi WAV654 chipset in the AX3000 will provide up to 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and nearly 2.4 Gbps on the 5GHz band. The AX 3000, in particular, has a higher Wifi speed and a web user interface that you can conveniently access using its default IP address.
- Alexa integration availability
- Low latency
- Mobile app friendly
Best Wi-Fi routers under 5,000
The Archer C7 can run at speeds three times higher than numerous available Wi-Fi routers. It's ideal for video streaming, fast-paced gaming, and other broadband tasks. About the fact that it does not support Wi-Fi 6, this router is a fast 802.11ac router offering an incredible range
- Connect a range of devices over multiple bands
- Excellent connectivity speed
- Parental control
Tenda AC10 AC1200 lets you enjoy HD video & HD games. The latest MU-MIMO technology also improves the speed of its connection. It manages the data speed demands with its efficient high-speed computing, modern technologies, and bandwidth priority.
- Connectivity for 30+ devices
- Hd video and HD gaming
- 4 high-speed strong antennas
Best Wi-Fi routers under 2,000
In addition to its versatile high performance, the router can connect more than one user through the internet, offering high-speed internet along with smooth and secure built-in Ethernet ports, and QoS for music, video, photos, files, and e-mail.
- Extremely versatile router with high speed
- Enhanced security and rich feature set
- Firewall protection for security
The Mercusys dual-band router is ideal for multi-streaming at the same time. You can expect lag-free gaming, smooth HD video streaming, and quick file downloads with it. Moreover, it has a solid build that will last a long time.
- Fast connections for wired devices like TV, game consoles
- Flexible for up to 60 devices
- Easy installation
Best MESH Network Wi-Fi routers
It is best for those who want more coverage in larger spaces transmitting information wirelessly, extending your Wi-Fi reach. The Nest Wi-Fi may not have Wi-Fi 6 support, but everything else about the Nest Wi-Fi is great.
- Excellent performance
- Google Assistant built-in
- Easy setup
Its fast signal strength offers high-speed internet that can support an entire home network without buffering. The good thing is that it does not necessarily require network switching and is therefore pretty simple to operate. You can use the ‘TEDA Wi-fi App' to set up the Wi-Fi network and keep a privacy password on it to keep the network safe
- Covers wider range
- Manage the priority of access
- Control via App
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do Wi-Fi routers last?
A router's estimated lifetime is around five years. Upgrading every five years ensures that you will have the most up-to-date functionality and efficiency without having to make any needless modifications.
How do I know I need a new router?
- Slow Internet Speed
- Complete Breakdown of the Device
- Faulty Indicator Lights
- Lack of Support to Newer Devices
How can I test my router?
- Test speed of devices with the Google Wi-Fi app
- Open the Google Wi-Fi app
- Tap the Settings and actions tab.
- Tap Test Wi-Fi
- The speed results will appear for each device
Did you know?
The device wasn't always called Wi-Fi
WaveLAN, FlankSpeed, DragonFly, WECA, and IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence were all previous names for Wi-Fi. Imagine asking your neighbour for their Dragonfly password. Thank goodness Wi-Fi was popularised instead.
Wi-Fi is not harmful to your health
People have a general misconception that Wi-Fi signals are harmful. Wi-Fi signals are much safer than mobile phone signals. There have been no cases of Wi-Fi transmissions causing sickness.
Wi-Fi doesn't mean what you think it means
Wi-Fi is short for "Wireless Fidelity", right? This is actually a widely circulated, false piece of information. Wi-Fi was simply designed as a name and logo by Wi-Fi Alliance back in 1999 and the term has no real meaning