12 Best Routers in 2021 – Reviewed & Buying Guide

Given the large number of devices that can connect to the Internet today, it is essential to have a good router to manage these connections. Often, however, the devices offered by telephone operators are too simple and do not allow you to efficiently take advantage of the high speed offered by your line.

In addition, it often happens that lower-end devices don’t last as long as you want, which does not happen with better quality ones. However, in general, most average users don’t know what to consider when buying a router. To fill these gaps, we have prepared this comprehensive guide.

Here we had listed down some of the great models of routers.

SaleRANK NO. 1
TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual...
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Router for wireless internet, works with Alexa, compatible with all Wi-Fi devices, 802.11ac and older
  • Dual band router upgrades to 1750 Mbps high speed internet(450mbps for 2.4GHz, 1300Mbps for 5GHz), reducing buffering and ideal for 4K streaming
RANK NO. 2
NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-band AX8 WiFi 6...
  • Coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. and up to 40 devices
  • Fast AX6600 Gigabit speed with WiFi 6 technology for uninterrupted streaming, HD video gaming, and web conferencing
  • Connects to your existing cable modem and replaces your WiFi router. Compatible with any internet Service Provider up to 2Gbps including cable, satellite, fiber, and DSL
SaleRANK NO. 3
TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5) - Dual Band...
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Supports 802. 11AC Wi-Fi standard, Dual Band Wireless Router for home
  • Simultaneous 2. 4 GHz 300 Mbps and 5 GHz 867 Mbps connections for 1200 Mbps of total available bandwidth
SaleRANK NO. 4
NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6330) - AC1600 Dual Band...
  • FAST WI-FI PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1200 square feet wireless coverage with AC1600 speed (Dual band up to 300 + 1300 Mbps)
  • RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 20 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos play games surf the internet and connect smart home devices
  • WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers game consoles streaming players and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports
SaleRANK NO. 5
NETGEAR AC1600 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router...
  • AC1600 WiFi: Up to 300+1300Mbps WiFi speeds
  • Powerful 880MHz processor delivers high-performance connectivity
  • Five (5) Ethernet ports (1 WAN & 4 LAN) for faster file sharing and transfers
RANK NO. 6
NETGEAR Nighthawk R7350 AC2400 Router: Fast...
  • Key Features Extreme WiFi speed for gaming—Up to 2400Mbps MU-MIMO—Simultaneous streaming of data for multiple devices Advanced QoS for lag-free gaming & uninterrupted video streaming Extreme range with high-power amplifiers & external antennas for best connectivity Beamforming+ for improved WiFi range & performance across both 2.4 and 5GHz devices Powerful processor—Dual-core processor ensures smooth 4K UHD streaming & gaming
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports—Connect more wired devices for faster file transfer and uninterrupted connections Nighthawk App—Easily set up your router and get more out of your WiFi. Includes access from anywhere to manage your network away from home USB 3.0 for up to 10 times faster access to your stored media than USB 2.0 Free backup software for Windows based computers to automatically safeguard your files Airtime Fairness prevents network lag when slower devices connect
  • Technical Specifications R7350 (600Mbps 2.4GHz + 1733Mbps 5GHz) Simultaneous dual band WiFi --Tx/Rx 3x3 (2.4GHz) + 4x4 (5GHz) Implicit & explicit Beamforming Powerful dual-core processor Memory: 128MB flash and 256MB RAM Downstream & Upstream QoS automatically recognize & prioritize applications ReadySHARE USB Access—Share & access your USB hard drive IPv6 Support (Internet Protocol Version 6) On/off LED lights option
SaleRANK NO. 7
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 -...
  • Recommended for up to 25 devices: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices
  • Wired Ethernet ports: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Loaded with advanced technology: Designed with a 1GHz dual core processor, 3 amplified antennas, Beamforming plus, Dynamic QoS, Smart Connect, and more
SaleRANK NO. 8
Linksys EA3500 - Dual-Band N750 Router with...
  • The Linksys EA3500 offers fast speed to connect your computers, Internet-ready TVs, game consoles, and other Wi-Fi devices at transfer rates up to 300 + 450 Mbps speed for an optimal home network experience.
  • Built with leading 802.11n wireless technology, the Linksys EA3500 offers superior range to create a powerful wireless network.
  • Enhanced MIMO antenna array boosts signal strength to provide exceptional coverage and reliability so you can enjoy your wireless network from anywhere in your home.
SaleRANK NO. 9
NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6...
  • Coverage up to 5,000 sq. ft. and for up to 40 devices. Extend coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. with each additional satellite (sold separately)
  • Fast AX4200 Gigabit speed with WiFi 6 technology for uninterrupted streaming, HD video gaming, and web conferencing
  • Connects to your existing cable modem, and replaces your WiFi router. Compatible with any internet service provider up to 2Gbps including cable, satellite, fiber, and DSL
SaleRANK NO. 10
TP-Link N450 Wireless Wi-Fi Router (TL-WR941ND)
  • Supports PPPoE, Dynamic IP, and static IP broadband functions Automatic dialing, On-demand dialing, detachable time dialing, filling most dialing requirements
  • Standards: IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b Interface: 4x 10/100 LAN Ports, 1x 10/100 WAN Ports Antenna: 3x 3dBi Detachable Omni Directional Antenna
  • Wireless Signal Rates:11n: Up to 300Mbps(dynamic) 11g: Up to 54Mbps(dynamic) 11b: Up to 11Mbps(dynamic)
RANK NO. 11
NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream WiFi 6E Router...
  • 6GHz WiFi band dedicated to WiFi 6E devices including Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Enjoy 4K/8K video streaming, AR/VR gaming and HD videoconferencing
  • Exceptional 10.8Gbps WiFi speed, 9x faster than WiFi 5. Backward compatible for all WiFi devices on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. and 60 devices
SaleRANK NO. 12
Norton by Symantec Granite Gray Norton Core Secure...
  • High performance wifi router: Stream your favorite movies in 4K, play online games or download content with Core’s powerful dual core processor
  • Multi layer protection: Comprehensive network security to protect your connected home from malware, viruses, phishing tactics and even botnets
  • Protect all connected devices: A 1 yr subscription to Norton Security is included to protect your Macs, PCs, tablets, smartphones & smart devices

What to Look for Before Buying Routers?

Before choosing a router, before purchasing, some technical factors must be considered, this to make the right purchase and to have the desired characteristics.

Both based on your internet line and based on the size of the area you want. cover with WiFi and last but not least, also based on the budget you have available.

Connection Protocol

When choosing a modem router, with its functionality (i.e. that allows you to connect to the internet) it is important to choose a router with support for the connection protocol of our telephone operator, which can be ADSL2, ADSL2 +, VDSL, VDSL2.

With these 4 different protocols, the only parameter to change is the speed, starting from the 12 Mbit / s of the ADSL 2, up to the 300 Mbit / s of the VDSL2. The only thing to pay attention to is the presence of VOIP on the router that has been given to you by your operator.

If it is present, in order not to lose the possibility of making calls via VOIP, you will have to keep the old router keeping it active and use a second router connected via LAN to manage the connections. Typically this configuration is referred to in computer jargon as cascading routers.

Cascade Router Connection

In the case of ADSL2 and VDSL2 with VoIP, the operator router can also be replaced with one of the rare models with VoIP support on the market, below we have indicated a few.

Wi-Fi Classes, Data Transfer Rate and Definition of Ac

Each Wireless router is marked with an abbreviation indicating the WiFi class (e.g. IEEE 802.11 class a / b / g / n / ac / ad/ax), corresponding to a certain frequency band, (which can be 2.4 and 5 GHz the most common or the recent 60 GHz) and transfer speed. Let’s see exactly these values:

  • class a at 54 Mb / s (5 GHz)
  • class b at 11 Mb / s (2.4 GHz)
  • g class at 54 Mb / s (2.4 GHz)
  • 450 Mb / s class n (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
  • ac class at 3 Gb / s (5 GHz)
  • theoretical class 7 Gb / s in a very limited area (60 GHz)
  • ax class also called WiFi 6 at 11Gb / s theoretical (from 1 to 6 GHz)

The term Dual-Band defines the routers that have both the classic 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz radio band. It is important to know that each brand has its advantages and disadvantages, in fact, the 5 GHz band has as an advantage the greater speed but a smaller range of action.

Which will lead you to have an excellent fast and powerful signal only at short distances and with few walls as an obstacle? Conversely, the 2.4 GHz radio band is less fast, but has a wider range of activities and will allow you to receive the WiFi signal even at a distance with various obstacles in between. Synonymous with Dual Band is the Wireless AC protocol.

When we purchase a router, we often find the “AC” code followed by a number (eg AC1300, AC3200, AC5400, etc). As you saw in the previous paragraph of the classes, this means that the router supports the WiFi AC class.

While the number indicates the maximum theoretical band of the available bands, for example, AC1300 will have a maximum theoretical band of 1300 Mbps. If a router is Dual-band, it will be the sum of the two bands, if it is Tri-band of three bands and Quad-band of four bands.

The recent AX, 802.11ax standard, wants to improve and take the place of the widespread 802.11ac. Investing now in this type of router means preparing for evolution with the devices that will come and will support this class (and presumably also the new wpa3 security protocol ).

Wi-Fi Technologies Supported

If you have a large apartment to be covered with the need to make the WiFi signal reach with sufficient intensity even at the ends of the house. You should opt for models with high transmission power and preferably with a good number of antennas.

  • In more recent routers there may be a technology called Beamforming +, which increases the performance of 5GHz networks, as it precisely directs the signal to the connected device, this through the modulation of the waves emitted by the antennas, allowing the wireless signal to reach better the most hidden points of your home. To cover very large environments, there are also other solutions, such as support for Mesh networks, which you will find just below in this article, or the purchase of a WiFi repeater, which creates a new network by amplifying the signal received from the main router. The difference between these two solutions lies in the fact that with the support of Mesh networks, a unique network with the same name (ideal solution) unlike WiFi repeaters, in this way it is not necessary to access different networks if you move in a very large environment.
  • In addition to this technology, we can find the MU-MIMO (an acronym for Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) which improves the management of multiple devices connected simultaneously, without affecting the performance regarding the data transfer speed.
  • On the best routers, it is possible to find the word tri-band, which means the simultaneous use of three different signals, one on the 2.4 GHz band and two separate 5 GHz signals to ensure the maximum possible connection speed. It is useful in the case of multiple devices connected to the same network because the router itself will assign the free channel to a new device that enters the network (with a sort of balancing of the band available at a certain time).
  • Support for MESH networks is another recent technology that allows you to extend the WiFi signal is very large environments. This technology was created to solve the problems of a traditional Wifi network, where there is a single Wireless router, which manages to cover only a limited area of ​​the house, especially if the latter is very large and there are many pillars or very large walls. that reduce the signal. In routers with support for mesh networks, however, there are multiple nodes organized dynamically and not hierarchically on the network, which can cooperate with each other, providing data more efficiently. A classic example of a mesh network consists of the main router connected to the internet that supports this technology and many mesh routers connected to it, called nodes.

Processor, Ram, Chipset, and Antennas

If in economic routers the performance roughly equals, in high-end models, the real difference is made by these components. The processor and the ram depending on the computing power that develops, they can better manage the data traffic and a large number of connected devices, optimizing quickly and efficiently workloads and connectivity for each device connected.

The Chipset, on the other hand, is of fundamental importance in connection stability and speed, where routers with Broadcom chipsets are the master, where it is possible to analyze the parameters of SNR Margin and line attenuation.

Finally, the Antennas are of fundamental importance for the WiFi signal, which can be internal, in cheap routers, or in large numbers and external, in routers that tend to offer higher performance, with transfer rates even 10 times higher (7.2 Gbps) than the less expensive models.

Connections and Ports Available

On the back of each router or at most on the side, we can find different input ports where to connect Ethernet cables and electronic devices via USB inputs ( such as printers, pen drives, and external hard drives ).

As far as Ethernet ports are concerned, we can find Fast Ethernet with a maximum transfer rate of 100 Megabit / s and Gigabits that reach 1 Gigabit / s or if you want 1000 Megabit / s.

The USB ports, on the other hand, can be USB 2.0 or 3.0, which differ in the different data processing speeds, respectively 280 Mbps and 3.2 Gbps.

Through the USB ports you can connect many types of USB peripherals and in some cases even the keys where you can insert a 3G / 4G data SIM, which the router can use as a backup connection in case of malfunctions on the fixed-line.

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