Wireless routers have played a crucial role in our smart homes and our jobs since COVID-19 happened. Wireless routers help many of us stream movies, transfer files, and play games seamlessly.
2019 was specifically a fascinating year for more capable routers, but the best wireless routers of 2021 promise a new generation of faster speeds and improved security.
Good thing we have indulged ourselves in finding the most promising wireless routers today. We gathered 10 of the best wireless routers on the current market and reviewed them earnestly. Below we will help you choose a router that can manage your current WiFi needs.
What Are Wireless Routers?
A wireless router or a WiFi hub is a compact electronic device that links your WiFi-supported gadgets to the internet. It directs traffic on a network of internet-connected devices in the fastest way. The data traveling on your network could be videos or emails, taking up different bandwidth amounts.
A cable connects a wireless router to a modem, allowing the acceptance and transmission of information to and fro the internet. Built-in antennas enable the router to share or exchange data with your WiFi network. The result grants all your devices access to the internet.
Some wireless routers have internal antennas, so WiFi isn’t always obvious. The rear part usually has ports to connect your Ethernet cables and USBs. At the front, you’ll find the power button and LED indicators.
Why Use A Wireless Router?
A wireless router delivers reliable WiFi signals. Modern models provide dual or tri-band capabilities to let you stream HD movies and play online without lags. Dual-bands offer a longer range to reach wherever you are in the house.
Wireless routers may be hard to configure in the past, but today’s models have improved the settings to be more user-friendly. Some routers even provide a compatible app, so you can tweak the settings more quickly and farther away from the unit.
The service feature lets you prioritize bandwidth strength while MU-MIMO lets you connect multiple devices without suffering any lags. Security features have also improved to protect your personal information from viruses and malware.
A Review For The Best Wireless Routers 2021
Looking for the perfect wireless router to fit your home sure is hard. Recent upgrades from TP-Link, Asus, and other leading brands have made each router more complex to understand. To provide you with a glimpse of how each wireless router performs, read our full review below.
TP-Link AD7200 Wireless WiFi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Talon AD7200)
The AD7200 is one of the best wireless routers of 2021 for streaming because you can watch 4K videos without lag. TP-Link uses the latest wireless technology, 802.11ad, to connect all devices in your network seamlessly. Multiple bands offer up to 7200 Mbps speed, which is three times faster than a Wireless AC.
The AD7200’s front edge features nine LED indicators representing power, band activity, and connectivity. The router has nine antennas that fold down when unused. You’ll find four ports at the rear panel, including two USB ports and a WAN port.
This modem offers the most stable connection out there, but it’s expensive and bulky. We like the MU-MIMO feature because many users can connect to the network all at once. Several hacking incidents have led TP-Link to release firmware updates regularly.
- Connect multiple devices at fast speeds
- Breakneck WiFi speed
- Good wireless range
- Innovative features and design
- Stable connection
- A bit expensive
- Bandwidth throttles with the SPI firewall activated
TP-LINK WiFi Router AC1750 Archer C7 – Best Budget Wireless Router 2021
The AC1750 is part of the best wireless routers of 2021 under 100 because it performs better than similarly priced brands. The dual bands offer a maximum of 1750 Mbps of WiFi speed. With this bandwidth range, you can stream videos in HD and share big files with less lagging.
On the rear, you can find three antennas, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. The web console is slightly outdated and lacks intuitive icons for easy navigation. Installation is easy, and we’re impressed with the AC1750 throughput performance.
While we like the AC1750’s affordability, we’re slightly disappointed in its poor upstream speeds. The transfer only can go as fast as 14mbps despite performing a stable 1300 Mbps connection in the same room. Nonetheless, the AC1750 is still functional and is delivering exceptional downstream speeds.
- Superb downstream speeds
- Plenty of Ethernet ports
- Good WiFi range
- Has an attractive price
- Excellent throughput performance
- The user interface needs an update
- Subpar upstream speeds
Google WiFi system, 3-Pack – Router Replacement for Whole Home Coverage (NLS-1304-25), White
Google WiFi is one of the effective ways to provide WiFi to your whole house. One device can cover a 500-1500 square-feet home while three devices are enough to cover a 3000-4500 square-feet home. This 3-pack WiFi system is simple to use and quick to install- you just need to have a Google account and a smartphone.
Unlike other routers, Google WiFi doesn’t have a web-based interface. Google WiFi uses a mobile app to let you configure and control this ultramodern WiFi system. Once set, this Google device will connect you to Google always.
If you’re concern about privacy, Google reassures that the WiFi device won’t gather your user activity. It seems only to gather information related to hardware and network. The system tends to deliver a reliable connection in all corners of your home.
- Large coverage range
- Easy to use with the companion app
- High CPU processor performance
- Reliable internet connection
- Allows you to prioritize bandwidth between gadgets
- Can’t identify devices linked to ISP router
- Lacks hardware controls
ASUS AC3100 (RT-AC88U), Black
This Asus dual-band router offers a lot of features at a hefty price. It supports innovative MU-MIMO technology to allow all connecting devices to run full-speed WiFi connections. Improve your gaming experience with Adaptive QoS, which lets you prioritize gaming bandwidth.
Improve your online security with AiProtection, which blocks malicious sites and identify the vulnerability. You can even set parental controls for your kid’s safe internet experience. The RT-AC88U uses a router app, and user interface for easy use and set up.
Our only gripe is the awkward placement of the USB 3.0 port. The network-attached storage (NAS) performance is just pretty standard when infused with an external hard drive. Nonetheless, you get all the features you need with this Asus router.
- Offers eight ultrafast Ethernet ports
- Plenty of useful features
- Works with Alexa
- Supports MU-MIMO technology
- Enhances online security and safety
- Very expensive
- Tricky placement of the USB 3.0 port
D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band (DIR-890L/R)- Best Range Wireless Router 2021
The D-Link AC3200 impresses with its speedy WiFi and striking sci-fi design. Advanced AC SmartBeam finds your connected device and improves WiFi range and range. Smarter Bandwidth uses band steering technology to disperse traffic for maximum WiFi performance.
There are six external antennas to give you more robust WiFi coverage. The Smart Connect Technology selects three WiFi bands to provide the clearest band for each device. With its three wireless bands, you can game and stream 4K videos on multiple devices.
This tri-band WiFi router is excellent when it comes to natural throughput speed. The Web interface is intuitive enough for easy use. However, the price is quite high, and the configurations are limited.
- Outstanding throughput speeds
- Ultimate range performance
- Unique design and shiny finish
- Also works as a network storage server
- Intuitive web interface
- Comes with a hefty price
- Mediocre file transfer speed
NETGEAR Nighthawk (R7000) -Best Dual-Band Router 2021
Nighthawk R700-AC1900 provides an exceptional 5GHz band performance and an outstanding collection of features. Built-in security software protects all your linked devices from malware, viruses, and data theft. With the Circle App, you can set parental controls over the usage time and internet access of your children.
Thanks to the Nighthawk App, you can set up the router easily. This router can support 30 devices up to 1,800 square feet. Also, the R7000 provides a better Quality of Service (QoS) functionality that lets you control the downstream and upstream.
Our biggest complaint is the bulky size of the R7000 router, which requires a lot of space. The mobile app isn’t that useful, but it’s still a good deal compared to similarly-configured models. Overall, the slightly hefty price is reasonable, given its incredible fast speeds and helpful features.
- Offers a fast peak throughput
- Amazing USB network performance
- Excellent security features
- Connects up to 30 devices
- Long wireless range
- Large footprint
- Disintegrated ports on the rear
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad (R9000)
The Nighthawk X10 R9000 is our second favorite 802.11ad router on this list. The R9000 is perfect for large homes with its super-fast 5GHz range and 160 MHz internet technology to double your WiFi speeds. Four external antennas boost the WiFi signals in your home.
With its 1.7GHz quad-core processor, you can game and stream 4K videos seamlessly on different devices simultaneously. The WiFi speed can soar as high as 7200 Mbps, which is the fastest yet from Nighthawk. The MU-MIMO feature allows you to stream and download fast for all your devices.
Another main feature of the R9000 is Plex Media, which lets you share media files from your USB drive to the router. You can store all your essential data with the Amazon Drive Cloud Back Up. Any geek might get attracted to the X10 features, but the price might be a bit high for budget-wise home users.
- Supports the new 802.11ad wireless standard
- Can deliver fast wireless speeds
- Fast network storage capability
- Shares large chunks of files seamlessly
- Many Ethernet and USB ports
- Comes at a hefty price
- Slow-moving web interface
Linksys WRT1900AC Dual-Band+ WiFi Wireless Router with Gigabit & USB 3.0 Ports and eSATA, Smart WiFi Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere
Aside from its old-school design, the Linksys WRT1900AC impresses with its high speeds and powerful networking hardware. The new Linksys router runs a powerful dual-core processor and provides 128MB of data storage. It also says to support a third-party firmware, making the device more compelling.
Four external antennas ensure that you get the best signal strength always. The Wireless-AC technology maximizes Beamforming, a revolutionary technology that allows the unit to fortify the signal to particular devices. With the SMART WiFi app, you can expand the wireless signal for both bands or just a single band and moderate your kids’ internet usage.
One of the selling points of the WRT1900AC is its hackability. You can tinker the firmware to enable extra features. However, you have to deal with its hefty price tag and the lack of modifications for the router’s WiFi networks.
- Hackable firmware allows you to enjoy extra features
- Boasts a cool, old-school ensign
- Excellent WiFi range
- Fast data transfer
- Can direct more reliable connections to particular devices
- Hefty price tag and footprint
- Web interface might be complicated for beginners
Apple AirPort Extreme
The new Apple AirPort Extreme provides reliable performance with its compact construction. Apple consumers who own 802.11ac-supported devices might like this new Apple router for its refined style and ease of use. This 6th generation AirPort Extreme router performs well for Mac computers, iPhones, and other Apple products.
Like its predecessors, the Airport Extreme doesn’t support Apple’s music playback feature (AirPlay). You need to buy the AirPort Express router if you want to enjoy the AirPlay feature. Nonetheless, the Airport Extreme provides standard features, such as IPv6 and guest networking for the 2.4GHz band.
Performance for both wireless bands is excellent, especially for the 802.11ac speeds. Transfer speeds are more than decent on 802.11n. While the Airport Extreme offers reliable connections to Apple users, it lacks network storage features.
- Compact, elegant design
- Works the best with Apple devices
- Simple to use and setup
- Fast wireless speeds
- Strong signal strength
- Lacks storage support
- Less flexible than others
Amped Wireless RTA2600 ATHENA
The RTA2600 Athena provides excellent performance, especially when connected with multiped devices. The MU-MIMO technology allows the RTA2600 to connect each device without experiencing a drop in speed. To enjoy the MU-MIMO benefits, your connected device should support this technology.
The Athena has the standard LAN and WAN ports, as well as USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports on the rear. Despite its heavy specs, the RTA2600 is unexpectedly compact. This router is also very easy to set up since a network cable already connects to the WAN port.
The interface is responsive, but you need to restart the router when you make any changes. Its performance tends to be slower than its rivals. The 5GHz throughput performance is fast, but the range could be improved
- Fast 5GHz throughput performance
- Supports the new MU-MIMO technology
- Easy to configure
- Slim, compact design
- Excellent security features, like SPI Firewall
- The wireless range could be better
- File-transfer speed is a bit slow
Wireless Routers Buying Guide
For first-time users, buying a wireless router is a nightmare. You have to select the right router among tons of brands on the market today. Below, we’ll help you choose a router that will suit your needs.
Types Of Wireless Routers
Wireless routers may look identical, but they’re not the same. Routers have a certain number of radio bands that act as invisible pathways for WiFi to travel through. Find out how you use the wireless router, so you’ll know what router type suits you.
A single-band router only uses the 2.4 GHz band offers a top speed of 750 Mbps, which makes them slightly outdated. These routers use the older Wireless-N and -G standards. If you mainly email or browse social media sites, a single-band router will work just right.
Unlike its successors, the 2.4 GHz is vulnerable to electronic interferences, including microwave ovens, TVs, and Bluetooth. Wireless speeds can bog down when all these interference sources gather together in one area.
Compared to single-band routers, dual-bands are more flexible and perform better. Dual-band routers use two bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The fastest speed can reach up to 5300 Mbps.
The 5 GHz is more stable than the 2.4 GHz because fewer devices are utilizing it. It mainly operates on Wireless-AC standard, and also older standards, like the Wireless-N devices. These dual-band routers are perfect for video conferencing, file transmissions, video, and gaming.
The tri-band router is the greatest as it offers two 5 GHz bands and one 2.4 GHz band. It provides the least interference because only a few devices are utilizing it. If you want to future proof your network, a tri-band router is an excellent choice.
This router type supports more connected devices and high bandwidth tasks. Optimal speeds can reach up to 7200 Mbps, allowing seamless 4K streaming and online gaming. A tri-band router is also perfect if you want a dedicated band for your office work.
Understanding WiFi Standards
Routers usually set the latest WiFi standards while client devices (laptops, smartphones, etc.) begin integrating the new technology a year later. To future-proof your network, get the most current WiFi standards. Here are the different WiFi standards you should know.
- 802.11-1997: This first standard provides up to 2 Mbps of data rate across the 2.4 GHz frequency. It’s probably utilized in a single room because it can only cover around 66 feet indoors.
- 802.11b: Most likely, this standard is your first wireless router. This standard delivers up to 11 Mbps of data rate across the 2.4 GHz frequency.
- 802.11a: This standard operates up to 54 Mbps across the 5 GHz frequency. It delivers up to 54 Mbps of data rate. Interestingly, the 802.11a came out after 802.11b, despite the sequence of letters.
- 802.11g: This standard provides up to 54 Mbps of data rate across the 2.4 GHz band. The speed is the same as the 802.11a, but the frequency range is lower.
- 802.11n: This is the first standard to adopt the MIMO technology. It uses the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. Optimal WiFi speed is around 600 Mbps.
- 802.11ac: This standard delivers a maximum data rate of 2.46 Gbps. Most wireless routers support this standard and work in the 5 GHz frequency range. With MIMO technology, speed boosts up to 3.46 Gbps.
- 802.11ad: This is very fast- it can offer a maximum data rate of 6.7 Gbps at 60 GHz frequency space. However, you can only maximize this benefit if your client device is within 11 feet range.
7 Things You Should Consider Before Purchasing A Wireless Router
Don’t just rely on your internet service provider (ISP) to provide you a router for a certain fee. There’s a chance that the provided router may not fit your current needs. For optimal performance, consider getting one yourself and try to look at these critical factors.
The coverage range of a router can depend on many factors, like the number of antennas, radios, and interference. Wireless AC routers offer the best coverage at the farthest range. If you want a dependable WiFi connection, stay away from Wireless G routers.
WiFi signals also depend on your home size and the barriers that may hinder them from reaching your client devices. Mirrors, metal objects, and thick walls are a few obstacles that impede WiFi signals.
The best routers should be capable of reaching the far corners of your house. Look for a router with a mesh network to expand the WiFi capabilities across your area. For smaller living spaces, a single router with a robust set of antennas will do well.
Internet security is essential if you don’t want your devices to get attacked with malware and viruses. Cybercriminals work with a variety of tools to get your personal and financial data. To prevent yourself against these cyberattacks, get a router that offers a high level of network protection.
Look for a router that offers formidable security features, such as antivirus and VPN servers. Ensure that the router has powerful hardware and a large RAM, so the VPN servers work well.
If you have kids, look for parental controls, so that you can manage their content access. Some routers even let you prohibit internet access for specific time slots and provide guest access, so you don’t have to give the primary WiFi password.
MU-MIMO is the latest technology that you should look for on a more capable wireless router. This technology enables you to connect many devices without suffering any buffering. All of your connected devices get the same high-bandwidth signal simultaneously.
Not everyone needs an MU-MIMO functionality. You won’t need one if you’re mostly utilizing older devices, and you update the hardware regularly. If a lot of people use the same network at once, MU-MIMO can be pretty handy in providing uninterrupted data on multiple devices.
The best wireless routers that offer the MU-MIMO technology are the TP-Link AD7200 and ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100).
Ports (LAN, WAN, and USB)
Ethernet ports have two different speeds: Fast Ethernet, providing up to 100 Mbps speeds, and Gigabit Ethernet delivering a speed up to 1000 Mbps. To get the fastest wired speeds, look for a router with Gigabit Ethernet ports.
A regular home router has four LAN ports to connect wired networking devices and share data. Your router needs to have at least one WAN port to get internet access. The WAN will share the internet connection to all Ethernet-supported devices.
For modern homes, look for a router with at least one USB port, preferably a USB 3.0. There are so many USB devices that we can connect to the router, including printers and flash drives.
The most durable wireless routers are made of hard plastic and ruggedly built. They often have a more substantial base to stay in place and antennas that won’t flinch with mild winds. The buttons and ports should be securely attached to the body so that the router can last for a long time.
The warranty is one way to determine the durability of the wireless router. A manufacturer often gives a lengthy warranty to a durable product. Most wireless routers offer a one-year warranty while the more durable ones provide two years, at least.
Before, the only way to manage your router is to access the firmware through a web browser on a desktop linked to your router. Many people find this method very daunting. To respond to the demands for user-friendliness, manufacturers have created smartphone apps to manage the router’s settings.
If you want a user-friendly wireless router, look for one with a smartphone app capability. The app should allow you to view your router’s current state and set the main features whenever you need to.
However, the extent of the app functionality may vary from one router to another. Some brands provide essential apps where you only do simple tasks, like manage the WiFi password. Other manufacturers offer advanced apps where you can set most features.
The amount you spend on a wireless router depends on your budget. You can get a good-quality router at around $200. Be a bit flexible on your budget because some expensive routers might be worth their price.
The most affordable wireless router is the TP-Link AC1750 Archer C7 because it costs below $100. The rest are between $200 to $500.
Positioning Your Wireless Router
The best place to post your wireless router is somewhere elevated, like a shelf. Put the router in the central part of your home so your client devices can get the most signals. The router should be away from metallic objects and thick concrete walls because they can impede the range.
For bigger homes, try getting a WiFi extender to boost the signal across the area. Sometimes, your internet package may be the reason why you’re not getting speeds you want. It’s futile to invest in an expensive wireless router if your broadband speed is subpar.
FAQ (Frequently Ask Questions)
Are expensive routers worth it?
Yes, expensive routers are worth it, especially for households with many users or encountering interference on lower channels. Most expensive routers have faster file transfer speeds and can let you watch HD videos without any lags.
What’s the best wireless WiFi router for home use?
The TP-Link AD7200 is the best wireless WiFi router for home use because it provides the most consistent high-bandwidth connection to multiple devices. For online gaming, we recommend the Nighthawk X10 R9000 and the TP-Link AC1750 Archer C7 for budget-friendly users.
Do I need both a modem and a router?
No, because it would only make your next revamp more expensive. A router is enough if you want to get your private local network and connect to multiple devices. If you want to connect to a regular ISP, a modem is needed.
Can you just buy a router and have the internet?
No, you can’t. You need a provider to give you internet access. You can use the provider’s router or use your own.
Does having two routers increase internet speed?
No, it usually doesn’t. Adding a second router can enhance data flow, but it won’t help if you have slow internet service.
How long do wireless routers last?
Wireless routers usually last three to four years.
Can I get wireless internet without a router?
Yes, you can. You can create an ad-hoc network, but that poses particular limitations in regards to security and affinity.
What are the best wireless routers for large homes?
The best wireless routers of 2021 for large home are Google WiFi System and D-Link AC3200 because they can cover more than 4,00 square feet.
Our top pick is the TP-Link AD7200 because it offers the most stable connection at the highest WiFi speed. You can connect multiple devices smoothly and stream videos without any lags. The price may not be budget-friendly, but your set for the future.
If you want a budget router, you can try the TP-Link AC1750 Archer C7 that cost under $100. For larger homes, try the Google WiFi System that can cover up to 4500 square feet with its three devices. Our favorite for online gaming is the Nighthawk X10 R9000 because it can deliver up to 7200 Mbps of WiFi speed.
Trust that all the products that we reviewed are the best wireless routers of 2021 for sure.
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Hi, I am Mark Andrew. Pro blogger. Love to research and write for my blog and of course love travel around also. Coffee Is my part of life.I have a fluffy cat. Her Name Is LUCCHI