The rapid development of the wireless routers technology led to a point when the best wireless routers are absolutely capable of keeping up with the demands of a modern home or a large office. Strange as it may seem, routers are a frequently underappreciated part of the computer configuration. When it dutifully does its job, you hardly pay any attention, but when you find yourself constantly shaking a fist at the “buffering” symbol that deters you from streaming Netflix or HBO Now to your tablet or laptop, you realize it is time to start looking for the best wireless routers for 2017.
Today, wireless routers incorporate new transmission standards and wireless brands. It would not be excessive to say that the technology is so rapidly developing that the older models’ specs pale in comparison to those, included in the latest best wireless routers buyer’s guides. Older devices use the so-called b/g/n to transmit the signal, but they are incapable of meeting the increasing demands of the contemporary customer. If you need to download files of hundreds of gigabytes, stream Netflix in 4K or play online games that require low latency, a router upgrade can help you perform these activities in a smooth, trouble-free manner.
The support for the 802.11ac networking standard is among the latest hardware advancements the best wireless routers have. The other feature that cannot simply be overlooked is the directional beamforming, which ensures faster speed and high-quality Wi-Fi connectivity.
If you are hunting for the best wireless routers for 2017, there are a few key points to examine and eventually narrow down your search to a few models. Diving into the technological jungle can be confusing, though. You need to settle for a unit that enables you to freely use all devices you intend to connect including TVs, smartphones, smart home gadgets, and other mobile devices. You also need to consider the size of the coverage areas as well as the number of clients.
Similar to the other technological products, not all routers are created equal. That’s why you need to decide which are the technical specs that make a device the best wireless router for you. If you have a bundle of cash to spend, you can buy the latest model, but are you sure you need all those fancy add-ons? From a purely practical point of view, paying for features you will never use is a total waste of money.
The next thing you have to take into consideration are the interests of the people you will be sharing your router with. For example, if you want a device that would meet family’s demands for streaming video, and playing Overwatch online along with the regular Internet activities such as making conference calls, browsing social networks, etc, you have to evaluate the models included in the best wireless routers buyer’s guides and choose accordingly.
Let’s proceed to the introduction of the more technical aspects the best wireless routers should have in order to answer your needs for Wi-Fi connectivity.
Single-, Dual- or Tri-Band Router?
As their name implies, single band routers communicate over a single radio band. They are suitable for performing things such as web surfing and checking your Facebook or Twitter account. The single band routers are less expensive than their dual- and tri-band counterparts. They operate on the 2.4GHz frequency band and their greatest disadvantage is that they have to compete with all devices that are on the same radio band including Bluetooth devices, microwaves, wireless phones.
If you are planning to stream video from Netflix or play online games, dual-band routers are the better alternative. Dual-band devices have two radios – one of them connects to the 2.4GHz band and the other one connects to the 5GHz band. The latter band comes with minimal signal interference, which means streaming and playing online games simultaneously would not be a bother. Another advantage of the dual-band routers is that they allow you to assign a band to specific applications and clients.
As for the tri-band routers, they have three radios. One of them operates at 2.4 GHz and the other two operate at 5GHz. Tri-band routers are suitable for offices and households as they are capable of handling intense network traffic including torrent downloading, video streaming, online gaming, file transfers, etc.
Wireless Ethernet networks use 802.11 protocols to send and receive data. Routers that use 802.11b or 802.11g offer limited data transfer rates of 11Mbps and 54Mbps, respectively. The most widespread Wi-Fi protocol is 802.11n. It operates in 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and offers data rates of up to 600Mbps. It also includes the so-called MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology and uses several antennas to send and receive data, which results in enhanced performance. An 802.11n router is a good fit for households where router for light duty purposes is needed. If you need to hook up several devices such as gaming consoles, media streaming devices, smart TVs, mobile devices, and transfer data between them, you will need a more powerful device.
The best wireless routers for 2017 use the 802.11ac technology. It is superior to the previous protocols on several levels. First of all, it includes a channel bandwidth of up to 160GHz (a way more than the 40GHz older models offer). In addition, there are eight MIMO spatial streams. The beamforming technology adds to the sophistication of the latest models as it sends Wi-Fi signals to a client instead of broadcasting in all directions.
The 802.11ac protocols utilize the Multi-User MIMO technology, designed to provide bandwidth to several devices simultaneously. In other words, up to four clients are provided with their own data streams at the same time. However, it is important to note that client devices and the router itself must contain MU-MIMO Wi-Fi circuitry otherwise, the MU-MIMO will not work. According to the upward trend, more and more smart devices are utilizing the MU-MIMO technology, but still, the MU-MIMO routers have a long way to go to become the most common ones.
You will see the 802.11ac routers labelled like AC1200, AC1750, AC3200, etc. These numbers refer to the maximum router speed. For example, if your router can achieve a maximum speed of 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300 Mbps on the 5GHz band, it is an AC1750 router. Unfortunately, routers that achieve the maximum speed indicated on the box are few. If you are still looking for the best wireless router that is flawless in terms of performance, don’t be surprised by the price tag.
As a general rule, the traditional 2.4GHz band can reach up to 150 feet indoors. Routers that operate on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands vary in the reach due to the physical obstructions in homes. Brick walls and metal frames reduce the Wi-Fi range by 25%. The radio signal interference from microwaves and other appliances also affect the Wi-Fi network range in a negative manner.
The distance at which you can connect to an access point also depends on the antenna orientation. For example, if you want to connect a smartphone, you will notice that the connection strength increases/ decreases when you turn the device at different angles. The directional antennas provide longer reach in the areas where the antenna is pointing, but the reach in other areas is shorter.
The Most Important Features of the Best Wireless Routers
The best wireless routers come with a great number of fancy add-ons. Needless to say, the more features your router has, the higher the price will be. That’s why it is essential to decide which of them you really need. Still, some features guarantee you have made a fantastic deal:
- Look for a device that has at least four 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet ports, so that you can hook up PCs, NAS drives and home automation hubs.
- Choose a wireless router with at least one USB port. If you plan to plug in a printer and a USB drive at the same time, choose a device with two USB ports
You are advised to pick up a router with detachable antennas
- Parental controls allow you to limit the network access for certain users during specific times. It is a useful feature for parents who want to control the time their kid spends in online gaming and social networks
- Guest network enables you to provide your guests with Wi-Fi connectivity without exposing your personal files to any risk. You can create a separate network for guests with a Service Set Identifier. The guest network can have a different password from the one of your main network.
- The best wireless routers and the Quality of Service (QoS) feature, in particular, enable you to give priority of one device over another. For example, if one of the connected devices is downloading files and another one is streaming a Netflix video, and you do not want to get a choppy video, you can give a priority to the streaming device. If you assign a high QoS priority to a gaming console, you will enjoy a smoother gameplay.
- In terms of security, the best wireless routers for 2017 are not too different from the older models. In general, routers offer several forms of security. The WPS allows you to add compatible devices by one push of the respective buttons located on the router and the device you would like to add. The WPA or WPA2 offer a higher level of protection. You need to enter a network password for each device you would like to add. The best wireless routers have WPA-Enterprise that ensures utmost security, but they come with a major disadvantage. You need a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service server to authenticate each client.
- The Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the technology used for assigning IP addresses, but people with vast knowledge of the matter know that IPv6 took over. The IPv6 is offering an infinite number of IP addresses that can be connected to the Internet. The best wireless routers for 2017 have a built-in support for IPv6.
In brief, the good range, fast throughput speeds, the easy setup, the variety of management options and the fair price are the main features a good wireless router is comprised of. Check out some of the products that meet those criteria.
ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security
The Asus RT- AC88U is the first suggestion in the list of the best wireless routers and below, you will find out why it is considered a top performer in its class. The device has been on the market for quite some time and it managed to beat the competition and cement itself a bright spot among the most sophisticated wireless routers in existence. The Asus RT- AC88U is a dual-band 802.11ac router that comes with a huge set of exclusive features. The device uses MU-MIMO technology to serve several clients simultaneously. The router is equipped with multiple USB ports as well as Gigabit LAN ports. The wealth of management options, in combination with the 2.4Hz and 5Hz bands deservedly make it a top choice for the demanding users.
Talking about management features, you can adjust them via the mobile app or the user-friendly WEB interface.You can set up a guest network and prioritize the bandwidth for specific applications by accessing the QoS page. The traffic analyzer page enables you to keep track of the data usage, the outgoing data packets as well as the upload and download speeds. If you are keen on playing online games, you will particularly like the fact that you can connect to the WTFast Gamers Private Network. For the purpose, you need to make the necessary settings via the Game Boost page. The AiProtection feature uses the Trend Micro’s Smart Home Network solution to protect you against malware and viruses. If you want to control the time your kid spends on the Internet, you can adjust the parental controls via the mobile app available for Android and iOS devices.
As for the advanced settings, the Wireless Professional Settings Page enables you to set the multicast rates, beacon intervals, beamforming, wireless scheduling. The URL filtering, keyword filtering and Denial of Service protection are adjustable via the Firewall settings page. Needless to say, you can also create wireless SSID names, enable/ disable the WPS settings, configure VPN, select a security protocol, etc.
Despite being our personal favorite, we would not skip the negative comments users made. The Asus RT- AC88U is a bit expensive, but as we have repeatedly mentioned, you cannot expect a premium product to come at a modest price. The other complaint is related to the awkward placement of the USB 3.0 port. Users also say there is a room for improvement in the NAS performance of the router on occasions when it is coupled with an external hard drive.
- Dual band wireless router
- 8xGigabit LAN ports
- Eight Ethernet-compatible devices can be connected simultaneously
- 5000 square feet coverage
- 4 removable antennas
- Asus AiProtection ensures secure online experience
- WTFast game accelerator
- MU-MIMO technology
- Loaded with plenty of ports and management features
- Speedy throughput performance
- Smart design
- Easy to use
- Superfast Gigabit LAN performance
- Suitable for online gaming purposes
- Powerful dual core processor
- Awkwardly placed USB 3.0 port
- Average NAS performance
The second suggestion in our list of the best wireless routers is the Nighthawk X6. Its debut on the market put the beginning of a new era in the wireless routers’ development. Netgear was the first company to release a tri-band router. The model is intended to handle the increasing variety of devices users connect to a router. To be more precise, it is designed for the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). The Nighthawk X6 offers one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands. You are enabled to connect more devices at the dual 5GHz bands without sacrificing the performance. That’s possible due to router’s capability of configuring the 5GHz bands on different channels.
The Nighthawk X6 boasts about a bizarre design. Many users associate its rectangular chassis with six retractable external antennas with a robotic insect. When you extend all antennas the router looks like a six-legged bug, indeed. However, the main purpose of the antennas is not to evoke fun associations but to help you catch the best signal. The device is said to offer a speed of up to 3.2Gbps, but as mentioned above, the speed indicated on the box is difficult to achieve in the real world. Nevertheless, the router can handle multiple devices and provide you with a trouble-free web surfing, online gaming, and video streaming. The other components worthy of mentioning are the dual-core 1GHz processor that comes with three offload processors, the 256MB RAM, and the 128MB flash memory.
In terms of connectivity, the device comes with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. There are also four LAN ports and a WAN port as well as a power switch and a LED on/off switch. The LEDs positioned on the top center of the panel enable you to monitor the status of the connections. The router is heavier than the original Nighthawk. It weights 2.5 pounds and therefore, it needs sufficient cooling to function properly. The integrated vents are powerful enough to prevent eventual overheating issues. Still, you’d better put your device at a place with decent airflow. You can either place it horizontally or mount it onto the wall.
The router can also be manually configured as well. The firmware allows you to enter everything from Maximum Transmission Unit to IPv6 details. Each of the three bands can be configured to have its own name, password and top speed. Another feature that earned the device a spot in the best wireless routers buyer’s guides is that the drives connected to the router support Apple’s Time Machine for networkwide backups.You also get a personalized URL for remote access to the content stored on the drive.
The Nighthawk X6 provides adequate network security. It blocks potentially harmful clients and sites and uses the latest security protocols. It uses Stateful Packet Inspection and Network Address Translation firewalls and supports Virtual Private Network (VPN). You can configure a guest network and restrict your guests’ access to your private content, but keep in mind that the device does not use the LDAP client authentication which is known for aiding the security. Parental control feature is also available. The Traffic Meter allows you to monitor the local activity, the Wi-Fi channels currently in use, the upload and download speeds. You receive an email every time a new client logs on. The Smart Connect feature keeps older devices from slowing down the newer ones. While the older routers require you to apportion bandwidth among the channels manually, the R8000 does that on your behalf provided that you give both 5GHz channels the same network name.
As for the setbacks you will bump into, customers report that the greatest pitfall of the device is that it lacks QoS feature, while the price is still high. The 2.4GHz band is buggy and the lack of e-SATA support is yet another reason why the device does not justify its price tag. Still, the router is packed with a plethora of features that meet the needs of a busy office or household.
- Tri-band wireless router
- Six high-performance antennas
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- Implicit and explicit beamforming
- Two USB ports
- NetGear Genie makes the installation and monitoring of your network easy
- Solid NAS performance
- Netgear Genie remote access
- When coupled with a hard drive can function as a NAS server
- No QoS feature
- Network Map feature could be better
- Possible bugs may occure on the 2.4GHz band
- No e-SATA port
D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi DIR-890L/R Router has an eye-catching design, but that’s definitely not the only thing that made us include it in the best wireless routers review. The device delivers a stable Wi-Fi signal and it is extremely user-friendly. Although it is among the expensive units on the market, users say it is worth every penny.
The second 5GHz band is used only when several clients try to connect to the router. This is a pretty convenient feature, especially when it comes to clients of different Wi-Fi standards (802.11a/n/ac). Each client can connect to one band without affecting the performance of the others. The router automatically connects each client to the optimal band, but if you wish, you can combine the three bands into a single network. That’s possible via the SmartConnect mode. The AC3200 model comes with pre-configured Wi-Fi network and password. You just need to connect the cable modem and launch the installation wizard that will guide you through the installation process. The interface is polished and intuitive so that you can quickly access the settings, divided into several categories. The network map allows you to monitor the entire network. The QoS feature enables you to set Internet access priority to different clients. In point of fact, the device offers limited QoS features. You can put only one client in the top priority spot. You are not allowed to prioritize the clients based on the type of Internet traffic (surfing, download, games, media streaming).
You can create as many as 15 port-forwarding rules and 15 Web filtering rules. You cannot block certain clients from certain sites during a certain period of time. In other words, you can either allow all users access all sites or block all 15 websites. The AC3200 features the D-Link cloud feature so you can share content stored on the drive over the Internet. When you create an account at the MyDLink portal and add your router, you will be able to manage your home network and make settings via the browser. Alternatively, you can download the myDLink Lite mobile app. However, you need to know that the router does not support Time Machine backup, which is kind of disappointing for Mac users. The AC3200 also works as a VPN server, so you can access your homework when you are out and about. There are six LED indicators display the Internet connection status, the USB ports activity, the power status. The back of the router houses the four Gigabit Ethernet ports, the two USB ports, the Internet port. There are also buttons for WPS, power, reset.
The unit supports the beamforming technology, which means wireless clients receive stronger signal reception. When it comes to pure throughput speed, the AC3200 simply outperforms all products in its class. Overall, it offers all must-have features the best wireless routers in 2017 should have. The convenient drag and drop QoS management, the website filtering, the mobile app, the beamforming technology to name a few.
- Tri-band wireless router
- 1GHz dual core processor
- Advanced SmartConnect feature
- 6 non-detachable antennas
- QoS feature
- WPA/WPA2 encryption for optimal security
- Eye-catching design
- User-friendly management interface
- Blazing throughput speeds
- Easy to use
- Antennas are not detachable
- Limited configuration features
- Comparatively short Wi-Fi range
The most notable thing about the Amped Wireless Athena High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router RTA2600 is that it features the Multi-User-Multiple In, Multiple Out (MU-MIMO) network streaming. That’s reason enough to include it in our review outlining the best wireless routers available on the market, but let’s dig deeper into the specs that make the device worth your attention.
The best wireless routers buyers’ guides define the model as one of the most powerful devices launched by Amper Wireless. It has a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, 128MB flash storage and 512MB of DDR3 system memory. Given its specs, the router can be defined as a compact device. You can place it on a flat surface or mount it on the wall. On paper, the router offers 1,722Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It is undoubtedly a well-crafted piece of engineering, but you have to be informed that its storage feature does not support media streaming or Time Machine backup for Macs.
The AC3200 has LEDs that enable you to monitor the USB connectivity, Internet connectivity, power, and radio band connectivity. The back of the device houses the WAN port, the USB 2.0 port (the USB 3.0 is located on the right side of the router), the WPS button, the power switch, the four Gigabit Ethernet ports. As for the management features, they are accessible via the Web interface. You have access to the security key, the SSID of the two bands, as well as the number of connected clients. The advanced settings include QoS, firewall, guest network establishment, etc. You will also find switches for enabling beamforming and MU-MIMO in the 5GHz basic settings. The security setting page provides you with an opportunity to choose between WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA mixed encryptions. The other features include aggregated frame rates, beacon interval, RTS threshold.
The Athena RTA2600 allows you to block access to certain websites, assign bandwidth priority, enable IP and MAC addresses, prioritize traffic on a specific band or a certain device. The installation of the router is pretty straightforward. You just need to power it up and follow the steps in the Setup Wizard. You will be enabled to personalize your login name, password, SSID names and security keys. To sum up, the router incorporates the latest wireless technology and offers a speedy throughput on the 5GHz band. The only setback is that there aren’t many MU-MIMO client devices yet.
- Dual-band wireless router
- Four detachable antennas
- MU-MIMO technology
- 1.4GHz dual-core processor
- Two USB ports and 4 Gigabit ports for network devices
- Advanced security features (website blocking, SPI firewall, coverage control, etc,)
- Easy to set up
- Solid speed performance of the 5GHz band
- No support for Time Machine backups for Macs
- Does not support media streaming
ASUS RT-AC3200 Wireless-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security
If you have ever used an ASUS-branded router with advanced features, you will not be surprised why we include yet another model in the list of the best wireless routers. The RT-AC3200 is packed with helpful features, but the two most distinctive ones are the AiProtection and the Adaptive QoS.
The main function of the AiProtection is to protect your network against viruses and malware. Even if your network was affected by a harmful program, the AiProtection will protect your personal information from being misused. The adaptive QoS prioritizes the Internet bandwidth in accordance with the type of traffic – audio and video streaming, file transferring, web surfing, gaming, and others. You have two options for defining the rules. You can either do that manually or use the mouse to assign the priorities and let the router handle the rest. The apps analysis feature allows real-time monitoring of the downloads and uploads of the connected clients. It makes it easier to figure out if a certain client or an application is abusing the Internet connection.
In terms of data rates, the RT-AC3200 delivers well above the average. The throughput speed on all three bands is satisfactory. The six antennas contribute to the great coverage. The front panel houses nine status indicators including power, 5GHz activity LEDs, WPS LEDs, and four Ethernet port activity LEDs. There are two USB ports, a power switch, WAN port, reset buttons. The SmartConnect technology allows you to direct wireless clients to one of the three bands. The Beamforming technology delivers a strong signal to each client. The unit offers comprehensive parental controls, the AiCloud feature is accessible via any Android or iOS – powered device. Syncing your connected USB drives with the ASUS Webstorage cloud service is yet another convenience you can take advantage of.
If you want a fast and cool-looking router, this model is a good fit. It has all specs an upper-class device would possess. It does not come cheap, but after all, you are not likely to find a device delivering outstanding range performance for a few bucks. The only setback reported by customers is the middling file-transfer performance. Some of them also emphasize on the huge footprint. If these setbacks are not a bother for you, then, the RT-AC3200 basically sums up the specs the best wireless routers should be comprised of.
- Tri-band wireless router
- Two USB ports
- SmartConnect feature
- AiProtection feature
- Parental controls
- Six adjustable antennas
- Adaptive QoS
- Multiple LED indicators
- Great 5GHz throughput
- A lot of advanced features
- Huge footprint
- Middling file-transfer performance
The AirPort Extreme Base Station is the sixth-generation product, released by Apple. Those who keep themselves informed about the gadgets the company releases, know that each product outperforms the previous ones and the AirPort Extreme Base Station is not an exception. Shortly after its debut, it was voted the best wireless router and below, you will find out the reasons why it is frequently included in buyer’s guides reviewing the most sophisticated devices.
The router has an intelligent beamforming antenna array. What makes them different from the majority of base station antennas is that they know where the 802.11ac device is on the network. Then the AirPort Extreme targets its signal to that device and the end user receives a stronger and faster Internet connection. The AirPort Extrem enables you to share files, photos, videos over the Internet in a completely secure manner. Your files become available to anyone on the network, no matter if they use a PC or a Mac. Your data is protected against malicious attacks by the built-in firewall. Setting up a guest network is among the available features as well. The unit also includes three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for fast wired connectivity with different devices. Needless to say, it offers support for Time Machine backup and media streaming.
The front panel houses status lights that alert you if your device is out of order. On the back of the router, you will find the three Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit Wan port as well as a USB 2.0 port. This configuration is no different from the configurations of the previous generations. However, the lack of a USB 3.0 port hinders device’s potential as well as the fact that most routers in the same class offer four LAN ports. The AirPort Extreme Base Station does not support the AirPlay, too. Although the device has plenty of advanced features, users are resentful towards the limited customization options. The router offers IPv6, DynDNS, Access control, guest networking, but lacks some essential features such as QoS for traffic prioritizing, VPN server and blocking based on a keyword. The AirPort Extreme does not have internal storage on its own, so you have to add an external hard drive to the USB port. It is important to mention that the unit does not support NTFS-formatted drives, but it supports drives preformatted in FAT or HFS+.
- Dual-band wireless router
- Compatible with devices using 802.11a/b/g/n/ac specifications
- 6 antennas
- Superfast data rates of up t 1.3Gbps
- Easy to use
- Solid performance
- More compact than the previous models
- No support for Time machine backup or media streaming via the USB storage
- No considerable improvements as compared to previous models
The Netgear R7000 is a router of a new generation. Currently, it is defined as one of the best wireless routers for home use. It comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor and offers a few features that are not available with previous Netgear models. The R7000 has a built-in OpenVPN server, it has the support for Broadcom TurboQAM and delivers a speed of 600Mbps. The device supports the Time Machine backup when coupled with an external storage device. The R7000 is not among the space-saving devices. Actually, it is a sturdy, bulky piece of equipment, but it is more affordable than other models with the same technical specs. It has three detachable antennas and can be mounted on the wall. The surface does not attract fingerprints.
You can set up 2 guest networks and adjust the OpenDNS parental controls to your liking. You also have five web filtering levels- high, moderate, low, minimum and none, respectively. The R7000 comes with a QoS feature that allows you to manage the upstream and downstream and prioritize the traffic to ensure optimal user experience. The R7000 handles hard drives formatted in NTFS or FAT32. In other words, if you are looking for the best wireless routers for 2017 and you are familiar with all bells and whistles of Netgear-branded products, this model can be a nice upgrade. The improved QoS, Time Machine backup support, the OpenVPN server and the support of third-party firmware make it a great pick.
- Dual-band wireless router
- 1GHz dual core processor
- Advanced features for lag-free gaming
- Beamforming feature
- Compatible with Time Machine and Mac devices
- 2 USB ports
- Three detachable antennas
- Stellar performance of the 5GHz band
- Less expensive than similar products
- Comes with great set of features
- Wonderful QoS
- VPN capability
- Mediocre performance of the 2.4GHz band
- The web interface does not have a parental control feature
The AC1900 model outperforms its predecessors due to the more powerful hardware and its quieter operation. The device is also considerably faster as a network storage server when hooked up to an external hard drive and as a Wi-Fi router. If you have a middle-class router and you are looking for a suitable upgrade, the AC1900 purchase is an option to consider. As one of the best wireless routers on the market, it will enable to you immediately tell the difference in performance and quality.
To access the other customization options, however, you need to use the Web interface. You also have the option of remotely managing your network via the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account. It would not be excessive to say that the AC1900 has more features than any other model, released by the manufacturer. The device supports OpenVPN, which enables secure connection of remote users. The interface also allows a higher level of customization. The media prioritization feature allows you to drag and drop connected clients and assign priorities. The parental control enables you to block the access to certain websites and even schedule the time when the blocking is in effect. You can set up only one guest network on the 2.4GHz band, which is capable of serving up to 50 guest users. One of the coolest features of the AC1900 is the live Network Map that allows you to interact with each client and manage your settings.
The router supports NTFS, HFS+, and FAT32 as well as the DNLA and UPnP streaming standards, so that the content stored on the drive can be played back by network media streamers. However, the greatest pitfall of the AC1900 is that it does not support Time Machne Backup. Other than that, it possesses all features of a high-end router including but not limited to WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi encryption methods, DynDNS, IPv6, port forwarding, etc.
- Dual-band wireless router
- Speed of up to 600Mbps/ 1,300Mbps
- 4 high-performance antennas
- Dual core 1.6GHz processor
- Allows online gaming, movie streaming and file transfers without lagging
- Parental control option
- QoS option
- Powerful hardware
- Robust design
- USB and eSATA ports
- Does not support Time Machine backup
The TP-Link Archer C7 is a no-frills device, but it does deserve to be included in the list of the best wireless routers for 2017. If you are looking for a standard 802.11ac router that comes at a sensible price, keep reading and get to know the specs of this model. The Archer C7 offers a fantastic wireless coverage and decent throughput. Although the unit cannot boast about having some advanced features similar devices have, it is a great option for those who are not looking for a blazing speed.
The device is fairly large and has a sleek design and three detachable antennas. They are quite thick, so that you may rest assured they will stay upright. Similarly to most wireless routers, this one has LEDs on the front panel. The rear panel houses two USB 2.0 ports for printers and external hard drives as well as four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one Gigabit WAN port. There are also a WPS/ reset button, a power switch, etc. Apart from the external antennas, the Archer C7 has three internal ones. Theoretically, this dual-band wireless router offers a speed of up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz one. The installation process is a no-brainer. Insert the mini disc included in the package and run the Easy Setup Assistant.
Overall, the Archer C7 is a good fit for most tasks an average home user performs – movie streaming from Netflix, web browsing, VPN to the office. It is not a mind-blowing device, but as the saying goes “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. In other words, it is definitely not a poorly designed piece of hardware and it is the best wireless router for those looking for an affordable device.
- Dual-band wireless router
- Supports 802.11ac
- Dual USB ports
- Total available bandwidth- 1.75Gbps
- Guest network option
- WPA wireless security
- Hassle-free installation process
- Good wireless coverage
- Sturdy external antennas
- Limited wireless settings
The AC1900 model rounds out our comprehensive best wireless routers buyers’ guide. It comes with three detachable antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports, and one Gigabit WAN port. The router is wall-mountable, and has a reset button, on/off button, power port, and a USB port. The USB 3.0 port is placed on the left side. The LEDs on the front panel show the status of the ports. You can use the router as soon as it is delivered to you. It arrives with pre-configured Wi-Fi network, so that you just have to power it up and connect the WAN port into your broadband modem. However, you will have to use the Web interface to access the advanced settings.
This is a dual-band 802.11ac router that offers a speed of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. You can also set up a guest network. The device has Web filtering, port forwarding, IPv6, firewall, and so on. When you set up your account in the MyDlink portal, you will be able to manage your network from any location. Alternatively, you can use the myDlink Lite mobile app. The device works with external drives formatted in NTFS and FAT32. You can also stream digital content stored on the drive via the network media streamers. Another feature that is a rarity among the D-Links is the VPN server support that allows you to access your homework even when you are not at home. For the purpose, you need to setup a Dynamic DNS.
The AC1900 scored great in different tests. Despite some shortcomings, it remains a great device as long as you need a router capable of handling predominantly file sharing and media streaming.
- Dual-band wireless router
- Advanced wireless beamforming
- WAN and LAN ports
- QoS available
- SmartConnect Technology
- Excellent data rates
- Long range
- Stable wi-fi signal
- Easy to setup and use
- Allows remote monitoring via D-Link’s cloud feature
- Polished web interface
- Limited advanced features
- Fairly large
- No FTP server
- No iTunes server
The router is the most underrated part of the computer equipment but it works behind the scenes all the time and distributes your Internet connection to all devices throughout your home or office. If you choose the best wireless router, all you need to do is to set it up once and forget about it. Rest assured will notice when a problem emerges. The development of the wireless routers industry led to the point where the units can handle multiple devices plugged in simultaneously. Even those who condemned the wireless technologies admit the advantages the best wireless routers have over their wired counterparts and the elimination of the cable clutter is just one of them.