An internet router is a device used to distribute internet to multiple devices in an office or home. Although it may not be as fast as direct connection or as secure as Ethernet, it has advantages. Less clutter and increased mobility to name two. We have compiled a list of the best wireless routers based on a number of features. Speed, performance, and range were among the top priority features we considered.
All routers are not created equal. Some are far more superior because they provide faster speed and a wider range. Routers from internet service providers or cable companies are generally basic models. If this is what you have now, it may be a smart decision to upgrade. It’ll will improve efficiency and convenience. Having a router from your provider might mean also have monthly rental payments. By purchasing one of the best routers, you may be able to save some money and ditch the payments.
Here is a list of 2018's top rated and reviewed wireless internet routers to help you choose the best products for your home network.
Best Wireless Routers | Top 7
Router Codes Explained
Since their introduction in 1997, routers have always been assigned a code based on the standard. The first of which was 802.11. Since then, every improvement has led to a letter or group of letters added to the code 802.11. For instance, in 1999, letter “a” was added, indicating an improved technology.
The latest change in code was in 2013 when the 802.11n was changed to 802.11ac. The “ac” refers to the 5 GHz frequency, an upgrade from the 2.4 GHz of 2009. This means using a router with 802.11ac code ensures faster speed with less signal interference from devices. However, there are still 802.11n routers that do a great job and can be a good value if you’re on a tight budget.
Aside from the router code, there are other factors to consider when choosing a router.
Range and Throughput – The range depends on the number of antennas and radios it has. Also important is the frequency and degree of interference. If you want a high performance router, we recommend sticking to the wireless AC routers. They offer the furthest range and most reliable Wi-Fi.
AC models eliminate signal noise and competition from any other signal traveling through your airspace. This includes cordless phones. If you really want to stick to the N models, make sure it is dual-band. Dual band models give two dedicated independent networks and provide faster speed than single-band models.
Speed – Wireless AC routers are about three times faster than Wireless N models. If you like playing games or streaming videos, faster routers are crucial.
Layout – All routers are affected by walls and other solid structures. However, hollow, plaster or drywall will only worsen signal if they have the any of the following:
- aluminum studs
- solid brick
- insulated walls and floors
In some cases, solid brick or insulated walls and floors may completely block your signal.
Modem – Some routers come with their own modem. Others need a separate modem. You’ll need to make sure that the modem is compatible with its specs and internet provider. If you need a separate modem, you will also need an Ethernet cable to connect the two.
Other factors to keep in mind are security encryption, number of LAN and USB ports, and Quality of Service (QoS). These are added features that offer greater flexibility to do different applications at the same time.