For most people WiFi is just, WiFi. Even if it is fast or it is slow, it works or it doesn’t. Figuring out what kind of Wireless Router is Best for your needs can be a bit (or a lot) confusing. Almost every company advertises that they have the best router on the planet but thats not the case for sure.
I personally prefer wired connections over wireless but plugging ethernet cables into your phones or tablets is not possible so we all have to deal with wireless routers and access points to connect to the network wirelessly.
Wireless Routers takes all of the computers, printers, TVs or smart phones (or other devices connected to it) and assigns them their own individual addresses so they know where to find each other when they want to send and receive data. Thats the very basic use of a wireless router.
Nowadays, Wireless technology has become much more important in our lives as we started using it for many other purposes. We can easily Streaming videos and other media over a WiFi connection or play games over same wireless connection without even tangling in wires.
While Wireless routers serve many purposes it is difficult to choose one if you are not a hardware ot tech geek, here comes our part, I have compiled a list of 10 Best Wireless routers you can buy in 2015, further, I have included Best Wireless Routers for each category, be it for file sharing in a home network, Video streaming, gaming or an office network for professional purposes.
10. TP-Link N750 TL-WDR430
The N750 was TP-Link’s flagship-grade wireless router and offers some best speeds compared to other routers in this price range and offered maximum wireless range. It has a wireless speed of 750Mbps and both 2.4 and 5 GHz channels. It has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for maximum speeds on wired connections. It also has three MIMO 5dBi antennas that offers best signal strength and network speeds over distant connections. In addition to that it has two USB ports so you can add more devices (like printers) on your network. or even share your files remotely via FTP server.
This is the best router for a home or office if all you care about is signal strength and connection speed (which most people do). You can bridge this router to even extend your network wirelessly or even on a wired connection (I prefer wired).
9. Apple AirPort Express 802.11n (2nd Generation)
Apple’s AirPort base station is a good choice for anyone looking for a decent WiFi Router for a small house or office. It looks exactly like the white version of Apple TV. This wireless router supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. It offers wireless N standards which is a bit outdated to consider when buying a router in 2015 but if you have only N series devices and you are heavily invested in Apple’s eco-system than it is a pretty decent choice.
On the back we have an AC power-in so you don’t need to hide ugly power bricks under the table. You get one WAN port and a single LAN port which you can connect to a switch to expand your network over ethernet. You get one USB port so you can share a printer or a storage device across network. You can even plug-in your stereo system and this wireless router will act as an AirPlay receiver.
8. Western Digital My Net N900 Central
This device comes in a very simple box for actually a very awesome product which is combined of some really useful technology. This wireless router offers a throughput of 900Mbps on both wireless bands combined and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting all your wired devices to this router.
This device is not only a wireless router but it also has a hard drive (the typical hard drive that you find in most laptops) built-in that you can use to store and share files on your network or even access those files remotely from anywhere in the world. You also get gigabit ethernet ports and a USB ports to add more storage or printers to your network.
This is like a all-in-one solution for your needs. It replaces your NAS and switch (if you have not more than 4 wired connections) and offer you a nice sleek and low profile solution for your needs.
7. D-Link DIR-880L
With this router you are future proofing yourself against devices that are suing to come out so when you do buy them you really don’t have to worry about what kind of router you have. The first thing you are going to notice are the three giant directional antennas. On the front of the router you get basic activity indicator lights and on the back you get 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 WAN port, 1 USB port and a power in.
You also get USB 3.0 port on this router so you can even plug your storage media and access it on your network. You can take advantage of SharePort app to stream media from storage attached to it. D-Link has also packed a dual-core processor into 880L and they claim that you can get speeds of up-to 600Mbps on 2.4gHz and 1300Mbps on 5gHz band. It is also IPv6 ready which is a steep forward towards future proofing your home or office network.
This router can also intelligently distribute your bandwidth among different devices on your network so you are not going to get the conflict when multiple people are downloading apps, streaming music and videos or playing games. Using the My D-Link mobile app you can easily manage your router and change settings as well as instal a robust selection of parental controls to make sure your network is nice and secure.
6. Linksys Smart Wi-Fi AC 1750HD
Looking at this router you can tell straight away that Linksys actually changed its design a little bit. On the back it has two mounting holes so you can hang it on your wall or just make it sit on your table top. On the back of the router there are 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 WAN port. There are two USB 2.0 ports. This wireless routers comes with a NFC compatible SmartCard that you can tap onto your NFC enabled smart phone or tablet to quickly connect to wireless network and start surfing the web or access files on the network.
It has the new AC wireless technology which means that you can reach speeds of 1300Mbps over a wireless network. If you look at the other features like smart card, 4 gigabit ethernet ports, three antenna arrays and USB sharing options, then this is a very good choice for anyone who wants to upgrade to newer technology. The USB 2.0 ports are not slow or anything because USB 3.0 data speeds can not be achieved over wireless network just yet.
5. Apple AirPort Extreme (2nd Generation)
This wireless router from Apple was just released at WWDC 2013 and represent the first redesign of AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule since they debut around 2007. We now have a taller form factor (which looks like a series of AirPort Expresses stacked together) which is required by the new 802.11ac wireless standard. Antennas are now mounted higher and there are total of six antennas in this wireless router. It supports both 2.4 and 5 gHz bands and will transfer speeds of up-to 1750 Mbps.
This router actually knows where your devices are and with MIMO technology of AC wireless standard it can set up a more strong and reliable data connection with it. The Time Capsule version has the built in hard drive which u can use to store data and do Time Machine backups from your OS X machine so you can restore from the backup or recover deleted files. Talking about Time Capsule, it is the basically AirPort Express with hard drive built it. You can either get it in 2 or 3 TB storage options.
It comes with just a regular Apple-like power cable that plugs directly into the router so you do not need to worry about separate power bricks. We have 3 Gigabit LAN ports and 1 WAN port. We also get one USB port for sharing printer or storage. Thats all the ports you get here and no you can not stream music via AirPlay unlike AirPort Express. Like other AirPort devices we have a single LED indicator which tells the status of this wireless router.
Setting up this router is fairly simple and easy of all the other options. You can extend the range of your current wireless network, replace your existing wireless router or set it up as an independent wireless router.
4. Linksys EA6900
Linksys EA6900 is a 3×3 router which will give you maximum throughput speed of 600 Mbps on N series network and 1300 Mbps on AC series network. Aside from all of those crazy fast speeds, you are also going to get some other features too. It is a dual-band router so you will get both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
It also features beam forming technology which allows this wireless router to locate other devices on the network that are connected to it and strengthen signals towards them which results in better performance and reliability. This wireless router also have USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports to share a printer or storage media or both on the network. 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports to expand your wired network.
You also get advanced security with parental controls and guest network access. It is very easy to set up and get things going. They do have a Smart Wi-Fi app so you can use your smart phone or tablet to edit and augment settings on the router. So across the board, you are pretty much getting everything that Linksys has to offer in their routers in this package.
3. Netgear Nighthawk R7000
It is a fairly good size router. In terms of specifications this router comes with 1gHz dual-core processor. It supports 2.4 and 5 GHz networks and 802.11ac networking standard. Unlike other routers it has white LED indicator which looks cool and sleek sitting on your desk. The last two indicators are actually buttons which you can use to quickly turn off or on WiFi or access WPS Push ‘n’ Connect. USB 3.0 is on the front of router making it easy to plug or unplug storage devices.
On the back of the router you can will find 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 WAN port, 1 USB 2.0 port and DC in. In addition to that you will find antenna ports spread evenly on the back of the router. This wireless router is even Time Capsule compatible making it a great alternative for Mac users.
Looking at the UI of router it is pretty simple and self-explanatory. By default there is already a password on wireless network and a sticker on the router tell you the wireless key that you can use to connect to it. Updating firmware does not wipe out all of your settings which is a huge plus point for many
This router is a great choice if you want to cover a large area with a reliable (and actually useable) wireless network. It also feature beam forming technology that will direct wi-fi signals to your device for a more stable connection. This one is my favorite wireless router because of its looks and performance.
David Murphy from TheWireCutter said: Netgear’s R7000 has strong performance and killer features. However, it costs almost twice as much as what experts told us you should be paying for a router right now.
2. Asus RT-AC68U
This is the high-end router from Asus that replaces Asus RT-AC66U (or Linksys EA6900) and this one is running on a dual-core ARM processor that runs at 800 MHz. It is the same kind of black matte finish as on RT-AC66U with a nice elegant design and it does come with a built-in stand. On the back of the router you have your power in, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, 1 WAN port, 4 high-speed Gigabit Ethernet ports and a LED on/off switch to turn off the lighting effects. On the side you also get WPS and WiFi on/off button.
One of the cool feature about this router is 802.11AC beam forming technology. Simply what that means is that your router is going to detect where the clients are at and be able to optimize its beam and shape them to go towards those clients which results in better signal, more stable connection and overall better throughput. The beam forming works on both N and AC wireless standards which means it is still going to do better than a standard router.
This router also features Broadcom’s TurboQAM technology so with TurboQAM compatible wireless adapters or PCIe cards you will get unto 600Mbps on 5gHz and 200Mbps on 2.4gHz N network. You also have the ability to create guest networks so people can still access internet but they will not be able to see shared content or devices on your local network.
1. Linksys WRT1900AC
The Linksys WRT54G router was the top-selling router out of all times due its legendary status by being a solid piece of hardware with great support from open-source community who built firmwares for it that performed better, were more stable and added more features that only (at that time) were available in expensive commercial grade routers. Now we have its spiritual successor WRT1900AC which s one of the most expensive consumer routers on the market.
Physically the unit is the old throwback to the WRT classic black and blue look with a stackable design which is very familiar to the fans of WRT54G. On the bottom we find tons of ventilation holes and rubber feet that include wall mounting support. The front of the router is taken up with usual indicator LEDs. Moving on to the back we get 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1 WAN port, a USB 3.0 and 2,0 port (which also doubles as eSATA) a WPS button, power-in jack, power switch and a easy-to-press reset button.
The USB and eSATA ports are the biggest differentiating points of this router which are capable of throughput of 60 to 70 Mbps range. These numbers put this router into the mix of dedicated NAS hardware in terms of drive performance.
Overall this wireless router is a solid piece of hardware and I will recommend it to anyone looking for a great wireless router that is also backed by excellent support from open source community. It will take some time to get to the level of WRT54G as developers are working right now on this router. You can have a look here.
Haris Qadeer from WirelessRouters.best wrote: Linksys WRT 1900AC is a hefty router with a matching heft price.
Conclusion is pretty straight forward. You should know what kind of WiFi Router you want. Are you a single person or a couple who may not do anything beyond checking Facebook or sending emails or do you have a house full of gamers or video streaming enthusiasts. After checking on that you can further decide which wireless router is best for your needs. If you are a early adopter of new technology you might want to invest in a good AC wireless router.
Wireless standards are mostly backward compatible so if you have a laptop with wireless-N technology and a smartphone like iPhone 6 with wireless AC. Your AC router or N router will work with both devices and will deliver optimal speeds to each device.
1900 Mbps or 1750 Mbps (or other speeds printed on box or advertised) are just theoretical limits and they tell you how to justify each one of these high-end routers. Wireless is subject to protocol overhead and performance reductions caused by distance, obstacles and interference caused by other wireless networks or devices operating on 2.4 or 5 GHz bands. If fact, sometimes reducing these factors can do more for performance then buying better gear at all.
So, Do you have any Wireless Router which you used you think is Good? Share with us in Comments.