With the ever-increasing demand for wireless networks and internet connections, the supply of wireless home routers and WiFi devices is also increasing. More people are now looking for compact and portable WiFi routers to enjoy uninterrupted internet connections without worrying about the messy wires at all. But the demand also increases the supply, which is why there is such a wide range of options available on the market now. This article will help you shop for the best home routers and WiFi devices available for homeowners as well as businesses.
With the wide range of options and multiple technical aspects, it becomes quite difficult for the end users to clearly get the best home routers and WiFi devices specifically for their needs. To help ease the situation, we have created this guide to help you know everything about the home routers available, their technical aspects, what to look for when buying WiFi devices and the list of the best and tested home routers and WiFi devices that you can buy in 2019.
We have created this rundown of the Best Wireless Routers that you can buy in 2019. The list was prepared by our team of experts after researching online and spending hours on testing the best options available online as well as offline in the market. After the research, we have created this list of the best 10 WiFi routers which you can buy right now.
It is important to keep every aspect in mind because every home router is different and each will function differently according to your specific usage needs. For example, if you are not a hardcore user and need a moderate speed and connectivity, then you can buy the low-cost versions, but if you are looking for the professional quality and better connectivity with more device connections, then you may go with the higher-end models available on the market. The size of your desired coverage area, along with building materials used in your home are also large factors to consider.
This guide will help you through choosing a home WiFi router that will handle your current and future wireless networking needs.
Things to know when buying Wi-Fi router for home & office
When buying anything on the market, it is always important to have complete information about the particular product and options available. This is no different when you are planning to buy something that is technical. With technology products, there is even more information available and sometimes other factors also need to be considered when doing your research. This is why it is important to review your desired results and specific needs when buying a home or office WiFi router. Here are a few things that we think must be considered while buying a router for your home or office:
Wi-Fi speed specifications
This is the most important thing to check before you make the final decision. After all, it’s the speed capacity of your WiFi router that will determine the performance of your internet on your mobile, laptop or smart TV.
As most of the manufacturers of WiFi routers quote the top speed of their devices like 802.11 standards supported by the router, but the speed is rarely seen in any of the routers. The ideal speed is only achieved under ideal conditions set up in a laboratory. There are many factors that hamper its speed ability like multiple users, signal attenuation caused by walls, interference, and a host of real-life issues.
But, the easiest thing here to check is the speed of the model that you are planning to buy. This is what determines the performance you will get. Many models available on the market will easily support the streaming of high definition video only if their speed capacity is high.
Bands You Need
Another important thing to look for is the number of bands that you need. Global manufacturers of WiFi routers have sold dual-band routers for years, but with the changing needs, many manufacturers are now starting to roll out tri-band routers as well. If you are not a technical person, then you may be unaware of the bands. Dual-band typically means the router is equipped with two radios. These radios operate on the 2.4GHz frequency band and the 5GHz frequency band.
This means, the user can set up two separate wireless networks, which results in increased speed in the crowded wireless network by bumping some devices over to the alternate frequency. It is important to read the specifications carefully because many dual-band routers have only one radio that can operate on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. In the case of tri-band routers, there is an additional band of the 5GHz band. Buying a tri-band router may be helpful in the cases where you have a lot of mobile devices on one network and need to spread them around three bands for better performance.
Smart Wireless Management
The technology is designed to deal with the problems of the router not providing acceptable wireless signals everywhere you want it.
The technology is designed to deal with dead zones and target them with Wi-Fi signals so you always get service wherever you may be. So, when you are buying a WiFi Router, it is important to check if the router is equipped with smart wireless management technology so you can try to eliminate the dead zones, no matter how far you are from the device or how many walls are there between you and the router. Many wifi routers like Google WiFi and D-Link AC3200 Ultra are the perfect choice if you are looking for a smart WiFi router.
The USB ports are not just useful for Smart TVs, laptops or mobile devices, but also can be found on many WiFi routers. The USB ports on your router will allow you to plug flash drives and even printers to share these resources over the network. Having USB ports may be very helpful in case you want to use the specific data within the wireless network without the need for internet. So, when you are buying a WiFi router, you should also consider if you plan to share any resources over the WIFI Network and if so, verify that the router comes with USB Ports. Additionally, you should also pay attention to the generation of the USB port as there are different kinds of USB ports like USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.
Some WiFi routers may have only USB 2.0 while some have only USB 3.0. The decision must be taken according to your specific requirements.
Difference between Mesh Networks and Single Routers?
When researching WiFi routers, it is important to ask yourself whether you need a Mesh Network or a Single Router for your home or workplace. To help you make an educated decision, here is the difference between these two:
What is a Mesh Network?
A mesh network is a local networktopology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients. This lack of dependency on one node allows for every node to participate in the relay of information. Mesh networks dynamically self-organize and self-configure, which can reduce installation overhead
When to Choose a Mesh Network?
Choosing to use a Mesh Network topology is our recommended topology for homes and businesses that need fault tolerance as well as for larger spaces that require consistent coverage. With a Mesh Network, There are multiple nodes that can transmit data so if 1 fails it does not mean that the entire network will cease to operate. Although, Mesh Networks are typically a bit more expensive to purchase due to multiple devices being included in most packages. They are typically fairly easy to setup and provide a more consistent network for access.
A major consideration for Mesh Network devices typically boils down to the cost as the ones that offer higher speed are usually priced higher than the normal models. So, the choice depends upon your requirement as well as your budget.
You can typically buy a Single Wi-Fi router that will service a normal sized single floor home for around $100. Your internet service provider may also provide it on lease when you sign up for your service. If you only need Wi-Fi to use the internet from your laptop or phone or tablet, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple.
Best WiFi Home Routers to Buy
The options for Home Routers are truly endless in the marketplace; hence the choices can be very confusing and difficult to make on your own. To cut the stress, we have prepared a list of some of the best Home Routers available online that you can choose from, according to your specific requirements like internet speed, connected devices, and budget as well.
The age of the traditional wireless router has come to an end and now they are mostly replaced by wireless mesh routers like the Google Wifi. This is one of the best home WiFi routers that you can get online. Whether you are living in a small apartment and need something that won’t go down or if you’re in a large home in need of range, Google WiFi is the perfect choice you can make in this budget.
One of the best thing about Google WiFi that will attract your attention is its design. In the past, you’d be stuck with those ugly wireless routers that would come with huge antennas sticking out in four different directions. Google has made a huge improvement to its design with a queue style, making it one of the most attractive home WiFi routers. It comes with a simple white design and a singular color-coded light band. In fact, it’s the best wireless router that you may want to display prominently. Your Google WiFi router can function as the core ‘router’ of the system.
What makes it really a great choice is its easy-to-install nature. Set is very easy with this device. The Google Wifi App will configure your network by first scanning the QR codes. You will be asked to give your new network a name and set a password, and it’s done. Also, you can easily label individual nodes in the app by scanning their QR codes. Additionally, Google WiFi offers more advanced features like the ability to constantly monitor your network, its points and the devices connected to it. Your app will have an in-built internet speed tester that will help you measures the health of your Points’ connections, along with a Wi-Fi test to measure connection strength from within the network.
Performance of Google WiFi router is another thing that makes it a must-have device in your home as you can easily stream 4K video through Netflix to even when you are in the basement. The reason here is that this device isn’t focused on throughput as they are coverage, but this product definitely delivers. It comes with an advanced traffic prioritization feature that is designed specifically to ensure that your gaming session is getting more of that crucial bandwidth than the other devices.
While this device truly excels over comparable routers, it comes with a relatively lower price tag as well.
If you want a home Wi-Fi router system with some advanced settings, Netgear Orbi is the right choice to make as it comes with plenty of LAN ports, dedicated backhaul, and a lot more. Netgear has beautifully designed this mesh WiFi router for the homeowners as well as the businesses.
Netgear Orbi comes with dedicated high-bandwidth Wi-Fi connection options, making it one of the best home WiFi routers that we tested. In fact, this is among the very few mesh kits that provide high-end router features with the ability to control your local network without an active Internet connection. This means that your mobile or laptop will spend less time shifting from one access point to another. Installation or set up is very quick with Netgear Orbi as you can easily install it on your own without the help of an expert.
It comes with a dedicated channel for router-to-extension data traffic that is dedicated to helping the system squeeze the maximum throughput for your family’s online wants and needs. It is quite engaging and beautifully designed using simple yet engaging techniques. Instead of the easy-to-stash devices, the oval-cross-sectioned Netgear Orbi host and extensions are big towers. This means storing it very much easy. You can keep it on your bookshelf and use it as a bookend and also keep it on your coffee table and it will enhance the appearance of your table for sure.
Similar to Google Wifi, the Netgear Orbi also comes with color-coded LEDs. When ti white light glows around the top, you know it’s starting up and when it’s, everything is OK. In the events of weak internet connection, the light turns amber; if it’s magenta, your connection is gone.
The Netgear Orbi is loaded with the latest technology, allowing it to transmit Wi-Fi data on three radio-frequency bands; 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz radios that provide a theoretical peak throughput of 1.2Gbps of data flow to user devices. The manufacturer has added a twist to the device with a second 5-GHz, 1.7Gbps radio that’s exclusively dedicated to the backhaul. The device comes with six high-performance amplified antennas around its perimeter to support this configuration. Additionally, you also get a Bluetooth radio and antenna, but they’re dormant for now.
When it comes to performance, Netgear Orbi has done a tremendous job with the ability to handle two simultaneous streams of data to properly configured devices. The MU-MIMO Wi-Fi technology allows it to send focused data streams to several devices at the same time. Your device comes equipped with Qualcomm’s IPQ4019 Wi-Fi control chip and 512MB of RAM and 4GB of solid-state storage space.
“Life’s too short for bad WiFi.” This is what you see as you visit the official website of Eero. And this company has really made things possible with the super-fast internet speed ability through Eero.
Eero is one of the most renowned products available among the homeowners as well as businesses who seek high-speed internet connectivity without dealing with the wires at all. It is easy to install and set up with beacons. You can easily plug directly into a wall outlet and fit anywhere.
The best part about Eero is that it offers you more flexibility; of course you pay more when you expect more. If you need to cover a large area and you are ready to pay some more for the facility, you’ll surely appreciate Eero as this is very simple and will fit everywhere. As a plus, working Thread support means you’re ready for the next wave of IoT devices.
While Google WiFi is available at just $129, you only get one Google WiFi router for that price. This may be a problem with your mesh network if you need additional coverage areas. Eero seems to understand that and has done some great upgrades in this direction. You get 1 Eero for $299 (which is the primary system), and 1 Eero beacon.
With Eero, you get over 3000 square feet of coverage as well as the cable modem. This makes it the top choice if you need more coverage as the Google WiFi only offers you 1500 square feet of coverage.
Eero offers the advanced tri-band network with the same amount of units as Google Wifi. This means you get more 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidth, yet within a smaller space by 1,500 square feet. You also get a dedicated Eero App that lets you activate features that are still in testing, like band steering. Our experts claim that this one is the most deeply customizable and tweakable Wi-Fi system they’ve seen yet.
As far as the performance of Eero is concerned, this device does a great job, showing off signal strength that dulls very little through standard, plaster walls. It is also found that this device is much stronger than Google Wifi’s output, which can’t handle walls quite as well. Like its competitor Netgear Orbi, Eero mitigates these interruptions with two Beacon units connected via a third band of data transfer transmitting at 5.8GHz.
Eero does this separately from the normal 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This means you will have more bandwidth for more devices or more data-related tasks.
If you have been looking for an affordable home WiFi router with built-in Smart home capabilities, the Samsung SmartThings WiFi mesh router is a great pocket-friendly choice for whole-house coverage as well as great performance and smart home options.
This WiFi router comes with the ability to offer broader internet coverage than standard wireless routers, making it the ideal for larger homes. This device uses discreet disk-shaped devices to offer whole-home Wi-Fi for less. But, it’s not just the price that makes it the right choice, but a lot more. The Samsung SmartThings WiFi mesh router is an easy-to-use device and it can consolidate everything from connected thermostats to light switches.
If you want to turn your home into a complete smart home, this router can support it, allowing you to set up pre-programmed control sequences for your connected home devices. It is based on small hockey-puck-shaped devices that can be easily hidden and placed anywhere. It comes with an external AC adapter and works with two-prong outlets. Unlike the Eero, there are no third-party brackets for wall mounting.
It creates a 2 X 2 network that can move up to 400Mbps over its 2.4GHz channel; it carries an AC1300 throughput rating. But, it also comes with a drawback as it doesn’t have a third band.
You get seven antennas inside the device: a pair for each of the 2.4Hz and 5GHz bands as well as individual ones for Bluetooth, Zigbee, and ZWave connections.
If you are looking for a smart Home WiFi router with better internet connectivity throughout your home and want to save a few bucks, then TP-Link Deco M5 may be the right pick for you. Although it is not as fast as some of the other Wi-Fi mesh routers on this list, it does come with Alexa integration capabilities that we found were very cool. The installation is Plug and Play and is easy enough for a novice to complete.
The TP-Link Deco M5 might be one of the better Wi-Fi mesh routers for anyone intimidated by technology due to its ease of installation.
Adaptive routing technology to automatically choose the fastest path for every device
Easy setup by downloading the TP-LINK deco app
Comprehensive Antivirus powered by Trend Micro for better protection
It’s been a long journey so far and we’ve tried to list a wide range of Routers for you to chose from with each of them being one of the best in terms of pricing, network coverage, design and ease of setup. Choosing the best one depends upon your specific requirements. For example, if you are looking for an affordable WiFi home router for personal use in your home and interested in hooking up some smart-home devices, then buying the Samsung SmartThings Wifi may be the right pick for you. It offers great coverage connectivity within a small premise. On the other hand, if you are ready to pay a little more for better coverage and faster speeds is your biggest concern, then Google WiFi will be the right pick. The Google WiFi system may be a bit more costly, but it’s worth every penny you spend, after all, it comes from the house of Google itself, the giant in the world of Internet.
So, before just jumping in and buying a WIFI Router for your home or small office. Make sure to establish your desired internet connectivity speed, identify your budget, how many devices will be connected, and the network coverage that best fits your requirements.