When we went on the hunt for the best router in 2017, we measured lots of various features, stats, and metrics versus one another to come up with a list of the top 5 you’ll find on shelves today.
For beginners, all the routers we chose must have a minimum bandwidth score of 1900AC and drain at least 200Mbps on the 5GHz spectrum. We made certain the router had a bevy of additional parental controls and firewall software settings also, so you can be sure your family is constantly safeguarded when they’re on the web. Finally, contenders like our # 1 pick the Linksys 3200ACM wireless router featured future-proof tech such as MU-MIMO, which makes sure that you’re constantly getting the fastest possible connection no matter where you’re browsing from in your home.
To see why the AC3200ACM beat out the remainder of the competitors, read on in our yearly roundup of the best routers in 2017!
How We Choose the Best Wireless Router
In my almost half-decade long profession of examining the cutting edge in wireless hardware, I have actually learned a lot about what makes a terrific router, and where the remainder of the duds are so apparent you can see them originating from a mile away.
How we select the best of the best are three main aspects: the signal strength, the variety of onboard functions, and price. The routers on this list are all at the head of their game in these arenas, and regularly offer state-of-the-art performance alongside a fair price and a variety of bonus that users can make use of to perfectly tailor their own wireless networking experience at home or their office space.
All the routers we have actually selected perform at a spec of 802.11 ac, the most recent version of Wi-Fi transmission technology to be released, as well as feature a minimum of two wireless bands: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz.
Why You Should Purchase a Buy Wireless Router
Wireless router innovation has developed quickly in the past few years, integrating a wide variety of new wireless bands, transmission requirements, and additional features that are all created to keep up with the demands of a modern home.
Older routers that use b/g/n to transmit their signal aren’t built for the method people use their wireless networks these days, whether it be streaming Netflix in 4K, downloading file sizes that can stretch into the tens (if not hundreds) of gigabytes, or playing online games that require the outright lowest ping/latency possible to obtain you to the top of the regional leaderboard.
If you find yourself running any of these activities but are continuously shaking a fist at your at the feared “buffering” sign as it buffoons you from the other side of the screen, a router upgrade might be simply what you have to solve these problems therefore much more.
Likewise, if you’re updating your smartphone every year to the current model and splurging on a glossy new laptop quickly after, your router must get simply as much factor to consider as other technology you use every day.
Your wireless router is the last boundary in between your devices and the rest of the internet, which is why it’s important to ensure that it’s running the current firmware with the best firewall programs, and constantly has sufficient horsepower to extra whenever you tack on a new laptop or phone to your constantly growing network of individual mobile innovation.
# 1 Choose
Linksys WRT3200ACM Smart Wi-Fi Router– Editor’s Choice/Best Home Router
Price: $249.99|Features: Dual-core 1.8 GHz processor, AC3200 transmission speeds, dual-band antennas
WHY IT ‘S A TOP PICK: The Linksys WRT3200ACM is the best pick for your home router requirements.
As the direct descendant from in 2015’s # 1 choice, it’s not surprising that why the current Linksys WRT3200ACM wireless router quickly won over our hearts with its sentimental style and extremely well-presented Smart Wi-Fi software application suite. Whether it was setting a brand-new firewall program guideline from the convenience of the Smart Wi-Fi smartphone app or the outrageous speeds of nearly 500Mbps at peak under ideal conditions, this is a wireless device that’s painfully basic to set up with a beast engine to back it up.
If you require a well-rounded, fully-featured router then you ‘d be hard pushed to find anything that meets all the requirements for a much better price than this. Sure, its range was a little weaker than we would have liked, however that little complaint aside, Linksys continues to knock the ball right out of the park with another solid router in the Linksys 3200ACM– earning it the # 1 spot on our list for the very best routers of 2017!
# 2 Choose
TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Air Conditioner Gigabit Router– Best Spending plan Wireless Router
Price: $119.95|Features: Compact style, user-friendly setup
WHY IT ‘S A LEADING PICK: The Archer C9 pumps out major speed for the price.
The TP-Link Archer C9 isn’t simply one of the best budget routers you’ll discover on this list, it’s one of the best routers we’ve ever tested … duration. Don’t think me? See our complete evaluation by clicking the link listed below. We were blown away by its download and upload speeds, even at some range.
It might not have as much range or stream dependability as some of the other contenders here, however what it does not have in signal strength it more than offsets in raw, unadulterated speed. The Archer C9 is a best router for video gaming, 4K streaming, or simply light web surfing.
No matter how you wish to use it, it’ll handle anything you throw its method. Simply note, those LED indication status lights, they can be a bit pesky, especially in a dark space.
# 3 Pick
Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router– Best Wireless Air Conditioning Router
Price: $255|Features: 6 tri-band antennas, 1GHz dual-core processor
WHY IT ‘S A TOP PICK: The Netgear Nighthawk X6 takes no prisoners on speed or dependability.
Speaking of spaceships, Netgear’s Nighthawk X6 AC3200 wireless router has actually got a name and a shell to match. The Nighthawk appears like something right out of a military piece of set or something you ‘d find in the ruins of a long lost alien civilization, all business from front to back, draped in a coat of menacing matte black.
Naturally, the Nighthawk wouldn’t have actually made it on the list just for looking cool alone. With 6 huge antennas jutting out from each side and a tri-band WiFi throughput that can self-designate which devices in your home must receive the most bandwidth all by itself, the Nighthawk takes the majority of the heavy lifting from getting all the power you can from your router with minimal setup needed.
# 4 Pick
Linksys EA9500 Tri-Band MU-MIMO Router– Best Variety Wireless Router
Price: $379.99|Features: MU-MIMO beamforming technology, high-powered AC5400 speeds
WHY IT ‘S A TOP PICK: Powerful and sporting the current innovation, it’s difficult to fail with this beast.
When we first got a look at the ridiculous specifications on the new Linksys EA9500 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router, we were admittedly a little frightened of what it would can when we really opened it up on a pure fiber connection. Of course, those worries quickly (no pun planned) dissolved as the router continued to blow every one of our tests clean out of the water with insane speeds, solid connection reliability, and comprehensive variety that reached to every corner of our homes.
Admittedly, this router could be considered overkill for a lot of homes, however if you need a great deal of variety and do not mind dropping extra coin to obtain it, the Linksys EA9500 is quite just among the most effective and feature-rich routers you can purchase in 2016.
# 5 Pick
D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router– Best Router for Video gaming
Price: $229.99|Features: 8 AC3200 antennas, 1GHz dual-core processor
WHY IT ‘S A TOP PICK: The D-Link AC3200 is raw power and dependability incarnate.
Look, we’ll just come right out and say it: the AC3200’s external appearance absolutely won’t be for everybody. With it’s spaceship-esque lines and racecar red paint job, the router absolutely makes a declaration that might encounter a lot of customer’s home decoration, however for anyone who desires their guests to know that they take their WiFi connection seriously the 2nd they walk in the door, these sort of looks simply cannot be beat.
Contribute to that its searingly quick speeds on both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands at long variety, and you have a router that offers up the best mix of future-proof innovation and a beautiful internal user interface that makes altering settings, producing a firewall, or just connecting your latest iPhone a pleasure from start to finish.
# 6 Pick
Asus RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Router
Price: $214.92|Features: 6 tri-band antennas, USB ports for onboard media servers
WHY IT ‘S A TOP PICK: SmartConnect makes it easy to handle devices in your house.
Similar to the Linksys AC1900, Asus’ RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Router comes pre-installed with Smart Link technology, which makes it possible for users to carefully prioritize which computers, tablets, or phones in their house get to rise in the bandwidth hierarchy over the rest.
Combine these extensive QOS alternatives with a strong, endlessly configurable internal firewall and you have a router that protects your family from infections and malware like no software-based service ever could. If there was one disadvantage that bears pointing out, the cost is a bit steep for what you could discover with a few other options. That stated, when a router is as powerful and feature-rich as this, the old saying of “you get what you spend for” rings truer than before.
# 1 Select
Linksys WRT1900ACS Smart Wi-Fi Router– Best Home Router
Price: $199.99|Features: Dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, AC1900 transmission speeds, dual-band antennas
WHY IT ‘S A LEADING PICK: The Linksys WRT1900ACS is trusted at any signal range.
Anyone familiar with the stylings of Linksys’ penultimate WRT54G router of the past will instantly recognize the WRT1900ACS, with its traditional take on the iconic blue/black color pattern and simple, yet reliable interface.
We like the WRT1900ACS not just since it advises us of much better times, however also since Linksys has actually handled to stuff in just about every feature you might think about into a router that does not use up much more than its predecessor did back when all of us had DSL and hardly even know what a “WiFi” connection was.
A big standout is the company’s addition of the “Smart Link” setting, which will immediately configure the router’s settings on the fly in order to accommodate for brand-new devices joining the network or others coming off of it to carefully handle which members of your wireless environment get the most priority over one another for optimum streaming and video gaming speeds.
Wireless Router Features to Watch out For
- First, it assists to understand that when we discuss “dual-band” routers, what we’re actually describing are the radio frequency spectrums that the router uses to transfer information to wireless devices.
- The first, 2.4 GHz, is the earliest of the existing WiFi transmission requirements still offered on modern-day routers, and is normally best for long-range, low-speed transmissions like internet browsing and inspecting your e-mail.
- The other, 5GHz, is made to accomplish the highest-speed signal possible, normally at the cost of the amount of range you can preserve from the wireless base station. So if you’re looking for the fastest wireless router, ensure it has this.
- And all those letters (a/ac/b/ n/g)? All you need to know about those is most routers these days don’t even bother with the outdated a/b requirement. “G” and “N” are the more recent, most widely adopted spectrum classifications that designate the optimum quantity of bandwidth the channel can dealing with at any offered time (54Mbps and 600Mbps, respectively).
- 802.11 air conditioning is the latest entry of the bunch, efficient in managing what’s called MIMO innovation, or “Several Input, Several Output”.
- This refers to the method a router prioritizes which devices get their information first, either doling it out sequentially to up to 4 devices in older requirements, or in the case of 802.11 air conditioner in specific, concurrently giving every device in your home its own stream that disappears or less powerful than the other at upwards of 8 streams at a time
- There aren’t a lots of mobile devices capable of deciphering 802.11 a/c’s MU-MIMO stream capabilities right now (the MU is short for “several user), but if you want a router that’s 100% future proof, this is absolutely an indication you’ll wish to watch on.
- When it comes to accomplishing the best wireless router variety, both the type of channel you choose (2.4 GHz vs. 5Ghz) and the spectrum your wireless device uses to connect (b/g/n) to will be the primary indicators of what the router can press out at any given point.
- This in mind, the size of the antenna on the back of the device can also play a huge part in what sort of distance or power you can attain with any offered model. The larger the antenna, the longer the signal will transfer before ultimately abating.
- If you’re a player, and looking for the best wireless router for gaming, or someone who is currently on the 4K Netflix streaming boat, you know better than the majority of that even the best WiFi signal on the planet still won’t beat being straight plugged into the back of the router.
- The three different numbers you need to be looking for when selecting a router that’s best for both WiFi applications and wired connections is 10/100/1000, which refers to the variety of Mbps that the ports on the back can manage at any provided time. The majority of consumer cable television strategies don’t break more than 100Mbps/down, however if you’re trying to find an enterprise-level device a 1000Mbps connection should be more than enough to deal with the job.
5.Adult Controls, QOS and Guest Network Characteristics
- Having once been a kid with the web myself, it’s no secret that parental controls set up on a regional computer system can only go so far to avoid certain members of the home from doing what they want online without getting caught. This is where the backend restriction controls come in.
- All the routers on this list featured some type of parental control panel or another, efficient in directly limiting access to particular websites, IP addresses, or connection types throughout the day.
- QOS (Quality of Service) setups on the other hand, are produced just the opposite, customizing which channels get opened up to a higher quantity of bandwidth over others (a game vs. a Netflix stream, for example).
- If you live in a house with a lot of roommates or member of the family, however need to focus on particular activities over another, a solid QOS rollout is how you’re going to make it take place. Next is the option to establish what’s called a “guest network”, or a WiFi space that’s transferred independently from the main center. Guest networks are terrific if you have individuals coming in and out of your home often and requesting for the password, but do not feel comfortable letting everyone on the block know how to enter to your primary network after the check out is over.
6.Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and Security
- Although the earliest days of WiFi security were afflicted by a deluge of conflicting, often confusing and inefficient standards, nowadays most router producers seem to have actually settled on the idea that it doesn’t get better than WPA/WPA2.
- WiFi Protected Gain access to is the security method that most readers are most likely already knowledgeable about, needing users to produce a network key that any devices joining the network need to enter in order to obtain allow the front door. A new method however; WPS (WiFi Protected Setup), is beginning to buck that typical pattern, utilizing a simultaneous button press on the router and device themselves to link a safe connection.
- By needing the device owner to have physical access to the router itself, WPS secrets prevent hackers from burglarizing a network from over the air or stealing a signal from your neighbor’s house rather.
- Lastly, if you’re somebody like me who’s currently burned through the whole of everything Netflix or Amazon Prime has to provide, the alternative to establish your very own media server for streaming on the go can be a luring one. Some routers will consist of a USB port on the back that you can use to install an external disk drive packed to the nines with downloaded shows, movies, and music, all of which can be a lifesaver on long trip or while you’re awaiting postponed flights in a bleak airport.
Which Router Is Right for You
So, which one is the best wireless router for 2016 and 2017?
If we’re going simply off the metrics of range, reliability, and ease of use, the Linksys Smart WRTAC1900 Router takes it. It is a bit costlier than some, however with a stylish, ageless style that’s combined with Linksys’ well-known focus on detail, the WRTAC1900 handles to strike all its marks while still bringing an air of simpleness to the table that just cannot be matched.
Sure the TP-Link AC7 is a fantastic value and the Nighthawk X6 looks like it might remove an attack helicopter, however when you tally up all the different variables the Linksys WRTAC1900 is the all around best bet on the marketplace today.
Still cannot choose? Have a look at our wireless router reviews, and by the time you’re done reading you might feel informed enough to pull the trigger on the design that’s right for you.