Sure, you can always go with the router provided to you by your ISP, but you will almost always be shackling your Internet connection to a cannonball and causing it to go a lot slower – and a lot less reliable – because of it.
Now, if you want to take the chains off of your high-speed Internet connection, push only the fastest connection to each and every one of your wireless devices, and guarantee that each and every one of your online devices is safe, secure, and protected from attacks you’re going to want to consider investing in some of the best wireless routers we have highlighted for you below.
The options that we take a little bit deeper into in this quick guide will give you all of the modern features you need from a new router while at the same time providing you with plenty of speed, plenty of connectivity, and built-in security features that protect you in our ever increasingly connected world.
These are the very best of the best when it comes to wireless routers, and you’d have to be at least a little bit crazy to go with anything else.
But before we get into the meat and potatoes of these best wireless router reviews, it’s important that we highlight some of the most important features that they bring to the table and why you’ll want to look for as many of them as possible in your next router purchase.
Let’s dig right in!
Important features your next router has to have
What is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and why would you connect to a home router?
As digital files get larger and larger (a single digital copy of a Blu-ray quality film can run 30 GB or larger these days, with digital versions of AAA video games coming in the even larger than that) the need for storage is incredibly important – but you’re going to want to make sure that your files are accessible from ALL of your Internet-connected devices, and that’s where and NAS comes in.
Essentially a miniature server that allows you to network hard drives into your router and broadcast all of those files to any of the connected devices you have online, a NAS is an absolute must-have for those that want to be ready for the digital world today.
Dual Band Routers
Dual-band routers are becoming much more commonplace these days, and it’s easy to see why.
In the early days of the Internet, back before wireless networking became as ubiquitous as it is today, only a handful of homes in a neighborhood would be running a wireless router, so single band operation was perfectly acceptable.
Dual band routers provide for connections across two different broadcast frequencies, not only providing a faster connection but also a more secure and stable connection as well.
Tri-band routers are one step up from dual band routers only and though they are quite a bit more expensive than your dual band routers they are a lot more “future proof.” If you only ever anticipate yourself purchasing one router every five or six years, you’ll want to make sure that you go with a tri-band router and flip to the least commonly used broadcast frequency to make the most of your connection.
The first true dual-band routers to ever hit the marketplace, these N600 routers are capable of delivering speeds upwards of 300 Mbps over the wireless band – lightning like speed that you just wouldn’t have been able to get out of earlier version routers for
A step up from the N600 version routers, these units are capable of supporting three 150 Mbps spatial streams during wireless broadcasting. It doesn’t get all out faster than that (at least not right now, anyway)!
Now let’s dive right into the very best wireless routers available on the market today so that you’re able to sift through the different options available and end up with units that you will be overjoyed to own.
Breaking down the best wireless routers out there right now
#1. – ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router
This is one of the fastest wireless routers money can buy right now, as well as one of the easiest to set up.
Designed to be lightning fast (taking advantage of true dual-band technology to transmit at speeds 80% faster than more traditional wireless routers), you’re going to be able to completely overhaul your home wireless network when you decide to move forward with this dual band gigabit router.
For years and years now the folks at ASUS have been responsible for designing incredibly advanced pieces of networking technology, but they pulled out all of the stops when it came time to put this router together.
With 1024 QAM technology and the capability to broadcast at a 33% greater range on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, you are going to be able to enjoy blazingly fast speeds at every corner of your home no matter when it was constructed or would kinds of artificial obstacles you have in the way.
Combine all of this with the four antenna set up to direct your signal appropriately to maximize the utility of your network, the powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and built-in 8 Gb LAN ports, as well as the Trend Micro complete network security solution cooked into the bios and you’re talking about a router that is head and shoulders above most any other consumer grade option.
- Lightning fast
- Insanely secure
- Made by one of the most respected names in the computer technology industry
- A little bit expensive compared to other options
- Will require about 30 minutes to set up properly, though the process is pretty simple and straightforward
#2. – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router
A relatively compact dual-band Wi-Fi router that provides plenty of speed across the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands, this Netgear unit is sleek and affordable.
There are plenty of affordable wireless routers out there, and there are plenty of powerful and lightning quick routers out there today, but there aren’t a lot of affordable AND lightning quick routers out there that are worth investing in.
This is one of those “unicorn” units, however.
For years now, Netgear has been one of the most respected and well-known names in the world of wireless networking. This is one of their premium level routers, producing speeds of up to 1300 Mb per second while offering gigabit connections in the Ethernet ports available.
Open VPN allows you to take advantage of some kind of cool security and accessibility features that not a lot of other inexpensive routers offer, making this one of the more attractive options money can buy at this price point.
- Netgear always makes devices that are easy to set up right out of the box
- Advanced feature set is available for network administrators willing to tinker with settings to maximize performance
- USB port allows for network attached storage
- To get the most out of this router you’ll have to play with “power user” features
- The range of this router isn’t quite as far-reaching as other options
#3. – D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router With 6 High Performance
One of the Best Performing Wi-Fi routers!
With its modern looks, tri-band networking capabilities, and blazingly fast speed, this wireless router is a game changer in every sense of the word and as close to a “future proof” router as you’re going to find on the market right now.
Streaming 4K HD video, playing multiple online games on multiple devices or console, and streaming music to all of your devices – all at the same time, mind you – is effortless with this tri-band router.
You’ll be able to make the most of the 1 GHz dual core processor that unlocks your speed, and intelligent Quality of Service traffic optimization (hands-free optimization, no less) make sure that your network is cruising along in perfect condition without any overbearing administration necessary.
- This is one of the very fastest tri-band wireless routers you can buy today
- Quality of Service traffic optimization built into this router makes administration effortless
- Advanced security features protect and encrypt all of your wireless traffic 24/7
- Initial set up to make the most of this router is going to take a little bit of extra time
- Power users unlock the fastest speeds that this unit offers, while out of the box it’s a little bit slower
#4. – NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router
This wireless router has been designed specifically for uninterrupted streaming of 4K HD video and online gaming.
With 3.2 Gb per second speed available across this tri-band router and its network, you’re going to be able to stream multiple 4K HD videos (locally as well as those from streaming services like Netflix) AND play multiple online games at the same time without any letdown in quality or network consistency.
A built-in USB 3.0 ports in the back of this router offers the ability to turn it into a makeshift NAS, giving you access to high-speed storage across your network with the built-in NAS and filesharing technology.
- Easy NAS settings are going to be much appreciated by those with USB enclosures
- 3.2 Gb per second of high-speed access over the wireless network is almost unheard of today
- The overall aesthetic of this router is impressive
- Setup of this network and this router is going to take a little while right out of the box, so set aside an hour to get things working correctly
- 1.0 GHz dual-core processor isn’t quite as quick or as powerful as it probably could (and maybe should) be
#5. – ASUS RT-AC3200 Wireless-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router
The Smart Connect feature on this router instantly optimizes your network for you.
Trying to figure out which wireless band you should be operating off of with this tri-band wireless gigabit router can be a real headache and hassle, or at least it would be if this unit didn’t feature the amazing Smart Connect technology baked right in.
All you have to do is run the network setup wizard, wait about three minutes, and this router will determine exactly which of the three different wireless frequency bands it offers you should be running your network off. Once that’s taken care of your network will be lightning quick, stable, and incredibly secure.
Built-in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports allow you to set up a wireless printing, a quick and dirty NAS setup with external USB powered hard drives, and a variety of other extras that just aren’t possible with most other router options available.
- The Trend Micro built-in triple strength security provides you with network security around the clock as well as parental controls and privacy protection
- Smart Connect optimizes your network for you so that you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting
- Built-in capabilities for wireless printing and NAS with any USB printer and any USB hard drive are nice to have
- This router isn’t quite as blazingly fast as some of the newer options released in just the last year or so
- The ASUS administration interface isn’t as user-friendly as it used to be
#6. – Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless Router
Don’t let the simple and straightforward looks fool you, this is a quick and snappy router with a focus on performance and security.
This wireless router operates on two different bands (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz), allowing you to flip and flop from one band to the next as necessary to optimize your network so that you get the most speed and stability possible.
Driving this router is and incredibly powerful 1.6 GHz dual core processor, a CPU that allows for extreme speed data processing that you can play games, enjoy streaming movies and music, and transfer files without any bottlenecks along the way. This is as quick a router as you’re going to find that this price point and all of that is thanks in large part to that 1.6 GHz dual core processor.
Adding network attached storage is a breeze when you hook up your wireless router to a USB powered hard drive via the USB 2.0/USB 3.0 connections available in the back. You can also hook up via eSATA connections if you want to Jack and a relatively new solid-state drive for the increased performance available there.
- 1.6 GHz dual-core processor makes for lightning fast performance and a reliable stability
- Dual band router provides for high-speed operation across two different bands to optimize your connection
- Built-in security features and software protect you from hackers and encrypt your data across wireless connections
- The initial set up for your network to be optimized can take a lot longer than most people expect and will require some power user settings
- There are other routers available at the same price point that are a little bit easier to use and even a bit faster