Given the endless variety of routers out there, understanding each type and picking the best one can be tricky. If you are in need of a wireless router for your home, office or even your home office, browsing our list here at IntelliReview is a great way to begin. At the minimum, buy a wireless N router as your next computer, laptop or other devices like smartphones and tablets will most likely support the latest standard 802.11n. Consider buying a dual band model for even faster speed, range, and reliability. You might also want to take a serious look at the security features that each model offers, especially if you don't want your neighbors or intruders gaining access to your own network. Our unique and powerful system leverages the power of the social web by analyzing reviews of wireless routers from multiple websites. Using this information, we are able to rank the products according to the amount of positive and negative reviews given by consumers and compile a definitive list of the very best wireless routers. We call this rating consumer passion. At IntelliReview, we negate the need to waste time reading hundreds and thousands of reviews on your own.
Pros: Easy to set-up, Feature rich, Fast, High-performance, 802.11n dual band
Cons: Firmware could be better
Review: The Netgear RangeMax WNDR3700 is a Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router that delivers excellent wireless performance along with other useful features. It has the ability to operate on the 2.4GHz frequency band and on the less-crowded 5.0GHz band giving you blazing speed and greater efficiency. The WNDR3700 boasts a 680-MHz processor that makes it the best networking solution, a dedicated video network for video streaming, a Broadband Usage Meter that measures your bandwidth usage, ReadyShare that enables every computer on your network to gain instant access to your USB device and support for WPA, WPA2, denial-of-service, Multiple SSID and stateful packet inspection firewall for unparallele network security. It makes setup a cinch to do because it comes with a Smart Wizard disk that provides you with a clear step-by-step instruction and it supports Push 'N' Connect for easily adding new devices to your network. Netgear's RangeMax WNDR3700 can be mounted on the wall, placed horizontally or even vertically using the included stand. Its front panel has nine status lights that allow easy monitoring while on its back are four gigabit Ethernet ports that offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, a WAN port for a cable or DSL modem connection, and a USB 2.0 port for attaching your USB storage device. If you'll take a closer look in what the WNDR3700 has to offer, you'll see that it is a reliable router that has an excellent range and is packed with almost everything you could ask for.
Pros: Lightning speed in various modes tested. Gigabit LAN ports. Up-to-date security.
Cons: Among the most expensive routers around.
Review: As one of the next generation of Draft N routers, the D-Link Xtreme N DIR-655 is one of the fastest 802.11n routers on the market. However that speed is mitigated by the fact that the final specs of the DIR-655 can't be guaranteed, so if you're looking for hard numbers, you may want to wait a while. Beyond that little quibble, however, you'll find a wireless router that boasts a 2.4GHz bandwidth, five security options (WPA-PSK, WEP, SPI and NAT firewalls and Mac address filtering), 4G LAN ports, VPS passthrough and DHCP support. All of that will cost you, though. The DIR-655 is one of the most expensive routers out there. But, as stated, you do get a fast machine. In one test, the DIR-655 put out an average of 112.56Mbps, some 40-50 points faster than most other 802.11n routers (at a 10-foot max with a compatible Draft 802.11n wireless adapter). With multiple input/output technology, as well as antennas for receiving and sending, the DIR-655 makes multimedia reception a snap. In addition, its integrated Intelligent QoS capability can allow you to place a priority on gaming, streaming or voice data over basic Web browsing (by analyzing wireless and wired router traffic and splitting it into multiple streams). With the DIR-655, you can share data with other computers, gaming consoles or media players. With all of that data flying around, security would seem to be a must and the DIR-655 delivers, letting you create a secured network utilizing the latest Draft 802.11n technology. The DIR-655 comes with a one-year warranty, 24-7 dial-in tech support and email support.
Pros: Superior speed and range, Great visual design, USB ports for easy connection to other devices
Cons: Expensive, Some firmware issues
Review: If ever there was an award for the best wireless connectivity option in the market, the Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR4500 would be a strong competitor, if not the king of the heap. Delivering ultimate wireless performance both in speed and range, the N900 has almost everything you would want in a wireless router - and even has a little extra on the side. Designed with a unique vertical form factor, the Netgear N900 has a clear plastic base that also makes up one side of the unit. Although rare, this design doesn't affect the stability of the unit, as it keeps steady even with cables attached to the back. What's more, it adds to the overall stylishness of the N900, which has a predominantly black color scheme. The N900 isn't all for show though, as its powerful broadcast range shows. While it doesn't have external antennas, it drives excellent, consistent output on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz channels at the same time, reaching up to a combined 900 Mbps on the A, B, G and N networks. That means more power and bandwidth even if you have a lot of devices logging onto the network at the same time. What's more, you can even configure up to two separate SSIDs per channel, allowing you to create a separate guest network for friends wishing to access the Internet. The wired Ethernet ports are no slouch either; these gigabit-rate ports deliver uninterrupted, full-speed connections perfect for bandwidth-heavy usage like DLNA streaming. The N900 also has two USB ports for easy setup of networked printers and storage. Netgear's N900 wireless router also has a solid suite of features that increases its overall ease of use. Aside from the painless, disk-free installation, its Netgear Genie provides an easy way to review the overall state of the router and its activities. Switches on the router give more control over how your router works. For example, you can power down the router, or set it to operate in either wired, wireless, or mixed mode. The Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR4500 is a solid and recommended choice for wireless equipment, but like all things of quality, it doesn't come cheap. The good thing is, you get your money's worth with this router. We need to note though, that while the hardware may be excellent, the firmware that this device ships with does have a few glitches and may need patching to resolve those issues. Fortunately, Netgear does release product firmware updates on a regular basis, making the maintenance of this router an easy task to do.
Pros: Works with third-party firmware. Ability to boost wireless signals. Can be used as a Radius server. Inexpensive.
Cons: May be difficult to setup for those with limited computer tech skills. Uses the older, slower Wireless-G protocol.
Review: The Linksys Wireless-G WRT54GL Broadband Router has often been called the best inexpensive wireless routers on the market and the best under $100. That fact alone has been enough to make it one of the popular routers in terms of sales, even though Linksys has taken it down a notch from the previous WRT54G model. The new WRT54GL comes with less onboard memory than its predecessor but still has enough for third-party modifications to boost its range. The WRT54GL comes with 8 MB of ram, 2MB of flash, two LAN ports one WAN port, a 2.4 GHz frequency and operates on the 802.11b/g frequency. But computer buffs love it for its ability to handle upgrades in firmware like Tomato or DD-WRT that can be used for repeating or wireless bridging. On the downside, all of this upgrading is not for the inexperienced. Unless you know what you're doing, installing firmware that is incompatible with the WRT54GL can crash the router and void the warranty. In addition, it would be helpful if you have experience with networking before attempting to install any third party firmware.