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: 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.
Pros: Dual-Band operation, 802.11AC compatibility, Easy setup, USB ports allow data and devices to be shared even without computers
Cons: Expensive compared to other routers, Overheating issues
Review: Given today's high-speed Internet access, itâs only natural that you'd want to share it between as many devices as possible. However, this may pose a problem for older routers as they operate on a single bandwidth. The ASUS RT-AC66U Simultaneous Dual-Band Router lets devices connect at two different bandwidth frequencies (2.5 and 5Hz), eliminating the bottleneck that a single bandwidth causes. The ASUS RT-AC66U combines cutting-edge networking and connectivity with easy usage that's managed through a convenient web interface. For starters, the AC66U is compatible with 802.11AC, the latest version of the Wi-Fi Standard, which gives it a maximum output of 1.75 Gbps - nearly three times the data rates of 802.11n. IPV6 is also enabled on this router, future-proofing connections. It also comes with AiRadar technology, expanding the wireless coverage provided by the router even with a multi-level building. Meanwhile, the User Interface also has a number of features that increase the functionality of the router, like Quality of Service, which lets you prioritize certain tasks over others, and a built-in download manager. For finer control over the network, the RT-AC66U allows the creation of multiple SSIDs, strong parental controls, and traffic monitoring. Unlike other routers, which only work as a means of sharing an Internet connection, the AC66U router is a more robust and multifunctional device. In particular, this router is specially optimized for data sharing between devices using DLNA connectivity. To begin with, two USB ports let data on external storage to be shared on the network. The RT-AC66U also works as a solid FTP and Printer server, allowing users to access resources even without a computer. Aside from the premium functionality, the ASUS RT-AC66U also looks and feels decidedly high-quality. The router has a handsome matte finish in dark blue, with three omni-directional antennas at the back. It comes with a router stand, but can also be mounted on a wall with its VESA-compatible mounts. The ASUS RT-AC66U Simultaneous Dual-Band Router is relatively more expensive compared to similar equipment. However, it more than makes up for the price of purchase by delivering a suite of intuitive and handy features to improve and maximize your Internet connection. The unit's firmware can also be easily updated with updates from the manufacturer to resolve any functionality issues that may happen. One issue that may not be as easily solved however is the heat issue. Because the RT-AC66U uses passive cooling, it has a tendency to run quite hot especially when under heavy use. It may be a good idea therefore to put it in an area with good ventilation to keep it from overheating.
Pros: Dual-band operation, USB ports with Print Server and FTP server functionality, Parental Access Control and IP-based Quality of Service
Cons: Admin page can be confusing, Firmware may need an update, Documentation can be a little difficult to understand.
Review: Routers are a key component of networking hardware because they do the actual forwarding of data packets that make the process of data transmission through computer networks possible. This is the reason why buying a router needs the same amount of thought that buying any other component of your computer would need. For example, if value for money is a big issue, the TP-Link TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless Router would make an excellent purchase. Compared to other router models in its price point, the WDR3600 offers a serious amount of functionality for your network, whether constructing a new one or for upgrading the current one. This wireless router simultaneously operates on both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands, both capable of reaching speeds of up to 300 Mbps for a total of 600 Mbps of bandwidth. Dividing the signal into two bands also makes sense from an efficiency standpoint, since it lets lightweight tasks like email or web browsing use the 2.4 GHz band, while reserving the 5 GHz band for bandwidth-intensive tasks like HD video streaming. The TP-Link TL-WDR3600 Wireless Router has four Gigabit (10/100/1000) LAN ports and a Gigabit WAN port for connecting the router to a modem or FiOS service. In addition, the WDR3600 has two USB 2.0 ports. This allows external storage like flash drives or external hard drives, or even peripherals like printers and scanners, to connect to the router and be shared across a network. The router's built-in FTP server functionality even lets users write information to connected storage devices. The software suite that comes with the WDR3600 offers a convenient selection of networking technologies that makes using the router as easy as possible. Among others, it offers Parental Access Controls via a white list, along with IP-based Quality of Service, which allocates bandwidth equally based on the number of users logged on to the router. Rounding off the suite of functions is a multi-tier security suite that protects the router and your network from intrusion and denial-of-service attacks. While the TP-Link TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless Router provides excellent value for money in terms of features and functionality, it does have its fair share of issues. For example, the admin page can be a little confusing, especially for people who don't have a lot of experience or know-how in terms of router technology. The firmware for the WDR3600 could also use some improvement, but that can easily be accomplished through a firmware update, or through flashing the unit with DD-WRT. Finally, the documentation included with the package is pretty substantial, but is a little hard to understand.
Pros: 802.11N router, Sleek design, 300Mbps maximum speed, Easy to set up and loaded with convenient features
Cons: Shorter range and lower transfer rates because of internal antenna and megabit Ethernet ports
Review: Getting a good router is part and parcel of getting the best wireless network experience. Now, whether for everyday or bandwidth-intensive tasks, the Linksys E1200 Wireless N300 Router is a great pick. The Linksys E1200 has a slim and compact profile, with internal built-in antennas instead of external ones. This allows the router to fit in most spaces where a larger router with external antennas wouldn't normally fit. Along the back of the router are four LAN ports and a WAN port; under each port is a LED status light showing which port is operational at the time. While this may keep the sleek look of the front of the unit, moving the LED status lights to the back of the router may make it difficult for some people to see if the router is working correctly. In contrast to other router models, the Linksys E1200 wireless router only works in single-band mode at 2.4GHz. The four LAN ports are 10/100, or Fast Ethernet ports, so they're likewise a little slower than usual. This, coupled with the choice to use internal antennas instead of external ones, means that the E1200 takes a hit in terms of range and overall transfer speed. All things considered however, the Linksys E1200 is able to deliver ample performance for a single-band 802.11N router, with data transmission rates hovering around the 60Mbps mark for the most part, and a possible 300Mbps maximum limit. Despite the rather mediocre transfer rates, the Linksys E1200 Wireless N300 Router has the advantage of being exceptionally easy to set up and use with the Cisco Connect Software CD bundled along with the router. What's more, it offers a few more useful features like Guest Network Setup, Parental Controls Access, and other network-related settings. Finally, with regards to network security, the E1200 supports WPA2 security, as well as using an integrated firewall to block unauthorized access.