Shopping for technology is never easy because one piece of hardware just doesn’t cut it. There are multiple features that you need to look at and examine closely before you can even remotely come to an agreement about what to go for.
In today’s world, almost every market is saturated with newer designs and better technology. Obviously not everyone looks for the same thing that stands a product out. For example, some may prefer performance over speed or usability over security. And the list practically goes on till every feature has been duly noted down.
The world of wireless routers is much the same, with each device excelling in something that the rest do not. But finding an eminent wireless router that satiates your needs can be rather strenuous and without the right information, can also sometimes lead to bad decisions. For the ease of customers looking for the next best wireless router, we compiled a list of the top ten best routers currently available on the market for 2021.
The list has been chosen on the basis of several features and how or in what magnitude does each router best showcase the attributes. Read on to find out more about what the world of technology has to offer in order to keep you and all your devices well connected.
Top 10 Best Wireless Routers 2021
The third router on our list is by a renowned company that always brings something new to the table. This dual band router perhaps showcases what Asus can do and how capable they are of bringing new and inventive hardware.
The RT AC88U is the first home router that consists of 8 Gigabit LAN ports and port aggregation, which basically means that two ports can be combined together in order to provide faster speed and better signals.
A key feature that Asus notably tried to sell was that they not only make graphic cards, but they can make excellent gaming routers as well that have potential to be one of the best wireless routers out there.
This model itself looks like something out of a game, with a red and black scheme that instills its gaming specific features. The sleek look makes it stand out from other common slabs of routers.
It provides both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies but it also comes with a Broadcom chip that offers a support system called QAM, allowing higher bandwidth than regular routers. It boosts the speed from 1700Mbps to 2160Mbps. This massive boost can have lasting consequential turnouts such as stable and fast connectivity on all devices.
It’s also a Wave 2 Ac device which means that it can send data to multiple clients at the same time faster and more efficiently than old routers. It also includes two USB ports; one 2.0 at the back and one 3.0 in the front.
Now it’s the software part of this router that really gets its market. For example, for gamers, the router offers a free membership to the Gamers Private Network, that routes gaming traffic away and promises lowered pings and less lag. With further details, you can also pay to have more than just one device on the GPN.
Other features in the software let you prioritize the flow of data, where something like “gaming” can be the top priority or in other cases, streaming etc. The features are also available on the mobile app for the router. In terms of performance, the router has tested to stand distance and cover a great amount of area with a proportional coverage and strong signals.
- 8 LAN ports.
- Gaming specific features
- Easy setup
2. Google WiFi System – The Best For Range Covering
The second router on the list is by a company that’s renowned for its technological innovations and fast response to designing hardware according to a customer’s needs. The innovation in this specific router is its mesh system, that doesn’t allocate power to sending out the fastest signals, but cover a specific area with high consistent signals throughout.
Although there have been other mesh systems on the market, Google Wifi however has proven to be a discounted version that eases the process of setting it up and managing consistent Wi-Fi signals over an area.
When it comes to physical features, the device comes in a sleek white puck that can be purchased (preferably) in sets of two since one doesn’t really cut it when it comes to covering an entire house. A pack consists of two Wi-fi point stacks, making the device all the more economical to choose. Since the device itself is very small, it easily blends into any environment. Inside one unit is a power socket, USB port, and Ethernet ports.
Setting up the Wifi has been made a lot simpler by easily controlling it via the Google Wifi application. No web interface is required and once connected, the app will automatically be updated regularly. You can then scan the QR code, set a name and password and that’s it, you’re good to go.
The app lets you monitor performance, connected devices and whether the devices have been placed at optimum positions for the best signal coverage. It also supports beamforming, TPM, WPA2 and a Type C USB port. The device although has been noted to be slower with multiple connected devices but the great coverage compensates remarkably and makes due.
- User friendly setup
- Good coverage
- Slower performance
- Requires a Google account
- Not as cheap.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) – The Best AC1900 Router
The first router on our list is by a company that not only strived to make a place in the market but also proved to do so by valiantly releasing a set of routers that managed to not only impress but also set a foothold for the next generation of routers.
The Nighthawk AC1900, also known as R7000, is optimum for those who want a future proofed router but also do it under a budget. Being an 802.11ac, it proved to be among the top tier routers of the current cycle. It has competitively beaten several routers of the same level in this category, including its very own R8000. The biggest advantage perhaps is the low price tag which helps the router stand out from more expensive ones that offer about the same array of features.
When it comes to the physical features of the router, it’s basically a smaller version of the R8000 and more compact. It also has three antennas that utilize beamforming technology in order to enhance signal range. Beamforming helps the router boost signals directly to the devices rather than all over the place, therefore prioritizing usage of bandwidth. The antennas are detachable as well so they can be removed and added to other extenders as well.
The router has been said to be an upgraded looking version when it comes to design and a sleek look, with a finished black matte that gives it the edge of class it needs. The router also slightly weighs heavier than its previous versions making it very sturdy. The router’s back consists of 4 Ethernet ports and one USB port, however, this version also consists of a 3.0 USB port in the front making it easier to access.
The design has been proven to be one of the best on the market, making it stand out from the saturated competition. Different LED lights also indicate when internet is connected, or which ports are in use at the moment.
When it comes to features, the router offers both 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies. This totals a speed of upto 1900Mbps. Along with the incredible capacity to flow a steady stream of data, it comes with 256MB of RAM and 128MB of storage space. And as the name suggests AC1900, it comes with a Broadcam chip that maximizes speed and improves performance.
It easily recognizes devices to make setting up faster and less of a hassle. You can login to the router’s main IP address and customize it to however you prefer, with topnotch WPA security as well. The R7000 has beaten many on the climb to be one of the best available router in the given price range.
- Amazing design
- Easily accessible USB port
- Lesser range
- Buggy Setup
4. D-Link AC3200 (DIR-890L/B) – Fast Speed and Long Range
The fourth router on the list is the D-Link that’s probably one of the most eye-catching routers on the market that showcases a futuristic design and promises top notch performance. The router is explicably fast with good signals but the speed isn’t the only feature that makes it intriguing.
The device is also capable of being used as a network storage when connected with an external hard drive. To some tech savvy customers, this outstanding feature can noticeably be by far the best one that any router company could hope to achieve but it comes with a hefty price tag.
The tri-band users can be optimum for small homes that require an even distribution of strong signals to all devices. These days, the business of routers has become so stagnant that even features like physical design play an important role in a customer’s decision.
The AC3200 seems to have picked on this trend and which is why the router has a sleek attractive look. Six aerials give it the ability to boost speed up to 1900Mbps on combined frequencies. You can either use it as three separate Wi-Fi networks or combine them in order to achieve better signals. Around the back, it consists of four Ethernet ports and two USB ports, 2.0 and 3.0.
The design allows enough space for all the ports to be connected at the same time. Unfortunately, the price tag is too high for not enough available features. It can maintain high speed and deliver good performance, also providing a user friendly setup that only takes minutes.
- Network Storage
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming (XR500) – The Best For Pro Gamer’s
Gaming is an important hobby for a huge bulk of the router community. Most enthusiasts prefer routers that give them the best speed and least lag, in order to enhance gameplay and better improve the experience. That means the router needs to be able to transmit steady signals to the device and make sure no or little bandwidth is lost.
Whether it’s gaming, streaming or LAN parties, the Nighthawk Pro Gaming promises to give you better speed and more control over how you wish to customize the router and which settings would best suit your needs. It would be highly annoying for any gamer for their internet connection to lag or spike during a game, ruining the entire thirst to be a good player.
The greater command you can achieve over the opponent, the better your chances of beating them. The XR500 consists of four Ethernet ports in the back and two 3.0 USB ports on the side that allow file sharing and connectivity. It supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies up to 800Mbps on the former and 1700Mbps on the latter frequency.
A new feature that Netgear equipped this stunning router with is the Dynamic Frequency Selection that allows more channels to be chosen in order to decrease interference and increase signal strength.
The setup runs on a new software Duma OS which has proven to be more flexible and include a lot more features such as the QOS. You can also use it to customize the router and prioritize devices or open a separate guest network. It also allows a gamer to connect to a server closest to their vicinity, using a feature called Geo-Filter.
This way you get low pings and better gameplay. You can also block off servers that give you higher pings etc. in order to make sure you don’t connect to them again. All of this plus miscellaneous features like VPN, extendibility etc. make the XR500 an overall top tier router for gaming enthusiasts.
- Excellent for gamers
- Good speed on 2.4GHz
- Some features for console games only.
- No app.
6. Asus AC3200 Tri-Band Router – Masses of Features
Another Asus router on the list shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise at this point, with clear indications that the company knows what the next generation of routers should be all about. It has three Wi-Fi bands which basically means 2 5GHz and 1 2.4GHz bands are available. The router itself is fairly sturdy and heavy, making it less likely to topple over.
Physically, the black router is sleek that offers a 3.0 USB port in the front and a 2.0 USB port at the back along with the remaining four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a power button. The aerials are detachable and can be readjusted in order to boost performance for better signals.
When it comes to features, the router stands out from the rest by including an easy setup with the aid of a Web interface, a VPN server, and also the added ability to connect multiple internet sources at the same time. If the AC3200 falls in your budget, then it’s definitely worth the money when it comes to top 802.11ac routers.
But despite three bands, which have a combined speed of up to 3200Mbps, a single client can only receive up to the normal 1300Mbps par. So the extra bandwidth helps multiple clients to stay connected at the same speed with lesser fluctuations. The extra bands also help reduce stress if there’s a lot of data being transferred.
Inside the router we have a Broadcom dual-core processor with 256MB of memory and 128MB of flash storage. It’s basically a small compact powerful machine that distributes equally strengthened signals all over your house or office. The setup is similar to previous setup processes in Asus routers, where the interface guides you through it step by step and lets you choose your preferences. Here you can monitor your clients, the three bands, and how to allocate the Wi-Fi networks as well. It also consists of the ability to keep malware or other viruses entering your network.
- Powerful hardware
- Built-in VPN
7. NETGEAR Orbi Home WiFi System – Mesh Router For Office
Setting up an ideal home system is never easy and more so nowadays due to the high variety of just about everything. The award winning WiFi system has brought state-of-the-art technology in order to enhance home systems and build a unified structure of everything working in sync with the users chosen set of applications.
The router has outstanding range built specifically for medium to large houses in order to give better performance, and stable signals in every area of the house. Many houses consist of dead zones which are basically areas where no WiFi signals reach. The router reduces those areas and makes sure that every inch of the house is being covered by the bandwidth.
The reason it can do this is because there’s basically another router with it which acts as an extender just without all the hectic setup processes. The tri-band router has Ethernet and USB ports on both parts, and each one of them has 2.4GHz and 5GHz. And along with this, it only uses one SSID that connects every device to the routers.
The hefty price tag brings MU-MIMO technology with it, which basically means multiple inputs and multiple outputs. These types of routers make sure that each device works at a consistent speed rather than the device having to wait for signals which are being deterred to other devices connected on the same WiFi.
The router itself is a bit bigger than most mesh router systems on the market, but it’s also very future-proofed. The LED on the top of the router change color with the status of the internet; for example, white light means it’s starting up, blue means everything is good, and magenta means that there is no internet connection. Each component also consists of amplifying antennas that help boost signals equally. You can place the satellite anywhere else and both of them will automatically connect when ready. The satellite router is usually placed somewhere in the middle of the house where signals can be boosted everywhere else.
The setup is fairly easy as well, using a web interface where you can then manage settings like parental control, VPN and port forwarding. The router is perfect for those looking for stable performance in a large house, with every area being covered. Although there are cheaper mesh alternatives, the Orbi has proven to be among the top tier routers.
- Good coverage
- Easy setup
8. Asus AC-1900 (RT-AC68U) – Best Dual Band Router
There have been many Asus routers that have stood out due to the powerful hardware and peak performance measures that they can withstand, and the RT AC68U is on that list as well. It’s an upgraded version of the AC66U that consists of a stunning 800MHz dual-core processor along with a chip that gives up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz frequency and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz.
It’s been tested to be one of the fastest routers on the market, a very advanced option for people who are simply looking for a high-end router with topnotch performance and speed. But obviously to avail the full pleasure of the speed the router offers, you would need a good ISP as well.
The design is similar to previous models in terms of the black finish with no fingerprints left behind. It also includes three external adjustable antennas. The router is also equipped with the new Broadcam BCM4709chip, and 256MB of DDR RAM. It is also has two USB ports, 2.0 and 3.0 each. The Broadcam chip however includes TurboQam that allows a speed of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency for 802.11n. On the back, it has 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports which aid in fast speed.
Like its antecedent models, the router comes with a CD that contains the setup and guides the user through a step by step process. An alternative way is to use the web interface to setup the router after the device has been connected. It will most likely open automatically after you open a new tab. The interface shows the list of connected devices, and also allows you to interact with the USB connected ones.
Other features include access control, QoS, and Traffic Manager. From these settings, you can also setup a DynDNS account to avail the AiCloud service, where you can easily share data with connected devices. Apart from these, Asus also added options for Dual Wan, and Primary and Secondary WAN. This feature allows you to use one of the LAN ports as a secondary WAN, meaning you can have multiple incoming sources.
Performance wise, it has amazing speed both close and long range. The TurboQam technology enhances the features to give better performance, making it an ideal choice for users who want bottleneck speeds at all ranges.
- Amazing performance
- High speed
- Good range
9. Google OnHub AC1900 – Nice Looking WiFi Router
Every time you lose connected on a device, you never know whether to blame the ISP or the router or maybe just the universe because there’s nothing more annoying than a disconnected internet. Companies aim to make your lives easier and Google thoughtfully tried to do the same with the OnHub, made in partnership with TP Link. Although the router is on the expensive end, do the features really justify the price?
The device is well designed, just like anything else you’d expect from Google, and offers iOs and Android supported apps to make the setup easier and faster. The OnHub brings in a cylindrical design with no antennas sticking out. The router consists of two Ethernet ports and one USB port. It’s capable of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies and provides average coverage.
A common feature allows easy access to the connected devices, and lets you allocate bandwidth accordingly for example like streaming or gaming. The setup is as easy as Google promises it to be, with everything done from a single app. From the app you can see which devices are connected, and other setup features.
On paper, the speed it offers is 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on 5GHz. There are six antennas each for both frequencies that are placed inside the compact design. These antennas make sure that signals are reached as far as possible.
Although the OnHub is easy to use and fairly simple how Google wants all its devices to be, it lacks features that advanced users would expect such as connecting more devices, or having multiple ports for less Wi-Fi friendly devices. It’s good bet for users who want a simple and classy router that fulfills the purpose of distributing internet signals all over the house via good speed and stable performance.
- Good design
- App Setup Feature
- Not enough features
- Requires a Google account.
10. Asus RT-N66U N900 – Best Budget Option
The last router on the list is yet another Asus device that features a dual band connection offering good range and high performance. The device looks like a common router with three antennas that provide maximum coverage and breakneck speeds. They’re detachable and can be adjusted according to however you prefer but they need to be attached in order for the router to work.
However, only supporting 802.11n, the RT N66U is an excellent choice for users who want a sturdy router capable of giving good speed and stable connections to all devices. It consists of four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB ports.
Both the USB ports are 2.0 and hence the router doesn’t support 3.0 which could prove to be a hassle to some users.
The speed is limited to 450Mbit per second, which might not suit users who have fast internet bandwidths since the router is only capable of the aforementioned speed, but the signals have been tested to reach far end corners and provide good rates on the 5GHz frequency. It also has a built-in media server that allows you to stream music and videos via the connected USB.
For the setup, it comes with a CD but users can also set it up through the web interface. It provides remarkable security along with WPA2 Personal and WPS encryptions. It can also be turned into a VPN server, blocking any sort of incoming malware.
The interface allows you to interact and dig deeper, supporting features such as Network Map, Parental Control, and Traffic Manager. You can easily disable or block clients, or reallocate bandwidth to higher priority devices in order to maximize utility and improve ease of use. Advanced settings allow you to customize the firewall and tweak with the QoS tab.
Although there are newer models now available that provide similar features, it will be a while till the RT N66U goes out of fashion. The features it offers are simple and can be expected from various other high end routers, but Asus saves you the trouble by making it low cost and fairly cheaper to other models or competing devices.
- Good performance
- 2 USB ports
- File Sharing
- Doesn’t support 3.0 USB
- Not as fast
So there’s the list of the best wireless routers of 2021. Every router has something different to offer be it design, speed or the performance. We aim to give you a diversified list of choices in order to help you understand what features are being offered at what prices, and basically dial it down to which router can give you the best.
Users vary from simple to advanced and even tech savvy, so whether you’re looking for a central hub for a new home system, a gaming router in order to help you score some wins, or maybe something high-end just for the sake of it, then this list will assuredly help you come to a final decision that will satisfy your expectations. Many companies are competing head on to prove to be the next best thing, and now you can be the judge to determine which router takes the cake!