Best Home Routers 2019
Welcome to the best Home Routers review and Buyer’s Guide!
When it comes to online interactions, we are dependent on the Internet for many things that we do in our daily lives.
Whether it be shopping on Ebay, messaging friends on Facebook, or watching and listening to the news, we can do it online.
Tablets, phones, and home computers make this possible while working in concert internet connection.
Routers are definitely one of the must-haves if you want to extend your home network beyond having to connect your Ethernet cable physically to your computer or use your favorite apps.
They are designed to be clutter free since setting up home networks tend to be a messy affair (unless you’re a neat freak).
They also provide a means in which you can personally manage your home network. Don’t like the kids watching Youtube videos or playing online games too much?
You have the option of doing voice commands with some routers at the utterance of a word.
Home routers buyer’s guide – What you’ll need to know
Choosing the right router for your home is ultimately dependent on the amount of space you have in your home and how it is arranged inside. There are many router options available for you to purchase,
but you might have some basic questions that falls along the lines of:
– Do you want your router to stick out like a sore thumb or get yourself a mesh router that blends seamlessly with your home environment?
- Where will you position your router inside your home?
- Is the router supplied from my service provider good enough?
- How steep of a price are you paying to get enough coverage for the entire home?
This guide is meant to give you some basic knowledge on what to look for when shopping for home wifi routers. After thoroughly reviewing the criteria for router selection, we came up with the top three things you should look for when purchasing a router:
Use the router provided from your Internet company or buy your own?
Internet service providers typically rent modem/router combos to you for a fee. The additional router adds an additional $5 to $7 per month on top of the lease you’re already paying for to get internet services. If you’re going to be using your ISP for the long haul (over one year), you might be better off
purchasing your own router that can provide better speed and performance compared to stock routers supplied by your ISP. Remember, if you have your provide give you both a modem and a router, you are essentially having the latter leased out to you. Some ISPs may give the router for free but the odds of that are usually pretty slim.
While purchasing a router of your own doesn’t necessarily mean it will be better, you’ll be able to save yourself some money in the long run. The savings when it comes to not doing the router is at least a $20 to $30 difference.
Evolving wireless standards
Wifi standards tend to change rapidly alongside other technologies within years. Currently, modern devices are able to use the 802.11ac, which means that smartphones, tablets, and laptop and desktop computers can use faster speeds when performing internet-based tasks. Let’s say if you’re using an 802.11n router, and your ISP says its packages are capable of deliver 802.11ac-type speeds, your router will be limited based on its design and won’t be able to capitalize on the new capabilities offered by the 11ac.
This is one of the challenges of keeping pace with wireless standards. If you happen to have a network that exceeds the standard of what your current router is capable of, you should consider getting yourself a router that’s more current so you can get more bang for your buck.
When shopping for routers at any retailer, you’ll often see the numbers 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz on their boxes. These are radio signals that are used solely for the purpose of wifi, which are also referred to as dual-band. Typically wifi speeds allow you to go as far as 450Mbps or 1300Mbps for 2.4 and 5Ghz respectively. The amount of data that you’ll be able to transmit and receive simultaneously are based on the pipeline that your service provider gave you along with what the routers are capable of. If you’re looking for good home routers that you can use for your network, choose one that has dual-band capability or tri-band capability.
Now that the basics out of the way, we have some home routers reviews for you to check out. These are not just regular routers that stand as side pieces inside your house or apartment, they are the best home routers that are essential for all of your internet needs.
Best Home Routers Review
Google’s wifi device is unique in the sense that as opposed to traditional routers, it is a mesh router. What that means is that you can inter-connect multiple devices of the same make to expand your home network coverage. It helps simplify your setup if you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to log onto the router itself prior to interfacing it with your modem.
The design of the router itself is simple: it’s a small white cylinder with an LED indicator on top of the device. When you look underneath the base of the device, it comes with two Ethernet ports and one USB-C connection if you prefer doing a hard connect to the router.
As far as area coverage is concerned, one device covers 1,500 square feet of area inside a house. Having a set of three would cover 4,500 square feet inside a house. Retailers will often sell the device either by itself or in threes. If you live in an especially large place, you’re getting yourself a good deal with the three-pack.
The installation process for the router occurs via the Google Wifi App, which you can download via iOS or Android. Once you download it via your smartphone, you can set up a name and password for your network so that it’s easier to distinguish from the rest of your neighbors. When your main router is set, additional network nodes are scanned in via QR codes that you can detect with your app.
There is a caveat to the simplicity that Google Wifi provides: its hardware control and access control is limited compared to traditional routers. Still, at its $99 price point, no other manufacturers can match the value that this mesh router offers. It’s the perfect technical solution that you can utilize for your network where you can set up your routers and other devices with minimal hassle.
Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L
Another iteration of Verizon’s portable wifi devices, the Mifi 8800 is a pocket wifi router with a touch-screen interface. You can use the touchscreen to navigate through different menus as well as connect multiple Internet-capable devices in order to connect online to the web. If you already are a Verizon customer, you can sign on a 2-year contract for $99.
It provides security via a private auto VPN, meaning anytime that you connect a device through it they will always be secure and your personal information will be kept private. It can be more granular in terms of regulating what people can and cannot see via an optional guest network. The router gives you metrics as to how much data is being used on the device.
The 8800L can run for a full 24 hours without having to recharge. This is useful in the event that you’re on the road for a prolonged period of time or you need a backup internet connection in the event your main internet service fails. In addition, the 8800 can be used worldwide in over 200 countries.
The idea of making this either a home router or a hotspot that you can take on the go, there’s no denying that the 8800L packs a wallop for a device its size. It delivers the convenience of connecting to the Internet that’s only 3/4ths the size of a smartphone. The $99 for what you’re essentially spending at roughly $50 per year provides superior value in a compact package.
Netgear R6400-100 NAS Dual Band Wireless and Ethernet Router
This router is unique due to its ability to interface with Alexa, so you can issue voice commands to the router instead of just the old-fashioned way via mouse and keyboard. However, it still retains the option of allowing you to access the device manually via Netgear’s proprietary Genie software. What it does is that it gives your administrative rights, which allows you to control even the most rudimentary of functions on this router.
On the technical side, the router has two USB ports; one that’s 2.0 and another that’s 3.0. If you have other peripheral devices such as a printer or external hard drive, you can connect it to your router so that you’ll be able to access it via the R6400 instead of having to plug them directly into your PC. This is useful due to the fact that the R6400 can be utilized as a device hub and minimize clutter where your PC is at.
It comes equipped with three antennas to provide maximum coverage from the router. The antennas provide dual-band capability, giving off max throughput of 450Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band and 1300Mbps on the 5Ghz band. If you’re streaming tons of video through the router or playing games online, this router is more than robust enough to handle whatever tasks you throw at it.
Additional features that come with the router include web filtering to filter out malicious Internet content and make your home network safe for your kids to use. Standard pricing for the R6400 is marked it at $100, making it ideal to purchase if you’re looking for a mid-tier router that won’t break the bank too hard.
TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wifi Gigabit Wireless Router 802.11ac
Also referred to as the Archer C7, the TP-Link AC1750 is another old school router that is compatible with Alexa, enabling your to utilize voice commands. In addition it also comes equipped with three antennae to help give the router maximum coverage. While it’s considered to be a mid-tier router, it works and functions like an expensive high-tier one. It comes with 4 gigabit LAN ports and provides speedy access across all connected devices.
Like the R6400, the Archer C7 is able to support dual-band capability, able to stream 450Mbps at the 2.4Ghz frequency while running 1300Mbps tops for the 5Ghz frequency. The streaming and buffering provided by the Archer C7 is comparable to Netgear’s R6700 router, making it a powerhouse in its own right that can handle bandwidth-heavy activity.
The TP-Link Tether app can be downloaded in a similar fashion to the Google Wifi app, allowing you to configure your network remotely. Access control features of the router are very granular, as it allows you to set up specific rules on what activities are allowed on your network. This is useful if your family relies on you to conduct IT support within the home.
This router is a good mid-tier router that you can purchase if you’re looking for something that can handle network tasks while optimizing gaming performance for any games that you play online. It’s priced around $80, and the value is greatly reflected with the amount of features that are packed into the router.
Roku 4660 Ultra 4k
The Roku 4660 is something of an anomaly of this listing. Rather than being a wireless router, it is a streaming multimedia player that you can use as part of your home theater setup. It has a wide range of apps available for you to use packed in a slim black form-factor box. Any video content that is routed through the player is displayed in HD, 4K, and HDR resolutions for superior picture quality when displayed on your TV.
It comes with a remote control and a microSD card to store data on it. The remote itself has a headphone jack that you can connect at the base of the device so that you can listen to your entertainment quietly without making noise inside of your residence. In addition. The box features one USB port, one Ethernet port, and supports dual-band capability.
You can play simple games by using the remote, however they are not high-tier and are meant to be used to keep children occupied as other events occur. It has limited voice capability but does come with a speaker that helps you find the remote by depressing a button on the box. It’s a nice addition, especially if you happen to lose the remote someplace where you can’t find it.
While some of the highlights when it comes to video content compared to other similar may be dated, it has one useful feature that makes it unique. The Roku gives owners notifications if a new episode for a series has or a price drop on a movie happened, With those in mind, you can yourself a few bucks or keep up to date with the latest and greatest on TV.
If you’re looking for a technical solution where you can use popular apps that streams video in your home such as Hulu, Youtube, and Netflix, the Roku 4660 will give you that and more for its value at $70.
In closing, in the home routers reviews we talked about some of the basics of what you should be looking for when shopping for a home router. While there are plenty of traditional routers and mesh routers, choosing the right one will ultimately be dependent based on where you live, the amount of space you have and the arrangement of individual areas within your residence.
You should choose a router that is not only current but is future-proof from the rapid pacing of wireless technologies that pop up every few years. Not only will it spare you some money that you could use on something else, you’ll at least stay ahead of the technological curve.
There are plenty of guides that you can search for online to help you find the right router that you can use for your home. If you’re unsure, you can always visit a local retailer such as Best Buy. The tech staff are usually competent and they will point you in the right direction of what exactly you need to look for before you commit to buying.