If you use social media or read this article, you probably have access to the internet via Wi-Fi or a network router.
A Wi-Fi router is an electronic device that receives a signal from a modem, converts it into a wireless signal, and sends it to all Wi-Fi devices in its vicinity.
Recent developments in Wi-Fi technology have greatly improved the way we use the internet to stay connected with speed, security, and IoT (Internet of Things).
The performance of Wi-Fi connectivity and devices such as Wi-Fi routers continues to improve as technology advances. Its use is also widespread due to its ease of use, installation, and safety.
Innovations in encryption technology also make Wi-Fi routers strong, secure and prevent cyberattacks and malware from entering your network.
The global home wireless router market is expected to grow to $3.1 billion by 2026, from USB’s 1.9 billion in 2021. This corresponds to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4%.
In this post, we take a close look at how a Wi-Fi router works, the terms you need to understand before buying a Wi-Fi router, and an overview of the top 10 Wi-Fi routers for home and business use. Finally, we’ll discuss how to choose the best wireless router for your personal or official use.
The functionality of a wireless router
Generally, the internet flows from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) via optical cable or DSL and ends at the modem (located in your home or office).
The WIFI router is connected to the modem via a LAN (Local Area Network) cable, which receives the signal from the modem and converts it into a wireless signal (radio) and sends it to all wireless devices with built-in antennas.
In this manner, all your Wi-Fi devices on your home or office network have Internet access.
Types of Wi-Fi Router
Primarily there are three types of Wi-Fi routers: Single-band, Dual-band, and Tri-band Router.
The single-band Wi-Fi router runs at 2.4 GHz and supports up to 750 Mbit/s. The dual-band router runs on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and supports the fastest internet connections, including video conferencing, online gaming, and more.
Tri-band routers use one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. The speed is up to 1625 Mbit/s and supports simultaneous users for high computing activities like 4k TV, gaming, HD streaming, and more.
Let’s review the best Wi-Fi routers.
TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router
The TP-Link AC1750 is an award-winning router for maximum customer satisfaction. It uses a new Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, which increases the speed of the previous 802.11n standard by almost three times.
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The router supports two bands, including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, reducing latency and supporting high-bandwidth activities such as gaming, streaming HD content, and even 4K content.
It is perfect for homes and offices looking for higher speeds and a wider range. Integrated technologies such as dual-band, bandwidth priority (QoS), and three antennas are designed to provide Wi-Fi signals over a wider range and enhanced speed.
- USB port for connecting devices such as HDD to share files and media with other devices
- Parental control and Alexa support
- Next-generation protocol IPv6 is supported
- Ability to provide secure access to the network in an office environment
ASUS AX6000 Gaming Router (RT-AX88U)
ASUS AX6000 is the advanced wifi6 (802.11ax) router offering better efficiency and bandwidth. It is designed for blazing fast speeds of 6 Gbps and has 4 antennas and 8 LAN ports for wider coverage.
This is a dual-band 4×4 router with speeds of around 6000Mbps to 1148Mbps on 2.4GHz and 4804Mbps on 5GHz bandwidth. This gaming router integrates with Trend Micro’s high-end security software to block all internet threats and protect your connected devices.
If you are looking for a wireless router with long-range, high speed, and maximum security, this is the ideal device for home and office use. By integrating the latest OFDMA (Multiple Access with Orthogonal Frequency Division) technologies, this router makes full use of its bandwidth and, above all, with lower latency.
- Its quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) increases data rates by 25%
- 4x higher network capacity and efficiency thanks to the integration of the latest technologies MU-MIMO
- Best for gaming because it uses QoS (bandwidth priority) and WTFast to create the safest and shortest path
NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 Smart Router
This gigabyte router is equipped with a powerful 1 GHz (dual-core) processor that enhances wireless and wired performance. Its dual-band technology enables easy browsing, playing high-end games, and video streaming without delay.
One of this category’s most secure Wi-Fi routers supports the WPA2 wireless security protocol, secure guest access, denial of service (DoS) attack protection, firewalls, VPNs, and more.
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The router comes with Bitdefender software which protects your home devices from viruses, data theft, and malware for 30 days. Its high-speed Gigabyte Ethernet port allows connecting computers, game consoles, and streaming players.
This NETGEAR Nighthawk is perfect for a 1,500-square-foot home. Its beamforming technology ensures the WLAN signal reaches every Wi-Fi-enabled device directly at every corner of the house.
- Supports up to 25 Wi-Fi enabled devices.
- Advanced QoS to prioritize signals to devices as needed
- Airtime fairness to prevent lag when a slower device connects
- Supports Wi-Fi speeds up to 1750 Mbps
- ASUS AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit WiFi Router
TP-Link AC1200 is an award-winning dual-band Wi-Fi router with 802.11ac technology.
Its 2.4 GHz band is ideal for activities that do not require high-speed data, such as surfing, sending email, etc., while the 5 GHz band is ideal for high-speed activities such as online gaming, streaming HD content, etc.
Its four antennas broadcast signals in the far corners of the zone, and its beamforming technology send Wi-Fi signals directly to the Wi-Fi enabled, which are far away and low-powered.
This router is integrated with the latest WPA3 security protocol, which increases the security of all connected devices and prevents cyber threats.
It comes with the free Tether app for Android and iOS devices, making it easy to set up and manage your network remotely.
- No more bandwidth bottlenecks as MU-MIMO transmits signals to all devices simultaneously.
- It is equipped with four Gigabit LAN ports 10 times faster than regular ports, ideal for connecting HDTVs, NAS, computers, and more.
- It can switch modes from router to access point to share your wired network with other wireless devices.
Linksys WRT3200 Open Source Router for Home
This Linksys Dual-Band is Tri stream router with an open-source operating system. The tri stream technology doubles the bandwidth of the 5 GHz band by almost 2.6 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds to support high-speed internet activities.
Its operating system is open source so that the router can be customized and set up as a VPN server, Web server, network traffic analysis, detect anonymous browsing, etc.
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It is one of the fastest Wi-Fi routers in this category as it is equipped with a 1.8Ghz processor to respond to high requests without latency.
It is certified by the FCC Dynamic Frequency Selection Certificate (DFS), which allows it to operate at frequencies that other routers cannot use and, therefore, less interference.
Its next-generation multi-user MIMO technology handles bandwidth-intensive needs such as 4k streaming, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks without buffering.
- MIMO technology distributes bandwidth evenly across multiple devices.
- Devices that require more bandwidth, more security controls, etc., can be prioritized.
- Smart Wi-Fi app to remotely monitor and manage your network
Tenda AC1200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router
Tenda AC 1200 is a Wi-Fi 6 router that connects 4 times more devices than Wi-Fi 5. At 1.8 GHz, you can enjoy intensive bandwidth activities like streaming movies in Ultra HD 4K/8K, video calling, playing games, etc., without delay.
This Tenda router supports 20 devices to cover up to 1,500 square feet of your home or office at 1.5 times faster data transfers.
It is equipped with a quad-core processor with 1.5 GHz, 512 RAM, and 4 Gigabit LAN ports to enjoy ultra-fast wired connectivity for computers, game consoles, and streaming players.
The router comes with one year of free cybersecurity software ($69.99), protecting all your connected Wi-Fi devices from data theft and malware.
- Parental controls to filter unwanted internet activity and limit access time.
- Nighthawk app for Wi-Fi remote control
- Simultaneous two-band connection for hassle-free connection of all types of devices
- Compatible with any ISP including cable, satellite, optical, and DSL
TP-Link N450 Router (TL-WR940N) for Home
It is multifunctional and one of the most economical wireless routers (worth $24.99). Its functionality can be changed as needed, such as a router, access point, and range extender.
It supports speed up to 450Mbps, which is good enough to handle all your personal activities like HD video streaming, VoIP, and online gaming.
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It is based on 802.11n technology, which is 15 times faster and has a 5 times greater range than 802.11g. It can be managed with a free tether app for easy installation and setup and supports both Android and iOS devices.
It is suitable for homes and small offices for wireless and wired networks.
- WPS button for secure encrypted connection with other devices
- It can be used as a range extender for your existing Wi-Fi
- IP based bandwidth control to determine the bandwidth for each device
- Controls for managing child or employee access to the internet
ASUS AC1900 Wi-Fi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U)
Asus AC1900 is one of the safest devices with free lifetime protection. Its advanced AI protection blocks access to malicious websites, IPS (anti-intrusion system) and blocks all internet-based attacks.
Its smart dashboard provides complete control over internet usage, such as parental controls, web filters, usage planning, and site blocking.
This router is one of the most popular among gamers. It has built-in NVIDIA GameStream technology for Cloud gaming and high-performance gaming from a computer with GeForce.
Additional technologies such as AiRadar, beamforming, and RF fine-tuning ensure wider coverage, increase data speed dynamically, and enhance stability.
Its exclusive AiCloud helps build a private cloud for easy streaming and sharing from smartphones, computers, and tablets.
- Alexa voice control to manage Wi-Fi settings
- Its TurboQAM technology increases coverage in the 2.4 GHz band from 450 Mbit/s to 600 Mbit/s
- Support Internet Protocol version 6, multiple wireless SSID, and encrypted VPN access.
- Two USB ports for file sharing, printer, and 3G/4G modem
- Support for huge data streams of up to 300,000 data sessions
NETGEAR Orbi 4G LTE Mesh WiFi Router (LBR20)
The uniqueness of this router is it is compatible with certain Orbi satellites to create a 2,000 square foot networked Wi-Fi system.
It has an integrated 4G LTE modem, is certified by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, and supports speeds up to 2.2 Gbit/s.
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Its advanced tri-band network technology uses a third dedicated Wi-Fi connection between your router and satellite to provide maximum speed even in dead zones, while the other two bands are used for top speed across your devices.
Its Armor security is a layered security guard that protects your home network from antivirus, anti-malware, and data theft through online attacks.
It can be used as a backup internet medium if your primary connection fails by just inserting a Nano-SIM card.
- It covers 25 Wi-Fi enabled devices
- Easy to set up and manage via the Orbi app
- It can be switched to 4G LTE at poor connectivity locations
- High gain internal antennas support 4K streaming and gaming anywhere in the home
Linksys AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router Home Networking
Linksys AC1750 is suitable for a small house with an area of approximately 1500 Sq. Ft supporting 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. It is a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 router and supports high-quality 4K HD streaming and gaming without buffering.
The integration of MU MIMO technology allows simultaneous connection to all devices at the same speed. Its beamforming technology sends signals directly to Wi-Fi devices instead of spreading them out.
Its free app makes it possible to prioritize the frequency band of the device and allows control over its use by children.
- Easy and simple setup with the CD-free Linksys app
- Dual-core processor for high-speed data processing
- USB 3.0 port for faster data transfer and external data storage
- Gigabyte port for 10 times faster data transfer for wired devices
What should you look for before buying a Wi-Fi router?
As seen above, there are various technical terms to describe the use and functionality of wireless routers. Here are some terms you need to understand before shortening your home or office Wi-Fi router.
Wi-Fi standards Each router is categorized according to the WLAN standard and is 802.11 compliant. These radio standards may vary in speed, range, and frequency.
- 802.11a – supports speeds up to 54 Mbps in the 5 GHz band
- 802.11b – supports a maximum speed of 11 Mbit/s in the 2.4 GHz band
- 802.11g – the most widely used band today. It supports speeds of up to 54 Mbps and covers 50 feet.
- 802.11n – Provides higher performance in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and supports speeds up to 100 Mbps.
- 802.11AC (Wi-Fi 5): Supports speeds from 433 Mbit/s to several gigabits per second. It is only designed for the 5 GHz band.
- 802.11AX (Wi-Fi 6): Offers higher data rates and capacities, up to 9.6 Gbps.
A more detailed description of these network standards can be found at this link.
Dual-band and tri-band routers: Dual-band routers transmit radio signals in two bands – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The most significant difference between the two is that a 2.4 GHz connection covers a large area at lower speeds, whereas a 5 GHz frequency covers a shorter area with the high-speed band. In contrast, Tri-Band uses three bands – one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz.
Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6: The main difference lies in speed and technology. Wi-Fi 6 offers 9.6 Gbit/s bandwidth, while wifi5 offers 3.5 Gbit/s. Wi-Fi 6 also supports the latest technologies such as MU-MIMO; Beamforming, and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
MU-MIMO: This technology allows the router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, and therefore the connection speed is the same for all devices.
Beamforming: This unique technology searches for Wi-Fi-enabled devices and sends a signal directly to that device instead of broadcasting the signal throughout the site. Not all routers support beamforming. So check the specs before buying your router.
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM): Increases bandwidth usage for gigabit connections.
Security Protocol: Wi-Fi security protocol prevents unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi Secure Access (WPA) and Wi-Fi Secure Access II (WPA2) are used. WPA2 is now being replaced by WPA3, which offers stronger encryption and reduces security issues.
Gigabyte ports: These ports are 10 times faster than regular Ethernet ports that help with faster data transfer speeds.
QoS: Quality of Service is an advanced router feature that allows you to prioritize bandwidth traffic for specific devices.
Advances in technology have added many features and security measures to Wi-Fi routers. The question is – what are the needs and requirements for your office or home?
If you are an active gaming user or looking for high speed, you can choose the ASUS AX6000 or AC1900 gaming router and the NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 router.
If you need a router for personal use at home, you can choose the TP-Link N450 or Linksys AC1750 router for your home network. If you are looking for more security in your router, then you can choose NETGEAR R6700. Based on your specific needs, you can choose additional functions such as beamforming, gigabyte ports, QoS, MU-MIMO, and more.
And, below are the top 3 Amazon best-selling Wi-Fi routers.
We hope this post helped you choose the best Wi-Fi router for your home or office. You may also look at the Wi-Fi extender vs. booster comparison.