I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Life is not possible today without a good Wireless Router… Or is it?
Well, there is only ONE problem. Finding that “Good” router isn’t an easy job.
That is why I have created a list of Best Wireless Routers 2017. After researching online and spending hours in testing these Wi-Fi routers, I have shortlisted the top 10 routers which you can buy right now.
Best Wireless Routers 2017
Surely, these routers are not for everyone as some of them carry a hefty price-tag.
With that said, one thing can be said for sure, these wireless routers are good enough to make it to our list of the top 10 best WiFi Routers 2017.
|Device Name||Weight||LAN Ports||Wireless Comm|
|TP-Link Talon AD7200||4 pounds||4||802.11ad|
|Google WiFi System||0.74 pounds||2/point||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band (Editor’s Choice)||2.6 pounds||8||802.11 b/g/n|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 Dual-Band||3.5 pounds||4||802.11ac|
|D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band (Editor’s Choice)||2.5 pounds||4||802.11ac|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X10||4.11 pounds||6||802.11ac/ad|
|Amped Wirelss RTA2600 Athena MU-MIMO||2.6 pounds||4||802.11ac|
|TP-Link Archer C7|
|Apple AirPort Extreme|
1. TP-Link Talon AD7200 – Latest Technology
However, that is not the only trick up its sleeve. This router packs in many cutting-edge features to ensure ultimate performance.
Although it’s not inexpensive, to say the least, this router offers more than a few impressive features for the price! And in this review, we will delve deep into every aspect of this router and find out whether it’s worth your money.
If you thought the Nighthawk X10 is large, wait till you see this one! The TP-Link Talon AD7200 absolutely dwarfs its competitor with dimensions of 9.0 x 9.0 x 1.7 in. This gargantuan router is one of the biggest home routers available in the market today.
While its size may be imposing, the design, on the other hand, is understated. The smart antenna design lets you fold down all the nine antennas to provide for a flat top surface. All in all, the design philosophy follows function over form.
Like its direct competitor, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10, the Talon AD7200 also packs in an impressive list of features.
- The Talon AD7200 uses multi-Band technology to run three distinct Wi-Fi bands at once.
- The router supports a combined Wi-Fi speed of 7.2 Gbps (Band 1: 800 Mbps @2.4GHz, Band 2: 1733 Mbps @5GHz, Band 3: 4600 Mbps @60GHz).
- While a traditional router can only stream to one device at a time, the Wireless AC and Multi-User MIMO technologies of the Talon AD7200 facilitates simultaneous streaming.
- The 1.4 GHz dual-core processor is powerful enough to support multiple users at once.
- It has eight state-of-the-art external antennas which help in maximizing range and performance.
- It has 1 WAN and 4 high-speed Gigabit Ethernet ports.
- The two super speed USB 3.0 ports allow you to transfer files to an external HDD or USB drive directly.
- TP-Link provides an easy-to-use one-app solution to setup, manage and update your router.
To enhance the Talon AD7200’s practicality, TP-Link says that it will update the firmware to let you set up all three bands as a single Wi-Fi network. That will be quite a useful feature indeed!
This router offers yet another simple solution to the installation process. You can download the TP-Link Tether mobile application and follow the instructions to set up your router.
While those scores may not be as impressive as its chief competitor, the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10, it is not bad by any means. And when you factor in the price difference, the Talon AD7200 shines brighter than its competitor.
In the 2.4 GHz frequency band, the Talon AD7200 manages to edge the Nighthawk X10 with speeds of around 100 Mbps in the close-proximity test and 80 Mbps at a range of 30 feet.
The performance in the 60 GHz AD frequency band is very similar to the Nighthawk X10. In the close-proximity test, the Talon AD7200 managed to impress us with scores averaging 950 Mbps! However, since the 60 GHz frequency can’t penetrate through walls, don’t expect any network coverage beyond your router’s line-of-sight.
2. Google WiFi – Best Range covering Wifi System
The Google Wifi is unlike any router you have seen. In fact, it would be wrong to call it a router.
It is a Wi-Fi system and quite possibly the best one in the market today.
In this comprehensive review, we will cover all the major features of this unique Wi-Fi system and provide an in-depth understanding of how the three Google Wifi units function together to provide superior wireless connectivity.
The white body is divided by an unobtrusive LED light which lends a touch of elegance to the design. Overall, the design deserves high praise and will be well-suited to modern homes.
- The Google Wifi system has simultaneous dual-band Wifi (2.4GHz / 5GHz) which supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards.
- The 3-pack Google Wifi system is perfect for a large home (3000-4500 square feet).
- You can easily expand the network by purchasing another Google Wifi unit.
- The 710 MHz quad-core processor coupled with 512 MB RAM, ensure excellent network performance.
- It has an antenna-less elegant design.
- It has two high-speed Gigabit Ethernet ports.
- The two ports function as a LAN and WAN port on the primary unit, while on the secondary units both the ports can provide LAN functionality.
- You can control the system using Alexa and Google Home voice commands.
- The app provides detailed statistics for each device.
- You can schedule your Google Wifi system to pause the connection automatically.
- You can prioritize a device and ensure it operates at the desired bandwidth.
- You can control smart lights and even the Nest systems using this app.
Once the scanning process is complete, the app will guide you to configure your network with a name and password. After that, you need to pair the secondary units and label them in the app for reference. Voila! Your setup is complete!
In the 5 GHz frequency band close-proximity (same-room) test, the Wi-Fi system scored higher than 450 Mbps. That’s seriously impressive when you consider the fact that the much larger Talon AD7200 managed a similar score.
It also performs very well in the long-range test, with speeds of 200 Mbps. Bear in mind that this is a single unit and not the system as a whole. When all the units are strategically placed, there will no range anxieties whatsoever.
The Google Wifi unit performs respectably in the 2.4 GHz frequency band as well. Its speeds of 100 Mbps for the close-proximity test and 70 Mbps for the long range test are comparable to high-end routers.
The Google Wifi system provides an experience, unlike any other router. It is elegant, simplistic and offers lots of versatility. If you have a large home and want superior connectivity in all parts, the Google Wifi system (3-Pack) is the one to go for.
No router or Wi-Fi system can provide a seamless experience like this one.
3. Asus RT-AC88U – The Gamers Choice
Most of the computer enthusiasts or users know Asus because of their top of the line gaming hardware. However, for those who don’t know, Asus is also at the helm for creating several high ends, top of the line routers. The offer we are going to talk about today is known as the RT-AC88U, the router is priced under $300 and it happens to be one of the best wireless routers one can buy right now.
The wireless router offers a stylish sleek look, something that people will find familiar, especially if they have used an Asus product in the past. The router is aesthetically pleasing with its complete black construction with red accents along the antennas, it looks straight out of a gaming lineup by Asus.
The RT-AC88U is an AC3100 router which comes with a total of 8 Gigabit LAN ports, do keep in mind that these ports are capable of delivering high-speed internet without suffering from any performance issues, and not to forget that it is a dual-band router that can act as a NAS as well. With that said, Asus as paid a significant amount of attention to detail even when designing the web interface as it happens to be super intuitive and easy to use. The WiFi performance of the router on both 2.4 gigahertz and the 5 gigahertz bands stayed faster than ever without any performance decreases.
Installation, Configuration, and Performance
The installation process of RT-AC88U is a piece of cake, thanks to the amazing web interface. When you connect it to the PC and internet for the first time and power on the PC, the Asus Web Interface will automatically launch and give you two options to configure the router. Either you can continue with the wizard or you can configure it manually.
The Quick Internet Setup wizard, will check your internet connection and configure your router as a Dynamic IP, Static IP or PPPoE, depends on your connection type selection. After that, it allows you to set a name for each SSID, and then create a network encryption key for each band. After that, it’s all done.
When it comes to performance, the Asus RT-AC88U provides multi-client MU-MIMO data streaming, works extremely fast on both bands (2.4 Gigahertz and 5 Gigahertz) and File reading/writing and transfers were great.
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 – AC1900 Dual-Band Router (Best Router under $200)
The next up is another dual-band router, but this time, the offering is being done by none other than the famous Netgear. For those who don’t know, the company is famous for creating a plethora of top of the line wireless routers that have become increasingly famous overtime. Netgear is a company that has dedicated itself towards providing top of the line, unparalleled networking hardware including their brilliant wireless routers.
The product that we are bringing you today is called the Netgear Nighthawk R7000, and as the name suggests, the router looks nothing less of a stealth fighter jet. The Nighthawk R7000 is AC1900 with 1,300 Mbps speed in the 5 gigahertz band and a 600 Mbps speed on the 2.4 gigahertz band.
I like R7000 more than R8000 because it is affordable and much more easy to install.
During our testing, it was revealed that the R7000 just might be the best Netgear wireless router we have used till date. Curious yet? Let’s find out.
However, we found that issue to be subjective as it happens that you will only need to make space for the router once, and won’t be moving it a lot afterward.
The WiFi router also manages to perform really well on different ranges, and the bands manage to give you performance that is better than the performance was given by your usual Ethernet connection.
The router also comes with the support for OpenVPN and thanks to the OpenDNS, there is a complete parental control package built into the router.
The router even comes with QoS (Quality of Service) for those who don’t know, this is a feature can let you manage the upstream and downstream of your internet connection. Pretty cool, we’d say. If you want more, the router can also act as a NAS and a pretty good one, actually.
5. D-Link DIR 890L – Best Range Wireless Router
The next up on our list is one of the top tier wireless routers from D-Link, for those who don’t know, the company has a long history of providing some of the best networking products and the AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi DIR-890 isn’t here to tell a different story. As a matter of fact, it is perhaps one of the most stylish looking wireless routers we have encountered. Where the Nighthawk resembled a stealth jet, the DIR-890 looks like it was built by race car enthusiasts. But looks aren’t everything, right? Let’s find out how this router fairs in things that actually matter.
The DIR-890 is an amazing router in terms of speed and functionality.
Testing revealed that the router is fast, easy to setup and use, and has a good speed/range when using for the purpose of Wi-Fi. Another great thing about this router is that it comes with the ability to be doubled up as a NAS by adding an external hard drive.
During the testing, the range seemed promising enough.
6. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 – Expensive yet Powerful
The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart Wi-Fi Router is solely aimed at those looking for the best VR gaming and 4K video streaming experience. It doesn’t come cheap though. This behemoth of a router will make your pockets lighter by over $400!
In all fairness, this router does offer an awful lot for the price! In addition to supporting three Wi-Fi bands (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz, and 60 GHz), it also has 7 Gigabit Ethernet ports (6 LAN, 1 WAN) along with a 10 Gigabit SPF+ LAN port. On top of that, it features Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming, and 160 MHz Wi-Fi technology which doubles the Wi-Fi speeds to mobile devices.
In this comprehensive review, we will explore all these stellar features and find out whether the Nighthawk X10’s high price is justified.
In terms of design, the Nighthawk X10 doesn’t try to be gaudy or in-your-face; it’s more of its time. The four external antennas feature an interesting stitched pattern of blue LEDs along the side. And we feel that it really ups the cool factor, although your mileage may vary.
- It features 802.11ac Quad-Stream Wave2 Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO, which helps in delivering high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices simultaneously.
- The router supports a combined Wi-Fi speed of 7.2 Gbps (Band 1: 800 Mbps @2.4GHz, Band 2: 1733 Mbps @5GHz, Band 3: 4600 Mbps @60GHz).
- The 1.7 GHz quad-core processor aids gaming and 4K streaming performance.
- It has four dual-band antennas with high-powered amplifiers to maximize range and throughput.
- The 10 Gigabit LAN SFP+ port allows for quick Network-attached Storage (NAS) access.
- Two of the Gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined to provide speeds up to 2 Gbps.
- The 160 MHz Wi-Fi can deliver up to twice the speed to mobile devices.
- It has two super speed USB 3.0 ports.
- The NETGEAR genie app comes with a plethora of features to manage, control and repair your home network.
- It features Amazon drive backup and supports Amazon Alexa commands.
NETGEAR also offers another solution to the installation process – The NETGEAR Up app. With the help of this mobile application, you can easily setup, update, and configure your router.
The Nighthawk X10 scored nearly 400 Mbps in the 5 GHz band when tested at a distance of 30 feet. Its performance in the 2.4 GHz band was nothing short of excellent. It managed scores of 100 Mbps in the close-proximity test and experienced a drop of 25% at a distance of 30 feet.
The performance in the 60 GHz AD frequency band is what sets this apart from high-end AC routers. The Nighthawk X10 absolutely blazed through the proximity test with scores of 950-960 Mbps! However, the long-range test failed miserably as the 60 GHz frequency can’t penetrate through walls.
Simply put, the Nighthawk X10 is one of the best home routers you can splurge on right now. However, on the flip side of things, this router has many features that are yet to be supported by devices. Most devices don’t support the 160 MHz Wi-Fi, and very few PCs are available with 802.11 AD network cards.
To sum it up, the Nighthawk X10 is like an electric car; it is the future, but in today’s limited infrastructure, it cannot perform to its highest potential.
The next up on our list is the Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena router, and as long as you don’t confuse it with the Greek goddess Athena, the router will not disappoint you. Although not that much expensive, the router is something that is built for the network enthusiasts, it might not have the bling of the other routers that we have reviewed, but it comes with plenty of features that should be enough for both the average consumer and people who are looking to have some more.
The router managed to fair pretty well in almost all the testing we did, although the router doesn’t have an awful lot of features like some of the other ones, but the ones it has are properly polished and don’t require you to spend countless hours trying to figure out what is what. The router control panel is incredibly responsive, and very easy when it comes to setting up.
The router also comes with powerful hardware that should keep it afloat without giving any performance issues. One thing we really love about this router is how nicely everything is packed in a compact design. Yes, unlike some other routers, this isn’t an absolute behemoth. With that said, the performance on all fronts was respectable enough, and there were no disconnections or whatsoever during our test run. You can even connect multiple devices via Wi-Fi and the performance will still remain stellar, perhaps that is one of the major selling points of the RTA2600 Athena.
8. Linksys WRT1900 AC – Best DD-WRT WiFi Router
The next up on our list is a dual-band wireless router from Linksys, the router comes with the support for the AC1900 standard support; this means that the 5 gigahertz band has a speed of 1,300 megahertz and the 2.5 gigahertz band has a speed of 600 megahertz. But is this router capable enough of holding against most of the top tier routers that we have already listed? Let’s find out.
As soon as you will set your eyes on this router, you will be reminded of the classic design and color scheme that has been gracing the routers from Linksys for quite some time. With that said, if you are thinking about putting this router on a work desk that is already crammed up, you should know that you are going to need to clear some space as this is probably one of the largest routers we have seen in a long time.
The router has four antennas and the firmware it ships with can be replaced by a completely custom firmware if the user is willing to. As soon as you take the router out of the box, you will experience that the router happens to be one of the fastest routers available in the market, it’s easy to set up and loaded with features. With that said, Linksys was kind enough to add a complete capability of doubling up this router as a NAS, however, that’s not the greatest thing, the greatest thing about this router is that the NAS performance is definitely unsurpassed when compared to all the other wireless routers we have been testing. Not to forget that it also supports UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) and DLNA. Last but not the least, the performance on both bands is amazing, and the router performs without any hiccups.
Even the Experts are in love with this wireless router. You can read the article by Samara Lynn on PCMag. It is rated as Excellent and given 4.5 Rating.
9. TP-Link Archer C7 – Best Budget Wireless Router 2017 (Under 100 Bucks)
TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 is the best budget wifi router out there (Under $100).
The router is perfect for people who want to enjoy internet gaming as well as streaming, thanks to the fact that this router has a combined speed of 1.75 Gbps.
With that said, the router is both stylish and incredible at every task thrown at it, and for those who are looking for the perfect price and performance ratio, the router is an amazing choice.
Moving on to the thing that matter, keep in mind that it happens to be a dual-band router; the router has a total of 6 antennas, 3 of them are external while the remaining 3 are internal. The increased number of antennas are really good for giving you a respectable amount of Wi-Fi range and the speed also happens to be respectable enough. The router also comes with NAS capability, but don’t get too excited as it is only average.
10. Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station – Elegant and Unique in Looks
The last in our list is all the way from Apple.
For those who are wondering if this router made it here by accident, then don’t. Apple has a wireless router, and it’s pretty good. The router is unconventionally named AirPort Extreme Base Station. So, how does this router fair against other routers in the list? Well, let’s find out, shall we?
Let’s start off by how this router looks. Why? Because obviously, this is something coming out of Apple’s very own helm, and you should know that the router looks exactly like something that will be made by Apple. With that said, and looks apart, the router is actually very capable and performs really well. Do keep in mind that it is a dual band router and supports the latest Wi-Fi standards as well. The router is incredibly fast in all the tests thrown at it, another great thing about this router is the amount of Wi-Fi stability and speed it provides. To be very honest, Apple truly outdid themselves with this router as it has everything on the right spot.
As for the downsides of this router, there aren’t any that will make you reconsider your decision of buying this router. The only complaint we have is that the router could have been a proper upgrade over its predecessors, but it wasn’t, and although it is quite fast and amazing, the upgrades seemed subjective.
Wireless Router Buyer’s Guide
For those who don’t know, wireless routers come with several things you need to consider before you actually spend the hard earned money. They have different available speeds as well as different WiFi standards and support for multiple bands.
The technology behind a wireless Router?
A wireless router is a device that allows you connect to your modem and your gadgets at home, office, or outdoor through wireless connections to the Internet at the same time.
A wireless router serves you more benefits than just connecting your many gadgets to the internet at the same time. You need up-to-date information about wireless router just before getting one because there are addition features you need to consider.
Below is a complete Information about the common features of your wireless router and how they are of advantage to you.
To make things easier for you below is the list of “Factors” you will encounter in the market along with their brief descriptions.
This is often used in wireless connections to printers. Of course, you may have no need for a router with this USB functionality right now but it’s always a wise choice to get one.
You may never know when the need will arise.
Routers without wired ports are a lot alike to access points. An access point will provide just the wireless connection without actually supplying internet connection itself. Access points connect internet service from a router to any device that needs to be connected. An access point is only useful if you already have a router at home or nearby. It will help transmit the signal from the router.
So be watchful when buying a wireless router without a wired point. Make sure you are really getting a router, not just an access point.
Generally speaking, though, the internal antenna appeals more to the eye, the external antenna is known to deliver more with a wider range of signal. So, you are left to choose between beauty and performance. For me, it’s performance over beauty, and if you are also about performance I suggest you take a look at the NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band router.
What to do now?
Now you have all the fact. Here is a quick review of what to look out for before getting that router.
- Make sure your router has a wide coverage. A minimum range of 4572cm (150ft) for indoor use is good enough.
- Ensure your router has a dual band (broadband).
- Your router should be able to broadcast 802.11n as well as order versions.
- It should be WAP2 secured.
- Should have a USB functionality as well as wired port.
- A good antenna type is required, preferably, an external antenna.
- Must support IPv6.
This buyer’s guide was written by Jay at Tactical Being.
If you’re looking for tips, guides, tricks, and reviews all in the name of camping, Tactical Being is the place to be as they offer reviews and recommendations on just about every gear you need when you go hiking or camping.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
Considering how the market of wireless routers is pretty saturated, finding the perfect wireless router is never an easy task. That’s when lists like these come into play. The list was carefully crafted, keeping in mind things like the needs of a customer and how much are they willing to spend on a wireless router.
We hope the list helps you pick the best wireless router according to your budget. Do keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” component, that’s why each router is built to suit the need of different consumers. We have added routers that are for budget oriented consumers as well as the routers that are for networking elites. In case you think we missed on a good router, let us know.