Best Wireless Routers to Buy in 2017

You know how important it is to get the best wireless routers that won’t let you down.

It seems easy at first.

You just need to fork out good money for the highest quality of wifi signal and longest range labeled on the box right?


Best Wireless Routers in 2017


Unfortunately, the bad news is that, while fairly inexpensive — not all wireless routers are the same.



And, at the end of the day, if you need the best wireless routers, you need a game plan so you don’t end up with a throw-away, cheap wireless router.

A good wireless router has the ability to handle high-volume activities, such as playing games and streaming movies.

And it is going to need you to invest a few hundred dollars.

You need a router that is not only quick and dependable but is also easy to set up and troubleshoot when your Internet appears to be chugging along slowly.


If you are here to find your best wifi router match, then read on to find out the best wireless routers in 2017.


Device Ports Comm Price
ASUS RT-AC88U Dual Band — Best Wireless Router in 2017 8 802.11 b/g/n Check Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 — Best Wireless Router Under 200 4 802.11ac Check Price
D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band — Best Range Wireless Router 4 802.11ac Check Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 — Best Gaming / Video Streaming Wireless Router 5 802.11 b/g/n/ac Check Price
Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT — Editor’s Choice 4 802.11ac Check Price
D-Link DIR-880L Dual-Band — Editor’s Pick 4 802.11ac Check Price
Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena — Editor’s Choice 4 802.11ac Check Price

The routers we reviewed below are designed to not only handle high-volume activities that require top speed and wireless range.

They are also designed to handle multiple users on different Internet channels.

You don’t want to end up with a cheap wireless router that will only disappoint you when time and money really matters.


As we put this guide together, we reviewed each of these top choices thoroughly and accurately.

Editor's Pick
In the process, we have also ranked the best wireless routers in 2017 — with our top choice first and other key categories, such as "Editor's Pick" listed below.

Throughout this guide, you are sure to find several wifi routers that will work for your needs.

By then, you’ll have a short list of the best wireless routers on the market.

Prioritize your top needs and see which of our seven recommended routers best fits you.


1. ASUS RT-AC88U - Best Wireless Router to Buy in 2017


ASUS RT-AC88U WiFi Router

Overview

At just under $300, the ASUS RT-AC88U makes the best wireless routers list not because of its price but because of its performance for multiple users.


The ASUS RT-AC88U is a high-end wireless router that does not disappoint a small home office or home of multiple users.


The router itself measures 3.3 X 11.8 X 7.4 inches and is designed with a smooth, glossy black design that will fit into any home or small office.

You’ll know the router is on via the LED lights on the front of the router.

This LED light panel also indicates the router’s activity online — such as the Internet connectivity (WAN), the LAN connectivity, the USB port connectivity and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) connectivity.

This is your go-to panel for confirming the router is turned on and functioning properly.

With its MU-MIMO technology, the ASUS RT-AC88U router can keep many people running quickly online without giving up the typical bandwidth it would require otherwise.

The router’s processor is a Broadcom 1.4 GHz dual-core machine that is as quick as they come by at this price.

In addition, the router has four removable antennas for maximum wireless reach.

Pair all of this with an app that makes it easy to control — and you’ve got a wireless router that is difficult to beat.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


Installing the ASUS RT-AC88U router is extremely easy thanks to a setup wizard that walks you through it step by step.

All you have to do is connect your router to both your computer and the Internet — and the web-based wizard begins its work of walking you through the steps.


Automatic Settings Make Setup Breezy


You don’t have to configure your router manually, which makes installing the router and getting online even easier.

The web-based wizard that ASUS provides for your computer will check your Internet connectivity to make sure it is configured properly and then automatically set up your router based on the connection type you select.

The only thing you really have to do is name the individual wireless bands and create encryption codes for each in the interface to keep your wireless channels safe and secure for multiple users who will be utilizing them.

The 2.4GHz band is fast — lightning fast. You can select specific bandwidths for specific wireless bands via the “Adaptive Quality of Service” feature.

You can also boost certain channels if you are using it for an action requiring faster bandwidth — such as playing video games.

The ASUS RT-AC88U has a “Game Boost” feature where you can connect with a client/server channel to get an even bigger boost.


The Pros and Cons of ASUS RT-AC88U Wifi Router Check Price

Pros
  • 2.4GHz bandwidth
  • Good for multiple users
Cons
  • Pricey in the $300 range
  • On the large side at 3.3 X 11.8 X 7.4 inches
  • Speed varies when uploading multiple large files simultaneously

2. NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 Dual-Band — Best Router Under $200


NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 Dual-Band Wireless Router

Overview

The wireless range of the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 can be an issue, becoming spotty when the router is more than 100 feets away from the user.

However, this router provides 5GHz speed that keeps your wifi signal strong if you have the right set up in your home or home office — and can accommodate multiple users engaging in substantive Internet activity.

In the $200 range, the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 (also known as the AC 1900 WiFi Router) is an economical buy for customers needing to update their wireless network.

The router measures 11.2 X 7.3 X 2.0 inches and features a large AC adapter, removable antennas, and status LED lights to confirm connectivity across channels.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


Installing the router isn’t complicated, but it’s not as easy as some of the other routers listed in this guide because you have to download software assets mentioned in the included startup booklet.

All of that written, it takes about 10 minutes only to get started by creating a Wi-Fi network after plugging in the router and typing in the default IP address.

To configure this router, you’ll need to turn to the summary page in the startup booklet, which provides you with the settings and the passwords to manually set up your new router.


Performance is Above Average


The performance of the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 is above average because of its 5GHz speed and strong WiFi signal, but it can struggle with wireless range outside of 100 feet away from a user.

The router has a 1GHz processor and can work along three different data channels for a total of 1.9 gigabits per second of bandwidth.


The Pros and Cons of NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 Check Price

Pros
  • Paper manual and downloadable software that helps you set-up and configure
  • Antennas are removable for storage
  • Economical
  • 5GHz speed ensures great Wifi signal
Cons
  • Wireless range capabilities are underwhelming at 100 feet away
  • AC adapter that plugs into wall is bulky

3. D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band - Editor’s Pick Best Range Wireless Router


D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band Wireless Router

Overview

Looking like a cross between a race car and a spaceship — the D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band router is modern, fast, dependable and very easy to set up. However, it works best in a small home.

In the $300 range, the D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band router works well in a small home with multiple Wi-Fi devices and multiple users.

It is 15.2 X 9.7 X 4.7 inches and has the most of the antennas of all routers in this guide — a total of six.

Unlike many of the routers in this guide, the D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band router’s antennas are not detachable — so you won’t be able to replace them with third-party antennas, as some users are likely to do in order to gain greater range.

This router has a Broadcom dual-core 1GHz processor and the standard ports including:

Ports
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
  • 1 Gigabit WAN port
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • 1 USB 3.0 port

In addition, the D-Link DIR 890L has multiple access points, known as APs:

  • 2.4GHz AP, capping at 600 megabits per second.
  • 5GHz APs, capping at 1,300 megabits per second.

Installation, Configuration and Performance


The D-Link DIR-890 is fairly easy to install. You plug the router into your computer and then type the default IP address provided with the packaging.

Next, you follow the D-Link web wizard to configure your router and customize it.

Let the Web Wizard Guide You

The web wizard for the D-Link DIR-890 router is super easy to use has four key buttons that will help you navigate customization — including “Management,” “Settings,” “Features” and “Home.”

It’s also good to know that users have noted the D-Link DIR-890 is a frustrating one for serious techies who really want control over customizing and configuring.

You’re not going to get that with this router, unfortunately.

Now, the performance of the D-Link DIR-890 is quite good — but it really is recommended for a small home.

On the 5GHz band, the D-Link DIR-890 router can reach 558 megabits per second — and up to 310 megabits per second up to 30 feet away!

This is a router that works best for a family of multiple users that doesn’t want to be involved in the settings process.

It is speedy up to 30 feet, so it’s perfect for a small home and reaching multiple users in all rooms.


The Pros and Cons of D-Link DIR 890L Tri-Band Check Price

Pros
  • 6 external antennas
  • 128 MB of Flash Memory
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 1 x USB 3.0 Port & 1 x USB 2.0 Port
  • 4 x Gigabit Lan Port & 1 x Gigabit WAN Port
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wifi Band
Cons
  • Antennas are not removable. (Can't attach third-party antennas)
  • Best for a small home, as range can be an issue
  • Pricey in the $300 range

4. NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band — Best Gaming / Video Streaming Router


NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band WiFi Router

Overview

The NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band router is a powerful router with superb data rates for Wifi when a user is utilizing the 5GHz band.

As a bonus, the router can function as a NAS server when it is used alongside an external hard drive.

In the $300 range, the NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band router is pricey for what it can deliver.

While it has both a 2.4 GHz and a 5.0 GHz band, the 2.4 GHz band does not add a lot of extra bandwidths and is a channel that is becoming obsolete among newly-developed routers.

It does have two access points for its 5 GHz band — giving it the possibility of a 3,200-megabit-per-second channel.

However, the downside of this router feature is that a second access point for a 5 GHz band is rarely needed.

That is because the first access point can handle multiple users working simultaneously on Internet heavy-hitters like video games and streaming movies.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


When you open up your NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band router and plug it in, it begins to work immediately because of a series of default Wi-Fi settings.

You can go back later and customize them, but it’s convenient to know how easy it is to get online quickly.

Because the 5 GHz band has two access points, you’ll need to manually choose a channel for each one.

Unfortunately, the router does not currently have an auto feature, which would make connecting correctly to the Internet a lot easier on this band.

You also can’t assign channels for your access points according to your liking.

About The Router Channels

The first four channels are for the second access point and the last four channels are for the first access point.

What does that mean for you and your router's performance?

It means that if the upper channels is occupied by other dual-band routers close by, you may experience a less-than-adequate results from your router.

The NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Tri-Band router is fast in the 15 feet range when using the 5 GHz, producing 482 megabits per second. You won’t have any trouble with multiple users at this range.

Like many of the wireless routers in this guide, however, the further you move away from the router, the more likely you’ll have a degradation in service performance.

For example, if you move 100 feet away from this router, you’re likely to get 242 megabits per second — which would really slow you down.

When put to the test, this router performed less than expected.

The 5.0 GHz band has a tendency to disconnect and interrupt service, and that leads to frustration when trying to get work done.

It’s something important to keep in mind when you have time and money to lose.


The Pros and Cons of NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 Check Price

Pros
  • One of the best routers from Netgear
  • 2.4 Ghz band and 5.0 Ghz band
  • 6 collapsible antennas
  • First tri-band router with bandwidth up to 3,200 megabits per second
Cons
  • Pricey in the $300 range
  • Lights on router can be too stark
  • Short WiFi range comparing to other routers in this guide
  • The 2.4 GHz band can be a little buggy with the 5Ghz band doing most of the head

5. Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band


Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band Wireless Router

Overview

Techies love the modern, blue Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band because of the myriad ways they can configure the settings. But this router also is a high-performer on speed and setup.


The Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band is 9.7 X 7.6 X 2.0 inches — making it one of the largest routers in the guide.


This is something for aesthetically-inclined people to consider, as a router does become part of your office scheme and furniture.

In addition to the clunky design of the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router, the accessories are clunky as well.

This router comes with a large, cumbersome AC adapter as well. But if you can get over the size of this router and accessories, you’ll be on your way to getting an economical and fast router.


Get Better Reach By Removing the Antennas


The Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band has four removable antennas, which is convenient for users who decide to replace them with higher-powered, further-reaching antennas.

This is a common attribute of many of the routers in this handy guide — and it’s a life-saver if you have a router that is not performing at its top rate or if one of your four antennas goes bad at some point over the lifetime of the router.

The Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router also has a convenience factor in that you can mount the device on a wall to get it out of the way.

To do this, you can drill holes in the wall using a template that comes with the router.

In a world which routers look modern, curious and sometimes like spaceships — it’s great to have the flexibility of being able to get it out of the way.

Also, when you mount a router on the wall, it’s likely that it has a better wireless range because it will be working unobstructed by tall items in the room.

It’s something to consider as a convenience and performance factor.

The LED lighting panel on the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router isn’t flashy — just 11 white LED lights that indicate which ports are active and if you are connected to the Internet.

One inconvenience of this router, as with most of the routers in this guide, is that you cannot turn off the LED lights.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


Setting up the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band is easy, and you can configure it in a variety of ways. As a bonus, this Linksys router can be set up as the following:

  • A traditional router with wireless capabilities
  • An access point
  • A network extender

Getting Started Is Easy


All you need to do to get started is plug your router into a broadband modem, screw on the four antennas, turn on the system.

The Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router automatically configures and optimizes so you don’t have to worry about it.

It literally takes just a few minutes to get set up — and then you’ll be online.

Now, you’ll want to configure and personalize as soon as possible. The default network name and encryption code you’ll use are found on the router on a label.

The passcode and network name are randomized by Linksys for maximum security — but make sure you change them.

You can either use the included CD, through the web interface or the Linksys app to further customize your personal settings.

In addition, you can set up the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router to run on either the 2.4 GHz or the 5 GHz bands — and you can use this as a wired router.

For most techies out there, you can pick a channel width and assign a user or game/app priority over others to ensure everyone in your network are getting the bandwidth they need to complete their tasks.


What’s great about the performance of this Linksys router is that it can manage four different channels of web traffic — all simultaneously.


In the 2.4 GHz mode, it can transfer up to 600 megabits per second while using the 5 GHz, it can handle up 1,300 megabits per second.

This router doesn’t have MU-MIMO capabilities, but that’s Okay for this router in particular because MU-MIMO requires all devices to have the technology to take full advantage of the traffic management functions.

What you’ll get with the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Dual-Band router is a special “beaming technology” that will help you get all the megabytes you can out of the wireless signal.


The Pros and Cons of Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT Check Price

Pros
  • Multiple Easy Ways to Setup
  • Convenient Monitoring and Management App
  • Multiple USB Ports
  • Removable Antennas to use third-party with Better Range
  • Affordable in the $200 Range
Cons
  • Only Four Antennas
  • Large Size Router
  • Big and Clunky Power Adapter
  • No MU-MIMO Capabilities

6. D-Link DIR-880L Dual-Band


D-Link DIR-880L Dual-Band Wireless Router

Overview

The D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router is a great find and the best among the D-Link routers for its speed, strong WiFi signal, and remote monitoring features.

The D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router comes out of the box ready to be hooked up because it is pre-set for Wi-Fi.

This makes set up extremely easy — and best of all, you don’t have to really think about the details as a first-time user.

You literally take it out of the box, hook it up and the default settings start to do their magic for you and all the Internet users in your home.

In addition, the D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router comes with many of the standard ports that you’ll need to make connections among several users including:

Available Router Ports
  • 4 x Gigabit LAN Ports & 1 x Gigabit WAN Port
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Port & 1 x USB 3.0 Port

You will know your D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router is up and running by the series of LED lights on the front panel.

They indicate the different connectivity points for wireless computing and shows you when certain channels are not working.

This is extremely helpful when trying to troubleshoot issues with your D-Link router.

In addition, the D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router also comes with a somewhat-friendly web application that helps guide you through the setup and troubleshooting of the router.

Its interface is not as easy as other WiFi routers that come with this guide — such as those that have accompanying apps — but it does the job and helps you get through connectivity troubleshooting and configuring questions.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


The information you need to install the D-Link router upon first use is on a label on the outside of the router.

Because it is pre-configured for Wi-Fi, all you need to do is plug the router into an electrical outlet and connect the WAN (Internet) port into a broadband modem.

The automatic settings then kick in, and you are online literally in minutes.

To customize the features for this router, including personalizing the Wi-Fi network channels, you’ll need to access the Web interface for the D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router.

Go to your Internet browser, enter the router’s IP default address and follow the router’s web wizard. This wizard will lead you step-by-step for all the configurations.


Customize with Quality of Service Feature


What we like especially about the web interface is that it allows the user to access a “Quality of Control” feature.

This function is something unique to the D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router — and it is especially useful for users who have multiple users utilizing games and movies.

"Quality of Service" Feature

This feature allows the user to click on different users of the router's channels and to drag and drop into categories for Internet priority — from Highest to High to Medium.

This allows you to quickly customize the router without having to tinker around the router settings.

You can change the configurations at any time based upon the needs of your users — making this one of the easiest, most versatile and helpful customized attributes of the D-Link router.

The D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router is a dual-band, 802.11ac router in every sense of the word.

Simultaneously, the router offers up to 1,300 megabits per second via the 5GHz frequency band and up to 600 megabits per second on the 2.4GHz frequency band.

You will get speedy performance when you need it for multiple users over the course of time.

In addition, a bonus feature of the D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router is that it includes a cloud feature via D-Link, so you can manage and customize your home network via the MyDLink portal.


The Pros and Cons of D-Link DIR-880L Dual-Band Check Price

Pros
  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Range
  • Competitive Price
  • Best D-Link Wireless Router
Cons
  • USB 3.0 Port takes a while to recognize
  • Web Based Router Setup could be challenging
  • Antennas location behind the router too near to ports

7. Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena MU-MIMO


Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena MU-MIMO Wireless Router

Overview

The Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena MU-MIMO is another multi-user, multi-input/output router that gives you the ability to run your smartphone, laptop, etc. all on the same router without sacrificing the power of the router for all of the users on multiple channels.


The Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena MU-MIMO is high powered wi-fi router with solid performance in the $200 range.


Installation, Configuration and Performance


The router is fairly easy to set up.

Soon as you unbox the router, you will find that it already has the network cable attached to the WAN port.

All you need to do is power up your computer and attach the other end of the cable to an Internet source, such as a broadband modem.

Plug your router into an electrical outlet, and you’re ready to go.

Configuring the router will take a little more work — but it was still fairly easy.

You will need to connect your computer to the router’s IP address.

The default login for connecting is the word “admin” for both the username and the password.

You can make changes to the settings via the web-based configuration page included with the router. Every change will require a reboot to take effect.


Performance of this Wireless Router is Impressive


The performance of this Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena is impressive with its MU-MIMO technology and four antennas.

It has top speeds of 1,733 megabits per second for the 5GHz band and 800 megabits per second for the 2.4 GHz band.


The Pros and Cons of Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena Check Price

Pros
  • Compact Design
  • Terrific Performance
  • Setting up the router is a breeze
Cons
  • Price may not be allure many people
  • Many features are not available compared to competitors

Did you manage to find the perfect wireless router?


In a world of competing technologies and products, it’s hard to sift through the many reviews of the best WiFi routers out there.

It’s also easy to find many old cheap wireless router.

When you need a multi-user router that doesn’t comprise on speed and range — and is still economical, then you’ve got to do your research.

You also have to be willing to make a little investment in a router, as you’re likely going to spend somewhere between $150 and $350 to get a router that fits your top needs.

Thank You

We hope our quick, expert guide of the top seven WiFi routers on the market has already help you to make your decision.

Your choice will depend on how many people will be using your router at a time — and the kinds of things they'll be doing on the Internet.

For example, if you have a family of gamers or movie watchers, then you may need the fastest and most dependable router to ensure that you can access the Internet at all times.

For more business-oriented families, a slightly slower router may fit your needs perfectly.

The bottom line is that there is a WiFi router for every need — and the most expensive one isn’t always the best product.

Don’t fall prey to buying a cheap wireless router just to find a quick solution for multiple users in your family.

Take your time reviewing the specs of each of these routers, and then try one out.


You have only time and frustration to lose with your brand new wireless router.


Did you already any of the wireless routers on this list?

Do let us know in the comments what would like to add to our reviews.

We would love to know about your experiences — and to add your impressions to our guide in the future.

Disclosure HOMEQUIPMENT.COM is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program for sites to earn advertising fee by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
FlikTeoh

FlikTeoh — Author

Entrepreneur, Designer, Coder, Writer and Products Reviewer @ HOMEQUIPMENT.COM​

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