7 Best Routers under 150 Dollars (Top Budget Wi-Fi Router of 2022)

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Best Routers under 150

A 150-dollar budget marks the sweet spot for Wifi routers. Here you’ll find moderately priced devices that are still on the affordable spectrum of the market. Whether you’re looking for a dual-band router, one that’s easy to set up or a router that’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home, you’re sure to find what you want from the most popular brands with decent network coverage, support for MU-MIMO, Beamforming+ and routers with the Wi-Fi 6 standard on some models. To come up with this list, we focused on performance and design. But some routers will be better than others depending on the application you have in mind.

Related: Best Routers under 200 Dollars

IN A HURRY?  HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

   Dimensions (HWD)2.4GHz Performance5GHz PerformanceWi-Fi Protocol 
1.Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR3007.2x11.2x2.4-inches450 Mbps1300 MbpsWi-Fi 6View
2.Asus RT-AC68U (Version 1.0)6.3x8.6x3.3-inches600 Mbps1300 MbpsWi-Fi 5View
3.TP-Link Archer AX505.3x10.2x1.5-inches574 Mbps2402 MbpsWi-Fi 6View
4.Google Nest Wifi Router (2nd Generation)4.3x4.3x3.6-inches1200 Mbps combined1200 Mbps combinedWi-Fi 5View
5.Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream7.2x10.1x2.2-inches600 Mbps1300 Mbps Wi-Fi 5View
6.Netgear R6700AX7.3x9.3x2.3-inches574 Mbps1201 MbpsWi-Fi 6View
7.Linksys E84506.1x8.7x3-inches800 Mbps 2400 MbpsWi-Fi 6View

Best Routers under 150 Dollars Review  

1. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300

NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
  • Minimize ping and maximize performance with four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for lag-free, wired connectivity
  • Amp up your WiFi with AC1750 dual-band router that delivers blazing fast speeds up to 1.75 Gbps
  • Put your gaming traffic in a designated express lane with advanced Quality of Service, bypassing network congestion and reducing lag spikes, jumps and jitters
  • Make every millisecond count by using geo-filtering to connect to the closest servers and players so you can respond and dominate
  • Monitor your network and game ping in real time so you can see who’s hogging the bandwidth by device and application

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A stable Internet connection is important for any online gaming. While the Nighthawk series isn’t necessarily a gaming router line, it does contain some notable gaming models, like the XR300.

Like many Nighthawk routers, the shape of the XR300 is distinctive. Even the number of antennas is unique with its three antennas which are all attached to the backside.

Those antennas are of the high-performance variety and made to reduce interference while maximizing network coverage. Along with the help of technologies like Beamforming, they can extend your network effectively across the 2.4 GHz band.

The Netgear control app gives you a detailed picture of how your bandwidth is spent on your network and how much bandwidth your clients on the network are using. You can even establish control limits to prioritize some devices while blocking others.

The security features are pretty average though. You can establish parental settings and create separate guest networks, which includes the ability to establish specific controls over what content can be visited, when it can be visited and how much bandwidth can be used.

Also around back is where you’ll find the I/O ports which are all well organized and straightforward. You’ll find a DC power port, a yellow WAN port offset from LAN ports and four gigabit Ethernet ports.

Pros:

  • good range
  • extensive functions
  • stable throughput

Cons:

  • some bugs in software
  • limited security settings for network professionals

2. Asus RT-AC68U (Version 1.0)

ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control
  • Dual band with the latest 802; 11 AC 3x3 technology for combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps
  • 1 GigaHertz dual core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wi Fi and USB data; Network standard: IEEE 802; 11a, IEEE 802; 11B, IEEE 802; 11G, IEEE 802; 11N, IEEE 802; 11AC, IPv4, IPv6. Memory: 128 MB Flash; 256 MB RAM
  • Effortless router setup with the ASUSWRT web based interface; Dual band connectivity for compatibility and performance
  • Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS router app
  • A protection powered by Trend Micro provides multi stage protection from vulnerability detection to protecting sensitive data; Please refer the installation manual and the user manual before use which is highly essential; Dc output: 19 Volt with maximum 1; 75 a current; Guest network: 2; 4 GigaHertz x 3, 5 GigaHertz x 3

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 06:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Even with Wifi 6 and Wifi 6E routers taking a stronger foot hold in the market the RT-AC68U is still among the most popular wireless routers and it’s still getting support from Asus to the extent that there are now three versions.

This is version one, but Asus has a version 2.0 and version 3.0 was released in 2020. The design hasn’t changed with the LEDs still up front and ports in back. It comes with three detachable antennas.

While there’s no support for MU-MIMO, there is support for Beamforming to help you concentrate the signal strength where you need it most.

It has an average 600 Mbps throughput at the 2.4GHz band in 802.11n mode. And a 1300 Mbps throughput on the 5 GHz band, proving that Wi-Fi 5 routers are still a viable option, even in a Wi-Fi 6 world.

It comes with the average number of connections you would expect for a router, like four LAN ports, one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port.

The interface is extremely intuitive making the router easy to setup out of the box. Once you get to the settings page all you have to do is set an SSID, the password and set up an admin login.

Pros:

  • works with both Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 client devices
  • excellent performance
  • supports AiMesh

Cons:

  • gets a bit hot

3. TP-Link Archer AX50

Sale
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa
  • JD Power Award- Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Wi-Fi 6 Router: Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) technology achieves up to 3x faster speeds, 4x capacity and 75% lower latency compared to the previous generation of Wi-Fi 5 while the power of Intel's dual-core CPU ensures your experience is smooth and Buffer-Free
  • Next-gen 3 Gaps speeds: 4-Stream Dual Band router reaches incredible speeds up to 3 Gaps (2402 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2. 4 GHz band) for faster streaming and gaming like you have never experienced before.
  • Connect more devices than ever before: simultaneously communicate more data to more devices using revolutionary OFDMA technology
  • Minimize lag For all devices and applications: experience ultra-smooth entertainment whether you are streaming 4K videos, gaming online, or even video chatting with up to 75% reduced lag.

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 06:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The TP-Link Archer AX50 is a midrange Wi-Fi 6 router that delivers high speed throughput. It even comes with lifetime malware protection and parental controls.

All in all, it does an admirable job of finding the sweet spot between high-end and budget-class models complete with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Along with solid throughput speeds, you get features found on more expensive routers like link aggregation, lifetime parental controls and anti-malware software.

The body has a two-tone glossy and matte black finish with textured grilles, four adjustable antennas and six small LED indicators.

The AX50 is a dual-band AX3000 router capable of reaching maximum speeds of up to 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 2402 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.

It uses the latest Wi-fi technology, including OFDMA packet transmission, MU-MIMO simultaneously data streaming, direct-to-client beamforming and Smart Connect. But it doesn’t support WPA3 encryption.

The router is easily manageable through the TP-Link Tether mobile app for Android and iOS devices. Or you can use the Web console which offers a few more advanced options, like DHCP server, NAT forwarding, Firewall and IPv6 settings.

Around back is where you’ll find four gigabit LAN ports, along with a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port. But none of the ports are multi-gig.

Pros:

  • solid throughput and signal strength
  • strong parental controls
  • anti-malware protection

Cons:

  • doesn’t support WPA3
  • middling file-transfer performance

4. Google Nest Wifi Router (2nd Generation)

Google Nest WiFi - AC2200 (2nd Generation) Router and Add On Access Point Mesh Wi-Fi System (Add On Access Point ONLY - Router Sold Separately - Mist (Mist)
  • Strong Wi-Fi coverage - Provides additional 1600 sq. ft. of fast, reliable Wi-Fi coverage for your home.
  • Wireless-AC technology - Features two wireless bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and delivers combined speeds of up to 1200 Mbps for faster wireless performance.
  • MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-In Multiple-Out) - Enables maximum client density deployments with no interference.
  • Beamforming technology - Sends a targeted Wi-Fi signal to individual devices for stronger connection.
  • When selecting the Router and or Access Point with the colors you wish to choose, please make sure the correct Product Title is shown when selected, reflecting the combination and color option you like. This product may arrive packaged in frustration-free packaging in easy to open recyclable packaging.

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Google Nest Wifi router is a great foundation for Google smart homes in this price range. It’s about as simple and speedy as mesh routers get.

It looks like a marshmallow or the head of the Michelin Man. It has a simple inoffensive design built to blend into any home.

You don’t get as many features as a dedicated gaming router. But you can view the devices connected to it and group them together. It can also prioritize traffic to any device on your network

Like most other mesh networks, the dual-band Nest Wifi doesn’t separate the 2.4 GHz band from the faster 5 GHz band. Instead, it steers you between the two bands on a single network as you move through your home.

You’ll be controlling everything through the Google Home app, which requires a Google account. The app is clean and fairly simple to use walking you through an easy setup process.

The router only includes a single spare Ethernet jack.

The system is super easy to use. All you have to do is plug it in, do what the app says and 10 minutes later your new mesh network is up and running.

Pros:

  • good performance
  • small and unobtrusive
  • Google Assistant with music

Cons:

  • short range
  • speakers aren’t loud enough
  • minimal configuration options

5. Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream

Linksys EA7500-4B Max-Stream WiFi 5 Router: AC1900, Dual-Band Wireless Home Network, Gaming & Streaming, Gigabit Ethernet, MU-MIMO, 1,500 sq ft Range
  • Provides up to 1,500 sq. ft. of WiFi coverage for 15plus wireless devices
  • Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App
  • Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering
  • Dual band Wi Fi speeds up to 1.9 Gbps (2.4 GHz/ 600 Mbps) plus (5 GHz/ 1300 Mbps)
  • MU-MIMO (multi user multiple input multiple output) provides Wi Fi to multiple devices at once, at the same high speed

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream router delivers speedy dual-band MU-MIMO performance and a solid array of ports with management settings to serve multiple clients simultaneously without bandwidth degradation.

It has a black finish and a backlit Linksys logo that turns solid when the router is connected and flashes when there’s a connection error.

The 2.4 GHz band is impressive with a 600 Mbps speed and a 495 Mbps speed on the 5 GHz band. MU-MIMO tests result speeds is 1300 Mbps.

You can use the Smart Wi-Fi Mobile app to control the EA7500 from your smartphone; it has plenty of settings and services on offer for managing the router and the clients connected to it. The main screen contains a list of Smart Wi-Fi Tools on the left and widgets for commonly used settings on the right.

Around back are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port. Back here you’ll also find the reset button, a WPS button and the Power switch.

Installation is quick and easy with the Setup utility, which will analyze your connections and walk you through the initial wireless settings and router password procedures. Or you can skip Setup and do it manually.

Pros:

  • speedy throughput
  • MU-MIMO enabled
  • good port selection

Cons:

  • mixed file transfer performance

6. Netgear R6700AX

If you’ve picked up a new laptop recently, there’s a good chance it supports the 802.11ax standard. The Netgear R6700AX is an AX1800 router that can put the power of Wi-Fi 6 to work in your home network.

The subtle, angular touches give it a sense of style with a clean design. Though not fancy, it’s appropriately modern without looking cheap.

Its most prominent feature is the Netgear Armor. It’s a suite of automated security features that ordinarily costs $100 per year to use, but Netgear gives you 30 days to try it out for free.

The router works best if you can find a nice open spot for it. You can expect a top speed of up to 1200 Mbps on its 5 GHz band with slower speeds on the 2.4 GHz band that’s better for connecting at long range.

While the R6700AX isn’t one of Netgear’s Nighthawk routers, you can still use the Nighthawk app to get it up and manage network settings.

In back are four spare gigabit Ethernet jacks, in addition to the WAN port you can use it to connect to a modem. Unfortunately, it lacks a USB port.

Once you’re online, you can use the app to monitor devices on your network, run quick speed tests or access things like the guest network, parental controls and VPN.

Pros:

  • stable, reliable connection
  • supports Wifi 6 features
  • strong upload speeds compared to other Wifi 6 routers

Cons:

  • slightly higher latency than other AX1800 routers
  • no USB jack

7. Linksys E8450

Linksys E8450 AX3200 WiFi 6 Router: Dual-Band Wireless Home Network, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, Parental Controls, 3.2 Gbps, 2,500 sq ft, 25 Devices
  • FAST, EXPANDED COVERAGE FOR 25plus DEVICES: Bring capacity to handle more than 25plus mobile, streaming, gaming, and smart home devices to your WiFi network. Coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. and speeds up to 3.2 Gbps.
  • QUICK, EASY SET UP: Browser based set up and management are a breeze. Walkthrough setup and simply enjoy your WiFi.
  • PARENTAL CONTROLS: Advanced security features allow you to limit online time and black specific websites for your kid's devices. Share internet, not personal data, with a separate guest network.
  • SIMULTANEOUS DUAL-BAND STREAMING: Unclog your network with twice the bandwidth. Wireless signals transmitted on 2.5Ghz and 5Ghz simultaneously allow for the strongest connection possible. Choose your lane depending on whether you need range or performance.
  • 24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Customer support is available in English 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Linksys E8450 is a dual-band AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 router. It’s a much better deal than the lower-speced E7350 AX1800 model. But despite support for Wi-Fi 6, the E8450 comes with old hardware.  

On the surface, however it looks like a new router with an eye-catching design that makes it look like a standing book.

It doesn’t come with a lot of features, but it does come with the standard settings that can be found in most Linksys routers, including support for Dynamic DNS, port-forwarding and VLAN.

Other than reliable Wi-Fi performance, there’s not much to count on here and that’s due to the low-end hardware. Although it supposedly comes with a 5 GHz band that caps at 2400 Mbps, the router only allows for switching between the narrow 20 MHz and 40 MHz channel widths – there’s no support for 80 MHz.

The interface will be familiar to you if you’ve used old Linksys routers in the past. While this makes it relatively easy to use, it doesn’t offer anything new.

Other than the usual four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port, the router also comes with a USB 2.0 port which you can find on the back.

Like any other router, it uses the traditional local Web interface for setup and management. The setup process is straightforward and takes about 10 minutes.

Pros:

  • eye-catching design
  • relatively easy-to-use
  • reliable Wi-Fi performance

Cons:

  • interface doesn’t add anything new
  • lower-end hardware
Our Top Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa
Our Top Choice
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control
ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Routers under 150 Dollars Buying Guide 

The quality of the router you choose will make or break your entire network connectivity. If you’re looking for the best routers under 150 dollars but you’re not sure which is the best option. Below are the essential vital factors to look for to ensure you end up with the best choice.

Wi-Fi Standards

Wi-Fi standards don’t change often. But when they do, they build on the older ones. This means your devices and routers will always be backward compatible.

Since it’s rarely necessary to live on the bleeding edge of technology, you can save yourself a lot of money by going with a router with an older protocol.  

As you shop routers, you’ll find there are many new Wi-Fi standards, including N, AC and AD. But there are some older standards, like A, B and G.

These protocols are standardized by the IEEE every five years. The WiFi standard for the router you choose will be responsible for the overall performance of your network.

In short, the Wi-Fi protocol determines the speed of your router’s connection. While the AD protocol prices WiFi routers beyond the scope of our budget. Be sure the router you choose has at least the AC standard, which is fairly common.

Below is a breakdown of the two most common Wi-Fi standards:

802.11ac

The most widely used Wi-Fi protocol to send and receive data is 802.11ac. It allows for maximum data rates of up to 5400 Mbps (megabytes per second). And it operates on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

The 802.11ac protocol also uses MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology. You can identify a MIMO router by its multiple antennas used to send and receive up to eight spatial streams for enhanced performance.

MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO) expands on this technology providing bandwidths to multiple devices simultaneously so that up to four clients get their own data streams instead of having to wait in turn to receive data from the router.

The Wi-Fi 802.11ac protocol can also use beamforming, which is a technology that sends Wi-Fi signals directly to the client instead of broadcasting in all directions. This protocol can also use automatic band steering which lets the router select the most efficient radio band based on availability, network traffic and range.

802.11ax

This is the Wi-Fi protocol behind the leading-edge Wi-Fi 6 routers. It’s an evolution of the 802.11ac technology that promises increased throughput speeds of up to 9.6Gbps (gigabytes per second).

It also promises less network congestion, greater client capacity and better range performance.

Several new and improved wireless technologies make this possible, the top of which are: OFMDA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) and TWT (Target Wake Time). It improves throughput by breaking Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels. And allows up to 30 users to share a channel simultaneously.

TWT is a technology that allows devices to determine when and how often they will wake up to send and receive data which helps reduce power consumption.

Like the 802.11ac protocol, 802.11ax is backward-compatible to work with devices in and around your home that use 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi radios.

NOTE: A router that’s fast with next to zero range likely isn’t worth the cost. Prioritize routers that come with technologies like MU-MIMO and the ones that have good range thanks to an extra boost from technology like Beamforming – you won’t be disappointed.

Bands

Routers can have a single-, dual-, or tri-band. Normally, we’d say that no matter the type of router you choose, the two types of bands you should only consider are dual- and tri-band. Most routers are dual-band.

You’ll mostly only find single-bands on routers that are less than 50 dollars, but they have the capability for pretty good performance.

Dual-band routers use two bands: a 2.4 GHz frequency and a 5 GHz frequency. This allows a router to transmit two wireless signals simultaneously.

Tri-band routers use three bands: two 2.4 GHz and one 5 GHz frequency. This is why single-band routers are considered an albeit still useful relic from the past.

Antennas

Optimize routers with removable antennas. Many third-party, high-gain antennas are available to help boost performance. Some manufacturers even offer replacements.

No matter what you decide, make sure the router you choose supports the aftermarket antennas you want so you don’t end up with decreased performance.

Speed

As you shop, you’ll see routers with labels like AC1750, AC3100, AC4000, even AX6000 and so forth. This is a reference to the router’s theoretical maximum speed.

Theoretical because routers rarely, if ever reach these “maximum speeds” in real world applications.

A router that can achieve a maximum link rate of 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band is considered an AC1750 router. This means a tri-band AC3200 will give you a 600 Mbps link rate over the 2.4 GHz band 1300 Mbps over the two 5 GHz bands.

An AC5400 tri-band router will be capable of 1 Gbps speeds on the 2.4 GHz band and 2.1 Gbps on each 5 GHz band.

Network Management Tools

This one is especially important if you have young kids around. Many electronics come with parental controls these days to block young eyes from seeing things they don’t need to see. And routers are no different.

To manage how your Wi-Fi network is used, prioritize routers with parental controls, QoS options and guest-network features. Parental controls are a great way to regulate the amount of time spent online gaming and regulate the use of social network activities, for instance.

Parental Controls

Some routers only offer basic parental controls like access scheduling and Website blocking options. But more robust parental controls allow you to pause the Internet and select age-appropriate presets that automatically block access to social media platforms, including sites that contain adult content, like gambling, shopping, blogs and games.

Guest Networks

Say you have people over for the weekend. Guest networks allow you to offer Wi-Fi connectivity to them without leaving your entire network vulnerable. You create a separate network for guests with an SSID (Service Set Identifier) and password different from your main network credentials. Your guest(s) will be able to connect to the Internet without access to your files, printers or other connected devices.

QoS

Quality of Service settings give you the power to decide which applications and devices connected to the router get network priority. For example, if you’re connecting to an office meeting via video conferencing. Giving priority to your Webcam will keep you connected, even if another device is downloading files or streaming Hulu videos.

Security

Almost all routers offer multiple types of security.

A router with WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) allows you to add compatible devices by pressing the WPS button on the router and pressing the WPS button on the client device to add the network. WPA2 is a more secure connection that requires entering a network password for each device.

Routers with WPA-Enterprise security offer an even higher level of security. They require a RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) to authenticate each device.

IP Addressing

Something to keep in mind as you shop the latest routers for your multiple devices is that IPv4 will soon be replaced by IPv6 – it’s the technology used to assign IP Addresses.

IPv4 is a 32-bit addressing scheme that’s about to run out of addresses due to all the devices connected to the Web. IPv6 is a 128-bit scheme poised to replace it with a near infinite number of IP addresses to assign.

You likely don’t have to worry about this much since most of the latest routers come with built-in support for IPv6 addressing. But it’s something to think about.

Ports

All the ports you need can be found on the back of most routers. Some of the most common ports you’ll find on routers include Ethernet LAN, WAN, USB and eSATA. The LAN and WAN ports are the most essential and most common.

There are two types of LAN ports: Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet ports:

Fast Ethernet Ports

These ports are considered the replacement to 10-Base-T Ethernet. They have a maximum speed of up to 100 Mbps. They’re capable of covering a distance of 6.2 miles (10km).

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

These ports replace Fast Ethernet Ports. You can expect a maximum speed of up to 1 Gbps. They’re capable of covering a distance up to 43.9 miles (70km).

Ethernet Ports

You want a router with at least a 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet port. It’ll allow you to connect to your wired devices like a laptop, NAS (network-attached storage) drives and home-automation hubs.

Additionally, if you think you need faster throughput or large file transfers, prioritize routers that support link aggregation.

Link aggregation uses two gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for an increased throughput of up to 2 Gbps. It also covers you so that if one LAN connection goes down, you have a backup. And you can even use it to load balance your network traffic.

USB Ports

A router with at least one USB port will make it easy to plug in peripherals like a printer or a USB drive, which you can share across your network. A router with two USB ports means you don’t have to make a crucial decision between sacrificing the printer for the drive, you can share both.

Price

As with purchasing almost anything electronic, figure on spending a few bucks for a new router. While prices aren’t astronomical, most decent routers are between $50 and $600. Prices are highly dependent on performance and features.

An entry-level AC1750 router with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol will run you less than one hundred dollars. An AC2400 router with premium features like MU-MIMMO streaming capabilities will be between $100 to $300.

But for something like a tri-band AC5400 gaming router tricked out with all the bells and whistles. You’ll be walking away feeling as much as five hundred dollars lighter.

802.11ax routers are between three and five hundred dollars. As the examples on our list show, prices fluctuate depending on data rates.

The latest Wi-Fi 6E is a fantastic option if you need more wireless bandwidth. But these types of routers don’t come cheap. Expect to be out of pocket at least $450 or more.

FAQ

Is an expensive router worth it?

In terms of performance, pricier routers can mean better WiFi coverage, faster speeds at longer distances (even through walls) and the ability to have a lot more wireless users connected to it without things slowing down.

This is likely because they use newer technologies. But it’s not always worth the price tag unless your application requires the latest greatest router technology.

Is 1000 Mbps fast enough for Netflix and gaming?

Yes. According to the official Netflix site, 100 Mbps is fast enough for Netflix’s HD streaming. Streaming 4K content, playing online games and downloading huge files requires all the megabytes per second you can get; it’s often recommended to have at least 500 to 1000 Mbps.

How good is Wifi 6?

Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 carry the highest number of streams. Wi-Fi 6 increases the number of streams to a new high of 12 across the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, whereas Wi-Fi 5 has a limit of 8 in a dual band configuration.

Is Netgear a good router brand?

Netgear has more than two decades of experience in the networking hardware space. It’s one of the most well-known wireless router brands often making up the list of overall best Wi-Fi routers.

Is 5GHz good for gaming?

5GHz is best suited for high bandwidth activities like gaming and streaming HDTV. Low bandwidth activities like browsing the Internet can make do with the 2.4 GHz band with no problem.

What is a modem versus a router?

A modem connects your network to the Internet. A router allows all your wired and wireless devices to use that connection to the Internet all at the same time. Routers also allow your devices to talk to one another without using the Internet.

Do routers get slower over time?

Technology and Internet standards change quickly. As such, routers slow down over time as the technology behind them become obsolete and new standards are introduced. Another thing that ages routers and causes them to slow down is when the software overheats and components wear out.

How often should you replace your router?

Although users have been able to hold onto their routers for 10+ years. Generally, it is recommended that you upgrade to a new router every three to four years.

Will having two routers make my Internet faster?

The true benefit of a new router comes with having better coverage. Internet speeds are determined by your ISP (Internet service provider). Doubling the number of routers will not affect your Internet speed, even if they are on the same channel. And at any rate, you want to avoid overlapping.

Do WiFi routers make a difference?

If you have some dead zones in your home, a new router might be able to emit a stronger signal capable of getting Wi-Fi into more corners of your house or apartment.

Can I extend my wireless signal?

You’re no doubt asking because you’ve either worked in an office without enough coverage, or you live in large homes.

Wi-Fi “dead zones” are the areas in your home or office where the router’s signal can’t reach your device(s).

Solution?

You could run long cords all around the premises, which is just a tripping hazard waiting to happen. Or get a wireless range extender. This nifty piece of tech is adept at picking up a router’s Wi-Fi signal, amplifying it and rebroadcasting the signal.

The issue is that the rebroadcasted signal is half the strength of what you get from the router. And since many of these range extenders create a separate network, seamless roaming is a challenge.

And even if the one you get shares the same network SSID and password as your router, you’ll want to make sure both devices are made by the same manufacturer for a seamless connection.

What’s a Wi-Fi mesh network system?

It’s another way to fill in those dreaded dead zones without additional wiring, access points or purchasing a Wi-Fi range extender.

By using nodes or satellites to extend your Wi-Fi signal, you can extend your Wi-Fi signal across a larger area than most routers.

And depending on the number of nodes in the system you choose. You can blanket a consistent Web connection across as much as 4,000 to 6,000 square feet.

Excellent considerations are Google Wifi and Linksys Velop.

Unlike most range extenders, satellites in a Wi-Fi mesh system are part of the same network. So, you get seamless connectivity as you go from room to room in your house or office.

And if you find network setups intimidating, configuration and management only requires a few taps on a free, associated mobile app.

But because Wi-Fi mesh systems are designed to be simple, you may not be able to access the same kind of in-depth settings as you can on a router.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 1.75 Gbps, AC1750, Optimized for Low ping (XR300)
  • Minimize ping and maximize performance with four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for lag-free, wired connectivity
  • Amp up your WiFi with AC1750 dual-band router that delivers blazing fast speeds up to 1.75 Gbps
  • Put your gaming traffic in a designated express lane with advanced Quality of Service, bypassing network congestion and reducing lag spikes, jumps and jitters
  • Make every millisecond count by using geo-filtering to connect to the closest servers and players so you can respond and dominate
  • Monitor your network and game ping in real time so you can see who’s hogging the bandwidth by device and application

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 22:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a router to enhance your wireless coverage and keep your information from prying eyes. The best routers under 150 dollars can keep your network connections private and safe. Our top pick is the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300. It has three high performance antennas with beamforming technology to extend bandwidth. Runner up is the Asus RT-AC68U (Version 1). It also supports beamforming, works with both Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 client devices and supports AiMesh. Our third choice is the TP-Link Archer AX50. It’s a midrange Wi-Fi 6 router that offers anti-malware protection with strong throughput.