In today’s world, a router is an essential device. With nearly every device in your household requiring Internet access to function, stringing your home full of Category 5 cable isn’t a feasible option for many families. With a router, you can connect a multitude of different devices to the Internet without the hassle of pesky wires always underfoot. However, just like any technological device, buying a new router isn’t just as easy as picking up the first one you see at the store. Learning what to look for in a router will ensure you get the one that works best for your situation.
The Facts You Need To Know
- Location is everything. Select a spot for your router that isn’t blocked by thick walls or other devices outputting their own signals, like a microwave.
- Brand isn’t as important as the technology inside the router. Don’t just go straight for the familiar brand names when choosing a router.
- Money isn’t everything. Just because a router is more expensive, doesn’t mean it’s a better product.
- Don’t buy features you don’t need. For example, you don’t need a router with a USB port if you aren’t going to share files or if you don’t own a USB printer.
- Plan for the future. Just because you don’t use the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard now, doesn’t mean you might not use it two years from now.
- Make sure the router you buy will work with your operating system. If you own Windows 10 and your new router only works on Windows 8, you just bought an expensive paperweight.
Are Routers Under $100 Worth It?
Historically, the more expensive an item is, the better it is. However, this doesn’t necessarily hold true for a router. Expensive routers typically target businesses with 50 or more employees all needing extremely fast Internet access. If you’re a home user, buying an expensive router is paying for speed or features that you’ll likely never use. While you may not want to go for the cheapest router possible, there are plenty of fantastic bargains found in the $50 to $100 range. Routers in this price range will have you watching Netflix in HD quality and playing online games with no lag.
Ten of the Best Routers Under $100 – Comparison Table
We’ve taken a lot of the guesswork out of choosing an excellent router at a low price by providing you with a list of ten of the best routers under $100. Any one of these routers is a fantastic choice for home or small office use.
|1. TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router||Supports 802.11ac, the next generation of Wi-Fi|
Powerful 1GHz dual-core processor handles simultaneous wired and wireless connections without interruption
USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports to easily share printers, files, and media
|2. ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Wi-Fi 4-port Gigabit Router||2x2 MU-MIMO technology for combined speeds of up to 1267 Mbps|
Integrated USB 3.0 port
Four external 5dBi antennas
|3. NETGEAR N750 Dual Band 4 Port Wi-Fi Gigabit Router||Faster WiFi speed 300 + 450 - up to 750Mbps|
NETGEAR GENIE APP - Personal dashboard to monitor, manage and repair your network
|4. ASUNFLOWER AF-EW500 Wireless Router||Can support 50 cellphones or computers on line at the same time|
High gain & lengthened 5x5dBi antenna
|5. Securifi Almond||Compatible with PC, Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, XBOX|
1 YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY
|6. Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router||Up to N600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC1300 Mbps (5.0 GHz) speeds with Simultaneous Dual Band|
1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 port
3 adjustable external antennas
|7. D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router||High-Gain Antennas|
Supports Secure Wireless Encryption Using WPA or WPA2 Security
AC1200 Speeds (up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz and 867Mbps on 5GHz)
|8. NETGEAR AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi Router||AC1200 WiFi-300+867 Mbps speeds|
Ideal for homes with 8 or more Wi-Fi devices
|9. UTT AC60 Dual Band Wireless AC Router||Super-fast dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi at up to 1200Mbps|
USB 2.0 port
VPN Client mode enables secured connection to a core VPN gateway or VPN service provider
|10. Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router||Preconfigured for simple setup|
Full-rate ADSL 2/2+ modem, 4-port switch, and 300 Mbps wireless-N router
The TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router packs a lot of punch at a low price. This dual-band router supports both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz channels at speeds upwards of 450Mbps. This router supports not just 802.11n but also 802.11ac, giving you the fastest wireless speed on the market today. The dual USB ports let you share files and printers between multiple devices in your home or office. When you have visitors, the Guest Network Access feature lets your visitors use your Wi-Fi without allowing them access to your personal devices. The Easy Setup Assitant will have even the most computer illiterate user up and running with this device in under ten minutes.
When you need maximum Wi-Fi coverage, then you need the ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 Wi-Fi 4-port Gigabit Router. With four antennas mounted on this router, ASUS guarantees that even the thickest walls can’t stop this wireless signal from reaching your device. The USB 3.0 support gives you the faster USB speeds available. If you’re away from the house and want to check your network usage at a glance, you can use ASUS Router App. This application lets you monitor the devices using your router and how much bandwidth each one is taking up, making it a perfect app for troubleshooting.
The NETGEAR N750 Dual Band 4 Port Wi-Fi Gigabit Router is an excellent router for users with medium to large homes. This router supports speeds of up to 750Mbps, giving you more than enough juice to run Netflix, Hulu and Crackle all at the same time at high quality. This router plans ahead for your future network configurations, with USB inputs and IPv6 compatibility ensuring that this router will work with new technology. The NETGEAR N750 Dual Band 4 Port Wi-Fi Gigabit Router also includes a mobile app that lets you monitor, adjust and even repair your network. NETGEAR even includes a stand with this router, allowing you to neatly set it up vertically in a corner instead of just tossing it on the floor on its side.
The Asunflower AF-EW500 Wireless Router is an expensive router designed to handle the needs of a small business. This router comes with five antennas, and can host up to 50 phones or computers at the same time, giving it enough range to cover not just a home but also a small office or even a hotel. This router is housed inside of a metal case, making it impervious to the interference caused by other wireless devices. The built-in cooling function ensures that this router doesn’t overheat even under times of heavy load. The Asunflower AF- EW500 Wireless Router supports the 2.4GHz band and has transmission speeds of up to 300Mbps. The multi-level wireless encryption options will ensure that your data stays safe from any unwanted visitors.
Setting up a router is one of the most difficult tasks a computer novice will ever have to attempt. A barrage of specialized terms and obscure instruction manuals will have novices throwing in the towel within minutes. The Securifi Almond uses a touchscreen directly on the device to guide users through setup of their new router. While other routers require users to use their PC to set them up, the Securifi Almond requires no PC interaction. This router is compatible with almost any device imaginable, including your gaming consoles, smartphones and computer. In addition to a router, this device also doubles as a WiFi range extender.
While the Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router is one of the more expensive routers on this list, it justifies its price with its wide array of features. Here is just a sample of the many features the Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router offers its users:
- Support for both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands
- Support for operating systems from Windows XP through Windows 8
- Parental control features
- A Linksys mobile app to monitor network usage
- Easy setup that doesn’t require a CD
- Proprietary technology that allows the router to follow your mobile device as you walk, ensuring a fantastic connection.
- Both a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port
Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you need to settle for a poor router. The D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router is a budget-priced router that provides high-quality features. The router features dual-band technology, four high-gain antennas and supports speeds up to 867Mbps. In other words, this router will let you stream movies and videos in HD quality with no lag or freezing. You can even set the D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router to prioritize specific devices on your network. For example, you can ensure that your PC always gets the fastest connection no matter how many devices are using your network. The parental controls on this router let you limit the amount of time a device spends on the network, making the D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router a fantastic choice for parents.
If you’re living in a house with a lot of Internet activity, then you’ll need a router like the NETGEAR AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi Router. With its dual external antennas, the NETGEAR AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi Router is an excellent fit for families with eight or more devices using the Internet at one time. The 880MHz processor inside of this router ensures that it can handle the requests from your devices with no slowdown or overheating. The NETGEAR Genie Home Network Manager makes it easy to both install this router and keep an eye on your network usage.
When you need lots of power at a low price, reach for the UTT AC60 Dual Band Wireless AC Router. The UTT AC60 Dual Band Wireless AC Router doesn’t sacrifice high quality for a low price, coming with an array of features that you won’t find on routers twice the price. This is just a small sample of the fantastic features this router offers its users:
- Dual-band support for speeds up to 1200Mbps
- Support for both 802.11ac and 802.11n
- A single USB 2.0 port
- The ability to prioritize devices on your network
- Full support for VPNs
- Parental control features that let you block access to specific websites
- Five high-powered antennas designed for multi-story houses
- Support for five different wireless security formats, including WPA2-Enterprise
If there just isn’t enough room for both a modem and a router in your house, then you need a combination device like the Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router. In addition to an ADSL 2/2+ modem, this device also acts as a 300Mbps 802.11n router. Actiontec preconfigured this device for a variety of ISPs, including Comcast, Infinity and Cox. Just plug the Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router into your computer and let this device do all the work. In addition to parental controls, the router comes with a firewall and multiple encryptions. This router even offers denial of service protection and packet monitoring. Lastly, the MIMO smart antenna technology ensures that no matter where you place this device, you’ll have a powerful wireless signal.