It is safe to say that the bundle of digital devices now within the reach of the average consumer will not perform well without the presence of a robust wireless router to facilitate the easy transfer of the online traffic that is getting more complex day by day. The effectiveness of your Wi-Fi connectivity will be determined by the type of single or double band router you’re using either at home or the office.
Slow internet connection can be annoying, but nowadays it can also be costly in both time and financial resources. With the ever increasing need to get connected online, the need for one of the best WiFi router brands cannot be underestimated. The most important consideration in the selection process is square footage of your coverage area.
It would also help to know the number of potential clients or guests seeking internet connectivity at the same time. Another important issue is to estimate what type of devices will be used for connection to the best wireless router.
As simple as the above steps might sound it can become cumbersome when trying to navigate through the claims of multiple wireless router brands in the marketplace.
While the aim of this wireless router reviews is to help you select a viable WiFi router for long range that can be used at home, there is no denying the fact that it can also be used in any small office or commercial establishment.
Types of Wireless Routers – Knowing the Latest Band
Just like computer technology is fast evolving, the way routers are made to communicate and route online traffic changes almost yearly. In the beginning, the routers that got the greatest buzz were made to use a single band, which aligned with the 2.4GHz frequency.
While it is still possible to find good wireless routers with this setup, the most effective ones are now designed to function using a dual-band frequency. Not only are they better at routing the incoming internet traffic, they’re also designed to withstand signal interferences from digital devices from the surrounding area.
Wireless Standard Protocols
We’ve come a long way from the days of the first wireless routers. I will try to make all the wireless protocols as easy as can be. There are four types of wireless protocols you should keep in mind and they are:
Wireless routers that are designed to communicate using the 802.11b.
Or those built to use the 802.11g communications standards.
Finally, the latest top of the line wireless routers that are designed to communicate using the 802.11n and the 802.11ac protocol standards.
You might be wondering what separates the standards from each other, and that would be the speed and the range of the coverage. The first one is the slowest, while the routers using the 802.11ac communication protocols are the fastest.
What You Should Know About Single Band and Dual Band Routers
Apart from the protocol standards, all routers are designed to either use the single band frequency or the dual band frequency.
To make it, even more, clearer, the routers using the 802.11g and 802.11b will mostly use the 2.4GHz frequency band, while the routers built to use 802.11n and 802.11ac protocol standards are capable of functioning using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band.
The wireless routers with the ability to only use the 2.4GHz band are commonly called single band routers. The latest modern routers that are capable of using both frequency bands are more effective at enabling faster internet connection and networking of multiple digital devices at the same time.
When you have a dual-band router that can accept communication from both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands you can be sure connectivity issues will not be a problem for the users.
It is also far better to use the 5GHz band mode since it is less susceptible to interference from other digital equipment or devices within the surrounding area.
Lately, there are now emerging wireless routers that are designed to use three bands, which is like getting information from three radios at the same time, but all of the different frequencies.
The tri-band routers will be more suitable for those that are into online gaming in a big way or those into video streaming on multiple digital devices at the same time. For three band routers, two of the frequencies will be from the 5GHz band and the other from the 2.4GHz band.
Key Features for Choosing the Best Wireless Router for Home
The claims from manufacturers of routers are sometimes borne out of hyperbole or bluster. The best wireless router for home as far as you’re concerned should be the one that allows you and your guests to connect to the internet safely with no interferences from other digital devices.
After choosing the band and the communication protocols for the router you would like to buy, the next step is to pay attention to the following three key features:
The Speed of the Router
Wireless router speeds are measured in megabits per second, which is popularly known as “Mbps” The higher the Mbps number the faster the digital routing speed that it can deliver.
The older routers using the 802.11b communication protocol will be able to enable speeds up to 11-Mbps, while the most modern wireless routers can enable speeds of up to 300-Mbps.
The middle of the pack routers using the 802.11g communications standards will help you get connection speeds of up to 54-megabits per second.
The best routers, in my opinion, are those using the 802.11ac communication protocol simply because they tend to be faster with less interference.
If you have a busy household of office, choose a router with a good speed range because it can determine how productive your employees will be.
The newer wireless routers now have the capability to deliver incredible speeds and the capacity increases with every new model from most of the most trusted top router brands.
Router Wireless Security Protocols
There are several security protocol terms you will hear about when it comes to wireless routers. Keep in mind that anyone with the right equipment can always intercept your communication between your router and your digital devices, which is why encryption of your message is the best form of anti-snooping technology.
Here is a brief definition of the security protocol terms:
WLAN – This is the wireless local area network, which is a way to identify a unit that connects several devices using any of the common wireless distribution methods.
WEP – Wired equivalent privacy is the lowest standard when it comes to security for the way your router transmits information. In fact, it is no longer used due to its many vulnerabilities.
WPA – WiFi protected access security protocol came from the need to protect the communication between the router and digital devices. It closed a few of the vulnerabilities of the WEP security protocols.
WPA2 – WiFi protected access 2 is the latest and most comprehensive security protocol any good wireless router can come with. While it will not make your digital communication completely perfect and totally secure from snoopers, it makes the process far more difficult for the average hacker to pull off.
Even if they happen to intercept the communication going between your devices and your router, the encryption technology used makes the stolen information look gibberish.
Apart from having the latest security protocols for your wireless router, it would be nice for you to be able to control access and how it is utilized. I have seen routers that give you the ability to block certain sites or preprogrammed sites, which is especially useful if you want to limit the viewing ability of your kids or employees.
What About Single or Dual WAN Port?
The WAN port is simply the gateway to connecting to your internet provider. Since most households in America only use one internet provider at the same time, a single WAN port wireless router will do just fine.
On the other hand, a business with 24/7 internet connection needs might decide to have two internet connections, with one serving as a backup just in case of an emergency.
Most of the big financial institutions that handle billions of dollars worth of transactions on a daily basis will certainly have routers with two or more WAN ports.
Best Wireless Router Reviews
The rapid growth of digital technology can also be found in wireless routers with the introduction of the 802.11ac that is capable of enabling speeds that can go as high as many gigabits per second.
Sorry to say that the router with the 802.11n standard protocol is slowly being looked at as old news and far slower than its newer counterpart. I have selected some of the best router brands based on my experience working for a company that managed several units for large organizations all over the USA.
Below, are the top wireless router brands that delivered flawless performance results during my recent test for connectivity and security flaws.
1 – Linksys WRT AC3200 – Best Dual-Band Router for home use
From all the WiFi router reviews one can find online you’re bound to find a product from Linksys like the WRT AC3200, which some have considered one of the top rated dual-band routers one can use in any busy home with multiple occupants.
It comes with many features, this makes it ready to accept advanced customization from the average user. Better to tell you what you can actually do with the Linksys WRT AC3200 wireless router than to state all the advanced technical features embedded within it.
This router for home use comes with the right amount of memory RAM power, which makes it possible to witness faster connections and downloads of different types of data. The advanced technology used in this products enables incredible Wi-Fi speeds.
This is one of the fastest wireless routers with robust dynamic frequency selection, which means it is DFS certified. This certification is granted directly by the Federal communication commission an agency that is often maligned for its lack of adequate regulatory power.
The certification simply means there are more channels open for the router to use to transmit data that’s secure and free of interference from other digital devices from your surrounding area.
The connectivity power of this router from Linksys makes it the ideal partner for online video streaming and gaming that requires blazing fast speeds.
I like the fact that you’re able to set up adequate parental controls, which means you can keep your kids from accessing certain types of websites.
The included App gives you the ability to control and run this Linksys WRT AC3200 router from anywhere through your smartphone.
Another great feature is the inclusion of Wi-Fi password requirements to discourage unauthorized access to the router. Some have called the famous Linksys one of the fastest wireless routers that could facilitate online gaming to one’s advantage.
It is certainly among the best routers one can buy online at a reasonable price. You can read about the most recent feedbacks from current users on this Amazon.com page
2 – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 – R7000 Dual-Band Wireless Router (Best Budget Priced Router under $200)
Netgear is known for many things, one of them happens to be making great routers with excellent functionalities like this unit. The fact that it is available for purchase in six different configuration units means it should be included in the top 10 wireless routers of all time.
This particular model can enable speeds that go as high as 1900 Mbps, which will leave most of the top rated routers sold a few years back in the dust.
The design for this router from Netgear will not win any prettiness awards because it is ugly in my opinion, but it will provide you the right set up for getting connected fast without undue interference from other digital devices in your surrounding area.
Not only can you check your current internet status, the compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Echo products means you can also use voice commands to control your whole home network through this device.
I like that you can instantly view all the connected digital devices, which is a great feature for homes with school age children.
Now you’ll know if your kid is doing homework or playing an online game or video streaming, both activities that can be easily accomplished if you make the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 your home router of choice.
The Netgear site list some of the capabilities of this product, but some of the feedbacks from current users of the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 is why I called it the best router for streaming video for under $200.
3 – AmpliFi HD Home Wi-Fi System – Best Range Wireless Router 2017
If you’re willing to spend just a little bit more, the AmpliFi HD home Wi-Fi system can be yours and it will solve all your connectivity issues once it is installed. Not only is it beautifully designed with digital LCD technology, the high-tech antennas will ensure you do not have any dead spots within the coverage zone.
The AmpliFi router is blazing fast and comes with LCD screen display that uses the latest in touchscreen technology. There is an App for both the Android and Apple digital devices. Even the website for the AmpliFi has functionality that explains more about the capabilities of the product. It is certainly the best WiFi router for long range!
This wireless router has it all. It is loaded with all the features found in all the devices reviewed above and then some more. This should be the router of choice for those with a taste for high-end products that makes it possible to experience online connectivity with ease and no interference.