Best Wifi Router 2021|Review and Buying Guide

Best wifi router 2021has became a basic necessity nowadays. Almost no household today can do without the Internet. Wi-Fi internet access is one of the standard services, such as electricity or hot water.

However, a quality provider is not enough. The Internet needs to be transferred from the wall socket to all devices that use the Internet. And that’s the job of the Wi-Fi router, which distributes the Internet signal to all your devices and is responsible for the smooth operation of the signal.

The signal transmitted by the network offers connections not only for computers but also for other devices – for example, televisions, mobile phones, sensors, smart appliances and security cameras.

However, it is not just about providing access to the network. It also depends, for example, on the available frequency, connection speed, coverage range, safety, type and number of individual inputs.

If you want to play PC games, connect multiple devices to your home network, watch movies or listen to music in high quality, you need to get a quality Wi-Fi router. Older types are slow and unstable. Definitely do not underestimate the choice of the router and pay attention to each of its specifications to ensure you sufficiently comfortable use of the Internet.

Routers: A selection of the 20 best WiFi router 2021

In this comparison, we have selected the 20 best Wifi routers for you. How did we choose these routers? We selected WiFi routers according to ratings and available reviews from users and customers. We then arranged these routers in a clear table. You can sort these routers according to your preferences. For example, if you are interested in the low price of WiFi routers, you can sort the products according to the approximate price with VAT.Show records 102550100Search:

Router nameAppearanceWiFi classFrequency bandAntennaApproximate price $ (with VAT)Availability
Asus RT-AX88U802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax5 GHz4x antenna500Yes
Asus RT-AX56U802.11 AX2.4 / 5 GHz2x antenna160Yes
Asus RT-AC66U802.11 ac2.4 / 5 GHz3x antenna120Yes
Asus DSL-AC55U802.11 a / b / g / n / ac2.4 / 5 Ghz4x antenna105Yes
TP-Link TL-MR6400802.11 b / g / n2.4 GHz2x antenna100Yes
Asus RT-AC58U802.11 ac2.4 / 5 Ghz4x antenna90Yes
TP-Link Archer C80802.11 a / n / ac2.4 GHz4x fixed omnidirectional antenna88Yes
Asus RT-AC59U802.11 a / b / g / n / ac2.4 / 5 Ghz4x antenna82Yes
Asus RT-AC1200G +802.11 a / b / g / n / ac2.4 / 5 Ghz4x 2 dBi external antenna78Yes
TP-Link Archer C7802.11 ac / b / g / n2.4 / 5 GHz3x detachable omnidirectional 5dBi antenna for 5 GHz76Yes

Router: What is a Wi-Fi router?

A router is a device that allows you to create and manage a home computer network. It thus mediates the connection of individual devices to the Internet or to another network. Currently, almost all manufactured routers allow connection to a wireless network – they are Wi-Fi routers.

According to which to choose a Wi-Fi router

  • Choose from routers from well-known reputable companies that have experience with the production of Wi-Fi routers.
  • Depending on the size of your apartment or house, choose the range of coverage you will need.
  • Do not overlook the security method of the router.
  • The experience and reviews of users on the Internet will help you choose a router.

Suitable router standard

Each Wi-Fi router has its own standard, which allows it to communicate in different communication bands – channels. This is the basis for the real speed of your internet. The best suitable standard is a Wi-Fi router with 802.11n.

More powerful routers with the 802.11ac standard promise transmission speeds of up to 1,000 Mb per second, but most current Wi-Fi receivers are not ready for this standard and do not support it. Therefore, before purchasing a router, make sure that your receivers and operating systems support the standard of the selected router.

Because you won’t get too fast with other (older) standards, consider replacing your old slow router with WiFi4 or WiFi5 with a new and faster router with 802.11n.

Router channels

Routers communicate through two types of channels. If the router does not have a sufficient channel (band), then it may not broadcast fast enough internet, or it will not be possible to connect more routers in one household.

2.4 GHz channel – is the most frequently used, but due to the large overcrowding, it does not offer the user too high transmission speed.

Channel 5 GHz – is faster, but the problem with transmission occurs if there are many obstacles around that could attenuate the signal.

Connection speed

Internet speed is the time it takes for a certain amount of data to be transferred to or from the Internet. Network port speeds are in bits per second. The connection via a home wireless network is intended for laptops, tablets, mobile devices and smart appliances. Even if the home gateway has a Wi-Fi speed of 300 Mb / s (the maximum possible speed under absolutely perfect conditions), you will actually only reach about 60 Mb / s on your end device.

Data is stored in the form of bits. A bit is the smallest unit of data in the virtual world. 8 bits (b) = 1 byte (byte, B). Internet speed is in bits, but the amount of memory (such as your hard disk) is in bytes.

Bit (b)

The bit most often appears as the basic unit of memory capacity, ie. a unit is the amount of information that can be stored in memory at one time. If we divide the capacity by time, we get the baud rate, the unit of which is, therefore, a bit per second. E.g. a modem with a baud rate of 56 kilobits per second is capable of transmitting 56 kilobits of data every second.

Byte (B)

In computer science, a byte is a basic unit of computer memory capacity and computer data volume. Indicates eight bits that form an eight-digit binary number in the range 0 – 255.

For Wi-Fi networks, the fact that they fall into individual generations with different transmission times will make it easier for you to orientate yourself in speed standards.

Type of frequency  and  connection speed

The signal is transmitted in frequency bands that directly affect the speed of your connection. Current routers can operate on two different bands.

Routers that work with at least two frequencies are standard: older types with 2.4GHz and more modern types with 5GHz.

2.4GHz band

This band is very busy because other wireless devices work on it. Therefore, it is more suitable for less demanding users.

This frequency is sufficient for normal internet surfing, basic online operations and connection of smart home appliances.

5 GHz band

For more demanding activities and a stable internet connection, the 5 GHz band is suitable. It offers many more available channels and is, therefore, less congested. But find out if the devices you want to run on the network support this band.

Wi-Fi standards

WiFi standards used to be marked with letters (eg 802.11b), in 2019 this marking changed too much simpler numbers. So you will also find the designation WiFi 1,2,3, etc.

  1. generation – WiFi 1 (802.11a)

The 1st generation standard is operated in the 2.4 GHz band.

It offers a theoretical speed of only 2Mb / s.

Sufficient for simple tasks such as working with emails and browsing web pages.

  1. generation – WiFi 2 (802.11b)

The 2nd generation standard is operated in the 2.4 GHz band.

Its theoretical speed is 11 Mbps.

It extends the first generation but does not achieve sufficient quality for more complex transmission.

It will serve the same purposes as the first generation, so it is only suitable for very undemanding users.

  1. generation – WiFi 3 (802.11g)

The 3rd generation standard operates in the 2.4 GHz (802.11g) and 5 GHz (802.11g / a) bands.

Theoretical speed up to 54 Mbps.

The 5 GHz band is suitable for activities demanding transmission speed and data volumes – such as online games or streaming video in HD quality.

  1. generation – WiFi 4 (802.11n)

The 4th generation standard is operated in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

The theoretical transfer rate is up to 600 Mbps (in real terms only around 150 Mbps).

The speed ​​increase is achieved by using MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies.

This standard is also suitable for more demanding users who use a wireless connection for the purpose of multimedia entertainment.

  1. generation – WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
    The 5th generation standard is the first standard to start using two bands simultaneously – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

The 5 GHz band offers more channels. Fewer devices work in it, so the data transmission is not disturbed to the same extent as in the 2.4 GHz band.

802.11ac routers offer a combined speed of 1.2 Gbps to 3 Gbps (for high-end routers).

Suitable for trouble-free operation and for very demanding users.

  1. generation – WiFi 6 (802.11ax) The
    latest standard is the 6th generation standard.

After the opening of new bands for the Wi-Fi network, routers with the 802.11ax standard will be able to transmit in all bands from 1 to 7 GHz – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

The highest quality ones will provide speeds of up to 11 Gbps.

You will not currently use these routers for normal home use.

Indicates the supported Wi-Fi network type

You will always find some of the letters a, b, g / a, n, and c on the router. The further they are in alphabetical order (except for the newest ac), the higher the speed.

For example, the third generation with the designation 802.11g / a reaches a speed of 54 Mb / s. 802.11n speed 600 Mb / s. State-of-the-art 802.11ac at 3 Gbps.

Scope of coverage

A cheaper router with a short-range will be enough to cover an average-sized apartment. The problem can occur when you need the signal to pass through several walls and over long distances.

Because the range on a modem is usually not listed, review user reviews on the Internet before purchasing it. Modems with connectors for connecting additional antennas, which can extend their range, are practical.

The frequency band and the number of antennas are related to the coverage. A relatively reliable solution is to use a universal Wi-Fi repeater (extender), which further distributes the signal. Routers can have one or more antennas, usually with different rotation options.

Modern routers also offer advanced signal routing technologies, such as beamforming, which detects connected devices and will be amplified where the signal is more needed.

Antennas

The range of Wi-Fi routers is affected by their antennas. Antennas are usually divided according to the direction/range in which they transmit the signal.

Omnidirectional antennas 

Omnidirectional antennas can transmit a 360 ° signal – thus providing network coverage on all sides. They are popular because they are ideal for covering even larger households and office spaces.

Directional antennas

Directional antennas transmit the signal over very long distances. Because they radiate to only one point, it is possible to connect even very remote devices. However, it is not very suitable for normal use.

Sector antennas 

Sector antennas cover only a certain angular section from 130 ° to 180 °. They are placed in the corner of the room. The signal is not leaking anywhere.

Antenna gain

Antenna gain determines the distance that the antenna can pick up the signal. It is given in dBi (energy gain of an isotropic antenna). Higher gain antennas are more powerful. Antennas with a gain of about 5 dBi are ideal for households. As the gain increases, so does the area of ​​the signal. However, it is spatially reduced, so it will cover, for example, the entire floor of the house, but it will penetrate poorly into the next floor.

Security

Router security protects against unauthorized users connecting, who can slow down your network and misuse available data.

WEP security

WEP security is the oldest and simplest network security. This security can be broken relatively easily. With the help of special software, even the average capable attackers can get through this security in a few minutes.

WPA security

WPA security was created in connection with the often breached WEP security. Provides more sophisticated and advanced network protection. It is still possible to break it, but it is not as easy as with WEP security.

WPA2 security

WPA2 security is a much more effective method than WPA. However, older devices may not support this security.

WPA3 security

WPA 3 security offers advanced encryption capabilities for highly sensitive data. WPA3 works with WPA2 compliant devices.

Encryption

In combination with these types of security, the security of your network is ensured by protocol encryption. You can encounter two types of TKIP and AES.

TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) – an old protocol, attackers can easily overcome it.
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) – more effective than TKIP.

Strong security is provided by the WPA2-AES combination.

Other ways of protection

WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) – you can add devices to the network without having to enter a password.
Whitelist – you determine the devices that have access to your network.
Guest zone – network for guests.
Parental control

Connectors and connection options

Each Wi-Fi router has inputs for network cables, which can be used to extend the network. These include ports for LAN or GLAN (used to connect individual devices on the network) and WAN (connection to the Internet through an Internet wall jack). Additional inputs can be used to connect a hard drive, camera or printer to the router. In this case, the router must be equipped with a USB connector.

The more GLAN ports the Wi-Fi router has, the better. Old LAN ports offer a transmission speed of max. 100 Mb / s, more modern GLANs are ten times faster (ie up to 1,000 Mb / s or 1 Gb / s). This bit rate allows the user, for example, to transfer large files or watch high-quality movies.

If no wired internet connection leads to your home, USB on some routers can be used to connect a  4G (LTE) USB modem into which you insert a SIM with a data plan.

Wi-Fi router price

Price up to 15$

The cheapest Wi-Fi routers usually have one or two antennas and a theoretical speed of up to 300 Mb / s. Wired / wireless networking device designed primarily for the networking requirements of small businesses and home offices. Routers are suitable for HD video streaming, VoIP and online gaming. The possibilities of connecting other devices or connecting with modern technologies are limited or none, security is usually lower.

Price from 15 to 45$

Here you will find Wi-Fi routers suitable for common to medium-demanding home use with a speed of 300 – 600 Mb / s. They usually have more antennas for longer signal range. They usually offer advanced connectivity options and have various advanced features. They provide higher security.

Price over 45$

Models of Wi-Fi routers from about CZK 1,000 and up, can cover even large spaces with a stable signal. It offers speeds from 600 Mb / s. Routers can provide comprehensive security for every device on the network. They are compatible with many modern features and can be connected to other external devices. They can prioritize devices on the network and divide the overall connection speed between them, block inappropriate content, set up Internet access on-demand, etc. These routers are suitable for more technically proficient users who plan to use their advanced features.

Some useful terms

Extender

An extender, or repeater, is a device that expands signal coverage. It is placed where the signal fluctuates. The extender receives the signal and sends it in unaltered form. Selection and ranking of WiFi extenders here.

OUTSIDE

MIMO (Multiple-input multiple-output) is a communication system that increases the throughput and range of the signal. Routers with this system can increase the speed and stability of the transmitted signal several times.

QoS

Quality of Service (QoS) provides the necessary bandwidth for preferred applications and tasks. Allows you to set the priority for signal reception for each device on the network. You can use this function especially when one device in the network significantly slows down the operation of other devices (for example, when downloading files to a PC). In this case, QoS allows you to set a lower priority for the device being downloaded, thereby improving network traffic on other devices.

PoE

PoE (Power of Ethernet) – the possibility of data transmission and power supply using a single cable. It is a practical ability to save the unnecessary number of connected cables when operating the device. However, keep in mind that the device to which you will be connected with the cable must also work with PoE technology.

IPv4 and IPv6

IPv is a protocol that assigns IP addresses to individual devices on a network, through which it then sends the required data.

IPv4

IPv4 is an older but still used protocol. However, it offers only a limited number of addresses, which are gradually being exhausted.

IPv6

The IPv6 protocol uses a different address format, so it provides different options and at the same time better security parameters, support for mobile devices, etc. Find out if the IPv6 protocol is also supported by your provider. Otherwise, the router will not be able to work with it.

What reduces the speed of your internet connection?

Each user knows the maximum speed he buys from the provider within his tariff. However, the actual measured speed of the Internet can be affected by several other factors.

Aggregation

Aggregation indicates how many other customers you share bandwidth with. If it happens that all users in this group download large files, you will only have part of the bit rate available, depending on the value of the aggregation. So, for example, if the aggregation is 1: 5, you will have 20% available (100% divided by 5 users).

Line length

Line length has the greatest effect on ADSL lines. This technology also uses telephone lines for data transmission. The length of the telephone wires affects the transmission speed, which can be significantly lower than the tariff you paid.

Interference

Especially in apartment buildings, the speed is reduced due to the occupancy of free channels by surrounding transmitters. Interference can also occur if you catch the Internet with an antenna on the roof. Then this or any other link on the route may be interrupted by other radio links.

Other users

Internet speed also depends on the number of connected devices in your home and the activity of people connected to the network. The available Internet speed is divided between the devices that use the network at the same time.

Routers and a few words in conclusion

In this article, you learned how to choose a new router for a Wi-Fi Internet connection. We talked about important parameters that are good to know when choosing this type of goods.

We hope that we have helped you with this task of choosing a new WiFi router and you will now choose a quality router that will be exactly according to your ideas and will work for you for a long time without a single defect in providing Wi-Fi network in your home or business.

Now you only need a few last steps to buy. All you have to do is buy your dream router – buy the product in one of the online stores and fill the virtual basket in it. Wi-Fi routers can be found in stock in many online e-shops.

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