Top N300 (802.11n) Wi-Fi Broadband Routers for Home Networks

802.11n is the third-generation Wi-Fi standard for wireless home networking, a significant upgrade over older 802.11g and 802.11b technology. 802.11n (commonly called "Wireless N") equipment is backward compatible with these older standards and supports much faster wireless connections over longer distances. Wireless N introduced the use of MIMO - multiple antennas and radios - to achieve these speed and range improvements.

802.11n routers can roughly be grouped into three categories:

  • Low-end (generally least expensive) models supporting either 150 Mbps (N150) or 300 Mbps (N300) rated connections
  • Mid-range models supporting N450 or N600
  • High-end (generally most expensive) N750 and N900 models

All low-end Wireless N products listed in this category feature N150 or N300 speeds along with built-in 100 Mbps Ethernet switches for wired connections.They also offer a mix of standard home router support for WPA2 encryption, parental control software, WPS push button setup (not generally recommended), and Quality of Service (QoS).

While 802.11n has been superseded by the newer 802.11ac standard, Wireless N products continue to be produced by manufacturers and remain popular in the market. The reason: Some consumers and home networks may not need the latest-and-greatest technology that AC offers, and Wireless N products can often be found for much lower prices.

See also: Top 802.11ac Wi-Fi Wireless Routers for Home Networks

Netgear has produced Wireless N routers dating back to 2006 and its RangeMax line. Online reviewers have commented on the WNR2000's combination of reliability and performance. Netgear also touts its "genie" application interface as making the router easier to administer. Netgear supplies its limited lifetime warranty with the WNR2000.

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In addition, Netgear produces several other N300 models:

  • WNR2020 - features high-gain external antennas to increase signal range over the WNR2000
  • WNR2200 - incorporates a USB port for connecting shared storage devices
  • WNR3500L - adds Gigabit Ethernet support for wired devices

TP-LINK routers have emerged in recent years as among the best sellers. The TL-WR841N features two high-gain (5 dBi) external antennas designed for good signal reception. This product has underdone a series of hardware revisions over the years (up to version 11); be sure to look for one of the newest ones for best results.

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TRENDnet has been a lesser known name in home networking, but their line of routers have received some solid reviews. The TEW-731BR can often be found at low prices in various retail outlets. GREENnet is TRENDnet's power saving technology incorporated into this router to make it more eco-friendly. TRENDnet supplies its limited 3-year warranty for the TEW-731BR.

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Belkin introduced its first 300 Mbps Wi-Fi router - the N1 - back in 2006. The N300 F9K1002 replaces that old model with some improved tech. Its three built-in antennas support Belkin's MultiBeam signaling technology. Other key features include so-called "self-healing" logic that includes automated diagnostics and reset support. Some online reviewers have complained about dropped connection and limited range issues with this model, but experiences can vary. Belkin supplies its limited 2-year warranty for the F9K1002.

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