The 8 Best Wireless Router Brands to Buy in 2017

Make sure you're buying the perfect router for home or office

WRT3200ACM
Courtesy of Amazon.com

As our lives become filled with countless connected devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.), it’s more crucial than ever to have a rock-solid, reliable Internet connection in your home or office. Whether you’re looking at speed, coverage area or streaming capability, there are plenty of variables to consider with every wireless router purchase. Fortunately, there are no shortage of options to evaluate and, for every great wireless router, there is a great brand right behind it. Here are our choices for the best wireless routers from some of the top brand names in the industry.

Handily one of the most common names in the wireless router space, Linksys has a longstanding reputation for building fantastic products. And although the WRT3200ACM might not look like much, it's souped up with MU-MIMO technology for fast WiFi speeds simultaneously on multiple devices. Speed buffs will enjoy the inclusion of Tri-Stream 160 technology, which has double the bandwidth on the 5GHz band and ups the speed to a super-fast 2.6Gbps. Additionally, the WRT3200ACM is open source, which means that advanced users can make changes or modify the router to suit their specific needs, with options such setting up a secure VPN, creating a hotspot or turning the router into a Web server.

Established in 2002, Netgear has consistently been at the forefront of consumer network products with a product line that’s widely regarded as best-in-class. As the company has dedicated itself to manufacturing unrivaled networking hardware, their wireless routers continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible. With 4K video streaming capability, MU-MIMO technology and max network speeds up to 2.53Gbps, the Nighthawk X4S is an exceptional addition to the Netgear lineup. The inclusion of a 1.7GHz processor and 4 high-performance external antennas means you’ll likely never feel a slow connection again nor be limited in range away from your router. With easy setup straight from a smartphone, tablet or PC, Netgear continues to lead the pack in wireless router technology.

Asus hardly needs an introduction since it's one of the brands at the forefront of mobile, computers and (wireless) routers. And while they might be best known for the former products, the latter has resulted in some fantastic, top-of-the-line routers. The 802.11ac RT-AC88U consistently ranks at the top of every “best router” list and for very good reason. Capable of 5GHz speeds at 2100Mbps and 1000Mbps at 2.4GHz, the AC88U offers total signal coverage reach of more than 5,000 square feet. Additionally, you’ll find four times the total signal capacity with MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, and multiple output) technology that helps maintain signal strength even with multiple connected users online at the same time.

Founded in 1996, TP-Link has a long and rich history of providing some of the best WLAN (wireless local area network) devices ever built to get people online. And the Deco M5 whole home WiFi system offers a superb wireless router system that can cover anywhere from 1,500 square feet with a single unit to more than 4,500 square feet with a three-pack. Automatically choosing the best wireless connection for connected devices, the Deco M5 utilizes Adaptive Routing Technology to help your WiFi connection stay fast. Setting up is a snap with the downloadable smartphone app, so you'll be up and online within minutes. Additionally, the Deco M5 includes antivirus and malware protection courtesy of Trend Micro, so you can bank on staying secure and in control.

The name Google doesn't need an introduction. The Internet giant continues to dip its toes into new spaces (and new revenue streams) and recently began venturing into the wireless router market. While its first entry, the OnHub from Google was met with tempered fanfare, the Google WiFi is a new approach for the search engine giant. Essentially a mesh-networking wireless router, Google’s WiFi system is built to blanket your whole home in coverage. A single unit can blanket up to 1,500 square feet, while a three-pack can cover homes up to 4,500 square feet. If your home is bigger than 4,500 square feet, you can purchase additional units and easily sync them to the existing network for added coverage. The Google Wi-Fi companion app can help you troubleshoot the connection, perform a speed test or setup a secure guest network, all with the touch of a few buttons. Google’s WiFi system, like other mesh networking units, places you on the least congested channel (2.4GHz or 5GHz), ensuring you’re always getting the fastest speed.

TRENDnet doesn’t have the same name recognition as brands such as Linksys, Asus or Google, but this brand still makes outstanding products, including routers. The TEW-828DRU Tri-Band AC3200 wireless router offers max speed of 3,200Mbps (600Mbps on 2.4GHz, 1300 + 1300Mbps on 5GHz) ensuring HD streaming will be viewed buffer-free. Released in 2015, the 828DRU adds beamforming technology to increase real-time signal performance by directly pushing the signal strength in your specific location rather than randomly throughout the entire home or office. Additionally, smart connect technology will group slower devices on a separate band from faster devices to ensure that every connected user sees ideal network performance.

Portal’s recent entry into the wireless router market hasn’t gone unnoticed, thanks to its outstanding product line. In fact, the entire product line is just one device. Built and founded by engineers who wanted to create a better Internet experience, the Portal wireless router and its nine dedicated antennas can cover homes up to 3,000 square feet with a single unit, doubling to 6,000 square feet with the two-pack purchase. The mesh WiFi system is still relatively new technology, but it eliminates the need for WiFi extenders by eliminating dead zones and buffering by dropping a wide signal net over an entire space. Easily set up through the downloadable Android and iOS unit, the Portal is ready to connect right out of the box with smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Nest, as well as a multitude of other smart home products. Gamers will love the 4K-ready signal strength and streaming without buffering over the 2.4GHz or 5GHz dual-band WiFi antennas.

While the Synology name doesn’t carry the same weight as brands such as Linksys or Netgear, the company has a storied history dating back to 2000. Originally focused on simplifying data backup or centralizing data storage, Synology ventured into the wireless router space some years ago and one of the best results has been the RT2600 wireless gigabit router. Featuring a powerful 4x4 802.11ac radio with MU-MIMO technology and up to 2.53Gbps wireless speeds, Synology matches the heavily competitive market with an outstanding product. Capable of downloading NAS-grade apps like a VPN client or server, the RT2600 shows the strength of the Synology name by allowing a hard drive to connect to the router to create an individual cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. The setup process is a little more tedious than competitive brands, but given that this is only Synology’s second attempt at a wireless router, there’s plenty to rave about. 

Disclosure

E-Commerce Content is independent of editorial content and we may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page.