Best Inexpensive Wi-Fi Routers

TP-LINK Archer C80

Opens the rating of the best routers for home TP-LINK Archer C80. Even relatively inexpensive representatives of modern routers are ready to please their owners with decent speed, the question is choosing the optimal MU-MIMO configuration for the existing conditions. In particular, you need to take into account the number of client devices operating exclusively at 2.4 GHz, as well as the «population» of this range.

The considered Archer C80 is interesting in that the emphasis during its development was shifted in favor of the bandwidth of low-frequency Wi-Fi. In other words, such a router will be especially useful both for owners of mainly budget technology and in a “smart home”. Please note that in the reviews of the first buyers of the Archer C80 there are complaints about various problems with the firmware of this router. After several updates, the router works stably, and the lack of a USB port can be considered its main drawback.

Main advantages:

  • three-stream operation in both ranges;
  • speed over Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz up to 600 Mbps;
  • good coverage.
Minuses:
  • modest amounts of memory;
  • no USB port;
  • no built-in VPN.

9.0
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Through two concrete walls almost 3/4 of the signal level. Wafer 5 GHz does not fall off, the speed does not cut.

Read more

Read more

Huawei WS7100

Next in our ranking of the best routers of 2022 is a little-known Chinese company, which is now one of the largest players in the global communications market, including network equipment. And “purely in Chinese” they offer a thing that is really attractive at first glance: a quite budget router on one of its four antennas flaunts the Wi-Fi 6 Plus logo, which means that it supports the most modern 802.11ax protocol. The router provides full-fledged MU-MIMO operation.

Please note that two versions of the router are available, externally identical. The cheaper one has a Gigahome dual-core processor (Hisilicon’s own subsidiary) at 1.2 GHz and does not have an NFC module for quickly connecting smartphones to the network, while the more expensive one already has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and supports NFC. The amount of RAM also varies by half: 128 and 256 MB, respectively. With a standard “home” load (a couple of smartphones, a laptop), the “junior” option is quite sufficient, but if there is a NAS, a network printer and many other devices in the home network, then you should not save.

Wired interfaces (1 WAN, 3 LAN) — gigabit. It supports the joint operation of several Huawei routers as part of a mesh network, both with a wired and wireless connection. And quite unexpectedly for a budget model, the router has an EAL5 level protection certificate — namely, devices from this class are tested not only formally in their work, but also with an assessment of the development process itself in terms of security.

And yes, let’s add in a whisper: in the «gray» internal Chinese version there are signal amplifiers, with which the «range» of the router increases decently (although in terms of signal strength, the router does not fit into the Russian certification requirements, which is why the «white» version lost them ). Unfortunately, when antennas are directly connected to the SoC on the Russian version, the signal is frankly weak — so this is more an option for small rooms. Or, armed with instructions from w3bsit3-dns.com (otherwise, try to figure it out in the Chinese interface of the “gray” version), we take the “Chinese”.

Main advantages:

  • WiFi 6 Plus support
  • Powerful processor allows you to work stably under high load from multiple clients
  • All ports are gigabit
Minuses:
  • Missing USB port
  • No wall mount
  • Reduced power in the official Russian version

8.9
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

I took it to connect to a gigabit network and for the sake of Wi-Fi 6 Plus. With modern gadgets, the speed is really great.

Read more

Read more

ASUS RT-AC51

What can not be taken away from ASUS is its popularity due to affordable prices with good features. After all, last year the company received the «bronze» iXBT Brand 2021, losing only to Keenetic and TP-Link in the vote of readers. Another thing is that there are surprises behind low prices (for example, a banal lack of memory and processor resources in the cheapest models, which physically cannot distribute traffic if some application exceeds 40-50 megabits per second of data transfer speed).

As for the RT-51, its marking unequivocally refers to the old RT-51U, which was released back in 2019. However, the absence of «U» means not just the absence of a USB port and related features: there are many differences between routers.

The router received not only four physical antennas, but also MIMO support (2.4 GHz 2×2, 5 GHz 2×2). Under the new firmware, the amount of flash memory of the device had to be doubled (and the firmware is absolutely incompatible — with any firmware from RT-AC51U we will get a “brick” at the output!), The RAM has not changed. The processor is also different — no longer MediaTek MT7620A, but MT7628. Wired capabilities are standard for inexpensive routers: 4 100-megabit ports.

The configuration is carried out through the shell, which has long been familiar to «asusovods», or through the ASUS Router mobile application. Here there are already some subtleties, since in the option “just drive in the settings specified by the provider”, this does not work out with all providers. Moreover, I must say, the problem here is often more on the provider side (for example, for the author personally, after the provider has brought the network to mind, the uptime of the router is already approaching a three-digit number of days, and then only because of a power outage at the beginning of summer — and before that, I had to reboot regularly, because the external network stubbornly “lost” the router).

Main advantages:

  • 2 bands with MIMO support
  • App setup
Minuses:
  • Typically for Asus, the power of the transmitters is underestimated in the basic settings, which reduces the range (it is corrected either through the web interface in the advanced settings roughly, and finely through the Telnet console, there are a lot of instructions on the Internet)
  • No OpenWRT support

8.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Normal home router. I use only a wireless connection, the speed at 5 GHz is normal.

Read more

Read more

Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 4A Gigabit Edition

A useful feature of this inexpensive router is the use of a single network name (SSID), which allows the same smartphone to automatically switch between bands when you leave or return to 5 GHz Wi-Fi coverage. Just keep in mind that this type of roaming is not seamless, i. breaks at the moment of switching are inevitable. In addition, do not forget that after replacing the stock firmware with an alternative from Padavan or OpenWRT, a convenient feature will simply disappear. And there may be a need to upgrade the software because of the desire to watch IPTV from the provider (this functionality is not implemented in Mi Router 4A).

Please note that all the features and advanced settings of this router are available only through a proprietary smartphone application.

The Gigabit Edition of the base model offers faster WAN/LAN ports, more memory, a more powerful processor, and support for more encryption protocols.

Main advantages:

  • Smart Connect function;
  • affordable price.
Minuses:
  • IPTV support is not implemented;
  • access to all settings only through the application;
  • no USB port;
  • there are reviews with complaints about the stability of the connection.

8.6
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

I don’t reload. Turned off the last time in June, when I was on vacation. The power of 5 GHz is rather weak, but I think there is hardly anything with a powerful transmitter for such a price. Stock firmware, Chinese version. From complaints only to the application for control from the phone.

Read more

Read more

Keenetic Lite (KN-1310)

The Keenetic brand has several good modern entry-level routers, and the KN-1310 model seemed to us the most interesting. It is not only equipped with a special amplifier that increases the range, but also allows you to conveniently change operating modes using a 4-position switch. The latest Keenetic Lite is capable of performing the functions of a router, Wi-Fi / twisted pair adapter, repeater and classic access point. The computing needs of the device are provided by the MT7628 single-chip system. The chip is low-power, moreover, it does not have a PPE block, therefore diverting resources to perform numerous routine operations. Simply put, the hardware of this router is not designed for high load. At the same time, the KN-1310 wireless module can work according to the 2T2R scheme, and its WAN port is able to remember the features of connecting to different providers.

Main advantages:

  • special amplifier of received signals;
  • 4 operating modes;
  • Wi-Fi antennas with a gain of 5 dBi;
  • there is MultiWAN;
  • mobile application for configuration and management.
Minuses:
  • not designed for intensive work;
  • single-band Wi-Fi;
  • USB modem cannot be connected.

8.4
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

The piece of iron can do everything that is supposed to be a router, plus a bunch of nice goodies, such as managing users, connecting disks, etc. Who needs it, is put out of the box. Wifi is powerful.

Read more

Read more

The best mid-range Wi-Fi routers

Keenetic Hopper (KN-3810)

Keenetic Hopper (KN-3810) is one of the best routers for home or small office. This mid-range router, introduced in 2022, is positioned as a “Gigabit Internet Center with Mesh Wi-Fi 6 AX1800”, so it can be considered the “little brother” of the more “fancy” Giga KN-1011 router. The router is built on a MediaTek EN7561DU dual-core processor with 256 MB of RAM, provides up to 1201 Mbps at 5 GHz and up to 574 Mbps at 2.4 GHz. Reading from USB disks (here, we note, the USB 3.0 port is used) — up to 90 MB / s.

The wireless capabilities of the router are more than modern: seamless roaming, MU-MIMO, signal focusing in the direction of the device, OFDMA are supported. There are three wired LAN ports, all with gigabit speed. And, of course, it can be used in mesh networks. If you also include network playback-enabled audio equipment in your home network, you will definitely enjoy the DLNA stability provided by this router.

As for management, there is Keenetic even through the web interface, even through the Keenetic mobile application. For dummies, everything is simple and clear, and an advanced user will appreciate the flexibility of fine-tuning, the ability to configure redundant connections, a well-thought-out policy system, and so on. That’s exactly why you should love these routers, so much for the thoughtfulness of the software.

Main advantages:

  • WiFi 6 support
  • Wireless connection quality
  • Convenience of settings
  • Work stability
Minuses:
  • The limited freedom of fixed antennas is not very convenient for wall mounting

9.8
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

After mikrotik — a song. Everything works, flies and does not require dancing with a tambourine.

Read more

Read more

TP-LINK Archer AX73

TP-LINK Archer AX73 must be included in the rating of the best home routers. Studded with antennas like a porcupine with quills, this AX5400 router supports 4T4R and HE160 on the 5 GHz band at speeds up to 4.8 Gb / s (of course, if the client is capable of it), has a full implementation of 4×4 MU-MIMO, and due to just six antennas clearly demonstrates the principle of directional radiation, being able to focus on a connected wireless device without “spraying” power in vain in space.

The “scaly” top panel provides the router with effective ventilation of the 3-core 1.5 GHz processor and other fillings. All five wired ports (1 WAN, 4xLAN) are gigabit, with static link aggregation (LAG) available for two ports. The USB 3.0 port allows you to use 4G modems, connect drives, and so on.

But the fact that the security system (TP-HomeShield) is available for free only in a truncated version, and now it’s trite not to pay for it from Russia in full, this is a reason to slap a minus into the rating. Seriously, can you offhand remember at least one manufacturer of routers in this price segment that would require you to pay extra money for the safety of your own customers?

Main advantages:

  • Signal quality
  • Possibilities at the modern level
  • Flexibility of settings
Minuses:
  • Case dimensions
  • Top grate — dust collector
  • TP-HomeShield features in Russia are only available in a stripped-down version

9.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

It looks like you want to put a Sauron figurine on it. But it works flawlessly.

Read more

Read more

Keenetic Speedster (KN-3010)

Keenetic brand products are famous for their almost perfect stock software, but they are too conservative in relation to technical innovations. In particular, at the time of writing these lines, the company’s product range does not have a single offer with support for Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax), and its middle-class routers cannot fully integrate into Mesh systems. In this sense, the new Keenetic Speedster (KN-3010) router is unique, since working in seamless wireless repeater mode is one of the main talents of the recommended router. An important factor, we consider, is the very high speed of repeated “capture” of KN-3010 in case of sudden disconnections (the best indicator among direct competitors). When used autonomously, the router is interesting even if only by the possibility of creating a network with a single SSID. In addition, unlike the Xiaomi implementation, the Keenetic router is quite allowed to create subnets with different names.

Main advantages:

  • can serve as a seamless Wi-Fi repeater;
  • it is possible to create subnets under a single SSID;
  • the best software in its class.
Minuses:
  • no USB port.

9.2
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

A magnificent work of hands and mind of competent programmers. On the one hand — everything is clear and structured, on the other hand — the vast possibilities for customization.

Read more

Read more

The best high-end Wi-Fi routers

Keenetic Giga (KN-1011)

Our rating continues with a universal Wi-Fi router that allows you to use an optical channel from a provider without a media converter. The duties of the latter in this case will be performed by a special SFP module, and the benefit of eliminating the intermediate link is to simplify the monitoring functions. Again, an additional outlet to power the converter itself is not required.

Main advantages:

  • the ability to directly connect both active and passive optics;
  • reasonable speed Wi-Fi formula;
  • powerful filling;
  • impressive functionality;
  • two USB ports (2.0 and 3.2).
Minuses:
  • Hardly ever.

9.9
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

For the money, he’s amazing. On a twisted pair cable from NASA, it honestly shoots through itself at 900 megabits. On Wi-Fi, I watched a connection at 550 with something. It easily sends heavy rips to the media prefix through the «air» without a single gap.

Read more

Read more

The best Wi-Fi routers with built-in 4G modules

Keenetic Hero 4G KN-2310

Completes our ranking of the best Wi-Fi routers Keenetic Hero 4G KN-2310. Not always until now, unfortunately, it is possible to connect a home router not only directly to the «optics», but at least to the house LAN from the provider’s switch in the attic. In the «private sector» you have to be content with mobile networks — and here it is reasonable to think about a router that does not need to connect an external USB modem to the connector, but is capable of using an operator’s SIM card on its own.

Keenetic Hero is last year’s novelty just for such cases. The router, equipped with four printed antennas, has two SMA sockets for cellular antennas, so you can even connect a very serious one to it and not have communication problems, unlike the «whistles» that are sold by cellular operators. The modern Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 chip is responsible for working with the cellular network, a separate MT7615DN chip (2.4 + 5 GHz, AC1300) works on W-Fi.

And in the future, the router will also work perfectly: if a normal provider comes to you sooner or later, then if you have a gigabit WAN input, you won’t have to change equipment. The router, we note, also has a USB port for drives and printers, supports DLNA, and is capable of working in mesh networks. A bonus to this is the traditional for the company «licked» software and a friendly user interface. So, whatever one may say, the first place «Hero» earned.

Main advantages:

  • Excellent functionality in addition to connecting to 4G networks — a SIM card can be used, for example, for emergency backup even when connected to a gigabit network
  • WiFi 6 support
  • Two SMA connectors
Minuses:
  • Inconvenient SIM slot
  • Cat 4 modem (which once again confirms our idea that 4G is here «overhand» or for redundancy)

9.7
/ ten
Rating

Reviews

Although the optics are stretched to us, but dumps are often. I’ve been using a SIM card for backup since I had to go to a remote location, a 4G antenna was taken out into the street — there is no comparison with the operator’s modem.

Read more

Read more

Оставьте комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.