The most popular way to set up Wi-Fi in your home is purchasing a wireless router. The main function of this set-up is to make your cable modem’s internet signal available to other devices in your home, such as cell phones and tablets. Because you will have several personal items connected to this modem, it is imperative that you find one that has speeds that are sufficient for your needs, is secure enough to maintain your privacy, and is cost-effective.
While there are wireless routers that cost over $150, it is very feasible to find the best wireless router for your home that meets all of your individual demands, while costing much less. To help narrow down the choices for you, we have come up with a list of the best WiFi routers under $100 for 2020.
If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best wifi router under 100 dollars is then I’d recommend the TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router as the best one.
Here are the routers we’ll be reviewing:
How To Choose The Right Router For You
To ensure you are getting the best wireless router, here are some things to consider prior to your purchase.
Router Limits Compared to Your Internet’s Top Speed
Just because a router is high speed does not guarantee that the streaming performance will improve. Regardless of what network is being used, the speed of data processing is a result of the network connection you have. Be sure to review any and all limitations that may come with the wireless router you are considering.
You will also need to account for the speed of your specific internet connection. Many services have maximum speeds that they will allow with their packages, so you will need to take note of this information and apply it to the wireless routers you are looking to purchase. Even a high end router will render useless if it cannot accommodate your top internet speed.
Number of Devices and Space You Are Hoping Your Router Will Support
As with many purchases, knowing what you expect the end function to be will enable you to find the perfect wireless router for your individual needs. This includes the total number of devices that you intend to link up to your router. Things that may need a wired connection should also be included, as they will have an effect on the overall functionality of the device.
In addition, figure out how much space you will need the wireless connection to cover. The specifics that are needs to provide above average coverage for a small bedroom as compared to a full 3 story home will vary significantly. Thus, these details are necessary in order to ensure you are purchasing a device that will provide sufficient coverage for you and your family.
Just about everything is made with USB port compatibility these days, and a wireless router is no exception. There may devices that you may want to connect directly to your router. If the need arises, you will want to have USB ports on your router to connect things such as an external hard drive or flash drive.
Quality of Service
Sometimes known as traffic control, it is possible to adjust the performance of your router based on what you are using it for at any given time. As an example, you can change certain settings that will work better for streaming videos and then re-adjust for playing games. This versatility can avoid inconvenient buffering pauses in the middle of a television show, movie or game.
In follow up to the above, you may also want to take some time to research the brand or manufacturer of the device you are looking to by, as well as its customer service. After all, a router is still a machine and may have break down from time to time. You will want to make sure you are purchasing your device from a trusted manufacturer and that their customer service team will support any guarantee and/or warranties that may accompany your purchase. Taking this extra step ahead of time may save you some stress in a future situation.
Management of Applications
A common inclusion in most newer routers, there are certain applications that enable user-friendliness in adjusting your Wi-Fi network. These apps allow you to monitor the devices that are connect to your network and adjust if any particular devices need to be prioritized over others. Additionally, you can receive an alert when updates are available for your router.
Are There Any Compatible Accessories That May Come In Handy Later On
Some items will be included with your purchase, such as an ethernet cable. Although these may not fill an immediate need, there may a time in the future where these items may come in handy. Best rule of thumb is to keep any cables and other equipment that comes with your router because you never know when it can come in handy in the future.
Additionally, it may be a good idea to do some research into that accessory items may be compatible with your device. There may be time when you would like to upgrade your housing, for example. In this case, purchasing an extender or two may provide the additional bandwidth you need for this added space you have acquired. Knowing whether or not there are devices of this kind that are compatible with your current router can save you energy and time in the future.
Top Product Reviews
1.) TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi router uses a total of 6 antenna; 3 internal and 3 external. This number of antenna maximizes coverage up to 2,500 square feet. It includes a tether app that enables you to set up the device with ease while also providing you with a way to manage your connections. It is a dual-band router with speeds reaching up to 1,300 Mbps. Other features include 4 ethernet ports, 1 WAN port, 2 USB ports and advanced wireless AC technology; all of which will allow you to connect printers and other devices directly to your router.
Finally, this router is fully compatible with Linux/Unix, Mac OS, Windows 8/8.1/10, XP/Vista, and NetWare; all of which add to the safety and functionality of your household devices.
2.) NetGear R6700 Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router
The Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 has the ability to connect up to 12 Wi-Fi devices at one time. It consists of a dual-core processor that is 1GHz, enhancing both wired and wireless device performances. Ideal for gaming with advanced QoS, this dual-band router has speeds up to 1m300 Mbps while enabling controls for parents that provide a safer and more appropriate web experience. This router boasts of a USB port at 3.0 which shares files faster and includes backup software free of charge. It consists of beamforming technology; which enhances the speed and overall range of the Wi-Fi and all devices that are connected.
Finally, this router has the ability to support VPN, allowing a secure connection for remote access devices boosts allowing anyone to be able to do their work from home without safely and securely.
3.) TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router
Next on our list is the TP-Link AC1200 smart Wi-Fi router. This dual band router gets 300Mbps for 2.4GHZ and 900Mbps for 5GHz; for a combined speed of 1,200 Mbps. It includes 4 gigabit LAN ports enabling wired devices to connect directly, if so desired. The device can easily switched to AP mode which will open an access point for your internet to be shared wirelessly with friends and family.
This router also includes an application for easy set up and management of the entire home network right from your phone.
4.) Google WiFi system NLS-1304-25
This Google Wi-Fi system MLS-1304-25 features Network Assist technology. This enables a fast connection with the selection of the clearest channel and quickest band. It produces up to 1,200 Mpbs speeds and provides coverage of up to 1,500 square feet from a single point.
In addition, with purchase you also can download an application in order to monitor your entire network to ensure appropriate use of your at home wireless internet. Read Review »
5.) TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router
At number five on our list is the TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi router. The bandwidth for this router is IP-based and allows each consumer to determine the amount of speed that is allocated to each device connected to the router. Offering speeds up to 450Mbps, this router supports various internet providers including Safari 4.0, Firefox 12.0, and Chrome 20.0. You can keep your connections secure with one-touch wireless security encryption using WPS button.
This router is perfect for smaller households that are on a budget and do not have a ton of devices that will be using the wireless internet at once.
6.) Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Router
The Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi wireless-G broadband router includes 4 x 10/100 switched LAN ports as well as a built-in wireless-G point. The connection rate offered can go up to 54 Mbps and it supports network standards from 802.11b and 802.11g. This router includes advanced security with WPA/WPA2 encryption in addition to an SPI firewall that will keep your connection secure at all times.
Constructed with 2 external antennas, this device is compatible with Windows XP/Vista 32/64 and offers an option for parental controls over internet access.
7.) Netgear R6120 WI-FI Router
At number seven on our list is the Netgear Wi-Fi router R6120. This is a dual-band router that enables wireless speed up to 1,200 Mbps. It provides the ability to use parental controls and to monitor devices using the included Nighthawk app. Designed to support security WPA2 wireless protocols; including VPN, Firewall and more; this router also includes a 4 x 10/100 Fast Ethernet as well as 2 USB ports.
With a wide array of ways to connect to this device, while also providing various methods of protection and monitoring of the wireless internet usage, we believe that this router would be best for family settings.
8.) TP-Link AC750 Wifi Range Extender
Finally on our list at number eight is the TP-Link AC750 WI-Fi range extender. This device is an extender that takes your wireless signal and repeats the wireless signal to extend the coverage further and providing the wireless signal to additional areas of your home.
This extender will work with any standard router or gateway. It is a dual-band with speeds up to 750Mbps. It is designed with Smart Signal Indicator that enables the device to find the best location so that it can provide optimal wireless coverage. Also included is an ethernet port which allows you to connect wired devices directly to this extender.
Recap: 8 Top Wireless Routers Under $100 Picks
At the end of the day, the best WiFi routers are the ones that will work best in your home for your specific needs. Thus, it is best to review and compare each feature carefully in order to make the best purchase for your needs. For our money, we believe that the TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi router is the best bang for your buck and will cover most people’s needs. It is compatible with several devices, provides a large span of coverage, and enables up to 50 devices to be connected at the same time without connection interruption. The mix of features combined with stellar performance will enhance the wireless internet service of just about any home.