Ranging from entertainment to social media, your online life is empowered by the quality of your home network and the best routers under 150 will form the focal point of attraction, so in case you don’t have one its the right time to get purchasing.
It keeps on working in the back-end to ensure that you can enjoy minimal buffering while streaming HD movies online.
Although the speed and bandwidth ceilings are determined by your internet service provider (ISP), the quality of your router can either make or break the entire network character.
It is impossible to proceed with a one size fits all approach while choosing the home router since everyone’s environment is different as floors, walls, older devices, microwave and even your neighbor’s Wi-Fi can have an effect on the signal strength of your Wi-Fi.
What exactly is a Wi-Fi router?
How does a Wi-Fi router work?
What does Wi-Fi stand for?
Top 10 Best Routers Under $150
|Image||Name||Wireless Compability||Lan Port||Price|
|NETGEAR R6700||802.11 ac||4||$$||View Product|
|Linksys AC1750||802.11 ac||4||$$$||View Product|
|ASUS AC1900||802.11 ac||4||$$$||View Product|
|NETGEAR AC1000 Dual Band Smart WiFi Router R6080||802.11 ac||4||$||View Product|
|Linksys EA6350||802.11 ac||4||$$||View Product|
|ASUS RT-ACRH13||802.11 ac||4||$||View Product|
|NETGEAR AC1200||802.11 ac||4||$||View Product|
|Medialink AC1200||802.11 ac||4||$||View Product|
|IQrouter – IQRV2||802.11 ac||4||$$$||View Product|
|TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router||802.11 ac||4||$||View Product|
Designed for larger homes, the mid-range R6700 weighing a little over 1.6 pounds’ renders support up to 450Mbps while on the 2.4Ghz frequency and 1300Mbps while on the 5Ghz frequency band. The sturdy router comes with a wide base having rubber feet to prevent it from slipping.
It also makes use of Beamforming+ for boosting up reliability, speed and range of WiFi connections. High security attributes of the R6700 keeps you covered whether you wish to limit the access of kids or prevent phishing.
The NETGEAR smart WiFi router aids in wireless printing while the ReadySHARE Vault application provides necessary backup of the data in Windows-based PCs.
- Great for streaming and gaming.
- Supports VPN.
- Dual side-by-side networks to enhance performance.
- Beamforming helps with exceptional range.
- Exceedingly large wall art.
- Mediocre router firmware.
- Unsatisfactory throughput speeds while on the 2GHz band.
The sleek Linksys Max-Stream EA7300 tags along with a sleek and modern appeal with its smooth black case which is professional and utilitarian at the same time. The included set-up wizard makes it an easy drill to get the EA7300 up and running.
Its intelligent traffic shaping system re-organizes connections as necessary to provide users with the best possible connection without any compromise.
Users can install the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi application to have a clear notion about the devices which are connected with the home network. Standard information such as IP address, MAC address and connection status can also be viewed using the app.
- Fast and lag-free Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Dedicated signals which can connect with multiple devices simultaneously.
- Supports online gaming, 4k streaming and other high-bandwidth activities.
- Signal tends to drop occasionally.
- Considerable decrease in streaming quality.
If you are on the lookout for a router that is future-proof, easy to set up and smart, then your search is bound to come to a halt once you come face to face with the ASUS RT-AC68U which offers blazing fast speed both on the N and AC bands.
The AC68U provides hassle-free connectivity with USB-enabled devices through its USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports for you to connect with printers, external storage drives and 3G/4G dongle.
By downloading the AiCloud mobile app available both over iOS and Android platform, you can access the local network even when not at home.
- Powerful hardware.
- Enhanced signal stability and range.
- 1 GHz dual-core processor eliminates performance drops.
- It does not come with the wall-mounting feature.
- Expensive model.
Proper speed can help you in benefitting out of the real flavour of video streaming.
There are five 10/100 Ethernet ports present in the NETGEAR AC1000 of which one is a WAN port and rest are all LAN ports.
This versatile router is also compatible with the genie application of NETGEAR which allows users in setting up the router in a hassle-free manner as well as add more devices, connect, monitor and even control the home network from iPad, iPhone or Android smart devices.
It also offers users the unique advantage of sharing and streaming videos and music as well as setting up of parental controls, diagnosing& repairing network issues and exercising other troubleshooting operations.
High-level WPA/WPA2 security and secure connections are offered by the router which provides users with automatic access to a separate Wi-Fi network upon detection.
Thus, they don’t need access to the shared USB hard drive consisting of the host’s personal data or the home network.
3 times improvement in speed offered by the 5GHz band makes it a perfect choice for HD video streaming and online gaming.
- Compatible with next-generation WIFi devices.
- Wireless interference is avoided for smooth media streaming with simultaneous dual-band WiFi technology and up to 300+700Mbps† speed.
- Has transfer speed of up to 100Mbps paving the path for multiple access points through Wi-Fi band technology.
- Adjustable external antennas make it suitable for both home and office usage.
- Can be controlled remotely and upgraded whenever you wish to support new AC devices.
- Customer service is not up to the mark.
The Linksys EA6350 comes with two external antennas and dual bands for providing extremely strong wireless signal without any dead spots.
The adjustable antennas of the router help in positioning it optimally as you engage in media streaming, hard-core gaming and other demanding activities.
The innovative Beamforming technology enables the router in connecting directly with other devices rather than sending wireless signals randomly.
You can also create a dedicated network meant for guests using the router and limit access of children through proper parental controls.
- Easy to install and manage.
- Blazing fast 5GHz throughput while testing.
- Easy sharing of files through USB port.
- Remote management of network from every device paired with internet connectivity.
- Non-removable antennas.
- Middling file-transfer speeds.
Its Taiwanese manufacturers have included a dynamic feel in the RT-ACRH13 with its matte finish and black and grey diamond pattern on the top which reminds us of the effervescent sports cars.
A 2×2:2 Qualcomm IPQ4018 chipset along with a 2.4GHz Richwave power amplifier delivers unbridled wireless performance. The dynamic Beamforming technology scans the area for identifying the connected wireless devices rather than transmitting the signal everywhere.
- Inexpensive model.
- Easy to use interface.
- Attractive design.
- Lacks support for custom firmware’s.
- Average storage performance.
- Lacks the stand for being positioned upwards.
The small and sleek NETGEAR R6230-100NAS sports a minimalistic design that can easily blend in with your existing room décor.
It can assist you in exercising proper control over the home network coupled with a handy mobile application.
You can even turn off the router for limiting WiFi usage and saving electricity bills.
Two beamforming antennas help the device in providing a wide WiFi range which can even suffice houses having floor areas ranging up to 1500 sq. feet.
The 2.4 GHz connection of this router can keep your back even when you are 40 feet away from the same. 300 and 900 Mbps of speed are provided by this dual-band router on 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies respectively.
In spite of being a pretty dated model, the NETGEAR R6230 offers fairly solid speed and a stable WiFi signal.
You can thus watch your favorite shows and movies in HD mode without having to suffer from frustrating buffering signals.
However, for enjoying the same, you will be required to be inside the effective range of beam antennas.
- The router can be controlled directly from your smartphone with the Nighthawk application available both over iOS and Android platforms.
- Allows web filtering and accessibility by devices or profiles.
- Bandwidth can be prioritized for better streaming and gaming experience.
- WiFi interferences get reduced for establishing strong connections with a larger number of devices.
- Inconvenient location of the USB port at the back of the router.
This budget router comes with an array of upsides ranging from user-friendly interface to excellent customer service.
While connecting multiple devices to the network, range stands out as one of the most important attributes and the Medialink AC1200 with its Universal range extender capability can surely serve your needs in such cases.
Internet filtration and bandwidth control can also be exercised by parents and admins while using this router.
While similarly priced routers come with “Fast Ethernet” ports supporting a maximum of 100Mbps, the Gigabit ports of the Medialink AC1200 paves the way for 1000Mbps of blazing fast speed.
- External customizability.
- Small footprint.
- Easy setup and installation process.
- Guest Network access for providing a secure yet separate connection to guests.
- Dual high powered antennas and beamforming technology helps in covering larger homes.
- Limited backup capability.
- Lack of MIMO technology.
This intelligent router ensures optimum internet quality regardless of the type of speed and bandwidth you have. And it keeps on improving over time coupled with the few available steady lines.
Paired with this ground-breaking device you can upload/download files, have video conference calls with minimal chances of poor connectivity and system glitches.
- Self-optimizing attribute helps the router in adapting automatically to your line.
- Better streaming and gaming courtesy the high-quality low latency internet.
- Works with all forms of connectivity up to 250Mbps.
- Small font sizes and grey color of the web interface in some places makes it illegible.
You can now upgrade your home or office network with the super-fast AC1200 Wi-Fi offering dual-band capacity of both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. With a speed of up to 1167 Mbps, you can watch your favorite movies and download big files without experiencing any lacunas on the part of your network.
Thus, a stronger Wi-Fi connection is created which does not become lackluster even when you carry around your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones from one room to another.
Its stellar processor balances the demands of your devices in an intelligent manner for keeping the connections uninterrupted and fast.
- Affordable WiFi router offering optimum value for money.
- Packs in all the features to cater to the basic needs of people inclusive of a smartphone application.
- Good quality WiFi offered by modern hardware.
- 5GHz speed can take you through all online activities without any lag.
- The router acts as a dust and fingerprint magnet.
- The smartphone application can only be used when connected to the WiFi broadcasted by the router.
Things To Bear In Mind While Purchasing A Router
10 Things to Look in Before Buying a Router
If your setting up a new network or simply upgrading the one that you already have then router selection is vital.
With the router forming the core of your setup you shouldn’t take it lightly. It can be responsible for providing a flawless network or horrible one that keeps giving you trouble.
While workspaces obviously require the best router to keep the task running, home spaces shouldn’t be cutting costs by buying a cheap router with poor performance.
In case you intend to work from home then an interrupted network is imperative for you. While working your entire focus should be on your work instead of worrying about your slow internet connection.
Even if you don’t have to tackle any work-related task at home then still you require a stable connection as the most basic games and application now require a steady and fast connection.
Listed below are all the things that you need to know prior to purchasing a router.
2. Altering wireless standards
The standards of wireless technology have improved quite a lot over the years.
For example, the latest tablets, smartphones and laptops make use of the newest innovative standard which is 802.11ac. In layman terms this means that these devices are capable of receiving faster Wi-Fi speeds.
So if your internet speed is more than 100Mps while your router is quite basic. Then your router can limit the capabilities of your internet service and laptop.
So look for a router that will not act as a bottleneck for your rapid connection.
In case your ISP provides faster speeds then you should upgrade to AC router. So if you purchase a new phone or laptop that can support 802.11ac you will not have to purchase a new router.
Otherwise, if you do elevate the speed of your internet package you will have to buy a new router to support that speed.
Routers are available in a variety of price ranges. From as low as $15 to as high as $400.
Ultimately you have to prioritize your requirements and budget. These factors while deciding the range that will suit you.
It’s not ideal to recommend a super costly router to a consumer with average income. Firstly, because current technology is advancing rapidly.
Even thou a top-notch router might future proof you for the next couple of years but it is as vulnerable to uselessness as any other cheap router.
Secondly, the equipment used for networking is advancing faster as compared to ISPs. This means that any mid-tier router is more than enough for an average consumer. This might also be enough for some of the heavy and power users.
So router between $100 and $200 will get the work done unless and until you want a top-notch router. Keeping this in mind we have recommended router with very reasonable price and excellent performance.
In case the speed of your internet is around 20Mbps or 30Mbps then you can opt for some very cheap routers and save some bucks.
6. Single or dual-band
As mentioned earlier routers work on just two frequencies. These frequencies are of 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Out of these two 2.4GHz band is more common and used by a lot of devices. Plus, this frequency is more prone to interfering and crowding.
5GHz band is comparatively less chaotic and also delivers faster network.
Now that we have briefed you about that lets gets back to single and dual band routers.
What is a single band router?
A single band router offers only one type of frequency
What is a dual-band router?
A dual-band router offers both types of frequencies. You can use both 2.4 and 5 GHz band simultaneously with a dual-band router.
Selecting one out of these two routers is super easy.
If you are a resident of a densely populated or crowded area, then a dual-band router will suit you.
On the other hand, if you don’t require a Wi-Fi connection with rapid speed and don’t have any neighbors whose network can obstruct with yours then a single-band router will be ideal for you.
8. Your old router
Your old router can also help extend the network throughout the house.
Thou it might be time to upgrade the old router but that does not mean that you need to throw it out. The old router might still be of some use to you.
Provided that the old router is in working condition, it can be used as a wireless bridge. This bridge would help extend the range of the network.
You can also use it as an access point for power-line adaptors.
10. Smart routers
Like every other technology,routers are also getting smarter. Take for example Linksys smart Wi-Fi routers and Google’s OnHub routers.
These two devices are not only fast and powerful but are also changing the game.
Smart routers like these make controlling, managing and installing super easy. Plus, they allow you to prioritize bandwidth. So you can play games or stream videos while updates continue to happen.
Routers by OnHub have an IFTTT integration that will help enhance your smart home. For example, you can formulate an August Smart Lock which would unlock when your cellphone will connect to the router’s network.
With endless possibilities being offered you should definitely try these features out.
How to Set up a Home Router?
Setting up a router might seem like an ordeal, especially if you have no prior experience or knowledge regarding routers.
Below we have summarized the quickest way to set up a router which is by accessing the web interface. So if you have failed at setting up your new router then this is the ultimate guide for you.
1. Set up the equipment
First and foremost, on getting the new hardware you have to set it all up. The essentials for this step are a computer or laptop with a network port and two network cables. After you have assembled these basics it’s time to follow the steps below in order to set your hardware up:
That’s about it! Three simple steps and your network equipment will be all setup.
2. Accessing the web interface
In this section, we will discuss how to set the router via the web interface. All you require is the browser and your computer with an internet connection.
You can find all this information in the manual that comes with the router. This information is also printed under the router.
Log-in information is quite basic and can be easily predicted. Mostly the username is admin and the password is admin, 1234 and etc.
After you have gathered this information you need to enter the IP address in to the address bar of your browser. On pressing enter you will encounter a page asking for log-in data. On entering this information, the web interface will be pop right up.
Using this web interface, you can set and alter the settings of the router.
- Changing routers setting
As there are a lot of settings available on the routers web interface you might end up medaling and ruining all your process. In this case, it’s time to resort to the step.
4. Resetting the router
If all fails, then it’s time to restore the router to the default settings. As all routers have a reset button that you can easily access that button to retrieve the default settings.
This button can be found on the underside of the router. Using a sharp item like the paper clip you have to push the button for about 10 seconds.
After that when you will power on the router all the settings will be just like the default settings.
So your router will be just like it was when you bought it and now you can alter all settings again. Remember to keep a backup of the settings for future safety.
While extending your network, it is not always necessary to throw out the old router just because you feel it is time for an upgrade. You can turn it into a wireless bridge or an access point by making use of the aforementioned power-line adapters if it is still in proper working condition. Routers having USB ports help in cheap networked storage. You can share data easily with every device attached to the network by plugging in a flash storage drive or HDD to the back of your router. You can also transform the same into a networked media hub to stream movies, television shows or music owned locally.
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