Nowadays many people are using the computers in their home these computers can be used for any purpose such as gaming, browsing and some other. Every computer needs a router to connect to the internet or another computer or a network. The routers are the device that is acting as an intermediate between a network and a computer. A good home wireless router is one of the most essential component of a wireless network, allowing you to connect your devices such as desktop, laptop and smartphones to Internet, so that you surf, share data files and stream media between rooms, among a bunch of other actions. However, the best wireless router for your home or small-business network may not be easy and can be frustrating.
Do You Need A Wi-Fi Router?
A Wi-Fi or a wireless router isn’t necessary for every situation. If you prefer to use a wired connection and run an Ethernet cable directly to your computer, then wireless router is not necessary for you. But most people these days prefer using wireless connection then messing up with long cables. Also with wireless router, browsing internet from any part of your house is possible, beside smartphones don’t have dedicated Ethernet port, opting for a wireless network remains the only solution for such devices.
The Basics: Things Your Wi-Fi Router Should Have
The least you should make sure, the wireless router you are buying supports WPA2 security rather than just WPA or, even worse, WEP ((Wired Equivalent Privacy). WPA2 is currently the most secure type of wireless encryption, so make sure you use WPA2 if you can. Some old routers won’t support WPA, in which case you’ll have use the less secure WEP instead. But most current wireless routers support WPA2, but free routers from an ISP can sometimes be really outdated.
Network standards: 802.11n vs. 802.11ac
802.11 and 802.11x refers to a family of specifications developed by the IEEE for wireless LAN technology. 802.11 specifies an over-the-air interface between a wireless client and a base station or between two wireless clients. 802.11n is more popular and represents current industry standard in wireless networking. If you’re purchasing a new wi-fi router, go with an 802.11n router.
There are many new wireless routers that are being advertised as 802.11ac routers. 802.11ac is the latest 802.11x wireless networking standard. 802.11ac extends earlier 802.11 specifications, including 802.11n, and provides backwards compatibility with previous 802.11 specs. The 802.11ac specification operates only in the 5 GHz frequency range (where there is currently far less potential for interference), as opposed to the 802.11n spec, which operates in both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz ranges. But 802.11a is still under development. Since 802.11ac is yet to be finalized there are no routers on the market that are certified. That isn’t stopping vendors from releasing pre-draft 802.11ac routers.
Single or dual-band wireless routers?
Wireless routers broadcast on a radio band, and many new wireless N routers can broadcast on two bands. These are called dual band routers. Single-band routers communicate only using the 2.4GHz frequency spectrum, whereas dual-band routers can simultaneously broadcast on both 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies. The 5Ghz band is good because it has less interference, since most other devices—from other networks to Bluetooth to cordless phones to microwaves operate on the 2.4GHz band. The main disadvantage of using 5GHz is that, it isn’t as good at penetrating walls and hence router’s operating at 5GHz has shorter range. Also many older devices don’t support 5GHz.
Wireless Speed / Performance
One of the most common confusions surrounding wireless router is performance. Historically, interface speeds with computer related technologies have been accurate. For example, a 100 Mbps wired Ethernet connection is capable of regularly producing 100 Mbps data transfer speeds. Wireless networking equipment involves much greater complexities. Unlike a wired Ethernet connection, wireless communications cannot be ensured. When a wireless device sends data to another wireless device, the sending device cannot determine if the receiving device acquired the message unless the receiving device positively confirms it. This is called an acknowledgement. While many issues can prevent two wireless devices from successfully communicating such as, devices are too far away or an external interference etc. Also You should remember, a fast router speeds don’t have anything to do with how fast your Internet connection is. A 300Mbps router won’t make your Internet connection any faster than a 1900Mbps router.
Top 5 Wireless Routers in India
Asus N600 RT N56U Dual-Band Wireless Gigabit Router
Starting with the design of Asus N600 RT N56U Dual-Band, this router has a totally different design when compared to other routers we will be discussing below. It doesn’t block much space as it stands vertical looking more like an artifact than an electronic gadget as there’s no clumsy antennas to come in the way and wires to jumble up the entire setup. Setting it up is a child’s play as you don’t even need to go through the manual. Asus N600 RT N56U works with simultaneous dual band routers with a capacity of 5Ghz and.2.4ghz. The advantage of this is that 5Ghz would always work better for its higher bandwidth capacity especially if you are around any other WiFi or other hotspots which might create interference.
This router has some other benefits too like double USB ports so that one can plug in anything like 3G dongles, hard-disks or printers and 4 LAN ports (Gigabit) with the single WAN port. The native firmware itself is fantastic but you can even go ahead and replace it by Padavan firmware which turns your Asus router into a feature packed networking device allowing you torrent downloads, media streaming to your TV, guest WiFi and much more!
The other good thing which sounds lucrative is its low power usage. Even with a hard disk connected the N56U it will consume only around 10W of power in an hour. Few things might not seem quite impressive like it is not wall mountable and is actually quite old with alternatives offering even more features. And also those who are looking for a bigger than 5Ghz coverage, this router might not satisfy them as this one though works well 2.4 Ghz, the 5 Ghz coverage is not that encompassing.
In comparison to the old Linksys WRT54G and the commonly used Dlink support we get in India, the Asus model looks much more appealing and promising. What I experienced from my earlier routers is frequent rebooting, which isn’t required with this one so far. Overall this product didn’t disappoint me, as the speed was quite up to the mark and I could continue with other data transfer job without any hindrance.
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Linksys E900 Wireless-N300 Router
The Linksys’ E series routers have the basic sense of aesthetics including the E900. They look smart with a flat surface sitting on your desk. But they don’t have any slots at the bottom for mounting them on the wall. The installation went all breezy and didn’t give any issues. I have a BSNL FTTH connection and the router got configured with ease and is still working fine with it. It worked well with the open source DD-WRT firmware on it
Though there are complaints against this model for low coverage and disappointing speed, I had a sense to place it on a height and it worked. Its light weight built is quite good and feels sturdy. There is only one port for the WAN and four switched ports for the LAN but you don’t get any USB port for using your pen drives or for sharing your printer. In that way Asus N600 Wireless Gigabit Router is much better as in it you get all these at one go.
If you have already experienced the E1200 model the hardware for E900 is the same. But the E1200 extends support for Parental Controls and Guest Access while the E900 does not. Overall it might not be that great a purchase for those who are looking for the latest features available with other wireless routers, and also may seem to be a bit more expensive than it should be. But for those who have moderate internet usage can definitely give it a try.
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D-Link DIR-605L Wireless N Cloud Router
With a simple black plastic body, with two large, non-detachable antennas at the back the router does wear a practical look. Features include seven flashing indicator lights at the front respectively for the Power, Wireless, Internet and the rest for each LAN port. The backside of the router holds the power, WAN/ Internet and 4 LAN ports. There is also a WPS button on the side.
The DIR-605L comes with mydlink enabled, indicating that D-Link DIR-605L router supports its cloud service. So it can be called as a cloud router, but the app functionality is not that satisfactory and I have experienced lots of bugs in it. I had to force close the app to make it work for any intricate task and then re-login to it which was quite painful. The DIR-605L comes as a 300 Mbps 802.11n wireless networking router, a specification which you will find only in higher budget routers. However, you don’t get any dual-band wireless ability, it only supports 2.4 Ghz frequency with neither Gigabit Ethernet or any USB ports.
To sum up, D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router works fine for those who need a simple wireless network that can share the Internet among multiple devices. But my personal experience was not so good, as it had to be rebooted too often, and signal dropping was a regular feature from the first few weeks of its purchase. But apart from these small hitches D-Link has been the most popular wireless router so far in India as it offers quite a good package of features within an affordable range.
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Netgear WNR614 N300 WiFi Router
Using Netgear WNR614 N300 was a relief for my friend after his earlier DLink Model. It is now almost an year that it is rendering a trouble free service with quite a good speed and range. Coming to the price range it comes with, it gives more than satisfactory output than expected. It has a smart look and appears to be quite sturdy. The installation was over within a few minutes because of its userfriendly interface. You will get a setting for 49mbps, 149mbps and 300mbps but by default it is set into 149mbps, so to get the maximum range you have to change it to 300 mbps. It works quite well for a moderate sized house and till now we have not experienced many incidents of signal drops.
It has few advanced features like external antennas to boost up the WiFi coverage protected with WPA/WPA2 security protocols. Look for that easy push button ’N’ to establish the connection with WiFi and that also helps in connecting with smartphones and tablets easily. Along with it you get a 32 MB RAM, 4 MB flash Memory, and Five (5) (1 WAN, 4 LAN) Fast Ethernet ports.It supports internet speeds up to 300 Mbps and is the ideal router for mediumsized homes.
Netgear WNR614 N300 has a N150 model too and for some it is more ideal due its pricing and connectivity, however, the performance with N300 is quite satisfactory too. However, it will not work for those who are looking for a router supporting RJ11 connector. Overall, Netgear WNR614 N300 can be one of the first choices for those who are looking for a moderately good wireless router especially for mid sized homes.
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TP-LINK TL-WR841N 300Mbps Wireless N Router
TP-Link TLWR841N is a low budget router that you should only go for if your budget is tight and you only need a basic router to enable your internet connection. Though it comes with two nondetachable antennas, there is an option of mounting it on the wall. That saves a lot of space and makes it nonmessy.
It runs only at 10/100 speed even with the four LAN ports. The WAN port that connects to your modem could also limit your download speed especially if you are using a high speed internet but most probably if you are paying good money for high speed internet you would prefer investing a bit in a better router too. This particular model doesn’t come with any USB port to connect to the external drives or sharing the printer.
Both the Physical Power and WiFi have separate switches that allow you to switch off only the WiFi even when the router is running and work through the physical LAN connection. What was a pleasant surprise with this router is that you can also use it as a repeater to extend your other WiFi range. This can be done with the help of two nondetachable antennas that boost up the WiFi. That enables pretty good coverage. It is able to share quite a load of data through its LAN and WiFi networks. Compared to the Linksys ADSL model the WiFi connections appeared to be more stable with this modem, though signals may occasionally drop if you are on the other floor.
Overall, considering the price and other benefits, TPLINK TLWR841N might not stand as the best choice, as there are better competitors in the row in the same price range, but it won’t be a disappointing either if your internet connection too is not an expensive one.
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For more wireless routers check out this below table.
Wireless Router name/model Picture (click to view more details or to purchase)
Dual Band – Does It Supports Dual Band (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless band)
Network Standard – Wireless communication standard 802.11n, 802.11ac etc.
Speed – Data transfer rate in Mbps.
USB Port – Does It have USB port.
Rating – Average user rating (out of 5). A helpful statistic in determining if people are satisfied with the Product.
Price – These are approximate price ranges. Since they change frequently based on availability, promotions, and more. For current price click on buying option
Buying Option – Place where wireless router can be brought at discounted price
|Wireless Router||Dual Band||Network Standard||Speed||USB Port||Rating||Buying Option|
| TP-Link TL-WR740N Wireless Router||No||802.11n||150 Mbps||No||4.0||Buy On Amazon|
|D-Link Dir-600M Broadband Wireless Router||No||802.11n||150 Mbps||No||4.0||Buy On Amazon
| Netgear JNR1010-100PES 4PT BRIC N150 Wireless Router||No||802.11n||150 Mbps||No||3.9||Buy On Amazon
|D-Link DIR-816 Wireless AC750 Dual Band Router||Yes||802.11ac||750 Mbs||No||3.9||Buy On Amazon|
|D-Link DIR-803 Wireless AC750 Dual Band Router||Yes||802.11ac||750 Mbs||No||3.8||Buy On Amazon|
| Tenda N4 Wireless N150 Router||No||802.11n||150 Mbps||No||4.1||Buy On Amazon
|D-Link DWR-116 3G/4G LTE WI-FI Router Wireless||No||802.11n||300 Mbps||Yes||3.8||Buy On Amazon|
|Asus RT-N10E Wireless N150 Router ||No||802.11n||150 Mbs||No||4.0||Buy On Amazon|
|Netgear JWNR2010 Wireless-N300 Router||No||802.11n||300 Mbps||No||3.6||Buy On Amazon
|Linksys Wi-Fi E1200 Wireless-N Router||No||802.11n||300 Mbps||No||3.8||Buy On Amazon