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Best Wi-Fi Routers (Archive)

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December 30, 2015 10:56:41 AM

Here are the best 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers on the market. We offer top picks for streaming video, large houses, gaming and customizability.

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January 10, 2016 3:57:46 AM

ASUS RT-AC68U was launched in 2012-2013, i am looking to buy a new router, should i buy this one or wait as refreshing of the model may be due?
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January 29, 2016 7:16:38 PM

i am using an upvel that i am happy with
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February 11, 2016 11:01:19 PM

My house is an apple house for the most part. iPhone, iPads, Apple TV, iMacs, MacBook Pro lap top. Any comment or advise about using Airport Extreme for my router?
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June 17, 2016 11:34:37 AM

Could you do a review of the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900? Would be much appreciated.

ps Thanks for the article and all the info!
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October 17, 2016 6:24:02 AM

You're reviewing WRT1900ACS, but you link to the WRT1900AC, which is about $200, not $124
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October 17, 2016 6:26:34 AM

That didn't sound right, too bad no edit option. WRT1900ACS: you're linking to an older model, WRT1900AC. the newer model you are reviewing is more expensive.
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November 14, 2016 10:24:13 PM

I am looking for an ac router, for a 3 story old house. What would be the best solution for 200 MBps. Initially looking to netgear nighthawk 1900, linksys ac1900 or even the amplifi hd long range thanks a lot
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November 24, 2016 8:36:38 AM

Since many relatively new PCs still have only 802.11n capability, could you please include the results for that standard in your reviews? Thanks.
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December 8, 2016 12:43:50 AM

Speed is not the only consideration for a wifi router. Signal strength, i.e. distance the signal will cover reliably, is also important. It would be good to know how the routers compare in that department.
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December 31, 2016 11:08:12 AM

I was looking for the "Best in a congested environment" This holiday season apparently saw a number of my neighbors get Wi-Fi toys & my Wi-Fi performance went way way south. WirelessNetView shows 56 routers on the 2.4GHz band & my Wi-Fi cell phone can't make calls & keeps timing out trying to reach web sites...
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January 13, 2017 7:30:38 AM

The netgear nighthawk picture is an ASUS 1900...
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January 30, 2017 8:55:42 AM

Love you to check the Netgear X10, and also the Ubiquity USG Edgerouter with UAP AP Pro's - just for what I suspect will be an unfair comparison
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March 15, 2017 12:15:31 PM

sandyray0521 said:
My house is an apple house for the most part. iPhone, iPads, Apple TV, iMacs, MacBook Pro lap top. Any comment or advise about using Airport Extreme for my router?


I have one and I love it, but there are rumors that Apple will stop making them soon. They do still get updates, though.
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March 15, 2017 12:15:57 PM

mtrap said:
The netgear nighthawk picture is an ASUS 1900...


So it is! Thanks. Fixing that.
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March 15, 2017 12:16:47 PM

dinkumdave said:
Love you to check the Netgear X10, and also the Ubiquity USG Edgerouter with UAP AP Pro's - just for what I suspect will be an unfair comparison


The X10 is on the list. We'll have that review soon.
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March 15, 2017 12:18:07 PM

LakeMechanic said:
I was looking for the "Best in a congested environment" This holiday season apparently saw a number of my neighbors get Wi-Fi toys & my Wi-Fi performance went way way south. WirelessNetView shows 56 routers on the 2.4GHz band & my Wi-Fi cell phone can't make calls & keeps timing out trying to reach web sites...


Does your router create a 5 GHz network? That band is usually less congested. Can your Wi-Fi phone handle 5 GHz?
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March 15, 2017 12:22:23 PM

Jade_8 said:
That didn't sound right, too bad no edit option. WRT1900ACS: you're linking to an older model, WRT1900AC. the newer model you are reviewing is more expensive.


Thanks. I suspect that's because our "smart" shopping tool is being dumb again. I'll fix it.
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March 24, 2017 1:10:16 PM

Linksys wrt 1900 was out in 2014 how could it be top pick in 2017
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October 4, 2017 8:58:43 PM

I think the best Wi-Fi option for a congested environment is a Plume mesh network. They have very innovative logic that will scan channels and change to the least busy channel. They also use the 5 Ghz band to keep the mesh pods communicating with each other and the 2.4Ghz band for all your devices so the mesh doesn't interfere with your endpoints. I live in a condo with about 20 wi-fi networks in competition and since I installed my Plume pods I have had no drops and the only buffering is caused by my ISP or the service I'm using at the time (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) I was disappointed that the Plume network was not reviewed by Tom's.
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October 5, 2017 4:06:38 AM

webscorpion said:
I think the best Wi-Fi option for a congested environment is a Plume mesh network. They have very innovative logic that will scan channels and change to the least busy channel. They also use the 5 Ghz band to keep the mesh pods communicating with each other and the 2.4Ghz band for all your devices so the mesh doesn't interfere with your endpoints. I live in a condo with about 20 wi-fi networks in competition and since I installed my Plume pods I have had no drops and the only buffering is caused by my ISP or the service I'm using at the time (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) I was disappointed that the Plume network was not reviewed by Tom's.


We've reached out to Plume several times to obtain review units, but the company has never sent us any.

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October 14, 2017 8:29:27 AM

I'm reading that the Linksys EA7500 is the best mid-range router ($156 on Amazon). However, all this hype about MU-MIMO makes me wonder whether investing in the MU-MIMO routers is worth it since most devices don't support it yet! I don't want to have to update all my wireless devices, even if it's even possible!
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October 18, 2017 12:53:40 PM

Unfortunately the Linksys routers (all, I believe) do not have encrypted data transmission in Guest Mode. You can set a password but the wireless guest will be communicating in the open (plain text) which can be intercepted and read by a bad guy.
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December 6, 2017 7:07:23 PM

I'll echo the recommendation for the Linksys WRT1900ACS -- unless you can find the WRT3200ACM for less, as I did. (Mine's a refurb, purchased direct from Linksys.) Yes, it's big, and it may not fit in well with the décor in every room; but it's fast, reliable, and has a strong signal. You can also replace the stock OS with DD-WRT if you prefer. I usually upgrade routers every three or four years, but this one may be staying around longer.

One advantage the WRT1900ACS has over my WRT3200ACM is its fan=less design. My 3200 is almost dead-quiet -- I have it installed in my living room at present -- but any mechanical device is going to fail eventually. If you keep your router hidden in a hot or poorly-ventilated location, eliminating the need for a fan is a big point to consider.
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December 25, 2017 3:37:45 PM

this really needs to be updated. you can't have that same router be the best one for 2018.
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