April 30

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Best Wireless Routers Under 100 to Buy in 2021

With networking technology changing faster than ever, upgrading from a wired to a wireless router is by far the best way to connect multiple devices to the Internet.

Think about it: 

You probably have more than one Wifi device lying around, from smartphones and laptops to baby monitors and smartwatches.

And if you’re anything like me, you want the most important internet devices lying around your home or office to get the most out of your monthly subscription. This is where the best wireless routers under 100 come in.

To be clear, the most expensive router isn’t necessarily the best. In other words, if a router features dual or tri band connection, guarantees quality of service, and connect your devices to the internet seamlessly, go with it.

Below are some relatively cheap routers to consider if you’re under a budget.

  1. Best Overall: TP-Link Archer AX10
  2. Best Rated: TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wifi Router
  3. Best for Home Use: Motorola AC2600 Smart Gigabit Wifi Router
  4. Best for Gaming: Asus AC1300 Wifi Router
  5. Best for Small Business:  Linksys EA6350 Wifi Router
  6. Best for Long Range: Netgear R6230 WiFi Router

How to Choose a Wireless Router Under 100

Cheap routers aren’t made equal, so obviously are more robust and powerful than others are. So before we get to the reviews, let’s first look at the features that good budget routers under $100 dollars should have.

Pick a Dual Band Router

A single band may not be a bad investment. But what’s the point of getting it when you can go for something better? 

We recommend going for dual or tri-band routers, with the former being the most common option in the under $100 price margin.

A router that features a dual-band is a good investment because you can move around your home without worrying about data packet loss. That’s so especially because they work nicely through walls and open spaces.

Determine Speed First

Even if the rated speed given to a router isn’t the actual throughput, it’s in no way a vanity metric. You want a router that can send data packets at a rate that can meet your needs.

If you have only a handful of devices to connect to the internet, a router with an AC900 rating should be just fine. A number higher than five would require something better, like an AC1200 or AC1500 model.

Don’t forget activities when evaluating the speed of a router. If you’ll be watching YouTube videos at 1080p or 4K resolution, 300Mbps is fine. When it comes to gaming, consider a dual band router with a throughput of at least 1200 Mbps on the 5GHz band.

Range

The wireless routers we’ve reviewed below can send signals as far as 100 feet away before your device loses the connection. Usually, anything with a 5dBi is better, but you can extend the value to 10dBi if you buy a router with detachable antennas.

Best Wireless Routers under 100: Top Picks

1. TP-Link Archer AX10

With thousands of testers and users appraising the TP-Link Archer AX10 for its reliability, it’s no doubt a wireless router to get if you need one that guarantees fast WiFi connection. Built to support up to 6 devices, with MU-MIMO technology-enabled, what you get is a reliable connection at a price that feels like a steal.

Archer AX10 is a dual-band WiFi router, with a 5 GHz band offering data transfer speed of up to 1200Mbps and 2.4GHz supporting up to 300Mbps. The built-in triple-core CPU and 256 MB RAM ensures faster data packet delivery, with minimal to no lag at all when using multiple devices. 

Based on real-time testing, the Beamforming technology, together with the four antennas, does more than just detect wireless devices on the network.  It focuses on ensuring signal clarity, improving connection speeds, and decreasing latency.

With speed of 260Mbps about eight meters from the router and around 700Mbps when close to the router, the TP-Link Archer AX10 is no doubt a faster networking device at a pocket-friendly price point.

It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, although this isn’t a feature many people are likely to use, as they don’t own the Alexa device in the first place.

2. TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wifi Router

Also going for under $100, the TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wifi Router performs so well you’d think its price point should have been higher. While I’m not the kind of a networking fanatic who relies on numbers gauge the quality of a networking device, the Archer 7 may be an exception. With over 43,000 reviews on Amazon alone, this is by far a well-rated router at such a great price.

Featuring the same black enclosure and a rear with three removable antennas, two USB 2.0 ports, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, and a Gigabit WAN port, TP-Link hasn’t tweaked the look of this model in any way since its first debut. However, they’ve put some serious thoughts into speed, with the 2.4GHz band reaching 450Mbps and the 5GHz band clocking close to 1,300Mbps.

With a good throughput from the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, the connection and performance speed are nothing short of amazing for the price point. Based on several testing, the 2.4GHz registered a throughput of close to 90Mbps in close proximity to the router and about 50Mbps nearly about 40 feet away. The close proximity speed on the 5GHz band should be at least 500Mbp and around half the value if you stand at about 30 feet away from the router.

While it doesn’t guarantee the best file transfer speeds, it doesn’t disappoint either. As a budget router, Archer C7 gives you a write speed between 20Mbps and 22Mbps.

Judging from the many router web consoles I’ve interacted with, what TP-link offers you for this router is nothing intuitive. But with time to learn, it shouldn’t take you long to become familiar with the management settings.

3. Motorola AC2600 Smart Gigabit Wifi Router

When it comes to upgrading your home’s router, it makes sense to invest in a model that’s super-fast, reliable, and affordable. So take your network speed to another level with the Motorola AC2600 Smart Gigabit Wifi router and experience an upgraded connection that lets you get the most out of your internet’s subscription.  

Looking at it from a performance perspective, the Motorola AC2600 dual band router offers the highest speed connection for all your Wifi and Ethernet cable devices. Best for home use, it has a decent range, allowing you get the most out of your monthly subscription even when you’re far away.

With high speed data transfer from both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, even the most data intense applications can run quite smoothly. Added for concurrent performance, the four adjustable antenna ensures signal clarity so every device connects smoothly and performs fast.

We love that this is a multipurpose router, which allows you to connect multiple devices at the same time and enjoy high-speed internet access all the time. Whether want to watch Netflix while reading Kindle books or you want to watch Amazon Prime videos while downloading YouTube music, this router will allocate the right bandwidth for the tasks.

4. Asus AC1300 Wifi Router

Your older router may still be a thing. But with the evolution of wireless technology and the availability of routers that offer fast speeds, a Linksys WRT still lying in your home means it’s time to upgrade. For a better choice, one that gives you faster speeds to access the internet, consider going with the Asus AC1300.

By just looking at the price point of the Asus AC1300, it’s hard to believe the device can perform. But that’s only until you put it to the test.

With the MU-MIMO, Asus AC1300 easily switches between 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies to give you consistent connection depending on the device you use. Even in a large home, with the router placed at a further distance from connected devices, the 4 5dbi antennas ensures stronger signals for better connection and performance.

When it comes to performance, the Asus AC1300 gives you close to 90Mbps of upload speed. And that’s almost double what you get from the Linksys WRT. The download speed is around 13Mbps with this one, and it stays quite constant most of the time. While this may not be the performance speed you’d get if you went for a high-end wireless router, the offer is still decent for the price.

5. Linksys EA6350 Wireless Router under $100

If you’re in the market for a budget router with a blazing throughput, you might want to consider getting the Linksys EA6350. Most people recommend this for small apartments, and I think it would also be a good one to use in a small office setting.

On the outside, the Linksys EA6350 looks a lot more similar to the EA6100 model, with a black closure and two antennas. You can’t customize the antennas because they’re not removable. The gray trim has a single status light that lights green when you power up the router.

Powered by a single-core CPU, this 802.11ac router can deliver a throughput of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 870Mbps on the 5GHz band. It even includes a Beamforming technology, which, instead of sending signals over a broad spectrum, does so directly to every client connected to the network.

Multiple data transfer speed tests shows that Linksys EA6350 is quite too for the price point. And that’s more than a bargain because you get the best performance for cheap.

In close proximity, the throughput on the 2.4GHz band should be somewhere close to 70Mbps. The throughput shouldn’t go below 30Mbps if you’re approximately 30 feet away from the router. The speed test on the 5GHz band in close proximity should somewhere around 420Mbps, and around 200Mbps tested from 30 feet away from the router.

If you ever want to connect multiple device via Ethernet ports, you can do so with Linksys EA6350. There are 4 Gigabit LAN ports at the back and a WAN port, which makes both wired and wireless connection possible.

The file transfer speed of Linksys EA6350 Smart Wifi router isn’t that bad, although it would have been better if it were a little bit higher. A USB drive filled with gigabits of different file types should transfer data at a rate of between 20Mbps and 21.5Mbps. The speed is somewhat higher and therefore better than what you get from some Netgear routers but it won’t be as fast as what you get if you had Linksys EA6100 model.

The web console of this smart Wifi looks refined and it includes tools and settings that you can use to manage the network with ease. For example, it’s on this console that you’ll see the number of connected devices as well as their current status. While this router allows guest network, it’s only possible with the 2.4GHz band clients.

6. Netgear R6230 AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Router

Just when you thought that Netgear designs some of the most expensive routers for the networking market, the R6230 AC1200 comes into the picture. Going for under 50 dollars, this model guarantees a wider coverage of up to 1,200 square feet, making it one of the longest-range wireless routers for home and office use.

When it comes to performance, this router delivers more for a lower price point. Amplified with 2 antennas for signal clarity, and powered by an 880MHz processor, expect this router to give you fast connection and reliable internet access.

You’re probably going to connect 5 devices at most to Netgear R6320 AC1200. But this dual-band Wifi router can connect with up to 20 devices, allowing you to enjoy Internet connection and use from just about any gadget that supports Wifi.

With the Quality of Service included, the AC1200 can easily detect which device needs more bandwidth and delegates the data accordingly.

The AC1200 even supports wired connection. There are four Ethernet ports at the back, which allows you to connect nearby all devices, such as game console, desktop computers, and streaming players, to the network.

Hacking routers is not as easy these days. And Netgear only makes it harder for the folks who’d like to try. Thanks to the WPA2 support, VPN, Firewall, and DOS, you can use this router with confidence that it’s 99.9% safe and secure.

Related Post: Best Ethernet Cables for Gaming


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