Best Cheap Routers of March 2021
Last Updated on February 28, 2021 by Daniel Lawrence
Ideally, not everyone would need a router packed to the brim with features that won’t be applied or used indefinitely. For home and small offices, a cheap router that offers the best features/performance to price ratio would be ideal along with a fair bit of future-proofing. Some of the best cheap routers on this list offer features that can be found on other expensive routers.
To get the best cheap routers, we’ve carefully reviewed and tested a lot of cheap routers and finally settled with these 7 routers on this list. The fact that these routers are cheap doesn’t mean they are no good. Actually, they are and even possess some of the features you can find in a more expensive router. The major difference between a cheap and an expensive router will be the material used for construction and the coverage area.
Most cheap routers offer both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands although, although, not all might offer wireless AC speeds.
Most major brands like Linksys and TPlink have good cheap router options. In this list of the best cheap router, you’ll find all you need to know about any cheap router both the once that can be used for gaming and streaming as well.
7 Best Cheap Routers to Buy
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 2 Antennas; Beamforming; Easy setup | Wireless Protocols: 802.11ac | Data Transfer Rate: 1.2 Gbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 4 / 1 (1x USB 3.0) | Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.92 x 1.11 in
The Linksys EA6350 is one of the best routers and yet one of the best cheap routers available today. It supports double band wireless AC that can yield a most extreme throughput of 1.2 Gbps and the included USB 3.0 port permits associating capacity gadgets for media access. The EA6350 offers just a double radio wire arrangement however they have satisfactory power and their situating can be acclimated to boost coverage in a small room.
In addition, beamforming ability is accessible, which is always found in most expensive models. While setting up the router is genuinely clear, try to refresh the firmware to the most recent form as there have been a few reports of having a shaky association in the 5 GHz band. To further expand connection stability.
- MU-MIMO function.
- Only 2 antennas
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 4 Antennas; ASUSWRT and ASUS Router app; quad-core 717 MHz CPU | Wireless Protocols: 802.11ac | Data Transfer Rate: 1.2 Gbps | No. of | Ethernet / USB Ports: 4 / 1 (1x USB 3.0) | Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.4 x 8.1 in
Looking for a cheap router for gaming? Then check out the Asus Dual-Band AC1300. With only 4 antennas and high speeds, the ASUS Dual-Band AC1300 is easily one of the best cheap routers for gaming. For those who like gaming and streaming, this is the best cheap router for you. With the presence of both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands ensures that both range and bandwidth are taken care of. In addition, the availability of MU-MIMO and Beamforming abilities adds to its coverage and signal strength.
Furthermore, the overall performance of the router is great and the included 4 LAN ports support full Gigabit LAN connections for wired connections. The interface is definitely not hard to use and is incorporate rich out of the box. Along these lines, it doesn’t require any custom firmware blasting except if you totally need it. This switch can in like manner be used as a repeater if vital. In any case, customers have uncovered issues in suitably setting up IPv6 plans.
- ASUS apps
- Quad-core CPU
- IPv6 configuration can seem a bit tedious
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); 8 MB flash + 64 MB RAM; Nighthawk app; 2 antennas | Wireless Protocols: 802.11ac | Data Transfer Rate: 1 Gbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 4 / 0 | Dimensions: 7.05 x 8.62 x 4.29 in
The NETGEAR R6080 has a lot to offers despite it being cheap. NETGEAR packs the element rich Nighthawk App although, this isn’t a Nighthawk switch. The Nighthawk App controls most parts of the switch and offers propelled alternatives for the individuals who wish to tinker with the settings.
This switch is appraised for a hypothetical speed of 1 Gbps however that is for both bands joined. That implies you get just up to 700 Mbps in the 5 GHz band. Consequently, in case you’re utilizing a higher data transfer capacity plan from your ISP, you may need to look somewhere else. Justifiably in this way, the LAN ports at the back are likewise only 10/100 ports. Be that as it may, if your internet speed is under 1 Gbps, this switch offers features found in other expensive routers.
- Gets the basics right.
- Not really suitable for connections at 1 Gbps or above.
Features: AP, Bridge, and Router modes; 10,400 mAh battery; Media sharing and streaming; FileHub | Wireless Protocols: 802.11n | Data Transfer Rate: 300 Mbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 1 / 1 (1x USB 2.0) | Dimensions: 1.65 x 3.74 x 1.65 in
The HooToo TripMate Titan can be known as the Swiss armed force blade of switches as it consolidates a capable wireless travel router and a tremendous 10,400 mAh battery. That implies you can charge gadgets in a hurry while all also utilizing the switch in the access point, extension, or router modes. The TripMate Titan accompanies the FileHub application that changes the gadget into an undeniable media sharing, spilling, and record the executive’s instrument. You can share and stream media with up to 5 associated customers and furthermore utilize your Chromecast for spilling recordings to the extra large screen.
There a couple of provisos with the HooToo TripMate Titan, however. It can’t function as a remote hotspot and furthermore does not bolster any OpenVPN customers. It likewise can’t connect an iPhone hotspot or stream DRM-empowered media. The product fills in as an incredible record server yet clients have revealed it to be easily ‘hackable’.
- Multiple wireless functions;
- Media sharing;
- Large capacity power bank.
- No support for wireless hotspot and VPN;
- Bundled software does not focus on security.
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); TP-Link Tether app; 2 antennas | Wireless Protocols: 802.11ac | Data Transfer Rate: 1.2 Gbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 4 / 0 | Dimensions: 4.9 x 7.2 x 1.3 in
The TP-Link Archer C50 is a standout amongst the best cheap routers in this list and it sports some extraordinary features commonly found in other costly models. With an absolute potential throughput of 1.2 Gbps, which can stream Netflix or Amazon Prime in HD while at the same time offering enough data transfer capacity for different intentions isn’t each of an issue. At a price this cheap, the coverage is ok.
The firmware is able enough yet tragically, DD-WRT or Open Tomato firmware isn’t supported yet. To avoid overheating due to its plastic case, ensure the router is placed in a well-ventilated place
- Affordable but fully functional
- Good speeds and coverage.
- Plastic construction not good for thermals
- No custom firmware support
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); Advanced QoS; SPI and NAT firewall; USB ReadyShare; NETGEAR Genie App | Wireless Protocols: 802.11n | Data Transfer Rate: 900 Mbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 4 / 2 (2x USB 2.0) | Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.3 x 3.4 in
The NETGEAR WNDR4500 is a double band switch which offers speed up to 900 Mbps crosswise over both the 2.4 and 5 GHz groups yet at the same time adheres to the wireless N protocol. The WNDR4500 is worked for record sharing and is perfect with Apple Time Machine for programmed backups. The presence of two bands lessens impedance or interference while as yet offering a decent range. Progressed QoS highlights empower distribution of transfer speed as wanted to every customer.
Given the value, the WNDR4500 foregoes some propelled highlights, for example, beamforming or band controlling. There have been a few issues concerning the firmware so ensure you update it to the most recent form when you install it. NETGEAR’s guarantee approaches may find you napping so better check those in advance.
- Good speed and range;
- Media sharing capabilities.
- Buggy firmware;
- No beamforming
Features: Dual-band (2.4 + 5); Client, AP, Router, Hotspot, and Range extender modes; multi-functional USB port | Wireless Protocols: 802.11ac | Data Transfer Rate: 750 Mbps | No. of Ethernet / USB Ports: 1 / 1 (1x USB 2.0) | Dimensions: 2.64 x 2.91 x 0.87 in
The TP-Link TL-WR902AC isn’t only a remote travel switch however can likewise fill in as a mesh network. It has enough transmission capacity up to 750 Mbps making it appropriate for most hotel networks and even most home connections. As a wireless gadget, it can fill in as a range extender, access point, and furthermore as a hotspot. The product UI is genuinely simple to set up and dissimilar to most travel switches, it additionally offers propelled highlights, for example, DHCP reservation, port sending, DMZ, and so on.
The gadget thusly performs well yet the product may be up to everybody’s taste, particularly for exceptionally experienced clients. For instance, there is no arrangement to design a similar MAC address without a moment’s delay for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz groups. Clients have likewise revealed that the smaller scale USB port is additionally recessed obstructing a tight association.
- Multiple wireless modes; Good speeds.
- Software is not particularly pro-user friendly;
- The design flaw in micro USB port placement.
What to Look For in Routers?
- Demystifying advanced features like QoS, Smart Connect, and Beamforming
- Your wireless router should be dual-band or more
- Support for MU-MIMO or 802.11ac Wave 2 is a must
- Fast processor and plenty of RAM
- USB (preferably USB 3.0)
- Your router should have a smartphone app (preferably one that you can use when you are not near the router)
- Real-life speed