By Ki Grinsing
Top 10 wireless routers – best sellers in Amazon retail on networking – router category – most popular wireless N routers.
With a bunch of wireless routers available in the market today, it is obviously confusing the way you choose which one is the best for your need. Wireless router is the heart of your home wireless network to share the internet connection and other network resources . Unlike wired network which the connectivity performs well with least interference, wireless network is prone to any types of signal attenuators within its network coverage. Any sources of signal attenuators (including 2.4GHz-based wireless home appliances, concrete walls, file cabinets etc) can degrade the performance of your wireless connection significantly.
The wireless device manufacturers are competing to produce the best wireless devices including wireless router that are acceptable by the market and off course with an excellent response from the customers in terms of price, performance and features, and is very reliable. Those are the hopes of most users to get satisfaction from the products they buy.
User expectations are nothing but the product they are buying is reliable quality, good performance, lots of features, and reasonable price. Good performance of a wireless router can include speed, solid connection, reliable and heavy duty. Wireless routers with additional features would be great including the availability of the USB port that can be used either for sharing external disk storage or sharing the printer across the network. Router with USB port and is featuring media server support would be beneficial that allows connections to other DLNA compliant devices seamlessly.
Price can sometimes be a dilemma. You expect wireless router with a full-featured, reliable, high-performance but low prices. Surely router performance and features are comparable to the price. Although not all routers with high performance and spec that would be more expensive can provide value and satisfaction which are well worth the price. So it’s good to identify your needs and find the best wireless router to meet your needs.
Wireless speeds you should apprehend are that the speed written on manufacturer’s spec is ideal speed theoretically which in the real world never achieved the speed because of the environmental constraints that affect it. Most current and fastest Wi-Fi technology is the fifth generation of Wi-Fi technology – the wireless 802.11ac standard, which in theory could be adopted in the current wireless router is up to 1300Mbps. It is really incredible speed that is almost beyond the gigabit speed of Ethernet ports on a wired network. This type of router with 802.11ac standard is certainly still more expensive on the market than most standard wireless N router.
Top 10 wireless routers
Excluding legacy wireless routers, here are the top 10 wireless N routers in the online Amazon retail with good customer ratings.
1. Medialink N150 Router
The first rank router that has survived always in the top three from 2010, 2011 to 2012 is Medialink wireless N150 router. With affordable price below $50 this router becomes the best seller #1 in Amazon, best-in-class router with thousands of users give averagely 4.8 out of 5 stars customer ratings for fast and easy installation, solid connection and outstanding customer service.
Indeed, this router is only a standard router with speed up to 150Mbps. For most home users with couples of computers the need for a wireless home network for internet sharing, share documents, printer and other networking tasks this router is sufficient.
- It supports single band (2.4GHz). Typically the 2.4GHz band is not ideal for streaming HD video due to interference. But many customers are satisfied with the solid connection even for streaming up to 1080p HD video and gaming
- It doesn’t support USB port for storage / printer. No routers with USB port are sold under $50.
For manufacturer description and spec’s details, see more MWN-WAPR150N Medialink router .
2. Apple Airport Extreme (5G)
Apple always launched products that are phenomenal and always get a good response for most people. Likewise with Airport Extreme wireless router fifth generation products has always been at the top five in the Amazon with an average customer ratings 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Unlike Medialink above, this is a premium router and the price is certainly more expensive, almost three times more than standard wireless N150 routers. Equipped with 3 gigabit LAN ports for some people this is sufficient to connect two or three computers with network cable. And with wireless N600 dual band technology, this router allows connection of all kinds of mix wireless devices.
- Less Ethernet ports (3 Gigabit ports)
- Single USB port, but allows you add USB hub to host both storage and printer at the same time
You may also like the new version of Apple airport express with wireless N, a compact wireless base station that can be configured as the wireless extender.
For more manufacturer specs and detail click here Airport extreme base station.
3. Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router
Linksys E1200 is currently positioned in the third rank of the top 10. The needs of most home users is for wireless network standard, indeed, although the trend is now towards the wireless network to support home theater and cloud connect. Linksys wireless router 1200 is a standard router for small network environments from big name of wireless manufacturer. While Linksys has been producing a lot of high end wireless routers, the demand is still very high for standard wireless router. Compared with Medialink, E1200 router has a speed spec two times faster with wireless N300 single band technology. Averagely 3.8 out of 5 star customer ratings in Amazon.
- Single 2.4 GHz band
- Fast Ethernet ports, no Gigabit ports. Well, if you need to transfer a large number of files on a continuous basis or computer with high intensive bandwidth application you need a gigabit port spec. 100Mbps is sufficient for the needs of general networking tasks.
- No USB port
4. D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Gigabit Router
DIR-655 is also a wireless router that is welcomed by customers. This router uses wireless draft 802.11n technology which was very popular in its time. And now even though there have been a lot of premium grade high performance routers on the market, today with prices that is almost half of the price off the first time it was released, would not be surprised if this router becomes one of the customer’s options for fast wireless network at home and still have a good performance to support multimedia.
With the addition of the USB port and SharePort technology, you can add a printer or storage that can be accessed users on the network. Obviously with the price of a standard wireless router you get a high performance wireless router to support your multimedia environment and even to support your small office, no need to add a wireless print-server.
Most customers give positive reviews with an average 4 star customer ratings for ease of setup, value for money, speed and wireless connections. It is interesting that the next generation of this router (D-Link DIR-665 router dual band selectable) does not receive better customer ratings than DIR-655 despite is designed with N450 technology for higher speed.
- Doesn’t support 5GHz band for clean network and less interference
- Supports only one USB port for either sharing the storage or printer. For best value I prefer router with 2 USB ports to allow you share both printer and storage concurrently
you may consider the new version DIR-645 whole home router with multibeam technology. The latest and fastest router product by D-link is Dir-857 N900 router with one USB 3.0 port ten times faster than USB 2.0.
5. Asus RT-N56U Wireless N600 Black Diamond
Asus RT-N56U router is a new line of products by Asus, maintaining a tradition of providing the best value to the router by adding two USB ports for sharing storage and printer shared simultaneously. It is an ideal solution for a complete networking solution for small office or for home entertainment. You do not need to buy print-server to share a printer and at the same time you can host external storage to share across the network.
The router is the first one by Asus that supports dual band N600 technology. It also gets a very good response by users with 4 out of 5 star customer ratings, easy installation, worth the money you pay, and very solid connection. Performance and reliability are very important for your home theater environment. Personally I am very happy with the wireless router with two USB ports, can host both storage and printer concurrently – very practical isn’t it?
- Should you require guest network access, the router doesn’t support this feature. For home usage with the absence of guest access is not a serious issue.
- Not IPv6 ready – no problem actually. Implementation of IPv6 globally is still far away.
For manufacturer description and spec details, learn more RT-N65U Spec. Asus introduces new RT-N66U N900 router with 3 SSIDs per band recently as well as the RT-AC66U 802.11ac router.
6. Linksys EA4500 App-Enabled N900 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router
The latest generation from Linksys wireless N router is EA4500 series which is a full-featured wireless router or a premium edition from Linksys with N900 technology and Cloud connect. With the price 3 times more expensive than standard wireless router, certainly commensurate with the features and performance you get. The new wave of cloud technology era has been installed on the EA series that let you manage your home network via your Android or tablet computer from anywhere you are. Well, a new lifestyle for the home network.
With the support of the guest network, you can limit how many guest users who can connect to your network. Equipped with a USB port, you can either host storage as NAS or USB network printer. It would be more value and more efficient if it had two USB ports like Asus does. However, the EA6500 series has two USB ports which is wireless ac-based technology.
- Only one USB port for this high end router
- doesn’t support Simple-Tap-Technology – add Wi-Fi and NFC-Enabled devices to your network
- Although it received 3.4 out of 5 star customer ratings, less satisfactory in fact, many users are not satisfied with this product. Perhaps the technology is still new, there are still many shortcomings in addition to some of its great features on this router.
7. NETGEAR Wireless Router – N900 Dual Band Gigabit (WNDR4500)
WNDR4500 is the first generation of Netgear wireless routers with N900 technology. It is amazing, very complete, including two USB ports (same as Asus) with USB storage Readyshare access and Readyshare printer. Sometimes you want the router to work without wireless access; you are lucky because the router is equipped with two power and wireless On / Off buttons. In late nights or very early in the morning If only you work alone at your desk, you can turn off wifi because you work by using direct cable connection. Thus, it is reducing the risk of eavesdropping by unauthorized users within the range of your wireless network.
Despite of receiving 3.8 out of 5 star average customer ratings, there are large numbers of users give one star rating because of dissatisfaction due to unreliability and poor customer satisfaction. As general this is a great router for video streaming and online gaming, high bandwidth for simultaneous access.
- Many complain because the connection is not reliable, although many who are very satisfied. Perhaps because of faulty hardware they got. If this is the case, then must be questioned is the quality of control during production.
8. D-Link Systems DIR-605L Wireless-N300 Router Cloud
One of affordable a series of cloud router is D-link DIR-605L. Similarly Linksys coud series routers, the DIR-605L lets you manage the home network from smart-phone, Android and tablet computer from anywhere you are. This router also features time scheduling. This is a cloud series router with the speed up to 300Mbps. Apparently the router at a price below $ 50 always getting good response from customers especially router with the new features the other router in its class do not support. It is based on wireless N300 router with two 5dBi external antennas for better signal strength.
- If you prefer something sleek, this router may look unpleasant with its two external antennas. Although this antenna provides 5dBi signal gain nearly twice the gain of standard Omni-type antenna on most wireless routers which is only 2dBi.
- Incomplete without the presence of a USB port. However, comparable to the price you pay. With double the price of this router, you get the DIR-645 which is equipped with one USB port.
9. WNDR3700-100NAS Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Router
WNDR3700-100NAS is first generation of Netgear high performance dual band wireless routers that aimed to support multimedia including streaming video and gaming. While the first generation was very popular in its time, to the third generation this router is still very popular because of good performance compared to some of the new generations of Netgear routers.
WNDR3700 is the first Netgear router with wireless N600 technology. It supports simultaneous dual band and gigabit ports for both WAN and LAN interfaces. The router is powered by draft 802.11n wireless technology with 680 MHz powerful processor, 16 MB flash and 64 MB RAM. For eco friendly – Green features, the router includes power and wireless on/off buttons and 80% recycled packaging.
Average customer rating is 3.8 out of 5 stars. The number of those who give 5 star ratings two times more than those who give one star rating that reflects unsatisfied. Actually this is less favorable although it is not describing objectively.
- It supports Guest network (multiple SSIDs) but many complaining that this feature doesn’t work
- It includes one USB port for storage but not for hosting a printer share. Many complaining about this port, cannot work for storage.
For detail manufacturer spec and description, click here WNDR3700 dual band router. The newest version of Netgear router is WNDR4500 N900 dual band router and WNDR4700 N900 wireless storage router.
10. ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
RT-N66U is a new generation of black diamond series with N900 technology. It is somewhat different from the previous series of RT-N56U which is getting very good response in the market, RT-N66U series are equipped with three removable external antennas. Unlike the RT-N56U which is not IPv6 ready, RT-N66U routers are IPv6 ready.
Customer response is very good indeed with an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars customer ratings. Only a few customers who are not satisfied with this product. Although it was very unfortunate at the first release of the product which the firmware was a bit problematic with internet connection that has been fixed with the new firmware, this router becomes popular due to its good performance.
- Unlike its predecessor, the external antenna makes this router looks a little bit untidy on your table – takes space actually unless you mount it on the wall, though giving greater power
To make easier reading to see the feature differences, the following table displays some of the main features only without mentioning other general features such as security and more.
|Wireless Technology||Ethernet Ports||USB Port||Customer Ratings Amazon (1-5 stars)|
|MWN-WAPR150N Medialink router||Wireless N150 with 1xInternal antenna||Fast Ethernet: 4xLAN 1xWAN||N/A||4.4 out of 5 stars|
|Apple Airport Extreme (5G)||Wireless N600 – internal MIMO antennas||Gigabit: 3xLAN and 1xWAN||1xUSB 2.0 port for share storage or printer or add USB Hub||4.4 out of 5 stars|
|Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router||Wireless N300 with MIMO antenna array||Fast Ethernet: 4xLAN 1xWAN||N/A||3.8 out of 5 stars|
|D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Gigabit Router||Wireless N= 300 with 3x External Antennas||Gigabit: 4xLAN and 1xWAN||1xUSB 2.0 port with shareport technology for storage / printer||3.8 out of 5 stars|
|Asus RT-N56U Wireless N600 Black Diamond||wireless N600 antennas: 2xinternal 3.8dBi (2.4GHz) /3xinternal 5.1dBi (5GHz)||Gigabit: 4xLAN and 1xWAN||2xUSB 2.0 ports with Print and Media Server||4.0 out of 5 stars|
|Linksys EA4500 App-Enabled N900||Wireless N900 with full 3×3 MIMO antenna array – Cisco connect cloud||Gigabit: 4xLAN and 1xWAN||1xUSB 2.0 port with DLNA Certified Media Server||3.4 out of 5 stars|
|NETGEAR WNDR4500 Wireless Router||Wireless N900 with Powerful WiFi amplifiers and 128 MB Flash / 128 MB RAM||Gigabit: 4xLAN and 1xWAN||2xUSB 2.0 ports; DLNA media server||3.8 out of 5 stars|
|D-Link Systems DIR-605L||Wireless N300 with 2x5dBi external antennas; Cloud Apps||4xFast Ethernet||N/A||4.5 out of 5 stars|
|WNDR3700-100NAS Netgear||wireless N600 with Powerful WiFi amplifiers||Gigabit: 4xLAN and 1xWAN||1xUSB port – storage with DLNA media server||3.6 out of 5 stars|
|ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band||Wireless N900 with 3 x external detachable for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz||4xGigabit LAN; 1xGigabit WAN or USB 3G/4G dongle
|2xUSB 2.0 ports; DLNA Media server and PPTP VPN server||4.2 out of 5 stars|
A general guideline in choosing a wireless router is choosing the best one to meet your needs. You know that selecting the best router is like shooting the moving target. Always comes new router introductions with newer technology and richer features.
For wider range you need to cover for your larger home or need to extend the range to the dead zone areas you may also consider adding wireless range extender devices.
By Ki Grinsing