It may surprise you to learn that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the best cheap router when comparing all of the pricey high-end models available on the market. This is especially true if you just need to manage a few devices in a small living area. Our review of the best cheap wifi router includes some excellent alternatives for single users and small families that live in apartments, condos, or medium-sized homes, where maximum range and tri-band coverage aren’t as vital as they once were, according to our research.
In spite of their low price, the best cheap wifi routers still deliver dependable performance and more than enough bandwidth to support three or four devices while engaging in modern online activities such as 4K Netflix streaming and Zoom calls. As a result, they’re excellent choices for anyone on a tight budget or looking for an affordable cheap router to use at the cottage. Continue reading for a list of the top cheap routers that will provide you with excellent features and coverage at a reasonable price.
WiFi has evolved into a need in the modern household. A decent cheap WiFi router is no longer only for connecting to the Internet on a computer; it also guarantees that mobile devices, smart home controls, and even appliances can make use of all of their linked capabilities. At the same time, a trustworthy wireless router can give connectivity to a large number of devices simultaneously.
Shopping for a decent router, on the other hand, is not quite as straightforward as using one. Because there are so many comparable models to select from, it is difficult to decide. Users may find it difficult to select the router that best suits their demands and the environment in which they live.
Read more: Best Wifi Routers
1. TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router
While operating at 5 GHz, the TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router can deliver up to 1,167 Mbps in download speeds and combines the newest wireless technology to provide a fast connection. Because it operates on two frequencies, it can achieve a maximum speed of 300 Mbps when linked at the 2.4 GHz frequency. Of course, your Internet service provider (ISP) and other factors will have an impact on these speeds.
The TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router has three antennas that use beamforming technology to provide strong WiFi coverage. In demanding circumstances such as online gaming and streaming movies, it routes signals to the locations where they are needed, allowing you to enjoy high internet connections. In addition, it ensures that any member of your family may make use of dependable WiFi at any time.
When you need wired connectivity, this cheap router provides four Gigabit Ethernet ports for you to choose from. You may use a tethered connection to connect your laptop or television when you need a faster connection. It is also equipped with a USB connector, which allows you to wirelessly share your favorite tracks, images, and movies with others through a network connection.
You can access your TP-Link AC1200 Smart WiFi Router using a companion app, which allows you to do so from any location. You may make adjustments such as setting a password for your guest network, controlling traffic, and enabling parental controls from any location you have internet access.
You should consider upgrading your router if you are experiencing difficulties with the quality of your WiFi signal. A cheap wifi router that eliminates buffering and dropped connections is ideal. Its two frequencies provide powerful signals, which when combined with beamforming technology, make all the difference in WiFi performance.
2. TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band Router
In the event that you are unable to meet the internet requirements of your home, including streaming, gaming, downloading, and file sharing, then you should consider upgrading the router you are now employing. It goes without saying that TP-Link is a name that should be kept on your radar if you want reliability, and the TP-Link Archer C50 AC 1200 Dual-Band cheap WiFi Router is no exception.
The fact that it is a dual-frequency router means that you may receive data speeds of up to 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band with this device. It is an excellent choice for streaming in 4K and playing the latest first-person shooter and multiplayer online battle arena games, which consume a lot of bandwidth.
Its three 5dBi antennas eliminate the need to be concerned about network coverage when using this router. The antennas are movable, allowing you to guide the signals to the exact location where you require them. If you are on the second story and want to browse Facebook without having to go into the living room, this router will provide you with all you need to get you browsing without any hassle.
The TP-Link Archer C50 AC 1200 Dual-Band WiFi Router is a great choice for people who want to connect up to ten devices at the same time without a hitch. This device reaches complexity through the use of 5dBi antennas and dual frequencies in the transmission of signals. The integrated firewall and WiFi access methods provide protection against password cracking, and you are not exposed to the risks associated with the Internet.
3. TP-Link N300
TP-Link is a well-known brand in the field of cheap wireless routers, and their products are widely available. The N300 model is a single-band router that functions in accordance with the 802.11bgn wireless networking standard. In situations when you have one or two devices that you wish to connect across a long distance, this is a good choice. When you have a tiny workplace or live in a small apartment, you will find it to be the perfect solution.
In addition, this router is backward compatible with the 802.11b/g wireless networking standard. It is an excellent choice for streaming movies and videos, as well as online surfing. It has four LAN ports as well as one WAN port, which may be used to connect to a modem. Because of its two high-quality 5dBi antennas, the router is extremely dependable on the 2.4 GHz band.
You will like the fact that connecting to your device is as simple as utilizing the WPS function on your smartphone. An IP-based Quality of Service (QoS) system allows you to regulate the network. This means that you can keep an eye on the traffic and set up passwords and parental restrictions if you so choose.
The TP-Link N300 is a simple router that is capable of supporting the majority of WiFi apps. Although you won’t be able to create a smart home around this cheap router, you will be able to stream movies and browse the internet with a steady and dependable internet connection while doing so. Setup is quick, allowing you to begin taking advantage of the benefits of wireless networking right away.
4. ASUS RT-N12 N300 Wireless Router
Despite the fact that the ASUS Wireless N300 has been on the market for five years. Because of its simple design and wireless connectivity, it is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. This router, which operates on a single frequency and adheres to the 802.11bgn standard, is known for its stability and performance.
Thanks to the 2T2R MIMO technology, it can send signals to all of your devices at the same time. Each device, from laptop to smartphone to gaming console, has an equal opportunity to benefit from the high speeds.
The setup procedure is also one of the most straightforward. You can create up to four networks, one of which can be for a visitor. The bandwidth and passwords for each SSID, as well as the other settings, are completely configurable. In contrast, if you want to install custom firmware such as DD-WRT, this isn’t the greatest option—better it’s suited for people who like to set it and forget it rather than power users.
The ASUS N300 is a good value for money wireless router. With fast data transfer rates and flawless download and upload speeds, it is capable of keeping your house connected at all times. This router’s adaptability and dependability are demonstrated by its ability to connect to a variety of networks and operate in a number of different modes.
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 Smart WiFi Router
The NETGEAR R6700 router continues to be a top-performing device, even years after it was first released to the market. With the most recent firmware upgrades, this cheap wifi router delivers smooth internet performance, with data speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps on the faster 5 GHz band and 450 Mbps on the slower 2.4 GHz band on the faster 2.4 GHz band. When you have limitless internet needs in a huge home or business setting, it is truly one-of-a-kind.
This router is equipped with a dual-core CPU that runs at a speed of 1GHz. This high processing speed makes it an excellent router for processing orders from smart devices such as security cameras, doorbells, smartphones, game consoles, smart TVs, and any other device that relies on a solid WiFi connection, such as smart thermostats.
The NETGEAR R6700 is equipped with three antennas, each of which is removable. When you are ready to install the router, you will need to screw them in. You will see that it is rather large, so you should make sure that you have enough space for it.
Despite the fact that it has a plastic casing, it seems solid and durable. Furthermore, if you don’t have enough space on a shelf for it, you can always attach it using the holes in the back of the case.
NETGEAR R6700 routers are known for their high performance and dependability, which makes them ideal for heavy-duty wireless networking. You have the power to prioritize WiFi and restrict the number of people on your network, regardless of whether you are streaming or playing games.
6. ASUS Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 RT-ACRH13
The ASUS AC1300 is powered by a quad-core CPU with a clock speed of 717MHz, making it the fastest ac router in its category. A 128MB RAM configuration ensures that all connected devices get WiFi signals at the same speed. By using TurboQAM, this router is capable of achieving theoretical speeds of up to 1267Mbps when used in conjunction with two bands.
The four antennas on this router not only provide a contemporary look, but also make use of beamforming technology, which makes it even more efficient. The router can scan the area for wireless devices and direct the necessary WiFi signals to them without wasting any of the signals that are received.
This router has been tested to deliver data rates of up to 20Mbps on the 2.4GHz band at a distance of 100ft, and data rates of up to 134Mbps on the 5GHz band have been achieved. When you are as near as 5ft to the router, you may anticipate speeds of 95Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 365Mbps on the 5GHz band, depending on the frequency. As a result, both in the theoretical and practical senses, the product is excellent.
The ASUS AC1300 is a remarkable device in a variety of ways. This cheap router is not your average entry-level router, as seen by its quad-core CPU and its long-lasting construction. It delivers incredible real-world speeds, which we cannot overstate the importance of.
7. TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is a dual-band wireless router with enough capacity to handle the highest internet speeds. It features three long exterior antennas that can give WiFi coverage of up to 2500 square feet and has the bandwidth to handle the fastest internet speeds. There are also four gigabit LAN connections, which makes this a fantastic pick for gamers who want to enjoy a lag-free gaming experience. An additional USB port exists on the router, allowing users to attach a USB drive and share the contents of that drive with other computers on their local network.
When connected to the internet through the 2.4 GHz band, the router is capable of providing a maximum download speed of 450 megabits per second. Connecting this router to the internet at 5 GHz allows it to utilize its maximum capacity, allowing for download rates of up to 1300 Mbps. This blisteringly fast speed is perfect for streaming video in 4K, resulting in reduced loading times and buffering while improving overall performance. Of course, if the internet connection flowing into your home is not fast enough, the speed of the router is meaningless, and this router may be overkill for customers who do not willing to pay for improved internet service.
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is one of the easiest WiFi routers to use, thanks to its seamless connection with Amazon’s Alexa speech assistant. Users may set up the guest WiFi network and enable or off parental control with a single voice command, saving time and effort. The TP-Link Tether app makes it simple and intuitive to set up and configure the device, even for expert users.
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is a high-performance cheap router that costs less than $100 to purchase. The combination of excellent characteristics and capabilities that are typically only available in more costly routers makes it a no-brainer for our list of the best inexpensive wireless routers on the market today.
8. TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router
Apart from the fact that it can handle gigabit speeds for devices running on the 5 GHz channel, the TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router has the highest efficiency of any wireless router while operating on the 2.4 GHz channel, with maximum rates of up to 600 Mbps. Consequently, it is among our top-rated wireless routers for customers who still have a number of older devices to which they must provide connectivity.
Due to the fact that it can support up to 50 connected devices at the same time, this router is also an excellent solution for small office situations. The built-in “Smart Connect” beamforming technology distributes WiFi traffic over less crowded channels in order to efficiently disperse WiFi traffic around the home or workplace. As a result, streaming and games are performed at optimal rates with no latency.
The Archer A9 firmware is in charge of running the TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router. This delivers industry-leading Internet security, as well as sophisticated management tools like parental control, guest access, and a VPN server for private surfing on a network with other people. Excellent customer service is something that TP-Link is well-known for the offering. This wireless router, like all of its other products, comes with a full two-year guarantee and access to 24/7 technical assistance. In order to provide more convenience, some of the features of this cheap router may be accessed through an Alexa-compatible device.
The TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router is a high-capacity WiFi router that offers excellent performance for its price. It operates particularly effectively in situations where there are a large number of devices to connect as a result of the Smart Connect beamforming technology.
Choosing the Perfect Cheap WiFi Router
The capabilities and features of WiFi routers may be quite diverse, so it’s critical to have a clear understanding of how you want to use yours before you begin looking for one. Underestimating the amount of coverage or bandwidth required will result in interruptions and unnecessarily long loading times.
However, if you choose a cheap router that has features and capacities that you do not want, you will be squandering your money. As a result, it is not always necessary to get the most costly model. Prior to selecting a router, you should take into consideration the following considerations.
Area of Coverage
The greater the strength of your router’s WiFi antenna, the greater the distance you can go away from the network while still being connected to the internet. The user who has to cover a big area will want to invest in a router that has a stronger signal, whilst those who live in tiny flats or homes may save money by purchasing a less costly router that has a lower coverage area. The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router, which provides coverage of up to 2500 square feet, is the most powerful of the inexpensive cheap WiFi routers we tested.
Wireless Data Transfer Rate
High-speed Internet access might be prohibitively costly. To ensure that you get the most out of your cable or DSL subscription, you must ensure that your wireless router is capable of matching the speed of the signal coming into your home. If your wireless router is not capable of matching the speed of the signal coming into your home, you will not get the most out of your subscription.
Check your Internet bill or get in touch with your service provider to find out what the maximum speed of your internet package is. Users who want ultra-high-speed internet may consider the NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC 1750 Dual Band Smart WiFi Router, which we suggest.
If you plan on connecting a computer or other devices to your network through a LAN connection, you’ll need a router with an appropriate number of ethernet ports to accommodate this. Picking a cheap router with at least one or two additional ports for future expansion is highly recommended by us.
Wireless Frequency and Specification
Depending on the devices that you want to connect to your WiFi network, you may want to consider upgrading your router in order to take advantage of the increased speed and range that these newer technologies may provide. The current wireless performance standard, 802.11ac, provides the best possible results. More information about wireless standards may be found here.