Best Wireless Routers for Long Range and Fast Wifi (2019 Reviews)

The present increase in demand for Wi-Fi connectivity is unprecedented; however, it is to be expected. We now live in a world of smartphones, mobile devices, smart TVs, computers and a host of other gadgets upon which our daily activities depend – indeed, so much of what we do each day is online. This has resulted in the need to outfit our homes and businesses with a wireless router that is capable of handling the ever-increasing Wi-Fi connectivity demand. A wireless router is an electronic hardware device with which people can connect to their modems and gadgets (at home, the office, or outdoors) through wireless connections to the internet all at the same time. Basically, a wireless router works as a router (sending data from the internet cable to a device) and as a wireless access point (sharing data through radio signals rather than via a cable).

Having a stress-free online experience cannot be exaggerated and the benefits of a wireless router go beyond it enabling the users to connect many gadgets to the internet at once. Wireless routers can be used to make calls over the internet, and to access digital TV with products such as Google’s Chromecast, and Apple TV. To leverage on the bulk of routers benefits, users have to be acquainted with the basic information and additional features of the available wireless routers. All wireless routers are not created equal, and before buying a wireless router, there are several things that prospective users need to consider. Some of the most important factors include the available speeds, Wi-Fi standards, the range covered by the router, the support the router has for multiple bands, the USB functionality, and the support for internet protocols.

A new router makes a world of difference, and when consumers are informed about the features they want in a wireless router they are better positioned to making the right choice, and they don’t pay for a router with features they will likely never use. This knowledge helps you find the router that is best suited for your need.

The Range of Wireless Routers

This range is the distance the signal covers from the router. And in most cases, the manufacturer’s specification of the range will be higher than what the real range will be upon setting up the wireless router at home or in the office. This discrepancy in range value arises due to obstructions (like walls) and interferences (from mobile phones, radio waves and so on) that are not present in the lab-type setting where the range was initially measured by the manufacturers. In an ideal household setting, the range of a good wireless router when indoor is about 4572cm (150ft) and the value is a little less when used outdoor.

Another key factor that influences the range of a wireless router is the nature of the antenna used to broadcast the signal from the router. Basically, there are two types of antenna for a router: internal antennas and external antennas. The internal antenna is enclosed in the router, and the external antenna isn’t. As is the general case, wireless routers with internal antennas are more appealing, aesthetic, and stylish, however, the fact remains that routers with external antennas are able to deliver signals that cover a wider range than their counterpart routers; And this should be taken into consideration prior to purchasing a wireless router, as a choice is to be made between aesthetics and performance.

The Band of Wireless Routers

The band of a wireless router is the specific frequency (in gigahertz) at which the router sends out a signal to the modems. Generally, wireless routers exist as Single Band, Dual-Band, or Tri-band routers; for a single band router, the frequency can either be 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz; a dual-band router has its frequency at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, while the tri-bands guarantees more signal by adding a 5 GHz extra frequency. Each of these bands has its pros and cons. Routers with the 2.4 GHz frequency band are usually the least expensive ones, but they have to compete with devices like the microwave ovens, wireless headphones, and Bluetooth devices that are on the same radio band while the dual-band and the tri-band routers provide more wireless internet connection options, the 2.4 GHz has a higher range value than the 5 GHz frequency.

The effect of this range differences becomes obvious depending on the location of router use; the dual-band and tri-band routers are not as effective in the outdoor space as they are in the indoor space as most gadgets are not within short range and the signals now run into more interferences. A wireless router with multiple frequencies is best suited for a place where there are many routers or limited space and lots of interferences.

The WI-FI Standards

There are five standard wireless signals namely 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. As the alphabet increases, so also does the strength of the wireless signal; consequently, 802.11a is the wireless signal with the least signal strength while 802.11ac is the one with the highest signal strength. You need to be aware of the device or gadgets you use and the ease with which they can connect to these wireless signals before buying a router. Also, you might need to adjust the router setting such that devices with lower signal strength will be able to connect to it.

Wireless Routers with 802.11a signal strength broadcasts wireless signal at 5 GHz with a data transfer rate of 54 Mbps (megabytes per second); wireless Routers with 802.11b signal strength broadcasts wireless signals at a frequency of 2.4 GHz with a maximum data transfer rate of 11 Mbps; wireless Routers with 802.11g signal strength have a signal broadcast frequency of 2.4 GHz, but a maximum data transfer rate of 54 Mbps; wireless Routers with 802.11n are different from the previously listed wireless network standards, these routers use Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology to boost its signal strength. These routers transfer data at a maximum of 600 Mbps. Wireless Routers with 802.11ac are upgrades of 802.11b – they are termed the fifth generation Wi-Fi and employ a Multi-User MIMO. They broadcast signals at 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz and have the largest data transfer rate placed at a maximum of 867 Mbps. Also, such routers support beamforming – a technology that transmits Wi-Fi signals directly to a client as opposed to broadcasting the signal in all directions.

Internet Protocol Support

Being up-to-date with the latest technological evolution reduces stress and frustration, and the fast evolution of the internet technology world is no exception. With so many IPv4 (internet protocol version 4) addresses no longer available, it will be very apt to only settle for those wireless routers that support IPv6 and save yourself the stress and frustrations that come with worrying over your internet protocol address. There is also the choice of internet security protocol that can inform the client decision of wireless router to settle for. Generally, all wireless routers come with Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), and Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) Security.

In WEP, the radio waves connection is encrypted via a point-to-point transmission; this security ensures the confidentiality in using such a wireless connection as a pre-shared key (or pass code) is required to establish a connection between the wireless router and any gadget. The WPA is a more secure security protocol than the WEP, it uses the same point-to-point transmission to encrypt the radio waves connection, but the pre-shared key is more difficult to decrypt or decode. This feature is achieved by means of a Temporal Key Integration Protocol (TKIP) which makes use of a per-packet key. The TKIP generates a new 128-bit key for the individual packets consequently reducing the susceptibility to attacks that the WEP is prone to. The WPA2 is the most secure of the three protocols, and it has a less permeable encryption system that is founded in the AES (Advanced Encryption Standards). Should the security of your wireless connection require more intricate measures that aren’t catered for by the trio security protocols detailed above, you would need to make an informed decision and select a router that best meets your need.
USB Functionality

In some instances, the need may arise to directly connect and use the wireless network through the USB cable and at such time USB port(s) could come in handy, however, not all wireless routers come with USB port(s). The USB feature, if inclusive in the router, enables files to be shared between devices through a wireless connection via the NAS (Network Attached Storage), this functionality is especially useful in wireless connections to printers. A large number of wireless routers come with a wired port that aids wired internet connection to a PC in close proximity. This feature is particularly useful as it comes with the advantage that no interference exists between the PC and the router as the connection is made through the cable, similarly, more data transfer speed is experience, and the signal strength is more reliable.

The 8 best Wireless Routers have been discussed in details below to help you in choosing the ideal one that is most suited to your need.

TP-Link Talon AD7200

TP-Link Talon AD7200