What could be more valuable than owning the best router under $200? We can’t overlook the fact that most people are still working from home because of COVID-19. How do you pick the best router on a tight budget? That is not difficult because there are numerous solutions available on the market. However, selecting the best value at a reasonable price takes time.
The best routers under the $200 list are based on the results of a satisfaction survey of over 1560 people. To come up with the top of the list, we reviewed and ranked the final 3 wifi routers under $200, grading them on wifi signal, tech support, user interface, and value for money.
The List of Top 3 Best Routers Under $200 in 2022 [Reviewed]
|TP-Link AX5400 WiFi 6 Router – Smart WiFi Router||25% more speed||4.9|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router (R7800)||Perfect Choice||4.8|
|ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC86U)||Best Value Router||4.8|
The 3 Best Routers Under $200 in 2022
1. TP-Link AX5400 WiFi 6 Router – Smart WiFi Router
You do not have to pay a lot of money to buy a fast WiFi 6 router. On the Archer AX5400 (also known as the Archer AX73) TP-Link offers fast access to WiFi 6 at a reasonable price. A total bandwidth of 5.4 Gbps is provided by the device’s six dual-band antennas, which use modern technology (such as 1024-QAM) and HT160 technology. The company promises you will get 25% more speed this time and full home coverage with maximum gadgets connected.
OneMesh compatibility for mesh networks, as well as a USB 3.0 connector for media sharing and local network storage, are expected, as with some of the company’s other routers. Your wired connections will benefit from four gigabit LAN ports.
The AX5400 is now available for $200 on Amazon. Even though it costs more than the AX3000, the AX5400 finds a better balance between modest speeds and high-speed performance, according to our reviewers.
- Excels on 5 GHz band
- Easy Installation
- Wall Mountable
- Decent performance on 2.4 GHz band
- No multi-gigabit port
- Advanced security/parental controls require subscription
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router (R7800) – Perfect Choice
One of the popular routers of Netgear is the Netgear NightHawk X4s, with a combined speed of up to 2.53 Mbps. It provides double streaming speeds with 160 MHz. As a result, you’ll experience the best video streaming and lag-free gaming with fast WiFi connectivity.
Netgear NightHawk is having a dual-core CPU (1.7GHz) that has the ability to manage several ethernet and wireless connections. This router, according to Netgear, has a 40-to-45-device simultaneous connection capacity without affecting the speed and performance. Quad-Stream is a revolutionary router technology that enables such speeds and devices.
The X4s houses many essential ports, such as four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 gigabit WAN port. Moreover, it has two USB 3.0 ports for media sharing, connecting printer, and other USB-enabled devices. It also features one eSATA port for streaming.
When it comes to management and setup, the X4s offers several apps. For example, ReadyCLOUD USB access allows secure cloud access to storage, the ReadySHARE App for sharing storage devices.
- Wide area coverage
- Includes USB 3.0 ports
- A wide variety of settings ensure full control of the device
- Dislike software interface among its users
- File transfer speed is less as compared to its competitors
3. ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC86U)b- Best Value Router
The ASUS AC2900 router is the third router on the list, and it costs less than $200. It’s a feature-rich, dependable, and powerful router that maintains a stable WiFI connection. Maximum Wi-Fi rates are up to 3.2 Gbps, with 2.6 Gbps on the 5GHz spectrum and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It also has smart connect technology, which allows the router to choose the quickest of three bands automatically.
It contains six exterior high-performance antennas (33 transmit and 33 receive) that utilize AiRadar Beamforming technology for a more consistent and robust Wi-Fi connection across your home and it has a USB 2.0 connector on the back that may be used to share printers, storage devices, and other USB-enabled devices across the network. The USB 3.0 port on the front side, on the other hand, offers 10x quicker speeds.
For the quickest connected connection, it offers four dedicated Gigabit Ethernet LANs and it has a robust hardware-accelerated NAT that provides five times faster WAN-to-LAN performance for lag-free gaming.
It, unlike others, offers dual WAN rather than dedicated WAN. It necessitates the configuration of one of the four LAN ports.
- Pre-built network protection
- Excellent performance in terms of data transfer rate
- Controls for prioritizing tasks are excellent
- Powerful tools and configuration options
- Complex software/ Not user friendly
- Common connection drops
Your Wi-Fi router may be in need of an upgrade?
Maybe your current Wi-Fi coverage is slowing down, or you need something that can handle the growing number of smart devices in the average home. A new router should solve any of the above issues.
It’s also worth upgrading old-age hardware. If you still have an old Wireless-N or Wireless-AC (renamed Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5 respectively) router, you should consider upgrading. In addition to faster connectivity, these newer standards have other advantages. Your smartphone battery will last longer thanks to better device management, and your connected home devices will be faster and more responsive.
Another major reason to upgrade your router is if your ISP charges you monthly for a gateway device. With monthly equipment rentals averaging $10-15, a new router can pay for itself in months, and provide better service and features! Don’t forget to pair it with one of the best cable modems to avoid any extra fees associated with broadband internet packages.
How to pick the best Wi-Fi router?
It’s easy to get lost in the jargon of networking and obscure technology standards when choosing the best wireless router. But you only need to know two things: What internet connection speed do you need? What coverage do you need at home?
Speeds and standards: The internet speed you need for your router is determined by your ISP and your modem. Most people can use a standard 802.11AC router to access all but the most impressive plans, like Gigabit internet in select cities. Averaging around 100 Mbps, most wireless AC routers will be able to easily handle the job.
Wi-Fi 6, a newer, faster standard, is better suited to the many devices found in today’s homes. Wi-Fi 6 routers are now available, but Wi-Fi 6 capable devices like laptops and phones are rare. Unless you’re using a dozen devices at once, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t worth the upgrade cost. See Wi-Fi 6: What it is and why you should know more.
Coverage Area: It is the other component of wireless. A basic standalone router has a range of 50-100 feet, covering most apartments and small homes. If your home is 3,000 square feet or larger, you should consider a mesh router, which uses multiple devices to provide Wi-Fi coverage. These are great for multi-story homes or homes with dead zones where Wi-Fi signal drops.
Ports: While wireless connectivity is the main goal of a Wi-Fi router, you should also consider wired connections. Ethernet is faster for bandwidth-hungry devices like game consoles and smart TVs, and USB ports let you connect a printer or storage to your network.
For those who live in areas with gigabit internet, input is another issue. A slow router can slow down your entire home on a Gigabit connection. One input can be combined with another for faster connectivity.
Price range: Basic dual-band 802.11ac routers often sell for under $100. More expensive models can cost up to $300, but they provide better coverage and faster speeds, and gaming routers with built-in optimization often cost more. Wi-Fi 6 (formerly 802.11ax) routers often sell for $400 or more.
It’s hard to keep up with the latest technology, so check out our guides like What is a mesh Wi-Fi router and do you need one? Or get the latest advice on how to secure your router, from basic steps to advanced security. We cover everything from router security to Wi-Fi 6 and the new Wi-Fi 6e in-depth.
How do we examine Wi-Fi Router?
We test each router’s performance and range, as well as its setup and feature quality.
Throughput measures how much data the router can send and receive wirelessly. We measure this at a 5-foot distance without obstructions to determine the router’s maximum data transfer rate. Higher throughput is better for data-intensive tasks like streaming video or connecting multiple users.
The range is the router’s maximum usable distance. Larger homes with many rooms benefit from longer ranges. We measure a router’s data transfer rate at 5, 50, 75, and 100 feet so you can pick the best model for your smaller home or apartment.
We also test through walls and ceilings to see how well a router can provide a signal in Wi-Fi-dampening conditions and we test mesh routers to see how well they send a signal through both the main router and a satellite unit.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
1. WiFi 6 vs WiFi 5 speed: Which one is better?
“Wi-Fi 6 has a maximum throughput of 9.6 Gbps over multiple channels, compared to 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5,” Intel said. A WiFi 6 enabled router may theoretically achieve speeds up to 250 percent faster than existing WiFi 5 devices.
2. What is a Wireless band for routers?
Your wireless data is transmitted over a wireless band, also known as a frequency band. These are the radio waves that transport your data from one device to the next. The 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band are the two frequency bands currently in use.
3. Difference between Dual-band & tri-band?
A dual-band router lets devices connect to one of two bands: 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. A tri-band router, as you might expect, includes an additional band for connecting devices. Two 5 GHz bands and one 2.4 GHz band are available.
4. What specifications should I keep in mind when buying a router under $200?
All of the routers described above are sturdy and provide a lot of useful functions. You can select the one from the above list that best matches your needs. However, for your house or small office, I prefer ASUS Tri-Band Gigabit (AC3200) Wi-Fi Router & Netgear Nighthawk X4s.
5. Which router under $200 is the best that covers a vast area?
With many rooms and more than two floors to cover, you should invest in the best router under the $200 list that will send maximum and strong data transfer to a long distance.
6. Why do routers become slow sometimes? Or What factors make the router slow?
A number of factors might cause routers to run slowly. One of the reasons is that the router’s range from its service or covering area is too short. In addition, the router performs or works slow when it’s too old or obsolete.
7. How long will a router last?
Depending on the quality and care of the user, the life expectancy of a router can vary greatly. However, on average, it lasts between five and ten years.
I’ve just shown you three of the best $200 wireless routers. For the sake of avoiding confusion, I’ve tried to limit my list to just three, rather than the usual massive one you see on the web.
There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a $200 router. Even if you’re not a regular do-it-yourselfer, installation is never a problem. When you can’t get your head around the user interface’s complexities, the issue arises. However, the instruction manual is always available for assistance. Even so, if your router has a vast number of management options, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is the best.