The Best WiFi Routers
Upgrading your WiFi router
Upgrading WiFi routers is often a good way to improve Wifi speeds in your home, and if you’re going to upgrade your router we figure you’ll want to upgrade to something decent, so here are our choices for the best routers currently available. Our best wifi routers list excludes anything costing over £300 as they tend to be quite specialised and not the sort of thing the average user is ever likely to need.
If your household has multiple users, has multiple devices connected and if the best possible WiFi coverage is needed, buying your own router to upgrade on the free router your broadband supplier gave you makes sense. If your house is stuffed to the rafters with IoT devices, if have a serious gamer in the house or are one yourself, you shouldn’t think twice about investing in a top line router.
If you don’t want to read the explanations, click one of the router names below to scroll down to that section.
Best WiFi Routers
Basic Router Types
Without going into technical aspects unneccessarily, there are two main types of routers, those with built-in modems and those without one. Most UK households will want the first type, with a built-in modem, because ADSL and VDSL (fibre FTTC) require a modem. The second type, without a modem, is for people with cable broadband, such as Virgin Media customers.
Increasing available there is also a third type of router, referred to as mesh Wi-Fi kits. These systems are comprised of two or more Wi-Fi routers which work in partnership to deliver a mesh Wi-Fi network capable of covering even the largest of homes. They aren’t as expensive as you might expect, so if WiFi area coverage is your primary concern, consider buying a mesh system that will connect to your existing router and provide a much better signal.
Things to look for
802.11ac is the main standard at the moment, and most reasonably priced routers will support this standard, or higher. The latest routers have what is called Wi-Fi 6, which is better for homes with multiple WiFi devices trying to access the internet at the same time. However, very few devices currently support WiFi 6, so it’s really something for the future.
For best results, look for an 11ac wireless router with at least three aerials. With many homes still finding a need for wired ethernet connections, it makes sense to have a good number of LAN ports. Look for Gigabit ports, as these run up to 10 times faster than the older 10/100 Ethernet ports. The actual number of ports isn’t too important as these can be easily extended using a Gigabit switch device.
Worried about guests accessing your devices?
Some routers offer a ‘guest’ network facility which allows friends or guests get online without also giving them access to the computers and other gadgets connected to your home network. This facility might not be important to most households but where your kids are bringing home lots of friends and allowing them to access the wifi or if you’re running a small business such as a guest house, it could prove invaluable.