Routers have gotten expensive of late, especially if you're looking for something top-of-the-line. But not everyone needs the latest features and speeds. Fortunately, you can get a reliable router today without spending a whole lot of money, and that's likely enough for the average home.
We’ve picked some of the best budget routers on the market today so you don’t have to struggle and scroll through endless lists to scout for the right one.
TP-Link Archer AX21
Best cheap Wi-Fi 6 router
- Wi-Fi 6 on a budget
- Reliable performance
- Well-designed companion app
- Supports mesh implementation
- Does not include security software
- Single gigabit port
Why you should buy this: A cheap yet reliable router that supports Wi-Fi 6 and the ability to support mesh.
Who’s it for: For those who want an efficient router for their home or small office space.
Why we picked the TP-Link Archer AX21:
It is recommended that you invest in a Wi-Fi 6 router, and the TP-Link Archer AX21 is one of the cheapest ones. It offers a total bandwidth of 1.8Gbps with up to 574Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps on the 5GHz band. The router features beamforming independent FEM (Finite-Element-Method) and four antennas for a focused reception and is said to be suitable for a three-bedroom house.
There is a Gigabit WAN port, four Gigabit LAN ports, and a USB 2.0 port that supports various partition formats like NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, FAT32, and functions like Apple Time Machine, FTP Server, Media Server, and Samba Server. Additionally, the router supports OneMesh which helps you create a more flexible network that covers your entire home with other TP-Link OneMesh products.
Netgear Orbi RBK13
Best budget mesh router
- Compact units
- Super easy installation
- Good performance for its size
- No USB connectivity
- No LAN ports on satellite units
- Limited security and parental control
Why you should buy this: An affordable mesh router system that is easy to install and comes with a discrete low-profile design.
Who’s it for: Those who want a cheap mesh router to cover a large-sized house.
Why we picked the Netgear Orbi RBK13:
The Orbi RBK13 is a compact budget-oriented mesh router system that offers up to 4,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage. Featuring the main router and two satellite units, it offers respectable performance and is quite easy to install. It supports speeds of up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 866Mbps on the 5GHz band as well as MU-MIMO for simultaneous data streaming and beamforming (direct-to-client signal transmissions). The dedicated Orbi app lets you control and configure all the settings, while the inbuilt Netgear Armor gives you an overview of your security, how many vulnerabilities and blocked threats you have, add security to connected devices, and more. There is no USB port nor do the satellite units have additional LAN ports, which are probably the only two cons, but otherwise, this is one of the best mesh routers that you can grab for under $100.
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900
Best budget router for gaming
Why you should buy this: It is one of the best routers on a budget that comes with dedicated features for gaming.
Who’s it for: Gamers and streamers who want the lowest latency or who are into cloud gaming.
Why we picked the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900:
For gamers, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 is a pretty solid choice. The router is certified by Nvidia for GeForce Now, which means you shouldn't face any issues during your cloud gaming sessions. It also supports triple-level game acceleration, which can boost game traffic for lower ping times and reduced latency for a better online gaming experience.
Additionally one can create a mesh Wi-Fi system by adding other Asus AiMesh-compatible routers for seamless coverage, which is great if you own a portable console or love gaming on your phone. As for the speeds, expect up to 750Mbps on 2.4GHz and 2,167Mbps on 5GHz, with support for MIMO and boosted speeds using beamforming. Of course, being an Asus ROG product, there is also some RGB goodness for the gamer aesthetics factor.
Wavlink Quantum DAX/WL-WN538A8 AC3200
Best budget router with LCD
- Built-in LCD
- Good performance for the price
- Eight omnidirectional antennas
- Does not support Wi-Fi 6
Why you should buy this: A unique Wi-Fi router offering great performance and a built-in LCD.
Who’s it for: Home and office users looking for a router that looks unlike any other product on the market.
Why we picked the Wavlink Quantum DAX/WL-WN538A8 AC3200:
The Wavlink Quantum DAX/WL-WN538A8 is an inexpensive option for someone who is looking for a router with a built-in LCD display. It also comes with a unique design and offers excellent value for the asking price of under $100. It includes eight 5dBi omnidirectional antennas for the best wireless performance, with up to 2,167Mbps speeds on 5GHz and 1000Mbps on 2.4GHz.
The router comes with a 10/100/1000Mbps ethernet WAN port and three 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet LAN ports. There is also a USB 3.0 port to share files and media with networked devices. The LCD on top of the unit can showcase various information including connected LAN ports, network speeds, connected devices, and even weather updates depending on your region.
Best portable budget router
- Highly compact
- USB port for media sharing
- Support for OpenVPN and WireGuard VPN
- Limited speeds and ports
- Lacks support for Wi-Fi 6
Why you should buy this: A highly compact router that you can carry around easily while traveling.
Who’s it for: Avid travelers who need secure and reliable connectivity.
Why we picked the GL.iNet GL-SFT1200:
For the ones who are always on the go, this compact router is the perfect companion. The GL.iNet GL-SFT1200 is a dual-band wireless router that supports simultaneous dual-band wireless speeds of up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz and 867Mbps on 5GHz. It has a pocket-friendly lightweight design with a weight of just 145g allowing you to carry it on your next business trip. It features two Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port alongside a USB 2.0 port for file and media sharing.
Best of all, this router can be powered using USB-C and comes with OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed along with compatibility with over 30 VPN service providers. Like most Wi-Fi routers, one can also use it as a repeater or even convert a public network to private Wi-Fi for secure surfing.
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