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Best cheap wireless router deals for July 2021

Most of us don’t think about our wireless routers too much, but almost all of us depend on them day-in, day-out for our home or office Wi-Fi. These humble little devices sit largely unnoticed but carry a heavy burden — serving as wireless network hubs that connect us to the world wide web — and one that’s out of date and/or not working properly will quickly become a nuisance. Buying your own router gives you more control over your local network and can even save you money on monthly ISP rental fees, so if you’re in the market for a new one, you’ve found the right place. We’ve rounded up all of this month’s best cheap wireless router deals right here.

Today’s best wireless router deals

The Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 dual-band mesh router is an above-average machine that can provide excellent Wi-Fi connectivity with industrial reliability.
With coupon + checkout code 'MQU56FDZ'
If you're looking for the best sub-$100 router with a gigabit throughput, then the AC2100 Speedefy K7 is a strong contender -- and a downright steal at this special price.
This gaming-focused router will optimize your network's performance, giving you a smoother connection with zero latency. It's perfect for gamers with multiple devices or cloud gaming systems.
With on-page coupon
With a dual-band throughput of 1,200 Mbps and two Wi-Fi extenders that plug right into any AC outlet, the Meshforce M3 suite is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to cover your whole home in Wi-Fi.
This system includes a Wi-Fi router that delivers 3Gbps of high-performance Wi-Fi. Sleek, modern design with high-gain internal antennas for up to 5,000 square feet of coverage.
With on-page coupon
Enjoy up up to 6,000 square feet of coverage with this AC2100 mesh Wi-Fi system from Rockspace. Three bands and MU-MIMO technology allow for smooth, congestion-free browsing, streaming, and gaming.
When it comes to routers TP-Link is a respected name for delivering a lot of bang for the buck. This router offers speedy Wi-FI connections and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting your devices.
With on-page coupon
With gigabit speeds and MU-MIMO technology, this rockspace router can provide great internet connections for mid-sized home networks and multiple devices.
The Asus Lyra Voice is one of the most unique devices on the market, and one that can pull double duty as a mesh Wi-Fi router and an Alexa-powered Bluetooth smart speaker.
With a max 3,000Mbps throughput across four streams, the TP-Link Archer AX3000 router puts the stream in extreme, providing a first-rate experience for gaming, streaming, and multi-user networking.
With Linksys' proprietary Intelligent Mesh technology, the Linksys Max Stream AX6000 dual-band mesh router is a powerful option that can deliver when it comes to Wi-Fi performance.
If you want a decent smart router, the TP-Link AC1900 dual-band router is a great choice for any household that can't go too grand or too cheap, offering great functionality at an affordable price.
With powerful tri-band Wi-Fi, the Meshforce M7 is a great mesh system for living spaces of up to 6,000 square feet. Connect up to 6 nodes for even more coverage.
This dual-band 1,200 Mbps router from Belkin is a fine pick (and a super-affordable one) for smaller homes and networks with modest requirements.
If you have a large home, then a good mesh Wi-Fi setup like the TP-Link Deco router system can quite literally "blanket" an entire area in wireless connectivity and eliminate dead zones.
The Archer A7 from TP-Link is one of the best "cheap" routers, with its 1,750 dual-band speeds putting it head and shoulders above the majority of ISP-supplied units. It'll easily pay for itself, too.
The TP-Link Archer C5400X tri-band MU-MIMO router is purpose-built for serious gamers, with some extra features like Beamforming+ and Amazon Alexa voice control compatibility.
For less than 200 bucks, the dual-band Asus RRT-AX3000 is a solid and high-value midrange "enthusiast" router for gamers and other heavy users.
Boasting six antennae, 4,000 Mbps of bandwidth across three bands, and MU-MIMO technology, the Archer A20 is a top-tier router for gaming, streaming, and large local networks.
Take your home Wi-Fi to the next level with the Tenda RX3, which delivers a combined dual-band throughput of 1800 mbps and four antennae for a smooth signal.
The TP-Link Deco mesh router system is arguably the best way to cover your whole home in fast AC1200 Wi-Fi. It also works with Amazon Alexa, making it a fine choice for the smart home crowd.
Upgrade your wi-fi connection at home with the Netgear Wireless Access Point router. It can support up to 200 client devices and provides an extra 1GB port for maximum internet speed.
With three bands instead of the usual two, the Linksys Max-Stream AC3000 router is a great performer (and great value) for networks where multiple people are regularly browsing, streaming, and gaming.
For a well-rounded internet connection, the Netgear AC2000 dual-band router can provide speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps for non-stop gaming and streaming anywhere in the house.
With tri-band connectivity and up to 3.5 Gbps speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S AC3600 tri-band router is an excellent option if you want brute speed and versatility.
When 3 Gbps is more than enough, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 AX3000 dual-band router is all you need for a stable internet connection with up to 4 streams with up to four Gigabit LAN connections.
Capable of providing 4G LTE to up to 20 different mobile devices anywhere you are, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 mobile hotspot is a powerful little machine that can last all day, indoors or outdoors.
The Linksys AX4000 tri-band router is one of the most powerful mesh wireless systems, great for offices and other resource-heavy networks. Buy as many as you need for whole-home Wi-Fi coverage.
Finally eliminate WiFi dead zones in your home, blanketing up to 6,000 square feet with blazing fast gigabit speeds. Featuring easy set up, this wireless mesh system works with all internet providers.
Netgear's R6700 is one of our favorite gigabit routers for gaming, streaming, and general use, and this deal might make it the best mid-range router you can score for around $100.
The Asus AiMesh AX6100 tri-band mesh router bundle is an incredibly powerful router duo that can pump out up to 6100 megabits a second for nonstop high-speed connectivity.
For about the same price as cheap N300 and AC750 routers, this Tenda AC1200 dual-band router punches well above its weight and even features MU-MIMO technology to reduce network traffic congestion.
With on-page coupon
This 3-pack dual-band whole home mesh wi-fi system covers your entire home, eliminating all the possible dead zones inside the house.
If a single router isn't cutting it but you don't want to invest in a complete mesh system, extend your wireless network into those hard to reach places with this inexpensive AC1200 range extender.
With 2,600 Mbps dual-band bandwidth and MU-MIMO technology, the striking Asus Blue Cave is one of the best mid-range routers you can buy if you're willing to spend a bit more than a Benjamin.

A beginner’s guide to wireless routers

If you have the internet, then you almost certainly have a wireless router somewhere in your home. There’s also a good chance that it was the one supplied by your ISP, which means you’re probably paying a monthly fee to rent it. These ISP-supplied routers are, as you might expect, generally not the best — they’re often the same cheap routers you can buy yourself for $20 to $40 — but that doesn’t stop service providers from charging anywhere from $5 to $15 per month in “equipment rental fees” for the privilege of using one.

That alone is a big reason why it’s a good idea to find a good wireless router deal and buy your own, as even a solid midrange unit can easily pay for itself in a matter of months. Yet another reason is that the best wireless routers can enhance your home or office Wi-Fi network by allowing you to enjoy the internet speeds you’re paying for. This is especially important if you frequently have multiple users connected to the internet at once, and even more so if you regularly stream or game online. Routers are relatively complicated and some of the specs and terminology can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, however, so here’s what you should know before buying.

What does “dual-band” mean?

Most Wi-Fi routers you will see today (even cheap routers) are dual-band, meaning that they transmit data across two separate streams or “bands.” The 2.4GHz band is used for tasks with moderate bandwidth needs, such as web browsing, while the 5GHz band is reserved for bandwidth-hungry jobs like HD video streaming and online gaming where a lot of data is being transmitted at once. Dividing your wireless connection up between two “highways” in this manner prevents congestion, particularly when multiple people are using the internet at the same time, which can slow down your connection. Many newer routers also have a feature called MU-MIMO (multiple user, multiple input/multiple output) which divides the bands into separate channels to further mitigate congestion when the network is under heavy load.

What does “bandwidth” mean?

If a “band” is a data stream, the “bandwidth” refers to how much data can be transmitted across that stream at one time. Imagine something like an oil pipeline — the wider the pipe, the more can pass through it at once. Routers vary widely when it comes to bandwidth, and how much you need will depend on your network environment. A wireless router will typically have its bandwidth speed represented by a number — N450, AC1900, AC5300, et cetera – which tells you at a glance how many megabytes per second (Mbps) of data can be transmitted across all bands at once.

The routers that are typically rented out by ISPs are on the lower end of the bandwidth spectrum (which, as we said, is why you find a good wireless router deal so you can buy your own), but 600 to 2,400 Mbps is a good range for normal users and small families. Larger networks and more demanding users, such as gamers, will be better served by a router in the 3,200 to 6,700 Mbps range, while routers in the 7,200 to 9,600 Mbps range are deep into “professional” territory — think large offices and other bandwidth-heavy network environments. Note that this total bandwidth is divided between the bands; for instance, a dual-band AC1600 router with 1,600Mbps total bandwidth might commit 300Mbps to the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps to the 5GHz band.

Can wireless routers provide wired connections?

Pretty much all wireless routers (again, this includes cheap routers) have Ethernet LAN ports on the back that allow for multiple wired connections where you want them. Depending on where your wireless router is installed, it might be worth it to use a wired Ethernet connection, as these will almost always be faster than a wireless connection. For instance, if your router is close to your PC or smart TV, it’s not a bad idea to take advantage of this wired connectivity. It will also free up some wireless bandwidth that your other devices are using for their Wi-Fi, preventing wireless traffic congestion, although your overall bandwidth will still be determined by your internet service.

Can a faster wireless router give me faster internet?

Your base internet speeds are capped by your service provider and depend on what internet plan you are paying for. A faster wireless router cannot increase the bandwidth limits set by your ISP; however, a faster router can allow you to more fully enjoy the speeds that you’re paying for if a slow unit — such as the cheap routers typically provided by ISPs — is bottlenecking your connection. If you’re paying for faster internet, make sure you get a router that won’t create a “choke point” that slows your Wi-Fi down to ensure you’re getting all the bandwidth that you’re already paying for. You’ll want a gigabit-capable router (that is, at least 1,000Mbps on the 5GHz band) if you have gigabit internet service, for example.

What are mesh routers?

If you have a large home or are looking for a router capable of sufficiently covering a similar large space (like a multi-story office), then you might want to consider investing in a mesh router system. In contrast to standard single-unit wireless routers, mesh router systems feature multiple “hubs” that you place throughout your network zone. These hubs amplify your internet’s wireless signal, essentially blanketing your home or office in Wi-Fi connectivity and thereby mitigating or eliminating dead zones in the network. This prevents you from losing your connection when moving about.

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