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These are the best cheap wireless router deals for August 2020

Considering how much we all depend on them in our day-to-day lives, wireless routers don’t get much love. Yet these unassuming devices are ubiquitous in today’s homes and offices, and without them, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy that high-speed wireless internet connectivity that you probably take for granted. If, on the other hand, your Wi-Fi isn’t actually as fast as you’d like, then it might be time to buy a new router.

Even if you’re mostly happy with your current internet connectivity, buying a new Wi-Fi router has its advantages, such as giving you increased control over your local wireless network and possibly saving you from monthly equipment rental fees from your ISP. Even a cheap router can often do the trick, but if you want something more high-end, then there are plenty of router deals to be found on premium units, too. Whatever you’re after, though, we’ve got it below, where we’ve rounded up all the best router deals along with a short buying guide to answer any questions you might have.

Today’s best wireless router deals

  • Belkin AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Router$29, was $90
  • TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Dual-Band Wireless Router$65, was $80
  • Linksys AC2200 Tri-Band Wireless Router$137, was $180
  • TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (Three Units)$170, was $300
  • Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 Dual-Band Wireless Router$180, was $250
  • Asus AX6000 Dual-Band Wireless Gaming Router$311, was $350

Gryphon Guardian Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System w/Parental Controls (3-Pack)

$239 $297
Expires soon
With built-in parental controls, advanced security features, and a 5,000 square-foot coverage area, the Gryphon Guardian 3-pack is an ideal (and very affordable) mesh Wi-Fi system for family homes.

Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

$140 $180
Expires soon
With three bands instead of the usual two, the Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 router is great for networks where multiple people are regularly browsing, streaming, or gaming.

Belkin AC1200 Wi-Fi Dual-Band Router

$29 $90
Expires soon
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.

TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router

$65 $80
Expires soon
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.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router

$344 $480
Expires soon
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 tri-band MU-MIMO router is purpose-built for serious gamers, with some extra features like Beamforming+ and Amazon Alexa voice control compatibility.

Netgear R6700 AC1750 Wi-Fi Router

$87 $100
Expires soon
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.

Amazon Eero Mesh Wi-Fi System (3-pack) with Free Echo Dot

$199 $299
Expires soon
Modern mesh routers like the Eero system quite literally "blanket" your home in Wi-Fi, eliminating dead zones. Grab this Eero 3-pack and score a free Echo Dot smart speaker.

Apple AirPort Express Base Station and N600 Router

$210 $300
Expires soon
Along with serving as a N600 dual-band Wi-Fi router, the Apple AirPort Express can sync with your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, or PC for wireless streaming from anywhere in your house.

TP-Link AC750 Portable Travel Wireless Router

$40 $45
Expires soon
We live in a mobile digital world now, and this compact travel-friendly router lets you set up a 750 Mbps dual-band Wi-Fi signal virtually anywhere you have an ethernet connection.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream AX6000 Dual-Band WI-Fi Router

$388 $400
Expires soon
This beastly 6,000 Mbps dual-band router is one of the mightiest of them all, delivering super-fast wireless speeds for every device in your home.

TP-Link Archer A10 AC2600 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router

$120 $140
Expires soon
With 2,600 Mbps dual-band bandwidth and MU-MIMO technology, the TP-Link Archer A10 is one of the best mid-range routers you can buy if you're willing to spend a little more than a Benjamin.

Tenda AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Router

$38 $50
Expires soon
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.

Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-band Wi-Fi Gaming Router

$311 $350
Expires soon
Boasting four antennae, 6,000 Mbps of bandwidth across dual bands, and MU-MIMO technology, the Asus RT-AX88U is a top-tier router for gaming, streaming, and large local networks.

TP-Link Deco Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System (Three Units)

$170 $300
Expires soon
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.

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 a good wireless router 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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