Updated: November 8, 2017

Wireless Router Reviews:

Wireless technology has made it easy for homeowners to start their own wireless network in their house using a wireless router which connects to their internet connection. I currently subscribe to Comcast High Speed Internet service with their fast broadband connection. I recently had them upgrade my account to a wireless network so that I could connect multiple PC's in my house through a wireless router. I was leasing the wireless router from Comcast for a flat monthly fee and decided to purchase my own wireless router since they are fairly cheap and then I wouldn't have to pay for the rental fee each month. (what is a router? a router plugs into your hi-speed internet modem, and your computers then connect either wirelessly or by a networking cable to the router -- then all computers can share the same internet connection). The 3 big players in wireless routers are Linksys, Netgear, and Belkin. Which one is the best? Will one perform better than the others? Some wireless routers give you a better range of reception and others are best for online gamers who need the highest bandwidth possible to play games.

What should you look for in a wireless internet router? One confusing things is all the strange letters and names -- 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, wireless N, wireless G, etc. The good news here is that the letters make a little sense, going from oldest technology to newest. All you really need to know is that A is oldest, N is newest. And all newer routers and network cards are backwards compatible with older versions. So if you buy the latest wireless N router, it will still work with your old computer or laptop that maybe has a wireless G or 802.11B network card in it. Make sure you have a wireless network adapter on any computer or laptop you plan on using in your new wireless network. Many new laptops are made these days with built-in wireless which eliminates one hassle. You want to decide where in your house the wireless router will go, usually in a central area so that the wireless signal can reach all ends of your house or even your backyard. I found out that the splitter I had in my house that spliced the cable from the Internet connection was costing me valuable bandwidth and a simple $1 part made a big difference on my overall download speeds. The technology is almost all the same, so don't get confused on product names or claims. Many promise speeds up to 20 Mbps (megabytes per second), but your speed will usually be much lower than that. Nevertheless, broadband wireless access to the internet is definitely fast and only getting faster. Most wireless routers are small enough to fit on the corner of a desk or down on the floor well out of sight if you want. Home networking is not that hard to setup yourself if you have the proper components to begin with. One word of advice from computer experts is that you should stick with the same manufacturer when choosing your network adapter and wireless router. They say vendors have tested the wireless routers on their own equipment and this way you should expect a much "cleaner" experience with fewer technical problems and a more reliable connection on your wireless network. Down below we have tried to list the "best" wireless routers in various categories. Our finding came from combining reviews done by PC World, PC Magazine, Wi Fi Planet, and CNET, and from personal experience with the routers we use at home and office. Most wireless routers will cost between $50 and $150. You can browse the up-to-date (updated hourly!) list of best-selling wireless routers here.

Best Wireless N Router:

Since all routers are built to be backward compatible with older networking gear, we generally recommend that you buy the latest generation of router (currently Wireless-N). To be honest, these routers tend to drop in price pretty quickly when new generations come out, so you always buy an older model and save some money, but the N models have better range and fewer dead spots. RECOMMENDED: We really like the Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus Wireless-N Broadband Router -- this is a latest and greatest "N" model, and you can buy it for less than $80 (this compares to about $55 for a wireless G router, so we're talking an extra $25 bucks or so for the fastest, easiest to use, most powerful router). If you are not looking for long range capability, the Netgear WPNT834 RangeMax 240 ($120) is the top rated wireless router per CNET and other sources. The Netgear wireless router outperformed the Belkin, D-link, and Linksys in head to head throughput tests for maximum and mixed mode. The router did succumb to the long range throughput tests and didn't finish very well compared to the others. Reviewers say the setup and installation is easy and the 3 adjustable antennas get you the best possible signal. Other features of the RangeMax 240 are VPN and DMZ support along with WAP2 and firewall security. Works with Windows, Linux and Mac systems. The entire Netgear line is here to check for newer models.

Top Long Range Wireless G Router:

The Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router with SRX400 WRT54GX4 ($80) is the perfect wireless router for those that need long range connections (above 150 feet). Whether you have a large home a big "small office" environment, getting a wireless internet signal beyond 150 feet can be very important. The Linksys WRT54GX4 uses the 802.11g (older than N, but still excellent for most home users) networking standard and works on Windows systems only. For the best long range wireless router, you can't go wrong with the Linksys Wireless-G. As for actually buying one of these, we had a hard time finding them available online. A newer product that has recently come to market are the N wireless routers that have shown some backward and forwards compatibility problems. You can browse the entire Linksys family here. Linksys was acquired by Cisco - you may see the routers with a Cisco brand name.

High Bandwidth Wireless Router:

The D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless Router ($135) is a top ranked router for serious online gamers who need uninterrupted gameplay and the fastest wireless speeds. CNET rates this router very high saying the "setup is supereasy" and the Gamefuel mode works wonders. Out of dozens of user reviews, we read only 1 that was slightly negative with all the others ranking this router as the "best wireless gaming router" on the market.