Best Cheap Wireless Router 2020

You probably have several products in your home that demand WiFi connectivity, from your handheld devices, your smart TV, to a variety of home improvement tech products. What this means is that you need to have at least a good wireless router to enjoy the best experiences the products can offer. With a good quality router comes stable connections to the internet and peace of mind. And the good news is that a wireless router wouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Today, you will find many cheap wireless routers that work just fine.

In this piece, we compile a list of the best budget wireless router that cost less than $50 as well as those that cost under $100. If you are looking to get a router for your home or office on a budget, read through and find out your best options. But before we look at the routers, here are a few things to consider when shopping for cheap wireless routers.

Features to Consider when Buying Best Budget Wireless Routers

Single Frequency vs. Dual-Band Frequency

This is a big buying point when it comes to wireless routers. If you have only have 2-3 devices for which you need a wireless router, then a single-band frequency router will be ideal for you. On the other hand, a dual-band frequency router would be ideal for a larger apartment with multiple devices that need connection. It comes with faster speeds than a single frequency router. Dual-band frequency means the router has a short-range and faster 5GHz frequency and a long-range and a slower 2.4GHZ frequency. Most devices available today work best with the speedier frequency. Note also that there are tri-band frequency routers on the shelves.

WiFi Speeds

You have probably seen letters a, n, g, b, and ac, as well as a number of wireless routers. The letters indicate the router’s WiFi standard while the number shows its speed in Mbps. For instance, AC1200, N300, etc. While this is actually the theoretical speed (speed is affected by many other factors), it is still a key buying point. The higher the Mbps, the better.

Wireless Standard

As mentioned, routers come with different wireless standards. Understanding what this is will help you get the best wireless router on a budget.

802.11a & 802.11b

These two are the oldest wireless standards. 802.11a transmits at a frequency of 2.4GHZ while 802.11b transmits on 5GHz bands. The later has a speed of up to 5Mbps.

802.11/g

Also, an old wireless standard, 802.11/g supports virtually any device or equipment. It operates on a 2.4GHZ frequency band, which means it may be a little slow, especially when used with multiple devices. However, it is the most pocket-friendly among the modern routers you will find today.

802.11n

This one comes with increased speeds and combines modern tech with some features of the older versions. It uses various wireless signals, as well as MIMO technology. With speeds of up 300Mbps and a bigger range, this standard is perfect for a large apartment with multiple devices.

802.11ac

This standard conforms with our current network requirements. It offers an ideal range of signals and is the fastest among all wireless standards. While it is quite expensive, it is perfect for higher bandwidth applications.

RAM and Processor

A single-core processor is slower than a dual-core processor. A quad-core processor is more efficient than dual-core and single-core processors. Single-core processors work perfectly for few devices, but if you have many devices, you’ll need to choose between a quad-core and dual-core processor. You will also need to look at RAM. High-quality RAM will allow many operations at the same time without delays.

MU-MIMO Support

MU-MIMO (Multi-User – Multi Input Multi Output) technology is basically a router’s ability to make wireless data transmissions to several users at the same time. For efficiency, the router uses antennas, and the process increases home through-put support while decreasing downtime. You might want to look for a wireless router with this support.

Coverage

Ask yourself: how far do I want the router to transmit signals from the central location in my apartment? The higher the coverage, the better and more reliable it is. You want to have a router that will give you strong connections without you having to move it around. So get a router with a good coverage range. This is especially a primary factor to consider if you have a big home with lots of walls interfering with the signals.

Beamforming Tech

With this technology, the wireless router is able to transmit to specific directions where the signals are needed, eliminating wasted signals. This results in stronger and faster wireless connections.

Top 5 Best Budget Wireless Routers Worth Under $50

1. TP-LINK AC1200 Dual-Band

TP-LINK AC1200 Dual-Band

Key Performance Features

This router comes with speeds of 1200Mbps and dual-band frequencies. The dual frequencies can give you speeds of to 867mbps on 5GHZ frequencies and up to 300mbps on the 2.4GHz frequencies. The router has three antennas that incorporate beamforming technology. This tech allows the router to relay signals to specific places where they are needed, therefore, reducing wasted signals and giving you faster and stronger connections. If you need wired connections, TP-Link AC1200 has four Gigabit Ethernet Ports. There is also a USB port for easier sharing of your photos, videos, favorite songs.

Convenient Features

The router comes with a mobile application which allows you to get access to your router from wherever you are. With the app, you can changes settings, make password changes, set parental controls, or even control traffic from your location. Setting up and configuring the router is painless; you only need a browser on any supported platform such as Windows 8, 8.1, or 10. Windows 98SE, 2000, NT, or Mac OS are also supported. The router has a single-core processor, ideal for a small apartment.

Pros
  • Easy installation and configuration
  • Comes with TP-Link DDNS service
  • Has a mobile application
  • Dual-band frequencies
  • Has four Ethernet ports and one USB port
  • Provides parental control and guest network
Cons
  • Some customers have complained about TP-Link’s customer support

Verdict

If you are looking for a best budget wireless router that will give you quality wireless connections, then this product is one of your best options in the market.

2. TP-Link N300 Wireless WiFi Router

TP-Link N300 Wireless WiFi Router

Key Performance Features

This is arguably the cheapest wireless router capable of reaching impressive speeds of up to 100mbps. It comes with single-band frequencies and operates on the 802.11bgn wireless standard. When you have a few devices, the router offers an excellent pick over a long-range. It is one of the best routers for a small apartment or office.

Being backward-compatible with the 802.11b/g wireless standard, the router is ideal for video and movie streaming, as well as web browsing. TP-Link has also given this router one WAN port and four LAN ports. Thanks to its 2 high quality 5dBi antennas, this cheap wireless router is reliable on its 2,4GHz band. You can control your network with an IP-based QoS.

Convenient Features

This product comes with a sturdy build, which will last for a long time. It is ipv6-ready, meaning it can support any future internet protocols. Installation is easy; you can wall-mount it effortlessly using the holes on its underside.

Pros
  • Traffic-controller with IP-based QoS
  • Can be wall-mounted
  • Reliable single-band connections
  • Has four Ethernet ports
  • Sturdy build
  • Backward-compatible with 802.11b/g
Cons
  • Not ideal for large apartments with multiple devices

Verdict

This is one of the basic cheap routers that provide reliable wireless connections. It is ideal for streaming videos, movies, and browsing in a small apartment or office.

3. TP-Link Archer AC1200 C50

TP-Link Archer AC1200 C50

Key Performance Features

This is one of the few cheap wireless routers that support 4K streaming. The router is ideal for small to medium-sized homes. It will satisfy all your internet needs, from video and movie streaming, sharing files, downloading stuff, to gaming. It comes with dual-band frequencies and can give you data speeds of up to 900mbps on its 5GHz band and up to 300mbps on its 2.4GHZ band. The router comes with three 5dBi antennas, so don’t have to worry about its coverage. One big plus is that the antennas are adjustable, so you can easily adjust them to your location for even faster connections.

Convenient Features

This router has a guest network which you can easily set up so other users can stream and browse without any security compromises on your home network. It also has a good pick for your small office in case you do not mind sharing with a few colleagues. The router also comes with a mobile application on which you can change settings, create parental controls, and control traffic from anywhere.

Pros
  • Comes with a mobile application
  • Offer Gigabit wired connections
  • You can install DD-WRT
  • Wide signal coverage
  • Dual frequencies
  • Comes with three detachable antennas
  • Allows 4k video streaming
Cons
  • Isolated complaint about TP-Link customer support

Verdict

Looking to connect 10 devices without having problems with the signal strength and data speeds? This could be your best router. It will save you a lot of money and still give you reliable connections.

4. Linksys N300 WiFi Wireless Router

Linksys N300 WiFi

Key Performance Features

While it is an entry level router, Linksys N300 is an effective and easy-to-use router that comes with Cisco Connect Software, guaranteeing stable connections. It comes with a compact design and is one of the easiest to set up. It has one WAN port, and four LAN ports wired connections. Through its WPS feature, the router guarantees connection stability.

Convenient Features

While it is not intended for very heavy downloading and streaming, its integrated on-chip and internal antenna improve its range and signal strength. Setting it up has been made easier with the provided speedometer for testing its internet speed. You can also block or allow internet access with its user interface. There are also parental controls, and you can block as many as 8 URLs.

Pros
  • Comes with four Ethernet ports
  • Incorporates an ISP firewall
  • Comes with a built-in MIMO antenna
  • Ha a guest network
  • Personalized security settings with WPA and WPA2
Cons
  • No external parental control app

Verdict

Linksys has done an excellent job on this router. It is among the cheapest yet effective wireless routers that you can rely on for strong internet connections. With speeds of up to 300mbps, you can stream and download stuff in your small apartment without any connection issues.

5. ASUS N300 Wireless Router

ASUS N300 Wireless Router

Key Performance Features

Asus is known for producing high quality products, and they have not disappointed with this router. This product integrates powerful wireless tech sure to give you reliable and strong connections in your small or medium-sized apartment. The router has been in the market for close to five years now, fitting in the budget tier with its simplistic design and wireless standard.

It operates on the 802.11bgn standard and a single-band frequency, but still showcases great performance and stability. Incorporating 2T2R technology, the router relays signals simultaneously to multiple devices, giving your smartphone, laptop, and gaming console equal shots at fast data speeds. It also allows firmware updates, so that you don’t stay on outdated firmware. With data speeds of up to 54mbps, this router is way faster than most other products on the market. It is ideal for home or small office needs and can handle playing games and streaming videos and movies without buffering or delays. Setting it up is easy, and it allows up to four different networks.

Convenient Features

Apart from router, ASUS N300 comes with two other modes. You can set it up to it’s a repeater mode or access point. It will allow you to use your internet browsers, as well as its ASUSWRT graphical interface. It comes with a simple method, so you don’t struggle finding the right settings. In its AP mode, the router can connect wirelessly or wired. It has a range of up to 1200sqft.

Pros
  • Comes with two 5dBi detachable antennas
  • 2T2R MIMO
  • Has three operating modes
  • Has four SSIDs for bandwidth allocation and access control
  • Easy to set up and configure
Cons
  • Installing DD-WRT is a bit complicated to install

Verdict

This is an excellent cheap WiFi router which easily achieves impeccable data speeds and high data transfers. You can set up different networks that are reliable and stable.

Top 5 Best Budget Wireless Routers Worth Under $100

6. TP-Link Archer AC1900 C9

TP-Link Archer AC1900 C9

Key Performance Features

Looking for a cheap wireless router that will give you speed, convenience, and functionality? TP-Link Archer Smart Wireless Router is among your best options. With speeds of up to 1900mbps, this router is one the few cheap options sure to give you faster and stronger connections. And thanks to its dual-band frequencies, you get wide coverage and reliability.

On the 2.4GHZ band, the router provides data speeds as high as 600mbps and up to 1300mbps on its 5GHZ band. Not so many budget routers achieve this. It comes with a sleek design and a solid build. It has adjustable and removable antennas that incorporate beamforming tech for even faster and stronger connectivity.

Convenient Features

For wired connections, this router has one 2.0 USB port, one 3.0 USB port, and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This gives you more connection options. You can connect your smart TV, printer, while still connecting your handheld devices and computers wirelessly. Its dual-core processor guarantees faster commands and, therefore, faster internet connections. Setting it up and configuring is simple. It also allows parental controls and guest networking.

Pros
  • Comes with a range of more than 15 meters
  • Allows 4K video and movie streaming
  • Has beamforming technology
  • High data speeds
  • Removable and adjustable antennas
  • Can connect up to 15 devices simultaneously
Cons
  • Has a slim base, so it may keep toppling over

Verdict

This is a best budget wireless router that will give you everything you would need from a router. From convenience, reliability, functionality, fast speeds, to signal strength, you will be happy you chose it.

7. NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750

NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750

Key Performance Features

Year after year, this router has remained a top performer with its excellent features and dual frequencies. The router allows firmware updates and can provide data speeds of up to 1300mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 450mbps on the slower 2.4GHz band. It is ideal for a large home or an office setting that has endless internet demands. The router comes with a dual-core processor operating on 1GHz. You can sue it for processing commands from your smart devices like doorbells, security cameras, smart TVs, gaming consoles, smartphones, among other things. It comes with three detachable antennas.

Convenient Features

The router comes with a QoS feature. And if you are an avid gamer, you can easily direct priority to a PC or gaming console to game without any delays, and other users won’t notice any difference. With its 3.0 USB port, you can conveniently transfer files and stored media over a wireless network.

Pros
  • Sturdy build
  • Three detachable antennas
  • Dual-core processor running at 1GHz
  • Parental controls
  • Beamforming technology
  • Supports QoS
  • Simple user interface
  • Data speeds as high as 1750mbps
Cons
  • Bulky appearance

Verdict

Looking for fast data speeds, reliability, and functionality? This is the router for you. It cheap and will give you all you need for reliable internet connections in a large apartment or office setting.

8. ASUS Dual Band 2×2 AC1300

ASUS Dual Band 2x2 AC1300

Key Performance Features

Best known for producing high-quality gaming peripherals, ASUS also produces some of the world’s best wireless routers. They frequently use the latest technologies to create amazing routers, and this particular model has particularly been famed for its high real-life data speeds. The router uses MU-MIMO tech to provide simultaneous connections of multiple devices. It is, therefore, ideal for a large apartment with multiple devices and an office setting. Powered by a 717-MHz quad-core processor, this router is among the fastest in its class. It comes with 128MB Ram, ensuring that the connected devices receive signals at equal rates. With its TurboQAM, the product effectively reaches speeds as high as 1267mbps.

Convenient Features

The four detachable antennas not only give the router its modern touch but also offer users even faster and stronger connections with the incorporated beamforming technology. The router comes with a wide range; at 100 feet, it can reach a data rate of 20mbps on its 2.4GHz and up to 134mbps on the higher 5GHz band. At feet, you can expect speeds of up 95mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 365mbps on 5GHz.

Pros
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Fast quad-core processor
  • Offers consistent bandwidth
  • Finger-print resistant finish
  • Smart ASUS app
  • MU-MIMO
  • Beamforming technology
Cons
  • Has just two Ethernet ports

Verdict

This cheap wireless router is impressive in a number of aspects. From its quad-core processor, sturdy build, to remarkable real-life data speeds, it offers a good option when you are on a tight budget.

9. Linksys EA6350 Dual Band

Linksys EA6350

Key Performance Features

With both wireless and wired connections, plus enhanced data transfers, this budget wireless router is sure to give you amazing browsing, downloading, and streaming experience. It operates on dual frequencies and can reach impressive real-life data speeds. With its beamforming tech, the router is perfect for a handful of devices. It will give you speeds of up to 867mbps on the 5GHz band and 300mbps on the 2.4GHZ band.

Convenient Features

Linksys has given this router a 3.0 USB port and Gigabit Ethernet port, so you can have wired connections or transfer media and files faster. Your network security is also guaranteed with the router’s WPA2 and WPA protocols. There is also ISP (Internet Service Provider) protection, as well as parental controls to ensure that your kids don’t access adult content.

Pros
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Comes with a smart WiFi mobile application
  • Great wireless connection performance
  • Beamforming technology
Cons
  • Non-detachable antennas

Verdict

This router has high-speed frequencies and connects multiple devices. It is definitely one of the most affordable wireless routers on the market today with amazing features

10. TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO

TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO

Key Performance Features

This is one the few budget routers that will achieve data speeds as high as 800mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 1733mbps on 5GHz. It incorporates beamforming tech and MU-MIMO tech, which give you heavy-duty gaming and streaming capabilities. It uses a dual-core processor running on 1.4GHz, making it one of the fastest cheap routers out there. It also integrates StreamBoost Technology, which manages your devices’ bandwidth.

Convenient Feature

It comes with a management console with which you can control your wireless settings. You can also gain access to your Network Status Panel through the console.

Pros
  • 4 adjustable antennas
  • Quad-stream support
  • StreamBoost Technology
  • MU-MIMO and Beamforming Technologies
  • Parental controls and guest networking
Cons
  • The user interface takes time to load

Verdict

This is definitely one of the top budget-friendly wireless routers that will give you amazing downloading, streaming, and gaming experience.

Obviously, there are many more cheap wireless routers on the shelves today. However, basing on our research and user experiences, we feel that the one listed above will give you the best connectivity. Choose from them and you will be happy you did.

Guide to Purchasing the Best Budget Wireless Router

As I have already mentioned, having a strong and reliable wireless connection depends on the router you are using. From our list of the best cheap wireless routers, you should surely be able to find a good router that meets your needs. However, what should you really look at when shopping for a wireless router on a budget? Below, we give you some of the key buying points to make your selection of the best budget wireless router easier.

Tips for Buying a Good Wireless Router

– Firmware Updates

Routers with capabilities of having firmware updates are a good option. They allow you to add new features in the future. These features include DDOs protection, Quality of Service, OpenWRT, and DD-WRT, which enable customization capabilities.

– Antenna Range

Essentially, the more antennas, the more extended the range is. While the range is affected by other factors such as your environment, it is good to go for routers with wider coverage.

– Installation and Configuration

You don’t want a router that will take you ages to set up, leave alone configure. The models listed above are all easy to set up and configure.

– Wired Connectivity Options

Sometimes you may need wired connections. So be sure to purchase a router with a USB and Ethernet port for more flexibility.

– Security

Of course, wireless connections require high-level security. Routers that support such WiFi Protected Access protocols as WPA and WPA2 are great. There is also the newer WPA3 for advanced WiFi protection.

You might also want to look at guest network access, parental controls, and whether or not the router comes with a smartphone application. Obviously, there are many more cheap wireless routers on the shelves today. However, basing on our research and user experiences, we feel that the one listed above will give you the best connectivity. Choose from them and you will be happy you did. We hope you find the right cheap wireless router for your needs.

 

Jeff Day
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