Asus RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W

ASUS’s prowess with gaming equipment continues to reverberate all over the world and it certainly isn’t stopping any time soon. Right from its desktop gaming PCs popularly labeled ROG (Republic of Gamers), you can tell that it is serious about hardware, and not just in the PC category alone, but also when it comes to routers. Surely enough, ASUS is justified to create powerful Wi-Fi routers now and then because only they understand the ideal kind of performance that would complement their gaming hardware.

Today, let’s look at a few of their “most confusing” routers – the RT-AC68P, the RT-AC68U, the RT-AC66U, and the RT-AC68W. Right from their names, you can easily tell that they’re all from one series with the main exception being the letters they bear towards the end of their model names. While this most definitely means that they have a lot of common features, they all have some subtle differences that could raise your eyebrows.

Similarities Between ASUS RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W

Below are some of the features that all these routers share with each other:

They Are Dual-Band Routers

Most modern routers are usually multi-band meaning that they can operate in two different frequencies – the 2.4GHz frequency band and the 5GHz band. This is more common with the AC wireless cards. As such, you get superior speeds from all these ASUS wireless routers.

They Have AiRadar Beamforming

Performance doesn’t stop with the AC wireless cards. ASUS’s AiRadar Beamforming is a relatively new technology that works by directing the Wi-Fi signals directly to the connected client. Think of this like shouting towards someone in a particular direction rather than shouting for everyone at once. The result? Stronger signals regardless of where you’re seated in the house.

They Can Be Controlled Remotely via AiCloud

If you’re worried about your kids going over your bandwidth quota while you’re away, AiCloud will let you remotely monitor and even manage these ASUS routers. It makes it easier to keep track with what is happening at home conveniently.

They Offer the Latest 802.11AC Wi-Fi

While we do know that Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) is already knocking on our doors in 2019, we still cannot argue with 802.11AC Wi-Fi because it is still relatively fast and relevant. However, you shouldn’t start celebrating about ASUS incorporating the latest 802.11AC Wi-Fi until you’ve confirmed the speeds your ISP is going to provide you.

They Have Advanced QoS

No one loves a congested network, and with ASUS’s advanced QoS, your network experience will be smooth. If you are a heavy internet consumer, this is a feature you definitely wouldn’t want to miss on.

Differences Between ASUS RT-AC66U vs RT-AC68U vs RT-AC68P vs RT-AC68W

Here comes the challenging part – How can all these routers which only have single varying letters on their model number possibly be significantly different from one another? Well, most of the differences, while subtle, will have a great impact on your experience. In addition to this, you’ll find out that they all aren’t priced equally too.

Because the similarities between the routers exceed the notable differences, it would be wise to go for a specific router from the four that meets your needs adequately. Going for the expensive one just because you believe it is a better router might not be the right way to go about it.


Asus RT-AC66U


Asus RT-AC68U


Asus RT-AC68P


Asus RT-AC68W

CPU 0.6GHz 1GHz 1GHz 1GHz
USB Ports 2 2 2 2
USB Types USB 2.0 USB 2.0 & 3.0 USB 2.0 & 3.0 USB 2.0 & 3.0
Frequency Dual-band Dual-band Dual-band Dual-band
No of Antennas 3 3 3 3
Top Speeds 1.75Gbps 1.9Gbps 1.9Gbps 1.9Gbps
LAN Ports 4 4 4 4
WAN Ports 1 1 1 1
Price $143 $135 $240 $240

As you can see, there aren’t many differences between the four routers with regards to the basic specifications or what the normal buyer would consider. However, the price tags say a different story.

ASUS RT-AC66U Wireless Dual Band Router

ASUS RT-AC66U Router
ASUS RT-AC66U Router (Image courtesy: ASUS)

If we were to go by the model series name, the ASUS RT-AC66U comes last in the hierarchy because of the “66”. However, the real question we should be asking is – how does it fair on as a router on its own? From its exterior outlook, it does look pretty much like its siblings. All have four antennas and all have 5 LAN ports (4 Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port). The build also seems visually pleasant, but that’s not something worth debating so much about because ASUS already built a reputation for that. However, only a review of its performance will accurately explain what makes it stand out.

Performance of ASUS RT-AC66U

With its current affordable price tag of $143, it is amazing that the RT-AC66U came with such good hardware specifications. A 1750Mbps throughput speed coupled with a 600MHz CPU to ensure that your network requests are handled efficiently is something to smile about especially when you review other routers like it that are not in this specific ASUS series. As all the other three routers are dual-band, it wouldn’t make any sense pointing this out as a distinguishing feature. However, it is worth noting that the RT-AC66U runs 3×3 MIMO thus explaining why it can manage incredible speeds.

Comparing 600MHz to the others which all boast 1GHz processors makes the RT-AC66U the weaker of all four, but this is partly because this particular model uses an older MIPS-based CPU that will not go the extra mile like the others. For the average user, the 600MHz CPU speed shouldn’t be a big factor because you won’t be running a server with this router. Since even power users can benefit from it, they might only notice performance dips when they connect multiple intensive gadgets to the router.

Best Use for ASUS RT-AC66U

The RT-AC66U is your go-to router if you aren’t into the fancy specifications but would also love to have a Wi-Fi router that can occasionally deliver great performance when you need it. Homes with a reasonable number of devices (about 10-20) can all be served with this router. While this is also an 802.11AC router, you shouldn’t really focus on pushing it to the limit by having too many powerful devices connected to it. If you have gadgets that are 2-3 years old, then this would be a perfect pick for you especially if you are an average internet consumer.

Pros of the ASUS RT-AC66U

  • It is affordable and reasonably-priced for a router with its specifications
  • It is easy to set up
  • It has a fairly good range
  • Great build quality

Cons of the ASUS RT-AC66U

  • You miss out on a faster USB 3.0 port because it only has two USB 2.0 ports
  • Its CPU speed is slower when compared to the other routers in the same series
  • Its total throughput speed is slightly lower than the other routers in the same series

ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless Dual Band Router

ASUS RT-AC68U Router
ASUS RT-AC68U Router (Image courtesy: ASUS)

The real power struggle actually begins with the RT-AC68U mainly because all of its features are somewhat identical to the rest of the routers remaining in the series. Visually, for instance, you can definitely tell that this router is a bit different from the RT-AC66U. The build quality is still similar to that of the RT-AC66U, but the RT-AC68U has a slightly different presentation and a different feel towards it. Because its performance is also slightly bumped up from that of the RT-AC66U, it is easy to start judging this router as a better contender, but we shall know about that in a short while.

Performance of ASUS RT-AC68U

While we might have downplayed the RT-AC66U in terms of its total throughput speed of 1750Mbps, the significantly higher throughput speed of the RT-AC68U (1900Mbps) might sound good on paper, but not too helpful for the everyday user unless your ISP is providing you with a Gigabit ethernet connection. As such, the performance of the RT-AC68U is only considerably better than that of the RT-AC66U when both are compared in terms of their ability to work on the higher frequency band i.e. the 5GHz band.

This router will comfortably connect to more devices that operate in the 5GHz band compared to the RT-AC66U which will partly get choked when all its connected devices need to compete on the 5GHz band. Since its total cost is still around the neighborhood of that of the RT-AC66U, it is worth pointing out that this is the better router of the two mainly because this one offers slightly higher performance on paper. When it comes to a real-world scenario, you would be surprised that both the RT-AC66U and the RT-AC68U will not have a very large performance gap between them. However, if you plan on shopping today, then this model would be a suitable pick.

Best Use for ASUS RT-AC68U

As the performance bump isn’t that big, you will still use this router in the same way that another person with the RT-AC66U uses his/hers. The only notable difference will be that you will have a bigger allowance for connecting more devices that can operate in the 5GHz band. In addition, the inclusion of both the USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0 gives you the best of both worlds. This makes the RT-AC68U more like a bridge that ferries you from the “averagely-performing” RT-AC66U to the RT-AC68 series which can be considered as high performers.

Pros of the ASUS RT-AC68U

  • It gives you both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
  • It has a slightly higher throughput speed which comes in handy when you have a speedy internet connection from your ISP
  • It is a standing model and thus occupies less horizontal space
  • It has 4 Gigabit ethernet ports which greatly complement its speed

Cons of the ASUS RT-AC68U

  • Configuration can take some time because it does not come with a pre-configured network
  • While the inclusion of a USB 2.0 port is good, most devices nowadays operate well with the USB 3.0 making the USB 2.0 port partly useless

ASUS RT-AC68P Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Router

ASUS RT-AC68P Router
ASUS RT-AC68P Router (Image courtesy: ASUS)

There’s a lot of debate over the ASUS RT-AC68P online because people keep confusing it with the RT-AC68U. There are some complaints of some users even receiving the RT-AC68U instead of the RT-AC68P. In addition to this, ASUS itself claims that the RT-AC68P has dual USB ports with USB 3.0 and claims that they are ten times faster than the USB 2.0, but in reality, the RT-AC68P has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. It however corrects this on the specifications page and indicates that there is indeed a USB 2.0 port. Other than that, you are likely to know you are dealing with an RT-AC68P the moment you lay your eyes on its surface finishing. It definitely has a more futuristic look compared to the RT-AC68U, but apart from this, you could say that the RT-AC68P is simply a newer version of the RT-AC68U. Perhaps the only notable difference from a general view could be the price.

Performance of ASUS RT-AC68P

Honestly speaking, we found it hard to distinguish the performance differences between the RT-AC68P and the RT-AC68U because they are identical in almost everything right from the maximum throughput speed of 1900Mbps to the speed of its processor which has a clock rate of 1GHz. However, despite the fact that both of these processors are 1GHz, since the RT-AC68P is the newer version, it comes with a slightly faster 1GHz dual core processor meaning that it can process things slightly faster than its predecessor. The difference is not so notable though. In fact, you could easily swap between the two routers and not notice if anything has improved. The only gadgets to really benefit from a slightly faster CPU are gaming consoles where speed and latency are crucial.

Best Use for ASUS RT-AC68P

As the RT-AC68P and the RT-AC68U are somewhat interchangeable, it goes without saying that you will be using this router just the same way that someone with the RT-AC68U will be using his/hers. Both routers are designed for serving large homes, but you would want to go for the RT-AC68P in situations where speed and responsiveness means a lot to you. If you are a gamer, you’d definitely want to go for the RT-AC68P of the three routers that have been reviewed so far. While you could also use this router for 4K streaming, you would be saving some few bucks if you went for the RT-AC66U which can still do a good job at that, but if cash isn’t a problem, then pick this one.

Pros of the ASUS RT-AC68P

  • It has a slightly faster processor compared to its predecessor (the RT-AC68U)
  • It is slightly newer
  • It comes with the latest firmware preinstalled (Version at the time of writing)

Cons of the ASUS RT-AC68P

  • Its similarity to the RT-AC68U makes it more like a duplicate than a new product
  • It still includes a USB 2.0 port despite many devices using USB 3.0 nowadays

ASUS RT-AC68W Wi-Fi Router AC1900

ASUS RT-AC68W Router
ASUS RT-AC68W Router (Image courtesy: ASUS)

By now, you must have gotten the drill regarding the ASUS RT-AC68 series. There are subtle differences between the routers, and the last in line – the AC68W – introduces one glaring difference which is color. Almost all the specifications of the RT-AC68P still hold here too. You get a 1GHz processor and a maximum theoretical speed of 1900Mbps. It equally packs a 128MB flash memory storage and 256MB of RAM which is the same as that of the RT-AC68U and the RT-AC68P.

Performance of ASUS RT-AC68W

If color were a performance feature, we would have it listed here, but since that is not the case, then you can expect the same performance that you would expect from the RT-AC68P. Notice that it is more similar to the RT-AC68P and not the RT-AC68U. This router would be great for a large home, but so would the other two. Thus, choosing between the three would only be a matter of selecting the cheapest of the routers in the RT-AC68 series. If you’re are a gamer though, the RT-AC68P or this particular router would be just sufficient.

Best Use for ASUS RT-AC68W

This router falls in almost the same category as the RT-AC68P because it is slightly newer. Since almost everything else in it is constant, it would be best used in large homes. Gamers might use this as their default router, but only if they are not too keen about the superior performance of the routers. Either way, this router will do its part even for the most intensive of gamers. The RT-AC68W is also more than ideal for 4K video streaming because it’s maximum throughput speed of 1900Mbps is enough to serve 4K video streams to multiple people. You should remember that your ISP’s speed is what will ultimately determine the speed that you get on your devices.

Pros of the ASUS RT-AC68W

  • It is equally a standing model just like the RT-AC68U and the RT-AC68P and it thus takes less space
  • It is the only router in its family with a different color. This might be ideal for people who want their router’s color to complement the look or feel of their rooms
  • Just like its predecessors, it is simple and easy to setup

Cons of the ASUS RT-AC68W

  • It is more of a dirt magnet thanks to its color
  • It does not have any significant performance improvements over the RT-AC68P

ASUS AC66U vs AC68U: Should I Buy the AC66U Over the AC68U?

You should go for the RT-AC66U if you’d like a cheaper wireless router that will serve your home adequately. However, you would be better off with the RT-AC68U since it is just a couple of bucks more and it comes with slightly much more than the RT-AC66U such as a faster processor and a higher throughput speed.

ASUS AC68U vs AC68P: Should I Buy the AC68U Over the AC68P?

The differences between these two routers are so minimal that you won’t notice any real differences between these two routers. If you are a gamer, you should go for the RT-AC68P rather than the RT-AC68U. The RT-AC68P has a slightly faster processor even though both have the same clock rate of 1GHz.

Rounding It Up

All these routers simply belong to the same family, so pointing out which of the four is the king and which is the servant is a bit laughable. If you are still determined about picking the best out of the four, then you might be forced to look at things like CPU speed and throughput speed, but you need to remember that these differences are so subtle that it wouldn’t make sense to boast about them. In addition, they aren’t too great for custom firmware installation. In general, however, all these routers strike a perfect balance between cost and value because they give you so much for relatively less.

There are more features that make these routers stand out against others from different brands such as NETGEAR and Linksys, but for the sake of highlighting the individual differences between these specific routers, we overlooked most of the features in this review so that you can accurately point out the differences. In reality, any of these routers will give you much more than you had asked for. The cons that we pointed out for each of them were simply in relation to each other and not in relation to routers outside the scope of this article or even other routers from ASUS itself. Of course, ASUS does have even more powerful wireless routers out there, but for a typical household, all these routers would serve just fine. Coupled with the fact that they are fairly priced, we would say they’re definitely great.

TP Link Archer C7 vs C8 vs C9

There are hundreds of wireless router brands on the market nowadays. Whether you are looking for something to complement your gigabit ethernet connection or looking for something that’s cheap and simple, you are bound to find plenty of options for the specific category you are looking for. One brand that has made its name in the wireless routers space is TP-Link, a Chinese manufacturer of computer networking equipment that has been in operation for over 20 years. It is mostly known for producing cutting edge tech but while keeping the prices of their products low.

While they have a variety of routers, we are going to take a closer look at their Archer series, and specifically the TP-Link Archer C7, Archer C8, and Archer C9. A quick glance at the boxes of these wireless routers will leave you wondering what sets them apart from each other. Visually, the C8 and the C9 look more alike than the C7 because they’re both standing models. The C7, however, might get sidelined because it has the lowest series number, but this shouldn’t be the reason why you leave it out. Below, we’ll discuss each of these routers and find out which one would be ideal for you and why you should pick it over any of the other routers in the Archer series.

Comparison Between the TP Link Archer C7 vs C8 vs C9

First off, all these routers are dual-band meaning that they operate in both the 2.4GHz frequency band and the 5GHz band. This also instantly means that they support 802.11AC Wi-Fi standards. In addition, each of them has 4 Gigabit ethernet ports that facilitate Local Area Network (LAN) connections.

There is also a WAN port which as you might have guessed is also a Gigabit ethernet port. All of them have at least one USB 2.0 port that you can use with your thumb drive in case you wish to set up a local media server. The C8 and C9 include an additionally USB 3.0 port on the side of the router. Of course, it would’ve been great if the C7 equally had a USB 3.0 so that its only difference would be the single-core processor, but for its affordable price, USB 2.0 is actually sufficient. Both the Archer C8 and the Archer C9 have dual-core processors but they run at different clock speeds with the C9 being the fastest of the three with its 1GHz dual-core processor.

Differences Between the TP Link Archer C7 vs C8 vs C9

Unlike what we’ve seen with other brand names, TP-Link may be one of the few companies that actually makes sure that products in one series have noticeable differences between them. As we had earlier mentioned, the Archer C8 and the Archer C9 look more alike than the C7 because of their standing design. Other than that, all have different CPU configurations. The C7, for instance, is a single-core processor while the C8 and the C9 have dual-core processors with 800MHz and 1GHz clock speeds respectively.

It is also worth mentioning that both the C8 and the C9 have two USB ports with one of them being a USB 2.0 and the other being a USB 3.0. However, the real question is whether the inclusion of a USB 3.0 port makes them any special. Well, if you plan on purchasing an external hard drive and hooking it up to the router, then a USB 3.0 port would be better.

TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750)

TP-Link Archer C7 Router
TP-Link Archer C7 Router (Image courtesy: TP-Link)

The Archer C7 happens to be the cheapest of the three wireless routers in the Archer series, but its performance cannot really be termed as cheap. For about $80, TP-Link gives you the C7 which has a maximum throughput speed of 1.75Gbps and has a single core processor (720MHz) that helps in handling your network requests more efficiently. We won’t deny that the C8 and C9 have better specifications, but for a router that costs so little, such specifications are impressive.

Archer C7 Performance

With 1.75Gbps, you can bet that the C7 can be pushed to handle 4K streaming, but only to a certain level. While it is a great entry-level router for a gamer who is just starting off, its single-core processor can only take so much. It was also interesting that TP-Link decided to make all the four ethernet ports to accept a gigabit connection. This means that you will find this router quite ideal in case your ISP only managed to give you a cable modem without a wireless router. The C7 would complement any cable modem without any fuss.

Archer C7 Pros

  • It is quite affordable and gives you more value than you would expect from routers from other brands
  • It is easy to setup and even allows you to use the TP-Link Tether app that lets you easily manage your network remotely
  • You can setup guest networks easily and even manage the internet speed of the guest network
  • It has a high throughput speed which enables it to handle 4K content easily

Archer C7 Cons

  • It lacks a USB 3.0 port
  • Its single-core processor might not be powerful enough to handle a lot of tasks at a go
  • With the C8 and the C9 being priced in the range of the C7, it becomes obsolete and unnecessary since the C8 and C9 are clearly more advanced

Archer C7 Best Use

This is the ideal router for a home that is not too intensive on internet usage. As such, you can use it for light duties such as HD streaming, but you could use it for 4K content as well if you won’t be sharing the network with too many people. Typically, about 10-20 people can use the Archer C7 without noticing any performance issues. This router might also be great for small businesses such as coffee shops where there aren’t too many people connected to it at the same time.

TP-Link Archer C8 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router AC1750

TP-Link Archer C8 Router
TP-Link Archer C8 Router (Image courtesy: TP-Link)

TP-Link’s Archer C8 goes a notch higher in terms of performance, but not too high up. The C8 has a dual-core processor with a clock speed of 800MHz. While you might argue that the difference is minimal when compared to the C7, the C8’s dual-core processor makes it capable of handling much more workload than the C7. In addition, it has a USB 3.0 port that might be great for plugging in your external hard drive and a USB 2.0 port that you can use with your flash drive. The maximum throughput speed of the C8 still stands at 1750Mbps, but it is bound to offer you much more because of its dual-core processor that can handle wired and wireless connections simultaneously.

Archer C8 Performance

It is easy to assume that the C7 and the C8 are equal because they both offer maximum throughput speeds of 1.75Gbps, but the C8 can cast its wireless signals farther than the C7. This is due to the fact that the C8 comes with beamforming technology that locates wireless devices then beams the Wi-Fi signals directly towards it. This enables the C8 to sustain a much stronger Wi-Fi connection easily. The 800MHz dual-core processor mostly comes in handy when your workload increases, but if you aren’t overworking the router, then you won’t notice any considerable difference between the performance of the C7 and the C8.

Archer C8 Pros

  • It has a slightly more powerful 800MHz dual-core processor
  • It has dual USB ports (USB 3.0 and USB 2.0) which means you have the best of both worlds. You can plug in your faster devices on the USB 3.0 and the slower ones on USB 2.0
  • It comes in a new design which makes it visually different from the C7
  • The beamforming technology enables it to have a larger range than the C7

Archer C8 Cons

While it is fast, the C9 beats its speeds yet it is also offered at a similar price

Archer C8 Best Use

The C8 is ideal for medium to large homes that don’t want to spend more money on purchasing repeaters and other networking equipment that can boost Wi-Fi signals. The beamforming technology makes your work easier since you can sit anywhere in your house and enjoy strong Wi-Fi signals. In addition, the C8 is also capable of handling 4K content, but you should be careful not to strain the network by adding too many users

TP-Link Wireless Wi-Fi Router Archer C9 (AC1900)

TP-Link Archer C9 Router
TP-Link Archer C9 Router (Image courtesy: TP-Link)

The Archer C9 is the fastest router in the series in almost all respects. It has a maximum throughput speed of 1900Mbps which is faster by 150Mbps. In addition, it has a 1GHz dual-core processor that enables it to handle multiple devices simultaneously. Its three long-range external antennas coupled with its beamforming technology enables it to transmit Wi-Fi signals longer and more efficiently than both the C7 and the C8. Since it also comes with the benefits of the C7 and the C8, the C9 stands out as the most ideal router in the series that you should consider.

Archer C9 Performance

Its wireless range is of course better than that of the C8 mainly because it has a faster Wi-Fi speed of 1900Mbps and it has a faster processor. It is also more capable of handling 4K content as compared to the C7 and C8. While these two can be able to handle 4K content too, they are bound to struggle at some point especially if you add many users to the network and occasionally have some users playing demanding online games. For a typical home, the C9 would be a great investment because it would take long before it becomes incapable of handling your demands.

Archer C9 Pros

  • It is the faster wireless router of the three with maximum speeds of up to 1900Mbps
  • It has beamforming technology which means it can transmit Wi-Fi signals farther away. This is important in big homes that do not want to spend extra cash on purchasing repeaters
  • It has a fast 1GHz dual-core processor which enables it to process multiple requests easily
  • It has both the USB 3.0 and the USB 2.0 port
  • It is easy to install and setup thanks to the TP-Link Tether app
  • It has an elegant design

Archer C9 Cons

  • It lacks some advanced but essential customization features such as VPN
  • When compared to routers from other manufacturers with some of its specifications, the C9 looks too basic and might not meet the need of tech-savvy users

Archer C9 Best Use

The C9 is great for a household that isn’t too keen on heavy internet usage. A home with about three 4K TVs, five smartphones, and five laptops can enjoy the C9. While it can be used for gaming, its lack of optimization features only makes it ideal for light to medium gaming as the ideal routers for gaming usually need to be heavily configurable.

Final Verdict

Choosing between the Archer C7, C8, and C9 isn’t as difficult because their prices are almost the same and their differences are quite noticeable.

Archer C7 vs C9: Which Should You Buy?

Since the difference in price is minimal between these two routers, you should simply go for the C9 because it offers much more than the C7 and is newer. In addition, you also get two USB ports with the C9 while with the C7, you only get one. We would still pick the C9 as the ideal option if you wanted to upgrade to a router in the Archer series.

Archer C8 vs C9: Which Should You Buy?

Once more, the situation is ideally the same. The C9 should come first before the C8 because it has a better performance than the C8. While all three routers are great especially if you are an average internet user, it is only the C8 that gives you enough room for expansion.

Linksys WRT1900AC vs WRT1900ACS

Linksys happens to be one of the most respected companies that deals with networking equipment, and specifically wireless routers. In fact, more than once, Linksys has been able to make history by facilitating the introduction of open source firmware. Basically, their routers (like the popular WRT54G) allowed users to load custom firmware on them. This allowed them to fine-tune the routers in a way they deem ideal.

However, after the success of the WRT54G, Linksys has been keen on creating routers that give their users the sense of control that they need. Two such routers to have equally made headlines were the Linksys WRT1900AC and the Linksys WRT1900ACS.

From their names, it is easy to infer that the two are from the same family. Beyond that, people find it hard to know which one would be ideal for them and why. Both routers aren’t what we would typically call “new”. Linksys introduced the WRT1900AC in 2014 while the WRT1900ACS came in a year later.

Even though people had fallen in love with the WRT54G before the WRT1900AC hit the market, everybody instantly turned attention to the WRT1900AC. It was both visually appealing and powerful for a router in its class.

In 2015, the WRT1900ACS followed and people believed it was a slight improvement over the WRT1900AC. Linksys did not really focus on the router’s maximum speed since the WRT1900ACS also had the same maximum speed as the WRT1900AC (1900Mbps).

However, Linksys had bumped up other aspects of the WRT1900ACS’s hardware that made it more superior. This included installing a 512MB RAM chip on it rather than sticking with the 256MB RAM that powered the WRT1900AC. The processor architecture, on the other hand, remained the same, but Linksys improved on the clock speed to a new final value of 1.6GHz.

Similarities Between the Linksys WRT1900AC vs WRT1900ACS

As we had earlier mentioned, both of these routers look visually similar. They both have the same number of antennas and include the same peripheral ports too. Since their boxes usually indicate their maximum speeds first, one could also easily assume that they perform the same since both have maximum speeds of 1900Mbps. Both have USB 3.0 ports which was wise on Linksys’ part because it made these routers relevant even in 2019.

In addition, they all have four Gigabit Ethernet ports and an additional eSATA which makes it convenient to attach your SATA hard drive to. Since both are open source ready, you also get to choose which custom firmware you wish to install on them. Since they support the 802.11AC standard, you can squeeze from them as much performance as you would like because their hardware lets you do that and much more. You can also swap most of their detachable components with each other.

Differences Between the Linksys WRT1900AC vs WRT1900ACS

The two notable differences between the two routers lie in the hardware – RAM and CPU. The WRT1900AC has a CPU with a clock speed of 1.2GHz while the WRT1900ACS has a clock speed of 1.6GHz, and this obviously makes the WRT1900ACS more powerful of the two in terms of processing power.

For Linksys routers, such a difference can be huge mainly because their routers allow you to load custom firmware. So, if the additional 0.4GHz seemed laughable to you, it would be crucial especially when you want to instruct the custom firmware you loaded onto it to handle certain features in your network better. The RAM is equally important, and Linksys packed in twice as much RAM on the WRT1900ACS.

This means that it can be running multiple processes simultaneously and with ease. 512MB on a wireless router that came about in 2015 is something to marvel at.

Linksys WRT AC1900 Dual-Band+ Wi-Fi Wireless Router (WRT1900AC)

Basic features of the Linksys WRT1900AC router
Linksys WRT AC1900 Router (Image courtesy: Linksys)

Because of the wide success of the WRT54G that paved way for custom router firmware, the WRT1900AC also had to be a router of its kind, and Linksys made sure of that. Regarding speed, 1900Mbps might seem low especially when you compare this to the speeds of high-end routers today since they easily go over 3000Mbps. Performance-wise, you can see that Linksys focused on improving hardware, and more specifically the CPU speed and the amount of RAM. During the era of the WRT54G, Linksys hardly commented about the hardware specifications of the router. So, having the WRT1900AC with some decent specifications was a big improvement.

Speed of The WRT1900AC

The WRT1900AC can manage maximum theoretical speeds of 1900Mbps. True, with Gigabit Internet being the craze these days, it would make sense to have a wireless router that is fast enough to give you the performance you deserve. However, in real-world scenarios, you could get about 1300Mbps on this router on the 5GHz band i.e. 802.11AC Wi-Fi standard. As you can see, the WRT1900AC’s day-to-day speeds are still well above the 1Gbps mark, and this means that you can hook it up to a Gigabit internet source and enjoy Gigabit speeds. Its speed is also affected by the processor which happens to be a dual-core processor with a clock speed of 1.2GHz. Such a processor really kicks in when you overload the wireless router as it will handle all users request simultaneously without letting any user on the network suffer.

Performance of The WRT1900AC

Because its speed is impressive, it also goes without saying that its overall performance would also be impressive as well. First off, it has four detachable and high-speed antennas that have been engineered to enhance dual-band Wi-Fi signals. When you consider the fact that it equally has beamforming technology, you can already see why the WRT1900AC is not just any router that you would treat lightly. Beamforming enables the WRT1900AC to direct Wi-Fi signals in the direction that a connected Wi-Fi device is located. As such, it allows you to be physically far away from the router but get the same fast speeds that someone who’s seated next to it gets. Beamforming also makes the router power efficient as it works by broadcasting the Wi-Fi signals in the direction of the device and not just radially.

Pros of The WRT1900AC

  • You can fully customize the WRT1900AC depending on your needs. Since it is open source ready, you can install custom firmware and tweak certain aspects of the wireless router
  • It has an eSATA port which is useful if you intend to use an external hard drive with the router. The eSATA port is much faster than the USB 3.0
  • Beamforming enables the WRT1900AC to transmit wireless signals farther away and in the direction of a connected device
  • It also includes a USB port for those who would want to connect thumb drives on the router

Cons of The WRT1900AC

  • It is an expensive piece of hardware compared to what other manufacturers are offering
  • The availability of the WRT1900ACS makes this router more of a weaker duplicate
  • It is bulky for a wireless router

Best Use for The WRT1900AC

As its power lies in the hardware and not just its ability to transmit wireless signals faster and farther away, the WRT1900AC is suitable for streaming content online and playing online games (both multiplayer and streaming from the cloud). This also makes it ideal for regular everyday use, but because of its high price, there are chances that people might go for cheaper alternatives and forego the many customization features that the WRT1900AC gives them.

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source Wi-Fi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)

The Linksys WRT1900ACS
Linksys WRT 1900ACS Router (Image courtesy: Linksys)

Along the way, we might have dropped several spoilers about what to expect from the WRT1900ACS. On the surface, it is practically similar to the WRT1900AC. The only exception is a bigger RAM and a slightly faster CPU speed. Because of this, it is easy to assume that the WRT1900ACS’ performance and speed are doubled. However, this might not be necessarily true. The real debate lies in how the performance improvements on the WRT1900ACS will make your life better. We will thus be reviewing the different aspects of the WRT1900ACS and then comparing them with that of the WRT1900AC. Afterwards, we will explain how this difference would benefit you in a real-world scenario.

Speed of The WRT1900ACS

The WRT1900ACS is clearly faster of the two. The 1.6GHz dual-core processor coupled with the maximum throughput speed of 1900Mbps makes it more ideal if speed is a big concern to you. However, it is worth pointing out that you will not see a considerable difference in speed. This is true especially if you intend to be an average internet consumer even though you have the WRT1900ACS. As such, this speed is more important if you actually needed that extra power.

This model also gives you at most 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. You can have many devices on the 5GHz band without fearing that your network will be slower. This is all thanks to the CPU clock speed and RAM capacity. In addition, its 2.4GHz band also outperforms that of many other routers. The secret lies in the WRT1900ACS’ CPU which works on each user request simultaneously. Speed is greatly affected by the speeds your ISP is giving you. So, don’t expect to get the high speeds we’re talking about if your ISP’s speeds are not up to par.

Performance of The WRT1900ACS

The performance of the WRT1900ACS is equally better than that of the WRT1900AC because its hardware is superior. In fact, you are more likely to find the WRT1900ACS faster when it has the same load as the WRT1900AC. It has more room to handle user requests faster and more efficiently. You shouldn’t also forget that this model is backed up by the better CPU and RAM specifications. You thus get more from its high-powered amplifier, and you get even stronger signals. This is thanks to its beamforming technology that we had earlier discussed in the WRT1900AC section.

Users who noticed performance dips in the WRT1900AC will greatly appreciate the WRT1900ACS but up to a specific point only. Of the two, the WRT1900ACS can handle custom firmware better. This is because it gives the firmware a lot of hardware resources to use at its disposal. This means, some features such as VPN are bound to work better on the WRT1900ACS. Despite its prowess with multitasking and its ability to handle bigger loads, you shouldn’t push it over the limits.

Pros of The WRT1900ACS

  • It is a high-performance router
  • It is easy to install
  • It allows custom firmware installation
  • It has a USB 3.0 and an eSATA and USB 2.0 combo port
  • Its superior hardware specifications make it a better choice over the WRT1900AC

Cons of The WRT1900ACS

  • It is also expensive just like the WRT1900AC
  • It is physically large and some users might find it somewhat bulky for a router

Best Use for The WRT1900ACS

The WRT1900ACS is more or less useful in the same areas that the WRT1900AC is. The only difference is that this router would be far more convenient if the WRT1900AC was not serving you adequately.

Why You’re Better with The WRT1900ACS vs The WRT1900AC

You will always be better off with a device that has better hardware specifications. This is why the WRT1900ACS takes the lead here. If you currently own a WRT1900AC, it would be unwise to spend an extra $150 for a “better” router. If you are tech-savvy though, you are probably likely to get the WRT1900ACS even though you currently own the WRT1900AC. An extra 256MB coupled with an additional 0.4GHz are capable of raising eyebrows. With competitors close behind Linksys, it might not be easy to switch from the WRT1900 to the WRT1900ACS. However, if you do, it certainly won’t disappoint.

Arris SURFboard SB6121 vs SB6141 vs SB6183 vs SB6190

You’re definitely in luck if you’re researching about cable modems because by the end of this article, you might be on your way to saving between $60-$120 per year.

If, however, you’re still wondering why you need to even be concerned about the cable modem that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed some few years back, you’re also in for a journey.


Because we’ll be explaining why it might be necessary to ditch the cable modem that your ISP gave you and possibly get a new one. The main focus will be on a brand that you may have heard of – Arris.

In this article, we’ll first talk about some few things that might be relevant in helping you understand the differences between four of Arris’ products that will be reviewed i.e. the Arris SURFboard SB6121, the SB6141, the SB6183, and the SB6190.

One particular term – DOCSIS – will play a big role in helping you pick the right modem for your household. The article will then go on to review the four Arris modems and showcase the strengths and weaknesses of each before briefly touching on some few words of advice before you decide to get a modem that wasn’t supplied by your ISP.

A Few Things to Note

If you’re in the U.S. and you are currently subscribed to an internet package from your ISP, there is a big chance you’re probably using cable. During the time of installation, you must have been given a cable modem that actually converts the analog signals transmitted from your ISP into digital signals which you then enjoy as the internet. Regardless of your monthly subscription fee, most ISPs in the U.S. usually charge you a rental fee for using their cable modems. This is typically about $5-$10. Multiply this by the 12 months in a single year and you realize you’re giving out $60-$120 to your ISP just for using their cable modem. Of course, you can go and purchase yours, but some ISPs usually make it difficult to use your own cable modem. However, since majority don’t, you can see how you can make some potentially big savings. The real challenge after that comes in when you now want to purchase a cable modem. Grabbing just any cable modem won’t work either because you need to ensure that the cable modem is compatible with your ISP’s standards, and that’s where DOCSIS comes in.


DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. Ideally, it is a standard that is used by your ISP and many others that provide internet services over cable. Its importance comes about because it allows all ISPs to use one unified standard just the same way that the same Thunderbolt port (USB Type C) that’s on your Mac is also on your Samsung handset (Galaxy S8 upwards). The same way that there are different standards of USBs is the same way that there are different standards of DOCSIS. Currently, the highest DOCSIS standard is DOCSIS 3.1, and this is simply a fancy way of saying that if your cable modem is at this standard, your cable modem can support super-fast internet speeds. The table below gives you an impression of how fast you can expect your internet to be if your ISP has plans that reach those speeds:

DOCSIS Version

Production Date

Maximum Download Speed

Maximum Upload Speed

Theoretical Download Time (Game of Thrones) *

Theoretical Upload Time (GoT) *

1 1997 40 Mbit/s 10 Mbit/s 4 Hours 17 Hours
1.1 2001 40 Mbit/s 10 Mbit/s 4 Hours 17 Hours
2 2002 40 Mbit/s 30 Mbit/s 4 Hours 5 Hours
3 2006 1.2 Gbit/s 200 Mbit/s 8 Minutes 1 Hour
3.1 2013 10 Gbit/s 1–2 Gbit/s 1 Minute 5-10 Minutes
3.1 Full Duplex 2017 10 Gbit/s 10 Gbit/s 1 Minute 1 Minute

*We’re assuming the entire 73 HD episodes of Game of
Thrones amount to 75GB

As you can see, DOCSIS 3.1 is lightning fast, but if your ISP only supports DOCSIS 3.0, then buying a DOCSIS 3.1 router would be a waste of money because you won’t be getting the speeds shown above. In addition, buying a cable modem with a DOCSIS version that is lower than what your ISP is currently offering you will end in disaster because of compatibility issues.

Channel Bonding

It is also worth mentioning something about channel bonding as it plays some role in the speeds you see above. Channel bonding is nothing more than combining two different channels in which your data is transmitted via in order to increase the overall throughput. In DOCSIS channel bonding, imagine we have 32 channels each carrying 300Mbps. When combined together, these collectively end up giving us 10,000Mbps of 10Gbps. As such, the more channels the cable modem has, the more capable it can transmit data at a much faster rate. So, these are the two main things we should be looking out for when reviewing the Arris cable modems.

ARRIS SURFboard SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

The Arris SB6121 is a relatively older cable modem from ARRIS that was released back in 2010. Despite its age, it won’t be surprising to find it installed in some homes because it equally harnesses the power of DOCSIS 3.0 standards. However, it does not advertise speeds of 1.2Gbps like we had earlier mentioned in the table indicating the differences between the DOCSIS standards. Instead, you get download speeds of 172Mbps. This is mainly because of its number of upstream and downstream channels. Despite this figure, anything above 150Mbps is still enough even by today’s standards. Considering that a typical home would do just fine with a 100Mbps internet connection, the Arris SB6121 still maintains its relevance.

Arris SB6121 Performance

As it has 4 upstream and downstream channels, you can expect maximum speeds of 172Mbps for download and 131Mbps for upload, but chances are that the maximum speeds you would be getting in a real-world scenario would only max out at 100Mbps. Its backwards compatibility also allows you to use it if your cable company allows DOCSIS 2.0 or even lower, but this would be a waste of its true potential. The SB6121 remains cool even when under loads of pressure, and this is something we found interesting especially when you consider that it is nearly 10 years old but can still perform like most new cable modems we see in the market.

Arris SB6121 Speed

Testing the speeds of cable modems is always tricky as this boils down to your ISP in most cases. 172Mbps for downloads and 131Mbps for uploads seem like decent figures, but it’s nearly impossible to get these speeds as they are the upper limits for the Arris SB6121. Of course, there are factors that prevent you from getting speeds higher than this. They include things such as heavy network usage and regular performance dips in the network. Thus, it would be folly to really consider the upper limit speeds because achieving them on a typical day would be difficult.

Arris SB6121 Pros

  • It comes with the DOCSIS 3.0 standard which makes it fast and relatively modern
  • It has 4 upload channels and 4 download channels which give a perfect balance between upload and download speeds (131Mbps and 172Mbps respectively)
  • It is fairly easy to install and configure
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty
  • It is compatible with a good number of ISPs

Arris SB6121 Cons

  • It has been phased out and very few sellers have it on the market
  • It lacks a Wi-Fi module which means that you definitely have to get a Wi-Fi router if you want to enjoy Wi-Fi at home
  • Its software is outdated

Arris SB6121 Best Use

You can comfortably enjoy HD video streaming and play online games without any fuss while using the Arris SB6121. Anything above HD would have you complaining a bit especially if you want the modem to serve more than 10 people in your home.

ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

ARRIS’ SB6141 cable modem is a big improvement over the SB6121 as it is even currently featured as a decently-performing product on ARRIS’ own website. The speeds and performance of the Arris SB6141 have been bumped up to make it more appealing to the public. Whereas the SB6121 could give only 172Mbps download speeds, the SB6141 pushes this to 343Mbps which improves your overall experience with it. In addition, it also supports IPv6 which makes you somewhat future proof.

Arris SB6141 Performance

Performance-wise, you can already tell that the Arris SB6141 has slightly more channels than the SB6121. With eight channels powering the Arris SB6141, you can now understand why its speeds are almost double that of its predecessor. However, performance does not really improve greatly. You will still watch HD content with this modem, but not because it cannot go the extra mile and let you watch 4K content, but because you would be putting a lot of strain on it. Why is this? Well, even though it is well-ventilated and physically capable of handling your requests with ease, it was a bit worrying that its boot-up speeds were sluggish. This points to either some bulky firmware or just generally slow hardware.

Arris SB6141 Speed

Only the download speeds of the SB6141 were increased, so you are still stuck with 131Mbps as your upload speeds just like with the SB6121. If you are a YouTuber, this might be a bummer because you won’t be able to upload your 4K videos at the rate you would want to. In addition, when we consider the slow booting times, we can forecast that this cable modem might get edgy when we push it to the limits. There are high chances it will get hot despite being well-ventilated, and even though we can be assured of up to 150Mbps from ISPs, it still doesn’t give enough room for growth.

Arris SB6141 Pros

  • It supports IPv6
  • It equally comes with a 2-year warranty
  • It is more readily available than the SB6121
  • It is equally easy to install
  • It comes with a relatively new firmware when compared to the SB6121
  • It has 8 downstream channels which make it capable of supporting speeds of up to 353Mbps
  • It is compatible with all major ISPs

Arris SB6141 Cons

  • It also lacks a Wi-Fi module like the SB6121 meaning that you need to invest in a wireless router
  • It did not improve on upload speeds and this might not make it ideal for content creators who need to publish their work online

Arris SB6141 Best Use

While it has some slightly improved specifications, it still falls under the same category that the SB6121 is. You can use this router for HD video streaming and for online gaming. You could occasionally watch 4K content, but not on many multiple devices at once. For gaming, it might depend on which kind of games you wish to play. If you’ll be streaming games from the cloud, then this might not be the cable modem you should go for. However, if you simply want to play some multiplayer games, then it can suffice.

ARRIS SURFboard SB6183 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

While it is easy to have high hopes for the Arris SB6183 especially after coming from the Arris SB6141, you might be disappointed to discover that the SB6183 mainly improved on a single thing – download speeds. It also came as a surprise that ARRIS chose to stick with the DOCSIS 3.0 while DOCSIS 3.1 was already making headway at the same time. Users could have thus enjoyed much faster speeds than what the SB6183 was currently offering – 686Mbps download speeds thanks to the 16 downstream channels it now had. Pretty much everything remained the same, but at least it came with improved firmware.

Arris SB6183 Performance

The SB6183’s performance is mostly coined from its improved download speeds over the SB6141. Of course, this meant that users with the SB6183 could subscribe to internet packages with greater download speeds, but emphasis was never put on the upload speeds because that remained constant. It is also worth mentioning that it comes with an energy-efficient ethernet port which the other two (SB6121 and SB6141) do not have. An energy-efficient ethernet port might look like a tiny addition, and even though it is, you can at least boast that the SB6183 is slightly more power efficient than its predecessors.

Arris SB6183 Speed

You still get the same upload speeds as with the SB6121 and the SB6141 which would not be so good if you intended to use the cable modem for 4K video uploading. However, its 16 downstream channels make it a worthy selection if you are interested in HD video streaming and online gaming. Yes, the SB6141 was also great for this as well, but since you get slightly higher download speeds with the SB6183, you have more room to occupy more devices and this makes the SB6183 more superior. Ideally, the improved speeds only make your experience a bit smoother, but when pushed to the limit, this cable modem would not be too different from the SB6141.

Arris SB6183 Pros

  • It comes with an energy-efficient ethernet port which is a bonus since the last two (SB6121 and SB6141) lacked this
  • It is reasonably faster than its predecessors because of the 16 downstream channels
  • It is compatible with the major ISPs today, thus making it relevant
  • It also comes with a 2-year warranty like both the SB6121 and the SB6141
  • It supports IPv6

Arris SB6183 Cons

  • You would still need a wireless router if you want to access Wi-Fi
    ARRIS did not decide to upgrade to the DOCSIS 3.1 on this cable modem even though it would have been possible at that time
  • For such a highly-ranked cable modem, it is a bit disappointing that it still comes with a mere 4 upstream channels

Arris SB6183 Best Use

Claiming that the SB6183 is still only good for HD video streaming would be repetitive because with a download of 686Mbps, you can comfortably have everyone in your household watching 4K content. With real-world speeds of 250-300Mbps, this is also a worthy choice for gamers as it can support about 2-3 heavy internet users.

ARRIS SURFboard SB6190 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

The Arris SB6190 sits at the very top on our list, but this is not to say that there isn’t a better cable modem above it – the SB8200 which now moves to DOCSIS 3.1. Either way, the SB6190 does come with improvements galore, and this time, even its upload speed was improved. This makes it the best cable modem of the four, not just because it has great download speeds, but because it is the first to really set itself apart and still emerge powerful.

Arris SB6190 Performance

The SB6190 has 32 downstream channels which contribute to its 1.4Gbps download speeds. This means that among all the four routers, this is the one true gigabit king. In addition, its 8 upstream channels collectively enable it to provide upload speeds of up to 262Mbps. This is double the figure that most of the SB6190’s predecessors were able to achieve.

Arris SB6190 Speed

It has the fastest speeds among all the four meaning that everyone can now enjoy 4K content on their devices without having to limit internet usage on specific devices. While the upload speeds are still far behind the download speeds, you would be wise to go for the SB6190 in case you will be uploading a lot of content online. True, the SB6190 does not offer the best upload speeds out there, but for its price and what it can do, it is a great choice.

Arris SB6190 Pros

  • It is the first cable modem in the series to provide gigabit ethernet
  • It is compatible with all major ISPs
  • It has 32 downstream channels along with 8 upstream channels which amount to the speed of 1.4Gbps for download and 262Mbps for upload

Arris SB6190 Cons

  • You would still need a wireless router for the SB6190 as it does not come with an internal Wi-Fi module
  • Though upload speeds are considerably higher than those of the previous models, it still isn’t at par with others in the market that offer equal upload and download speeds

Arris SB6190 Best Use

The SB6190 is more than capable of handling 4K content in your home. This also makes it ideal for large homes where many people are connected to the internet. You should however remember that you need to get the right router that can complement the speeds of the cable modem.


Evidently, there are different kinds of ARRIS cable modems for everyone out there. For those that need speed and reliability, it would make sense to go for the SB6190 and forfeit everything else. However, those who are not particularly keen with speed and simply want relatively fast and convenient internet would benefit from the SB6121 or even the SB6141. Since their strengths are linear, it makes sense to say that you should go for the SB6190 rather than the others. As all the routers are DOCSIS 3.0, DOCSIS becomes an irrelevant variable in this particular selection because they are all from the same family. You should still remember to check whether your preferred cable modem will work with your ISP before settling on the one that you would want to purchase. The case is slightly different for people who already own any one of these cable modems. If you own the SB6190, then you need not look for an alternative. If, on the other hand, you own the SB6121, it would make more sense to upgrade to the SB6141 as it gives you much more allowance to grow.

Best Budget Wireless Router Reviews [UPDATED 2020]

Finding the best wireless router is a smart move, even if you are on a budget. We all want a good internet connection, but too many people forget about the power of the humble router.

Too many of us spend our time endlessly looking for a better internet service provider or a better package deal.

Most of the time all you need to do to improve internet speeds is get a better router.

Thankfully wireless technology has come a long way in a very short time.

Even the most experienced among us will not know just how good they are in 2020 if they’ve not been paying close attention.

Maybe you clicked over from our wireless routers guide and you got the idea of how amazing the budget options can be?

In this article, we’re going to be covering the most powerful AND reliable wireless routers for those of us on a budget… 2018 style.

Top Budget Routers Under $100

Here at Router200 we’re not huge fans of reviews that offer dozens of mediocre options.

Instead, we try to focus on only the very best products out of each category…

Comparing budget routers is no different. In the wireless category of routers, there are so many options that it can be tough to cut through the noise.

Keep reading for our top three picks based on our research.

asus wireless router rt ac1200 review

1. Asus Wireless RT-AC1200+

  •  Parental Control Features
  •  Great signal strength due to four external 5dBi antennas.
  •  Concurrent dual-band 802.11ac.
  •  Offers wi-fi speeds up to 1167 Mbps.

The ASUS Wireless AC1200 Router is our top choice for the best budget router.

As far as a wireless router goes it offers powerful features and the speed going up to 1167 Mbps is more than most of our ISPs offer us regardless.

This means that you’re going to get the very best possible speed that you can get on your internet package thanks to this router.

Dual-band 802.11ac is still one of the most up to date bands out there and it’s still most popular.

So what you’re getting with the RT-AC1200+ is a quality router based on tried and tested technology. That has been honed to perfection.

This is easily our favorite overall wireless router we’ve used regardless of the “budget” label.

netgear wireless router r6100-100pas review

2. NETGEAR AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router

  •  Provides 11AC
  •  Backwards compatibility with 802.11ac a/b/g/n
  •  Perfect for concurent connections
  •  Dual-band

Netgear is one of the biggest players in the router industry and for good reason.

The AC1200 Router is an excellent budget option.

If you’re looking for a speedy router that optimizes your connection speed, and offers backwards compatibility this is without a doubt the best option for you.

With plenty of great features and an amazing price tag for a router by a manufacturer that pisses excellence, you can’t go wrong!

If you wanted to stick with Netgear later on they do some amazing upper-end products such as the RBK Series.

hootoo ac1200 wireless router review

3. HooToo Wireless Router AC1200

  •  Parental Control
  •  USB 3.0 for direct connections
  •  Antennas included for better signal & performance
  •  Dual-band to reduce wi-fi interference

This AC1200 wireless router is actually by a brand called HooToo.

It may not be a brand you’re familiar with but this router is an excellent option coming in at 3rd on our list.

Like all good wireless routers it’s offering two different bands to prevent interference with other wi-fi devices.

On the 2.4GHz band you’ll get speeds of up to 300Mbps… While with the 5.0GHz band you can clock speeds of 866Mbps maximum on this router.

Sure it’s not the best option on this list, but it comes at an amazing price. The value for money on this router is phenomenal.

For performance on a budget this router gets our approval.


In recent years wireless routers have improved immeasurably and somehow they are still easy to purchase on a budget.

Buying the best wireless router doesn’t need to be a chore with the right guidance.

Hopefully you found our guide useful.

Related: Best Wireless Router For Charter Spectrum

Best Routers for Streaming

Technology has had a complete overhaul in the past few decades. Today, we get blasted with words such as 4K, 802.11 AC, HDR in almost every electronics store we walk into. Sure, they sound quite interesting and futuristic for the less tech savvy, but few people really know why they’re being wooed into purchasing devices with all these fancy specifications. What’s even more worrying is that you’d find the same people who grabbed 60″ 4K TVs during last year’s Cyber Monday complaining about the quality of video that their screens are giving when the issue might boil down to something like the type of router that powers their homes.

Selecting The Best Routers For Streaming

Whenever you head out to buy a new device, you’re mostly keen on the specifications of that particular device. We tend to do this without really considering other support devices that might be necessary to get the best out of the devices we are purchasing, and routers tend to fall in such categories quite often.

The Dynamics Of Streaming

A typical 4K video on Netflix with a runtime of 1 hour 30 minutes could end up consuming over 10GB of data. This amounts to 114MB per minute or 6.8GB per hour. However, if we assess this in terms of bandwidth, you’ll find out that you need an internet speed of at least 16Mbps to enjoy 4K content. Note that this is internet speed and not your router’s throughput speed. If you’re wondering, the throughput speed is the figure advertised on your router as its maximum theoretical speed. These range from 150Mbps up to 7.2Gbps.

Assuming that you bought a router with a maximum throughput speed of 150Mbps and intend to have up to 10 devices connected to the router, each device would be getting averagely 15Mbps as the maximum speed. At this point, you can already tell that if all 10 devices were to tune in to Netflix, some devices might automatically be switched to 1080p just because the router was incapable of delivering at least 16Mbps to every device. Comparing this to the 7.2Gbps router, you’ll find out that each user on the 7.2Gbps router can get a maximum of 720Mbps which is more than enough for watching 4K content.

However, you need to remember to distinguish between maximum throughput speed and what your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is offering you. If your ISP is delivering gigabit internet (1000Mbps), then each of your devices on the 7.2Gbps router will only get 100Mbps which is within the router’s limit of 720Mbps. The same cannot be said for the 150Mbps router as it can only deliver a maximum of 15Mbps, and this means you won’t be fully utilizing your gigabit internet because your router is the bottleneck.

So, How Do You Select the Right Router for Streaming?

Even though there are routers that have a throughput speed of 7.2Gbps, you’d be wise to go for something slightly lower depending on your needs. The main things you should consider before getting a good router for streaming thus include:

  • The number of devices you need to connect to the router
  • The area you need to cover with that single router
  • The top speed your ISP can give you
  • The cost of the router (this comes last because it is determined by the first 3 factors)

Number of Devices Needed

For standard homes, there can be up to 10-20 devices connected to the router. As such, a 150Mbps router will give each user approximately 15Mbps to 7.5Mbps which is not very ideal for streaming because you’d most likely miss out on 4K streaming. You would want to find a router that can give you at least 16Mbps to 20Mbps for each of your devices. If you work out the math backwards, you’d find that you should be looking for a router with a maximum throughput speed that ranges from 300Mbps to 400Mbps, but you wouldn’t be penalized for getting a router with a higher throughput speed like 1200Mbps.

Area of Coverage

The area that you need to cover also plays a vital role and it actually introduces new challenges into the picture. Routers can be categorized as either single-band or multi-band. Single-band routers only use the 2.4GHz band whereas dual-band routers use both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands. Dual-band routers are capable of sustaining a high signal strength even in areas with a lot of obstructions, and this is why dual-band routers should be what you look for when your main purpose is streaming.

Your ISP’s Internet Connection Speed

You shouldn’t forget your ISP’s speed as well because this will be the actual speed you’ll be getting across all your devices. If your ISP provides you with a 100Mbps connection which you intend to share with 10 devices, each device will get 10Mbps, and even a 7.2Gbps router will not help you here. Summing up all these factors, your ideal router for streaming should range in between $50 to $200 for best performance.

Top 5 Routers for Streaming

Now that we know what we’re looking for in a router, here are 5 routers that really stood out for us in terms of streaming capabilities.

1. TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router (Archer A7)

TP-Link’s AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is your best bet when you want a balance between affordability and reliability. With a maximum throughput speed of 1750Mbps, this dual-band router can easily let you enjoy 4K content with up to 50 devices simultaneously connected to it. Even with this value of 50 devices, you still get a lot of room for expansion since 50 devices only take about 35Mbps each which makes the router great for 4K streaming.

It comes with 3 external antennas for long-range coverage. Actually, TP-Link claims that the AC1750 can cover up to 2,500 Sq. feet with ease meaning that you can still enjoy strong Wi-Fi signals from the comfort of your backyard. Its reliability mostly comes in because of its CPU which handles most of the processing. As it retails at about $80, we really couldn’t blame it for not specifying just how powerful its CPU is.

Of course, there exist better routers under the AC1750’s series, the Archer C7, but only this model really struck the perfect balance between cost and performance. The 4 gigabit LAN ports it has also give you more flexibility especially if you need some devices to be connected to the router physically.

2. NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 Dual Band Smart Wi-Fi Router

When compared with the TP-Link AC1750, Netgear’s R6700 Nighthawk would seem like a duplicate because they both have the same throughput speeds of 1750Mbps, but there is a good reason why the R6700 retails for $130.

Related: Netgear R6400 vs R6700 vs R7000

For one, Netgear’s R6700 has a dual-core 1GHz processor that greatly boosts wireless and wired performance. This, coupled with the fact that it can beamform means that it is capable of prioritizing bandwidth for streaming videos. As such, not all the 10 users will be getting equal speeds if they don’t need high bandwidth. Its high-powered amplifiers equally play a role in how far the Wi-Fi signal can travel.

It is also worth mentioning that the R6700 could be great for mobile devices because NetGear’s airtime fairness and beamforming makes connections to mobile devices faster and smoother. Newly connected mobile devices won’t immediately get the highest bandwidth to prevent existing devices from suffering.

Software-wise, this NetGear router comes with a handy mobile app companion (NigthHawk app) that you can use to adjust the settings of your router with. Security, privacy, and parental controls could also be adjusted from the app. The R6700 also doubles as a great router for gaming because of its ability to prioritize bandwidth.

3. TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO, Wireless Gigabit Router (TEW-827DRU)

Unlike both the R6700 and the TP-Link AC1750, TRENDnet’s AC2600 comes with 4 external high-gain antennas which give it a small edge over the first two routers. The AC2600 MU-MIMO wireless gigabit router was mostly designed for busy homes. Think gaming, streaming and uploading all combined into one.

It generates two quad-stream AC2600 networks with the AC Wi-Fi taking up 1733Mbps while the 800Mbps being dedicated to Wi-Fi N networks. As you might have already guessed, TRENDnet’s AC2600 MU-MIMO includes gigabit ethernet ports (4 to be exact) along with a USB 3.0 port with which you can plug in your external hard drive and build a mini media server.

Its MU-MIMO performance shouldn’t be taken for granted too. MU-MIMO technology helps the router process different data streams simultaneously thereby increasing overall Wi-Fi performance which makes it ideal for handling video streaming. StreamBoost technology also comes in handy because it aids in latency prioritization, traffic shaping, and even traffic mapping which are all great in helping you eliminate stutter and prioritize bandwidth for individual devices. It also packs some interesting security features such as the ability to create an isolated guest network on top of the fact that its Wi-Fi network comes pre-encrypted out of the box.

4. Linksys AC3200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Gaming Router (WRT32X)

Of all three routers reviewed so far, only the Linksys AC3200 WRT32X offers the highest throughput speed. While it is sold as a gaming router because of its high throughput speed, it can easily double as a router for streaming because of many factors.

For one, the WRT32X offers some impressive prioritization capabilities in that each of the devices connected to the router get their own individual dedicated data streams. As such, there is no competition for bandwidth and existing users can continue to enjoy streaming even when new users join the network.

The powerful 1.8GHz dual-core processor also keeps things in check when you are performing multiple tasks on the router. The data processing power the WRT32X gives you ensures that no single devices suffer because it promotes high-speed data processing simultaneously. Its user interface is also designed to make it easier to perform tasks such as controlling network traffic quick. For $130, the WRT32X would be more than sufficient for any streaming tasks. In fact, you could easily accommodate up to 5 heavy gamers in your network without noticing any challenges during streaming.

5. ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router (RT-AC86U)

The RT-AC86U would be a great addition to your Republic of Gamers (RoG) collection simply because it is a beast of a router from Asus and at such an affordable price. However, it can also let literally everyone in your household stream 4K content depending on how much bandwidth your ISP is giving you.

ASUS’ AC2900 RT-AC86U is a dual-band router that can deliver lag-free all-day gaming and flawless 4K video streaming. Of course, its 1.8GHz dual-core processor had a hand in this as it helps optimize network traffic from both the USB 3.1 port and any of the 4 Gigabit ethernet ports it comes with.

If you’re using a compatible device, you could also take advantage of the router’s MU-MIMO technology so that your device gets its own dedicated Wi-Fi connection that won’t be slowed down when other devices connect. Since MU-MIMO allocates each device with its maximum speed, there won’t be any unnecessary interruptions while streaming. Instead, the router will work towards balancing which device gets the most bandwidth depending on either your manual settings or which device requires more connectivity. All this makes the RT-AC86U suitable for very large homes because it handles heavy internet traffic with a lot of ease.


You may have noticed that some of the best routers for streaming could also be great for gaming too. In fact, three out of the five routers reviewed are marketed as gaming routers. This is because there is an overlap between some of the factors that make a router ideal for gaming and streaming as well. Generally speaking, routers for streaming need to have high throughput speeds to comfortably serve everyone in a typical household. Of course, you could go for one with the highest speeds, but that would only be ideal if you intend to host a hundred people to binge watch the entire season 8 of Game of Thrones in 4K.

Wireless Routers Guide: Everything You Need To Know

In this guide, we will be covering everything that you need to know and might ever possibly want to know about wireless routers.

This is a practical guide, however, it is still rather technical in parts.

Figuring out all there is to know about routers is very worthwhile for anyone that happens to use the internet. If you work, shop or browse regularly online this guide can help you understand how to get a better experience on the internet no matter what device you’re using.

What Is A Wireless Router?

A Wireless Router is a type of router which allows you to join two or more networks together.

The most common use of network connection is connecting to the Internet (a network).

Other common uses include connecting to a Private Computer Network or Local Area Network. [1]

The primary difference between a wireless router vs a router is that the wireless router is free of cables or “wires”. We interface with a router via wireless adapters and similar mechanisms.

Today most people refer to wireless routers as routers…

This isn’t correct as a normal router requires a wired connection.

Benefits Of Wireless Routers

The main advantages of using wireless routers include;

  • Unique IP Address For Every Device [2]
  • Wi-Fi Access For Wireless Devices
  • Access To The Internet Anywhere Within Signal Range

Sip or Gulp: Types of Wireless Routers

There are two types of wireless routers which are referred to as Sip and Gulp.

Sipper Routers

A router is called a sipper when it provides the best performance over a small-medium range.

If you have a small apartment or smaller home a sip router is ideal.

Gulper Routers

A gulper provides a lot more throughput and a stronger signal.

These are ideal for long-range needs. So if you have a larger home this is exactly what you’ll be needing.

How Does A Wireless Router Work?

A wireless router works via connecting itself to a phone line or splitter in your phone line which is connected to your nearest internet hub. This hub is then fitted with certain technology that dictates what kind of speeds you’re able to receive.

Once connected it will start receiving IP packets [3] from your ISPs Network.

Each routing device has certain components which allow them to connect networks together. A wireless router allows multiple concurrent connections via wi-fi as opposed to physical or wired routers which have two or more NICs (Network Cards) which define how many connections are available.

Wi-fi allows you to connect to your router via frequencies or frequency bands. Sometimes called wireless bands.

Your wireless router will connect to these bands and transmit your data through the frequency you’ve connected to.

Dual-band and tri-band wireless routers operate with the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands either concurrently or based on the needs of the connected device.

What Is Wi-Fi?

Definition: A facility which allows one or more devices to connect to the internet & communicate with each other in a wireless network, within a specific area.

Many people believe Wi-Fi has a meaning or that it is an acronym for “wireless fidelity”, which is an urban myth. [4]

Actually, it is a trademarked term used to describe the method of how devices interact with a network in order to communicate with each other / connect to the internet.

Types Of Wireless Bands:

Today we use two wireless band frequencies;

  • – 2.4Ghz
  • – 5.0Ghz

types of wireless bands

The best wireless routers will typically offer dual-band connectivity to allow your device to specify which band is best suited for it. Each band is used to connect various devices through. The most recent standard offers dual 5Ghz connections, and a single 2.4. These are called tri-band routers.

Tri-Band routers allow you to connect more devices to individual bands which increases the bandwidth or measurable speed of each device’s connection.

Single-Band, Dual-Band, and Tri-Band Wi-Fi Routers. What’s the Difference?

One thing that these three types of bands have in common is they are only able to use the 2.4Ghz or 5.0Ghz frequency, or both.

Single-Band –

The single-band is limited to only a single frequency band.

These routers aren’t as popular today, but most often carry compatibility for only the 2.4 frequency.

Dual-Band –

The dual-band allows you to use either the 2.4 or 5Ghz band frequency.

When introduced the dual-band was revolutionary for routers and to this day it’s still the most common kind of router.

Not only does allowing both frequencies improve speeds, but operating with two bands also means double the bandwidth.

Tri-Band –

Tri-Band is still relatively new, typically supporting a single 2.4Ghz band and x2 5Ghz frequency bands.

The main pro of these kinds of routers is that if all else is equal you’ll be able to make use of 3x the bandwidth as you would when compared with a single-band router.

Using the 2.4 and 5Ghz Bands

Many people ask if you can use 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz at the same time.

The short answer is yes because your router is allowing both of those bands to be in use. Or all three in the cases where you have a tri-band based router.

The catch is that any single device can only be connected to a single frequency band at a single time.

Not all devices support 5Ghz so many will default to 2.4Ghz.

However, having the extra 5Ghz band means your newer devices can make use of it without bandwidth becoming limited due to older devices.

What Is The Difference Between Wireless 2.4G and 5G?

2.4ghz vs 5ghz band

The major difference between these two wireless bands is not actually the speed, but the interference and number of non-overlapping channels.

2.4Ghz has a much wider band frequency meaning it picks up more interference which can weaken the signal and reduce the amount of data that can be sent in a timely manner. With 5.0GHz you have a much smaller band frequency which is more accurate.

5Ghz is better in short range areas as you might expect, while 2.4 works better in larger houses or homes with significantly thicker walls.

One reason the 5Ghz is so desirable is with all factors taken into consideration it can provide significantly more throughput which is why it is faster.

These are the main differences between the two that you should know about, but for further reading please see this linksys article.

What About Range?

what is the range of 2.4ghz, 5.0ghz wi fi signal?
Source: LinkSys

The range of 2.4Ghz has been known to be able to span many miles in the right circumstances. While the signal of 5.0 can in the right circumstances extend well beyond a poorly implemented 2.4.

Range depends on several external factors such as physical obstructions, transmission output, antenna/aerial effectiveness and much more.

Most figures on the web about range are merely estimates or that persons own experience based on their own unique situation.

So it’s almost impossible to give an accurate figure for the precise range you’ll be able to operate your Wi-Fi within on either frequency.

What you can do is make sure that whatever router you purchase is a quality product and this will in most situations allow you to increase the range vs a cheaper product with a less effective design.

Wireless Networking Standards

Some of you might be wondering why every so often your Internet Provider will want to send you (or sell you) a new router.

This is because of the Wireless Networking Standards.

Older routers may be out of date. These Wireless Standards deal with the technology that is behind your Wi-Fi. Newer tech allows faster and better connections.

If you’ve been very unlucky to own an extremely old router and a new device your network connection throughput will be throttled by the speed of the slower device or the router.

Not all devices provide backward compatibility, and the same goes for routers. However, most good routers and devices do offer backward compatibility.

Improving network standards is important, but the odds of all your devices being able to make use of the newest standard is statistically unlikely.

Any network is only as strong as the weakest link. However, the latest wifi technologies defined by these standards will likely give you massive improvements for some of your devices, as well as future-proofing your home.

Current Wi-Fi Technologies:

Today there are three commonly used wi-fi technologies in the United States;

  • – 802.11ac
  • – 802.11n
  • – 802.11g

wi-fi speed technologies comparison
802.11ac speed compared

802.11ac is a huge improvement over previous standards. Offering speeds 2.5x faster than 802.11n.


IEEE 802.11ac is the current standard released in 2013.

Offering backward compatibility with 802.11b/g/n it makes upgrading seamless.

It was the first standard to allow wireless connections to truly rival that of wired connections. It boasts an impressive signal range compared to its predecessors.

Two of the big changes with 802.11ac happen to be very significant…

First of all 2.4Ghz support was removed meaning both frequency bands operate on 5Ghz which offers significantly higher speeds.

The second change was the support of MU-MIMO or “Multi-User MIMO” [5]. This allows more connections to your network without losing speed of data transfer. With IEEE 802.11n we saw a single MIMO which means you would often see two aerials or antennas. With MU-MIMO you will often see 4.

Not all 802.11ac routers offer Multi-User MIMO so check to make sure if you’re looking to buy one for this reason.

When you compare the 802.11ac vs 802.11n or 802.11g, the 802.11ac wins in every single category.

802.11ac compared to previous standard 802.11n
Source: TechRepublic


IEEE 802.11n is still a popular choice and far more people are using it than you’d think as it was only released in 2009.

This standard introduced the wide-spread adoption of aerials on routers in order to increase the overall bandwidth they could handle across the dual-band setup.

While this tech, known as Wi-Fi 4, is still fine in certain countries such as the United Kingdom where the internet download speeds rarely exceed 80Mbps it is extremely slow for most countries today which is why it was followed shortly after by the 802.11ac.


There are still people out there who are using the IEEE 802.11g.

Most of the time this happens due to how long router technology can actually last.

If something isn’t broken most people don’t tend to go out and replace it.

802.11g was the last standard to be built on SU-MIMO or Single User MIMO. If you’re still using an 802.11g it’s probably a significant reason why you can’t get faster internet speeds especially if you have a lot of devices in your home.

These single-user routers would split your internet speed for every device in your house. Each device waiting until previous devices requests had sent and received packets. If your internet is significantly slower between 6-9PM when everyone else is at home there’s a good chance you may have an 802.11g.

We would estimate that thankfully within 2 years this standard will be fully-deprecated based on the upcoming launch of 802.11ax in 2019.

Coming Soon – 802.11ax

Despite the fact that it’s only been a few years since 802.11ac was released it didn’t take long for a new standard to be proposed.

802.11ax is going to be faster than anything we’ve seen before and this is largely due to the increasing demands of mobile. 802.11ac may be fast but its high speeds don’t convert so well to mobile devices. Maxing out at around 400Mbps.

802.11ax is currently due for a 2019 release and offers numerous advantages over the 802.11ac.

Buying The Best Wireless Router

Let’s face it, routers are quite often overlooked as part of a good tech setup.

However, maybe you’ve read this article and realized that you could actually improve your internet without having to spend more with your internet service provider. Instead, you could just upgrade your router to something decent.

I totally get it. I wrote this guide out of frustration with the lack of information out there that had me using a terrible router for years.

If you want to get a good wireless router in 2018 it’s going to be pretty obvious to you from reading this article that the best option is 802.11ac based routers.

I’m sure that you’re also thinking about the fact that at some point in 2019 that a new standard will be released… This can put you off upgrading because it won’t be long until you’re using old tech again.

There is an alternative though.

What you could do instead is read our guide on the best budget wireless routers


– Whether you’re buying an expensive router or a budget one you need to make sure that it’s going to be reliable.

This means looking at reviews and of course the brands themselves. In our budget article (linked above) we were still able to find great options by trusted, quality brands such as Netgear and ASUS.

Other good brands are out there such as Belkin so just do your research or go for something trusted.


– If you go with an 802.11ac which there’s no reason not to due to the budget options available you’ll be set to get incredible speeds. Some cheaper models can struggle with this, so make sure that if you’re paying a lower price it’s because you’re sacrificing features not quality.

Regardless of the advertised speeds on your router, one thing you do need to know is that when your router is communicating with another device; the maximum speed you will get is the speed supported by the slowest device. So an older device will only run at its max speed, not the max speed of the router.


– While prices of routers can vary massively it’s safe to say that nobody wants to spend a fortune on something that will be outdated next year. It’s a good time to look for something that’s reasonably priced as a lot of the higher priced models aren’t going to be a huge improvement on the cheaper alternatives.


– If you’re set on improving your browsing, gaming and streaming speeds today you’re going to want to look for an 11ac that offers MU-MIMO.

One article that’s worth checking out mentioned that when you look for routers the more antennas the better, which I would say is a good basic rule of thumb.

Signal Strength

– If you have a large house just check that buying a new router that’s based on 5Ghz isn’t going to cause signal issues. One way around this is to get a good signal booster which can extend the range of your signal.

Here’s my final tip for buying a wireless router…

Ultimately what you want is something that can offer you better speeds than whatever you’re using right now which is going to be the .11n or .11g’s if you don’t already have 802.11ac.

If you have a standard router sent from your internet service provider, odds are you do need to upgrade to get the best speeds.


If you love tech you might have missed just how much there is to the routers we use.

Hopefully our wireless routers guide has helped you learn a thing or two!

1. Wireless router – Wikipedia
2. Benefits of wireless routers
3. How Do Routers Work? | Think Like A Computer
4. Wi-Fi Definition is Not Wireless Fidelity | Webopedia Reference
5. What to expect from 11ac’s next big deal: multiuser MIMO | Network World

Best Wireless Router For Charter Spectrum

Let’s be real, nobody loves their ISP and nobody wants to have to shop around to buy an extra router, but buying your own router outright can ensure that you’re getting a better quality connection to the internet, and you aren’t stuck paying any extra ridiculous fees (At least, not ones that are related to your router…)

If you’re with Charter Spectrum and you’re looking to purchase a router, we wanted to take out the guesswork of visiting the store and checking one-by-one if each router is on the list of supported options, or going from site to site finding a bunch of recommendations don’t fit your needs or budget. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list to help you choose the best wireless router for charter spectrum no matter what your budget is, and even if you have a giant house that you need coverage for. If you’d like to learn more about wireless routers you should check out our wireless router guide!

Let’s get right to the point.

Best Router For Spectrum

Here are 5 excellent routers. Keep in mind that people aren’t always thrilled with their internet service providers, or having to spend extra money on a router, so some of the reviews out there will reflect that. Nonetheless, each of these routers is approved to work with Charter Spectrum and should get the job done for you.

1. NETGEAR AC1200 Dual Band Smart WiFi Router

Best Option For: Someone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune, doesn’t have a ton of people on WiFi at the same time, doesn’t live in a large home.

This first one we’re taking a look at is great for a bedroom, a small apartment, a home-office… somewhere that you have your own connection, and you don’t need a ton of WiFi coverage. The reason for this is because it’s less powerful, it can’t necessarily handle going through floors as well as some of the other options we’ll be looking at. Many people do use it on multiple floors, but your mileage may vary. However you slice it, this is a cheaper router that gets the job done, except if you’re in a bigger home or have a ton of bandwidth being used all the time, in which case, check out some of the other choices.

This router comes with access to the Nighthawk app for your mobile device, which allows you to track security of your network, to troubleshoot, and to easily get everything set up in the first place.

If you’re looking for a basic, simple, no-frills kind of device, and you don’t have high usage-needs from your WiFi connection, this is going to be your best bet. If you’re interested in looking at some other budget options you can check out our budget router reviews.

2. Linksys Max-Stream EA7500 IEEE 802.11ac Ethernet Wireless Router

Best Option For: High-end home networking without going all-in on a mesh setup (Which we’ll feature right before revealing our top pick.)

This router is great for when you want to connect multiple devices at the same time, without facing any noticeable congestion. It has dual band for compatibility with older and newer devices alike, and it has a pretty quick little processor to keep things moving along smoothly.

Depending on your physical distance from the router, you can get some excellent speeds, upwards of 500 Mbps at closer ranges, which drops off a bit the further away you get.

This wireless router for Charter Spectrum has enough features to satisfy power-users who are going to put it through the ringer, but is also simple enough for more novice users to get setup and streaming, gaming, surfing, and whatever else you want to do – wireless and quickly.

3. NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750

Best Option For: Performance in a mid-tier price range

It’s worth pointing out that this router has been on the market for a few years already, so if you’re looking for the absolute newest and latest, this isn’t it. Having said that, it’s proven itself as a workhorse, and a very solid value proposition that fits somewhere into the mid-tier. If you’ve got a medium size place and you want great coverage, this is a good option without having to spend too much.

Gaming at speeds of up to 1750 Mbps, a dual-core processor for enhanced wireless and WiFi performance, external antennas for improved range, parental controls, and beamforming for better coverage, even watching media in HD across your whole home… that’s just a sample of what you can do with this router.

4. MOTOROLA MG7550 16×4 Cable Modem plus AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router

Best Option For: Saving money on your monthly bill by having your own modem + router.

Charter Spectrum, like most ISPs out there, loves to find ways to charge you extra money, and their absolute favorite way to do that is by adding in surprise fees that you’re either unaware of until it’s too late, or very upset about having to pay. By buying your own router and modem, you can avoid paying the rental fees to Charter Spectrum. With $10-$15 in monthly fees for using their equipment, and considering the cost of this modem + WiFi router combo, it pays for itself surprisingly fast in about a year (give or take.)

After that first year, it’s just extra money in your pocket. The best part? If you change providers or want to upgrade, you can sell your own modem + router to somebody else that wants to avoid these unnecessary fees.

Not only is this a great option because it will save you money, but it’s also a super-fast and high-quality device that stands neck to neck with all of the other great options on this page.

It’s really easy to get setup, it saves you from having an extra box kicking around and makes your living room or office tidier.

The only downside to owning this equipment instead of renting it from your ISP is that if it breaks, you’re on the hook for a replacement. The good news is that this unit comes with a 2 year warranty, and you’ll have earned back almost twice what it costs you by the end of those 2 years.

5. NETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

Best Option For: Someone who wants the very best, lives in a large home and has a large area that needs spotless WiFi coverage, doesn’t mind paying extra for superior performance, has high usage rates.

If you’ve got a bigger home, or just want some SERIOUS WiFi performance, this is probably the single best consumer option out there. It can hit speeds of up to 3 Gbps across 5000 square feet. It comes with the router itself, as well as a satellite device that you put elsewhere in your home to amplify the signal.

This router can support heavy WiFi use in your home, and even small businesses (Note that on Spectrum’s business plans, you can’t use your own equipment). It’s easy to setup, comes with a slick and intuitive app, and was recently added to Spectrum Charter’s list of supported routers, finally.

The router and the satellite both have 4 ethernet ports, so you can plug-in to get wired-like performance and speeds, even from the satellite. This is super useful if you have a gaming room somewhere in your home that doesn’t have access to an ethernet connection, just put your satellite there and enjoy all the perks of a wired connection, without having to actually run the wire.

From the app you can set up guest accounts for visitors, you can manage parental controls across devices, you can run speed tests, troubleshoot problems, and more. It’s a lot easier than having to plug into your router and manage things from the router’s admin area, for anyone who remembers doing that.

If you’re interested in looking into this router more then you might be interested to learn about all the different models they actually provide… Netgear Orbi RBK30 Vs RBK40 Vs RBK50

The BEST Wireless Router for Charter Spectrum Is…

The MOTOROLA MG7550. Saving a decent chunk of cash on your monthly bill and also getting such a high-performance device make this a no-brainer. If you were looking at a cheaper router to go with the cable modem you’re renting from Charter Spectrum, we strongly urge you to consider this instead. You can get it in black or white casing to ensure it matches the rest of your room.

The performance is amazing, but our favorite part might still be the fact that you’re taking money directly out of the internet company’s pockets and putting it directly into yours. That’s a win.

Netgear Orbi Models Comparison: RBK30 vs RBK40 vs RBK50 vs RBK23 vs RBK33

The Netgear Orbi WiFi systems such as the RBK30, RBK40 and 50 are some of the best routers on the market right now.

Their newest products are pushing the limits of what is considered to be the new cutting-edge WiFi which is now being called Mesh WiFi. Their whole home system made our list for the best wireless routers for charter spectrum, and so we were interested enough to take another look at the Orbi models which seem to be one of Netgear’s best creations yet.

If you’re anything like us and you’re not too sure what the differences are between the various Orbi models then you might want to read on.

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the key things that we’ve discovered, such as feature variances and more. If you would like to know more about wireless routers, then you should check out our all-encompassing wireless router guide.

Model notation

There are a number of different Orbi models and this is because Netgear release products fast. One of their non-Orbi routers made our list of top budget routers on the market, so it’s safe to say that they produce a lot of quality hardware.

Let’s dig into the differences.

RBK What?

All Netgear Orbi Models are annotated RBKxx. The following two numbers then define which model of Orbi Kit you’re getting. (Yes, the K in RBK stands for Kit).

List of popular models

Orbi Kit Comparisons

You probably know by now that each kit comes with a certain amount of hardware such as a router, signal booster, satellite unit etc.

However not every kit/model is equal, so what are some of the key differences between the most popular kits?

RBK30 Vs RBK40

RBK30 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK30 covers homes up to 3500 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 2200 Mbps (AC2200)
  • The satellite contains no LAN Ports.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK40 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK40 covers homes up to 4000 sq.ft.
  • WiFi speed of 2200 Mbps (AC2200)
  • The Satellite includes 4 LAN Ethernet Ports for Wired Connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK30 Vs RBK50

RBK30 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK30 covers homes up to 3500 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 2200 Mbps (AC2200)
  • The satellite contains no LAN Ports.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK50 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK50 covers homes up to 5000 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 3000 Mbps (AC3000)
  • The satellite contains 4 LAN Ports for Wired Connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK40 Vs RBK50

RBK40 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK40 covers homes up to 4000 sq.ft.
  • WiFi speed of 2200 Mbps (AC2200)
  • The Satellite includes 4 LAN Ethernet Ports for Wired Connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK50 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK50 covers homes up to 5000 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 3000 Mbps (AC3000)
  • The satellite contains 4 LAN Ports for Wired Connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK33 Vs RBK50

RBK33 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK33 covers homes up to 5000 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 2200 Mbps (AC2200)
  • The satellite contains no ports for additional connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

RBK50 Statistics & Features:

  • The RBK50 covers homes up to 5000 sq.ft
  • WiFi speed of 3000 Mbps (AC3000)
  • The satellite contains 4 LAN Ports for Wired Connections.
  • Router contains 1 WAN and 3 LAN Ports.

Which Is Best?

If you wanted us to choose what’s best then we’d have to break it down into sub-categories…

The Best For Large Homes: RBK33 (on the assumption you want mainly wireless connections)
The Best For Speed: RBK50
The Best Value: RBK40


The Netgear Orbi models aren’t as complicated as they seem, and when you compare them the differences are pretty simple to understand.

We hope you found the article useful.

AC1200 vs AC1900 Router Comparison

You would be forgiven if you feel confused about why some 802.11ac routers advertise different max speeds to others.

Well, this is because there are minor differences among 802.11ac routers. We took a look at AC1900 vs AC1200 to find out the difference.

AC1200 vs AC1900: What Are The Differences?

The prefix AC stands for the fact that they are both wireless AC standards. So far so good.

The number points to the combined “speed” available using the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.

Meaning that;

  • AC1900 runs at 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band, and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz.
  • AC1200 routers run at 900Mbps on the 5GHz and 300Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band.

More: Netgear R6120 AC1200 Router Review

The bottom-line is that AC1900 is much faster on both bands. This is due to the way that they use more channels, which allows for better data transfer.

All these speeds are based on what we call “all else is equal”. Meaning that these speeds can be achieved if there’s no reason why they can’t.

Wall thickness, home size, router placement, router quality – all these effect speed. Plus much more.

AC1200 vs AC1900: Which Is Better?

If you just want to know which is better then look no further than the AC1900. These routers are hands down better than AC1200 models.

Always look for quality and at the reviews before making a purchase.