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CNET: Best Wireless Routers For 2018

Hartford Courant 2018-10-12 05:30:00

If your household (or office) is like most people's, it takes a whole lot of bandwidth to keep everything running. Computers, phones, tablets, wireless assistants, and that's before you even get to streaming video and audio. So you'll probably need a bulletproof access point to handle all of that. CNET has rated these as four of the best wireless routers on the market.

For more reviews of personal technology products, visit www.cnet.com.

Asus AC2900 dual-band Wi-Fi router (RT-AC86U)

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: You can customize just about every setting and the 5GHz speeds are amazing. It also has gaming-centric features, security for your entire home and USB 3.1 Gen 1 for fast network storage and printing.

The bad: You can only use the app while you're connected to your home network, and the physical router has to stand upright with no wall mount option. It's only dual-band, so it lacks an extra 5GHz band to alleviate network congestion.

The cost: $191.78

The bottom line: At around $200, the Asus RT-AC86U is one of the best all-around routers. It has all the latest features, including extra security for all of your devices. This router should maximize your bandwidth and keep your home network running smoothly.

Dong Ngo | TNS If you're looking to create a fast and highly customizable home network with advanced features, look no further than the RT2600AC. If you're looking to create a fast and highly customizable home network with advanced features, look no further than the RT2600AC. (Dong Ngo | TNS)

Synology RT2600AC

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The RT2600 has long range, fast Wi-Fi speed and plenty of features. The router can host more than one broadband connection, and also works as a robust network storage server when coupled with an external hard drive. It also includes state of the art firmware that delivers a stellar set of extra features.

The bad: There's no support for combining two LAN ports into a single superfast connection and you might wish the router had more than five network ports.

The cost: $229.33 to $267.91

The bottom line: If you're looking to create a fast and highly customizable home network with advanced features, look no further than the RT2600AC.

Tyler Lizenby | TNS It's a cool-looking router with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle. It has lots of speed, features and security for an affordable price. The menu and app give you as much control over your network as you want. It's a cool-looking router with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle. It has lots of speed, features and security for an affordable price. The menu and app give you as much control over your network as you want. (Tyler Lizenby | TNS)

Asus Blue Cave Smart Wi-Fi router

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: Asus' Blue Cave offers top speeds at an affordable price. The menu gives you access to almost every setting imaginable. Free security from Trend Micro provides added peace of mind. Alexa and IFTTT are supported.

The bad: Network storage transfer speeds were slow. Constantly explaining to friends that it's actually a router might be annoying.

The cost: $179.99

The bottom line: It's a cool-looking router with a big, blue-rimmed hole in the middle. It has lots of speed, features and security for an affordable price. The menu and app give you as much control over your network as you want.

Tyler Lizenby | TNS TP-Link created a router that's the complete package for an affordable price. The hardware performed really well and its range was surprising. With the Archer C3150 V2, you get all the bells and whistles, plus an easy-to-use web interface. TP-Link created a router that's the complete package for an affordable price. The hardware performed really well and its range was surprising. With the Archer C3150 V2, you get all the bells and whistles, plus an easy-to-use web interface. (Tyler Lizenby | TNS)

TP-Link Archer C3150 V2

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The web interface is full of customizable features, the hardware performs like a high-end router, and link aggregation allows you to transfer files to a NAS device at 2Gb per second.

The bad: The app should have more customization options, and the antennas come loose if you move them around too much.

The cost: $187.49 to $249.88

The bottom line: TP-Link created a router that's the complete package for an affordable price. The hardware performed really well and its range was surprising. With the Archer C3150 V2, you get all the bells and whistles, plus an easy-to-use web interface.