We all yearn for faster internet speed. And we all get the best plans available. But is that enough?
Let's find out the best routers in town and the best under different price ranges.
First of all what does a router do?
A router is what connects your laptop, your smartphone, your smart bulb and everything else to the internet. It can be thought of as a distribution hub for internet.
First we will take a look at the best Wifi routers in India. This we have categorised for different price points. After this, we will teach you how to look for the best router, after all, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."
Let's start at the lowest price point and climb up the ladder.
Best Routers in India
TP-Link TL-WR841N: The best WiFi router under 1000Buy from Amazon Buy from Flipkart
TP Link is one of the famous names in the router industry. They provide the best budget routers and is one of the best router brand in India. The TP Link TL-WR841N is no exception.
This router is one of the best router in India for home use. This is because, one of the greatest features of this router is parental control.
Parents can control what all sites their children are allowed to visit and the time for which they can visit. This helps keep the children to not visit unwanted sites.
The router supports only single band speed of 2.4GHz. Read the guide at the bottom to know more about bands.
The router comes with 4 LAN ports so that we can connect 4 other wired devices also to this router. You can also conenct another router to this router if the need arises.
The router provides a speed of 300 Mbps which you can use for seamless streaming of Netflix videos or for faster download speeds.
The router also allows an option to allocate how much bandwidth you can give for each device. That means, you can decide how much internet speed each of your rommmate can use so that overall, nobody leaches the internet.
The router has advance WPS security, so that nobody can get into your system easily. Also it has whitelist/blacklist function which can allow or block certain devices from accessing the internet.
The router comes with two antennas for superior connectivity. The antennas also ensure that the wifi connection does not get cut while using the wifi.
The router also has a decent enough range for 1BHK house.
The router also has an app which you can install on the phone and with which you can manage the router. You can access all the functions such as blocking other people, restarting the wifi and everything from the app itself.
Overall we feel this is a great router under 1000, and if you're looking for one should defenitely buy one of this.
TP-Link Archer C5: Best WiFi router under 2000Buy from Amazon Buy from Flipkart
Again, another TP-Link product. It should be no surprise that this router is named as the best router under 2000, since we had already mentioned that they make the best budget routers.
The TP-Link Archer C5 is a dual band wifi router. What this means is that it supports both 5GHz bandwidth and also 2.4GHz bandwidth. To know more on this, read the guide below.
The router has 4 antennas, which is unnatural for a router at this price point. Only high priced routers usually feature anything more than 2 antennas. This makes this router one of the router with best range.
The router supports 802.11ac standard. This is the next generation technology used in WiFi and is backward compatible.
The router has speeds faster than wireless-N speeds and it should be no surprise that this is one of the best selling wifi router in India.
The four antennas ensures that connectivity is not lost at any point during the usage of the router. This means no more cancelled downloads.
The router provides a maximum speed of around 867Mbps over the 5GHz band and a speed of around 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
PA and LNA technology in the wifi router boosts the signals coming to and going from the router giving you a larger range for receving and transmitting.
The router also supports guest network which means that you can share your wifi to guests without having to share your router's credentials with them.
This router also gets an app with which you can manage the router from your phone. This helps in easier setting up of the router and easily kick out people whom you don't want to access your internet.
The router also has parental controls so you can control what your child watches while he/she is on the internet.
All these features crown this router as the best router under 2000 in India.
TP-Link Archer C1200: Best WiFi Router Under 3000Buy from Amazon Buy from Flipkart
Things might be getting a bit monotonous seeing the same brand router again and again. But when someone creates just the best, there is no questioning them.
The router has a mind blowingly staggering speed of 867Mbps. That is enough to download a 1GB movie in under a minute. I mean, how fast can you download?
The router comes with 4 wired Gigabit Ethernet ports so you can connect any wired device you have lying around from the previous generation, or a gaming PC.
The router has a USB port which is used to store movies or other files and can be shared to all the devices connected on the network. This means, you just have to download that movie only once, and can be shared by everyone.
The router is easy to set up using the app that comes along with this router. All this and there's no reason why this shouldn't be crowned best router under 3000 and even as the best router under 4000.
The router uses 802.11ac WiFi technology for faster download and upload speeds.
Now you don't have to wait for Netflix to stream.
The router, like all the other routers in the series doesn't come with a modem.
This also is a dual band router supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz helps in you getting a larger range while sacrificing the speed, while the 5GHz band will give you a higher bandwidth sacrificing the range.
The three antennas in the router will help in getting a huge range while using the router.
You can connect a printer, a hard disk or a camera to the USB port so that you can share any of these devices with any of the connected devices.
This router also like the other routers in this series comes with advanced parental protection, advanced security and ability to guest network.
Overall thi s is a killer router and for this price the router is a steal. We feel that this sould dorn many a house. The router is one of the best router in India and defenitely the best router under 3000.
TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750: Best WiFi router under 5000Buy from Amazon Buy from Flipkart
I swear, TP-Link is not paying me anything. But if you have any doubts, check the number of reviews this product has. It is mindblowing.And on top of that this router has more than 4 star rating.
This router is also a dual band router, suppporting both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. The router provides a speed of 450 Mbps over 2.4GHz and (drumroll) 1300 Mbps over the 5.0GHz band.
The router, not surprisingly supports 802.11ac standard which is the 5th generation of Wi-Fi.
Though it seems that the router has only 3 antennas, it actually has 6. Each of the antenna houses within it, both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz antenna. This is unlike other routers who transmits only one band from one antinna.
This router is excellent for a three bed room house. Keep it in the central room, and you'll be sorted.
The router is a great router for both streaming and gaming, providing a great bandwidth and even greater ability to game, by ability to connect multiple devices at the same time and not compromising on performance.
The router is actually better than most of the competition and even routers that are far more expensive than this router.
The router also has a USB port for versatility to which you can connect a hard disk, or a pendrive so that you can transfer data between people inside the house.
The router also supports IPv6 IP addresses. It is the future of IP addresses and this way you don't have to change your router anywhere in the near future.
The router also supports parental controls so that you can choose what each device that is connected on the router can access and cannot access. This will help in keeping an eye on your child when they are in the online world.
Now that we have covered most of the routers in the base price ranges, let's look at what the upper spectrum offers.
Asus AX6100 Tri-BandBuy from Amazon
Till now we have been speaking of dual band systems. 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. Asus has blown the competition with a tri band system.
The router supports AiMesh. What this means is that you can get a few routers together and create a whole mesh of routers. The routers will connect to each other and create a mesh.
What is even more crazy is the fact that you don't need the same model, you can have multiple models of ASUS routers to create an AiMesh.
The router comes with one 2.4GHz band and a dual 5.0GHz band. All the routers till now had 802.11ac, this one has 802.11ax. The device supports both OFDMA and MU-MIMO which stands for Multiple user - multiple input, multiple output.
The router provides a speed of around 4804Mbps on the 5GHz band.
The router also comes with great security features to keep you secure. Most of the routers comes with security features that run out in two or three years, but ASUS has decided to keep it for lifetime.
The ping time in the router is also extremely low so that you can game without feeling any lag.
The router has a greater network capacity because of the newer technolgy that is used in the router.
The router supports WiFi 6, the newest technology available.
All this and we feel this is one of the greatest router buys you can ever make, if your pockets are deep enough.
Netgear Nighthawk X6S R8000PBuy from Amazon
Netgear is a great name among routers, and it is a shame that we couldn't include more of Netgear products in the best laptops under series.
NetGear Nighthawk is a Tri Band WiFi router, just like the ASUS AX6100 and has MU-MIMO. You can stream faster and game stronger from now on.
The router unlike the ASUS one doesn't have 802.11ax and has the older 802.11ac. With the Nighthawk router you can say goodbye to lag and buffering.
The router comes with cloud services and VPN services inbuild.
NetGear also provides NetGear Armour, a software to protect you from malware, stolen passwords, identity thefts and hacker attacks.
This router also has parental controls so that you can monitor how much time your child spend on the internet and what all sites he/she visits.
The router has up to 4Gbps speed in total. 750Mbps from the 2.4GHz band and 2 x 1625Mbps from the 5.0GHz band.
The router also has advance QoS, which results in lag free gaming. The router prioritises the traffic using advanced technology.
The router also comes with a USB 3.0 port so that you can connect your hard disk or printer and share it across your home.
The router also uses Beamforming technology so that the WiFi range is increased drammatically.
Also if you have an Alexa or Google Home lying around, you can use them to control your router. You can do things like restart the router, turn on the guest network and so on.
The router can be used for very large houses due to its Beamforming technology.
Netgear Nighthawk XR-500: Best Gaming RouterBuy from Amazon Buy from Flipkart
If you're a pro gamer, you defenitely need one of these. These routers are custom build for gaming and gaming only.
This router is also a dual band router, featuring both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths.
The router is clever enough to use Geo-Filtering to lower your ping by making sure that you get connected to a nearby location only.
The router also comes with a hybrid VPN system that protects your network identity and prevents DDoS attacks.
An advances QoS system ensures that while you're gaming and if all your friends are streaming, the router will prioritise your traffic over the others so that you don't have to wait and be killed in the game.
You can determine how much bandwidth each user can use and therefore adjusting it will help in sorting out differences on how much internet someone uses.
The ping while using this router for gaming is also less since the router has an ABB (anti buffer bloat), which is kind of like a highway made just for gamers and gaming purposes.
The router comes with a great dashboard which is fully customisable. You can decide to which geo-location based servers you want to connect to and do network monitoring to see who or which device is causing the server to slow down and other fancy stuff.
The router comes with 4 LAN ports and one WAN port. The router can be used for big homes since it has a huge coverage area.
D-Link DIR-825 AC 1200 Wi-Fi Dual Band Gigabit RouterBuy from Amazon
D-Link is a great manufacturer of routers. As we have already seen there are a lot of routers featured in this list which are made by them. The router has 4 antennas which means increased range for the router.
The router has a maximum speed of 1200mbps. That is great speed considering that most of the service providers in India doesn't provide speeds near to that. Urban cities like Bangalore and Mumbai has FTH (Fiber to Home), but even then it costs very much to buy a connection with that bandwidth.
The availability of dual band ensures that you can make the most use of the speed that your service provider provides. One of the issues that plague most internet users is that the router might support speeds of only upto 75Mbps while the internet connection is a 100Mbps connection. This leads to confusion, since the bottleneck is at the router.
Getting a high speed router helps in using the maximum speed the service provider provides. The router also comes with build in QOS (Quality of service) which we have mentioned in the guide below.
The router is easy to set up and use and it has an initutive web based interface for easier connection and setup. The router also has a port to connect USB devices so that you can connect a hard disk or a pen drive and share the data across the house.
Overall this is a great value for money and performing router and an excellent buy. This is one of the best routers available in India on budget.
A guide to buying routers
Now that you have seen all the routers, you'd be thinking, you used all those fancy terms, and when I searched online also I've been seeing them a lot. What do all those mean?
We are going to break down the words and help you find the best routers.
What is a WiFi router?
A WiFi router is a router that acts as a router and also as a wireless access point.
Ummm, so what is a router?
A router is a device that forwards data between computer networks. So a router basically sends data between devices that is connected to it and also to another network (mostly the internet).
So when you request for a webpage, you first tell the router that you need a particular webpage, and that request is taken forward to the internet. Now when the response comes, router ensures that the data comes to your phone, and not to some other device that is connected on the same network.
What is the difference between a router and a modem?
A modem is what lets you connect to the internet, while a router is what lets you distribute that internet to other devices.
So when you get an internet connection from an ISP (Hathway, Airtel, BSNL or whoever), they provide you with a modem. A modem converts the signal from the cables into signals that your device can use. It also converts signals from your device to signals that can be transmitted.
For example, if you have an optical fiber cable, the data is converted from it into digital format by the modem.
A router's job is to send this converted signal to different devices. Say, your phone, laptop and so on. A router just distributes that internet to the devices.
What is this 802.11ac and 802.11ax and all?
There is an organisation known as IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), which is a professional association for electronic and electrical engineering.
The IEEE has set up a family of standards for devices that connects to LAN (Local Area Network) and MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), the 802.
The 802 standard family includes rules for multiple sub sections. For example, there is 802.3 for ethernet, 802.14 for cable modems, and so on.
The one for Wireless LAN and Mesh (WiFi certification) is 802.11.
Now comes the question of what is 802.11ac and ax. These are protocols.
So devices adhere to a protocol so that they can communicate. It's like languages. Let's say you know Hindi, but someone you're speaking to doesn't, then there is no way you can communicate. So we have protocols, so each of the device with the same protocol can talk to the router.
Most of the modern routers have 802.11ac standard. The standard is great and introduced 5GHz bandwidth for faster connections.
Older routers are of 802.11n standard, but we would stay clear of them as they don't provide 5GHz band.
What is the difference between 5GHz and 2.4GHz band?
The 5GHz band has a larger bandwidth, which means it will have faster download speed. But the strength drops rapidly, so it would be available only close to the router. As you move away from the router, the strength decreases rapidly.
The 2.4GHz band on the other hand, offers lower speed, but gives you a greater range. The band will remain strong for longer distances.
So if you've to roam around or have a large house, connect to the 2.4GHz band. If you want faster speeds, go for the 5GHz band.
The 2.4GHz band will easily penetrate walls. So also, if you have walls between the router and the device, then it would be better to connect to the 2.4GHz band.
What is ping?
Ping is the time taken for a packet of data to be send from your router to the server and back to your router. Lower the ping, better the internet connectivity.
What is MU-MIMO?
To put things into perspective, you can think of going to a tea shop to buy tea and there are a lot of people to buy tea and one tea seller. Now you have to stand in a que to get the tea.
With MU-MIMO, you have multiple people to serve tea. So you don't have to stand in that line. You get things way faster. Think of this with internet router. With MU-MIMO, even if other people are connected to the router, you still get WiFi.
What is QoS in routers?
QoS stands for Quality of Service.
Let's say you have 5 devices connected to the router, it is sort of impossible to serve all of them together, so what the router does is, it serves one after the other. There are multiple ways of QoS.
Gaming routers give QoS to the device on which games are being played. So if the internet is bad, other devices will take the hit and not the device on which gaming is being done.
What is Beamforming?
Beamforming is a pretty cool concept. When you think of a WiFi router, you think of the internet spread everywhere, like all around right?
What beamforming does is, it beams the wifi directly to the device. It basically concetrates the signal to the device, thus making the signal stronger.
What is PA and LNA in a router?
PA stands for power amp and LNA stands for low noise amp. These both sits between the circuit and antennae and boosts the signals. PA amplifies the signal while transmitting and LNA amplifies the low intensity signals while receiving.
What is IPv6
IPv6 is the latest version of internet protocol that helps device find where other devices are on the internet and connect to them.
What are dual band routers?
Dual band routers are routers that support both 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band. In contrast single band routers will support only one band.
There are also tri-band routers which supports 2 5GHz bands.
Hope you found this article helpful. Happy browsing.