Best Budget Router in 2020

Best budgets routers - 5BestTech

When it comes to buying the right products there’s a lot to look out for that’s why today we’ve picked and reviewed the five best models for you and we’ve ranked them by many different factors such as price-quality durability performance and more you can see their prices and find out more information by using the links down below.


Let’s get started…


This model which gives you the best value for your money…



5. Linksys EA6350


If you have a small home and run a modest network consisting of a handful of wired and wireless clients you probably don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for a router with the latest Wi-Fi technologies. The Linksys EA6350 AC1200+ Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router gets you lightning-fast 5 gigahertz throughput as well as a nice assortment of management settings and I/O ports.


This dual-band 802.11 AC router is powered by a single-core 800 megahertz CPU. It can achieve theoretical throughput speeds of up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 gigahertz band and up to 867 Mbps on the 5 gigahertz band.


The Linksys EA 6350 supports beamforming which sends wireless signals directly to each client rather than over a broad spectrum but not multi-user multi-input MU-MIMO data streaming. The back of the multi-output router holds 4 gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a single USB 3.0 port, a WPS button and a reset button.


The smart Wi-Fi web console opens to a home screen that has a list of smart Wi-Fi tools and router settings on the right. The device list page displays all connected devices and their current status and the guest access pages. Where you go to enable guest networking and set up passwords oddly guest networking is only available for 2.4 gigahertz clients with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi web console installing and configuring the Linksys EA6350 is quick and easy once the router is plugged in and connected to the internet and your host pc simply open a browser and type in the address bar this launches the setup wizard which walks you through the basic internet and wireless settings.


The Linksys EA6350 AC1200+ Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi wireless router is an excellent choice if you don’t require an advanced router ideal for small homes and apartments. It delivered very fast five gigahertz throughput and out tests and while its 2.4 gigahertz performance didn’t set any records it was more than adequate for a router in this price range. As with most Linksys routers, the Linksys EA6350 is very easy to install and manage thanks to the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi web console and mobile app.






This next model has the best performance on the list and it’s worth checking out…



4. TP-Link Archer A9

TP-Link Archer A9 is TP-Link’s latest mid-range wireless router with updated hardware for better performance and coverage. The TP-Link Archer A9 also introduced beamforming and MU-MIMO features both the Archer A7 and C7 lack this the Wi-Fi ability has been updated to a slightly faster AC1900 as well. This will result in an improved Wi-Fi performance on the Archer A9 with better Wi-Fi speed and coverage than the Archer A7.

TP-Link Archer A9 looks exactly the same as the Archer A7 apart from the AC1900 wording the design is still really practical with individual LAN port status indicators which many brands stop doing to save cost it has three non-removable external antennae and an additional fourth antenna inside of the 2.4 gigahertz band on the back we found 4 gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a single USB port for file sharing and printer sharing.

TP-Link Archer A9 is very easy to set up with a built-in setup wizard. We connected this router to the unify modem and inserted the triple PoE username and password obtained from TM. Remember to select the unified profile if not your internet won’t work the gloss finished fingerprints and smudges easily. So I’d rather have seen a matte finish but the TP-Link Archer A9 has an intelligent design otherwise the venting recesses look purposeful and they enhance TP-Link Archer A9’s aesthetic instead of taking away from the design.

The TP-Link Archer A9 is a dual-band AC1900 router so speeds max out at 1300 Mbps so the 5 gigahertz band and 600 Mbps over the 2.4 gigahertz band setting up the networks was fast and easy and I had my 5 gigahertz and my 2.4 gigahertz network set up within 5 minutes using the companion app. The TP-Link Archer A9 also boasts smart connect and airtime fairness this means the router can automatically switch connected devices between the bands to promote the most efficient pathway and it can also prevent older and slower devices from hogging. The network and slowing down traffic to other devices the TP-Link Archer A9 is an ideal router for a household with an average number of devices but homes full of gamers or home office workers may want something a little more robust.




This next model is the best option for gaming and I think that this would be a great fit for any type of game.



3. Asus RT-AC68U

Asus RT-AC68U has the same sharp design as the RT-AC66U with a gold Asus logo and snazzy decorative diamond pattern on the chassis. Its dimensions are those of Asus’s typical compact router form factor it measures 6/8/6.3 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds. One design change I don’t care for is the addition of a non-removable stand.

The Asus RT-AC66U shipped with a detachable stand the new router is supposed to operate better in a vertical position but I’d still prefer being able to choose whether to use it or not across the front there are 10 tiny LEDs displaying stages for the one and LAN ports power the wireless bands and USB device connections. When a connection is active and stable, the LEDs shine a solid blue.

The rear panel has 4 gigabit LAN ports and a WAN port one USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port. The USB ports support not only USB external drives but also printers and 3G or 4G mobile broadband devices that can be used for connection failover to set up the router. All you have to do is follow the included quick start guide.

The router setup page automatically opens after you connect your computer to the router’s LAN port and launch a web browser the quick internet setup wizard (QIS) walks you through the rest of the setup process which is pretty routine Asus is one of the most stylish router management interfaces. There are hands down this router does have beamforming abilities letting you concentrate the signal strength in areas where you need it the most but it does lack MU-MIMO multi-user multi-input multi-output technology.

Making this somewhat poor choice if you have tons of different internet-connected devices in your household it’s also super easy to set up more advanced functions such as parental controls or quality of service QoS the content blockers are super easy to set up and we particularly like that you can restrict pages both by the content or by time allowing you to do your best at preventing kids and teens from viewing inappropriate content or set rules like no internet after bedtime. Overall the Asus RT-AC68U is a decent router it’s not amazing but it isn’t awful either.




Before we talk about the best model overall let’s look at the runner-up for this list…



2. Netgear Nighthawk R6700

The Netgear Nighthawk R6700 is undoubtedly fast and well worth considering. If you’re looking for a router with the fastest possible performance in its class without spending too much. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 is a dual-band 802.11 AC router promising faster speeds than we’ve seen so far from triple stream routers technically the Nighthawk utilizes AC 1750 protocol giving you dual bound wireless speeds of up to 1750 Mbps on both bands to your laptop or gaming pc.

The 2.4 gigahertz frequency band 450 Mbps handles non-intensive tasks like internet browsing while the 5 gigahertz frequency band 1300 Mbps is reserved for more intensive tasks like streaming or gaming the antenna on the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 are adjustable and removable. Which is better compared to the AC 1750s antenna that is only adjustable but non-replaceable while the latter keeps the costs low. It becomes expensive in case one of the antenna breaks and needs to be replaced the Netgear Nightwalk AC 1750 delivers excellent storage performance-tested via the USB 3.0 connection. The router performed well on FAT32 and NTFS formats better than most routers in the same category, for instance, it returned impressive speeds on NTFS formats 59.1 megabytes per second read and 38.5 right and almost the same scores for FAT32 files 59.8 read and 36.9 right compared the TP-Link Archer C8 returned almost the same scores on the same set of files NTFS formats 25.3 megabytes per second read and 16.8 right FAT32 37.2 read and 23.9 right still the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 beats its closest rivals with little effort overall the Netgear Nighthawk AC 1750 is capable of delivering class-leading wireless speeds over 802.11 AC protocol and is a perfect example of the great improvements made over previous generations.

It’s affordable and the performance range is way better however while the 802.11 AC was the go-to tech almost a year ago. It has now matured with fair improvements in performance that means there are now routers in the market that cost almost the same but offer better features.




Finally, the next model is the best overall from us it gets a perfect score in all categories…



1. TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link Archer A7 for a bargain basement router TP-Link’s Archer A7 does a surprisingly good job of moving the bits around. The house looking for one of the best deals in Wi-Fi routers the TP-Link Archer A7 may not have an impressive range or the customization options of competitors but it has parental controls quality of service QoS software and a two-year warranty small and discreet.

The TP-Link Archer A7 can be hidden just about anywhere not as cool looking as Asus’s blue cave the 9.6/6.4/1.3 inch TP-Link Archer A7 is however 80 smaller and is less than one quarter the size of Netgear’s Nighthawk XR500 pro gaming router. Inside the archer A7, the dual bound router is powered by a QUALCOMM Atheros QCA9563 Wi-Fi chip with a 750 megahertz processor with 128 megabytes of ram the 16 megabytes of flash storage for holding the device’s settings and firmware.

The dual-band router has a maximum throughput to 450-Mbps for its 2.4 gigahertz band and 1.3-Gbps for its 5 gigahertz band for a total bandwidth of 1.75-Gbps instead of a switch to turn off the lights. The TP-Link Archer A7 can do this via its firmware settings with a night mode where the lights can be scheduled to automatically turn on and off using many of the latest speed-boosting techniques like advanced beamforming and IPTV streaming the Archer A7 balances price and performance.

The Archer A7’s top speed of 647.4 Mbps was achieved five feet from the client which blows away the 380 2.4 Mbps that the Netgear R6220 router was capable of at the same distance the Archer A7 throughput is between the TP-Link Archer C2300 phenomenal 963.6-Mbps and the aces blue caves mediocre 439.1 Mbps at the same distance it may not be the fastest largest or most powerful router available but the TP-Link Archer A7 price tag is on a par with the venerable Netgear R6220 router making it one of the best bargains of the router world.



Buying Guide


Firstly, Changing Wireless Standards

The standards for wireless technology have changed quite a bit over the last decade, for instance, most newer laptops, smartphones and tablets utilize the newer standard 802.11 AC this means they’re capable of faster speeds over Wi-Fi if your internet package promises speeds in excess of 100 Mbps and you’re still using a wireless and router the limitations of the router’s wireless capabilities may become a bottleneck for your network.

Secondly, Durability

Keep in mind that networking hardware doesn’t last forever not only do the standards change fairly often but networking hardware is put through a lot of stress on a daily basis. Your Wi-Fi connection is stretched across your computer gaming console smartphone, tablet and streaming devices and with more devices being added to the mix such as smart lights or thermostats that load is only getting larger and over time a router’s performance can degrade if you’ve had the same router for a few years and can find no other explanation for a dip in the reliability of your network it may be time to consider replacing the router.

Thirdly, Budget

It’s difficult to recommend a super high-end router to an average consumer for at least two reasons first the pace of the advancement of the technology is very fast so while a top-of-the-range router may very well future-proof you for the next few years it’s nearly as susceptible to obsolescence as one that costs half as much second networking hardware is moving faster than ISPS which means mid-tier routers are usually more than enough for the average user and even some power users.

Leave a Comment