The best Low-end routers for the price

Last updated: Nov. 19, 2018, 5:23 a.m.

Having a tight budget is no reason not to improve your Internet connection at home, which is why there are low-end routers available for your simple user needs. You don’t need to spend too much to have a wireless network at home in this age of mobile devices. A cheap router for gaming, streaming your favorite shows, and browsing social media can totally improve your experience.

A high-end router would not be necessary for an average-sized household where the Internet is only used for entertainment and simple tasks. For a student who lives alone, it would just be overkill to spend too much on a router to get those research papers done or listen to your favorite webinar. The point of having a router is to connect all of your devices to your home Internet. A single network and a wireless router under $50 can surely do that.

But don’t make the same mistake as most people do when on a tight budget. Being a smart buyer, one goes beyond buying the cheapest product there is. Not all low-end routers are the same, and you can still make the most out of a tight budget by knowing their differences.

For the Lazy: Top 10 Low-end routers

Model Rating Price
Netgear R6300 v2
50/100

78/100

35/100

38/100
$33.17 updated 1 hour, 32 minutes ago
Netgear R6250
45/100

78/100

20/100

38/100
$30.00 updated 51 minutes ago
ASUS RT-AC66U B1
48/100

84/100

20/100

42/100
$32.39 updated 1 hour, 11 minutes ago
ASUS RT-AC66U
47/100

88/100

20/100

35/100
$32.39 updated 1 hour, 11 minutes ago
Netgear R6230
48/100

86/100

24/100

35/100
$40.36 updated 10 minutes ago
Linksys EA6350 v3
46/100

82/100

20/100

37/100
$44.89 updated 10 minutes ago
Linksys EA6350 v2
46/100

82/100

20/100

37/100
$44.89 updated 10 minutes ago
Linksys EA6900 v1.1
46/100

82/100

20/100

38/100
$48.95 updated 31 minutes ago
D-Link DIR-880L rev A1
45/100

78/100

20/100

38/100
$49.99 updated 1 hour, 10 minutes ago
Linksys EA7400 v2
48/100

70/100

35/100

40/100
$54.00 updated 31 minutes ago

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Low-end Routers

The Wi-Fi Standards

Just like any other technology, manufacturers improve the quality of routers by regularly implementing new standards.  Examples of these standards are 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac, which is the latest. All of the newest routers have the “ac” standard that supports up to 1000 Mbps, while the previous standard can only do up to 600 Mbps.

But take note that not all of your devices can enjoy the latest standard’s full potential. Also, keep in mind that routers do not make your Internet speed faster than what your service provider provides in your subscription. According to Recode.net, the average Internet speed in typical households in the U.S. is 18.7 Mbps. In this case, older and low-end routers would do just fine.

Being Skeptical

When reading product specifications on the box, remember not to raise your expectations as high as the figures you see. This is especially true in the case of maximum bandwidth details. Product descriptions can boast 1750 Mbps, but that would be unrealistic, especially with different barriers like walls and appliances inside the house that separate your router and devices. So take note of the word “up to” which pertains to a limit and not a guarantee.

Ensuring Security

Since your walls cannot contain the coverage of your wireless network, your Internet subscription and your devices are at risk of being broken into. When other people are connected to your network, they can access other devices on it as well as the files in them. This is a big threat since valuable personal information can be found on the different devices that you use. Just like your house, your wireless network needs a security system to protect yourself from great loss, which is why security protocols WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 exist.

Users That Will Benefit From Low-end Routers

Students

One important feature of a router is its capacity to support multiple devices in the network. Routers are built to support the average household with each member having their own device.  Needless to say, a router’s quality also determines its capacity to accommodate a number of devices. A powerful router’s full potential cannot be harnessed by a single user no matter how many devices they use. Low-end routers are ideal for students who spend most of the day in classes and their part-time job.

Small Households

A family, for example, a young couple with toddlers, with minimal home Internet usage can save money on low-end routers. These are households where the users only need to check their social media accounts or catch up on their favorite shows while relaxing in bed after a hard day’s work

Vacation Houses

Some people have vacation houses that they only visit every once in a while. While these houses can have an Internet connection for the whole year, it would be ideal to just settle with low-end routers. When on vacation, you tend to have less usage of the Internet, and installing an expensive router would just be putting it to waste.

Senior Citizen

Today, even the elderly make use of the Internet and mobile devices. Though their Internet usage is usually lower than those of younger generations, it would still be very convenient for them to have a wireless router. Low-end routers can accommodate catching up on the latest news while having breakfast or getting in touch with a relative from across the county through video calls. These routers can be the most user-friendly simply because they are less complex than the more expensive types.

Low-end Routers Aren’t as Bad as You Think

Having an Internet router is a good investment to maximize the use of your Internet subscription. You can stay connected to the world from different corners of your house. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and news can improve your lifestyle. But the best wireless router for home use doesn’t need to be too costly and complex.  

Investing in top high-end routers can be a bad decision when the best router under $100 can satisfy your needs. Low-end routers can accommodate your simple wireless network needs on a tight budget. But always keep in mind that cutting costs does not necessarily mean you have to have an absolute cut in quality and compromise your needs.

Internet users have different needs, that is why knowing your needs is as important as knowing what different products have to offer. Whether it’s the $20 Netgear R6300 v2 or the more expensive Linksys EA6350 v3 that you need, it is already up to you.

The goal is not spending much more than necessary, saving a few dollars for a large cost of inconvenience. Check out the list of routers that fall into the low-end routers category, and see best budget router 2017 has to offer you.