Contrary to popular belief, when shopping for new hardware to drive your home wireless network, you don’t have to necessarily clean out your bank account to achieve your goals.
In fact, for less than your monthly cellphone bill, you can nab some pretty nice routers out there that provide great wall-to-wall Wi-Fi coverage and next-gen performance. You just have to know where to look. To help you simplify that process, here are five amazing options that are all under $100.
The TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 router is a top pick for those who are ultra-budget-conscious. This much-hyped wireless router is relatively easy to set up and ready to stream 4K UHD videos over its dual-band connectivity. It boasts three antennas for long-range coverage of up to 2,500 square feet and can handle more than 50 devices simultaneously.
A nice perk that often gets overlooked is the two USB 2.0 ports that make it a snap for your home network to share printers, files and other media with multiple devices. It really is a risk-free purchase, as the router comes with a two-year warranty and free 24/7 technical support.
Up next is the Netgear Nighthawk AC1750, which is one of the most popular routers out there for DD-WRT enthusiasts. With DD-WRT, you can upgrade the firmware yourself and have access to unrivaled performance that’s usually reserved for routers that cost hundreds of dollars more.
Even without any firmware upgrades, Netgear’s Nighthawk app can make the router the best possible solution for your wireless needs. If you’re looking for that extra punch, you’ll definitely be satisfied with the 1GHz processor and 1,750Mbps capability.
In the three-hole is Google WiFi. For years, Google’s splendid offering has shown that it is no slouch when it comes to stability and reliability. What’s really wonderful about this router is that, although it’s often promoted as a mesh-networking device, there is no need for you to go out and spend hundreds more on multiple units. All you have to do is just sit back and enjoy the steady, hiccup-free Wi-Fi signals.
For you gamers out there, Portal’s Wi-Fi is one of the more budget-friendly routers in the gaming world. It also comes with basic mesh-networking features and is designed with low latency in mind – a must for today’s data-intensive games. There are nine internal antennas that include beamforming and MU-MIMO technology. If you need to, you can add a second Portal to give your home 6,000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage.
Finally, the Eero Mesh Wi-Fi Router is a solid play if you want to enter the mesh-networking ecosystem. But if you decide not to add any more units, that’s fine, as it works great as a standard router. It offers both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies and boasts wireless speeds of up to 550Mbps. A single Eero unit can easily cover 1,500 square feet of your home. Moreover, setting up the device is a breeze thanks to the brand’s smartphone app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek and Arirang TV. He currently resides in Minneapolis.