Last updated: June 9th 2017.
- 1 Best Routers Under $100 – The Winners!
- 2 Best Routers Under $100 – Our Top Picks 2017!
- 2.1 Top Pick — TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Fast Ethernet Router
- 2.2 Value for Money — TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
- 2.3 Recommendation #1 — AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
- 2.4 Recommendation #2 — AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router
- 2.5 Recommendation #3 — Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
- 2.6 Recommendation #4 — NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router
- 2.7 Recommendation #5 — Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router
- 3 An Introduction to Wireless Routers
- 4 Things to Consider for Choosing the Best Wireless Router
- 5 How to improve performance of Wireless Routers?
- 6 Wrapping Up
I still have a lot of friends who come to me and complain about poor Wi-Fi range and speeds — even when they are using a power-packed Broadband plan. As it turns out in most cases, Router is undeniably the villain. They would be using the same old wireless router for 5 or 6 years and then blame their home and ISP for a bad speed. So, the first thing I tell them is to purchase a new wireless router that uses modern technologies and ensures better speed. And, then they have the next question: can I get a best router under $100?
Best Routers Under $100 – The Winners!
Top-End Pick – TP-Link AC1200
TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Fast Ethernet Router is the best router in under-$100 category, for different reasons. It not only packs Dual Band technology but also offers Media Sharing and Top-notch speeds.
Low-Budget Pick – TP-Link Archer C7
If you can more for advanced features, take a look at TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router. Coming with a 1.75Gbps of bandwidth, this router would be suitable if you have too many devices at your home.
Yes, definitely, Yes. There are super-cool wireless routers you can get without spending more than $100. In addition to doing the basic job, you can have a bunch of awesome features as well. In case if you didn’t know, Wi-Fi speed really depends upon range and the intensity. So, if all your smart home appliances and phones are connected to the same router, it’s high time for the upgrade. To address this frequently asked question, I have created a list of the best routers under $100.
If you don’t want to read much, take a look at Quick Recommendations.
Ready to have an in-depth review of all our recommendations?
Best Routers Under $100 – Our Top Picks 2017!
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It’s not the most expensive wireless router in the list, but one of the most used and reviewed ones. If you’re looking for a router for speed upgrade and standard features, TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Fast Ethernet Router should be just fine. Plus, you’re spending a relatively-lower amount.
I have used this router in many of my friends’ homes, and the speeds were pretty awesome. We also did an intense online gaming session, which went well. The device comes with Dual Band — 5GHz at 867Mbps and 2.4GHz at 300Mbps — and dual antennae. The range was superb, even with some bulky stuff in-between.
It also has some additional features you would not expect for the price tag. For instance, Bandwidth Control via QoS is helpful for allocating certain bandwidth to your devices. So, when you need maximum speed, Fast Processing Single-Core Processor would be enough.
TP-Link has included some other features like Media Sharing, via USB Port. It’s cool-enough that you’d access the file from any connected device. Also, the TP-Link Tether app is a blessing for managing settings from one Android or iOS device. Last but not least, it’s compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac devices.
Summing up, TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Fast Ethernet Router is a nice choice for majority of home consumers. It packs superb range and speed, with Parental Control and Media Sharing capabilities. It also comes with 2-year Warranty and 24*7 Tech Support for lifetime.
Value for Money — TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router is a value-for-money router under $100 in a different sense — you are getting some really premium features for moderate price tag. Recommended by experts as the best router for most people, it’s a deal worth stealing for sure.
On top of all, this wireless router has three antennae, so that you would never miss range. Thanks to its Dual Band system, you can have a combined bandwidth of 1.75Gbps at maximum. You can have the best results if you are on a really high-speed internet connection. In our testing, the antennae were quite powerful.
There aren’t many differences in terms of features, though. For instance, you have the benefits of Mobile-based control and Media Sharing. It even comes with two USB ports for media transfer over network. Thanks to the combo of triple internal and external antennae, media sharing and online gaming were fast enough.
Other noticeable features in TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router include IP-based control of Bandwidth, easier setup and options for Guest Networking Access. Even though it’s based on 802.11ac, it offers support for old 802.11a/b/g/n devices.
So, the extra money you spend here is going for the additional bandwidth support and better performance. If you are purchasing the router for a big home or a small office, the specifications are just impressive. Also, you would have a smoother online gaming experienced and better download speeds — all over the home.
Recommendation #1 — AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
Available at the edge of $100 budget, AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router is an advanced kind of router for the price. By just looking at the photograph, you can get an idea about the unique features. In our reviews too, it outperformed other choices in terms of signal strength.
One thing we should say about AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router is that its signal penetrates up to three walls without any issues. Thanks is due to the six external antennae and 3 processors that would be working together. However, it’s a fact that the router requires some time for setting up.
Thanks to whole design system, you can connect up to 100 devices at a time. The 3-Wall Penetration is going to help you if you live in an old house with thick walls. The device offers a combined speed of 1200Mbps — which is really good. After all, the device has been made for enterprise purposes and bigger homes.
It does not offer much additional features, but focuses rather on the signal strength and speed. However, it is possible to share media via the USB 3.0 port that you find on reverse side. If you think advanced controls are required, this might not be your choice.
Summing all these up, AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router is the performance-upgrade router for sure. You have to pay almost $100, but the Dual Band system and 6-Antannae coverage do pay back in every aspect.
Recommendation #2 — AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router
Do you want the same build quality of AFOUNDRY for an even lower budget? Then, this one is a perfect pick. As you can see, AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router ensures a maximum speed of 300Mbps, but makes use of state-of-the-art hardware for total build.
Basically, it’s a dual band router that comes with five separate antennae. If you have a huge home, you can direct each antenna to different directions, for extended coverage. When we tested the router, the speeds were impressive in almost all home regions. And, of course, that’s what we expect from the build too.
Coming to the design, AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router is completely made of metal shell. This not only enhances performance but also improves heat emission. That is one of the reason why the router is said to be a long-lasting choice as well.
Despite all these great-build stuff, you are going to miss some features. For instance, it does not support USB media sharing or parental controls. Also, some users say that it’s somewhat hard to set up this router even on a normal connection.
If you are okay with the issues and need a better build, AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router is a good choice for your wireless connection needs. Someone might say that the 300Mbps speed is pretty low, but one thing that really matters is the all-room coverage system of the device.
Recommendation #3 — Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
Here comes a wireless router that does not have many fancy features. Available for a lower price, this makes a good choice for most home-based needs. There are a few features you would definitely miss, but that is okay for what you are paying. But, there is a whole world of customizability awaiting you.
Although Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router has two antennae, it’s a single-band router. You can share one internet connection via 802.11b/g protocol and nothing else. And, the maximum link rate has been brought to 54Mbps. So, as you can guess, it’s for the basic people, with standard speeds.
One thing I loved about the router is its simplified set-up process. In a few minutes, people can get running with wireless networks, thanks to the open-source firmware inside. At the same time, you can customize the wireless network in any way you like. For instance, Parental Controls.
Talking of other features, Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router offers enhanced security for safer connections. It comes with an in-built firewall too, so that you don’t have to worry about threats. Also, it’s worth noting that you can set up some wired connections from the same router.
Conclusively, it’s an impressive wireless router for those who need a customized wireless network. Because it’s based on Open Source, you can find modules and features, as you move forward. Nevertheless, it won’t fit your needs if you are looking for modern features and specs.
Recommendation #4 — NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router
All in all, NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is a high-performance router with Dual Core Processor. And, of course, you have to pay almost $100 to get the router for your home. While it’s not enterprise quality, it is just-right for almost all your heavy home-based wireless networking needs.
There are three external antennae in the device, capable of providing a combined speed of 1.75Gbps. So, it is one of the best speed-levels you can expect for the price. You can connect more than 12 devices at a time, and the performance was seamless — at least in our case.
There are a few other features that make NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router powerful. There is a feature named Beamforming+, which ensures reliable connections throughout your home. If you have a Dual Band Wi-Fi device, things are going to be super-fast, at any case.
Coming to additional features, Media sharing is available — thanks to one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports. It is also possible to use the ReadyCLOUD USB Access option for cloud-based file access. You can also use the NETGEAR genie App for remote control of your router. All it needs is an internet connection.
At the end of the day, NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is a really smart, effective and feature-rich Wi-Fi router you can purchase. It packs in all the connectivity options, along with remote-access via Cloud. You are paying a bit more, but you get back a lot.
Recommendation #5 — Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router
Seventh in the list, Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router is an innovative wireless router you can get today. It disrupts the whole concept of router set-up, by introducing an easy-to-use touchscreen display into the device. The result, things are easy than they seem.
According to the claims, 95% of Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router customers could set it up in 3 minutes. In our case, it was even less. It’s all well-organized and it’s great to have a touchscreen display on a wireless networking device.
You can use this device as a standalone wireless router or as a Wi-Fi range extender. Either way, you will be having the benefits of faster speeds and performance. The router is offering a maximum speed of 300Mbps and it is definitely a single-band system.
The unique aspect of this router is the smart features, for sure. Using those features, you will be able to deal with connected devices, enable parental controls and even pair with Amazon Alexa. That’s right, if you have an Alexa device at home, the router pairs with it for enhanced functionality.
Summing up, Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router is an affordably-priced wireless router with some really smart features in it. Of course, you won’t get lightning-fast speeds or ultra-deep coverage. Even then, the package means a lot for the price you pay. And, that’s the reason why the device is in our list.
Now that you have seen the best routers under $100, we will have some information that would help you choose the right router for your needs. You cannot get the same router for your big home and a small office. It depends upon many major and minor aspects of selection. Before we move onto that, we should have a brief introduction about wireless routers and the different types that you may come across.
An Introduction to Wireless Routers
You will probably know why are you using a wireless router in your home. It’s used to make wired internet connection available wireless. That’s in the laymen terms, you know. There are, in fact several technicalities involved in the functioning of a wireless router — not limited to sharing of internet connectivity. However, for the time being, let’s put it that way.
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Given that you don’t want to connect wires to every single device you have, Wi-Fi routers are a great blessing. You have a single wireless network for your home or office, and all the desired devices can be connected to the particular network. You’ll not only have internet connection in all the connected devices, but can also enjoy the benefits of networking. Obviously, from file sharing to local multiplayer gaming, there are a lot of things to do. Even if we keep all these factors apart, wireless routers let us stay wire-free, and have a fewer set of mess in the room or office.
In the old days, there was a standard design and specification for routers. There would be a port for plugging the cable from modem, an antenna and the power stuff. Now, things are different, and we have a lot of stuff to take care of. We must say that wireless routers have become pretty affordable too. That is one of the main reasons why you can get an effective router under $100.
While it’s not possible to create clear-cut classifications between the types of routers, there are a few factors you should consider. If you are going to get one of the above-mentioned wireless routers, the following set of selection factors will help you a lot.
Things to Consider for Choosing the Best Wireless Router
This is going to be a kind of huge list of selection factors. Not all customers need to check for the following aspects. For instance, if you are purchasing a router for single-person, single-device wireless usage, you do not have to worry about media sharing capabilities. So, keep in mind your sole purpose.
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- Speed: Obviously, speed should be a major factor while picking a wireless router from market. However, this would depend upon many sub-factors. First of all, you should understand the maximum speed you are getting from the ISP. If the maximum you get is 2Mbps, there is no point in having a 1.75Gbps speed router for your home. So, once the speed-based selection is done, things are somewhat easy. It’s because routers are arranged in different hierarchical levels, and each level would have a certain set of standard specifications. So, if you’ve planned to stick onto a particular speed level, it would be simpler.
- Band: There are two types of routers available in the market, in terms of bands — Single Band and Dual Band. As you can guess from the name, Single Band Routers will do the communications in 2.4GHz band. On the other hand, in the case of Dual Band Routers, there will be support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz communications. It needs to be noted that many Wi-Fi-enabled devices are shifting to 5GHz, because it’s offering better speed, performance and less interference. So, if you have too many devices in your home or office, you should get a dual band wireless router.
- Range: This is the next best thing you should check before checking out a router from a shopping site. While there is no precise mention of the coverable range, you can surely get estimates. At the end of the day, it also does matter where you are going to place the router and how thick your walls are. If you take a look at the routers we have mentioned above, there are machines that transmit signals that can surpass up to 3 or 4 walls. At the same time, common wireless routers may have shorter range and may not work well if there are some obstacles in the path. So, best thing you can do is to check with existing users of the router before buying.
- Media Sharing: Media Sharing is one of the integral features that you might need in a home router. Won’t that be great if you can connect a pen drive with the router and enjoy stored content from connected devices? That is pretty much possible when you are using a Media Sharing-enabled router. Not all routers may have this feature in-built. So, it makes sense if you can look into the products and choose the right one from list. While there are external methods to enable content streaming, a native method is always performance-friendly and quicker.
- Connected Devices: How much devices would be connected to the wireless network at a time? The answer would affect the type of router you should pick. It’s a fact that the router may have claims of maximum devices up to 100. Well, what really matters is whether the router can withstand that many devices at a single time. Here comes the role of processors, external antennae and internal antennae. So, once again, you will have to consult with people who have used the router to get a precise idea about this side.
- Quality of Service: Quality of Service is an effective method to adjust and optimize the total performance of your router. There would be several options to allocate certain amount of bandwidth or speed to certain devices or app. This way, you can make sure that you get enough speed on the work laptop. You get a bunch of options here — depending on the type of router you have bought and the brand you have gone for. This should be a point of selection.
- Parental Control & Other Features: Parental Control is a superb feature you would find in wireless routers nowadays. It lets you see and control what your kids are doing in the world for web. Instead of controlling individual devices, you are making the changes in network level. Along with this, you can check features like Guest Network Access, Remote Access of routers, device management, Wired connection support etc.
Along with these, there are some minute factors too. For instance, if you are using the device for complete media storage, see how many USB ports are there. Also, if you want to make some changes on router level, see if the router comes with a customizable firmware. These things may be useless for the general customer. However, if you have some knowledge about computers and networking, these things can happen in routers under $100 as well.
How to improve performance of Wireless Routers?
Here, we have some quick tips to increase the speed and performance of wireless routers you’re using.
- If your router has multiple antennae, turn them into different directions. This way, you’ll be able to get enough coverage on those sections. It’s way too better than the messed-up position.
- Make sure that there aren’t many thick walls between your devices and the routers. In other words, the position should be central and almost all devices should have a line of sight with the router. it’s a proven method to increase speed and signal strength, no matter the band you are in.
- If you are living in a multi-storeyed building, you need to be careful about placement of routers. All the time, place the router on the highest possible position in the ground floor. That way, you can get a better coverage in the second floor of your home. The same is applicable for offices. However, if you have that many floors, you should get an enterprise-level wireless router from market.
- Use 5GHz if possible. 5GHz has better coverage and speed than 2.4GHz. Also, interference is lower in the 5GHz mode.
- Last but not least, you should update the firmware of your router, once in a while. these updates will not only give you better performance and control but help you from many threats too.
So, we have had plenty of information about wireless routers and how to make the right selection from the huge market. If your requirements are not that advanced, you would be satisfied with any of recommended routers above. It’s just that you have to re-consider about additional features like parental control and guest access. If you noticed carefully, you know that, for the same price, you can either have a heavy-performance router or a normal router with fancy features. As we said in the beginning of this article, the ultimate choice is yours and there’s no going back about that.
Best Routers Under $100
- TP-Link AC1200 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band Fast Ethernet Router
- TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
- AFOUNDRY Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
- AFOUNDRY 300Mbps Wireless Router
- Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
- NETGEAR AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router
- Securifi Almond Touchscreen Wireless Router
As it turns out in most cases, Router is undeniably the villain. They would be using the same old wireless router for 5 or 6 years and then blame their home and ISP for a bad speed. So we have reviewed some best routers under 100 which can fit your budget and give you a great speed.
When it comes to internet, the main thing we need is Router to get connected and which gives a great speed. You can find the detailed review of best routers from here :- Best Routers Under $100