Considering the increasing number of devices that require WiFi connection these days, it’s only natural to want a router that will bring them all together. However, choosing one that fits your needs can be confusing with all the technical specifications and ads that try to sell you the most expensive model.
Truth be told, most users don’t need the latest design that comes with mind-blowing specifications. In support of this, we decided to find the best router under $100 that would support a busy household (from an Internet traffic point of view).
So, if you’re interested in learning more about the type of wireless router you need, make sure to read the reviews below.
How to Choose the Best Router Under $100
Before we delve into the reviews of the best routers under $100, let’s have a look at the features that matter the most.
Most modern routers support high speed, but it’s important to pay attention to the specs.
For instance, if you need an Internet connection that supports online multi-player gaming without lags and 4K video streaming simultaneously, you will need an AC router (the modern WiFi standard). Now, while the AC router under $100 may be a bit low in advanced features, it does a fantastic job for the regular home user.
Dual Band and Higher
Another thing to watch for is the dual-band feature. This means that the router supports both the 2.4GHz and the 5 GHz bands and provides better performance overall. Also, the 5GHz band doesn’t suffer from interferences from other electronic devices and is usually less crowded.
Dual-band routers usually have two or more adjustable antennas and can maintain both bands simultaneously without any drops in signal or speed. Also, there are routers that support tri-band settings – one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands. These are fantastic for households with heavy traffic via online gaming and video and audio streaming.
Ideally, the wireless router should provide the same strength of WiFi signal in the entire home. However, the range varies depending on the size of your house, the wall composition (for signal interference), and other factors.
Still, unless you want to use a WiFi extender, you should look for a device that can cover a 2,000 sq. ft. house.
Nowadays cyber-security is a big deal, so make sure the router comes with a solid firewall, WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption, and Guest Access possibilities. This way, anyone interested in hacking into your home network will have a tough time.
Before deciding on a model, it’s best to consider your needs.
First, try to assess the number of devices that will be connecting daily – this means phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more. Next, think about what you want to be able to access using the router. For instance, some routers allow connecting a Network Attached Storage (NAS) using an Integrated USB port.
Finally, if you have wired devices, make sure you get a router with enough Ethernet LAN ports (most models have four).
8 Best Routers Under $100 You Can Buy in 2018
NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk AC1750
The Best Wireless Router Under $100 Overall
The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk is the perfect choice because it supports speeds of up to 1750Mbps (for gaming) and accepts multiple simultaneous connections without any lag. Also, the router is smart enough to make the difference between online gaming, streaming, and mobile use so it can adapt to each situation.
The 1GHz, Dual Core processor allows the router to provide the best wireless and wired performance for over 12 WiFi devices and 4 LAN connections. Furthermore, the 3 external antennas and high-power amplifiers boost the WiFi range, so you can have a good connection regardless of your location inside the house.
Finally, the router also offers one USB 3.0 port, so you can quickly share stored media with the entire house. There is also free backup software to safeguard your settings and Parental Control to limit access for certain members of the family.
The cool thing about this router is that you can set it up and control it using the Nighthawk app (free to download). So, if you want to pause Internet access or check router specs, you don’t need to go to the router or connect to it using a computer.
Note, sometimes this router’s price may go a bit over a $100 for a new model, but still you can purchase a refurbished or used (usually it looks and works just like new) version for less than a $100.
- Fast Internet speed
- Prioritizes bandwidth for streaming or gaming
- Dual Core processor
- Good range
- Over 12 WiFi connections and 4 LAN ports
- USB 3.0 port for shared media and files
- Parental Control
- Secure and great for home use
- VPN support is limited to Windows VPN
- The app is simple when it comes to configuration
TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7
Great Router for Gaming
One of the best dual band routers under $100, the TP-Link AC1750 comes with high speed (up to 450Mbps for the 2.4GHz network and 1300Mbps for the 5GHz network), is compatible with Amazon Alexa, and supports 4K streaming with significantly reduced buffering.
The 3 external antennas boost the WiFi range, so you can get a connection even in a home that’s 2,500 square feet. In terms of ports, the router has 4 Gigabit LAN ports that offer support for wired devices, one USB 3.0 port for fast access to a storage device, one WPS button that allows for an easier way to connect guests to the network, and one Reset button. Furthermore, this router can support over 50 wireless devices!
All this is due to a highly performant management system that is supported by a powerful CPU, advanced technology, and stellar bandwidth prioritization. Users consider the TP-Link AC1750 to be a great router for online gaming (no lag), but it’s also a fantastic choice for video and audio streaming.
Finally, the TP-Link AC1750 provides a secure online environment for the entire family with WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption, guest access, and parental control features. Also, the router can be controlled using the TP Tether app, which is cloud-based so you can control the settings regardless of your location.
- High Internet Speed
- Supports over 50 devices
- Great range
- Secure guest access
- Easy to setup and configure for your needs
- Compatible with Alexa
- Cloud-based tether app
- It requires some tech knowledge during setup
- Parental Controls interface is a bit complicated
- The VPN connecting process is complicated
ASUS Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300
Easy Setup Process & Best User-friendly Interface
Equipped with 2×2 MU-MIMO technology, this ASUS router is fantastic for managing multiple connections at high speeds (up to 1267Mbps – up to 867Mbps for 5GHz and 400Mbps for 2.4GHz). The device boosts the WiFi range in your home due to the 4 external antennas and it’s easy to install due to the user-friendly web-based interface (there’s also an app you can use to control the settings).
The ASUS Dual-Band AC1300 router uses Smart Connect to automatically switch between bands whenever it is needed. This delivers consistent bandwidth, regardless of your online activities. Furthermore, the router is equipped with one USB 3.0 port for fast medial files sharing with the entire network.
- Great for heavy traffic management
- Advanced control features in both the app and the web-based interface
- Offers guest access
- Consistent performance
- Good coverage and speed
- Setup is a bit complicated
- No DD-WRT support
- Known problems with IPv6 support
- ASUS Tech support is not that great
NETGEAR AC1200 (R6230)
Budget Router With a Good Range
If you’re looking to boost the range of your WiFi to reach the whole house, skip the WiFi extender and get the NETGEAR AC1200 instead. Some people consider this to be the best AC router under $100, and considering its features and price, they wouldn’t be too wrong.
The router delivers fast speeds (300 for the 2.4GHz and 900Mbps for the 5GHz networks) which makes it great for online gaming, video and audio streaming and other demanding online activities. NETGEAR AC1200 can prioritize services that need a lot more bandwidth over the regular ones for a perfect streaming and gaming experience.
In terms of connectivity (besides wireless connections), the NETGEAR AC1200 has 4 Gigabit LAN ports, guest network possibilities (WPS button) and USB 2.0 port (for external devices). The control interface is intuitive, and users have an access with a mobile device via the Nighthawk app.
- Easy to setup and configure
- Good range
- Supports a wide range of connections
- Prioritizes bandwidth according to usage
- Up to 1200Mbps
- Friendly user interface
- Some firmware updates come with flaws
- Many users don’t find it very reliable
Elegant Dual Band Router
For people who don’t like big devices, the Linksys EA6350 is the best wireless router possible! With a slim and elegant design and an impressive look, this device can be installed in any type of interior setting.
But it’s not just the pretty body that makes people buy it! It’s also the plethora of features it has to offer and the power it hides under its tiny shell. For instance, it supports dual wireless bands and can reach speeds up to 300Mbps for the 2.4GHz network and 867Mbps for the 5GHz network.
Furthermore, the router features 4 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 3.0, and understands the difference between playing online games, streaming a movie on Netflix, or just browsing your favorite online store.
While the router does have long range, the antennas can be adjusted and repositioned as needed. Also, it supports beamforming for stronger and faster connections and keeps your network secure with WPA/WPA2 encryption and an SPI firewall. Of course, you have the option to allow for guest access.
- Elegant design and easy setup
- Comes with an app that allows remote control
- Fast Internet speed on dual band
- Smart bandwidth usage according to users’ needs
- Secure connection
- Doesn’t support advanced network customization (can’t block specific ports)
- The user must have a Linksys account
- Firmware is not the best
MOTOROLA AC1700 (MR1700)
Great Router for Large Houses
Some people may use a USB WiFi adapter to improve their wireless signal, but when you want a good range for all your devices, you get a high-end wireless router like the Motorola AC1700!
This bad boy comes with six adjustable antennas, out of which four are designed to handle the 2.4GHz band, also knowns as the best band for long range WiFi. As a result, you’ll get a good wireless signal all over the house, and the speed won’t suffer.
The router supports all sorts of wireless devices and four wired ones (due to the four Gigabit Ethernet ports). Furthermore, the Motorola router is equipped with a high-speed dual-core processor that allows for Smart QoS to do a fantastic job in prioritizing online gaming and video streaming.
Finally, this device is easy to setup, supports guest connections, has parental control and secures your network with a firewall.
- Fast speed and dual-band connections
- Adjustable antennas that help improve the range
- User-friendly interface
- Easy to setup
- Secure network
- Parental control features
- Smart QoS for gaming and streaming
- The interface is a bit buggy
- It can be difficult to change the password or the SSID name
- Doesn’t support AP mode
NETGEAR N750 (WNDR4300)
Router With Awesome Software Features
The NETGEAR N750 comes with a neat design (it can be mounted on both the horizontal and vertical planes) and high performance. It supports 300Mbps in 2.4GHz and 450Mbps in 5GHz and it features a great range for the average-sized home.
The router supports several simultaneous connections without any lag and has four LAN ports for your wired devices. It’s also recommended for online gaming, video streaming, browsing, music streaming, and more.
The USB 2.0 port is fantastic for sharing media files with the network, plugging in a USB stick or even sharing a printer. The firmware is well-designed and provides advanced features such as parental control settings, guest access, VPN support, and is compatible with the Apple Time Machine and IPv6.
The NETGEAR Genie app is available for free and offers a user-friendly interface so even the less tech-savvy users can understand how to configure various features.
- Fast dual band Internet access and good range
- A wide range of useful features
- It can be mounted vertically (occupies less space)
- Great for all sorts of online activities
- Comes with the NETGEAR Genie app
- Some firmware versions are buggy
- Poor tech support
- Some reliability and consistency issues
Solid Router for The Money
The Medialink AC1200 comes equipped with four Gigabit Ethernet ports that will put your online multi-player gaming and 4K streaming in the fast lane. Second, the range is extremely satisfying as it is, but you have the option to activate the Range Extender Mode if you need to cover a larger area.
The Medialink AC1200 also supports beamforming and dual-band access (300Mbps on 2.4GHz and 867Mbps on 5GHz). To keep everyone protected from prying eyes, the router comes with a solid firewall and guest network access. Not to mention, you have full control over its functionalities.
Finally, the setup process is easy to understand, and you can always contact tech support (if the need arises).
- Supports up to 20 simultaneous connections
- Good range for 2,000 sq. ft. houses
- USB 2.0 port for Network Attached Storage
- Slick design
- Solid speed and good bandwidth prioritization
- Restricts advanced configurations
- Some reliability and consistency issues
As you can see, there are many high-quality routers under $100, and it’s almost impossible to choose the best one. However, each user’s needs are different, so have a look at our reviews and choose the one that works best for you.