There was a time, not long back, when the only appliance connected to the internet used to be the PC or the laptop.

Today, every home has a multitude of devices like PCs, laptops, iPads, smartphones, televisions, and other IoT-enabled devices.

The conventional modem, therefore, lies confined to the dustbin. In its place, the Wi-Fi router has started ruling the roost.

With people using these devices simultaneously, and that too in different rooms in the house, one should invest in a high-quality long-range Wi-Fi router.

Such routers are also useful in an office environment for providing multiple connections to access the internet.

This post discusses some of the best Wi-Fi routers for gaming, 4K, and long-range home and office available in India.

The buying guide and the FAQ section will clarify the concept and make it easy for everyone to understand the requirement and utility of these Wi-Fi routers at home and office.

Best Wi-Fi routers (Long-range, Gaming)

1. TP-Link Archer AX6000 WiFi 6 Gigabit

TP-Link is one of the popular Wi-Fi routers available in India. This router is available in varying configurations, depending on its internet speed. This specific router, the AX6000 is capable of delivering a maximum speed of nearly 6000 Mbps. The exciting features of this router are as follows.

  • Speed – Maximum of 5952 Mbps
  • Band – Dual Band
  • Connectivity Ports – Eleven ports
  • Wi-Fi standard compatibility – 802.11ac
  • Processor – 1.8 GHz Quad-core CPU
  • Antennas – Eight
  • Technology – OFDMA and MU-MIMO

The Archer AX6000 is one of the best Wi-Fi routers for long-range available in India. This router is compatible with 802.11ax Wi-Fi, thereby making one of the fastest routers in India. The blazing fast speed of this router enables higher reach to cover large houses comfortably.

This dual-band Wi-router operates at a maximum speed of 1148 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 4804 Mbps on the 5. GHz frequency.

This router is compatible with OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology to provide up to four times higher capacity compared to standard AC routers. Hence, it is an excellent one to use in dense usage areas like offices, malls, and supermarkets.

It comes with a built-in antivirus software solution to safeguard all the connected devices in your house from online threats. One of the highlights of this Wi-Fi router is the availability of parental controls to restrict access to children to the internet.

The router comes with eleven connectivity options in the form of one 2.5 Gbps WAN port, eight Gigabit LAN ports, and two USB 3.0 Type-A and C ports.

Setting up this Wi-Fi router is easy, as you can link the router via Bluetooth and set it up with the robust Tether app. The powerful Quad-core processor with two distinct co-processors and 8 GB RAM enables smooth multitasking.

The presence of eight antennas allows for the deliverance of secure Wi-Fi throughout your home or office.

Pros
  • Reliable Wi-Fi and excellent coverage
  • Responsive user-interface
  • Wall mountable
  • Customisable router
Cons
  • Fluctuating connectivity speeds
  • No USB 2.0 port

2. Netgear Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi 6 Router

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is one of the best Wi-Fi routers for smart home use because of its compatibility with Wi-Fi 6 and the latest technology like MU-MIMO and OFDMA. This router comes with an improved capacity for accommodating more Wi-Fi devices.

  • Speed – Up to 6 Gbps
  • Technology – Mu-MIMO and uplink/downlink OFDMA
  • Connectivity ports – Six Gigabit ports
  • Antennas – Four

This Nighthawk router is built for faster Wi-Fi speeds, range, and network device capacity. As it is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, it is the ideal Wi-Fi router for IoT devices in today’s smart homes.

This router has four times the capacity of the conventional Wi-Fi router, thereby capable of faster internet speeds and more simultaneous Wi-Fi streams.

This router is backwards compatible. Hence, it can work with your existing Wi-Fi devices comfortably. The fantastic 6 Gbps speed enables smooth 4K/8K HD streaming and lag-free online gaming. Video calls are amazing on this router because of its excellent rate.

With 8 Wi-Fi streams, it gives you four times the capacity of the previous Wi-Fi standard. Thus, you can easily connect up to 30 devices, thereby making it ideal for offices and other public places like hotels and malls.

The latest technology like OFDMA makes sharing of Wi-Fi bandwidth comfortable. By reducing the congestion, it increases the efficiency of your devices. This device comes powered with four antennas positioned under the wings to deliver long-distance Wi-Fi coverage.

Setting up this router is easy using the Nighthawk app. The app also allows you to monitor its performance and comes with excellent features like internet speed test, remote access to the network, and internet pausing, etc.

This router is one of the first routers to support WAN port aggregation that allows the combining of a Gigabit Ethernet port with a WAN port to deliver speeds more than 1 Gbps.

Pros
  • Compatible with 802.11ax
  • Works with iPhone 11 Pro
  • Excellent speeds
  • Futuristic looks
Cons
  • Firmware niggles can be irritating.
  • USB hanging issue reported
  • Delay in identifying devices compatible with 5 GHz

3. Netgear Orbi RBK50 Tri Band Mesh WiFi System

Netgear Orbi RBK50 is a high-quality Wi-Fi router capable of covering a massive area of up to 5000 square feet, thereby qualifying as one of the best Wi-Fi routers for long-range office and home use. This router comes with exciting features that enhance the user experience to an entirely different level.

  • Coverage – Up to 5000 square feet
  • Band – Tri-band
  • Set Up – Easy to install
  • Compatible with Alexa and Amazon Echo
  • Works with all ISPs

With Netgear Orbi RBK50, you can bid goodbye to dead zones as this Wi-Fi router reaches every corner of your home or office. You can comfortably work in a radius encompassing 5000 square feet. Working on your laptop in the office patio is possible, as is communication with your beloved on a video call from your house garden.

The benefit of using this router is that there are no dead zones and disconnections to contend within the house. The Tri-band technology operates on an additional 5.0 GHz band, thereby delivering greater access to more devices. The compatibility with Amazon Echo and Alexa makes it one of the favourites of Indians.

The USP of this Wi-Fi router is its speed as you keep connecting more devices. It ensures rates up to 100 Mbps spread over an area of nearly 4000 square feet. While being compatible with the latest technology, it can work with your existing broadband network.

Besides compatibility with virtual assistants, this router comes with parental control features for families to manage the content that their children can access.

This router is compatible with the Circle with Disney app that provides parental control features like filters, time limits, usage control, internet pausing, and bedtime usage.

The best aspect of the Orbi is that it works with your existing broadband network without having to change any equipment. The Orbi App enables a convenient set-up procedure that does not require the user to sign in to use the home Wi-Fi system.

Pros
  • Excellent speed in all your rooms in the home
  • Convenient and fast video streaming
  • Installing the router is easy if you have a fibre net connection.
  • Amazing parental controls
Cons
  • Firmware issues
  • Poor customer after-sales service is also a concern.

4. TP-Link Deco M9 Plus AC2200 Smart Home Mesh Wi-Fi 

This TP-Link Deco M9 is available in different configurations, depending on the area coverage. This Deco M9 mesh router is one of the best Wi-Fi routers for large offices because of its excellent coverage up to 6500 square feet.

  • Coverage – 6500 square feet
  • Speed – up to 2134 Mbps
  • Network – Mesh network
  • Devices – Connect up to 100 devices

The TP-Link Deco M9 is an excellent router to have in large multi-storeyed homes and offices. Restaurants and malls are also ideal places for using this superb router that can connect with up to 100 devices simultaneously.

This router is a Tri-band Wi-Fi system that operates on an additional 5.0 GHz band besides the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency. The Deco 9 has earned a reputation for being a Wi-Fi dead zone killer because it provides internet connectivity to every part of your home/office in a radius of 6500 square feet.

The Built-in smart hub features allow you to install one pack from the 3-pack set in each floor of your multi-storeyed bungalow. The extended reach of this Wi-Fi router ensures there is no buffering when streaming movies and videos.

You get to access seamless roaming throughout the home or office. Another feature that makes this Wi-Fi router as a favourite with people is its scalability. You can keep adding more Decos to the network to increase its coverage.

One of the best aspects of this Wi-Fi router is that it comes with robust parental controls. Restricting internet access to your children ensures they do not become addicted to online games and concentrate on their studies.

Setting up the network is simple using the dedicated app, as it helps you with every step of the installation. It comes with exceptional security features like built-in antivirus and QoS to secure all the devices that connect to the network.

Pros
  • Maintains consistent speed
  • Easy to install using the deco app
  • Gigabit Ethernet port makes it one of the best-connected networks
  • Works with the same efficiency in access point or router mode
Cons
  • Rebooting the system takes time.
  • Though proving to be an excellent supplemental router, it has issues in the stand-alone mode.

5. Netgear Orbi RBK20-100INS Tri-Band Router Home Wi-Fi

  • Check Price at Amazon

Netgear is one of the reputed Wi-Fi router brands, especially the long-range Wi-Fi routers for home and office use. This pack of two routers is ideal for setting up fast internet speeds and seamless connection from one room to another.

  • Coverage – 250 square metres (around 2700 square feet)
  • Speeds – 2.2 Gbps
  • Band – Tri-Band AC2200
  • Compatibility with Amazon Echo/Alexa

The two-pack router system ensures there are no dead zones in the house. The overall range of this router provides a dedicated wireless connection to every inch of the home.

The excellent feature of this system is that the data speeds remain constant as you keep connecting more devices to the Orbi. It is not a feature you observe in other Wi-Fi or mesh systems. The Tri-band feature offers an additional 5.0 GHz band, allowing you to connect a range of devices without compromising the speed.

The Orbi RBK20 offers seamless coverage up to 250 square metres. Thus, you can access the internet in your garden and office patios with equal ease. The Tri-band ensures to maximise internet speeds for 4K streaming and multiple connections with compatible devices.

The Orbi app makes it convenient to set up and install this Wi-Fi router. The app is freely available without the user having to open an account or part with personal information.

It also allows setting up of dedicated internet access for guests. Using the app, you can monitor the router and check out the status of the devices.

This Wi-Fi router is compatible with Alexa and Amazon Echo. Thus, controlling your home network using voice commands is convenient.

The sleek design of this Wi-Fi router makes for convenient placement at home. Parental controls feature enables parents to restrict the internet usage of their children.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality and performance
  • Compatible with all ISPs
  • Good coverage of up to 250 square metres
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Firmware issues need resolution
  • Not the best one for homes that have more than two floors

6. TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router

Gaming enthusiasts need high-speed internet connectivity to ensure seamless and lag-free gaming experience. This TP-Link AC5400 can deliver full-throttle wireless performance to enable you to dominate the competition.

  • Speed – 5400 Mbps
  • Technology – MU-MIMO
  • Processor – 1.5 GHz 64-bit Quad-core CPU
  • File Storage – 16 GB

This TP-Link AC5400 enables gaming addicts to deliver the best gaming performances with its battle-tested processing. The Quad-core processor and its three co-processors provide the raw power necessary to eliminate latency and ensure smooth gameplay.

The dynamic optimisation engine identifies the gaming traffic that comes from the gaming server, thereby giving you an edge over your competitors. When not gaming, this feature allows fast and immersive 4K movie streaming.

This Wi-Fi router is capable of delivering excellent Wi-Fi speeds over the 2.4 GHz (1000 Mbps) and 2167 Mbps each on the two 5 GHz bands. The Tri-band feature allows you to streamline your network, thereby enabling you to stay competitive in your gaming activities.

The advantage of the tri-band network is that one 5 GHz band is available exclusively for gaming activities. In contrast, the other 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands are available for streaming movies and other internet activities.

You can enable Smart Connect features to allow the router to focus on the best Wi-Fi band for each device, thereby ensuring peak performance.

This Wi-Fi router employs MU-MIMO technology to enable you to connect multiple devices simultaneously. The calibrated metrics and sophisticated algorithms divide the airtime and distribute Wi-Fi streams to each device to allow you to concentrate on the gaming rather than fighting your allies for bandwidth.

This Wi-Fi router is among the most secure, as it defends your network from malicious threats and the latest cyber-attacks because of its in-built antivirus solution.

It also secures the data by using the in-built VPN and Open VPN to create a private network with PPTP. This Wi-Fi router comes with 16 GB file storage that you can access thru the dedicated TP-Link FileBank app.

Pros
  • Easy to set up and install the router
  • Controlling the device through the smartphone is easy.
  • Can connect multiple devices like four phones and three laptops at a time
  • Full value for money
Cons
  • The 5 GHz band has its limitations as it cannot go beyond 30 feet.
  • Though suitable for gaming, it is not the ideal one for a two-storied house.

7. Asus RT-AX92U Triband Wifi6 Router

Asus RT-AX92U comes with amazing features and the latest technologies to rank as one of the best Wi-Fi routers in India for video streaming and other activities. It is amongst the most flexible routers you have on the market.

  • Speed – Up to 6100 Mbps
  • Compatible with OFDMA and MU-MIMO
  • Connects – To multiple devices

Asus is renowned for manufacturing excellent gaming laptops and devices. This Wi-Fi router is thus fully equipped to cater to the gaming needs of its users. Some of the best features on display are the Gear Accelerator and Mobile Game Boost to deliver excellent gaming experiences.

This Tri-band Wi-Fi router delivers up to 4804 Mbps speed on its two 5 GHz bands put together that is around 2.7 times faster than other wireless connections. It is compatible with the 802.11ax standard, thereby ensuring excellent speed.

The revolutionary OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology enable you to connect multiple devices to it simultaneously. The Wi-Fi 6 technology ensures seamless connectivity in the densest environments.

This device ensures a longer battery life for your devices because of the TWT (Target Wake Time) feature that schedule designated intervals for devices to transmit data. Thus, these devices sleep when there is no router signal, thereby consuming less power.

ASUS brings with it a proprietary technology, AiMesh that allows the router to work with all compatible routers and turn your home Wi-Fi into a mesh Wi-Fi system. Besides Wi-Fi 6, this router also offers 802.11n and 802.11ac connectivity to support all kinds of devices.

You can also use the Ethernet connectivity port to connect the cable to your PC and enjoy the benefits of a wired connection.

The AiProtection Pro feature ensures the necessary security for the router and all connected devices, thereby protecting your data from internet threats. Setting up this router is easy with the Asus Router app.

It also has parental control features to control the access of your children to adult sites. You can also restrict their gaming activity using this feature.

Pros
  • Provide seamless internet connectivity to ensure an exciting gaming experience
  • Easy to set up and install the device
  • Fantastic protection features
  • Tri-band network offers access to more mobile devices
Cons
  • It does not allow to manage clients.
  • Customers have reported poor service from the company.

8. Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi

Linksys is another household name in India, as it comes with easy-to-use features. This router employs the latest MU-MIMO technology to connect multiple devices simultaneously. Here are its incredible features that rank this router as the best Wi-Fi router for 4K video streaming.

  • Speed – Up to 2.2 Gbps
  • Coverage – Up to 2000 Sq. ft
  • Technology – Beamforming and MU-MIMO
  • Connects – up 20 devices
  • Band – Tri-band network
  • Antennas – Four

Linksys Wi-Fi router comes with a tri-band network that operates over 2.4 GHz frequency and two 5.0 GHz bands. Thus, it enables you to connect multiple devices up to 20 in this case.

The four antennas ensure an ideal distribution of Wi-Fi network to ensure that there is no dead area in its operational area of 2000 square feet.

It comes with seven connectivity ports whereby, you can connect multiple devices using Ethernet cables, as well. The advantage of using a wired connection is that there is less interference, thereby ensuring better connectivity.

This Wi-Fi router can provide seamless connectivity to the entire house, whereby you can also use the internet in the garden or the terrace, provided it is within the operation area of the router.

The 2.4 GHz band has a better range than the 5.0 GHz bands because the signals in the bigger frequency band cannot pass through walls and ceilings. Nevertheless, this router enables seamless 4K streaming.

The advantage of Tri-band network is that one 5.0 GHz band is exclusively for 4K TV streaming and the other for gaming activities. The 2.4 GHz band is enough to cater to different demands of the household.

This router features Beamforming technology that ensures to deliver the Wi-Fi signal directly to the device instead of dispersing it in the environment. The MU-MIMO technology ensures that all devices connected to it receive the same high-speed and high-bandwidth signals.

Setting up this Wi-Fi router is easy using the Linksys app. This app allows you to offer guest access and device prioritisation, thereby ensuring easy monitoring of the router.

Pros
  • Full value for money
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Best for one-floor houses
  • The guest access mode is a good one
Cons
  • Not the ideal one for houses with multiple floors
  • It is not a suitable device to provide internet access in large areas exceeding 2000 square feet.

9. TP-Link Archer C4000 Wireless Tri-Band

TP-Link is one of the best-selling Wi-Fi router brands in India. This router is also available in many configurations, depending on the coverage area and technology involved. This model, Archer C4000, comes with the following prominent features.

  • Speed – 4000 Mbps
  • Bands – Tri-band
  • Coverage – 4000 square feet
  • Technology – Beamforming and MU-MIMO
  • Security – HomeCare

This Wi-Fi router comes with one of the most powerful 1.8 GHz 64-bit Quad-core processor to deliver the ultimate performance. It features Tri-band connectivity with two 5.0 GHz and one 2.4 GHz frequency.

The 5.0 GHz bands deliver identical speeds of 1625 Mbps, whereas the 2.4 GHz band produces 750 Mbps speed to provide quality internet coverage to every corner of your house.

This router can serve areas as large as 4000 square feet. Thus, it is an excellent Wi-Fi router for office and big multi-storeyed houses.

This Wi-Fi router operates on Beamforming technology, whereby it delivers internet access directly to the seeking device, rather than distributing it in the environment. It ensures better connectivity at a higher speed.

The MU-MIMO compatibility ensures that you can connect multiple devices like your smartphones and other compatible appliances without compromising on the internet speed.

Some of the salient features include the availability of a guest network and VPN server. This router also comes with advanced security in the form of HomeCare to protect your domestic appliances from malicious threats.

The parental control feature is an excellent one, as it enables you to monitor the internet habits of your children.

The built-in antivirus and QoS guarantee safe internet accessing experience. This router comes with excellent connectivity options where you can enjoy Gigabit wired speeds.

The dedicated smartphone app allows you to set up and install the Wi-Fi router with ease. The Smart Life Assistant feature on the app will enable you to manage the router and monitor its performance.

Pros
  • Easy set up features using the app
  • Controlling the device over the phone is possible.
  • The excellent signal range on all devices
  • Connect up to seven devices and play UHD videos without lag
Cons
  • Some customers have complained of poor service.
  • Not the cheapest router with USB connectivity

10. Netgear Nighthawk R7000P Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router

This Netgear Nighthawk is available in six models, depending on the speed and area coverage. This Wi-Fi router can deliver quality internet connectivity up to a sufficiently large area. Here are some of its salient features.

  • Band – Dual-band router
  • Speed – 2300 Mbps
  • Processor – 1 GHz Dual-core processor
  • Adequate connectivity ports
  • Compatible with Amazon Echo and Alexa

Netgear Nighthawk R7000P is a versatile long-range Wi-router as it is built with video streaming, gaming, and mobile devices in mind. It is compatible with MU-MIMO, whereby you can connect to multiple devices simultaneously with minimum lag and excellent speed.

The Beamforming technology ensures direct connectivity to the devices from the router.

The dual-band router operates at speeds of 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1625 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency. Compared to the AC1900, this router can accommodate more devices.

The 1.8 GHz dual-core processor makes it a robust Wi-Fi router that delivers consistent speeds. It is one of the best routers for gaming because it avoids character freezing, thereby providing a lag-free experience.

Besides gaming, you can stream unlimited HD because of features like Dynamic QoS. The built-in iTunes server enables fast streaming, as well. This router comes with a USB 3.0 connectivity option to store your media away quickly.

The best aspect of this Wi-Fi router is that it enhances the mobile Wi-Fi speeds by nearly 100%. The Beamforming technology helps extended Wi-Fi coverage throughout large homes and even backyards. Hence, it is an excellent Wi-Fi router for long-range connectivity purposes.

The Circle with Disney feature allows parents to control the internet accessing habits of their children. It makes it possible to block unwanted sites and restrict usage of social media sites like FB and Instagram, among others.

One can completely blank out sites for children after a stipulated schedule, thereby helping to develop good bedtime habits for children. It also allows users to monitor the usage and check out where your family spends more time online.

Pros
  • Outstanding 5 GHz performance
  • Airtime fairness feature is a useful feature.
  • Considering the cost, the overall performance is excellent.
  • Connects to multiple devices without a fall in the speed
Cons
  • It comes with a two-pin adapter, whereas 3-pin should have ideal.
  • Requires Firmware update to ensure client capability for MU-MIMO

11. Linksys MR8300 Tri-Band Gaming Mesh WiFi Router

Linksys MR8300 is one of the excellent Wi-Fi router models from the Linksys stable. This router comes with a powerful Quad-core processor with tri-band and mesh capability. Thus, it is amongst the best Wi-Fi routers in India for heavy downloads and video conferencing.

  • Speed – 2.2 Gbps
  • Band – Tri-band
  • Processor – Quad-core processor
  • Technology – MU-MIMO
  • Antennas – Four

This Linksys MR8300 is a tri-band gaming mesh Wi-Fi router that can deliver excellent speeds to qualify as an entertainment powerhouse. This router ranks as one of the best for 4K streaming and video conferencing because it provides consistent rates through the entire house without creating any dead zones.

The tri-band frequency delivers speeds up to 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz frequency and 867 Mbps on both the 5.0 GHz frequency bands.

The seamless roaming technology ensures Wi-Fi coverage to every area of the house. This router comes with a scalable feature that allows you to add a Velop mesh to expand your coverage.

The Beamforming technology is an advantage as the Wi-Fi signal directly reaches out to the devices, thereby reducing interference.

The MU-MIMO technology allows you to connect multiple devices simultaneously and stream 4K media, browse the internet, play games online, and do your office work at the same time.

This router comes with four antennas for extended coverage. The MR8300 supports wired connections at eight times the speed of the standard Ethernet and also allows to connect shared storage devices, printers, and other peripherals to the network.

The Linksys app helps to set up and install this router. Select a strong password to protect your devices from malicious threats. The Linksys app allows the consumers to monitor your home Wi-Fi network closely, using a smartphone or tablet.

The Guest Access feature allows you to maintain a separate password-protected for up to 50 guests. It is possible to share the passwords via text.

The parental control feature is one of the highlights of this router. You can control the time kids use the internet for browsing various social media sites or playing games. Parents can also use these controls to block unwanted websites. It is also possible to prevent specific devices from accessing the internet.

The device prioritisation app is a useful one as you can prioritise the devices that need the maximum speed.

Pros
  • Perfect router for gaming and 4K streaming
  • Excellent performance without any lag
  • Connect multiple devices and ensure consistency
  • Fantastic connectivity options
Cons
  • Firmware issues
  • Some customers have reported connectivity issues, but it could be due to IPS issues.

Router Buying Guide (Long-Range,Gaming, 4K)

You do not buy Wi-Fi routers every day. Hence, one should get the specifications right, or you might end up with an incompatible router that would be of no use.

Let us look at the points one should consider before purchasing a Wi-Fi router for your home or office. We shall discuss the technical specifications simultaneously to help understand the concept better.

Wired Vs. Wireless

With most people accessing the internet using smartphones, tablets, and televisions, a wired router should not serve the purpose at all.

Besides, a wired router will have Ethernet cables running all around the house.

The wireless routers are the best ones to buy. If you still use a PC without wireless compatibility, you can use a USB dongle and access the internet without using Ethernet cables.

The current trend is of wireless routers that can be used by multiple devices to access the internet simultaneously.

Thus, you can use your laptops, smartphones, and iPads to browse the web. Simultaneously, the smart TVs and equipment like Amazon FireTV stick can also access the same broadband connection. Therefore, a wireless router is a better investment.

Router Vs. Modem Vs. Hotspot

All of you would be familiar with the modem as almost everyone has a Broadband connection at home.

Mobile users will also be comfortable with Hotspot. Both these devices help users to access the internet. Let us understand the difference between a modem, router, and Hotspot.

Device/UtilityModemRouterHotspot
The UtilityProvides internet access through cables for one or multiple devicesOffers wireless internet access to multiple devices simultaneouslyNumerous devices can wirelessly access the internet simultaneously
The Right OccasionGenerally, users with a single device like a PC or a laptopMultiple devices like PCs, laptops, smartphones, and other IoT devices can access the internet.Usually, travellers who need high-speed internet on the move prefer hotspots
Compatible internet providersTelephone line-based providers like Airtel, BSNLAll types of internet service providers except hotspot connectionsSIM Card based telecom providers like Airtel, Idea, Jio
Technology used forAnalogue to DigitalAllows multiple devices to connect with some devices having in-built modems2G, 3G, and 4G connections and enable various devices to connect, like Wi-Fi hotspot on your smartphone
SpeedHighest speed because they allow connection through wires, thereby resulting in minimum lossComparatively slower as there can be speed loss because of interference with other wireless connectionsThe slowest of the three because the performance of 2G, 3G, and 4G is not the same across the country

In short,

Desktop users can use modems for internet accessibility. The cable connectivity provides excellent access without much speed loss. However, these appliances are not portable.

Wi-Fi routers are ideal in homes where multiple people access the internet simultaneously using desktops, laptops, tablets, iPads, smartphones, etc. Smart TVs and other IoT devices also function well with Wi-Fi routers.

People on the move need hotspot connections. It can either be a dedicated hotspot device or a smartphone. You need SIM cards to use these connections.

The Wi-Fi Standard

Technology is advancing day by day. The Wi-Fi router manufacturers have to keep pace with improving technology by upgrading the existing standards (IEEE protocols).

Therefore, you hear terms like 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, etc. Do they look like random numbers? No, they are not. We shall not go much into the details of these numbers, as we have already explained them in an earlier post.

Today, the latest standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known in technical circles as 802.11ax. The latest Intel Core 10th generation laptop CPUs come with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.

Some of the latest smartphones are also compatible with this Wi-Fi standard. The advantages of Wi-Fi 6 are additional security, higher speed, and extended battery life.

The new devices henceforth will be compatible with Wi-Fi 6. Hence, if you plan to change your Wi-Fi router now, it is better to upgrade to a new Wi-Fi 6 compatible router. Otherwise, your existing Wi-Fi 5 compatible router will become obsolete.

Wi-Fi Speeds

Purchasers should know that any Wi-Fi router does not achieve the advertised speed in real-time situations. Manufacturers may list out rates ranging from 350 Mbps to even 3500 Mbps.

At home and office, the Wi-Fi signals have to contend with various obstructions or barriers such as furniture, walls, ceiling, flooring, doors, and other appliances.

For example, the routers operating on the 5 GHz band are not as effective if there is a wall separating the device from the router.

Almost all Wi-Fi routers come with a built-in Ethernet connection for providing access through cables. The cheaper models generally come with switches rated at 100 Mbps.

You should not have any issues spending a few hundred rupees more to purchase a Wi-Fi router model with a Gigabit switch.

Just how FAST is WiFi 6?

The speed of your internet connection is measured in Mbps that represents the amount of data your Wi-Fi router sends or receives in a second. The ideal speed for your regular activities should be as enumerated below.

  • Internet browsing, social media, and sending emails – 1 Mbps
  • Online Gaming – 1 to 3 Mbps
  • Video Conferencing – 1 to 4 Mbps
  • SD Video streaming – 3 to 4 Mbps
  • HD Video streaming – 5 to 8 Mbps
  • Downloading large files – 50 Mbps and above

Single Band or Dual Band or Tri-Band Routers

Initially, you had the single-band routers. Today, almost manufacturers roll out dual-band routers. One can also find some tri-band routers on the market.

Since the single band modems are out of fashion today, we shall restrict our discussion to the dual-band and tri-band routers.

Dual-band routers come equipped with two radios operating on the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequency bands, respectively. The striking aspect is that it allows you to run two distinct wireless networks simultaneously.

It ensures enhanced speeds in a crowded wireless network because it bumps some compatible devices to the alternative frequency. The 2.4 GHz frequency band can face interference from Bluetooth and microwave devices.

The 5.0 GHz band has a shorter range compared to the 2.4 GHz frequency. Hence, it is excellent for devices in proximity to the Wi-Fi router. Generally, the 5 GHz band does not penetrate walls, floors, and ceilings, whereas the 2.4 GHz has an extended range.

Tri Band WiFi as Fast As Possible

When purchasing a Wi-Fi router, you should confirm whether the router has one or two radios. Some routers have a single radio that operates either on the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies but not simultaneously. Go for a Wi-Fi router that can run at both the bands at the same.

The tri-band Wi-Fi routers have an additional 5.0 GHz band. Such routers are useful when you have multiple mobile devices accessing the internet simultaneously, especially in an office-like environment.

Mesh Network

You would have witnessed seamless Wi-Fi connectivity in hotels, malls, and restaurants. How is it possible to provide Wi-Fi connections to many devices simultaneously without compromising on the speed?

The mesh network allows multiple devices to connect to the internet.

A mesh network does not comprise a single router. It is a combination of several Wi-Fi router devices designed to work together.

They create a unique, dependable system by overlapping their signals. Google W-Fi is one such example of a mesh network.

Mesh networks are useful for providing excellent connectivity in large spaces, such as apartments exceeding 3000 square feet in area.

A dual-band Wi-Fi router might not be enough to provide seamless internet connectivity over large areas. A mesh network should be ideal.

What is Mesh Wi-Fi?

You can purchase a single mesh (areas up to 3000 square feet) and use it as your conventional Wi-Fi router. If you want to encompass a larger area, it is better to go for two or even three mesh networks.

They have features similar to that of your traditional Wi-Fi router. However, one can experience lower speeds on mesh networks, at times.

Time to get a new Wi-Fi Router

Now, the question is how you know if it is time to get a new Wi-Fi router. If your existing router does not allow you to do the following activities smoothly, it is time for a switchover.

1. Play multi-player games like PUBG online without experiencing lag.

2. Your TV or laptop takes time to stream HD movies online.

3. Communicate with friends and family members using video calls from any corner of the house without lag.

4. Connect multiple devices (laptops in an office) or smartphones and tablets at home without experiencing download speed loss.

The factors that determine the router you should opt for

We have seen that Wi-Fi 6 is the latest wireless standard today. Hence, your Wi-Fi router should be compatible with it. Besides, the following factors influence your router selection.

  1. Your usage statistics
  2. The area of your house or office

This table should make things easy for you to understand.

Ares/UsageLight Usage (Casual browsing and video streaming)Regular usage (includes smart devices, gaming, and audio streaming)Heavy Usage (Connected smart homes besides other uses)Very Heavy Usage (Heavy downloads, besides other purposes)
Up to 450 Sq. ft and five devices Dual Band

N-series or AC750

Dual Band

AC1350

Dual Band

AC1350

Dual Band

AC1900

Up to 450 Sq. ft and ten devices Dual Band

AC1350

Dual Band

AC1750

Dual Band

AC1900

Dual Band

AC1900

Up to 800 Sq. ft and ten devicesDual Band

AC1750

Dual Band

AC1900

Dual Band

AC2100

Dual Band

AC2600

1200 to 1500 Sq. ft and ten devicesDual Band

AC1900

Dual Band

AC2000

Dual Band

AC2300

Dual Band

AC2600

1500 to 2000 Sq. ft and up to 15 devicesDual Band

AC1900

Dual Band

AC2300

Dual Band

AC2300

Dual Band

AC2600

2000 to 3000 Sq. ft and 15 devicesTri-band

AC4000

Tri-band

AC4000

Dual Band

AC2200 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

3000 to 4000 Sq. ft and 15 devicesDual Band

AC2200 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC2200 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh type with three mesh devices

4000 to 6500 Sq. ft and 15 devicesDual Band

AC2200 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Dual Band

AC3000 Mesh Type with three mesh devices

Gaming Routers

Ideally, the wired Ethernet cable is best suited for gaming. This network offers the maximum speeds with the least interference. Therefore, it delivers stable performance.

However, it is not always possible for gamers to remain tied down to a single location. Some games are there to be played on the move.

Many people play games on X-boxes, smartphones, and tablets. Therefore, Wi-Fi routers with dedicated gaming features should prove handy. These features ensure prioritising of data packets heading towards the gaming servers.

ISP and Router Compatibility

The connection provided by the internet service provider (ISP) plays a significant role in selecting the ideal router for your home/office.

You should finalise the ISP before purchasing a Wi-Fi router. A lot depends on whether you use the DSL/ADSL connection or go for the cable/fibre broadband network. This table will clarify things better.

DSL/ADSL connectionCable/Fibre Broadband network2G, 3G, 4G Wireless Internet connection
Uses telephone jack RJ-11 for providing accessInternet access through an optical fibre network or cablesWireless connection through a SIM card and a hotspot device
The prominent ISPs include BSNL, Airtel, MTNL, Tata IndicomSome of the popular ISPs include Act Fibernet, Hathaway, Jio Fibernet, and Airtel FibernetThe ISPs include Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone, Idea, Jio
Recommendation – ADSL2 Modem plus Wireless RouterRecommendation – High-speed routers, also known as AC routersRecommendation – 3G and 4G Hotspot devices compatible with the ISP

Wi-Fi Security Aspects

With almost every home having Wi-Fi routers, it becomes essential to secure your Wi-Fi connections.

If you open your laptop and search for Wi-Fi signals to connect, you find a minimum of five to six signals other than yours. It signifies that wireless networks can be convenient but insecure at the same time.

What can happen if you have an insecure network?

An insecure network is like keeping the main door of your home open for anyone to intrude into your privacy.

Malicious actors do not need an invitation to eavesdrop on your online activities and compromise with your confidential data. They can leech off your internet connection where you could end up paying for data downloads/uploads that you never did.

Worse still, these actors could access files stored on your computers, introduce viruses, and infect your connected devices, and cause various other problems.

Therefore, you should ensure that your Wi-Fi router supports WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access Control – 2nd edition). Many devices come with WPA3 to provide higher levels of security. It is a superb idea to opt for the highest level of protection.

However, one should also remember that the security of any network is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, your connected devices should also have adequate security features.

If you are purchasing Wi-Fi routers for domestic use, it is a good idea to buy the routers that come with advanced family security features.

These features allow you to monitor devices, block unwanted users, malicious sites, and also see what your children are browsing. Thus, you can block access to porn sites and game sites that cause children to become addicts.

Smart Wireless Features

Wi-Fi routers have to contend with interference. If it is not able to provide acceptable wireless signals, it is as good as not having the router in the first place.

However, Wi-Fi router manufacturers have introduced unique features to deal with such issues.

Smart processes can identify dead zones and devices and target them with robust Wi-Fi signals. One of the best models, D-Link AC3200 Ultra, has SmartBeam technology.

Luma provides another solution. It encourages people to purchase several routers and link them to form a Wi-Fi web around the home to eliminate dead zones.

Google Wi-Fi integrates extensive Wi-Fi functionality into a user-friendly smartphone app.

Other smart features include compatibility with virtual assistants like Alexa that the user can control using voice commands. Parents love this controlling feature as it allows them to delink their children’s smartphone from the Wi-Fi network by using voice commands, thereby enabling the children to concentrate on their studies.

USB Connections

You would have noticed Wi-Fi routers with USB ports, but it is essential to understand its significance.

The lower-end routers have these ports to help transfer set-up information from the router to the client.

The better-placed routers allow users to plug a USB mass-storage device to add a network-attached storage functionality. Thus, all people accessing the network will have access to the storage resource. It is the equivalent of having a cheap server at home.

Wi-Fi routers come with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. A USB 3.0 port is a better option to have if you plan to attach any accessories to the router.

MU-MIMO Technology

Mu-MIMO is the latest router technology. It constitutes “Multiple User – Multiple Input, Multiple Output.” The technology is such that the routers with MU-MIMO can connect directly to more than one mobile devices (a maximum of four devices) simultaneously.

The advantage is that one need not shuffle data packets between one device at a time. The omnidirectional antennas enable the router to primary direct connections with the connected devices without switching focus.

Thus, you experience stable and much faster internet connections.

The latest laptops come with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. MU-MIMO is a vital constituent of routers compatible with Wi-Fi 6, and this technology could dominate the industry soon.

Different Types of Routers

Based on the points we have discussed above, we can classify Wi-Fi routers into three categories, depending on the features and pricing.

Router TypeConnectivityInternet UsageSpeedRouter Grading
BasicUp to six Wi-Fi devicesWeb streaming and surfing

Email

10 to 40 MbpsN Routers
PremiumUp to eight Wi-Fi devicesAll essential functions plus mid-tier online games75 to 100 MbpsAC Routers up to 750 Mbps
High-PerformanceUp to ten Wi-Fi devicesMulti-device streaming, 4K video streaming, and high-end online gamesBetween 100 and 150 MbpsAC Routers above 750 Mbps

Concluding Remarks

We have discussed the concept of Wi-Fi routers and the technology working behind it. This discussion should make your job of purchasing the ideal Wi-Router (long-range home and office) easy.

This buying guide has explained Wi-Fi routers in detail. However, you might have specific points to clarify. The following section, FAQs on Wi-Fi routers, should set all your doubts to rest.

Frequently Asked Questions on Wi-Fi Routers

What are the critical factors that affect my choice of Wi-Fi router?

You should consider the following primary factors before selecting your Wi-Fi router.

  • The speed of the internet connection
  • The range of your router
  • The number of compatible devices you connect to the router
Can you list out the factors that affect the internet connection speed?

The following factors affect the internet connection speed.

  • Wired connections are faster than Wi-Fi connections because of less interference.
  • Your internet plan and ISP determine your internet connection speed.
  • The more the number of antennas on the Wi-Fi router, the better is the speed.
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi routers offer faster connection speed, as they operate at 5 GHz, a high frequency, but with lower interference.
What factors affect the range of your Wi-Fi router?

These three factors affect the Wi-Fi router range.

  • The placement of the Wi-Fi router – A central location in the house is ideal. It should be bereft of all kinds of interference from other wireless devices.
  • The number of antennas – More the number of antennas, the higher is the range.
  • Obstructions – Walls, floors, and ceilings can affect the 5 GHz band. Under such circumstances, you should switch to the 2.4 GHz frequency.
Does the number of connections affect the performance of my Wi-Fi router?

The Basic routers can accommodate up to six connections comfortably. If there are more connected devices in your home or office, you can go for the premium or Hi-performance routers.

Does the USB dongle have anything to do with Wi-Fi routers?

The olden day PCs do not come with Wi-Fi compatibility. Hence, one had to rely on the Ethernet cable for providing an internet connection. The Wi-Fi routers come with connectivity ports for providing wired connections. However, the USB dongle can help these old PCs to access the internet wirelessly.

Will the 802.11ac Wi-Fi router work with devices compatible with the previous standards?

Yes, the 802.11ac network is backwards compatible with 802.11b, g, and n. Thus, it will work with such devices. Similarly, your 802.11ac equipped devices will also work with the earlier standards.

Which standard is preferable for large homes and offices?

The n-standard should be perfect for small areas. However, if the range is more than 3000 square feet, it is better to go for the ac-standard.

What do the suffixing numbers on the Wi-Fi router specifications mean?

You come across Wi-Fi routers numbered as AC1900 or AC3000. The number signifies the combined theoretical data transfer speeds of all the bands. For example, AC1900 means a maximum speed of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps on the 5.0 GHz frequency.

Wi-Fi routers specify speed in terms of megabits, but files and devices use Gigabytes. What are the points of difference between these two concepts?

Wi-Fi network speed is denoted in megabits (Mb with the ‘b’ in the lower case). The relation between megabits and megabyte is 8 Mb = 1 MB (Megabyte, with the ‘b’ in the upper case). Thus, if the Wi-Fi router’s speed is 800 Mbps, it is equivalent to 100 MB in one second. This relation allows you to understand the time take for the loading of data.

What are the prominent brands of Wi-Fi routers available in India?

Some of the popular Wi-Fi router brands in India are D-Link, Netgear, TP-Link, and Linksys. We have reviewed the best eleven routers available in India earlier in this article.

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