Wondering why your home internet is so slow? You may need to buy a brand new wireless router. The best routers will help you get the most out of your internet connection, and unfortunately the free ones you get as part of ISP deals often aren’t very good.
We don’t salivate over great routers in the same way we do over new smartphones, tablets or TVs but, as the brain of your home network, they’re incredibly important. Ditching your bundled router in favour of one of the routers on our list could save you a whole load of headaches and tantrums.
However, there’s more to the decision than just picking the name you can remember best. We’re going to take you through the best home routers on the market, including cheap routers and the best router for gaming.
Hit the ‘Next’ arrow above to see our first recommended router, browse our list below or scroll down for more buying advice.
Video: How to improve your home's Wi-Fi
BT Smart Hub at Amazon.co.uk | Was £100 | Now £67
TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 at Amazon.co.uk | Was £135.99 | Now £99
Linksys WRT1900ACS at Amazon.co.uk | Was £229 | Now £165
ASRock G10 AC2600 Gaming Router at Amazon.co.uk | Was £284 | Now £196
ASRock G10 AC2600 Gaming Router at Amazon.com | Was $300 | Now $225
Linksys WRT1900ACS at Amazon.com | Was $249.99 | Now $182
We’ve taken one of the key choices out of your hands. Previously, picking between a Wi-Fi ac-grade router or one that only subscribes to the slightly older a/b/g/n standards was an important decision, but all of our recommended models are of the new-age type.
The biggest advantages of ac are that it offers better range and maximum theoretical speeds. You can sometimes get better n-grade performance for less if you stick to the old standard, though ac is future-proof and a/b/g/n is not. In short, nothing other than ac will do. For more information, read our 802.11ac vs 802.11n feature.
The next thing to consider is how much you’re willing to spend. The cheapest entry in this round-up costs under £100, though if you’re willing, you can shell out more than £200 and get your hands on a range of advanced features, such as one with a built-in VDSL2 modem so you don’t need plug your new router into the one provided by your ISP.
Good range is especially important if you live in a house rather than a flat, and would ensure all rooms pick up the same strong Wi-Fi signal. Thanks to the integration of USB ports, the best routers can now cater to printers and external hard drives, while cloud support enables you to even use your mobile to quickly tinker with settings.
Related: Best Wi-Fi Extenders
For many, ease of use is a major selling point. There aren’t too many things more frustrating than trying and failing, and then failing again, to get your home network up and running.
So whether you want an upgrade on the free router provided by your ISP or need something powerful enough to keep all the members of your family happy, we’ve picked the five best routers we’ve reviewed.