Routers have come a long way since its humble (and bulky) beginnings. Nowadays, the best routers in the market come with a slew of features and fantastic design. Of course, since not everyone can afford the premium-grade routers in the market, manufacturers decided on opening up the mid and low-range categories.
While these routers understandably cannot offer all the high-end features and technology of high-end models, they still manage to mix and match certain features to deliver reliable and excellent routers at half the price.
Important Factors that Affect Wi-Fi Speed
Before we head on over to our list, I’d like first to clarify that routers, on its own, do not determine actual wireless speed and stability.
While it is undoubtedly a considerable part of the overall picture, several factors are just as important when it comes to delivering excellent results. One of the most significant factors to consider is your ISP.
What type of subscription did you use (How many Mbps is allotted to your network)? You should also note that most Wi-Fi routers under the $50 mark tend to be single-band routers generally. This means most router you will encounter in this price range is designed for light use due to its lower bandwidth.
Now that we have that little advisory out of the way let us go on with our main event of the evening. Here is the cheap wifi router for home use.
The Top 7 Wireless Routers Under $50
1- ASUS RT-N12 N300 Wi-Fi Router
You can leave to ASUS to deliver a surprisingly capable router at such a low price. The ASUS RT-N12 comes with MIMO technology support which boosts its overall signal range. Users can also replace the detachable default antennas with upgraded ones if you wish to widen the coverage of your Wi-Fi further. You can expect a maximum potential speed of up to 300Mbps with this router; it also comes with a sleek modern design which will help it fit right in with most of your gadgets at home. Take note that this uses single-band technology and can be susceptible to signal interference in a high signal traffic environment.
2- TP-Link Archer A6 AC1200 Gigabit Router
If you are looking for a budget-friendly router, you can never go wrong with the brand TP-Link. They are known for providing consumers with excellent wireless routers with features that most routers in this price range can only dream about. For example, the Archer A6 is a dual-band router which is a rare sight within this price bracket. This router can reach up to 867Mbps with the 5GHz frequency, and it is also designed to support devices that utilize AC and N wireless standards. This router also comes with Gigabit Ethernet ports (x4) and MU-MIMO support. However, the router does not come with any USB port, so there’s that downside.
3- Linksys N300 Wi-Fi Router
Linksys is another well-known name in this market, and it have also made a reputation with its wide range of routers that cover the entire price spectrum. The N300 is one of their low-range models, but there is nothing low quality about this particular router. With a decent speed of up to 300Mbps, the router stream videos and even play non-demanding online games as well. The Linksys N300 also comes packed with a slew of excellent security features to ensure you always have full control of your network.
4- Western Digital MyNet N600 Dual-Band Router
Western Digital enters the list with one of their more impressive offerings in this category, the MyNet N600. With a max potential speed of up to 600Mbps, the MyNet is more than fit to provide the user with smooth HD video streaming and even online gaming. It comes with one USB port and is incredibly user-friendly to set up. This router also features dual-band technology and delivers excellent performance making it an excellent value for money purchase.
5- NETGEAR N750 Dual-Band Wireless Router
NETGEAR is one of the more popular brands in this market, so it is not surprising that one of their routers managed to crack this list. While technically slightly above the $50 mark, for a reputable brand with reliable wireless performance, it would be a disservice if we did not include this here. For starters, the N750 is a dual-band router and can provide maximum speeds of up to 750Mbps. This makes the N750 the right choice for those who enjoy streaming videos and for online gaming. Additional features include parental control and robust security protocols. At this price range, this is one of the best options available for those looking for reliable and stable internet connectivity.
6- D-Link Wireless N300 Router
In terms of convenience, the D-Link N300 comes with its QRS app, which is also available in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This makes configuring the router incredibly easy as you can open the app from anywhere in your residence. As for hardware capabilities, the N300 comes with four Ethernet ports and has decent security protocols (WPA2). D-Link N300’s user-friendly design makes it an ideal choice for beginners.
7- NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Router
NETGEAR once again makes an appearance as the final entry in this list. The NETGEAR N300 is one of the manufacturer’s most affordable models, and it still manages to pack the level of quality you would expect from a NETGEAR router. Its use of 5dBi antennas helps boost the overall signal range while maintaining a decent speed (up to 300Mbps). Additionally, this router also comes with the NETGEAR Genie app, which allows users to configure the router via mobile devices. Other notable features include the Push-N-Connect technology which will enable users to add devices with a push of a button. The router is also compact enough that it can be considered as a pocket/travel router.
As you can see, looking for a reliable and stable router does not mean you automatically shell out a couple of hundred bucks. Understanding what your priorities are when it comes to internet connectivity should be the basis on how you choose your router. This will help you save cash and prevent you from purchasing a router that is overqualified for the job at hand. With that, check out these affordable routers first to see if they are more than enough for your needs.