Your home network powers your online life, from social media to entertainment, and connects all your smart devices.
At the heart of your network is your fiber optic router, working behind the scenes to keep everything connected. While your internet service provider (ISP) determines your speed and bandwidth limits, your router can create or break your network if you choose the wrong one.
We’d like to provide a list of routers that work 100% for you, but the problem with home networks is that every environment is different.
Your neighbors’ Wi-Fi, older devices, walls, floors, and even the microwave can all affect your Wi-Fi signal.
Most internet providers offer free routers, with limited configurations with locks that prevent improvement. Therefore, the safest way to keep your home network always active and with a good signal, ideal is that you have your own router and good quality.
In some cases, such as a house with more than one floor or with very large extensions, it may be necessary to install signal extenders (repeaters).
Even if you don’t know anything about internet networks or home networking setups, you can still set up your own home network with a quality signal.
What to evaluate to choose the best router?
In some cases, the router provided by the Internet service provider will play the role very well and you will be satisfied with the service, especially if it is loaned to you as part of the subscription package for free.
However, if your carrier doesn’t offer free routers or if it’s outdated compared to the devices you’re using in your home, you’ll likely need to buy a new router.
And since you’re going to need to buy a new router, there’s nothing better than to take advantage and buy the best one to meet your needs. You may want to consider features such as:
Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Wi-Fi is a global standard, and to ensure that devices can connect seamlessly, there are specifications that must be followed.
This standard is known as 802.11, and the letters a , b , g , n or ac below designate the version. The versions are compatible with each other, but connecting to an earlier version means the device will be limited on the slower speed.
Wi-Fi has not stopped evolving and AC is currently the latest version, although version N devices and routers are still relevant and quite common.
However, due to progression, buying a new 802.11n router, in most cases, doesn’t make as much sense as buying an AC router, mainly because of the price they’ve dropped.
New devices are following the path of AC, and it’s smart to look to the future.
Single band vs. double band
Wireless communication takes place over frequency bands, which can be seen as roads on which your data travels. While routers up to 802.11g only operated in the 2.4GHz band, support for a 5GHz band was added in 802.11n and moved to 802.11ac (which operates in the 5GHz band).
Why? The 2.4GHz band was getting crowded, leading to a rush hour scenario where traffic was getting congested.
Devices that can only use the 2.4GHz band are called single-band, while dual-band devices can use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
While the lower frequency band has a lower speed limit and is narrower, the 5GHz band is much wider and has a much higher speed limit.
There are disadvantages to the 5 GHz band. Higher frequency means the signal loses more strength when dealing with walls, furniture and other obstacles, although AC routers have something called “beamforming” which sends a signal in the direction of a device , instead of just spraying a signal onto a sphere around it.
Still, the increased speed and wider road mean it’s perfect for streaming HD video and games.
Dual-band, simultaneous routers should be what you’re looking for, as they offer both bands at the same time. Why limit yourself to just one?
Consider the maximum speed of your internet
Within each Wi-Fi standard, there are other ratings that determine the actual performance you will get.
You might see a router advertised as AC1200 or N600, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting a maximum speed of 1200 Mbps or 600 Mbps.
This number is a combination of speeds from both bands. For example, an AC1200 router will have a 2.4GHz band with a maximum speed of 300Mbps and a 5GHz band with a maximum speed of 867Mbps (rounded to the nearest hundred).
Even these speeds are theoretical, and in real-world tests you probably won’t come close to that number. Likewise, if you see a router labeled something like the AC5000, it doesn’t magically reach 5000Mbps. Instead, you’re getting a single 600Mbps 2.4GHz band and two 2166Mbps 5GHz bands.
So buying the biggest and most expensive router can be tempting, but paying for something you don’t need will be frustrating.
For example, if you’re paying your ISP for a 50 Mbps internet plan and you live in a one-bedroom apartment, it doesn’t make much sense to buy an AC5000 router with eight antennas. Your internet can be as fast as the slowest connection point, which in this case is probably what your ISP provided.
Best Fiber Optic Router
|Best budget option||TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5)|
|Best For Office Use||ASUS AC1900 WiFi|
|Packed with Latest Technology.||ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600|
|Best for Powerful and smooth Gaming experience.||ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi Gaming Router (GT-AC5300)|
1. TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Router (Archer A5)
Best budget option.
If you are looking for a simple option with a good cost-benefit ratio, you will like this option. The TP-Link AC1200 is recommended for home use but delivers great quality as usual for TP-Link products.
Its speed is divided into 300 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 864 Mbps for 5GHz. It has four antennas that give a good range and a consistent signal on your connection. It has only two antennas and a very simplistic design, but if you don’t need a long-range and a very high speed, this model will suffice.
2. ASUS ZenWiFi AX6600 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8 2PK)
Packed with Latest Technology.
- Tri-band mesh WiFi system with unique antenna placement delivers strong WiFi to every corner of your home providing a total wireless speed of 6600Mbps
- Wi-Fi 6 Technology with OFDMA and MU-MIMO ZenWiFi AX enables more efficient stable and faster transmission even when multiple devices are transmitting data at the same time
- 3 steps setup and easy management with ASUS Router App
- The lifetime free network security powered by Trend Micro
Many routers nowadays boast an impressive range, delivering wireless speeds over 100Mbps even from several rooms away. But for those with larger homes (or denser walls) who want a stable connection throughout, a mesh network is the way to go.
A mesh network consists of a main router that’s connected directly to your main internet cable and transmits it to nodes that are placed at different areas across the home. Devices connect to the closest node available and therefore get faster speeds.
The Asus ZenWiFI AX is one of the best mesh routers around for the price ($450). With one main hub and only one extra node, it can keep homes of up to 5,500 square feet connected at top speeds with ease. Depending on your data plan, it’s possible to get speeds of 500Mbps or more at 20 feet away from a node.
It has a WAN port (the one that connects directly to the main internet Ethernet cable) that’s capable of handling 2.5Gbps speeds. There are also three extra gigabit ports for devices you’d rather connect physically. As an additional pro, it’s a tri-band router so it can keep communication between the main hub and the nodes separate from your daily network traffic.
3. ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi Gaming Router (GT-AC5300)
Best for Powerful and smooth Gaming experience.
- Tri-band (dual 5 GHz, single 2.4 GHz) AC5300 wireless router coverage up to 5,000 sq. ft.
- 1.8GHz 64bit Quad-Core processor maximizes data throughput from 8-ports and dual USB 3.0
- VPN Fusion enables you to run a VPN and ordinary internet connection simultaneously, effectively maximizing your connection speed to gaming servers.
- AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz),DC Output : 19 V with max. 3.42 A current
Are you a hardcore online gamer who is willing to spend serious money to get the best connection? If so, then the Rapture GT-AX1100 ($420), a tri-band router that can deliver top-notch wireless performance, might be for you.
Since it uses three Wi-Fi frequencies (two on the 5GHz band and one on the 2.4GHz band), you can dedicate one of the 5GHz bands to your gaming console or computer so it doesn’t compete with other connected devices. This helps reduce latency — the times it takes for the game to react once the player presses a button.
Some of its other gaming-centric features include the GameFirst V and Game Boost, which are tools that analyze network traffic and optimize it so gaming data is always prioritized.
All in all, the Rapture GT-AX1100 is a powerful router packed with several networking controls that experienced users can customize to create the smoothest gaming experience possible.
4. TP-Link AC1350
The ARCHER line has several models for the most diverse tastes and needs. The ARCHER is right in the middle of everyone, it’s not the most powerful option in the line, but it’s also far from being among the simplest.
It divides its total speed (1350 Mbps) as follows: 450mbps for the 2.4GHz connection and 867 for the 5GHz connection. Its five antennas ensure a great range and stability in the router’s signal.
In addition, it has QoS, to prioritize certain types of data in the connection, as well as parental control and the possibility to create specific networks for guests.
5. D-Link AC2600 MU-MIMO
A router with high processing power and a lot of speed is available. Looking for an upgrade to a top-quality product? Dir 882 to meet your needs. It has 2600 Mbps and can work both at 2.4 GHz and at 5 GHz.
The MU MIMO technology present in this model allows you to transmit a large volume of data between different devices simultaneously. Its four antennas are 5dbi, which provides a large signal range.
It has a dual-core processor and QoS, which allows you to prioritize which types of data will be in the device’s traffic. To complete it, it has Gigabit ports, for those who have more than 100 Mbps of internet connection.
6. ASUS AC1900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC68U)
Best For Office Use
- Frequency: 2.4GHz / 5.0GHz
- Speed: 600 mbps (2.4 GHz) and 1300 mbps (5 GHz)
- Network standard: IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
- Antennas: 3
- Beamforming: Yes and optimized by AirRadar
Asus arrives in the market of routers with some models that will please the gamer public. The RT-AC68U has been considered the fastest in the world for a few consecutive years, with a total speed of 1900 Mbps.
It divides this speed as follows: 600 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 1300 for 5 GHz. Its dual-core processor, which processes data independently and provides very low latency, is ideal for games or streaming in high resolution. It features Beamforming technology optimized by AiRadar, amplifying the signal and making it faster and more stable.
What is Fiber Optic Router?
A fiber optic router is a router that uses fiber optic cable to carry a data signal. It is much faster than any other type of router and therefore more expensive.
Routers for fiber optic networks decode the signals coming from the servers to the computers on the home network, via Wi-Fi. It can divide the traffic into networks and send it wherever it needs to be, just as the post office can separate the letters and deliver it. it at specific addresses.
Routers are used to route computer traffic over networks large and small. Most home and small network routers are category 5 (cat-5) or category 6 (cat-6) cable routers, which move data at speeds of 1000 megabits per second.
Fiber optic routers can handle speeds of up to 10,000 megabits per second
Is the fiber optic router different from others?
The basic difference between ADSL and VDSL2 routers is how often they work. While copper routers work at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, fiber optic routers work at a frequency of 5 GHz.
However, there is a difference that may be implied when talking about the difference between a “fiber router” and a “cable router”: the physical connection of the cable.
As we understand ADSL service today, the “ADSL router” is actually a combined ADSL modem and a router that understands routing through the modem.
There is only one physical connection – the phone line. Most people have stopped calling it a modem / router and just use “router” as a shortcut. When “fiber broadband” was started, there was no modem and VDSL2 router combined.
Instead, you had a VDSL2 modem (for FTTC) or an NTE fiber (for FTTP) and a standalone router.
This router has an Ethernet port for connecting to the modem or NTE, usually labeled as EWAN. The router sends traffic using PPPoE (over Ethernet) protocol, while the modem discovers the material specific to the physical copper/fiber line.
So a few years ago, the term “fiber router” meant a modem with an EWAN connector that didn’t understand VDSL2. Can be used on FTTC or FTTP.
Currently, we are starting to have a choice of VDSL2 modem+router combined, which work in principle like the equivalent ADSL devices.
What is a router?
The router is the device responsible for distributing the internet to one or more devices , either via a network cable, or over the Wi-Fi network. They also allow connecting devices from an internal network to each other , allowing them to exchange data internally, even without a public internet connection. This happens because the router assigns an IP address to each computer or cell phone connected to the network, and it is through them that you can access other devices and exchange files with them.