A router is a device that is essential for maintaining a stable and reliable Internet connection in an office or home environment. Choosing the right one can be the difference between literally forgetting that you have a router and having to reset it once every 30 minutes. As far as reputation goes, this company’s routers and modems are considered high quality and reliable products, and today we‘re going to attempt to find out which is the best Netgear router for your needs. The problem is that there are truly many products available right now, so to make things a bit easier for you, we‘ve handpicked 16 units that are sure to be a good choice.
Best Netgear Routers 2018 Reviews
Netgear Nighthawk R7000-AC1900
The R7000 favors a 3×3 dual-band approach for transmitting at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz rather than the classic tri-band design. The maximum bandwidth of this unit (in theory) is 1.9 Gbps, way more than any modern Internet connection will ever require. The Nighthawk AC1900 range is rated at 50 ft radius, which means that it is capable of covering a surface area of around 10,000 square feet. The router runs on Genie software that provides apps for PC, Mac, as well as iOS and Android, making the device easily configurable even from your mobile phone. Overall, it is the best Netgear router in our opinion.
Netgear Nighthawk x10
Apart from the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, this router adds support for the new 60 GHz band. This is a cool asset, but honestly not all that useful at the given moment, since most devices don‘t have the compatibility required to transmit data at this frequency yet.
The Nighthawk x10 also features the new 802.11ad standard, but the bad news is that only two other Netgear routers currently support it as well. So, like with the 60 GHz band, it probably won‘t do you much good. There are six Gigabit LAN ports on the back, which is more than most routers these days have. Plus, there‘s built-in support for backing up data to an Amazon Cloud Drive account which is always convenient.
Netgear AC3000 Orbi Home WiFi System
The AC3000 offers significantly higher speeds at long range and very consistent coverage without having to use WiFi extenders than some of its counterparts. This possibly makes the AC300 the best router for large homes. It‘s easy to set up and use, and we particularly like the fact that both frequency bands use the same SSID. However, it‘s a bit on the pricey side but this issue is easy to solve when you have Walmart discounts on your side. If you want the best WiFi router for long-range applications, it‘s worth spending a little extra money for that peace of mind.
Netgear Nighthawk AC1750
The AC1750 transmits wireless signals at an impressive range, suitable for offices and large homes. The maximum transmission speed was tested at 450 Mbps at the 2.4 GHz frequency and 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency. The unit includes five Ethernet ports for wired connections and a single USB 3.0 port for Network drives. Most importantly, the AC1750 offers VPN support for secure remote access, as well as DDoS protection (crucial for servers). You can get this unit as part of a Best Buy routers sale for $94, which is a bargain for a unit of such functionality.
The AC1750 transmits wireless signals at an impressive range, suitable for offices and large homes. The maximum transmission speed was tested at 450 Mbps at the 2.4 GHz frequency and 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency. The unit includes five Ethernet ports for wired connections and a single USB 3.0 port for Network drives. Most importantly, the AC1750 offers VPN support for secure remote access, as well as DDoS protection (crucial for servers). You can get this unit on a sale for $94, which is a bargain for a unit of such functionality. Esentially, it is the best router under 100 dollars.
Netgear Nighthawk R8000 X6
The Nighthawk R8000 is the first router from Netgear to be able to reach a bandwidth of 3,200 Mbps, at least in theory. With a dual-core processor clocked at 1,000 MHz, it offers speeds up to 1,300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz at the same time. The aforementioned 3,200 Mbps is achieved because the router creates two separate access points for the 5 GHz frequency band, both of which can be used independently without impeding each other‘s bandwidth.
An interesting feature available with the AC1000 is the Guest network system. Put simply, when guests want to connect to your Netgear WiFi, this device gives you the option to create a completely separate hotspot, so they don‘t get access to your home network. This is just a smart security innovation and helps you keep your data safe from malicious attacks or virus threats. Additionally, the AC1000 offers a WiFi schedule feature that allows you to automatically turn your WiFi on and off to save power (like when you‘re at work and no one‘s there to use the WiFi anyway). As far as pricing is concerned, this product goes down the middle of the road. Still, if you want to direct it to the bargain deals, use one of the eBay coupons available on our website.
Netgear Nighthawk X4 R7500
The Netgear router Nighthawk unit sports a much stronger processor than its older brother, the Nighthawk AC1900 R7000. The powerful hardware offers an impressive WiFi range, and configurable QoS features (great for gamers who want to optimize their bandwidth for an ultimate low-latency environment). The downside of this unit is that it tends to be a bit sluggish compared to some of the other units in its price range, and the interface is perhaps a bit too bloated, sacrificing performance for potentially unnecessary features.
Netgear AC1200 Smart WiFi Router
Like many other models, this unit can be controlled and configured via the Netgear Genie web console or the Genie mobile app, making the Netgear wireless router setup a breeze from any device. You have the option to create a Guest network with limited access akin to the AC1000, and the Ready Share screen can be used to set up your USB printers and storage devices. The close-range speed AC1200 provides was rated 74.1 Mbps in a performance test, which is significantly faster than some other units in this price range like the Tenda F3.
Netgear Rangemax N600
The Netgear router N600 has been praised for its lightning-fast wireless performance and effective long-range capabilities. It has a built-in guest zone, traffic meter, and USB external hard drive support. Configurable via a user-friendly web interface, you can set up this unit from any browser whether it be on a desktop or a mobile device. All you have to do is open the app, go to the Netgear router login page, sign in with your credentials, and you‘re good to go. A significant downside to this unit is that it doesn‘t offer Gigabit Internet, something that‘s become somewhat of a standard in modern routers. However, the fact that you can get it for a dirt cheap price with Amazon coupons and deals makes this model probably the best value purchase on our list.
Netgear Orbi +1 AC2200
The best thing about the Orbi units is their sleek, white, and intuitive design, and this router is no different. Instead of having to look at five separate LED lights to figure out an issue, this device simply glows red if there‘s an error, magenta when the WAN port is down, and yellow when the device is going through a reboot. The back of the unit is home to three separate Gigabit ports, a WAN port, a reset button, as well as a power button. The main downsides of this unit would be the limited functionality of the mobile app and limited QoS settings for prioritizing types of traffic. Moreover, it’s not cheap. We recommend waiting out for a Best Buy routers sale if you want to get this model for a bargain price.
Netgear Nighthawk AC4000
This unit features the new state-of-the-art MU-MIMO technology, which means that your devices no longer have to wait in line to send and receive data packets from the Internet like with SU-MIMO systems. This makes the overall performance of the router much faster and more efficient, especially when multiple devices are connected at the same time. The 5 GHz band speed of this router was rated at 1,625 Mbps, and up to 750 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. Additionally, the hardware configuration of this unit is impressive, with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.8 GHz and a whopping 512 Mb of RAM. If you want to snag a deal on this advanced unit, keep an eye for a Wireless router Walmart sale because it’s one of the most expensive modes.
Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200
This unit supports Ethernet Port Aggregation, a feature not many routers possess, that allows you to combine two LAN ports to get superior file-transfer speeds. For example, it is highly useful if you use a Local Area Network to transfer large volumes of files in an office environment. This device is equipped with a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz, and thanks to this kind of power, it can hit up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Like the previous unit, the AD72000 supports MU-MIMO technology, as well as 160 MHz WiFi for larger throughput speeds on the 5 GHz band.
Nighthawk X4S Gaming Router R7800
If you need a router that can seamlessly handle network drives and multiple connections, consider the R7800. According to a Netgear Nighthawk review at PCMag, the network drive write speed is rated at 23.3 Mbps, which is considerable for a Gigabit environment and faster than most of the other units in this price range. As for the speed performance, this unit is capable of providing 105 Mbps in close range on the 2.4 GHz band, and 491 Mbps on the 5 GHz one.
Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 WiFi Router
The XR500 runs on Duma OS admin software that is well-built, highly flexible, user-friendly, and performs beautifully compared to some other apps usually used with Netgear routers. Through this system, you can configure the QoS, bandwidth allocation, anti-buffering, and much, much more. This unit was built to be the best router for gaming purposes, so it does everything it can to optimize the performance of games.
Netgear WAC720-Business 2X2 Wireless-AC
This dual-band wireless router offers high performance both in terms of speed and signal range. With a total throughput of 1.2 Gbps and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, speed is definitely something you won‘t have to worry about with this unit. The WAC720 comes with a Lifetime Warranty, so even if something goes wrong with the unit, you can expect a replacement from Netgear as well as full technical support.
Choosing The Best Netgear Router
Choosing a proven and reliable WiFi router isn‘t simply a set-and-forget thing. There are certain specifications that you should take into consideration, so now we‘re going to cover some of them briefly.
The speed at which your router can transmit data is of the utmost importance. Speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second), and the maximum speed of the router (and your ISP plan, for that matter) is shared by all the devices currently connected to the network. You need to make sure that the data transmission speed is at least as fast as your ISP plan speed limit; otherwise, the router will impede the performance of the connection.
If you live in a big house, you‘re going to need a router that can cover a large area without losing coverage and signal strength. The further you are away from a source of radiation (in this case, the router), the weaker that radiation and therefore the signal is going to be. This is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a router, and one that will most likely impact the price of the unit. The best wireless router for home purposes has got to have a strong signal over long ranges, especially if more than one person in your home uses a mobile device.
WPA and WEP
WPA and WEP are the terms for the type of security that most routers employ nowadays. WEP is the older, less secure and more universally used security algorithm, so it‘s bound to work with a higher percentage of devices. On the other hand, WPA has superior security, but there‘s a chance that some devices are not compatible with it.
Every router transmits information in accordance with a couple of newer and older standards. The newest standard is 802.11n, but there are also 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11ac. More modern routers can handle multiple standards. However, you need to compare these standards to the ones that your device can support to make sure you‘ll be able to connect to the unit.
Dual vs. single bands
There are two “bands” or two different frequencies at which routers transmit a wireless signal, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The advantage of dual-band routers is that the connection is more stable. A dual-band router can automatically switch traffic between the two bands, keeping the performance on each of them optimal. A single band router restricts all of their traffic to a single frequency, which can sometimes cause performance lag and packet loss. On the other hand, dual-band routers are more expensive because of their superior reliability.
A good wireless router is essential if you tend to depend a lot on your internet connection. Whether it‘s for gaming needs, hosting a server or even just general internet use, a reliable, fast, and stable connection is a must.
So, to sum up, data transmission speed and range are probably the most important factors. However, the security protocol (WPA and WEP) is also something you should consider when choosing the best Netgear router for your needs. These 16 models were handpicked as some of the best the market has to offer right now, so we‘re sure that you‘ll be able to make the right choice based on the information in this article alone. Good luck!