Your Internet router is the heart of your home network. It doesn’t just allow you to connect to the web, but it also lets your devices to link to each other in order to transfer or store information. Everyday, we spend more and more time online, and the more we do, the more we want our connection to be to be faster. ISPs nowadays can offer Internet speeds that were unheard of years ago, something that used to be exclusive to big companies who paid large amounts of money for lots of bandwidth, can be obtained today at your home for an insignificant amount of money in perspective. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they believe that they should always be able to get the Internet speed that they signed up for. The amount of money you pay to your Internet service provider only guarantees you access to download speeds that correspond your particular plan, but don’t forget that is just half of the issue, the other half of the responsibility correspond to your router. People forget about their router and take it for granted as if it were just another appliance, but routers need to be regularly upgraded if you want to be to the forefront of current technology.
Here we have some of the best routers available and reviewed in 2016.
The RT1900ac is not just an excellent router, but can also function as a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server when attached to a storage device. The need for an external storage device in order to use the NAS features may be a disadvantage to some, but you must consider also the fact that it has a connection for USB 3.0 port as well as SDXC memory card slot that supports up to 2TB, offering a couple of options to choose from. The device has great features and the design is really thoughtful. Some unique add-ons are provided through Synology’s Package Center and currently include QoS, parental controls, a VPN server, 24/7-download hub, Media Server and a Radius server. One particular feature are the two legs present in the back of the router that angle it forwards in a strange-looking fashion; they are present in order to help cooling the device, something that most owners take for granted. Setting QoS rules is really easy and intuitive. Similarly the Parental Controls are easy to implement, letting you choose from a selection of general rules (malicious/adult/gambling) or custom rules from a selection of twenty categories.
Linksys WRT1900ACS Dual-Band Gigabit Wifi Router
Considered the best router built by Linksys yet, the WRT1900AC is easy to use and it comes with a comprehensive app for you to manage your home network with ease. This device is especially designed for places with a fast Internet connection that can also benefit from its great performance at long distances. The router may be a bit expensive compared with other routers of the same category and on top of that, it isn’t compatible with Time Machine for Mac users. Either way, The WRT1900ACS has the most features among Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers. It’s the first in this family that supports OpenVPN, allowing remote users to connect securely, this is especially helpful for small businesses where remote and local users can connect as though they’re in the same room. The interface is the same that Linksys has been using so it may be familiar to some users, but it does include some nice new features this time around.
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wifi Router (R7000)
The Nighthawk has great performance on the 5GHz band, and an excellent set of features. It’s also relatively affordable for a top-notch home networking device and storage solution, definitely the best device offered by Netgear. The R7000 also offers a few unique features not available in Netgear home routers before, like a built-in OpenVPN server, the support for Broadcom TurboQAM for an increased Wi-Fi speed of up to 600Mbps, and the official support for third-party firmware, DD-WRT. Some people may be put off by the bulky design, but it does compensate by having the slots to mount it on a wall. The impressive hardware setup includes dual-core CPU that runs at 1,000MHz, 128GB of flash memory as storage space, and 256MB of DDR RAM. It also has 2 USB ports one in the front and one in the back. Sadly the front one is the USB 3.0 which makes it a little awkward to have something sticking out of the front of the router at all times in order to take advantage of the increased speed. The R7000 has the same Netgear Genie mobile app seen in previous models. In addition to adjusting the router’s settings, you can use this app to stream digital content to a mobile device, such as a tablet. But, you can only do that when the device is within the local network powered by the router.