Maryia_K/Shutterstock.com What to Look For in a Budget Wi-Fi Router in 2022
Overall, TP-Link Archer (AX55), is the best budget router
Best Budget Router under $100: ASUS R-AC66U B1
D-Link DIR-882 is the best budget gaming router
Best Budget Wi-Fi Router: TP Link Archer AX1500 (AX10)
Best budget mesh router: TP-Link Deco X20. The key to choosing a budget wireless router is to balance cost and features. There is a lot of overlap between budget routers and non-budget ones, but knowing what features you need and what features you want will help you save money. Another one is Quality of Service (QoS), which allows you to set bandwidth priorities for different devices and is incredibly useful in a busy household.Alternatively, if you have a single gaming PC or 4k TV, then Wi-Fi 6 and beamforming technology can help reach speeds and stability that serve both those needs.One thing we will suggest is to try and push your budget as much as you can. It will make a big difference if you can get a slightly faster router or speed by spending just $10 or $15 more. Although 600Mbps may seem like a lot, the extra 100Mbps might give users a wider range of options. TP-LinkPros Excellent WiFi coverage Simple but effective user interface OneMesh support. It is not free. However, it is our budget pick. The Archer AX3000 is an upgrade to the AX50. It offers OneMesh support, better stability, and more coverage than the previous model. The AX55 swaps the internal Intel chip for one from Qualcomm. This is a remarkable change, as it operates at a lower frequency but still manages to be more stable. WPA3 support is the most important addition. This is a great security feature. OneMesh support is also available, which allows you to pair it with Wi-Fi extenders and routers that support TPLink’s standard. The AX50’s external memory slot is no longer available. However, it’s worth the loss. The AX55 supports Wi-Fi 6, which allows it to reach speeds up to 40 feet. It also supports MU-MIMO, which allows you to connect to multiple devices simultaneously without experiencing lag or latency. The TP-Link Archer AX55 is an upgraded version of the AX50. It features a new Qualcomm chip that provides better stability, OneMesh, and WPA3 support. ASUSPros Excellent management and control software. Easy installation. Some minor stability issues. When considering budget options, you have to decide what features you are willing to sacrifice in order to get a lower price. The good news is that the ASUS RTA66U B1 is a budget router with a lot of great features. It costs less than $100. Although 2.4Ghz can reach speeds of around 100Mbps at 30 feet, 5GHz is able to reach 500Mbps at 30 feet. The RT-AC66UB1 doesn’t support WiFi 6, so it runs on Wi-Fi 5. It’s very fast, with speeds of up to 500Mbps at 30 feet. Supported beamforming is what’s likely to help with speed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support MI-MIMO technology so you might experience some latency and performance hits if you plan to connect multiple devices. However, the RT–AC66U U B1 has some great administrative controls that are both simple-to-use yet very detailed. The whole thing can be managed via your phone or web browser if you wish. It also has a Trend Micro network protection suite. Adaptive QoS helps overcome the lack in MI-MIMO so it’s still a useful feature to have. The ASUS RT–AC66U U B1 is a budget router that offers excellent 5GHz performance as well as a great control suite. D-LinkPros High performance Many connectivity options. Cons Limited Wi-Fi 6 customization. Items can become more expensive when the word “gaming” is added. The D-Link DIR-882 is affordable and offers a lot of connectivity options. Although 2.4Ghz speeds aren’t very exciting at 150Mbps at 50ft, 5GHz speeds at the same range can easily reach 250Mbps. This means that you should be able play any game in your home without any problems. This is a good router for gaming. There are a lot of associated technologies, including MI-MIMO, QoS and QoS that work together to improve performance. The only downside is the lack of WiFI 6 or WPA3 support. You get four Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. Neither is a major problem, as the DIR-882 can run fairly fast without Wi-Fi 6, and WPA2 is sufficient for most cases. The 5GHz band is where it shines, with speeds of around 750Mbps at 30ft, thanks to Wi-Fi 6. It shines in the 5GHz department, where it can easily hit around 750Mbps at 30 feet, most likely due to Wi-Fi 6. There are many advanced controls available, including port forwarding, VPN support and dynamic DNS. The only thing that might give you pause is the lack of WPA3 support. However, as mentioned with the DIR-882, most cases should work with WPA2. The only thing that might cause you to pause is the lack of WPA3 support. However, as with the DIR-882 it should be possible to use WPA2 in most cases. Despite the fact that it does not have a USB port or WPA3, it still offers excellent 5GHz performance. TP-LinkPros Compact and easy to install around the house. Great range. The TP-Link Deco X20 mesh system can cover 4,000 square footage of your home and costs $177 for a pair. The base router unit can provide speeds up to 650Mbps and the satellite throughput up to 450Mbps. You can get speeds up to 650Mbps from the base router unit, while the satellite throughput will give you speeds of up to 450Mbps at close range. The Deco X20 Mesh Router is a great option for those who don’t need Wi-Fi 6 or high performance. However, it’s not easy to find a budget-friendly mesh router.