CNET editor Dong Ngo picks the top five 802.11ac routers on the market and explains why they earned their top rankings.
The Linksys WRT1900AC is the latest AC1900 router on the market and is Linksys' latest effort to come back from a series of not-so-great routers. This time, the company delivers!
The new router offers excellent performance with great range. It's also the most powerful router on the market with a dual-core 1,200Mhz processor, 256MB of DDR 3 system memory and 128MB of flash storage.
The router comes with remote access solutions that allow you to manage your home network remotely via the Internet, even on mobile devices.
What makes the WRT1900AC one of the top routers on the market, however, is the fact that it's the first that supports both USB 3.0 and eSATA, and when coupled with an external storage device, it delivers network storage speeds equal to those of many high-end NAS servers.
In other words, this a high-end Wi-Fi router and a powerful NAS server in one package.
Apart from its performance, what makes the R7000 one of the top routers is its Netgear Genie firmware that includes a mobile app that makes it very easy for users to monitor their home networks. It also offers a built-in OpenVPN platform, and supports third-party firmware, such as DD-WRT.
What makes the RT-AC68U one of the best routers on the market are its many unique features, such as the ability to turn one of its LAN ports into a secondary WAN port, the built-in VPN server, and the ability to host a cellular dongle as a backup Internet source.
The Trendnet's comparatively low price is a big reason it qualifies for this list. In fact, it's the most affordable top-notch router you can find on the market. It's a great deal for those who just need a fast and secure home network, and not much else.
This is the latest generation of Apple's AirPort Extreme. It's not an AC1900 router, but rather an AC1750 that delivers up to 1,300Mbps on the 5Ghz band and up to 450Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band. And it registers great performance and works especially well with Macs.
This router, unlike others, has just three LAN ports and supports only USB 2.0.