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CNET Top 5: Wi-Fi routers under $100

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CNET Top 5: Wi-Fi routers under $100

3:47 /

Need to upgrade your home Wi-Fi router? Here are five options that are an exceptional value at less than $100.

[MUSIC] Chances are the most outdated piece of tech in your home right now is your Wi-Fi router. Nothing fun about buying a new one and setting them up can be a real pain. But if you think about it, every gadget in your house relies on your router in order to get online. Your tablet, your laptop, your smartphone, your TV, and it's only gonna get worse. To help you out, here are five of the best values in home Wi-Fi routers, all priced under $100 and selected by CNET networking guru, and all around sexy guy Domino. Starting off at number five. The Linksys E1200 priced around $50, this guy gets high marks for its simplicity and understated design. It supports 802.11n, gives you basic wired networking options on the back, It is not the fastest thing out there nor does it have great range, but it's a good simple choice for a small office or an apartment. At number 4, the D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router. Hard not to love this little guy, especially with a price around $30. $30! Now you can imagine for that price it's fairly bare bone, single band, no guest network, no Gigabit Ethernet, but it does have this one cool trick. This guy comes with a mobile app that lets you set up and manage it remotely. You can even reset it from the app. No more getting on the ground and yanking out the power supply and cursing and sneezing from the dust and hitting your head on the cupboard on the way back up. Not that that ever happens to me, but I can imagine. For a more robust option you can try number three, the Netgear R6100. Comes in right under $100, but this is the newest router on this list. The Netgear made it's debut last September and supports 802.11ac. In fact, it's the only router we'd recommend under $100, that I can say that. No Gigabit Ethernet, but it's fast, attractive, easy to setup, and has plenty of bells and whistles. One of the coolest ones, being a USB port that allows you to connect a hard drive and stream media anywhere in your network. The whole package is enough to make your current router weep. But to really rub it in try number two. The D-Link HD Media Router 1000. Now I know what you're thinking. I know you're thinking, Donald is there a HD Media Router 3000? Because that sounds considerably more bad **** than 1000. Well, yes there is and it costs $180. This guy, currently on Amazon, for $30. That might be a momentary fluke, but if you can **** this thing up for $100, you're in good shape. You get Gigabit Ethernet, IPv6 support, guest networking, and even an SD card slot. Plus it's an HD, somehow. But if you had to press our CNET lab's manager and networking expert, Domino, on the number one Wi-Fi router to buy under $100, he'll say the Asus RT-N56U priced right around $90. This router delivers that Gigabit Ethernet connection, dual bands, great range, fast speed and an intuitive web interface for setting the whole thing up and managing it. Also you get that USB port that lets you connect the hard drive and share the whole thing over your network. And it's pretty. Just saying. It's pretty. So there you go. Five routers for under a $100 that are a great value and a worthy replacement for that clunker you're using now. For more recommendations, including the best 802.11ac routers, head over to cnet.com/routers. And, for more top fives from me, top5.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

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