CNET Top 5: Routers under $80
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CNET Top 5: Routers under $80

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Need to upgrade your home Wi-Fi router? Here are five options that are an exceptional value at less than $80.

There are few tech products out there that are more confusing and pumped full of hype and jargon than Wi-Fi routers. Some of you are spending big bucks on dual-band wireless N routers with 450mbps connection speeds, USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit ethernet, VPN hosting and Network Attached storage support, and you KNOW you donÃ?Â?t need half of that stuff. You just want something fast, cheap, and reliable. So here you go, these are the top 5 routers for under $80, recommended by CNETÃ?Â?s home networking guru and all-around awesome guy Dong Ngo. Starting at #5, the TP-Link Nano. As the name implies this is small, basic router, but itÃ?Â?s also the least expensive router on this list. ItÃ?Â?s $20 bucks. Now, you only get one ethernet port on the back and the Wireless N speed caps out at 150mbps, but itÃ?Â?s great for traveling and the thing is frickinÃ?Â? cute. Most of these things look like they were designed by Darth Vader, but this one looks more like Hello Kitty, in a good way. At #4, the Linksys E2500. This one takes you right up to $80, but youÃ?Â?re getting a lot of router for your money. It offerÃ?Â?s dual-band Wireless N support, so you get that 5GHz band with better performance and less interference. There are plenty of Ethernet connections on the back and the design doesnÃ?Â?t call a lot of attention to itself. Best of all, the Cisco software for getting it all up and running will not make you want to punch a hole in the wall, which is pretty rare for a router. At #3, the NetGear N600. HereÃ?Â?s another one right at $80. ItÃ?Â?s dual-band like the Linksys, but the range is a little better and you get some nice extras. The back includes USB ports for connecting hard drives, and the software includes a Traffic Meter. So if your roommate likes to binge on HD cat videos, but your ISP sends the bill to you, this router can automatically throttle things down and keep you from a very awkward conversation. But if youÃ?Â?re looking for a better value, even at the expense of some features, try this old gem. At #2, the Belkin N+. This guy has been around since 2008, but itÃ?Â?s still one of the best single-band Wireless N routers on the market and you can scoop it up for around $60. The wireless range is arguably the best on this list, so if youÃ?Â?re lucky enough to have a nice big place, this is your best value for coverage. Now before we get to #1 letÃ?Â?s take a look at CNETÃ?Â?s list of the best wireless routers overall. Now there are some great options here, but most of these guys retail for around $160. Personally, I like my routers to be simple, and fast. And thatÃ?Â?s why I really like our #1 choice: the D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router. $40 gets you a tiny, relatively fast, single-band router. And the killer feature? You can monitor and manage the whole thing with an app that works for iOS and Android. From halfway around the world you can see whoÃ?Â?s on your network, you can block access, and even reboot the whole thing. You will feel like a God, for just $40. So there you have it, five routers that will help bring your home Wi-Fi into the modern age without putting you in debt. For more Top 5Ã?Â?s like this visit Top5.cnet.com. You can also find me over on Twitter, or posting HD cat videos over on Facebook. IÃ?Â?m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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