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Get a Netgear 802.11 Draft-N router for $19.99

It's a refurb, but don't let that stop you. The WNR2000 will blow the doors off any 802.11b or g router you're currently using. And shipping is only two bucks.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The $20 802.11n router: You're not likely to find a lower price. Netgear

If your wireless router doesn't have the muscle to reach all corners of the house, or you need a faster connection for copying files and streaming videos, it might be time to consider an upgrade.

Newegg has refurbished Netgear WNR2000 802.11n Draft 2.0 routers for $19.99 (shipping will run you a mere $1.99).

In case you're unfamiliar with it, the "new" Wi-Fi protocol (which seems forever destined to be known as Draft-N) delivers better range and faster throughput speeds than 802.11g.

The WNR2000 is backward compatible with older Wi-Fi hardware and comes with four Ethernet ports, two internal antennas, and the usual raft of security features.

Keep in mind that unless you have 802.11n adapters for the PCs in your house, you may not reap the full benefits of the router--but you'll still enjoy better range and, based on my experiences, faster wireless connections, even if you have 802.11b/g gear. (Make sure to download the latest firmware updates from Netgear.)

CNET hasn't reviewed the WNR2000, but the user comments on Newegg's product page are mostly positive. And over at Amazon, it averages four stars out of five. That's pretty impressive, as even high-end routers often get crummy reviews.

The WNR2000 has a list price of $79.99, so you're saving quite a bit by opting for a refurbished unit. It does have only a 90-day warranty, but what is there to break? Either it works or it doesn't. I think it's a steal, and at this price, I suspect they won't last.