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
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.
includes USB ports for connecting hard drives, and the software includes a
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
Now before we get to #1 letÃ?Â?s take a look at CNETÃ?Â?s list of the best wireless
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,
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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