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The Best VPN Router 2021

Before I get right into the benefits of a VPN Wi-Fi Router and review the best ones I will give you a quick overview of what they actually are and how you are losing out big time by using the free one given to you by your ISP.

Wi-Fi routers have been one of the best inventions in recent times, allowing for wireless network capabilities and allowing the use of the internet on multiple devices at the same time instead of having to use the one PC that is plugged in.

An image featuring how the internet works with local network router ISP to VPN router

Well, the technology of Wi-Fi routers has evolved massively of late but unfortunately, the ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) only ever send out the cheapest Wi-Fi routers with their service leaving you with a substandard piece of hardware. Let’s face it, almost everyone uses the router that your ISP sent out when you signed up for the plan.

Table of Contents

Some Of The Symptoms Of A Crap Wi-Fi Router Are:

An image featuring symptoms of a slow Wi-Fi router

Why Upgrade To A VPN Router?

If you ever take a quick look at the VPN services, you will see that most VPNs can be installed on smartphones, tablets, and computers. Lately, these services also promote the idea of a VPN router which is basically a router that supports a VPN client. This possibility comes with great benefits for the user and this is why this type of device became quite popular these days.

Now, let’s see the main benefits of having a new VPN router in your network:

An icon featuring speed concept

The connection can be more than 10 times quicker and faster compared to the standard ones.


An icon featuring laptop concept

You can use a VPN connection on EVERY device you have connected to the network so the VPN provider’s limits do not apply.


An icon featuring antivirus concept

You can use EXPERT encryption if you ever want to go on the Deep Web. With apps like Tor and a VPN router, your connection can be triple encrypted at an expert level and no one will be able to poke around. You have:

An image featuring how an VPN router connects to the deep web
This is what the pros use to surf the Deep Web.
An icon featuring movie concept

If you use a Streaming Media Box like Matricom G-Box, Apple TV to use apps like Kodi (XBMC) or Netflix. This will encrypt and unlock everything so you have unlimited Movies and TV-Series to choose from without the worry of being tracked.


An icon featuring connected laptops concept

If you want to share music or movies via torrents, you just have to hook up a storage device to the VPN router and start sharing/ streaming.


An icon featuring cd concept

You won’t have to install a VPN client on every device you are going to use to connect to the Internet.


An icon featuring Wi-Fi concept

You can have multiple different WiFi signals to connect to so one can be VPN encrypted while another one can be the standard naked connection.


An icon featuring a hacker concept

Prevent Identity theft by encrypting all of your emails, chats, Skype calls, social media activity, downloads, and browsing activity.


An icon featuring ads concept

Stop those pesky ads from marketing people following you around. You know when you visit a site once and then you see that add EVERYWHERE you go online.


An icon featuring an antivirus concept

It is protection, or rather an insurance policy for when (not if) your kid does something stupid online like downloading a pirated movie and then you end up being sued for the illegal download (happening all of the time now). Also when your kid does something stupid like sending inappropriate photos (they do this now whether you like it or not) the VPN encryption will ensure that no one can intercept the message to exploit it.


An icon featuring a gaming concept

It will MASSIVELY decrease the lag time for those online gamers out there so you will have the upper hand and crush your competition. (All the pro gamers have the best routers, it is their little secret.)


Top 10 Best VPN Router Review

If you are on the market, looking for a reliable router that will also offer the possibility to install a VPN solution, below you will find the top 10 of the best VPN router products to consider.

Rank
Router
Manufacturer/Model
Price
Score
More Info

1

An image featuring the RT-AC5300 AC5300 DD-WRT Router router
An image featuring the Asus logo

RT-AC5300 AC5300 DD-WRT Router

$499.99

9.8

2

An image featuring the WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT router
An image featuring the Linksys logo

WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT

$299.99

9.6

Visit Site

3

An image featuring the RT-AC3200 router
An image featuring the Asus logo

RT-AC3200

$399.99

9.5

Visit Site

4

An image featuring the WRT1900ACS/AC v2 router
An image featuring the Linksys logo

WRT1900ACS/AC v2

$249.99

9

Visit Site

5

An image featuring the RT-AC56U router
An image featuring the Asus logo

RT-AC56U

$249.99

8.7

Visit Site

6

An image featuring the R7000 router
An image featuring the Netgear logo

R7000

$249.99

8.5

Visit Site


7

An image featuring the RT-AC86U router


An image featuring the Asus logo

RT-AC86U



$199.99



8.4



Visit Site

8

An image featuring the WRT32X router
An image featuring the Linksys logo

WRT32X

$199.99

8.1

Visit Site

9

An image featuring the DIR-885L/R router
An image featuring the D-Link logo

DIR-885L/R

$306.90

8

Visit Site

10

An image featuring the Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800 router
An image featuring the Netgear logo

Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800

$185.99

7.8

Visit Site

ASUS RT-AC5300 AC5300 DD-WRT Router

An image featuring the Asus RT-AC5300 AC5300 DD-WRT Router
$499.99
DD-WRT
Dual Core
1.4 GHz
Number of Bands
Tri Band (two 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC5300 1000 + 2165 + 2165 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • DD-WRT router that is perfectly compatible with various VPN protocols
  • Supports internet connection from all internet service providers
  • Ideal for users with more than 10 devices
  • Perfect fit for big houses

Cons

  • More on the expensive side
  • Not the greatest of USB speeds

People who have gotten bored and tired of their old WiFi router just sitting their one their shelf should give a good look to Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT Router. This router will give the user more danger than all the old routers put together. By the looks of it, one would think HR Giger (the famous Alien artist) designed this router. In short, the Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT Router pretty much looks like it came about of an Alien Facehugger.

It gives off this strange robotic feel that not many routers do. More importantly though, it performs like an alien router as well.

It has a 1.5 GHz processor which is considered as the best-in-class processor.

Perhaps the feature that sticks out the most is its design. The Asus RT-AC5300 has a total of 8 antennas. All of them are external. There are very few, if any, routers that support eight WiFi antennas. As far as functionality and usability go, AC5300 is right up with there with some of the best WiFi routers in the world.

In fact, it might just be the ultimate.

An image featuring a drawn person using his computer and is excited

Some even put the Asus RT-5300 above tiers such as top-tier. They put it in “ultra tier”.

This VPN router is perfect for a lag-free gaming experience.

Users who want to stream 4K content via online streaming sites should definitely consider this VPN router.

The Asus RT-AC5300 offers cross-platform compatibility options that few others can match.

It also comes with other features such as game acceleration.

Any gamer who is tired of old routers that just can’t handle the load of extreme gaming should buy one of these in order to level up their game.

The AC5300 is recommended for all kinds of users but specifically those who regularly stream 4K online content and spend time gaming.

Benefits Of DD-WRT Firmware On Asus RT-AC5300

The official Asus RT-AC5300 can do so many things for so many different types of users that we have no choice but to label it as the premier choice for anyone wanting to have a stable internet connection throughout his/her house/office.

People who want to stream HD video content via streaming sites or want a top-notch WiFi experience for all of their favorite online services such as,

An image featuring multiple streaming websites

and many others would enjoy the Asus RT-AC5300 to a great extent.

Users who have had buffering issues for most of their internet life should know that the problem may not always involve their internet service provider or wire.

Sometimes, it is the fault of the router alone.

Hence, the only solution to router based problems is to buy a better router.

So What Is A Good Router?

A good router is the one that comes with premium hardware and lots of features.

What kind of features are we talking about?

We’re talking about features such as:

An image featuring good Wi-Fi router features

Guess what? You get all of that with the new Asus RT-AC5300.

Now, let’s take a look at the actual specifications.

Asus RT-AC5300 Specifications

An image featuring Asus RT-AC5300 Specifications

The official Asus RT-AC5300 comes with a powerful Broadcom Dual Core Processor (1.4 GHz).

That may not sound like a lot when compared to some of the most powerful CPUs in the world, but it is plenty when it comes to routers.

In fact, the 1.4 GHz is actually a significant bump from previous internal processors that manufacturers used in routers.

The DD-WRT 1.4 GHz (or 1400 MHz) Broadcom processor is the leading processor in the router industry.

As far as DD-WRT support is concerned, this router’s dual-core processor is rated amongst the top three in the business.

But why is a processor important to a router?

Well, just take it from us that processing power is actually a key factor when it comes to high performing internet routing.

The Asus RT-AC5300 has got plenty of power to burn.

It can still accommodate the growing demands of the modern user with all the HD streaming services.

More and more users want access to HD content on multiple devices in their living space.

For such tasks, a normal router is not enough.

The other thing that users need to take into account is that, is a genuine VPN service provider.

By that, we mean that it doesn’t just say that it protects the user’s data.

An image featuring two locks that are green and red and a yellow key in the middle of them

It actually does protect user data.

How does that protect user data?

Well, it constantly encrypts and decrypts the user data that passes through the router and then goes out into the wild.

In order to streamline that process, it is imperative that the router has a large and powerful processor.

Otherwise, the router will have a problem in dealing with all that data.

To put it in simpler words, a more powerful processor will enable users to get VPN-encrypted online information much quicker.

An image featuring the ASUS RT-AC5300 router

The ASUS RT-AC5300 also comes with 8 robust antennas.

As mentioned at the top, all of them are external antennas.

This router manages to integrate all eight very efficiently.

Each one of the eight external antennae is actually very powerful.

This is also one of the rare occasions on which Asus has come out with Wireless AC router that makes use of 8 antennas.

What’s the benefit of 8 antennas?

Well, it allows the router to offer users the maximum amount of wireless performance and reach.

The other benefit of having 8 external antennas is that they don’t cause users much trouble when the time comes to upgrade them.

Users can swap the default antennas with even more robust antennas if there is a need for it (for example, where an extended reach is required).

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the ASUS RT-AC5300 AC5300 DD-WRT Router:

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WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT

An image featuring the WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT router
$299.99
DD-WRT
Dual Core
1.8 GHz
Number of Bands
Tri Band (two 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC3200 600 + 1300 + 1300 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Worldwide compatibility
  • Simple setup (Plug and Play)
  • Has no problem in working with any internet service provider
  • A good choice for users with 10+ internet- connected devices
  • Excellent option for larger homes
  • EDD-WRT router that has no problem integrating with VPN services such as NordVPN

Cons

  • Lack of presence of 160 MHz clients
  • Mediocre 2.4 GHz throughput

Although the original model is a bit old, it still has a lot of offer.

An image featuring the WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT router from the back side

Yes.

We are talking about the classic router that we all have come across at one time or another, the Linksys WRT54G.

Looking back at the history of routers, the Linksys WRT3200ACM played the vital role as one of the very first DD-WRT open source routers.

But this is the age of reboots and remakes.

Following that, Linksys has also grabbed the opportunity of bringing back the WRT series to us right from its techno-devices graveyard.

With that said, the latest WRT series is not only bigger than its older version but it is also badder.

The classic model looked a bit clunky.

No one is debating that.

The older model that black and blue box.

It also had two antennas that prodded out of the older model’s back.

Linksys has improved that design now.

The newer WRT series has a sleek design and looks more like it belongs to the 21st century than the 6th.

Linksys has also increased the number of antennas from 2 to 4.

As before, all of them are external antennas.

An image featuring a processor that says MARVELL on it

Most reviewers have given the new WRT3200ACM DD-WRT bonus marks for offering probably the fastest CPU/processor that users can currently buy in the market as far as flash routers are concerned.

The newer model comes with a Dual-Core 1.8 GHz ARM processor.

Moreover, the Linksys WRT3200ACM has also managed to become one of the absolute first flash routers that makes use of a Marvell chipset.

There is no doubt about the fact that users are looking at a real top shelf wireless router in the form of Linksys WRT3200ACM.

This router is suitable for people who like to engage in:

An image featuring multiple features such as streaming content and gaming

We don’t know of many better options than the Linksys WRT3200ACM.

Now, let’s take a look at the name and analyze it.

The most important letter in WRT3200ACM is M.

It stands for the term MU-MIMO.

What Is MU-MIMO?

MU-MIMO stands for Multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output.

It is a technology that enables routers of all kinds to have the ability to communicate with several different devices at the same time.

An image featuring multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output concept

What does this do?

This results in an increase in speed of the user’s WiFi network.

Additionally, the MU-MIMO technology also limits the interference that is present between two different devices.

There are many ways in which you can install VPN services such as IPVanish on routers like Linksys WRT3200ACM.

So don’t worry about not having the opportunity to install a good VPN service on your Linksys WRT3200ACM.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT:

​​

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ASUS RT-AC3200

An image featuring the Asus RT-AC3200 router
$399.99
Tomato
​​
Dual Core
1.0 GHz
Number of Bands
Tri Band (two 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC3200 600 + 1300 + 1300 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Worldwide compatibility
  • Has no problem in working with any internet service provider
  • Good choice for users who want to connect more than 10 devices to a single network
  • Excellent option for large & medium homes
  • Comes pre-installed with Shibby Firmware
  • Works with VPN services such as NordVPN

Cons

  • The design is on the impractical side
  • Expensive

More and more router manufacturing companies are switching towards sleeker and sleeker models.

But there always comes a time when one special router comes along and blows everything else out of water in terms of sleekness.

Yes.

We are talking about the Asus RT-AC3200 router.

Our research shows that users will have to waste a lot of time before they can get a router that is anywhere as sleek as the Asus RT-AC3200.

The Asus RT-AC3200 router comes with a total of six external antennas.

An image featuring the Asus RT-AC3200 router from the back side

All of them prod out quite prominently from the router’s back.

With that said, the router, overall, has a minimalist style.

From a looks point of view, the Asus RT-AC3200 definitely looks close to a cross between some gladiator level weapon from ancient civilizations such as that of Rome and the desert cruiser from the Star Wars franchise.

Just like a lot of other good VPN routers, this router also makes use of a 1 GHz processor from Broadcom.

It also comes with a Tri-Band Wifi.

An image featuring a drawn house on top of an smartphone

We feel confident in saying that the Asus RT-AC3200 resembles armory and vehicles not only in looks but also in terms of their combat ability and speed.

Anyone who has a decent budget and wants to cover a medium to large home should consider the Asus RT-AC3200 as the ideal router for the job.

People who want to stretch out the range of their WiFi network to the absolute maximum should also give this router some serious thought.

And that’s not all.

As mentioned in the PROS section of this summary, the Asus RT-AC3200 is actually a Tomato router as opposed to a DD-WRT router.

It also comes with other features such as,

An image featuring the features of the Asus RT-AC3200 router

All of these features make the Asus RT-AC3200 router as one of the top routers for beginner VPN router users.

Users who want the biggest bang for their buck should go with Asus RT-AC3200 without giving it too much thought.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Asus RT-AC3200:

​​

​​

WRT1900ACS/AC V2

An image featuring the WRT1900ACS/AC v2 router
$249.99
DD-WRT
Dual Core
1.6 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC1900 450 + 1450 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Works with VPN services such as NordVPN via OpenVPN protocol.
  • Suited for users who have less than 10 devices on a given network
  • Compatible with all internet service providers
  • Provides great coverage for medium and large houses.
  • Worldwide standard compatibility
  • Setup is mostly plug n play.

Cons

  • Slightly expensive for what it offers
  • Its storage is not compatible with Mac’s Time Machine backup features

Linksys introduced the original version, WRT54G way back in 2002.

That was almost 15 years ago.

Back then, the WRT54G successfully served its role as not only a standard router that worked most of the time but also as one of the very first Open Source DD-WRT WiFi network routers.

Again, we’ll remind the user, this is the age of the internet.

But it is also the age of reboots and remakes.

That is one of the reasons why Linksys decided to bring back the WRT router series.

And for good reason.

Linksys built its position as a market leader in WiFi router with the help of the WRT series.

So there is no point in leaving it in the techno-graveyard, alone, to wrought.

The new WRT series, as mentioned before as well, is now fully compatible with the modern world of the internet.

An image featuring the WRT1900ACS/AC v2 router from the back side

You don’t have to look at those two antennas that prodded out of the router’s backside anymore.

The black and blue, clunky looking box is more as well.

Linksys has enhanced each and every router belonging to the WRT series with many upgrades.

Some of the routers in the series now have 4 external antennas.

And the WRT54G is one of them.

The company has also brought in a lot design improvements.

All models are now much sleeker than before.

Let’s get specific though.

In other words, let’s talk about the WRT1900ACv2.

Some refer to this WiFi router as just 1900ACS.

This WiFi router has a fast 1.6 GHz ARM Dual-Core processor.

As alluded to before, this model is regularly counted as the first WiFi router that makes use of a Marvell chipset.

What does that mean for the end user?

It means that this router is perfect for VPN installation.

This router is also suitable for people who engage in:

An image featuring the features of the WRT1900ACS/AC v2 Wi-Fi router

It is essentially a high-end router for people on a budget (if that doesn’t like a paradox).

Users who have the budget to upgrade their WiFi router to the new DD-WRT Linksys WRT1900ACv2 should rejoice knowing that this WiFi router has everything in place for a built-in PPTP and/or OpenVPN VPN connection.

Connecting to the internet with this router enables users to create a secure online tunnel for any of their internet-enabled device.

All that the users have to do is connect their device to their new router.It is essentially a high-end router for people on a budget (if that doesn’t like a paradox).

Users who have the budget to upgrade their WiFi router to the new DD-WRT Linksys WRT1900ACv2 should rejoice knowing that this WiFi router has everything in place for a built-in PPTP and/or OpenVPN VPN connection.

An image featuring multiple drawn technology devices such as laptop and a router

Connecting to the internet with this router enables users to create a secure online tunnel for any of their internet-enabled device.

All that the users have to do is connect their device to their new router.

VPN services are very good at providing the user with an additional layer of online security and military-grade encryption.

If users install these services on the router, they can mask their real location on all their devices.

Using the same connection they can also access content that is regionally locked.

The official Linksys WRT1900ACv2 router is also Dual Router Setup Ready.

What is Dual Router Ready?

Well, it just means that this router would have no problems in working in a dual router setup.

When users have a dual router setup, they actually have one of their WiFi router connected to their local ISP (or internet service provider) and then they have another router, like Linksys WRT1900ACv2 as the router with VPN on it.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC V2:

​​

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ASUS RT-AC56U

An image featuring the Asus RT-AC56U router
$249.99
DD-WRT
Dual Core
800 MHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC1200 300 + 900 Mbps
USB Ports
2

Pros

  • Supports PPTP and OpenVPN VPN connections
  • DD-WRT
  • Perfect for users who have home offices
  • Compatible with all internet service providers
  • Works worldwide

Cons

  • Wireless speed suffers at long range
  • Lack of cloud platform

Remember the original ASUS RT-N56U?

No?

That’s alright.

What readers really need to know is that the new ASUS RT-AC56U DD-WRT router is actually a brand new and improved edition of the original ASUS RT-N56U router.

An image featuring a comparison between ASUS RT-N56U on the left and the ASUS RT-AC56U DD-WRT on the right

And as far as predecessors go, there aren’t many more popular than the ASUS RT-N56U.

The newer AC56U does a lot of things differently.

To start off, it takes that old but beloved router design of the N56U and just ramps up the router’s next-generation wireless, and otherwise, capabilities.

In other words, it adds features such as 802.11ac wireless standard.

The newer ASUS AC56U comes with an 800 MHz supercharged Broadcom Dual-core processor.

By many measures, it can rank itself amongst the very best when it comes to routers that have DD-WRT compatible processors.

Remember, a powerful processor is one of the key ingredients as far as the router’s performance goes.

This is also where this router has a bit of power to burn.

An image featuring an 2D drawing of a person using his MacBook and watching YouTube

It is suited to a growing number of online consumers who like to stream videos on-demand and perform more resource-intensive tasks every day.

As mentioned at the top as well, we recommend this router to people who have anywhere from 5 to 7 devices connected to the same network.

The ASUS RT-N56U router offers all the resources a person needs to a stream high-quality videos on multiple devices (from four to six in case of video streaming).

This WiFi router presents the ideal purchase for users with wired connection in medium to small offices (more specifically, home offices) and homes.

The ASUS RT-N56U router offers all the resources a person needs to a stream high-quality videos on multiple devices (from four to six in case of video streaming).

This WiFi router presents the ideal purchase for users with wired connection in medium to small offices (more specifically, home offices) and homes.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the ASUS RT-AC56U:

​​

​​

R7000

An image featuring the R7000 router
$249.99
DD-WRT
Dual Core
1 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC1900 450 + 1450 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Availability of Plug n Play
  • Worldwide compatibility
  • Doesn’t have a problem working with any internet service provider
  • Ideal for people with eight to twelve internet-enabled devices
  • The perfect solution for medium homes
  • Has support for VPN services (OpenVPN connections)

Cons

  • Difficult setup when compared to routers from Linksys and Asus.
  • AC1900 routers have better range

This is the router for users who are looking to use their VPN service OpenVPN account on most, if not all, of they internet-enabled devices with the help of nothing but a single setup.

Users who have devices such as WD TV Live, iPad and Roku 3 should pay attention to this router in particular, as the Netgear R7000 covers them all.

Users who desire the strongest possible wireless signal transmission for almost all of their preferred streaming services such as,

An image featuring multiple streaming websites

via their VPN service should also keep an eye on this VPN router.

The last group of users that this VPN router covers are those who want to rise significantly above any surrounding wireless interference that they encounter from their neighboring WiFi connections and/or routers.

For elite VPN service provider (like IPVanish) users who want a top performing WiFi router, there is none better than Netgear R7000.

An image featuring a drawn rocket ship with workers and a laptop underneath it

Netgear R7000 provides users with relief from all of the above-mentioned issues.

It accomplishes lots of other things.

Netgear Nighthawk has been built with power in mind.

This router offers style that will last users multiple generations of routers.

Users looking for a long-term WiFi router solution rather than what is “hot” will not find a better option than Netgear R7000 DD-WRT router.

Beginners should know that the Netgear R7000 offers them the absolute best of all the worlds.

First, it offers users world-class Wireless-N speeds.

Not only that, it further backs that up with next-generation Wireless-AC WiFi network capabilities.

Users should also know that the very latest of editions of Netgear Wireless-AC (with DD-WRT firmware) routers prepare their networks for all the upcoming Wireless-AC devices.

This router is pretty reminiscent of the famous Batman Tumbler from the very highly-rated Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy.

Online consumers can take it up a notch by using a VPN service like IPVanish with the Netgear R7000 as well.

An image featuring bypassing geo-restriction on various streaming sites concept

This would not only offer them the best the router world has to offer but also world-class privacy tools.

With a VPN service provider on R7000, users will have no trouble in bypassing geo-restriction on various streaming sites.

Moreover, since VPN services such as IPVanish don’t affect the user’s internet connection that much in terms of speed, users will experience smooth streaming via their VPN router.

The Netgear R7000 pretty much blows all the competition out of water when it comes to connecting the most number of internet-enabled devices to the same network at high speed.

Online consumers who know that they will watch tons of TV series, documentaries and movies on more than one internet-enabled device on the same network with a VPN service installed, will find that Netgear R7000 will make their dreams come true in this regard.

An image featuring drawn co-workers in the middle with multiple logos on the side

That translates to about 12 internet-enabled devices connected to the same network.

So for all users wanting an ideal wireless connection within their large to medium homes, this is it.

The Netgear R7000 is able to achieve all of the above because it comes packed with advanced hardware.

It has a best-in-class RAM module and a top processor.

More specifically, the Netgear R7000 comes with a decent 256 MB RAM.

Readers should keep in mind that the Netgear R7000 offers users the best router-based fast RAM.

Not only that, it further offers users 128 MB of efficient and active flash memory.

Users can take advantage of this flash memory in order to flash the most malleable and/or powerful of the open source DD-WRT builds anywhere on the internet.

Yes.

An image featuring a drawn USB stick and a micro SD card

We’re talking about the Kong AC build.

But why are Flash and RAM memory important for a VPN router?

Well, they play a vital role in activities such as saving and caching websites.

This boosts the speed with which the user connects to websites that the user visits most often.

The Netgear R7000 has a really heavy-duty Dual Core processor.

And to complement that processor, it comes with additional Flash/RAM memory.

Compatibility With Wireless-N And Wireless-AC Speeds

The Netgear R7000 offers users the absolute highest available wireless speeds via its dual bands.

As far as numbers go, the router supports speeds up to 1900 Mbps Wireless-AC (1450 5.0 Mbps and 450 2.4 Mbps).

Now even though it may not look like it but the Netgear R7000 has a total of eight internal antennas.

All of these work together in order to give the user great performance at handling tasks which involve a huge amount of data and a large number of connected internet-enabled devices.

The Netgear R7000 has full compatibility with Wireless-N/H/G/B internet-enabled devices such as,

An image featuring multiple wireless networking devices

This router is perfect for users who are looking to playback HD video on their devices.

Since the Netgear R7000 has advanced hardware for optimal wireless connection, it also results in the user experiencing better Skype video calls and Facetime.

In short, the R7000 is built for everything that a modern online user needs.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Netgear R7000:

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ASUS RT-AC86U

An image featuring the Asus RT-AC86U router
$199.99
OWN FIRMWARE

ARM Dual Core
1.8 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC2900 802.11 a/g/ac/n MU-MIMO (AC2167, N750)
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Great speed
  • Excellent coverage
  • Comprehensive firmware
  • MU-MIMO
  • Adaptive QoS
  • Traffic Analyzer

Cons

  • Dual band so might cause network congestion for heavy users
  • No wall mount

There aren’t many online users who don’t know what Asus is about when it comes to good routers.

ASUS, with its gamer-centric computer products, has managed to attract a good portion of the young population that spends its days on the internet.

This is the reason that whenever a heavy gamer or gamer, in general, buys ASUS routers, he/she knows exactly what he/she is getting himself/herself into.

An image featuring a drawn cool person using his laptop and drinking coffee

This is especially true when it comes to some of ASUS’ design choices.

With that said, even if the user is not a heavy gamer, ASUS can still offer some good options.

The ASUS RT-AC86U still packs quite a punch for users who don’t game much.

It is a terrific VPN router that doesn’t force the buyer to break the bank.

ASUS RT-AC86U has some of the best VPN features that we have seen in recent routers.

The router is fast. And because of that, it doesn’t slow down the user’s internet connection speed by that much even when the user is protecting himself/herself with a VPN service.

Users are free to install any well-known third-party router firmware such as DD-WRT if there is a need for greater choice.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the ASUS RT-AC86U:

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WRT32X

An image featuring the WRT32X router
$199.99
CUSTOM FIRMWARE
ARM Dual Core
2 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC3200 802.11a/g/ac/n
USB Ports
2 (1 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Wi-Fi speed results are excellent
  • Expensive for what it offers
  • Easy to understand firmware

Cons

  • Premium pricing
  • Mediocre 5GHz throughput

This router is a true gaming router.

Not only that, it backs up that tag with high-performance wireless connection.

We’ll admit it before anyone else that on the surface, this WiFi router (the Linksys WRT32X) doesn’t look like it offers anything different from the company’s heavy-hitter WiFi router, the new WRT3200.

An image featuring the WRT32X router from the back side

In reality, that is probably true.

But it isn’t as far off behind the WRT3200 as some people think it is.

WRT3200 is a highly
rated WiFi router.

And it is so highly-rated because of all its successful components.

What the WRT32X model does is that it takes all the good things from WRT3200 and then puts all those components in a new Linksys router (the WRT32X) that comes pre-installed with a custom firmware.

The custom firmware is very easy to use and navigate.

Beginner users have a fun time tweaking with the settings here.

An image featuring a drawn person using his laptop and drinking coffee

Its visual design is attractive and subdued at the same time.

Our research shows that the WRT3200 is one of the very best VPN WiFi routers that users can purchase this year.

Of course, users will have to cough up a good amount of money for the router’s premium repackaging.

However, users who know they can’t work online without a reliable pin performance (even if they play games for a living) that all online games require, then they should give this WiFi router a try.

After all, this is a router that takes everything good about a very highly rated VPN router and then tailors it to the user’s requirements.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Linksys WRT32X:

​​

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DIR-885L/R

An image featuring the DIR-885L/R router
$306.90
Stock firmware (DD-WRT available)

Dual Core
1.4 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC3150 3167 Mbps (2167 Mbps 5GHz + 1000 Mbps in 2.4 GHz)
USB Ports
1 (1 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Expensive
  • Decent performance
  • Selection of features is very good
  • MU-MIMO
  • SmartConnect

Cons

  • SmartConnect
  • File transfer speeds are not great.

Users who have spent countless hours searching for a dependable but mid-range VPN router should give D-Link DIR-885 L/R a try.

This is a router that has done remarkably well at combining speed with fantastic Wi-Fi range along with dedicated features for gamers.

We think that gamers should definitely have D-link DIR-885L/R amongst the top 3 VPN routers around.

An image featuring 2 drawn workers connecting cable concept

The selection of ports on this router is pretty thoughtful.

Our research shows that this router provides a reasonable user interface for users to set up and then configure the VPN router in a smooth fashion.

Overall, the router is very easy to use.The other great thing about D-Link DIR-885L/R is that it has full support for DD-WRT firmware (which is also open source).

That alone makes D-Link DIR-885L/R router a very powerful and flexible VPN router.

Users should not have any problems in customizing this router for all their needs.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the D-Link DIR-885L/R:

​​

Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800

An image featuring the Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL D7800 router
$185.99
Stock Firmware
Dual Core
1.4 GHz
Number of Bands
Dual Band (one 5 GHz band & one 2.4 GHz band)
Wireless data rates
AC2600 1733 Mbps + 800 Mbps
USB Ports
2 (2 USB 3.0)

Pros

  • Wireless performance is top notch
  • VDSL 2 modem
  • Users will need special hardware in order to achieve the fastest speeds on this router (may be a con)

Cons

  • Expensive for what’s on offer
  • Reliability issues with the 2.4 GHz band

The Netgear D7800 is one of the top VPN router contenders as far as router design is concerned.

In other words, it is very fashionable.

The router has a solid block finish to it.

An image featuring duo of USB 3.0 ports

And it compliments that with 4 external antennas.

Additionally, this router is unusually fast.

It further improves its overall performance by including a duo of USB 3.0 ports.

The Netgear D7800 further pairs them with a neat eSATA connector.

But these are all bonus features.The centerpiece is something different.

It is the Nighthawk X4S D7800’s built-in VDSL modem.

With this router, users will have no need of buying or leasing a separate modem.

And no one can call the pre-installed software as anywhere near shoddy.

But it is simple.

A simple, but sturdy, Dynamic QoS system.

This system enables the Netgear D7800 a real breeze to handle and manage a multitude of internet-enabled devices that the user may have on a single given WiFi network.

The best part about this router is that, even with all these features, it doesn’t forget to have compatibility with a VPN service.

Definitely worth a look at.

Recommended VPN Provider:

An image featuring the NordVPN Logo

NordVPN

(You need a VPN subscription to use the VPN capabilities) Get a nice discount with our link.

Get the Netgear D7800:

​​

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How To Choose The Best VPN Router

An image featuring an confused drawn person that has multiple paths

There are a lot of people who have confusion on how they should shop for a VPN router.

Our reality is more connected than ever before.

And that has consequences.

Consequences like our everyday devices becoming smarter all the time.

No longer a user’s home network only limited to the user’s desktop computer or mobile.

Now there are smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and smart whatnot.

Many of us do not realize this but just a few short years ago, the majority of the people had about three devices on their home router.

A smartphone, PC and maybe one of those tablets that no one wants to buy anymore.

Today, the situation is different.

People have more devices connected to their WiFi network than they can count on their hands.

An image featuring a drawn person using a big smartphone on touch concept

Modern users are no longer just satisfied with a PC or a laptop.

Now they want to stream content on their TV sets and make calls via their smartphone app.

They also want to dim lights via an app.

Some even have devices that allow them to adjust the temperature of their house.

All of that is accomplished via the wireless internet.

Who provides that WiFi connection?

That’s right.

The WiFi router.

Why Can’t I Just Buy Any Router? Why Do I Need A Specific Router?

An image featuring a drawn person buying something and giving his credit card to the cashier

For the same reason, you can’t just go to a hardware shop and buy any laptop.

It is just too important.

In any given connected home, WiFi routers now play a critical role.

Therefore, going out in the market and selecting the one that is the most proper choice for one’s owns needs has now become a very important task.

Routers are now as crucial as any other piece of electronic equipment in a home.

With that said, it is true that the majority of internet service providers do provide their customers with a decent wireless router.

An image featuring a cool drawn router concept

Sometimes it also comes with a DSL or cable modem.

A lot of customers have this tendency to believe that this is about as good as they are ever likely to get.

Afterall, the internet service provider’s WiFi router connects the user’s devices to the internet.

And it doesn’t disconnect after every other minute.

So what’s the bother then?

We don’t have a problem in acknowledging that sometimes the internet service provider’s WiFi router may do the job.

In fact, some users find that it performs its job really well.

We don’t rule out the possibility that some users may even find satisfaction in the perform of the WiFi router that their internet service provider has supplied them.

An image featuring a drawn mechanic

Some internet service providers don’t even charge users for the equipment as they LOAN it to the user because of the user’s subscription package.

If the user lives in an open and relatively small place where it is easy for devices to pick up WiFi signals and there aren’t a whole lot of devices.

The user may do well with a single antenna WiFi router as well.

Besides, anytime the user feels like he/she needs top speed, all that the user needs to do is to use an Ethernet cable instead of a WiFi connection.

However, for users who are renting the WiFi router from their internet service provider and if the router has gone outdated when compared to the user’s other devices that the user makes use of in his/her home, then perhaps the user can gain some benefits from a WiFi router upgrade.

Wi-Fi 802.11 A/B/G/N/AC Standards

An image featuring a drawing of the planet

No need to have a discussion on the fact that WiFi is essentially a global standard.

In order to make sure that all devices in all corners of the globe as able to connect with a given WiFi network without any issue, the community has specifications that the device has to adhere to.

The global WiFi standard goes by the name of 802.11.

Most of the time, it is then followed by letters such as,

  • a
  • ac
  • n
  • g
  • b

These letters follow 802.11 to finally designate the version.

Users need to keep in mind that the versions don’t have a compatibility issue with each other.

However, if the user connects to a version that came earlier than the latest versions then it could mean that the user ends up capping up his/her connecting speed a bit lower than otherwise.

Just like everything else on the planet, Wifi too is evolving for the comfort of each online user.

Currently, the most recent version is the AC version.

We’re not saying that N-version internet-enabled devices or WiFi routers don’t have any relevance anymore.

An image featuring multiple customers waiting to shop concept

In fact, they are quite common these days.

On the other hand, because of all the newer versions, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go about and buy a new WiFi router that is only 802.11n.

On the other hand, because of all the newer versions, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go about and buy a new WiFi router that is only 802.11n.

Why?

Because AC routers are available.

So why buy an older version?

Given the fact that WiFi routers have dropped in their prices by quite a lot, there is very little reason for anyone to go out and buy the older WiFi router version.

Users can do their own research, but ours clearly indicate that all new devices are marching towards the WiFi version of AC.

Hence, smart users would look at that, and not buy older version Wifi routers.

What’s The Debate About Dual-Band And Single-Band?

An image featuring multiple roads going on different directions concept

Before we talk about that, we would like readers to know that all wireless communications take place over a set frequency band/bands.

Users should envision these bands as roads.

Roads that the user’s data needs in order to travel.

There are some routers that can go up to 802.11g and still only operate on a single 2.4 GHz band.

The only WiFi routers that have the ability to support 5 GHz band are the ones that come with the 802.11n version.

This ability also got carried over to the even newer 802.11ac.

The 802.11ac band operates on the latest 5GHz band.

Some readers might ask the question, what was the reason for adding the new 5GHz band when devices already had the older 2GHz to do the job?

Well, the answer to that is simple as well.

The older 2GHz had become crowded.

An image featuring a drawn ring road in the middle of an town concept

This alone lead to those dreaded rush hours where the traffic on the network jammed up.

Coincidentally, this leads us straight to our discussion about Dual-band and single-band devices.

In short, single-band devices are devices that only have the ability to use the 2.4 GHz.

On the other hand, dual-band devices, as the name suggests, are devices that have the ability to use both the newer 5 GHz and older 2.4GHz band.

Users may have realized by now that the lower frequency band doesn’t just offer the lower number.

It also offers, or rather limits the user to, a lower speed limit.

Another way to look at it is that the 2.4 GHz is a bit narrow.

The new 5GHz band is a lot wider than the 2.5 GHz band.

And hence it offers more speed.

An image featuring an antenna with waves concept

Things aren’t all rosy with the 5GHz either, however.

The high frequency of the 5GHz band means that users will likely experience more signal losses.

Compared to the 2.5 GHz band, the 5GHz band tends to lose more of its strength as it tries to navigate walls, random obstacles, and furniture.

However, new AC WiFi routers come with a feature known as beamforming.

This feature enables the WiFi router to send the WiFi signal in the direction of the user’s device instead of simply spraying a WiFi signal in the form of a sphere around the device.

Even with these problems, one can’t argue with the benefits of using a band that offers more speed and a wider road.

Users who like to stream HD videos, as well as online games, tend to stick with the newer 5 GHz band.

Some experts on WiFi routers recommend that users should go with simultaneous dual-band Wifi routers.

These are the routers that users should try and purchase.

Why?

Because they offer users both bands at any given time.

There is no reason for any user to limit himself/herself with a router that only supports one band.

Always Consider The Top Speed Of A Given Internet Connection

An image featuring a rocket ship coming out of a laptop drawing concept

Wi-Fi standards aren’t where it ends as far as different WiFi routers are concerned.

Users should know that all WiFi standards have further and more specific classifications.

These classifications actually determine the real-world performance that users are likely to get with a given WiFi router.

Users may come across a WiFi router that the manufacturer advertises as an N600 or AC1200 router.

But these numbers, in no way, mean that the user will get a top connection speed of 600 Mbps or 1200 Mbps.

Users should understand such numbers a combination of speeds that both frequency bands offer to users.

To take an example, a given AC1200 WiFi router may offer a 2.4 GHz band and a 5GHz band.

The 5GHz band may come with a top speed of around 867 Mbps and the 2.4GHz band may come with a top speed of around 300 Mbps.

Combine them both and the user may end up with around 1200 Mbps.

In other words, this isn’t the speed users will get.

The other thing users need to understand here is that, even these speeds are essentially theoretical in nature.

An image featuring expectation and reality circle's concept

Come to the real world, and the user will find that they will likely NOT get speeds anywhere near the number manufacturers put on their WiFi router devices.

Similar, if the user comes across a WiFi router that has the label of something like AC5000, then the WiFi router won’t just magically increase the speed of the user’s WiFi connection to 5000 Mbps.

What that number really indicates is that the 2.4GHz band of the router would offer around 600 Mbps of speed while the two 5GHz band would offer around 2166 Mbps each.

Users who find it tempting to just step out of their home and go to the market to buy the biggest,baddest,coolest and most pricey WiFi router on the shelf, should know that isn’t always the best course of action.

It might work in some cases.

An image featuring a drawn person using his macbook

But most of the time users end up paying for a WiFi router that they don’t really need.

Sometimes, the high price tag does not justify what the user gets in return.

To take an example, let’s assume that a user is living in a one-bed apartment and has an internet connection of 50 Mbps from his/her internet service provider.

In such a case it would not make much sense to go out and buy an AC5000 WiFi router that has eight external antennas.

Remember, that the user’s internet connection can only gain speeds up to what the connection’s slowest point would allow.

For the majority of the cases, the slowest point in a user’s connection is what the user’s internet service provider is supplying the user.

Determining The Area That You Must Cover

An image featuring a drawing of a city with multiple icons popping out of it

There is no doubt about the fact that living in a huge home comes with its own set of problems.

One of those problems is the WiFi connection.

More specifically, when the user lives in a large house, he/she can face some serious problems when trying to serve WiFi connection to not just one device but all of the devices that need an internet connection.
This is especially a problem for users who use WiFi Router with only the 5GHz band.

People living in smaller homes or apartments can, without a doubt, get the job done with a single router that comes with a strong set of external antennas.

Of course, no one has ever hurt himself/herself by first trying things out before going out and buying an expensive WiFi router.

The best way to test the waters is to read reviews on various WiFi routers.

Most reviews talk, at length, about the actual range of a given WiFi router.

But even if a WiFi router doesn’t offer the kind of range the user is looking for, there are always other options.

Other options such as extenders.

Users can purchase WiFi extenders that have the capability to pick up WiFi router signals and then rebroadcast that signal someplace else in the user’s home.

Of course, some users would have a pretty good idea of the amount of coverage they need.

An image featuring a drawn person using a laptop while standing

Our research shows that if the user has a really large space to cover then there is little point in going out and buying a single and large WiFi router to cover the whole of that area.

For such types of cases, the user is much better off giving some thought to mesh WiFi kits.

Mesh WiFi kits have the ability to work in unison to successfully deliver WiFi signal to a very large area.

Most of the time, these WiFi meshes are able to cover indoor space that runs into thousands of square feet.

Before Buying A WiFi Router Always Know The Number Of Devices You Want To Connect To The WiFi Router

An image featuring Wi-Fi concept

This point is very important.

Users who don’t have a lot of devices to connect to the WiFi router because they are living alone or for some other reasons don’t really have to worry about straining their router.

Sometimes, the family doesn’t just have the mental discipline to stop streaming content from Netflix all the time.

If that is the case, then the user should go beyond dual-band WiFi routers and straight to tri-band Wifi routers.

Tri-band routers offer users two 5GHz frequency bands.

An image featuring four ethernet ports

This is definitely something that users should give weight to.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that while users are buying a WiFi router they should also pay a good amount of attention to the number of Ethernet ports a given WiFi router has.

Why do we say that?

Because one never knows when he/she would have to connect a device to the internet via an Ethernet cable.

If the user wants to connect a multiple number of devices to the internet via the router with the help of nothing but an Ethernet cable then the router better have lots of Ethernet ports.

So for a wired connection, the user needs to count the number of devices and the number of ethernet ports on the router.

Similarly, the user should also spend some time checking for all the USB ports on the router.

This is crucial for users who want to add devices such as external drives to their home network.

Do I Need MU-MIMO?

An image featuring a drawing of two people using their laptop while having multiple icons on top of them

By now, most of our readers would understand that buying a Wifi router is a complex task.

Well, to make that task even more complex, some new Wifi routers now come with a feature called MU-MIMO.

What is MU-MIMO?

The term stands for multi-user, multiple-user, multiple-output.

It is a technology that manufacturers of today bake right into their new Wifi routers.

The traditional Wifi routers some with the SU-MIMO feature.

This term, SU-MIMO, stands for single-user, multiple-input, multiple-output.

An image featuring the MU-MIMO technology concept

It is also a technology that has the capability to deliver data to only a single device at any given time but on a rotating basis.

Needless to say, the MU-MIMO technology enables simultaneous data delivery.

For most users and most purposes, we think that SU-MIMO offers more than enough.

Users shouldn’t feel put off when we mention that SU-MIMO delivery data to devices on a rotating basis

The actual rotating bit for data delivery takes place so fast that users would have to try very hard to notice it.

However, is a situation arises where one user is trying to game online while the other person is trying to stream HD video on the same network, then MU-MIMO offers the best experience.

The MU-MIMO technology offers users uninterrupted data delivery to multiple devices.

Of course, the devices on the network must have the new MU-MIMO capabilities.

Otherwise, there is no point in the WiFi router having MU-MIMO capability.

Thankfully, the number of devices that support MU-MIMO is growing all the time.

What we want to let users know is that their older devices probably won’t get the opportunity to benefit from MU-MIMO technology.

Read Up On Security And Software Features

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Not all users are the same.

Some want more control than others.

There are some users who want absolute control over everything that a router can do.

If that is you, then you need to go with a Wifi router that offers advanced firmware.

Not only that, such users should also look for a Wifi router that offers a firewall component.

There are many other advanced features that modern WiFi routers offer.

An image featuring security and problem solution features concept

Some of them are actually features that users want.
One such feature that routers offer and advanced users want is support for the installation of various third-party open-source advanced firmware such as Tomato and DD-WRT.

Remember, not all routers offer this feature.

So don’t take it for granted that any WiFi router that you will buy will offer these open-source third-party firmware installation features.

Some users are obviously parents.

And they usually have this need of protecting their children from exposure to any kind of inappropriate content or information that are in such large quantities on the internet.

For these users, the market now offers WiFi routers that come packed with various parental control features.

They can prove themselves as very useful for situations where parents want to control what their kids see and don’t see.

There are other Wifi routers that even have the facility of allowing parents to restrict and allow internet access to their children based on proper time slots.

Other Wifi routers offer separate guest access.

Users who have frequent visitors to their place can make use of such features to provide guests with internet access WITHOUT giving away their primary Wifi network password.

The TL;DR Version

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We have successfully thrown a ton of acronyms and terms at the user in this guide.

So it is only appropriate that we do a bit of a simple and straightforward recap.

In short, the new AC wifi router is the user’s best bet if the user wants a Wifi connection with future-proof capabilities.

Users can always buy an N Wifi router dirt cheap from any shop.

But these routers aren’t suitable for users who have subscribed to a high-speed internet connection from their internet service provider.

Users who are already paying for a high-speed internet connection should ensure that they spend an appropriate amount of time and money in a Wifi router that has the ability to handle all of that data transfer.

An image featuring a computer and a smartphone while being connected to the Wi-Fi router

Ideally, users should look for a router that can extend the internet service provider’s speed to all of the user’s devices.

Our research shows that users should either go for a tri-band Wifi router or a dual-band router.

And leave the single band router alone.

The other thing users need to know is the size of the space that they need their Wifi router to cover.

After that, it is just a matter of a bit of planning.

There are some high-end WiFi routers that have enough about them to manage remarkable chunks of real estate space.

However, if users want to provide fast access to the absolute bottom corner of their basement then they will need to invest some money in a Wifi range extender.

Some other options include mesh Wifi router kits.

Users should consider these mesh kits if they want their router to hit each and every nook and cranny of their living or working space.

Let’s also talk about users who have a pretty big space to live in and have lots of people close by.

Such users will usually find that there are a lot of people who are trying to connect to the internet simultaneous.

In such cases, a normal Wifi router would slow down data transfer speeds.

An image featuring a mother and her son watching something on their laptop while being connected to their Wi-Fi router

We suggest that users, under such conditions, should go with a Wifi router that offers two 5GHz bands.

With that said, users should only go for a Wifi router that offers a high transfer rate if they think that they will upgrade their internet service provider internet package very soon in the future.

Keeping that context in mind, we also think that if users want to further future-proof their router and the speed on offer then they should look for Wifi routers (and devices) with the MU-MIMO feature.

In the end, advanced users should select a Wifi router that comes with lots of customization options.

Users who have this knack of tinkering with lots of settings should go for routers that offer those “lots of settings”.

The vast majority of the users though, would want to purchase a Wifi router that is just plug n play.

Such routers give a lot less worry to users.

Moreover, such users also tend to save a lot of time when they finally go to a mall to buy a wifi router.

Difference Between Dual-Band And Tri-Band WiFi Routers

DUAL-BAND Routers

An image featuring dual band router concept

As mentioned before, dual-band routers not only support the older 2.4 GHz wireless-N standard but they also support the 5 GHz frequency band.

They do that by shunning the older wireless-N standard and adopting the newer and much faster 802.11ac standard.

From a theoretical perspective, any router that supports the new 802.11ac standard has the capability to support combined speeds up to 2000 Mbps and sometimes even more.

Households that have multiple types of devices connected to the same network are most suited to routers of such types.

As alluded to earlier, users should imagine different bands as different freeways.

What users should also do is think of all the other Wifi networks around the user’s own router as semi-trucks.

Since, the 2.4 GHz band has been around the block for over a decade, the “freeway” is filled with 2.4 GHz semi-trucks.

That traffic has effectively clogged the freeway as far as the 2.4 GHz band is concerned.

An image featuring a drawn traffic in the city with cars concept

However, this isn’t the case with the new 5 GHz freeway.

It is new.

And is fairly devoid of any traffic jams.

The 5 GHz band is not only newer but it is also much faster and offers users a more stable connection.

This may not sound too ground-breaking for some users.

But people who live in a populated city or even an apartment building can certainly take advantage of newer frequency bands.

Just like single-band routers, dual-band routers come in different shape and sizes.

To put it in simpler words, dual-band routers sometimes offer useful perks that users simply would not find in older router models.

To take an example, most dual-band routers support technologies such as MU-MIMO.

An image featuring multiple drawn people working together

Tri-band routers make a smart investment on part of the user if the user wants the latest Wifi routers and wants to future-proof his/her Wifi connection for, at the very least, a couple of years or more.As mentioned before, this technology helps users to improve the way the user’s WiFi connection interacts with the user’s multiple internet-enabled devices.

Wifi routers that don’t have support for technologies such as MU-MIMO only have the ability to pay attention to a single internet-enabled device at any given time.

Of course, users can still connect and use multiple devices to the router.

Users should think of Wifi routers with no MU-MIMO support as if these routers are on a lazy Susan.

In even simpler terms, they can only send data to the user’s gaming console, smart TV and/or laptop in turn.

And we all know how slow the Lazy Susan spins.

Of course, the speed of even the most basic single-band router ensures that the user never notices this effect.

But if the user has lots of devices on the same network, then these devices would have a hard time catching data.

Routers with the MU-MIMO feature have the ability to maintain a constant and fast connection to a multiple number of internet-enabled devices at the same time.

So if a user is trying to stream some content from YouTube while some kids on the same network are trying to play Splatoon, the network will not jam.

Thus enabling a smoother online experience.

Pros

  • Dual-band routers are fast becoming the market standard. They surpass their cousins from the single-band family in terms of cost, there are many entry level cheap dual-band routers
  • Today’s modern hardware requires more stability and range than what single-band routers can provide. Dual-band routers fit the bill perfectly.
  • Dual-band routers have full compatibility with all the latest 5 GHz-friendly internet-enabled devices such as PlayStation 4 Pro, iPhone 7 and Google Pixel series smartphone devices.
  • Users get to use, at least, twice the total bandwidth that single-band routers offer. Sometimes the amount of bandwidth available is even more.
  • Setup is mostly plug n play.

Cons

  • Users will still experience more interference if they are using the older 2.4 GHz band but as more and more users and devices migrate to the 5GHz band, it will get crowded sooner rather than later.
  • The number of devices connected to the same network at the same time can impact speeds by a good margin
  • The 2.4 GHz band has a longer range than 5 GHz band where the environment is filled with random obstacles such as furniture, doors, and walls.

Tri-Band Routers

An image featuring a router that has three band

Okay, let’s end the confusion right here and right now.

Tri-band routers way more bandwidth than dual-band routers.

They have only hit the router scene a couple (or more) years ago.

Tri-band routers have the capability to offer multiple Gigabit connection speeds.

Sometimes, they can go way beyond 4000 Gbps on just the 5GHz band.

Now, is also a good time to mention the obvious.

The “tri” in tri-band Wifi routers refers to the fact that tri-band routers feature two of those newer 5GHz band and one of the older 2.4 GHz band.

And since tri-band routers offer a total of two radio highways for the user’s 5GHz data to move through, tri-band routers are able to reduce Wifi signal interference by a huge margin.

We know that dual-band devices do the same as well, but tri-band routers reduce it to a greater extent.

Tri-band routers come with advanced automated features such as Linksys Smart Connect.

Such features help tri-band Wifi routers to steer the user’s Internet-enabled devices to the more favorable 5 GHz band.

An image featuring multiple drawn devices being connected to one Wi-Fi router

Of course, that doesn’t mean they can’t do the same for older internet-enabled devices that make use of 2.4 GHz band.

Users should think of this feature as an extra lane on the interstate highways.

Or imagine downtown roads having special lanes for bikes.

Such features enable tri-band routers to perform really well under environments where there are a lot of 5 GHz devices that are continuously eating up data.

Tri-band routers make a smart investment on part of the user if the user wants the latest Wifi routers and wants to future-proof his/her Wifi connection for, at the very least, a couple of years or more.

Pros

  • Tri-band routers are more resilient when it comes to negatively affecting Wifi speeds on a network with lots of connected devices.
  • These new routers come with three separate Wifi frequency bands which essentially means users get to use three times the bandwidth of single-band and dual-band routers.
  • Tri-band routers provide users with the ability to dedicate each given frequency band to the office or home.
  • The more the number of bands a WiFi router offers, the less is the interference.
  • Tri-band routers come with faster CPUs and that enables faster data transfers. Faster processors also enable tri-band routers to handle multiple internet-enabled and WiFi connected devices more smoothly.

Cons

  • Tri-band routers cost way more than single-band and double-band Wifi routers.
  • Users who haven’t purchased multiple 5GHz compatible internet-enabled devices would find it hard to notice any improvement in speeds.

The last point is fairly significant.

Users who live in a studio apartment and only have a smartphone, a laptop, and a gaming console, should probably stay put with their dual-band Wifi routers.

However, users who plan on streaming content from Netflix in 4K on the ground floor while their spouse is simultaneously streaming recipe videos on Youtube on his/her tablet while working in the kitchen and their kids are gaming online in addition to the guest that harbors an addiction for World of Warcraft, should definitely think about upgrading to tri-band routers.

Why?

Because that third 5GHz will come in real handy when everybody is taxing the network to the maximum.

Difference Between Wireless-AD, Wireless-AC, Wireless-N, and Wireless-G.

An image featuring a drawn figure holding the Wi-Fi logo

Most people are satisfied with referring to all types of Wireless Internet connection as simply Wifi connection.

However, that isn’t the case.

Of course, this problem isn’t unique to WiFi connections as people tend to do the same for a lot of other technical jargon as well.

What we mean to say is that people often misuse the term WiFi.

Regardless, this section is about people who are constantly asking themselves questions on why their internet connection or WiFi connection is slow.

Who came up with these standards?

Short answer:

Folks over at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Long answer:

Let’s see.

An image featuring the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers logo

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or the IEEE, is a professional organization that acts as the standard bearer for various electronics discussions and publications among various communities of working professionals.

Setting a given wireless standard is very important.

Why?

Because, we live in a world where there is a multitude of manufacturing companies creating tons of wireless networking products.

We know them as routers.

Manufacturing entities are also creating wireless networking devices such as:

An image featuring multiple wireless networking devices

With a wireless standard at hand, all of these devices have the opportunity to start on exactly the same page.

As a community, people would run into a lot of problems if particular wireless networking devices only connected to specific routers and that too only at certain places.

Needless to say, that would cause a massive loss of internet continuity for probably millions of users worldwide.

Such a scenario could cause mass headaches and frustration.

That is the reason why, various wireless networking standards like, Wireless-G and Wireless-N have gone through multiple versions/iterations.

These iterations are sometimes referred to as drafts.

And they keep these standards in that state until a committee finally settles upon their publication and, afterward, mass usage.

An image featuring multiple devices concept

So in short, the IEEE 802.11n wireless networking standard came into existence to enhance network throughput.

What is network throughput?

It is the maximum transmission and speed capability of a given network.

The 802.11n offer vast improvements over the previous two standards i.e
● 802.11g
● 802.11a

To take an example, the vast majority of coffee shops use hotspot routers (to run Wifi networks) which are based on Wireless-G (max speed 54 Mbps) and sometimes even Wireless-B (11 Mbps).

To make matters worse, these networks have to deal with a lot of people who are connected to it simultaneously.

That’s why most users experience slow connection when they are at a coffee shop and hence are unable surf on the internet smoothly.

This is the exact reason why people consider the Wireless-N standard so significant.

Essentially it increased the network’s maximum data transmission rate to 600-900 Mbps.

That is more than a tenfold increase from the previous standard’s maximum transmission rate of 54 Mbps.

But that’s not the only good thing that Wireless-N did.

It also managed to open up an extra spectrum area for more wireless transmission.

In turn, this enabled users to make use of a total of four spatial streams.

All these streams had a channel width of 40 MHz.

The channel width of Wireless-G standard was around 20 MHz.

Moreover, the 802.11n standard also managed to provide support and technical specifications for the MIMO or multiple-input multiple-output technology.

Apart from that, the new 802.11n standard increase network security.

It also improved many other features.

Our research shows that, currently, the most popular Wireless-N routers are,

An image featuring a comparison between the ASUS RT-N16 and the Dark Knight Asus RT-N66U

Wireless-AC: What Is It?

An image featuring drawn people connected to the internet concept

People involved with developing the 802.11n standard are still hard at work to enhance it further.

But those enhancements are still in draft phase.

So people are testing it, as we write this.

However, certain new Wifi routers do support these draft enhancements.

The improved version of the 802.11n standard is 802.11ac.

Sometimes it is referred to as Wireless-AC.

The industry if increasingly formalizing Wireless-AC as a standard.

Now, one can find many WiFi routers that support this standard.

Some of the devices that include support for the Wireless-AC standard are,

An image featuring an Roku and an iPhone device

One can count almost all new streaming devices in there as well.

WiFi routers such as Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT and Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT both support the maximum performance Wireless-AC standard.

Wireless-AD: What Is It?

An image featuring wireless-ad concept

The most recent standard is Wireless-AD.

It is faster than any other wireless network standard before it.

But what is it that separates Wireless-AD from the common Wifi connections that we find everywhere else?

Well, it is the fact that the Wireless-Ad makes use of 60 GHz spectrum band.

Yes.

That’s 60GHz.

Most dual-band and tri-band routers today use 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands.

That’s how fast the wireless-AD standard really is.

Moreover, the maximum throughput of the Wireless-AD standard is around 7Gbps.

How much is that?

Well, consider this.

The 7Gbps mark is about 4Gbps higher than what users can expect from Wireless-AC max speed limit.

So why aren’t more people and devices adopting this standard?

The problem with Wireless-AD standard is that it doesn’t offer any backward compatibility.

An image featuring three drawn people being connected to Wi-Fi and using a smartphone and texting concept

In simpler terms, there aren’t a whole lot of devices that support the Wireless-AD standard.

In fact, we don’t think there is a single commercial grade device available yet.

For the end user, that means the current devices available in the market don’t have the capacity to take advantage of the newer Wireless-AD standard’s maximum speed.

In terms of future-proofing one’s WiFi router, of course, it would help if one looks for a router that has the Wireless-AD feature.

With that said, until and unless the Wireless AD standard replaces the older Wireless-AC standard in order to become the industry’s new standard, users should probably go with routers that only have the Wireless-AC feature.

An image featuring a drawn person using his laptop

Users should have no problems in understanding the fact that they are wasting their time by hanging onto their older and slower Wireless-G router.

Should I Upgrade From Wireless-G And Wireless-N To Wireless-AC?

They are also giving up a lot of security features as well as speed.

Not only that, these users are inadvertently hindering all the new wireless capabilities of modern internet-enabled devices.

Remember that if you have an iPad and you connect to the internet via a Wireless-G router network, then basically what you’re trying to do is to catch a fish with the help of nothing but a stick.

Of course, there is a slim chance that you might catch a fish.

An image featuring a drawing of a person holding a smartphone in his hand

But in terms of efficiency, it is a horribly slow method.
Remember, upgrading from Wireless-N or Wireless-G to Wireless-AC is nothing like upgrading from iPhone 6S to iPhone 7.

In the case of smartphones, the user is only trying to buy a sleeker and slightly faster device that has all the latest features that the user can play with.

On the other hand, with a wireless standard upgrade, the user is looking at massive enhancements in wireless connectivity.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the Wireless-G, Wireless-N and Wireless AC standards.

Wireless-G vs Wireless-N
Max ThroughputRangeChannel Width
Wireless-AD: 1200-7200 MbpsWireless-G:
75 ft
Wireless-AC: 20/40/80 MHz
Wireless-AC: 1200-5300 MbpsWireless-N: 200-500 ftWireless-N: 40 MHz
Wireless-N: 600-900 MbpsWireless-G : 20 MHz
Wireless-G:
54 Mbps
Wireless-B: 11 Mbps

Is There Any Benefit Of Purchasing A Wifi Router That Is Pre-Configured With A VPN Service Like NordVPN?

An image featuring a drawing of a pre-configuration concept

Yes.

The most important benefit of having a VPN service pre-configured with a given router is that users have the opportunity to unlock the real potential of their Wifi router and they don’t even have to take the risk of damaging and/or bricking their router.

When a user has ordered a VPN-enabled router, all that the user needs to do when it arrives is to enter his/her username and password.

The user will also have to input the desired VPN service domain in order to make the router work properly.

Is There A Way To Find Out My Router’s Model And Brand Name?

An image featuring a drawing of a monitor while finding out some information concept

Yes.

Most of the time, the Wifi router’s official model, and the brand name is written on the official router box.

That is, the box the router came to your place when you bought it.

Sometimes, router manufacturers also include that information on the WiFi router itself.

Generally speaking, users should find their router model and brand name on a sticker that is present either under the router or on its back.

What Should I Do If I Have Two Routers?

The greatest advantage of using two routers is that users can easily alternate between a VPN connection and a regular unprotected internet connection.

How To Connect Two Routers?

The exact setup will, of course, depend on the type of WiFi router that the user has.

Let’s explain what we mean here.

The user may have a situation like this:

An image featuring how to connect two routers setup one

Or the user may have a setup like this,

An image featuring how to connect two routers setup two
An image featuring three drawn people holding Wi-Fi routers in their hands

What users need to ensure is that each of their routers is on a different set of networks or subnets.

To take an example, if the user has his/her first router on 192.168.1.1 then the second router should use a subnet along the lines of 192.168.2.1

Users should never have more than one router on a single subnet.

Multiple routers on the same subnet can cause major IP conflicts.

If you don’t know how to find your router IP address then, on the Windows platform,

● Hit Windows Key and R.
● Then type cmd.
● After that click OK.
● When that is done, and you can see a new
black window open up, type ipconfig there.
● From the resulting information, take a look
at where it says Default Gateway. That is
the router IP.

It should be along the lines of 192.168.1.253 or something.

An image featuring some information from the Command Prompt

After the user has made sure that both his/her routers are using different subnets then he/she can easily proceed to the next step of installing a VPN service on the routers.

In Conclusion

An image featuring a mother and her son watching something on their laptop while being connected to their Wi-Fi router

As you can see, a powerful router will definitely improve your entertainment activities, but without the correct firmware, the change won’t be complete. Today’s routers are quite capable but most of them are limited by a basic firmware that won’t allow the user to configure his/her network.

However, flashing a router (or installing a new firmware) can be a difficult job and may lead to material loss if not performed correctly. That’s why routers that come with a firmware upgrade from the producer are quite popular these days.

For Those That Don’t Know Anything About WiFi Routers

In the world of fast Internet connectivity and new technologies, it’s important to be connected wherever you are.

The fact that we can check our emails, update on our friends’ status and keep in touch with the latest news regardless of location allows us to function better in both professional and personal plans.

But all these wouldn’t have been possible without WiFi and wireless routers.

This is why today we are going to focus our attention on WiFi or wireless routers and consider the best products on the market.

But first, let’s focus on a few technical terms.

The router and the wireless router are two pieces of technology that often seem confusing to less technical people.

However, we all have at least one of these devices in our homes and it’s important to make sure we understand how they work.

First, you need to know that the router is the device that takes care of finding the best route for all the data packets you receive via a network (the Internet, usually).

This way, the information is delivered to the owner quickly.

Even more, routers are among the safest devices to use in a network as modern models also provide basic security protocols.

A wireless router is a regular router that also has the possibility to act as a wireless access point.

According to the model, the router is capable of delivering a wireless signal on a certain area around itself so you will be able to connect online without needing any wires.

These devices allow us to use the Internet on our smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, Smart TVs and other mobile devices around the house.

In conclusion, the router is that device that routes your Internet traffic and allows multiple devices to connect simultaneously.

According to your needs, the types of routers available on the market are quite different, but they all perform the same basic function.

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
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