Best Wireless Routers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 6, 2020
It is impossible to imagine our present-day life without having an Internet connection. On top of that, a wireless connection is particularly comfortable to use. We have selected 5 of the best Wi-Fi routers so that you can choose the one that suits your needs. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Operating range
Frequency bands
Throughput
Interface
Access control
Warranty
 
PROS

With a 3200 Mbps cap, not even the largest family hosting an extravagant party will be able to run out of data. Meanwhile, Circle® Smart Parental Controls allow restricting access to certain devices or websites, as well as setting up the duration of sessions online.

CONS

The device requires quite a bit of space.

OUR VERDICT

The Netgear R8000-100UKS is the kind of wireless router that you acquire if you absolutely need to secure a reliable connection for a sizable group of people and cover the largest possible area. It isn't a cheap solution, but it's the one you invest in if you value quality above anything else.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Very large houses, large offices

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

3200 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 600 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1300 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1300 Mbps)

Interface

1 x Wan (RJ45) port, 4 x Lan (RJ45) ports, 1 x 3.0 USB port, 1 x 2.0 USB port

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK)

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Thanks to the MU-MIMO Technology, the device creates 3 simultaneous connections for sending over 3 data streams to several connected devices. As a result, even when exchanging a large amount of data, the delays will be minimal.

CONS

The case is very hot during prolonged use.

OUR VERDICT

This router is ideal for gamers who wish to gain an advantage over rivals not only due to their high skill, but also due to low ping times. HomeCare Antivirus (featured by MicroTrend ™) reliably protects your Wi-Fi network from hacking.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Large houses, medium offices

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

2300 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 600 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1625 Mbps)

Interface

1 x Wan (RJ45) port, 4 x Lan (RJ45) ports, 1 x 3.0 USB port, 1 x 2.0 USB port

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK), HomeCare Antivirus, Parental Controls and Guest Network

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The button on the back of the router allows users to switch on and off the wireless Internet. Thanks to this, it's possible to quickly ban all Wi-Fi devices from the Internet access.

CONS

Parental controls are rather limited.

OUR VERDICT

The TP-LINK AC1200 will greatly surprise you not only with its high speed but also with its affordable price. A big operating range of the Internet, access to files within one network, and little time spent on tuning the router make this model a great choice for any customer.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Medium

Frequency bands

2.4 GHz, (IEEE 802.11n/g/b)

5 GHz (IEEE 802.11ac/n/a)

Throughput

Dual-band: 300 + 867 Mbps

Interface

3 LAN ports, 1 LAN/WAN port, 1 RJ11 port, 1 USB 2.0 port

Access control

Web-based setup, Tether app

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The built-in SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port allows you to connect an external hard drive and use it as NAS storage. There is a “TURBO” button on the front of the router, which optimizes the network (by clearing the cache) and speeds up packet transfer.

CONS

The setup process takes a lot of time (and some skill).

OUR VERDICT

If every family member has several modern gadgets in your house and a large-screen LED TV-set is installed in your living room, then we recommend purchasing this model: the powerful dual-core processor copes with many problems without any performance issues.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Very large houses, large offices

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

3000 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 400 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1733 Mbps + 5 GHz - 867 Mbps)

Interface

1 x Wan (RJ45) port, 4 x Lan (RJ45) ports, 1 x 3.0 USB port

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK), Parental Controls and Guest Network

Warranty

1 year

PROS

All Ethernet ports boast advanced auto-sensing technology: devices connected via a LAN cable automatically exchange data packets to establish the optimal operating mode and maximum transmit / receive speed (up to 100 Mbps).

CONS

No USB ports.

OUR VERDICT

This model is the best suited for small private houses or apartments where you need to organize a stable Wi-Fi connection with a minimal budget. Also, the device can be used as a repeater to expand an existing network.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Small to medium houses

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

1200 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps + 5 GHz - 867 Mbps)

Interface

1 x Wan (RJ45) port, 4 x Lan (RJ45) ports

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK)

Warranty

1 year

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 (R8000)

Internet for Everyone

Every once in a while, there comes a point where you have to say that enough is enough. A moment when you feel like you had it up to here with an unstable Internet connection and you are simply sick and tired of watching a video buffer for minutes on end or suffering through a website taking forever to load. That moment may come to you later in the future or you might have experienced it already. And when it happens, you should definitely consider investing in the NETGEAR R8000-100UKS, a wireless router that will make you forget these annoying experiences like a bad dream.

As you might imagine, this isn't the sort of device you pick up to secure an Internet connection in your apartment. The price and the weight of about 1.1 kilograms alone should suggest that this is the sort of Netgear wireless router you pick up for a large office or an absurdly large house instead of wasting money on multiple routers. Take the kind of speed it offers, for instance. With a 3200 Mbps cap, not even the largest family hosting an extravagant party will be able to run out of data. To top it all off, the model utilises three Wi-Fi bands in order to deliver a fast and reliable connection to as many devices as possible.

Review of NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 (R8000) AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi (USB 3.0, Remote Access, Parental Control App)

Full Control

Now, if we're talking about a device that wouldn't just be able to secure a wireless connection for an entire house but could very well replace up to three different routers on its own, it would have to have a few things up its sleeve in order to deliver on that premise. One of those things is a set of six external adjustable antennas that do not just provide exceptional performance on their own but also come equipped with powerful amplifiers that deliver an outstanding coverage throughout an entire office. Of course, in order to handle that kind of range and speed, the device would require some serious hardware, like a 1 GHz dual-core processor that incorporates three offload processors to boost its performance.

Naturally, a powerful hardware setup requires some serious software to hold its back, and that's where the Smart Connect technology comes in. With the help of the latter, this Netgear router will be able to designate slower and faster devices to separate Wi-Fi bands, securing a fast connection to everyone regardless of the sort of gadget they're using in order to connect to the Internet. However, that's not all there is in terms of software since the model in question will also allow you to access NetGear Genie, a program that is easy to install and the one that will provide you with a personal dashboard to monitor, control, and repair the home network from the comforts of your own smartphone. And if you feel like that still isn't enough for your taste, there's also a free ReadySHARE Vault application that will secure automatic backups for Windows PCs directly to all of the connected USB storage devices.

In conclusion, the NETGEAR R8000-100UKS is the kind of wireless router that you acquire if you absolutely need to secure a reliable connection for a sizable group of people and cover the largest possible area. It isn't a cheap solution, but it's the one you invest in if you value quality above anything else and if you're the kind that likes to have full control over your network.

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 (R8000) AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi (USB 3.0, Remote Access, Parental Control App) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK Archer AC2300

Great Gaming Router

Anyone who plays games online competitively knows how important it is to have a high-performing Internet connection. Every last move made in a game needs to be updated instantly, as even the slightest bit of lag can be the difference between winning and losing. What many people don't realize, though, is that many of the performance issues that hamper online gaming are actually caused by the person's router, which is responsible for handling all Internet traffic coming to and from their home. With the TP-LINK Archer AC2300 MU-MIMO Dual Band Gigabit Gaming Router, such lag issues are a thing of the past.

This dual-band wireless router has a number of features that will help optimize your Internet connection, not just for gaming but for all activity, which will have a positive result on anything you do online. The dual-band technology works at both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums, with the latter frequency being the best used for online gaming thanks to its extremely low ping times. Along with that, the speeds provided by both frequencies are more than fast enough to make sure your own home network doesn't become the bottleneck in your total Internet performance, as they are capable of handling even the fastest speeds by any Internet provider.

Review of TP-LINK Archer AC2300 MU-MIMO Dual Band Gigabit Gaming Router (USB 3.0, Parent Control, VPN)

High-Performance Routing

One of the great technologies built into this router is the MU-MIMO technology, which works to help separate traffic from your different devices into separate, distinct channels. The router can create up to three separate channels that are all handled independently from each other, maximizing the throughput that you get through each device, ensuring that traffic from one channel doesn't clog up the entire bandwidth of the router. This means that all devices are ensured great Internet transfer speeds, even if one device is using much more data than the others.

The WiFi performance of this router is nothing to sneeze at either. The router includes three antennae that provide excellent wireless coverage throughout your home or office, helping to eliminate deadspots or areas which may otherwise have spotty wireless access. The wireless networking speed is helped quite a bit thanks to the Broadcom Nitro QAM Technology, which helps optimize wireless traffic and thus boosts your wireless access speeds by up to 25 percent. There is even extra protection from hacking, thanks to the included HomeCare Antivirus software. For those who need a wireless router that helps ensure the best possible network performance, this router will be a great choice.

TP-LINK Archer AC2300 MU-MIMO Dual Band Gigabit Gaming Router (USB 3.0, Parent Control, VPN) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK Archer VR400

No Hesitation between Modem and Wireless Router

A modem or a wireless router: what should I buy? If you're obsessed with this question and can't make up your mind what will suit your needs better, then the TP-LINK AC1200 will relieve you of this hard choice. It can work both as a DSL modem and as a wireless router. It's provided with a DSL port which works with DSL connections such as VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2, and ADSL. As a router, it has WAN and LAN ports that allow users to quickly set up fast Internet connection. Whatever happens, you're always online.

The speed of the Internet with this model won't disappoint you. With this router, you can get 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5GHz band, ensuring top performance that should prove to be more than sufficient for your Internet connection. On top of that, the broad operating range makes the TP-LINK AC1200 ideal for establishing a home network that can cover a wide area. If you want to provide your house with a speedy connection, this model will surpass your expectations since you'll get two devices in one for an affordable price.

Review of TP-LINK Archer VR400 AC1200 Dual Band VDSL/ADSL Wireless Router (USB, Parental Control)

Incomparable Wired Performance

The different ports provided by this wireless router allow for flexible connectivity options, which should especially suit those who need to connect different types of devices to the home network. If you connect an external hard drive or SSD to the router's USB 2.0 port, you can swiftly exchange audio and video files, images, documents, etc. with other devices of the network, as the drive will act as a network storage solution for your home network. Thanks to the Gigabit Ethernet ports, which are capable of functioning ten times faster than regular Ethernet, your wired gadgets will reach unparalleled performance, giving them every bit the same amount of bandwidth as your wireless devices. In short, you can expect top-notch network performance from any device that connects to this router.

TP-LINK Archer VR400 AC1200 Dual Band VDSL/ADSL Wireless Router (USB, Parental Control) in the use

Simplicity in Use

If you're looking for a router that will take you a lot of time to set up and will be challenging to manage, this model is definitely not for you. The TP-LINK AC1200 will take just a few minutes to setup and get running as the base for your home network. It has an intuitive web interface and a Tether app which will save your time and effort with the setup process. In addition, with the Tether app, you can control your network remotely from any Android or iOS device. Whether you want to create a guest network or restrict your kids' access to certain sites, the Tether app will be your reliable assistant. In the end, anyone who uses a DSL connection and needs to replace an existing modem and router combo will find this wireless router to be the perfect solution.

Detailed review of TP-LINK Archer VR400 AC1200 Dual Band VDSL/ADSL Wireless Router (USB, Parental Control)

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Wavlink (RY-533A8-UK)

Reliable Networking

The Wavlink (RY-533A8-UK) AC3000 Tri-Band Gigabit Ethernet WiFi Router has a lot to offer any home or office that requires many devices connected to the network at once. What it really has to offer, though, should be explained through the concept of what constitutes a reliable Internet connection.

Most Internet problems that people experience, whether they be exceptionally slow loading times, high ping rates, or even unstable connections, are often caused by the router. Many home Internet routers were designed to only handle a minimal amount of internal traffic, instead of focusing on just providing a stable connection with the Internet provider. This, of course, is important, but in today's world, the internal operation of a router is just as important, if not more so. Having many different devices on a network can really bog down its performance, especially if the router doesn't have sufficiently powerful hardware to handle all of the network requests.

With this particular issue, the Wavlink AC3000 really shows off its strength. This router is powered by a dual-core processor that is made to handle many different tasks at once, ensuring that the router is more than powerful enough to handle a bevy of different devices all needing access to the Internet at the same time.

Review of Wavlink (RY-533A8-UK) AC3000 Tri-Band Gigabit Ethernet WiFi Router (USB 3.0, Parental Control App)

Strong Wireless Signal

Another great feature of this router is in the quality of the wireless signal it offers. This tri-band router offers wireless connectivity on three separate frequencies to ensure that all of your devices are able to connect with a strong signal and without the problem of wireless interference. The wireless is handled by the whopping 8 antennae that are included on the router, ensuring that you get a strong signal anywhere in your home or office. Gamers, in particular, will appreciate this, as the strong and fast wireless signal ensures low ping times that help give them an advantage in any online game.

Plenty of other features are included here as well. Connecting a guest to the network is as easy as touching a button on the router, which means you don't need to worry about giving out your WiFi password to everyone who visits. There is also a Smart App available for your smartphone that allows you to easily manage your wireless network, preventing the need to login through a computer. The only thing to note here with this device is that it can be a bit time-consuming to initially setup the device and the wireless network, and it is best done by someone who has some skill with doing so. Outside of that, though, once it is up and running, this router will give you an extremely stable and fast wireless network that can handle the needs of any home.

Wavlink (RY-533A8-UK) AC3000 Tri-Band Gigabit Ethernet WiFi Router (USB 3.0, Parental Control App) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Wavlink AC1200

Strong Budget Router

Not everyone needs the most powerful wireless router on the market, as not everyone live in a large home with dozens of Internet-ready devices. In fact, many of the routers on this list are complete overkill for anyone living in a small home or apartment. Regardless, even for such cases there is still a need for a strong and stable wireless Internet connection, and that is exactly what the Wavlink AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Router provides. This router contains many of the great features that are in more expensive models, but scales them to be appropriate for smaller residences with fewer devices while still being extremely affordable for everyone.

First off, this router is not lacking in features despite its budget price. This is a dual-band router that provides the same features of more expensive models, including the ability to work well with multiple devices connected simultaneously, providing access speeds of up to 1167Mbps. The router is helped by the four antennae that help provide thorough wireless coverage throughout the home, ensuring that you have a strong and stable connection wherever you are. On top of that, this router can even act as a wireless repeater for those who are in a larger home or office and need to expand their existing wireless network.

Review of Wavlink AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Router (WLAN Access Point/Repeater Mode)

Well-Balanced Networking

One of the best selling points in this router is how well it is able to handle both wired and wireless network connections. The router, in addition to its already mentioned wireless capabilities, includes four auto-sensing Ethernet ports that automatically detect any devices connected to them. All wired devices are detected to determine the optimal operating mode, ensuring that you get the best network speed that your device is capable of handling. This helps ensure that both wired and wireless connections maintain fast networking speeds without the need of worrying about one device dragging down the performance of others.

Plenty of other features are packed into this router as well. Setup of the router is quite easy, and managing it is equally so, as you can actually do it with the help of a voice assistant such as Amazon Alexa, or even with your smartphone. All of the latest wireless standards are supported, including 802.11ac, along with all of the most popular wireless encryption for providing maximum security for your home network. About the only negative we can find here is that unlike most of the other routers in this review, this one doesn't include any USB ports for connecting network storage options, but this shouldn't be much of an issue for those who need it for a modest home network. At the end of the day, anyone with a small home or apartment will find this budget router to be the perfect choice.

Wavlink AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Router (WLAN Access Point/Repeater Mode) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Wireless Router?

Almost every home nowadays has a high-speed Internet connection, and anyone who uses more than one Internet-ready device is certainly using a wireless router to handle their connectivity needs. A wireless (or Wi-Fi) router is a special device that is used to provide access to the global network via any Wi-Fi enabled device of your liking, be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet. The connection can be established either by means of wires or wirelessly, which makes it convenient to use them in offices as well as at home for different purposes, including adding the ability to transfer common files with photos, music and video with multiple devices. Along with providing you with a reliable Internet connection, wireless routers can also act as a modem, saving you from the need to buy any other appliances additionally. So, make sure to choose a wireless router offering you all of the features you need and get down to browsing the web with utmost comfort and security.

Another device you might be interested in is a Wi-Fi extender. It will remarkably increase the range of the signal making sure people can access the Internet from all the corners of your house or office.

What Features to Compare

Many people nowadays know at least a little about wireless routers, as many homes have been using them now for a number of years. However, most people aren't experts when it comes to knowing which model is the best wireless router for their needs. There are a large number of characteristics that people should be aware of when choosing a model either for the first time, or to replace an existing router that is no longer able to handle their needs sufficiently. To make our comparison highly informative, and to ensure that most people's needs are covered, we've picked five of the best Wi-Fi routers aimed at various needs and budgets. You can read the details along with the key aspects that need to be considered when choosing a router for your home or office.

Range

When it comes to such appliances as Wi-Fi routers, the range is the most important parameter to pay attention to. The range explains the distance at which the signal will work trouble-free. This way, if you live in a flat or you rent a small room, you can easily go with a low-performing router since the range it provides will be more than enough to provide you with good Internet. Whereas those who live in large houses or work in large offices featuring plenty of walls, hurdles and other obstacles should pay attention to more powerful devices that offer a broader range and have two or more antennas.

Throughput

Also, you need to pay attention to the throughput of a router: it should be higher than the speed of your Internet provider. And if you are going to use one router for several devices, make sure to choose the device that offers the fastest speed. Also, there are different types of wireless protocols which provide a different maximum speed. To get the best deal, make sure to consider this parameter as well.

Connection and Control

When you choose a Wi-Fi router, you also need to check the connection and control features that show how reliable the connection is, whether your wireless router supports a special guest network or not, and whether you can control the number of devices connected to your network. This is particularly important if you are buying a Wi-Fi router for business use.

Interface

Finally, take a look at the interface of your router to make sure it will allow you to connect as many devices as you want. As a rule, there are routers with 1 or 2 USB ports and most of them include several LAN ports as well so you can hook up more gadgets via a wired network (for example, you can connect a PC to a Wi-Fi router).

FAQ:

Q: What should I consider while selecting a router, apart from speed and operating range?
A: Though the speed of the router and operating range are the most important points that will influence your choice, it's also necessary to pay attention to some other details. You should examine the ports that the router has. LAN ports connect devices to the router with an Ethernet cable while USB ports are necessary for connecting to external drives. In addition, the router should have several antennas because they enhance the operating range. And don't overlook the router's construction and design. For example, some routers can be fastened to the wall which is very convenient.

Q: What is the WPA2 encryption and do I need it?
A: You certainly need to secure your network and WPA2 encryption is one of the best ways to do this. Although WEP and WPA are also in use, they are dated and thus can't protect your network as WPA2. It enables you to set a password for your network, so each device that tries to connect to the network will need to have this password entered. It's especially important if you live in an apartment or work in the office center.

Q: If I need a wireless router for a big office, how can I choose a good one?
A: Routers used in large offices ought to be especially powerful. They should operate properly regardless of the number of connected devices. That's why you need to get a 802.11ac router which has 5GHz throughput. Tri-band routers usually cover a larger operating range than dual-band ones (up to 5,000 sq ft). And don't forget to protect your network with a reliable password.

Q: Can I set up the router on my own?
A: Certainly! The majority of routers have a straightforward setup process using a web or mobile app which will take you a few minutes. In addition, mobile apps are further used for remote network management.

Q: As a parent, I want to protect my kids from bad websites. Can a router help me?
A: Modern wireless routers often have an option of the parental control. It allows parents to set certain Internet limitations, for example, ban access to inappropriate sites. Besides, in this way, parents can keep track of sites their children frequently use and block improper ones.

Q: How can a guest network be useful for me?
A: If you often have guests or you're a host of Airbnb, then it's a good idea to have a separate guest network. It's an additional network for people who visit your house. You won't need to share with guests your personal security password since the guest network will have its own one.

Sources:

1. Tyler Lacoma Confused about Wi-Fi routers? Here’s how to buy the right one for your home, DIGITAL TRENDS. November 30, 2015.

2. Wireless Router Buying Guide, Consumer Reports.

3. How to Choose a Wireless Router, wikiHow.

4. Dong Ngo Networking buying guide, CNET. September 14, 2016.

5. Ivan Mehta Buying a Wi-Fi Router? Here Are the Features and Specifications That Matter, Gadgets360. March 30, 2015.

6. Wireless router, Wikipedia. October 5, 2016.

7. Jon Barrow How to buy the best wireless router, Which?

8. Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Wireless Internet Router, eBay.

9. Vinay Prajapati 7 Things to Know Before Buying a Wireless Router for Your Home, TechPrevue. May 16, 2016.

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