Best Wireless Routers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 10, 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

This router includes the advanced protection system AiProtection (Powered by Trend Micro™): the web reputation (WRS) of all incoming traffic is carefully monitored to protect you from possible hacking of your home network.

CONS

Initial network setup requires a lot of time.

OUR VERDICT

This router from Asus is equipped with a powerful 1.8GHz 64bit Dual-Core processor, so it is perfect for people who have a lot of Smart-devices (mobile gadgets, laptops, TVs, etc.) in the house. It also copes perfectly with 4K video streaming.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Very large houses, large offices

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

2900 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 750 Mbps + 5 GHz - 2167 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), AiProtection (Powered by Trend Micro™)

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The settings menu has a simple and intuitive interface, so even a person who does not have much experience in creating and configuring Wi-fi networks can definitely figure it out. Can be easily configured through any computer or mobile OS.

CONS

Some customers find indicator lights too bright, which can be distracting during nighttime.  

OUR VERDICT

This 2-in-1 model can use a wired Internet connection with a speed of up to 300 Mbps via the Wan-port, and can "distribute" the Internet using a 4G network. All you need to do is install a 4G SIM card into the slot, and all users of the Wi-Fi network will be given access to the Internet.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Small apartments

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n

Throughput

300 Mbps (2.4 GHz)

Interface

1 x Wan (RJ45) port, 3 x Lan (RJ45) ports, 1 x SIM-card slot

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK)

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Unique beamforming technology locates connected devices and focuses the Wi-FI signal to deliver the highest data rate for each device (only operates at 5 GHz). It is possible to create a guest network.

CONS

It gets very hot during long term operation.

OUR VERDICT

If you use the Internet via a telephone line, then we recommend purchasing this router: thanks to the built-in VDSL / ADSL modem, you just need to connect a cable to it via the RJ11 Port. By the way, an Ethernet (RJ45) port is also provided here.

detailed parameters
Operating range

Medium to large houses, small offices

Frequency bands

802.11b/g/n/ac

Throughput

1600 Mbps (2.4 GHz - 300 Mbps + 5 GHz - 1300 Mbps)

Interface

1 x VDSL/ADSL (RJ11) port, 1 x Wan/Lan (RJ45) port, 3 x Lan (RJ45) ports, 1 x 2.0 USB port

Access control

WiFi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2—PSK), Guest network access

Warranty

3 years

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 (R8000-100UKS)

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 (R8000-100UKS) Smart Wi-Fi Router

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 (R8000-100UKS) Smart Wi-Fi Router in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ASUS (RT-AC86U)

High Performance and Security

High gaming performance isn't the only thing that most gamers demand from their router. Many other aspects of a router tend to be equally important, not the least of which is security. Having a highly secure router ensures that your home network and all devices connected to it remain secure and away from the access of hackers. The ASUS RT-AC86U AC2900 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router takes these security concerns seriously, and ensures that your home network is securely protected without compromising your gaming performance.

This great wireless router for gaming includes Dual-band (2.4 + 5 GHz) AC2900 support, ensuring that all devices are able to connect using the latest WiFi security protocols. Powering the router is a 1.8GHz 32bit dual-core processor that helps prioritize data and optimize the data path for both gaming and video streaming applications, ensuring peak network performance. Along with the powerful processor and network optimization features is the built-in Aiprotection powered by Trend Micro that keeps your home network and all connected devices safe and secure from external security threats. There is even an ASUS app for mobile devices that allows you to setup and manage your home network from a mobile device. With the high performance features and tight security provided by this router. any gamer would find this to be a welcome addition to their home network.
Review of ASUS (RT-AC86U) Wi-Fi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router

Maximizing Gaming Performance

Just having a router geared towards gaming can help a lot with improving your networked and online gaming performance, but there are other things that can be done as well to give you the best frame rates and the fastest updates possible. Below are some ways to help improve your performance when playing online games.

- Close down other applications whenever you are gaming, especially ones that require constant access to the Internet. These applications may be taking up extra resources on your computer, as well as using up some of the overall bandwidth of your Internet connection. Closing these apps down will ensure that your gaming experience can use the maximum amount of resources possible.

- Trying doing your serious gaming outside of peak Internet usage times. Since the lack of bandwidth available isn't always coming from your own household, doing your serious gaming sessions outside of peak usage hours (usually early evening) will ensure that you are getting the best network performance possible, minimizing network performance issues.

ASUS (RT-AC86U) Wi-Fi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK (TL-MR6400)

2-in-1 Router

With the prevalence of mobile networks nowadays, not everyone needs to have their own home Internet connection. After all, most smartphones and many tablets rely heavily on having a mobile Internet connection, which is included with most smartphone plans from mobile carriers. As such, there are times when it makes more sense to rely on the mobile Internet connection rather than having to use your home Internet. However, there are very few ways to take advantage of the high speeds offered by your mobile Internet connection. Furthermore, having to use that connection for just one device can seem like a waste.

The TP-LINK TL-MR6400 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Router is the perfect device for allowing you to take advantage of having speedy mobile Internet. This 2-in-1 model can use a wired Internet connection with a speed of up to 300 Mbps via the Wan-port, and can also distribute Internet access using a 4G network. All you need to do is install a 4G SIM card into the slot, and all users of the Wi-Fi network will be given access to the Internet. This makes this router the perfect solution for those who would rather just use a mobile 4G Internet connection instead of a wired one for their home Internet, especially useful in areas where the wired Internet services available may not be very fast.

Review of TP-LINK (TL-MR6400) 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Router

Easy Configuration

Many people tend to be a bit intimidated when it comes to configuring their router for the first time. This is largely due to the fact that many older routers often had very confusing and complicated configuration screens that made little sense to the average user. Fortunately, this is not the case with this model. The settings menu has a simple and intuitive interface, so even a person who does not have much experience in creating and configuring Wi-Fi networks can definitely figure it out. Furthermore, it can be easily configured through any computer or mobile OS, so which device you use to configure it doesn't matter. If you are using an Android or iOS smartphone, you can even use the Tether App to configure the device in just a few moments.

When it comes to performance, this router is certainly not lacking. This device uses the latest wireless technologies to allow up to 32 wireless devices to connect to the network. In addition, the router contains four Ethernet ports that will allow wired devices to be connected as well, so you can use all of the devices in your house on this router. With its flexibility in use, as well as its ability to be easily configured, this 2-in-1 router is the perfect solution for letting you use your 4G internet for all the devices in your home.

TP-LINK (TL-MR6400) 4G Mobile Wi-Fi Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TP-LINK (Archer VR600 V2)

Integrated DSL Modem/Router

Some of the more popular types of routers in use today are those that function both as modems and routers. Why these are popular is pretty simple: they integrate two devices into one, thus removing the need to configure two different devices for use with providing your entire home or office with Internet service. The TP-LINK (Archer VR600 V2) AC1600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router is one such device, integrating a DSL modem into the same unit as the router itself, making it a great choice for anyone who uses DSL Internet service. Considering this unit offers both VDSL and ADSL functionality, it should be compatible with most DSL Internet providers.

Connecting this combo modem and router to your Internet service is quite easy and will only take a couple of minutes at most. The unit includes an RJ11 port on the back that brings in the DSL signal from your phone lines and doesn't require any other cables other than for power. Of course, anyone who has a desktop computer without built-in wireless networking will have the option of connecting their computer to this router through the Ethernet (RJ45) port, so you should have all of your bases covered when it comes to the different devices in your home or office.

Review of TP-LINK (Archer VR600 V2) AC1600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router

Focused WiFi Signal

We haven't even touched on the biggest feature of this device yet, which would be its wireless capabilities. This unit isn't a triple band router like some others, but this is hardly a handicap for it. The router is dual-band and utilizes the 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands for communication with your different wireless devices, providing the highest speed throughput so you won't experience any issues with slow performance. On top of that, the unique beamforming technology locates all of your connected devices and focuses the Wi-FI signal to them, delivering the highest data rate for each device, and thus ensuring that they communicate as fast as possible. There shouldn't be any complaints about slow Internet or networking speeds when using this router.

Other features are present here too, including the ability to create a guest network for those who are visiting your home and office, as well as the very intuitive interface for configuring the unit. There is even a USB 2.0 port for connecting an external storage device, letting you share access to the drive to all devices on your network. In short, if you are looking for a very powerful wireless router that also doubles as a modem for your DSL Internet service, then this device should be the right one for you.

TP-LINK (Archer VR600 V2) AC1600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     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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