The average household does not need the same speed and power in a router that a growing company needs. Often, users can spend $200 or more for speed and features they will never fully utilize. From that perspective, we undertook a review to identify the best router under 100 dollars. Based on your individual needs and preferences, we are confident our review will help you identify the best router under 100 for your unique situation.
1. What Is a Router?
A router or wireless router is a device that provides access to the Internet or to a particular computer network. Most routers today are wireless, and they also perform the necessary task of a wireless access point.
Some routers are used in a local area network (LAN) while others serve wireless-only networks. Other routers are used in mixed networks.
2. What Is CPU?
CPU is an abbreviation for a central processing unit. In turn, the central processing unit is sometimes simply called the processor. The CPU is the part of the device that performs calculations and runs programs. It is the brains of the operation.
3. What Is WPA?
WPA is a typical type of password security short for Wi-Fi protected access. It differs from WPA2 because WPA2 uses password protection as well as a Pre-Shared Key (PSK) authentication. WPA2 is, therefore, more secure than WPA.
Another variation is WEP for Wi-Fi components. WEP protection affects a group of devices on a network and determines what information they can exchange as well as necessary encryptions. WEP is common on older devices, though many newer routers still offer it to ensure older devices can be used.
4. What Is a DHCP Server?
A DHCP server is a type of server that provides automatic IP addresses on a given network. It utilizes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to manage client activity.
5. What Is MIMO Technology?
MIMO is a wireless technology that relies on transmitters and receivers to move data at the same time. By doing this, multiple transmitters and receivers can increase the speed of wireless activity.
How We Reviewed
We reviewed 12 routers in hopes of finding the best router under 100 dollars. We looked at each router's price and availability as well as the unique features of each.
Of course, Wi-Fi speed is a major factor in choosing the best router, but not every router tests at the same speeds that are theoretically possible. Others may reach fast speeds but suffer from interruptions and dead spots.
We also found interesting features other than speed, such as routers that served as a smart-home hub or a home security center. Other important variables included ease of use and what sort of controls and interfaces were available.
We purposely looked at 12 widely different routers to help you find the product that is just right for you.
Overall Price Range
We reviewed routers ranging from as low as around $25 to as high as $97 as we attempted to locate the best router under 100 dollars. Along the way, we noted a wide variety of prices among individual routers from their retail price to prices available online. For instance, one router had a retail price near $80, but we found multiple deals available under $60.
Even though routers "under $100" sound like they are all in a particular price category, the difference between $25 and $97 is significant for many shoppers. As you look through the routers we reviewed, consider whether different products justify the difference in price. One router may be better than another, but is it really $72 better? Only you can decide.
What We Reviewed
- TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
- TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router
- NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080)
- ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast Wifi
- NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700)
- Securifi Almond
- Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home (AC1200 Fast Wireless Router)
- Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router
- TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router
- D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router – Smart Dual Band
- Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
- UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router
TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
- Wireless internet router works with Alexa, compatible with all Wi Fi devices, 802; 11AC and older
- Dual band router upgrades to 1750 Mbps high speed internet(450mbps for 2.4GHz + 1300Mbps for 5GHz), reducing buffering and ideal for 4K streaming Comparable to the router NETGEAR R6700
- 3 external antennas for long range Wi Fi
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router utilizes a 720MHz central processing unit (CPU). On a 2.4 GHz band, it can perform at speeds of 450 Mbps, and on the 5 GHz band, it can reach 1,300Mbps.
The router has a number of options on the back, including four LAN ports, a Wan port, three antennas, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. The power and reset buttons are also nearby on the rear. The front of the machine has corresponding LED indicators.
The console is a bit dated, and there can be a considerable lag when saving changes. However, this router offers a number of options, including the ability to make separate guest networks and custom access settings for other users. Else, you can make network-wide access settings.
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router also features advanced routing, VPN Pass-Through options, various firewall settings, port forwarding and triggering, and dual-band options.
In searching for the best router under 100 dollars, the TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router performs like a more expensive product and has the features of higher-end routers.
Where to Buy
TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router
- 1 of wireless routers for Home which is compatible with all Wi Fi devices, 802.11ac and older
- Gigabit router with 4 gigabit LAN ports, fast Access to Multiple connected wired devices, also ideal as gaming router
- Long range Coverage by 3 external antennas; FCC less than 30dBm
The TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9 Smart Wireless Router must be included in a conversation about the best router under 100 dollars. It has impressive wireless speeds in close range and a responsive interface.
This router is very easy to use out of the box, and users consistently appreciate its consistent reliability. While you can easily pay more for faster routers, the TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9 Smart Wireless Router is a great value for its price. It reaches speeds of 1,900 Mbps through simultaneous 2.4GHz 600Mbps and 5GHz 1300Mbps connections.
It is compatible with most WiFi products with beamforming technology. A 1GHz dual-core processor can facilitate a combination of laptops, tablets, and other smart devices. A 3.0 and a 2.0 port allow you to share devices across your network.
Another great feature for a price tag under 100 dollars is the two-year warranty that is part of your purchase, along with technical support available all day, every day.
The product is tall and narrow. It is aesthetically pleasing enough to have in full view, but it cannot be mounted on walls or laid on its side.
Where to Buy
NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080)
- FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1000 sq ft wireless coverage with AC1000 speed (Dual band up to 300 + 700 Mbps).
- RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 15 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices.
Our search for the best router under 100 dollars has brought us way under 100. The NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) is available for as little as around $40, and it meets the basic needs of many customers.
The NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6080) covers up to 1,000 square feet through a pair of high-powered antennas. A dual-band processor helps reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. This is enough for users who like to stream movies and enjoy gaming. Four Ethernet ports ensure the speedy delivery needed for your favorite activities.
The R6080 has manufactured intelligence to alternate between dual bands for maximum performance. This enables the product to support up to 15 devices. The Wi-Fi connections are secured with high-level password protection, firewalls, and the ability to create separate networks for guests.
Parental controls offer another important type of security. You have the ability to use web filtering and determine what sites are accessible to your children or others.
Where to Buy
ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast Wifi
- Dual band AC1300 with the latest 2x2 MU MIMO technology for combined speeds of up to 1267 Mbps
- 4 external 5dBi antennas for improved Wi Fi range and multi device performance; Connected devices must be 802.11ac compatible for best results
- Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS Router App
The ASUS RT-ACRH13 is an affordable and effective router for everyday users. ASUS had previously built a reputation for high-end products geared at serious tech geeks and small businesses, so their RT-ACRH13 is a welcomed addition into the search for the best router under 100 dollars.
We believe ASUS knows that for many common users, numbers above 2,000 Mbps are unnecessary and serve no purpose when a 1,300 Mbps device will do just fine. However, ASUS kept many of its technological perks and aesthetic appearances of some of their existing products.
Unlike some of its more expensive relatives, the RT-ACRH13 is positioned flat to the surface where you put it and lacks any sort of stand or upright option. It does contain rubber feet that help it remain stable during use.
The casing includes ventilation areas that keep the unit cool, and LED lights keep you aware of power, WAN, Wi-Fi, and other interactive notifications. A 3.0 USB port is on the front of the device, and the rear features the power button, power cord input, LAN ports, BaseT RJ45 WAN ports, a WPS Wizard button, and a recessed reset button.
Where to Buy
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700)
- FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1500 square feet wireless coverage with AC1750 speed (Dual band up to 450 plus 1300 Mbps)
- RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 25 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices
- WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports
NETGEAR's R6700 features a 1Ghz dual-core processor that can service a large area with 1,300 Mbps on a 5Ghz band. It can support 450 Mbps on a 2.4 Ghz frequency band.
The router features one 3.0 USB port, a Wi-Fi power button, and a WPS button. Three antennas compliment beamforming technology and provide strong performance over a large service range. The antennas are removable and can be adjusted. NETGEAR R6700 encounters a few dead spots.
NETGEAR offers a Genie App that can help you manipulate your router without needing to boot your computer. Enjoy the ability to listen to music and stream videos through the app. You can also take advantage of parent controls to ensure your children's safety online.
Users have the ability to set up secondary networks for guests, but the Genie App only works on your network, meaning you have full control over all other network users. Simple setup and user-friendly operation give this NETGEAR a definite spot in the lineup as we search for the best router under 100 dollars.
Where to Buy
- 95% of customers SET IT UP IN 3 MINUTES using Touchscreen Wizard; World's 1st TOUCHSCREEN Router
- NO PC/Mac/CD needed for Setup or Management
- MULTI PURPOSE USAGE: Use as primary WiFi Router or Range Extender or Access Point or Wireless Bridge - No built-in DSL modem
A few unusual features help the Securifi Almond 3 set apart as the potential best router under 100 dollars. For instance, the Securifi Almond 3 has a smart-home hub. A smart-home hub allows you to establish an automated network used to control devices and allow them to communicate with each other.
The Almond hub uses Zigbee HA 1.2 radio to allow anything from tablets to washing machines to communicate within your smart home. You can also control your lights, temperature, door locks, and much more.
The Almond 3 also features a touchscreen that makes operation simple and straightforward. You can manipulate the device through a smartphone app or web interface.
Another unique feature is the Almond 3's siren system that can serve as a home security device when communicating with doors, lights, and other scenarios. The router's maximum bandwidth is just under 900 Mbps on 5 GHz and 300 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz frequency band. It has one WAN port and two LAN ports.
Where to Buy
Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home (AC1200 Fast Wireless Router)
- Provides up to 1,000 square feet of WiFi coverage for 10 wireless devices
- Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys app
- Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering
The Linksys Dual-Band WiFi Router for Home comes in a variety of choices. The AC1200 is the model available for under $100; other models include the AC1750, AC1900, AC2200, AC2200 Mesh, and the AC5400.
The AC1200 can service 1,000 square feet of Wi-Fi while servicing 10 or more wireless components. A Linksys app allows users of all skill levels to set up quickly and use the router. The dual bands can reach 300 Mbps on the 2.4 frequency band and just under 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band for a total of about 1,200 Mbps.
The Gigabit Ethernet ports are up to 10 times faster than simple Ethernet. Two antennas are adjustable but not removable, and four LAN ports, a WAN port, and a USB 2.0 port are featured along with a power switch. There is also a reset button on the bottom of the unit.
A Smart Wi-Fi Web interface allows you to interact with widgets, control guest networks, exercise parental controls, view status and settings, and much more. You can also designate network priority for particular apps, games, or other devices.
Where to Buy
Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+Router
- Up to N600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + AC1300 Mbps (5.0 GHz) speeds with Simultaneous Dual Band
- Platform Compatibility : Windows XP, Windows Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64, Windows 8 32/64, Mac 10.5.8 Leopard, Mac 10.6.1 Snow Leopard, Mac 10.7 Lion or later
- Includes Linksys Smart Wi Fi providing easy CD free set up, remote network management, parental control and app enabled networking
The Linksys AC1900 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router is a dual-band Wi-Fi router with smart technology. It can stream data on its dual channels at 600 Mbps and 1,300 Mbps for speeds up to AC 1900. It also downloads in a flash with Gigabit Wi-Fi. Users have all they need to enjoy gaming, videos, and other online interests. Multiple friends and family can enjoy simultaneous online activities with little to no buffering.
The unit has three adjustable antennas to ensure long-range and proper distribution along with one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port. Beamforming technology helps ensure a consistent connection among multiple smart components. The router uses an 800 Mhz CPU for efficient processing.
The Smart Wi-Fi App lets you gain real-time information about your system, prioritize devices, and determine parental controls.
Where to Buy
TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router - Wireless Internet Router
- Wireless N speed up to 450Mbps, ideal for bandwidth intensive tasks like HD video streaming, VoIP, and online gaming. Not compatible with phoneline internet. 802.11n technology, 15x faster with 5x the range of 802.11g, Three antennas for increased coverage and stability, System Requirements Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, Windows8/ 8.1/10, MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux
- IP based bandwidth control allows you to determine how much bandwidth is allotted to each device, WPS button for one touch wireless security encryption. Wireless Modes Router Mode, Range Extender(for V5 and later), Access Point Mode (for V5 and later). Wireless Functions Enable/Disable Wireless Radio, WDS Bridge, WMM, Wireless Statistics
- Parental Controls to manage Internet access on children's or employees's computers, Industry leading 2 year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support
For a thrifty man's special entry in the search for the best router under 100 dollars, the TP-Link N450 Wi-Fi Router is available for around $25. It offers speeds limited to 450 Mbps. Three antennas help to distribute coverage and maintain stability.
Users have the ability to distribute a specific amount of bandwidth to correlating devices. A WPS button enables security encryption, and parental controls can manipulate internet access for children or guests.
Four LAN ports and a 10/100 Mbps WAN port are also featured on the product. Despite its modest price tag, the router still comes with a two-year warranty, and 24-7 access is provided.
Where to Buy
D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router – Smart Dual Band
- AC1200 high speed Router: Fast HD/3D streaming speeds (up to 300 Mbps on 2.4 gigahertz and 867 Mbps on 5 gigahertz)
- Simultaneous dual band Wi-Fi: browse the web on one band while streaming media on the other
- High gain antennas: 4 high powered antennas and amplifiers provide wider coverage throughout your home
The D-Link AC1200 Wifi Router has a dual-band processor for reliable Wi-Fi and a number of user options. The account manager can exercise parental controls, create and oversee guest networks, and designate the components that receive service priority.
The unit is just under 9x6 inches with a width of 1.25 inches. That small body still sports four external antennas, however, the antennas are not removable. Non-removable antennas eliminate the possibility of replacing and/or upgrading.
D-Link also found room for eight led lights that indicate the status of power, Internet, Wi-Fi, WPS, and various ports. The back of the device features four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, and buttons for power and WPS.
The processor reaches maximum speeds of 300 Mpbs on the 2.4 GHz frequency band and almost 900 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. It also features a 660 MGz processor.
A web-based console is a hub for managing the device, while other users prefer the downloadable app available for iOS and Android devices. The home screen is simple and user-friendly, and a Setup Wizard helps users along the way. Control all your network and internet settings through the console or the app, including wireless settings, security settings, Wi-Fi channels, and secondary network settings.
Where to Buy
Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router
- Linux based Internet sharing Router with built in 4 port Switch and Wireless G Access Point
- Shares a single Internet connection (10/100 WAN) with 4 Ethernet wired (10/100 switched LAN ;Compliant with the IEEE 802.11b/g protocol;LEDs: Power, DMZ, WLAN, Ethernet (1, 2, 3, 4), Internet
- Max. Link Rate:54 Mbps; Has 2 External Antennas ; supports WPA2 standards for use of the available encryption regardless of client devices and features a built in SPI firewall to prevent potential attacks from the Internet
Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router is another entry for the best router under 100 dollars that is on the lower end of the price spectrum at around $35. It features a browser configuration tool to manipulate your network and security settings as well as step-by-step instructions to make setup easy.
Choose your encryption settings, DHCP settings, and firewall settings. The Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router has two specific firewall settings to choose from, including the Stateful Packet Inspection and the NAT firewall. The Stateful Packet Inspection helps ensure the legitimacy of your connections, and the NAT protects your computer behind the router.
This router also gives you the ability to block services or select one computer to place outside the firewall while continuing to protect other computers in your network. This feature is handy when certain members of your home want to enjoy gaming or streaming while keeping other users and computers protected.
The product also provides solid password protection. You can choose between WPA or WEP to ensure older machines can still enjoy password protection. The antennas are removable, so you can upgrade or replace them as needed.
A SpeedBooster is a unique perk that comes with the Linksys WRT54GL Wi-Fi Wireless-G Broadband Router. This proprietary speed enhancement is able to increase performance across your network.
Where to Buy
UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router
- Super-fast dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi at up to 1200Mbps. 5 high-gain (7dBi) external antennas offer superior Wi-Fi coverage over an expansive area especially in multiple-story buildings
- USB 2.0 port supports file sharing, easy to configure
- Advanced settings to give every device or group of devices the bandwidth it needs with IP/MAC based QoS
The UTT AC60 Dual Band WiFi Router is a product intended for households running on a 5GHz network. It features five fixed antennas for efficient Wi-Fi coverage that can be effective in homes with multiple levels. It also has a 2.0 USB port for printing, file sharing, and other tasks.
The dual-band processor can reach speeds of 1,200 Mbps by using MIMO technology to increase wireless speed.
Parental controls not only allow you to determine what children can and cannot access, it also lets you put time variables on when they access particular destinations. The user interface is straightforward, and users consistently find it easy to manipulate. A variety of password security options are available along with address filters, whitelist and blacklist options, and operating modes.
Where to Buy
The Verdict on the Best Router Under 100 Dollars
Selecting the best router under 100 dollars was no easy task, and we recognize that our choice may not be your choice. We gave our official nod of approval to the TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router. We love the impressive warranty on the product.
At the end of the day, 1,900 Mbps for under $100 is an incredible deal. The 1 GHz dual-core processor ensures a fast and uninterrupted connection as users stream audio and video, participate in gaming, or enjoy their favorite online activity. Users can even be busy at the same time on multiple devices.
For under $100, the TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router will service most users effectively and sufficiently, and we recommend it without reservation.
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