If you have read my previous article about “best wireless routers in 2021″, then you might already know that I’ve tested 67 routers and divided them into some categories. And the best budget router is one of them.
If you’ve come to this article by the searched query “best wireless cheap routers,” then it is as clear as crystal that you are looking for a budget-friendly, affordable, or inexpensive WiFi router, right? In other words, a router that can come under your budget, simple.
Let’s see what your budget is: click accordingly. Each page has three routers, which I tested and reviewed out of 67 wireless routers. Here are those pages:
However, if you’re still confused, don’t worry, you don’t need to click anywhere as, in this article, I’ve included the top 3 best cheap/budget router for 2021. But before we jump onto that, I want you to know my recommendations, which I found overall best in terms of performance, features, and prices.
So, What is the best budget WiFi router? The Netgear Nighthawk R6700 AC1750 is a budget-friendly router. It delivers maximum WiFi speeds of up to 1750Mbps.
3 Best Cheap Routers In 2021
|Budget Router||Best For||Rating|
|1. Tp-Link Archer A7 AC1750||Overall best cheap router||4.9|
|2. Netgear Nighthawk R6700||For home||4.9|
|3. Asus Dual-Band (RT-AC68U)||For long-range||4.9|
1. Tp-Link Archer A7 AC1750 – My Choice
When it comes to a budget-friendly router, Tp-Link Archer A7 becomes my first choice. Around $50 bucks, you can’t get better than this router. It offers excellent features such as a VPN server, Alexa compatible, QoS, and many advanced features. Seeing that, this is my top pick for a budget router.
The Tp-Link AC1750 A7 is an ‘ac’ wireless standard router and has dual-band compatibility. Being a new router, this router works with Alexa and IFTTT perfectly and compatible with all 802.11ac devices. Tp-Link AC1750 A7 can deliver a maximum of combined WiFi speed of up to 1750 Mbps(450Mbps on 2.4Ghz and 1300Mbps on 5Ghz), meaning no problem while streaming 4K media and playing HD games.
The overall design of the router is excellent. It has 3x External Antennas that provide a wide range of coverage up to 2,500 sq.ft. On the backside of the router, you will find 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports that allow multiple wired connections. It also has an integrated USB port for sharing content, and it works as a media server.
Pros & Cons:
- It lets us manage our home network remotely with its Tether App.
- It allows us to connect up to 50+ devices at once with smooth and stable WiFi performance.
- Setting the bandwidth prioritization QoS up is quite simple.
- IFTTT and Alexa compatible.
- 2-year warranty with 24/7 technical support.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t allow to set Bandwidth limits on the guest network.
In this price range, I don’t think there is any router available on the market that can offer such advanced technologies and features. Whether it is network security, QoS, VPN Server, parental control, or voice control, the router is worth the money. However, this router has only one USB port and some guest network bandwidth issues. Other than that, this router is the overall best budget-friendly router in 2021 for you.
2. Netgear Nighthawk R6700 (AC1750) – Runner up!
If you could spend a little more money, then the better option than Tp-Link Archer A7 would be Netgear Nighthawk R6700. However, this router is AC1750 but powerful and offers extra features than Archer a7. Just like Archer A7, the Netgear R6700 also can work with ALEXA. So, my second recommendation for the ‘top cheap routers’ is R6700.
The Netgear R6700 gives you a wide range of coverage up to 15,00 sq.ft with a maximum of combined WiFi speed of up to 1750Mbps; however, using both bands. Being a dual-band router, on the 2.4Ghz band, it delivers 450Mbps WiFi speed, and the 5Ghz band delivers up to 1300Mbps. As Netgear claims, the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 is equipped with a 1Ghz dual-core processor and capable of handling up to 25 WiFi devices simultaneously.
When it comes to playing HD online game and streaming HD media content, this router won’t disappoint you as it allows you to set bandwidth prioritization as per your devices’ uses.
The design of the router is also good; it looks premium and comes in black color. On the backside of the router, you will find some essential ports, including 1x USB 3.0, 4X Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1x WAN port, and some physical buttons. On the front, you will see some LEDs for the router’s activity status.
Pros & Cons:
- The CIRCLE APP PARENTAL allows pause/resume Internet access, website filter, history usages, online limits, Etc.
- Advanced Armor Cyber protection prevents all types of Cyber Threats, no need for any anti-virus subscriptions.
- Excellent WiFi coverage up to 15,00 Sq.ft.
- The router is very easy to set up and takes only 5 minutes using its Nighthawk App.
I don’t like:
- Only one USB 3.0 port.
As far as budget routers are concerned, the R6700 will be my second choice for you. Under $150, this router offers some advanced features and technologies, whether it is Dynamic QoS or Beamforming. It is a perfect unit for home users as it allows you to connect up to 25 devices at once, and provides a wide range of coverage up to 15,00 sq.ft.
3. Asus Dual-Band (RT-AC68U) – Best Router For Large Homes
Our journey of the best budget routers in 2021 finishes with a fantastic Asus RT-AC68U. However, compared to the above routers, the Asus RT-AC68U is expensive. I took this for those who want the best budget WiFi router for long-range, and the RT-AC68U is a perfect option yet under budget.
The Asus RT-AC68U comes with the latest technology 802.11ac 3×3. It is equipped with a 1Ghz powerful dual-core processor for smart multitasking and allows you to connect multiple devices at once. With the router, we get a combined dual-band data rates up to 1900Mbps. The 2.4Ghz 802.11n delivers 600Mbps data rates, while the 5Ghz 802.11ac provides up to 1300Mbps.
The design of the router is top-notch; it looks quite premium and sturdy. On the backside of the router, you will find some essential physical ports and buttons, including one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 ports, four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
When it comes to the network protection, The Trend Micro provides security called AiProtection for this router. Whether it is online threats or multi-state protections, the AiProtection will take care of your network security.
Pros & Cons:
- The Broadcom TurboQAM technology super-charges its bands and improves overall performance.
- AiProtection prevents your devices from all types of cyber threats.
- An excellent ASUSWRT user interface that allows 3-step web-based installation.
- AiMesh features will enable us to create a whole-home WiFi network by connecting multiple Asus routers.
- The AiRadar Beamforming technology for enhanced signal range.
I don’t like:
- A little bit pricey.
When it comes to large homes, the Asus RT-AC86U is worth the money. It can provide excellent coverage throughout your home. It is beamforming as AiRadar, AiProtection, and AiMesh ready. It is straightforward to set up and allows remote network management with adaptive QoS and parental features.
Quick Guide: What to look for before buying any cheap router?
Bands: Single Band Vs. Dual Band
When it comes to connecting two or three devices at the same time, the single-band routers are okay. While it comes to connecting multiple devices, the dual-band routers are considered the best. However, there is another band called ‘tri-band,’ which is also considered the best for connecting multiple devices. Moreover, ‘tri-band’ routers are expensive than dual-band routers. If your pocket allows, then check out ‘best tri-band routers.’
If you are planning to buy budget-friendly routers, it is recommended that you should go for dual-band routers atleast.
The ‘Wireless Standards’ is an essential point to understand as it is the most crucial feature our routers come with. However, there are so many wireless standards you might notice when you go for any budget router, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and most popular one 802.11ac. The wireless standards “a,b,g” are the things of the past, so we only focus on 802.11n and 802.11ac routers. The 802.11ac standards’ routers are expensive compared to 802.11n. So choose as per your needs.
Beamforming is an advanced technology. Beamforming focuses the signal in a specific direction where our devices are located, meaning faster, stronger, and more reliable wireless connection without losing signals.
MU-MIMO technology is considered the high-end technology in routers. However, it is somewhat impossible to find any budget router that comes with MU-MIMO technology. This MU-MIMO technology allows you to connect multiple devices at once; it decreases downtime and increases home throughput. Here you check out my list of best multiple devices routers.
What things should you expect from the best cheap wireless routers, especially in 2021?
The answer to your question is ‘your budget.’ It can be $50, $100, $200, or more. That is why I have to pick all types of budget-friendly routers so that they can fit your needs. For example, the first router is Tp-Link Archer A7, the best router under $50. The second router, Netgear Nighthawk R6700, the best router under $100. The third router is Asus RT-AC68U, the best router under $200.
Conclusion: How to pick the best cheap wireless router for your needs?
I test all the recommended routers under budget in this article. I used them for a couple of months before coming to a conclusion. If you haven’t read this article entirely, then let me finish this article in short.
The very first router is Tp-Link Archer A7, this router is cheap and comes around $50. In this price range, this router is undefeatable. It provides excellent coverage to your house up to 12,00 sq.ft. It also comes with some serious internet security features.
The second router is Netgear Nighthawk R6700. I would love to recommend this router for those who have medium homes as this router comes with excellent coverage of up to 15,00 sq.ft, which is enough for a medium type of house.
The third router is Asus RT-AC68U. This router is for those who have large homes. It can provide you with excellent coverage throughout your house. It supports beamforming and offers other advanced features.
Now, it is up to you which one will be perfect for you. Make sure you choose as per your requirements. I wish you all the best for your new excellent budget router.