Best Routers Under $100: Top 3 Review + Buying Guide

It’s time to check out the world’s most powerful three of the best wireless routers under $100 available on the market. Trust me; they will make a huge impact on your Wi-Fi network’s overall performance and improve signal throughout your house.

best routers under $100

Tons of websites claiming ’10 best, 5 best, etc.’ are out there to help you find the best Wi-Fi routers under $100 — or you can search on your own on various eCommerce websites.

They’re paid! They haven’t touched any of them. However, I am not saying all of them are fake, but most of them.

Okay, let’s come to the point.

There is no doubt that a Wi-Fi router is an essential toy for us these days. In fact, you won’t believe it, but there are internet users who spend an average of 6 Hrs and 48 mins watching and streaming videos per week.

Moreover, in 2020, people are living a Luxury life at their home During Coronavirus. Meaning, you need the best Wi-Fi router to fit your needs and allow you to connect multiple devices at the same time without sacrificing on performance and speed.

Related: Best Wi-Fi routers for multiple devices 2020

3 Best Wi-Fi Routers Under 100 Dollars In 2020

RouterRating
1. Tp-Link Archer A9 AC19004.9
2. Netgear Nighthawk R67004.9
3. Netgear 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 (RAX15)4.9

1. Tp-Link Archer A9 AC1900 – Best Overall router under 100 bucks

best router under 100

Key Highlights:

  1. 802.11ac wireless standard
  2. MU-MIMO and Beamforming 
  3. Alexa voice control 
  4. Airtime Fairness & Smart Connect
  5. TP-Link Tether app

Overview:

TP-Link Archer a9 is a dual-band router claiming combined maximum theoretical speeds of up to 1.9Gbps using both frequency bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) — Up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band. It supports a popular wireless standard 802.11ac. 

Coverage:

It packs Beamforming technology in order to deliver highly efficient wireless connection throughout your house. When it comes to coverage and reliability, it has three dual-band external detachable antennas for providing Omni-directional Wi-Fi coverage. 

Design & Hardware:

The archer A9 is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor to handle multiple wired and wireless tasks simultaneously. It offers the next-gen Ultra-Fast Wave 2 AC Wi-Fi. Besides, it boasts MU-MIMO, Airtime Fairness, and Smart Connect advanced technologies to tackle smooth 4k streaming and gaming. 

It consists of four Gigabit Ethernet ports for making wired connections to wired-enabled devices such as gaming consoles, PCs, smart TVs, NAS, and many others. Also, it includes one 1 Gigabit WAN port and one USB port. 

Pros & Cons:

I like:

  1. 4k Streaming and gaming is excellent because of MU-MIMO, QoS, and Airtime Fairness technologies.
  2. It allows multiple devices at once and offers excellent Wi-Fi coverage. 
  3. Smart Connect and Airtime Fairness ensure lag-free online streaming and gaming.
  4. It offers a WPA3 internet security protocol with other features such as parental control, guest Wi-Fi network, and a VPN server. 
  5. A 2-year warranty with TP-Link’s 24/7 technical support. 

I don’t like:

  1. It doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port. 

Summary:

The Archer A9 is my top pick for the best routers under $100. It is an ideal option for home and small office. Since it supports some advanced technology — MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Smart Connect, and Airtime Fairness, the router is worth buying without any second thoughts.  

2. Netgear Nighthawk R6700 (AC1750) – Best Router For Gaming Under $100

router under 100

Key Highlights:

  1. 802.11ac wireless standard
  2. Beamforming+
  3. USB 3.0 port
  4. Dual-core processor
  5. Nighthawk App

Overview:

It’s Netgear Nighthawk R6700 Smart Wi-Fi router. The router is capable of topping out combined maximum speeds of up to 1750Mbps. As a dual-band router, its 2.4GHz band delivers 450Mbps speed, and the 5GHz band reaches up to 1300Mbps. These bands are designed to work simultaneously, thus make smooth multiple wired and wireless connections at the same time. 

Coverage:

It has three high-powered external antennas to provide the ultimate range and Wi-Fi coverage throughout your house. In order to stay connected and enjoy more stable Wi-Fi connectivity, the router uses the Airtime Fairness feature. It boasts Beamforming+ technology to boost speed and reduces interference for a better Wi-Fi connection to multiple devices. 

Design & Hardware:

It boasts a powerful dual-core 1GHz processor to handle multiple connections at once. When it comes to connectivity, it includes all the essential ports and buttons on the back panel, including five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports (4 LANs and 1 WAN), one USB 3 port, and On/Off buttons for Wi-Fi and WPS. Besides, three external detachable antennas. 

Pros & Cons:

What I like:

  1. Excellent Wi-Fi speeds and offers lag-free gaming and video streaming. 
  2. Its Wi-Fi Range is pretty solid and provides excellent Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house. 
  3.  Advanced QoS, Beamforming+, and Airtime Fairness feature to ensure more reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. 
  4. Sharing the content on the router is quite easy as it offers many sharing features such as ReadySHARE Vault and ReadySHARe USB access. 
  5. Smart Parental Controls and the Netgear Nighthawk App. 

I don’t like:

  1. 1-year warranty. 

Summary:

The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 R6700 is my second pick for the best routers under $100. It is worth the money. It offers a wide range of advanced features and high-end security (Netgear Armor). Most of the tasks can easily be managed and accessed through its Apps such as Netgear App and Circle App. 

3. Netgear 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 router (RAX15) – Best Wi-Fi 6 Router Under $100

best wireless router under 100

key highlights:

  1. 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax 
  2. USB 3.0 Port
  3. Quad-core Processor
  4. 1500 Sq.ft. Wi-Fi coverage
  5. Beamforming and OFDMA

Overview:

The Netgear 4-Stream RAX15 is the next generation Wi-Fi 6 IEEE 802.11ax router. It provides speeds up to 1.8Gbps and can handle +20 devices on your network. The router uses a powerful quad-core — Wi-Fi 6 optimized processor — and an advanced technology called OFDMA in order to ensure smooth 4K UHD streaming and gaming. 

Coverage:

Its Wi-Fi coverage is excellent and provides an expanded Wi-Fi range throughout the house. It has two external antennas for better connectivity and strong signal strength to multiple devices at once. Moreover, It can send more transmissions simultaneously as it uses the OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access). 

Design & Hardware:

With the latest technologies and features, The RAX15 has a broad range of connectivity options and ports on the backside. For example, five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one internet port or WAN port. It also includes a USB 3.0 port on the left side of the router, allowing faster streaming and sharing content to storage devices with easy access. 

Pros & Cons:

What I like:

  1. It offers the lastest Wi-Fi security protocol WPA3 (the cutting-edge Security). 
  2. The quad-core processor handles 4k UHD streaming and multiple connections with ease. 
  3. The Nighthawk App lets set up the router easily. 
  4. USB 3.0 is really fast and allows easy sharing and faster streaming. 
  5. Compatible with the older Wi-Fi standards or generation Wi-Fi 5 and earlier gen devices. 

I don’t like:

  1. It requires the latest devices that support the lastest wireless standard 802.11ax.

Summary:

The Netgear 4-Stream RAX15 is very powerful without any doubts. But why in the third position? It is because of Wi-Fi 6 and supports the latest wireless standard IEEE 802.11ax. 

So in order to take any advantage of the router, you need devices (such as iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy Note 10, s10, and many others) that support the same ‘ax’ wireless standard. Therefore, the RAX15 deserves the third position. 

However, if you are looking for any budget-friendly WiFI 6 router, go for it. You can’t find any better than this. 

Quick Buying Guide: How to find the best WiFi router under $100?

There are a few things that you have to keep in mind before shopping for any Wi-Fi router that costs below 100 bucks. I’ve pointed out some of the most crucial ones for you. 

1. Bands:

A router with multiple bands is always better to have as router’s bands are responsible for handling multiple devices and speeds. You can go with any router offering single-band, dual-band, or tri-band. However, $100 can’t get you tri-band routers. Therefore, you have two options: single-band or dual-band. 

In my opinion, you should never go for single-band routers as they can’t handle multiple devices at the same time. So consider buying dual-band routers instead. 

2. MU-MIMO & Beamforming:

MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies are gaming changing. If your router offers them, go for it. These technologies improve the overall performance of your router.  

However, until 2019, it was tough for manufacturers to offer such technologies with budget routers or under 100 bucks. But, now in 2020, things have changed, you can expect these high-end technologies from cheap routers too. 

3. Speed:

When it comes to buying routers under 100, the router speed becomes a more important factor to consider. Most modern and high-end routers, supporting wireless ‘ax’ standard, provide incredible combined speeds of up to 10Gbps; therefore, they can handle multi-player gaming and 4K streaming with ease. 

However, the latest standard IEEE 802.11ax requires devices that support Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standards. Otherwise, you won’t see any benefits. If you have the latest devices that support Wi-Fi 6, then go for the best Wi-Fi 6 router under 100 dollars. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have those expensive devices, then consider buying wireless ac standards’ routers. 

4. Security:

Security features such as QoS, parental controls, guest network, anti-virus, wireless encryptions WPA/WPA2, and the latest WPA3 internet protocol, are essential and should be offered by your router. Moreover, you can expect a solid firewall and VPN server too.  

5. Additional:

There are other standard features that you should consider too, including range, coverage, number of ports ( LANs, WANs, USBs, ETC), supported connections at a time, bandwidth, portability, and warranty. 

Related: Check three best travel Wi-Fi routers

FAQ: Most Commonly Asked Questions

What Wi-Fi Coverage to expect from a 100 dollars router?

Since you’re looking for a budget router and don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can’t expect much. Most modern routers – or choose from the list, can provide you with excellent Wi-Fi coverage up to 2,000 sq.ft.  

Advanced technologies such as MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies are possible from any $100 router? 

In 2020, Yes. It is possible. Even all the mentioned routers above are MU-MIMO and Beamforming supported. You can choose any one of them that suits you the most.

What is the best router under $100 for gaming?

For Wi-Fi 6, Netgear 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 (RAX15) is the best you can buy for gaming under $100. For Wi-Fi 5, consider buying Netgear Nighthawk R6700

Which router $100 would be a better option for home use? 

Without any second thoughts, go for Tp-Link Archer A9. It is one of the popular routers on the market. The Archer A9 is a well-priced, feature-packed, and excellent home coverage of up to 2,500 sq.ft. 

Conclusion:

All the routers included on the list tested and used for a couple of months by me. So you can trust me and my recommended routers. I could have made a list of top 10 and top 5, but I listed only three of the best ones that impressed me the most with a price tag of $100. 

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