We can’t avoid the fact that most people are still working from home because of COVID-19. Therefore, you can’t expect your existing router to handle streaming, gaming, and multiple devices at the same time. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you three of the best Wi-Fi routers under $200. Yes, one of the top routers under your budget.
$200 is not a small amount; you can buy a very powerful wireless router under this price. In other words, you can buy tri-band routers too, which are very powerful in terms of performance and features. That is why my list of best wireless routers under $200 consists of two dual-band routers and one tri-band router. I’ll also let you know my all-time favorite router. At the bottom of the article, you will find a buying guide and conclusion with my recommendations.
Let’s start with my all-time favorite one, which I picked after testing and using for a couple of months and compared with most similar ones.
So, what is the best router under 200 Of 2021? The Netgear Nighthawk X4s AC2600 is my recommendation. This is a dual-band router and works with Alexa. It provides excellent coverage throughout your house up to 2.5k sq.ft and lets you connect more than 45 devices at the same time.
3 Best Wireless Routers Under $200 For 2021
|1. Netgear Nighthawk X4s||Best Overall||4.9|
|2. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000||Best for multiple devices||4.9|
|3. ASUS AC3200 (RT-AC3200)||Powerful and expensive||4.9|
1. Netgear Nighthawk X4s (R7800) – Best overall
- Speed Up to 2.53Gbps (800Mbps + 1733Mbps)
- Coverage up to 2,500 sq. Ft.
- Up to 45 devices at once
- 1x eSATA port
- MU-MIMO & Beamforming
The Netgear Nighthawk X4s is one of the top routers from Netgear that offers a combined speed of up to 2.53bps. It supports 160MHz; it doubles the streaming speeds. As a result, you can enjoy lag-free gaming and video streaming with blazing-fast WiFI speeds.
It is equipped with a dual-core processor (1.7GHz) handling multiple wired and wireless connection with ease. As Netgear claims, the X4s allows up to 45 devices at the same time to be connected without sacrificing the performance. In order to achieve such speeds and devices, the router uses an advanced technology called Quad-Stream.
The X4s houses many essential ports, such as four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 gigabit WAN port. Moreover, it has some two USB 3.0 ports for media sharing, connecting printer, and other USB-enabled devices. It also features one eSATA port for streaming.
When it comes to management and setup, the X4s offers several apps. For example, ReadyCLOUD USB access allows secure cloud access to storage, the ReadySHARE App for sharing storage devices.
Pros & Cons:
- A powerful dual-core 1.7GHz processor for HD gaming and streaming.
- Excellent WiF coverage up to 2,500 square feet throughout the house.
- The router is easy to install; it only takes five minutes via Nighthawk App to setup.
- It handles 4K gaming and video streaming very smoothly.
- Four High-powered external antennas, beamforming, and MU-MIMO technology.
I don’t like:
- It looks a bit large.
The Netgear Nighthawk worth every penny. Under the $200 price range, it has a lot to offer. However, if you have the lastest wireless standard IEEE 802.11ax clients, then go for Tp-Link Archer AX3000.
2. Tp-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Archer AX50 – The Future-proof
- IEEE 802.11ax wireless standard
- Up to 256 devices at once
- Dual-band (5GHz & 2.4GHz)
- 4x High-performance External Antennas
- OFDMA & Airtime Fairness
The Tp-Link Archer AX50 is one of the cheapest routers to offer Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard. However, it is a dual-band router but promises a combined Wi-Fi speed of up to 2976Mbps. The AX3000 has four external antennas; in my testing, I didn’t have any Wi-Fi range issues even though I live in 3BHK.
It packs beamforming technology that works with those high-performance antennas and frequency bands simultaneously. Therefore, it easily covers large areas and provides excellent Wi-Fi coverage throughout your house. It also uses High-Power FEM to strengthen signal coverage. Moreover, the AX3000 is designed to work in different modes such as Router mode and Access point mode.
It is equipped with a dual-core processor and includes five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports: 4x LANs + 1 WAN. It also comes with a one fast USB 3.0 port supporting all partition formats, such as NTFS, exFAT, HFS+, and FAT32. The USB port can be used as an FTP server and media server. Besides, it includes typical buttons for Wi-Fi, WPS, Power, LED, and reset.
Pros & Cons:
What I like:
- It can create two separate guest networks – one on 5GHz band and one 2.4GHz band.
- The next-gen Wi-Fi 6 ensures smoother streaming, gaming, and faster downloads with up to 75% latency reduction.
- Excellent Wi-Fi coverage and reliable connection for up to 256 devices.
- It offers pretty solid security and using TP-Link HomeCare security for network management.
- Setup is easy. You can use either the web interface or the Tether app for setting it up.
I don’t like:
- Its App has limited options for network management.
The TP-Link Archer AX3000 is a great router. It is future-proof and ensures a reliable Wi-Fi connection throughout the large home. Under $200, it offers the lastest next-gen Wi-Fi 6 IEEE 802.11 wireless standards. However, you need Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices in order to see any benefits.
3. ASUS AC3200 (RT-AC3200) – Powerful
- Tri-band 802.11ac
- Smart Connect Feature
- 6x External Antennas
- Adaptive QoS
- ASUS Router App
The third router on the list is ASUS RT-AC3200 802.11ac coming under 200 dollars. It is a feature-packed, reliable, powerful router that provides consistent WiFI connection. It tops out maximum Wi-Fi speeds of up to 3.2Gbps — 2.6Gbps on the 5GHz bands and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Moreover, it features smart connect technology, allowing the router to select the fastest band out of three automatically.
It has six high-performance external antennas (3×3 transmit & 3×3 receive) that support AiRadar Beamforming technology for a reliable and more stable Wi-Fi connection throughout your home. On the back, it contains a USB 2.0 port for sharing printer, storage devices, and other USB enabled devices over the network. While the USB 3.0 port, located on the front side, ensures 10x faster speeds.
It has four dedicated Gigabit Ethernet LANs for the fastest wired connection. It uses a powerful hardware-accelerated NAT, giving five times faster WAN-to-LAN performance, for a better lag-free gaming experience.
Unlike others, it supports dual WAN, not dedicated ones. It requires you to configure one of the four lAN ports.
Pros & Cons:
What I like:
- ASUS App is robust and offers tons of features for network management.
- Easy to set up with 3-step web-based installation.
- Router’s interface is excellent and offers many options, such as Adaptive QoS, Traffic Analyzer, Network Map, and parental controls.
- The security of the router is good. The TrendMicro offers high-level three-pronged protection.
- It handles multitasking and multiple devices exceptionally smoothly.
- It has a large footprint.
The Asus RT-AC3200 is worth the money if you’re a heavy user. It is one of the powerful routers from Asus that come under $200. However, compared to the other two, it is pricey (the only reason to take the ASUS RT-AC3200 at the third position on my list), which is acceptable as it is tri-band and offers many advanced features.
Buying Guide: How to find the right wireless router under $200?
If you’re curious to know how I picked these routers, this quick router buying guide is for you. Let me break down some of the critical factors that will help you find the best wireless router for your needs.
When it comes to connecting a computer to the router, we need an Ethernet cable. And, of course, one of the LAN ports on your router. Most mid-range modern routers four Gigabit Ethernet ports. If your router offers at least four LANs, go for it.
The USB ports are used to connect a USB printer, an external hard drive, a flash drive, and many other USB enabled devices. So make sure your router offers at least one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port.
This feature primarily designed for those who connect multiple devices at the same time. In other words, you can call it a media prioritization feature that controls traffic. Setting up the feature, you can easily optimize the overall performance of your router. In short, With the QoS feature, you can set the bandwidth as per Apps usages.
It was rare until 2018, but now almost all popular router’s brands, such as TP-Link, Netgear, D-Link, and others launch their routers with App-based management, depending on the router you buy. However, under $200, your router must have Apps for network management.
FAQs: Most Common Questions Answered!
Q1. What features should I consider before buying any router that costs less than $200 for a home?
Ans. All the routers listed above are robust and come with excellent features. You can pick any one of them that suits you the most. However, my recommendation for you is Netgear Nighthawk X4s for your home.
Q2. Which router’s brand should I pick?
Ans. All brands, such as Tp-Link, Netgear, ASUS, and D-Link, are popular in the networking industry. You can pick any one of these brands that can give you more value.
Q3. A router with top speed can improve the performance of streaming?
Ans. I am afraid that you won’t see any performance improvement until your internet connection is fast. However, there are many factors that can cause a slow internet connection. Check them out.
I just walked you through three of the best wireless routers under $200. In order to avoid confusion, I’ve tried to list only three, not that giant list you see quite often on the web.
In a nutshell,
The first router is Netgear Nighthawk X4s. An ideal option for everyone. It is the overall best in terms of features, performance, reliability, security, and, of course, price.
The second router on the list is Tp-Link Archer AX50 X3000. It is, comparatively, expensive, but future-proof. It requires the latest wireless standards IEEE 802.11ax. In order to get the most out of it, you need ‘ax’ or Wi-Fi 6 clients as well.
The third router on the list is ASUS RT-AC3200. I picked the router for heavy users. There is no doubt that the router is far better than the other two, but you’ve to spend a little more since it is a tri-band router offering tons of excellent features.
Related: Best routers under $100