Owning your own router has many benefits. To start with, you can save on rental fees from your service provider. Chances are that it will also be an upgrade from the device supplied with a standard contract, therefore offering better performance.
You may have already considered this but have been daunted by the number of options available. That’s why we have put together this in-depth review of the best routers under $100 for you. We will take a closer look at each device, then include a helpful buyer’s guide, followed by what we think is the best product and why.
So, let’s get straight to it…
- 0.1 Top 7 Best Routers Under $100 In 2021 Review
- 0.2 1 Netgear Nighthawk R6700 – Best Router for Large Home Under $100
- 0.3 2 TP-Link Archer A7 – Best Budget Router Under $100
- 0.4 3 ASUS RT-ACRH13 – Best MU-MIMO Router Under $100
- 0.5 4 Netgear R6230 – Best Fuss Free Router Under $100
- 0.6 5 Linksys EA6350 – Best Full Feature Router Under $100
- 0.7 6 D-Link DIR-867 – Highest Speed Simple Router Under $100
- 0.8 7 TP-Link Archer A9 – Top Performing Router Under $100
- 1 Best Routers Under $100 Buying Guide
- 2 Are You Interested In More Superb Wi-Fi Technology?
- 3 So, Which Of The Best Routers Under $100 Should You Go For?
Top 7 Best Routers Under $100 In 2021 Review
1 Netgear Nighthawk R6700 – Best Router for Large Home Under $100
The first thing you’ll notice with Netgear’s Nighthawk R6700 is that it’s bigger than most other routers. This mid-range router is designed for large homes with dual-band frequencies supporting both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
It is very sturdy and has a large base with rubber feet to keep it in place. The R6700 can also be wall mounted if that is a more suitable option for you. A matte black finish does a good job of resisting dust, unlike those glossy finishes that others insist on.
Large home performance…
Featuring a 1Ghz dual-core processor offers superior performance for excellent value. On the 2.4Ghz, frequency speeds of up to 450Mbps are possible. For the 5Ghz band, you can achieve up to 130Mbps.
Three external antennas are used in combination with Beamforming+ for sending out your Wi-Fi signal. The result is an improved range, extended coverage, and reduced dead spots, which are all great for larger homes.
What else is on offer?
At the front of the router, you will find a single USB 3.0 port. This can be used for connecting an external drive or NAS to share files across your network. Throughput speeds are much better than average, with files easily accessed or saved at high speeds.
Netgear has created an App called Genie that allows you to manage and monitor your router. This is handy as you can access the R6700 without having to boot up your computer. You can easily set up streaming, and there are also some limited parental controls.
- Great for large homes.
- Capable of fast internet speeds.
- Fast file-sharing network capabilities.
- Larger than other devices.
- More expensive than other options.
2 TP-Link Archer A7 – Best Budget Router Under $100
Next up in our best routers under $100 reviews, we have the TP-Link Archer A7, which is a highly affordable router that performs like a more expensive model. Even though it has that glossy black finish, it does a pretty good job of resisting fingerprints.
The Archer A7 features a range of connectivity options, a powerful processor, dual-band frequencies, and high-speed internet capabilities. All extremely impressive for such an affordable price point.
Performance on a budget…
Using a 720Mhz processor, the Archer A7 can reach speeds on the 2.4Ghz frequency of up to 450Mbps. When using 5Ghz, speeds of up to 1300Mbps are possible. This matches the speed performance of the more expensive Nighthawk.
Testing for throughput usage, the Archer A7 performed amazingly well. In close proximity over 5Ghz, it scored 509Mbps, and at 30 feet (10 meters), it scored 250Mbps. File sharing achieved a read speed of 27.5Mbps and a write speed of 21.5Mbps.
Making that connection…
Along the rear of the router, you are offered four Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN port, and two USB 2.0 ports. These connection options are pretty standard; however, they will provide more than enough options for general home use.
However, using the web console felt a bit slow and outdated. It does offer all the basic and advanced settings you could need. It’s just that there is a noticeable lag between entering your selections and the changes being saved.
- Great value option.
- High-speed performance for its price.
- Dual USB ports.
- Dated web console.
- Standard file sharing performance.
3 ASUS RT-ACRH13 – Best MU-MIMO Router Under $100
Taiwanese company ASUS has released the RT-ACRH13 with a clear focus on home users. They have attempted to include as many of the latest networking technologies as possible into an affordable device.
Inclusions such as MU-MIMO assist in giving multiple users a faster and more stable connection. That makes this router a great family option or for those looking to create a smart home with numerous devices connected simultaneously.
Besides the MU-MIMO technology, this router also uses Beamforming Technology. Instead of transmitting a signal everywhere, the area is scanned to identify connected devices and then focuses on them.
Using the 5Ghz frequency, a maximum speed of 876Mbps is possible. Over 2.4Ghz, the maximum speed is 400Mbps. This is capped a little less than the other routers so far, but you can be sure of a strong and stable signal with the added technologies.
Once you’re all plugged in, getting set up is easy. Using the web-based control panel for the first time will automatically launch the Quick Internet Setup. Your ISP connection will be automatically detected, then name your SSIDs, set a password, and click apply.
There are a bunch of useful features available from within the interface. You can set guest networks with up to six SSIDs to protect your own network. You also have access to Parental Controls, such as schedules and filters.
- MU-MIMO and Beamforming Technologies.
- Suitable for families and smart homes.
- Easy to navigate interface.
- Useful features.
- Slower maximum speeds than competition.
- Average storage performance.
4 Netgear R6230 – Best Fuss Free Router Under $100
Many families are merely after something that is easy to set up and use, has some parental controls, and offers decent performance. The Netgear R6230 can provide all of these things at an affordable price.
This router can offer decent speeds, file sharing across the network and can easily be managed using a companion App. Four Gigabit LAN ports allow for wired connections, as well as two external antennas for Wi-Fi coverage.
Speedy wireless internet…
Connecting to Wi-Fi with the 2.4Ghz radio channel provides speeds of up to 300Mbps. Using the 5Ghz channel will offer speeds of up to 900Mbps. A USB 2.0 port provides the ability to share files across the network. This is all managed using an 880Mhz onboard processor.
Missing from this router is any of the latest technology like the MIMO or Beamforming of the previous router. It does perform well over short to medium distances with minimal obstructions, making it suitable for small homes or apartments.
Useful companion App support…
Once you are plugged in and have followed the simple setup wizard, you no longer need to use the web portal interface. You can control and manage your router using the Nighthawk App available on both Android and iOS.
You will need to return to the portal for more advanced features, but most users will find the App is all they need. The dashboard is well-designed with useful functions easily accessible. Navigation is straightforward and intuitive.
- Affordable and simple option.
- Decent speed throughput capabilities.
- Easy to use Nighthawk App.
- Range is limited compared to competitors.
- Missing latest technology.
5 Linksys EA6350 – Best Full Feature Router Under $100
Linksys has managed to release this router with some high-end features for an affordable price. It can provide high throughput speeds, offer file sharing via a USB drive, and provides a decent signal range.
To gain the fastest and most stable speeds, there are four Gigabit LAN ports on offer. These are great for use with games consoles, Smart TVs, or for a direct connection into a desktop PC. Streaming and gaming can now be enjoyed without that annoying buffering.
Solid Wi-Fi performance…
Over the dual-radio bands, the EA6350 can throughput a maximum 300Mbps over 2.4Ghz. On the 5Ghz range, speeds of up to 867Mbps are on offer. For sharing files across your network, there is a USB 3.0 port for connecting external hard drives.
Your Wi-Fi signal strength also benefits from Beamforming Technology. By targeting connected devices directly, data is sent more efficiently from the router to your device over a longer range.
Control at your fingertips…
By logging into the Smart Wi-Fi Web Console, you have access to a range of tools and settings. Parental controls give you the ability to set an accessibility schedule and block access to specific clients.
So you can protect your own personal network, and you can set up to six guest networks. They can each have their own SSID and password. This is a simple task that can be achieved quickly and easily using the Web Console.
- USB 3.0 port for fast file sharing.
- Beamforming Technology.
- Easy to navigate Web Console.
- Limited parental controls.
- A maximum of ten devices at once.
6 D-Link DIR-867 – Highest Speed Simple Router Under $100
At the highest end of the affordability scale, here comes the DIR-867 from D-Link. Even though it is priced higher, it does offer the latest specifications, making it a great value product to consider purchasing.
This router is capable of providing some of the highest speeds available for under $100. It also includes technology usually reserved for higher-end models such as MIMO and Beamforming Technology.
Bang for your buck…
Over the 5Ghz frequency, speeds of up to 1300Mbps are possible, which matches current ISP capabilities. At 2.4Ghz, the maximum speed is 450Mbps, which is still great for use with your smartphone or tablet.
By combining MIMO, Beamforming, and QoS technologies, maximum efficiency is assured. You can be confident each device is receiving the fastest and most stable signal it is capable of utilizing at the time.
Easy to navigate interface…
There are two options for managing and controlling the router. For controlling advanced functions, you will need to access the web-based interface portal. The design is minimalistic but still provides all the tools you’ll need.
For more basic control options, you can install the D-Link Wi-Fi App that is available on both Android and iOS. It allows you to check which devices are connected to your network and then tweak some basic settings.
- High-speed throughput capabilities.
- Latest MIMO and Beamforming Technologies.
- Useful App support.
- Least affordable option.
- Advanced users think the interface is too simplified.
7 TP-Link Archer A9 – Top Performing Router Under $100
We already had a look at the Archer A7 from TP-Link, and for our final product, we have its bigger brother, the Archer A9. With upgraded hardware and components, and still being offered at an affordable price, that makes this router a compelling option.
The A9 introduces MIMO and Beamforming over the A7, along with faster speed capabilities and more extended range. These are all features that make the extra outlay worth the small additional investment.
Upgraded hardware and components…
Using a more powerful Qualcomm quad-core chipset and upgraded RAM means the A9 is one of the best performers on the market. What does remain the same is the four Gigabit LAN ports at the rear, along with a single USB 2.0 port.
Testing download speed performance over 5Ghz was some of the best we’ve seen. At close range, we managed speeds of 608Mbps, with speeds of 482Mbps over a further distance. Over LAN saw speeds of 941Mbps, which is basically the maximum possible over Gigabit.
Well-designed control panel…
For ease of use, the A9 control panel uses Smart Connect. Both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands combine and share the same SSID and username. The router will then automatically connect each device to the most efficient band.
There is, of course, an App available on Android and iOS for managing and controlling basic network functions. You can even connect your router to the cloud so you can still control functions from anywhere in the world.
- Superfast speeds over 5Ghz.
- Latest technology in hardware and components.
- User-friendly functions.
- More expensive option than the A7.
- Some users might not use all the features.
Best Routers Under $100 Buying Guide
You may have already known there were many routers available on the market. But you may not have known how many great value routers with quality features were available, especially for under only $100.
We’ve created this handy buyer’s guide to help you identify which of these great products will best suit your personal needs. It should make your choice easier by covering the main differences and the key strengths and weaknesses.
How Many Devices Do You Use?
If multiple devices are regularly connected to the router simultaneously, we would recommend MIMO technology. This is a reasonably recent technology but can still be found at this price range.
The devices here that offer this technology are the ASUS RT-ACRH13, the D-Link DIR-867, and the TP-Link Archer A9. Users with large families or looking to build up a smart home should be looking at this feature as a priority.
For users that live in smaller apartments, the range is not as important. This allows you to save some money because the cheaper options will more than satisfy your needs. If you need that extra distance, though, you should consider Beamforming Technology.
Your choices include the ASUS RT-ACRH13, Linksys EA6350, D-Link DIR-867, and the TP-Link Archer A9 for devices that offer Beamforming. By directing the signal directly to connected devices, a greater range is made possible.
If you still can’t decide which of these products is most suited to you, perhaps our next section can help. Join us as we announce which is the best router for under $100 and why. But before that…
Are You Interested In More Superb Wi-Fi Technology?
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Ok, back to the best budget routers…
So, Which Of The Best Routers Under $100 Should You Go For?
To decide which router we believe is the best out of all these fantastic products, we have considered the following: The product must provide the highest speeds, over the greatest range, with the most useful features, for the best value price.
The router we think does this best is the…TP-Link Archer A9
The A7 offers lightning-fast speeds of 5Ghz, a fantastic range thanks to Beamforming, useful features like MIMO, and is still well under $100. We also found the interface the easiest to navigate and the most user-friendly.