|1. TP-Link||2. D-Link||3. Mi Smart|
With smart devices flooding the market, a smart home is what everyone wants. One of the most essential requirements for creating a smart home, is the Internet. Without a stable internet connection, electronic devices like your smart TV, smartphone, etc. are of no use.
This is where the importance of a good WiFi router lies. Besides, the conditions created after the onset of the pandemic make it evident that work from home is going to the future of work. A stable internet connection, coupled with a WiFi router that has a good range, is essential for a work from home setup.
However, buying a WiFi router for your home might not be an easy task. This is because not only there are multiple brands which make these devices, but the products are also differentiated in terms of specs and features. You might get confused and end up buying a router which does not suit your requirements.
Therefore, in this article, we will help you to choose the best WiFi router for yourself. We will list down all the important things that you should look for while buying a router, and review some of the best WiFi routers in India. Go through this article and make the best choice for yourself.
Factors To Look For While Buying Best WiFi Router for Indian Homes
1. WiFi Standards
One of the first things to look for while buying a WiFi router is to look for the wireless standard that is being used on the device. The older routers used IEEE802.11a/ 802.11b standards. However, newer routers no longer use these. The new routers are compatible with a number of the latest versions.
And since a WiFi router is something which you will be using for a long time, it is best to ensure that it uses the latest standard. This will also ensure that you get the best performance out of your router. Most routers are also backward compatible. This means that these can also support older devices that require connections.
All the newest routers use the latest standard, which is IEEE802.11ac. These routers can support up to Gigabit speeds, and they are faster than the previous standards, which could support speeds only up to 600 Mbps. However, it is not possible to gain the full benefit from a router using the latest standard, unless your devices also use it. However, having the latest provides the best future-proofing.
2. WiFi Speed
Manufacturers quote the top speed offered by the 802.11 standard supported by the router. In real life scenarios, these speeds are rarely achieved. They occur only in a laboratory set up under ideal conditions. Factors like multiple users, signal attenuation caused by walls, interference, and a number of other such factors cause the speed to reduce.
However, despite the existence of such factors, the speeds quoted are normally well above the essential. All new routers support the streaming of high definition video, unless the signal is very low.
3. Wired Interfaces On The Router
Several forms of WiFi routers are available in the market. Some of these devices are meant to be connected to broadband, whereas others are designed for Ethernet, or other kinds of connections. In most cases, domestic use orientated routers have a connection for both broadband service and Ethernet, and also USB. In any case, while selecting a router for yourself, make sure that there are connectivity options for broadband and Ethernet, with USB or whatever combination is needed.
Routers with USB ports have increased in popularity, as they are used for cheap network storage. You can plug in a hard disk drive or flash storage drive into the router, which can be used to share that data with any device on the network. In this way, one can create a networked media hub for locally streaming movies, music, or television.
Besides, while looking at wired connections, it is also important to check the speed. Cheaper routers usually have Ethernet switches rated at only 100 Mbps. Select good routers which come with an Ethernet connection rated at 1 Gbps. In addition, check the version of the USB ports on the router, as USB 3.0/3.1 is many times faster than the old USB 2.0.
4. Broadband Provider Compatibility
WiFi routers are usually meant to be linked to a broadband connection offered by a service provider. Do ensure that the router you buy is compatible with your broadband service provider. Besides, fibre optic connections are fast becoming popular in India.
They provide the fastest connectivity speeds. Find out how to link the router to the fibre optic connection. In some cases, an additional modem might be required, which is usually supplied by the broadband provider. Also, make sure that your broadband provider can supply data at your desired speed.
Many times, broadband service providers quote maximum speeds. However, when a lot of users get onto their networks, speeds often slow.
With data breach issues becoming news headlines recurrently, network security is a grave concern in today’s age. One should also be concerned about the aspect of security while buying a router. And in fact, wireless networks can be extremely insecure.
As much as they are convenient to use, they are also prone to security breaches. Without securing the network properly, anyone within the range of the signal has the potential to know what is going on. In this way, vital and confidential information like bank and card details can reach fraudsters.
While buying a router for yourself, make sure that it at least uses WPA2, i.e., the second implementation of the WiFi Protected Access Protocol. At the same time, it is important to ensure that all devices on the network support WPA2. Otherwise, it will be of no use.
Some of the leading router manufacturers also provide a range of other security options on their devices. Some of the devices are designed keeping enterprise or advanced family security in mind. Thus, they are equipped with extra features, like the ability to add encryption, keep a track of devices, block unwanted users from the network, and even get access to browsing history. Check if such features are available on the device you are willing to buy, and whether they meet your needs.
6. WiFi Bands
The most common WiFi bands are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Most WiFi routers these days are dual band WiFi routers, as they have the option to use either of these two bands. Some of the best WiFi routers in India that we have reviewed in this article are dual band routers, while others are single band devices.
Some WiFi routers are equipped with two separate radios in them, which means that they are capable of setting up two separate wireless networks (one on each band). This ensures improved speeds when there are many users. The router can apportion the number of users on each band, so that optimum speeds are obtained. However, these routers tend to be more enterprise WiFi routers.
If you are buying a router for domestic use, do ensure that the router is dual band, so that it can select the best band to obtain the best performance. Tri-band routers are also available in the market. They come with two separate bands within the 5 GHz region. They may also use entirely different frequencies. If this is the case, ensure that the bands are authorized for the country of use.
7. Mu-Mimo Routers
These days, some routers come with a feature called MU-MIMO. This facility enables the router to deliver high speed data. If a large number of users may be connecting to video services, a MU-MIMO router is definitely an advantage.
8. Router Antennas
On any wireless device, an antenna is a very important item, and this holds true for WiFi routers as well. Therefore, they should be taken into consideration while buying a WiFi router.
Some models have routers protruding from the case, typically on the top. Others have internal antennas and they tend to look better in terms of design. However, the signal radiated is not as strong. Besides, routers with internal antennas do not provide for position adjustment.
Position adjustment is useful for obtaining the best coverage. Keep these things in mind with respect to antennas while buying a router. It is suggested that you buy a router that is eqipped with external antennas, as performance is what is going to matter at the end of the day.
9. Router Beam-Forming
Beam-forming is an advanced feature that can significantly improve signal strength and speed. It is also known as spatial filtering. The technology enables the router to focus the signal towards specific devices, instead of blanketing the entire area with the same signal strength. Beam-forming is only available on some select routers. If you want better performance, you can certainly go for a router that comes with this feature.
10. Use As Access Point And Repeater
A wide range of routers today can also be set up so as to perform as an access point or a repeater. If you are trying to cover a large area, which is often impossible for a single router, this feature can be very useful.
To set up a router as an access point, an Ethernet line is taken from the router interfacing to broadband connection. This is then taken to the access point. The instructions for performing these things are usually provided in the manual itself. Also, it is possible to have the same ID and password as the main router. This will make the overall system look like a single WiFi network, instead of two.
If the router has to perform as a repeater, this too can be configured in the set up procedure. Position the repeater at a spot where it can receive a good signal from the original router, and at the same time, provide coverage for the dead spot.
If you buy a router which has these extra capabilities, it might cost you a little more. However, these additional capabilities can be useful, as the need to use these features might arise later. In fact, future proofing is a great strategy when you are buying a router.
Top 5 Best WiFi Routers for Homes In India 2020
1. TP-Link TL-WR841N N300 Router
One of the most popular router brands in India is TP Link. It has been in existence in the Indian market for a long time, and is known for making various other kinds of wireless and connectivity devices, such as dongles, modems, etc. This particular router is compact in size, and the all white colour body increases its elegance.
In terms of connectivity, this WiFi router comes with four Ethernet ports. It offers the RJ-45 Ethernet cable connectivity option. All major Internet Service Providers across India such as ACT Fibernet, SITI, GTPL, Airtel Fibernet, Hathway, Tikona, Exitel, YOU Broadband, etc. support this connectivity option. Hence, compatibility won’t be an issue at all if you buy this WiFi router.
The WiFi standard used on this device is 802.11n, and it is also backwards compatible with 802.11b/g. This router can support speeds up to 300 Mbps, which is ideal for HD streaming, watching movies, and managing all your essentials. However, this is not a dual band router.
It supports a 2.4 GHz WiFi band, and the dual antennas on this device ensure wireless stability. It provides a decent range to cover your entire house. Also, the presence of external antennas means that you can adjust them in accordance with your needs, so that there are no blind spots.
Besides, this device offers IP based bandwidth control. It allows the administrators to determine how much bandwidth is to be allotted to each PC. You can thus set limits and control traffic. In addition, you can establish WPS security at the push of a button, and gain easy wireless security encryption. Thus, you do not have to worry about data theft and security issues while using this device, and therefore, can enjoy safe browsing.
In addition, this TP Link WiFi router supports IPV6 – which is the more recent Internet Protocol version. It also comes with the Whitelist/ Blacklist function. This enables you to allow or block certain devices from accessing the internet. Also, there are parental controls available on this device through which you can keep your children safe. You can also set limits on when and how devices can connect to the internet.
The device also provides for app control. With the use of TP Link app, you can quickly install and easily manage the device using any mobile device. With these specs and features, therefore, this TP Link router is a perfect wireless device for your home. It ensures a stable and fast Internet connection for all your smart devices. This is, in fact, one of the best WiFi routers for home in India under 1500 rupees.
2. D-Link DIR-615 Wireless-N300 Router
Just like TP Link, D Link is another popular manufacturer of modems and routers. In fact, TP Link and D Link are market leaders when it comes to these products. This D Link router looks stylish and is extremely lightweight. It comes in a black coloured body, with an elegant design. If you are looking for an attractive, sleek, smart, and high performance router, the D Link DIR-615 N300 router is one of the best WiFi routers in India.
In terms of speed, it can offer upto 300 Mbps of speed. It is, however, a single band router and operates on a 2.4 GHz band. The speed supported is good enough to support multitasking on a wide range of devices, stream HD content, upload videos, play online games – all at the same time. It is compatible with all the major Internet Service Providers across the country.
The WiFi standards supported by this device are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n. It is perfectly backward compatible with previous generation devices, and at the same time, uses one of the latest WiFi standards. Besides, it offers multiple wired interfaces, as the device has 4 LAN and 1 WAN port. Thus, you can use Ethernet cable on this device to connect to your network.
In addition, it has two fixed external WiFi antennas. This means that the router can cover a wide range. You can manually adjust the antennas in accordance with your convenience. This also ensures that there are minimum blind spots inside your house while using the router.
This D Link router is also very easy to set up and configure. It will take just a few minutes for you to set it up, as it comes with a setup wizard with a step by step instruction guide. In addition, in terms of security, this device uses WPA and WPA2 standards, which are some of the most secure WiFi standards.
It also uses dual active firewalls (SPI and NAT), protecting your internet from potential malware or virus attacks, and thus, ensuring the best possible encryption. Hence, you can sit before your laptop and safely surf the internet.
Moreover, this router also offers its use as an access point and repeater, which are some of its greatest benefits. It comes with an Access Point Wireless Client Bridge with AP repeater (Range extender) and a WISP Client Router/ Repeater. Besides, with the use of Quality of Service bandwidth optimization, it can analyse and separate data streams, and hence, it can handle multiple devices at one time.
Besides these specs and features, this device is also environment friendly. It is designed to conserve energy and reduce waste by using recyclable packaging. Another impressive deal that you get out of its product is its three year warranty. Overall, this D Link DIR 615 wireless router is a great product, and you can definitely buy it, if you are looking for a good WiFi router for your home at an affordable price.
3. Mi Smart Router 4C
Xiaomi, or Mi, is a popular brand in the Indian market and has cost effective, high performance smartphones. Over the years, the company has diversified its products, and now it is a leading electronics brand. Mi also offers some good quality, economical WiFi routers in India. This white colour Mi Smart Router 4C is one such great offering by the company. It has a sleek, slim and elegant design, and it does not perturb the aesthetics of the place where you will keep it.
Like the two other products that we have reviewed so far, this is also a single band router, and it supports 2.4 GHz WiFi band. It can provide speeds up to 300 Mbps, which is good enough for streaming HD videos, playing online games, listening to music, etc. across a range of devices. In fact, this WiFi router is ideal for 2 to 5 devices. Mi claims that it covers a range of 450 sq.ft. – which is a good enough coverage for two to three adjacent rooms. This device is, therefore, ideal for home use.
Besides, this Mi router is fitted with four high performance antennas, which are meant to provide better speed and coverage. These external antennas can be adjusted in accordance with your convenience, so that you do not encounter any blind spot within the WiFi range. In addition, the device also features a Quality of Service (QoS) bandwidth optimisation, which allows the device to manage and allocate bandwidth as per activity requirements.
The Mi WiFi app, further, allows you to control your network from anywhere, making it a really smart router. Besides, the device also allows for parental control settings. You can, thus, restrict your children’s time on the internet and also control the content on connected devices. In addition to these features, the WiFi optimisation allows for improved network speeds.
With respect to the WiFi standards, this Mi router uses the 802.11n standards, which is pretty new. It is also backward compatible and hence, you can connect your old devices on this network without any problem. With all these specs and features being offered on a router at such a low cost, the Mi Smart Router 4C is definitely one of the best WiFi routers for home in India, and you can opt for this product, if you are looking for a decent economical router.
4. TP-Link Archer A5 AC1200
Unlike the routers that we have reviewed so far, this is a dual band router. This TP Link WiFi router has an elegant design, and comes in an all white coloured body. The advantage of a dual band router is that it can support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi bands. The 2.4 GHz band can support up to 300 Mbps of speeds, whereas the 5GHz band can support up to 867 Mbps of speed. Thus, there is a total bandwidth of 1200 Mbps available for connections.
Further, this TP Link router uses the latest 802.11ac standard, and is also backward compatible at the same time. It uses four external antennas which offer stable wireless connections and cover a large area. This is, in fact, one of the best WiFi router for long range in India and is also great for enterprise use. It features 4 LAN ports and one 1 WAN port.
Besides, it supports IGMP proxy settings, along with Bridge and Tag VLAN to optimise IPTV streaming. You can also use this WiFi router to create a new WiFi access point, as it supports an access point mode. With the use of TP Link Tether App, you can easily manage the network on your fingertips, making it a truly smart WiFi router. It also allows you to set up the WiFi router easily, without any hassle.
The router also allows for guest network access. It provides for efficient guest authentication with Facebook as well. Also, you get parental control options on this WiFi, through which you can block certain websites from being accessed by your kids, and also limit their Internet usage time. With all these specs and features being offered on this device, it is indeed a great WiFi router for home use.
5. D Link DSL 2750U Wireless N300 Router
The major difference between this and other routers, is that it can also be used as a modem for ADSL connections like BSNL broadband. It is a high performance router for home and small offices. It comes with ADSL2/2+, and supports download speeds upto 24 Mbps when used with an ADSL connection.
This WiFi router uses 802.11n standards, and is capable of providing speeds upto 300 Mbps. Thus, you can stream HD content, surf the internet, and multitask, all at a high speed. It is also backward compatible and hence, you can also connect older devices which have old WiFi standards, to this device.
There are 4 LAN ports, 4 Ethernet switch ports and the Wireless N ADSL2 port on this device. It also uses Quality of Service (QoS) bandwidth optimisation, allowing the device to manage and allocate bandwidth as per activity requirements. In addition, you get features like firewall protection on this device.
This router is a great product in establishing a secure connection. It prevents unauthorized access to the network from wireless devices or from the internet. It supports WPA, WPA2 and WEP for flexible user access security and data encryption methods. There is a built-in WPS button that provides an easy way to establish a secure wireless connection.
The router also offers other cool features, like the ability to set up guest networks. Some profiles can also be saved to be used later. Besides, it offers parental controls, through which you can block certain websites from being accessed by your kids. You can also restrict their usage time.
There are two antennas on this WiFi router, and thus its signal is powerful enough to cover a large area. You can also adjust these external antennas in accordance with your convenience, so that there are no blind spots. There is also a backlit LED notification panel, that allows for keeping an easy track of notifications.
Overall, this is a great product, and offers a great value for money. It is a great router for home or office use, and is particularly useful if you are planning on opting for a traditional ADSL based connection. In all respects, this is one of the best WiFi routers in India featuring an ADSL modem. It offers some of the best specs and features that you can get out of a WiFi router.
FAQs on WiFi Routers for Home
1. What Is The Best Location To Place A WiFi Router – Upstairs Or Downstairs?
The best position to place a WiFi router is at the centre of the area that you want it to cover. Besides, it is important to ensure that there are no metal objects or walls surrounding it. As to whether one wants to set up a WiFi router upstairs or downstairs – there is no definite answer to this question. If you mostly stay downstairs, it is best to place the WiFi downstairs, whereas, if you spend most of your time upstairs, you must install it upstairs.
2. How Many Years Does A Router Last?
The longevity of a WiFi router depends on a range of factors. This includes the quality of the router, as well as the way you maintain it. In general, a router can last anywhere between 5 and 10 years. Sometimes, improvements in technology may make your router outdated after a few years. In other cases, there will be usual wearing out. It is important to ensure that you follow the recommended maintenance practices so that your router lasts for a long time.
3. What Is The Difference Between A Router And A Modem?
A modem is a device which is used to provide an internet connection. The modem, thus, establishes a connection with your Internet Service Provider. A router, on the other hand, is used for broadcasting this connection signal over a certain range. This allows several gadgets to join the connection. Thus, a modem is connected to the router, and the router broadcasts the signal, and enables a number of devices like smartphones, TVs, laptops, etc. to connect to the internet.
4. How Far Can WIFI Go?
The range of a WiFi signal depends on the wireless router being used. As expected, a stronger router will broadcast the signal across larger areas. A number of modern-day wireless routers operate on the 2.4 GHz band. They are able to cover a radius of 150 feet in areas with obstacles, and up to twice that area in a space without obstacles. The routers that use 5 GHz are not very common. However, they cover only about a third of the range covered by a 2.4 GHz router.
An uninterrupted and stable internet connection is something which has become a necessity. With work from home increasingly becoming popular, and an overall increase in the importance of the internet in our day to day lives, WiFi routers have emerged as one of the essential devices that allow us to access the internet.
However, buying a WiFi router for your home or office is not an easy task. This is because of the existence of a large number of brands, and a wide diversity of products in the market. There are a number of technical specifications and features to look for, some of which are difficult for a first time buyer to understand. It is possible that you might end up buying the wrong device by paying more money.
Therefore, in this article, we have tried to help you by enlisting all the important factors that one should look for while buying a WiFi router. We have provided a buyers’ guide, which also contains some of the best WiFi routers in India. This buyers’ guide also answers some of the frequently asked questions with regards to WiFi routers.
However, you will have to buy a product for yourself in accordance with your requirements. Do not get lured easily by the promises made by the brands. Go through our buyers’ guide properly, and buy a WiFi router that best suits your requirements.
Aditya has an innate liking towards reading. Be it tech gadgets/ home appliances, he loves reading about them. This is why he spends his free time writing buyer guides on some of the most sought after products in India.