These are some of the best Cisco routers on the market today.
If you are looking for a new router for your home, a Cisco router might be something you want to consider. As a brand at the top of the list of reputable router brands, Cisco has been around for quite some time now, and though there are numerous router options for you to try out, it’s important to make sure that the Cisco router you choose is the best one for your home.
What this means is that this review focuses on the best Cisco routers in terms of their wireless speeds, coverage areas, the incorporation of advanced security features, and the use of the latest technological features. At the end of the day, you need a router that offers the best value for money, and these routers are some of the best options for you.
Best Cisco Routers for Home – Comparison Table
Best Cisco Routers for Home
Cisco RV340 VPN Router
Best Overall Gigabit Ethernet Router
Cisco RV042G-NA Dual Gigabit WAN VPN Router
Best Security Features
Cisco RV130 VPN Router with Web Filtering
Best Versatile Router
Cisco CISCO1921-SEC/K9 Series Router
Best High-Performance Router with the best Security Features
CISCO SYSTEMS RV215W Wireless-N Router
Reviews of the Best Cisco Routers for Home
Cisco RV340 VPN Router – Best Overall Gigabit Ethernet Router
- PORT COUNT: Integrated 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch lets you connect your wired devices, such as...
- CONNECTIVITY: Supports Dual WAN Ethernet, allows multiple Internet connections for load balancing and...
In the search for the best router on the market, you often look out for the design and the functional features that make the router under consideration a better option for you. A look at this Cisco RV340 reveals that this is one of the best routers you could invest in today.
This Cisco router features 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, and the integration of the 4-port switch means that this router offers excellent wired connections to all your wired devices, including computers, gaming, and storage devices. These ports for wired connections guarantee high internet/ streaming speeds across devices, allowing you to enjoy full value for your money.
It also boasts the best features for connectivity thanks to its support for the Dual WAN Ethernet system that allows load balancing for multiple device/ internet connections. These connections also allow for failovers. It also supports the remote access system for mobile devices; Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
Besides good connectivity, this router also boasts the best features for security, from the multiple VPN protocols that include the L2TP/IPsec, both designed to simplify the establishment of safe and more flexible VPN connections.
You might also like this router because of its intuitive network management system that allows for easy setup and operations. It’s also quite flexible, allowing for routing, switching, and overall solution catering, depending on your needs.
- It’s based on the 802.11ac wireless protocol for high-speed connectivity
- Secure system
- 4 Ethernet ports for wired connections
- Easy to set up, use, and manage
- Versatile router
- High-speed performance
- The licensing proves isn’t the easiest
Cisco RV042G-NA Dual Gigabit WAN VPN Router – Best Security Features
- 4-Port switch
- Design that delivers high availability, scalability, and for maximum flexibility and price/performance
Designed with 4 Ethernet ports and based on the 802.11bgn wireless protocol, this router is one of the best Cisco routes on the market for home use, as well as used by small businesses. This dual gigabit router delivers reliable internet connectivity, high-performance wireless connection, and highly secure networks. It also offers advanced firewall protection, keeping your home network and devices safe.
The other feature and capabilities of this router include the built-in 4-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and the Ethernet WAN ports specifically for enhancement of load balancing. If you are running your business from your home, this will be an excellent router for you because it offers and allows for business continuity. You might also like the strong security setup of the router that includes the tested SPI firewall system (Stateful Packet Inspection), as well as a feature for hardware encryption. It also boasts high-performance IPsec (IP Security) VPN support to secure your home network.
There’s also the intuitive and browser-based management system for your devices that allows for ease of use, setup, and network management.
- Easy configuration
- Works well with VPN
- Reliable security features
- Fast internet
- The GUI/ firmware could be better
Cisco RV130 VPN Router with Web Filtering – Best Versatile Router
If you are looking for a multi-functional wireless router for your home, you might like this N Cisco router. It is a high-performance router capable of delivering WiFi speeds of up to 800Mbps on its single 2.4GHz band. Thanks to the high internet speeds, you can use this router to stream HD video and for streamed online gaming, without having to worry about interrupted gaming sessions.
The router is an 802.11a/b/g/n wireless router that is compatible with most systems, and you will like that it is well-equipped with two high-gain external antennas capable of expanding your wireless network coverage throughout your home. The antennas and the long-range 2.4GHz signals mean that you won’t have to think about dead spots in different corners of your home.
It also features four Ethernet ports, all Gigabit ports, and these offer reliable, multi-device connectivity up to 10x faster than the wireless connections. The wired data transfer speeds ensure reliable connections across devices.
The security features of this router are also quite impressive, from the separate virtual networks that ensure the best secured access to your connected devices to the guest network access that ensures network safety when a guest accesses your network.
It’s also one of the most versatile Cisco routers as it can be used as a wireless router, a bridge, an access point, or a repeater. This level of flexibility, ease of use, and ease of network management make this one of the best routers on the market today.
- Ideal for home use
- It’s compatible with all 802.11a/b/g/n wireless systems
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Separate virtual and guest network access networks
- High-speed performance at 800Mbps
- Flexible connections
- Versatile, and it works as a repeater/ bridge/ WiFi access point
- Single-band system
Cisco CISCO1921-SEC/K9 Series Router – Best High-Performance Router with the best Security Features
On top of our list is this integrated services, high-performance router that comes in handy if you are looking for a router that promises the best performance.
It is a high-speed router and the best-in-class router that comes with two integrated Ethernet ports ensuring high-speed wired connections from the 10/100/1000Mbps ports. It also features two of the enhanced EHWIC or Enhanced High-Speed WAN Interface Card slots. These card slots can host at least two of the single-wide EHWIC modules or one double-wide module. Thanks to all these advanced features, the router offers a high data transfer rate of 100Mbps.
You might also like it because it offers a fully integrated power distribution module system that supports the 802.3af advanced Power over Ethernet/ PoE, as well as the Cisco-Enhanced PoE.
- It’s affordable
- Excellent and reliable performance
- Advanced features for security, including the embedded hardware encryption acceleration technology
- It’s compatible with all Ethernet internet services
- Works best as a bridge
CISCO SYSTEMS RV215W Wireless-N Router – Best N-Router
- High-speed 802.11N wireless router
- A 4-port 10/100 Mbps fast Ethernet switch
If you are looking for a high-performance router that is compatible with your devices on the 802.11n system, you might like this router. It boasts great performance and high internet speeds (up to 3x faster than the 802.11g networks) up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. You might also like this single-band router because of its wide area coverage and the fact that it’s secure. The security features offered by this router include the VPN and guest network access, both designed to keep your network connections safe at all times.
The other security features of this router include the IP Security function (IPsec), SPI firewall security, and PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol. All these features work together to protect your network and connected devices from online web attacks.
The speed and performance of the router are further enhanced by the fast Ethernet switch ports at the back of the router. These 10/100Mbps ports allow you to enjoy the fastest internet connections for your wired devices. There’s also USB support for fast data transfers.
You might also like this router because it provides a simple installation process, and you will be able to enjoy the best quality, reliability, and user experiences.
You might also like this router because it boasts QoS/ Quality of Service technology that allows for network traffic prioritization, hence the delivery of equal bandwidth across multi-connected devices, but also for more bandwidth allocation for the devices that need it the most.
- High speeds of 300Mbps
- USB port
- N-wireless router compatibility
- Features QoS technology for bandwidth prioritization
- Easy to use
- 4 high-speed Ethernet ports
- Advanced security features
- 10/100Mbps Ethernet Switch
- Easy device management
- Not future-proof
Buying Guide for the Best Cisco Routers for Home
Choosing one Cisco router over the other (or other brands for that matter) is a decision that you don’t arrive at lightly. The routers on the market aren’t created equal, and this means that you must look at the features that the router offers then look at how those features match up to your needs. This means that you need to think about how fast you want the router to be, how good the maximum coverage will be in relation to the size of your home, features of the router, and the performance of the router with regards to the number of devices that you will have connected to your home network. Of course, you also need to consider your budget.
Cisco Systems is one of the brand names that has been on the market for a few decades now. Over the years, the company has gone through many changes, and the restructuring processes have resulted in the brand selling Linksys, a brand they previously owned. They also discontinued Valet, which was a line of home routers under their ownership. Today, Cisco isn’t marketing any of its new routers to homeowners directly, but you can still find many of their products on the market today. The company, however, continues to offer high-quality products for homeowners and businesses, and their routers remain quite popular on the market thanks to the quality of the routers and the high level of reliability.
Below, we look at the main features and factors that you need to keep under consideration in your search for the best Cisco routers on the market. So, keep reading.
Important considerations when choosing the best Cisco router
It’s obvious that the first thing you will look at when looking for a router is the speed, and it is totally understandable because it makes no sense to buy a low-speed router when you need high internet speeds for everything. That said, routers are not created equally, and though some offer low speeds of about 300Mbps, there are routers that allow you to enjoy gigabit internet speeds. Choose the speed specifications carefully and depending on your needs, but most importantly, you need to make sure that the router’s speeds aren’t impressive only on paper.
Essentially, a gigabit-speed router will only allow you to enjoy gigabit speeds if your home internet (from the package subscribed to from the ISP) reaches the blazing high gigabit speeds.
The wireless standards/ protocols for routers are set by the IEEE (Institute of Electricals and Electronics Engineers). These standards often determine the performance of routers and other network devices. From the IEEE, the most advanced wireless protocol is the 802.11ax, and it boasts the highest internet speeds on wireless and wired networks. It’s backward compatible with older versions of the IEEE protocols, including the most common protocol, 802.11ac, as well as the 802.11a/b/g/n protocols.
Most Cisco routers run on the 802.11ac protocol and the previous versions, but they are built to last and ensure excellent performance.
Speaking of performance, the 802.11ac routers are pegged as high-speed routers, and you can enjoy gigabit speeds from these routers. These routers are dual-band, and they offer impressive theoretical speeds.
That said, you will be happy to know that the best routers on the market today boast high-speed performance thanks to the incorporation of advanced features like Beamforming technology, MU-MIMO, as well as a bigger number of antennas.
The other important consideration that you need to keep in mind when shopping for a Cisco router is the security features and functions incorporated to protect your home network. While there are many factors that will affect the security of your network and home wireless system setup, plus devices, you need to invest in the best security features. We are talking about protection from cyberattacks, etc. Generally, the best routers offer WiFi Protected Access as WPA or WPA2, as well as SPI for firewall protection.
Maximum coverage area
Will that Cisco router offers reliable wireless coverage throughout your home, specifically for big homes with many thick walls? To avoid disappointments, check the maximum area coverage for your router and read the reviews of the product to make sure that you have an accurate picture of the router’s total area coverage.
Antennas affect the wireless router’s coverage, and we recommend looking for a router that has external antennas, besides the internal antennas.
Any router worth your money offers at least two radio bands, the 2.4GHz band, and the 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz band is designed to operate efficiently at a lower frequency, and it’s capable of penetrating walls effortlessly, while the 5GHz band operates at a higher frequency, working as a fat pipe network transmitter that ensures high-speed internet access.
Since the 2.4GHz band competes with other signals in your homes like your microwave oven and other Bluetooth devices, it’s not the fastest band, and it’s more suited for low-demand activities like browsing the internet. The 5GHz band is faster and more powerful, and the ideal band for heavy internet use, for example, video streaming. This fast band boasts a significantly high level of overall throughput, and there’s minimal interference.
Are Cisco Routers Safe?
Yes. Cisco routers make use of advanced security systems for both the software and the hardware. The routers allow you to run VPN services on the routers, and you can also access excellent core functioning for the router. The WAN QoS and VPN functions are reliable, and you won’t have to worry about bandwidth or security issues.
What’s the difference between the router mode and the gateway mode for routers?
Your Cisco router runs on two modes, the router, and the gateway mode. The difference between these two is that the router mode works as the operating mode that disables the Network Address Translation or NAT on that router, allowing you to easily connect at least one router on multiple networks. It is, therefore, ideal for use in WAN environments.
On the other hand, you have the Gateway mode, which is the recommended mode for use if your router is used in hosting network connections to your internet directly. In this case, NAT runs when you enable the Gateway Mode, and this means that the use of a single WAN IP address and an entire LAN IP addresses to block.
What is load balancing?
As you learn more about routers and the radio bands that allow for the use of your wireless network by your devices, depending on what you do online, you’ve come across the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands. The only way for your router to work optimally is by allocating some of the tasks on both radio bands, and this is made possible by load balancing.
Through load balancing, your router gets to take advantage of several of the best paths to reach specific destinations. It is an inherent forwarding process in your router, and it’s activated automatically when there are multiple paths on the routing table to the desired destination. Thanks to well-configured load-balancing of routers, you will be able to enjoy maximum throughputs, attain proper utilization of resources, and enjoy high response times, while avoiding overloads, even when you have multiple computers connected to your home network.
The five Cisco routers above are some of the best options for anyone looking for the best home routers. They are affordable, functional, easy to use, and reliable.