7 Best Routers under $200 in 2020 (Reviews and Guide)

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tri band router

We’ve been made out to believe that you have to spend a lot of money on the best-performance routers, but that isn’t the whole truth because you can find excellent routers for $200 or a lot less than that.

Over the years, I have learned that beyond the price of a router, my search for the right router to meet my need must be guided by my needs. And this means that I have to check out the features offered by the router, weigh them against my needs, then determine whether that router is a good option for me or not.

Take gaming routers, for example, the best of these routers are believed to be the ones with the highest price tags, but the truth is that there are affordable gaming router options on the market, and you only need to know what features will allow you to have the best gaming experience. Some of the purchases I have made in the past and recently include affordable routers under $200, and I’m getting full value for my money.

If you are working with a budget, you could enjoy solid and reliable internet connectivity with these routers under $200.

Best Routers under $200: Comparison Table

Best Routers under $200

 

Best For
Speed
WiFi Protocol
Price
TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
Best Overall Router
1750Mbps
802.11ac
Google Nest WiFi 2nd Generation
Best For Value of Money
2200Mbps
802.11ac
NETGEAR 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router
Best WiFi 6 Router
3000Mbps
802.11ax
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router
Best Performance
3000Mbps
802.11ax
ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band Router
Most Affordable WiFi 5 Router
1300Mbps
802.11ac
Asus AC1900 Dual-Band WiFi Router
Best Security Features
1900Mbps
802.11ac
Linksys EA7500 Dual-Band WiFi Router
Best High-Speed Wireless Router
1900Mbpa
802.11ac

 

Best Routers under $200: Reviews

  1. TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Smart WiFi Router – Best Overall Router

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control&QoS (Archer A7)
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Router for wireless internet, works with Alexa, compatible with all WiFi devices, 802.11ac and older

If you are looking for the most budget-friendly router on the market that offers reliable high-speed performance, then this WiFi router by TP-Link might be an excellent option for you. It is a robust dual-band router that promises top speeds reaching a maximum of 1750Mbps, running at 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The router’s dual-band design is a great function that helps reduce buffering. It is also efficient when it comes down to 4K streaming.

The performance of this router is further enhanced by its three external antennas, which will boost its range to ensure a large coverage in small and medium-sized homes/ spaces. Then you have its 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which ensure the best wired connections, hence faster and uninterrupted internet access, ideal for gaming and HD streaming. You might also like its integrated USB ports that act as media servers, ensuring fast data transfers.

Pros

  • TP-Link Tether app ensures easy setup and management of the network
  • Good coverage range of up to 2,500sq.ft
  • Stable WiFi
  • QoS ensures solid internet connection and bandwidth prioritization
  • Powerful CPU for top-speed processing
  • Ease of use
  • It works well with Alexa
  • High internet speeds
  • Fewer traffic disruptions thanks to the dual-band system
  • No more dead spots or signal drops

Cons

  • It could use more Ethernet ports for gamers

View Price on Amazon

  1. Google NestWiFi 2nd Generation – Best For Value of Money

Google Nest WiFi Router (2nd Generation) – 4x4 AC2200 Mesh Wi-Fi Router with 2200 Sq Ft Coverage
  • Each nest wi fi router provides up to 2200 square feet of fast, reliable wi fi coverage for your home....
  • Intelligently works behind the scenes to make sure your WiFi remains fast; so you can walk from room to...

To get the most out of your internet, you need the perfect router-modem combination. However, I always tell people that you’d do yourself a great service if you choose to invest in the best router. This Google Nest WiFi router is priced affordably, and it offers so much more than you thought possible for a mid-range router.

Boasting a simple setup and fast wireless connectivity speeds, and an easy-to-use interface app control system, this router is one of the best mesh routers in my book. Unexpectedly affordable for an upgraded mesh fiber with range-extending features, this router promises excellent performance and an equally good range.

While it lacks support for the WiFi 6 system, it comes with a number of cutting edge technological features and advancements which ensure its good overall performance. These features include the 4×4 MU-MIMO connection, which ensures super-high top speeds for devices connectivity, as well as the new WPA3 security standards, which ensure secured network and device connections.

This single pack boasts an excellent range for small and medium-sized homes, up to 2200sq. Ft. It’s worth noting that this router runs on the WiFi 5 system or 802.11ac system, and it boasts high internet speeds of up to 2200Mbps. At this speed, you will be able to stream or game without worrying about buffering.

I was also impressed by the system’s easy setup, its Google Assistant integration, and its security installations. The Google Nest WiFi system will update itself automatically, helping you stay safe. It comes with parental controls too, and the app connection system allows for easy monitoring and control of speed and access accounts.

Pros

  • Broad coverage of 2200sq.ft for small and medium-sized homes
  • It comes with 2 Ethernet ports
  • It’s flexible and scalable
  • Fast and reliable internet connectivity
  • No buffering
  • Easy setup
  • App integration works great
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • No speakers or microphones built-in

View Price on Amazon

  1. NETGEAR4-Stream WiFi 6 Router – Best WiFi 6 Router

NETGEAR Nighthawk 4-Stream AX4 Wifi 6 Router (RAX40) – AX3000 Wireless Speed (Up to 3 Gbps) | 1,500 sq. ft. Coverage
  • WIFI 6 – STREAM EVERYTHING AT FASTER SPEED: Simultaneously stream uninterrupted movies, games, video...
  • WORKS WITH ALL INTERNET PROVIDERS: Replace your existing WiFi Router (separate modem or gateway...

You don’t have to spend thousands or opt for the high-end and expensive routers to enjoy the latest WiFi system – WiFi 6, as is evidenced by this NETGEAR WiFi router. It is one of the best options on the market, and its integration with the latest WiFi system means that this router promises super-fast internet connections for gaming and 4K streaming.

It boasts high wireless speeds of 1800Mbps on the WiFi 6 system, which means that you get to enjoy a good connection for all your devices. This WiFi system is compatible with Samsung Galaxy S10, S20, and iPhone 11. It boasts four internet streams and good coverage for homes about 1500sq.ft.

It comes with four wired Ethernet ports that ensure wired connections and the fastest internet speeds for streaming with multiple players, gaming consoles, and computers. Wired connections mean less network congestion and increased network stability.

To enhance its performance further, it features some of the latest technological features, for example, OFDMA, Beamforming+, a quad-core processor, Alexa voice controls, and three amplified antennas. The Beamforming+ and OFDMA technologies are robust systems designed to enhance traffic while reducing lags and latency. The router also comes with two USB 3.0 ports for fast data transfers.

Its security features include the WPA2 security protocol, VPN, Firewalls, Guest WiFi access, and Firewalls.

Pros

  • WiFi 6 system boasting 4X more capacity, faster internet speeds, simultaneous WiFi streams, and it backward compatible
  • Ease of setup
  • Large device capacity for at least 20 devices
  • High speeds of up to 1.8Gbps
  • Good for HD streaming and gaming; no buffering
  • Good coverage
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Amazon Alexa integration
  • Great design

Cons

  • Its range would be higher if it had more antennas
  • No AX system

View Price on Amazon

  1. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router – Best High-Speed Router

TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Free HomeCare,Works with Alexa(Archer AX50)
  • JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
  • Wi-Fi 6 Router: Wi-Fi 6(802. 11ax) technology achieves up to 3x faster speeds, 4x capacity and 75% lower...

WiFi 6 is the craze right now when it comes to wireless internet system because it’s not only the fastest WiFi system, but also because this WiFi protocol (also 802.11ax) is an evolution of the 802.11ac system, and it promises higher throughput speeds. WiFi 6 system also boasts a bigger client capacity, less network congestion, and an overall improvement in range performance.

These functions are enhanced by the OFDMA technologies – Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access, a technology that’s devised to increase your system’s overall throughput thanks to its ability to break up your WiFi channel into sub-channels, hence more users on one channel, at the same time. The use of WiFi 6 technology on this router is also an intuitive move driven by the fact that this router boasts up to 4X the capacity of previous models, a reduced latency by up to 75%, and up to 3x higher speeds than WiFi 5 system.

As a result of its design, the router boasts high speeds of up to 3Gbps. This router also boasts a dual-band design, which breaks the transmission speeds of the router into 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band and 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Thanks to these speeds, this router offers robust gaming and HD streaming.

It further allows easy connection of more devices thanks to the revolutionary OFDMA technology, which ensures good communication between your devices, as well as the reduction of lags for all your applications, and devices. It also features Target Wake Time (TWT) technology, which helps increase your devices’ battery life, while ensuring optimal power consumption.

You might also like this router for its advanced security features, which include the TP-Link HomeCare system, which boasts next-gen antivirus, as well as QoS and robust parental controls.

Pros

  • Impressive backward compatibility
  • Easy setup
  • High-performance WiFi 6 system
  • Good parental controls
  • High speeds up to 3Gbps
  • Perfect for 4K or 8K streaming, as well as heavy gaming
  • More devices’ connectivity with less congestion
  • Time limits, filter levels, user profiles, reports, etc. for safe surfing
  • Great coverage from dual-band system and four antennas
  • Beamforming increases signal strength
  • Increased battery life
  • MU-MIMO technology for improved router performance
  • USB 3.0, Gigabit WAN, and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports

Cons

  • More Ethernet ports would improve its performance significantly
  • It lacks a default admin account
  • Few issues turning off QoS

View Price on Amazon

  1. ASUS RT-ACRH13 Dual-Band Router – Most Affordable WiFi 5 Router

ASUS Dual-Band 2x2 AC1300 Super-Fast WiFi 4-Port Gigabit Router with MU-MIMO and USB 3.0 (RT-ACRH13)
  • Dual band AC1300 with the latest 2x2 MU MIMO technology for combined speeds of up to 1267 Mbps
  • 4 external 5dBi antennas for improved Wi Fi range and multi device performance; Connected devices must be...

With 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a maximum internet speed of 1300Mbps, this router might be exactly what you need for your home (small or medium-sized spaces). It boasts a dual-band channel system running at a high combined speed of up to 1267Mbps on the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands. The dual-band system runs at high concurrent speeds of 867Mbps and 400Mbps on the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz bands, respectively.

And with the latest 2×2 MU-MIMO technology (Multiple User, Multiple Input Multiple Output) systems that ensure simultaneous data streaming for multiple clients and not sequential streaming, this router allows for the best level of performance, streaming and gaming. MU-MIMO increases the router’s throughput.

The other features designed to improve the performance of this router include the 4 Ethernet ports, and the four external 5dBi antennas designed to improve the router’s WiFi range, as well as its multi-device performance. The only catch is that the devices connected to this router must be 802.11ac-compatible for the best connectivity/ results.

It also boasts an integrated USB 3.0 ports for automatic data transfers, as well as the most advanced encryptions for system/ network security.

Pros

  • Decent pricing
  • Easy network management thanks to the ASUS Router app
  • High combined speeds shy of 1300Mbps
  • Excellent coverage for small homes
  • Easy setup
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 4 antennas for improved range and stability
  • Smart Connect for easy bandwidth switching between devices
  • Effortless connectivity for at least 30 devices
  • Good for streaming and gaming
  • Great value for money

Cons 

  • Lacks robust security features seen in other ASUS routers

View Price on Amazon

  1. Asus AC1900 Dual-Band WiFi Router – Best Security Features

Asus AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router with MU-Mimo, Aimesh for Mesh WIFI System, Aiprotection Network Security Powered by Trend Micro, Adaptive Qos and Parental Control (RT-AC68U),Black
  • Dual band with the latest 802; 11 AC 3x3 technology for combined speeds of up to 1900 Mbps
  • 1 GigaHertz dual core CPU enables smart multitasking by dedicating separate lanes for Wi Fi and USB data;...

If you are looking for a little more power from your Router, this ASUS AC1900 might be a great option for you, especially because it comes with some of the most advanced and robust features for routers. The features fitted into this router will ensure the best level of performance, regardless of your needs.

For starters, it boasts impressively high speeds reaching a maximum of 1900Mbps. The top speeds and the elegant performance of the router come from the fact that the router is developed with the neat 802.11ac system, which has a 3×3 stream capabilities for top performance. The real reason for the power and top-performance of this router is its powerful 1GHz dual-core processor that will allow for smart multitasking through the dedication of specific lanes for USB and WiFi data.

The other features designed to boost the performance of the router include MU-MIMO and the Adaptive QoS, which allows for simultaneous data streaming, and latency reduction, respectively.

The router is also quite easy to use and manage, thanks to its ASUSWRT interface (web-based), which is quite easy to use, as well as the dual-band system, which ensures the best-level connectivity, compatibility, and overall performance. You also get to manage and monitor your network’s system and settings from the ASUS Router App.

In terms of security, you have the Trend Micro for multi-level protection from all manner of vulnerabilities, as well as the AiMesh for the Mess WiFi system and the AiProtection function, which ensures further network security protection.

Pros

  • Great parental controls
  • Impressive WiFi speeds at 1900Mbps
  • 4 Gigabit LAN ports
  • Ease of use on the web-based and mobile app systems
  • It’s compatible with AiMesh
  • AiProtection by Trend Miro enhances the security of the router
  • It comes with TurboQAM for WiFi acceleration
  • Dual-band network and Dual-core processor improve its performance
  • Solid build
  • 4 Ethernet ports

Cons

  • It could do with more Ethernet ports

View Price on Amazon

  1. Linksys EA7500 DualBand WiFi Router – Best High-Speed Wireless Router

Linksys EA7500 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router for Home (Max-Stream AC1900 MU-Mimo Fast Wireless Router)
  • Provides up to 1,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage for 15+ wireless devices
  • Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App

Boasting good coverage for spaces up to 1500sq.ft. this router by Linksys might be an excellent option for you if you are looking for an affordable router upgrade offering good connectivity for at least 15 devices.

With a dual-band channel design and speeds of 600Mbpsn on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz bands, this router ensures that you enjoy excellent connectivity for different needs. Thanks to the high speeds of this router, you get to enjoy the best quality 4K streaming, and you can use it for serious gaming too, especially if you have your computer or gaming console connected to the router directly via one of its 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The overall performance and function of this router is further enhanced by technologies like MU-MIMO designed to boost the router’s throughput, increasing its overall speeds, as well as the Beamforming technology which will increase the WiFi focus of each device, strengthening the WiFi signal, allowing you to enjoy the fastest WiFi speeds, and a larger signal range.

USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet ports also ensure faster wired connections and file/ data transfers.

Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Good parental controls
  • Device prioritization
  • MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies for higher internet speeds
  • High internet speeds of 1900bps
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • No buffering and reduced lags, making this a good router for streaming
  • Good range and performance

Cons

  • It’s not compatible with Mesh WiFi systems
  • Not ideal for large homes

View Price on Amazon


Buying Guide for the Best Routers Under $200

At the end of the day, your choice of routers must be based on the features it offers and its performance. Before you buy a router, it would be a good idea to look at its features and whether it comes with everything needed for enhanced performance or not.

Below are some of the features and factors you need to check before buying a router.

  • Coverage

What’s the size of your home, and will the range of that router offer reliable coverage for space, with no dead zones or signal drops? To answer this question appropriately, check the recommended coverage for the router, but also read reviews left by other users for a more accurate picture of what the router offers.

  • Size

Does the router require a lot of space to sit on because it has a large footprint and the positioning of the antennas?

  • Number of antennas

Generally, a router with more antennas will have a wider range than one with fewer, simpler antennas with no amplification.

  • Dual-Band or Tri-Band

Any good router that’s worth your money, your budget notwithstanding, must be a dual or a tri0-band router. Avoid the single-band routers because their performance is less than satisfactory.

With a $200 budget, you will be better off with a dual-band router. This router comes with two networks/ channels – 2.4GHz and 5GHz. While the 2.4GHz band offers a wider range and it gets easily crowded, the 5GHz band offers higher speeds, and it’s less crowded. A 5GHz band is a good option for gaming and streaming.

  • QoS (Quality of Service)

Most routers on the market today boast a QoS function, which is a setting that allows for the prioritization of applications or devices that need more bandwidth. QoS allows for the prioritization of bandwidth to specific devices. If you are using the router for heavy streaming or gaming, make sure you choose the router that comes with a QoS function.

  • Geo-Filter

This is a feature common in gaming routers. It’s designed to enhance your online gaming performance by reducing lags through the limitation of the distance between the host gaming servers and your gaming devices.

  • MU-MIMO

MU-MIMO is a technological function that will allow for the best-level simultaneous streaming for multiple clients rather than sequential streaming, leaving you with higher throughput.

  • Beamforming

This is another advanced technological function that improves the router’s throughput by shaping the signal, increasing its efficiency and range.

  • WiFi 6 (802.11ax)

This is the latest WiFi protocol, also referred to as the High Efficiency (HE) Wireless system. It is an evolution of the 802.11ac technology, and it’s regarded as one of the best technologies on the market today as it promises higher throughput speeds, up to 3 or 4X higher than WiFi 5/ 802.11ac systems. The other advantages of WiFi 6 include an increase in your client’s capacity, reduced network congestion, and an improved range.

In addition to WiFi 6, the other advanced features you need to look out for include OFDMA and Target Wake Time (TWT). These features all boast the performance of the router.

The other considerations you need to keep in mind include:

  • Ports – the best routers on the market will come with at least 4 gigabit LAN/ Ethernet ports for wired connectivity for gaming consoles, PCs, and printers. They also feature USB ports, preferably one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports.
  • Parental Controls – this is a great add-on, especially if you have children as it blocks access to unsafe sites, online gaming, as well as overall internet usage. Guest WiFi is another great security feature that you need in a router. Other security functions include WPA and WPS systems.

FAQs

Why is my router so slow?

One of the most common reasons for slow router speed is that the router is either outdated or its range is too short.

Why do I need a router to upgrade?

There are many reasons for this, but the most common ones would include not wanting to rent a router from your ISP, you have a broadband modem and need to connect the internet to multiple devices, your current router is too slow, or because your current router lacks a wireless connection.

Which is the best router for a large home?

If yours is a large home with several rooms, with more than one floor, you’ll need a router that boasts a long-range plus a strong data throughput at larger distances.


Conclusion

The features above would form the best compass to guide you in your search for the best routers. But if you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for a good router to match your needs, and the seven routers reviewed above would be a good option for you, depending on your needs.

 

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