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The best cheap routers

Erin Gobler

Nov 11, 2021 — 6 min read

You don't need to spend a lot of cash to get reliable home internet coverage.

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Having a good Wi-Fi router is essential to getting strong and reliable internet coverage in your home. But shopping for routers can quickly become overwhelming when you realize that many of them can cost hundreds of dollars.

The good news is that you don’t need to drop a lot of money for a good-quality router. For this article, we’ve rounded up the best cheap routers to help you get the best coverage on a budget.

Here are the routers we’ll be covering in this guide:

How we choose our favorite wireless routers 

With so many quality internet routers in the market, you might be wondering how we narrowed it down to just five. When we started our search for the best budget routers, price and value were obviously our primary concerns. We wanted to find affordable routers that still provide excellent quality. In fact, you’ll notice that every router on our list, with the exception of one, has a price tag under $100.

In addition to considering price and value, we also considered other factors that consumers find important in a Wi-Fi router.

First, we looked for those that provide fast speeds on a budget. We also considered the coverage area and sought to include some cheap routers that could provide coverage to a larger home.

Next, we looked at the features that the routers offered that made them stand out from the rest. And finally, we looked at customer reviews to see what people who had previously bought these budget routers thought.

In our list, you’ll notice that we’ve broken down each router by what it’s best for, with categories including the best for a low budget, best over $100, best for fast speeds, best for large homes and best for gaming.

Best router for a low budget: TP-Link Archer 7 Smart Wi-Fi Router (AC1750)

The TP-Link Archer 7 Smart Wi-Fi Router is our pick for the best cheap router on a smaller budget. While all of the routers on our list are cheap compared to some of the alternatives on the market, some still may be more expensive than some shoppers want to spend. But this one is a truly affordable option for anyone on a budget with a price tag of about $57.

This dual-band gigabit wireless router offers internet speeds up to 1750 Mbps and can provide coverage for an impressive 2,500 sq. ft. In fact, the coverage area on this router is better than many more expensive alternatives. The speeds offered are perfect for 4K streaming and reducing buffering. This router works with Alexa and is compatible with all of your Wi-Fi devices. It has four Gigabit LAN ports and fast access to multiple connected wired devices, including gaming consoles.

One of the reasons this router made our list is because of the incredible number of positive customer reviews. This router has nearly 57,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like that it’s easy to install, easy to use and good for gaming.

Best cheap router over $100: TP-Link Archer AX50 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router (AX3000)

If you’re looking for a solid budget router but can afford to spend a bit more, then we recommend the TP-Link Archer AX50 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router. With a price tag of about $130, it’s still far more affordable than many routers on the market.

This router is equipped with Wi-Fi 6 technology, meaning you’ll get better speeds, better capacity, and lower latency. This 4-stream dual-band router has better speeds than any other router on our list, with speeds up to 3 Gbps for your entire home.

This router is ideal for streaming 4K videos, gaming online, video chatting and more across many devices. Additionally, the router comes with advanced security to protect your network and connected devices. You’ll get a free lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare.

As for customer feedback, this router has more than 6,300 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.3 of 5 stars. Customers especially like the user interface, strong Wi-Fi signal and tech support.

Best cheap router for fast speeds: Netgear 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router (R6700AX)

The Netgear 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router is our favorite under $100 router for fast internet speeds. This router provides internet speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps and coverage up to 1,500 for up to 20 devices.

Thanks to fast Gigabit speed and Wi-Fi 6 technology, this router is perfect for uninterrupted streaming, gaming, web conferencing and more. In addition to a wireless connection, the router comes with the ability to plug in your computer, gaming console and more with 4 1G Ethernet ports. You’ll also get Netgear Armor cybersecurity protection to keep your information and devices safe.

This router comes at a price tag of $80 and has an impressive 41,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like that it’s good for gaming, made of quality material and has a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Best cheap router for large homes: ASUS AC1750 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router (RT-AC66U B1)

If you have a large home, then the ASUS AC1750 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is a great option for you, with a price tag of around $95. One of the downsides of budget routers is that they often have smaller coverage areas. Many don’t even provide enough coverage for the average home. But this ASUS router has a coverage area of up to an impressive 3,000 sq. ft., meaning it’s suitable for many larger homes.

This router provides internet speeds up to 1750 Mbps, and you can connect up to 30 devices. You also get excellent security with this router. It comes with AiProtection that provides parental controls, blocks malicious intrusions and alerts you when an infected device is connected to your network.

This router has more than 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like the strong Wi-Fi signal, the quality of the material and the user interface.

Best cheap router for gaming: Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R6700)

The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is our favorite cheap router for gaming. This router provides coverage up to 1,500 sq. ft. for up to 25 devices. It has speeds of up to 1750 Mbps, allowing you to stream videos, play games, surf the internet and more.

This router has 4 1G Ethernet ports so you can plug in your gaming consoles, computers, and other nearby wired devices. You’ll get smart parental controls, as well as the ability to set up a separate and secure Wi-Fi network for your guests. Purchase of this router comes with Netgear Armor to protect your devices and connected devices. All of this comes at a price of around $87.

This router has more than 41,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Customers especially like that it’s good for gaming, made of quality material and has a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Need a faster internet plan?

Even the best internet router can’t make up for a poor internet plan. If you want to increase your internet speeds, in addition to buying one of our favorite budget routers, you can also find an internet service plan better suited to fast speeds and good coverage. You can use our online tool to find the best internet service providers in your area.

The bottom line

A good Wi-Fi router doesn’t have to be expensive. To help you access good internet on a budget, we rounded up our list of the best cheap routers. Because we choose routers across many budgets and with a variety of features, everyone can find the perfect budget router for their needs. And if you need more ways to improve your internet speeds, consider shopping for a better internet service plan.

Budget router FAQs

Can an inexpensive router cover my entire home?

While many budget routers don’t have the same coverage areas as some of the more expensive varieties, you can easily find an inexpensive router to cover a home up to 3,000 sq. ft.

You may be able to save money by purchasing a used router, but you won’t have the benefit of any store or manufacturer warranties. As a result, purchasing a new budget router might be the safer route.

In the short term, it’s cheaper to rent a router from your provider, since you only have a small monthly payment. But in the long run, you’ll save far more by purchasing your own router.

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Erin Gobler

Written by:

Erin Gobler

Allconnect contributor

Erin Gobler is a personal finance writer based in Madison, WI. She writes about topics including budgeting, student loans, credit, mortgages, investing, broadband and insurance. Including Allconnect.com, her wor… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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