Wireless routers are an essential part of any Internet connected home today. The freedom to be anywhere in the house and stay connected is more or less taken for granted. The luxury does come with a cost, however, and those willing to pony up with enjoy a far superior experience than those who don't.
When it comes to wireless routers, there are a number of factors to take into account - performance, price and standards. The performance and price usually go hand in hand, but it's sometimes hard to find a wireless router that supports the latest standards. After all, said standards are constantly changing and today's top router may not support tomorrow's standards.
To help consumers navigate the perilous world of wireless routers, PC Magazine has thrown together a list of the top 10 wirelesss routers currently on the market. The list was last updated at the end of January so you can assume that these routers are still at the top of their class.
If you want the best of the best, you have two choices - the Trendnet AC1750 Dual-Band Wireless Router and the ZyXel MWR102 Travel Router. If you're going to be staying primarily at home, the Trendnet AC1750 is your best best. It sports four ethernet ports and is compatible with IPv6. It's also compatible with four different wireless standards 802.11b, g, n and ac draft. For 802.11n, it offers even faster speeds thanks to its dual-band signal that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The TrendNet AC1750 retails for $140.
While it's not quite as feature complete as the Trendnet, the ZyXel MWR102 is the best travel router that money can buy. If you're frequently traveling and need to set up a wireless network easily, the ZyXel is about the best money can buy. It supports 802.11 b, g and n, but only at 2.4GHz frequencies. It's also not IPv6 compatible, but that shouldn't be a problem for what travelers are using it for. The ZyXel is incredibly affordable at $30.
If you need more help, here's PC Mag again with what you should consider when buying a wireless router:
If you're looking for something a little more affordable, here's CNET with a list of five excellent routers that are all $80 or less:
Image via Trendnet