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A router is a convenient way to connect different computers into a network. This is useful for many reasons such as: networking printing, shared folders, and distributing an internet connection. Modern routers come in many different sizes and shapes and sometimes it's difficult to choose with the seemingly overwhelming number of choices out there. When choosing a router, there a couple of things to keep in mind. The router should have a modern protocol based off the 802.11 standard and sufficient speed for your network needs. Depending on your situation it can also be a good idea to buy a dual band router.

1: Speed
Routers come in many different speeds, which are represented in bits. The fastest wifi routers in 2013 are over 1,000 Mbps with more standard models ranging from 300 to 900 Mbps. This is usually the wireless connection speed; wired would always be much faster because of the lack of interference. When trying to decide on a speed, you want to be know what your needs are. If you have a 4 Mbps internet connection, then investing in a high end router will not yield any benefit. However, bottlenecking a high-end internet connection with an outdated router will also reduce your speed. Match your router speed to your internet connection.

2: Frequency
Routers work by transmitting signals in different frequencies. These frequencies can sometimes be clogged up by different electrical equipment. For example, placing an old router by a microwave can completely block out the signal because microwaves and older routers use frequencies around the 2.4 GHz range. By investing in a dual band router, you will options for higher frequencies with less interference from other electrical equipment. This increases speed and because it also can transmit in 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz, your router will work with older network devices.

3: 802.11
The universally recognized protocol for wireless transmission is 802.11. 802.11 comes in a variety of flavors, including 802.11b, 802.11g, and the most recent, 802.11n. When looking for a router, you want the newest 802.11n for the fastest speeds. 802.11n is completely backwards compatible with older wireless devices.

These three things are important to look out for when shopping for a router. Some good names in the industry are Linksys, Cisco, and Netgear. These companies have been in the industry for quite a while and produce the best fastest wifi routers in 2013 for both office and home networks.

Browse All Top Fastest Wifi Router »

Asus RT-AC68U

Asus RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router


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Asus RT-AC68U
Apple AirPort Extreme (2013)
Netgear Nighthawk R7000
D-Link DIR-868L
Asus DSL-N55U
Asus RT-AC68U Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router
Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station A1521 (ME918LL/A)
Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Smart WiFi Router
D-Link DIR-868L AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router
Asus DSL-N55U Wireless Router
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Release Date
Sep 2013
Jun 2013
Sep 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
WLAN Standards
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11ac
IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11ac
IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11ac
IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11d, IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u, IEEE 802.11i, IEEE 802.11e
Router Functionalities
Firewall, VPN Pass-Thru, DHCP Server, Wireless Access Point
Firewall, Wireless Access Point, DSL Modem
Firewall, VPN Pass-Thru, Wireless Access Point
Firewall, VPN Pass-Thru, Wireless Access Point
Firewall, Wireless Access Point, DSL Modem
Connectivity
Wireless
Wireless
Wireless
Wireless
Wireless, Wired
Included Adapter
Power adapter - External
Power adapter - External
Power adapter - External

  • For advanced and professional users, the Asus RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router is worth every penny thanks to its stellar performance, solid build, and bounty of useful features.


  • With record-breaking 802.11ac results, along with the all-round quality of the RT-AC68U and advanced setup options, Asus deserves recommendation for power users. Although we wouldn't buy an Asus router just for the AiCloud feature, it's far from useless, and another string to the bow of the RT-AC68U, which is an all-round excellent networking product.


  • Recently we've seen a number of manufacturers release follow-ups to their debut 802.11ac routers, but Asus is the only one so far to make a true generational step up. Virtually everything has been upgraded and the combination of blistering speed, smart new design, masses of functionality and far greater horsepower has raised the bar for the competition. We'd still like to see AiCloud offer full remote access to router controls and the RRP is high, but right now there is no better router on the market.


  • Home users, especially Apple fans who own 802.11ac-enabled devices, will love the new AirPort Extreme for its all-new elegant design, ease of use, and great performance; advanced users should look elsewhere for more features and customization.


  • To sum up, I'll let the Router Ranker detail tell the tale. The AExAC ended up with a #6 rank and total rank score of 5.0 This puts it below all of the current-generation AC1750 class routers, except for the very disappointing TRENDnet TEW-812DRU. It also ranks above Buffalo's first-generation WZR-D1800H, but that is the only AC1750 router that hasn't been retested with the new wireless test process.


  • With the new AirPort design and the inclusion of 802.11ac, it's plain to see that Apple is taking steps forward with its networking devices. Cupertino's latest AirPort Extreme is not on the bleeding edge, as far as speeds and feeds go, but it is beautiful and "just works" out of the box.


  • The Netgear is expensive, but earns its $200 asking price with incredibly fast speeds and useful features.


  • Excellent throughput and range at the 5GHz band, lots of features (including full VPN)?plus a cool name?all make the Nighthawk one of the best routers we've seen from Netgear in a while, despite a few annoyances.


  • The D-Link DIR-868L delivers as an advanced 802.11ac-enabled home router despite its underwhelming mobile apps and usage inflexibility.


  • As the first AC1750 router using Broadcom's more powerful second-generation router SoC, the DIR-868L has a bit of an edge in storage sharing throughput over products using the first-gen BCM4706. The USB 3.0 port certainly contributes to that storage sharing throughput advantage.

    But folks really pay the big bucks for AC1750 routers for the higher wireless throughput they are supposed to provide.


  • D-Link's newest pre-draft 802.11ac router, the Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router (DIR-868L) does not deliver performance as powerful as some competing routers, but it's an improvement over D-Link's previous 11ac router.


  • The ASUS DSL-N55U is a solid modem-router that offers dual-band Wi-Fi and excellent storage features. It has a well designed interface and it's a swift performer overall. We experienced a few frustrations with the installation of some of its apps, but it worked really well once everything was set up. We really enjoyed using it.


  • A good price and superb performance in all departments mean that Asus ADSL dual-band router clambers to the top of the pile.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The DSL-N55U with a retail price in the range £80 to 90 is not the cheapest ADSL2+ modem/router by a long way, and lacks some of the bells and whistles of the more expensive models, but does pack a good performance for its price.

    The price point means that you really should be sure of wanting to use the media server or the extensive QoS functionality of the router to make it worth buying. If Asus can add the Download Master functionality that its Ethernet routers support then the router would be even more desirable.