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The Best Router Shopping Guide 2023 - Latest Rating & Review

Shopping Guide / Updated date 22-01-2024


The Best Router Shopping Guide 2023 - Latest Rating & Review

Here's the ultimate wi-fi routers buying guide for 2023 including recommended router models from: Asus, TP-Link, and D-Link. How to choose the best router that suits you? Which model of mesh wifi router is better? This article will explain the details one

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This Router Shopping Guide covers: 

How to choose a Router? Understanding the key features:

When browsing the internet at home, the most important concern is undoubtedly having poor Wi-Fi connection and being unable to connect to the network, which affects the internet experience negatively. In addition to choosing the best ISP and internet service plan, having a good router is also very important! (But how to choose the right one?) Here are some key points for buying a router!

1. What does the Wi-Fi model "ACXXXX" represent?

When choosing a Wi-Fi router, you can see that their models are mostly composed of "AC" + "XXXX" (four digits), such as AC1900 and AC2300. In fact, the numbers represent the maximum Wi-Fi speed, which can reach up to 1900Mbps and 2300Mbps for "1900" and "2300" respectively. In short, the higher the value after "AC", the faster the internet speed.

2. Daily connection speed

To fully utilize the function of a router, a suitable internet plan at home cannot be ignored. Each internet plan has a fixed upload and download speed. If the speed of your internet browsing experience is not good during daily use, you should take a look whether the existing plan meets the standard.

3. Structural layout of space

Routers mostly use wireless signals to transmit data message, so physical blocks (such as walls) may affact signal transmission and cause signal attenuation, resulting in slower internet speed during use.

To avoid this issue, it will be better to choose a router model with external antennas, which have stronger signal strength than general hidden antennas, and the number and power of antennas also have a certain impact on the stability of the router.

Say if we are in a small living room, without crossing floors and only with wooden partitions, a router with two antennas would be sufficient. For multiple floors or larger size apartment,  a router with three antennas would be a good choice, or place a router on each floor.


4. External antennas are more stable

As mentioned earlier, routers with external antennas are better than those with hidden antennas because they can provide more stable wireless network services.

Routers with external antennas can also adjust the direction of the signal to be sent, making it easier for users who use desktop computers or digital TV boxes at home to manage based on each situtaions. If you need to share the network with multiple devices, the more antennas the router has, the more stable the signal will be. If the frequency band of a router is 2.4GHz, it is best to choose a router with three or more antennas so that the signal will not be unstable.

5. What is the difference between "2.4GHz" and "5Hz"?

Routers on the market are either dual-band or single-band, with the former having both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands and the latter having either one of them. Simply put, 5GHz wireless network speed is faster, but its penetration is weaker, while 2.4GHz is relatively slower but more stable. The following is a more detailed introduction to both:

2.4GHz  - High penetration and stable transmission over long distances:

The characteristic of 2.4GHz is definitely the high penetration, which is not easily affected by physical blocks and is relatively stable when transmitting over long distances. However, if the router is way too close to urban areas, it may be affected by various devices emitting radio waves, which will slow down the speed.

5GHz - Fast transmission speed when just few devices using the same frequency band:

Although 5GHz is easily affected by physical blocks and weakens the signal, since there are not many devices using the same frequency band, it is less susceptible to interference from other devices. Compared with 2.4GHz, 5GHz has a faster transmission speed and is very suitable for use in apartments.

6. Choose "802.11ac" or higher for the best transmission speed

Most routers from the market today are "IEEE 802.11ac" (also known as Wi-Fi 5), which can connect multiple broadband connections simultaneously and achieve speeds similar to wired networks. However, some devices still do not support this specification, so most routers are backward compatible with older specifications such as a, b, g, and n. These routers may only have a 2.4GHz band, or neither of the two bands mentioned above.

In addition, there is now the latest 11ax technology specification (also known as Wi-Fi 6), which can achieve ultra-high-speed transmission using both 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. The highest theoretical value can reach a speed of 9.6 Gbit/s, and in recent years, more and more devices that support Wi-Fi 6 are available. If needed, it is worth considering purchasing, also the Wi-Fi 7.


7. "MIMO"

Some routers have "MIMO" function, which refers to Multiple Input Multiple Output. It means that the transmission process can be more flexible by operating independently through multiple antennas. For example, if the device supports it, multiple antennas' bandwidth can be simultaneously called to improve transmission speed or provide to different devices, allowing users to have good quality wireless signals. Routers with "MIMO" function are the best for multiple users using wireless networks.

8. USB port

Some routers provide USB ports, which are mainly used to read files from a hard drive using a local network, making it very convenient for all devices in the home to share data.

9. Mesh Wi-Fi

Currently, there are Mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market that boast seamless roaming, easy installation, and expansion. It does not have a central storage point and is composed of two or more access points.

Access points are connected to each other, and wireless clients will automatically connect to the most suitable access point based on distance and signal strength. The Mesh Wi-Fi system will automatically calculate the best transmission route, achieving the effect of intelligent routing. Current Mesh Wi-Fi systems have incorporated two major technologies: 802.11x Band Steering and 802.11k Seamless Roaming. They also provide 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands.

Wireless routers or access points will automatically detect whether the device supports the 5GHz frequency band and its connection signal quality and automatically decide whether to connect using the 5GHz frequency band. Users do not need to select themselves.



10. Placement of Wi-Fi

Most Wi-Fi devices are square-shaped, and can be placed either horizontally on a computer or desk, or vertically standing up without any problems. However, as Wi-Fi devices are also electronic products, it is best to leave some space for heat dissipation, and avoid any blocks around it that may affect the transmission of radio waves.

Best Routers Recommendations in 2023:

  • NetgearOrbi RBK352 WiFi 6 AX1800 Dual-Band Mesh System (2 Units)
  • LinksysVelop MX8400 WiFi 6 AX4200 Mesh Tri-Band Wireless Router (2 Units)
  • Asus RT-AX3000 WiFi 6 AiMesh Dual-band Wireless Router
  • TP-LinkArcher AX55 AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • GoogleNest Wi-Fi (3-pack, 1 Router, 2 Extenders) Router

1. NetgearOrbi RBK352 WiFi 6 AX1800 Dual-Band Mesh System (2 Units)





Cover up to 5,000 sq. ft. with blazing-fast, reliable WiFi with speeds of up to 6Gbps for over 100 devices. Stream, browse, and work uninterrupted in every room of your home.


2. LinksysVelop MX8400 WiFi 6 AX4200 Mesh Tri-Band Wireless Router (2 Units)






Linksys Velop WiFi 6 Whole Home Mesh System (MX4200) delivers next-level streaming and gaming to more than 40 devices on your network. With easy set up, advanced security and parental controls, MX4200 is an essential upgrade to any home.



3. Asus RT-AX3000 WiFi 6 AiMesh Dual-band Wireless Router





  • Router app
  • MU-MIMO
  • Traffic Analyzer
  • Adaptive QoS
  • AiProtection Pro
  • Parental Control
  • Guest Network :
  • VPN server : PPTP Server, IPSec server
  • VPN client : PPTP client, L2TP client, OpenVPN client
  • NAT Pass-Through :PPTP Pass-Through, L2TP Pass-Through, IPSec Pass-Through, RTSP Pass
  • Through, H.323 Pass-Through, SIP Pass-Through, PPPoE relay
  • Mac OS Backup
  • Enhanced media server (AiPlayer app compatible)


4. TP-Link Archer AX55 AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router




Next-Gen Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Speed; Connect More Devices; Ultra-Low Latency; Expanded Wi-Fi Coverage; Expanded Wi-Fi Coverage; TP-Link HomeShield; Improved Battery Life; Compatible with Alexa.


5. GoogleNest Wi-Fi (3-pack, 1 Router, 2 Extenders) Router

Nest Wifi is an expandable system that provides whole-home coverage and consistent signals. Each Nest Wifi access point is also a smart speaker with Google Assistant.




 

[Latest] Routers Ratings & Reviews by HK Consumer Council

In 2018, the Consumer Council cited the test report of the German consumer organization Stiftung Warentest and published information and test results of Mesh Wi-Fi router models available in the Hong Kong market. The results showed that Netgear Orbi RBK 23 had more stable and faster Wi-Fi signal and data transmission performance. Google Wi-Fi and TP-Link Deco M5 also performed well when used in single-story units, but ASUS Lyra Mini performed not very well compared to other models.

At the same time, the Consumer Council also reminded everyone that since the test was conducted by a German consumer organization, the Mesh Wi-Fi used in the test were European purchased versions, which may be different from the Hong Kong version.

There are so many Wi-Fi router choices, and there is always one that suits your needs! Remember to look at your own needs before purchasing, don't just look at how many functions it has, and make the best purchase by fully utilizing the product's functions!

(The content is translated to English based on the original chinese version by AI tool.)


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