Best AC Wireless Routers 2017

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Worried about traffic jam in your home due to a wide array of connected devices or about speed, connectivity and range of your wireless router? Don’t be afraid as we have enlisted some of the best AC wireless routers of 2017. Your mind might be perplexed by this question that why should it be an AC router. Well lets’ talk about the benefits of AC routers first.

Spectral Bandwidth-AC routers provide more Spectral Bandwidth or else in simplified form, AC routers transmit more amounts of data over a channel in a single or defined range of frequencies. Wider the spectrum more will be the data transferred.

Better Modulation- Better Modulation means increase in the number of signals broadcast over the same frequency which also enables increased data rate transmission by shipping more bits of information per symbol. So you can transfer data from wireless ac router to your device quicker than ever because of more efficient way your data is carried.

Increased Range-the most notable benefit to speed is that it comes straight from switch to 5GHz. The 2.4GHz spectrum being full of signal noise often proves to be a detriment to an uninterrupted and a reliable wireless signal whereas 5GHz is significantly quieter and offers less opportunity for competition with other routers on the block.

Using dual or tri band wireless routers enables you to separate devices in order to make space on crowded spectrums. This alone could make a compelling difference in the quality of your Wi-Fi signal. For enhanced range in the AC standard, beamforming is the second key factor. It allows the ac router to send concentrated signals in the direction of devices located by router which amplifies the signal in turn intensifying the signal where it is needed instead of just broadcasting it to every corner of your house.

Compatibility- the Backwards compatibility of AC standard is a big plus. Unlike past standards, AC standard is backwards compatible with currently made devices that use N, G or B standard. It means your existing devices can still work after you inevitably make the upgrade. While AC standard is compatible with other devices, to get full benefit of owning an AC router, use AC router to connect an AC compatible device.

Synology RT 1900AC Wireless Router:

Synology Router (RT1900ac)

$152.98
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Features

  • Simultaneous dual-band at 2.4GHz & 5GHz for up to 1900Mbps
  • Robust coverage with Beamforming Support
  • Application layer Quality of Service (QoS) allows total control of your network environment
  • Intuitive Parental Control with built-in DNS-based web filter
  • Revolutionary interface - Synology Router Manager (SRM) & DS router

Synology RT 1900AC is a Dual-Band Wi-Fi Broadband wireless Router. It delivers speedy performance and includes I/O ports and good selection of robust management features. It has a matte-black casing and comprises two legs that raise device from rear and are also removable that enables router to sit flat. You can also hang it on a wall. It features an LED lights array, wired Ethernet connectivity one for each port and 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands.

It features four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a power jack, a power switch, a WAN port, an SD card slot, a USB 3.0 port, a Wi-Fi on/off switch and WPS button. You can use an SD card to use router’s storage features and USB 3.0 port to plug an external device. By using a storage device, you can also add more features.

Its other features include Linux-based operating system, intuitive and organized interface with SRM help center, network center and package center. It provides security levels for WPA2 Enterprise, WPA/WPA2 Enterprise and WPA/WPA2 Personal. It also gives the option of Parental control, Traffic control settings, DMZ, port forwarding, guest networking, MAC address filtering and guest networking. This wireless router is easy to install and configure.

On 5GHZ, at close range, it scores the speed of 587Mbps at 15 feet and 71Mbps at 100 feet. On 2.4GHz band, the router scores 65Mbps and 123Mbpz on long and close ranges respectively. It has an average network storage performance if you use an external device but it is still fast enough for local-network tasks including data sharing and backing up a Mac laptop by using time machine.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Great Wi-Fi performance
  • Excellent traffic monitoring

Cons:

  • Average file transferring
  • Need an extra device for utilizing NAS features
  • On 5GHz, it range is bit shorter

The Asus RT1900ac is one of the AC outers. If you need a solid Wi-Fi network then this wireless router is for you.

If you want a basic cheap wireless router then the $20 TP Link TL WR841N will satisfy your router needs. Though RT1900ac is one of the best wireless AC routers, if you don’t need a network server then Asus RT-AC68U would be better choice as it has slightly better Wi-Fi range.

Asus RT-AC88U Wireless Router:

ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 Dual Band Wireless Router

$299.99
$269.99
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Features

  • 1024-QAM technology - 80% faster 5 GHz at up to 2100 Mbps, 66% faster 2.4 GHz at up to 1000 Mbps
  • 33% greater 2.4 GHz coverage with a 4-transmit, 4-receive (4T4R) antenna design, able to reach our widest-ever coverage up to 5000 square feet
  • Expansive Connectivity Options: with exclusively has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports for up to eight Ethernet-compatible devices to connect simultaneously
  • Powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, Faster USB data transfers enjoy up to over 100 MB/s speed and the router download/upload speed (WAN-LAN throughput) up to 1.8 Gbps
  • Smart Connect- Automatically chooses the best band available for you

It is the first home router having 8 Gigabit LAN ports with Dual-WAN support and port aggregation. It has a fun to use and robust interface, the ability to protect your home network from intruders and malware, a built-in VPN server, supports MU-MIMO and also includes unique features for gamers. It delivers top Wi-Fi data rates, a stable wireless signal and long range.

It supports MIMO technology which handles Wi-Fi bandwidth efficiency. The new RT-AC88U is almost the same in design as the RT-AC87U. It has two USB ports, USB 2.0 port and USB 3.0 port and four detachable antennas. Its eight Gigabit LAN ports is a huge improvement. You can also aggregate the first two LAN ports to deliver a superfast 2Gbps connection and consider it a bonus for those having high-end NAS server. And you can also use first four ports as a second WAN port meaning you can have two broadband connections.

It offers self-explanatory and well-organized interface. Its interactive network map displays connected devices with name and vendor in real time. You can easily find put about the clients connected to the router. Using network map you can quickly access the router’s other settings such as Wi-Fi settings, DNS, internet connection settings and so on.

The RT-AC88U ac router is one of the most feature rich wireless routers. It includes all the features of older RT-AC3200 and RT-AC87U and also a few new of its own. The features it shares with other Asus routers include Adaptive Qos, AiProtection, VPN server, multiple guest networks and versatile USB ports.

It is powered by 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 128MB of flash storage and 512MB of DDR 3 system memory. It has a built-in PPTP VPN server and it can also work as a client for WTFast. The RT-AC88U has the latest firmware version.

Pros:

  • Smartly designed Web Interface
  • Eight Gigabit LAN ports
  • Speedy Wi-Fi

Cons:

  • Average NAS performance with an external hard drive

The RT-AC88I is the best router from Asus to date and one of the best dual-band routers in the market. Its excellent performance and a ton of features make it a great buy for you if you want to get the most out of your home network. If you don’t want fancy features and want a stable wireless router that can share your internet connection then consider the Asus RT-AC68U, Linksys WRT1900ACS and Netgear R7000. These are great routers at low cost.

Linksys WRT 1900ACS Wireless Router:

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router

$249.99
$199.97
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Features

  • Wireless-AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology: Simultaneous dual-band speed up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 1300 Mbps (5 GHz) for media - intensive applications
  • 4 high-performance antennas: Engineered to enhance dual-band communication, four external, adjustable antennas ensure supreme Wi-Fi signal strength in multilevel homes and small offices
  • Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU: Powerful CPU promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing allowing multiple users to simultaneously game online, stream movies, and transfer files without lagging
  • Share content via an external storage device with ultra-fast data transfer speeds. USB 3.0 delivers enhanced performance over USB 2.0; eSATA delivers optimal data transfer speeds from external SATA drives and accommodates USB 2.0
  • Users can prioritize devices or websites, gain parental control over content, monitor network activity, turn Wi-Fi access on or off and create select password - protected guest networks. Network Map offers a visual map of the home network

Upgrading of the original wireless router WRT1900AC makes this new WRT1900ACS the best ac router from networking giant Linksys. It is equipped with more powerful hardware and eliminated internal fan enabling it to run more quietly with potentially less damaging and maintenance. As a network storage server if connected to an external device and as a Wi-Fi router, in both terms this upgraded version is significantly faster than its predecessor.

It shares the same dimension and retro design of its original with the classic Blue and Black look. The WRT1900AC houses most powerful hardware on the market with 256MB of DDR3 system memory and 1.2GHZ dual core processor. More powerful hardware specs mean better overall performance. As a wireless Wi-Fi router, it remains a three-stream router.

It has one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, one USB port and another port than you can use either for an eSATA connection or a USB 2.0. You can also utilize these ports to host two external storage devices at a time. It also has an LED array that shows condition of the router. You can turn these lights off via router’s Web interface. You can manage this wireless ac router remotely via Linksys Smart Wi-Fi mobile app (free), when the remote management feature is turned on.

The WRT1900ACS is first in its family to support OpenVPN which allows remote users to connect securely. Its interface now allows higher level of customization which means Wi-Fi networks can be set to work in the mixed mode AC-only or A-only, N-only. Instead of using the Auto-setting, you can also pick the channel width you want. This flexibility in customization would be great for savvy users.

Its other features include Media Prioritization, simple and effective parental control and network map. On 5GHz band, its Wi-Fi performance is better than the original one but on 2.4GHz it is not so impressive. It has an excellent Wi-Fi range up to about 300 feet.

Pros:

  • Powerful hardware
  • Good Wi-Fi speed and range
  • Brisk network storage speed

Cons:

  • Does not support time machine backup
  • Might be expensive for some

The WRT1900ACS replaces the WRT1900AC and is one of the best wireless AC1900 routers in a number of categories including network storage performance, signal stability and Wi-Fi range. Besides all, it is also among the expensive routers on the market. You can get AC1900 routers such as the Asus RT-AC68U, WRT1900AC and Netgear R7000 for less than $200 offering similar features and performance.

Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U Dual-Band Wireless Router:

ASUS RT-AC87R AC2400 Dual Band Wireless Router

$258.07
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Features

  • World's first 4x4 MU-MIMO antenna design with AiRadar universal beam forming for unrivaled multi-device performance and wireless signal coverage up to 465 square meters (around 5,000sqft).
  • Has 1GHz dual-core processor to make Wi-Fi-to-USB transfer speeds up to twice as fast, and can show up to a 50% improvement in total throughput on a heavily-loaded network with multiple clients.
  • Built-in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports for up to 10-times faster data transfers to USB storage devices, printer sharing, and 3G/4G dongle support.
  • ASUSWRT graphical user interface for easy, CD-free 30-second setup and hassle-free advanced network control.
  • Protection with Trend Micro with triple-strength total network security, plus robust parental controls and privacy protection.

The AC2400 RT-AC87U has everything its previous model the RT-AC68U offers and it manages to remain as fun and easy to use as its predecessor. However, to take advantage of its top speed, you don’t need hardware with compatible superfast AC Wi-Fi. It features 5GHz Quantenna QT3840BC chip. It is the first router on the market supporting the four-spatial-stream setup. This means when working with an 802.11ac client, it is able to deliver the top speed of 1733Mbps.

It supports all the existing Wi-Fi clients on the market but if you want to achieve the quad-stream speed, your clients should be quad-stream enabled. On the 2.4GHz band, it uses 1GHz Broadcom BCM4709 chip delivering 600Mbps. This chip can also be used for other functions of router including system operation, NAT, USB and so on. It is a true dual-band wireless router with total bandwidth of 2333Mbps but Asus rounds this up to categorize as an AC2400 router.

It has 256MB of DDR 3 system memory and 128MB of flash memory. It also has one Gigabit WAN port, four Gigabit LAN ports, two USB ports; USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port and an array of fancy LED status lights.

It shares the same easy to use and robust interface as previous RT routers, having all the features that RT-AC68U owns and more.  Some of the common major features include six guest Wi-Fi network, interactive network map, multipurpose USB ports, VPN support and also includes many other advanced settings such as Dynamic DNS support, a customizable firewall and IPv6, Aiprotection, Adaptive QoS features and others commonly found in other home routers.

Pros:

  • Superfast Wi-Fi speed
  • Long range
  • Can monitor internet traffic in real time

Cons:

  • To benefit from its performance, you need compatible Wi-Fi devices

With a premium price, the Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U is an excellent networking device. If you buy this wireless ac router, you are going to enjoy its excellent Wi-Fi range and unique feature set. But if you already have an 802.11ac router, then there is no need to upgrade yet but purchasing it means you will future-proof your home for a few coming years.

Asus RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router:

ASUS RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router

$423.62
$199.53
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Features

  • Smart Connect automatically selects the fastest band for all devices individually, based on their demands and capabilities
  • Built-in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports for up to 10-times faster data transfers to USB storage devices1, printer sharing, and 3G/4G dongle support
  • ASUSWRT graphical user interface for easy, CD-free 30-second setup and hassle-free advanced network control
  • Protection with Trend Micro with triple-strength total network security, plus robust parental controls and privacy protection
  • ASUS AiCloud 2.0 lets you access, sync, share and stream your files anywhere, on any internet-connected device

Asus RT-AC3200 is great for homes having lots of local heavy Wi-Fi needs. Its standout features include a fun to use and robust Web interface, excellent network monitoring features, capable of connecting to multiple internet sources at a time and a built-in VPN server. It can also work as a capable gateway for a small office.

RT-AC3200 is a Tri-band wireless router that has three separate access points: two 5GHZ access points supporting 5GHz 802.11ac/n/a clients which caps at 1,300Mbps each and one 2.4GHz access supporting all 2.4GHz 802.11n/g/b Wi-Fi clients capped at 600Mbps. Albeit the total bandwidth if 3200Mbps at a given time, this AC wireless router’s theoretical speed to single client is 1,300Mbps same as an AC1900 router.

It is almost identical in looks to the RT-AC87U and also shares the same interface as well s features. The biggest difference between the two is that the RT-AC3200 is a tri-band AC router with three streams whereas the RT-AC87U is a quad-stream, dual-band AC router. Another minor design improvement is that it now comes with an array of status lights protruding out which allows you to seen then even looking at the router from top.

Its other main features include Adaptive QoS, Aiprotection, apps analysis for real-time monitoring of internet activity of any connected client, it supports nine concurrent guest Wi-Fi networks and built-in PPTP VPN.

The RT-AC3200 is huge having six detachable antennas. It has one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports and two USB ports; one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port. It packs powerful hardware with Broadcom BCM4707 dual-core 1GHz processor, 128MB of flash storage and 256MB of DDR 3 system memory. As a small server it has enough power and is among the powerful AC routers on the market.

Pros:

  • Tri-band wireless gigabit router
  • Powerful hardware
  • Works as VPN/NAS server

Cons:

  • Can’t name clients on IP reservation list
  • Some may consider it expensive

Asus RT-AC3200 can be recommended to a very small group of people because its Wi-Fi performance is no better than an AC1900 router and it is very expensive. If you can afford RT-AC3200, it will work well just don’t expect that it will drastically change your network’s wireless speed if you are already using an AC router. But if you have many 5GHz clients or you just want to take advantage of its helpful and unique features then the RT-AC3200 will definitely make your life better.

Apple Airport Extreme Base Station:

Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

$199.99
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Features

  • Ultrafast 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Reach data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps. compatible with devices using the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac specifications.
  • Simultaneous dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi support
  • New 6.6-inch height with smaller 3.85-inch base
  • 6 antennas located at the top allows for a faster and more powerful connection
  • Easy setup with Macs and iOS devices. Please note: This product is a Router ONLY and requires a modem to operate.

The new true dual-band Wi-Fi router Apple Airport Extreme Base Station is prettier and more compact than the previous generation. It also supports much faster and much anticipated 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. It has the same features, functions and port offerings as its predecessor. It is one of the most reliable and fastest Wi-Fi routers.

Overall Apple Airport Extreme Base Station has an elegant appearance. On its front, there is a tiny status light that glows green when everything is working well and changes to amber or flashes when router need attention. It has one Gigabit WAN port to connect an external source, three Gigabit LAN port to connect wired clients and a USB 2.0 port to host an external hard drive.

It does not support AirPlay. However, it is a true dual-band router that offers Wi-Fi coverage on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequency bands at the same time, which means it can support all existing Wi-Fi clients with the top possible speed regardless of their Wi-Fi standards. This wireless ac router supports three-stream of both the 802.11n and the new 802.11ac standards. And the support for higher tiers means faster speeds.

It includes a set of features that are common in routers such as port forwarding, guest networking, IPv6, DynDNS, Access Control and file-sharing and print-serving capabilities. It lacks features such as VPN server, Parent Control and QoS customization, internal storage of its own, cannot use it as a server for FTP or Web functions. In what AirPort Extreme can do, it is a lot less flexible than others.

Pros:

  • Solid performance
  • Compact
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • No improvement over previous generation
  • No media streaming via USB storage
  • No support for Time Machine Backup

The AirPort Extreme Base Station doesn’t support Time Machine Backup unlike the Mac-centric Time Capsule and is more of a general router for anyone who wants a reliable and fast Wi-Fi network. As the router is easy to use and it lacks customization options, it is better suitable for novice users instead for those planning to get most out of their home network. And besides performance and functions, it surely is best looking on the market and for some its look is worth its high premium.

AirStation AC 1750 DD-WRT Wireless Router:

Buffalo AirStation Extreme AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router

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Features

  • Wireless 802.11ac high speed Wi-Fi
  • HighPower Technology offers outstanding range and coverage
  • Simultaneous dual band operation - great for media streaming and lag-free gaming
  • Priority Control QoS for media prioritization
  • Web Filtering and Parental Control by Symatec restricts unsafe content

It is the first ac router that utilizes third party open source firmware from DD-WRT. It is significant to networking enthusiasts and savvy users because DD-WRT enables them to fully control their network. It registers very stable Wi-Fi signal and excellent performance especially on 5GHz band. Though it doesn’t have the longest range it is still worthy of its current price.

It has 1 Gigabit WAN port, 4 Gigabit LAN port, a USB 3.0 port and USB2.0 port. It supports three-stream on both 5GHz and 2.4GHz band. DD-WRT is a Linux-based open source firmware for access points and wireless routers. This firmware unlocks operational modes such as using router as a client bridge, wireless extender or access points and also offers a comprehensive set of controls.

It offers what DD-WRT has to offer and its limitation is only due to hardware power of the router. Using a 800MHz processor, it is actually on the higher-end among DD-WRT compatible routers. DD-WRT offers features such as a comprehensive VPN and client features, multiple virtual Wi-Fi networks, professional HotSpot services and Blocking.

Pros:

  • Excellent Wi-Fi data rates
  • Preloaded with DD-WRT

Cons:

  • Low range as compared to other similarly-configured routers
  • May be considered expensive by some buyers

It is one of the fastest routers in the AC1750 crowd. It is not a must have for home users but it is excellent for savvy users.

The market of wireless routers is pretty saturated, finding the perfect one for you is not an easy task that’s why we have listed some of the best ac wireless routers of 2017 and have provided information required by a person before buying.

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