Best WiFi Routers for Streaming and Working From Home (Full Guide)

A good WiFi router is the lifeblood of working from home– and it can make or break your internet experience. Even if you have the best internet service in town, your router can be a major bottleneck and hold you back. In this article, I’ll make it easy for you to choose the best WIFI router for working from home so that you can experience full internet speed.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a New WiFi Router

Have you ever experienced a bad WIFI signal behind walls? Or do you live in a household with a vast number of internet-connected devices? If so, then your old dusty router is probably struggling. Let’s take a look at some things to consider when purchasing a new router.

Data Transfer Rate

Every router has a maximum speed of which it can download and upload data. In most instances, any reputable router is likely to be “fast enough” for your internet package.

A data transfer rate of 1000 to 2000Mb (megabits) per second is standard for modern routers.

Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to make sure that the data transfer rate of the router is at least as fast as your internet service. Otherwise, your router will be the limiting factor for your internet experience. With Google Fiber reporting possible speeds up to 2000Mb/s, the future of the internet is looking… fast.

With the global download speeds ranging between 70Mb/s to 260Mb/s, it’s safe to say that most routers right now can handle this workload for average internet activities.

However, the router’s data transfer rate can also affect your local network speeds. So when you transfer files between devices at home (e.g. AirDrop from iPhone to Mac), then the data rate of the router becomes the performance bottleneck. For remote workers who deal with a lot of data and use a network drive for backups, transfer speed is an important factor.

2.4GHz and 5GHz Support

Historically, 2.4GHz has been the standard radio frequency for transmitting data over WiFi. But then 5GHz routers came along, designed to improve maximum transfer speed. In reality, both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies have their pros and cons.

For example, 5GHz allows a higher maximum connection speed (around 1000Mb/s per connected device), while 2.4GHz is capped at 150Mb/s.

5GHz is less likely to suffer from interference from your neighbors’ WiFi network since most WiFi radio traffic is on the 2.4GHz band.

One the other hand, 2.4GHz works better behind walls and solid objects. So if your router is on the other side of the house, 2.4GHz would be a better option.

Make sure that your router supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz so that you can have the best of both worlds. Most modern laptops and smartphones will detect whichever frequency has the strongest signal and choose that one to connect to. So regardless of whether the router is within proximity of your desk or not, you’ll be able to work from home worry-free with zippy internet speeds.

Should you get a WiFi Mesh System?

Even a high-end router will suffer connection problems if your connected device is far away with many solid objects in-between.

A WifI Mesh System consists of multiple router-like devices that you can place throughout your home to extend the range of your WiFI connection.

This is great for home-based workers who enjoy taking their laptop to different parts of the home– living room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.

Best WiFi Routers for Working From Home

Now that you’ve got the fundamentals out of the way, take at the best routers you can get for the money.

The listed prices reflect the pricing at the time that the article was written. Amazon product prices are subject to change.

Best Budget Router under $100

  • Supports 2.4GHz: YES
  • Supports 5GHz: YES
  • Max Data Transfer Speed: 1750Mbps
  • Range: 2500 sq. ft.

With raving reviews, the TP-Link AC1750 is– hands down– the best router you can get on a budget.

With support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networking, the TP-Link is easy to setup and use. Delivering speeds up to 1750Mb/s, and the ability to handle up to 50 connected devices, this router will surely handle your work-from-home needs, and then some. With the TP-Link, you can get a nice boost in WiFi speed without hurting the wallet.

Speedefy (AC2100)

Best Overall Router Under $100

  • Supports 2.4GHz: YES
  • Supports 5GHz: YES
  • Max Data Transfer Speed: 2100Mbps
  • Range: 2500 sq. ft.

The Speedefy AC2100 takes your home WiFi networking to the next level with a whopping 7 antennas for great coverage around the home.

Sporting its own dual-core CPU, this router supports boosted transfer speeds for up to 25 devices. The Speedefy allows you to setup a a guest network so that guests can use your WiFi without access to your personal files and computers. The Speedefy makes for an excellent all-around router for your daily work-from-home endeavors.

Best Performance Router Under $200

  • Supports 2.4GHz: YES
  • Supports 5GHz: YES
  • Max Data Transfer Speed: 5400Mbps
  • Range: 2500 sq. ft.

Nowadays, almost all devices are WiFi-connected. Smart TVs, video game consoles, smartphones, tablets, and even some smart refrigerators! If you’ve got lots of devices in a big house with lots of internet activity, the high-end TP-Link AX5400 won’t break a sweat.

This TP-Link router is built with streaming in mind. Whether you’ve got Zoom meetings, Netflix, or even 8K Ultra-HD videos on YouTube– this router can juggle all of those activities, simultaneously. This TP-Link router might be the last router you’ll need for a long time.

Best WiFi Mesh Systems for Working From Home

Being near your home router provides you with the highest WiFi speeds, but as you step further way, the WiFi signal becomes weaker and less reliable. That’s when a WiFI Mesh System becomes helpful.

Even though most routers can theoretically reach 2500 square feet in range, that’s an optimistic measurement. Many real-life factors can drastically reduce the range of the WiFi connection.

A WiFI mesh system allows you to extend the range of your home wifi, through multiple walls, several floors, and even your backyard. For a large home, using a WiFi mesh system is necessary to keep the connection strong around the entire property. Here are some of the best WiFI mesh systems you can get right now:

Great WiFi Mesh System for the Price

  • Supports 2.4GHz: YES
  • Supports 5GHz: YES
  • Max Data Transfer Speed: 1200Mbps
  • Range: 5500 sq. ft.
  • Max Number of Devices: 100 devices

Pioneered by industry leader TP-Link, the Deco WiFI Mesh System provides a whopping 5500 square feet of coverage. All you have to do is place each extender at different corners of your home, and the system will automagically keep you internet-connected as you move throughout the house. The Deco can be used in place of a router.

Tenda Nova Mesh WiFi System

Reliable and Affordable Mesh System

  • Supports 2.4GHz: YES
  • Supports 5GHz: YES
  • Max Data Transfer Speed: 1200Mbps
  • Range: 6000 sq. ft.
  • Max Number of Devices: 90 devices

At a ginormous WiFi range of 6000 square feet, the Tenda Nova is a highly-revered WiFi mesh system. While it comes with 3 nodes (extenders), it supports up to 9 extenders for a total range of 12000 square feet. These numbers may sound too good to be true, but the reviews for the Tenda Nova are quite outstanding.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve chosen a good WiFi router for your home office to go along with your speedy laptop, the work-from-home experience will become smoother and more productive. A good router is one that you never notice– it just works.

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