Best Wireless Routers Under $100

The Best Wireless Routers Under $100 – Buyers Guide

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t find great wireless routers for under 100 dollars. It can be done – easily. All you need is a basic understanding of the way wireless technology works, how it’s marketed, and your specific needs. This page covers important things to look for when shopping for any wireless router.  You’ll also find examples of some of the best wireless routers available for under $100.

routers under $100

It can be tricky to find a wireless router that’s worth its price tag while also being affordable. However, there are still some routers that are worth their salt if you know what you’re looking for.

Define Your Requirements

Before you start shopping for routers under $100, you need to define your requirements. How much speed do you need? What are your range requirements? Will you be using mostly wired or wireless connections? How many wireless devices do you have in your home? Will you be doing mostly surfing or streaming 4K video and doing a lot of online gaming?

Once you have answers to these questions, you can start looking at wireless routers that fit your budget. There are many brands and models out there and they vary greatly in price.

For example, if you are looking for a high-performance router for under 100 dollars, then the TP-Link AC1900 – Archer A9 may fit your needs. It is an AC 1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit dual-band router with fast speeds up to 600 + 1300 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands respectively. It’s a recent upgrade over its little brother the Archer A7 and comes with important improvements to MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Smart Connect, and a new and improved chipset 

The best routers for gaming and long-range wireless routers fall under different categories altogether. That’s not to say there are no wireless routers in the “Under $100” category that aren’t suitable for gaming. The TP-Link Archer AX21 is a budget-friendly Wi-Fi 6 router with many powerful gaming features such as a 1.5 GHz processor, MU-MIMO, and Beamforming support.

If you don’t need a high-performance router, the Netgear R6230 Dual Band Router is perfect for one or two people in a small home or apartment who don’t do a lot of streaming or gaming. It has just enough horsepower for daily surfing and shopping and is an easy wireless router to set up for beginners.

Tech Skills For The “Home IT Guru”

All Categories
Computer Basics
Computer Hardware
Computer Repair
Ethical Hacking
Home Automation
Home Networking
Microsoft Office
Office Productivity
Technical Skills
Website Building
Ethical Hacking
4.64
$94.99 $15
7096670 9d1a 5
VERY IMPORTANT: This course provides access to Hackers Academy labs. You will be required to create an account on Hackers Academy website. Short, c...
5 total hours
9932214 70cc 3
With millions of Alexa devices being sold, learning to build Custom Alexa Skills is becoming a highly sought after skill by employers. Electronics ...
4 total hours
14330204 bca7
SmartHomes are no longer just for the tech elite. They aren’t for rich home owners or for just the technical wizards. SmartHomes are here tod...
3.5 total hours
6956218 3564 4
Welcome to my WiFi cracking course where you’ll learn how to crack the key and get the password to WiFi networks weather they use WEP, WPA or...
6 total hours
33944616 a1bd 2
Hi there,Welcome to Wi-Fi Hacking and Wireless Penetration Testing CourseWEP, WPA/WPA2, WPS Cracking, Wifi Recon & Password cracking.Learn how ...
4 total hours
38516954 b11c 3
Just updated with all modern ethical hacking tools and best practices for 2023! Join a live online community of over 900,000+ students and a course...
28.5 total hours

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Udemy Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for our site to earn fees by linking to Udemy.com

Find A Good ISP

The next thing you want to look at is what type of internet connection is available in your area. Unfortunately, the best wireless router on earth is of little use to you if your ISP offers only slow download speeds. On the same token if you have a super fast fiber connection to your home a subpar wireless router can become a bottleneck and a constant source of frustration.

Don’t be afraid to shop around and talk to others in your neighborhood about the best ISPs in your area. If you live in an apartment complex the property manager’s office can be a good source of information.

Compare Features

When you’re looking for a wireless router under $100, there are a few features you’ll want to compare.

  • First, consider the speed. (Measured in Mbps) The router’s speed is important because it will determine how quickly your devices can connect to the internet. Unfortunately, the way manufacturers list the speed of their wireless routers can be misleading. See the section on “What Do All Those Numbers Mean?” below.
  • Second, take a look at the range of the router. Make sure that the router provides good coverage (square feet) so that you can enjoy a strong signal throughout your home or office. This of course depends on the size of your home. If you have a large home a single wireless router may not do the trick. You may want to consider a Mesh Wi-Fi System. Wi-Fi Extenders and Powerline Adapters can also help with hard-to-reach dead spots.
  • Third, consider the security features. Many routers come with built-in security features, such as firewall protection and encryption. Keywords like “WPA2” are important.
  • Fourth, check out the number of ports. The more ports a router has, the more devices you can connect to it. Most wireless routers will have at least 4 Ethernet ports to connect wired devices to and at least 1 USB port to connect printers and external drives.
  • Fifth, take a look at the price. Obviously, you’ll want to find a router that fits within your budget. To do this, start by comparing prices online or on this website.
best routers under 100

Compare Reviews

When you’re looking for a new router, it’s important to compare online reviews from multiple sources. This will help you get a well-rounded view of the pros and cons of each option. Be sure to read reviews from both experts and everyday users.

Choosing The Right Wireless Router

Not all routers are created equal. In order to find the best router for your needs, you’ll want to consider a few things: range, speed, and features. The typical home user will only need something that can reach a little over 100 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors.

You should also consider how many devices you plan on connecting to the router simultaneously. Depending on the strength of the router. This will usually be somewhere between 15 and 40 devices. Sometimes more. You’ll also want to look at any special features like MU-MIMO, Beamforming, VPN, and Parental Controls. See the “Buzzwords You Should Know” section below.)

In summary, there are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing a new router under $100 but if you have specific needs or preferences make sure they’re covered by the device before making your purchase!

Only Pay For What You Need

To start, consider how far away from your router devices will typically be. There’s little reason to buy a top-of-the-line model if you don’t need that kind of range. You should also look at any features offered with routers over $100 and decide whether they’re really important for your personal use.

These could include things like USB ports for networked storage or extra bands that boost signal strength. A good rule of thumb is that if you find yourself wishing for more than two additional features then it might be time to upgrade—but again, buying a higher-end model doesn’t always mean better results!

If you’d rather not worry about this stuff and just get down to business, go ahead and take a look at our list of the five best routers below $100. If not, read on for more information about what to consider when looking for the perfect router.

In terms of price point, you’ll find three models priced between $40-$70 which offer a pretty standard range as well as speeds up to 1200mbps. We’ve included these as some of our favorite low-cost models because they are easy to set up and ideal for light internet usage in small homes or apartments.

Understanding Wireless Router Specs

When shopping for wireless routers under $100 the first things you’ll notice are the speeds printed on the box (Or the ad if you’re shopping online.) You’ll notice the 1900Mbps router is more expensive than the 1200Mbps router. The 3200Mbps is way more expensive than the 1200Mbps and probably more money than you want to spend. You’re being conditioned to believe the more money you spend the faster your wireless devices will be. That’s not necessarily the case.

What Do Those Numbers Really Mean?

The numbers on the box are confusing but they still contain important information. For example, a router with an advertised speed of 1900Mbps is not really a 1900Mbps router. That number is for comparison purposes only. It’s actually a combination of two numbers – 1300Mbps + 600Mbps. That means 1300Mbps on the 5GHZ AC band plus 600Mbps on the 2.4GHZ N band. It may seem misleading but it’s valuable information from a comparison standpoint because these numbers are standards set by the IEEE and are closely adhered to.

The “600” number is usually derived from 3 spatial streams (connections) on the 2.4GHz band of 200 a piece – 3×200=600. It’s important to get a router that supports wireless N for backward compatibility purposes so the “wireless N” band is included on AC routers. This is explained fully in my Home Wi-Fi Explained video.


The “1300” number specifies the separate 5GHZ AC band which is usually derived from 3 spacial streams of 433Mbps each – 3X433=1300. AC is a faster and wider band than wireless N. This is the band you want to run your TVs and video games on. The example I just gave you would be referred to as a 3X3 router which means 3 spatial streams on each band. You’ll find other combinations such as 2X2, 2×3, etc.

Best Wireless Routers Under $100 – Video

This video still holds true even though the routers are somewhat dated.

Common Bandwidth Combinations:

3200 Mbps (1300ac+1300ac+600n)
1900 Mbps (1300ac+600n
1750 Mbps (1300ac+450n)
1350 Mbps (867ac+450n)
1200 Mbps (867ac+300n)

What Manufacturers Don’t Want You To Know

What wireless router manufacturers don’t tell you is most devices can only connect to one band (5GHZ AC or 2.4GHZ N) at a time and many times only one or two spatial streams at a time.  If you’re on a phone with a maximum connection speed of 433Mbps that can connect to only one spacial stream at a time. It will never go any faster than 433Mbps no matter how big the numbers are on your wireless router box!

So why bother with all the extra bandwidth?

You probably won’t need all the bandwidth a 3200Mbps wireless router provides unless you have a home with a lot of wireless devices such as TVs, game consoles, laptops, and phones. The more bands and streams your router has the more connections it can support. That doesn’t mean they’ll be any faster but they’ll spend less time competing and interfering with each other.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

The trick is to find the sweet spot between what you really need and what the advertisers want you to buy. If you live in a medium-size apartment or small home with a few laptops, a single TV that’s not constantly streaming video, and a few phones any of the wireless routers on this page should be fine for you. Anything more and you want to look at a more powerful long-range wireless router designed for large homes or a gaming router that’s designed to handle large amounts of data.

The Best Wireless Routers Under $100

Added to wishlistRemoved from wishlist 2
Add to compare

TP-Link Archer AX21 Affordable Router Review

Editor Choice 1 TP-Link AX1800 WiFi 6 Router (Archer AX21) – Dual Band Wireless Internet Router, Gigabit Router, USB port, Works with Alexa - A Certified for Humans Device
More details +
TP-Link Archer AX21 – Upgrade To Wi-Fi 6!
The Archer AX21 is TP-Link’s first Wi-Fi 6 router and it delivers some serious performance including WiFi6 capability. With Wi-Fi 6, you can finally take advantage of the higher speeds and increased capacity that this latest standard has to offer.
PROS:
  • Affordability
  • Powerful 1.5 Quad-core processor
  • MU-MIMO, Beamforming and OFDMA
  • Compact design
CONS:
  • Only 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Parental Controls are too basic
Added to wishlistRemoved from wishlist -2
Add to compare

TP-Link Archer A9 – Affordable Router Review

Best Value 2 TP-Link Archer A9 – Affordable Router Review
More details +
TP-Links Best Just Got Better
The TP-Link AC1900 – Archer A9 is an upgraded version of TP-Links vastly popular Archer A7. It looks identical on the outside but on the inside, you’ll find significantly improved hardware components. The overall speed has been only slightly upgraded from 1750Mbps to 1900Mbps. The biggest improvement is the addition of MU-MIMO, Beamforming, Smart Connect, and a new and improved chipset all of which combine to increase the speed and range of the A7’s big brother.
Rating
9.5
PROS:
  • Features/Price ratio
  • MU-MIMO and Beamforming
  • OpenVPN support
CONS:
  • Only one USB 2.0 port
Added to wishlistRemoved from wishlist 2
Add to compare

Speedefy AC2100 K7 Affordable Router Review

Best Price 3 Gigabit WiFi Router, Dual Band Smart Wireless Router, Speedefy AC2100 4x4 MU-MIMO & 7 External Antennas for Strong Signal and High Speed, Parental Control, Guest Network, Easy Setup (Model K7W)
More details +
Speedefy AC2100 – Bare Bones Performance
Speedefy is the new guy on the block in the world of Wi-Fi devices. Many who have given this new brand a chance have not been disappointed. The Speedefy AC2100 may be a little bare bones (No USB port for example) but if you’re on a budget and looking for excellent Wi-Fi performance the Speedefy AC2100’s cost-to-performance ratio is unmatched.
PROS:
  • Affordability
  • Fast speed on 5GHz band
  • Easy setup
  • MU-MIMO, Beamforming
CONS:
  • No USB port
  • No QoS or VPN support
Added to wishlistRemoved from wishlist 0
Add to compare

Netgear R6230 Affordable Router Review

Best Price 4 Netgear R6230 Affordable Router Review
More details +
The Little Router That Could
If you live in a house full of gaming junkies, several HD TVs, multiple laptops and phones running all at once don’t get this router. If your single or if you and your significant other like to curl up to a good movie at night and do basic surfing, shopping and enjoy social media during the day this affordable router is all you need. This router is designed to provide a strong, stable internet connection for several people in a small to mid-size home. Nothing fancy. It’s gets the job done without breaking the bank.
Rating
8
PROS:
  • VPN support
  • Advanced QoS
  • Gigabit switch ports
CONS:
  • 1 USB 2.0 Port
  • Below average long-range speed
Added to wishlistRemoved from wishlist 1
Add to compare

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Affordable Router Review

Best Seller 5 NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Affordable Router Review
More details +
Quality And Affordability
With the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 R6700 WiFi Router, you can take your WiFi to the next level without killing your bank account. The R6700 provides the reliability and speed your home or office needs. It prevents lag, improves coverage, and sends signals to multiple devices simultaneously, allowing you to stream and surf till your heart’s content – all at an affordable price.
Rating
9
PROS:
  • Great 802.11AC speeds
  • Beamforming+
  • VPN Support
  • NAS/Storage performance
  • Great for gaming
CONS:
  • 1 USB Port
  • No MU-MIMO
  • Too big

A powerhouse router with plenty of features and compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems, the TP-Link Archer AX21 is a great choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly router that offers great value. Priced at it under 100, it is ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses, as well as homes. This router also has an excellent Wi-Fi range, connecting devices within a broad 2,500 square foot radius.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

TP-Link AX1800 WiFi 6 Router (Archer AX21) – Dual Band Wireless Internet...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 15, 2023 8:02 pm
$69.99 $99.99

The TP-Link Archer AX21 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-speed Wi-Fi router that also offers great range. It is suitable for homes or places of business that need faster transmission speeds and more bandwidth. The Archer AX21 provides a wealth of security features to protect your data. If you’re looking for a new Wi-Fi router, the TP-Link Archer AX21 is a good choice.

Editor Choice
2
TP-Link Archer AX21 Affordable Router Review
Deal
If you’re in the market for a wireless router that is both budget-friendly and offers great value, the TP-Link Archer AX21 is a great option. Priced at under $100, this router is perfect for …

See TP-Link Archer AX21 Full Review

2. Speedefy AC2100 K7

The Speedefy AC2100 is a powerful router that delivers on its promise of high performance and range. In tests, we found that it provided a quick speed and was able to move wherever we wanted without any problems. It also supports dual-band WiFi to ensure that devices maintain a consistent connection to the network.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Gigabit WiFi Router, Dual Band Smart Wireless Router, Speedefy AC2100 4x4 MU-MIMO...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 15, 2023 8:02 pm

This Speedefy AC2100 Wireless Router is ideal for people looking for high-speed performance on a budget, or for smaller homes and families. With its high data transfer rates, it can handle your bandwidth-intensive activities without lagging. In addition to that, the router has user-friendly navigational features that make it clean and easy to navigate. The Speedefy AC2100 Wireless Router is a simultaneous dual-band router that delivers high speeds.

Best Price
2
Speedefy AC2100 K7 Affordable Router Review
Deal
The Speedefy AC2100 Wireless Router is perfect for small to medium-sized homes and people looking for top performance on a budget. With its high speed, it can keep up with any online activity. …

See Speedefy AC2100 K7 Full Review

Value is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to the TP-Link AC1900 – Archer A9. The upgraded hardware makes it a top performer in its class and unlike many wireless manufacturers that remove certain features from their more affordable wireless routers TP-Link has included all the features needed to have a great WiFi experience in an affordable wireless router.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A9) - High Speed MU-MIMO Wireless...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 15, 2023 8:02 pm
$69.99 $89.99

TP-Link AC1900 Archer A9 is an incredibly fast and sleek router, capable of speeds up to 1900 megabits per second. It’s also simple to use and aesthetically pleasing, making it a great option for high-speed internet services.

The TP-Link AC1900 Archer A9 incorporates top-quality hardware, making it a top performer among comparable wireless routers. While other wireless manufacturers exclude features they want to keep prices lower, TP-Link added all the features necessary to have a great WiFi experience in an affordable wireless router.

Best Value
-2
TP-Link Archer A9 – Affordable Router Review
Deal
The TP-Link Archer A9 router is a powerful and stylish router that is sure to impress. With speeds of up to 1900Mbps, the AC1900 is perfect for high-speed internet needs. Additionally, the …

See TP-Link AC1900 Archer A9 Full Review

4. Netgear Nighthawk AC1750

The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 R6700 Smart Dual-band WiFi Router helps you to make the most of your favored online activities with high-speed WiFi speeds of up to 1750 Mbps and dual-band 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies. Notably, it has the feature called “ Airtime Fairness,” which raises overall system performance by sacrificing a little bit of network time on less-capable devices.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 15, 2023 8:02 pm
$68.06 $109.99

The R6700 desktop router features the lower price point and high efficiency you want most when choosing a WiFi router. It prevents lag, improves connectivity, and sends signals to multiple units simultaneously, making it easy to simultaneously stream and surf online.

Best Seller
1
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Affordable Router Review
Deal
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Basic Features The router comes with everything you need to connect it fight out of the box. an Ethernet cable, owner’s manual, power adapter, and …

See Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 Full Review

5. Netgear R6230

A black dot on your computer w/ blinking lights is the R6230. It is tiny but shiny and takes very little space on your shelf or desk. You have the standard blinking LED lights for port LAN, a USB LED and a WPS LED. Turn it around and we have 4 port LAN and WAN ports. There is only one USB 2.0 port but it’s more than suitable for printer sharing. Connecting a USB hard drive might be a little laggy.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6230) - AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Speed (up to...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: January 15, 2023 8:02 pm
$58.99 $79.99

The antenna ports are adjustable, but you cannot physically remove them. The preconfigured SSID and network key printed on the back label is a nice touch, as it allows someone to literally plug it in, turn it on, and connect to the network instantly.

If you want to surf the web, watch movies, or play a game or two without going crazy with multiple connections, this is a great device. Remember the 1200MHz speed does not necessarily mean it’s any slower than a 3200MHz router, it just sends out fewer radio broadcasts (Also known as spatial streams), and it can handle fewer connections at a time. If you are a single person or couple, the Netgear R6230 is an ideal choice.

Best Price
0
Netgear R6230 Affordable Router Review
Deal
  Netgear R6230 Design A black dot on your desk with blinking lights. That’s the R6230. It’s tiny but shiny. It will take up very little space on your shelf or desk and …

See Netgear R6230 Full Review

Buzzwords You Should Know

WiFi Standards

The most relevant WiFi standards in use today are 802.11N, 802.11AC, and 82.11AD.

802.11N is also known as WiFi 4. It supports dual bands, MIMO, and maxes out at about 600Mbps. If you’re still using an 802.11N router in today’s world it’s time for an upgrade.

The most common standard is 802.11AC also known as WiFi 5. WiFi 5 (Wave 2) 802.11AC supports MU-MIMO and maxes out at 3,466 Mbps. That’s over 4 times WiFi 4 speeds. WiFi 5 is backward compatible with WiFi 4.

802.11AX or WiFi 6 can reach uncanny speeds of up to 9, 608 Mbps on the 5GHz bands at 160MHz. This is the WiFi standard of the future!

Wi-Fi Bands

Typical wireless routers will have dual bands. They operate at different frequencies so they can co-exist in the same space without interfering with each other. The 2.4 GHz band is slower than the 5GHz band but it has a longer range than the 5GHz band. A typical use for this is using the 2.4GHz band for slower devices all over the house and using the 5Ghz band on nearby devices that need more speed.

Parental Controls

Simply put parental controls provide different methods to track and limit your children’s access to the Internet by placing limits on their devices. Smart Parental Controls usually require a subscription service which eliminates some of the manual configuration needed.

VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. As you may know, the Internet is not one big network. It contains many smaller networks some of which are private and others that are public. Your home network is a private network. It cannot be accessed directly from the public Internet without a router. A VPN allows you to extend your private home network across the internet to remote locations using very secure encryption protocols. Another use of VPN technology is a service that allows you to connect to the Internet using encryption and a remote IP address. This can be used to conceal your identity on the Internet.

MU-MIMO

MU-MIMO stands for Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Output. Its an expansion of the MIMO technology found on wireless N routers. MU-MIMO works with beamforming to aim multiple “spatial streams” at several devices at once. This is done with multiple radios and antennas. This speeds things up by preventing devices from having to share a single signal with other devices.

Beamforming

Instead of spewing its wireless signal in all directions a wireless router using beamforming focuses its signal on each device like a flashlight and locks on even as the device roams. This technology has greatly improved with the introduction of AC and MU-MIMO.

Affiliate Disclosure

Jerry Jones (WiFi Guy) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” – Jerry Jones

Affiliate Disclosure

Jerry Jones (WiFi Guy) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” – Jerry Jones

WiFi Guy
Logo
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart