We have new and increased demands for Wi-Fi in our home networks. It is not simply a matter to have some connectivity for the kids to play around. In today’s world, it is a matter of connectivity to work, to study, and to stream content.
Luckily a lot has changed over the last year and a half about the Wi-Fi capable routers. Long gone are the days of underpowered or flimsy routers. Of course in Canada is still common to rent a wireless router from your Internet Provider; however, that may not be the latest generation nor the best for your needs or provide a full set of features, protection, or even full access to the best setup your Home Wi-Fi network.
With that said, Here we provide a list of some of the best wireless routers in the market, along with the reasoning. As the market evolves we will continue to update this list to reflect relevant changes.
TP-Link Archer AX6000
The best of the best, at all things Wi-Fi. It supports the latest generation of Wi-Fi version 6. It is Wi-Fi mesh capable, meaning devices keep a good level of connectivity throughout the home. The Archer AX6000 ranks among the fastest and with the best range. Though goes for $349. The only thing one could question is that it is big, and it looks like an upside-down spider. Other than that, it provides everything; with built-in antivirus software, a somewhat configurable firewall, and allows us to connect USB storage for the creation of a personal-use cloud.
Google Nest WiFi Router
This is 2-in-1 you get a mesh-capable Wi-Fi router and a smart-speaker at the same time! This could be ideal for a large home or multi-level condominiums. Promises 25% better coverage and double performance than Google WiFi. The pair goes for $404 – some of the cool features are that it allows one to prioritize performance on a per device basis along with parental controls to manage kids’ online time. One of the main critiques to note is that it only provides two Ethernet ports – whereas typically routers provide 4 – however if your setup is mainly a wireless one, then the two ports may be more than enough.
Netgear Nighthawk WiFi Router
This router does not compromise. It provides mid-range performance, robust security options, USB storage and comes in at a reasonable $179.99. The Netgear can be a great first upgrade. Note one can get additional BitDefender security as a paid add-on directly from the router. It is as close as it gets as a plug and plays router.
Asus Dual Band Router
This belongs to the ‘gaming’ routers category. Meaning it was made for heavy use, to stream, both ways. This design comes in handy for other setups as well. Like working from home or studying at home setups. It comes with Asus trademark Airprotection, stopping threats before they reach the internally connected devices. This router also works via Amazon’s Alexa voice commands. The Asus has a very intuitive user interface, good firmware update schedule. This Asus goes for $249.95
Prime Recommendations to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Setup
Here we have recommendations to secure your Home Wireless Router. Consider this, when it comes down to Home wireless networks, it will always be better to secure a little too much than too little.
- Change all default passwords (those provided by the manufacturer)
- If possible:
- Change the name of the router Admin user
- Don’t broadcast the Wireless SSID. The SSID is the Wireless Network ID. This is securing by obscuring. Most devices in the home will always be the same anyway, so what is the point? Once all home devices are set you can disable broadcasting the SSID.
- If you want, or have, to broadcast the SSID, change it from default though give it a generic nickname. Something non-identifiable. For example, an SSID of ‘ Prometheus ‘ is better than ‘Kitchen-Router’ or ‘Adams Family’
- Secure your Wi-Fi with the latest WPA3 (If WPA3 is not available then choose WPA2. If that is the case, then maybe time to check routers’ firmware upgrade as WPA3 is fast becoming the new gold wi-fi security standard) Make use of a long pass-phrase.
- Re-Think passwords to be more like pass-phrases. Instead of making a super complicated and hard to remember 8 characters long password. It is more memorable ‘The1WeAllGotWet!’ than seemingly more complex ‘Y@$sw0rd’ – Consider that it has been proven to be more relevant password length than complexity. The longer the password, the longer time it may take to crack it.
- Disable Guest Network
- It is a nice feature, but an open invitation to camp in your network. If someone needs access just share your super long pass-phrase. If anything, you can change it later.