Now Wifi became an integral part of the world. In 2021, barely, 23 years later, wifi is projected to connect over 22 billion devices worldwide.
Understanding the Terminology
Basically, a Wifi router is an electronic device that sends internet data received from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to your other devices like PC, smartphones and laptops wirelessly.
But, terms like Wifi 4, Wifi 5, 802.11ac, 802.11n, AC300, AC1800, MU-MIMO and terms like 5dBi make it difficult to understand.
On top of that knowing 2.4GHz & 5GHz and RJ’s compound the problem, making the router selection process a nightmare.
If you are well versed with the above terms then you can jump directly to the list of best wifi routers in India for home.
But if you are looking to make an informed decision then, you should take 5 minutes to understand the essential terms associated with routers.
802.11 nomenclature and what does it mean
802.11 is a protocol for wireless standards created, maintained and used globally by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The first of which was released in 1997 and it worked on 2.4GHz frequency.
|Standard||Release Year||Frequency (GHz)|
|IEEE 802.11a or Wifi 1||1999||5/3.7|
|IEEE 802.11b or Wifi 2||1999||2.4|
|IEEE 802.11g or Wifi 3||2003||2.4|
|IEEE 802.11n or Wifi 4||2009||2.4/5|
|IEEE 802.11ac or Wifi 5||2013||2.4/5|
|IEEE 802.11ax or Wifi 6||2019||2.4/5|
The new standard normally supports the older ones. For maximum network speed, both your router and your devices should be of the latest standards.
Because if you have a smartphone supporting 802.11ac (Wifi 5) wireless but your router carries an 802.11g (Wifi 3) protocol, then you will be only able to use the 2.4 GHz (single band) even though you have the option to use either 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency (dual band).
What is 2.4GHz and 5GHz has to do with routers
2.4GHz (2.4 GigaHertz) and 5GHz are radio frequencies that a router uses to transmit the internet to your connected devices like smartphones, PC, laptops, FireTV, gaming consoles and smart home devices.
2.4GHz frequencies cover large areas and are better at penetrating walls. But have a lower data rate and are prone to interference.
You can use 2.4GHz for simple tasks like sending emails, file transfer, or web browsing.
Whereas, 5GHz has a higher data rate and are less prone to interference. But they cover smaller areas and are poor at penetrating solid objects.
You can use bandwidth-intensive tasks like HD video streaming or online gaming on a 5GHz band.
You can connect the video streaming devices like PS4, Smart TV, and Firestick on 5 GHz and other devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets on 2.4 GHz.
Decoding terms like N150, AC300, AC1200 and like that.
You will find that routers carry terms like that and each of them claim to offer a higher and superior network speed.
Most of the ISP’s in India will offer up to 100Mbps internet service. That is the maximum internet that you can have at the input of your router.
Something like a highway…
Now, what your router does – it creates a local network (LAN) with the help of 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands and multiple antennas between connected devices.
LAN is a short closed lane where you can theoretically travel at much higher speeds.
The number behind the alphabet indicates the total number of megabit per second it is capable to transmit in the best-case scenario.
So if your router says N150, that means it is supporting 802.11n standard and the internal speed of the network to share data between multiple devices is 150Mbps.
With an AC1200 router, you have a theoretical internal speed of the network to share data between multiple devices is 1200Mbps over 2 bands.
Which is like a short distance clear road for a racing car…
Do you still need the RJ’s and LAN Port when we are talking about Wifi?
“Radio Jockey” RJ45 is a cable connector used to connect devices like PC, switches, routers. Depending on your ISP provider you may or may not require RJ45.
If your ISP has fiber cable to offer internet then you will need RJ45 to connect it to your router. If you are using internet services from Govt. telecom companies like BSNL and MTNL then you will need RJ11 to connect your router.
LAN ports are used to make connections to devices like PC, Laptops and others directly from the router.
Lastly, what are things like MU-MIMO, beamforming and mesh technology?
Multi-user, multiple-input and multiple-output (MU-MIMO) – supports multiple users trying to access wi-fi at the same time. The 802.11 protocol serves the internet on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The MU-MIMO technology breaks the bandwidth into individual streams so that the connection can be used simultaneously.
Beamforming technology – detects devices on the network, even if they are far-away or are low-powered, and connects them by concentrating wireless signal strength towards them.
Mesh Technology – Mesh Technology or Mesh WiFi is a system consisting of the main router connected to your modem, and a series of satellites or nodes, that are placed around your home covering a large house with full WiFi.
The Mesh technology allows 100% data transmission as compared to range extender systems. You have a strong and stable network in your duplex home, garden, garage or basement.
I think now you are comfortable and ready for making a better router selection.
Before we proceed ahead it is good to know your wifi needs. That is because there are hundreds of routers out there starting from a few hundred rupees to over 50,000 rupees apiece.
The more added functions or features, the more costly the routers will be.
But you may not need all the stuff. For example, if you are single living in a 2BHK house in a metro city then the mesh technology will not add much value.
If you are not a gamer then a simple AC450 router is sufficient for your family of 4 members.
You just need to know how much area you need to cover and the number of devices that will be using the wifi.
A rough estimate can be judged for the table below.
|Protocol||Stream data rate (Mbps)||MIMO Streams||Approximate indoor range|
|802.11b||Up to 11 Mbps||NA||115ft|
|802.11g||Up to 54 Mbps||NA||125ft|
|802.11n (Wifi 4)||Up to 600 Mbps||4||230ft|
|802.11ac (Wifi 5)||Up to 3466 Mbps||8||115ft|
|802.11ax (Wifi 6)||Up to 9608 Mbps||8||98ft|
Please note that the indoor range is the point to point distance and not the area covered.
Based on in-depth research below is the list of best routers in India 2021.
Best Router Under 1000 in India 2021
The sub 1,000 rupees routers are single band routers for persons on budget. The routers deliver signals over a small area of up to 100ft.
But you get enough network to connect 2-3 devices and enjoy video streaming.
#1. TP-Link TL-WR841N 300Mbps Wireless Wi-Fi Router
With minimal lag, under 1,000 rupees TP-Link WR841N lets you have 300Mbps of wireless speed – ideal for a mail exchange, speedy browsing, complete research for your projects and uninterrupted movie streaming.
If you are a college guy who is looking for maximum value on a limited budget then you should go with the TP-Link WR841N router.
For getting maximum speeds needed for watching HD video or IPTV you have the option to connect devices like PC, Laptops directly on fast LAN ports.
TP-Link WR841N allows you to cover 100 feet area with a quality 2.4GHz wifi signal on 2 high-quality 5dBi antennas.
You would love its “guest wifi option” – that will let you share your wifi with friends over weekends stay without disturbing your overall wifi setup.
Being a low-cost product, there are a lot of reviews of people being shipped a faulty or a refurbished router. In such a case you should contact the seller for replacement immediately.
- 802.11bgn communication standard
- 4 Fast LAN Ports,
- WPS Button,
- 907g Weight
- Supports Parent Control,
- Guest Wifi option
- Easy Setup
- Best for budget buyers
- Secure connection using WPS push button
- Single-band of 2.4GHz only
- Need to connect LAN ports for faster speeds
Who Should Buy – Budget buyers like college students who are looking for a value for money router.
#2. D-Link DSL-2730U Wireless-N 150
D-Link 2730U router is an economical alternative for casual users who don’t have heavy streaming requirements.
You can smoothly transfer files, photos, music and videos on wireless speeds up to 150Mbps. Simultaneously, it allows you to run multiple online applications like listening to music, scroll social media and perform online shopping with ease.
D-Link 2730U is a value buy if you are still using the copper wired (BSNL or MTNL) telephone lines.
You can save the extra cost of having a separate setup for an internet connection. Because D-Link 2730U supports RJ-11 cable of MTNL & BSNL and is one of the best routers for BSNL broadband.
On the flip side, you need to be around the router for the maximum signal as the router has a single 5dBi antenna covering around 50 feet range.
- ADSL2+ 4-Port Router (Black),
- 802.11n communication standard
- 4 Fast LAN Ports,
- WPS Button,
- Works with RJ-11(Telephone Line Internet) of BSNL & MTNL
- 137g weight
- Easy setup wizard
- Economically priced
- 3-year warranty
- Single 5dBi antenna
- Old RJ-11 connector
Who Should Buy – Casual internet users still having BSNL or MTNL line connections.
Best Router Under 1500 in India 2021
With an additional 300 – 500 rupees investment, you can expect to move from the conventional single-band router to a dual-band router. The fact is reflected in the increase in the number of antennas.
Under rupees 1500, you can expect a higher internet speed of up to 1000Mbps covering a room area of up to 500 sq ft.
#3. TP-Link AC750 Dual Band Wireless Cable Router
Dual-band router that helps you get lag-free wifi input across your 2 BHK home. This is possible due to the omnidirectional signal of 300Mbps from the 2.4GHz band and 433Mbps from the 5GHz band.
With 2 separate bandwidths, you can easily share data on your PC or to any other devices even when one of them is streaming HD video.
You have the flexibility to use your TP-Link AC 750 router as an Access Point, Range Extender or simply as a Router only using its one of the available 3 working modes.
You can set-up the wifi easily using the intuitive web interface or using the powerful Tether app.
The app also allows you to manage the router’s network settings or controls like parental and separating guest access from any Android or iOS device.
- 802.11ac/n/a for 5Ghz band
- 802.11n/b/g for 2.4GHz band
- Four 10/100 LAN + One 10/100 WAN Port
- Support Guest Network
- Parental Control,
- 750Mbps Speed Wi-Fi,
- 3 Antennas (Archer C20)
- 320g weight
- 3 Working modes
- 4 LAN and 1WAN port
- Easy set-up
- Reviews of inconsistent signals
- No USB port
Who Should Buy – Family of up to 4 people living in 2BHK and using 4-5 devices including Amazon Fire TV, smartphones, laptops & PC
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#4. TP-link N300 WiFi Wireless Router TL-WR845N
For attending office online meetings and making VoIP calls, you can rely on TP-Link N300-WR845N’s advanced wireless performance.
The router is apt for your small shop, office, or home space where you can connect wireless CCTV, do video chat and work on different files.
Your operations get uninterrupted by better covered, strong and stable data on three 5dBi high gain antennas.
However, the router supports 4-6 devices and covers only a small area of 300ft to 450ft.
- 300Mbps Wi-Fi Speed
- Parental Control
- Guest Network
- 3 Year Warranty
- Three 5dBi antennas
- Does not support the 5GHz band
- 300Mbps of data transfer
Who Should Buy – Small business owners and home office networking requirements
Best WiFi Router in India Under 2000
There is not much value addition in the routers found under Rs. 2,000. We could only find a handful of routers in this category.
The only big differentiator is that your router is able to support wi-fi speeds of over 1000Mbps.
#5. TP-Link Archer C60 AC1350 Dual Band Wireless
You can have more family members with multiple (up to 10) connected devices on the TP-Link Archer C60. You can have a stronger network because the router’s MU-MIMO technology allows communicating with 2 devices simultaneously.
You can prioritize low bandwidth consumption activities like sending emails, browsing the web, or listening to music on 450Mbps 2.4GHz network.
Whereas, playing online games, streaming HD video and video chat all at the same time can be done on 867Mbps 5GHz band.
TP-Link Archer C60 is one of the best dual band wifi routers in India that allows strong wireless connection for 2BHK homes of an area of up to 800Sq ft.
- 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Wi-Fi Speed Up to 867 Mbps/5 GHz + 300 Mbps/2.4 GHz,
- Supports Parental Control,
- Guest WiFi,
- MU-MIMO Router,
- Qualcomm Chipset
- MU-MIMO Router
- 5 antennas with 1350 Mbps
- No USB port
- 0.5Kg weight
Router Best For – 2BHK homes (up to 800 sq ft area) with multiple (up to 10) connected devices.
Best Wifi Router Under 3000 in India 2021
The routers under Rs. 3,000 are heavy-duty routers suited for internet speeds of over 100Mbps (Gigabit).
You can expect to have a strong, lag-free and stable internet across multiple devices covering a room areas of around 1000 to 1500 sq ft.
#6. TP-Link Archer C6 Gigabit MU-MIMO Wireless Router
You can have boosted Wi-fi coverage throughout your home on four external antennas of the TP-Link Archer C6 router.
On top of which you benefit from the beamforming technology that detects your far-away or low-powered devices even on the balcony.
Riding on 1200Mbps speed and 5-gigabit ports your kids can enjoy lag-free online games. Giving you seamless connectivity round the clock even when you are streaming HD video when moving around your home.
- Dual Band 1200 Mbps Wi-Fi Speed,
- 5 Gigabit Ports,
- WPA3 wifi security
- 4 External Antennas and 1 Internal Antenna
- Qualcomm Chipset
- WiFi Coverage with Access Point Mode
- Easy set-up and management using Tether app
- Beamforming technology
- No USB support
You Should Buy – If you have a 3BHK home (area 1000 sq ft to 1250 sq ft)
#7. Tenda AC10 AC1200 Wireless Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router
If you have multiple internet users then the Tenda AC10 router allows you to have a better wi-fi schedule & internet data packet management.
The powerful 1Ghz CPU + 128Mb DDR3 in your router tracks the incoming packets from the internet and the devices that use the data packets.
The more users connected to your routers the faster your router processor should be.
Tenda AC10 saves your power bill because of its unique “powered by sleep mode” wifi operations.
- 4 Gigabit Ports,
- 867Mbps/5 GHz+ 300Mbps /2.4GHz,
- Supports 10 devices and area up to 1000sq ft
- 350g weight
- Fast 1Ghz CPU
- Beamforming with intelligent signal location technology
- Remote router management through an app
- No USB port
- Reviews of router needing a restart
- Poor customer support
Who Should Buy – People who are looking for a CPU powered strong dual-band router that also saves energy.
#8. Linksys Dual-Band (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) AC1200
The beauty of the Linksys dual-band AC 1200 router is that it connects multiple devices at the same wifi speed.
You have a solid sturdy high performance (1200 Mbps) router with inbuilt antennas matching your interiors and other electronic devices.
Manufactured in Vietnam, Linksys router is best if you host multiple guests because the router allows the creation of a separate password-protected wifi network for up to 10 guests.
But the network coverage area is approximately 1000 sq ft and can handle up to 10 devices.
- MU-MIMO WiFi 5
- Fast Router with Easy Browser Set
- Parental Controls
- 3-year product replacement warranty
- Up to 10 guest network
- Antenna less design
- Need to push the WPS button while adding devices
- No UPS port
When You Should Buy – If you are looking for a router without an antenna or one that is built outside China.
High Price Wifi Router in India 2021
Under a high priced category, you can expect a high-performance router mostly having a mesh technology or one that is dedicated to specific applications such as heavy gaming.
You can cover 2-floor homes (like in a duplex) and a bit of surrounding (like a garden, basement, or a garage) with combined coverage for areas over 2000sq ft.
The high prices routers are designed to support over 15+ devices and are best suited to internet speeds of over 100Mbps.
#9. TP-Link Deco M4 Whole Home Mesh Wi-Fi System
You can have a full-home wifi coverage network with up to 1200 Mbps speeds with TP-Link Deco M4’s mesh technology.
A set of 3 Deco’s can cover an area of up to 4000sq ft. More Deco’s can be added to the network making it the best wifi router for long-range in India.
To offer a lag-free network you can use TP-Link Deco M4 as a router, access point, or range extender. The good thing is that you can voice-control your router over Alexa or Amazon Echo devices.
- IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
- Seamless Roaming and Speedy (AC1200),
- Work with Amazon Echo/Alexa,
- Router and Wi-Fi Booster,
- Connects up to 22 devices
- Parental Control
- Mesh Technology
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Echo
- Easy settings and controls through the app
- Heavy 1.32kg
- No web interface for setup
Who Should Buy – Person looking for a stable internet for duplexes, large homes or farmhouse.
#10. Netgear Orbi RBK50 Tri Band Mesh WiFi System
Netgear Orbi allows seamless internet network coverage with higher speeds up to 3000Mbps covering a larger area of around 4000sq ft.
The higher speed is possible because of 6 internal antennas and tri-band wifi. Apart from the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, Netgear Orbi creates a 5GHz dedicated link between the Orbi router and Orbi Satellite.
You can instruct and manage your router over voice using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- WiFi 5 – AC3000 (Up to 3 Gbps)
- Connects up to 25 devices
- Smart Connect – One WiFi name,
- Beamforming & MU-MIMO
- Tri-band router
- 3-year warranty
- Quad-Core 710MHz processor
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Satellites need to be booted
- Reviews of poor customer support
- Heavy 1.78kg
You Should Buy – If you are looking for a higher (up to 3000 Mbps) speed for up to 4000sq ft space.
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#11. Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro, AC2600 Dual Band Gaming WiFi Router
With the Nighthawk XR500 router, you can minimize sudden lag spikes so that you have a smooth fast-paced online gaming experience.
The reliable consistent speed is because of the powerful dual-core 1.7GHz processor that prioritizes gaming devices and allocates bandwidth by device to eliminate lag.
You can further limit distance to servers and your player friends using the Geo-Filters that create local connections.
The DumaOS in the router locates the whereabouts of your online game server and then lets you force a connection to servers within whatever geographical radius you choose.
You are allowed to watch real-time bandwidth utilization and identify applications that could be causing lag.
- WiFi 5 – AC2600 dual-band
- Dual-core 1.7GHz Processor
- Gaming VPN
- 2x USB 3.0 Ports to access media or printer
- VPN, WPA/WPA2
- DumaOS with powerful dual-core 1.7GHz processor
- Gaming Dashboard & VPN
- Some games do not connect if servers are outside of the geofenced area
- Requires you to be hands-on with Geo-filter
- Dashboard can be overwhelming for a new user
- Reviews of poor customer support
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Wifi Router Buying Guide
You need to have a clear idea of only a few things mentioned below while buying a router.
#1. Your Internet Needs
Much will depend on your activities and interests. If your needs are limited to browsing, listening to music, or light video streaming then a basic router will fulfill your needs.
If you are looking for HD video streaming, using FirestickTV, or online gaming then a dual-band speedy router is needed.
Professional online gamers can pick a dedicated gaming router.
#2. Area Covered
Check your home, shop, or office floor space that needs to be covered. Routers with different wireless 802.11 protocol and technology (mesh) offer to cover varying areas.
On top of which the network speed reduces with solid walls and blockages.
If you have clear space then you can cover a larger indoor area with low-speed routers. Whereas, a high-speed router is needed to cover a house with multiple walls.
#3. Devices Connected
Low-end routers can support 3-4 devices on a decent LAN speed.
And the extreme ones with MU-MIMO and mesh technology can handle 20+ different devices on a higher LAN speed.
More the number of users with different wifi requirements, the high end the router should be to provide seamless speeds.
Router’s costs range from a few hundred rupees to well over 50,000 rupees. The general notion is – more the price the more valuable the product.
This may be true, but may not be a value for money proposition for you. Simply because your internet needs can be totally different from that of the other person.
You may not need all the features and functionalities at the same time.
You should look for a router that fulfills all your needs at the best price.
If you are a student or a single person then the TP-Link TL-WR841N router should be ok.
If you are looking for the best Wifi router for a 2-3 BHK home with 4-5 persons including kids with a slightly higher internet use then you can go with the TP-Link Archer C6 router.
People with duplexes or larger homes should go with a TP-Link Deco M4 router.