Wireless connections have become the necessity for homes, allowing the much-needed ease in connecting devices to the internet while sitting anywhere in your house, allowing you to multitask instead of being glued to chair on the desk. It’s important to pick the router that suits your budget, is best called for and comes with promising functionalities. So here’s a summary of India’s top routers for home usage:
#5 NetGear WNDR3700
The Net Gear Range Max Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router has numerous features to support its home users, of which one such feature is its capacity to send and receive signals over the 5 GHz spectrum, way above the usual 2.4 GHz. However, to operate at the 5 GHz range, your laptop would most likely need an additional USB dongle, to dismiss the interference. This device supports HTTP, FTP, and SMB, and also allows you to secure access to USB’s with you pre-approval. The advanced “ReadyShare” support allows users to access data directly from these USB storage devices over the network.
The antenna system is internally set-up and concealed, and cannot be adjusted to catch a better signal, though. There is a strong firewall, sufficient even in its default mode and you get extended guest network support. Also, users with non-unlimited plans can make good use of the “traffic meter”. Though the “uplink bandwidth” setting makes no sense, as no one is likely to prefer a lower speed than what’s offered. Don’t forget to take note of the strong Wireless-N at 300 mbps. The router would excite anyone and everyone who makes use of it, so go for this flagship model, for only Rs. 9900!
#4 Linksys E4200
This high-end router not only fulfills your router demands, it’s impressive with its reasonable looks. You’ll find it with a Gigabit Ethernet switch, dual-band Wi-Fi, MIMO technology and a USB storage port. The highlight feature of this device is its promising support to a faster 802.11n speed to 450 megabits, more than the usual 300 megabits. With tests conducted in real-time environments, the router however seemed to hold up in speed after a 10 m distance; though on the other hand was completely reliable, covering distance up to 40 m away from the set up.
The router doesn’t have the option to be wall-mounted, so it apparently is the kind of router to be kept next to the Home Theater.The best part with this router is the ease in setting it up, all possible under 5 minutes! The web interface remains same as the previous Linksys models, and they’re all equally easy to get used to. The router is an UpnP supporter, though you may find the transfer rate from attached hard drives quite slug-like. It’s a reasonable buy, and much preferred for its evenhanded functionalities, at the price of Rs. 9000.
#3 D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router
Take routers to the next step and you have the D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme, which goes beyond wired Ethernet ports. The package is a router bomb of its own kind, packed with 5 Ethernet ports, SATA 2.5-inch HDD internal drive bay and 2 USB ports, to cause the explosion! The built-in 3.2-inch LCD screen and touch-sensitive buttons are reasons why the device comes at the price of Rs. 13,000, being the most expensive amongst the top 5. With the user-friendly set-up, it’s a cinch to get started with your new router.
The router allows e-mail activity once you provide your mail server. Get the graphical authentication feature which staves off malware users and helps you view in full graphical form the way your Ethernet is physically connected or check any problems of the sort. In terms of performance, the device operates up to 27 m without interference, which you’ll have to face since it stays in the 2.4 GHz and doesn’t quite reach the 5 GHz mark. This device could be a template router for the future.
#2 Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH
This is one of the most abundantly found routers in market, with its price keeping it in good competition to other devices. The set up is simple, and you’re allowed to wall-mount it or keep it standing, choice is yours. The router has a clean web interface that won’t require third-party installations; though stability requires you to keep the firmware fully updated.
With tests, it was found that the device works best for small encryptions and shorter distances. As obvious as it sounds, the maximum speed achieved was 140 mbps from the otherwise promised 270 mbps. The provided firewall, VPN and QoS packets work fine, keeping the router in-line with other servers. The router however doesn’t support a printer on its USB. With a few pros and cons, this potential NAS box fits fine under the price of Rs. 4900, the most reasonable of all routers in the list.
#1 Asus RT-N16
The next-gen quality router, N16 seems to be one of the most promising launches in the market, for which it obviously makes it to the top of the charts. Start up is easy, like most routers, but it’s good to know that you can download the kit directly from a browser, using its web interface. Its firmware is customizable, with the ample amount of memory given.
For the power-users, the highlight of the router would be the 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, WAN Ethernet port, 2 USB ports which support even a standard printer usable across all computers connected to the network and the pretty decent firewall, secured with a supported WPA2 encryption. Speed for the device works great upto 30 feet away from the set up, and still is faint but tolerable at around 60 feet. The only drawback for the device is that it works in the 2.4 GHz range, but with the other features bucking up its value, it seems a great buy, for Rs. 6,700.
There’s always something better, something faster that each one of these routers brings out with its updated version, but so far, that’s how the list goes!