Best Budget Routers in 2023 – the top cheap picks available now
If you’re on the hunt for the best budget routers, we’ve got you covered.
Budget routers are excellent for those who want decent performance without paying a fortune. These routers may not be as powerful as the high-end ones, but they still support high speeds and offer additional features that make them worth every penny.
These days, you can find budget routers that support WiFi 6 and are dual-band, meaning they can be connected to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. On top of that, some of them also offer a long range and are enough for a large house or office. You can even find budget mesh routers that come with an extender to increase the range. Some of the best routers for mesh networks come with two extenders, but budget options may feature only one.
As the market is filled with budget options, it can be difficult to choose the right router. After all, you don’t want to just go ahead and pick up a router that costs less than the others. To help you out with your search, we’ve selected a few options that we think are the best budget routers currently available in the market.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the list.
Products at a Glance
How we picked
We’ve used our expertise to find the best budget routers in the market. We picked several routers, compared them, and then selected the ones that offered great features and the most value for money. Furthermore, we are constantly looking for new routers to add to our list, so make sure to check back here soon to explore some more budget options.
Best Budget Routers in 2023 – the top cheap picks available now
- WiFi 6
- Dual band
- 2,500 sqft range
- Range may be too much for a small apartment
If you’re looking for a router that is cheap but does not disappoint when it comes to performance, you’d want to check out the TP-Link Archer AX21. TP-Link is well known for creating some of the best routers, and the Archer AX21 is no different.
To begin with, the router features WiFi 6, which is the latest generation of WiFi. It is also known as 802.11ax. On top of that, the router has dual-band functionality, meaning it offers support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. 2.4GHz covers a larger area, while 5GHz covers a smaller area but is faster. The router promises speeds of up to 574Mbps and 1,201Mbps at 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band, respectively.
When it comes to coverage, the TP-Link Archer AX21 has a range of up to 2,500 sqft, so it will be enough for a large home. On top of that, it can connect with up to 30 devices at the same time without compromising the speed and quality of the internet, so you won’t have to worry about multiple people using the WiFi at the same time.
As far as the setup is concerned, everything is pretty easy, thanks to the TP-Link Tether app, which can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. All you have to do is turn on the router, open the application, connect it to your router, and set it up from there. The app also lets you perform other tasks, such as managing the connected devices and troubleshooting issues that you may face with your connection.
Overall, the WiFi 6 technology, dual-band support, and the long range of up to 2,500 sqft make the TP-Link Archer AX21 one of the best budget routers currently available in the market. We think it is a strong contender for one of the best WiFi 6 routers.
- WiFi 6
- 1.5GHz tri-core processor
- Good value for money
- Only 300 Mbps speed on 2. 4 GHz connection
If you want a router with WiFi 6 without spending a lot of money, you can pick up the TP-Link Archer AX10. This router comes at a low price compared to the other options on our list, but it still gets the job done well if you’re using it inside a medium-sized house. After all, it is one of the best routers under $75.
To make sure the router can easily handle bandwidth-intensive activities, TP-Linked has installed a 1.5GHz tri-core processor inside it. This will also keep things smooth even after multiple devices are connected to the router simultaneously. Just like our top pick, this router is also dual-band and offers support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, with the latter supporting a speed of up to 1,201Mbps.
When it comes to ports, you’ll get four gigabit LAN ports, which can be used to connect gaming consoles, PCs, and other devices that can be connected using a wire. The setup is also pretty easy, as it can be done using the TP-Link Tether app. The app lets you perform different tasks and even gives you access to Parental Controls, thanks to which you can restrict certain types of online content.
Overall, the TP-Link Archer AX10 is the best budget WiFi 6 router thanks to its features, range, and the speed it supports. It can connect with up to 20 devices simultaneously, which will be more than enough.
- Mesh system
- Easy setup
- Expensive additional modules
Mesh routers are ideal for large homes or offices with multiple floors, as they can help with making the WiFi signal reach everywhere. If you’re looking for the best budget mesh router, we’d recommend the Amazon Eero 6.
Mesh routers are generally more expensive compared to regular routers, even the budget options. However, the Amazon Eero 6 still comes at a pretty low price, and it even features two routers, with one acting as the central router and the other being the extender. The router is powered by WiFi 6 and can cover up to 3,000 sqft. Therefore, you’ll be fine with one extender for a large home or office. But if the area is big, you might need to pick up another extender.
Like some of the best routers for multiple devices, the Amazon Eero 6 can connect with up to 75 devices at the same time. The best part is that it can host multiple users without compromising on the quality of the connection. The main router comes with two gigabit ports, so you can easily connect it to your console or PC using an ethernet cable. The extender only comes with a USB-C power port, so you won’t be able to use it for wired connections.
You can also download the Eero app on your mobile device, which can be used to set up the router quickly. While the free version of the app is enough for basic stuff, you can upgrade to Eero Plus and gain access to some advanced features such as ad blocking, VPN, internet backup, and more.
Overall, the Amazon Eero 6 is a great option for those planning to set up a mesh WiFi 6 system without breaking the bank. It can handle speeds of up to 500 Mbps, so you can expect a smooth experience.
- Built for gaming
- Dedicated gaming port
- Ultrafast speed of up to 5400Mbps
- May be an overkill if not primarily used for gaming
If you want the best budget gaming router that delivers good performance but won’t put a dent in your bank account, you’d want to check out the Asus AX5400. Just by looking at the router, you’ll be able to tell that this one has been designed while keeping gamers in mind.
On the inside, the Asus AX5400 is packed with a 1.5GHz tri-core processor, which makes sure that the connection remains stable even under load. It offers support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connections, which makes it dual-band. On top of that, the router promises support for ultrafast speed of up to 5400Mbps, so you can pair it with a high-speed internet connection.
As the router features WiFi 6, you can expect to see low latency and faster speeds in gaming. On top of that, the Asus AX5400 comes with a dedicated gaming port, which makes the router prioritize the device connected to it. Thanks to this, you won’t have to worry about facing any lag or connection issues if multiple devices are connected to the router.
By pressing a button on the router, you can enable the Mobile Game Mode, which minimizes the lag and latency for mobile gaming. The Asus AX5400 also includes Quality of Service (QoS), which allows you to choose the applications the router should prioritize for network traffic. While the range of the router is already decent, you can extend it using any AiMesh-compatible router.
Overall, the Asus AX5400 is an excellent choice for gamers who want a budget router, ad we think it deserves to be one of the best routers for gaming. The router features Asus Aura RGG lighting effects, so you can customize it as per your requirements. On top of that, you can control the router using the Asus Router app, which even lets you troubleshoot connectivity issues.
How to pick the best budget router
The process of choosing the best budget router can get tricky as there are several options available in the market. If you try to rush the process, you can end up picking the wrong one. To help you out, we are going to list down some factors you should consider before making a final purchase.
As you’re getting a new router, make sure you get one with WiFi 6, which is the latest standard of WiFi. Compared to WiFi 5, it is around 40% faster. Most of the latest routers you’ll come across these days will have WiFi 6, so make sure to opt for them instead of one that comes with a lower price but offers an older version of WiFi.
A good router should be able to distribute the WiFi signals across your home. Some routers are ideal for small apartments and offices as they operate in a small area. However, others can cover a large area, which makes them suitable for large homes. Therefore, make sure to check the range of the router before purchasing it. You can check out some of the best routers for Wifi Range in case you want something that provides decent Wifi reception from far away.
The router you’re getting should come with different features, such as Parental Controls, Network Diagnostics, and more. If you’re opting for a budget gaming router, you must make sure it can support high speeds and comes with some additional features, like a dedicated gaming port, which should prioritize the device connected to it.
What is the latest generation of WiFi?
WiFi 6 is the latest generation of Wifi, which is around 40% faster than WiFi 5. Most of the routers you’ll come across these days feature WiFi 6.
Can a cheap router affect internet speed?
A low-quality internet router can affect the internet speed. However, budget routers made by reputable brands are fine, and they don’t produce slow speeds.
We think that the TP-Link Archer AX21 is the best budget router currently available in the market. It features WiFi 6 and dual-band functionality, thanks to which it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. On top of that, the router has a great coverage of up to 2,500 sq.ft, which makes it a great choice for offices and large homes.