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What should i look for in a router?
The biggest advantages of ac are that it offers better range and maximum theoretical speeds. You can sometimes get better n-grade performance for less if you stick to the old standard, though ac is future-proof and a/b/g/n is not. In short, nothing other than ac will do.
The next thing to consider is how much you’re willing to spend. The cheapest entry in this round-up costs under 2000 taka. Though if you’re willing, you can shell out more than 2000 taka and get your hands on a range of advanced features.
Good range is especially important if you live in a house rather than a flat, and would ensure all rooms pick up the same strong Wi-Fi signal. Thanks to the integration of USB ports, the best routers can now cater to printers and external hard drives, while cloud support enables you to even use your mobile to quickly tinker with settings.
Of all the great routers in the world, the Linksys EA6900 AC1900 is one of the best right now. It was among the earlier models to get on board with the now common AC1900 standard, giving you the same grade of speeds you see in much more expensive models.
What’s so special? It offers excellent performance at the right price, with a design that’s both flexible and attractive. There are slightly faster routers out there, but unless you have a massive house, we’re largely talking about theoretical maximums.
In an ac test, the EA6900 reached file transfer speeds of up to 76.4MB per second, putting it up there with the very best on the market.
At the top of the leaderboard with the Linksys, the D-Link DIR-880L is another of our current favourite routers. It offers fantastic performance at a brilliant price, making it a great choice for most people.. For the uninitiated, this means 1600Mbit ac Wi-Fi and 600Mbit n-standard Wi-Fi in the one box.
What’s not to like? Very little, actually. The box is a little on the large side, and you do lose out on some speed at longer distances. However, only those with very large houses need to worry.
At closer quarters, it can reach speeds of up to 80MB/sec, meaning the only bottleneck should be the actual speed of your internet, unless you’re transferring files locally.
Asus has pulled out all the stops with the DSL-AC68U, including a future-proof VDSL2 modem, which supports speeds in excess of 100Mbps. It’s not particularly pricey either, costing little more than its non-VDSL rivals.
While it doesn’t win the raw speed race in general testing, it holds its own over 802.11n 5GHz and performs well over short and long distances. Where it arguably does best, however, is over 802.11n 2.4GHz. At 2m its peak speed of 25.6MBps is the fastest we’ve ever recorded.
The bad? Asus has only found room for one USB 3.0 port.
If you’re willing to splash out on a router, you can’t do much better than the Linksys WRT1900AC. It’s a tremendous model that performs well across the board and supports the AC1900 standard – meaning you get tip-top transfers.
Speeds at short range are blazing – upwards of 80MB/sec with in-network transfers – and the Linksys WRT1900AC holds on to its speeds over longer ranges remarkably well. It’s such a powerhouse that Linksys has slapped a fan inside to keep performance solid, regardless of conditions.
There are just two things we think a few people might not like. One is the price. It’s expensive and then there’s the design. It’s a fair bit louder, more industrial-looking than most routers, which is a sign that the WRT1900AC is intended for the enthusiast crowd, even if it is dead easy to set up and use.
The fifth generation of BT’s Home Hub range has several new features to make it the best of the ISP-provided routers. The design is virtually identical to the Hub 4 and it’s one of the smallest and lightest routers on the market, despite squeezing in an integrated VDSL modem to create a single box solution.
There are also 3×3 MIMO antennas for both 802.11ac and 802.11n, which should give it an advantage at distance and a switch to 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports (1000Mbps) to give it parity with Virgin’s 802.11n new Super Hub.
The Home Hub 5’s speeds hold up against most 802.11ac routers you can buy, delivering a 50 per cent better performance than the EE Bright Box 2. Handily, you can use it even if you’re not a BT customer.
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