The best Wi-Fi routers for your smart home hub

JamieKavanagh

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Apr 19, 2016
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Choosing the best Wi-Fi router for your smart home hub is about balancing features, security and price. You want the latest network features such as 802.11 ac, a hardware firewall and decent 2.4 and 5GHz range to get the best out of your smart home, so I have used that as the criteria for this selection.

Each router here is fast, offers plenty of configuration options, robust security and has a powerful enough Wi-Fi for most homes.

Linksys WRT3200 ACM
The Linksys WRT3200 ACM Smart Wi-Fi router is an excellent basis for a smart home. It has 4 Ethernet ports, a powerful processor, 802.11 ac compatibility, a smartphone app to control it, powerful radios and movable dual-band antennas. The firmware is pretty good but you can easily upgrade Linksys routers to Tomato firmware that is easier to work with and unleashes a lot more of this router’s potential.

The Linksys WRT3200 ACM costs around $249.

TP-Link Archer C9
TP-Link Archer C9 is a much more wallet-friendly router that prioritizes speed over range. If you live in an apartment or smaller house, this could be ideal. It has 4 Ethernet ports, 802.11 ac, 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0. It doesn’t have a neat smartphone app or extra firmware that I know of but it is a great router that works straight out of the box.

The TP-Link Archer C9 costs around $125.

ASUS RT-ACS5300
The ASUS RT-ACS5300 looks like some weird crown off Lord of the Rings but is a super-fast router with decent specs. It features 4 Ethernet ports, 802.11 ac, AC5300 with MU-MIMO, 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0. AC5300 combines two 5GHz and 1 2.4GHz band together for faster speed and MU-MIMO which is the future of wireless technology.

The ASUS RT-ACS5300 costs around $375.

Netgear Nighthawk X6
As well as having one of the coolest names ever, the Netgear Nighthawk X6 is also a very good Wi-Fi router for your smart home hub. It looks very stealthy, has six large antennas, tri-band Wi-Fi and intelligent traffic streaming so it chooses which connected devices get priority

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 costs around $250.

D-Link AC3200
The final router in the roundup is the futuristic-looking D-Link AC3200. It won’t appeal to everyone but it has the looks and the brains to run a smart home with ease. What makes this router stand out is its long range. It also has an intuitive UI and a built-in VPN for a very secure internal network.

The D-Link AC3200 costs around $260.

Technology changes constantly but these routers have an eye to the future as well as providing excellent performance in the here and now. Any of them would be a powerful enough Wi-Fi router for your smart home hub!

Already have a Smart Home Router? Check out my tutorials for setting up your Philip Hue Lights and Amazon Alexa
 
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