Wireless routers: Best Buys
With so many wireless standards and security settings, choosing a router can be confusing. But getting it right can take the hassle out of setting up a secure home network, and allows lots of people go online at the same time under the same roof.
Some of the biggest broadband providers offer free wireless routers as part of their package deals. We pitch them against each other - and compare how they perform next to off-the-shelf models - when we send wireless routers to our labs for testing.
- Your wireless network will need to be secure if you want to stop people jumping onto your network, so we penalise any routers that don't make your network safe as part of the default settings in the set-up process. We also look for child protection features that stop certain computers connecting to the internet after a set time.
- We test data transfer speeds when your laptop is in different rooms - and on different floors - of a house. You shouldn't need to have to sit next to your router for it to work, but we've noticed data transfer speeds dropping by up to 2.89MB/sec when a computer's moved into the next room.
- Some wireless routers are more power-hungry than others; our tests have revealed models that use five times more energy than others.
Find the best wireless routers around and avoid getting stuck with a dud by taking out a £1 trial to Which?.
What makes a Which? Best Buy?
Buying the best wireless router
We test thousands of products each year at Which? in a controlled environment that enables us to accurately repeat each test on each product - meaning our reviews are directly comparable. We buy the products we test ourselves, and go through great lengths to shape our test programmes to match the way you use the products.
- Reviews of 15 wireless routers.
- 4 Best Buy wireless routers for a hassle free home network.
- Reviews of wireless routers from 10 companies.
Wireless router reviews you can trust
We lab test wireless routers from the biggest brands - including Netgear, Linksys, BT, Sky and Virgin Media - to reveal the best models for stress-free set-up of a secure wireless home network. Free routers are considered slower than high street models, but our tests reveal that in some cases you're better off sticking with the model provided with your broadband package.
Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test. This means that as well as recommending great washing machines, we can highlight the ones to avoid.
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