Last updated: August 17, 2021

Our method

4Products analysed

45Hours spent

13Evaluated articles

215User reviews

Good internet is indispensable in today's world. To ensure that you are well equipped with internet in your home, you need a WLAN router that provides you with it. When buying a router, however, you have to take a lot of things into account, because WLAN routers are equipped differently. They differ not only in their range and performance, but also in their connections. Therefore, you should find out which router is suitable for you before buying.

With my WLAN router test 2021 I would like to make your decision easier and also give you helpful tips. For this purpose, I have compared various wireless routers with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages as well as important aspects of the individual purchase criteria. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important things

  • WLAN routers are available with both DSL and cable connections. Which type is best for you depends on where you live and your personal preferences.
  • The performance and data transmission of your router are particularly important. These determine how much data your router can process and at what speed.
  • The range also plays an important role. To improve the range, there are a few factors you should consider.

The Best WLAN Router: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for wireless routers

There are many different WLAN routers with different features on the market. You can distinguish between the different product variants based on a few criteria.

The aspects that can help you compare WLAN routers with each other include:

Range

In order to have Wi-Fi reception throughout your household, your Wi-Fi router should have a long range. The range is responsible for transmitting the Wi-Fi signal to your devices up to a certain range.

The range can also be reduced by interference factors.

The average range of a WLAN router is about 50-100 metres. However, the connection often gets worse the further away you are from your router.

There are also other factors that reduce the range of your Wi-Fi router. These include walls, televisions, underfloor heating, etc.

To improve the range of your WLAN router, you can purchase a WLAN repeater as a supplement. This will extend the range of your Internet connection even further.

Performance

For a good performance of your WLAN router, you should make sure that your router has the WLAN standard 802.11ac. This allows you to use at least 200 Mbit/s and thus a fast connection.

You should therefore buy a router that supports WLAN AC and not just WLAN N in order to get the fastest possible performance. The difference between the two WLANs is that WLAN N uses the 2.4 GHz frequency, while WLAN AC uses the 5 GHz frequency. The latter is used much less than the 2.4 GHz frequency.

The antennas of your router also play an important role in transmission. The more antennas, the better the performance.

Your router should also support dual band. This means that it can not only transmit over one of the two frequencies, but over both at the same time. This also increases the performance of your WLAN router.

Data transmission

The data transmission of your WLAN router determines how much and how fast data can be transmitted. How fast the data transmission should be varies from application to application.

The more Mbps, the faster the data transmission.

A line of approx. 16 Mbit/s is already sufficient for surfing or e-mails. With a transmission of 16 Mbit/s, e-mails with approx. 20-30 MB would take a maximum of 2-3 seconds to load, so you have fast access to them. The surfing speed is even lower.

For HD streaming and gaming, you usually need about 25 Mbit/s for optimal data transfer. This is due to the fact that the data volumes here are significantly larger than those of e-mails.

Overall, it can be said that data transmission improves with an increasing number of Mbps. However, you should make sure that your data transmission is at least 25 Mbps.

Decision: What types of wireless routers are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy a wireless router, you can distinguish between routers with a cable connection and routers with a DSL connection. In the following section, I will explain the difference between the two types of routers, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both options:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
WLAN router with DSL connection suitable for private use, powerful, space-saving limited bag capacity, lower vacuum
WLAN router with cable connection large bag capacity, very powerful, strong vacuum large and bulky, more suitable for gastronomy or industry

Both WLAN routers with cable and routers with DSL connection have advantages and disadvantages. Both types are suitable for different purposes or for different residential areas. To make it easier for you to decide which type you want, I will now explain the differences between the two in more detail.

WLAN Router mit DSL-Anschluss

WLAN router with DSL connection

Almost 95% of German households have access to a DSL connection, so it is very widespread. Here, access to the internet is provided via the fixed network telephone. However, the disadvantage of a DSL connection is that the upload speed is generally lower than the download speed.

Advantages
  • is suitable for almost every household
Disadvantages
  • slower upload speed
  • speed depends on exchange

In general, WLAN with DSL connection is often slower than WLAN via cable connection, because the speed of the Internet in this case depends on the distance of the corresponding exchange.

WLAN Router mit Kabel-Anschluss

WLAN router with cable connection

WLAN routers with a cable connection usually have a higher speed than routers with a DSL connection. However, significantly fewer households in Germany have a corresponding cable connection. Overall, only 65% of Germans have access to cable internet. Another disadvantage is that the internet speed varies with the number of current users. The more people there are in the corresponding network, the slower the internet becomes.

Advantages
  • higher speed
Disadvantages
  • only available in 65% of German households
  • speed deteriorates as the number of users increases

Although the internet speed is generally faster than that of the DSL connection, it fluctuates with the number of current users of the WLAN. The more people there are in the respective network, the slower the internet becomes.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about WLAN routers answered in detail

Before you buy your WLAN router, you will probably want to have a few important questions answered that could be relevant to your purchase decision. I have listed and answered these questions in the following section.

What is a wireless router?

A WLAN router allows you to receive internet at home. It serves as a network point that delivers your internet wirelessly. Because it works wirelessly, you can receive Wi-Fi on all your devices from all rooms that are within range of your router.

WLAN Router-1

WLAN routers allow you to use the Internet at home, so you always have Internet access available.
(Image source: Benjamin-dada /unsplash)

How much does a wireless router cost?

WLAN routers are available both with a contract with a mobile phone provider and without a contract. The contract costs depend on your provider and your individual conditions.

As a rule, you can get a router without a contract for between €50 and €200. The exact price depends on the performance of your wireless router.

How many devices can I connect to my Wi-Fi router?

Normally, up to 15 devices can connect to a router, so that the WLAN is distributed among these 15 people. However, it must be taken into account that the WLAN performance decreases with the increasing number of users.

WLAN Router-2

Since you can connect several devices to your WLAN router, you and your friends can surf the Internet at the same time.
(Image source: cowomen /unsplash)

This is due to the fact that more content is uploaded and downloaded at the same time and therefore more power is used.

Where is the best place to put my router?

The location of your wireless router is very important, as poor placement can degrade your overall wireless signal.

To find the perfect place for your router, you should consider the following aspects:

  1. Avoid placing your router near walls, underfloor heating, walls or in corners. These can weaken the signal considerably.
  2. You should also make sure that you place your router as centrally as possible in your flat or house. You should also place it near doors so that the radio waves can propagate without obstacles such as walls.

If you follow these criteria, you should be able to find the perfect place for your router and receive your Wi-Fi signal everywhere without obstruction. Keep in mind that basement rooms are less suitable as a router location.

To illustrate this, I have selected a video for you. This shows you which interference factors affect your Wi-Fi connection:

Picture source: Adamowicz/ 123rf.com

Reviews