Top Rated 802.11ac Routers

At the 2012 CES show, it was hard to find the newest 802.11ac routers (the latest standard in wireless networking) but all of that has changed.

802.11 ac router

This latest class of router promises to be faster and have better range than the 802.11n. 802.11n can deliver up to 450Mbps per band (2.4 and 5GHz) for a total of 900Mbps. The new 802.11ac routers are designed for speeds of 500Mbps per band – or 1GBps – although the manufacturers claim speeds up to 1.3GBps.

Even though the new standard will not be given its IEEE certification until June of this year, it has not stopped the usual manufacturers from churning them out for sale. The 802.11ac is backward compatible so if you are router shopping or considering upgrading your current router, it would be a good idea to purchase an 802.11ac model. A router can last for years, so it would be wise to buy one that’s future compatible.

The new standard claims we will get better range than the 802.11n, but so far, the companies testing the routers have not seen much improvement in the early models. However as the technology matures, we should see more progress made with distance. 2.4GHz has better range than the 5GHz, but that band is so crowded that performance often suffers.

The routers below are ones that the tech magazines/websites had in their top ratings and they presented in no particular order. The routers all scored so closely it really comes down to brand preference and looks …yes: we know you want that router to look cool sitting on your desk. The information listed is directly from the manufacturer and if you click on the picture of the router and it will take you to the manufacturer’s website where you can get complete information on the particular model:

Asus RT-AC66U

Asus RT-AC66U

Asus RT-AC66U

ASUS-RT-AC66UU-ratings
Editor’s Note: This is the one I ended up getting after looking at all of the routers since it looks cool and has good ratings on Amazon. It’s not the cheapest one – but one I liked the most out of the bunch.

SPECS:

  • 5th generation 802.11ac chipset gives you concurrent dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz for up to super-fast 1.75Gbps
  • ASUS AiCloud service: Access, stream, share, sync – all on the go with unlimited storage expansion!
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports for the fastest, most reliable internet performance
  • AiRadar optimizes wireless coverage with detachable high-powered antennas
  • Enjoy the ASUSWRT dashboard UI for 3 steps easy setup, signal monitoring, and network application control
  • Download Master for wireless data storage and access to your router-connected USB storage devices
  • File sharing, printer sharing, and 3G sharing via two multi-functional built-in USB port

Netgear R6300

Netgear R6300

Netgear R6300NETGEAR R6300 WiFi Router

Netgear R6300 reviewsSPECS:

  • Next generation WiFi at Gigabit speeds
  • Ultimate mobility for WiFi devices
  • Perfect for current & future WiFi devices
  • NETGEAR genie® app for computers & smartphones
  • Easily configure as a bridge

Buffalo AirStation AC1300

Buffalo AirStation AC1350

Buffalo AirStation AC1350

Buffalo Airstation AC1300 ratingsSPECS:

Gigabit Simultaneous Dual Band Wireless Router is a versatile dual band solution, ideal for high speed data streaming. With two wireless radios for extreme performance and backward compatibility, the dual band router supports 802.11ac and 802.11n, offering transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps in the 5 GHz spectrum.

  • Wireless 802.11ac
  • Simultaneous Dual Band Support
  • 5 GHz Speeds up to 1300 Mbps*
  • 2.4 GHz Speeds up to 450 Mbps*
  • 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • Configure as an Access Point
  • Guest Access / Multi SSID

Model: Linksys EA6500

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC1750 HD

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC1750 HD

Linksys EA6500 ratingsSPECS:

  • Technology: Wireless-AC
  • Bands: Simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
  • Transmit/Receive: 3 x 3 for 2.4 GHz, 3 x 3 for 5 GHz
  • Antennas: 6 Internal
  • OS Compatibility: Windows, Mac
  • Software Setup: CD Install
  • Ethernet Ports x Speed: 4 x Gigabit
  • Cisco Connect Software: Yes, App Enabled
  • USB Port: Yes, Shared Storage, Virtual USB and Media Server

D-link AC1750

D-link AC1750

D-link AC1750D-link AC1750

D-link ac1750 reviewsSPECS:

  • New 802.11ac Wireless-AC standard for transfer speeds up to 1750Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual-band for 1300Mbps using 5Ghz and 450Mbps using 2.4Ghz
  • Delivers Dual Band Technology for intelligent, versatile, interference-free bandwidth.
  • Built-in high-powered amplifier, you can enjoy wireless coverage throughout your home
  • Compatible with all of your current 802.11n Wireless N products up to 450Mbps
  • Locally access your favorite videos, music and photos on a connected USB device
  • Provides the added benefit of remote network management and remote file access

Trendnet TEW-812DRU

Trendnet TEW-812DRU

Trendnet TEW-812DRU

Trendnet TEW-812DRU reviewsSPECS:

  • New 802.11ac Wireless-AC standard for transfer speeds up to 1750Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual-band for 1300Mbps using 5Ghz and 450Mbps using 2.4Ghz
  • Delivers Dual Band Technology for intelligent, versatile, interference-free bandwidth.
  • Built-in high-powered amplifier, you can enjoy wireless coverage throughout your home
  • Compatible with all of your current 802.11n Wireless N products up to 450Mbps
  • Locally access your favorite videos, music and photos on a connected USB device
  • Provides the added benefit of remote network management and remote file access

Belkin’s AC 1200

Belkin's AC 1200

Belkin’s AC 1200

Belkin AC1200 reviewsSPECS:

  • Up to 2.8X faster than N Technology
  • New level of performance for reliability and coverage
  • Compatible with ‘N’ & ‘G’ technology
  • Dual-band for multiple device, multiple movie streaming

If you end up picking up one of these gigabit routers, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

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Cory McNutt (has 14 posts in total)

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