How Much Does a wifi Router Cost?

  • Posted on: 09 Jul 2024
    How Much Does a wifi Router Cost?

  • WiFi routers are an integrated part of our homes and offices as people cannot work or study without the internet. A good WiFi router enables a user to access the internet through a wireless connection to devices such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, smart home devices, and others. Now in the market, there are so many types of routers that are sold at various prices, therefore how do you choose the right one to purchase? The following lists the current pricing of WiFi routers and the various aspects that determine the prices.

    Entry-Level Routers: $20-$60

    In the lower segment of the price range, you can buy simple routers for WiFi that cost approximately $20-$60. These cheap routers from TP-Link, NETGEAR, Asus, and Linksys are suitable for domestic use with such activities as web browsing, email, and social media as well as streaming on a few devices.

    The wireless speeds that entry-level routers offer will provide maximum data transfer rates of 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency band and 867 Mbps on the 5GHz frequency band. This is because you can enjoy good speeds with your device next to the router; however, the further you are from the router, the slower your connection will be. The WiFi coverage area is again very limited compared to other routers belonging to a higher price bracket.

    If you are a resident of a small apartment or a computer user who only uses the internet for simple purposes that do not entail heavy browsing, then an entry-level router may suffice for you. But large users and homes with many devices should use more for this purpose.

    Mid-Range Routers: $60-$150

    The best and most affordable device range is $60-$150 which offers dependable dual and tri-band WiFi routers for most home and small office use. Popular picks in this range include:

    - Netgear Nighthawk R6700
    - Asus RT-AX1800
    - Linksys MR7350
    - TP-Link Archer A7

    You can enjoy combined speeds of up to 450 Mbps to 1.2Gbps on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands for ultra-fast 4K streaming, online gaming, large file downloading, etc. The mid-range routers also have good signal coverage that can cater to a medium to large room of up to 2000 square feet.

    Some functionalities that are beneficial in this class are MU-MIMO, which allows for connection to multiple devices at once, beamforming, which is a signal-targeting technology, and multiple wired ports for connection of devices like PCs, NAS, and smart home hubs. Some mid-range routers also have mesh WiFi to extend the WiFi network across your home.

    High-End & Gaming Routers: It ranges between $150 and $500.

    The next performance segment focuses on high-end routers at the price bracket of $150- $500, as these are perfect for homes and offices with multiple users, IoT devices, and demanding applications.

    Lead2021ing picks among high-end consumer routers include:

    - Netgear Nighthawk RAX120
    - Linksys WRT32X
    - Asus RT-AX88U
    - TP-Link Archer AX11000

    The latest WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E standards, tri-band speeds of 1.5Gbps and above over 10Gbps ensure no lag and no buffering for networks having more than 100 devices. With extensive coverage, it becomes possible to watch 4K/8K videos and even play VR games across over 5,000 square feet.

    Gaming routers such as Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 optimize WiFi performance, even through gaming traffic analysis in real-time. This helps to cut down the latency time whether you are fragging opponents or streaming the games to the audience.

    Business-focused routers offer some additional options like VLAN for traffic separation, Wi-Fi protected access WPA3, VPN server, and management services. Connectors for wired LAN/WAN, USB, telephony, and so on are provided to meet the enterprise level.

    Factors Impacting Cost:

    Going further, what determines the cost of one WiFi router as compared to another? The following is a list of some of the most important elements that dictate the final price of a car.

    WiFi Generation & Speeds: For each generation beginning with 802.11 b/g/n/WiFi up to 6E, there are relativistic enhancements in max speed, network capacity, range, and overall network performance. WiFi 6/6E routers are more expensive than WiFi 4/5 because of the features that come with the higher model.

    Coverage & Connections: High-end routers come with stronger and more potent antennas, amplifiers, and beamforming technology to deliver strong WiFi to huge houses or establishments with the capability to support hundreds of devices. Budget routers offer much less in terms of transmission range and capabilities.

    Bands & Channels: The basic routers of WiFi 4/5 might consist of only a single or double band of WiFi present on the 2.4 and 5 GHz channels and the advanced tri-band routers come with an added 5GHz dedicated channel for the fastest connectivity even with the presence of traffic on other channels.

    Ports: As for the number of LAN ethernet ports for wired connections, budget routers may provide only four, whereas new routers can provide 2, 4, and, in some cases, 8 LAN ports. Further, extended WAN, USB 3.0, and phone ports also contribute to the price escalation for integrated adaptability.

    Network Features: Smart WiFi, MU-MIMO simultaneous streaming, Dynamic QoS traffic prioritization, directional transmission, and content blocking/encrypted security options are features that cost more in premium routers.

    Smart Features: Many high-end routers come with subscriptions for features deemed valuable by customers such as network monitoring, parental controls, antivirus and anti-malware, and more. These value-adds enhance attractiveness, albeit at the expense of higher retail price points.

    Should I Buy Refurbished?

    The refurbished or renewed WiFi routers are available at lower prices compared to new ones, with the prices often being reduced to 20-50% of the original retail. This is because inside hardware remains unchanging and the overall core performance is not compromised in any way. Before making the purchase, just pay closer attention to seller ratings, warranty options, and return policies.

    Comparing the current $200 flagship gaming router to a $100 renewed version is tempting to those who are hunting for a good deal.

    In Conclusion:

    You can find a plain WiFi router with an introductory price of $20, or you can spend $480 on the latest WiFi 6 gaming routers if you are into intense online gaming. Where speed, coverage, and connectivity are ten times greater – you get twice the value for a dollar! It is a matter of reviewing your usage requirements, the devices required, home size, and budget to achieve the right balance. A $100 router should be adequate for most households because a router is an everyday device that doesn’t need the latest in technology.