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The best wireless routers in the UAE for 2017

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
best wireless routers

In the information age, no building is complete without only the best wireless router, a title that has recently taken on new meaning, thanks to efforts from companies like Google, Netgear and Linksys who’ve begun to bring wireless mesh systems to market.

At the same time, there are a ton of routers of countless types and brands to choose from. It’s for that reason we’ve gone hands-on with a wide range of hardware to find the top wireless routers below, each of which has been thoroughly tested prior to its inclusion.

1. Google Wifi

The future of wireless networking gets affordable

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 101.41 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 47.53 Mbps
Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi point (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each)
Features: AC1200 2 x 2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi, TX beamforming, Bluetooth Smart ready

Reasons to buy

+
Super simple setup
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited hardware control
-
Lower AC rating

Gone is the seemingly distant past of Wi-Fi range extenders. It’s clear now that wireless mesh systems are the way of the future, the most notable of which is Google Wifi. A hub-based router that’s as easy to set up as scanning a QR code, Google Wifi is more than your basic, run-of-the mill home router. It is instead a pricey testament to the lackluster capabilities of its predecessors, which failed to exhibit nearly as impressive range as Google Wifi.

Read the full review: Google Wifi

2. Netgear Orbi

Wireless coverage that’s high-end, almost to a fault

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 90.14 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 93.69 Mbps
Connectivity: 4 x 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN + 3 LAN for Router, 4 LAN for Satellite), 1 x USB 2.0 port
Features: 4GB flash memory, 512MB RAM, AC3000, MU-MIMO ready

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent coverage
+
Easy setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Mighty pricey
-
Finicky Wi-Fi band settings

Unlike Google Wi-Fi, the Netgear Orbi wireless mesh system ships with two units rather than three: a router and a satellite, much like a cell phone signal booster. It’s expensive, but once you get past the price, you’ll see that the price tag is justified. Its simple setup, requiring little more than being plugged into a modem and a spare wall adaptor, makes the Orbi accessible to say the least. Add that to its stately performance and you’ll see why we love it so much.

Read full review: Netgear Orbi

3. Linksys WRT 3200 ACM

Kickin’ it old school (and open-source)

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 3x 867 Mbps, 802.11n: 600 Mbps
Connectivity: 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0, 1 x ESATA/USB 2.0
Features: Tri-Stream 160, 1.8GHz dual core CPU, 512MB RAM, 256MB flash memory

Reasons to buy

+
Open source firmware support
+
Excellent features

Reasons to avoid

-
Coverage sometimes spotty
-
More suitable in an office than a home

The antithesis to wireless mesh systems, the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM doesn’t boast a particularly flashy design. However, by compromising in the looks department, Linksys was able to pull off a versatile wireless router aimed at traditional PC enthusiasts. Giving you boundless control over your wireless network connections, whether you want to toggle on and off guest connections or prioritize media devices, the WRT 3200 ACM has you covered.

Read the full review: Linksys WRT 3200 ACM

AVM Fritz!Box 3490

4. Linksys Velop

Layman’s mesh Wi-Fi comes at a cost

Specifications

Speed: 117.46 Mbps single node, short range; 74 Mbps two nodes, far range
Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per unit (1 WAN and 1 LAN each)
Features: App-based setup; dual-stream (2x2), 802.11ac networking; 716MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, beamforming

Reasons to buy

+
Fully modular mesh network
+
Inconspicuous design

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey in comparison
-
Performance too dependent on position

Like Google Wifi and Netgear Orbi, Linksys is fighting the good fight to keep wireless routers simple. Although it costs a bit more to use than those aforementioned mesh systems, the Linksys Velop is easily configured in about five minutes, thanks to the companion app you can get via either the App Store or Google Play. It cuts out the middleman, i.e. Wi-Fi extenders, in favor of a seamless wireless internet that will cover the whole house without requiring you – the user – to constantly switch networks as you enter another room.

Read the full review: Linksys Velop

Asus RT-AC88U

5. Asus RT-AC88U

4x4 and 1024-QAM deliver the best possible wireless performance

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 2167Mbps 802.11n: 1000 Mbps
Connectivity: 9x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0
Features: 1024-QAM, MU-MIMO, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Asus AiProtection, AsusWRT Software

Reasons to buy

+
Fastest wireless speeds
+
Comprehensive software UI

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Requires special hardware for fastest speeds

When it’s not busy shaking up the gaming laptop space globally with its thin-and-light ROG Zephyrus (opens in new tab), Asus is changing wireless networking as we know it with high-end routers just as suited for gaming as they are for everything else – the RT-AC88U is no exception. Outfitted with the top-of-the-line 802.11ac spec, Asus’s quad-antenna whale of a router is made better only by its inclusion of NitroQAM technology, which is designed to allow for 4K video streaming and online gaming to take place simultaneously under the same roof.

Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800

6. Netgear Nighthawk

4x4 wireless speeds make this a great all-rounder

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac: 1733Mbps, 802.11n: 800 Mbps
Connectivity: 5x Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0, 1x eSATA

Reasons to buy

+
Great wireless performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks 1024-QAM
-
Requires special hardware for fastest speeds

If routers had a fashion contest, Netgear’s D7800 would be among the top contenders. Its solid black finish is complemented by a quartet of antennas. Plus it’s damn fast and bettered by its inclusion of a duo of USB ports paired with an eSATA connector. The outfitted software isn’t too shoddy either; a simple Dynamic QOS system makes it a breeze to govern a multitude of devices on a single home network.

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Abbas has been living and breathing tech before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. It all started when he got his very first computer- the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. From computers to mobile phones and watches, Abbas is always interested in tech that is smarter and smaller because he believes that tech shouldn’t be something that gets added to your life- it should be a part of your life.