We've tested 12 store-bought routers and 10 ISP-supplied models to assess their WiFi performance and security, plus how easy they are to set up.
While it may seem like a bargain we don't recommend you pick up this TP-Link router. All of the performance scores are very poor and and its 5GHz suffers noticeably from obstruction interference.
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Overall score includes:
WiFi performance (60%) – measured at 4m and 10m from the router. We calculated the speeds, in megabits per second (Mbps), using online speed testing apps. We repeated the test 3 times on each band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and at each distance. The speeds from both distances were averaged and scored compared to the speeds expected for the WiFi standards they were using.
Ease of use and setup (20%) – based on an assessment of set up and how easy the device is to use including monitoring and managing network access and changing default settings (service set identifier (SSID), network key/password, encryption and WiFi protected set-up (WPS) settings). We also looked at the ease of accessing advanced functions such as guest networks, virtual private network (VPN), attached external media and parental control tools.
Security (20%) – looked at whether the networks were encrypted, how easy it was to identify them by SSID, and the security of the network key/password.
If a USB storage device can be connected to the router so that media is shared on the network. Also called Media Server and ReadyShare.
DLNA is a certification that guides how media can be shared amongst devices over a network. It is often used with media sharing.
Where a 3g or 4G USB dongle is connected through a USB port. The router can then route the 3G/4G signal through the WiFi network.
Price is based on a December 2018 online price survey.
Noticeable interference from obstruction
Very noticeable interference from obstruction
Very good at channel switching
2.4 & 5
Three on rear, one on each side, can fold 90° and rotates 180°, unremovable
230 x 144 x 37
Time scheduling on device, keyword filter