The TP-Link Archer C7Source: Windows Central

Best Routers Under $100 Windows Central 2020

To have quality internet in your home, something you can't go without is a good, reliable router. Routers act as the bridge between your devices and your internet, so having one you can put your faith in is paramount. This is more important than ever right now, as, during this period of self-quarantining and work from home, reliable internet is an absolute must-have. However, something a lot of people don't realize is that you don't need to pay top-dollar for an industry-leading router to have robust internet access. Many of the more affordable routers on the market are more than up to the task of providing you with the reliable connection you need. Of these, our favorite is the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500, as it offers top-notch Wi-Fi 6 speed and stability while also providing reliable range — all for an affordable price.

The TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500Source: TP-Link

The best affordable router out on the market right now is the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500. This is because it's one of the few budget-friendly routers that uses Wi-Fi 6, which is the newest Wi-Fi standard in the industry and provides a slew of impressive benefits. Compared to last generation Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 provides top-notch speed, network stability, network capacity, and the cutting-edge security standard of WPA3. In addition to access to Wi-Fi 6, the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500 also has four far-reaching antennas as well, giving it enough range to provide internet to even large homes. It's compatible with multi-user multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO), which is essentially a fancy way of saying that multiple users can send and receive signals from the router simultaneously with a lower chance of speed reduction.

Pros:

  • Best speed and stability
  • Best security
  • Four antennas for the best range
  • MU-MIMO compatibility

Cons:

  • Most expensive option

Best Overall

TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500

Best in class

The TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500 is our favorite affordable router since it offers the best performance for an affordable price.

TP-Link AC1750Source: TP-Link

The TP-Link AC1750 is the best runner-up option to the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500. It doesn't use Wi-Fi 6 and therefore doesn't have any of the same advantages, but it offers some of the best speed possible with a Wi-Fi 5 router, and while the stability and security of Wi-Fi 5 isn't as great as Wi-Fi 6, it's still good in its own right. The router also only has three antennas instead of four, but it will provide enough range to cover most of a large home and more than enough range for medium and small ones. Like the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500, it works with MU-MIMO.

Pros:

  • Great speed and stability
  • Reliable security
  • Three antennas provide good range
  • MU-MIMO compatibility
  • More affordable

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer the same performance as Wi-Fi 6
  • Slightly lower range

Runner-Up

TP-Link AC1750

The silver medalist

The TP-Link AC1750 isn't as good as the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500, but it's still great, offering top-notch Wi-Fi 5 quality.

TP-Link Archer C1200Source: TP-Link

The TP-Link Archer C1200 is a bit of a step down from the TP-Link AC1750 in terms of speed, but it matches it in every other area of performance. If you don't care about having the best possible Wi-Fi 5 speed, this will be an excellent choice for you since it offers an opportunity to save some money while still getting a high overall performance.

Pros:

  • Reliable speed and great stability
  • Reliable security
  • Three antennas provide good range
  • MU-MIMO compatibility
  • Even more affordable

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer the same performance as Wi-Fi 6
  • Slightly lower range

Best Mid-Range

TP-Link Archer C1200

All-around greatness

The TP-Link Archer C1200 offers competent performance for a balanced and attractive price, making it our favorite all-around mid-range option.

TP-Link AC1200Source: TP-Link

If you're looking to get the bare minimum you need in a reliable router so that you can save as much money as you can, look no further than the TP-Link AC1200. With the lowest speed out of all of the routers on this list, it's not a great choice if you plan on connecting tons of devices at once. That being said, the speed will still be sufficient for people who live alone or with minimal company, and the price is rock bottom. It also works with MU-MIMO, although the router does only have two antennas, meaning that its range is only good enough for smaller homes.

Pros:

  • Decent speed and great stability
  • Reliable security
  • MU-MIMO compatibility
  • Most affordable

Cons:

  • Doesn't offer the same performance as other choices
  • Considerably lower range due to two antennas

Best Budget

TP-Link AC1200

Solid quality, rock bottom price

This little router packs a decent punch for its price, making it a fantastic budget option for people who need to save money.

Bottom line

An excellent router is critical to having great internet, and if you don't have one, you need to invest in one as soon as you can. However, contrary to popular belief, you don't need to break the bank to get a router that will serve you well. Many fantastic routers are very affordable, and you can obtain them for an excellent price.

Of these routers, our favorite choice is the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 AX1500 since it offers excellent Wi-Fi 6 speed, stability, and security, as well as a vast range, all for a price that most people can work with. With this router, you can get access to top-of-the-line internet without needing to worry about your budget.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. He's relatively new to the writing scene, but he counters that lack of experience with a rock-solid work ethic and a desire to improve at every opportunity. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.