Gear Of The Year 2017 – Consumer routers top picks

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The humble router is arguably the most important bit of tech in your home. Sure that shiny MacBook cost you a pretty penny but without your router you would have no way of communicating with the outside world unless you have an integrated SIM card.

But all routers are not created equal and we asked our readers which brand they preferred when shopping for a router.

The winner of our reader vote however is no different from the winner of our business router vote – D-Link with 32.8%.

As with business routers D-Link routers are hugely popular mostly because they are packaged with internet installations from ISPs.

While the ubiquity of D-Link routers can be put down to the product being convenient (getting a router from your ISP is way easier than shopping for one) D-Link routers are also cheap.

Where many other routers offering basic features such as 802.11b/g/n support and 100MB throughput retail for close on R1 000, D-Link routers offering similar tech are marginally cheaper. At checkout them D-Link wins because its a name people trust and it’s more affordable than the competition.

Our second most popular brand is Asus at 18.1%.

Asus routers have support for the latest Wifi standards as well as some clever tech such as beam-forming which lessens the impact thick walls have on your Wifi signal.

Most Asus routers also have a companion app which allows users to not only see who is on their network but also monitor usage which is available for free for Android and iOS smartphones.

In third position with 15.5 percent of the vote we have Netgear. While the brand is easily found online and at physical stores they do cost a lot of money (even Wifi range extenders from D-Link can be pricey) and this may put potential buyers off.

Staff Pick

My choice doesn’t feature in our top three and I can understand why. My router of choice is from TP-Link.

Routers from the TP-Link stable can be rather expensive but I choose them because they are not afraid to start offering tech that other firms aren’t considering yet.

The brand was the first to launch a router with support for 802.11ad technology and while it is mostly pointless considering there aren’t many devices that make use of that standard I appreciate that there is a firm looking to the future.

There’s also the matter of product range. For some reason I can never find a router that suits my needs exactly, unless it’s emblazoned with the TP-Link logo.

The user interface is simple and everything is nicely laid out so you don’t accidentally change your DNS settings when all you wanted to do was change the Wifi password.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.