Wireless routers are almost a necessity for modern families. We may ignore its existence in daily life. However, we can barely stand half a day at home without it. As the speed of network continues to grow and we have more devices available for Internet, the routers we used at home need to be updated every 3 or 4 years. If you are looking for a smart or multi function wifi router with lots of cool functions, we recommend you buy it from Amazon or local store，as these kind of routers are newly introduced and costs much more money，it’s not wise to try cheap ones from Aliexpress. But if you are looking for a cheap and simple wireless router with fast speed and low delay, I believe you can find lots of budget products at a very low price on Aliexpress. Before we introduce you the best wireless wifi router models on Aliexpress, here are some knowledge you shall learn before placing an order.
What features should an excellent wireless router have?
1. Stability, a good wireless router should provide stable connection with fewer drops.
2. Fast speed and low network delay
3. Easy to set up, easy to use for laymen
4. Good-looking appearance
There are also some special useful features of the so-called smart wireless router or multi-function router, such as built-in hard drive, QOS, advertising block, etc.
Common misunderstanding of wireless WiFi router
1. More antennas don’t stand for stronger signal
2. The signal which is easier to go through walls is just a gimmick.
3. Good wireless signal does not mean that the network speed is fast, it also depends on the hardware and software performance of the wifi router.
4. Don’t just look at the wifi speed which seller always provides, but also check the speed of the WAN port and LAN port.
So what do you have to pay attention to when buying a wireless wifi router, here are some tips for you.
Speed of a wireless wifi router depends on three features, when buying a wifi router; you should check all this three features:
WAN port speed: Wan port is the input port of a wireless router where the network are connected, it limits the maximum speed of your router directly, if your Wan port only has a 50M speed upper limit, no matter how good your broadband is, your network will be limited to 50M.
LAN port speed: Lan ports are designed for wired network connections, at home, they are commonly used for TVs and computers. just like Wan port speed, the Lan port speed directly decided the speed limit of the device it’s connected to, so we strongly recommended to buy wifi routers with higher Wan/Lan port speed, especially Wan port speed.
Speed of wireless WIFI: This is the speed that the sellers and manufacturers always tell you. The maximum network speed of a single 2.4G antenna is about 150Mbps, while the maximum network speed of a 5G antenna is about 433Mbps. So the speed of all antennas is the total speed of wireless Wifi of your router. That’s why we tell you that more antennas don’t stand for stronger signal. When picking a WiFi router, we suggest you consider all these 3 features while most sellers only tell you the speed of wireless WiFi and the Wan/Lan port speed may be too small to match its wireless Wifi speed. So before taking an order, make sure the sellers don’t fool you in these features.
The most used frequency band is 2.4G and 5G band. The 2.4G band is most widely used, our 4G phone signal, Bluetooth, wireless mouse signal is all in 2.4G band. It has larger signal coverage and stronger penetration ability. However too many signals in the same band means more interfere, the speed and stability of your network will both be influenced, just like a traffic jams. While the recently introduced 5G has less interfere and it provides faster network speed and lower delay, however its disadvantage is rather obvious, the signal will decrease heavily when encountering obstacle, so it cannot cover a large area. It is recommended to buy a dual-band (2.4G and 5G) wireless router. Dual-band routers will generate two WIFIs, one is in the 2.4G band and one is in the 5.0G band. It’s not convenient to switch your wifi back and forth in daily use, luckily now there are routers that support auto dual-band technology, it only generates one wifi signal, but the signal will automatically switch between 2.4G and 5G according to scenario.
Other features that may influence the signal stability are signal coverage and signal intensity, they are mainly decided by transmit power of the wireless signal and the gain of the antenna. The transmit power of the wireless signal is designed within 100mW as excessive signal coverage will cause signal jam and interfere. So the gain of antenna is more useful. If you have a larger house, a wifi router with this feature fit you more.
You can check 2 features to evaluate a router’s hardware, first the CPU chip, it is responsible for processing all the data of the router. The mainstream CPU chip manufacturers include Broadcom, MediaTek (MTK), Qualcomm, and Huawei. The best routers such as ASUS and NETGEAR generally use Broadcom’s processors, while the MTK CPU has a large share in middle and low-end market due to its cheaper price. Second, the firmware, it can be understood as the system of a router; bad firmware will influence the stability of network and cause trouble for router setup. So it is much better to buy wireless router of well-known brands as their firmware are more stable and easy to set. For players, you can even setup a third-party firmware which supports more cool functions such as game mode and network acceleration. However, for common users it’s not wise to try this as a failed firmware setup may turn your router into a useless box, so a stable and user-friendly firmware is just enough for you.
After a brief introduction of how to choose a good wireless router, we are going to tell you the best models of wireless router on Aliexpress, just as you were told, you can find fine, cheap and user-friendly wireless routers on Aliexpress, we suggest that it’s better to buy a cheap wireless WiFi router within 60$ on Aliexpress. For more expensive routers, it’s better to buy them from other websites as they may have less advantage in price and service on Aliexpress. The best brands of wireless routers on Aliexpress are Tenda, Asus, Totolink, Wavlink, Xiaomi and Tplink. If you are looking for cheaper routers within 25$, you can check products of Tenda, Totolink and Wavlink, these models have better price performance. For budget routers within 60$ which have more functions and more stable performance, you can pick products of Asus, Xiaomi and Tplink. Here are the best wireless router models of different price range on Aliexpress.
As a famous Chinese wireless router manufacturer, Tenda has a good reputation of products in low and middle-end wireless router market in China. Its various models, stable firmware and easy setup system makes its budget products quite competitive on Aliexpress. The Tenda N318 is an upgraded model of the Tenda N300, it has small upgrade on the basis of the N300, while the main features of these two models are identical; it only costs 1 more dollar to buy an N318, as the N318 only costs 13$ on Aliexpress, we suggest you buy the N318 rather than N300. The maximum data transfer speed of Lan and Wan port of the N318 is 100Mbps, and its three 2.4G antennas provides maximum 300Mbps wireless data transfer speed. As the Wan speed is only 100Mbps, the maximum speed of the device connected to the N318 is 100Mbps. The firmware of the N318 is the biggest advantage of the N318 among its competitors on Aliexpress. As a big manufacturer in China, Tenda’s firmware is more stable and normative than other small manufacturers, the system of the N318 supports lots of system language which covers all the main language in the world, and as a simple-function router, its concise system is easy-operating for any user.
The Easyidea wireless router is the cheapest one on Aliexpress which support dual-band function. It has a maximum 100Mbps Wan port and four 100Mbps Lan ports, and supports 300Mbps 2.4G WIFI and 867 Mbps 5G WIFI. As most dual-band routers on Aliexpress are over 30$, the easy idea wireless router only costs 27$, its price makes this model a great choice for buyers who want a low price dual-band router. On firmware, the easy idea wireless router supports smart phone app for setup, which makes it easier to set and control your router. Another remarkable feature is its 4 3.4*5 dbi antennas which provides large signal coverage, it can easily cover a 120㎡ house due to our test.
The Tenda AC11 is designed for large-scale house of about 200㎡. Both of its Wan port and Lan port support maximum 1000Mbps data transfer speed. The AC11 has 5 large antennas which support maximum 867 Mbps 5G wireless transfer speed and 300Mbps 2.4G transfer speed. The maximum wireless speed may be a little slower considering its gigabit Lan and WAN port speed, however the 867 Mbps 5G signal is quite enough for daily use. According to the manufacturers , the AC11 has 5*6 high-gain omnidirectional antennas, which can increase 30% signal coverage and allow the signal pass through 3 walls. We didn’t test this function but in my personal opinion, it’s wall penetration function may not as good as it’s described. The advantage of the Tenda AC11 is its price, in fact, most Tenda’s products are cheaper than its competitors which has the same hardware feature. But you should know the hardware feature doesn’t stand for hardware quality, if you are looking for a high-speed router with excellent quality, it is more wise to spend more money to buy products of Tp-link, xiaomi and Asus, I’m not saying that Tenda’s hardware is bad, it’s just not as good as Tp-link.
A3002RU is a dua-Band router with Gigabit Wan/Lan port speed, the A3002RU complies with the most advanced 802.11ac standard and can deliver Wi-Fi speed up to 1167Mbps(867Mbps 5G signal and 300 Mbps 2.4G signal). Featured by simultaneous dual-band and four external high gain antennas, it provides stable network connection for Internet access with less interference. With a USB 2.0 port, A3002RU can be used as a FTP server, Samba server or DLNA server while connected to a NAS(network attached storage); or be used as a charger while connected to smart phone or tablets. The A3002RU has a simple setup function of IPTV, so you can enjoy your IPTV and wireless network at the same time. The system of A3002Ru only supports two languages, Russian and English. Compared with system of Tenda, the system of the A3002Ru is more complicated, and it can be quite time-consuming to configure certain features and settings. As a Chinese brand specifically for overseas markets, the firmware and functions of Totolink are more suitable for European and American users, but its hardware quality is not as good as Chinese famous router brands, such as Xiaomi and Tp-link. Any way the cost performance of A3002RU still makes it one of the best routers on Aliexpress.
As the fourth generation of its series, Xiaomi Mi router 4 has few upgrades in hardware in comparison to its predecessor, Xiaomi Mi router 3. The main upgrades of Mi router 4 are its better dual-core 880MHz MT7621A processor and MiNET function. The appearance of the Mi router 4 inherits the concise design of the series. It’s a simple flat white box with 4 antennas, on the top of the box , there is a push-able button in shape of the Mi logo. It’s the MINET key which supports MIOT fast WiFi connection protocol, all smart devices of Xiaomi can connect to network without app setup via this function. The maximum Wan/Lan port speed of the Mi router 4 is 1000Mbps. And the 4 external omnidirectional high-gain antennas support maximum 2.4G 300Mbps and 5G 867Mbps wireless transfer speed. Just like other products of Xiaomi, the Mi router 4 has dedicated APP, you can set and remote control your wifi router all by your phone. You can check connected device list, set speed limit, optimize network speed all by your phone. The convenient functions of the App supports are quite unique that other manufacturers cannot suply. The built-in MT7621A processor of the Mi router 4 is for enterprise-class routers, it can support maximum 128 devices at the same time. According to the signal test, the signal of the Mi router 4 can be very stable even through 3 walls. The maximum 2.4G speed of a single device can be about 4M/s, while the maximum 5G speed can reach 9M/s. Just like all the products of Xiaomi, the Mi router 4 has good cost performance, let alone the abundant functions it supports, as a gigabit wireless router the Mi router 4 is a good choice for consumers who wants more smart functions, if you have some other Xiaomi products, the router will cooperate with its bros and provides even more smart functions.
TP-Link is a very famous wireless router brand in China, its middle and high-end products have great sales in China. Its products have fine hardware quality and great network stability. The TP Link TL-WDR7400 is an excellent model with high cost performance. Its hardware features are so good that it can satisfy your family need in the next 5 years. It’s Lan/Wan port support maximum 1000M transfer speed, which makes the TL-WDR7400 available for high-speed network. The main wireless transfer band of the TL-WDR7400 is 5G, its three powerful 2*4dBi 5G antennas provide maximum 1733 Mbps wireless data transfer speed. While its maximum 300 Mbps 2.4G band is used as auxiliary data band. We had already introduced the advantage of 5G band, the high-speed 5G transfer antennas offers brilliant connect stability and less signal jam. Besides, the TL-WDR7400 also supports basic functions such as firewall, VPN and QoS, you can set it up in its setting system. The only disadvantage of the TL-WDR7400 is its system language, it only supports Chinese now, I’m not sure that whether Tp-Link will extend its system language support in the future, if it doesn’t have this intention, you’ll have to spend some time to figure out its Chinese system, and it’ll bring troubles for every setup. However, some sellers provide long-distance Q&A service and will give a detailed course of how to set the TL-WDR7400 up. So if you have a good self-study ability and don’t mind of some troubles, the TL-WDR7400 will be a good choice due to its excellent hardware performance and good cost performance.
The main difference between Asus RT-AC1200 and the RT-AC1200Gu is the Wan port speed. The Wan port speed of the RT-AC1200 is just 100Mbp, although it has maximum 1000Mbps wireless transfer speed, its maximum data transfer speed cannot exceed 100Mbps. Even the RT-AC1200 is about 20$ cheaper, we still don’t think it’s a model worth buying. On the contrary, the Asus RT-AC1200Gu which is about 60$ is a 100% Gigabit wireless router. The ASUS AC1200GU is a family router for medium-sized house. The ASUS AC1200GU has 802.11ac dual-band wireless network, which can provide maximum 300Mbps speed at 2.4G and 867Mbps at 5G, its RAM capacity is 128MB. All its wired transfer ports support 1000Mbps, whose configuration will not be outdated within five years. The RT-AC1200Gu supports English in its system, as a leading router manufacturer in the world, the system of Asus is outstanding. The system setting of the ASUS RT-AC1200Gu router can be divided into general settings and advanced settings. In the general settings, there are several settings for network maps, guest network, traffic management, parental computer control, and several USB-related settings. In the advanced settings, there are settings of advanced parameters for wireless network, internal network, external network, firewall, and system management. In a word, the RT-AC1200Gu provides enough settings and features a mid-end router needs, although it may not look as cool as Xiaomi router, its function is solid and practical enough for daily use. In the same network mode, the wireless data transfer speed of the ASUS RT-AC1200Gu a little faster than Xiaomi Mi router 4. In conclusion, if you want a Gigabit wireless router and you value the stability and speed of the network more than various software features, then you can buy the Asus RT-AC1200 instead of Xiaomi Mi router 4.