Wireless Router GuideChoices -- Wireless routers with Internet connection sharing, networking and firewall features are an alternative to Wired routers or Networking Software. Wireless routers are actually wired routers with wireless access points built in so you can have wired and/or wireless at the same time. Another choice is a wireless router with a built-in DSL or cable modem. Finally, you can consider a hardware and software security combo box to connect and protect your home network, see our Broadband Gateways page for more information.
Security -- Wireless routers are not as secure as hard wired. If you want wireless and security, read the security articles on this page and be prepared to spend some time setting up the security features of your wireless network. To make this easier, look at getting started, security tips, and wireless utility software on this page.
Testing -- We recommend that you test the firewall features of a wireless router after installation and setup using an online service like Security Space.
Firmware -- Router vendors offer updates for their firmware to add new features and to resolve problems found by their customers. After installing a new router or updating to Windows 7, check for updates.
Prices -- For current prices, see our custom Wireless Routers Price List powered by Amazon.com or click on one of the products pictured below.
Getting Started & How-To Links
- How To Set Up A Home Network In 5 Simple Steps, Samara Lynn, PC Mag, 01.05.2011
- 6 Annoying Router Problems - And How to Fix Them, David Strom, Computerworld, PC World, June 17, 2010
- The Ultimate Guide to Home Networking, Loyd Case, PC World, May 11, 2010
- Secure Your Wireless Network: Cast Out Wi-Fi Intruders, Eric Griffith, PC Magazine, September 17, 2010
"It has been recently reported that routers configured and administered via a Web GUI can be vulnerable to “Man in the Middle” attacks. There are some basic hygiene steps you can take to prevent this from happening to you. These steps apply to any networking product that has a web interface." See security tips in Build Your Own IDS Firewall With PF Sense, Greg Noel, Small Net Builder, Feb 2, 2011.
Comparative Wireless Router Reviews
- Wireless Router Reviews, Consumer Search, updated January 2011 -- Apple Airport Extreme, Netgear WNDR3700, Linksys E2000
- Wireless Routers Review 2011 -- 10 products, Top Ten Reviews
- Router Roundup: We Review 7 Top-Tier Routers, Michael Brown, maximumpc, 10/27/2010 -- editor's choice is Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax V1, other products included are Asus RT-N16, Belkin Play N600 HD, Buffalo AirStation Nfiniti, D-Link DIR-855 Xtreme N, Linksys E3000, Trendnet TEW-673GRU
- How to Buy a Wireless Router, Samara Lynn, PC Magazine, July 15, 2010 -- editor's choices included Cisco Valet Plus, D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, D-Link Xtreme N Duo Media Router (DIR-855), D-Link Xtreme N Storage Router (DIR-685), Linksys by Cisco Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router WRT320N.
- Best wireless routers, Dong Ngo, CNet,May 25, 2010 -- Belkin, Cisco, D-Link, Netgear
- Wireless Networking: Nine 802.11n Routers Rounded Up, William Van Winkle, tom's hardware, April 20, 2010 -- tom's hardware 2010 recommended buy is the Linksys WRT610N (old name) or E3000 (new name, carbon copy).
Individual Wireless Router Reviews -- Belkin, Cisco, D-Link, Netgear
- Maximum PC N+ review, Michael Brown, 09/29/2009
- PC World N+ review, Becky Waring, PC World, May 25, 2009
- PC Mag N+ review Mario Morejon, March 16, 2009
- Computer Shopper N+ review, John Delaney, January 2009
- Cisco Valet Plus Review, Michael Brown, maximumpc, 05/05/2010
- Cisco Valet Plus (M20), Dana Wollman, laptopmag, April 22, 2010
- Cisco Valet Plus, Dong Ngo, CNet, April 9, 2010
- Cisco Valet Plus, Samara Lynn, PC Magazine, March 31, 2010 -- Editor's Choice
- Cisco Valet Plus Review: The Flip Camcorder of Routers? Matt Buchanan, gizmodo, Mar 31, 2010
- Cisco Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, Small Net Builder, May 7, 2010
- Cisco Linksys E3000, Dong Ngo, CNet, April 16, 2010
- D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router, Dong Ngo, CNet, Sept. 27, 2010
- D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router Review, Becky Waring, PC World, May 25, 2009
- D-LInk DIR-655 A4 Quick Review, Tim Higgins, Small Net Builder, February 10, 2009 -- "Its good wireless performance, stable operation, gigabit switch, high routing throughput and automatic uplink QoS continue to make it the go-to draft 802.11n router."
- D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, John Brandon, laptopmag, Aug 17, 2009 -- editor's choice
- D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, Mario Morejon, PC Magazine, March 30, 2009 -- "Editor's Choice"
- Review: D-Link DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router, Troy Dreier, wi-fiplanet, Nov 25, 2008
- Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR3700), Samara Lynn, PC Mag, March 6, 2011 -- editor's choice
- Review: Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router WNDR3700, Joseph Moran, Wi-Fi Planet, November 10, 2009
- Netgear WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router (Premium Edition), Dong Ngo, CNet, September 23, 2009 -- rated "very good"
- Gentlemen, Start Your Buying: NETGEAR WNDR3700 RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, Small Net Builder, September 15, 2009
Networking Utility & Security Software Links
- HomeNet Manager, SingleClick Systems
- McAfee Wireless Security
- NetTrooper, Sereniti
- Network Magic, Cisco
- Packet Protector is a Linux distribution for wireless routers, built on top of OpenWrt. The goal of the project is to transform a router into a unified threat management device.