The Best Wired Router Review & Buyers Guide
Wired routers serve as a traditional yet time-tested and more secure means to put up a network with a stable high-speed Internet connection. For this reason, many homes and, more importantly, businesses around the world still stick employ wired routers.
While wireless networks using wireless routers can be more vulnerable to cyber attacks, traditional wired networks that employ wired routers offer better security. Network administrators can easily identify intruders and physically prevent strangers from connecting to a wired network. But because wired networks can also be targeted by cybercriminals, today’s wired routers come with several security features. These include an integrated firewall, administrative control, virtual private network (VPN) functions, and encryption protocols.
Comparison Of The 5 Best-selling Wired Routers
We have gathered the top five best-selling wired routers in the market today. Putting them side by side, we compared them based on the features that you should expect from a wired router. Some of these key features include physical features like ports and security features like administrative control, VPN support, integrated firewall, and DoS attack protection. These features play an essential role in keeping your wired network infrastructure and the computers/devices within away from various types of security threats.
|DoS Attack Protection
D-Link 8-port Gigabit VPN Router DSR-250
9x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Linksys LRT214 Business Gigabit VPN Router
6x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
TP-LINK Safestream Gigabit Broadband VPN Router TL-R600VPN
5x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X
5x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Mikrotik hEX S Gigabit Ethernet Router
5x Gigabit Ethernet Ports, 1x USB, 1x microSD Slot
1. D-Link 8-port Gigabit VPN Wired Router DSR-250
The D-Link 8-port Gigabit VPN Wired Router DSR-250 provides home and business users the ability to connect to the Internet when wireless connectivity fails or goes unavailable. Apart from ensuring operational continuity, this affordable wired router also enables network administrators to keep their silos secure. Virtual private network (VPN) features like IPsec Hub and Spoke technology keep communication between stationary and mobile employees secure. Using D-Link’s router user interface, network administrators can monitor, manage, and regulate employees’ Internet usage, and block harmful websites that potentially host malware.
- Full VPN Functionalities
The D-Link 8-port Gigabit VPN Wired Router DSR-250 provides stationary and offsite network users with a secure connection to the main network. The link to the main network uses an SSL VPN tunnel, while site-to-site VPN tunnels use IPsec protocol.
- Static Filtering
This wired router from D-Link empowers network administrators to regulate network users’ Internet usage. Static web content filtering removes Java applets, ActiveX, and cookies that might be malicious and cause harm to the network and devices.
- Dynamic Filtering
D-Link’s DSR-250 also offers dynamic web content filtering through a licensed subscription, allowing administrators to sift content based on a category list. Global index servers with real-time data optimize and make this service more efficient.
- Connectivity & Flexibility
This wired VPN router comes with eight Gigabit Ethernet ports and one Gigabit WAN port and can support up to 25 IPsec VPN tunnels and 25 additional PP2P/L2TP tunnels. It can also support five SSL VPN tunnels and ten GRE tunnels.
2. Linksys LRT214 Business Gigabit VPN Wired Router
The Linksys LRT214 Business Gigabit VPN Wired Router comes with a built-in Gigabit firewall, a site-to-site virtual private network (VPN), and an array of different remote access VPN technologies — all rolled into one compact network solution. The LRT214, along with the LRT224 dual-WAN wired router, joins Linksys’ family of business wired routers that deliver secure and dependable network service for home and small office employees, whether they’re working in their cubicle or deployed for fieldwork. The LRT224 dual-WAN VPN wired router can aggregate the bandwidths of both WAN connections, resulting in higher Internet bandwidth. It also features WAN Failover that allows operational continuity despite WAN Internet connection failure.
- Open VPN Server
Linksys’ LRT214 wired router allows OpenVPN clients installed and running on employees’ devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets to establish a connection with offices with two-factor authentication for enhanced security.
- Integrated Firewall
Speaking of security, this wired VPN router also comes with a built-in firewall that does URL filtering and manages access rules set by network administrators to further monitor and control traffic within the network based on services and source addresses.
- VLAN Tagging & IPv6 Transition
Linksys’ best-selling router for wired networks keeps resources in various SSIDs and VLANs separated. It also supports dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 transitions to ensure compatibility as service providers upgrade their systems.
- Intuitive Interface
This wired router from Linksys features an easy-to-use intuitive administrator interface that enables small and home-based business owners to deploy and manage routers in their network infrastructures even without the help of a dedicated professional IT personnel.
3. TP-LINK Safestream Gigabit Broadband VPN Wired Router TL-R600VPN
TP-LINK SafeStream Gigabit Broadband VPN Wired Router TL-R600VPN promises to deliver ultra-fast wired connectivity. With Gigabit Ethernet support on both WAN and LAN ports, this wired router integrates multiple high-performance and high-security virtual private network (VPN) protocols. With these capabilities, home users and businesses can establish secure remote connections. The TL-R600VPN wired router also comes with other security features like a stateful packet inspection (SPI) firewall, denial of service (DoS) defense, and Internet protocol-machine access control (IP-MAC) binding to shield you against known cybersecurity threats.
- VPN Capabilities
TP-LINK’s Safestream Gigabit Broadband VPN Wired Router can handle IPsec/PPTP/L2TP pass-through traffic by using high-performance and high-security VPN protocols. With a hardware-based VPN engine, this router can manage up to 20 VPN connections.
- Topnotch Security
This wired router from TP-LINK protects you from external threats with features like an SPI firewall. It can automatically detect and block DoS attacks like TCP/UDP/ICMP flooding and ping of death, as well as other forms of cybercriminal and malware attacks.
- Lightning Protection
TP-LINK has employed a professional lightning protection technology designed to prevent negative impacts of electrical surges on the internal parts of the wired router. This feature ensures that the network infrastructure remains safe from natural harm.
- Connectivity & Compatibility
TP-LINK’s wired router comes with one Gigabit WAN port, one Gigabit LAN port, and three Gigabit WAN/LAN ports for high-speed wired connectivity. It works well with up to 20 IPSec VPN tunnels, 16 L2TP VPN tunnels, and 16 PPTP VPN tunnels simultaneously.
4. Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X Advanced Gigabit Ethernet Wired Router
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X best-selling wired router offers home and business users cost-efficient router performance in an ultra-compact form factor. Equipped with a 24V passive power-over-Ethernet (PoE) or a power adapter, the EdgeRouter X has a passive PoE option, capable of activating an airMAX device. Connectivity-wise, this Ubiquiti wired router comes with a total of five independent Gigabit Ethernet terminals that can be reconfigured for switching. Network administrators will find this router easy to use, thanks to Ubiquiti Network Management System, an integrated comprehensive user interface (UI) that allows users to manage EdgeMAX devices across different remote sites.
- Compact Size
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X wired router solution arrives in an ultra-compact form factor that can suit any home or small office environment. Despite its small size, it’s a complete solution with its array of ports and easy-to-use interface for remote management.
- PoE Versatility
Ubiquiti’s standard EdgeRouter X (ER-X) can be powered by a 24V passive PoE input or an external power adapter. Meanwhile, the EdgeRouter X SFP (ER-X-SFP) can be powered by its external power adapter. Its GbE ports can support airMAX or UniFi devices.
- Ubiquiti EdgeOS
Backed by Ubiquiti’s proprietary intuitive UI, every EdgeRouter X can be configured for routing, security, and management based on your network’s requirements. Network professionals can also use the router’s CLI (command-line interface) for faster deployment.
- Robust Security
Powered by EdgeOS, this wired router allows administrators to set security settings like firewall policies, NAT rules, DHCP services, routing protocols, network management and monitoring, as well as administrator and operator account organization.
5. Mikrotik hEX S Gigabit Ethernet Wired Router
Mikrotik hEX S five-port Gigabit Ethernet wired router addresses the network requirements of locations that do not need wireless connectivity. Put side by side with the original hEX, this best-selling wired router also comes with an SFP (small form-factor pluggable) port and a PoE (power over Internet) port. Small, affordable, and easy-to-use, the hEX S runs on a dual-core 880MHz processor, 256MB RAM, and RouterOS that supports advanced configurations. In addition to connectivity, this Mikrotik wired router also carries a USB 2.0 connector and a microSD slot for file storage.
- Ideal For Wired Setups
Mikrotik hEX S caters to the needs of wired network environments that do not require wireless connectivity due to security and stability concerns. Equipped with a set of five Gigabit Ethernet ports, this wired router targets home and small office users.
- Solid Hardware
Powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 880MHz coupled with 256MB RAM, Mikrotik’s best-selling wired router optimally implements all the advanced settings that RouterOS supports. Network administrators can use RouterOS to manage router settings.
- Versatile Connectivity
Apart from the Gigabit Ethernet ports, the hEX S also comes with a USB 2.0 port and a 1.25Gbps SFP cage. The wired router’s SFP cage can accommodate SFP modules for different types and speeds of Ethernet and fiber cables.
- Hardware Encryption
Equipped with powerful hardware and an intuitive RouterOS management system, the Mikrotik hEX S wired router features IPsec hardware encryption support (~470Mbps) for enhanced security and compatibility across different platforms.
What Is A Wired Router?
A wired router forwards data packets between two networks and performs the traffic directing functions on the Internet. This networking device also connects to two or more streams of data from various IP networks. The most familiar type of wired routers falls under the category of home and small office routers that simply regulate the flow of data packets between an internal network and an external network — the Internet.
Wired routers typically connect to the Internet through an Internet service provider (ISP). Traditionally, wired routers served as hardware firewall appliances. Today, these network devices integrate the characteristics of a hardware firewall solution with additional security features like VPN support, encryption, and DoS attack prevention.
How To Set Up Your Wired Router & Wired Network Security?
Wired routers integrate an intuitive user interface that enables you to gain full control of your wired network. While it’s easier to physically prevent intruders from connecting to a wired network than to a wireless network, today’s wired routers use a control panel where you can activate and change security features. Here are some ways to keep your wired network protected with a wired router secure.
#1 Change the default password
Wired routers come with a default password set at the factory. Your wired router will ask you to input the default password when you’re about to make changes to the settings using the control panel. Manufacturers usually put “admin” as the default password. Cybercriminals know this and may use the default password to access your wired router and change its settings. Change the default password with something hard to guess to prevent unauthorized access.
#2 Activate MAC address filtering
Media Access Control (MAC) address filtering can be activated using your wired router. MAC address consists of unique numbers and letters assigned to your wired router. Activating MAC address filtering provides wired network access to connected devices that have a specific MAC address. MAC addresses can be assigned to each device in your network and limit network access to those devices.
#3 Activate encryption
Encryption helps in protecting data transmitted over a wired network from unauthorized access. Wired routers employ different encryption techniques to ensure security especially when you are connected to the Internet. One of these techniques, VPN hides your credentials and online behavior from the prying eyes of cybercriminals.
#4 Protect your wired router from unauthorized access
Keep your wired router and other network devices like wireless routers, access points or gateways away from areas where other people can have access to them like exterior walls, doors, and windows. Turn off your wired network appliances when they are not in use, especially at night or during vacations.
#5 Protect the devices covered by your wireless router in your network
Remember that the wired network security that your wired router provides might become useless if the devices within have no security at the software level. Secure your devices with passwords and encrypt confidential files. Change passwords regularly. Disable file sharing. Most importantly, install security software on your devices. To identify which security software is the best for you, check out our dedicated review and buyers guide for antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-Trojan, software firewall solutions, and Internet security suites.
Things To Consider When Choosing Wired Router
Despite the necessity of wireless routers due to the growth of wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops, wired routers remain relevant among homes and businesses. Wired networks backed by wired routers offer a simple yet proven secure environment than wireless networks. Hence, today’s market still offers a wide range of wired router options from various labels, carrying features that address the speed and security needs of users. Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing and buying a wireless router.
Most wired routers come with a set of four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one WAN port that connects to the ISP. But if you have more computers at home, you may consider getting a wired router with more ports or looking for a network switch. Some models also come with a USB port that can host a removable storage device like a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.
Internet Speed Supported
Now a standard among wired routers, Gigabit Ethernet promises to deliver up to 1Gbps Internet speed, depending on what the ISP promises. However, do note that some models, like the Mikrotik hEX S, have a 1.25Gbps SFP cage that can accommodate SFP modules for different types and speeds of Ethernet and fiber cables. Depending on your network requirements, you have other options aside from the standard Gigabit Ethernet connection.
Traditionally, network administrators utilized routers as hardware firewall appliances. Fast forward to the present, many wired routers still employ stateful packet filtering (SPI) as a firewall technique. Apart from SPI, other network security features that are common among today’s wired routers include network administrator control, VPN support, encryption, and DoS attack protection. These features play an important role in network security but users must also make sure that individual computers and devices in the network run security software like antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-Trojan, software firewall solutions, and Internet security suites.
Buyers must look back at all of the features of the wired routers they are comparing and see if they go consistent with their respective price tags. Pick the router that supports the right Internet speed, carries adequate wired connectivity options, and comes with security features that go well with your network requirements.