Wireless Router Rating Sources
CNET offers a good selection of wireless router reviews. Testing is hands on and comprehensive, and discussion is often deep and detailed. In addition to this listing (with linked full reviews) of the best router products, you can find lists of the best wireless-AC routers, wireless-n routers, cheap routers, Wi-Fi systems, and more.
Reviews here are some of the most comprehensive we've found, and comparisons are frequent and relevant. However, while the bottom line assessments are generally straightforward enough for most readers, the analysis is very technical, best suited for those with a strong understanding of wireless technology. Routers are benchmarked against competing products in the same class so you can compare measured performance in key areas, but the models don't receive any ratings or rankings.
PCMag.com evaluates many of the wireless routers on the market, and tests are competent and up-to-date. While each router gets a full review and rating, the best earn Editors' Choice awards. Reviews vary in depth; some are relatively brief, while others are more comprehensive, but most are not too technical for the average consumer.
Tom's Guide reviews routers with some regularity as well, with top choices winding up here. Reviews are, again, hands-on, and while some tech know-how is a help (as is the case in most router reviews), conclusions are clear. Routers are rated, and best models earn Editors' Choice awards.
ConsumerReports.org tests 12 wireless routers, and four earn Recommended status -- though a since-discovered security flaw causes the site to issue an alert on one. In contrast to most router reviewers, coverage here is plain language, something a lot of router shoppers might appreciate -- though the lack of in-depth discussion will also certainly disappoint enthusiasts.
David Murphy spends more than 250 hours researching and testing routers to find the ones he thinks would be best for typical users. Testing is thorough and well explained, and the review is very detailed without being technically dense. One flaw is that higher end routers are excluded from consideration -- but that's also in keeping with the scope of this review.
Here, TheWirecutter.com reports on its research and 30 hours of testing mesh network Wi-Fi systems. Testing is well explained, and a top pick is named. Other systems tested and considered get a fair amount of discussion as well.
TweakTown.com is a prolific reviewer of mostly high-end routers. Testing is hands-on and comprehensive, though perhaps not as detailed as some other sites that appeal to the technically inclined. Tables show how performance stacks up to other tested routers, and scores are assigned for factors such as performance, build quality, features, value and more, and each router receives an overall rating. Some routers are further singled out for one of the many different awards that the site bestows.
HotHardware.com reviews routers on occasion, with reviews appearing in this channel on its site. Reviews are detailed, hands-on, and fairly technical, but conclusions are stated in terms that are accessible even to non-techies. Products usually earn some type of award, such as Approved or Recommended, though top products get Editors' Choice recognition.
This continuously updated guide names the wireless routers best equipped to handle the extra stress cutting-edge gaming places on a home network. The guide is comparative and hands-on, with testing well described. Top choices and runners up among high-end, mid-range and budget routers are named.
Owners can post reviews and ratings of their wireless routers at Amazon.com. Popular models attract hundreds, and sometimes thousands of reviews. Many are detailed, and some provide feedback after months and even years of use. User reviews like these and ones at other sites are especially helpful for evaluating routers as they reflect real world conditions and extended use that expert reviewers simply can't replicate.
BestBuy.com is another good destination for user reviews. There aren't as many models here as at Amazon.com, and feedback tends to be less detailed, but several routers attract ratings and write ups from hundreds of users, and a few get thousands of reviews.
This retailer of tech products is also worth a look-see for feedback on user satisfaction with wireless routers. Routers attract fewer reviews than at the retail sites above, but Newegg.com users tend to be fairly sophisticated when it comes to technology, so these reviews offer more of an enthusiast's perspective on performance and other issues.
Finding all but the most recent router reviews on TechHive.com can be a pain, but if you make the effort, the reward will be a good assortment of hands-on, largely plain-language reviews of many popular options. Reviews are nicely detailed, and include lists of pros and cons as well as an overall rating.
This site's Readers' Choice Awards rank the companies that make routers, rather than specific models. The winners, as picked by those readers that responded to the survey, are familiar. Apple has earned a readers' Choice award for every year since 2005, while Asus has done the same since 2012.