When it comes to the strongest and best wireless routers, these top of the line long range ASUS routers are compatible with all internet providers. Yes, any of them. We have listed the top routers for any size home from a small apartment to a large house. These are very powerful routers in the top tier for gaming, streaming in 4K, and more. Get the best router to run your smart home wifi.
Best Apartment Router (or small home)
Wireless AC 2400 – Online Price
For apartment to 2 story home.
The ASUS RTAC87U is the best WiFi router for most apartments out there, and even normal sized two story home wifi systems. It is commonly found in city apartment dwelling situations. The AC2400 wireless range will cover a normal family sized two story home with no problem if it is centrally located and not far off in one corner. As for city living, it is a strong enough router to overcome wireless interference from your neighbors wifi and other electronic devices in the general area. I was using it in a small 3 bedroom one story house and had excellent coverage across every room except the garage. Update: I no longer use this one and now have the AC3100 below. This router is still fine and in fact I gave it to a friend. I just wanted to review the stronger router.
Best 3 Story Home Router (or condo)
Wireless AC 3100 – Price Check
For larger two story house or three story home.
If you live in a large apartment or bigger home such as a 2 to 3 story house, condo or town home, this will be a better fit for your wireless speed and wifi range. I myself now own this router even though I only live in a 2 bedroom apartment. We have multiple Ultra 4K TV’s streaming in super HD, multiple gaming computers and many mobile devices all connected via wireless with zero issues. I love this more than any router I have ever owned or worked with.
Strongest Long Range WiFi Router
Wireless AC 5300 – Online Price
Large 2 story to 3 story home.
The strongest class router made for large homes, many devices and top speeds. If you’re in a 3 story or huge square footage flat, this is the strongest router available with the best range. That does not mean it is the answer for everything. Some houses are simply too large and must use a wireless mesh network. If you’re in a mansion, you need mesh. Period.
What is wireless mesh anyways and why do I need it if I live in a mansion? Well, tell you what, go read the full article and review and see for yourself.
Apple Compatible Router
Airport Extreme because Apple Weirdos need internet too.
As a computer support person, I couldn’t tell you anything about this here iThing other than Apple people like it. If you’re an Apple person, this is the one your homies are currently buying. Don’t ask me anything about it. I assume it has one button and no options. Kidding, it’s Wireless AC Base Station Airport Extreme. Fast as heck and the top choice for Apple users. With Apple, you only have one and this is it. As a tech support person I would never go Apple but that is another topic and maybe you are used to and need Apple to work with all of your other iThings, so this is the one. But you knew that.
For price and performance, the best wireless router choice goes to the to the dual band long range 802.11ac class series by ASUS. However there are a few options as shown above. It really depends on the size of your house and how many devices you will have connected. These routers actually work for any ISP, they are also compatible with DSL or U-Verse. Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, AT&T, Century Link and more.
The RT-AC87U is perfect for a small to normal sized single floor household with several users / devices. But if you have a larger house with multiple floors, you may need a better model such as the AC3100 or even AC5300.
What makes it the best?
- Best fit for a small or large house
- 802.11ac Newest WiFi Technology
- Dual Band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz
- Dual-core processor for instant response time
- Built in USB 3.0 Port + USB 2.0 Port
- Built in FTP Sever Software
- Dual WAN Capable
- AiRadar Beamforming optimized WiFi for long range coverage
- 3 Detachable hi-power external antennas
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Ports
- Easy to use ASUS Graphical Web Interface (view it here)
- App to manage router for both iPhone and Android OS
- File and Print Server built in!
- Up to 2400 Mbps
- IPv6 Capable
- VPN Server
- Media Server
- Multiple SSID’s
- Multiple Guest Networks
- Parental Control
- Manufactures Specs
As you can see this router is capable of being a lot more than just a router for your smart home. It has enough features to support a small business wifi system if needed. My favorite part is the dual USB Ports and File / Media Server. What does this mean for you? You can plug an external hard drive into the router and access it from any computer in the house! Yes, like a “Network Attached Storage”. Not only that, you can set up the FTP server and have access from outside of the house. That’s right, a “Personal Cloud“.
With these features I am able to get my important files any place, any time. Yes, again, even if I am not at home. It also makes it really easy if you have guest over and want to transfer files to their computer. Everyone loves sharing music right? But what if you want to share music with your friends who are not at your house? With the FTP server and a few clicks, you can set up an account with a user name and password for a friend and let them download straight from your home share. The USB Ports also allow you to hook a printer up to the unit and print from anywhere. This is handy if you do not have room for a printer at your computer desk or if you want all computers in the house to have access to the same printer. You simply set it up and plug it into your router. Network printing! You could even set up an external DVD Burner to share around the house as well. I think you get the point now. It’s amazing.
Other Routers with USB?
Be careful with many of the other brands out there who have USB Ports. Most of them are USB 2.0 which is much slower than the 3.0 Port on this ASUS. But the even trickier part is most of them only allow internal access meaning you can’t create a cloud for you to access on the go. You might not think you’ll ever need this, but once you use it, you will love it. Imagine on vacation, in a hotel, boom, in your router getting your movies. Or uploading your photos from the trip. Or refilling your mp3 player. Backing up your phone, etc. All done from anywhere. And last but the worst, some USB ports on routers do not function at all. Such as the ARRIS Surfboard series. They are only for manufacturer servicing.
Network Attached Storage Router
This part is huge to me. It is such a great feeling to know that I am able to save my important files to my computer and back them up to my 5TB External HDD on my router. I never have to worry about my computer crashing again. All of my important work, photos, music, ideas and even this website, are all safely backed up to it. And if my house were to catch on fire or any crazy situation, I can literally yank the drive and run with it. This is reason number one it is a must for me.
ASUS Vs Netgear Nighthawk
People might say that they heard the Netgear Nighthawk was the better wireless router to run a smart home wifi network. Well, this can be true. There is no doubt that the Nighawk AC wifi routers are supreme devices. Netgear is a solid long standing trusted manufacture in the wireless production ring. ASUS is newer to the scene. ASUS currently allows more control with the FTP and attached storage. It has what I and many other pros consider to be a better GUI(Graphical User Interface) than the Nighthawk. ASUS stepped in the scene and started perfecting everything they do from computer hardware to networking equipment. You can watch the review video below and see this result from CNET. However, maybe you are a hardcore Netgear fan and do not care. Then get the Nighthawk X8 AC5300 if you want the strongest they have to offer. But you’ll note the reviews are not as good and it cost more. Not to mention it does not have the ASUS GUI to work with. Nighthawk AC5300.
Best Tri-Band Home Business or Small Office Router
It’s possible you have a huge house or a small office with many wireless devices. The ASUS RT-AC3100, or even better AC5300 high performance router, leads the pack of the latest in WiFi Technology and will cover your entire house and then some. The only problem with this router is the firmware must be updated as soon as you get it. However you can say that with any electronic device you buy, always update the firmware first. In this case if you forget to, it will drop connections randomly. So do update the firmware to the latest version. They have fixed the connection issue you may have read about in bad reviews elsewhere. Those reviews are outdated. Here is a video review from after the firmware updates.
What is Tri Band?
Tri Band uses 3 separate channels of wireless signal so it’s like you have 3 completely separate access points in one router. One conventional 2.4Ghz channel for older slower devices and phones and 2 faster 5Ghz channels for a combined speed of up to 3100 Mbps. Because there are two channels, the router dishes them out automatically to your home network via a Smart Connect technology. So if you have a Smart TV and a Game Console or gaming desktop it will get priority and it’s own channel. This combined with Beamforming truly helps you get the best range and fastest speeds out of your home WiFi Network.
Create Your Own Cloud Space
I can’t even say how cool this part is. The built in FTP Server allows you to plug in an external hard drive, right into your routers USB Port and access it from anywhere inside or outside of your home. Not only can you access this, but you can create user accounts and passwords and allow access to friends, family, business partners and so on. You can easily restrict them to certain folders, file permissions such as view or download only, upload only, ability to delete files and more.
Besides the FTP aspect of it, if you have like an XBOX in the house and go to the Media Player it will automatically pick up the router Media Server storage and you can play video files direct from the network storage without having your PC on.
Any computer in the house can connect, so if you’re playing a song and your friend, room mate or partner says “hey what’s that song?”. You can just put it on the drive and they can grab it and download it to their computer in seconds. It truly is the best addition to a home network. I couldn’t even imagine not having access to a network storage.
You can also set up automatic backup system to backup your own hard drive to the network storage. This is a great way to fail proof losing files if your computer were to ever crash.
|Max Speed:||5,334 Mbps||3,167 Mbps||2,334 Mbps|
|WiFi Range:||5,000 Sq. Ft.||5,000 Sq. Ft.||N/A|
|USB Ports:||(1) 3.0 |
|(1) 3.0 |
|(1) 3.0 |
|LAN Ports:||4 cat5||8 cat5||4 cat5|
Strongest WiFi Router Review
The bottom line is the ASUS runs the wireless router market due to it’s low cost, new technology, easy to use web interface and simple set up.
Linksys, now Cisco used to be the top of the line when it came to home routers but as time has gone on, they haven’t become much different and ASUS stepped in to take over with quality.
*Sources: AC5300 | AC3100 | AC2400
Table of Contents
- Best Apartment Router (or small home)
- Best 3 Story Home Router (or condo)
- Strongest Long Range WiFi Router
- Wireless Mesh Routers
- Apple Compatible Router
- What makes it the best?
- ASUS Vs Netgear Nighthawk
- Best Tri-Band Home Business or Small Office Router
- Top ASUS Routers Comparison Chart
- Strongest WiFi Router Review