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Wireless N Buyer's Guide to Choosing a Router

written by: Matthew Becker•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/1/2011

Wireless N has come of age. If you have a business that's looking for optimum connectivity and signal strength or are a user at home trying to get the most out of a wireless network, then Wireless N is for you. Here we review the best Wireless N routers for price and performance.

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    Wireless Options

    Wireless G or Wireless N? Your confusion can be resolved by reading these articles about whether a Wireless G or Wireless N router is right for you.

    If you've gotten this far, you should hopefully realize by now that any wireless networking related to Wireless N is going to cost more. With extended signal range and strength, as well as speeds that are up to four times faster than Wireless G, expect to part with considerable amounts of cash for one of these babies!

    How this guide works:

    Essentially, we're going to look at different brands of routers, some features that they offer, as well as their standard retail price. Naturally, some retailers will offer a different price than what is listed here, but these are simply ranges of what you should expect to spend on each of these routers. Hopefully, what you'll get out of this is a better understanding of which brands offer what in regards to features, and how much you will have to spend for each brand. Prices can change everyday so use the links provided (the retail price amount) to find out what the current price is on Amazon.

    Not sure what Wireless N is? Check out a guide explaining what Wireless N is.

    If your computer isn't brand new and you're not sure if it has a wireless receiver, find out first if your computer is wireless ready.

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    TRENDnet routers

    TRENDnet offers award-winning service, and is possibly one of the least expensive Wireless N routers on the market. TrendnetWirelessNRouter Some Wireless N routers do support higher transfer rates such as this one, so if you're a business looking for higher transfer rates, you may wish to consider otherwise, unless this is specifically what your company needs.

    TRENDnet Wireless N Home Router (TEW-632BRP)

    • Retails for: $35 (one of the lowest prices you'll ever see!)
    • Features: Transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps, four times the range of a standard Wireless G router (can roughly estimate to about 1200 feet); compatible with PC and Mac
    • Warranty: 1 year Parts and Labour
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    Belkin routers

    While mostly known for audio and video accessories, we've seen them expanding into networking. Price is about the standard of you Belkin Wireless N Router would see in wireless N routers, but what Belkin offers no other company does is a lifetime warranty, so save that receipt (and UPC)!

    Belkin N Wireless Router (Part # F5D8233-4)

    • Retails for: $99
    • Features: Transfer speeds of up to 300Mbps, signal strength of up to 1200 feet; compatible with PC and Mac
    • Warranty: Lifetime
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    D-Link routers

    Winner of numerous awards for DLink Wireless N Router  (DIR-615 their products, D-Link offers reasonably priced routers that offer quality performance. Their competitive pricing makes them a lead competitor in routers.

    D-Link Wireless N router (DIR-615) [See image on the right]

    • Retails for: $40
    • Features: Up to 300Mbps, signal strength of up to 1200 feet
    • Warranty: 1 year

    D-Link Wireless Dual Band RangeBooster N Router (DIR-628) [See image on the left]

    • Retails for: About $80
    • Dual band technology supports both 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless signals
    • Features: Extended strength range in comparison to their standard Wireless N Router. Designed with large homes in mind, or businesses looking for a little bit extra coverage
    • Warranty: 1 year
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    DLink Xtreme N Wireless Router D-Link Xtreme N Wireless Router (DIR-655)

    • Retails for: $87
    • Features: Fourteen times faster and six times farther than a standard Wireless G router; up to more than 1Gbps.
    • This Dlink option is perfect for businesses with an extended network.
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    Linksys Wireless Routers

    Linksys provides one of if not the most expensive router around on the market. Easy step-by-step installation, award-winning, 24 7 technical support, there Linksys Wireless N Home (WRT160N) are many reasons to like Linksys, along with its high quality performance and optimum signal stability. These routers are definitely an investment for the future.

    Linksys Wireless N Home Router (WRT160N) [See image to the left]

    • Retails for: $60
    • Features: Up to twelve times faster than standard Wireless G
    • Warranty: 1 year

    Linksys Wireless N Gigabit 

    Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Router (WRT310N) [See image to the right]

    • Retails for: $110
    • Features: Up to 1Gbps transfer rate; faster than standard Wireless N; MIMO implementation uses multiple radios to ensure maximum speed and signal strength at all times
    • Warranty: 1 year limited

    Linksys Wireless N Gigabit with Storage Linksys Wireless Gigabit N Router with storage link (WRT610N) [See image to the left]

    • Retails for: $170
    • Features: This dual-bound router (notice the antennas sticking out of its side) allows for heavy network usage, such as gaming, high-quality audio and video transfers, and VoIP support. Doubled radio bands also extend your available bandwidth, and also holds ports to connect external hard drives or flash drives, allowing others within the network - or online - to access what's plugged in.
    • Warranty: 1 year limited

    Linksys Wireless N with VPN 

    Linksys Wireless-N Gigabit Security Router With VPN (WRVS4400N) [See image to the right]

    • Retails for: $185 (a very reasonable price if you or your business requires VPN access)
    • Features: Up to 600Mbps transfer rate, rich security features. Designed for businesses
    • Warranty: 3 years limited