Monday, March 30, 2015
The Wirecutter has voted TP-Link's WDR3600 as the best budget router for home networking. At about USD$50, it offers incredible value as a dual-band 802.11AC wifi router. I myself chose the WDR4300 (pictured above), which offers better throughput and 3 MIMO antennas. Both models feature superior throughput handling/CPU over the rubbish routers supplied by TM, as well as advanced access and bandwidth management (when you have uncooperative housemates to deal with).
Though it's unlikely you will ever use the full 300/450mbps bandwidth available, the main benefit to switching to 5GHz is how amazingly quiet things are in that band. While 2.4GHz is severely congested today (there are 8 SSIDs visible in my living room), my WDR4300 was the only 5GHz network running in the entire neighborhood. This results in a much cleaner signal, free from interference from other Wifi routers, Bluetooth devices, microwaves, etc. Most Wifi devices today already support 5GHz anyway, so it's about time to move up the band.