Supercharge your home Wi-Fi with this $160 router

Supercharge your home Wi-Fi with this $160 router

November 25, 2021 0 By Harish Jonnalagadda

Mesh routers get all the attention these days, but in most use cases, they don’t do as good a job as a standalone router with high-gain antennae. ASUS definitely knows a thing or two about building such routers, and the RT-AC3100 is one of the best options you can get in the mid-range segment.

This router usually goes for $220, but it’s on sale for $160, $60 off its retail price. What do you get for that price? One of the fastest Wi-Fi ac routers right now — you miss out on Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, but the RT-AC3100 more than makes up for it when you look at the feature-set.

The RT-AC3100 has four antennae, and it can deliver up to 2.1Gbit over the 5GHz band and 1Gbit over 2.4GHz, utilizing NitroQAM to do so. The 4×4 MIMO design ensures there are no bottlenecks even when several devices are connected to the router and consuming bandwidth at the same time, and it is tuned for low-latency use cases like gaming.

ASUS RT-AC3100

$160 at Amazon

The RT-AC3100 follows in the heels of the RT-AC88 in delivering rock-solid Wi-Fi connectivity to all corners of your home. Yes, it’s missing Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, but it does a stellar job over the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies, and that ultimately matters more in day-to-day use.

What I like the most about ASUS routers is the customizability; with most routers in this category focusing on ease-of-use, there’s a distinct lack of devices that let you tailor your home wireless settings just the way you want. And as an added bonus, the RT-AC3100 works with ASUS’s unique mesh networking tech, AiMesh, that lets you connect several standalone routers into a mesh configuration.

So if you decide later on that you want to switch to a mesh system, you get to do that here. Overall, the RT-AC3100 ticks all the right boxes for a standalone router, and if you don’t need Wi-Fi 6 right now, this is a fantastic choice.

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