When you're looking to improve the quality of your home broadband, increasing the speed of your connection can really help.
But if you have a lot of devices round the house that take advantage of wireless internet, upgrading your wireless router can actually be more beneficial because it gives you more headroom for all your devices to work harmoniously.
But which router is best for your needs, and how much do you really need to spend? The router market is quite a complicated one, so it's worth taking your time before you go out there and buy one. In this round up we're going to show you the best printers you can get right now and what exactly they offer that makes them better.
Some feature technology that makes them faster outright, while others have attractive features such as a straightforward setup process, support for other forms of wireless technology like Powerline networking, USB ports for adding NAS functionality, and there are those that just look really good – such as the Asus Dark Knight router.
So, read on and take a look out our round-up of the best routers out in the shops right now and get one that is right for you and your home.
1. Buffalo AirStation N-Technology HighPower ADSL2+ - £45
Although Buffalo's AirStation N-Technology HighPower ADSL2+ might not like much cop, it's packing a heck of a lot of power underneath its hood. Certainly, if you're a light Wi-Fi internet user, then this isn't for you. The AirStation's headline feature is the brand's Nfiniti technology. This essentially creates a number of bands that wireless devices can connect to without interference. There's also VPN support, built-in BitTorrent downloading, four gigabit Ethernet ports and Quality of Service features for streaming movies and media.
2. Netgear DGND3700 N600 Dual-band Gigabit - £100
This might just be the ultimate DSL router, with a full ADSL2+ capable dual band 5/2.4GHz wireless gateway with Gigabit Ethernet, a WAN port and two USB sockets. It also has a raft of additional features such as NAS, a DLNA streaming media server, the ability to store multiple SSIDs with individual settings, alongside a guest network. To help make adding systems as simple as possible there's also full WPS support. This is one of the best-performing 2.4GHz routers; at short distance it manages to rival the 5GHz speeds of many routers.
3. Trendnet TEW-692GR Dual Band Wireless Router - £89
Trendnet's wireless offering doesn't offer many of the features you might expect from a router in this price range, with only four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a WAN port for connecting your modem. The lack of a built-in modem means that you're going to have to sit this alongside your existing one. This isn't too much of a show stopper as, we've already mentioned, the TEW-692GR is small, but considering you can get integrated modem routers for around the same price, it's quite a big omission. Performance, however, is excellent.
4. Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight - £140
The superhero in Asus' lineup of routers, the Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight boasts super-fast speeds of up to 450Mbps on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time. It's ideal for video streaming that requires a lot of bandwidth, such as HD video or intensive gaming. You can even download files or surf the web while all this is going on which is great if you've got several people around your home all attempting to ask a lot of the router at once.
5. D-Link DIR-645 - £67
Routers are pretty functional things, so they're not really known for merits in their design. However, the D-Link DIR-645 has certainly attempted to do things a little more stylishly with its latest speedy router. Futuristic-looking it might be, but on paper it doesn't appear to be much of a performer, offering just a single, lowly 2.4GHz band to transmit data from router to PC. But, utilising multiple antennas the DIR-645 makes the most of what it has got and provides plentiful networking performance.
6. Cisco Linksys X3000 - £110
The Cisco Linksys X3000 comes with everything you need to upgrade an ageing router, no matter whether you're on a fibre-optic cable connection or whether you prefer to get your bits streamed via ADSL2+ phone line. It comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, support for 802.11b/g/n, and a USB port that lets you connect and share storage, and it looks great too. Setup is simple and it's even a doddle to get it working with a Mac too. It's only downside is that it's a little pricey.
7. D-Link DHP-1565 Wireless N PowerLine - £93
Powerline networking is a great way of beaming internet around your home, because it allows you to use the uncongested electrical wires in your house as apposed to the airwaves, which can get interference from all manner of other devices. D-Link's latest router – the DHP-1565 – features not only fast Wireless N technology, but it acts as a PowerLine device too, so you can choose the type of networking that works better for you. Performance over PowerLine is, naturally, very good, and while wireless offered decent transfer speeds too, the DHP-1565 would benefit from an external aerial.
8. Asus EA-N66 Ethernet Adaptor - £100
The Asus EA-N66 is a funny looking thing. But that odd-looking shape promises to give you fast wireless speeds over both the important 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and it even comes with a super-fast single Gigabit Ethernet port. Thankfully, it delivers and performance by the EA-N66 is excellent, at least at the 5GHz range. Sadly, at the opposite end the 2.4GHz range is a little more mediocre. It's easy to set up too. It's only failing is that it needs a few more tricks up its sleeve to justify the price tag.
9. Edimax BR-6428nS - £15
The Edimax BR-6428nS's ultra-low price tag immediately gives it an edge over the other fast routers here by offering better performance for much less. But do you pay your money and take your choice? Well, yes – pretty much. For starters you lose out on a lot of features which would normally come with the more expensive options out there. Secondly, the Edimax doesn't offer quite the same level of performance as the bigger boys out there either. But, if you simply want to upgrade your current Wireless G router, this will certainly give you a nice boost of speed and it won't hurt your wallet either.