Best budget Wi-Fi router 2023

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D-Link DIR-882, Linksys MR9610, Linksys Max Stream MR7350, TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750, and TP-Link Deco X68.

Finding the best budget Wi-Fi router can be difficult, given the net is full of poor-quality models that offer nothing beyond a modern design. You need one that projects a strong wireless signal across a wide range, handles multiple devices without tripping up, and does all of this without taking too big of a bite out of your bank account. It's a tall ask, but there are a good few that fit the bill.

The reality is that Wi-Fi has become just as important as other essentials in your household, and the best Wi-Fi router can make all the difference if you don't mind paying upwards of $200. For those a little more budget-minded, we've focused on the best cheap routers that don't skimp too much on the features.

Routers can't offer faster speeds than you pay for, as that's dependent on your broadband package. In fact, you might want to run a speed test before you upgrade to see whether it's worth it. But getting a better router can be a blessing for remote workers, larger families, content makers, gamers, and those that just want Netflix to stop stuttering.

In this guide, we've picked out the best cheap wireless routers in 2023, each of which stands out to us for different reasons. So, without further delay, here are our top picks...

Best cheap Wi-Fi routers

1. Linksys MR9610

Best budget Wi-Fi router

Best budget Wi-Fi router - Linksys MR9610 product image of a black device with four antennae, one on each corner.
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Credit: Linksys
Brand: Linksys | Speed Rating: AX6000 | Antenna: 4 (adjustable) | Ports: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports, 1 x Gigabit Pnternet port, 2 x USB 3.0

If you're after a well-rounded, cost-effective option for a router, then this Linksys MR9610 could be your answer. Despite its lower price tag, it can still deliver a reliable connection with its advanced technology and capacity for high speeds.

More specifically, it supports Wi-Fi 6 technology and speeds of up to 5GHz. This translates into lightning-fast downloads of up to 1000 Mbps and uploads of 100 MB, some of the highest speeds we came across in Linksys' range.

Moreover, the device features 5GigE LAN and WAN ports, allowing for a wired connection of 1012 Mbps for downloads and around 200 Mbps for uploads, thus taking your connection to the next level.

Read more: Best gaming PCs under 500

The router is also equipped with Intelligent Mesh Technology, enabling it to provide coverage of up to 3000 sq. ft. while supporting over 40 devices. Although that many devices will push the router to its limits, you should find it effortlessly handles more than 20 devices without any noticeable impact on speed.

When covering a large area, the device can dynamically boost Wi-Fi speed and coverage to eradicate dead zones in your home. And, if you want to increase the range and internet connection, you can use Linksys Mesh items to make your whole home even more stable.

All in all, this Linksys device is inexpensive as far as Wi-Fi 6 routers go and is more than suitable for larger homes. It even comes with parental controls, including monitoring time online and pausing Wi-Fi, making it an all-around great pick.

2. D-Link DIR-882

Best budget Wi-Fi router for gaming

Best budget Wi-Fi router - D-Link DIR-882 product image of a black device with four large antennae.
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Credit: D-Link
Brand: D-Link | Speed Rating: AC2600 | Antenna: 4 (fixed) | Ports: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0

Putting together a top gaming setup can be costly, and one area that often gets overlooked is the Wi-Fi. As a result, it's not uncommon to stick with a bog-standard router despite owning gaming PCs and peripherals costing thousands.

This is where the D-Link DIR-882 comes into play. It's a relatively inexpensive device with a ton of ports, four antennae, and the capacity to provide a fast, reliable connection.

This high-performing Wi-Fi router operates on a 5GHz frequency and can support speeds exceeding 1000 Mbps, even when up to 20 devices are connected. Whether playing video games or simply surfing the web, it can provide uninterrupted connectivity from every corner of your home.

Read More: Best gaming laptops under 300

If you need to connect multiple devices to the router itself, the DIR-882 is an ideal choice. It comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and both USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections, allowing you to link up multiple devices simultaneously and receive optimal speed.

On top of this, the device offers MIMO and QoS technology for gaming specifically. This combination ensures the lowest ping and highest speeds mid-session for ultra-smooth, uninterrupted gameplay.

Ultimately, this D-Link device looks to be an excellent option to consider to maximise your online gaming experience. So, make sure you check it out when you come to upgrade your setup.

3. Linksys Max Stream MR7350

Best budget Wi-Fi router for large houses

Best budget Wi-Fi router - Linksys Max Stream MR7350 product image of a black device with a blue button on the front and two large antennae on the back.
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Credit: Linksys
Brand: Linksys | Speed Rating: AX1800 | Antenna: 2 (adjustable) | Ports: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 3.0

Living in a large house makes it tricky to select a router that is suitable for wide-spread coverage. Weak or no connection can be experienced in certain areas, such as the basement, garage, or living rooms, which can be a major issue for anyone who relies on Wi-Fi in the home.

In our opinion, the best way to eliminate those dead zones is to use something like this Linksys Max Stream MR7350, one of Linksys' top-of-the-range devices.

It provides an uninterrupted connection over a Wi-Fi 6 network that covers up to 1700 sq. ft. and can support up to 25 devices at once. In practice, the device is said to have yielded impressive results, thus confirming its stated capabilities.

Read more: Best VPNs

Furthermore, this budget-friendly router offers an impressive maximum speed of over 700 Mbps across long distances. This speed should be more than enough for the majority of people, and it also ensures a strong, stable connection even when up to 10 devices are connected.

Away from its performance, it still features several great benefits. For example, it's compatible with Alexa, comes with parental control, and even has an antivirus option (though this is a paid feature). All of these additions, along with its stellar performance, make it a great option for your home network.

4. TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750

Best budget Wi-Fi router for travelling

Best budget Wi-Fi router - TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 product image of a white device with green lights on the side.
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Credit: TP-Link
Brand: TP-Link | Speed Rating: AC750 | Antenna: 2 (fixed) | Ports: 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN/LAN Port, 1 x USB 2.0

When travelling, finding a reliable connection can be near impossible at times, especially in rural areas. If you want a low-cost solution to this problem though, then this TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 looks like an excellent pick.

Its small size ensures that it takes up very little space, measuring only 2.64 x 2.91 x 0.9 inches and weighing 7.2 ounces. Also, it offers three different modes, including Hotspot, Bridge, and Range Extender, making it incredibly versatile for travelling with.

Despite its diminutive stature, this travel router can reach a maximum speed of 733 Mbps, making it suitable for video conferencing, downloading files, and uploading YouTube videos while on the go.

Read more: Best laptop backpacks for travel

It's also a great option for those looking to save some cash. It works as a private Wi-Fi hotspot, meaning you won't need to pay for internet services while away.

If you choose to pay a one-time fee, you can make your wireless connection inaccessible to anyone else. Not only will this provide you with a stable internet connection, but your data will remain private as well. However, with speeds up to 700 Mbps+, you can connect up to 10 devices without any noticeable drop in productivity if you desire.

In short, if you are looking for a portable router for your trips, then this TP-Link device is worth considering. It is small yet powerful, with impressive speeds. Make sure you check it out.

5. TP-Link Deco X68

Best budget mesh Wi-Fi router

Best budget Wi-Fi router - TP-Link Deco X68 product image of two white cylindrical devices with black tops.
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Credit: TP-Link
Brand: TP-Link | Speed Rating: AX3600 | Antenna: 5 | Ports: 2 x Gigabit Ports

If you need a reliable internet connection for your small business, tech hub, or other locations where a regular router doesn't cut it, we'd suggest investing in an entire mesh system. Though more expensive than regular routers, these systems typically guarantee a stable connection.

We found that the TP-Link Deco X68 was the best mesh system available for an inexpensive price. It uses AI technology to understand your home network and create an experience tailored to you. Additionally, TP-Link frequently updates its AI, which means you're futureproofing your connection with this device as well.

It works on Wi-Fi 6 technology with AX3600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi, providing a fast and stable internet connection. Its top speed is 3,600 Mbps, allowing you to stream, download videos, and play games in 4K. And, with its high internet speeds and mesh layout, you can connect up to 150 devices to it at once.

Read More: Best budget laptops

Moreover, the router is capable of providing an internet connection to an area of up to 5,500 square feet. This area is large and may well push its connection to its limit. However, you should find the connection is consistent and reliable across 4,000 sq. ft at least.

Also, this router ensures your data safety with Parental Control features, Network Security scans, and other protective measures. You don't need to be a computer expert to set up this router either - simply use the Deco app and you're good to go!

Now, this is by no means the cheapest option we've selected. However, we'd argue you'd struggle to find as good a mesh system for less. So, keep this TP-Link device in mind for your home setup.

Frequently asked questions

If you're new to picking out a Wi-Fi router, then we've got you covered. We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions below to help get you started...

How much should I spend on a router?

Price seems to be one of the most subjective aspects of choosing a Wi-Fi router. It all depends on your available budget and how much you're willing to invest to pick up a great router for your home network.


If you work with valuable data, or a stable internet connection is necessary to make your living, we'd recommend investing more into something capable of high speeds and a consistent connection.

These characteristics are usually a more premium feature, however, we feel our list proves you don't necessarily need to break the bank to pick up a top device or entire mesh system.

It's also worth keeping in mind you can always upgrade your router at a later date. So, if you can only afford a budget option right now, then don't worry as you may be able to take your home setup to the next level further down the line.

Do Wi-FI routers make a difference?

It's easy to think that your router won't impact the quality of your internet connection, but the reality is quite different.

To ensure a steady and speedy connection, it's important to invest in a reliable router that has the capacity to manage data transfer and multiple devices effectively. Doing so will eliminate any issues you may have had in the past with inconsistent internet.

A good router can also improve your home security. With the right device, you can get regular network scans to minimise any threats. Some routers also come with parental controls to regulate internet usage in a family home.

Do Wi-Fi routers cost monthly?

Although there is no monthly fee associated with Wi-Fi routers, some brands may offer subscription services.

These often include a private VPN, additional security features, and other resources. Therefore, it is important to research any available subscriptions before making a purchase.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Buying Guides and Tech page.