Finding a reliable router can be cumbersome, and the budget of $150 only complicates it further, with the router market being replete with multiple brands and products. But you don’t have to worry, we’ve got you covered.
This budget range is neither too high nor very less, basically, you get a decent network coverage, band support, features like MU-MIO, Beamforming, etc. Basically, the $150 routers are quite common among medium households, small businesses, college students, apartment owners, etc.
Don’t know much about wireless routers? The good thing is, our networking experts with an understanding of features like MU-MIMO, OFDMA, Beamforming, QoS ensure the routers in this list, not only addresses the below mentioned requirements but also offers better value for the money.
What should you look/expect in a sub-$150 router?
- 11 Best Routers Under $150 in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: TP-Link AX3000
- 2. Best For Gaming: ASUS RT-AX55
- 3. Best For Office Use: Linksys AX1800
- 4. Best For Smart Homes: D-Link DIR-L1900
- 5. Best Under 100: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750
- 6. Best Mesh WiFi Setup: Google Mesh
- 7. Supports Upto 50 Devices: Securifi AL3
- 8. Best For Large Homes: D-Link DIR-1750
- 9. Best For Streaming: NETGEAR AC1600
- 10. Best For Work From Home: TP-Link Archer A9
- 11. Cheapest Option: TP-Link AC1200
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
11 Best Routers Under $150 in 2021
The shortlisted routers is a trickled-down list, after a comparative analysis of over 50 routers in the market from prominent brands like Netgear, D-Link, Asus, TP-Link, etc. It doesn’t matter what your needs are, based on our research, these are the 11 best options available for less than $150.
1. Best Overall: TP-Link AX3000
The TP-Link Archer AX50 is a powerful router owing to the potential of the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 ax standards. Features like OFDMA, MU-MIMO, and Beamforming make this a strong competitor for smart homes with multiple devices accessing the internet simultaneously.
Contingent to ISP and other factors, the router can achieve high speeds. It can scale up to 574mbps and 2402mbps in 2.5GHz and 5GHz frequencies, respectively.
With the ability to cover an area of 2000 sq ft, the router becomes an inevitable part of medium-sized homes and offers 40 simultaneous connections. The limited RAM (256MB) and flash memory (128MB) might affect the performance of the router during data-intense activities.
At 1.2lbs, the Archer AX-50 is lightweight and sleek. Sporting a glossy black modern design, the router can adorn your household with its presence.
With 4 external antennas attached to the rear end of the router, the Archer is equipped to handle multiple devices simultaneously. The presence of 1 WAN port, 4 LAN ports, and a USB 3.0 make it easier for the user to have wired connections and shared network hard drives/printers.
Tether application is as simplistic and intuitive as applications come. The initial setup is easier and quicker with the Tether, while the web portal provides access to advanced customizations.
With a parental control that allows you to create multiple user profiles, content filters, monitor and restricts internet access, TP-link Homecare offers more control and security against intrusion and malicious contents.
The support of 160Mhz channels and its backward compatibility to 802.11 ax makes this relevant to the current and future scenarios. The high-speed potential and comprehensive network security from TP-Link make the AX-50 a perfect fit for a household with gaming aficionados.
- Wi-Fi 6
- Static Link Aggregation
- Inbuilt Homecare
- Lack of High-Speed Ethernet port
- Dust Magnet
2. Best For Gaming: ASUS RT-AX55
While the lack of USB limits the functionality of sharing network drives, Wi-Fi 6, Multi User-MIMO, and Beamforming make ASUS RT-AX55 a good standalone router or a valuable component as a part of your AiMesh WiFi system.
With support from high-speed ISPs like Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Verizon, the device can support up to 574mbps on 2.4GHz and 1201mbps on 5GHz. With beamforming and OFDMA, the device can disperse signals across 3000 sq ft and support up to 25 gadgets.
Weighing less than 0.9 lbs, the RT-AX55 is as light as routers come. With a shiny striped black casing separated by two red stripes, the device sports a simplistic design that houses a 1.5GHz, quad-core processor with an operating memory of 256MB and storage memory of 128MB.
You can find 4 antennas at the rear end of the router, interspersed amongst a WAN port, four LAN ports, the power socket, the WPS button, and a manual reset button. The lack of USB ports limits the router’s ability to accommodate shared drives within the home network.
Asus mobile application keeps the device installation and the network setup simple. The web GUI allows you access to a host of features like bandwidth control, real-time traffic monitor, and QoS.
The parental control settings in the Asus interface can host multiple profiles, enable content filters and limit internet access based on customized schedules. AiProtection offers protection for all your devices against the virus.
If you are in a household with tech-savvy members carrying multiple WiFi 6 clients, Asus RT-AX55 offers a solution to exploit the high-speed capabilities of your high-speed internet connection.
- WiFi 6
- AiMesh Compatible
- OFDMA and Beamforming
- Lifetime Free AiProtection
- Alexa compatible
- No USB port
- Not wall-mountable
3. Best For Office Use: Linksys AX1800
The Linksys E7350 is powered by a dual-core processor clocking at 880MHz, featuring support to WiFi 6, Multi-user – MIMO, and the latest encryption standards of WPA 3 to keep your internet connection secure.
With a high-speed internet connection, the router can achieve speeds up to 600mbps in 2.4GHz and 1200mbps in 5GHz. You can play games and stream them on platforms like twitch in an optimized manner on up to 20 devices, spread across a surface area of 1500 sq ft.
Weighing close to 2.4 lbs, the Linksys router belongs to the heavy category. Sporting a compact octagonal design, the shiny black routing device sits pretty without occupying a large surface area. The RAM and flash memory of 256MB might limit the performance during HD quality online gaming.
The router comes with internal antennas only. All the ports, power switches are present on the rear end. You can find 1 WAN port, 4 LAN ports, a power switch, a manual reset button, a USB 3.0 port, a WPS button, and a manual reset button. The USB port is a welcome addition to share printers and network drives within the home network.
The router can be installed through the web-interface. Lack of mobile application support for this router might act as a deterrent. The installation wizard keeps the initial setup uncomplicated.
The ability to create and assign predetermined profiles and block content by URL filters and time schedules gives the parent control over the child’s internet consumption.
If you are a gaming enthusiast or are hosting a group of students under a single roof, the Linksys AX1800 can deliver stable, high-speed internet to multiple WiFi 6 clients at an affordable price.
- WiFi 6
- WPA3 Encryption
- DLNA compatible
- Target Wake Time for smart devices
- Web GUI based Installation
4. Best For Smart Homes: D-Link DIR-L1900
The D-Link DIR-L1900 is designed to be an integral part of your smart home. With its high-speed potential, the feasibility to be an extender and the WPA3 encryption standards, the D-Link makes an intriguing case as a first choice router.
At the helm of a powerful dual-core processor clocking at 1.25GHz, the router DIR-L1900 can deliver internet at high speeds of 600mbps at 2.4GHz and 1300mbps at 5GHz.
Its coverage can extend up to 3000 sq ft, supporting over 20 devices. The RAM and storage memory of 128MB might be the limiting factor in handling simultaneous connections and data-intensive activities.
At 0.9 lbs, the router is lightweight with an amicable presence. With a single LED indicator on the front side, the router comes in a white, minimalistic rectangular design. The router comes with 128MB of operating and storage memory.
The 3 internal antennas are geared with SmartConnect and MU-MIMO to deliver seamless WiFi signals. The D-Link router has four Gig Ethernet LAN and one Gig WAN port to ensure high-speed connectivity for Smart TVs, Work desktops, and gaming consoles.
The installation is simple either by the D-Link mobile application or the Web-based interface. The compatibility with Alexa and Google’s assistant allows you to control the router with voice commands.
The web interface lets you create profile-based parental controls to monitor and handle kid’s activities. The firewall and access control protect the network from security threats and unauthorized usage.
The high-speed WiFi, complemented by QoS, multicast support, MU-MIMO, NAT firewall protection, managed by an intuitive D-LINK Application makes this a perfect router for smart homes filled with a mixed crowd of adults, kids and teens.
- Scalable Mesh WiFi
- Alexa Compatible
- Airtime Fairness
- WPA3 Encryption
- No USB ports
- No external antennas
5. Best Under 100: NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 brings an array of features like Advanced QoS, smart parental controls, Beamforming under the security hood of Netgear Armor, protecting your home network from data threats, viruses, and malware.
The device is equipped to deliver high-speed internet connections rising to 450mbps in 2.5GHz, 1300mbps in 5GHz frequency, depending upon the quality of connection from ISP and in our test, it performed best with the 200 Mbps plan. The router comes with a coverage of 1500 sq ft while supporting up to 25 devices.
The Netgear router weighs a little over 1.5 lbs, being neither heavy nor light. It sports a simplistic black textured design. The storage memory of 128MB houses the firmware, and a RAM of 256MB supports the operations. Even while not being fancy, it is sufficient.
The router comes with 3 antennas attached to its rear end. Carrying 1 WAN port, 4 LAN ports, and a USB 3.0 port, the device supports high-speed wired connections for your smart gadgets and network drive sharing within the home network.
The Nighthawk mobile application gives a user-friendly, intuitive platform for controlling your network. The initial setup becomes effortless when done through the application and gets done within a matter of a few minutes. The Web GUI opens up to exhaustive control over the settings.
The ability to control your home network remotely, protecting your network with guest WiFi networks and the security of NETGEAR Armor gives you the ability to protect your home network. By setting online time limits and content filters, you can protect your children from undue exposure.
Powered by powerful dual-core processors, this sub-$100 wireless router features Advanced QoS, Beamforming plus, and Armor internet protection, making it a viable option for small/medium households looking for advanced internet security.
- Parental Controls by CircleSmart
- Dynamic QoS
- Beamforming plus
- Netgear Armor Internet security
- Google Assistant compatible
- Limited mobile functionality
- USB port placement
6. Best Mesh WiFi Setup: Google Mesh
The Google Mesh WiFi system stands as a testament to a simplistic design, ease of installation, and control over your home network system. While it doesn’t offer extensive control over your internet, it makes things easier for a non-tech savvy household.
The Google device comes with a combined speed of up to 1200mbps in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies put together which is ideal for WiFi calling and VoIP. With coverage of 1500 sq ft, each access point can serve as a single router to a medium home with multiple smart gadgets.
The router is a small cylindrical device weighing 0.750 lbs. The minimalist white design router has an LED light running across the diameter at the center. The casing houses a storage memory of 4GB and operating memory of 512MB, which allows ease of operation for multiple devices simultaneously.
Equipped with only internal antennas, the design accommodates the ports underneath the router, accessible through the rear end. Each satellite router brings 1 Ethernet and 1 WAN port for wired connections. The lack of a USB port closes the door for sharing storage devices across the network.
You can set up the Google Mesh via any mobile-based interface (iOS or Android) managed through a google account. Offering one of the easiest installations, the setup takes up hardly a few minutes for setting up with Exede Satellite, ATT Uverse, etc.
Google WiFi doesn’t come with in-depth customization options. You can manage your network by creating labels for users and scheduling time and content limits for kids by enabling SafeSearch. Google allows you to prioritize bandwidth, control smart devices, enable/disable WiFi, and continuous monitoring of your network.
If you are a homemaker trying to avoid the technicalities inherent with a routing device, Google WiFi offers an affordable solution for small/medium-sized smart homes with easy installation and user profile management.
- The affordable mesh Wi-Fi system
- Easy installation and Network monitoring
- Smart home solution
- Limited control over settings
- No USB port
7. Supports Upto 50 Devices: Securifi AL3
The Securifi AL3 comes with inbuilt support for smart homes, with its capacity to communicate via Zigbee The ease of setup and multiple modalities of management makes Securifi a workable solution for the non-tech savvy user.
This model speeds up to 300mbps and 867mbps in 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The device can cover small/medium homes ranging up to 1300 sq ft and support over 50 gadgets, including smart-home devices.
The routing device comes in a sleek rectangular body, weighing close to 1.5lbs. The design accommodates a touch screen on the side, giving an additional modality of control. The sleek body houses an operating memory of 256MB and a storage memory of 64MB.
Equipped only with internal antennas to deliver WiFi and Zigbee signals, the router doesn’t disappoint with its signal strength or stability. The device accommodates 2 LAN ports, one WAN port, and one USB 2.0 port for wired connections and shared network storage/printing devices.
The Securifi AL3 setup is taken care of through the application or the web interface. Apart from the mobile app and web interface, the router allows customization using the touch screen on its side. The advanced settings can get confusing with the presence of three different modalities.
The device offers parental controls by blocking URLs and scheduling internet connections for smart devices. Features like IP and MAC address filtering SPI firewalls keep the network safe from security threats.
Automating your home with Securifi is helpful as it uses a dedicated communication channel for smart devices, avoiding network congestion. Despite its price tag, the smart capabilities of Securifi AL3 make a strong case as the perfect router for multiple devices.
- The affordable mesh Wi-Fi system
- Three modes of operation and control
- Easy-Touch screen setup
- Limited customizability
8. Best For Large Homes: D-Link DIR-1750
The D-Link DIR-1750 makes an endearing case as the perfect companion to manage your home network with its high-speed capabilities and essential features like MU-MIMO and Beamforming.
With seamless connectivity in both the frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz), the router can reach high speeds of 450mbps and 1300mbps sufficient to handle gaming and HD quality media streaming. It can cover sizable areas up to 2000 sq ft and handle up to 20 devices operating simultaneously.
With a weight close to 0.9 lbs, the router is lightweight despite its larger footprint. The minimal LED indicators adorn the front of a matte-black casing. The router comes with 128MB of operating and storage memory.
The 4 external antennas equipped with Beamforming and MU-MIMO deliver stable Wi-Fi signals across your home. The D-Link router comes with 4 Gig Ethernet LAN and 1 Gig WAN port to offer gigabit wired connectivity to TV and consoles.
D-Link mobile application or the Web-based interface can keep the initial setup straightforward. The web interface lets you create profile-based parental controls to monitor and handle kid’s activities. The firewall and access control protect the network from security threats and unauthorized usage.
The Dual-Band WiFi, the D-Link Mesh capability, allows your household to enjoy seamless internet connectivity as a homemaker or a student or a remote-working professional; either with the D-Link router as a stand-alone router or a part of your Mesh Wi-Fi system for crowed apartment setup.
- Dual-Core processor
- D-Link Wi-Fi Mesh compatible
- Alexa, Google Assistant voice control compatible
- Parental controls
- Build Quality
- No USB ports
9. Best For Streaming: NETGEAR AC1600
The NETGEAR AC1600 Advanced QoS, smart parental controls, Beamforming under the security hood of Netgear Armor, protecting your home network from data threats, virus, and malware.
Depending on the quality of your connection from ISP, the router can reach speeds up to 300mbps in 2.5GHz, 1300mbps in 5GHz frequency. It has a coverage of 1200 sq ft, supporting up to 20 devices.
The Netgear router weighs approximately 0.8 lbs, making it one of the lightweight designs. The device comes in a simplistic shiny black plastic casing housing a processor clocking at frequency 880Mhz, with an operating memory of 128MB and storage memory of 128MB housing the firmware.
The router has 3 antennas attached to its rear end. With one WAN port, four LAN ports, and a USB 2.0 port, the device gives ample avenues for gigabit-wired connections and shared printers or hard drives.
The Nighthawk application is a user-friendly platform that keeps the initial setup and management simple. The Web GUI gives access to advanced settings for more tech-savvy users.
The mobile application and web GUI allow parents to control web content, set time limits to protect their children from inappropriate exposure. The guest network access and double firewall protection keep your home network safe from external threats.
Built around a powerful processor, the routing device comes with useful features and an intuitive interface for easy management. Be it online gaming or 4K media streaming on firestick, the adults and the kids in your medium-sized home will equally enjoy the performance of Netgear AC1600.
- Powerful 880MHz processor
- Advanced QoS
- Nighthawk easy setup
- Guest network support
- Limited customizations in mobile application
10. Best For Work From Home: TP-Link Archer A9
The Archer A9 from TP-Link brings features like Multi User-MIMO, WPA3 encryption standards, VPN server, and parental controls at your disposal. Be it online gaming or media streaming or remote work-from-home-solutions; it falls within the purview of Archer A9.
Geared by a dual-core processor, the router can deliver high-speed internet connections to 600mbps in 2.5GHz and 1300mbps in 5GHz. Limited by low RAM (128MB) and storage (16MB) will limit the number of devices connected simultaneously. With balanced usage, the router can handle up to 15 devices spread over 1500 sq ft.
At 1.6 lbs, the router still lingers in the lightweight spectrum. It sports a traditional black glossy design with ports and antennas aligned on the rear end.
On the rear, you can find 3 external antennas and an array of ports the router offers. TP-link gives 1 WAN port and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports to take care of wired requirements. The presence of a USB 2.0 lets you share printers/storage devices in the home network.
Both the tether application and web interface wizard provide an amicable interface, to get through setup quickly. Unlike the mobile application, the web GUI gives access to customizing control, QoS, and VPN settings.
TP-link gives more control to parents by allowing them to create user profiles and limiting access. The smart connect band steering and airtime fairness manages the user connections to ensure unhindered connectivity.
With a multitude of features including Beamforming, MU-MIMO, QoS priority, parental and access control, and security features, the Archer A9 presents an affordable solution for remote working professionals and keeps your internet connection stable for video conferences and business meetings.
- VPN Support
- Smart Connect and Airtime Fairness
- QoS Settings
- Alexa voice control
- Dust magnet
- No USB 3.0 port
11. Cheapest Option: TP-Link AC1200
The Archer A6 from TP-Link brings features like Multi User-MIMO, support to VPN, and parental controls at a price that doesn’t cause a dent in your wallet.
The routing device delivers high-speed internet connections up to 600mbps in 2.5GHz and 900mbps in 5GHz. The number of simultaneous connections and online gaming will be constrained owing to low operating (128MB) and storage memory (8MB). With balanced usage, the router can handle 10+ devices across a surface area of 1500 sq ft.
At 1.72 lbs, the router sports a chequered glossy black and grey design with ports aligned at the rear end.
With 4 external antennas dispersing signals, TP-link gives one WAN port and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for high-speed wired connections to your gaming consoles, smart TV, apple devices or desktop/PC.
Be it the mobile application or web interface wizard; they provide an intuitive interface to breeze through the initial setup. The web interface opens up the router to changes in settings, setting priority by devices, etc.
TP-link tether application lets the parent create user profiles for kids and limit access to the internet with content and time schedules. The WPA 2 encryption standards protect your internet from unauthorized usage.
With QoS by device, parental control, and WPA2 encryption, the Archer A6 offers a budget solution to keep your family connected to the internet 24×7. If you are looking for a cheap router to extend the connectivity of your WiFi system, the Archer A6 brings the capacity to act as an extender too.
- Easy Setup, Management
- QoS Settings
- Alexa’s voice control
- Network monitoring with user profiles
- No USB port
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on personal requirements, 150 dollars should be able to get you a router that takes care of most of your network requirements. Routers like TP-LINK AX3000 and Asus-RT-AX55 are well-equipped to take care of media streaming and home automation with multiple devices.
The Wi-Fi 6 networking standards are more future-proof than contemporary. With a bare minimum of clients supporting WiFi 6 standards, routers with WiFi 5 should be sufficient for a regular household. Getting the best out of a WiFi 6 router is conditional on the support offered by the modem and the client.
Smart home WiFi systems come with a firewall to protect the home network from viruses, malware, and intrusions. The encryption standards like WPA2, WPA3 prevent your network from unauthorized usage. Your router will allow users to limit their access/exposure to contents, limiting the potential of security threats.
Unless you are not a hard-core/professional gamer looking for .features like a private gaming network and powerful hardware with RAM and Storage, routers like RT-AX55, AX3000, and other D-Link routers (well within the budget of 150 dollars) are capable of supporting online gaming.
Features like MU-MIMO, Beamforming, QoS improve the signal quality being delivered to multiple devices. Firewall, Malware Protection, and Parental controls are essential for security and content management. The presence of the aforementioned feature will make the router sufficient for a small to a medium household with multiple gadgets.
The D-Link and Netgear, being major players in the router market space, offer multiple routers within the price range to cater to the user requirements.
- For users looking for a WiFi solution for smart homes, Google Mesh Wi-Fi and Securifi AL3 Securifi AL3 offer an affordable and comprehensive solution.
- If you are looking for future-proofed high-speed routers, the TP-Link AX3000 and ASUS RT-AX55 offer support to WiFi 6 standards.
- TP-Link AC1200 offers a budget-friendly solution to your network requirement needs
Preferences and requirements play a vital role in finding the right router for your household. The analysis tries to different facets of requirement based on common consensus.