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7 Best Wired Routers: Reviews For Enhanced Speed & Security

The routers that come with your internet service provider are, for the most part, mass-produced rubbish. They deliver unstable connections with drop-outs and unreliable speed. For the modern gamer, streamer, or content curator, this simply isn't good enough anymore.

So, what are your options? Well, you can replace your router. This article takes a look at the best wired routers on the market.  

Why Use a Wired Router?

A wired router is the most surefire way of guaranteeing a stable internet connection with high speed. These routers offer a connection via an ethernet cable that you plug your device into. This means you do not have to worry about interference, distance, or how thick the walls are. You also get a higher level of security with a wired router.

Wired routers have one drawback, however, and that is the need for wires. If your internet point is a long way away from your router, be prepared to run cables across that gap.


Considerations for Choosing a Quality Wired Router

Compatibility

The first thing you are going to want to check is your potential router's compatibility with your specific internet service provider. Unfortunately, many internet service providers make it awkward for their users to swap in new routers. Do some research online using Google. Type in your router and then check the compatibility with your ISP.

Speed

Not all wired connections are built the same. If you are lucky enough to have high-speed internet, you may need to consider the speed capability of your wired connections. Gigabit ports provide the highest level of speed and stability.

When you have a high internet speed, a low-quality router can cause a bottleneck, lowering your internet speed dramatically.

Processor & RAM

Top-tier routers come with their own processor and RAM. The routers processor is essentially like a brain, allowing it to make a considerable number of decisions and calculations every single second.

It then uses the RAM to store little cheat sheets of information. The router can then access these cheat sheets to help it make decisions faster. A good processor and a decent amount of RAM allow a router to perform at a much higher level than one without either.

Ethernet Ports

The next thing to consider is how many ethernet ports you require your router to have. The more devices you have, the more ethernet ports you will need. Many users use a combination of a wireless router and a wired router.

For things such as your phone and tablets, you probably don't need the level of speed and stability that you get with a wired router. For things like gaming consoles and your work computer, connecting via a wire will be the best option.

Figure out what devices will need to be plugged in and make sure your potential router has enough ethernet ports to accommodate.

Security Features

Lots of users around the world are beginning to take control of their internet privacy and security. Scammers and hackers are evolving to take advantage of weak security points in the home. A common weak point is through the wi-fi connection offered by your basic router.

Luckily, a large number of the top routers have in-built security and privacy capabilities. They will offer protection from cyber attacks to everyone who is connected to the system. They might also allow for a VPN setup, which will enable you to connect to the internet in a way that is much harder to take advantage of.

Ease of Setting Up

In the past, routers were notoriously tricky to set up properly without some tech-knowledge. Nowadays, it is a lot easier to swap out your router. We look to see how easy it is to set up each router and judge them on that ease. Nobody wants to fork out a couple of hundred dollars to find out they do not know how to set their router up.

Price & Warranty

Finally, we look at the price to performance ratio of each product, and we look at the brand behind the product. Specifically, we look at how good the warranty is. With devices that constantly run 24/7, there is a higher chance of technical failure of components.

When this happens, you want to be sure that you will be able to return the product easily and get a replacement or repair in a hassle-free manner.


7 Best Wired Routers Reviewed

1. Mikrotik RB3011

Mikrotik RB3011UIAS-RM RouterBOARD 10xGigabit...
  • The RB3011 is a new multi port device, our...
  • The RB3011 has ten Gigabit ports divided in...
  • RB3011UiAS-RM Unit comes with 1U rackmount...
  • Dimensions: 443 x 92 x 44 mm, Size of RAM: 1...

Our top pick!

Max Speed

6000 Mbps

Number of Ports

10

Data Transfer Rate

4 GBPS

Processor

1.4 GHz

RAM

1.0 GB

We awarded the top pick to the Mikrotik RB3011, a new multi-port device running on lightning-fast ARM architecture. This gives the onboard CPU an extremely high level of capability. Running at 1.4 GHz with two cores and a 1GB of supporting RAM makes this router a powerhouse.

In terms of ports, you get a whopping ten individual Gigabit ports, split over two switch groups. There is also an SFP cage and even a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, which allows for the installation of additional storage or even a 4G modem.

The RB3011 is fully mountable via its 1U rackmount enclosure and has a touch screen LCD panel. With a design based around CPU-routing, the need for dedicated hardware is reduced, meaning the RB3011 is surprisingly light and low profile for its capability.

Mikrotik systems are known for being bulletproof even with every port in use running 24 hours a day with over 22 connections. It still runs cool to the touch. Considering there is no active cooling system on this router, this is incredible engineering.

This low temperature means you do not need to worry about overheating. Passive cooling means there are no fans, which means this router is also whisper-quiet even under full load.

Everything comes unlocked with the RB3011, too, meaning you get full functionality straight out of the box. You do not need to pay any licensing fees for things like your VPN.

There is only really one major downside to this router in our honest opinion. That is the fact that this router requires some networking knowledge to really run well. For the average home user, this could be a steep learning curve, ultimately leading to a lower performance due to the lack of control.

Mikrotik devices are like a high-end set of tools, under the right knowledge, they can perform any task and perform it well. Without the experience, you may find it hard to extract the performance that the RB3011 is capable of.

It isn't majorly complicated stuff, but if you do not wish to learn things like port-forwarding or network concepts, you might want to pick a slightly more straightforward to use router.

For those that are willing to learn, this is the best router on this list. It is exceptionally well priced, performs extremely well, and is essentially "bulletproof."

Good
  • Exceptional price to performance ratio
  • Bulletproof design
  • Mikrotik brand quality
  • Passive cooling works very well
Bad
  • Steep learning curve to use

2. TP-LINK Safestream TL-R600VPN

TP-Link Safestream Multi WAN VPN Router | 1...
  • 1 Gigabit WAN port, 1 Gigabit LAN Port, and 3...
  • Supports IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP VPN...
  • DoS defense and IP/MAC/Domain name filtering...
  • Professional 4KV lightning protection keeps...

best wired router for streaming

Max Speed

4000 Mbps

Number of Ports

5

Data Transfer Rate

4 GBPS

Processor

1.0 GHz Quad-Core

RAM

1.0 GB

TP-LINK has been creating high-quality internet networking equipment for many years now. Their quality is extremely high, and their designs tend to be pretty bombproof when used correctly.

The R600VPN runs via its five ports. Four Ethernet LAN ports offer 10/100/1000 MBPs capabilities and an ethernet WAN port. It is easy to configure, only taking around 15 minutes from unboxing to get it running.

The configuration menus are easy to navigate and control. If you find it difficult, there is an 80-page supporting manual, which is very informative and should walk you through any initial set up problems.

One of the main selling points of the R600VPN is, like the name suggests, the devices VPN capabilities. This router supports IPsec site-site VPN tunnels and remote VPN tunnels with a capacity for up to 20 tunnels.

This is a router that stays stable under pressure and outperforms competitors in terms of value and quality. It doesn't have some of the features other routers in this group have, but it makes up for it in simplicity and reliable performance.

Good
  • Designed for streamers
  • TP-Link build quality and brand
  • Capability for 20 VPN tunnels
Bad
  • Lacks features

3. Ubiquiti Networks EdgeRouter 4

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4
  • (3) 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports, (1) RJ45...
  • Desk, wall and rack mount options
  • Internal PSU, fanless
  • Max power consumption: 13 Watts

best wired router for gaming

Max Speed

4000 Mbps

Number of Ports

5

Data Transfer Rate

4 GBPS

Processor

1.0 GHz Quad-Core

RAM

1.0 GB

This high-powered offering from renowned Ubiquiti Networks, the EdgeRouter 4, is the winner of our best-wired router for gaming category. This router allows for the best possible connection and stability when you are gaming.

Three separate Ethernet ports allow for 10/100/1000 MBPS speeds, respectively. You also get an SFP port, which will enable you to connect a range of different devices without compromising on your speed.

You get centralized management through the UNMS or Ubiquiti Network Management System, which makes it easy to control your setup, and with a 1U high rack mount system, it's effortless to install. EdgeOS is lightning quick, too, with configuration changes happening almost instantly.

This device is pretty easy to set up, although you may need to do some googling as the guide provided is difficult to understand. The build quality is high, with a solid, durable feel too.

This is a router aimed at gamers and streamers. With a dedicated port just for consoles and innovative tech onboard, and when latency needs to be kept low for competitive gaming and drop-outs could lead to ranked penalties and matchmaking rage, you need a router that can handle the strain.

If you have a gigabit internet connection, this router will keep your ping low and your connection stable, giving you the edge over most of your competition.

You also get the benefit of maxed out internet speeds for downloads. With modern-day AAA+ games taking over 50GB of space, downloading games can take a long time on an ISP router.

All of this combined make the Edge 4 an easy winner for the best-wired router for gaming. With a little bit of know-how, you can squeeze every bit of juice out of your internet connection.

Also Recommended: Best Gaming Routers for Xbox One

Good
  • Designed for gamers
  • Live performance graphs
  • VLAN capabilities
  • Gigabit ports
Bad
  • Overlapping management systems

4. Peplink Balance 20

Peplink Balance 20 Dual-WAN Router
  • Dual-WAN router (2 WAN) for power users and...
  • 2x GE WAN ports plus 1x USB WAN port for use...
  • 3rd GE WAN port can be activated as an...
  • 4-port GE LAN switch

best wired router for small business

Max Speed

4000 Mbps

Number of Ports

5

Data Transfer Rate

4 GBPS

Processor

1.0 GHz Quad-Core

RAM

1.0 GB

When you have a business that relies on stable internet connections and speed, you need to make sure that your router isn't holding you back. The winner of our best-wired router for the small business category, the Peplink Balance 20 is a load balancing router capable of automatically distributing internet traffic to increase speed where you need it most.

You get two wired WAN ports and 4G modem connectivity in USB form. When all of the ports are in use, the Balance 20 uses five-set algorithms built into the routers infrastructure to maximize the uptime and productivity of the entire network.

Balance 20 also utilizes an automatic troubleshooter and connection health checker. This system automatically checks the connection, and the intelligent failover tech will swap you to a healthier connection once it detects any problems. This means that when your internet fails, you won't lose connectivity or uptime.

Businesses that run their systems around the clock also face problems due to the exposure of the network. This is where the Peplink VPN solution comes into play, giving you site-site VPN and encryption. This ensures that your data and your network are safe from any cyber attacks or hackers.

Some other features worth mentioning are the DSL optimization and web-bases router management system. Both of which give you strong and fine-tuned configuration capabilities.

If your business requires a high-performance based router, you can't really go wrong with the Peplink Balance 20. With its range of features aimed at small business owners and strong performance and competitive price tag, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Also Recommended: Best Small Business Routers

Good
  • Quick failover ability
  • Amazing customer service and phone support
  • Responsive and stable
Bad
  • No VLAN support

5. Linksys LRT214

On Sale Today
Linksys LRT214 Gigabit VPN Router
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Up to 50 IPsec tunnels (for site to site and...
  • 900 Mbps firewall and 110 Mbps IPsec...
  • Feature rich to meet a wide range of business...

best VPN wired router for home use

Max Speed

5000 Mbps

Number of Ports

5

Data Transfer Rate

4 GBPS

Processor

1.3 GHz

RAM

1.0 GB

When you need a cost-effective and reliable VPN solution at home, one router stands above the rest. The Linksys LRT214 is a robust, well-made entry-level Gigabit router aimed at taking on the VPN market.

The LRT214 comes with LED indicators for power and connections and comes equipped with four Gigabit Ethernet ports. It also has a massive range of VPN capabilities that can be controlled remotely. These include the ability to run up to 50 IPsec tunnels and 5 OpenVPN tunnels for mobile users on your network.

You even get integrated firewall protection, which combines URL filtering and specific access rules to control and regulate traffic filtering in and out of your network. These settings can be controlled on-site or via a specific set of IP addresses via TCP internet protocols.

The VLAN 802.1Q tech onboard works seamlessly, allowing different virtual local area networks to traverse data. This gives admins of the network massive flexibility for networks that have multiple users on multiple floors.

An intuitive admin panel allows for the management of your routers without having to be physically in the vicinity of your router.

With Linksys, you are buying into a brand that people trust. With this router, you get a life long warranty and a customer service that is second to none. This more then makes up for the slightly higher price-tag.

This makes it the perfect router for home use, as you are guaranteed for life on your product, and know that when you reach out, that Linksys amazing customer support team will be there to help.

Good
  • Clear easy to use interface
  • Life-long warranty
  • Lots of features
  • Incredible customer support team
Bad
  • Does not support top-tier OpenVPN servers

6. TP-LINK TL-R470T

TP-Link Safestream Multi WAN Router | 4...
  • Up to 4 WAN ports equipped with Advanced load...
  • Provides extensive client account and network...
  • Marshals bandwidth resource to specific...
  • Smaller case for cost-effective solution in...

Best cheap wired router 

Max Speed

Depends on load balancing

Number of Ports

5

Data Transfer Rate

1.2 GBPS

Processor

1.0 GHz

RAM

1.0 GB

For those on a budget, we picked the TP-LINK TL-R470T for our best cheap wired router category. This load balancing router is a powerhouse for the price and scores the highest on the list in terms of power per dollar spent. It has 4 WAN ports and utilized a range of load balancing strategies and advanced QoS to bring consistent network up-time.

Three of those ports are interchangeable, from LAN to WAN, which gives a huge variety of internet access requirements. The load balancing aspect means that you can use multiple ISPs with lower speeds for an enhanced connection.

You also get a surprising amount of security features, with defense against DDOS attacks and Ping of Death/ You also get filtering functions that forcefully protect you from hackers and malware. You even get surge protection rated against lightning damage of up to 4KV.

If you want an incredible router with a low price-tag from a brand with a pedigree in network equipment, the TP-LINK TL-R470T would be where we spent our money.

Also Recommended: Best Routers Under $100

Good
  • Amazing performance to price ratio
  • TP-LINK support
  • Surprising amount of security features
  • Lightning protection
Bad
  • Lack of Gigabit ports

7. ZyXEL USG20-VPN

ZyXEL Next Generation VPN Firewall with 1...
  • High Performance Gigabit Ports 1x Internet...
  • Up to 90Mbps Encrypted VPN throughput...
  • Up to 350Mbps Stateful Packet Inspection...
  • FANLESS design and Desktop Form Factor for...

Best for multiple VPN use

Max Speed

Depends on load balancing

Number of Ports

6

Data Transfer Rate

350 MBPS

Processor

1.0 GHz

RAM

1.0 GB

When you need safer and more reliable VPN connectivity, you will need to do a bit more research than the average user. Luckily enough, we have you covered. The ZyXEL USG20-VPN is a next-generation VPN router and is the best for multiple VPN use on this list.

The USG20 comes with a nearly impenetrable high-tier SPI firewall on board, meaning your business or home network is protected from outside threats. Layered on top of this, there are legacy VPN protocols and encryption algorithms as standard for added security.

The USG20 supports the more advanced Secure Hash Algorithm, which gives this router the safest VPN networks in its class.

ZyXEL is constantly updating their products, too, countering the newest and freshest security threats. The Zyxel security portal offers free and informative education and resources to keep up to date with the latest threats.

You also get to make use of Zyxel's One Network, which helps users simplify the configuration and troubleshooting of their Zyxel devices.

Although they have tried their hardest to simplify installation and VPN network control, this is still a tricky router to use and understand. This makes it a bad choice for those who want a simple plug and play router out of the box. Without a bit of networking knowledge and know-how, you are really going to struggle to set up the USG20 properly.

If you are well versed in networking protocols and VPN services, this router is an incredible addition to any security orientated network system.

Good
  • Multiple VPN capabilities
  • Zyxel send regular updates
  • Fanless design
  • Free tech support
Bad
  • Difficult to configure and set up

Wired vs. Wireless: Which is Better?

Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. For the average user, a wireless router is usually the simplest and easy to use option. Most people are used to using their ISP-provided wireless router. Wireless routers provide a simple, easy to use network that can be accessed without much configuration within a bubble surrounding the router.

For those that need more stability, more speed, and more security, a wired router is ultimately better. Wired routers provide much more sturdy connections, and when they are set up correctly, they are almost unbeatable.

Feature

Wired

Wireless

Faster Transferring Data

Yes


Less Latency

Yes


More Stable Connection

Yes


Reduced Risk of Data Breach

Yes


Wire-free Connection


Yes

Large Number of Devices


Yes


Set-Up & Configuration of Wired Routers

Setting up a second wired router

When setting up a new router, you will need to plug it in close to a laptop or computer that can be used to set up the configuration settings. Wired routers in particular need to be connected via ethernet cable to set them up, you can move them later on once the initial setup has been completed.

Connecting a wired router to your wireless router

The simplest way to configure a new wired router is to simply plug it in via ethernet cable to a previous wireless router. Plug the wired router into the WAN port and place the other end of the wire into one of the other free ethernet ports.

You can also use powerline kits, which allow you to hardwire your internet through your mains electrical wiring system in your house. This allows you to have a router in a different room from your original router, giving you a lot more range and providing wired or wireless capabilities to other parts of your house.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where are wired routers usually used?

Wired routers are used when users want to get the optimum speed, stability, and security from their network.

What is the difference between ethernet switch and wired routers?

In simple terms, an Ethernet switch is responsible for creating the network, whereas a router is what allows for connections to and from the network.

Should I use a switch with my router?

A switch is useful when your router does not have enough ethernet ports for your usage. If you have a lot of wired devices, then you may want to invest in one.

How can I speed up my wired router connection?

The best way to speed your wired router connection up is to upgrade your internet speed and to configure the router correctly. To do this, look online for guides or even within your router manual. Often a simple overhaul of the settings can provide an immediate speed boost.

What are some common operating issues with wired routers?

Slow internet, unstable internet, and problems connecting are all common problems. To fix most of them, you should troubleshoot your router. Do this by disconnecting the router from the plug and powering it back up after 30 seconds.

Check for router firmware updates and reset all your settings. Look online for optimal configuration settings, and as a last resort, contact your service provider or your router manufacturer and seek support.


Conclusion

Upgrading to a wired router is the logical step for many users and businesses when they realize they need a more durable and secure connection. If you need to keep your internet stable and fast throughout the entire day, you will most likely want to upgrade.

Hopefully, we have made the decision on which router you should pick a lot easier with this article, if not, and you are still on the fence, you should choose our top pick, the Mikrotik RB3011. This powerhouse of a device is the best all-rounder and will suit the majority of users. It performs well in multiple fields and isn't let down by any of them.