When it comes to connectivity and speed, nothing beats the best wired router. Often, businesses suffer from lags or dropped connections, especially when you have many heavy file transfers or many employees are online, working on various projects.
Time is money, and efficiency can be lost when you depend solely on wireless, which is why many businesses prefer wired routers – they offer more reliability and stability in network connections, ensuring that productivity doesn’t take a nose dive.
But you already knew that, so let’s move on to check out the best wired routers for your business or home.
In this world of wireless connections, you think that wired would be obsolete, but that is not the case. Wired routers and wired connections still offer unparalleled speeds which can almost reach theoretical speeds as advertised by the router manufacturer. That is reason enough to entice many people to opt for a non wireless router.
Wired routers are popular in large office spaces, as there can be wiring to every cubicle and office room. As they are generally less expensive than their wireless counterparts, they also tend to be more cost effective as an option for the company.
Another reason that tips wired routers in its favour is that it offers more security options for your network as all data transmitted is secured. As of now, Broadband wired routers also act as a firewall, keeping malware and viruses out of your computer, keeping it safe from online dangers.
Security is paramount when it comes to office spaces and corporate companies who want to keep all their data confidential. This fact alone makes having wired routers throughout large office spaces so ideal.
As there is still a huge demand for wired routers in the market, without anyone actually addressing this need, the BlueGadgetTooth team decided to tackle this and test out a bunch of wired routers for you so that you can make the best, well informed decision when purchasing your own best wired router this year.
1. Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4
2. Ubiquiti X SFP
3. Mikrotik RB3011 Router
4. Fortinet FortiGate 30E
5. Peplink Balance 20
6. Zyxel VPN Firewall
For Small Businesses
7. Cisco Systems
In today’s world, where everyone is mostly wireless, security is a factor that concerns many. There is only so much you can do to keep your network safe and secure when you go wireless. There can be hackers, people who can connect to your network and disrupt it if they so choose, much easier than getting into a wired network.
For many people, this is a major concern. Whether it is for large multinational corporations, companies, business operations or even the average Joe who just wants to keep his home network safe, a wired router is the way to go.
Not only safety, but speed is something that attracts people to buying wired routers. If you’re an avid gamer, you don’t want subpar speeds and there are many variables that could affect your wireless speed. To avoid those pitfalls, gaming enthusiasts simply go for wired routers that give you multiple advantages over wireless – like optimum speeds that leave wireless speeds hanging behind in the dust, lower latency and a stable connection that you won’t have to worry about.
With so many gadgets geared towards the gaming market, it stands to reason that gamers would opt for wired connections and wired routers to combat enemies in a virtual world, or to conquer new lands or even to take down the enemy during peak hours.
With a wired connection, you don’t have to worry about obstacles or objects or factors that could affect your speed. With a wireless connection, you have to ensure that you keep your router away from places with high amount of disturbances like your kitchen, which would be running with multiple gadgets on the 2.4GHz band, which could slow down your connection, if your work space is near there.
With a wired connection, you simply plug in your device and you’re good to go with speeds that seem like you could travel to the outer edges of space as we know it.
When you’re in the middle of a heated battle and the tides of battles seem to be turning in your favour, you don’t want slow response times to the events in the game. This could potentially mean a loss for you – and gamers know that this is a death call. If you think that this will only be of interest to gamers, think again. The stock world who operate on stock markets on a daily basis appreciate minimizing latency, as this is a place where fortunes can be made or changed in a matter of milliseconds.
Having an improvement in network speeds could make a difference in your work and give you that added edge to be one up over your competition.
Just when you thought that this sounds like a good deal, we must make you aware of the drawbacks of a wired router.
Due to it being wired, you are somewhat restricted to a certain working space and do not enjoy the freedom of mobility a wireless connection can give you.
It does take money and resources to lay down wires and cables throughout your office space, and the option to add multiple devices easily is not there as compared to getting connected to a wireless network.
As a business, you want to make your space as customer friendly as possible. Offering a wireless connection could bring in more business, especially if you are in the service industry like a cafe. Wireless connections could be an asset to a business, while a wired connection could deter potential customers.
Users can share files easily with multiple devices that are connected to a wireless network as opposed to a wired connection which restricts the amount of connections by the number of connection ports. This also restricts the number of users that can be on the network.
With most of us being mobile on our smartphones, a wired connection makes it harder to instantly transfer a picture taken on your phone to your computer.
The UbiquintiEdgeRouter 4 is a high-capacity router for streaming on multiple devices simultaneously, making it an ideal choice in just about every household, making it our Editor’s Choice for best wired router. The EdgeRouter 4 is designed for versatility, letting you wall mount it if you would like or let it sit on a shelf, desk, or table. It has three Ethernet Ports (10/100/1000 Mbps) and one SFP Port, making it one of the best wired routers that you can get. It is fanless with an internal PSU as well.
Performance-wise, the EdgeRouter 4 is meant to allow for different devices to stream through it at the same time without any lagging. It is capable of routing 3.4 million packets per second with a line rate of 4 Gbps, showing that this could be the fastest wired router out there. If you are not tech savvy, this non wireless router might be a little bit heavy to set-up, but once you have it up and going, it should be easy to maintain. There is also a set-up wizard that should be able to get you started, but you will still need some level of tech knowledge to make use of all of the features.
Because of the amount of streaming that it can handle, the EdgeRouter 4 is great for households with multiple streaming devices or for those who stream video games regularly, taking on heavy streaming traffic without slowing it down. Likewise, the EdgeRouter 4 can handle a small business’s amount of traffic as well, easily taking on a variety of traffic smoothly. You can do this by setting up multiple DHCP servers to assign IP ranges throughout the different subnets, separating out the different devices and letting this wired router perform efficiently.
The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter x is our Editor’s Choice for the best budget friendly wired router because no matter what feature you are looking for, chances are, this model has it. When we tested this out, we didn’t think it would fare so well, and didn’t have high hopes that we would actually consider using it. How we were surprised.
From helping to reduce dropped calls through our VOIP phone by accessing the QoS feature to the connection to having an easy peasy set up process thanks to the Wizard tab, the Ubiquiti ER X was our choice for the best wired router. The price itself was a huge selling point, being cheaper than most routers created for the internet consumer market.
Of course, we knew what we were doing, perhaps if you are not extremely tech savvy, you may take a little more time with setting it up, but when you’re done, you’ll see how easy it is to manage. Mapping a static address with the Ubiquiti is way easier than with other routers and becomes very user friendly after you’ve completed the set up stage.
The reliability of this device knocked our socks off. The connection was super stable, offering speeds that just about touched our maximum theoretical speed advertised by our ISP – and I’m telling you, that is unbelievable.
You should keep in mind to select DHCP in the WAN2LAN2 wizard, and then select either the 0 or 5 port to connect it to your modem, 5 being for fiber connections.
If you are an advanced user – and we’re guessing you are, if you are checking out wired routers, then you will love the access to advanced features that could make a world of difference in your internet experience. The 24x7 VPN on this model, combined with the bargain price makes this a true winner, hands down.
If you are in the market for a high performance wired router, then the Mikrotik RB3011UIAS-RM might be the ideal choice to meet your needs. Designed for functionality, the RB3011 has ten Gigabit ports that have been divided into two switch groups. The LCD touchscreen display makes it easier for the average Joe/ Jane to navigate through the web interface which is quite straightforward, making this user friendly in some aspects, even though you do need some experience with dealing with network equipment.
The RB3011 is actually the first of the Mikrotik line to run an ARM architecture, which means a higher CPU performance than ever before. There is also a SFP cage as well as a full-sized USB 3.0 port, giving you a direct line to the speed that you need. The CPU has a nominal frequency of 1.4 GHz with a core count of two.
The RAM itself is a 1 GB with Ethernet ports of 10/100/1000 without even breaking a sweat. The DPI does cause a hit to the performance, but if you configure the rest of the router well, any dip won’t be noticeable. Even with the DPI enabled, the RB3011 can still easily handle Gigabit WAN.
The BlueGadgetTooth team realized that this wired router does have a lot of customizable configuration features as well, but you have to know what you are doing in order to get the most out of it. There is a set-up wizard if you want only the most basic features, but you will get the most power out of it if you can configure the router manually.
Also, if you are looking to make your connection more efficient, this wired router can really give a helping hand in cutting down your CPU usage. Whereas an earlier wired router used to really clog up our CPU usage, at times taking it to 80% as an average, with the Mikrotik RB3011UIAS-RM, we managed to bring down the CPU usage to around 14%. That’s a huge jump, no matter which way you look at it.
This wired router is great for busy households and small businesses or even going so far as home-based businesses. The RB3011 is good at routing traffic of the FTTH and VPNs. Admittedly; this is not a good choice for anyone looking for an easy router setup as it is not intuitive at all. There is a learning curve involved to get the most effective usage, but once you have gotten your hands a little dirty, it is an amazing wired router.
Home security and keeping your private home networks safe is becoming paramount, especially in today’s day and age where hackers and other malicious users are trying t gain confidential info on a daily basis. If you are looking for better or guaranteed security from your wired router, the Fortinet FortiGate is exactly what you need. The FortiOS 5 is an integrated set of essential security technology, protecting all of your applications and your data.
To give you an idea, NASDAQ uses Fortinet to protect the huge amounts of transactions that take place daily. Just knowing this makes the BlueGadgetTooth team rest a little easier.
With its Fortinet Enterprise Firewall Solution, you will get end-to-end network security with only one platform, one network security operating system, and a unified policy management, resulting in the best firewall protection that you can get from any wired router on the market.
The speed of this router is rated for 950Mbps, which is higher than you will get from most ISPs. You can also access the VPN remotely to alter any settings that you might need to when you are away. That plus the scheduling makes it a nice choice for controlling what is hooked up to the router and when specific devices can access the internet.
Because the FortiGate is all about network security, this is the best wired router that you can get for the highest security needs. Not everyone will need this type of security at home, but it depends on the type of information that you are utilizing. For businesses that need to maintain privacy and security, including HIPAA compliance, this router will have just what you need, keeping all personal information locked down.
It might be a little extreme security for the basic home user, but it comes down to what you need. Because the scheduling functionality of the FortiGate is reliable, this might be a nice choice for households that have children and need to control when they can use specific devices, specifically shutting devices down at night.
The Peplink Balance 20 is the best wired router you can get with a dual-WAN design. The load-balancing functionality of this is meant to give you the most balance use of the bandwidth, whether you are downloading, uploading, browsing, or even streaming, allocating bandwidth appropriately to what needs it most. There are 7 Ethernet ports and 4 LAN ports to work with as well. For a business that depends on a reliable connection, the Peplink Balance 20 is a wired router that works great out of the box while offering error free load balancing that will knock your socks off!
This dual-WAN wired router allows you to enable both WANs at once without any kind of certificate errors. There is a cold standby in place, so it does take a while to get the second WAN started up and get the IP set up for it. Once that is going, however, you’re all set.
The Peplink Balance 20 is made for balancing, allowing it to work out the most efficient use of the bandwidth through bandwidth aggregation. There are seven different algorithms that work to balance out the connections, giving the heavy bandwidth to one connection and spreading out the more general internet browsing through the other connection, keeping them separated and powerful. There are priority settings as well, giving the most bandwidth to the devices that you want to have it the most.
Having an impressive amount of features, you can do almost anything with this router, apart from flying yourself to the moon.
The Peplink Balance 20 is designed for home offices or users that need a bit of extra power. This wired router can balance up to 13 internet connections, which means that it would handle a busy, tech-savvy household or home office, but might not be enough to tackle a business. This Peplink router is actually easy to configure as well, so it would work for less tech savvy users as well as users who want to get the best bandwidth balancing.
Every business needs to carefully scrutinize and obtain the best wired router for their business to keep all confidential data secure without compromising on network performance. You need to ensure that the Gigabit ports are all high performance so that you can complete work, whether it is huge data transfers, graphic design with constant exchange of ideas or simply want to be on top of your game.
The Zyxel Generation Firewall USG20 offers a myriad of features that makes it very attractive for any business. When we tried to install it, we found that the configuration was easy, perhaps the browser based interface made it simpler to navigate through the process.
When it comes to performance as well, the Zyxel outshone other wired routers. While we had moment where we would have to reboot the routers or even instances where we had unresponsive GUI’s, this router gave us no worries.
The USG20 can also block websites that you deem inappropriate. So if you want to make sure that your employees are only focusing on the job at hand, and want to remove the temptation of distractions, you can get certain sites blocked – like Facebook or other social media sites that can take precious time away from work.
It is admittedly, pricier than the other best wired routers mentioned in this guide, but optimized performance does come at a steeper price as compared to one with value for money. When it comes to business, you really don’t want to cut corners only to find out that you’re losing more money in the long run due to the lack of security or performance features.
It has 6 ports – 4x LAN, 1 SFP fiber and 1 gigabit WAN port, with 90Mbps encrypted VPN for your device to office connectivity, office to office connections and even secure remote access. When it comes to speed, it does not fail and you will find that you are getting lightning fast speeds which will leave days of lags and constantly loading images a thing of the past.
The set up process is easier than you think. Better than other wired routers, but it can be easy to mess up the process if you don’t have a clue on what you’re doing. Fortunately, if something goes wrong, simply set the RESET button and try over. It took our team about an hour to get the whole network back on track, from scratch to finish.
The BlueGadgetTooth team felt this was a good option for our company, and the VLAN configuration process was pretty much straightforward and intuitive, making it a simple process for us. Simple speed tests revealed excellent speeds, and the throughput from LAN to WAN was incredible!
But a heads up – you have to get your VPN client separately. So that could be an added expense.
Great for homes and small businesses.
Many businesses are spread over various floors, with computers on different floor levels, all trying to get the job done. Hardwiring is the key to efficiency and speed, with many advantages over wireless – but what are your options?
Ethernet, by far, is the most common way to getting a wired network connected. You have options from using the Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and the new Cat7 standards which offer speeds ranging from the lax 10Gbps on the Cat7 cable, which is the most recent standard to 1Gbps on a Cat5e cable.
These cables can range in size as well – from a few meters to a hundred meters or more. Shorter wires may be great for connecting your router to a device in close range, but the recommended maximum length for your Cat cable is 100 meters. This can ensure that your whole house or business space can be hardwired, and can connect many devices.
Not many people are fans of spending both time and resources to get the entire space hardwired. Powerline cables are the second option. Instead of having to lay out a whole new set of wires, you can use the electrical wiring that already exists throughout your house or office space. All you need are Powerline adaptors which will be plugged into wall sockets near your device and your router.
You will still need Ethernet cables to connect the device and router to the Powerline adaptors, but this saves you time and effort. You will get a reliable connection with Powerline adaptors, and the upside is that you get wired speeds with the benefit of a wireless connection in the sense that you don’t need to lay down a whole bunch of wires.
The downside is that the speeds are the not the same as Ethernet wired standards.
In just about every network out there, you will find a network router, network firewall, and a network switch. They are necessary for proper functionality of your network, whether you are operating at home or at work.
Let’s talk about a network switch first. The switch controls the data frames by learning the source and designation of MAC (media access control) addresses, storing them in a table for future use. That way, the connection is faster the next time since it already knows where it is headed.
The router is, of course, your connection to your ISP and what connects all of the devices within your network. It is a given that anyone needs a router, but did you know that Layer 3 switches have the functionality of a router? Most modern wired routers also have internal switches that will keep track of the data for you within needing a separate network switch.
The firewall is the security guard for your network, keeping a barrier set up between your devices and the internet itself. It will keep you safe from outside attacks while keeping your information internal and not shared with the world. The firewall is usually working while the routers and switches are passing information back and forth, keeping out anything that might seem risky.
The wired router, network switch, and firewall are all necessary to have your network work well and safely, each having a specific role to keep the information flowing smoothly, but also flowing safely.
The right wired router for you is not going to be the right one for everyone. Our editor’s choice for a wired router has the best connectivity that you can get, but it is not easy for users who are not tech savvy. If you are looking at wired routers, but do not want to fiddle with the configurations and setups, wired routers like the UbiquintiEdge Router are probably too complicated to consider for the average user.
Realistically, you need to think about what you are doing online before you decide one wired router is better than another. If you are using it for a home office, you might not need the same high powered streaming capabilities as someone using it for gaming would, but your security needs are going to be higher. You should also think about how many users you have working on the router at any given time. If it is a lot, that is when you should be looking at dual-WAN wired routers, like the Peplink Balance that can balance out the bandwidth to meet everyone’s needs.
Consider your router needs and with various options all given in this guide by the BlueGadgetTooth team to help you choose, choose wisely!
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.