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 gigabit 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.
Benefits Of Using A Wired Router
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 only 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.
10 Best Wired Routers (2021)
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
8. Linksys LRT214
9. MikroTix hEX Router
10. Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 10X
What Is A Wired Router?
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.
Where Are Wired Routers Usually Used?
Wired routers are used for businesses for a couple of different reasons. The first is that they are more reliable when it comes to signal, so you are less likely to be kicked out of the network or experience a loss of signal.
The second is that they have better overall security since there is not a wireless transmission sending the data out into the air. They are also generally faster than wireless routers.
Gamers usually prefer wired routers as well. This is because there is a lower ping rate with wired routers as well as a much lower latency than wireless routers.
There is a smaller delay between the router and the device, keeping you in the thick of action when you want to be. The connection also will not be interrupted by outside forces and it is quicker when it comes to streaming with wired routers.
1. Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4 Wired Router
Best Wired Router Overall (Editor's Choice)
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 top non-wireless 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.
2. Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X Gigabit Wired Router
Budget Friendly Home Wired Router
The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter x is our Editor’s Choice for the best budget friendly home 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 budget friendly 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.
3. Mikrotik RB3011UIAS-RM RouterBOARD
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.
4. Fortinet FortiGate 30E Network Security
Security Is Your Priority
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 to 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 gigabit 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.
5. Peplink Balance 20 Dual-WAN Router
Dual WAN Wired Router
The Peplink Balance 20 is the best dual-WAN wired router you can get. 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.
6. Zyxel USG20 VPN Firewall Wired Router
Best Wired Router For Small Business
Every business needs to carefully scrutinize and obtain the best wired router for small 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 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. ZyXEL USG20 is the best small business wired router.
7. Cisco Systems Gigabit VPN Wired Router
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.
8. Linksys LRT214 VPN Wired Router
Small Business Wired Router
One wired router to consider for a business is the Linksys LRT214. This provides a high level of security and easy administrative management.
The Linksys LRT214 offers a reliable level of security and performance. It has OpenVPN Access Server support and users running OpenVPN clients on laptops can easily connect to the network using secure, two-factor authentication. Beyond that, there is an integrated firewall for enhanced security.
You will also notice that this router uses VLAN tagging to route network traffic. This gives network administrators more flexibility and is appropriate for companies and organizations using different floors, buildings, or geographical locations.
The best use of the Linksys LRT214 is small businesses. This router provides a secure network with remote-access VPN capabilities.
This means that various employees can access the network from different employees. Since it does have the two-factor authentication, it is still safe to login to the network from a remote location.
9. MikroTik hEX S Gigabit Ethernet Router
One of the highest quality wired routers that you can get is the MikroTikhEX S. This is a customizable router that offers quite a bit from something that looks like it has just the basics.
Looking at the router’s performance, it does have excellent load-balancing between two WAN connections, if that is what you are going for. It has an 880 MHz CPU, so it should be able to take on whatever you throw at it without melting down. Additionally, the 256 MB RAM can help keep your network moving fast and smoothly.
The router comes with 5 one-Gigabit Ethernet ports to plug in any device that you need to, whether a gaming console or HDTV. There is also a USB 2.0 port, though that is not as quick to use as a USB 3.0. Finally, the data transfer rate for the hEX S router is 470 Mbps, which is decent speed that should work with most internet speed packages.
The hEX S wired router is best for a home network. It has less packet processing power than wired routers that are made for businesses, so it might now work well if you try it in a larger office, though it should be able to handle a small office. It does work best for a home office, however.
10. Ubiquiti Networks EdgeRouter 10X
Another great high-end wired router is the Ubiquiti ER-10X. This is a highly powerful wired router with excellent performance.
The ER-10X is a high performance wired router. It has an impressive 512 MB of RAM and 512 NAND flash storage as well. It comes with 10-1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, a serial console port, and a PoE In Port, as well as a PoE pass through port.
Looking at the router’s CPU, it is an 880 MHz dual-core processor, which means that it should be able to keep up with heavy activity. Finally, the router supports Layer-2 switching and has next-generation performance with up to 260,000 packets per second processing with a line rate of up to 1 Gbps, which should work with most internet speed packages
The ER-10X can work really well for either a home office or a small business. With 10 Ethernet ports, you can really wire in a lot of devices, which can work in either situation.
It does have a powerful CPU to handle a lot of heavy traffic, which you might face in a small business environment. It is really powerful for a home office, but it might just improve your home network’s capabilities. It also uses a centralized management system that can work in either capacity.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Wired Router
The first thing that you should consider when buying a wired router is whether it has the right amount of ports for your usage.
Having the right amount of Ethernet ports can be the difference between having all of the right devices connected and finding yourself frustrated from a lack of available ports.
Think about how many devices you will want to have wired directly into the router when you are shopping as well as whether you will connect a wireless router.
Processor & RAM
The processor and RAM also matter with wired routers. Having a powerful processor can improve the efficiency of your entire network. The faster the processor, the more RAM you will want to give it room to function quickly.
More RAM means more memory, which will limit the amount of data buffering when content is being streamed. Your processor will never be as efficient as it should be with low RAM. You will want at least 256 MB of RAM.
Having a built-in VPN means extra security for your entire network. While the average home network might not be as concerned about it, the truth is that you can’t go wrong having a built-in VPN.
This prevents breeches into your network, keeping the information that you are receiving or storing safe from outsiders. Small business owners will absolutely want a built-in VPN to keep their business as secure and private as possible.
Disadvantages of a Wired Router
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.
Lots of cables
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.
Connection Port Limitation
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.
What Is A Dual Wan Wired Router?
A dual WAN router is made with two internet ports rather than the standard single WAN port. This will allow a single router to connect to two separate sources of internet.
This matters when you cannot have your internet go down for any reasons. That way, you get more reliable internet service. It means have two connections from different ISPs simultaneously with a load balancing feature for an overall better internet experience and improved connectivity.
Different Ways To Connect A Wired Router
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.
How To Troubleshoot A Wired Router
While a wired router network is general more stable than a wireless network, they still can have operating issues that can affect your network.
- Reset the router using the reset button located on the outside of the router.
- Unplug the cables to the router, including the Ethernet and power cables. Also unplug your modem.
- Wait 30 seconds before turning your modem back on. Look for the lights to illuminate on the modem before plugging the router back in.
How To Connect A Wireless Router To A Wired Router For Internet
- Connect an Ethernet cable to an output port on your wired router and an uplink port on your wireless router.
- Turn the routers on.
- Turn on a computer with wireless capability.
- Connect the computer to the new wireless network.
- Go to 192.168.0.1 on a browser. Enter your user name and password for the router.
- Disable the DHCP service to prevent network conflicts between the routers.
- Turn on all of the computers that are connected to the wired router and find their IP addresses.
- In the wireless router’s settings, change the wireless IP address to match the wired router, altering the last number to be different than your computers and the wired router.
Wired Router vs. Network Switch vs. Firewall
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.
Any computer nerd at BlueGadgetTooth will tell you that wired routers are your best bet if you want reliability, strong connectivity, better speeds and better security.
A wired connection will have you playing your best game, transferring files in a jiffy as well as keeping all your data secure.
However, finding the best wired router isn’t so easy. Fortunately, all you have to do is close your eyes and pick up our Editor’s Choice – the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4. It can handle all your gaming requirements as well as support various connected devices to be used simultaneously without sacrificing speed.
If your pocket is a little light, considering there’s a lot of shopping to be done this holiday season, you can choose another Ubiquiti product- the EdgeRouter X.