Gone are the days when people had to compromise on the poor internet service because of the shortage of modems and routers. Nowadays, the market is flooded with numerous smart gadgets that act as a bridge between electronic devices and internet networks. Each of them has a different working principle.
Internet service providers charge a lot when they give a router for rent with the internet service to their customers. To lessen your expenses, it’s essential. Plus, while purchasing, you have to be careful regarding the selection of the equipment because you need a gadget that stands out well on all requirements.
So, which is the best budget-friendly fiber optic router? Netgear Nighthawk R6700 should be the priority because of multiple reasons mentioned in the review below . This device is available at an economical price, however there are plenty of other options as well to explore.
Does A Fiber Optic Connection Require A Separate Modem?
No doubt, a fiber optic connection offers robust performance with marvelous security. But the drawback is the technology is expensive and needs fiber wiring instead of coaxial one. Plus, with the fiber optic internet, a modem is not needed. It uses a specialized device named Optical Network Terminal (ONT).
An ONT works similar to the modem. But instead of optimizing wired connectivity, it uses infrared light pulses and fiber optic cable for communication. Connect the router with the ONT to get the most out of your broadband.
How Did We Conduct The Test?
In market, we can locate several routers. To make our selection valid, we opt for top 10 equipment for testing. Then we narrow down the results to offer the best among all.
Signal strength affects the connection with the cellular tower. Strong signal strength is correlated with the high amount of data transfer. A router must provide high-powered transmission for reliable and efficient communication. All of the 4 devices listed are equipped with excellent signal strength.
To measure the performance of these routers, we did a quick speed test. We classified routersinto different categories based on these results and presented the best 4 ones in our article.
Fiber optic internet is more secure and reliable than ordinary ones because of not producing electromagnetic interference. Data is transmitted in the form of ciphertext. Without a cipher on the receiving end, a user can’t decrypt and read.
How to Pick the Best Fiber Optic Router? A Quick Guide to Make the Hassle-Free Selection
Purchasing a router is undoubtedly a hectic task. But to make your purchase easier, we researched and gathered some points which you need to keep in your mind.
Also Read: GCI Approved Modems for Fast Internet
Routers vary in price. How much you should spend on the router depends on the specifications and requirements you want.
You need to ensure that the gadget you are buying have enough features to meet your needs.
Almost every router is compatible with any internet service provider. But examination is essential, especially if you are opting modem-router combo.
Still, a router should be compatible with the internet connection you have. It can be done by reading the specifications of the router while matching them with broadband specs.
A router should deliver the speed that it advertises. Always choose a device that offers more speed than your internet plan. It gives you the advantage of experiencing robust connectivity when multiple devices are connected. Most routers display speed combinations on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
But both frequencies can’t be used at the same time. So, it’s better to analyze how much speed a router can deliver at a particular frequency. Connect the device directly to the Ethernet port if you require reliable and smooth functionality.
Quality of Service (QoS)
QoS is utilized to prioritize one device over another. If you are a gamer and require speedy performance throughout the use, you can prioritize your Xbox over the other devices connected with the Wi-Fi.
Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO)
This technology allows your router to support wired and wireless connections effectively. Without the inclusion of MU-MIMO, your router is bound to transfer bandwidth to a single device only. But with the MU-MIMO, you can send and receive bandwidth to a number of devices simultaneously.
An Ethernet port comes with a speed of 1Gbps. If you are not planning to extend your internet package, ignore this point and continue reading further. But if yes, then go for a port having the speed of 2.5G or look for Ethernet aggregation (aggregating multiple Ethernet ports into a single logical link).
Top 4 Best Fiber Optic Routers
|Asus RT-AX88U||Motorola MG8702||Netgear Nighthawk R6700||TP-Link Archer AX50 (AX3000)|
Easy to install.
8 gigabit LAN ports with the link aggregation.
45+ devices can be connected at a time.
Establish a steady connection. 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
MU-M IMO technology to manage multi-device connectivity.
|Induced with the dual-core processor of 1GHz.|
Comes with the beamforming feature.
Can handle 25 devices at once.
Active QoS feature.
4 gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
1. Asus RT-AX88U Wi-Fi 6 – Best Gaming Router
- Features with the 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard for effective performance and throughput.
- Ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds up to 6000Mbps to handle network traffic.
- Smooth performance from the distance of 2700 sq ft.
- Allow 45+ devices to get connected at once.
|Connectivity Technology||Wireless, Wired, Wi-Fi, USB|
|Compatible Devices||Laptop, Smartphone, Tablets|
|Frequency Band Class||Dual-Band|
The first Wi-Fi 6 router we ever tested is Asus Rt-AX88U. It delivers fast file-transfer speeds with efficient performance.
It comes with 4 removable antennas. Chassis is built with premium quality plastic, and a Matte Black finish provides it an elegant look.
A router functions marvelously in terms of speed and performance. You can consider this one to get the most out of your fiber optic connection. On testing, we figured out the equipment can offer 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz band when linked with the Wi-Fi 6 supported devices. With the Wi-Fi 5 enabled devices, you can easily hit the speed of 300Mbps.
Further, it comes with the 8 ports to support gigabit plans. If you want a reliable and steady connection for streaming or gaming, you can link your gaming consoles directly with the RT-AX88U and enjoy lag-free gaming.
Plus Point: This dual-band router is designed with the MU-MIMO technology, which can transfer and receive information from four devices simultaneously.
|Its easy to install.||It requires deep pockets to spend.|
|It comes with 8 LAN ports.|
|Robust QoS setting for better functioning.|
2. Motorola MG8702 – Best Modem Router Combo
- 4 gigabit Ethernet ports to maximize performance.
- Comes with the DOCSIS 3.1 advanced technology.
- Both IPv4 and IPv6 support.
- Built-in MU-MIMO to manage multiple device connections.
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi, Ethernet|
|Wireless Communication Standard||2.4 GHz Radio Frequency|
|Frequency Band Class||Dual-Band|
Have you been looking for a modem-router combo to cut down your expenses? Motorola MG8702 is the best fit for your need.
This performance gadget is equipped with the latest DOCSIS version of 3.1 that is suitable for 1Gigabit internet services while offering robust connections at a very affordable price.
While digging a bit deep, we found that it has a wireless power boost and 4×4 MU-MMO technology that promises to provide stable signals and allow lag-free 4K and HD streaming and gaming to all the connected devices simultaneously.
Plus point: To enhance your browsing, this equipment grants you an opportunity by giving 4 gigabit LAN Ethernet ports along with the facility of IPv4 and IPv6 support.
|Its easy to install.||Automatically disconnect sometimes.|
|It has excellent signal strength.|
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 – Excellent Router For Large Homes
- Manufactured with a dual-core processor of 1GHz, which improves the device’s functionality.
- An internet-based application is built to control R6700 effectively.
- Offers an exceptionally long range. It performs better than the other routers at 10 to 25 feet away.
- With smart parental control, it can handle up to 25 devices.
|Frequency Band Class||Dual-Band|
Netgear Nighthawk R6700 is a high-performance router equipped with a 1Ghz dual-core processor. The R6700 belongs to the Nighthawk series and uses the same housing design as its predecessor, R7000.
It can reach speed up to 450Mbps at the frequency of 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on 5GHz bandwidth.
During testing, we analyze its exterior is similar to the R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk. Its internal design and components are also identical to R7000. The significant difference we spotted is the positioning, number, and type of ports this model has.
While comparing to the RT-AX88U, R6700 has three antennas only, limiting the data transfer and eventually leading to low bandwidth. However, in our testing the router performs marvelously with the fiber optic connection during gaming.
Plus Point: Antennas combined with beamforming to boost speed and enhance reliability and network coverage.
|It has an attractive appearance.||It requires frequent updates.|
|Its reliable and secure.|
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for wired connectivity.
- Wi-Fi 6 technology ensures 3 times faster speedy performance and up to 75% lower latency.
- It supports both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.
- Active QoS feature to set up priority to particular devices.
|Connectivity Technology||Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet|
|Frequency Band Class||Dual-Band|
It’s a moderately priced device with high-end performance. Equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology and provides smooth and speedy throughput in our test.
The Archer AX50 is very similar to the AX10 in appearance. With the two-tone glossy and matte black finish body, it stands distinct in a crowd. Comprised of four adjustable antennas to offer high bandwidth.
This 4 stream dual-band router can be reached to exceptional speeds up to 2402 Mbps on the 5GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2. 4GHz band. With this incredible speed, you can enjoy an ultra-smooth, lag-free excellent gaming experience that you never had before.
Plus point: With the OFDMA technology, you can easily communicate more data to more devices at the same time.
|It has anti-malware software for protection.||It doesn’t support WPA3.|
|It provides excellent signal strength.|
Fiber optic internet services are specially optimized for being the best and most secure. But they are required to work with the special modems (called ONT device) to meet their speed requirements.
But if you search for a router, gateways, or a modem-router combo, to make things easier, you can purchase Motorola MG8702, a perfect device that attaches with your ONT device and works as a router.