For a medium size house, investing a $200 for a wireless AC2400 router (such as Nighthawk X4, Linksys 8350 and Asus AC87U) to build a high speed wifi network is costly if it is just to support two laptops, a desktop and some Android and iOS mobile devices. For this need, investing around $100 for a wireless AC1200 router is adequate considering not many high intensive bandwidth applications running all the time such as streaming HD or Super HD video and online gaming.
Wireless AC1200 Routers
Various models of wireless AC1200 router available in the market you can purchase. With this wireless AC1200 technology, the router can deliver total bandwidth of up to 1200Mbps. It is adequate for sharing the bandwidth with your networking devices including couple of laptops, couple of desktops and iOS or Android mobile devices. The following paragraphs are list of most popular wireless AC1200 routers in the market.
TP-link Archer C5 router
TP-link Archer C5 model is designed almost the same as other last generation TP-link router models such as Archer C7 AC1750 router which are designed with three external antennas, and almost all of them are shiny black, though there are one or two is white including the new Archer C9 AC1900 router.
- Total bandwidth up to 1.2Gbps
- Six antennas, 3x external antennas and 3x internal antennas
- Gigabit interfaces and two USB ports for sharing printer, storage and other multimedia devices
- TP-LINK Tether app
- FTP server. You can access the files stored in the USB attached storage by means of FTP remote access.
- No USB 3.0 port
- No Beamforming compared to Archer C8 and C9
The last generation of TP-link routers when you compare with the previous generation ones is that they come with Tether apps to let you manage your network from the palm of your hand via your mobile devices including Android or iOS devices. This is similar to that of Linksys Smart wifi apps or Netgear Genie apps.
So far the rating is excellent, it receives 4.7 out of 5 star customer ratings. It is worth to purchase this Archer C5 for your small house network.
Asus offers products that are worthy to consider when you come to choose which networking devices to select. The products released in the market always get good responses by its loyal users around the world, including this Asus RT-AC56U.
- Powered by dual core Cortex-A9 800MHz with 128MB flash and 256MB DDR3 RAM
- 4x antennas (2 x 2.4 GHz and 2 x 5 GHz) internal antennas with AiRadar beamforming technology.
- Two USB ports, 1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
- Cloud feature with AiCloud app to let you sync, share, and stream files remotely via internet
- AsusWRT a dashboard user interface for easy network management
- VPN server enabled
- Metallic stand to let you place on the table
- Less favorable customer rating due to particular issues
If you compare Asus RT-AC56U with TP-link Archer C5 you can find that the antenna design is different. TP-link designs Archer C5 with 3x internal antennas and 3x external antennas, on the other hand Asus designs RT-AC56U with 4x internal antennas.
Asus has been getting a place in the hearts of users, some of the last flagship products receive nice rating arguably above average rating compared to other wireless routers in its class. You can mention Asus RT-N66U wireless N900 router which became best seller in Amazon with 4.3 out of 5 star customer rating, or you may consider Asus AC66U wireless AC1750 router and still more.
What about this Asus RT-AC56U? so far, this router receives less favor rating than the previous models – 3.8 out of 5 stars average customer rating, price is around $86.
Netgear becomes aggressive networking vendor in producing wireless routers and other networking products in order to become the most sophisticated vendor in releasing excellent products. You cam mention Netgear Nighthawk X6 or Netgear Nighthawk X4 which become flagship products that are successful in the market. In the wireless AC1200 router class, Netgear releases R6220.
- Powered by 880MHz processor with 128 MB flash and 128 MB RAM
- Goof performance, ideal for large home
- Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and one USB 2.0 port
- Netgear Genie Apps to let you manage your network easily from mobile devices
- DoS attack protection, wifi security and guest network
- Doesn’t support beamforming technology
- USB 3.0 port is not available
If you compare Netgear R6220 with Asus RT-AC56U there is apparent difference in atenna designs, and the number of USB port is only one USB 2.0 port as opposed with Asus AC56U with 2 USB ports.
This router is ideal solution for your mobile devices in home including Android, iOS and other tablets as well as laptops. It doesn’t matter with the absence of USB 3.0 port, if you don’t need high speed storage – just standard USB disk is appropriate for sharing files across the network.
For better performance for multiple mobile devices you may consider Netgear R6400 with ReadyCloud USB Access.
Linksys WRT AC1200
Like other networking vendors such as Netgear, Asus and D-link, Linksys offers various models of wireless router with various budget you can afford to purchase. One of Linksys products in wireless AC1200 class is WRT AC1200 which has the spirit of the legend of famous WRT series in the past. Unlike other Linksys series, this model is based on open source Linux-based firmware ideal for developers as well as ordinary people that love wifi network.
- Based on wireless AC1200 with Linux-based firmware
- 2x high performance external antennas
- Powered by 1.3GHz dual core processor
- 4x Gigabit LAN and 1x Gigabit WAN Ports
- 1x USB 3.0 port and 1x e-SATA / USB 2.0 combo port
- Linksys Smart Wi-Fi software with Network Map
- No cloud feature
- No beamforming
You can see that the processor powered to this router is as powerful as the one used in some high end router models including wireless AC5300 routers such as Linksys EA9500 AC5400 and Nighthawk X8.
Linksys WRT 1200AC is the younger brother of the famous Linksys WRT 1900AC which is also based on Open source Linux-based firmware.
The last generation of the D-link router products including this DIR-850L are designed with cylinder models with port interfaces in one side and LED light indicators at the opposite side of the ports as the front side. The previous models were designed with flat models with two or three external antennas like other routers in general.
- High performance router ideal for smooth HD video streaming and fast responsive gaming
- Gigabit Ethernet interfaces both WAN (1x) and LAN (4x)
- 1x USB 2.0 port for sharing printer, storage and personal Cloud
- myDlink Shareport a personal cloud feature for disk storage connected to USB port
- single USB 2.0 port, cannot share printer and storage altogether
- doesn’t support beamforming
so far the customer rating is averagely 4.0 out of 5 stars, excellent rating for wireless AC1200 router under $100.
Instead of D-link DIR-850L you might also like high gain version DIR-842. DIR-842 is designed with the same AC1200 wifi technology, however it is designed with high gain antennas. Probably you cannot find any wireless AC1200 routers that come with four high gain external dual band antennas, but this DIR-842 comes with four external antennas like those high end routers such as high speed Linksys WRT AC3200 router and D-link DIR-885L AC3100 router.
D-link is one of the networking vendors that is frequently late in releasing new products with new technology compared with Netgear or Asus. See also new D-link 880L with wireless AC1900 which is released to the market when some of wireless AC1900 routers have been around in the market for months.