The D-Link DIR-605L (starting at $40, Amazon) bears all the hallmarks of a best cheap router. A favorable D-Link DIR-605L review by CNET cites its stability, reliability, affordability, and remote management as positives. It hedges a bit, though, noting that it lacks the punch necessary for smooth video streaming; tests by this expert measured throughput at only about 41Mbps. The router's speed doesn't impress an expert at Macworld either, who also views it as a downer for heavy video streaming but fast enough for modest home networks. This review is big on the remote management interface (often referred to as "cloud-based"), which comes in the form of a web interface or an app called Mydlink Lite that you can use on an iPhone or Android-based phone to monitor your home network from wherever you happen to be. The CNET review notes, however, that the app doesn't give you complete control over all of the router's settings, such as the parental control feature. Consumers, who posted D-Link DIR-506L reviews at Amazon are confirmed boosters and consider the price-to-performance ratio to be outstanding.
The D-Link DIR-605L is a basic model whose distinguishing feature is the cloud-based remote management. It's a wireless-n router that supports wireless-g connections for older wireless devices, runs on the 2.4GHz band, and has four 10/100 Ethernet ports. Like the other budget routers we researched, the DIR-605L contains a built-in firewall and supports WPA/WPA2 security protocols. It sports a WPS feature that makes it easy to connect other wireless devices to your network. For setup, the D-Link DIR-605L includes a simple instruction guide rather than a CD.
If controlling the router from afar is your thing, the DIR-605L is the budget buy for you. But even if you don't anticipate taking advantage of this feature, this router won't disappoint. It delivers where it counts -- signal strength, reliability, adequate throughput, and easy setup.