“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times

Most budget routers only have basic features, so there's not a lot to distinguish one from another just by looking at the specifications on the router's packaging. Cheap routers send data over the 2.4GHz band, although you can spend quite a bit more to get a dual-band router that uses the 5GHz band as well. Any budget router you buy today should be a wireless-n router with maximum theoretical speeds up to 300Mbps (throughput in the real world is far lower, however) and should also include a firewall. Some pricier routers have a USB port to which you can connect an external hard drive or thumb drive, and some also have gigabit Ethernet ports. Those features are rare in budget routers, however.

Standard Bands Supported Firewall USB Port Ethernet Ports
Linksys E1200 estimated price $44
802.11n 2.4GHz Yes No 4x10/100Mbps
D-Link DIR-605L Cloud estimated price $40
802.11n 2.4GHz Yes No 4x10/100Mbps
Rosewill RNX-N300RT estimated price $28
802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Yes No 4x10/100Mbps
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Also see our full Wireless Routers review:
  1. Best Cheap Wireless Routers
  2. Wireless Router Reviews
  3. Wireless Router Range, Security
  4. Discount Wireless Routers Features Comparison Table