Best Wired Routers

Updated: Jan 23, 2024 1:29 PM
best wired router featured image that shows the top three best router models

Considering how ubiquitous wireless routers are today, anyone shopping for the best wired router is most likely a power internet user. Whether that means you’re streaming content, playing video games, or simply uploading and downloading large files, a wired router will give you a consistent and reliable connection and ethernet-based internet access.

While a wired router functions nearly identically to a wireless router, you’ll still need to prioritize a few features during your search. First, you’ll want to ensure that your wired router can meet or exceed your internet plan’s maximum speed output. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that there are enough ethernet and USB ports to connect your wired devices. And of course, it’s vital to pick a router with proper security protocols to protect your local network from hackers and security breaches.

Keep reading our best wired router buying guide to learn more. And if you’re not sure which router is right for you, check out our best router buying guide.

Top Wired Routers

 #1  TP-LINK ER605 Multi-WAN Wired VPN Router


WHY WE LIKE IT: It has five specialized Ethernet ports and can be managed remotely through an app. It is also very secure and comes with a compact metal casing.

  • Very secure
  • Allows for remote management through an app
  • Great port selection
  • May be difficult to set up for some

The TP-Link ER605 is a Multi-WAN wired VPN router with up to five different Gigabit WAN ports, where it features one dedicated WAN port, three WAN/LAN ports, and one dedicated LAN port. Thanks to its support for multiple VPN connections, it is also a highly secure router. Since it also comes with features such as flexible traffic control, users will be able to manage network bandwidth while also optimizing usage for each connection. The ER605 also has a compact design for easy placement and a durable metal casing for different environments. However, some users have reported several difficulties with its firmware.

The router also comes with a robust firewall to keep your network and data protected from virtual attacks and a built-in speed test function for users to establish how fast their network is. Owners will also appreciate the convenience of operating the router from anywhere through remote management, and this is thanks to the use of the Omada Software Defined Networking Platform.

#2  TRENDnet TW100-S4W1CA 4-Port Broadband Router

Award: Best for Multiple Users

WHY WE LIKE IT: It can handle Internet connections for up to 253 users and functions as a Firewall to protect the PC against malicious attacks.

  • Supports a large number of Internet connections
  • Easy to set up
  • Allows for remote management
  • Does not block external IP addresses

The TRENDnet TW100-S4W1CA is a small wired router with a data transfer rate of up to 100Mbps and four Ethernet ports for expanded connectivity. The router is ideal for users who have access to a high-speed Cable/xDSL Internet Connection and includes a Network Address Translation (NAT) to prevent any PC hacks. Setting it up is also pretty easy, thanks to its easy web browser configuration, and since it also allows for remote management, it becomes even more convenient to operate. Unfortunately, some might not like that it does not block external IP addresses.

This 4-port broadband router also supports multiple VPN pass-throughs and allows up to 253 users to access the Internet through a single ISP account. Users will also appreciate its support for both virtual servers and static routes and its provision for MAC address control to allow or deny access.

#3  Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4

Award: Best for Ease of Setup

WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy to use thanks to the intuitive EdgeOS user interface and includes a Power over Ethernet port for routing power to Wireless Access Points.

  • Designed specifically for high performance
  • Extensive configuration options
  • Includes dual WAN failover functionality
  • Slow customer support

The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4 is a powerful and reliable networking device that offers exceptional performance and advanced features. With its impressive hardware specifications, including a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, the router delivers fast and stable connections for both home and small business environments. The EdgeRouter 4 boasts a user-friendly web interface, allowing for easy configuration and management of network settings.

This router also supports advanced routing protocols, VPN functionality, and firewall features, giving users greater control over their network security. While the learning curve might be steep for beginners, the EdgeRouter 4 is an excellent choice for tech-savvy individuals seeking a robust and customizable networking solution.

#4  MikroTik RB760IGS hEX S Ethernet Router

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a decent data transfer rate and runs on a feature-rich Operating System. This best business router is ideal for small businesses and very compact in its size.

  • Runs on the feature-rich RouterOS
  • Compact in size
  • Has an SFP and Power over Ethernet port
  • Not ideal for beginners

The MikroTik RB760iGS is a very compact Gigabit Ethernet router that is ideal for users that prioritize super fast connections. It has five Ethernet ports and relies on a powerful dual-core CPU for efficient functioning. This small wired router stands out from the rest thanks to the inclusion of an SFP port (Small Form-factor Pluggable Module) for SFP transceivers and a Power over Ethernet port that powers both the router and other connected devices. Unfortunately, using this router has a certain level of complexity which might frustrate beginners.

The RB760iGS has a data transfer rate of up to 470Mbps and runs the RouterOS. This OS provides access to a wide range of features, such as many different VPN protocols, port aggregation (combining multiple network connections for increased throughput), and both firewall and NAT control.

#5  ZyXEL USG Flex 500 Router

Award: Best for Multiple Wired Connections

WHY WE LIKE IT: It can handle Internet connections for up to 253 users and functions as a Firewall to protect the PC against malicious attacks.

  • Advanced, multi-layered security options
  • 8 Ethernet ports, 2 USB ports
  • Device Insight provides better usage visibility
  • Disappointing throughput
  • Firmware updates can be tricky

The Zyxel USG Flex 500 router is a standout networking solution that offers impressive performance and robust features. One of its key strengths lies in its advanced security features, including deep packet inspection, VPN support, and content filtering, ensuring a secure and protected network environment. The router’s versatile connectivity options, with multiple WAN and LAN ports, enable seamless integration of various devices and networking technologies.

This wired router also offers a compact size, which makes it ideal for small office spaces or home networks with limited room. The USG Flex 500 delivers reliable and stable connections, making it a reliable choice for businesses and individuals seeking a powerful and feature-rich router.

#6 TP-Link ER605 V2 Router

Award: Best for High-Speed Connectivity

WHY WE LIKE IT: This router offers an affordable price, reliable high-speed performance, and an easy setup process. Plus, it gives you stable connections and tons of essential features for any home or office network.

  • Upwards of 950 Mbps throughput
  • Five Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Compatible with TP-Link’s Omada management system
  • Disappointing VLAN support

The TP-Link ER605 V2 Router is an excellent networking solution that delivers reliable performance and essential features at an affordable price. With its user-friendly interface and straightforward setup process, it is well-suited for both home and small office networks. The router provides stable and consistent connections, ensuring smooth internet access for multiple devices simultaneously.

This wired router also offers a compact design, allowing for easy placement and minimal space requirements. While it may not offer advanced features found in higher-end models, the TP-Link ER605 V2 excels in delivering dependable performance and affordability, making it a practical choice for those seeking a reliable router without breaking the bank.

Beginner’s Guide to Wired Routers

What Are Wired Routers?

Technically speaking, any mainstream router — including those that support wireless internet access like the best router for Cox internet service — could be a wired router if you only rely on an ethernet port rather than Wi-Fi. But wired routers are network devices that don’t offer wireless connectivity. These routers only offer wired connections via ethernet, WAN, and LAN connections.

The benefit is that you’ll experience download speeds close to your promised internet plan. Note that in real-world settings (especially for residential customers), it’s nearly impossible to get the speeds advertised by your internet service provider (ISP). But with a wired router, since your device is directly connected to the internet point of access, your speeds will generally be faster than someone on a wireless network.

The total number of devices you can connect to a wired router is going to depend on the available ports offered. Better still, wired routers often are preferable if you’re concerned about security. Because there’s a direct physical connection between the router and the device, it’s more difficult for hackers to gain entry as compared to a wireless network.

Wired Routers vs. Other Routers

The main difference between a wired router and other routers is that wired routers require physical connections and often lack wireless functionality. In contrast, most routers available on the market today support both wireless and wired connections.

However, wired routers have a few areas where they excel over their wireless counterparts. First, assuming you’re comparing two routers with the same speed specifications, wired routers will almost always outperform wireless models. This is because devices are connected through a dedicated cable directly to the router, resulting in a more consistent connection. They’re not sharing bandwidth or having to manage Quality of Service (QoS) protocols to prioritize one device’s activities over another.

Likewise, wired routers are far more secure than wireless models, making them an excellent choice for anyone concerned about data breaches, like business environments. Unlike wireless internet, which relies on a broadcasted signal that technically anyone within range can access, wired routers only provide internet access through physical connections. In addition to security, you can have even more control over your router and home network through one of the best OpenWRT routers. If you think it’d be more convenient to go with a wireless router, consider the top-rated WiFi router with long range so you aren’t so limited in range.

Yet, there are two areas where wired routers might not be as appealing as a wireless model. First, your total internet access is limited. You can only connect as many devices as you have available ports. And in most cases, you’re not going to have more than a handful of ports. In contrast, many wireless routers can support an astounding number of device connections — with some routers supporting over 200 wireless devices.

Next, a wired router means you need cables. And while that means a stable connection free from lag or congestion, it also means that you need to think about cable length and how you’re going to manage all those wires. If you don’t have access to longer cables, your router needs to be within close proximity to your devices. And even if you do have a longer cable, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to wrangle those wires so that it doesn’t look cluttered.

How Wired Routers Work

Wired routers operate identically to their wireless counterparts. It serves as a go-between for connecting devices on your local network to your ISP’s router. Usually, there’s one main ethernet cable that supports the external connection. Unlike wireless routers, setting up a wired router is typically pretty straightforward.

You simply connect your router to the external ethernet cable and then establish another ethernet connection between your device and the router. Once a physical link is established, you’re now on the network and can access the internet.

Similar to wireless routers, wired routers typically offer security settings that you can control, such as access control lists and firewall support. But if you need more security, you can find models that also provide IPS, malware protection, VPN protocols, hardware encryption, address filtering, and more. There are also many internet security suites available to help prevent malware and other attacks.

Additionally, they can often support multiple business networks, allowing them to offer advanced features like load balancing and link aggregation while still delivering excellent performance.

Why You Should Buy a Wired Router

Even though wireless routers tend to be the standard option for most residential users, there’s an argument to be made for wired routers. In particular, heavy data users and anyone concerned about internet security should look into making the switch to a wired router. That way, they’ll have the fastest router with secure wired connectivity that won’t struggle to handle large amounts of network traffic.

Is a Wired Router Worth Buying?

  • You’re a Power Internet User: Whether it’s because of gaming, streaming entertainment content, or simply sending and receiving large files, if you consistently find that your internet bandwidth is throttled on a wireless network, it might be time to switch to a wired connection.
  • You Want Faster Speeds: Again, most internet consumers are not going to be able to achieve the promoted speeds their ISP promises. But a wired connection is almost always going to be faster and more reliable than a wireless one. For serious gamers, it can be worth investing in a router with 1Gbps speed and advanced settings that give you more administrative control, resulting in an optimal gaming experience.
  • You’re Concerned about Data Breaches: Wireless networks are convenient, but they’re also incredibly easy to breach — especially if people fail to enact basic protocols like changing their router password from the factory preset. In contrast, most wired routers come with enhanced security protocols.

And by default, a wired connection is much harder to breach than a wireless one, so opt for a wired network if you’re after security and attack protection. Even if many of the best Wi-Fi routers come installed with a key feature that allows users to customize their router settings for optimal security, a wired standalone router is still tougher to crack.

Why a Wired Router May Not Be for You

  • You’re Fine with Your Wireless Router: As we mentioned earlier, technically, any router can support a wired connection. Even the most basic wireless router comes with a few ethernet and LAN ports. So, if you’re only concerned with one or two devices having a reliable connection, you’ll usually be fine with a standard wireless VoIP router.
  • You Dislike the Look of Cord Clutter: Wired routers are effective, but they come with clutter. For every device you want to connect to the internet, you need a cable to support it. If you’re not interested in wrangling cords, you might be better off with a wireless router.
  • You Like the Convenience of Wireless Networks: One of the biggest selling points of a wireless network is that you can technically access the internet from anywhere in your home rather than being physically connected and close to your router. If you’re diligent about network security and pick a wireless router with effective QoS support, there’s no reason you can’t achieve a high-speed wireless connection that doesn’t put sensitive data at risk

How Long Will a Wired Router Last?

Similar to its wireless sibling, a wired router has a lifespan of roughly three to five years. While individual mileage can vary, this timespan is usually dependent upon technology innovations. Although WiFi upgrades are usually the biggest issue for wireless routers, with wired routers, you’ll focus on speed and security protocols. In that case, you won’t want a WiFi mesh system for your home setup.

Instead, you’ll need to focus on wired ports. Non-expensive routers with the latest security protocols and power consumption will still allow you to get the best performance without sacrificing your wallet.

As internet speeds continue to excel, you’ll want a quality router that can keep up — especially if you upgrade your internet plan to a faster option. So, that means you’ll need a router for 200Mbps internet speed or higher. Likewise, hackers are always learning how to get around security protocols. And even though most wired routers come with support to keep protocols up to date, eventually, you’ll want to upgrade your router to a newer model with the latest features to keep your network protected.

How to Choose a Wired Router

Shopping for a wired router isn’t that different from shopping for one with wireless capabilities. While you’re not concerned with features such as beamforming or MU-MIMO, you still need to think about the available connections, maximum supported speeds, and security protocols.

Best Wired Routers Key Factors to Consider

  1. What is the maximum supported speed?

Your router is designed to connect you to the internet. So, if you have an internet plan that supports 250 megabits per second (Mbps), you want a router that is at least that fast if not more. One of the biggest draws for a wired router is that you get stable and faster internet connectivity. In fact, this is the main reason why you’ll want to choose the best routers for streaming.

The last thing you want is a router that’s throttling you because its maximum speed is slower than the advertised speed on your internet plan. While you should aim for a router that matches your internet plan’s promised speeds, it’s best to pick a faster model. This is a form of future-proofing your purchase. And if your ISP increases your plan’s speed, you’re not going to suddenly be throttled by your router. And if having the fastest connection is all you care about, you may also want to consider the best fiber optic router.

  1. What ports are available?

Nowadays, basic ethernet isn’t the fastest kid on the block anymore. While ethernet ports are still standard if you want to establish individual connections for specific devices, it’s not uncommon to find gigabit ports as well. And, of course, you’re going to want gigabit WAN and gigabit LAN ports.

The WAN is essential for establishing a link to your ISP’s router so you can access the internet. But LAN ports are ideal if you want to create additional networks, such as connecting a wireless router to your wired router to support wireless connections with other devices.

  1. How many ethernet ports are available?

With a wireless router like our top pick in this list of the best small business routers, this would be less of a concern — save for the handful of devices where you wanted to create a dedicated connection like a gaming console or connected television. But with a wired router, this is an important question. Even the best wired router is going to have a limited number of ports. Consider how many devices require a dedicated ethernet connection and find a compatible router.

  1. What security features are available?

Another key selling point for wired routers is that they tend to offer more robust security features than most wireless routers. So, you’ll want to pay attention to what protocols and options are available. In most cases, this means having built-in VPN protocols, intrusion prevention systems, and firewalls. VPNs ensure that hackers aren’t able to get unauthorized access to your network.

  1. How easily can you configure the settings?

While wired routers are usually easier to set up when compared with wireless options, that doesn’t mean that you simply plug it in and wait for the magic to happen. You still need to manage settings such as access lists, security protocols, advanced routing features, and even managing your network name and accessibility. If you’re not an IT pro, look for wired routers with user-friendly interfaces.

  1. What is your budget?

Wired routers tend to be more expensive than wireless models. While it is possible to find a good affordable router, such as with some of the best TP-Link routers, don’t be surprised to find that most wired routers cost several hundred dollars because of their enhanced security protocols and reliability.

Best Wired Routers Questions (FAQ)

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