This LinkSys router looks good, but you may want to check out the Best AC Routers Compared before you make a decision. What do you think the most popular Linksys router is? One of those new models with smart beam technology and all the other bells and whistles? Not quite.
Actually, on the list of best wireless router models of all time, the WRT54GL from 2005 is one of Linksys’ strongest models – and it’s still for sale today.
Yep, that’s a router from around 11 years ago that is not only still on the market, but also still making Linksys quite a bit of money. And it’s not because of the specs, either: This ancient router comes with the 802.11g standard, has only the 2.4GHz frequency band to use, and has a top speed of 54Mbps.
In comparison, average wireless routers available these days have the ac standard (necessary for many modern mobile devices), two bands at 2.4GHz and 5GH in case one band gets too crowded, and speeds that start out at around several hundred gbps for the slowest band available.
Yet Linksys has confirmed that the humble WRT54GL is still making millions of dollars for the company every year. And no, that’s not because people have found a way to break them down into some sort of valuable scrap – they’re still selling as normal router at around $43 on Amazon. The company has admitted that even it is a little confused by the continued demand, but is more than happy to keep on producing what has to be a very cheap router to make in this day and age.
Indications hint that people who want new routers are interested in reliability, and when they ask around they find friends who say, “Yeah, I’ve got this Linksys router from a decade ago and it’s still going strong – also really easy to make hotspots and stuff with it.” That sort of recommendation apparently trumps most other data.
Of course, there’s a big problem with this open obsession: A router from 10 years ago isn’t really capable of dealing with today’s world where smartphone users outnumber desktop users and everyone needs an appropriate Wi-Fi system. Take it as a friendly warning: If your Wi-Fi has been having a lot of problems lately, check the date and specs. You might be sacrificing connection quality for sometimes over-praised features like durability.
- Linksys WRT54GL Is Over a Decade Old – and Still One of the Most Popular Routers
- The World’s Smallest WiFi N Router: Trendnet TEW-654TR
- Google Debuts New OnHub Router, Promises to Simplify and Beautify Connectivity
- The 9 Most Compelling Features of the Netgear AC1900 Nighthawk 5Ghz Smart WiFi Router (list)
Also why not check out:
- Amped Wireless ALLY Plus WiFi Router Review
- Best AC Router in 2020 (August Reviews)
- Best Home Router
- Best Home WiFi in 2020 (August Reviews)
- Best Modem
- Best Network Switch
- Best Router for Gaming in 2020
- D-Link DIR-879 AC1900 EXO Gaming Router Review
- Fios Quantum Gateway Router Review
- How Does a Wireless Router Work?
- Linksys EA8300 AC2200 MU-MIMO Max-Stream Wireless Router Review
- Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream MU-MIMO Tri-Band AC5400 Wireless Router Review
- Linksys WRT AC3200 Router Review Roundup
- Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Wireless Router Review
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 Review
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S Wireless Router Review
- Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Router Review Roundup
- Netgear Nighthawk X8 AC5300 Wireless Router Review
- Router vs Switch: Learn the Key Differences
- TP-LINK Archer C5400 Tri-Band MU-MIMO Wireless Router Review
- TP-Link Archer C9 Router Review
- What Does WiFi Stand For and How Does Wifi Work?
- Wireless Access Point vs Router: Don’t Buy the Wrong One