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Which broadband provider has the best wireless router?

Which broadband provider has the best wireless router?

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Last updated: 14 June 2021

Wireless router technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, so if you haven’t updated yours in a while then you may not be getting the best out of your current broadband connection. 
 
For some reason, routers are often overlooked by customers when comparing broadband deals. But this shouldn’t be the case, as certain providers’ routers will come with handy features and functions that could improve your overall online experience. 
 
Read on to find out which broadband providers currently have the best wireless routers, in terms of price, connection speed, and all-round features. 

What is the best all-round router?

Sky Q Hub

The Sky Q Hub, which is included with all new Sky broadband packages, was most recently updated in 2020 and comes with a number of nifty features.

It has a sleek, modern exterior, and supports the most up-to-date dual-band 802.11ac and Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO) connections. And when it came to testing its capabilities, the Sky Q Hub was found to be around sixteen times faster than its predecessor, the Sky Hub.

On top of this, it uses Powerline technology, which means that it transmits data using the electrical wiring in a household to other devices such as Sky Q Mini TV boxes. While increasing connectivity and performance of the devices, it also creates automatic local Wi-Fi hotspots, meaning that the connectivity and range of the Wi-Fi in your home gets a noticeable boost.

The Sky Q Hub can also connect up to 64 devices at a time, which should be more than enough for even the biggest households’ needs. It can also help you save money on electricity, as it automatically switches to low power mode when not in use, in turn using less energy and helping the environment!

Pros

  • Connect up to 64 devices at any one time
  • VoIP enabled
  • Strong signal throughout your home with Sky Q Mini boxes.

Cons

  • Often comes with expensive installation fees
  • Supported speeds of up to 100Mbps is lower than some other routers

Get Sky Q Hub

You can get Sky Q Hub with the following deal:

Sky Broadband

Superfast Broadband + Sky TV

18 month contract Fibre + TV + Phone

59Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£42.00 / month

£39.95 upfront fees

Virgin Media Hub 3.0

The Virgin Media Hub 3.0 also offers dual-band 802.11ac connection, meaning that it can theoretically handle speeds of up to a whopping 1,300 Mbps, although you’ll struggle to actually receive those speeds for a few years yet. But having the capability to support speeds faster than what the quickest broadband package can give you will allow room for any future increases in internet speed.

Virgin Media claim that the Hub 3.0 can handle up to 20 devices being connected to the router while still performing at fast speeds, which is less than the 64 devices that the Sky Q Hub can connect to.

However, the Virgin Media Hub 3.0 has four wired Ethernet ports in comparison to just 2 on the Sky Q Hub. This means that if you have multiple desktop computers at home, as opposed to laptops, tablets, and other wireless devices, this may be the router for you.

Pros

  • Uses the latest wireless technology
  • Connect up to 4 wired devices (desktops)
  • Automatically connects your devices to the fastest channel and frequency

Cons

  • Can connect up to 20 wireless devices which is less than Sky’s router
  • With only five antennae, WiFi signal might not be strong enough for large households

Get Virgin Media Hub 3.0

You can get the Virgin Media Hub 3.0 with the following deal:

Virgin Media Broadband

Bigger Bundle

18 month contract Fibre + TV + Phone

213Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£49.00 / month

£0 upfront fees

Best broadband router for connection speed

BT Smart Hub

BT’s new Smart Hub is compatible with ‘next generation’ ac connection, which means that it’s the joint-fastest router available on the market right now. In theory, it can support lightning-fast speeds of up to 1,773Mbps, although why anyone would need that much download speed is anyone’s guess!

On top of these insanely fast speeds, it also has four Gigabit LAN ports, although if you have a fibre optic connection directly to your home, then you will have to sacrifice one of these ports as it doesn’t come with a WAN Ethernet port.

The Smart Hub only comes with BT’s superfast fibre packages, whereas those on lower priced packages will receive the BT Home Hub 4. This is not as fast as the BT Smart Hub, although it can still support speeds of up to 300Mbps – which is more than what the Sky Q Hub can support.

Pros

  • Can support broadband speeds of up to 1,773Mbps
  • Seven antennae ensure a strong WiFi signal throughout your home
  • Minimalist design means it won’t stick out like a sore thumb
  • Easy to set up yourself

Cons

  • Supported speeds aren’t yet available on any broadband package in the UK
  • Connected devices must be AC-compatible to benefit from maximum speeds

Get BT Smart Hub

You can get the BT Smart Hub with the following deal:

BT Broadband

Full Fibre 100 (without landline)

24 month contract

150Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£35.99 / month

£0 upfront fees

TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub

TalkTalk’s Wi-Fi Hub, which comes as standard with the provider’s Faster Fibre broadband packages, also has the potential to reach speeds of up to 1,773Mbps. This means it’s the fastest broadband router currently available in the UK, along with the BT Smart Hub.

On top of this, it can also connect up to 50 wireless devices at any one time, while it also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports. What is unique to the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub though, is its Beamforming technology, which automatically adjusts the level of signal that is put out to devices which demand a higher signal, making it more efficient.

Pros

  • Can support speeds faster than what is currently available
  • Quick and simple to set up yourself
  • Cheaper setup costs than similar devices

Cons

  • Doesn’t have as many features as rival routers
  • Wi-Fi range may not be suitable for larger households

Get the TalkTalk WiFi Hub

You can get TalkTalk's Wifi Hub with the following deal:

TalkTalk Broadband

Fibre 65 & Free UK Calls

18 month contract Fibre + Phone

67Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£25.00 / month

£4.95 upfront fees

Best broadband routers for cheaper packages

TalkTalk Super Router

TalkTalk’s Super Router comes with the provider’s standard ADSL broadband packages, although it has the capability to outperform these basic speeds by far. In fact, being 802.11ac compatible, it can theoretically support speeds of up to 1,300Mbps. Made by the Chinese tech company Huawei, it also has four 100Mb Ethernet ports.

Pros

  • Free setup and installation with TalkTalk’s basic packages
  • Can support much higher speeds than what ADSL is capable of (with ethernet cable)

Cons

  • Poor Wi-Fi speeds in reality
  • Minimal features

Get the TalkTalk Super Router

You can get TalkTalk's Super Router with the following deal:

TalkTalk Broadband

Fast Broadband

18 month contract + Phone

11Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£24.95 / month

£9.95 upfront fees

EE Smart Hub 1

EE’s Smart Hub 1 is included with all of their basic fibre broadband packages. It supports the 802.11n protocol, which means it’s capable of supporting speeds of up to 300Mbps. It also has four 100Mb Ethernet ports to connect to wired devices such as desktops.

Pros

  • Comes free with all EE fibre broadband packages.
  • Seven antennae ensure a strong WiFi signal around the home
  • Can be used with other providers including BT and Plusnet

Cons

  • Not as many features as higher-end routers
  • A landline must already be installed before use

Get the EE Smart Hub 1

You can get the EE Smart Hub 1 with the following deal:

EE Broadband

Standard Broadband

24 month contract + Phone

10Mb / second

Average speed

Unlimited

Usage

£22.50 / month

£0 upfront fees

Michael Quinn

Author: Michael Quinn

Michael is a dedicated author helping usave to write guides, blogs and news for the last four years. When not writing articles, you can usually find him at wine tasting events or having a political debate on the night tube.