Mesh routers get all the attention these days, but in most use cases, they don't do as good a job as a standalone router with high-gain antennae. ASUS knows a thing or two about building such routers, and the RT-AC3100 is one of the best options you can get in the mid-range segment.

This router usually goes for $220, but it's on sale for $160, $60 off its retail price. What do you get for that price? One of the fastest Wi-Fi ac routers right now — you miss out on Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, but the RT-AC3100 more than makes up for it when you look at the feature-set.

The RT-AC3100 has four antennae, and it can deliver up to 2.1Gbit over the 5GHz band and 1Gbit over 2.4GHz, utilizing NitroQAM to do so. The 4x4 MIMO design ensures there are no bottlenecks even when several devices are connected to the router and consuming bandwidth simultaneously. It is tuned for low-latency use cases like gaming.

ASUS RT-AC3100

ASUS RT-AC3100

The RT-AC3100 follows in the heels of the RT-AC88 in delivering rock-solid Wi-Fi connectivity to all corners of your home. Yes, it's missing Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, but it does a stellar job over the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies, and that ultimately matters more in day-to-day use.

$160 at Amazon

What I like the most about ASUS routers is the customizability; with most routers in this category focusing on ease-of-use, there's a distinct lack of devices that let you tailor your home wireless settings just the way you want. And as an added bonus, the RT-AC3100 works with ASUS's unique mesh networking tech, AiMesh, that lets you connect several standalone routers into a mesh configuration.

So if you decide later on that you want to switch to a mesh system, you get to do that here. Overall, the RT-AC3100 ticks all the right boxes for a standalone router, and if you don't need Wi-Fi 6 right now, this is a fantastic choice.

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