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Six 802.11n Routers

  • At a push of a button this multifunction device can switch it from being a router to performing as a broadband repeater or an access point. It has four 802.11n RJ45 jacks, an RJ45 for your modem, and a USB port for a printer or attached network storage USB 2.0 drive. Note: this is a single-band (2.4GHz) router and the RJ45 ports only support 10/100 communications speed. Price: about $55 online.

  • One of four 802.11n routers, the Belkin Play Max is a contoured, vertically oriented device with no visible antennae. It's a simultaneous (Belkin calls it "concurrent") dual-band device with the usual four RJ45 ports on the back for device attachment and a fifth for your modem. Two USB 2.0 ports adorn the back and may be used for printers or disk drives. Price: about $130.

  • The Nfinity is a gigabit model. Its four RJ45 client ports support 10/100/1000 communications while the fifth mates to your modem. Designed for small physical spaces, this router will mount vertically or horizontally on a desk, or hang on a wall. It has one of the best ranges of any router currently available, but it should be noted that it’s a single band router (2.4GHz). While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, the trend is toward dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz band devices. Price: Around $100 online.

  • Except for the fact that the four RJ45 connectors for your client devices support 10/100/1000 gigabit speed communications, the DIR-655 is an otherwise plebian device. It's a single-band (2.4GHz) router with a USB 2.0 port on the back for either USB hard disk or printer attachment. The DIR-655 distinguishes itself by being green. It optimizes its power levels depending on the length of the CAT 5e cable attached to its ports, and will also power down ports that have no attachment. It can even be programmed to shut down your wireless network when it's not in use. Price: around $90 online.

  • The E3000 has four 10/100/1000 gigabit ports and simultaneous dual band (2.4GHz/5GHz) operation. According to the manufacturer, the E3000 also contains six internal antennae which, it claims, extends the wireless coverage area. A USB port on the back can be attached to a USB 2.0 hard drive. As with all similarly equipped routers, this gives you a quasi-network attached storage (NAS) setup without the added expense of a true NAS device. Price: $149.

  • As the name implies, this is a dual-band router (2.4GHz/5GHz) and it’s also simultaneous, so you can browse the Web on the lower band from one PC while streaming music or video on the upper band at the same time to another PC without worrying about interference. Price: about $150 online.