Most Secure Routers of 2021 – Complete Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: June 6, 2021

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Our homes are full of internet-enabled devices. Your router controls access to your home's WIFI network and all the devices connected to it, making it one of the most important devices in your home.

If your router is not secure, you are leaving devices vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

This article explains why you need a secure router to protect your home's network and reviews the best secure routers on the market today. 

Comparison of the Best Secure Routers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Easy to set it up and manage the router
  • Daily security updates for improved protection
  • Very fast throughput of up to 3Gbps
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  • VPN support for secured connectivity
  • Supports Cisco Anyconnect for better security
  • Great for small business for fast WiFi connections
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  • Best for the Money
  • Up to 2500 Mbps data transfer rates
  • Coverage of up to 3000 square feet
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  • 1 Gbps data transfer rates
  • Supports up to 16 VPN tunnels for improves security
  • Comes with 4KV lightning protection
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  • Coverage of up to 3000 square feet
  • USB 3.0 and 2.0 connection ports included
  • Commercial grade Aiprotection against hacking
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How Do I Choose a Secured Router?

A router is your home network's first line of defense against cyberattacks, making it essential to know what to look for when shopping for a secured router. If you want to ensure your network is as secure as possible, look for user-friendly routers with robust privacy protections and controls. 

WIFI Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

WPA2 is the minimum level of encryption necessary to ensure encryption of connections between your devices and router. With WPA2, users must enter a password to access your network, preventing unauthorized devices from connecting to your network. 

Synology RT2600ac

Guest Network

A guest network lets you create a separate network for guests with a network name and password different from your primary network credentials. Guests can connect to your network without giving them access to your devices. 

Firewall

A secure router should come with a built-in firewall that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic. These firewalls detect threats such as malware and viruses attempting to penetrate your network. 

VPN

Although you can purchase VPN software independently, having a router with a built-in VPN ensures all network data goes through the VPN when enabled. VPNs hide your IP address, making it almost impossible to track your activity online. 

Review of the Best Secure Routers

The best secure routers on the market keep your network traffic safe from threats. A secure router allows you to surf the internet with confidence, knowing your data is protected. Given the number of routers on the market, choosing the best secure router is no easy task. 

No need to worry. We have researched for you. In this section, we review the best secure routers on the market. 

Best Overall:
GRYPHON AC3000

GRYPHON Parental Control Router & Mesh WiFi System – 3,000Sq Ft per Mesh WiFi Router w/Malware Secure Router Home Protection & Security, AC3000 Tri-Band Wireless Router WiFi Extender for Smart Home

PROS

  • User-friendly app
  • Easy to install and configure 
  • Automatic firmware/app updates 
  • Sends an alert whenever a new device connects to the WIFI network
  • Built-in security protection that protects your devices from intrusion and malware
  • Parental controls that let you filter content, view browsing history, block websites, etc

CONS

  • Doesn't have advanced configuration settings 
  • Advanced security features require an annual subscription

What Recent Buyers Report

Users praise Gryphon's easy setup on both Apple and Android devices, saying the instructions were easy to follow, allowing them to register and configure the router quickly. The security software provides excellent protection against malware and network intrusions. The parental controls allow parents to monitor their children's devices even when they are away from home. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Gryphon designed this router to protect your network, equipping it with advanced protection against hacking and malware. The router provides constant protection to your network with daily updates from ESET technologies. 

The Gryphon AC3000 is easy to set up, and its app works equally well with Android and Apple devices. It provides excellent parental controls that are virtually impossible for kids to disable. It protects your devices around the clock and scans your devices for vulnerabilities. 

Along with its outstanding security features, its smart mesh WIFI expandable system provides up to 3000 square feet of coverage. 

Bottom Line

The Gryphon AC3000 provides your home network with comprehensive protection from malware and intrusions. This router protects connected devices 24/7 by constantly scanning them and searching for vulnerabilities. It comes with an outstanding suite of parental controls to keep your kids safe while connected to the internet. 

Runner-up:
Cisco RV160W

Cisco RV160W VPN Router, 4 Wireless Ports, Wireless-AC VPN Firewall, Limited Lifetime Protection (RV160W-A-K9-NA)

PROS

  • Quick set up process 
  • Easy to use web and mobile interface 
  • Built-in security with Cisco Umbrella that protects devices from internet-based threats 
  • Low touch remote deployment to quickly set up the router for use with multiple devices
  • Guest Network access allows you to create different profiles for guests using your network

CONS

  • Doesn't come with Cisco anyconnect client for setting up VPN
  • Provides limited WIFI coverage causing devices to lose connectivity

What Recent Buyers Report

Users say the Cisco RV 160W works better as a router for small businesses than for at-home use, reporting that it comes with all the features a small business needs. They commented that set up may be difficult for someone who's not an IT person. Some recent buyers complained that the VPN setup was unnecessarily challenging. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Cisco RV 160W combines powerful performance and security into a modem designed for use in remote or home offices and small businesses. It comes with built-in security, including Cisco Umbrella, to ensure your network's traffic remains secure at all times. 

The modem comes equipped with low touch deployment allowing you to connect devices to your network quickly. The router's intuitive user-interface makes set up relatively easy. It provides robust security featuring stateful packet inspection, VPN security, point-to-point tunneling protocol, and content filtering. 

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an affordable routing solution for your home office or small business, the Cisco RV 160W is worth a closer look. The router comes equipped with all of the security features you need to protect your network, including Cisco Umbrella, VPN, and content filtering. 

Best for the Money:
Synology RT2600ac

Synology RT2600ac – 4x4 dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router, MU-MIMO, powerful parental controls, Threat Prevention, bandwidth management, VPN, expandable coverage with mesh Wi-Fi

PROS

  • User-friendly mobile app 
  • Automatically checks for and installs firmware updates
  • VPN package allows you to turn the router into a VPN server
  • Traffic control feature lets you monitor and measure internet bandwidth
  • Parental control includes web control that can block internet access based on categories such as social media, adult, advertising, etc

CONS

  • Only has five network ports
  • WIFI range is slightly less than other AC2600 routers

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are enthusiastic about the Synology RT2600's features. They said the set up was easy and praised the intuitive user interface. They say the router works reliably and provides reliable WIFI coverage with consistent signal strength. They were also impressed that Synology releases monthly firmware updates. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Synology RT2600ac is overflowing with features, including the ability to host more than one broadband connection. You can pair the router with an external hard drive to create a powerful storage server. It comes with advanced firmware called Synology Router Management.

Synology's Package center works like an app store allowing you to add features to your router as needed. If you want to use your router as a VPN server, you install the VPN package. Install the intrusion prevention package to enhance your network's security. 

Installation of the Synology is quick and easy. It comes with a great suite of tools that allow you to filter website content, schedule bandwidth priority, and monitor usage. Its parental controls allow you to block access to social media and websites with adult content. 

Bottom Line

The Synology RT2600ac is a feature-packed router that provides an outstanding level of security to your home network. You can pick and choose the features you want to install using Synology's package center. It's a great all-around router. 

Editor's Pick:
TP-Link Safestream TL-R600VPN

TP-Link Safestream Multi WAN VPN Router | 1 Gigabit WAN+3 Gigabit WAN/LAN+1 Gigabit LAN Port | IPsec/L2TP/PPTP VPN Supported| SPI Firewall | DoS Defense | Lightning Protection(TL-R600VPN)

PROS

  • Quickstart wizard makes setup quick and easy
  • IP/MAC/Domain name filtering stops intrusions and viruses
  • Built-in hardware-based VPN system with advanced features
  • Lightning protection to protect your router from mother nature 
  • Automatically detects and blocks denial of service (DOS) attacks 

CONS

  • Firmware isn't updated regularly 
  • Heavy traffic loads limit routers performance 

What Recent Buyers Report

Users say setting up the router is quick and easy. They say the router's features are comparable to those found on high-end routers. The router's speed is variable as with any firewall product. They said the VPN and network authentication were impressive. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Equipped with an impressive suite of security features, the TP-Link Safestream provides you with a comprehensive set of tools to protect your home's network. With the TP-Link Safestream, you get a high performing router with an integrated SPI firewall. 

TP-Link's quickstart wizard makes setting the router up a relatively straightforward process. The router includes surge protection to protect your investment from mother nature. It gives you the option of creating virtual servers and IP/MAC/Domain name filtering to protect your network.

 It also features advanced VPN capabilities and automatically detects and blocks DOS threats like the ping of death and flooding. 

Bottom Line

The TP-Link Safestream comes equipped with an impressive suite of security features to keep your network safe from threats. The router's SPI firewall and advanced VPN capabilities provide robust security. This is a high-performance router that's easy to set up. 

Honorable Mention:
ASUS RT-AC66U B1

ASUS AC1750 WiFi Router (RT-AC66U B1) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, ASUSWRT, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control

PROS

  • Easy installation
  • Lots of features for homes and offices 
  • Strong malware protection and parental controls 
  • 5GHz frequency band offers excellent WIFI performance and speed
  • ASUS Router App allows you to monitor and manage your network easily

CONS

  • Interface performance can be sluggish 
  • Sometimes drops internet connectivity 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are generally satisfied with the TP-Link safestream's performance praising its speedy performance. They say it has the best wireless range of commercial home routers. Users also mentioned the router's easy setup saying it is truly a  plug and play device. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The dual-band ASUS RT-AC66U B1 is an affordable router packed with robust features. The router comes with built-in Trend Micro malware protection that includes malicious site blocking, a two-way intrusion protection system, infected device protection, and router security assessment.

The router provides outstanding WIFI coverage at fast speeds. You can connect your devices directly to one of its four LAN ports for the fastest and most stable connections. Its SPI and NAT firewalls protect your devices from web-based attacks. It uses WPA2 to encrypt your network traffic, keeping your network safe from unwanted intruders. 

Bottom Line

Combining speed and affordability with top security features makes the ASUS RT-AC66U B1 stand out in a crowded field. The router has impressive security features, including SPI and NAT firewalls and Trend Micro malware protection to lock down your network and keep your devices safe. 

What is a Secure Router and Why is it Important?

A router designed to protect your home network is a secure router. Many secure routers come with built-in security controls and services that monitor your network 24/7. Without a secure router, hackers could gain access to the sensitive information you transmit via the internet. They could also hijack your router, directing you to fraudulent websites. 

What is a Firewall?

A firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic while preventing unauthorized access to or from a private network. 

GRYPHON AC3000

Which is the Most Secure Type of Firewall?

Proxy firewalls are the most secure firewalls because they prevent your network from making direct contact with other systems.

Is a Router a Firewall?

Yes. Routers act as a basic firewall by helping to prevent strangers from accessing your network. 

Do I Really Need Security For My Router?

Yes. Your router transmits all of the information flowing to and from your home via WIFI, including sensitive information such as emails and credit card numbers, making it a top target for hackers.

When hackers gain access to your home network, they can infect your devices with malware, steal your bandwidth, steal your personal information, use your network to attack other networks, or worse. A small hole in your home network could give criminals to all the devices connected to your home network. 

Ensuring your router's security prevents people from gaining unauthorized access to your home network, thus protecting your personal information. 

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind 

Keep the following considerations in mind before purchasing a secure router. 

Advanced Security Features

Many companies advertise their routers as having advanced features such as VPN servers and antivirus to protect your network from malware and web-based attacks. Having these features doesn't guarantee the router will have the capacity to use them effectively. Before purchasing a router with these features, ensure the router has the hardware needed to run them well. 

Routers that can run advanced security features effectively are more expensive than average routers. They come equipped with robust hardware and lots of RAM. 

Cisco RV160W

Encryption WPA2

As we mentioned earlier, your secure router should support WPA2 encryption at a minimum. You also need to confirm all devices connected to your network support WPA2. Your network is only as secure as the least secure device connected to it, making it imperative all devices connected to your network support WPA2. 

Ignore Router Naming Conventions

You'll often see router names followed by AC1200, AC1900, AC5400, etc., refer to the supposed total bandwidth of a particular router model. These naming conventions are worthless because they don't tell you what speed you'll get when you connect your router. However, do not buy a router lower than AC1200. Anything below AC1200 is older technology. 

Secure Router Types

Secure routers fall under the same umbrella as all routers. There are several router types you can choose from, with the router's features determining whether or not the router is secure. 

Wireless

Wireless routers connect directly to your modem using a cable. They use antennas to share data and create a wireless local area network (WLAN). Computers and other devices equipped with a wireless receiver can use these signals to connect to the WLAN. WIFI is the most common WLAN.

Wired

Instead of using antennas to transmit data over a network, wired routers share data over cables, creating wired local area networks (LANs). These routers connect directly to your computers using an ethernet cable. They often have ports for fax machines and telephones. 

Edge

You most likely won't need an edge router for your home network or small business. These routers distribute data packets between one or more networks but not within a network. They are usually placed at the edge of a network and connect to internet service providers or other organizations' networks. 

Virtual

These routers use software that allows computers and servers to act as routers. They use Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) and become active when a network's primary router fails. 

How To Secure Your Router

How you set up your router will determine the level of security it provides. If you don't activate the security features your router comes with, you will leave your network vulnerable to malware and intrusions.  Follow these steps to ensure your network is secure. 

  1. Change your router's SSID name: Don't use the default SSID that comes with your router. To change the SSID, log into your router and find the SSID name or Network name. Change the name to something you will know but has no meaning to a stranger. 
  1. Change your router's default WIFI password: Changing the password to your home's WIFI network is crucial while changing the router's password is optional. Go to password settings in the admin dashboard of your WIFI router. Create a strong password you can remember or create one using a password manager. 
  1. Disable router remote access: Go to your router's security tab. From there, you can turn off this setting. 
  1. Create a guest network: Create a separate network that includes the word guest with a password. 
  1. Turn off your WIFI network while on vacation: Turning off your WIFI when you're away from home will maximize the security of your home network. 

Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of the steps we discussed above. 

Conclusion

Secure routers come with extra security features that protect your home network while connected to the internet. Your router is your home network's first line of defense against cyber attacks. Keeping your devices safe while connected to the internet should be a top consideration when shopping for a router. 

People Also Ask

If we haven't answered all of your questions above, maybe you can find what you're looking for in this list of frequently asked questions.

Can Your Router Be Hacked?

Yes. Hackers use various methods to hack routers, putting all devices using the hacked router at risk. If hackers succeed in hacking your router, they can direct you to malicious websites, view your passwords, and install malware on your devices. 

Which Security Mode is the Least Secure Choice When a Home Wireless Router is Configured?

WEP is the least secure choice when configuring a router for your home network. A hacker can break WEP security within minutes.  WEP's encryption key is made up of hexadecimal letters (0-9, A-F) and isn't strong enough to stand up to today's computing power. 

Which Security Option is Best for Wireless Routers?

WPA2 paired with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is currently the best security option for wireless routers. Although WPA2 has vulnerabilities, router manufacturers quickly release security patches to fix these problems. Be sure to update your router's firmware as soon as these patches are released. 

ASUS RT-AC66U B1

How Do I Know if My Router is Secure?

Checking the following settings will help you determine if your router is secure. 

  • Open WIFI settings on a device connected to your wireless network. Search for available networks. Select your wireless network. If a lock appears next to your network, it's secured. 

  • Login to your router to check its settings. Open the security menu. Check the network's SSID to confirm it is using WPA2 encryption, which requires an alphanumeric password. If no encryption settings are checked, your wireless network is not secure. 

Is My Router Secure Test

There are various sites offering tests to determine whether your router is secure. Gibson Research Corporation offers a free port-scanning service that tests your router for hundreds of common vulnerabilities. 

Will a Secure Router Prevent Me From Accessing Some Websites?

Yes. A secure router will give you the option to block certain websites. Blocking certain websites will ensure users on your network won't be able to access them. Secure routers will give you the option to block harmful websites on your network.

Is a Direct Router Connection More Secure Than Wi-Fi?

Yes. Connecting directly to a router is much safer than using WIFI because many cyberattacks are carried out remotely, including cracking the encryption key to gain access to your network. A hacker would have to connect physically to a wired network to access its information. Thus, the majority of the cyber attacks we see take advantage of holes in WIFI security. 

Can a Wi-Fi Router Get a Virus?

Yes. If hackers successfully breach your router's security, they can change your router's settings. Just like a computer, hackers can infect your router with malware once they have breached its security. 

Is Ethernet Safer Than Wi-Fi?

Ethernet connections are generally safer than WIFI connections because WIFI communication travels through the air, making it possible for someone to intercept it. Ethernet connections aren't without security vulnerabilities. Thus, you should make sure your router's security software and firewall are configured correctly. 

How to Tell What Security Type Your Router is

Routers aren't classified by security type. However, you can check your router's security settings to see what security protocol your router uses. 

To check what type of security your router is using, open settings on your mobile device. Then open the WIFI category and click on your router. You'll be able to see what type of security your router is using.



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.