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4 routers for your home Wi-Fi network

Wi-Fi calling technology lets you make phone calls and send text messages wirelessly, whether you’re at home or somewhere else in the world. A home Wi-Fi network is a way to avoid using cellular networks and racking up their fees.

But Wi-Fi calling devices can vary in their ability to serve and protect. These high-end home routers are good for Wi-Fi calling whether your broadband connection is slow or fast:

Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U

Dual-Band Wireless Gigabit Router

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding).

The good: The Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U Dual-band Wireless Gigabit Router has super-fast Wi-Fi speed and an extremely long range. The router can keep viruses and malware from entering your home network and monitor Internet traffic in real time, and it has many other helpful features.

The bad: The router is expensive, and you need compatible Wi-Fi devices to benefit from its fast performance. The USB 3.0 port is awkwardly placed and the interface doesn’t include client names in the IP reservation list.

The cost: $279.99 to $309.99

The bottom line: The hefty price aside, the Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U is the most complete router to date in the class of fast 802.11ac devices. It is capable of satisfying all your home networking needs.

Asus RT-AC68U

Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900

Gigabit Router

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding).

The good: The Asus RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router features powerful hardware, faster Wi-Fi technology, and useful features, including a fast 800MHz dual-core processor. The router delivers in all categories.

The bad: The Asus RT-AC68U is expensive, it’s not wall-mountable, and not everyone will immediately benefit from its new and faster Wi-Fi standards.

The cost: $189 to $219.

The bottom line: For advanced and professional users, the Asus RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router is worth every penny, thanks to its stellar performance, solid build, and bounty of useful features.

Linksys WRT1900AC

Wireless Router

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent).

The good: The Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router delivers powerful networking hardware, has great Wi-Fi range and excellent speed, and supports add-on storage with unsurpassed performance in network-attached storage using an external device. It boasts a cool retro design and allows enthusiasts to swap in alternate third-party firmware.

The bad: This is the most expensive – and possibly the largest – router on the market. The current default software doesn’t offer enough configuration options for Wi-Fi experts, and the Web interface might require some getting used to for first-time users.

The cost: $220 to $250.

The bottom line: If you can afford the hefty price tag, the Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router is easily one of the best home routers on the market.

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900

Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7000)

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent).

The good: The all-new Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router offers stellar performance on the 5GHz band, and an excellent set of features. It’s also relatively affordable for a top-notch home networking device.

The bad: The router is ridiculously bulky and its performance on the 2.4GHz band, though fast, is slower than that of its top competitors. Its parental control feature can’t be accessed via the Web interface, and the Netgear Genie mobile app doesn’t work over the Internet.

The cost: $183 to $254

The bottom line: The Netgear is expensive, but earns its $200 asking price with incredibly fast speeds and useful features.

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