With more people getting access to fibre internet over phone lines in the form of VDSL via providers such as BT Internet and PlusNet the demand for VDSL routers has grown exponentially.
VDSL is great for most people, but quite often the ISP supplied router is not. I have reviewed some excellent VDSL routers over the years from the likes of AVM FRITZ!Box but not everyone has £200 plus to spend on a router, and quite often they don’t need the feature such an advanced router provides.
I have previously covered some of the best VDSL routers you can buy, and that list probably needs updating, and the options there are not focussed specifically on price.
So, what are the most affordable options on the market? With one exception I have kept all my suggestions below £100. I have not personally used most of these, but some common sense and looking at user reviews should mean you can pick a great affordable router to replace the crappy ISP supplied option.
When looking on Amazon it turned out each product listing had multiple products per page, so this makes the reviews a little confusing. So, for Netgear, they have 852 reviews, but those are reviews spread over four products. So, it is always advisable to check some individual reviews and look at the model they bought (where is says style).
593 reviews with 3.9 out of 5 (combined across products)
TP-Link have multiple options for all budgets with options going up to £179.99 for their Archer VR2800 AC2800 rated option. Personally, I would opt for one of the more expensive models, the TD-W9970 only has the most basic of features and only has 2.4Ghz wireless. It is very likely the ISP supplied model will be superior in specification. However, if you are short on cash and the ISP router is buggy or broken then this will do the trick.
The TP-Link Archer VR400 is a worthwhile upgrade for most ISP router it has 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz), and 867 Mbps (5 GHz) speeds as well as a USB port for storage or printer sharing, and an easy to use mobile app.
362 reviews with 4.0 out of 5 (combined across products)
There are multiple models going all the way up to £260 for the AC 2400 model. Similar to the cheapest TP-Link, I would only choose this if you really need to replace the ISP supplied router as it only offers 2.4Ghz over 802.11n. Billion are regarded for their high-quality networking products, and they tend to be favoured by businesses so this could be a good option if you just want the modem part.
For £99.99 there is the Billion 8800AXL R2 which would be a much better buy with its AC1600 rating. This appears to have a great specification and superb users reviews so it is one that I would certainly shortlist.
476 reviews with 3.4 out of 5 (combined across products)
The ASUS DSL-AC55U is an ADSL/VDSL 802.11ac Wi-Fi modem router, with combined dual-band data rates of up to 1167Mbps. On the 5GHz band, 802.11ac gives 867Mbps wireless data rates, while 2.4 GHz 802.11n performance supports 300Mbps.
This model features two USB ports to connect external storage drives, printers, scanners and many other USB-enabled devices to share with your networked PCs.
This also has multiple options with models at £130 and £100. It is worth keeping an eye on the ASUS DSL-AC56U which is currently priced at just over £100 but has been as low as £69.95 in recent months.
852 reviews with 3.4 out of 5 (combined across products)
If Netgear is your preferred brand, then the D6400 looks like a solid choice with good speeds running at AC1600 Dual Band 300 + 1300 Mbps Wireless. This also features a USB port allowing you to set it up as a NAS or a shared print server. There are also four ethernet ports on top of the telephone line port and a separate WAN port if you use Virgin.
Two other premium options going up to £200 for the NETGEAR D7800-100UKS with a rating of AC2600
168 reviews with 4.3 out of 5 (combined across products)
This is obviously not under my £100 budget for this post, but I thought it was worth mentioning as it is both a VDSL modem router and a whole home mesh Wi-Fi system. So, if you have a large house, this may be the most affordable solution to replace the VDSL modem and get a mesh Wi-Fi system.
There are plenty of options, just make sure you read both user and professional reviews. The TP-Link Archer VR400 at £63.80 is the cheapest option I would personally choose, the TD-W9970 isn't worth it unless you are desperate for a replacement and have a very low budget.
My next choice would be the Billion 8800AXL R2 as they have a great reputation for reliable products and some very positive user reviews.