A Guide to MetroNet Compatible Routers and Modems
MetroNet is a regional fiber-optic internet service provider (ISP) covering 8 states, including Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. Although their coverage area is small, it is undeniably one of the best ISPs available locally. MetroNet is also among the few ISPs providing real FTTH (fiber to the home) service instead of leveraging hybrid coaxial solutions. If you are looking for MetroNet compatible router/modem, our experts have reviewed a few options to choose from.
Factors to consider when buying MetroNet compatible modems and routers
Choosing a new modem or router can be a difficult task. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve provided the following tips on what you should consider when buying a new device:
Your router should be compatible with the ISP you are using. Modems use technology based on the kind of connection that your ISP uses (DSL, cable, fiber, satellite, etc). Most ISPs publish a list of modems and routers compatible with their service, and it is a good idea to check for compatibility.
Ensure the router you choose supports the internet speed you pay for. It is good to go for a router that provides more speed than what is advertised with your internet plan. This ensures you enjoy the fastest Wi-Fi speeds even when you have plugged in multiple devices.
You should also look for the newer wireless protocol. Check out for a combination of numbers 802.11 plus a letter on your router. These are the wireless protocol or Wi-Fi standards, revealing how excellent the router’s throughput and range are. Examples of Wi-Fi standards include:
- 11ax (Wi-Fi 6): This is the newest standard delivering speeds of up to 10Gbps. However, most devices and internet connections don’t yet support these speeds.
- 11ac (Wi-Fi 5): This standard is available with most routers. It supports speeds of up to 3.5Gbps and allows you to use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
- 11n (Wi-Fi 4): This was the first Wi-Fi standard. It allows you to use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies while supporting speeds up to 600Mbps.
Don’t forget about optional features. Manufacturers keep releasing new technology, and it is worth checking for more recent upgrades. Consider the following features when buying a new router:
- Quality of service (QoS): QoS allows you to communicate with your router and highlight which devices and internet connections to prioritize over others.
- MU-MIMO: Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) is a new technology that supports multiple wired and wireless connections more efficiently. Without MU-MIMO, your router can only send bandwidth to a single device at a time. However, with MU-MIMO, your router is enabled to divide the bandwidth to ensure it supports all your connected devices simultaneously.
- Beamforming: Modern routers leverage beamforming to direct Wi-Fi signal to a specific device. Before the advent of beamforming, routers would blast a Wi-Fi signal in all directions. Beamforming ensures you get a more efficient, targeted Wi-Fi signal and stable connection.
Router prices tend to vary. The amount you should spend on a device depends mostly on your budget. However, you ideally don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. Ensure you are getting all the crucial features you need for your internet service to perform optimally.
Best routers for MetroNet internet
Netgear Orbi ax4200
If you are looking for a MetroNet compatible router with mesh networking and several cutting-edge features, consider the NetGear Orbi ax4200. It delivers unparalleled speeds and coverage while supporting tri-band Wi-Fi 6 (or IEEE 802.11ax) with a combined maximum speed of 4.2Gbps. The router comes with six antennas and MU-MIMO technology to handle multiple data streams simultaneously. The ax4200 also features Ethernet connections for flexibility to allow for easy connectivity to network devices with no built-in Wi-Fi. The setup of the network is also relatively easy. All it takes is to download the Orbi app to your smartphone, connect the main router to the central unit, and restart the home network before scanning the QR code found on the Orbi router.
- Stable, fast speeds
- Excellent coverage
- User-friendly setup
- Limited coverage
Tenda AC10U AC1200
The Tenda AC10U AC1200 is an affordable and feature-rich 802.11ac Wave 1 router ideal for people operating on a budget. The router is designed for cable broadband internet, although it also works with a separate ADSL/VDSL modem. With this device, you are guaranteed Wi-Fi speeds of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps at 5GHz. It comes with three gigabit LAN ports and MU-MIMO technology to support several devices simultaneously. Using the Accelerate Wi-Fi tool, you can leverage the Tenda Wi-Fi app to access your files on external USB hard drives and scan channels for interference. Other notable features include capabilities to create a guest Wi-Fi network and implement parental controls on devices from your phone with the app or router’s admin console.
- Two external antennas for expanded Wi-Fi coverage
- 1 USB port for network file sharing
- High latency when streaming multiple devices simultaneously
The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (V2) offers one of the fastest throughput speeds you can expect from a budget-friendly router. The device can deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band, making it ideal for most remote work needs and streaming of bandwidth heavy files. It also delivers the best-in-class feature set, including 4 gigabit LAN ports and two USB 2.0 ports. You also get a guest network page that allows you to create separate networks with limited access for guests. Additionally, you can control access and create a list of permitted websites for specific users thanks to the access schedule feature in the parental controls.
- Affordable price
- Excellent speed and extensive coverage
- Lots of management settings
- Works with Amazon Alexa assistant
- Installation can be difficult
The Motorola MR2600 AC2600 router is another ideal option for someone looking for a great dual-band router but doesn’t break the bank. The high-speed Wi-Fi router works perfectly with almost all cable modems. The performance of this Wi-F gigabit router is ideal for typical home internet use, including streaming, remote work, and virtual learning. The MR2600 AC2600 connects via gigabit Ethernet or AC2600 dual-band Wi-Fi to all your devices, including smartphones, game consoles, computers, and HDTVs. It also features four external adjustable antennas that deliver concurrent 4X4 Wi-Fi performance at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
- Four-gigabit Ethernet ports
- MU-MIMO technology
- Dual-band router
- Lacks extended Wi-Fi range
Asus Blue Cave AC2600
The Asus Blue Cave AC2600 Router delivers superior speeds at long ranges. It is also one of the most customizable routers on the market, with excellent security to ensure your family’s digital lives are kept safe. It comes with four internal antennas, one horizontal antenna, and three vertical antennas that deliver boosted reception and an uninterrupted internet experience. The AC2600 Router is a dual-band 802.11AC router powered by Intel’s WAV500 line of Wi-Fi chips allowing four independent lanes of traffic data to be set up. It also boasts large storage with 512MB of RAM and 128MB for its settings and firmware. With a peak throughput of 2.5Gbps, the Blue Cave can move 800Mbps in 2.4GHz mode and deliver up to 1734Mbps in 5GHz mode.
- Best for long ranges
- Excellent security
- Customizable design
- Unimpressive throughput at short ranges
The Linksys Max-Stream EA8300 AC2200 router delivers great coverage, lots of customization options, and top speeds, all for an affordable price. It comes with Velop mesh technology that allows you to create a whole-home Wi-Fi system with Linksys Velop nodes. The Linksys Max-Stream EA8300 AC2200 leverages three radio bands, making it perfect for homes using multiple Wi-Fi devices. It is a feature-packed mainstream solution equipped with the latest technologies, including advanced beamforming, seamless roaming, and MU-MIMO.
- MU-MIMO support
- Solid throughput performance
- Easy to install and manage
- Linksys Velop nodes
- Lacks built-in malware protection
- Limited parental controls
Netgear Nighthawk XR500
If you are a gaming enthusiast looking to customize your experience and gain full control of your home network, consider the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 router. The XR500 is a high-end router with tons of gaming features that deliver a solid connection while reducing latency. Powered by NetDumas’s DumaOS, this router provides all the tools and analytics necessary to minimize latency and ensure your games run smoothly. The geo-filtering feature allows you to set a radius from your location to guarantee you are only connected to local servers and players. It also delivers top speeds, extensive Wi-Fi coverage, and unmatched parental controls. Other features include two USB 3.0 ports, four gigabit LAN ports, one gigabit WAN port, and a DC port for power.
- Great extra features for gaming
- Easy to install
- Excellent close-range throughput
- More expensive than competing models
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Router is arguably one of the fastest routers in the market today. It delivers an array of gamer-friendly features and a slick management console to allow you to optimize your network for uninterrupted gaming. Most of the router’s features have several pre-configured settings designed to support hundreds of popular games. It comes with free built-in lifetime protection from online threats and 8 gigabit LAN ports that combine to give fast connections and excellent Wi-Fi range. The router also has MU-MIMO allowing it to support devices on several Wi-Fi tiers with guaranteed top speeds. The GT-AC5300 offers a system memory of 512MB and internal flash memory of 1GB. Other features include Dual-WAN, link aggregation, free lifetime built-in protection, advanced network monitoring, QoS, and advanced USB-based features.
- Impressive QoS
- Triband signal
- Eight LAN ports and two USBs
- Lacks support for Wi-Fi 6, and WPA3
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How long does a router last?
A good router should serve you for four to five years. However, you should think of upgrading your router sooner if you are experiencing slow internet speeds or want newer features.
What is the ideal placement for my router?
It is advisable to position your router in a central location far away from other electronics. If you are using a router with movable antennas, point them at rooms and devices using Wi-Fi.
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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 5/20/22.
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