Are you satisfied with Windstream as your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Happy with the strength of the wireless signal you get? Want to stop paying router rental fees?
Well, it could be time to source your own router, instead of renting one from Windstream.
We take a look at some of the best routers and modems for Windstream, and give our 2 cents on what you might like to check out for yourself.
At A Glance:
5 Best Windstream Wireless Routers (and Modems)
Here’s a quick overview of the top routers that you can use with Windstream:
1. Netgear Nighthawk R7000 “Smart” Router (Best Of Best)
It’s called “Smart” for a reason.
The Nighthawk is easy to setup and control because it interacts with the Genie app on your mobile devices.
You choose how and why you make these mobile connections, but in all your options, you’ll manage your router remotely. Installing other smart devices in your home is ideal when you have the advanced programming of Nighthawk.
Here are some of its core features:
Coverage of 1,900 Feet - All from a single device, your internet signal expands out in a 360-degree isotropic pattern. You can then allow or deny access to any device.
USB Ports - Two open connections are available for USB inputs.
Security and Anti-Virus Protection - From malware to data infiltrations, the inner components of this router keep data impenetrable.
Thirty Devices - Connect with as many devices as you can, but expect to have some delays once you hit over 30.(https://www.amazon.com/R7000-100PAS-Nighthawk-Parental-Controls-Compatible/dp/B00F0DD0I6)
Cloud Storage - Depending on your lifestyle and needs, a cloud package is also available with free space (using the USB ports as storage)
2. Motorola MD1600 (Best ADSL Modem/Router Combo)
Combination routers like the Motorola MD1600 have modems built into them.
Combination modems are ideal when you’re accessing both VDSL and ADSL signals. Traditional ADSL wires use older technology in data transmission. The wire fibers of “Very high bit rate Digital Subscriber Lines” (VDSLs) result in a faster connection. However, when your home has both cable types, the MD1600 router adapts their signals for you.
Here are some of its core features:
Operates Over Phone Lines - This router sits high on the list because no matter what cable system you use, the module is extremely adaptable. If you decide to change to fiber, you should find the MD1600 useful still.
Wifi-Gigabit Router - This model has control switches to activate LAN port Ethernet speeds up to 1Gbps. The wifi has theoretical 1.6Gbps speeds
Built-In VPN - A virtual private network, which creates a private network out of your public one, comes with your purchase of this model.
Added Firewall - An urge to provide safety led Motorola to install a firewall to monitor the data you receive and send. Though this data remains private, it is checked for hazards and hacks.
3. TP-Link Archer AC2600 A10 (Best Budget Router)
As an option that you can control via an app, the AC2600 A10 performs like many top brands—but at a fairer price. This router achieves 2.6GHz of speed as a completely wireless module.
Being that it’s a smart device, you’ll be able to integrate the AC2600 A10 into any home electronics that have a signal.
These are some of its features:
Dual-Band Antennas - Four antennas are fitted to this router. The result is a crisp signal that works well throughout the home.
App Tether - If you prefer managing your router through Android or iOS, then simply connect to the tethered app that Archer has.
Core Processing - Running multiple operations without lags calls for at least 1.4GHz of processing power. You can expect this range as a normal rate for a bargain price.
MU-MIMO - This programming enables more than one device connection at the same time . This helps build a more efficient home network
4. Netgear Orbi (Best Wi-Fi Mesh System)
Think of a large space, 5,000 square feet, emitting a wireless signal in every corner. The Orbi is significant because of its satellite modules. You not only choose where your strongest signal is, but you can relocate satellite modules as you need to. The secondary modules of the main router are protected with SSIDs and passwords.
Keep in mind these features:
Netgear Armor - Theft protection is built into Orbi through Netgear’s Bitdefender multilayered software.
3 Gbps Speed - The theoretical speed throughput available with the Orbi.
Analytics - Testing, pausing and parental settings are options that you get through administrative control in this device.
Amazon and Google Optimized - Alexa and Assistant are AI operators that are compatible with the Orbi mesh pair.
5. Asus RT-AC86U
If you worry about losing game time, then consider relying on the gaming power of Asus’s RT-AC86U. It’s a great all-rounder network performer, that’s not just for gamers.
The multimedia features of the RT-AC86U are ideal for TV also. You might even find this router as an attractive piece among your equipment.
Here are some of its core features:
5GHz Quad Stream - Nice and fast wifi speed is what the RT-AC86U is all about.
64bit Processor - Multitasking through multiple outputs is ideal with this router.
WTFast - This agency’s “game accelerator” ensures that your router works better, specifically, when streaming game data.
NitroQAM - The objective of this module is to eliminate any lag you might have experienced before.
Why Should You use Your own Wifi Router With Windstreams?
We thought we’d use this section as an F.A.Q.
Avoiding Rental Fees
Most people choose their own router in order to avoid paying rental fees to their ISPs. Save the $$$ over the long run by cancelling the rental fees and buying your own router.
It’s possible to make your money back in just a handful of months. After that, you’re just making bank.
Faster Speeds and More Coverage
If you have many wireless network devices around the home, it makes sense to have a powerful router that can process and handle all the simultaneous connections you might have. Over-the-counter routers tend to have more guts and coverage capabilities.
With a better quality motherboard, decent chipset and plenty of memory, branded routers and modems on the higher end of the price pyramid generally mean a more stable router/modem.
Over-the-counter and out-of-the-box routers tend to have more customization than an ISP router. This gives you way more control, from QoS, to wireless signal strength to parental controls.
How Do I Know What Router is Compatible With Windstream?
The routers and modems listed above should all work just fine with Windstream.
If you’re looking to buy something else however, the Windstream customer service is your best resource in finding out compatibility. Windstream, though eager for you to use their routers, provide modems that are adaptable to all WAN port routers.
Even description digital subscriber lines (DSLs), which are phone line connections, are compatible. You can use a variety of public routers with Windstream modems.
How do I Connect (login) To A Router to Windstream?
Here are the basic steps to getting a compatible device working:
1) Check the Modem - Ensure that yours is connected to a power source and shows a light when your internet signal is on.
2) Choose a Device - Be sure to have a cellphone or computer handy. With the right name and password, you can later check if your router’s network works.
3) Connect with These - Power adapters and Ethernet cables are your common power and data connections. It is sometimes possible to connect with wifi. You’ll likely have to look up the wireless username and password. Oftentimes it’s admin/password, and you connect to the router on 192.168.0.1 – but you should always check the router’s instructions to clarify this (or just Google it).
4) Create a Username and Password - Once your internet is set up through your ISP, you should look to secure your router with non-trivial usernames and passwords. You don’t want snoopers hacking into your network!
Router Features and Considerations to Look out For
Though made as a single unit, multicore processors provide more grunt, enabling your router to work with more devices around your home.
Dual-Band (or Tri-Band) Capacity
Tri/Dual-Band wireless networks can help stop interference across multiple devices all trying to use the network at the same time. By keeping your home devices on separate networks, you help to balance out usage and help your home network perform optimally.
Quality of Service
Modern routers are easy to set up; they’re small, portable and lightweight. Traffic prioritization, which, for example, prioritizes FaceTime chats over Windows updates, is part of the service of a QoS router.
Our Final Words
We want to make it clear, up front, that our personal choice was the Netgear Nighthawk R7000.
Its mix of raw power and mobile-app connections is why it became our choice. We have control over who uses our signal and where that signal goes. If you have a very large home, that requires large coverage, then we recommend the Orbi. With a portable set of satellite modules, you’ll have more flexibility on how your home is covered.
The next thing for you to do now is check these devices out for yourself.