With so many great new and innovative networking products available in 2015, average consumers may not know where to start when they are ready to upgrade their networks. Is it time that you cut the cable and invest in a streaming media player, or maybe you need to extend your WiFi signal to eliminate dead spots around your home? Is it time to replace that old cable modem or increase your USB 2.0 ports with an external hub? Our staff experts selected their favorite networking gadgets for inclusion in our list of Best Computer Networking Products below to assist you in narrowing your search for your next network upgrade.
1. Amazon Fire TV Stick
The best selling computer networking product on our list for 2015 is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Stick plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port to provide television content, Amazon Videos, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, HBO Go, music and scores of games. The Fire TV Stick has twice the memory and four times the storage space as Chromecast. Take the Fire TV stick on the road to watch your favorite content in dorms and hotel rooms, too. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is available with the standard remote or the voice controlled remote.
2. Amazon Fire TV
This newest iteration of Amazon Fire TV supports 4K Ultra HD TVs and includes Alexa for the voice remote. Simply speak the name of the program you want to watch and Fire TV does the rest. Enjoy your favorite content without buffering with Amazon Fire TV’s dedicated graphics engine and 75 percent more processing power than previous versions. The Amazon Fire TV ships with 2 GB of memory, 8 GB of storage space and up to 128 GB of expandable storage.
3. ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
The ARRIS SURFboard SB6141 is a high performance cable modem compatible with Cox, Comcast, Xfinity, Time Warner, MediaCom and Bright House. Broadband speeds vary by cable provider, but the modem is capable of up to 131 Mbps upload and 343 Mbps download speed. The ARRIS SURFboard is available in black or white, and can be included with a router bundle.
4. NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender
The NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender plugs into a standard outlet to extent your WiFi signal throughout your home or business. The NETGEAR N300 works with any brand of WiFi router and ships with two external antennae for optimal performance. The WiFi range extender also includes an Ethernet port so you can plug a wired device into the range extender.
5. Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub with Individual Power Switches and LEDs
Connect up to four USB 2.0 or 1.1 devices into the Sabrent 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub, and then connect the hub to your computer to increase your machine’s expansion capabilities. The hub supports transfer rates up to 480 Mbps on USB 2.0 devices. All four ports are located on one side of the hub to minimize cord clutter and confusion.
6. Roku 3 Streaming Media Player 4230R with Voice Search – 2015 Model
The Roku 3 Streaming Media Player 4230R with Voice Search provides users with access to over 2000 channels, including subscription services, free services and games. You can use the Roku 3 to access Netflix and Hulu for no additional charge if you are already a subscriber of these services. This Roku 3 bundle includes the point-anywhere voice search remote and headphone set.
7. TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router
The TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Dual Band Wireless AC Gigabit Router supports a total of 1.75 Gbps throughput speed: 1300Mbps at 5GHz and 450Mbps at 2.4GHz. This router also supports the the next generation of WiFi protocols, 802.11ac. The TP-LINK Archer C7 ships with two USB 2.0 ports to connect devices, like printers, directly to the router to print and share files locally. The router also includes easy installation in multiple languages, the WPS button for easy security configuration and IP based bandwidth control so you can impose precise management of bandwidth for individual devices.
8. Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n WiFi USB Adapter – Nano Size
The tiny Edimax Wi-Fi USB Adapter supports 802.11n, the current WiFi standard and offers automatic idle state adjustment for when the connected computer sleeps. This little WiFi USB adapter supports the WMM standard so different types of data, such as video conferencing, streaming videos and music, are passed at higher speeds. The Edimax adapter supports WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK security, and is WPS compatible. The adapter is self-powered and compatible with MAC, Windows and Linux machines.
9. TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router
The TP-LINK TL-WR841N Wireless N300 Home Router supports the latest 802.11n wireless standard, and ships with two external antennae to boost the power and stability of the wireless signal. This router includes easy to configure security. Enable WPA and WPA2 encryption with just a touch of the WPS button. Though this router is billed as a home computer, you can use in the office setting and configure the device with parental controls for kids or employees.
10. TP-LINK N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender