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This roundup of router, hotspot, and broadband deals features great prices on some of the most cutting-edge technology on the market, including the brand-spanking-new Cisco Linksys AC1900 dual-band router. We've also got two Editors' Choice deals on D-Link products, and another Editors' Choice deal for a FreedomPop hotspot with free 4G for a month.
Is It Worth It?: This small, Editors' Choice device packs a big punch as the cheapest name-brand 802.11ac WiFi dual-band USB adapter we've ever seen. It can easily transfer data on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies: email and web browsing happen on the 2.4GHz frequency, and data-intensive tasks such as streaming HD content and transferring large files occur on the faster, more efficient 5GHz frequency. It features WPS, WPA, and WPA2 security.
Is It Worth It?: Another Editors' Choice networking deal from Micro Center, this router offers smoother HD video streaming, faster file transfers and lag-free video chatting, with less wireless interference for maximum performance. This dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless router features wireless speeds of up to 950Mbps and four Ethernet ports and is also at the best price we've seen for any D-Link 802.11ac wireless router.
Is It Worth It?: Yet another Editors' Choice networking deal! What differentiates this router from the above-mentioned model is its 90-day warranty and free trial of FreedomPop Premier 4G internet service. PCMag says that the FreedomPop system is best suited for households stuck in the dial-up world looking to jump to wireless. The modem features WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption.
Is It Worth It?: This deal comes directly to you from the FreedomPop store, and CNET says that "it's hard to beat a $40 Wi-Fi hotspot." But this refurbished unit does just that! It's similar to the aforementioned FreedomPop setup, but you can take this WiFi device on the road with you. It provides a wireless internet connection for up to eight devices (such as smartphones and tablets), a 1.7" display that lets you track your usage in real-time, and six hours of battery life.
Note that no warranty information is provided. You'll receive 3GB of data free for the first month only. Be sure to cancel before the end of the billing cycle, or you'll be charged $19.99 per month. There is an optional $3.99 fee for rolling over up to 500MB of data each month.
Is It Worth It?: As the folks at CNET will tell you, this newly-released router is all about the speed: "The AC1900 hints that it offers a combined speed on both its 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands of up to 1,900Mbps.... Up to now, even the fastest 802.11n router has been able to offer only up to 450Mbps ceiling speed." This router is also the first in the EA series to have any external antennas. It features 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, a USB 3.0 port, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and WPA and WPA2 encryption with SPI firewall.