The Best-Selling 802.11ac Routers In Q3

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As faster wireless connectivity becomes a critical necessity at the office and in the home, routing vendors are stepping up their game to meet the increase in demand.

Five companies are dominating the 802.11ac wireless routing market -- Netgear, Cradlepoint, Apple, TP-Link and Linksys. These companies' products accounted for 87 percent of the total market share in the space, according to Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group, which provides data from leading technology distributors

Following are the top 10 best-selling 802.11ac routers sold through distribution in the third quarter. NPD Group's DistributorTrack sales database comprises primarily U.S. Global Technology Distribution Council members.

10. Netgear R6100

Rounding out the top 10 list for 802.11ac routers was Netgear's wireless R6100-100PAS 4Port 802.11n dual-band router. The R6100 router has speeds up to 1200 Mbps and has double-firewall protection.

San Jose, Calif.-based Netgear was the market leader in the space, owning about 31.2 percent of the dollar share for the third quarter 2015. The company has three other products on this top 10 list.

9. Cradlepoint IBR1150

The ninth best-selling router was Cradlepoint's IBR1150LPE-VZ 3Port LTE 802.11ac wireless router. The router is a compact, ruggedized 3G/4G enterprise-grade with internal modems designed for mission critical connectivity in the most challenging environments.

Key features include its cloud management availability and its proven withstanding from vibrations, shocks, dust and humidity. Boise, Idaho-based Cradlepoint sold the second-most 802.11ac routers through distribution for the quarter.

8. Netgear R6250

If you have 10 or more wireless devices inside your home, a top solution is Netgear's R6250-100NAS 4Port 802.11ac wireless router -- the eighth-best-selling product sold during the quarter. The R6250 delivers AC1600 Wi-Fi, up to 1300 Mbps and has Beamforming+ technology, which locks on a wireless device in a network and aims Wi-Fi signals straight at the device.

7. Linksys Group WRT1900

Coming it at No. 7 on the list is Linksys' WRT1900AC 1300-Mbps 4Port 802.11ac wireless router. The product is engineered with industry-leading features and "next-generation" software that delivers speeds up to 1.9 Gbps. The WFT1900 features four external adjustable high-performance antennas designed to help tablets, smartphones, laptops and other connected devices achieve optimal performance.

Linksys, a division of Los Angeles-based Belkin International, sold the fourth-most 802.11ac routers through distribution for the quarter.

6. TP-Link Archer C9

The sixth-best-selling 802.11ac router was TP-Link's ARCHER C9 AC1900 4Port 1300-Mbps 802.11ac dual band wireless router. The Archer C9 has three dual-band detachable antennas that provide maximum omnidirectional wireless coverage and Beamforming technology that delivers efficient wireless connectivity. It also has a 1GHz dual-core processor to ensure no interruption when simultaneously processing multiple wireless or wired tasks.

Shenzhen, China-based TP-Link sold the fifth-most 802.11ac routers for the quarter -- capturing nearly 10 percent of the market share.

5. TP-Link Archer C7

Just ahead of TP-Link's Archer C9, is the Archer C7 AC1750 4Port 1300-Mbps dual-band wireless router. The Archer C7 has 2.4GHz 450Mbps and 5GHz 1300-Mbps connections for 1.75 Gbps of available bandwidth. With two multi-functional USB 2.0 ports, it can share printers, files and media with different devices through a local network. Its Guest Network Access provides a secure wireless access for guests sharing a home or office network.

4. Netgear Nighthawk R8000

Netgear also took home the fourth-most-sold router for the quarter with its R8000-100NAS Nighthawk X6 AC3200 4Port 600-Mbps 802.11ac Tri-Band wireless router. The router was built to automatically connect every device in a home -- tablets, phones, TVs, game consoles and cameras. Features include wireless speed of up to 3.2Gbps, 3 Wi-Fi bands, six high-performance antennas and Smart Connect intelligence, which designates slower and faster devices to separate wireless bands.

It also comes with the Netgear genie app -- a personal dashboard to monitor, control and repair a network.

3. Apple Airport Extreme

Apple's ME918LL/A AC1750 Airport Extreme Base Station 802.11ac router took home the bronze medal for the third-most-sold router for the quarter. Airport Extreme transmits at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies at the same time, so wireless devices will automatically connect to the best available band for the fastest performance possible. The router has six antennas -- three for 2.4GHz and three for 5GHz -- along with a built-in firewall.

Because of the success of the router, Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple pulled in the third-most 802.11ac routing sales for the quarter -- capturing 12 percent market share.

2. Netgear Nighthawk R7000

The silver medal for the most 802.11ac routers sold in the quarter goes to Netgear's R7000-100PAS AC1900 4Port 802.11ac dual-band wireless router. The company's highest-selling router was built with gaming, streaming and mobile devices in mind with Beamforming+ technology. Containing a 1GHz dual-core processor, the router has wireless speeds up to 1300 Mbps along with three external antennas.

The router has free PC backup software and the Netgear genie app with remote access capabilities.

1. Cradlepoint IBR1100

The best-selling 802.11ac router for the quarter was Cradlepoint's IBR1100LPE-VZ 3Port 3G/4G LTE 802.11ac wireless router. The ruggedized 3G/4G/LTE network solution was designed similar to its IBR1500 for mission-critical connectivity in hazardous environments.

The IBR1100 has a dual-modem dock capability that provides flexibility in deployment with additional bandwidth or failover capability across multiple carriers. Its software-defined radio supports multiple carriers and has a built-in transient and reverse polarity voltage protection.

Through its innovate IBR routing line, Cradlepoint was by far the fastest-growing company for the quarter in the space. It nabbed 20.2 percent of the market share, representing a 20 point increase from the year-before.