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If you really want to take advantage of everything the modern internet has to offer, you’ll need one of the best Wireless Routers to handle demanding online activities like streaming, gaming, and video calling. A basic router isn’t enough anymore, with many households hosting everything from laptops and PCs to smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and connected home appliances. You need one that can keep up even if multiple family members are streaming Netflix in 4K and chatting on Zoom and FaceTime.
The best Wireless Routers provide excellent range and speed for all devices and users in a household of any size. Whether you live in a small condo or a large villa, advanced technologies like beamforming antennas, quality-of-service, and Wi-Fi 6 support ensure that each of your devices gets its fair share of your broadband connection. The best Wireless Routers aren’t just for power users—thanks to accompanying smartphone apps, they’re simple and intuitive to set up, so anyone can get one up and running on their home network in no time.
Read on for our picks of the best Wireless Routers available.
The Netgear’s Orbi () is a significant departure from the company’s traditional routers, with a design that would look equally at home in your living room as it would in your office. That’s important because it’s a mesh Wi-Fi system, which means you’re likely to have one or more of these units in your living space, so the look needs to blend in.
Don’t be fooled by its appearance; this powerful Wi-Fi system can easily cover even the largest and busiest homes, providing more than enough performance for all your streaming and video conferencing needs. The Orbi has tri-band Wi-Fi, with one of the 5GHz bands set aside as a backhaul channel to keep traffic flowing smoothly between the main router and one or more satellite points throughout your home, even when things get busy. This means that your devices will have access to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, with top speeds, regardless of whether you’re connected to the main router or one of the satellites.
This makes each satellite’s four Gigabit Ethernet ports especially useful, because you can hardwire in a smart TV, PC, or game console and get the same performance from a satellite unit as you would from plugging directly into your main router. It’s also a great system for families of all ages, thanks to Netgear Armor security and advanced Circle with Disney parental controls.
Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: NETGEAR Armor, WPA2 | Standard/Speed: AC3000 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4 (per unit)
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Best Value: TP-Link Archer AX50 AX3000 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router
TP-Link’s Archer AX50 () allows you to take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology without having to spend a fortune. Even if you don’t have a lot of Wi-Fi 6 devices in your home yet, this router will make sure you’re ready when they do, and in the meantime, it’ll keep your 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 devices running smoothly.
The AX50 delivers up to 3Gbps of bandwidth to all of your 802.11ax and 802.11ac Wi-Fi devices, providing enough range to handle a modest-sized home for its low price. It also supports 160MHz-wide channels, which comes as a pleasant surprise given that many more expensive Wi-Fi 6 routers don’t. A lifetime subscription to TP-HomeCare Link’s suite of security and parental control features, powered by Trend Micro, is also included, allowing you to block malware and create profiles for different family members to set time limits and keep your children safe online.
The AX50 has a nice surprise up its sleeve in the form of LAN aggregation. Around the back, you’ll find the usual collection of four Gigabit Ethernet ports, but the AX50 has another nice surprise up its sleeve in the form of LAN aggregation. This allows you to connect two Ethernet ports together to create a single 2Gbps link, allowing you to use some of the fastest internet plans available. There’s also a USB 3.0 port for connecting an external storage device or sharing a printer, and while it’s not the fastest NAS we’ve seen, it’s more than adequate for network backup and even supports Apple’s Time Machine for Mac users.
Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: HomeCare, WPA3 | Standard/Speed: AX3000 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4
Best Security: Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
If you’re looking for a router that will give you peace of mind that your home network is safe from malware and other online threats, the Asus RT-AX88U () is the router for you. It’s a high-performance router with a slew of advanced features, including online security and parental controls, as well as Wi-Fi 6 technology and enough range and power to cover a large and active household.
The RT-AX88U will block malicious sites to protect your devices from malware, phishing, spam, adware, and ransomware attacks thanks to Trend Micro’s AiProtection Pro features. Infected devices in your home are also prevented from making outbound connections that could transmit your sensitive personal information with a two-way intrusion prevention system. A built-in router security assessment tool assists you in properly locking down your network by identifying potentially insecure settings, so you won’t have to worry about a misconfigured router leaving your home network vulnerable to hackers.
On the hardware side, the RT-AX88U includes a powerful beamforming antenna array that can cover a 5,000-square-foot home and provides your devices with a total of 6Gbps of bandwidth. It also has eight Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back for hardwiring in your PC or game console for maximum performance, as well as two USB 3.1 ports for sharing files and other media over your home network.
Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: AiProtection Pro, WPA2, 802.1x | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 8
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Best Mesh: Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi System
The Eero Pro () takes the guesswork out of setting up a mesh Wi-Fi system, thanks to an easy-to-use mobile app that gets you up and running in minutes. This adaptable and expandable mesh Wi-Fi system can expand to cover even the largest homes.
A single tri-band Eero Pro router can cover up to 2,000 square feet on its own, so if you buy a three-pack of Eero Pro routers, you’ll get 6,000 square feet of coverage. If you need more, simply purchase more Eero units, which can be Eero Pros for the fastest tri-band speeds, or standard dual-band Eero or Eero Beacon units, which each provide 1,000–1,500 square feet of additional coverage.
With the exception of the Eero Beacons, each unit includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, allowing you to hardwire non-Wi-Fi devices such as game consoles or smart TVs. The more discreet Eero Beacons, on the other hand, do away with the wired ports in favor of being able to plug into any wall outlet—and they can also be used as night lights around the house. Unfortunately, Eero is one of the few routers that doesn’t support the PPPoE protocol, which is used by many DSL providers, so unless you’re willing to switch providers or have the advanced networking skills needed to work around it, you’ll want to avoid it.
Wireless Spec: 802.11ac| Security: Eero Secure, WPA3 | Standard/Speed: AC2200 | Bands: Tri-band / Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 2 (per unit)
Best for Gaming: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router
Asus’ GT-AX11000 () is an insanely powerful gaming router that can handle the most demanding online gamers’ needs while still allowing the rest of the family to enjoy other online activities such as 4K streaming and video calling.
The GT-AX11000 can handle even the busiest homes, with blazing fast 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 performance and up to 10Gbps total throughput, and the eight-antenna beamforming array can easily cover a living space of up to 5,000 square feet. If that’s not enough, you can use Asus’ AiMesh 2.0 technology to add more routers to the mix and create a full mesh Wi-Fi system. For the ultimate in wired performance, the four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back are joined by a special high-speed 2.5Gbps dedicated gaming port.
Under the hood, you’ll find a full complement of Asus router’s advanced configuration features, including the AiProtection Pro suite of security and parental controls, as well as built-in VPN capabilities and the ability to tweak the three Wi-Fi bands for optimal performance. The 1.8GHz quad-core CPU ensures a lag-free gaming experience, as well as advanced optimization features like the WTFast Gamers Private Network, adaptive QoS to prioritize gaming traffic, and VPN Fusion to protect your privacy without slowing down your games.
Wireless Routers Spec: 802.11ax | Security: AiProtection Pro, WPA3, 802.1x, VPN | Standard/Speed: AX11000 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5
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Best Design: Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 8-Stream AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router
Netgear’s Nighthawk RAX80 () is one of the first routers to support Wi-Fi 6 technology, and it looks every bit the futuristic router it is, with sweeping hawk-like wings that elegantly hide its four high-powered beamforming antennas. This router will ensure that you get the streaming, video calling, and gaming performance you need with up to 2,500 square feet of coverage and support for 160MHz-wide channels.
It’s backward compatible with all of your 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 devices, just like any other Wi-Fi 6 router, so you won’t have to worry about upgrading everything on your home network right away. Of course, the best performance comes from 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 clients, but it still provides a combined 4.8Gbps on the 5GHz band and 1.2Gbps on the 2.4GHz side for all your Wi-Fi devices.
The RAX80 has four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back panel, and it also supports 802.3ad link aggregation, which means you can combine one of the LAN ports with your WAN port to get up to 2Gbps of throughput for ultra-fast broadband plans. While the RAX80 didn’t come with any malware or parental controls out of the box, Netgear has since updated the firmware to include the same Netgear Armor and Circle with Disney features found on almost all of its Wi-Fi 6 routers, though you’ll still have to pay a small monthly subscription fee to use them.
Wireless Routers Spec: 802.11ax | Security: Netgear Armor, WPA2, 802.1x, VPN | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5
Best Parental Controls: Synology RT2600ac Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router
Keeping your children safe from the darker corners of the internet can be difficult, but thankfully, routers like Synology’s RT2600ac () can assist you. You don’t have to worry about installing parental control apps on each of your children’s devices because the RT2600ac protects them from online threats right at the perimeter of your home network.
The best part is that Synology’s parental control features are ready to use right out of the box, with no extra subscription fees to worry about. Filtering rules for your entire home, as well as individual profiles for each of your children, are simple to set up with the router’s full-featured operating system. You can then schedule when they’ll be allowed online and for how long, as well as block content from over 20 different categories. You can even set up separate filters for different times of the day so that you can keep your kids away from games and social media while still allowing them to access educational and research sites during homework time. Safe Search is also supported, which prevents your children from seeing inappropriate results when they search Google, YouTube, or Bing.
The RT2600ac provides more than enough speed and coverage for an average-sized home, with dual-band Wi-Fi offering 2.6Gbps of bandwidth and four beamforming antennas. You’ll have no trouble streaming, video calling, or gaming. Around the back, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB ports, and the RT2600ac also has an SD card slot, so you can easily share your media files with your entire family.
Wireless Routers Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA2, Guest Wi-Fi Secure Access | Standard/Speed: AC2600 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4
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Best for Smart Homes: Google Nest Wi-Fi (2nd Generation)
Google’s Nest Wifi () is one of the features that sets the Google Home ecosystem apart from the rest, providing a level of integration that few others can match. This mesh Wi-Fi system not only gives you the full Google experience, but it also comes with a slew of other useful extras.
For starters, each of the satellite units, which Google refers to as “points,” can be used as smart speakers for Google Assistant throughout your home. This means that any room with a point unit will be without a Google Home mini, which would allow you to make “OK Google” requests. In a 3,800-square-foot home, a single Nest Wifi router with a single point can easily handle up to 200 connected devices, while adding a second point increases that to 5,400 square feet and 100 more devices.
The Nest Wifi is also a breeze to set up and manage thanks to the Google Home app, which allows you to prioritize devices that require the most speed, set schedules for your kids, connect Chromecast devices, and even share Wi-Fi with friends. Many of these features can even be activated using Google Assistant commands, such as running speed tests and pausing your kids’ Wi-Fi access during homework time. The only drawback is that the entire system only supports dual-band Wi-Fi, so you won’t get the dedicated backhaul channel between the main router and the points that higher-end mesh Wi-Fi systems provide. As a result, it’s not the best choice for extremely busy households where everyone is streaming and gaming over Wi-Fi at the same time.
Wireless Routers Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA3 | Standard/Speed: AC2200 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 2 (per unit)
The Final Word
Netgear’s Orbi is the best Wireless Routers and can cover even the largest homes and provide you with the performance you require where it is most needed. TP-Archer Link’s AX50, on the other hand, is an excellent value for money way to enter the world of Wi-Fi 6.