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The best Wi-Fi routers: Which one is right for you?
Buying a good Wi-Fi router isn’t as simple as heading to the store and picking up the cheapest one. While a basic router might get the job done, today’s high-speed internet and growing list of connected devices are best handled by one of the best Wi-Fi routers out there. In reality, picking the right router can be a daunting task; there are so many details that distinguish routers from each other, and when the quality of your Netflix stream is at stake, the purchase deserves proper research.
In this feature, we take a closer look at some of the best Wi-Fi routers available, giving you a great place to start on your quest for the best router for your needs. If all you need is more coverage, you might also want to look at our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders.
Also read: The best Wi-Fi extenders
The best Wi-Fi routers:
Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best Wi-Fi routers as new devices launch.
1. Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 Wi-Fi router (EA9300)
The best Wi-Fi routers can perform, but they can get costly. Those looking to spend less while also getting a feature-full wireless experience will love the Linksys AC4000 Max-Stream. It’s not lackluster either. The device features six antennas and nine high-power amplifiers, ensuring a powerful connection for large homes.
It has a tri-band setup for better device organization and optimization, with total speeds adding up to 4Gbps. The setup is simple, and this router even works with Alexa, so you can control your internet options using your voice. This is definitely one of the best Wi-Fi routers for the price!
2. ASUS AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
ASUS makes better routers than this one, but you have to pay serious money for them. The ASUS AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router finds a great balance between performance and value. It costs no less than a mid-range home router, but you get the gaming specs. And the looks! You can’t deny it has very futuristic, cool aesthetics.
Check this out: The best VPN routers you can buy
The most important feature is obviously RGB lighting! Oh, and there’s also Wi-Fi 6 with speeds of up to 5,400Mbps. You also get access to a very nice app, LAN prioritization, AiMesh support, integrated security, and more.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 (RAX200) Wi-Fi router
Netgear’s Nighthawk series is known for offering some of the best Wi-Fi routers in the market, and the AX 12 doesn’t disappoint one bit. This one is for those who want to take their Wi-Fi performance to the next level. Wi-Fi 6 can handle up to 11Gbps speeds, and you can connect over 40 devices to it. To learn more about Wi-Fi 6 improvements, you can read the article linked below.
Read: Wi-Fi 6 explained — What to know about the next generation of wireless access
Not enough with a single Gigabit internet connection? This router can handle two with support for WAN port aggregation. You can also share storage using a couple of USB ports. Not to mention that spaceship design will surely spark some conversations.
4. Amazon Eero 6
Some of the most outstanding items in this list of the best Wi-Fi routers feature the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard, but they tend to be pretty expensive. If you want to get Wi-Fi 6 with mesh capabilities, chances are you will have to pay a pretty penny. The Eero 6 mesh system is relatively accessible and offers quite a bit of functionality.
Read next: The best gaming routers
The Eero 6 system can cover up to 5,000sqft and connect with over 75 devices simultaneously. Eero also offers excellent smart features, such as Alexa voice commands, a super simple app with plenty of control, and it even comes with an integrated Zigbee hub.
5. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
If you like the ASUS look and want premium performance, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is one of the best routers. It costs a good amount of money, but it’s actually more affordable than comparable devices.
This router comes with Wi-Fi 6E and touts speeds of up to a whopping 11,000Mbps. It also supports the newer 6GHz band, VPN configuration, WAN aggregation, AiMesh, and more. There’s also gaming optimization, and the design is optimized for better heat dissipation. It’s a beast!
6. Google Nest Wi-Fi
Google’s Nest Wi-Fi is best for those who want more coverage in larger spaces or complex buildings. This isn’t only one of the best Wi-Fi routers but also among the best mesh routers. Mesh networks operate with the use of multiple routers or nodes. These transmit information wirelessly, extending your Wi-Fi reach.
More routers: The best Wi-Fi mesh routers
The Nest Wi-Fi may not have Wi-Fi 6 support and only has two physical Ethernet jacks, but everything else about the Nest Wi-Fi is excellent. The setup is as simple as they get, and it’s done with an app. The design is elegant and straightforward. The secondary points double as Google Assistant speakers to make the deal even sweeter!
7. NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 System
If you want a mesh router system with serious performance, the NETGEAR Orbi system is one of the best Wi-Fi routers. While you are paying a lot of money for the router and a single satellite extender, the NETGEAR Orbi Wi-Fi 6 can cover up to 5,000sqft with Wi-Fi speeds of up to 6Gbps. It can also keep over 60 devices connected simultaneously.
8. NETGEAR Orbi 4G LTE Wi-Fi Router
This one is not as powerful as the Orbi Wi-Fi 6 system, but it has an excellent trick up its sleeve. This router can use cellular networks as its source of internet. It has a SIM card slot with 3G and 4G LTE compatibility. You can connect your traditional modem to it, too, leaving the cellular network as a backup.
While it has no Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, the unit can still hold its own. It has a couple of 5GHz channels with supported speeds of up to 866Mbps. The single 2.4GHz channel is limited to 400Mbps. If the 2,000 square feet range isn’t enough for you, this system can also be linked with other satellite units to create a mesh router system. This is a complete solution to your wireless needs, making the Orbi LBR20 one of the best Wi-Fi routers around.
9. Amplifi Alien
The Amplifi Alien looks, costs, and performs like a high-end router. It comes with all the bells and whistles, including Wi-Fi 6, tri-band radios, gigabit mesh performance, and up to 7685Mbps speeds. You can use a single unit, but it’s also possible to add extenders for a mesh network that can cover over 6,000sqft if needed.
It also comes with a touchscreen that you’ll use to control your network, run speed tests, and more. The app is excellent, and you can even get VPN support. The company also claims the setup takes about a minute. All these features and specs will cost a pretty penny, though.
10. NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro
Some of you need more mobility, so adding a mobile hotspot to this list of the best Wi-Fi routers was crucial. Our favorite is the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro. You’ll have to pay a pretty penny for it, but you can’t get much better than this device when it comes to mobile hotspots. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and can handle up to 32 devices at once, for starters. It also comes with support for 5G. Impressive, right?
If you want an equally awesome mobile hotspot for a much lower price, consider the Nighthawk M1. It’s still a potent option but lacks Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support. It’s also limited to 20 device connections.