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 can be better 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 WiFi routers available, giving you a great place to start on your quest for the best router for your needs. Now, 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 AC2200 Max Stream Wi-Fi router
The best Wi-Fi routers can perform, but they can get very expensive. Those looking to spend less while also getting a featureful wireless experience will love the Linksys AC2200 Max Stream. It can cover up to 1,500sqft of space, connects with over 15 devices, has a user-friendly app, and supports three bands. None of the bands can handle gigabit speeds on their own, but together they can reach up to 2.2Gbps. And the slowest band is 400Mbps, which isn’t slow at all.
2. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Asus’ ROG Rapture routers have gained a reputation for high quality and extreme gaming connectivity. The company takes things up a notch with the GT-AX11000, which brings Wi-Fi 6 and a plethora of other capabilities. Coverage and range should be improved. And while Asus isn’t giving us specific numbers, they claim this router can cover “large homes”. But even if it can’t reach all corners in your house, the unit supports AiMesh, which means you can buy extenders to turn this into a mesh Wi-Fi system.
Check this out: The best VPN routers you can buy
As for performance? This is a gaming router, so you know you are getting some powerful specs. It has a quad-core 1.8GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, which can help you boost Wi-Fi performance with the press of a button. It can run your VPn and network simultaneously, features tri-band connectivity, and supports speeds of up to 11,000Mbps! This is one hell of a router, but you will have to pay a pretty penny for it.
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.
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 the couple USB ports. Not to mention that spaceship design will surely spark some conversations.
4. TP-Link Archer C5400X
You will notice many of the best Wi-Fi routers are made for gamers. This is for obvious reasons; gamers require extreme performance. The TP-Link Archer C5400X is one hell of a contender with tri-band support and a plethora of Ethernet ports.
Read next: The best gaming routers
The slowest 2.4GHz wireless frequency can handle gigabit speeds, and the dual 5GHz one can more than double those speeds. You will need that if you use dual gigabit connections, which this router supports. TP-Link is getting close to the other contenders with this router, even if the price is significantly lower.
5. TP-Link AX6000 Wi-Fi router
The TP-Link AX6000 costs only a tiny bit more than the other TP-Link router listed above, but provides amazing performance and a much more discrete design. This unit supports Wi-Fi 6, with gigabit support even through its slowest 2.4GHz channel. OFDMA and BSS color technology make the connection more reliable, eliminating interference. If you care for security, the TP-Link AX6000 also comes with a lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare, which the router comes integrated with.
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, it’s also among the best mesh routers around. 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 great. The setup is as simple as they get, and it’s done with an app. The design is elegant and simple. To make the deal even sweeter, the secondary points double as Google Assistant speakers!
7. Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 System
Now, if you want a mesh router system with serious performance, the Netgear Orbi system is definitely 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 a very good 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 definitely handle its own. It has a couple 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 very complete solution to your wireless needs, making the Orbi LBR20 one of the best Wi-Fi routers around.
9. D-Link AC2600
If security is your top priority, you’ll find the D-Link AC2600 to be among the best Wi-Fi routers you can find. It comes with McAfee security built-in and a five-year subscription included. It’s great to have security coming straight from the router, a some devices can’t have an anti-virus installed, such as baby cameras, thermostats, and other smart devices.
Other advantages include router-based parental controls and the ability to install McAfee software on any connected device. You also get a nifty app and Alexa support, which are nice extras.
10. Netgear Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot
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 MR1100. The dual-band mobile hotspot device can connect to wireless networks and offer internet connectivity on-the-go. And it does so gracefully considering the unit can connect with up to 20 devices and offer gigabit speeds. Battery life is also pretty good considering the device comes with a large 5,040mAh battery.
The only problem with this higher-end mobile hotspot router is that it is in high demand and has become rare in the market. This means prices have ramped up and sometimes it can cost more than twice the original $250 price point. Regardless, it’s still one of the best Wi-Fi routers for those who need total mobility.