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Best Wi-Fi 6E router 2022

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1000 review
(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Wi-Fi 6E is the next evolution of Wi-Fi that offers improved speeds in congested areas, with the best Wi-Fi 6E routers also offering benefits to older devices. Wi-Fi 6E utilizes 6GHz spectrum to enable more consistent speeds in congested areas than was possible at 5GHz. If your devices are ready for Wi-Fi 6E, or you just want to be ready for the next generation, these routers all offer impressive 6GHz performance. The best Wi-Fi 6E router will offer speed upgrades for newer devices without compromising performance on older 5GHz devices.

What are the best Wi-Fi 6E routers?

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is one of the fastest routers ever made, with plenty of speed for both Wi-Fi 6E devices and older devices. With full RGB lighting, this router's gaming roots are clear, but that also means this router is packing great optimization software, and even comes with a gaming optimized 2.5Gbps Ethernet port.

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6E is another solid option with a more modest design and a lower price. This AXE6600 router gives up some speed for older devices, but supports a full 4804Mbps on the 6GHz band. This is a great router to try out Wi-Fi 6E, but will fall short with 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 compared to the other routers.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1000 review

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)
The best Wi-Fi 6E router overall

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE11000 tri-band Wi-Fi 6E
Speed: 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz, 4804Mbps at 5GHz, 4804Mbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN ports, 1x 2.5Gbps gaming port, 1x gigabit WAN port
USB ports: 2x USB 3.2 Type-A

Reasons to buy

+
Fast AXE11000 tri-band speeds
+
2.5Gbps gaming Ethernet port
+
AiProtection Pro included
+
Gaming optimization

Reasons to avoid

-
Gaudy RGB design won't work for everyone
-
Large footprint

Bottom line: The ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is one of the fastest routers ever made, and devices can access more of that speed than ever thanks to 6GHz Wi-Fi. This router also supports fast 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 devices with 160MHz.

The ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 is one of the fastest routers ever made. While very fast AX11000 routers have come before it, it can deliver those speeds more consistently than before thanks to the vast spectrum available with Wi-Fi 6E. These speeds break down to 1,148Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4,804Mbps at 5GHz for Wi-Fi 6 and older devices. For 6GHz-capable devices, there are also 4,804Mbps available. Furthermore, this router can use 160MHz on both the 5GHz band and 6GHz band, meaning that you'll get amazing speeds even on older devices.

There are six Ethernet ports on the back, including four gigabit LAN, one gigabit WAN, and a 2.5Gbps LAN port. This fast port is also prioritized for gaming. The Rapture fits right in with the rest of the ROG line, complete with customizable RGB lighting. While the RGB isn't compatible with Aura Sync, you can still reflect network status or CPU load if you wish.

The gaming design also made it into the software with optimizations to keep your games running smoothly with consistent pings, even with a loaded connection. Not only that, if you're playing one of the best Android games online, your connection will be optimized to find the shortest path to the server. Even if you're not a fan of the gaming aesthetic and don't plan on using the gaming software, this is one of the fastest wireless routers anywhere.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6e Hero Alt

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)
The best value Wi-Fi 6E router

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE6600 tri-band Wi-Fi 6E
Speed: 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, 1200Mbps at 5GHz, 4800Mbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN ports, 1x 2.5Gbps WAN port
USB ports: 1x USB 3.0 Type-A

Reasons to buy

+
Full-speed 6GHz band
+
Fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet
+
Velop mesh support

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited speeds at 2.4GHz and 5GHz
-
Fewer advanced options

Bottom line: The Linksys Hydra Pro 6E has incredible 6GHz speeds at 4,800Mbps but doesn't keep up as well for older devices with just 1200Mbps available at 5GHz. You can even use it in a mesh with other Velop routers.

The Linksys Hydra Pro 6E is a solid Wi-Fi 6E router with AXE6600 speeds and a minimalist design. The speeds break down to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, 1,200Mbps at 5GHz, and 4,800Mbps at 6GHz. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz speeds leave a bit to be desired but should be good enough for most people. If you have a 6GHz device, it will connect at full speed to this router and have no trouble keeping up with just about any internet connection.

The Hydra Pro 6E's design is quite subdued, borrowing heavily from the Wi-Fi 6 MR9600 with a grill on the entire top of the device and an antenna at each corner. This router can be entirely passively cooled with this design, meaning it has one less point of failure. On the back, there are four gigabit Ethernet ports and a 2.5Gbps WAN port.

The one thing that makes the Hydra Pro 6E a bit strange is the relatively slow performance at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. When it comes down to it, using this router with a standard Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 device will be a lot like using an AX1800 router. Still, once you get the most important devices upgraded with 6GHz support, this router will absolutely fly.

Asus ZenWiFi ET8 Wi-Fi 6E mesh router review

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Asus ZenWiFi ET8

The best Wi-Fi 6E mesh

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE6600 tri-band Wi-FI 6E
Speed: 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 1201Mbps at 5GHz, 4804Mbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 3x gigabit LAN ports and 1x 2.5Gbps WAN port per node
USB ports: 1x USB 3.1 Type-A per node

Reasons to buy

+
Fast AXE6600 speeds
+
2.5Gbps Ethernet port
+
Powerful ASUS software with AiProtection
+
Compact and attractive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Reduced capacity on 5GHz

Bottom line: The ZenWiFi ET8 is focused on the future with just enough power for Wi-Fi 6 and older devices and a ton of room for 6GHz devices. This mesh system uses the 6GHz band for its backhaul guaranteeing high speeds with minimal interference.

The ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 is a mesh Wi-Fi system with two nodes running at AXE6600 Wi-Fi 6E speeds. This speed breaks down to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, 1,201Mbps at 5GHz, and 4,804Mbps at 6GHz. Most of the speed on this mesh kit is dedicated to the 6GHz band that most devices today cannot access. This makes sense for a mesh system since the wireless backhaul will use the 160MHz 6GHz band to link the nodes. Still, if you've invested in fast 160MHz Wi-Fi 5 or Wi-Fi 6 cards, you'll only be able to use them at up to 1201Mbps.

This system has two identical nodes with three gigabit Ethernet ports and a fast 2.5Gbps WAN port for the incoming connection. There is also a USB 3.1 Type-A port on the back. With these two nodes, you can cover up to 5,500 square feet, with expansion possible with more AiMesh nodes. AiMesh allows you to use a wide array of ASUS routers in a mesh and gives AiMesh users a serious advantage for future expansion.

ASUS also includes its powerful AiProtection Pro software package that includes antivirus protection, networks security, and advanced parental controls for no extra cost. Speaking of ASUS' software, ASUS allows you to separate your Wi-Fi bands into different names to choose exactly which band you want a device to connect to, which is an uncommon but welcome option for mesh systems.

TP-Link Deco XE75 review

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Cenral)
The best value Wi-Fi 6E mesh router

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE5400 tri-band Wi-Fi 6E
Speed: 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, 2402Mbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 3x gigabit Ethernet ports

Reasons to buy

+
Fast speeds at 5GHz and 6GHz
+
Three Gigabit Ethernet ports per node
+
Three Ethernet ports per node
+
Covers 5,500 square feet of coverage with two nodes

Reasons to avoid

-
No multi-gig Ethernet ports
-
Very limited settings for users

Bottom line: The TP-Link Deco XE75 is one of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6E solutions on sale, with plenty of speed for gigabit internet connections. The 6GHz band can be used as a dedicated backhaul, or shared with devices as well.

The TP-Link Deco XE75 is a competitively priced mesh solution even compared to systems with older tech. While there are faster mesh kits available, TP-Link has balanced the 5GHz and 6GHz bands to offer the same top speeds to older and newer devices so that both can access a full 2402Mbps Wi-Fi connection. The Deco XE75 has a tri-band AXE5400 connection that works out to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 2402Mbps at 6GHz. 

Our Deco XE75 review found that this kit uses the 6GHz band as a dedicated backhaul by default. This setup maximizes speeds for Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 devices, while still delivering high speeds on Wi-Fi 6E devices thanks to 160MHz support. You can elect to open the 6GHz band to devices if you have upgrades and are ready to take advantage of the new spectrum. While this will cut into your backhaul speeds a bit, there should be plenty of headroom to keep speeds high enough for up to a gigabit connection.

Speaking of gigabit, these nodes only have gigabit Ethernet ports. While this will be adequate for the vast majority of users, it's worth keeping in mind that this mesh is not ready for an internet connection over 1Gbps. While these connections are still only available to a relatively small number of customers, some ISPs like AT&T and Xfinity have started to offer these faster connections.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 Review

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

The best Wi-Fi 6E router design

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE11000 tri-band Wi-FI 6E
Speed: 1.2Gbps at 2.4GHz, 4.8Gbps at 5GHz, 4.8Gbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN ports, 1x 2.5Gbps LAN port, 1x gigabit WAN port
USB ports: 2x USB 3.0 Type-A

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast AXE11000 speeds
+
2.5Gbps Ethernet port
+
Great Nighthawk software
+
Nice professional design

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than the competition
-
Netgear Armor is expensive
-
Software is a bit buggy

Bottom line: The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi 6E routers you can buy with AXE11000 speeds and 12 streams. This router also has a great design with two matte black antenna wings on either end.

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is a high-speed router and even matches the top speed of the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000. This AXE11000 connection breaks down to 1.2Gbps at 2.4GHz and 4.8Gbps on both the 5GHz and 6GHz devices. This leaves equivalent hardware to an AX6000 Wi-FI 6 router just for older devices. 160MHz bands are supported on both the 5GHz and 6GHz bands. There is a very similar RAXE450 router sold at some retailers that drops a bit of speed, offering only 256QAM instead of 1024QAM on the RAXE500.

This router looks identical to Netgear's other flagship Wi-Fi 6 routers with a matte black housing and antennas in the wings on the left and right sides of the device. This is a good thing as these routers have great coverage and look cool. There are six Ethernet ports, including a gigabit WAN port, four gigabit LAN ports, and a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port. This is great if you're connecting to a multi-gig wired network or want to connect a gaming PC with zero compromises.

Eero Pro 6E on computer desk

(Image credit: Amazon)
Simple and compact

Specifications

Wireless hardware: AXE5400 tri-band Wi-FI 6E
Speed: 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, 2402Mbps at 6GHz
Ethernet: 1x gigabit LAN/WAN ports, 1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port
USB ports: 1X USB-C (for power)

Reasons to buy

+
Fast AXE5400 tri-band connection
+
Fast and easy setup
+
Very compact nodes
+
Fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet on each node

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited settings available to users
-
Connecting to 6GHz is unpredicatable

Bottom line: The eero Pro 6E isn't the most powerful WI-Fi 6E router but with a compact footprint, access to eero's great app, and compatibility with other eero 6+ nodes, this is a great pick for somebody that wants a simple and fast Wi-Fi 6E network.

Let's get this out of the way: eero doesn't come out on top with a pure spec sheet showdown, and it never has. That hasn't stopped the Amazon-owned company from gaining a dedicated fanbase with consistent Wi-Fi performance that stays focused on stability, rather than chasing the fastest possible hardware. In fact, our eero Pro 6E review found that Wi-Fi 6E devices often ended up being placed on 5GHz, rather than 6GHz.

This tri-band mesh kit is available with one or two identical nodes in the box, with singles available later. The speed comes in at AXE5400, which breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHZ, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 2402Mbps at 6GHz. This allows for both 5GHz and 6GHz to connect at full speed and with 160MHz support on both bands; even older 160MHz Wi-Fi 6 devices can get a boost.

On the back, there's a single USB-C port used for power next to two Ethernet ports. One port is a 2.5Gb Ethernet port, which can be used WAN or LAN depending on what makes the most sense for your network. It's all set up with eero's app which keeps settings simple, but gives you access to the most important things. If you're looking for in-depth customization, this isn't the set for you. However, if you want something that's simple to use and set up, and don't necessarily care which band your device is using, the eero Pro 6E is a strong choice.

How to pick the best Wi-Fi 6E router

Most of us don't really need Wi-Fi 6E just yet, and would be better off choosing one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers instead. However, if you find you're losing speed at a distance, a Wi-Fi 6 mesh router might be a better choice if the price of the Linksys Atlas is anything to go by. Not only that, but many Wi-Fi 6 routers faster than AX1800 will outperform the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E on Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 devices.

The best Wi-FI 6E router will deliver great 6GHz speeds, while maintaining perfect compatibility with older WI-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 devices. The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 nails every aspect with full Wi-Fi 6 speeds at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This router also lets you take things to the max with full 160Mz support at 5GHz and 6GHz.

1. Make sure you get speed where you need it

Upgrading your router doesn't mean the dozens of Wi-Fi devices you already have will suddenly get faster, and in some cases, getting the wrong router can even lead to lower speeds. As you can see with the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E, saving money can come at the expense of speed on the older 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. If you plan to upgrade all or most of your wireless devices in the next year or so, it can work out. But if you're connecting a lot of 5GHz devices to this router, you'll be getting similar speeds to an AX1800 router, with around 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1.2Gbps at 5GHz.

A faster AXE8400 or AXE11000 router will be able to deliver incredible 6GHz speeds without sacrificing anything on older devices.

2. Check the software package

It's easy to focus on specs and forget about one of the most important aspects of a router: the software. Your router's software will control which devices get served first, and play a huge role in your network's performance if you have many connections. ASUS and Netgear have great software control, and have been using it to dominate with WI-Fi 6 routers. These routers also come with some security software built in, though ASUS' solution is free, whereas Netgear has an optional yearly subscription model.

3. Do you need the speed

When it comes down to it, all of these routers are much faster than most people need. While an AXE6600 router can seem slow in this context, it will be a great fit for most people. That being said, someone looking to get a Wi-Fi 6E router now is passionate about technology, and might find the trade-offs not worth it. Whichever router you choose, make sure you pick up some Wi-Fi 6E devices as soon as possible so you can make the most of it.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.