The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy can be lifesavers. The difference between good Wi-Fi in your house and poor connectivity can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. Whether you need something with a ton of speed and connections or just want to make sure you don't drop connection when you move around your home there's a router that's right for you.
The best Wi-Fi routers at a glance
- TP-Link Archer AX1800 — The best Wi-Fi router overall has solid speeds, plenty of capacity, and a great price.
- Linksys EA7300 — The best Wi-Fi router value has enough speed for HD streaming and multiple devices simultaneously.
- Netgear Nighthawk RAX50S — The best Wi-Fi router for families has plenty of speed for a lot of connections as well as internet security included for a year.
- TP-Link Archer C5400X — The best Wi-Fi router for gaming has plenty of wireless speed with a laser-focus on wired devices to keep ping times as low as possible.
- Linksys MR7350 — The best Wi-Fi router for easy expansion has Wi-Fi and four Ethernet ports and its coverage can be expanded with any Velop nodes.
- Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 — The router with the best wireless speeds can deliver up to 4808Mbps on each 5GHz band with 160MHz channels.
- eero — The best mesh router is super easy to set up with plenty of options for expansion. Speeds are adequate for most normal use.
- Netgear Orbi RBBK752 — The best mesh router upgrade take the speed up a notch to AX4200 tri-band speeds with a dedicated backhaul.
- TP-Link Archer AX6000 — The best Wi-Fi router upgrade brings with it eight Ethernet ports alongside fast AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
- Netgear C6250 — The best Wi-Fi router with a modem allows you to get online as quickly as possible with a connection speed up to 300Mbps.
What are the best Wi-Fi routers?
The TP-Link Archer AX1800 is the best Wi-Fi router for most people thanks to its AX1800 speeds being enough for most people with the capacity for future Wi-Fi 6 devices.
The second best option is the Linksys EA7300. It is one of the best values you can get with good enough speeds and a low price.
If you're trying to get a big family of streamers connected, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50S is the best Wi-Fi router for families. It has enough speed and capacity for a lot of devices with security software included with the router.
1. TP-Link Archer AX1800: Best Wi-Fi Router Overall
- Top speeds: 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Wi-Fi 6, 4 Ethernet ports
With its Archer AX1800, TP-Link delivers affordable Wi-Fi 6 with a spec list that most people should be quite happy with. A four-stream dual-band wireless setup pushes 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. WPA3 security is supported and a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU keeps the modern software features running smoothly.
Around back, there are four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices flanked by four antennas. There's also a USB port though speeds are limited to USB 2.0. This should still be enough for HD video streaming in a pinch.
TP-Link keeps the styling traditional with a fairly large main housing coming in at 10.2 inches wide and 5.3 inches deep. This router isn't winning any beauty contests but as far as delivering solid Wi-Fi 6 speeds at a great price, it succeeds.
- Modern Wi-Fi 6
- AX1800 delivers plenty of speed for most people
- Large size for its speed
2. Linksys EA7300: Best Value Router
- Top speeds: 1404Mbps @ 5Ghz, 300Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, MU-MIMO
The fact of the matter is, Wi-Fi 5 is fine for many people. If Wi-Fi 5 is good enough for your home, the EA7300 is a great budget option with AC1750 speeds delivered by three prominent antennas. These dual-band speeds break down to 300Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1404Mbps at 5GHz. For a small to medium home and family, these speeds will be more than adequate and support for MU-MIMO will keep downloads and streams humming along.
With four Ethernet ports around back, there's plenty of space for your wired devices. A USB 3.0 port allows for easy network storage with enough speed to stream. Security is handled by WPA2 which should be adequate for most people. The router is a bit large at 10.12 inches wide and 7.24 inches deep but is quite reasonable.
- AC1750 speeds are plenty for most homes
- MU-MIMO keeps multiple connections quick
- Four Ethernet ports allow for an easy upgrade
- Large size makes it harder to place
3. Netgear Nighthawk RAX50S: Best Router for Families
- Top speeds: 4.8Gbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 4x Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 port, 160MHz channel, Netgear Armor included
For many parents, working from home means video meetings, remote computing, and constant communications. At the same time, many children will be attending school from home and will require many of the same services. The RAX50S is a version of the RAX50 Wi-Fi 6 router that comes with a one-year subscription to Netgear Armor. Netgear Armor is a security suite backed by Bitdefender that normally costs $70 per year and offers great network security so you don't have to worry about network intrusion and can focus on work.
The RAX50 has a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 connection capable of speeds up to AX5400. With 600Mbps possible at 2.4GHz and up to 4.8Gbps at 5GHz, this router will keep up with pretty much anything a typical family can throw at it. Four Ethernet ports are available for wired devices with one USB 3.0 port for storage. You will need some space for this router with its four large antennas and wide 11.65 inches wide and 8.11-inch deep housing. Still, this router should be fast enough for the whole family for quite a while.
- Superfast AX5400 speeds
- One year of Netgear Armor included
- OFDMA keeps speeds fast with many devices
- This large router will be hard to place
4. TP-Link Archer C5400X: Best Gaming Router
- Top speeds: 2x 2167Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1000Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Tri-band, Link aggregationWAN, 8x Ethernet ports, 2x USB ports, MU-MIMO
This router is hard to miss with eight antennas sticking out of each side with red accents. The TP-Link Archer C5400X has the speed to back up its looks with a fast AC5400 tri-band Wi-Fi setup delivering 2167Mbps on both 5GHz bands and 1000Mbps at 2.4GHz. This is helped by 4x4 MU-MIMO support which can deliver consistent top speeds to multiple devices at once. Eight gigabit Ethernet ports on the back let you connect all of your gaming devices directly to the router for the best possible ping.
Under the hood, a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU powers Tp-Links Dynamic Optimization Engine to prioritize gaming connections and keep latency low. It also comes recommended by Nvidia for GeForce Now allowing for fast game streaming on your network.
- Nvidia GeForce Now recommended for game streaming
- Fast tri-band Wi-Fi with 4x4 MU-MIMO
- Dynamic Optimization Engine keeps gaming latency low
- Eight Ethernet ports let you connect all your wired devices
- Large obnoxious design
5. Linksys MR7350: Best for Easy Expansion
- Top speeds: 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Wi-Fi 6, Velop mesh support, 4x Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 port
The Linksys MR7350 isn't a terribly impressive router on its own but it has a very nice set of mesh features that make it a great value for a lot of people. Starting off with a dual-band AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi connection, this router has plenty of speed for a small family. Around back there are four Ethernet ports and a USB3.0 port.
The thing that makes this router stand out is the support for mesh expansion with all Linksys Velop products. This allows you to create a fast and diverse mesh network with tons of different features. This router keeps its size down as well with just two antennas and a width of 8.46 inches and a depth of 6.1 inches. This router will be a great fit for a lot of people.
- Linksys Velop mesh support
- Wi-Fi 6 compatible for future devices
- Four Ethernet ports make expansion easy
- Dual-band Wi-Fi not optimal for mesh networks
6. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000: Best Wireless Speeds
- Top speeds: 2x 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Tri-band, 2.5Gbps WAN port, 4x Ethernet ports, 2x USB ports,
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the ultimate gaming router with some of the fastest speeds possible with a 12-stream tri-band Wi-Fi 6 setup. The speeds break down into two 5GHz channels at 4804Mbps and a 2.4GHz channel at 1148Mbps. Needless to say, this is plenty of speed for pretty much any task. Around back, there are four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices as well as a 2.5Gbps capable WAN port next to a gigabit WAN port.
Two USB 3.0 ports allow for multiple devices to be connected for storage. The outside of this router is covered by eight red-accented antennas. Finally, Asus' gaming prioritization software keeps latency low on games and even finds the fastest possible connection to a server. If you're looking for the fastest wireless speeds around, this router delivers.
- Blazing-fast AX11000 speeds
- Fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet support
- Latency reduction with prioritization software
- Works with Asus' AiMesh expansion
- Huge size
- No WPA 3
7. eero: Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router
- Top speeds: Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 for Internet up to 550Mbps
- Top features: 2x auto-sensing Ethernet ports per unit, Easy setup, Works with all other eeros
If you're looking to cover your home with a mesh network, eero is one of the easiest systems to get up and running. While eero doesn't disclose the exact speeds of its routers, we typically see speeds max out around 400Mbps. If you have gigabit internet, this is not your best option since much of your speed won't be utilized. Still, for most people, eero is fast enough.
Each compact unit measures 3.86 inches wide and 2.36 inches tall and has two Ethernet ports on the back. The Ethernet ports can be used to strengthen the mesh connection or to connect wired devices. The node will be able to automatically switch between modes. If you need more coverage than you get with the included node, you can add any eero router to your mesh for more coverage including older units.
- Works with all eero models
- Easy setup with an app
- Compact nodes are easy to place
- Wi-Fi is slow for the price
8. Netgear Orbi RBK752: Best Mesh Wi-Fi Router Upgrade
- Top speeds: 2400Mbps 5GHz backhaul, 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Wi-Fi 6, 3x Ethernet ports on each node, USB 3.0 ports, Dedicated wireless backhaul
The Netgear Orbi RBK752 is a mesh system that comes with one router and on satellite. This delivers up to AX4200 wireless speeds thanks to a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 setup. One 5GHz band is reserved for the mesh backhaul and can connect at up to 2400Mbps. Another 5GHz band operates at 1200Mbps alongside the 2.4GHz band that can deliver 600Mbps for devices. The benefit of a dedicated backhaul is that your mesh speeds stay high but it does mean that connected devices need to share the remaining band.
At 9.1 inches tall and 7.2 inches wide, each node is quite large but thanks to its understated matte white housing, it blends in well. One thing to consider when you buy into the Orbi line is that not all Orbi products are compatible with one another. You need to buy from a limited selection of satellites making it much more difficult to upgrade your coverage down the line.
- Dedicated mesh backhaul
- 3 open Ethernet ports on each node
- App and web interface to set up
- Limited compatibility with other Orbi products
9. TP-Link Archer AX6000: Best Wi-Fi Router Upgrade
- Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 2.5Gbps WAN port, 8x Ethernet ports, 2x USB ports
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is a great step up for people on an aging Wi-Fi 5 router. Wi-Fi speeds of 4804Mbps are delivered at 5GHz and 1148Mbps is available at 2.4GHz. Naturally, all of your Wi-Fi 5 devices will work with this router so you don't have to wait until you have new wireless devices to upgrade. On the back of the router, there is a 2.5Gbps WAN port to connect to a fast wired network and eight gigabit Ethernet ports to connect a lot of wired devices locally.
This router is rather large with eight antennas around the outside of the unit's 10.3 inch long sides. While it doesn't have a gamer aesthetic, it's large size will make it hard to blend in with your decor. You also get access to TP-Link's HomeCare package which includes antivirus, parental controls, quality of service software to keep games running fast.
- Fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds for dual-band
- 8 Ethernet ports let you connect all of your wired devices
- USB-C and USB 3.0 ports allow for easy network storage
- Large device is hard to conceal
- No tri-band Wi-Fi
10. Netgear C6250: Best Wi-Fi Router with a Modem
- Top speeds: 1300Mbps @ 5Ghz, 300Mbps @ 2.4Ghz, up to 680Mbps download with 16x4 channels
- Top features: DOCSIS 3.0, 2x Ethernet ports, USB port, Works with most ISPs
The Netgear C6250 is a cable modem and wireless router in one piece of equipment. With 16 downstream channels and DOCSIS 3.0, this router is capable of a theoretical 680Mbps internet connection. Wi-Fi 5 delivers AC1600 speeds which break down to 1300Mbps at 5GHz and 300Mbps at 2.4GHz. While these speeds aren't crazy, 1300Mbps link speed on the 5GHz band helps it handle fast connections.
This router stands upright in a fairly compact 7.68 inch wide and 7.79-inch tall black housing. There are only two Ethernet ports on the back so if you need more than a couple of wired devices, you'll need to add a switch to the mix. This modem works with most cable internet providers including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and Cablevision. If you're looking to get your wireless devices online with as little equipment as possible, this router is a solid option.
- Standalone internet solution
- AC1600 speed is enough for most people
- Single compact unit
- Only 2 Ethernet ports make expansion a challenge
- Modem doesn't support gigabit download speeds
When it comes to choosing the right router, there are a ton of options available. Your best bet will be to get a little more speed than you need now so you'll have room to grow. People are using their home internet more than ever thanks to working from home as well as increased streaming making a fast network more important than ever.
Luckily, Wi-Fi 6 prices have finally come down to a place where most people can afford them and with more and more devices starting to support the technology, it's the right time to upgrade. The TP-Link Archer AX1800 is a great balance with enough speed to keep most people happy for quite a while and support for future Wi-Fi 6 devices.
Is it time to go Wi-Fi 6 or mesh?
Wi-Fi 6 is steadily becoming more common and as the prices continue to come down, these routers are quickly becoming some of the best values around. Of course, these routers are fully backward compatible with Wi-Fi 5 and early. Moving up to a Wi-Fi 6 router may be worth it if you want to be ready for the next generation of wireless LAN or want a more consistent connection.
If you're looking for more consistency and better coverage with little concern for wired connectivity or top speeds, a mesh solution might be the best bet for you. Mesh systems tend to be more expensive than a router alone but the ability to expand your coverage at any combined with the low-profile and stylish designs will make it worth it to many people.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Samuel Contreras When Samuel is not writing about networking and carriers, 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.
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