The best Wi-Fi 6 routers get us closer to 5G speeds at home. Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) has arrived and promises to push Wi-Fi speeds over 10Gbps by combining 2.4GHz and wider 5GHz bands to provide a better experience and much larger coverage at home. The new Wi-Fi standard is becoming increasingly common in phones and laptops. Now is the right time to invest in one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market.
What are the best Wi-Fi 6 routers?
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX70 comes with everything that people expect out of a Wi-Fi 6 router with great AX6600 speeds, tri-band, eight streams, and 160MHz support. QoS by application and a great control app make this the best-balanced Wi-Fi 6 router around.
The second best option is the Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router, which is for people who don't necessarily need a mesh solution right now but may want to expand their network in the future. Mesh router solutions pair multiple "nodes" together to increase signal quality and speeds throughout larger homes.
And if you're looking for something with the hardware for great gaming with the right software to back it up, the ASUS RT-AX86U delivers. With gaming prioritization for mobile devices, this is one of the best choices for gaming on Android. Game streaming is also a strength since this router comes recommended for GeForce Now.
1. Netgear Nighthawk RAX70
Best Wi-Fi 6 router overall$300 at Amazon
Bottom line: The Nighthawk RAX70 comes with plenty of speed at AX6600 with support for a ton of devices thanks to tri-band Wi-Fi and even 160MHz support. With the Nighthawk software backing it up, the RAX70 should offer more than enough performance for most people without breaking a sweat.
- Top speeds: Tri-band AX6600, 4.8Gbps + 1.2Gbps @ 5Ghz, 0.6Gbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, Link Aggregation for WAN and LAN, QoS by Application
- Fast tri-band Wi-Fi 6 with 160MHz support
- Modern design with a reasonable size
- Lots of connectivity options
- Great Nighthawk software
- Slower than some others at this price
- No 2.5G Ethernet
Netgear was an early leader in Wi-Fi 6 thanks to its well-balanced specs and nice, modern designs. The Nighthawk keeps up this trend with great speeds and the right selection of options for most homes. While there are faster options available in the Nighthawk line, the RAX70 has a great amount of speed at AX6600 with tri-band capabilities and a 160MHz wide 5GHz channel allowing for great speeds on supported devices. This is a great setup for most people.
Netgear packs its antennas into two wings on either side of the main router body. While this won't be ideal for a vertically mounted network setup, it should still provide enough coverage for most large homes. Four Ethernet ports are available for devices around back with two capable of link aggregation. One of these LAN ports can also be combined with the WAN port for link aggregation if you need a bit more speed. It would have been nice to see a 2.5G port, but for most people, this won't be an issue for years.
Netgear keeps its software offering fairly simple with the Nighthawk app allowing for most of the adjustments people need with the more precise control available in a browser or on PC. QoS by application allows you to prioritize performance on a per-app basis rather than by device so no matter which device you connect with, you can be sure your performance will stay high. A Netgear Armor subscription is available if you wish to add additional security software to your router's software.
Netgear continues its spaceship-like design with the RAX70's extended wings bringing the router's total width to 13.66 inches with a height of 6.57 inches. Even so, with three antennas in each wing, it should provide great coverage in even large homes on its own. This is a very nicely balanced router that should suit most people.
2. Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router (MR7350)
Best Wi-Fi 6 router for easy expansion$150 at Best Buy
Bottom line: Linksys melds performance, size, and value with its new MR7350 mesh router. Great as a standalone and even better when joined together in a mesh setup, this is one of the best inexpensive Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy.
- Top speeds: 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, 1,700 sq ft. coverage, mesh-capable, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB ports, low profile
- Velop mesh support
- Low profile
- Setup is super simple
- Alexa compatibility
- Low Wi-Fi 6 speeds compared to the competition
Linksys recently unveiled its budget entry into Wi-Fi 6 with the MR7350, which has dual-band speeds up to AX1800. The dual-band connection drives speeds of 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1,201Mbps at 5GHz. It also has four Ethernet ports on the back as well as a USB 3.0 port. WPA 3 security is also included.
While it manages to cover up to 1,700 square feet on its own, it also works with any of the Linksys Velop mesh routers or even another MR7350 to add more coverage. This can be a great way to help your network grow with your needs or if you find any areas with a weak signal. It comes in an understated black housing with two antennas around the back.
Setup is simple thanks to the Linksys App including remote access. This is also where you can set up the included parental controls and you'll have access to Linksys' 24/7 support to help you if you run into any issues. Finally, you can control Wi-Fi access with Alexa making it easy to stay in control of who's online.
3. Asus RT-AX86U
Best Wi-Fi 6 router for gaming on a budget$250 at Best Buy
Bottom line: If you're a gamer looking for a fantastic router experience, the Asus RT-AX86U is a fantastic option — as long as you have the room (it's pretty big).
- Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 861Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, coverage for very large homes, 2.5G WAN/LAN port, dual USB 3.2 ports
- Great price for a gaming router
- Upright form factor
- NVIDIA GeForce Now-recommended
- AiProtection included
- AiMesh support
- Large size
Asus manages to pack a ton of features into its affectionately named RT-AX86U. It delivers AX5700 speeds with its dual-band connection thanks to a 160MHz wide 5GHz channel. It's also capable of up to 861Mbps at 2.4GHz, which is great for a home with a lot of interference. You'll also have a choice of a gigabit WAN port or a 2.5G WAN port for your internet connection. If your internet connection is gigabit or slower, you can use the 2.5G port for LAN for a high-speed NAS or even a fast PC.
For gamers, there are four Ethernet ports in addition to the 2.5G port. This router is also GeForce Now-recommended for great game streaming. A mobile game mode can optimize your connection for low latency to mobile devices. Game traffic can be prioritized with ease with the setup app on your mobile device.
You still get some other great Asus perks such as AiMesh support which allows you to use other Asus routers to add coverage to your network with a single Wi-Fi name. AiProtection Pro is also included for the lifetime of the product which brings antivirus protection thanks to Trend Micro as well as advanced parental controls.
4. TP-Link Archer AX90
Best Wi-Fi 6 router for homes with lots of devices$330 at Amazon
Bottom line: With a tri-band connection, 160MHz support, and 4x4 MU-MIMO, the Archer AX90 will keep up with a large number of connected devices without giving up speed. HomeCare QoS keeps devices connected to the best band and eight antennas give it plenty of coverage for most homes.
- Top speeds: AX6600, 4804Mbps + 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz Wi-Fi 6, and 574Mbps @2.4GHz
- Top features: Tri-band, 4x gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN Ethernet port, 2x USB ports, OneMesh support, HomeCare software included
- Tri-band Wi-Fi 6 connection
- Fast AX6600 speeds
- Coverage expansion with OneMesh
- Free HomeCare includes security, parental controls, and QoS
- Large and imposing
The TP-Link Archer AX90 is one of the first waves of fully Wi-Fi 6 tri-band routers and it nails just about everything. This router features AX6600 speeds with a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 setup. Unlike some other tri-band WI-Fi 6 routers, every band is Wi-Fi 6. The speeds break down to 4804Mbps on one 5GHz band thanks to a 160MHz channel with the other 5GHz band delivering a steady 1201Mbps. The coverage 2.4GHz band comes in with 574Mbps.
On the back are three dedicated gigabit LAN ports with another WAN/LAN gigabit port. There's also a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port so you can connect your router to a very fast network or connect a very fast PC to the router with no compromises. The eight antennas provide plenty of coverage for even a large home but if you need more, you can expand your wireless coverage with another TP-LInk OneMesh compatible extender.
Many dual-band routers are delivering speeds close to the speed of this router but those won't hold up as well in tricky conditions such as a densely populated apartment building or a home with a lot of interference. The AX90 can connect to your device on the fastest possible band automatically keeping your network running smoothly.
TP-Link has also been making up a lot of ground in the software department with its solid HomeCare package. This includes improved security scanning for connected devices as well as reports to keep you up to date on network activity. HomeCare also comes with advanced parental controls that allow you to block specific content types. Finally, HomeCares's QoS makes sure the devices that need it most get plenty of speed to eliminate buffering even on a crowded connection.
5. TP-Link Archer AX1500 (AX10)
Best Wi-Fi 6 router under $100$80 at Dell
Bottom line: If you want Wi-Fi 6 support for your devices but don't want to spend too much — and don't need the additional speed Wi-Fi 6 offers — the TP-Link Archer AX1500 is your best bet.
- Top speeds: 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 300Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, Low power usage, 4x Ethernet ports, low profile
- Incredible price for Wi-Fi 6
- Slim design
- Alexa compatibility
- Basic parental controls included
- Lacks WPA 3 security
- Slow 2.4Ghz speeds
- Not for those with larger homes
TP-Link offers the biggest bang for your buck with its entry-level Wi-Fi 6 routers. The Archer AX1500 can deliver speeds up to 1201Mbps at 5GHz and 300Mbps at 2.4GHz. While the speeds aren't leaps and bounds over comparable Wi-Fi 5 routers, you do get the benefits of Wi-FI 6 including better coverage and support for more connected devices thanks to MU-MIMO and OFDMA.
With four Ethernet ports, you don't give up any usability either but you do leave behind WPA 3 support for security. Still, with coverage for a small to medium home, Archer AX1500 is the cheapest way to get into Wi-Fi 6 and in the real world, the speeds should be adequate for most people.
The Archer AX1500 can be configured with the TP-Link Tether app. Once set up, you can control your network with Amazon Alexa allowing you to quickly and easily control your network with your voice. Basic parental controls are included allowing you to restrict time spent online for devices as well as blocking content.
6. Netgear Nighthawk RAX120
Best high-capacity Wi-Fi 6 router$450 at Best Buy
Bottom line: Some people ask more from their networks than others and the Nighthawk RAX120 is designed to cope with the extra load thanks to its 12-stream AX6000 Wi-Fi setup. With four streams at 2.4GHz and 8 more streams at 5GHz, this router will be able to cope with a lot of full-speed devices.
- Top speeds: 4800Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1200Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, 12-stream, 4x gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x 5Gbps Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Very fast AX6000 speeds
- 160MHz support with 12 streams
- 5Gbps Ethernet port
- Too expensive for most people
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 doesn't look like too much with AX6000 dual-band Wi-Fi and a fairly standard Netgear design. That breaks down to 1200Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4800Mbps at 5GHz. By these numbers alone, this router doesn't look too special but it does a lot more work under the hood with twelve streams feeding connected devices.
With most AX6000 routers sticking to just eight streams, the RAX120 will be able to keep its speed up even with many more devices connected. This extra capacity is by no means a requirement for most people, but for those that have moved to a largely wireless smart home, knowing your router will be able to cope with the load may be worth it.
The Nighthawk RAX120 is also very capable when it comes to wired connections. A 5Gbps Ethernet port can be used for WAN or LAN so you can make the most of a high-speed NAS or if you're lucky, a very fast fiber internet connection. Link aggregation is also supported so even older and cheaper NAS solutions will be able to connect at greater than 1Gbps.
The Nighthawk RAX120 is set up via the Nighthawk app and it's a quick and easy process. Be sure to allow your software to update to the newest version as soon as possible. You can also manage this router in a web browser with advanced settings. Netgear includes its Armor software package in the app which can add some network security if you're willing to pay for a yearly subscription.
7. TP-Link Deco X20
Best value mesh Wi-Fi 6 system$160 at Amazon
Bottom line: TP-Link makes some of the best-value mesh systems with the Deco series. The Deco X20 delivers AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 speeds to around 4,000 sq ft with two nodes and easy mesh expansion.
- Top speeds: 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 2x Ethernet ports per node, compact size, TP-Link HomeCare software
- Small nodes are easy to conceal
- AX1800 provides enough speed for most usage
- TP-Link Deco app is fast and easy
- Compact housing
- Dual-band Wi-Fi isn't the best option for mesh
The Deco X20 from TP-Link is available as a two-pack or three-pack with coverage for up to 4,000 and 5,800 square feet respectively. For most people, two nodes are more than enough. The Deco X20 has dual-band AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 hardware. These speeds break down to 574Mbps when connected at 2.4GHz and 1201Mbps at 5GHz. Keep in mind that you'll never be able to use these full speeds as the X20 nodes will need to share the 5GHz band between devices and the mesh link. Still, speeds greater than 500Mbps should be possible in ideal conditions.
The Deco X20 nodes have two Ethernet ports on the back. On the main router, one of these must be used to connect the Deco to your modem. The other can be used for LAN devices and can also be used to connect the two Decos via Ethernet for even greater mesh speeds. If you need more speed, TP-Link also makes a Deco X60 with AX3000 speeds. You can even use the Deco X20 nodes to expand another faster TP-Link Deco mesh.
One of the nicest things to come with the Deco series is TP-Link HomeCare. This software package comes with both antivirus protection and advanced parental controls. You can set up profiles for each member of the family with content filters as well as scheduling. For security, incoming connections are scanned for known bad content and blocked if necessary.
8. TP-Link Archer AX73
A solid Wi-Fi 6 option for homes with lots of devices$200 at Amazon
Bottom line: The Archer AX73 from TP-Link is not only very affordable but fast enough for the whole family. It also comes with HomeShied added security and parental controls.
- Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, OneMesh expandable
- Very fast 5Ghz speeds
- Wide 160MHz channel support
- HomeShield included
- OneMesh expansion capable
- Low 2.4Ghz speeds
The TP-Link Archer AX73 is a fast router with dual-band AX5400 speeds. This breaks down to 4804Mbps at 5GHz and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. Compared to an AX6000 router, this router reduces resource allocation to the aging 2.4GHz bands and focuses on 5GHz delivering top speeds where devices need it most. This helps the Archer AX73 achieve a price that works for most people without giving up much speed for the majority of connected devices. Still, with reduced 2.4GHz capacity, this won't be the best fit for a home with lots of 2.4GHz smart home devices like security cameras.
Around the back, there are four gigabit LAN Ethernet ports and on the side is a single USB 3.0 port. This router has a nice design with plenty of ventilation on the top of the router allowing for completely passive cooling. Removing a fan from the equation is just one less potential point of failure. Link Aggregation is supported between two Ethernet ports as well.
This router comes with TP-Link's HomeShield software. Not to be confused with HomeCare, HomeShield offers many of the same features with some simplified to fit a subscription model. While the subscription is less than the one offered by Netgear, you might not even need it. Basic content filtering is available for free in parental controls as well as security information. HomeShield is $5.99 per month or $54.99 per year.
9. Eero 6
Best Wi-Fi 6 router for easy setup$130 at Dell
Bottom line: The Eero 6 is a compact router for small homes or apartments that can be easily expanded into a mesh system.
- Top speeds: 1201Mbps @ 5Ghz, 574Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Dual-band, 2,000 sq ft. coverage, 2x Ethernet ports, easy setup, Zigbee smart home hub
- Easily expands as a mesh with any other Eero
- Fast enough for gigabit connections
- Robust setup and management with the Eero app
- Excellent value
- Only 2 Ethernet ports
- Limited options compared to other routers
Eero 6 isn't breaking any speed records at AX1800 but its dual-band Wi-Fi 6 connection should have no issue keeping up with a gigabit connection on its own or over 500Mbps when deployed in a mesh. The speeds break down to 1201Mbps on the 5GHz band with Wi-Fi 6 and about 867Mbps with Wi-Fi 5 devices. 574Mbps is available at 2.4GHz for a longer range. This router also has a Zigbee smart home hub built-in so if you need it, you can simplify your home network setup.
Compared to most other Wi-Fi 6 routers, Eero 6 is tiny. At 3.91 inches wide, 3.82 inches deep, and 2.42 inches tall, this router will fit in with just about any home and should be easy to conceal out of the way. With only one free Ethernet port on the back, if you have a lot of wired devices, you may also need to factor in a switch. This won't be an issue if you've switched to all wireless devices.
While Eero 6 works fine on its own, it's really designed to be part of a mesh setup. All Eeros are compatible with all other Eeros so if you want to expand your mesh with an older model or think you might want to add more capacity in the future, you can. Keep in mind that if you add more Eeros, you should put the fastest router at the core of the network. Currently, only the Eero Pro 6 is faster. If you want to expand your Eero 6's coverage footprint in the future, the Eero 6 Extender is your best bet.
The thing that helps Eero stand out the most is the Eero app. While nearly every router can be set up with an app, the Eero app feels the most polished and streamlined of all with a solid array of options. The app has all the settings a standard user needs including port forwarding and WPA 3 support. Unfortunately, there is no web interface so that's about as deep as it gets. Eero also has a subscription service called Eero Secure that grants you extra security features and network information if you want it.
10. ASUS ROG Rapture AX11000
Best Wi-Fi 6 router for gaming$450 at B&H
Bottom line: Large and imposing, ASUS's ROG Rapture AX11000 is ultra-fast, insanely spec'd, and just plain over-the-top in every way. But it's also the fastest router we've ever tested.
- Top speeds: 4800Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Tri-band, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB port, gaming optimizations, RGB lighting
- One of the fastest routers you can get
- Built-in gaming features
- Free VPN built-in
- Massive and very divisive design
The ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 from Asus is designed to look like a hardcore router for hardcore gamers. In the spec department, it doesn't disappoint. This router boasts AX11000 speeds from its 12 stream tri-band setup delivering 4804Mbps on the 5GHz channels and 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz. A 2.5Gbps Ethernet port connects this router to your network or fiber internet connection without compromise.
Coverage should be no trouble even in a very large home thanks to eight massive antennas. If you find you need even more coverage, you can expand your network with AiMesh. This allows you to use any other Asus router with AiMesh software as a remote node to add more coverage to your home under a single Wi-Fi name.
Four Ethernet ports around the back allow you to connect your gaming PC or console and keep the pings low. Asus' software makes it easy to add game-specific settings such as port forwarding easily as well as easy quality of service options. AiProtection is also included allowing for antivirus protection from Trend Micro.
One interesting function called VPN Fusion allows you to connect with a VPN most of the time but allows game traffic to pass by to keep ping times down. You also get adaptive QoS and wtfast software. Gamers care more about ping times and packet loss than looks for the most part but that didn't stop Asus from giving this router full RGB controls and an aggressive angular appearance. It will look right at home next to your gaming hardware.
11. NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh (RBK752)
Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router$450 at Dell
Bottom line: The Netgear Orbi RBK752 is another massive, imposing Wi-Fi 6 router that delivers top speeds across huge homes.
- Top speeds: 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: Tri-band, 5,000 sq ft. coverage, 3x + 2x Ethernet ports, dedicated 5Ghz backhaul, easy setup
- Reliable mesh speeds
- Satellite included in the box
- Support for Netgear ecosystem
- Excellent value
- Boring design
Netgear's Orbi line was a great introduction to mesh for many people but Netgear has managed to keep growing with its Wi-Fi 6 Orbi systems. The RBK752 comes with one router and one satellite both with tri-band AX4200 speeds. Orbi does things a little differently than some with a dedicated 2400Mbps 5GHz Wi-Fi band to link the routers together. What remains is a more modest 2.4GHz and 5GHz duo at 600Mbps and 1200Mbps respectively for devices.
This Mesh System will cover up to 5,000 square feet in the home, along with providing access to up to 60 devices at once without slowing down. The primary router comes with three Ethernet ports available to devices and the satellite has two. With this system's strong and dedicated backhaul, adding a satellite to a home office or entertainment system can be a great way to get wired devices online at great speeds.
Netgear kept the design simple with a two-tone gray and matte white housing sitting 7.2 inches wide and 9.1 inches tall. While it is a bit large, it's only 2.8 inches deep making it easy to tuck on the back of a desk or shelf.
Netgear's Orbi app allows for easy setup and access to software updates. You can quickly and easily add additional satellites as needed. You can also use the software to view your traffic usage as well as control internet access to all connected devices. There is an optional Netgear Armor subscription that can add antivirus protection powered by BitDefender as well as additional device controls.
While many people are looking to Wi-Fi 6 to make sure they have as much speed as possible, prices have finally come down even to the point that mesh systems are possible. While many of the best wireless routers do have Wi-Fi 6, some still get quite a lot done with the older Wi-Fi 5 tech. Mesh with Wi-Fi 6 makes a lot of sense for people looking for stability and coverage thanks to its improved handling of multiple connections. Wi-Fi 6 is coming to more devices and there are upgrades already available to desktops and laptops. While Wi-FI 6E routers are staring to become avaialble, they still arent' worth it to most people due to very low device compatibility.
Lately, Wi-Fi 6 has made its way into a wide range of routers from hyper-fast multi-gig gaming monsters into the sort of thing most people would buy. Thanks to this, it's possible for someone to get a great Wi-Fi 6 enabled router at most price points. If you're looking to future-proof your network, you need to make sure your router has all of the most important features. The Netgear Nighthawk RAX70 ticks all of the most important boxes with tri-band Wi-Fi 6, 160MHz support for top speeds, and one of the most modern designs in standalone routers you can get.
Should you buy a mesh Wi-Fi 6 solution?
The best mesh Wi-Fi routers are a great way to increase coverage, but it offers a bit more than just square footage. Carefully placed mesh nodes can build a strong network even in challenging conditions such as a home with concrete walls or around an HVAC system that causes interference. A mesh with Wi-Fi 6 can have a stronger connection to each node with less of a chance for interference.
Still, a lot of people don't need a mesh system at all depending on the size of their homes. If you do find that a single router just doesn't cut it, a great Wi-Fi 6 mesh system will be more capable than one based on Wi-Fi 5. Still, starting with a mesh-capable router gives you the option to expand down the road.
Is it worth paying a premium for Wi-Fi 6 right now?
Wi-Fi 5 routers have gotten pretty fast and for most people today and the next couple of years, there won't be a huge improvement in the user experience getting a Wi-fi 6 router. The main reason to go to Wi-Fi 6 with your new router is to ensure it will work as well as possible with new devices over the next few years.
If you have a fast Wi-Fi 5 router that isn't slowing you down, there isn't much reason to ditch it just yet. If you do need a new router today, a Wi-Fi 6 compatible device will keep speeds high and interference low much further into the future.
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.
Andrew Myrick is a freelance writer at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
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