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 wider coverage in the home. The new Wi-Fi standard is becoming increasingly common in phones and laptops and 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 TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best Wi-Fi 6 router for most people, with fast speeds and plenty of features to keep your network fast for a long time.
The second best option is the Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router 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 a fantastic value pick, the Netgear 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router gives you a basic Wi-Fi 6 setup for less money than many modern Wi-Fi 5 routers.
1. TP-Link Archer AX6000: Best Wi-Fi 6 Router Overall
Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Tri-band, 2.5Gbps WAN port, 8x Ethernet ports, 3x USB ports, Alexa support, powerful app
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 has one of the greatest sets of useful features around with eight open Ethernet ports for wired devices. It also supports 2.5Gbps uplink from either the rest of your home network or your modem. Around the side, there is a USB3.0 port as well as a USB Type-C so you can even connect your more modern external drives.
It has a fast dual-band wireless setup 4804Mbps at 5GHz and 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz. This fast dual-band speed is possible thanks to a wide 160Mhz channel at 5GHz. If you need more speed for a wired device, two of the Ethernet ports can be combined with link aggregation.
Even though this router is covered in antennas with eight in total, it manages to look sleek and refined in a black housing with a gold TP-Link logo in the middle.
- Among the fastest routers ever
- Lots of connectivity options
- Large and imposing
2. Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router (MR7350): Best For Easy Expansion
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
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 1201Mbps 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 back.
- Velop mesh support
- Low profile
- Low Wi-Fi 6 speeds compared to competition
3. Netgear 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX15): Best Value
Top speeds: 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Dual-band, 1,500 sq ft. coverage, integration with Netgear ecosystem, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB ports, low profile
Let's face it, most people don't need a ton of Wi-Fi speed but that doesn't mean they won't benefit from Wi-Fi 6. The Netgear 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router is one of the first and most balanced entry-level Wi-Fi 6 routers. With four Gigabit Ethernet ports and dual-band AX1800 wireless speeds, this router can still provide enough speed for most people including 4K streaming. That breaks down to 1200Mbps at 5GHz and 600Mbps at 2.4GHz.
While this is one of Netgear's cheapest Wi-Fi 6 routers, you still get some modern comforts like WPA 3 security, easy app setup, and 1,500 sq ft of coverage. Netgear is also including access to its cybersecurity solution, Netgear Armor with a free trial. It also has a USB 3.0 port. This router comes in a simple black housing with two antennas that will fit in well with other networking equipment.
- Great price
- Low profile
- Simple setup
- Slower speeds than competition
4. TP-Link Archer AX1500 (AX10): Best on a Budget
Top speeds: 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 300Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Dual-band, Low power usage, 4x Ethernet ports, low profile
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.
- Incredible price for Wi-Fi 6
- Slim design
- Lacks WPA 3 security
- Slow 2.4Ghz speeds
5. Linksys Velop MX5: Best Mesh System
Top speeds: 2400Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1147Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Tri-band, 3,000 sq ft. coverage, mesh capable, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB port
The Linksys Velop MX5 is a very capable router all by itself with AX5300 tri-band Wi-Fi and four Ethernet ports. With its three bands coming in at 1147Mbps, 2402Mbps, and 1733Mbps, there's plenty of speed for any task. Around back it also has a USB 3.0 port sitting above the vertically oriented Ethernet ports.
Of course, the killer feature of the MX5 is that it was designed to be part of a mesh and it has the right hardware to create a flawless experience. Paired with another MX5, the tri-band Wi-Fi will be able to keep data speeds high even if you're connected on one of the satellite nodes. Linksys makes it easy to expand thanks to compatibility with the entire Velop range and a few mesh-enabled Linksys routers. Of course, you'll want the fastest router serving as the main routers.
The MX5 has no exposed antennas opting for a somewhat large rectangular case measuring at 9.6 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide. Some people won't love the vertically stacked Ethernet ports but it's nice to see a mesh system with this many Ethernet ports.
- One of the fastest mesh systems we've tested
- Slim, tall profile
- Easy to set up
- Can't be easily hidden due to shape
6. Netgear Nighthawk AX5400 (RAX50): Best for Lots of Devices
Top speeds: 4800Mbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Dual-band, 2,000 sq ft. coverage, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB port
Netgear has one of the widest ranges of Wi-Fi 6 routers around and the RAX50 sits in a great sweet spot for most people. This router is fast with AX5400 speed from a dual-band setup which should be more than enough for a medium home with heavy usage. The speed is delivered at 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4800Mbps at 5GHz. It's able to deliver this speed thanks to a large 160Mhz wide channel at 5GHz.
Five Ethernet ports are available with one reserved for your internet connection. All Ethernet ports are gigabit-speed so this isn't a great option for someone building a 2.5Gb or 5Gb home network. You get a USB 3.0 port around the back flanked by four antennas.
- Extremely fast 5Ghz speeds
- Wide, 160MHz channel support
- Compatible with Netgear ecosystem
- Very large and imposing
- Low 2.4Ghz speeds
7. ASUS ROG Rapture AX11000 Router: Best for Gaming
Top speeds: 4800Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz | Top features: Tri-band, 4x Ethernet ports, 1x USB port, gaming optimizations, RGB lighting
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.
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 an easy quality of service options. 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.
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.
- One of the fastest routers we've tested
- Built-in gaming features
- Free VPN built-in
- Massive and very divisive design
8. NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Mesh (RBK752): Best For Advanced Mesh Needs
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
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.
- Reliable mesh speeds
- Satellite included in the box
- Support for Netgear ecosystem
- Excellent value
- Boring design
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. 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. Still, it will be some time before it's fully supported so it's good that all of these routers are backward compatible with older Wi-Fi standards.
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 want to get ahead of the curve and future-proof your home, you won't find a much better value than the TP-Link Archer AX6000 with its fast speeds and robust wired options.
Should you buy a mesh Wi-Fi 6 solution?
Mesh Wi-Fi is 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 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.
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