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 Asus RT-AX88U 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 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. Asus RT-AX88U: Best Wi-Fi 6 Router Overall
- Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz, 1148Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 8x Ethernet ports, 2x USB ports, AiMesh support. AiProtections included
The Asus RT-AX88U looks like it means business with gold accents and an aggressive design that looks like it would be at home in the Lamborghini headquarter. A fast AX6000 wi-fi connection is delivered with 4804Mbps at 5GHz and a further 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz. Around the back, there are dual USB 3.1 ports as well as eight Ethernet ports. If you've got a lot to get connected, this router has no shortage of options.
Asus doesn't stop with great hardware and includes a lifetime subscription to AiProtection Pro powered by Trend Micro. Adaptive QoS prioritizes game connections to keep ping times low and fast searches for the best route to a game server. You can also extend your Wi-Fi connection with AiMesh compatible routers.
- Among the fastest routers ever
- Lots of connectivity options
- Great software included
- Large and imposing
- No 2.5G WAN port
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 the competition
3. Asus RT-AX86U: Best Value Gaming
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
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 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 and security with AiProtection.
- Great price for a gaming router
- Upright form factor
- Nvidia GeForce Now Recommended
- AiProtection included
- AiMesh support
- Large size
4. Asus RT-AX92U: Best Value Tri-Band
- Top speeds: 4804Mbps @ 5Ghz Wi-Fi 6, 867Mbps @ 5Ghz Wi-Fi 5, and 400Mbps @5GHz
- Top features: Tri-band, 4x Ethernet ports, 2x USB ports, AiMesh support
The Asus RT-92U is often found as part of a kit including two routers as part of a mesh system but the individual router can be found alone and is a great option for small to medium homes. The AX6100 speeds break down into one Wi-Fi 6 channel at 5GHz capable of 4804Mbps as well as two channels based on older tech with 867Mbps at 5GHz and 400Mbbps at 2.4GHz.
If you've made the big move to mostly Wi-Fi 6 devices by now, it may be worth getting a router with a faster 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 6 band but for most people, the speeds here will be more than enough. You can also make sure you get your wired devices connected with four open Ethernet ports. Support for Asus' AiMesh allows you to create a fast mesh network with a Wi-Fi 6 backhaul with more Asus Wi-Fi 6 routers.
- Tri-band connection with a dedicated Wi-Fi 6 band
- AX6100 speeds are fast enough for just about anything
- AiMesh compatibility makes adding coverage a breeze
- Large and imposing
5. 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
6. 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
7. Netgear Nighthawk MK62: Best Value Mesh
- Top speeds: 1200Mbps @ 5Ghz, 600Mbps @ 2.4Ghz
- Top features: 1x Ethernet ports, compact size
The Netgear Nighthawk MK62 is a mesh system capable of covering up to 3,000 sq ft with its two nodes. With dual-band speeds up to AX1800, this system should be fast enough for most standard browsing and even 4K streaming with a good connection. The Wi-Fi speeds break down to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1200Mbps at 5GHz. Tri-band connections will always be better for mesh systems but the speeds offered here should be enough for most people.
On the back of the primary router, you get a WAN port to connect to your modem as well as a single Ethernet port for wired devices. The satellite node only has one open Ethernet port as well which could be an issue if you have several wired devices that need to be connected. You can add a wired switch if you need though. With a small housing measuring just 4.8 inches deep and wide, these nodes can fit in just about anywhere which allows you to make sure you've got it positioned with great signal.
- Small nodes are easy to conceal
- AX1800 provides enough speed for most usage
- Easy Nighthawk app setup
- Dual-band Wi-Fi isn't the best option for mesh
- Only 1 Ethernet port per node
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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. 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. 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 Asus RT-AX88U 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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