- When choosing the best wireless router, there are several factors to consider, including speed, coverage, range, and ability to handle WiFi 6.
- The ASUS RT-AX86U was voted the best overall wireless router.
- If budget is a concern, the TP-Link AX1800 may be for you.
With a huge uptick in remote work over the past couple of years, ensuring a strong Wi-Fi connection in a home is a major priority. The last thing anyone wants is to spend hours downloading large PowerPoint files when it should take seconds or minutes.
When you add a new wireless router to your home, you are not only going to get a strong Wi-Fi connection, but you will also be taking advantage of improved security, signal strength, and maybe an extra new feature or two.
As a team that spends hours everyday writing, researching, and doing more writing, we’re constantly looking at the best wireless routers on the market. So, let’s take a look at some of our favorites so you can get the best possible wireless connection in your home.
- Best Overall: ASUS RT-AX86U
- Best for Gaming: TP-Link AX600
- Best Budget-Friendly: TP-Link AX1800
- Best Speed: NETGEAR Nighthawk AXE11000
- Best Mesh System: Amazon eero 6+
- Best for Guests: NETGEAR Orbi RBK30
- Best Management: Linksys EA8300
Best Overall: ASUS RT-AX86U (AX5700)
- New-generation WiFi 6 - Enjoy ultrafast speeds up to 5700 Mbps with the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and 160MHz channels
- Mobile Game Mode - Minimize lag and latency for mobile gaming with just a tap on the ASUS Router app
- True 2 Gbps wired and wireless speeds - Aggregated 2 Gbps WAN connections, wired 2.5 Gbps port and WiFi 6
- Commercial-grade Security Anywhere – Protect your home network with AiProtection Pro, powered by Trend Micro. And when away from home, ASUS Instant Guard gives you a one-click sharable secure VPN.
- Easy Extendable Network – Enjoy seamless roaming with rich, advanced features by adding any AiMesh-compatible router.
When it comes to the best wireless routers, seeing the name ASUS at the top is hardly surprising. That’s especially true with the ASUS RT-AX86U, or its more common name, the ASUS AX5700.
If you’re unfamiliar with the naming convention of routers, “5700” means that with Wi-Fi 6 on board, the ASUS can handle internet speeds up to 5700 Mpbs.
That’s more than fast enough to handle gaming, streaming, mobile gaming, and all the remote work you can throw at it. On top of the speed, the AX5700 also adds a lifetime of ASUS AiProtection, which protects your entire network from intrusion. Parents also benefit from AiProtection by enabling advanced parental controls to make sure their kids aren’t snooping around the nasty parts of the internet. And, with AiMesh support, you can create a mesh network all around your home for an increased signal range.
Last but certainly not least, the ASUS includes a host of ports, including a 2.5Gbps port that can be configured as WAN or LAN, along with dual USB 3.2 ports.
Pick up the ASUS RT-AX86U from Amazon here.
Best for Gaming: TP-Link AX600 (Archer GX90)
- Game Band: Tri-Band structure provides a 4.8 Gbps Game Band exclusive for your gaming rigs and bings pure immersion. 4804 Mbps (5GHz, HE160) + 1201 Mbps (5GHz) + 574 Mbps (2.4GHz)
- Game Accelerator: Detect and optimize gaming streams, to ensure your gaming stays immersive
- Ultra Connectivity: 1 × 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN port + 1 × 1 Gbps WAN/LAN port + 3 × Gigabit LAN ports and 2 x USB ports ensure max flexibility and boosted throughput
- Expansive Coverage: 8 detachable high-performance antennas, Beamforming, high-power FEM, 4T4R combine to deliver WiFi coverage up to a 4-bedroom house
- More Devices with Less Lag: OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology deliver data to multiple devices, simultaneously
Anyone looking for the best gaming wireless router should immediately grab the TP-Link AX600 Archer GX90.
Right off the bat, the TP-Link excels by creating a tri-band structure inside your home that dedicates 4.8 Gbps exclusively for gaming. That’s 4804 Mbps of speed across Wi-Fi 6 to take the battle royale crown in Fortnite or destroy the enemy’s nexus in League of Legends. When a game stream is detected, the TP-Link jumps into action and optimizes any game stream to ensure a stable connection.
To keep gaming strong, the TP-Link hardware looks like an upside-down spider with its eight detachable beamforming antennas, but don’t let the router design fool you. These antennas ensure the TP-Link has more than enough power to keep a signal moving throughout a four-bedroom home.
To keep all devices working at the best possible speeds, built-in MU-MIMO technology delivers data to all of the devices in your home connected to the internet, all without creating any congestion.
The TP-Link AX6600 is available on Amazon here.
Best Budget-Friendly: TP-Link AX1800 (Archer AX21)
- Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology
- Speed of up to 1.8 Gbps (1200 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
- Communicates more data to more devices simultaneously using OFDMA technology
In the case of the TP-Link AX1800 Archer AX21, budget pricing doesn’t mean budget performance.
Dual-band 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology ensures you’re receiving the fastest possible speeds, even if you’re on the opposite side of the house. The Archer AX21 can handle speeds up to 1.8 Gbps across the 5GHz (1200 Mbps) and the 2.4GHz band (574 Mbps). That’s more than enough speed to handle all the streaming, researching, working, and gaming you can throw at this wireless router.
Four high-gain antennas utilize beamforming technology to help direct the Wi-Fi signal right at your devices and are compatible with every major internet service provider.
Like some of its more expensive counterparts, the Archer AX21 excels as a OneMesh device so you can match up with other compatible routers to form a mesh network around your home. Taking advantage of all of this tech is a snap, thanks to a quick setup with the TP-Link Tether app.
The TP-Link AX1800 is available from Amazon here.
Best Speed: NETGEAR Nighthawk AXE11000
- 6GHz WiFi band dedicated to WiFi 6E devices including Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Enjoy 4K/8K video streaming, AR/VR gaming and HD videoconferencing
- Powerful 1.8GHz quad-core processor gives you exceptional 10.8Gbps WiFi speed, 9x faster than WiFi 5. Backward compatible for all WiFi devices on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
- Coverage up to 3,500 sq. ft. and 60 devices
- Replace your existing WiFi Router (separate modem or modem router required). Compatible with any Internet Service Provider up to 2Gbps including cable, satellite, fiber, DSL and more
- Sets up in minutes with the Nighthawk app – easily manage WiFi settings at the device and network level, test internet speed and monitor data usage
When speed is the priority of a wireless router, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AXE11000 (RAXE500) is here to answer the call.
With hardware that looks like it comes right out of a Batman tool kit, the Nighthawk can produce an eye-popping 10.8 Gbps of total speed. Of course, those speeds assume you have the right plan with your internet service provider, but if you do, the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6E will make downloads and uploads as fast as they have ever been. Have an internet service that can deliver up to 2 Gbps of speed on the regular? The Nighthawk is ready and willing.
Capable of connecting 60 devices in total without breaking a sweat, the Nighthawk also adds solid coverage for up to 3,500 square feet of space.
Setting up the NETGEAR is a breeze with the Nighthawk app, so you’re online and streaming your favorite movies in minutes. Add in smart controls for parents and all-in-one NETGEAR armor internet security, and this wireless router is the complete package for a premium price.
Buy the NETGEAR Nighthawk AXE11000 from Amazon. here
Best Mesh System: Amazon eero 6+
- Fast and reliable gigabit speeds
- Connect 75+ devices
- Coverage up to 4,500 sq. ft.
- More bandwidth to stream, work or video chat
- Backward-compatible with older eero devices
- Intelligently routes traffic to reduce drop-offs
Mesh Wi-Fi systems have grabbed up a lot of the wireless router buzz over the last few years, and for good reason. Amazon eero 6+ mesh Wi-Fi system deserves all of the praise it receives, thanks to its outstanding range and in-home coverage.
Capable of blanketing a 4,500 square-foot home with coverage for up to 75 devices, doing so with miniaturized hardware compared to other wireless routers is incredible. Available as part of a 3-pack, the strong coverage and high device count are supported by Wi-Fi 6 bandwidth for faster connectivity and stronger reliability.
One of the best reasons to pick up eero is its app, which enables you not only to set up the mesh system in minutes but also to manage the network with an easy-to-use interface.
Speeds can reach up to one gigabit, so it’s not the fastest mesh system on the block, but it is the easiest to use, set up, and maintain for professionals and regular homeowners.
Pick up the Amazon eero 6+ from Amazon here.
Best for Guests: NETGEAR Orbi RBK30
- Tri-band backhaul a dedicated band between your Orbi router and satellite frees up the other two bands for maximum speed to your devices
- Works with all internet providers replace your existing wi-fi router and extender separate modem or gateway required compatible with any internet provider including cable satellite fiber DSL and more
- Wired Ethernet port & fast wireless speed 1 Gigabit Ethernet port and AC2200 Wi-Fi powers up to 22 Gbps of streaming HD video gaming or Internet surfing and downloads
- NETGEAR Armor protects your family's WiFi with an automatic shield of security across all your connected devices with a 30-day free trial
- NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls promotes healthy Internet habits, fosters responsibility and builds trust with your kids (30-day free trial included)
Even as many wireless routers offer homeowners the opportunity to create a guest network, few do it as well as the NETGEAR Orbi RBK30.
Once the Orbi system is all set up, which takes mere minutes to do once unboxed, you can quickly establish protections for yourself with a guest network. That means you can let as many guests as you need access your Wi-Fi while preventing any network intrusions and safeguarding all of your data right from the NETGEAR Orbi smartphone app.
Blanketing a 6,000-square-foot house with coverage thanks to three separate wireless routers, the Orbi adds one wireless router plus two additional satellite units to extend coverage to typical dead zones in a home.
All of this coverage is enough to allow up to 20 devices on your network at once, all on a single network with Wi-Fi 6 speeds. As a bonus, deep parental protections add to the safety aspect of the RBK23 Orbi router for increased security.
Grab the NETGEAR Orbi RBK23 on Amazon now here.
Best Management: Linksys EA8300
- Provides up to 1,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage for 15plus wireless devices
- Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App
- Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering
- Tri band technology delivers the fastest combined Wi-Fi speeds to all your devices
- Tri band Wi-Fi speeds up to 2.2 Gbps (5 GHz / 400 Mbps) plus (5 GHz / 867 Mbps) plus (2.4 GHz / 867 Mbps)
For the most part, wireless router users are plugging in the hardware, creating the Wi-Fi password, and never looking back. Linksys EA8300 owners, however, are immediately downloading the Android and iOS compatible smartphone app so they can manage 100% of the network on their own.
The downloadable app adds the ability to send guests Wi-Fi passwords, establish parental controls, prioritize devices, and more.
The tradeoffs are a lack of Wi-Fi 6, which is a bummer but not a dealbreaker for another few years. Similarly, coverage only extends to around 2,000 feet, but both of these drawbacks aside, the deep pool of customization tools available makes this a solid pickup.
With speeds that can hit 2.2 Gbps, there is plenty of signal strength to handle 4K streaming, gaming, and all the web browsing you can do in a day. Add in MU-MIMO technology for ensuring every device connected to the router has a reliable signal, and you have plenty of tech working in Linksys’ favor.
Check out the Linksys EA8300 wireless router on Amazon here.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Wireless Routers
For anyone who doesn’t spend their day-to-day life learning about wireless routers, there are a couple of important things to know before making a purchase.
The first thing to know is that, ideally, you want a wireless router that supports Wi-Fi 6. This technology is still relatively new, but it’s become much more commonplace as new devices, gadgets, and electronics are released that connect to wireless internet. More expensive but providing the best possible speeds is Wi-Fi 6E, but until more devices support the increased bandwidth of Wi-Fi 6E, it’s nice to have but not a necessity.
Many of the wireless routers above support speeds that go well beyond what your internet service provider is offering you. It’s good to have more speed available, but spending more for maximum speed may likely be overkill if you don’t have a gigabit connection with your ISP. Don’t purchase any wireless router that can support 5 Gbps of speed, thinking that’s what you will get if your ISP only supports up to 1 gigabit.
Coverage and Range
Coverage statements, as part of many of the wireless routers on this list, are considered under the best possible conditions. There are a lot of factors that will influence how much range you actually receive, including the construction of your home, how many devices are on the network at any given time, and the devices themselves that are in use.
Before you make any purchase, ask yourself how much home you need to cover, and then overshoot with your wireless router selection. In other words, if you have a 2,000-square-foot home you want to blanket with Wi-Fi coverage, pick a router that supports 3,000 square feet to account for construction material and other factors that can impact the total range.
Using a Best Wireless Router: What It’s Like
Anyone who wants the best possible speed, range, and reliability for their home internet will want one of these wireless routers. Using them is a reminder that the type of wireless router you buy will absolutely impact how fast you can download, stream, or play games online.
Those who want the best possible combination of the above features should look first at the ASUS RT-AX86U. It’s so great to use with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity that never seems to lose speed, it doesn’t take up too much space, and it has all of the right tech to be continuously used well into the future.
While there are still those that may prefer some form of plugged-in ethernet activity, you can have your cake and eat it too. All of these seven best wireless routers offer strong LAN connections that work just as well as wireless internet, so you have the best of both worlds.
Choosing the best wireless router is definitely subjective, and there are many solid contenders that can easily fill this role. As only one can wear the crown, the ASUS RT-AX86U is the best wireless router on the market today thanks to its price, speeds, range, and easy setup.