By connecting you to the internet, your wireless router performs a variety of tasks these days. Here in this guide you can find what you need to build the ideal home Wi-Fi network, as well as a list of top-rated routers for a range of needs and budgets, we are quite sure that once you’re done with reading this guide you will find the best WiFi router that fit your needs.
Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.
🔥 Save 60%! 🔥
Are you experiencing a poor Wi-Fi connection and you want to extend your Wi-Fi range? Is your Wi-Fi router still working? If you are suffering from any of these common Wi-Fi router issues, the time is just right for you to get a new router. But this time, get the best Wi-Fi router. Avoid struggling with powerline adapters by looking at the best Wi-Fi routers available.
The best Wi-Fi router is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. This Asus router is a beast, but it may not be the best wireless router depending on your needs. Many Wi-Fi routers will give it a tough challenge.
Let’s get started.
If you are looking for a router that will still be relevant in the future, go for this beast. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX1100 is one of the best Asus routers.
It provides you peak speeds thanks to its support for the 802.11ax standard. The wireless router is excellent when using it for older Wi-Fi standards.
Are you searching for an affordable wireless router that offers great value for money? This wireless router from Linksys is a great choice. Although it is not as fast as the best overall pick, it offers similar functionalities at lower speed levels.
You need to know the meaning of key WiFi concepts now, so when you encounter them as you read, they will look familiar and not strange. Some of these terms include MU-MIMO and frequency bands.
The WiFi standard or protocol shows you the speed of a network. Here are the existing Wi-Fi standards ranked based on speed from fast to slow.
Wi-Fi routers use different frequencies. Most routers show you two options, while others may show you three or more routers.
Here is a quick explanation of the single-, dual- and tri-band:
MU-MIMO stands for ‘multiple user multiple input and multiple output.’ What separates MU-MIMO from MIMO is that access points can interact with several devices simultaneously via MU-MIMO.
When you purchase an access point, you prevent yourself from joining the end of the queue when you want to stream YouTube videos and other internet activities provided by your internet service provider.
The size of the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is huge. If you plan to put it in a small space like a cupboard, prepare for a shocker because there is no way it will fit into a small space.
If design comes secondary to you and performance is all that matters, this wireless router is a beast. The farther away the router is from connected devices, the better the performance.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is powered by Broadcom’s BCM43684 Wi-Fi chip and creates a simultaneous tri-band 802.11ax network (Wi-Fi 6).
This Wi-Fi 6 router deploys Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) to boost your browsing experience. The Wi-Fi router has a quad-core 1.8 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, and 256 MB space for settings
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 can reach a maximum speed of 4.8 Gbps on each of its two 5 GHz frequency bands and reaches a top speed of 1.2 Gbps (1200 Mbps) on the 2.4 GHz channel.
On paper, the Wi-Fi 6 router can reach a top speed of 10.8 Gbps when paired with wireless devices that use the 802.11ax hardware. Because devices that use the ax standard are rare, your device will most likely struggle to hit this top speed.
In front of the box-shaped Wi-Fi 6 router, you will see an LED indicator row. They show you everything going on in the router, like which bands are action, WAN and LAN data movement, little lights for power, the wireless protected setup (WPS), and which connection (2.4 or 5 GHz) you are using.
GT-AX11000 has switches for power supply, WPS, Wi-Fi transmissions, and the boost function. It offers a WAN broadband connection, a 2.5 Gbit wired connection, and four Ethernet ports. You also enjoy several USB 3.0 connections, which you can use to connect a printer or a data disk to the Wi-Fi 6 router.
The settings are relatively simple as long as you do not operate the menus. You can use the Quick Internet Set-Up option for easy setup or explore the menus to configure the bands and other settings.
There are eight submenus in the general section and thirteen more submenus under the advanced section. GT-AX11000 is not so friendly for inexperienced users as there is no basic interface involved.
When you log in to the router, you can see all sections. Inexperienced users can struggle to cope with the overload of information and even more as you dig deep into the menus. GT-AX11000 hits a maximum speed of 741.4 Mbps at a distance (about 30 meters).
The Linksys WRT3200ACM is a router designed more suitable for a small to medium-sized office than a home. It embraces custom open-source firmware like OpenWRT, which allows you to install different software and complete control over the router. You can use OpenWRT to install the best VPN service on the router.
You enjoy a host of features with the firmware. Linksys is always adding and testing new features. Before enjoying advanced features, you do not have to wait for Linksys with the firmware. This firmware gives you access to a dedicated community of networking professionals that create and share advanced features.
Linksys WRT3200ACM supports MU-MIMO technology and Tri-Stream 160 technology. Thanks to these technological solutions, your bandwidth doubles to 80 MHz on network streams. No matter how many people use your WiFi network, the router delivers super-fast ac network speeds.
This router has a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, and 256MB flash memory. It uses four Gigabit Ethernet ports, with a fifth port available for connection to your modem. There is a 3.0 USB port that you can connect to your printer and other external devices for sharing files with your network.
Setting up Linksys WRT3200ACM is fairly simple. Simply plug in and connect to your modem and PC through your Ethernet. You can easily follow the setup instructions on the Linksys setup. If you are familiar with setting up a router, you can do a manual configuration to set everything to your taste, including your 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Linksys WRT3200ACM records speeds of 186.6 Mbps and a ping of 12 ms with a wireless ac connection on the 5 GHz network. When tested across 10 meters from the router, the speeds increased to 206 Mbps and a ping of 15 ms.
The Netgear Orbi WiFi System is one of the best mesh routers and expensive routers that provide you with excellent performance. Mesh routers have systems with a range extending satellite. You can connect the mesh router to your modem and place the connected satellite(s) in another location.
You connect the router to your modem as normal and then connect the satellite elsewhere in your house. The satellite is a crucial part of the mesh system and maintains a strong connection to the router. When connecting remotely, the satellite boost the Wi-Fi signal and Wi-Fi network.
If you live in a big home, getting a mesh router is worth looking into. Netgear Orbi Wifi 6 RBK852 design is not stylish but produces lightning-fast speeds and excellent throughput speeds.
The two-piece Orbi system is one of the best Wi-Fi routers that help you maintain top speeds throughout your home. What separates the Netgear Orbi Wifi 6 RBK852 from other wireless routers from Orbi is its faster processor, top speeds, and a second 5GHz band used as a dedicated backhaul link between the router and its satellites.
Netgear Orbi records more than 540 m² of lightning-fast connection and is ideal for network player users. The router helps move data efficiently and without any interference, helping you to enjoy faster connections even at a distance.
You enjoy high-end features and hardware, such as the multi-gigabyte WAN port on the router that records incoming speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps (2,500 Mbps).
You can download the ORbi app for Android or iOS devices or connect to the web portal to complete the final setup. There are instructions in the app or web portal you need to follow. Plug your router and satellite when prompted, and you can set a network name and password and wait for the setup process to complete.
You can manage your mesh router right from the Orbi app. The available controls are not as advanced as what is obtained with the best gaming router, but it offers enough options to perform your basic Wi-Fi functions. You can keep on the Wi-Fi, perform a quick speed test, and pause specific devices.
Orbi records impressive performance through different tests. Downloading files and video streaming with Orbi reaches top speeds of up 71 Mbps at close range and drops to 666 Mbps at around 25 meters.
TP-Link Archer AX6000 is related to the iconic TP-Link Archer C7. It is a gaming router that has a large size. This gaming router has great aesthetics, but it is more than a beautiful gaming router.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 has a square LED indicator that indicates the connection status of your connected devices using different colors. There are many connection ports available. The back panel contains a power port and a power button, a 2.5 gigabit WAN port, eight gigabit LAN ports, and a reset button.
USB ports are available on the router: a USB 3.0 A port and a USB 3.0 C port. WiFi is also on the front of the router, WPS, and on/off buttons for the LED lighting.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is powered by a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, and 128 MB storage. The router uses a simultaneous dual-band with 802.11ax technology to achieve speedy throughput of up to 1.148 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 4.804 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
Although the router supports MU-MIMO, automatic band steering, and 160MHz channel width, it has no support for the new WPA3 encryption protocol. This protocol requires WiFi 6 certification.
Through the TP-Link Tether mobile app for iOS and Android devices, you can manage your TP-Link AX6000 router. However, the app only offers limited options. You need to use a comprehensive web console to access and configure advanced options, such as NAT forwarding, DHCP server, VPN server, and IPv6 settings.
After setting up the router, it hit a high speed of 129 Mbps in our 2.4 GHz short-range test. On the 5GHz band, the throughput performance hit a speed of 773 Mbps at a short distance.
When the router is 10 meters away from the connected device, it hits a top speed of 315 Mbps. While this drop is visible, the speed is not bad and good enough to perform many functions.
Many of the best wireless routers are expensive but worth the price due to the advanced features and maximum speeds they bring. However, if you are on a budget, you can get some of the best wireless routers for a lower fee.
Budget wireless routers are not substandard versions of the premium ones. The best ones preserve the important properties of the expensive ones at a friendly price. One of the best wireless routers that fall into the budget category is the D-Link AC1200.
On the router’s top, you will find LED status indicators for power, Wi-Fi activity, wired port activity (one for each port), WPS activity, and internet activity. The back of the router has different ports and buttons, including a WPS button, a power button, four Gigabit LAN ports, and a WAN (Internet) port. At the bottom of the router is a rest button.
D-Link AC1200 offers you 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz antennas that offer throughputs of up to 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) and 867 Mbps (5 GHz) and a 660 MHz processor.
Adjusting the settings for this router is fairly easy with the web-based management console or the Android or iOS app. While the app is suitable for simple settings, the management console offers basic and advanced settings. The app and console are easy to navigate.
D-Link AC1200 automatically launches the web-based setup wizard when you connect the router to your PC. This setup wizard helps you configure your Wi-Fi settings, network, and router password. The setup is user-friendly and takes not more than five minutes to complete.
Despite being a budget router, the AC12000 competes with the best Wi-Fi routers for speed. It has an impressive top speed of 74.3 Mbps on the short-range 2.4 GHz test. The router scored 40.3 Mbps during the 10-meter test. When tested on the 5 GHz band, it recorded a score of 332 Mbps at close range and 111 Mbps for the 10-meter test.
At this point, you already have some thoughts on what elements to look out for when buying a router. Hint: speed is one of these elements, but it goes beyond speed.
The internet speed you get on your connected devices is determined by the speed offered by your internet provider and supported by your modem. A fiber-optic plan requires the best router for fiber optic.
A standard 802.11ac router supports most plans available such as the large Gigabit internet plans. Most wireless ac routers can handle your internet plans as they average broadband speeds of 100 Mbps.
While ax or Wi-Fi 6 routers are super fast, you do not need to have them as most internet service providers do not provide an internet connection speed of 500 Mbps. Your Wi-Fi 6 router will come in handy in the future.
The best Wi-Fi routers have a minimum of two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band. A dual-band router has two frequency bands, while a single-band router works on one frequency band (the 2.4 GHz band).
The 2.4 GHz band records lower speeds than the 5 GHz band but compensates by offering connections to a better range. This band of Wi-Fi signal can penetrate through walls, and other structures. 5 GHz band offers a higher speed but narrower range than the 2.4 GHz band.
The 2.4 GHz band comes with your household items that use the same frequency, such as cordless phones, microwave ovens, and Bluetooth devices in the home. This band is suitable for social media connections and web browsing.
For streaming videos or enjoying a great online gaming experience, the 5GHz band will provide better throughput speeds with almost zero interference. The best wireless routers with dual-band allow you to assign a band to specific clients and applications to help you evenly distribute the load.
A normal dual-band router alternates between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, while the simultaneous dual-band router works simultaneously on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
If you have a large family or team that needs an internet connection always, consider a simultaneous tri-band router. This router offers an additional 5 GHz, 60 GHz, or 6 GHz band to help minimize the traffic on the popular bands.
The 60 GHz and 6 GHz bands have super-fast speeds, but they can only connect to a smaller range than what the 5 GHz band can reach. This Wi-Fi signal does not extend beyond a few meters from the router.
The best wireless routers use 802.11 protocols to send and receive data.
This WiFi protocol falls between 802.11ac and -ax and adds the 60 GHz band. The introduction and the ever-growing popularity of the 802.11 ax protocol are now hard to find. 802.11ad uses the 60 GHz band, while Wi-Fi 6(e) uses the 6 GHz band.
This WiFi protocol is an evolution of 802.11ac technology. WiFi 6 offers a higher throughput of up to 4.8 Gbps, and WiFi 6e offers 9.6 Gbps. There is better reach, less network congestion, and greater client capacity with the 802.11ax.
The high throughput speeds of the WiFi 6 protocol are due to improved wireless technologies, such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and target wake time (TWT).
OFDMA splits Wi-Fi channels into subchannels (up to 30 users can access a channel simultaneously) to improve overall throughput.
TWT allows sleeping devices to determine how often they wake up to send and receive data to help reduce power consumption. It improves the battery life of smartphones and mobile devices and smart home devices such as video doorbells and security cameras.
If you are shopping for 802.11ac/ax routers, you will see labels such as AC1200 and AC3200. The letters on the label show you the most recent Wi-Fi protocol the router supports. The number after the letter reveals the top speed of the router.
For example, an AC1750 router can reach a maximum speed of 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. A router that offers 1200 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2400 Mbps on each of the two 5 GHz bands is a tri-band AX6000 router.
Wireless routers offer several features, with the more features available, the higher the price and the better the chances of high performance.
The best wireless routers support the 802.11n protocol or newer use of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology. It uses multiple antennas to transmit and collect up to eight spatial data streams. This Wifi protocol leads to stable speed and high performance.
The 802.11ac protocol offers multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology to provide bandwidth to multiple devices simultaneously instead of one after the other.
With this protocol, four clients can connect to their data streams instead of taking turns to receive data from the router. MU-MIMO only works when the router and client devices have MU-MIMO Wi-Fi circuitry.
802.11ac supports beamforming technology that directs Wi-Fi signals straight to the client instead of spreading them in multiple directions.
This protocol supports automatic band steering. Your router can pick the most efficient radio band on band range, availability, and network traffic with this technology.
Find a great router that has a minimum of four 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports that you can connect to devices such as network-attached storage (NAS) servers, desktop PCs, and home automation hubs.
A router that supports link aggregation is a massive plus if you aim to transfer large files, as it offers you faster throughput. Link aggregation uses two gigabit LAN ports to increase throughput up to 2 Gbps. If your LAN connection fails, link aggregation helps balance your network traffic.
One USB port limits what you can do. With one USB port, you can only connect to a printer, but you can connect to a printer and another device with two ports.
Some routers offer several features for managing your Wi-Fi networks, such as robust parental controls, a guest network feature, and Quality of Service (QoS) options. Parental controls stop your child from visiting adult websites.
What happens when your router is not fast enough, and you need to increase the speed? How do you get the coverage you need? You can use wired access points or Wi-Fi extenders to extend your Wi-Fi capabilities.
Extending through wired access points is recommended for best performance, while Wi-Fi extenders are slower than wired access points but easier to set up.
High-end mesh routers like Netgear Orbi provide a dedicated wireless connection for sending information to your router. A dedicated wireless connection frees up other bands, limits the speed loss, and extends your Wi-Fi coverage.
A WiFi network can cover up to 500 m² based on the number of satellites and precise system. Mesh systems have a main unity that connects to your wireless satellite systems and your modem to provide better Wi-Fi signals to medium to large-sized homes.
Mesh systems are suitable for novice users who are new to the router world and offer fewer customization options than an older router
If your router delivers high speeds, but the network coverage is the challenge, getting a WiFi amplifier can help solve this problem. WiFi amplifiers cost significantly lesser than a new router.
The prices of Wifi routers vary based on performance and functionality. If you want a premium WiFi router that fully equips you with all the functionalities you need for large tasks, consider the Netgear Orbi RBK852.
If you do not need the latest Wi-Fi protocols but want to enjoy the accessibility feature of the firmware, the Linksys WRT3200ACM is the go-to choice.
Are you looking to purchase a WiFi router but are considering costs? D-Link AC1200 is the best budget option.
A router shares the WiFi signal that enters into the modem to the devices in your home networks. A modem links you directly to your internet provider. A router can not function without a modem. You cannot have an internet connection with the modem.
The router controls and manages communication between the devices connected to the router.
Replacing your router every five years is the recommended duration by manufacturer and network engineers. Interestingly, five years is usually the duration a new Wi-Fi protocol comes into the market.
The best place for your router is on a central and high platform where there are not too many obstacles around.
The range of a good router costs around 150 to 350 euros for multiroom systems, mid-range routers cost around 100 euros and high-end gaming routers (gaming PC and gaming console) cost around 280 euros.
Now that you have more than enough clarity about the best Wi-Fi routers and what makes a good router, it’s time to choose.
Consider the Wi-Fi protocols, frequency bands, MU-MIMO, QoS, and more when purchasing a router.
Check to see whether your router is capable of handling the internet speed you’ve paid for. You’ll want a router that offers faster speeds than what’s advertised with your Internet connection. Even when you have several devices and people connecting at the same time, this ensures that you receive the best possible Wi-Fi speeds available.
It’s vital to use WPA2, the second version of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol when selecting the finest router. However, it is also critical to verify that all networked devices support WPA2 in order for this to work. The security of the whole system depends on the least secure device.
For a family of three or four, a speed between 50 and 100Mbps is quite common. If you’re a household that frequently streams 4K video and participates in competitive online gaming, you’ll want a connection that’s closer to 100 Mbps.
A router is a device that performs the task of forwarding internet connections to all connected devices over a network. The networking capabilities of a WiFi are combined with those of a router. A wireless router (or WiFi router) works similarly to a conventional router, except that it operates using wireless radio waves rather than wire lines.
A modem is connected to a computer via a cable to make a wireless router. It may receive data from — and transmit data to — the internet thanks to this connection. The router then uses built-in antennas to create and communicate with your home Wi-Fi network. This allows all of your home’s devices to access the internet.