Updating your router can improve your wireless speed, especially when streaming high-definition videos or playing online games. A new router can also improve radio coverage while keeping your information safe and private. Our current favorite is Netgears because it offers many great features at an extremely affordable price.
In addition to our favorites, we checked and compared various models currently available and selected the best WiFi routers you can buy. Check out our recommendations to get a better idea of which device suits your needs.
(Shopping on a budget? We've also put together the best deals on WiFi routers.)
The best WiFi routers at a glance
The best WiFi router: Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400
Why should you buy this: It is fully equipped, affordable and offers high speed.
Who is it for: People are looking for the best new router for their homes.
Why we chose the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400:
If you are looking for a new router that will last for years, it must be ready for Wi-Fi 6 – formerly known as Wireless AX and 802.11ax – which offers many new benefits and important changes. It's a huge advance over wireless AC (now Wi-Fi 5) and backward compatible with all of your current devices. As our devices become W-Fi 6 capable, our routers must also be updated. However, upgrades can be quite expensive.
Fortunately, this six-stream Nighthawk router combines the latest Wi-Fi compatibility with a lower price than many other alternatives. You can get a better version of the model, but this option is perfect for an average home and still offers great dual-band speeds. Four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a 1.5 GHz triple-core processor, USB connections and WPA3 compatibility are included for the latest Wi-Fi security.
It's also a very smart router: it offers beamforming and Smart Connect to ensure your devices get the attention they need without dead zones, and OFDMA technology for the most efficient signals. It's even compatible with Amazon Alexa if you ever want to control Wi-Fi connections using voice commands – something that parents may find useful if, for example, they make sure their children learn.
The best high-performance router: TP-Link Archer AX6000
Why should you buy this: It offers Wi-Fi 6 connectivity without sacrificing performance.
Who is it for: Those who are ready to invest in the latest Wi-Fi technology for their home or business.
Why we chose the TP-Link Archer AX6000:
Like our first choice, this model supports Wi-Fi 6 – but offers a performance boost for those who want to push their routers to do even more.
The Archer AX6000 is an excellent dual-band WiFi 6 router that offers speeds of up to 4,804 Mbit / s in the 5 GHz band and up to 1,148 Mbit / s in the 2.4 GHz band. It is compatible with major new technologies such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO. It offers a USB-C port for charging and high-speed data transmission, as well as nine Gigabit Ethernet ports.
This router also includes proprietary technologies such as software that moves devices between bands when a band is too full. There is also Alexa compatibility, so you can perform basic network management actions with voice commands.
Many router manufacturers already offer Wi-Fi 6 models, but the Archer AX6000 from TP-Link is particularly versatile.
The easiest to use WiFi router: Google Nest WiFi
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Why should you buy this: It creates a high-performance mesh network that is perfect for larger houses.
Who is it for: Anyone who needs a large, unified network throughout their home.
Why we chose the Nest WiFi:
Google's Nest WiFi is an excellent example of a mesh network router where multiple nodes are connected together to form a wireless network with greater and better coverage. The router covers 2,200 square feet alone, but you can bundle it with one or two "dots" to cover up to 5,400 square feet. It is ideal for large rooms or houses that have to deal with strong interference and dead zones.
The real selling point, however, is ease of use. Unlike many other routers, Nest WiFi makes setting up and managing a home network extremely easy. In addition, each Google Wi-Fi device also acts as a Google Assistant smart speaker that can play music and control smart home devices.
The $ 169 router unit contains two Ethernet ports that are hidden in a compartment below – one for the modem and one for other wired devices such as a switch or a desktop. The $ 149 points do not have an Ethernet connection, so all cabled devices must be close to the router. This also means that you cannot connect the router and the dot to each other for better throughput.
You can buy a bundle with the router and one point for $ 269 or the router and two points for $ 349. You can get the dots in the colors white, fog and sand.
The cheapest wireless router: TP-Link Archer C1200
Why should you buy this: Few routers can keep up with the TP-Link Archer C1200 at this price.
Who is it for: Anyone who wants to expand their network on a budget.
Why we chose the TP-Link Archer C1200:
Are you looking for a budget router? This $ 50 TP link offers everything you need without breaking the bank. It fits perfectly in a home that only needs a simple network connection to check email, surf and stream light media.
The TP-Link tether app is one of the better router apps for mobile devices. Setting up and managing the router shouldn't be a problem. The router itself has dual-band speeds of the AC1200 class (300 Mbit / s at 2.4 GHz, 867 Mbit / s at 5 GHz), two USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet ports. While these specifications aren't earth-shattering, they're the essential basics you need for good wireless connectivity.
If you want to stream 4K content or do other data-intensive tasks, consider a more powerful model.
The best gaming router: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
Why should you buy this: Prioritizes game services and game data for best results.
Who is it for: Players and everyone who wants the fastest possible network.
Why we chose the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500:
This AC2600 class router supports speeds of up to 800 Mbit / s in the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1,733 Mbit / s in the 5 GHz band. To achieve these top speeds, you need a device that supports four streams (4×4).
The XR500 has a 1.7 GHz processor and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. It prioritizes game connections, optimizes connections for low-ping games on more nervous shooters, and helps you connect to a gaming VPN for added security or regional options. And that is just the beginning!
The XR500 enables stronger direction adjustment and connection monitoring. You can choose even more options like geo-filtering to choose your favorite servers (where the VPN is again useful) and app options to monitor your ping and network status in real time, device by device.
While the XR700 is a newer and better model, it sells almost twice as expensive. Get it instead if you have deep pockets.