Your WiFi 6 router is the unsung hero holding your smart home together. Why should you go for routers? The best routers will give you that trouble-free network connection you’ve been dreaming about. They’re designed to deliver a more robust signal and provide a more reliable network. What’s more, they come with capable network management tools that are useful when you have multiple users and devices and additional features like a plethora of ports or smart home support.
Why should you think about the router?
Using your router and ditching the gear offered by your internet service provider can also save you $10-$15 every month, as well as delivering a better WiFi 6 experience. ISPs are often slow to update their existing hardware, and a new router will usually pay for itself in savings within a year.
The internet speed you need for your router will generally be determined by the rate you get from your internet service provider and what speed is supported by your modem. For most people, a standard 802.11AC router will handle all but the most impressive plans available, like Gigabit internet plans that are only available in select cities.
Choose from one of the best routers below, whether you’re looking for a regular one or looking to upgrade to a mesh router so that you can get the most out of your network.
Check-out: Best Wireless routers
1. Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80)
The best WiFi 6 router overall
- Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-band |
- Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/Yes |
- Ports: 1 WAN/5 LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB 3.0
- Throughput: 1.389 Gbps | Size: 12.0 x 8.0 x 6.3 inches
- High performance
- Includes malware apps
- Good configuration options
- Throughput falls off quickly with distance.
With the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) WiFi 6 router, top performance, and enhanced security go hand in hand, combining throughput that smashes through the gigabit per second barrier with malware protection and Disney’s Circle app for blocking inappropriate content and managing family network use. And with excellent performance through walls and floors, the Nighthawk AX8 will work just as well in the real world as in the lab,
2. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 router
Weird looks, excellent performance router
- Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: up to 2,167 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: up to 1,000 Mbps
- Connectivity: 4 x LAN, WAN, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
- Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-band Wi-Fi, 8 external antennas, Alexa voice control.
- 8 LAN ports
- Extra security
- Limited app
- Hard to remove LAN cables
For a standalone router with WiFi 6 capability, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best optimal connectivity choice. Are you in the market for one of the best wireless routers of 2021 and don’t mind a quirky design? If a ’90s-inspired sci-fi design sounds like it will fit right in your home, then the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might be the best wireless router for you. It’s not exactly the most modern-looking mesh router out there. Still, it’s unique that it can bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high-end functionality at a reasonable price point and with a simple setup. It’s peculiar looking, yes; however, if you’re scouring the market for a wireless router that can cover a mid-sized home, you can’t go wrong with this.
3. Netgear Orbi with WiFi 6 (RBK23)
Best WiFi 6 mesh router
- WiFi Spec: WiFi 6/Tri-band |
- Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No |
- Ports: 1x 2.5 Gbps WAN port (on base unit), 4x LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports (per unit) |
- Throughput: 1200 Mbps (2.4GHz)/2400Mbps (5GHz) + 2400Mbps (5Ghz) | Size: 10 x 2.8 x 7.5 inches
- Speedy tri-band performance
- Expandable up to 10,000 square feet
- Significant devices are hard to hide.
The Netgear Orbi RBK23 updates a long-time leader in mesh WiFi with the speed and capability of WiFi 6. The faster standard and whole-home coverage of Orbi’s mesh networking combine with the easy setup and stellar performance that the Orbi name is known for. With a tri-band range that can handle 5,000 square feet with only a two-pack consisting of a base unit and satellite extension, the WiFi 6 Netgear Orbi looks like it’s the best mesh system yet.
4. TP-Link Archer AX50 WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router
Best budget WiFi 6 router
- WiFi Spec: WiFi 6/ Dual-band |
- Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/Yes |
- Ports: 1 × Gigabit WAN Port, four × Gigabit LAN Ports, 1 × Type A USB 3.0 Port |
- Throughput: 574 Mbps (2.4GHz)/2402 Mbps (5 GHz) | Size: 10.2 × 5.3 × 1.5 inches
- A great range for a standalone router
- Modest port selection
When it comes to affordable WiFi 6 products, the TP-Link Archer AX50 proves that who can have the new standard at an affordable price. Available for just $149, the TP-link Archer AX50 can cover up to 2,000 square feet and can handle dozens of devices ranging from laptops and smartphones to connected thermostats and smart locks. With improved WiFi 6, the dual-band router is well suited to gaming, video chat, and streaming video, even at 4K resolution.
5. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Best WiFi 6 gaming router
- WiFi Spec: 802.11ax/Tri-Band |
- Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/Yes |
- Ports: 1 WAN, 4 1-Gbps LAN, 1 2.5-Gbps LAN, 2 USB 3.0 |
- Throughput: 731.4 Mbps | Size: 9.4 x 9.4 x 2.8 inches
- First Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) router
- Performance improves with distance.
- Plenty of customization
- Impressive 2.5Gbps wired connector
- Quite large
When it comes to WiFi 6 routers that we’ve tested and reviewed, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 stands out as one of the best, delivering excellent performance and packaging that expanded capability alongside gaming-oriented features that will delight both the gamers and non-gamers in your house.
The GT-AX11000 has a larger design, bristling with eight swiveling antennas. The router offers plenty of connectivity inside that larger footprint, with four downstream Gigabit LAN ports, a single 2.5G Base T Ethernet connection, and two USB 3.0 ports. Wireless capability is even better, with the performance improved at longer distances, super-low latency, and massive 10.8Gbps of maximum throughput. Combine all of this with customization tools and gaming optimizations, and it’s the best gaming device we’ve seen in the new breed of WiFi 6 routers.
6. Linksys MX10 Velop WiFi 6 Mesh kit
Best WiFi 6 router for large houses
- WiFi Spec: WiFi 6/Tri-band |
- Number of Antennas/Removable: 0/ n/a |
- Ports: 1 Gigabit WAN, 4 Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0 |
- Throughput: 1147Mbps (2.4GHz)/ 2402Mbps (5GHz) + 1733Mbps (5GHz) | Size: 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 9.6″
- Sleek, attractive design
- Expands up to 10 nodes
The Linksys MX10 Velop mesh kit offers wide-ranging WiFi 6 coverage for even the largest homes. With tri-band wireless and 12-stream connectivity, what can use up the MX10 Velop to a dozen nodes? Each Velop extension can cover up to 3,000 square feet, meaning a 2-pack will handle 6,000 square feet, and which can add attachments to cover even the largest homes. Wireless coverage is made even better with interference eliminating technology, and 128-bit encryption protects every stream on your home network.
Thanks to WiFi 6’s improved device handling, the MX10 Velop can handle as many as 50 devices and allow simultaneous downloads and uploads across eight devices, whether laptops, smart TVs, or gaming consoles.
Check-out: More gadgets from Amazon.
The bottom line
The best WiFi routers offer you speedy access to everything, whether it’s for work and school or entertainment and play. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a standard router, WiFi 6, or a mesh WiFi system; an excellent wireless router offers incredible speed, coverage, and features that make it easy to manage your home network.
When choosing the best WiFi router, it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of networking jargon and obscure technology standards. But all you need to know is how to answer two key questions: What speed do you need for your internet connection? And what sort of coverage do you need in your home?