The best Wi-Fi 6 routers provide excellent speeds, a strong signal, best-in-class device management and are available as either standalone units or as part of a mesh Wi-Fi system. If you have a lot of connected devices in your home, upgrading to the latest major Wi-Fi standard can help ensure your devices stay online and that there’s plenty of bandwidth for everyone in your household.
In addition to both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands, Wi-Fi 6E adds a third 6 GHz band that is dramatically faster with unbeatable performance gains. This can help you avoid network congestion and upgrading to one of the best Wi-Fi 6E routers can ensure you’re well prepared for the future.
We’ve highlighted Wi-Fi 6 and 6E routers designed for both small and large homes with all of the features you’ll need to completely upgrade your home network. Whether you want a standalone router or a mesh Wi-Fi system for whole-home connectivity, there’s something here for every budget.
The best Wi-Fi 6 routers right now
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The Asus RT-AX86U is a Wi-Fi 6 powerhouse that delivers great speeds and killer gaming features, as well as awesome customization options, all for under $300. With high-end performance and lifetime protection against intrusions and malware, it's also a great option for securing your entire home network, providing long term protection without a subscription fee, and carrying a two-year warranty.
But the real draw of the Asus RT-AX86U is the performance, which approaches the the magical 1-Gbps mark to provide speedy and effortless connectivity for all of your devices.
With excellent range and great performance — even through walls and between floors — the RT-AX86U is equal parts general-use router and elite gaming router, and the collection of features and ports it offers are a steal compared to some of the top-performing gaming gear. If you want the best Wi-Fi 6 router for the whole household, the Asus RT-AX86U is it.
Read our full Asus RT-AX86U review.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 was the first Wi-Fi 6e router to hit the market, and the results are mind-blowing. By adding a 6-GHz band to the already impressive capabilities of Wi-Fi 6, the Nighthawk RAXE500 delivers category-leading performance.
With an AXE11000 rating, the tri-band device more than lives up to the hype by delivering nearly 2.5 Gbps of real-world data. Add this to the slick design and highly customizable configuration options, and the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 becomes one of the best routers we've ever reviewed, and possibly the fastest.
By adding access to a slew of new data-delivering channels in the 6-GHz spectrum, the tri-band Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 takes the lead as the first high-performance Wi-Fi 6e router. While it’s best at close quarters and is quite expensive, the RAXE500 is worth every penny if you have the need for speed.
Read our full Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 review.
The Linksys Atlas Max 6E was the first mesh Wi-Fi router we tested that beat the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) in terms of overall throughput. At 15 feet, the Atlas 6E had a throughput of 1.189 Gbps of data, which stayed strong at 25 feet (1.008 Gbps), before dropping to 382.2 Mbps at 50 feet.
Each Atlas Max 6E device has 12 amplified antennas, one 5Gbps WAN input port, four downstream gigabit LAN ports and a USB 3.0 port for attaching a storage device. Just as significantly, each can be configured as the host router or satellite during setup. We also like the fact that it comes with a three-year warranty and lifetime support, which blows away the competition.
Read our full Linksys Atlas Max 6E review.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT6 is a mesh router designed specifically for gamers that pushes Wi-Fi 6 to the max. Part of Asus' Republic of Gamers line, this mesh Wi-Fi system is available in a two-pack and can cover up to 5,800 square feet with a strong Wi-Fi signal.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT6 stands out due to its trapezoidal shape and built-in RGB lighting. Instead of being tucked away out of sight, it's meant to be out in the open and prominently displayed at your next LAN party. Under the hood, the GT6 has an array of nine antennas for better coverage and on the back, there's a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port as well as three gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 3.2 port for accessing data from a flash drive or portable hard drive across your network.
Since the GT6 doesn't ship with Wi-Fi 6E, it's limited to a single 2.4 GHz band and a pair of 5 GHz bands. However, besides using 160 MHz data channels and beamforming, it creates 2X2 2.4GHz streams as well as 4X4 5GHz transmissions to reach a maximum throughput of 10.1 Gbps. In our testing, we were pleasantly surprised by how the GT6 was able to meet the Orbi RBK852 in terms of raw performance with a top speed of 1.36 Gbps at 15 feet while also being cheaper.
Read our full Asus ROG Rapture GT6 review.
Easily the fastest mesh-router system on the planet, Netgear's Orbi RBKE963 is also the most expensive. But if you have money to burn, a gigabit broadband connection and an enormous house, this is the mesh system for you.
The RBKE963 can cover up to 9,000 square feet; add a third satellite and you can go to 12,000 square feet. At a distance of 15 feet, the router's 6-Ghz channel delivered throughput of more than a gigabit, the first mesh router to do so in our tests.
Each unit has 12 antennas and four Ethernet ports (one rated at 2.5 Gbps), and the system creates channels on the 2.5, 5 and 6-Ghz bands, plus a fourth 5-Ghz one for backhaul between units.
Netgear offers trial subscriptions to its Armor security software, which includes Bitdefender antivirus, and parental controls. You'll also have to pay for tech support after 90 days.
But if you can afford to pay for this mesh system, you won't mind. If not, the Wi-Fi 6-based Orbi RBK852 further down this page makes for a worthy alternative.
Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963) review.
The Eero Pro 6 combines tri-band Wi-Fi 6 networking with a mesh setup that's quicker and easier than pretty much any mesh system we've reviewed, making it the best way to get great performance throughout your home without much hassle. With a single unit covering 2,000 square feet with reasonably fast Wi-Fi, the three-pack Eero Pro 6 will blanket up to 6,000 square feet with ease — and we set up the three-piece system in about 11 minutes.
It may not have the highest throughput, but the Eero Pro 6 mesh kit does well at mid-range distances where others peter out, is quick to set up and automatically adjusts just about everything.
If you want granular customization, then tools like band steering, local DNS caching and home automation tools, it's got those, too. But the Eero Pro 6 does it's best when it lets you set it and forget it, giving you speedy Wi-Fi 6 without the hassles.
Read our full Eero Pro 6 review.
With the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) Wi-Fi 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.
It may be expensive but the RAX80 offers easy setup and lets you configure the router exactly the way you want it. It's also got a 90-foot range, but delivers better performance at distances of 50 feet, making it better suited to medium-sized homes. By almost any measure, the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) is a great Wi-Fi-6 router to get if you don’t want to compromise on speed and safety.
Read our full Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) review.
The Deco XE75 from TP-Link is available in either two-packs or three-packs and this mesh router system provides an inexpensive way to create a Wi-Fi 6E network that can fill your whole home with Wi-Fi. Each of the two (or three) nodes can act as either a satellite or a router and they all have three Ethernet ports that can be used to hardwire devices or as a wired access point.
In our testing, the Deco XE75 had excellent data flow through walls, clause up and at middle distances with a throughput of 1.220 Gbps at 15 feet. While you can use the 6GHz band to connect newer computers and phones, you can also use it for wireless backhaul between the unit designated as the router and the satellites. One downside to the XE75 is that its Ethernet ports only support 1Gbps which is why TP-Link just released the Deco XE75 Pro which features a 2.5G Ethernet port for multi-gig connections.
Read our full TP-Link Deco XE75 review
The Netgear Orbi RBK852 updates a long-time leader in mesh Wi-Fi with the speed and capability of Wi-Fi 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 tri-band coverage that can handle 5,000 square feet with only a two-pack consisting of a base unit and satellite extension, the Wi-Fi 6 Netgear Orbi looks like it's one of the best mesh systems yet.
In addition to massively improved speeds and handling of multiple devices, the Orbi also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for seamless voice control throughout the house. Every Orbi extension that we've loved in the past works with the new Wi-Fi 6 models as well, whether it's the outdoor extensions or the Orbi Voice that has a built-in smart speaker. (And don't forget the somewhat cheaper Netgear Orbi RBK752.)
Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) review.
The Linksys Velop AX4200 mesh kit offers tri-band Wi-Fi 6 that can cover a large home in Wi-Fi signal without the higher prices of many Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems.
With decent throughput and great range — the three-pack we reviewed can fill an 8,000 square feet, and is easily expanded with additional units — this affordable mesh system offers simple configuration tools and a generous three-year warranty. It also has USB connectivity, a small touch but one that some users will hugely appreciate.
But it's not the fastest mesh kit on the block, lagging behind more expensive competitors and offering none of the extra security and customization options you'd get from other manufacturers. That said, the three-pack Linksys Velop AX4200 is one of the best bargains in mesh networking at the moment, offering a relatively cheap way to set up a wide-ranging Wi-Fi network in a big house.
Read our full Linksys Velop AX4200 review.
How to choose the best Wi-Fi 6 router for you
Choosing the best Wi-Fi 6 router isn’t that different from shopping for any other networking product. Although the complicated jargon can be confusing, there are really only two significant questions that need to be answered.
First, what speed do you need for your internet use and devices? Second, what sort of coverage do you need for your home?
Speed: Wi-Fi 6 is good for high-speed connections as the newer standard offers higher throughput than the previous 802.11ac standard. It’s also especially well-suited to gigabit-speed internet plans which may be available in your area.
However, even average broadband speeds will benefit from Wi-Fi 6 as the standard offers better efficiency for sharing bandwidth among many devices.
Compatibility: Similarly, you’ll get the most out of Wi-Fi 6 by using newer Wi-Fi 6-equipped devices. While the standard is backwards compatible and should work with every older Wi-Fi-connected device you own, some of the features, like improved battery life for connected devices, will only work when both your router and your connected devices have Wi-Fi 6 capability.
Most new laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets now include Wi-Fi 6 while a few even support Wi-Fi 6e which makes a Wi-Fi 6 router the best way to futureproof your home network.
Coverage: The other question is coverage area or how far and wide your Wi-Fi signal will travel. A basic standalone router will usually be sufficient for an apartment or smaller home with ranges of 50 to 100 feet being common.
Larger homes though, with 3,000 square feet of space or more, will benefit from a mesh system that pairs a base unit with satellite extensions that can be placed throughout the house.
These extensions stretch the reach of your Wi-Fi signal to cover even a large home though they can also be expanded as needed with additional units. (Learn more in our article What is a mesh Wi-Fi router, and do you need one?)
Gaming: One other consideration is gaming. The last thing you want is to have your gaming session slowed down or even interrupted by your network connection.
Gaming routers provide all of the same capabilities of a standard router but are optimized specifically for gaming. They reduce interruptions, help eliminate lage and usually offer advanced controls for customizing how data is used among the different devices in your home. (Check out the best gaming routers for more details and our favorite models.)
Price: Finally, the biggest factor in many people’s purchasing decisions isn’t specific features or capabilities, but price. While Wi-Fi 6 products are still notably more expensive than older standards, there are a handful of budget-friendly options out there and even a few with Wi-Fi 6e.
Though many Wi-Fi 6 products cost $300 or more, there are options in both standalone and mesh devices with more affordable prices. While these do offer many of the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, they will often do so with more modest device handling and less impressive coverage. Still though, a solid Wi-Fi 6 standalone router can be had for under $150 and a mesh system can be found for under $300.
How we test Wi-Fi routers
We test every router we review to measure their performance and range, in addition to hands-on use to evaluate their setup process and the quality of their settings and features.
Throughput describes how much data a router can move back and forth over its wireless connection. Higher throughput will serve you better in data-heavy use cases like streaming video, gaming or connecting multiple devices at once.
We measure throughput using IXChariot, first at a 5-foot distance without obstructions in order to gauge the maximum amount of data a router can move. We then measure how much data a router can move at 50, 75 and 100 feet, so that you can choose the best model for smaller homes and apartments where short-range performance is more of a priority.
We also test performance through walls and ceilings to determine how well a router can provide a signal when dealing with Wi-Fi dampening conditions which are common to many buildings and homes.
For mesh routers, we perform additional testing to determine how well the mesh system does when it comes to sending a signal through both the main router and its satellite units.
Following our throughput tests, we also put the router through real-world tests by connecting a number of devices – laptops, TVs, smartphones and tablets — and stream several games, TV shows and movies simultaneously to see how well a router performs under strain.
For more information, check out our how we test page for Tom's Guide.
Next: When and when not to use a Wi-Fi extender — and what to do instead.
Check out all of our home networking coverage:
Best Wi-Fi routers | Best mesh routers | Best gaming routers | Best Wi-Fi extenders | Best powerline extenders | Best cable modems
How do they compare against the Netgear RAX20 ?
Big Mistake! The System is entirely unreliable, with numerous problems, the most significant being the system crashing every 2 to 4 hours and rebooting. Unlike the past ASUS support has degraded to the point where they are no help at all.
Being a past ROG customer for pretty much everything from ROG Motherboards and laptops to Monitors, their support is nothing like it used to be.
Their suggested troubleshooting was nothing more than help a NOOB would require. It didn't solve any issues.
Numerous "Reset to Factory Defaults" didn't solve the problem. I did manage to solve a few of the issues but swapping the nodes since they're symmetrical, making the former master node the remote and vice versa.
Following the support folks advice was worthless, got me nowhere in spite of frequent sending diagnostic info. An analysis of the syslog didn't show any error messages prior to a crash.
Eventually, I did another factory reset and went with totally default settings. That was stable but didn't meet my requirements. I let that run for a day or so before turning on IPv6 (in "Native" mode, again ASUS provided no help with this setting and their documentation on and in their "manual" was zero help). That also ran for over a day with no problems.
I next turned on AiProtection, one of the major router features. running with the settings recommended by that feature except for UPnP (I left it on), which I need for my network. 4 hours later, the crashes resumed.
So I contacted the ASUS office of the CEO and they promised to do a Manufacturer's Return and send me a check. I'm now waiting for their RMA instructions.
With these flaws (and others) the system is of little use to me. I would warn anyone with a fast and complex network away from this product.
I need a system that Allows for a large number of devices with high speed connections.
I'm still looking at my options after I return this system. The lead candidate for me at this time is the AmpliFi™ Alien system. Reviews on this are sparse, but I've had much better luck with Ubiquiti products in the past as they're generally commercial grade instead of consumer grade. Runner ups are the Netgear Orbi and Linksys Velop systems.
I'm quite disappointed that the Ubiquiti system wasn't included in this review.
Background: I have 1 GB Internet (Comcast), 1 GB Ethernet connecting the nodes and 14 of my over 50 devices. The rest are on Wifi with many IoT devices.
I also stream up to 2, 4K UHD streams simultaneously to 2 TVs, 3 Computers, 2 Amazon Echo Shows. I have 6 other Echo devices, Nest Thermostat, 3 Nest Protect Smoke/CO2 Alarms, plus a bunch of other IoT gadgets.
While my home isn't large, it has robust walls and even a 2.4 Ghz signal has trouble in my home. The big chimney in the center of the home doesn't help. I have Ethernet spanning the length of the home but no Ethernet in the middle as my home office is at one end of the house and the Media room where the Comcast termination and equipment rack is at the other end.
My plan is to put in a 3 node system with the base node in the Media Room and ethernet connected satellites in the Office and Living room (it's on the other side of the chimney and I can reach it with an new Ethernet cable without too much trouble.
I don't know what's happened at Asus but the company that built a reputation on motherboards appears to be long gone. The Asus Wifi router I bought about 3-4 years ago systematically degraded to the point where I could no longer connect as a Wifi client or get the admin interface to function properly. And the Asus laptop I bought for my wife started developing cracks in its lid hinges about 18 months after I bought it. Asus used to be a go-to name but now it's a hazard.
looking at www. tp-link. com / us / homecare / it seems that it is a free service for "Lifetime of Product" they say:
*Free lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare™ is included with purchase on select TP-Link routers at no additional cost. “Lifetime Subscription” refers solely to the life of the purchased device and can not be transferred. TP-Link reserves the right to modify the service and feature at any time.
deco and ax series are supported.