The best Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2024

The best Wi-Fi 6 routers can give your home network a major upgrade, especially if you’re still using an older Wi-Fi router or one from your ISP.

We put all of the Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E routers on this list through extensive real-world testing but we also used networking benchmark software like Keysight IxChariot and iPerf3. We then tested each of these routers at 5, 50, 75 and 100 feet to measure both their range and throughput. Our current top pick is the incredibly sleek Nighthawk RAXE500 but for an affordable Wi-Fi 6E-powered mesh Wi-Fi system check out the TP-Link Deco XE75.

While a Wi-Fi 6 router will improve the performance and speed of your home network, a Wi-Fi 6E router gives you access to the new, faster and less congested 6 GHz band along with the 2.5 and 5 GHz bands. We’ve rounded up the best Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E routers for apartments as well as small and large homes with all of the features you need to completely upgrade your home network. 

The quick list

The best Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy today

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The best Wi-Fi 6E router overall

(Image credit: Netgear)
A Wi-Fi 6e speed demon

Specifications

Wi-Fi spec: Wi-Fi 6e/Tri-band
Number of antennas/removable: 8/No
Ports: 1 WAN/4 LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB 3.0
Measured peak throughput: 2.396 Gbps
Size: 12.0 x 8.6 x 3.3 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Top speed with 6-GHz band
+
Customizability
+
Security software

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Throughput declines quickly with distance

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 best budget Wi-Fi 6 router

TP- Link Archer AX55 sitting on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best budget Wi-Fi router

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: Wi-Fi 6 (AX3000)
Number of Antennas/Removable: 4/No
Ports: 1 WAN/4 LAN gigabit per second
Peak Throughput: 823.7Mbps (at 15 feet)
Size: 10.2 x 5.3 x 1.5 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent range
+
2-year warranty
+
Lots of setup options
+
Small and easy to hide

Reasons to avoid

-
Security software costs extra
-
Disappointing mid-range speeds

The TP-Link Archer AX55 provides an easy and reliable way to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 without breaking the bank. This dual-band router can also be added to a mesh network down the line as it also supports TP-Link's OneMesh technology. At just $130 and often on sale for less, the TP-Link Archer AX55 is a great budget router that comes with a 2-year warranty and built-in security software to keep your home network safe. Even at this low price, it comes with some really useful features like OFDMA technology to speed up simultaneous transmission to more devices and Target Wake Time to help your connected devices consume less power.

At the back of the Archer AX55, there's a gigabit WAN input to connect to your cable modem along with four gigabit LAN ports for your wired devices and a USB 3.0 port for connecting a flash drive or external hard drive to share data across your network. The four antennas at the top of the device can be repositioned for a better signal and during our testing, the Archer AX55 was able to move up to 823.7 Mbps at a distance of 15 feet. Overall, it had a total range of 110 feet. If you're looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 and don't want a large router taking up extra space, the Archer AX55 is a great choice.

Read our full TP-Link Archer AX55 review.

The best Wi-Fi 6 router for value

(Image credit: Asus)
A Wi-Fi 6 powerhouse that delivers for the price

Specifications

Wi-Fi spec: Wi-Fi 6/Dual-band
Number of antennas/removable: 3/Yes
Ports: 1 WAN/1 Multi-Gig WAN/ 4 LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB 3.0
Measured peak throughput: 929.7 Mbps
Size: 9.0 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent throughput
+
Security software with lifetime updates
+
Multi-Gig input and port aggregation
+
2-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks advanced gamer tools

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 Best Wi-Fi 6E router for long range

(Image credit: Netgear)
Insane performance and range at an insane price

Specifications

Wi-Fi spec: Wi-Fi 6e/Quad-band
Number of antennas/removable: 12/No
Ports: 1 WAN/4 LAN (base unit), 4 LAN (satellites)
Measured peak throughput: 1.009 Gbps
Size: 11.1 x 7.5 x 3.0 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Best mesh performance ever
+
Easy to set up and configure
+
Optional security software, parental controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Extremely expensive
-
Just 90 days of free tech support

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 RBK863SB makes for a worthy alternative.

Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963) review.

The best Wi-Fi 6E router for gamers

Asus GT-AXE11000 router on shelf

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Wi-Fi 6E speeds for gamers with loads of customization

Specifications

Wi-Fi Spec: AXE11000
Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No
Ports: 1 WAN, 4 1-Gbps LAN, 2 USB 3.0
Peak Throughput: 2.96Gbps
Size: 12.7 x 12.7 x 2.4 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible throughput
+
Excellent customization options
+
Built-in security software
+
Gaming accelerator

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Throughput falls of quickly with distance

The Asus GT-AXE11000 is a Wi-Fi 6E gaming router that delivers excellent speeds, killer gaming features and awesome customization options. This tri-band gaming router also uses seven high-performance 160MHz data channels in the 6Hz band to help distribute a lot of data to nearby devices.

At the back of the GT-AXE11000 you'll find a 10G and a 2.5G WAN port, four gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 1 port and a USB 2.0 port to connect all of your wired devices and even to transfer data from a hard drive across your home network. There's also Asus' built-in AiProtection security software to keep everyone and everything on your home network safe online. 

In our testing, the GT-AXE11000 was able to reach a maximum speed of 2.96 Gbps at 15 feet with an overall range of 85 feet. It's dedicated gaming features are nothing to slouch at either. If you want a powerful gaming router that's futureproof thanks to its multi-gig ports, the GT-AXE11000 should be your first choice.

Read our full Asus GT-AXE10000 review.

The best Wi-Fi 6E router for mesh

(Image credit: Future)
An affordable Wi-Fi 6E mesh system that performs

Specifications

Wi-Fi spec: AX5400/Tri Band
Number of antennas/removable: 4/No
Ports: 1 WAN/2 LAN
Measured peak throughput: 1.220Gbps (at 15 feet)
Size: 6.8 x 4.1x 4.1 inches

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Excellent data throughput
+
Built-in security software and two-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Only three Ethernet ports

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

Testing results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
DistanceNetgear Nighthawk RAXE500TP-Link Archer AX55Asus RT-AX86UNetgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963)Asus GT-AXE11000TP-Link Deco XE75
15 feet1.153 Gbps823.7 Mbps929.7 Mbps1.009 Gbps1.47 Gbps1.220 Gbps
50 feet215.8 Mbps288.4 Mbps285.3 Mbps190.5 Mbps267.9 Mbps299.1 Mbps
75 feet148.6 Mbps89.6 Mbps250.1 Mbps93.4 Mbps98.3 Mbps318.5 Mbps
90 feet18.9 Mbps15.0 Mbps7.4 Mbps39.9 MbpsX23.7 Mbps

Router specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Wi-Fi RouterWi-Fi GenerationWi-Fi SpecPortsDimensions (LWH)
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500Wi-Fi 6EAXE110001 gigabit WAN, 4 gigabit LAN, 2 USB 3.012.0 x 8.6 x 7.3 inches
Reyee RG-E5Wi-Fi 6AX32001 gigabit WAN, 4 gigabit LAN9.0 x 9.0 x 1.5 inches
Asus RT-AX86UWi-Fi 6AX57001 2.5G WAN, 1 gigabit WAN, 4 gigabit LAN, 2 USB 3.09.0 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963)Wi-Fi 6EAX108001 10 gigabit WAN, 1 2.5G LAN, 3 gigabit LAN (Router), 1 2.5G LAN, 3 gigabit LAN (Satellites)11.1 x 7.5 x 3.0 inches
Asus GT-AXE11000Wi-Fi 6EAXE110001 2.5G WAN, 1 gigabit WAN, 4 gigabit LAN, 2 USB 3.212.7 x 12.7 x 2.4 inches
TP-Link Deco XE75Wi-Fi 6EAXE 54001 gigabit WAN, 2 gigabit LAN (Router and Satellites)6.8 x 4.1x 4.1 inches

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 the best Wi-Fi 6 routers

A picture of the MSI RadiX AXE6600 next to a Pixel 6a running a speed test

(Image credit: Future)

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. 

Written by
Anthony Spadafora
Written by
Anthony Spadafora

As someone who's been working from home for the past six years, Anthony Spadafora has tried everything from Wi-Fi extenders to powerline adapters to get the most out of his home network before finally upgrading to a mesh Wi-Fi system. Along the way, he's tested out loads of different routers and network configurations. Based on what he's learned, Anthony tries to highlight the critical role Wi-Fi routers play in our day to day lives and how a mesh network can help solve the most common connectivity issues like Wi-Fi dead spots. 

Reviewed and Tested by
Brian Nadel
Reviewed and Tested by
Brian Nadel

With experience in testing, using and evaluating wireless data from before Wi-Fi was even a word, Brian Nadel has tried out and reviewed every major router available in his home networking lab. A LAN nerd, his philosophy is to use the router the way you would, testing networking gear for ease of setup, performance, security and above all for value. The result is peace of mind when it comes to choosing the right router.

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  

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

  • KevinKProf
    I have seen reports from users that the TP-Link routers require a $5/month subscription to access their features. This is a big omission from your review. Can you confirm?
    Reply
  • fxv300
    Has anyone purchased or reviewed the Archer AX10 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router or the Archer AX50 AX3000 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router ?
    How do they compare against the Netgear RAX20 ?
    Reply
  • mwerneburg
    Hi. After reading this, I bought a Netgear RAX4 Wifi 6 router. It was a disaster. Like so many commenters on the manufacturer's product page, I experienced constant problems with the router: not all of my family members could connect in the first place, and then the router would drop all connections 1-3 times a day. I couldn't reliably use the suggested "Nighthawk" app to connect to the router to administer it. I eventually got through a firmware upgrade using my son's iPhone (one of two identical phones, it was the only one in the home that could connect) and that did nothing. Just a lousy product.
    Reply
  • rlevs
    fxv300 said:
    Has anyone purchased or reviewed the Archer AX10 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router or the Archer AX50 AX3000 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router ?
    How do they compare against the Netgear RAX20 ?
    I just purchased the AX50 AX3000, but I’m sending it back, because as another reviewer stated there’s a $5 per MONTH fee to use an app that controls some key functions like QoS, among others. Absolutely ridiculous that a: they are pulling that crap and b; Toms Guide review didn’t mention it. Take it off your list
    Reply
  • El Pato Grande
    I purchased the ASUS ZenWifi AX system, based in no small part to past good experience with other ASUS products and the great reviews of this product.

    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.
    Reply
  • mwerneburg
    El Pato Grande said:
    I purchased the ASUS ZenWifi AX system, based in no small part to past good experience with other ASUS products and the great reviews of this product.

    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.

    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.
    Reply
  • andreacanzi
    KevinKProf said:
    I have seen reports from users that the TP-Link routers require a $5/month subscription to access their features. This is a big omission from your review. Can you confirm?

    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.
    Reply