Skip to main content

The best Wi-Fi routers

We've spent more than 60 hours testing dozens of routers to help you skip the confusion and find the best Wi-Fi router for your home. Based on our in-depth testing, the TP-Link Archer C2300 is the best Wi-Fi router overall, thanks to its superb performance and extensive feature set.

For larger homes, you need a mesh router, and the Netgear Orbi is the best mesh router on the market. Whether you need better coverage in an upper floor or out in the backyard, the Orbi offers an expandable solution that is easy to set up and offers great coverage and performance.

For a less expensive option, the reasonably priced TP-Link Archer A7 offers solid performance and range without skimping on features such as parental controls.

With so many devices in the home clamoring for wireless bandwidth, including smart TVs and laptops, you'll want to make sure that your space is well-covered with speedy Wi-Fi. So we also recommend the best mesh routers for larger homes, and the best Wi-Fi 6 routers for future-proof Wi-Fi that will deliver top-notch performance for years to come.

Just keep in mind that a good Wi-Fi router won't necessarily boost your actual web surfing performance. 

TP-Link Archer C2300 (Image credit: TP-Link Archer C2300 (Credit: TP-Link))

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Dual-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 3/Yes | Ports: Four 1-Gbps LAN, 1 WAN, 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 | Peak Throughput: 939.6 Mbps | Size: 8.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches

The best blend of speed and value

The TP-Link Archer C2300 has a deceptively mild-mannered design, but don't be fooled – it's one of the most powerful routers you can buy. It's the reigning performance champ, pumping out nearly a gigabit per second of data in our standard performance tests, and blasting through walls and ceilings with ease. Not only is the Archer C2300 the fastest router we've seen, but it's also small, unobtrusive and full of high-end features.

The Archer C2300 comes with built-in optimization tools, like antivirus, QoS and parental controls that are normally found on more expensive competitors.  The TP-Link Archer C2300 is simply the best Wi-Fi router you can buy today.

Netgear Orbi

Netgear Orbi (Image credit: Netgear Orbi (Credit: Netgear))

Netgear Orbi

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Tri-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 6/No | Ports: Four 1-Gbps LAN, 1 USB 2.0 | Peak Throughput: 552.1 Mbps | Size: 8.9 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches

Great mesh router for covering a large house 

There are plenty of mesh routers on the market to blanket your home with Wi-Fi, but our hands-down favorite is the Netgear Orbi. A single Orbi unit alone provides some of the best performance we've seen in a router, and with additional satellite units, you can cover a 5,000-square-foot home with seamless connectivity and phenomenal performance.

The speedy Orbi delivers one of the easiest setup processes we've seen, and the combination of smartphone and desktop tools make it easy to manage your network from anywhere, including curfew times and content controls for parents. And newer add-ons let you expand in more ways than one, with weatherproof outdoor satellite units and an Alexa-equipped unit that doubles as a smart speaker. If you've got a big home, the Orbi is the best Wi-Fi router for you.

Note that Netgear says it will announce a new version of the Orbi router that supports the new Wi-Fi 6 wireless standard in early September.

TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link Archer A7 (Image credit: TP-Link)

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Dual-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 3/No | Ports: Four 1-Gbps LAN, 1 USB 2.0 | Peak Throughput: 647.4 Mbps | Size: 1.3 x 9.6 x 6.4 inches

Our favorite low-priced router

The TP-Link Archer A7 is the best Wi-Fi router for those on a budget, delivering very good 802.11ac performance and a surprising number of features. The Archer A7 has great performance for the price – pushing through more data than most of the comparably priced routers we've tested – and features four Gigabit LAN ports and a USB 2.0 port for connecting devices.

In addition to solid performance and features, the Archer A7 also has a very easy setup process and useful parental controls, with an app that lets you monitor and control network use from anywhere. It's the best value Wi-Fi router we've tested this year.

(Image credit: Netgear; Shutterstock)

Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 (RS400)

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Dual-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 3/Yes | Ports: 1 WAN, 4 1-Gbps LAN, 2 USB 2.0 | Peak Throughput: 626.6 Mbps | Size: 11.2 x 7.3 x 2.0 inches

The best router to secure your whole house

It might be priced like a high-performance or gaming router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 (RS400) delivers in a different (and perhaps more important) area: Cybersecurity. The RS400 may deliver solid performance and enough range to cover most homes, but the real value is protection, with a fistful of security features from Netgear and Bitdefender, including three years of protection from Bitdefender Total Security software.

The RS400 is built to safeguard your entire connected home, from your laptops and phones to a whole range of smart devices, from TVs to ovens, thermostats and doorbell cameras. With so many devices on today's home network, you have to be more vigilant, as a single poorly secured gadget can open you up to hackers and malware. The RS400 keeps your whole home safe, and is easy to set up and manage, too, making it our favorite cybersecurity router.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 (Image credit: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 (Credit: Asus))

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Tri-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/Yes | Ports: 1 WAN, 4 1-Gbps LAN, 1 2.5-Gbps LAN, 2 USB 3.0 | Peak Throughput: 731.4 Mbps | Size: 9.4 x 9.4 x 2.8 inches

One of the fastest routers on the planet

The first router we've tested that features the new Wi-Fi 6 specification, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a gamer's delight, with speeds that improves over longer range, low latency and all the features that gamers expect. Add it all up and most other gaming routers are now second best.

The GT-AX11000 is large, with a gargantuan base, eight swiveling antennas, and massive 10.8Gbps maximum throughput. This router has connectivity in droves, thanks to its tri-band design and four downstream Gigabit LAN ports, a single 2.5G Base T Ethernet connection, and two USB 3.0 ports. Built-in customization and gaming-oriented optimizations provide plenty of control, and you can even pair it with other Asus routers for mesh networking to cover a larger home. 

TP-Link Archer C5400X

TP-Link Archer C5400X (Image credit: TP-Link Archer C5400X (Credit: TP-Link))

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Tri-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 8/No | Ports: 1 WAN, 8 1-Gbps LAN, 1 USB 2.0 | Peak Throughput: 859.5 Mbps | Size: 11.2 x 11.2 x 7.6 inches

Intense raw performance that is optimized for gaming

The TP-Link Archer C5400X is the gaming router to beat, with some of the best performance you'll see in any home networking device. It offers best-in-class tri-band performance with impressive coverage, delivering 1Gbps over its 2.4GHz band and 2.167Gbps over each of its two 5GHz channels.

The 8-antenna design and red-on-black color scheme are sure to turn heads, but the real selling point is the collection of optimization and security features that will satisfy any power user. With bandwidth-allocation controls to let you use the massive throughput as you wish, this router puts incredible performance into the user's hands, for gaming or anything else.

Linksys EA8300 Max Stream

Linksys EA8300 Max Stream (Image credit: Linksys EA8300 Max Stream (Credit: Linksys))

Linksys EA8300 Max Stream

Wi-Fi Spec: 802.11ac/Tri-Band | Number of Antennas/Removable: 6/No | Ports: 1 WAN, 4 1-Gbps LAN, 1 USB 3.0 | Peak Throughput: 626.5 Mbps | Size: 8.5 x 6.4 x 2.2 inches

The ultimate router for power users

For a truly customizable router, we recommend the Linksys EA8300 Max-Stream, which is not only a great tri-band router, it's also loaded with tools to tweak and customize your router for optimal performance. The small black EA8300 Max-Stream can move lots of data, though it will do best in smaller homes. 

Whether you're allocating bandwidth to prioritize gaming or media streaming, or just setting up parental controls, you can automate many features, make manual adjustments on the fly, and monitor it – all from your desktop or smartphone. With so many ways to customize your router’s performance, the Linksys EA8300 Max Stream is an easy pick for the power user.