The next generation of wireless technology is here and at CES 2023, we saw powerful, multigig, Wi-Fi 7-enabled routers from some of the biggest companies in the networking industry along with one from a newcomer to the field.
Although Wi-Fi 6E was just introduced back in 2021 and this extended implementation of Wi-Fi 6 is slowly becoming mainstream, Wi-Fi 7 is set to take home networking to the next level with speeds of up to 46 Gbps. If you’ve been putting off upgrading your Wi-Fi router, this year will be the perfect time to do so as you’ll be able to take advantage of Wi-Fi 7’s faster download and upload speeds, multi-link options for improved throughput and lower latency.
Although we didn’t see as many routers as we expected to at CES 2023, there were still a number of great devices ranging from traditional Wi-Fi routers to gaming routers and even mesh Wi-Fi systems. However, our favorite router and one of our Best of CES 2023 Award winners incorporates dual screens on the front of the device to show you not only important system and network information but also the time, weather, text and even emojis.
These are our favorite Wi-Fi routers of CES 2023. In addition to being available on store shelves later this year, they all support Wi-Fi 7.
Asus ROG Rapture GT-BE98
With its flashy design and Republic of Gamers (ROG) branding, the ROG Rapture GT-BE98 from Asus is the company’s first Wi-Fi 7 gaming router. With 320MHz of bandwidth and 4096 QAM, it has two times the data rate compared to Wi-Fi 6/6E and can reach speeds of up to 25 Gbps. The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 also supports multi-link operation. That allows it to simultaneously transmit data across different bands and channels, which increases its throughput, lowers latency and gives you a more reliable connection — a must when gaming.
The ROG Rapture GT-BE98 is also a quad-band Wi-Fi 7 router with one 2.4GHz band, two 5Ghz bands and one 6GHz band. It’s powered by a 2.6GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage. At the rear of the ROG Rapture GT-BE98, you’ll find three 10 Gbps LAN ports, four gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port.
TP-Link Deco BE95
The Deco BE95 from TP-Link sports a similar design to other mesh Wi-Fi systems in the company’s lineup, but as the large number seven on the face of the device implies, this is a Wi-Fi 7 mesh router.
It’s also a quad-band router, though, with two 6 GHz bands joining 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands. In addition to being able to reach speeds of up to 33 Gbps, the Deco BE95 can support more than 200 connected devices at the same time — great for those with loads of smart home devices.
The Deco BE95 also comes equipped with TP-Link’s HomeShield security software, and it uses AI to support seamless roaming across its four bands as you move throughout your house. At its rear, you’ll find two 2.5 Gbps Ethernet ports, a 10 Gbps Ethernet port and a 10Gbps Ethernet/fiber combo port along with a USB 3.0 port. As this router is meant to be used in a mesh system, you can connect the nodes together using wireless backhaul or use an Ethernet cable for wired backhaul to reach speeds of 10 Gbps between devices.
TP-Link Archer BE9000
The Archer BE9000 is another Wi-Fi 7 router from TP-Link that sets itself apart from the crowd thanks to the two displays on its front. While the touchscreen at the bottom of the device has a clock with useful system information like your download and upload speeds just a swipe away, the LED screen above it can show the weather, text and even emojis. In fact, it’s capable of displaying more than 3,000 customized graphics.
Even though this is a traditional Wi-Fi router, it’s also EasyMesh compatible which means you can use it alongside other routers or extenders to build a powerful mesh network.
The front of the Archer BE9000 may be designed to catch your eye but there’s a plethora of ports at its rear including two USB ports (1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0), a gigabit Ethernet port, four 2.5 Gbps LAN ports, a 10 Gbps WAN/Lan port and — just like with the Deco BE95 — a 10Gbps Ethernet/fiber combo port. It also comes equipped with TP-Link’s HomeShield to protect your network from attacks and its 12 optimally positioned internal antennas ensure you’ll have a strong signal throughout your home.
MSI RadiX BE22000
MSI took a page out of Asus’ book at CES 2023 by announcing a trio of gaming routers under its new RadiX line. The company is targeting gamers with different budgets by releasing a Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 router. At the top of MSI’s new gaming router lineup is the RadiX BE22000, which features auto-detecting antennas that change their patterns to follow the location of your devices to give you better wireless coverage. However, we don’t yet know much about this new router.
The RadiX AXE6600 is a Wi-Fi 6E router with a 1.8 GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor, and there's a heatpipe at its rear to keep the device cool. Surprisingly, the MSI logo on the device also serves as a button and pressing it allows you to cycle through several quality of service, or QOS, presets for gaming, streaming or productivity.
Finally, at the bottom end of MSI’s new gaming router lineup, we have the RadiX AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 router that sports a more subtle, all-black design. We’re looking forward to seeing how MSI’s gaming routers will compare to those from Asus, TP-Link and Netgear.
Arris SURFboard G54
In order to truly harness the power of Wi-Fi 7, you’re likely going to need a new cable modem. Fortunately, Arris (which makes some of the best cable modems) announced its new SURFboard G54 modem/router at CES 2023. With this device, you can break free from your ISP and all those hidden fees while experiencing the speed boost of Wi-Fi 7.
The SURFboard G54 is a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem and a quad-band Wi-Fi 7 router in a tiny package. Its 2.4 GHz band is reserved for smart home and other IoT devices while it has a 5GHz low band for Wi-Fi 5 devices, a 5 GHz high band for Wi-fi 6 devices and a 6 GHz band for both Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 devices. At its rear, the SURFboard G54 Arris has four gigabit Ethernet ports, a 10 Gbps WAN port and — of course — a coaxial cable connection to plug it into the wall. Arris says the SURFboard G54 will be available by the middle of this year, with other Arris Wi-Fi 7 devices getting announced before then.