The best Wi-Fi routers offer an easy way to give your home network a major upgrade that everyone in your household can take advantage of. You can also save a lot of money over their lifespan as you won’t have to pay a monthly rental fee for a router from your internet service provider.
From devices with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E to the latest ones with Wi-Fi 7 support, we’ve rounded up the best Wi-Fi routers for every budget and home. However, if you have a large multi-story house and notice there are places where your Wi-Fi signal just can’t reach, you might be better off upgrading to one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems instead.
In order to determine which Wi-Fi routers are truly the best, we put them through extensive real-world testing but we also use networking benchmark software like IxChariot and iPerf3. We also test each of the Wi-Fi routers we review at 5, 50, 75 and 100 feet to measure their range and throughput. Additionally, we see how well each Wi-Fi router performs when it comes to pushing data through walls and ceilings.
If you’re tired of that old router from your ISP or just want a more capable device that lets you take full advantage of your internet speed, these are the best Wi-Fi routers you can get today. Also, there are plenty of Black Friday deals to be had on many of the best Wi-Fi routers.
Black Friday Wi-Fi router deals
Asus RT-AX86U: was $250 now $218 @ Amazon
The Asus RT-AX86U is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with five gigabit Ethernet ports, one 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports for easily moving data from a flash drive or external hard drive across your network. In our Asus RT-AX86U review, we praised its reasonable pricing and great gaming performance.
TP-Link Deco XE 75 (three-pack): was $449 now $359 @ Amazon
The TP-Link Deco XE75 was one of the first affordable mesh Wi-Fi systems with Wi-Fi 6E support. It’s ideal for those with lots of devices at home as you can connect up to 200 connected devices to each unit with 2,400 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage. In our TP-Link Deco XE75 review, we said it’s one of the easiest mesh routers to set up and we were also impressed by the included security software.
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500: was $400 now $300 @ Amazon
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 was one of the first Wi-Fi 6E routers and alongside its futuristic design, it also offers excellent speeds at close distances. At the back, you'll find a 2.5 gigabit Ethernet port along with four gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports. In our Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 review, we liked how it was able to send strong Wi-Fi signals through walls and floors.
The quick list
Below you'll find everything you need to know at a glance about the best Wi-Fi routers available today. Whether you're looking for an inexpensive and compact router or a larger one with plenty of Ethernet ports, there's something here for every budget.
Best Wi-Fi router overall
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is a tri-band Wi-Fi router with Wi-Fi 6E support. It has a 2.5 Gbps WAN port for multi-gig internet along with four gigabit LAN ports and two USB 3.0 ports. The RAXE500 has a range of 105 feet and delivered 2.39 Gbps speeds at 15 feet in our tests.
Best Wi-Fi router for customization
The Asus RT-AX86U is a Wi-Fi 6 router that's reasonably priced and highly customizable. At the back you'll find a gigabit as well as a 2.5 Gbps WAN port, four gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports. The RT-AX86U has a range of 95-feet and it delivered 929 Mbps at 15 feet in our tests.
Best Wi-Fi router for range
The Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E is a Wi-Fi 6E mesh router system with excellent performance. The main unit has a 10 Gbps WAN port, three gigabit LAN ports and a 2.5 Gbps LAN port. The Orbi RBKE963 has a range of 95 feet and it delivered gigabit speeds at 15 feet in our tests.
Best value Wi-Fi router
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is a reasonably priced Wi-Fi 6 router with security software built-in. It has a 2.5 Gbps WAN port, eight gigabit LAN ports, two USB 3.0 ports and even a USB-C port. The Archer AX6000 has a range of 85 feet and it delivered speeds of 884 Mbps at 15 feet in our tests.
Best for gamers
Best Wi-Fi router for gamers
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a Wi-Fi 6 gaming router with a gigabit WAN port, a 2.5 Gbps LAN port, four gigabit LAN ports and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. The GT-AX11000 has a range of 95 feet and delivered 731 Mbps of data at 50 feet in our tests.
Best on a budget
Best budget Wi-Fi router
The Reyee RG-E5 is an inexpensive Wi-Fi 6 router that's really compact. It has a gigabit WAN port along with four gigabit LAN ports and a button on top that lets you create a mesh network with other Reyee devices. The RG-E5 has a 100 foot range and it delivered 849 Mbps at 15 feet in our tests.
The best Wi-Fi routers you can buy today
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Best Wi-Fi router overall
The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 was the first Wi-Fi 6e router to hit the market, and the results are mind-blowing. By adding the new 6-GHz band to the already impressive capabilities of Wi-Fi 6, the Nighthawk RAXE500 delivers category-leading performance — but at $599, it's not cheap.
This tri-band device more than lives up to the hype by delivering 2.39 Gbps at 15 feet during our testing. Add this to the slick design and highly customizable configuration options, and the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 becomes one of the best wireless routers we've ever reviewed. While it’s best at close quarters and is one of the more expensive routers on this list, the RAXE500 is worth every penny if you have the need for speed.
Read our full Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 review.
Best Wi-Fi router for customization
The Asus RT-AX86U is a Wi-Fi 6 powerhouse that delivers great speeds and killer gaming features, as well as awesome customization options. With high-end performance and lifetime protection against intrusions and malware, it's even a great option for securing your entire home network, providing long term protection without a subscription fee. It also comes with a two-year warranty.
But the real draw of the Asus RT-AX86U is the performance, which in our testing delivered 929.7 Mbps at 15 feet to provide speedy and effortless connectivity for all of our devices. With excellent range and great performance — even through walls and between floors — the RT-AX86U is equal parts general-use router and gaming router. Also, the collection of features and ports it offers are a steal compared to some of the top-performing gaming gear. If you want a great Wi-Fi 6 router for the whole household, the Asus RT-AX86U is it.
Read our full Asus RT-AX86U review.
Best Wi-Fi router for range
Netgear's Orbi WiFi 6E (model number RBKE963) is one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems on the planet — and also one the most expensive. But if you have money to burn, a gigabit broadband connection from your ISP and an enormous house, then this is probably the mesh system for you.
The Orbi WiFi 6E can cover up to 9,000 square feet but adding a third satellite can expand this up to 12,000 square feet. At a distance of 15 feet, the router's 6-GHz channel delivered throughput of more than a gigabit per second.
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. However, if you can afford to pay for this mesh system, you won't mind.
Read our full Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963) review.
Best value Wi-Fi router
Wi-Fi 6 routers typically cost more, but value is the name of the game for the TP-Link Archer AX6000 router, our favorite budget-friendly Wi-Fi 6 router. It may lag on performance and range but it offers Wi-Fi 6 speeds for less than competing models.
With eight wired networking ports and the ability to pair two together to create a 2Gbps stream of data, TP-Link’s Archer AX6000 leads the way for Wi-Fi 6 routers that are just as good with wired devices as they are at Wi-Fi. In our testing, it deliver speeds of 884 Mbps at 15 feet with a total range of 85 feet. By adding in router-based security, the Archer AX6000 stands alone as one of the best routers you can get, at a price that's hard to beat.
Read our full TP-Link Archer AX6000 review.
Best Wi-Fi router for gamers
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is perfect for gamers, with speeds that improve over longer ranges, low latency and all the features that gamers expect. The GT-AX11000 is large though, with a gargantuan base, eight swiveling antennas, and massive 10.8Gbps maximum throughput. This wireless router has connectivity in droves, thanks to its tri-band design and four downstream Gigabit LAN ports, a single 2.5G Ethernet connection, and two USB 3.0 ports. In our testing, it managed to deliver 731 Mbps at 50 feet with a total range of 95 feet.
Built-in customization and gaming-oriented optimizations provide plenty of control, and you can even pair it with other Asus routers to build a mesh network to cover larger homes. At $450, it is expensive, but this is one of the best gaming routers for those that want an edge online.
Read our full Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 review.
Best budget Wi-Fi router
The Reyee RG-E5 is a real bargain for a Wi-Fi 6 router that can cover 3,000 square feet. It can also become the center of a mesh network when paired with other Reyee gear and there's even a one-touch button to simplify the setup process. However, the Reyee RG-E5's budget price means this router lacks things like extra security software, port aggregation and a USB port for connecting storage devices to your network.
At its rear the Reyee RG-E5 has four gigabit Ethernet ports while the eight flipper antennas at the top of the device can be adjusted for a better signal. In our testing, the router was able to deliver 849.2 Mbps at 15 feet though it has a range of 100 feet. If you want to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 without breaking the bank, this is the router to get.
Read our full Reyee RG-E5 review.
Best compact Wi-Fi router
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. For instance, in our testing, it had a range of 75 feet and delivered 626 Mbps at 15 feet.
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.
Read our full Linksys EA8300 Max Stream review.
Is it time to update your Wi-Fi router?
Maybe you’ve noticed that your current Wi-Fi coverage feels slower than it used to, have been experiencing spotty reception, or maybe you just need something better equipped to handle the demands of the growing number of smart home devices at your house. If you’ve been dealing with any of these issues, a new router should be able to fix these common problems.
It’s also worth upgrading to a new Wi-Fi router if you’re still using older hardware. If you have an old Wireless-N or Wireless-AC (retroactively renamed Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5 respectively) router in your home, you should definitely consider upgrading to something more current. Newer standards will not only provide faster connectivity but there are other benefits as well. For instance, your smartphone battery will last longer as a result of more efficient device management and your connected home gadgets will all feel much faster with these more capable standards.
The other big reason to upgrade your router is that you’re tired of paying a monthly rental fee for a router from your ISP. Since average equipment rental fees cost anywhere from $10-15 each mount, a new router can pay for itself in just a short amount of time while providing you with better service and features. Just don’t forget to pair it with one of the best cable modems if you want to entirely free yourself from the extra costs that often come with broadband internet packages.
How to choose the best Wi-Fi router for you?
When it comes to choosing the best wireless router for your home or small business, it’s easy to get lost in the complex networking jargon and obscure technology standards. However, all you really 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?
Speeds and standards: The internet speed you need for your router is determined by the speed you get from your internet service provider as well as the speeds supported by your modem. For most people, a standard 802.11ac router will handle all but the highest performing plans, like Gigabit internet plans that aren’t available everywhere just yet. With average broadband speeds at around 100 Mbps, most wireless AC routers will be able to handle the job with ease.
The latest technology for routers is called Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax) which is a faster standard that’s better suited for households with a lot of smart home devices. There are many Wi-Fi 6 routers available today, though there’s an even newer twist on this standard called Wi-Fi 6e that takes advantage of a newly opened part of the radio spectrum.
Wi-Fi 6e-enabled devices, such as laptops and smartphones, are still few and far between. Unless you’re using a dozen devices at once, you likely won’t see much benefit from upgrading to Wi-Fi 6e at this time. See our article What is Wi-Fi 6E: Routers, devices and how it's better than Wi-Fi 6 to learn more.
Coverage range: The other part of the wireless equation is coverage area. A basic standalone router will generally offer 50 to 100 feet of range, so that it can easily cover the majority of apartments and smaller homes. If you have a house with 3,000 square feet or more of space, you’ll want to consider a mesh router instead which use multiple devices to provide a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout larger homes. These are especially helpful in multistory houses or in homes with dead spots where the Wi-Fi signal drops out.
Ports: Though wireless connectivity is the main thing you want from a Wi-Fi router, you’ll also want to think about wired connections. Ethernet offers faster connectivity for devices like game consoles and smart TVs that use more bandwidth and USB ports are handy for connecting older printers or storage to your network.
Input is another issue, especially if you live in an area where Gigabit internet is available. With a Gigabit connection, an older router can be a bottleneck, slowing down your entire home. Some routers can even aggregate two inputs for even faster connectivity.
Price range: Current 802.11 ac routers often sell for less than $100 for basic, dual-band models. More expensive modems range up to $300 but offer better coverage and faster speeds, while gaming routers have built-in optimization features and typically sell for more. New routers using the Wi-Fi 6 standard (previously known as 802.11 ax) often cost $400 or more.
Keeping up on everything happening in the networking world can be difficult, so check out our helpful guides on the latest technology, like What is a mesh Wi-Fi router, and do you need one? Or get the latest advice on how to fix your router's security problems, from simple steps to advanced protections. From router security to in-depth explanations of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6e, we're always providing the latest info about the newest products and innovations.
How we test the best Wi-Fi routers
We test every router we review to measure performance and range, in addition to hands-on use to evaluate the ease-of-setup and quality of settings and features.
Throughput describes how much data the router can move back and forth over its wireless connection. Higher throughput will serve you better in data-heavy uses, like streaming video, gaming, or connecting multiple users at once.
We measure throughput using IXChariot, first at a 5-foot distance without obstructions, so that we can gauge the maximum amount of data that the router can move. We then measure how much data the router can move at 50, 75 and 100 feet, so that you can also choose the best model for smaller homes and apartments, where short-range performance may be the priority.
We also test performance through walls and ceilings, to determine how well a router can provide signal in the Wi-Fi-dampening conditions common to many buildings and homes.
For mesh routers, we perform additional testing to determine how well the mesh system does sending a signal through both the main router and through a satellite unit.
Following out throughput tests, we also put the router through real-world tests by connecting a number of devices — laptops, TVs, smartphones, and tablets — and stream a number of games, TV shows and movies simultaneously to see how well the router performs under strain.
Check out all of our home networking coverage: