Best WiFi Routers for Home

A high-quality router can make all the difference in how fast you can load web pages, send emails, and download videos at home. Finding the best WiFi router for the home is important, especially if you have multiple family members using the same internet connection.

Now's the perfect time if you have older WiFi gear in your house and are thinking about switching to faster, more capable 802.11ax (WiFi 6) products. Here are my top picks for the best WiFi routers you can get for home use.

Note: Using a VPN to secure your Internet access is important. A good VPN will mask your device once you connect to its secure servers. It will also encrypt all data being transmitted over the network. See our list of Best VPNs here.


5 Best WiFi Routers for Home

A good wifi router can make a huge difference in the quality of your life at home. When choosing one for your home, you want to base your decision on what kind of speeds you currently receive from your service provider, how many devices you plan to connect simultaneously, and whether or not you need dual-band technology.

Here are my top picks for the best WiFi routers you can get for home use:

ASUS AX86U – Most Versatile Home Router

ASUS AX86U

ASUS AX86U Specifications

  • 1.8 GHz quad-core processor
  • 256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
  • 20/40/80/160 MHz bandwidth
  • 2.4GHz 3×3 / 5GHz 4×4
  • USB 3.0 Ports x 2
  • External antenna x 3 / Internal x 1

The ASUS AX86U (Not to be confused with the older AC86U or lower-specced AX86S) sports an innovative design and comes with high-end specifications. It's a robust workhorse capable of outperforming much more expensive WiFi 6 routers. Its three antennas boost signal strength, allowing for more excellent area coverage.

The heart of the ASUS AX86U is its 1.8Ghz quad-core processor. It will easily cope with bandwidth-intensive tasks like 4K video streaming, online gaming, and managing smart home devices with something that powerful.

The ASUS AX86U offers four LAN ports for wired connections. In addition to that, it also has dual USB 3.0 ports that let you connect external storage devices and printers to the network. The router is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT automation services for even greater versatility.

TP-Link Archer AX50 – Best Budget Router for Home

tplink_ax50

TP-Link Archer AX50 Specifications

  • 5 GHz: 2402 Mbps / 2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps
  • 4× Fixed antennas
  • Dual-Core CPU
  • 1 × USB 3.0 Port
  • 1 × Gigabit WAN Port / 4 × Gigabit LAN Ports

The TP-Link Archer AX50 delivers excellent performance on a budget, with speeds of up to 1,750 Mbps (1,201 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band), four gigabit LAN ports, and Beamforming technology to increase range and reliability.

The Archer AX50 supports WPA3 encryption for better security than older routers. It's an 802.11ax (WiFi 6) router that offers good performance and robust features. Overall, it's a great choice if you're looking for a balanced, easy-to-use, and affordable router for your home network.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 – Best High-Performance Router

netgear_nighthawk_rax200

Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 Specifications

  • 1.8GHz Quad-core processor
  • Eight concealed antennas
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 5 x Gigabit LAN Ports / 1 × multi-Gig Port, 1 x Gigabit WAN Port
  • 8-stream MU-MIMO

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 is the best high-performance router for home use. It has a dizzying array of ports (eight of them!), the latest WiFi 6 technology, and a massive 12-stream antenna array.

It's also expensive, but it's worth the money if you've got the budget and want to future-proof your network. Much of the budget goes into the RAX200's engine – its powerful 2.2Ghz quad-core CPU. A powerful processer like that is also superb if you want a VPN to run off your router.

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963) – Best Home Router for Large Homes

netgear_rbke963

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963) Specifications

  • 2.2GHz Quad-core processor
  • 512MB Flash and 1GB RAM
  • 12 x Internal antennas
  • Beamforming for 2.4GHz, 5GHz & 6GHz bands
  • 3 x Gigabit LAN Ports / 1 × multi-Gig Port, 1 x Gigabit WAN Port

The Netgear Orbi RBKE963 comes with a few changes from its predecessor, the RBK50. The RBKE963 has been updated with a band dedicated to backhaul and is one of the fastest routers we've seen to date.

And because it comes with Tri-band technology, it's built to handle heavy network traffic that you may experience in a large home. It's fast and reliable enough to handle many devices at once, and it offers parental controls.

Google Nest WiFi – Best Google Mesh Router

google_nest

Google Nest WiFi Specifications

  • 1.4 GHz Quad-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM, 4 GB Flash (router)
  • 768 MB RAM, 512 MB Flash (WiFi point)
  • Capacitive touch controls
  • AC1200 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi

The Google Nest WiFi offers impressive performance, a simple setup process, and a helpful app that makes it easy to manage your home WiFi network. It pairs Google WiFi's software smarts with the Nest brand's flair for design.

The result is a mesh router that's easy to use and will make your home internet faster. Nest devices are also small, measuring 4.3 x 4.3 x 3 inches. They look less like gadgets and more like high-end air fresheners or salt-and-pepper shakers with a white finish and soft, matte texture.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 – Best Gaming Router

asus_rog_ax11000

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Specifications

  • 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • External antenna x 8
  • 20/40/80/160 MHz bandwidth

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is an absolute beast of a router in terms of power. Design-wise, it looks it came off a sci-fi movie set, with its large body, three antennas, and flashing lights. Everything about this router screams “built for gamers.”

It's a tri-band router that can deliver speeds of up to 11Gbps, which means it's slightly overkilling unless you have a gigabit internet package. The downside is that this router can get pretty warm when it's in use, so make sure you have some space in your room for it to breathe.

The ROG Rapture has built-in VPN Fusion software that lets you play games while connected to a VPN without affecting your connection speed. You also get the Gamers Private Network software that prioritizes gaming traffic over other data on your network.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Home WiFi Router

In choosing the best WiFi routers for home, you need to consider range, speed, throughput, signal quality, and connectivity factors. With the rapid development of technology, your choice of a router is not just a simple matter of connecting to an Internet Service Provider anymore.

Range

Power output and antenna type determine the range of a wireless router. Routers may have one or more detachable antennas. These are either omnidirectional or directional antennas. You may want to check out which will work best for you based on where you plan to place your router at home or in your office.

Note that there are different standards governing power output in various regions worldwide. The maximum legal limit is 1 watt in the US – but only if it comes with integral antennas.

Speed

WiFi routers have been getting faster, and the previous 802.11ac standard offers speeds up to 3.2Gbps. However, newer routers are now coming with the 802.11ax standard, resulting in significant speed improvement. Today, you can easily find routers that offer 400 to 2,000Mbps, and some even go as high as 10Gbps. 

Don't get confused by the strange standard naming conventions, though. Just remember that WiFi 6 (802.11ax) is a significant upgrade over older WiFi technologies. It offers up to four times faster speeds than the previous generation of routers. 

Price

How much to pay for a WiFi router at home depends on your needs. You need to decide what you want/need and how much you are willing to pay for it. Some people might want a simple wireless connection for their computers. 

In contrast, others might want something that will simultaneously support gaming and streaming videos, requiring faster speed and lower latency. There's a large selection of home WiFi routers varying in price from dirt cheap to “oh my God!”


Final Thoughts on the Best WiFi Router for Home

Choosing the best WiFi router for your home can feel like a chore, but knowing all the different factors that go into it will make it much easier. With such a large number of WiFi routers designed for home use, there's no shortage from which to choose.

Take your time and consider well how you plan to use the device. If you aren't a heavy user, the price will likely be your main guiding factor. Be warned, though, that cheaper routers often can't cope with large homes, so pick wisely.

Editorial

We're the team of hamsters that have yet earned the right to publish under our own names. Overworked and underpaid, editorial staff scour the web for interesting snippets we can use to impress the boss.

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