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The Best Wi-Fi Routers On the Market To Suit Your Needs

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Updated April 29, 2024

With so many of us working remotely, streaming favorite shows at night from devices, gaming, and scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, a strong Wi-Fi connection is vital. It may seem like a simple task to just go on Amazon and get a highly rated router, but there’s way more to consider when picking the right one for you. You want to make sure it can cover the entirety of your home, which means you may need more than one to ensure a strong Wi-Fi connection through your entire house depending on the size. When you’re browsing through hundreds of router options, pay close attention to my guide, the reviews, and the details and features that are important to you. Here are my suggestions for some of the best Wi-Fi routers out there—and where to start if you’re seeking certain features.

What to consider when buying a Wi-Fi router

Range

When you’re looking at Wi-Fi 6 routers versus Wi-Fi 5, it’s important to prioritize range and speed if you need them even when the network is busy. You don’t want your Wi-Fi lagging when you have that last minute assignment due for work or you’re in the middle of the “Love is Blind” reunion.

Connection

Just like having a strong connection, you want it to be fast and dependable. If your home is huge, you need a router with a wide span, or maybe even consider adding multiple routers.

System

Look at where you live and the size of your home. This can narrow down the decision between a traditional or a mesh router. If you live in an apartment or smaller home, a traditional router should be just fine. If you’re trying to cover a lot of ground and need a really strong connection, it might be worth investing in a mesh system.

Our top picks for the best Wi-Fi router

Best home Wi-Fi router: TP-Link AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

What’s the best home Wi-Fi router? That’s a loaded question. It really comes down to the size of your home and how strong of a connection you need, in addition to a few other details. (For example, if you spend most of your time at home in front of a gaming monitor, your Wi-Fi needs will be different than someone who is primarily working on spreadsheets on their laptop.) If you're looking at an overall good Wi-Fi router for most homes, the TP-Link AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Router is a fantastic option. It has reliable streaming and fast downloads on a Wi-Fi 6 speed that’s dependable for gaming, streaming your favorite shows, and more.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 2402 Mbps on 5 GHz and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz bands
  • Wireless networking security: WPA3, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-PSK
  • Range: 3 bedroom home
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4
  • Size: 10.2 x 1.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Price on publish: $94.99

What we like:

  • Reliable streaming
  • Fair price

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention the connection can be spotty at times, but that will happen

The bottom line:

Overall, the TP-Link AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router is a great option if you’re looking for something reliable to start with that will work for most homes.

Get it here: TP-Link AX3000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router


Best mid-range Wi-Fi router: Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Dual-Band AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router

Hydra Pro 6

For a mid-range router that’s high speed, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Mesh has Wi-Fi 6 technology. The mesh router has a dual-band and can create a strong Wi-Fi connection to handle any games you want to try, or internet surfing.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 5400 megabits per second
  • Wireless networking security: WPA2-Personal, WPA3-Personal, WPA3/WPA2 Mixed
  • Range: 2,700 square feet
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4
  • Size: 8.46 x 6.08 x 2.22 inches
  • Price on publish: $169.99

What we like:

  • Wi-Fi 6 tech for a good connection

What we don’t like:

  • Installation can be difficult according to some reviews
  • A little expensive

The bottom line:

For a reliable mid-range router, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Mesh is a great option that will keep your games streaming and your internet strong.

Get it here: Linksys Hydra Pro 6 Dual-Band AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router


Best gaming Wi-Fi router: TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router is ideal for gaming because of its incredibly strong connection and low lag time. It has a game accelerator that can strengthen your streaming, even in the most action packed scenes.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 5 GHz
  • Wireless networking security: WPA, WPA2, WPA3, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x)
  • Range: 4,000 square feet
  • Bands: Tri-band
  • LAN ports: 8
  • Size: 14.37 x 11.42 x 4.72 inches
  • Price on publish: $349.99

What we like:

  • Fast streaming and ideal for gaming

What we don’t like:

  • A bit pricey

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a strong Wi-Fi router built for gaming, the TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router is a fantastic option.

Get it here: TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router


Best budget Wi-Fi router: TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router

Sometimes you just don’t have it in the budget to spend hundreds of dollars on new tech, but you need something reliable. For around $80, the TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router isn’t just affordable, but dependable, built for limiting buffer time and strong internet surfing.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Speed rating: 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300 Mbps on the 5GHz band
  • Wireless networking security: N/A
  • Range: 2,500 square feet
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4
  • Size: ‎9.59 x 6.32 x 1.29 inches
  • Price on publish: $79.99

What we like:

  • Under $80
  • Reliable

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention that it’s not the fastest at times, but it gets the job done for a low price

The bottom line:

When you’re looking for a Wi-Fi solution that won’t break the bank, the TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is under $80 and is the ideal budget solution.

Get it here: TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router


Best Wi-Fi 6E wireless router: Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E AXE5400 Mesh Router

Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E) - Snow

Nest Wifi Pro (Wi-Fi 6E) - Snow

When you’re looking to amp up your wireless router, the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E AXE5400 Mesh Router supports incredibly fast surfing speeds and a strong connection. It can cover a fairly wide range. The system can support strong Wi-Fi that’s capable of extending throughout a 3 to 5 bedroom home. Shopping tip: If you’re considering other Google Nest devices, check out our guides to the best security cameras, best doorbell video cameras, best home security cameras, and best smart thermostats.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6E
  • Speed rating: 2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz, 6.0 GHz
  • Wireless networking security: Secure booting and software updates
  • Range: 2200 square feet
  • Bands: Tri-band
  • LAN ports: 1
  • Size: 3.34 x 5.15 x 4.6 inches
  • Price on publish: $199.99

What we like:

  • Fast
  • Wide range to cover multiple rooms
  • Good customer service

What we don’t like:

  • A few reviews stated the product isn’t as advanced as they hoped, but the brand reached out to offer to find a solution

The bottom line:

When you’re looking for the best Wi-Fi 6E router, the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E AXE5400 Mesh Router is a great one to start with that isn’t too expensive, but reaches a wide range throughout the home.

Get it here: Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro 6E AXE5400 Mesh Router


Best premium Wi-Fi 6E router: NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router, 7.8Gbps

Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router, 7.8Gbps

When you’re looking for a premium Wi-Fi 6 router, the NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router can support strong video streaming, gaming, and internet surfing. Its strong processor has fast Wi-Fi speed and covers up to 40 devices within a 2500 square-foot range. It can also be paired with a paid NETGEAR ARMOR plan to provide a comforting amount of protection to keep your devices secure.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6E
  • Speed rating: 6 GHz
  • Wireless networking security: NETGEAR Armor, WPA2/WPA3, DoS, double firewall
  • Range: 2,500 square feet and 40 devices
  • Bands: Tri-band
  • LAN ports: 5
  • Size: 11.7 x 8.7 x 3.1 inches
  • Price on publish: $319

What we like:

  • Tri-band
  • Wide range
  • Fair price for a premium router

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviewers didn’t like the lack of warranty

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for a premium Wi-Fi 6 router that can cover a lot of ground and up to 40 devices, this NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router is the ideal option.

Get it here: NETGEAR Nighthawk 8-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router


Best mesh Wi-Fi router: TP-Link AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band Wireless Router

When you’re looking for the best mesh Wi-Fi router on the market, the TP-Link AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router is a great option. Mesh routers look at the connection between the devices and the “radio nodes,” to create fast speeds and a strong connection to support search capability, downloading, and more. Plus, this option compared to others is relatively inexpensive at under $80.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 1.8 Gbps (1200 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
  • Wireless networking security: WPA3, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise (802.1x), WPA/WPA2
  • Range: N/A
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4
  • Size: 10.28 x 5.3 x 1.61 inches
  • Price on publish: $74.99

What we like:

  • Only around $75
  • Fast and strong connection

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention occasional disconnections at times

The bottom line:

For a mesh router that will support all of your gaming and streaming and won’t break the bank at around $75, this TP-Link AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band Wireless Router is a great option.

Get it here: TP-Link AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band Wireless Router


Best Wi-Fi 7 router: NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System

Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System, Black, 27Gbps, 2-Pack, 1-year NETGEAR Armor included

Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band WiFi 7 Mesh System, Black, 27Gbps, 2-Pack, 1-year NETGEAR Armor included

For the best Wi-Fi 7 router on the market, this two pack of the NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System will give you a ridiculous amount of speed up to 27 Gbps for results that you will rarely have to worry about. In addition to this being a fast speed option (about 2.4X faster than most), it also looks sleek, and can seamlessly fit into the design of your home.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 7
  • Speed rating: 10 gig
  • Wireless networking security: NETGEAR Armor™ software provides an automatic shield of security
  • Range: 6,600 square feet
  • Bands: Quad-band
  • LAN ports: 1 x 10 Gbps + 4 x 2.5 Gbps Router Ethernet Ports, Satellite Ethernet Ports (LAN) 1 x 10 Gbps + 2 x 2.5 Gbps
  • Size: 11.58 x 5.68 x 5.15 inches
  • Price on publish: $1,699.99 for a 2-pack 6,600 square feet

What we like:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Extremely fast and reliable
  • Very wide range

What we don’t like:

  • Very expensive

The bottom line:

For an incredibly strong, fast Wi-Fi 7 router on the market, this NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Mesh Wi-Fi System is the one to go for that will give you a seamlessly strong connection.

Get it here: NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System


Best modem-router combo: NETGEAR Nighthawk DOCSIS 3.0 1.9 Gbps Two-In-One Cable Modem + WiFi Router

Nighthawk® DOCSIS® 3.0 1.9Gbps Two-in-one Cable Modem +WiFi Router

Nighthawk® DOCSIS® 3.0 1.9Gbps Two-in-one Cable Modem +WiFi Router

When you’re shopping for the best modem and router combination, the NETGEAR Nighthawk DOCSIS 3.0 1.9 Gbps Two-In-One Cable Modem + Wi-Fi Router is the way to go. It has fast Wi-Fi capability for plenty of streaming, gaming, and beyond. It even comes with “a NETGEAR limited 1-year Hardware Warranty” and customer support (“when purchased from a NETGEAR authorized reseller,” according to the website).

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: AC1900 Wi-Fi
  • Speed rating: 1.9 Gbps, 800 Mbps
  • Wireless networking security: 802.11i, 128-bit AES encryption with PSK, WPA/WPA2
  • Range: 2,500 square feet
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4 gigabit ethernet, 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Size: 9.66 x 8.31 x 1.7in
  • Price on publish: $180.10

What we like:

  • NETGEAR limited warranty
  • Good for a 3 to 5 bedroom home

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews reported occasional technical issues, but NETGEAR was very responsive and helpful.

The bottom line:

If you're looking for a strong Wi-Fi and modem combination, this NETGEAR Nighthawk DOCSIS 3.0 1.9 Gbps Two-In-One Cable Modem + Wi-Fi Router is a solid option on the market.

Get it here: NETGEAR Nighthawk DOCSIS 3.0 1.9 Gbps Two-In-One Cable Modem + WiFi Router


Best Wi-Fi router for a large home: Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System

MX12600

When you’re searching for the proper Wi-Fi router for a large home, it’s important to have fast speeds and a wide range. The Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System is incredibly fast and can cover 120 devices and up to 8,100 square feet, giving you a strong connection throughout your entire home.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 6 GHz
  • Wireless networking security: WPA2-Personal, WPA3-Personal, WPA3/WPA2 Mixed, encryption SPI firewall, automatic security updates
  • Range: 8,100 square feet
  • Bands: Tri-band
  • LAN ports: 1
  • Size: ‎4.49 x 4.49 x 9.61 inches
  • Price on publish: $329.99

What we like:

  • Very wide range
  • Strong connection

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention it needs to be restarted frequently

The bottom line:

If you’re looking for the right router to cover a large home, this Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System is a great option covering 8,100 square feet.

Get it here: Linksys Velop Tri-Band AX4200 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System


Best Wi-Fi router with built-in VPN: ExpressVPN Aircove

Aircove | Wi-Fi 6 VPN Router for Home | Protect Unlimited Devices | Free 30-Day ExpressVPN Trial | (U.S. & Canada Version)

Aircove | Wi-Fi 6 VPN Router for Home | Protect Unlimited Devices | Free 30-Day ExpressVPN Trial | (U.S. & Canada Version)

For a router with a built-in VPN, the ExpressVPN Aircove is a great option. If you require accessing cyber content that is specific to certain regions of the world, this can get the job done while keeping your devices secure, protected, and working fast and efficiently.

Specifications:

  • Wi-Fi standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Speed rating: 1200 megabits per second, 1000 Mbps
  • Wireless networking security: WPA2/3, built-in VPN protection, network lock/kill switch, automatic updates
  • Range: 1,600 square feet
  • Bands: Dual-band
  • LAN ports: 4
  • Size: 9.7 x 2.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Price on publish: $189.90

What we like:

  • Built-in VPN
  • Great price

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention that they’re not happy with the brand’s customer support

The bottom line:

For a great option with a built-in VPN to be able to access content from different regions around the world, the ExpressVPN Aircove is ideal.

Get it here: ExpressVPN Aircove


Setting up and optimizing your Wi-Fi router

When setting up your Wi-Fi router, there are a few important things to consider.

Location

When it comes to setting up your router, finding the spot that will give you access from any area of the house is key. It depends on your layout, but this is also why prioritizing the look of the actual router can be helpful.

Aesthetic

It may seem silly, but if the router is sleek and fits in nicely with the decor of the room, it can go into the main area of the house where you have a strong connection and access to it, instead of one that’s maybe not so aesthetically pleasing you want to hide in the basement.

Range

Pay close attention to the range of the router purchased. This will not only provide guidance on which router is right for your home, but also the best place to put the router in your home.

Why a high quality Wi-Fi router matters

Investing in a high-quality Wi-Fi router is so important to ensure a strong connection for streaming, gaming, and working—and for protection, as well. Some high-quality routers come with firewall protection built-in to keep out hackers looking to snatch your data and personal info.

Security measures for Wi-Fi routers

In addition to most quality routers having a firewall, there are things you can do to protect your devices, like adding passwords to your Wi-Fi network or even turning it off if you’re not home.

How I tested and selected the best Wi-Fi router

When researching and selecting the best routers, I had a few reasons for pointing out the ones on the list.

Positive feedback from buyers

While researching the routers, I did a deep dive into what had positive reviews and feedback.

Speed

One of the most important things when picking out the right Wi-Fi router is speed. Whether you’re using the router for high-speed action, gaming, or to work, you need a strong connection through a reliable provider and fast speed.

Range

I found a wide range of routers that would work for different size homes. That can be a huge factor when it comes to having good Wi-Fi, whether you live in a two-story home or a particularly larger home.

Price

I made an effort to include affordable Wi-Fi routers that were still high-quality and a few higher end options for buyers that have a larger budget.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which Wi-Fi router is best for home?

When it comes to which Wi-Fi router is best for your home, it really depends on the type of home you have. Do you have a smaller apartment or a large six-bedroom house? However, my overall choice that would work for most homes is the TP-Link AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Router.

What is the best place to put a Wi-Fi router in a two-story house?

After doing some research, I found the best place to put a router for both stories of the home to get a strong connection is usually a central location. Think: the floor of the upstairs, or maybe a shelf toward the ceiling on the lower floor.

Which router has the best Wi-Fi range?

For the wireless router that has the best range, go with something recommended for a large home like the Linksys Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Velop Tri-Band.

What is the fastest Wi-Fi router?

Generally, something meant for gaming is usually built to be strong and fast to support the action. I would suggest going with the TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router.

What is the best Wi-Fi router money can buy?

For a reliable option that’s worth the investment, the NETGEAR Orbi 970 Series Quad-Band Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System is worth the money.

What is the difference between a single-band, dual-band, tri-band, and quad-band router?

They’re generally in order of speed, price, and how dependable they are. If you don’t use your internet often, a single band is going to generally be a cheaper, slower option, whereas the quad-band will be more expensive, but fast and dependable, with dual-band routers being somewhere in between.

How do I know when it’s time to update my router?

Just like when your laptop backpack starts getting a little frayed and ripped, or your wireless headphones become a little staticky, when your Wi-Fi connection starts slowing down, or you’re dealing with dead spots, it’s time to look into a replacement. Keep in mind that it’s not just about buying a new router, but also who your service provider is. That’s important to research, as well.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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