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Reddit‘s Best Routers for Your Home Network


Your router is the central hub that connects all your devices to the internet and each other. It takes the internet connection coming into your home and routes it to your computers, phones, smart TVs, and any other connected devices. When it comes to choosing a router, the options can seem overwhelming. Do you prioritize speed? Range? Security features? And what exactly is the difference between dual-band and tri-band?

In this guide, we‘ll break down the key factors to consider when router shopping and highlight some of the top picks based on discussions in Reddit‘s home networking communities. Whether you‘re a casual user looking for a reliable everyday router or an enthusiast setting up an advanced homelab, we‘ve got you covered. Let‘s jump in and find the best router for your needs.

What to Look for in a Router

Before we get to the top routers, here are the main things to evaluate when comparing different models:

  • Price: Router prices can range from under $100 for a basic model to well over $500 for a top-of-the-line tri-band mesh system or an advanced router with enterprise-level features. Consider how much you‘re willing to spend and what features are essential for you.

  • Speed: A router‘s speed, measured in Mbps (megabits per second), determines how quickly it can transfer data. Modern routers offer anywhere from around 100 Mbps on the low end to over 10,000 Mbps on the extreme high end. For most homes, a minimum speed of 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps) on the 5 GHz band is recommended.

  • Range: If you live in a larger home or need Wi-Fi coverage outdoors, look for a router with a longer range, typically measured in feet. The shape and size of your space can also impact signal strength, so consider a mesh system if you have an especially challenging layout.

  • Security: At a minimum, make sure your router offers WPA2 encryption and an SPI firewall. Some higher-end routers feature advanced security tools like VPN support, automatic malware scanning, and the ability to create a guest network to keep your main network locked down.

  • Wireless Bands: Routers broadcast in two main frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Dual-band routers support both, while tri-band routers have an additional 5 GHz band to better manage more connected devices. The 2.4 GHz band has a longer range but slower speeds, while 5 GHz offers faster speeds at a shorter range.

Best Routers Based on Reddit Recommendations

With those key considerations in mind, here are some of the most frequently recommended routers across Reddit‘s home networking subreddits like r/HomeNetworking, r/wifi, and r/RouterReviews. We‘ll share picks across a range of categories and price points to help you find the best fit.

Best Overall Router for Most Homes: ASUS RT-AX3000

For most users looking to upgrade their home network, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is an excellent all-around choice. This dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router supports speeds up to 3000 Mbps (575 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 2402 Mbps on 5 GHz). Its 2500 square foot coverage area is enough for most medium-size homes.

Key features include:

  • OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology for smooth streaming on multiple devices
  • AiProtection Pro for built-in network security
  • AiMesh support to create a mesh network with other compatible ASUS routers

Redditors praise the RT-AX3000‘s fast, reliable performance and easy setup process. It‘s a great mid-range option for under $200.

Best Router for Homelabs: TP-Link Omada Controller

If you‘re putting together a more advanced homelab setup, you‘ll want a business-class router with features like VLAN support and finer control over your network. Many homelab enthusiasts swear by the TP-Link Omada Controller, a software-defined networking (SDN) controller that centrally manages all your Omada access points, switches, and gateways.

With the Omada Controller, you can:

  • Manage wired and wireless devices across multiple sites from a single dashboard
  • Create VLANs to isolate and secure network segments
  • Define granular access control policies and captive portals
  • Monitor network traffic and device status in real time
  • Optimize wireless performance with band steering, beamforming, and more

The Omada Controller runs on a dedicated hardware controller or via the free software for Windows/Linux. You will need Omada-compatible devices to fully utilize SDN management. But for under $100, it‘s an affordable way to bring enterprise-level networking to your homelab.

Best Simple/Budget Router: ASUS RT-AX68U

Just need a reliable, no-frills router without breaking the bank? Check out the ASUS RT-AX68U, a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that covers up to 2,500 sq. ft. and delivers combined speeds up to 2700 Mbps. Priced around $175, it‘s an excellent value pick.

You still get handy features like:

  • AiProtection Pro network security
  • AiMesh compatibility
  • 4x Gigabit LAN ports and a USB 3.2 port
  • Flexible ASUS router app for setup and management

For smaller homes and apartments with less intensive bandwidth needs, the RT-AX68U is a great affordable router that doesn‘t sacrifice performance.

Best Mesh Router System: TP-Link Deco

For larger homes that struggle with dead zones, a mesh router system can provide seamless whole-home coverage. The TP-Link Deco is a popular mesh pick on Reddit for its excellent performance and value. A three-pack covers up to 5,500 square feet.

Standout features of the Deco system include:

  • Easy app-based setup and management
  • Optional Ethernet backhaul between nodes for even faster speeds
  • Adaptive routing technology to automatically optimize traffic
  • Built-in antivirus, parental controls, and QoS

TP-Link also offers a range of Deco models at different price points, so you can choose a system that fits your home size and bandwidth requirements. Prices range from around $110 to $230 for a two or three-node system.

Best PoE Router: MikroTik hEX S

For a versatile wired router with Power over Ethernet (PoE) support, consider the MikroTik hEX S. This compact 5-port router can power a PoE device like a security camera or access point over the same Ethernet cable used for data.

The hEX S packs some impressive features into its small frame:

  • Dual-core 880 MHz CPU and 256 MB RAM
  • SFP port for fiber connectivity
  • PoE output on the last Ethernet port
  • Advanced configuration options through RouterOS

Compact and powerful, the hEX S is a favorite among networking enthusiasts setting up complex configurations. It‘s an affordable and flexible wired routing option at under $100.

Best Router for Gaming: TP-Link Archer AX11000

Gamers who want the absolute best from their router should check out the battle-station-worthy TP-Link Archer AX11000. This tri-band beast brings you eight external antennas, an overpowered 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, and Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to 10,756 Mbps.

The Archer AX11000 also delivers:

  • 6 square feet of coverage
  • 1x 2.5 Gbps WAN, 8x Gigabit LAN, and 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Game Accelerator Engine for optimized streaming and gaming
  • HomeShield security with TP-Link‘s Antivirus protection

While it‘s definitely overkill for most homes, serious gamers who want uncompromising performance will appreciate the Archer AX11000‘s robust specs and aggressive design. At around $450, it‘s an investment—but if you want the ultimate gaming router, this is it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I replace my router?

The average lifespan of a router is around five years. If your router is older than that and you‘re noticing performance issues like slower speeds or dropped connections, it‘s probably time for an upgrade. Newer routers also offer the latest security standards and features.

What are signs that I need a new router?

Aside from age, other indicators that you‘re due for a new router include:

  • Slow or inconsistent speeds, even when close to the router
  • Frequent dropped connections or dead zones in your home
  • Overheating or other physical damage to the router
  • Incompatibility with a faster internet plan from your ISP

How do I choose the right router for my home?

The right router depends on factors like the size of your space, the number of connected devices, and what you primarily use your Wi-Fi for (browsing, streaming, gaming, etc.). A good rule of thumb is to choose a router that offers at least double the speed of your internet plan and enough range to cover your entire home. Mesh systems are great for larger or multi-story homes.

What‘s the difference between dual-band and tri-band?

Dual-band routers broadcast on two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), while tri-band routers have an extra 5 GHz band. The 2.4 GHz band provides better range but slower speeds, while 5 GHz delivers faster speeds over a shorter range. Tri-band alleviates network congestion in homes with many connected devices, but dual-band is sufficient for most users.


There you have it – a roundup of Reddit‘s most recommended routers for everyone from the budget-conscious to the homelab power user. Whether you prioritize speed, range, customization, or cost, there‘s a router out there that will keep your home network running smoothly.

For most homes, the ASUS RT-AX3000 hits the sweet spot of performance and price. If you‘re a tech enthusiast putting together an advanced homelab setup, the TP-Link Omada Controller is a powerful and flexible choice for centralized network management.

Remember, even the best router is only as good as your internet plan – so make sure you have enough bandwidth coming in from your ISP to get the most out of your equipment. And don‘t forget to keep your router‘s firmware updated for the latest performance improvements and security patches.

Happy networking!