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The 5 Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers Today

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the newest generation of Wi-Fi technology. Compared to previous standards like 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 offers faster speeds, increased capacity, and improved efficiency. This makes it an ideal option for homes and offices with many connected devices.

If you want to upgrade your network to Wi-Fi 6, one of the first steps is choosing a new router. But with so many options on the market, it can be tricky to determine which model is right for your needs. To help you find the best Wi-Fi 6 router, we’ve tested and reviewed the top options available today.

Here are our picks for the 5 best Wi-Fi 6 routers in 2023:

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX120 – Best Overall

Speed: AX6000
Features: OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS
Coverage: Up to 3,000 sq ft

The NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX120 is our choice for the best overall Wi-Fi 6 router. It offers fast wireless speeds up to 4.8Gbps on the 5GHz band and 1.2Gbps on the 2.4GHz band. This high level of performance makes it great for households with lots of connected devices.

We like that the RAX120 supports key Wi-Fi 6 technologies including OFDMA for efficient data transmission and MU-MIMO for simultaneous streaming. Beamforming helps direct the signal to your devices for improved range and coverage up to 3,000 square feet.

This router also offers Dynamic QoS, which optimizes your network traffic based on application and device priorities. For example, it can prioritize video streaming on your smart TV to reduce buffering. And the quad-core processor ensures you have plenty of power for optimal performance.

With robust parental controls, built-in malware protection, and WPA3 security, the Nighthawk RAX120 checks all the boxes for features. While not cheap, it provides great value given the combination of fast speeds, excellent coverage, and useful extras.

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2. ASUS RT-AX86U – Fastest Speeds

Speed: AX5700
Features: AiMesh, Adaptive QoS, Mobile Game Mode
Coverage: Up to 5,000 sq ft

For raw speed, the ASUS RT-AX86U is tough to beat. This Wi-Fi 6 router delivers an incredible 5700Mbps on the 5GHz band and 1148Mbps on 2.4GHz. It‘s fast enough to support smooth 8K video streaming and VR gaming.

The RT-AX86U includes ASUS AiMesh support, allowing you to add compatible routers for seamless mesh Wi-Fi coverage. We also like that it has a dedicated gaming port and adaptive QoS to reduce lag when playing online games.

With its 1.8GHz quad-core processor and three high-gain antennas, this router provides excellent performance across large homes. It covers up to 5000 square feet with a strong signal. MU-MIMO support allows simultaneous streaming to multiple devices.

If you want extremely fast speeds along with great coverage, the RT-AX86U is a top choice. Just keep in mind that it commands a higher price than many competing models. But for the performance it provides, it‘s worth the investment if speed is your priority.

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3. TP-Link Archer AX73 – Best Budget

Speed: AX5400
Features: OneMesh, OFDMA, MU-MIMO
Coverage: Up to 3,000 sq ft

The TP-Link Archer AX73 delivers fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds at a more affordable price point. It offers speeds up to 5400Mbps on the 5GHz band and 1201Mbps on 2.4GHz. While not as blazing fast as premium models, this level of performance is great for most households.

We like that the AX73 includes OneMesh support for adding TP-Link routers and extenders for mesh networking. It also supports key Wi-Fi 6 technologies like OFDMA and MU-MIMO for efficient performance when connecting multiple devices.

With its eight high-gain antennas and 100% signal coverage, the Archer AX73 provides reliable Wi-Fi across up to 3000 square feet. The quad-core processor ensures smooth 4K streaming and online gaming. If you want Wi-Fi 6 speeds at a budget-friendly price, the AX73 is an outstanding choice.

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4. Linksys Atlas Max 6E AXE8400 – Best Wi-Fi 6E

Speed: AXE8400
Features: 160MHz channel support, Intelligent Mesh
Coverage: Up to 3,000 sq ft

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E AXE8400 is a great router for taking advantage of Wi-Fi 6E. This technology adds the new 6GHz band for less congestion, lower latency, and faster speeds. The AXE8400 delivers incredible speeds up to 8.4Gbps.

A highlight of this router is its 160MHz channel support on the 5GHz and 6GHz bands. This allows for blazing fast wireless connections when using compatible devices. The Atlas Max 6E can hit peak speeds up to 5Gbps on the 6GHz band alone.

We like that this model includes Intelligent Mesh support for simple expanding of your network. It also provides reliable signal coverage up to 3,000 square feet across multiple levels. The Max 6E gives you cutting edge Wi-Fi 6E along with robust connectivity.

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5. NETGEAR Orbi 860 Series – Best Mesh Network

Speed: AX6000
Features: Dedicated backhaul, Easy setup
Coverage: Up to 7,500 sq ft

If you want the flexibility of a mesh network paired with Wi-Fi 6 speeds, the NETGEAR Orbi 860 is a fantastic choice. It provides wireless speeds up to 6Gbps along with coverage up to a massive 7,500 square feet.

The Orbi 860 includes a router and two satellites for strong mesh performance across large homes. The dedicated backhaul connection between the nodes ensures you receive fast speeds everywhere. NETGEAR‘s simple Orbi app makes it easy to setup your network and add more satellites down the road.

With tri-band performance, six high-gain antennas, and other useful features like smart parental controls, the Orbi 860 is the top Wi-Fi 6 mesh network. While it is expensive, it‘s great for bringing fast, reliable Wi-Fi to every part of your home. If a mesh system is your preference, the Orbi 860 delivers exceptional performance and coverage.

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Now that we‘ve covered our top picks, let‘s discuss how to choose the right Wi-Fi 6 router for your needs.

How to Choose the Best Wi-Fi 6 Router

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a new Wi-Fi router. This includes things like speed, coverage, number of devices, and features. Follow this buying guide for choosing the perfect Wi-Fi 6 router.

Speed – Wi-Fi 6 offers much faster maximum speeds compared to Wi-Fi 5. Top-tier routers can deliver wireless speeds over 5Gbps or more. Consider both the peak speeds and realistic speeds you need.

Coverage – Think about the range you need to cover. Higher-end routers provide up to 7,500+ square feet of coverage. But less expensive models may only cover 1,500 square feet.

Devices – Determine how many devices need simultaneous Wi-Fi connections in your home. Wi-Fi 6 improves capacity through technologies like OFDMA. But more premium routers handle more devices.

Features – Look for useful extras like link aggregation for combining Ethernet ports, intrusion protection to enhance security, and QoS for traffic prioritization.

Budget – Wi-Fi 6 routers range from around $100 on the low end to $700+ for top-of-the-line models. Decide how much performance you need for the money.

Mesh vs. Single Router – Mesh systems like Orbi provide whole home coverage but cost more. Single routers give you faster maximum speeds at a lower price.

Considering these factors will help you select the right Wi-Fi 6 router with the ideal blend of speed, coverage, and features for your home or office wireless network.

Key Wi-Fi 6 Technologies and Benefits

To help understand why Wi-Fi 6 is faster and more efficient than previous standards, here is an overview of the key technologies and benefits:

OFDMA – This allows for more efficient data transmissions. Wi-Fi 6 divides channels into smaller sub-channels for simultaneous transmissions.

MU-MIMO – With multi-user MIMO, routers can communicate with multiple devices simultaneously instead of one-by-one.

1024 QAM – By supporting 1024 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), Wi-Fi 6 provides 33% faster speeds compared to Wi-Fi 5.

Target Wake Time – This technology reduces battery use by allowing devices to sleep until the next scheduled wake-up time to receive data.

Security – WPA3 brings enhanced wireless encryption and protection against password guessing attacks.

Overall, these new technologies add up to faster speeds, higher capacity, lower latency, and an improved networking experience for devices. Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 is the best way to deliver fast, reliable wireless connectivity across busy homes and offices.

Should You Upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 Router?

Wi-Fi 6 brings some great benefits, but is it worth upgrading your router? If the following apply to you, it may be time to get a new Wi-Fi 6 model:

  • You notice slow internet speeds, trouble streaming/gaming, and other performance issues
  • You need to connect many devices like phones, laptops, smart home tech, and computers
  • You stream a lot of 4K video, game online, or use data-heavy apps
  • You want better range to eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones in parts of your home
  • You need support for new 6GHz devices (Wi-Fi 6E routers)

Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 provides faster speeds, increased capacity, and an overall better networking experience. Just make sure your devices have Wi-Fi 6 compatibility to take full advantage of the improvements. For top-of-the-line wireless performance, Wi-Fi 6 is the new gold standard in 2023 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6?

Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, is the newest Wi-Fi generation. It offers faster maximum speeds, increased bandwidth, lower latency, better efficiency, and more simultaneous device connections compared to Wi-Fi 5. Key enhancements include OFDMA, MU-MIMO, 1024 QAM, and Target Wake Time.

Do I need new devices to use Wi-Fi 6?

You can connect older Wi-Fi devices to a Wi-Fi 6 router. However, only Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices like newer smartphones and laptops support all the performance improvements and features. For the fastest speeds, you need devices with Wi-Fi 6 support.

Is Wi-Fi 6 worth it for gaming?

Yes, Wi-Fi 6 is great for gaming. The faster speeds, increased bandwidth, and lower latency provide a lag-free online gaming experience. Technologies like OFDMA also minimize spikes and dips in your connection quality. If you game online, upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 is highly recommended.

How much does a good Wi-Fi 6 router cost?

There are high-end Wi-Fi 6 routers that cost $500+, but you can find very capable models for $200 or less. Our budget pick, the TP-Link Archer AX73, only costs around $100. Focus on the coverage and speeds you need. Many can get a solid Wi-Fi 6 router for under $250.

Final Thoughts

Wi-Fi 6 delivers a huge leap in performance over previous wireless standards. With capabilities like faster speeds, increased capacity, and lower latency, it‘s ideal for modern smart homes. Any of the routers in our top picks will provide an excellent Wi-Fi 6 experience. Just make sure to consider your budget, coverage needs, and desired features before deciding.

Upgrading your router may seem mundane. But a high-quality Wi-Fi 6 model like one of our recommendations truly enhances your overall connectivity. With faster downloads and streaming, minimal buffering, and lag-free gaming, the difference is immediately noticeable across all of your devices. For the ultimate home wireless network in 2023, Wi-Fi 6 is the clear choice.