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The 7 Best Wireless Routers

The 7 Best Wireless Routers for Fast, Reliable Wi-Fi

These days, a strong and stable home Wi-Fi connection is more important than ever. With remote work becoming commonplace and families connecting an ever-increasing number of devices, investing in a high-quality wireless router is essential. The right router can provide fast speeds, excellent range, easy management features, and robust security to keep your whole home network running smoothly.

If your current router is more than a few years old, upgrading to a newer model can provide a major boost in performance and features. Newer routers support the latest Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard, which offers significant speed and efficiency improvements over the previous generation Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Some cutting-edge routers are even starting to integrate Wi-Fi 6E, which adds support for the 6 GHz band for even faster speeds and less interference.

When evaluating routers, you‘ll want to consider maximum speeds, range, how many devices can connect simultaneously, and extra features like parental controls and guest networks. Ease of setup and management is also important – look for intuitive companion apps and web interfaces. Security is crucial too, so choose a router with WPA3 encryption and automatic updates.

After thorough research and hands-on testing, these are our picks for the best wireless routers you can buy in 2022:

Best Overall Router: Asus RT-AX88U
For a top-performing router that excels in every category, the Asus RT-AX88U is our top pick. This Wi-Fi 6 router delivers outstanding speeds up to 6000 Mbps (1148 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band + 4804 Mbps on the 5 GHz band).

The RT-AX88U provides excellent range to blanket a large home in fast, stable Wi-Fi. It can handle a large number of connected devices without slowing down thanks to a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, 8 Gigabit LAN ports, and support for the latest MU-MIMO and OFDMA technologies.

Setup is a breeze using the Asus Router app, which also provides robust security and parental control options. Gamers will appreciate integrated WTFast game acceleration and adaptive QoS to prioritize gaming traffic. If you want the best overall performance and features in a reasonable $350 price range, the RT-AX88U delivers.

Best Budget Router: TP-Link Archer AX21
You don‘t have to spend a fortune for a fast, reliable Wi-Fi 6 router. The TP-Link Archer AX21 packs in great performance and features starting under $100.

The dual-band AX21 delivers total speeds up to 1.8 Gbps (574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz + 1201 Mbps on 5 GHz). Four high-gain antennas provide strong coverage for medium-sized homes up to 2,000 square feet. It can handle up to 40 connected devices and includes 4 Gigabit LAN ports.

For the price, you get impressive features like easy app-based setup, compatibility with Alexa voice commands, and OneMesh support to create a mesh network with other TP-Link routers. If you‘re looking for an affordable way to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, the Archer AX21 is an excellent value.

Best Gaming Router: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Serious gamers need the fastest speeds, lowest latency, and advanced tools to optimize their network for gaming. The tri-band Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is designed specifically to meet those needs.

This beast of a router boasts Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to nearly 11,000 Mbps total (1148 Mbps on 2.4 GHz + 4804 Mbps on 5 GHz-1 + 4804 Mbps on 5 GHz-2). It dedicates an entire 5 GHz band to gaming devices for maximum performance. Eight antennas and beamforming provide incredible range.

The GT-AX11000 includes a dedicated Gaming Port that automatically prioritizes any wired device, along with a Game Boost feature to set bandwidth priorities. A Gear Accelerator optimizes server connections to minimize ping times and latency. If you take gaming seriously and want the ultimate router to match, this is it.

Best Mesh Wi-Fi System: Netgear Orbi RBK752
For larger homes or challenging layouts, a mesh Wi-Fi system with multiple nodes provides seamless coverage. Our favorite is the Netgear Orbi RBK752.

This tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh system comes with a router and satellite to cover homes up to 5,000 square feet with combined speeds up to 4.2 Gbps. It supports over 40 connected devices. Setup is easy using the Orbi app, which also lets you manage your network from anywhere.

The Orbi system‘s tri-band design dedicates one band to communication between the router and satellite, avoiding the speed loss seen with dual-band mesh systems. With fantastic performance, great range, and a plug-and-play setup, the RBK752 is the mesh system to beat.

Best Router for Advanced Management: Synology RT6600ax
Most routers provide basic management options, but if you want total control and advanced features, the Synology RT6600ax is in a class of its own.

This 6-stream Wi-Fi 6 router delivers combined speeds up to 6.6 Gbps (1148 Mbps on 2.4 GHz + 4804 Mbps on 5 GHz). But the real star is the Synology Router Management (SRM) operating system, adapted from Synology‘s acclaimed NAS software.

SRM provides a desktop-like interface with advanced options like VPN support, intrusion prevention, deep parental controls, and even hosting your own private cloud storage. If you want a professional-grade router management experience, this is the router to get.

Strong Contenders
A few other routers stood out in our testing:

  • Linksys Hydra Pro 6E: A cutting-edge router with faster Wi-Fi 6E speeds up to 6.6 Gbps, but very few 6E devices to take advantage of it yet. Excellent speeds and features for early adopters.

  • Eero Pro 6: This mesh system is incredibly easy to set up and manage, making it a great choice for novice users. Performance doesn‘t quite match the Orbi but it‘s a close second.

  • TP-Link Archer AX90: A well-priced Wi-Fi 6 router with speeds up to 6.6 Gbps and great range. Not as many advanced features as our top picks but an excellent all-around performer.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Router
Before buying a new router, consider the following:

  • The size of your home and number of rooms/floors you need to cover. Larger homes will benefit from mesh systems.

  • How many devices will be connected simultaneously. Routers support a maximum number of devices.

  • Your internet plan‘s speed. Don‘t overspend for a router that‘s far faster than your internet connection.

  • Wired connectivity needs. Look for a sufficient number of LAN ports if you have many wired devices.

  • Advanced features you‘ll actually use. Extras like VPN servers, USB ports, and cloud storage are great for some but overkill for others.

Setting Up and Using a New Router
While setting up a new router may sound daunting, most models include easy-to-use mobile apps that walk you through configuration. Often it‘s as simple as plugging the router in, connecting to it with your phone, and following prompts in the app.

Using a new router may not be a night-and-day difference, but if you‘re coming from an older model you‘ll likely notice faster overall speeds, better range throughout your home, and a more stable connection with less buffering and dropouts. Many routers also let you get a quick snapshot of your network status, connected devices, and bandwidth usage right from a smartphone app.

A Good Router Makes a Big Difference
Your router is the heart of your home network, so choosing a great one can have a big impact on your day-to-day connected life. Whether you just need a reliable budget model for casual browsing or want an ultra-fast gaming router with all the bells and whistles, upgrading to one of the best routers on the market can take your home Wi-Fi experience to the next level.

After evaluating the top options based on speed, range, features, and value, the Asus RT-AX88U earns our overall recommendation for its superb performance and well-rounded capabilities. But any router on this list will provide a fast, stable, and secure connection. With the right router in place, you can enjoy a home network that just works – so you can focus on what matters to you.