The best Wi-Fi router has gone from being a luxury to a necessity thanks to the sheer volume of online devices we all own.
While you'll likely get a router with your broadband package, it's rare that a provider will send you one of the best on the market. It might do the job initially, but they often struggle when it comes to handling more devices connected or dealing with larger areas to cover. That's especially true if you're someone who lives in a house of gamers, because you'll likely struggle unless you've got the best gaming router handy.
It's not just about getting more speed either, it's about being able to fully access the service you're paying for. If your router is the throttle point in your setup, then making sure you upgrade to fully utilise all of those megabits you're paying for is really important. That's to say nothing of getting in on Wi-Fi 6.
It can all seem a little bit daunting, sure, but you're not alone, we're here for you. We've gone through them all to find the best Wi-Fi router in a few different situations, and we've put them all into a list right here.
Best Wi-Fi router
- TP-Link Archer AXE75
- D-Link EXO AX1800
- Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
- ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
- Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E
- Linksys Hydra Pro 6
1. TP-Link Archer AXE75
Best Wi-Fi router for most people
Dimensions: 12.91 x 10.43 x 4.72 inches
The TP-Link Archer AXE75 comes with an impressive Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E connection while also being fairly priced, which makes it the ideal router for almost any task.
The 6E connection provides up to 5,400 Mbps Wi-Fi for faster streaming, browsing, downloading, and gaming. In fact, the connection is so strong that, in theory, you could be doing all of those things at the same time with next to no delay or buffering.
You can also connect multiple devices simultaneously with True Tri-Band and OFDMA technology, which TP-Link claims can increase the transmission capacity by four. This means that, even if a few devices are hooked up to the internet, the connection will still maintain its speed.
TP-Link HomeShield also provides security to make sure your network is safe and private with IoT protection. Plus, it comes with features such as the ability to perform a network security scan and add basic parental controls.
All things considered then, this router definitely seems like a great fit for most people. Therefore, make sure you check it out if you're looking to improve your connection at home.
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2. D-Link EXO AX1800
Best budget Wi-Fi router
Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 2.2 inches
If you’re on the hunt for a budget option, then the D-Link EXO AX1800 is a great choice, mainly because it offers two different band speeds, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, for complete control over your network.
Both of these have their benefits. For instance, using a 2.4GHz connection has longer waves, giving you wider coverage as it can transmit through walls and solid objects. Meanwhile, a 5GHz band will offer you higher internet speeds and a stable connection, the only drawback being that it has a shorter range. Therefore, if you want internet coverage for your entire home, you’re probably better off using the 2.4GHz band, whereas if you only need a solid internet connection for one room, its 5GHz connection will no doubt come in handy. Whatever your situation, though, having the option to choose is certainly a bonus.
It’s also worth mentioning that it's compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant to make it easy to manage Wi-Fi access for any guests you have over via spoken commands, thus saving you time trying to figure out where you put the Wi-Fi passcode…
Ultimately this is a reliable, fast, and completely customisable router that doubles as one of the best budget routers around. So, if you don't want to break the bank to upgrade your network, this one is well worth checking out.
- Read more: Best small Wi-Fi routers
3. Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
Fastest Wi-Fi router
Dimensions: 13.6 x 8.7 x 6.7 inches
Netgear’s Nighthawk RAXE500 is one of the fastest routers we've selected, with the option of choosing a 6GHz band speed, which is far less congested than the standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz speeds due to how uncommon it is among other households.
You can switch between all of these frequencies though. So if, for instance, you want the signal to transmit through solid walls and you don’t have a Wi-Fi extender to hand, it might be more beneficial to opt for the 2.4GHz setting instead.
Alongside this, the router is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, which means you can easily configure your network using voice commands. It also has VPN support, allowing you to securely access your home network from your mobile device from practically anywhere in the world.
Its design is also another enticing aspect of this product. In our opinion, it blends into living rooms or office spaces far better than the usual spider-like antennas. Futuristic, sure, but certainly more intriguing to look at than most routers.
So, if you’re looking for a router with a fast connection and a unique look, then this Nighthawk device could be your answer.
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4. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
Best Wi-Fi router for gaming
Dimensions: 11.3 x 4.74 x 14.86 inches
The ASUS ROG Rapture offers triple-level game acceleration and a dedicated 5GHz gaming speed band, making it one of the best routers around if you require a strong and fast connection for gaming.
The triple-level game acceleration is comprised of GameFirst V, which optimises gaming packets on other ASUS ROG devices, Game Boost, which analyses network traffic and also prioritises gaming packets to boost performance, and Gamers Private Network, which provides private, optimised internet connection to game servers. Essentially, these three levels help to boost game traffic every step of the way, thus reducing the ping rate and latency for an overall better online experience.
In terms of security, the router features ASUS’ own AiProtection Pro. This is designed to keep your network safe against external attacks, block access to malicious sites, and detect and block infected devices. As a result, no malware should ever be able to affect your network, as any threats are neutralised before they hit.
Factors like this help elevate this router to become a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a solid, stable internet connection for gaming with a ton of security features.
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5. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E
Best Wi-Fi mesh system
Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 8.4 inches
If a mesh system is what you're after though to maintain a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection all over your home, then the Netgear Orbi is worth checking out to minimise those dead zones.
The package includes one router and a Wi-Fi extender, which means it offers an amazing coverage of 6,000 square feet. With this range, you should be able to connect to your internet from anywhere in your home and even in your backyard (depending on the size of your home of course).
Its 6GHz band speed is also a bonus, as it means you can enjoy quick internet speeds without experiencing any delay. This is thanks to there being far less congestion than on more standardised 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands.
Netgear Armor software also provides an automatic shield of security for your network and any devices you have connected to it, thus protecting you from external threats trying to access your data.
All in all, this mesh Wi-Fi system is incredibly well-rounded and fast, with a huge area of coverage to match. Therefore, it's hard to look past it if a mesh system is what your home needs.
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6. Linksys Hydra Pro 6
Best small Wi-Fi router
Dimensions: 8.46 x 6.08 x 2.22 inches
On the hunt for a Wi-Fi router that doesn’t take up too much space in your home? Linksys’ Hydra Pro 6 fits the bill, while also offering fast speeds and the ability to connect plenty of devices to the internet without experiencing too much disruption or delay.
It offers you the powers of Wi-Fi 6 technology, providing fast connection speeds. It basically sends and receives multiple streams of data simultaneously, therefore delivering more Wi-Fi capacity that can handle browsing, downloads, streaming, and online gameplay from multiple devices at once.
You’ll also be able to use the Linksys app, which will let you access your network no matter where you are, and allow you to view and prioritise which connected devices are using up the most Wi-Fi. This means you have complete control over your network at all times, allowing you to monitor usage and adjust its output accordingly.
Overall, this device is a great option if you have a limited amount of space in your home to house a new and upgraded Wi-Fi router. Don't be fooled by its small size though, as this thing is capable of incredible speeds and reliable internet access.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
It's understandable if you have a few queries when it comes to finding the best Wi-Fi router; there's a lot to get your head around. No need to panic though as we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Does it matter which Wi-Fi router you buy?
It is important to take your time deciding which Wi-Fi router to purchase as it's important you find the right fit. Investing thought and effort into researching your options will ensure you make the best choice for your home or needs.
This is because, although your maximum internet connection speed is determined by which internet service provider (ISP) you're with, routers that offer faster speeds, as well as different bandwidths, will still benefit your overall connection and allow you to connect multiple devices at once to your network without you experiencing much lag.
For example, Tri-Band devices tend to come with the option of using a 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or 6GHz band speed. No matter which ISP you're with, the 5GHz and 6GHz bands will generally give you a faster connection, while a 2.4GHz band will offer a wider range as it is better at transmitting through solid walls and objects.
How do you choose a Wi-Fi router?
First and foremost when choosing the right Wi-Fi router, it's important to make sure it actually supports the internet speed you pay for. At the end of the day, there's no point in buying a router that offers a slower speed. In this instance, you won't be able to make the most of the speeds it offers on any devices you use... it would simply be a waste of money.
Following that, it's worth exploring whether the router comes with different band speeds. This can be useful for different scenarios, as touched upon above. A 5GHz or, even better, a 6GHz connection can offer extremely fast speeds within a short range, whereas a 2.4GHz connection is suitable for a longer range that has to transmit through solid objects.