If you are tired of using your old router and your performance is constantly deterred due to slow speed, it’s time to switch to a new, upgraded home wireless router. Not only will your work efficiency be increased with a new router but it will also enable you to connect multiple devices simultaneously. In addition to that, you will possibly end up with some nice features for those devices that need a wired connection, such as smart home support or additional ports.
Check out our top 5 best home wireless routers to give yourself a better insight into the kind of router you need.
1. Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80)
We have seen some routers that are built to blend in with their surroundings, but it’s fair to assume that not one of them is the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 AX6000. It has a visually appealing appearance that resembles a spacecraft with “wings” on either side that stretch upwards.
Two high-performance antennas are included in each wing. Thankfully, when you want to put the router away, the wings can be folded inwards. There are two actual buttons right next to the LEDs – WiFi and WPS. The latter is self-explanatory, allowing you to easily connect a Wi-Fi system to the network using the protocol Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) while pressing the former toggles Wi-Fi off or on for a few seconds.
Five Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, and two USB 3.0 ports are supported.
Thanks to WiFi 6 help, this router is also future-proof in many other ways. You get potential Wi-Fi speeds over the 2.4GHz range of up to 1.2Gbps, and up to 4.8Gbps over 5GHz. With the pledge of Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds for devices supporting these underlying technologies, support for beamforming and 160MHz channels is accessible.
WiFi 6 also brings a host of other upgrades, including OFDMA support, which is designed to ensure that this router’s slow devices do not stop the entire network. The 4X4 MU-MIMO is also enabled by this router. This means that you should be able to access high-quality content simultaneously on multiple devices, while also providing ample bandwidth for, say, competitive gaming, if you have a quick Internet connection.
USB ports support ReadySHARE from Netgear, which allows you to easily share any connected drive or printer with devices on a local network or over the Internet. It also helps you run a DLNA media server, and even allows a drive to act as a backup destination for network computers.
Automatic, which when activated, uses an online database to optimize traffic on your network, is the only available QoS control level, potentially giving priority to apps that would require faster access to the Internet. We would have preferred this part of the router’s output with more granular controls.
While you can restrict websites based on keywords and domain names, there are no meaningful parental controls. Based on the ports on which they run, you can also block services. The router is specified to support Alexa and Google Assistant for items such as switching a voice command to the guest Wi-Fi network easily.
What We Like About Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80)
Experienced users would be pleased to know that almost all the features you would expect are supported. Dynamic DNS, port forwarding and triggering, remote control, and even a built-in VPN server are all included. There is a Traffic Meter that allows you to track overall Internet use and, optionally, warn you when the user-defined limits are reached by flashing an LED Amber/ Green or fully disable Internet access.
What We Don’t Like About Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80)
When the wings are folded, the router works, but its output is likely to have some effect. All the ports are at the back of the router, and the status LEDs are on the top but towards the back, which is a little strange.
What’s worse the LEDs are very faint, and we struggled to see them at times particularly when the room was well lit. To turn the LEDs on/off there is a physical switch (right next to the Reset button), but no way to monitor their intensity, not even through the software settings.
| Visually appealing|
USB ports support ReadySHARE from Netgear
Traffic Meter to track overall Internet use
| Problematic parental control|
2. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50)
With a total network speed of 3000 Mbps, TP-link has now launched the Archer AX50, an AX3000 router, which is an improved version of the AX10 with more features and double the speed, with a bandwidth of 574 Mbps over 2.4 GHz and 2402 Mbps over 5 GHz.
The Archer AX50 is fitted with the new wireless Wi-Fi 6 technology, offering faster speeds, increased reliability, and decreased network congestion, while the dual-core CPU from Intel ensures a smooth experience.
Besides, Next-Gen 3 Gbps Rates Higher speeds of up to 1.5 Gbps (2,402Mbps in the 5 GHz band and Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band) are reached by the Archer AX10 dual-band router. You can link more devices, thus, forming simultaneous connections with OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology and reduced latency.
Minimize latency for all devices and applications and experience ultra-smooth entertainment, whether you download 4K content, online games, or even video chat.
The AX50 is well covered by a cardboard frame, and accessories are arranged into compartments to avoid damage. Except for the Intel logo of the AX50 on top, both routers look similar on the outside. The AX50 is also the same size as the AX10: 260.2 x 135.0 x 38.6 mm and is made of a mixture of glossy and matt plastics. There is a discrete status LED row at the front showing the link status, network operation of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, internet connectivity and power, no ports or indicators on the sides.
The 4 fixed folding antennas compatible with beamforming for improved signal coverage are on the back, reset button, WPS, 4 LAN ports, 1 WAN port (1 Gbps capped), power button, and power connector.
Once connected by cables or Wi-Fi, the router will prompt you for the initial setup when you start your Internet browser. Alternatively, just enter the internet address tplinkwifi.net in the address bar. The router is also compatible with Alexa. Once set up, it can be controlled via voice commands.
The router can also be configured as an access point to expand the wireless coverage area. For more experienced users, there are advanced settings available such as private networks, NAT, Smart Connect, QoS, and more.
OFDMA and MU-MIMO technologies are also worth mentioning. Traditional routers that use the older SU-MIMO standard serve only one user at a time, while other users have to wait, which reduces performance and overall capacity.
MU-MIMO technology solves this problem by creating several simultaneous connections serving multiple users at the same time, even when gaming online, watching 4K videos, or sending large files
What We Like About TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50)
The AX50 comes with a USB 3.0 port compared to the AX10, which means you can connect to an external hard drive to be used as a media server, local UPnP media server, or remote-connected FTP server. It can be used on a Mac for Time Machine backups, too. However, it cannot be used for sharing a USB printer.
What We Don’t Like About TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50)
The construction quality is not the highest, but this is understandable given the price point. Glossy plastic pieces tend to scratch or leave fingerprints and accumulate dust rapidly and easily.
| Wireless Wi-Fi 6 technology|
OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology
Improved signal coverage
USB 3.0 port
The Nest WiFi mesh systems are compact and easy to conceal, made of devices that look like big plastic marshmallows. They work on a windowsill or a coffee table, in addition to stashing them on a shelf.
The router is 3.6 inches tall with a 4.3-inch diameter. By comparison, with a 4.0-inch diameter and 3.4-inch height, the Point extensions are a little smaller. Both have shotgun-cooling holes at their bases and are small compared to comparable Netgear Orbi devices, which are larger and reach almost 10 inches tall.
Thanks to Google Home’s emerging design language of organic shapes without hard edges and soft colors, the Nest WiFi devices can fit into a variety of home decors. Only flat white is available for the router, but the extensions come in Mist (light blue), Sand (tan), or white.
The Nest WiFi can support up to 32 extensions, and an extension or two would be needed for all but the smallest homes. The Google Nest WiFi mesh system uses a dual-band solution that does not have Orbi’s dedicated back channel to transfer data between the extension and the host router, unlike the triband network topology of Netgear’s Orbi systems. It has constructive band steering that transfers the information to the least congested channel and the extension that is desired.
Both of them have incorporated Bluetooth and 802.15.4 thread mesh networking to communicate easily with low-power home automation systems. The Nest WiFi router and extensions are designed around a modified variant of Qualcomm’s QCS400 chip family, using a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and a pair of Digital Signal Processors (DSP), while the extensions use far-field voice pickup technology.
For firmware and settings, the router has 1 GB of RAM as well as 4 GB of flash storage, while the extensions have 768 MB of RAM and 512 MB of storage space.
What We Like About Google Nest WiFi
To build a self-sufficient 802.11ac network, every Nest WiFi system has four internal antennas that work with the electronics. While the 5 GHz transmission of the router uses a 4×4 configuration, its 2.4 GHz band uses a 2×2 architecture, providing a maximum throughput of 2,200 Mbps. On the other side, at 1,200Mbps, the 2×2 extensions top out.
What We Don’t Like About Google Nest WiFi
The lack of ethernet ports pulls Google Nest WiFi back in the race.
| Fits into most home decors|
Four internal antennas
Supports up to 32 extensions
|Lack of Ethernet ports|
4. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is and does not disappoint, the first of the latest Wi-Fi 6 router class. Its efficiency is strong at close range, but to set a new standard for those who want to fill a wide home with high-speed Wi-Fi, it increases with space. The ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is built to be today’s best router for WiFi 6. When you look at this router, when you mount its antennas, it is much more huge.
On the top of the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, you can see a ROG logo. It glows from the box in a dazzling bright red. Of course, you have the option of adjusting this to any hue, and you can also customize different effects. Rainbow, Comet, Breathing, Static, Glowing Yoyo, Flash, Color Cycle, Strobing, Starry-Night, and Wave are the available effects.
This is one of the best routers around for WiFi 6, and on its left side, it has three hidden keys. It allows you to connect devices via WPS and turn on or off WiFi connectivity. Plus, the Boost key helps you to perform functions on the dashboard that you connect to. The Boost key turns the ROG logo LED on or off by default. You can set it up, however, to turn all the on/off LEDs. You can also use the DFS or Dynamic Frequency Selection channels or the Game Boost feature to toggle. The latter prioritizes gaming packets and is known as an Adaptive QoS system.
WiFi 6 routers like the GT-AX11000 would be able to pack more details into the signals they send out. It just means they can connect quickly and much faster than normal with computers easily.
The GT-AX11000 is fitted with Broadcom’s powerful processor, the enterprise-grade BCM4908. The two 5GHz bands deliver up to 4.804Mbps each. It’s a quad-core 64-bit processor with a 1.8GHz clock frequency. The GT-AX11000 is one of the best WiFi 6 routers on the market with the BCM4908’s top-notch specifications
What We Like About Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The latest version of the 802.11 protocol for wireless network transitions is 802.11ax or WiFi 6. WiFi 6 is a backward-compatible update called 802.11ac from the previous version. Technically, WiFi6 is not a modern way, like fiber, to connect to the internet. Rather, it’s an improved norm where compatible devices, specifically routers, will benefit from WiFi transmission efficiently.
ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 shines in this aspect, being the strongest WiFi 6 router to date. The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 comes with a stable processor and platform that operates outside wireless networking. These work with applications for USB, VPN, and NAT as well.
Besides, this router provides the highest speed of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It could reach up to 1,148 Mbps when using the 2.4GHz band.
What We Don’t Like About Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is quite big and expensive.
| Larger than life appearance|
Best routers with WiFi 6
Comes with a stable processor
| Expensive |
The TP-Link Archer C1200 is a wireless entry-level router that is an excellent option for small and medium-sized apartments and for users who do not want many advanced features. It offers advanced wireless networking at a very affordable price, with decent speed and quality.
The TP-Link Archer C1200 comes with a Broadcom BCM47189 900 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, and 16 MB of firmware storage. It provides 2-to-2 MU-MIMO support, which is suitable for an inexpensive router. It is a dual-band wireless router on the 5 GHz band with a total maximum bandwidth of 867 Mbps and 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band, resulting in a total maximum bandwidth of 1167 Mbps. The following elements can be found on the back of the router: a power jack, a power button, a reset jack, a USB 2.0 port, an Internet port, four 1 Gbps Ethernet ports, and a WPS button. There are also three external antennas that cannot be unplugged from the router body.
It isn’t a challenging job to set up the TP-Link Archer C1200. You will be done in a few minutes if you follow the fast start guide. The Fast Setup Wizard will start by suggesting that the default username and password be updated.
The signal strength of the TP-Link Archer C1200 appears to be lower than that of most of its rivals. This doesn’t mean, though that the WiFi it provides is sluggish. You can find a particularly large number of different choices in the AC1200 niche because it represents the network features that people most need.
The A6 is just about right for two or three people in a two-room apartment. The only difficult limit to note is that 2-2 MU-MIMO is not 4-4. Thus this system can only effectively simulate two different networks instead of four. The A6 Archer measures 9.1x 5.7×1.4 inches and weighs approximately 2lbs. Fairly ordinary for this sort of router.
You can find four antennas around the back end of the router, which stretch directly over the router into the air. But they’re still non-detachable antennas, which is unfortunate for a variety of different reasons. The A6 offers the normal set of parental controls and guest network options, as any modern router should. That includes the power to determine particular hours when such individuals can be online, how long they can spend online, what websites they can access, and so on.
What We Like About TP-Link Archer C1200
The A6 is made of shiny black plastic with a fun wave-like ripple of texture echoing across its entire body. It’s a fairly sleek and distinctive style. There are six LEDs on the front. They are instrumental in showing your network’s status. That includes power details, Ethernet cable connections, WPS, and 2.4 and 5GHz band connections. Fortunately, the LEDs are not very bright, so they do not become distractions in dark rooms for individuals.
What We Don’t Like About TP-Link Archer C1200
The A6 has no USB port of its own, so you can’t transfer data to all the computers on your network using a thumb drive.
|Good for small and medium-sized apartments|
2-to-2 MU-MIMO support
Easy to set up
| Non-detachable antennas|
No USB port
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the best home wireless router according to us. Not only does it look like a beast with 8 antennae, but it also performs like one due to its WiFi 6 technology. We have also mentioned other options that you can choose from.
Hope our reviews helped you.
More to read:
Guide to Connecting Two Routers into a Single Home Network.