Nowadays, good WI-FI coverage and performance are needed for online life, from anything work-related, school work, to gaming and streaming online. So, the best home wireless router should not only ensure you're always connected but should also have features like easy parental controls, app-based settings, and built-in security.
Most households have old wireless routers, and every year, more devices will join your home network, putting more stress on the outdated router. This is why it is important to know what to look for in the best WI-FI router for your home. Keep reading to find out.
What is a Wireless Router or WI-FI Router?
A WI-FI router can be said to be a gatekeeper for your wireless connections. This means that it takes your wired internet connection that is coming from your modem and transforms it into a wireless signal.
Although router manufacturers throw a lot of specs, the best wireless router should support the latest WI-FI standard and have maximum bandwidth, which is an indication of how quickly and how well the devices can be connected to your new router.
The best wireless routers below have been optimized for connected devices from smart TVs to doorbell cameras to provide better coverage and faster connectivity. Here are the five best WI-FI routers in the market today;
1. TP-Link Wifi 6 AX1500 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX10)
- JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
- Wi-Fi 6 Router: Archer AX10 comes equipped with latest wireless technology WiFi6 featuring OFDMA 1024-QAM, drastically increasing the speed and efficiency of the entire network.
- Next-gen Dual Band router – 300 Mbps on 2. 4 GHz (802. 11n) plus 1201 Mbps on 5 GHz (802. 11ax)
- Connect more devices than ever before Wi-Fi 6 technology simultaneously communicates more data to more devices using OFDMA and MU-MIMO while reducing lag dramatically
- Triple-core processing the 1. 5 GHz tri-core processor ensures communications between your router and all connected devices are smooth and Buffer-Free
If you want to test Wi-Fi 6 technology but are not willing to spend a lot of money, the TP-Link Wifi 6 AX1500 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX10) is an affordable way to give it a shot. It is a dual-band router that delivers a solid 5GHz performance.
Although as would be with budget class routers, you won't get as many features; for example, it doesn't support WPA3 encryption and 160MHz channel width, but you might be willing to overlook such features with the price.
It comes with four non-removable antennas, LED indicators, internet connectivity, WPS activity, Ethernet activity, a power button, a reset button, a power jack, a WAN port, and four gigabit LAN ports. It is a four-stream dual-band router that provides maximum data rates of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 1201 Mbps on the 5GHz.
This router uses an 802.11ax technology, including OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access), that allows multiple users to use the same channel for more efficient utilization of the bandwidth. It is powered by a 1.5GHz tri-core processor, 16GB of flash memory, and 256MB of RAM.
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming 6-Stream WiFi 6 Router
- DumaOS 3.0 is built especially for gamers, reducing ping rates up to 93% while enjoying faster, lag-free online gaming and smoother streaming.
- Fast WiFi 6 AX5400 Dual-Band speed provides coverage up to 2500 sq.ft. and 25 devices simultaneously
- Brings unbelievable speed and lower latency to your PS5 by leveraging all the benefits of WiFi 6 so you can always beat the competition.
- Compatible with any wired Ethernet or wireless gaming device including PCs, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch consoles.
- Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming 6-Stream WiFi 6 Router is powered by the latest WI-FI 6 E technology and loaded with various features like link integration and cyber threat protection powered by Bitdefender, a quad-core processor, and multi-gig LAN and WAN capabilities.
However, it is one of the pricey routers available in the market today, and it is also one of the fastest available. It has twelve tiny LED indicators on top of the router and four gigabit LAN ports at the back.
Additionally, it is one of the most technically advanced routers that allow the operation of the newly librated 6GHz band to offer less congestion on client networks, faster speeds, and wider channels. It also comes with a reset button, power on/off, and a LED on/off switch.
3. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50)
- JD Power Award- Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019
- Wi-Fi 6 Router: Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax) technology achieves up to 3x faster speeds, 4x capacity and 75% lower latency compared to the previous generation of Wi-Fi 5 while the power of Intel's dual-core CPU ensures your experience is smooth and Buffer-Free
- Next-gen 3 Gaps speeds: 4-Stream Dual Band router reaches incredible speeds up to 3 Gaps (2402 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2. 4 GHz band) for faster streaming and gaming like you have never experienced before.
- Connect more devices than ever before: simultaneously communicate more data to more devices using revolutionary OFDMA technology
- Minimize lag For all devices and applications: experience ultra-smooth entertainment whether you are streaming 4K videos, gaming online, or even video chatting with up to 75% reduced lag.
The TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) is the best home wireless router when it comes to affordability because it provides a great balance between the budget class and high-end models. It delivers solid speeds and offers the latest WI-FI 6 technology.
This router comes with a few great features that you would otherwise find in more expensive models, for example, lifetime parental controls, anti-malware software, USB connectivity, and link aggregation.
It comes with six small LED indicators, four adjustable antennas, and a two-tone matte and glossy black finish with textured grilles. In addition, it has four gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a power jack and power button, a Wi-Fi/WPS button, and a reset button.
4. Linksys AX6000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router for Home Mesh Networking
- Powered by Intelligent Mesh Technology; Coverage up to 3000 sq. ft. and supports 40 plus devices
- WiFi 6 speeds up to 6.0 Gbps to support 4K/8K streaming, gaming, video calls and more
- Dynamically maximizes WiFi speed and eliminates dead zones in your home
- Future-proof and easily expandable, simply add Linksys Mesh products to expand coverage throughout your home
- Linksys Mesh WiFi Router 6 Router, Wireless Mesh Router for Home AX6000 - Comes with Linksys Seal
The Linksys AX6000 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router for Home Mesh Networking is based on 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology that delivers a speed of 5GHz close-range performance and faster file transfers. It is quite easy to install and comes with Linksyssys mobile app to make it easy to control the settings using the phone
It comes with mesh tech that enables one to easily configure it with another compatible Linksys mesh router as a node and therefore create a mesh network. This router has a glossy black front panel, four non-removable adjustable antennas, and a textured top.
It includes a WPS button, four gigabit LAN ports, two USB 3.0, a power port, power switch, a reset button, and a status indicator that blinks blue during startup, purple during setup, solid blue when working, and solid red when the router has lost its connection.
5. ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi Gaming Router (GT-AC5300) - Tri-Band Gigabit
- Tri-band (dual 5 GHz, single 2.4 GHz) AC5300 wireless router with the latest 802.11ac 4x4 MU-MIMO technology for maximum throughput (5334 Mbps) and coverage (up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
- 1.8GHz 64bit Quad-Core processor maximizes data throughput from 8-ports and dual USB 3.0 for optimizing network traffic and connectivity speeds 3. VPN Fusion enables you to run a VPN and ordinary internet connection simultaneously, effectively maximizing your connection speed to gaming servers (available via firmware update)
- VPN Fusion enables you to run a VPN and ordinary internet connection simultaneously, effectively maximizing your connection speed to gaming servers (available via firmware update). WAN Connection Type-Internet connection type- Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP, L2TP
- Game IPS Powered by Trend Micro provides multi-stage protection for your gaming network from external attacks and threats, neutralizing them before they reach your network or devices.Power supply:AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz),DC Output : 19 V with max. 3.42 A current
- ROG Game Dashboard gives you access to exclusive features like Game Boost, Game IPS, VPN Fusion, and route-optimized low ping time gaming servers using WTFast Gamers Private Network (GPN) – all to help you optimize your gaming network
The ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi Gaming Router is a high tri-band router designed for gamers since it offers software and hardware-based gaming prioritization and acceleration. It also comes with robust protection against viruses and malware, a powerful quad-core processor, and several LAN ports.
Although it is quite expensive and big, it has robust features and speedy performance, making it a great option for a high-traffic network or an online gamer. It boasts an enclosure with copper trim sports and weighs removable adjustable antenna stalks.
It is a 4x4 tri-band 802.11ac router that is powered by 1GB of RAM, 256MB of flash memory, and a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU. This router also uses 1024QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) technology to get maximum speeds of up to 1,000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 2,167Mbps on the 5GHz bands.
How and Where Do You Place Your Wireless Router?
To ensure all your devices are receiving the most of the WI-FI routers, it is crucial to put the router in a central and elevated position like a shelf or desktop.
If you have a large home where the devices are far from the router, then you should consider getting a WI-FI extended to amplify the signal across all devices. If you're still not having the speeds you want, the problem might be with your internet service provider or internet package.
Note that there is no point in investing in improved WI-FI networking equipment like modems and routers if the internet package is not efficient.
What Do You Consider Before Buying the Best Home Wireless Router?
1. Router Speed
Most devices in today's world demand high speed. For example, your movies may not have a crisp resolution without sufficient speeds, and your games may frequently pause because of buffering.
Some routers will use the 802.11n that transmits approximately 450 megabits per second (Mbps), others will use 802.11ac running at 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band, and others MU-MIMO standard that can reach speeds up 1700 Mbps.
You need to consider the number of people in your home who will be using your wireless router and the activity that is common when deciding the speed and the best wireless router that works for you. For example, if you got gaming enthusiasts or movie addicts, then MU-MIMO is the way to go.
Some models will come with antennas protruding from the case, while others will not. Although routers with internal antennas may look more attractive, those with external antennas provide stronger signals. If your router has multiple antennas, then you can easily adjust it to give better coverage for every part of your home.
3. Ethernet Ports
Wireless routers are not limited to wireless connections, and they come with Ethernet ports that you can use to connect to your smart devices using the Ethernet cable. This is useful for devices that are not very portable, like a game console, smart TV, cable TV console, or desktop PC.
To do this, you need to plug your devices in the Ethernet port on the router using the cable. Modern routers have Gigabit Ethernet ports, which are 1000 Mbps, while older routers with Fast Ethernet may support speeds of up to 100 Mbps.
The need for speed may surpass Ethernet capabilities, especially when it comes to transmitting large amounts of data. eSATA, which stands for External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, allows a faster transfer of data.
Routers that support the eSATA hard drives will provide you with an option to connect your external storage device directly to the router, ensuring your backups are accessible to everyone, with speeds of up to 6 Gbps.
5. Network Management Apps
Some routers have mobile app compatibility that allows you to check your WI-FI network settings. This means that you can monitor your speeds, restrict sensitive content, access home security cameras, and prioritize the WI-FI between the multiple devices.
6. Quality of Sevice or Media Prioritization
QoS is a feature in advanced routers that provides you with the ability to prioritize different kinds of WI-FI traffic. The signal can get thin with so many connected devices in your home. A QoS feature on your router will allow you to allocate your favorite devices with appropriate bandwidth.
For example, you can set the QoS feature to give priority to video streaming and online games. As a result, when someone downloads a file while playing a game online, your game won't lag because it has been given the first priority.
Beamforming is another advanced feature that helps to improve the speed and signal strength. Also known as spatial filtering, it gives the router the ability to focus on specific devices instead of blanketing all the devices in the home with the same signal strength.
The router will be able to find the location of the device to determine where you can focus the WI-FI signal. It increases WI-FI signal speed and strength, improving the user's overall experience. However, not all WIFI routers support Beamforming, so be sure to read the description to ensure the feature is included.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Wireless Routers
1. How do I chose a wireless router for my home?
When choosing wireless routers, you want to consider how much you are willing to spend, whether the router is compatible with your ISP, the internet speed you're paying for, and other optional features. You can also consider using WI-FI extenders or mesh routers to spread the WI-FI in your whole house.
2. How often should you replace your wireless router?
It is recommended to upgrade to a new router after every three to four years. This is because it reflects how often people upgrade their devices like computers and smartphones after every three to four years.