Best WiFi router

Internet & Streaming

It’s difficult to push the speed of most modern routers to the limit, so unless you need to exceed 1,000 Mbps, you probably won’t need to make speed your number one concern.

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Which WiFi routers are best?

A quality WiFi router is an absolute must-have, but buying one can be intimidating, with so many options and brands available. Your space, budget and internet service all affect which router you should choose. Luckily, a number of modern routers will likely work for your home or office. The ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 Gaming Router, with its multi-device connectivity and ultra-fast speeds, is one of the best routers on the market.

What to know before you buy a WiFi router

Speed

The overall speed of a WiFi router can vary quite a bit, but most basic WiFi routers today offer up to 600 or 800 Mbps of speed. It’s always good to double-check and to cross-check advertised speeds with your cable company and your personal needs. 

Dual-band WiFi routers

Fortunately, most basic internet routers offer dual-band hardware for connecting to the internet. Dual-band WiFi routers simply refer to those that offer both a 2.4 GHz and a 5.0 GHz frequency band, allowing each band able to support a number of connections. The best WiFi routers don’t necessarily have to include dual-band connectivity, but most of today’s average routers do feature this hardware.

What you need

When shopping for a WiFi router, it’s important to bear in mind your personal needs, as they’ll largely dictate what you want to be on the lookout for. For instance, if you need a router for large spaces, you may want to purchase a long-range WiFi router or a range extender. Specific specs, like speed, number of ports and other features, will be important to consider before you make your purchase.

What to look for in a quality WiFi router

Range

A WiFi router’s range simply refers to how far the device can send a WiFi signal, and it’s usually measured in square feet. While most WiFi routers can send their signal up to 1,000 square feet, others can go as far as 5,000 square feet. It’s important to consider both what space you plan to put your router in, and what barriers may get in the way of the signal, like walls and other physical blockades.

Number of ports

Another important feature to consider on a WiFi router is the amount of ethernet and other ports it has. If you plan to use ethernet with many devices in addition to WiFi, you’ll want to find a router that has enough ports to accommodate the number of devices you plan to use simultaneously.

Other features

Some WiFi routers include features like Smart Home compatibility, more than two frequency bands or extra security features. If these features are important to you, be sure to take a close look at the bonus features on any WiFi router.

How much you can expect to spend on a WiFi router

WiFi routers have a wide range of prices in today’s market, often costing as little as $40 or as much as $500. If you’re on a tight budget, you can always buy a basic, streamlined router that will suffice until you can upgrade later.

WiFi router FAQ

Do WiFi routers wear out?

A. While it is possible for WiFi routers to wear out, they tend to last for a long time. They are equally likely to become obsolete due to your internet service provider as they are due to prolonged use.

Are WiFi routers universal?

A. WiFi routers are not universal, and they can vary depending on their compatibility with your individual internet service provider. For that reason, it’s important to check in with your internet provider before purchasing.

What’s the best WiFi router to buy?

Top WiFi router

ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 Gaming Router

ASUS ROG Rapture 6 Gaming Tri-Band WiFi Router with Lifetime Internet Security

What you need to know: This ultra-secure Tri-Band WiFi router offers speeds of up to 11 GB per second, with several added performance-boosting features, making it the perfect internet-intensive WiFi router.

What you’ll love: This powerful router makes connecting to the internet seamless and easy with its utilization of tri-band hardware. It has an AiProtection security network to keep your devices safe. 

What you should consider: This router is on the more expensive side. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top WiFi router for the money

NETGEAR AC1200 Dual-Band 20-Device WiFi Router with 1200 Sq Ft Range

NETGEAR AC1200 Dual-Band 20-Device WiFi Router with 1,200 Square Feet of Range

What you need to know: With an affordable price tag, Netgear’s AC1200 dual-band router is an excellent budget option with a wide range of compatible service providers.

What you’ll love: This router model is more affordable than most, and it offers up to 900 Mbps of speed, four ethernet ports and a range of 1,200 square feet.

What you should consider: Some buyers purchased range extenders with this model, as its range may not be high enough for large spaces. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7 Dual-Band Smart WiFi Router with Voice Control Ability

TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7 Dual-Band Smart WiFi Router with Voice Control Ability

What you need to know: Another affordable router, TP-Link’s Archer A7 dual-band router is great for spaces up to 2,500 square feet and it works well with Alexa.

What you’ll love: This unit is a good value for the price, considering it has smart home compatibility, 2,500 square feet of range and dual-band hardware. It also comes with a USB port for connecting it to external storage devices.

What you should consider: This model is most suitable for spaces like homes, small offices and other spaces that don’t require routers with longer ranges.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Zachary Visconti writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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