Best wireless routers 2018: the best routers for your home network

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The best wireless routers are so important in 2018 – so much of what we do each day is online, there’s nothing worse than having your life interrupted by a faulty connection or waiting ages for your download to finish. So, you should be on the lookout for one of the best wireless routers – in our ever connected world, having a smoother, faster online experience is one of the greatest feelings out there.

You might be tempted to just call your ISP to combat your wireless woes, instead of picking up one of the best routers. However, the best wireless routers can make a world of difference – even the fastest internet in the world isn’t of much use if your router can’t keep up.

So, with so many wireless routers on the market, finding the best one for you and your home can get stressful. Luckily, we here at TechRadar have you covered with a list of the best wireless routers. And, with the holidays coming up, we’re sure that you'll be able to find plenty of deals, just in time.

1. Google Wifi

The future of wireless networking gets affordable

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 101.41 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 47.53 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi point (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each) | Features: AC1200 2 x 2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi, TX beamforming, Bluetooth Smart ready

Super simple setup
Great value
Limited hardware control
Lower AC rating

The days of traditional wireless routers are over – the future is in the best wireless mesh routers. Google Wifi is the best proof we can think of for this mesh revolution – you can finally say goodbye to the days when the only way to achieve wireless freedom was to install a bunch of wireless extenders. The premise of Google Wifi is simple – buy a set of points and place them in key locations around your home. Then, just scan a QR code and you’re good to go – it’s not just the best wireless router you can buy, it’s also the easiest to set up. 

Read the full review: Google Wifi

2. Asus RT-AC86U

Performance as loud as the design

Speed: : 802.11ac 1734 Mbps down | Connectivity: : 5 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: : MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS WTFast Gamers Private Network

Extensive firmware
Great speed and coverage
Complex firmware
Divisive looks

If you’re familiar with Asus, and specifically its more gamer-centric products, you’ll know what to expect from the Asus RT-AC86U. This wireless router looks like what would happen if you poured Mountain Dew and Doritos into a wireless router-manufacturing machine – it’ll definitely stand out wherever you put it. Beneath its ‘unique’ design is hardware that, for its price, defiantly stands against the competition. You’re not paying a premium here for a ‘gaming’ wireless router, and if you’re looking for a fast connection at a good price, the Asus RT-AC86U is a great choice.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U 

3. Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

The Netgear Orbi, but smaller now

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 68.8 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit | Features: Disney Circle parental controls, smartphone setup, Tri-Band networking, modular

Fast 
Smaller than the original 
Still expensive 

When the original Netgear Orbi came out, it shook the world, virtually revolutionizing the wireless router game. And, now, Netgear has released the Orbi AC2200 RBK23, a cheaper, more attainable router for casual users. It features less antennae and ethernet ports than the original, but it's still enough to offer very solid network coverage, especially if you have an average sized home. Plus, it’s smaller now, which means it will be less conspicuous – you won’t feel the need to hide the Orbi.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 

4. Samsung Connect Home

The smart choice

Speed: AC1300 (5GHz: 866Mbps; 2.4GHz: 400Mbps) | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per Wifi point | Features: MU-MIMO, Smart-home hub, Tri-band Wi-Fi, Smart device management

 Affordable 
 SmartThings hub 
 Wi-Fi features not as robust as others 

These days, we’re living in a time when many everyday appliances are being controlled by a smart home hub. Now, while this does wonders for convenience, having all those wireless routers, modems and hubs can start to clutter up your home. Luckily, the Samsung Connect Home does away with the need to have 20 different devices. It’s not the most feature rich wireless router on the market, but it’s competitive enough with the Google Wifi, while still packing in the SmartThings hub that it’s still one of the best routers – especially if you have a ton of smart devices.

Read the full review: Samsung Connect Home

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Google Wifi. 

5. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

Weird looks, great performance

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: up to 2,167 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: up to 1,000 Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x LAN, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-band Wi-Fi, 8 external antennas, Alexa voice control

Fast and powerful
Alexa and IFTTT support
Expensive

If you’re in the market for a high-end wireless router that looks like it was a prop in some 90s Sci-Fi flick, you may want to look at the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2. Sure, it’s not a trendy mesh wireless router, but it’s unique in its ability to bridge consumer and enterprise users by featuring high-end functionality at an affordable price point – with easy setup to boot. It might look weird, but if you’re looking for a wireless router that’ll cover a large home, you can’t go wrong here.

Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

Netgear Orbi Pro overview

6. Netgear Orbi Pro

A mesh router for the office

Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation

Easy to deploy
Fantastic performance
Very expensive

If you’re ready to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with one of the best wireless routers, you need to take a look at the Netgear Orbi Pro. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router, but it takes some design and performance cues from business-grade products. It’s not cheap, but if you run a business where you can’t afford anyone slowing down due to poor Wi-Fi, it’s worth every penny.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro

7. TP-Link Deco M9

A router for the smart home

Speed: 5GHz: up to 867Mbps 2.4GHz: up to 400Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN, 1 x USB 2.0 | Features: Tri-Band connectivity, Dead-zone killer, Built-in smart hub, Built-in Antivirus, QoS, Parental controls

Strong coverage
Easy setup
Pricey

In 2018, the best wireless routers need to be mesh devices – the level of coverage they offer is beyond what traditional routers can handle. And, with devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, we can see how the best wireless routers keep evolving. By integrating support for IoT smart-home devices, on top of industry standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is easily one of the best routers for smart-home fanatics. It’s a little expensive, but it has plenty of features that make it worthwhile, like built-in parental controls and anti-virus.

Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9

8. D-Link Covr-C1203

Wireless mesh networking for everyone

Speed: 2.4 GHz: up to 300Mbps; 5GHz: up to 866Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN per node | Features: MU-MIMO, Parental controls, Smart network control, Smart device setup

Affordable 
Great coverage 
Not as fast as it could be 

If you’re looking to jump on the mesh wireless router trend, but you’re trying to save a few bucks, and don’t really care about some advanced tech mumbo-jumbo – the D-Link Covr-C1203 might just be the best wireless router for you. It offers the same type of coverage as something like the Google Wifi at a lower cost, but with slightly slower speeds – it’ll still be fast enough for most users, though. It also features an attractive triangular design, which should fit in nicely with your decor – you won’t need to hide it in shame. 

Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203 

9. Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Mesh wi-fi for the power user

Speed: 802.11AC 1300mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, included security software, dynamic rerouting

 Powerful 
 Blends into the background 
Pricer than competition

If you’ve been looking at wireless mesh systems, but wanted to keep the control over your network that the best wireless routers allow, you’re in luck. While it’s more expensive than the competition, the Eero Home Wi-Fi system allows its users complete control over their network, while also providing an extremely secure connection thanks to its use of AI. To sweeten the pot and make the price more approachable, Eero includes subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and Encrypt.me VPN – which should help keep everyone on your network safe. The only downfall here is it doesn’t cover quite as much area as something like the Google Wifi or Netgear Orbi, but if you’re looking for sheer horsepower, look no further.

Read the full review: Eero Home Wi-Fi System 

10. Amplifi HD

Bringing style to mesh networking

Speed: 802.11AC 1300mbps | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, LCD touchscreen

 Modern aesthetic 
 Easy to set up 
 More expensive than competition 

It may be more expensive than the Google Wifi for similar performance, but the Amplifi HD has a clean, modern aesthetic that may just be worth it. Aesthetic isn’t going to matter for everyone, of course, but it does mean that no one will avoid installing this wireless router in nice open areas – increasing its effectiveness. This is a wireless router that features excellent performance with stylistic flair to match – as long as you have the cash. 

Read the full review: Amplifi HD 

Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article