The best wireless routers are more important than ever these days – so much of what we do every single day is online, and there’s nothing worse than having your life interrupted by a faulty connection. So, if you’re looking for a smoother online experience you should pick up one of the top wireless routers you can find – in our connected world, there’s nothing worse than losing your connection.
Rather than going out and looking at wireless routers, you may be tempted to combat wireless woes by throwing more cash at your ISP. But, one of the best wireless routers will make a world of difference – the fastest internet connection in the world won’t stop some wireless issues from happening.
Fast service won’t do too much good if your router isn’t up to the task. Don’t worry, though, we here at TechRadar picked out the best wireless routers you can buy in 2018.
With so many different kinds of routers out there, picking out the best one for you can be hard. Luckily, we’ve crafted a list of the best routers you can buy today. No matter what you’re looking to achieve with your network, you can rest assured that you’ll find a top router right here. So, ahead of Black Friday 2018, let’s dive in.
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
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
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
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
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
If you’re looking for high-end wireless performance from a device that looks like it came from a 90s Sci-Fi flick, you’re going to want to check out the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2. Sure, it’s not a mesh wireless router like Google Wifi, but it’s unique in its ability to bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high end features at an affordable price point – and with easy setup. It looks weird, but if you’re looking for the best router for a large home, you can’t do much better.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
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
If you work in an office, and you’re ready to bring your networking into the modern age with one of the best routers for businesses, you seriously need to check out the Netgear Orbi Pro. Much like the Netgear Orbi mentioned earlier in this guide, the Orbi Pro is a modular Wi-Fi mesh system, but it makes some design and performance changes that specifically cater to the business user. It’s not cheap, but if you run a business where you can’t afford anyone slowing down due to slow Wi-Fi, it’s worth every penny.
Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro
7. 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
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
8. 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
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
9. 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
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
10. Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router
A gaming router with the performance to back it up
Speed: : AC3200 | Connectivity: : 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 | Features: : Killer Prioritization Engine, Customized Firmware, 1.8GHZ Dual-Core CPU, MU-MIMO
The Linksys WRT32X may not look all that different than Linksys’ heavy hitter, the WRT3200. And, well it’s, actually pretty much the same. The WRT32X stands out because it takes all of the successful components of one of the best routers in history, and packs them into a gaming centric router with a custom firmware that’s so easy to navigate. It’s also got a subdued and attractive visual design. You’ll be paying a premium for this repackaging, but if you’re looking for reliable latency and online gaming performance, the Linksys WRT32X takes one of the best routers and tailors it to your needs.
Read the full review: Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router
Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
- We’ve also picked out the best best wifi extenders of 2018