The best wireless routers help make congested networks a thing of the past. Delivering fast and reliable wireless connectivity and performance, these routers ensure that your network is working as efficiently as possible despite high data transfers and juggling multiple devices.
Now that we're living in a world where a multi-device household or office space is the norm, we all need a router that can tackle high network demands. In fact, most of our day-to-day are reliant on being online, which has considerably increased our network needs. And, if you want a fast and smooth online experience, you require a robust network. It’s especially crucial if you’re using a desktop PC or laptop and are running tasks that demand a lot of bandwidth.
Luckily, we also have the technology and tools to meet them. We've tested and reviewed many excellent wireless routers here at TechRadar, and we guarantee that upgrading to one with solid performance, great features, and excellent coverage is your best bet, especially if your existing network is experiencing slowdowns. From fantastic mesh Wi-Fi routers to newer Wi-Fi 6 routers, here are our top picks of the best wireless routers.
The best wireless routers 2022
Asus has been rolling out some amazing Wi-Fi 6 routers recently, and it has been releasing them for just about every need and budget. With the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), it’s introducing Wi-Fi 6 technology to the latest cutting-edge tech in connectivity: mesh routers.
While it is among the more expensive options out there and limits you to two mesh routers, the Asus ZenWifi AX offers blazing fast speeds. During our tests, it pushed our 500Mbps Internet connection all the way, even squeezing it up to 570Mbps at one point, and maintain that speed even in less accessible parts of our space.
It also offers plenty of flexibility in its setup – such as the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. With excellent security features to boot, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking at mesh routers.
Read our full Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) review
Wi-Fi 6 is the new cutting-edge technology in networking. And while it offers faster speeds, better connections and larger area coverage, it comes at a price. With the Asus RT-AX58U, the company has been able to offer that Wi-Fi 6 performance at a much more reasonable price.
It managed to squeeze 59Mbps from 55Mbps out of our Internet connection when we used it in the same room as our existing 802.11ac router. It also delivered a steady and reliable speed of 58Mbps even in the most inaccessible part of our office.
While it might not carry some of the extra features or ports that some of the more robust options have, it does offer some important ones such as MU-MIMO and Parental Controls. So if you’re looking for a no-frills way to get speedy internet, the Asus RT-AX58U may be the way to go.
Read our full Asus RT-AX58U review
Google kicks things up a notch in its Google Wifi line with its latest installment. Don’t get us wrong; the original Google Wifi is still among the best wireless routers today. However, if you’re all about the smart home life, then you’ll appreciate the pure genius of Google Nest Wifi.
The best and most affordable mesh router to buy in 2022, it takes everything beloved about the original Google Wifi, gives it the capabilities of Google Home, and wraps it all up in an even sleeker and more appealing package. In the Ookla Speed Test we performed, it proved to be marginally faster than the original model at 5GHz. Overall, we’re pleased with how the Nest Wifi performed during testing.
Plus, you’re paying for a mesh router and a smart speaker in one device. And, it all with the simplicity that Google Wifi is known for.
Read our full Google Nest Wifi review
There may be a few things you might not like about the fast and versatile TP-Link Archer GX90. It’s big, it’s bulky, and it’s expensive. However, those are easy to forgive when you realize that you’re getting a big bang for your buck.
This is among the best gaming routers out there, boasting a handful of features for hardcore gaming like a dedicated 5GHz ‘gaming band’ that lets you hog most of your household bandwidth when you need it. We tested all three of its Wi-Fi networks, and they all delivered strong performance, hitting 100Mbps download and 11Mbps upload.
Have younger gamers at home? It also provides good parental controls like content filters to block unsuitable material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages. It’ll even let you create a schedule to limit Internet use on school nights.
Read our full TP-Link Archer GX90 review
Asus has always had an excellent line of gaming-centric devices, and the Asus RT-AX86U continues that tradition. While expensive compared to run-of-the-mill routers, it’s actually a competitively priced Wi-Fi 6 router. And, considering Wi-Fi 6 is the future in connectivity, this router is a win for Asus and an ace for gamers.
During testing, the 250Mbps line clocked in at 248Mbps and certain deadzones in our space stayed connected to the router. It also has some great features for gamers such as a 2.5 Gigabit Wan, the ability to assign an ethernet port as a dedicated “gaming” port, and NVIDIA Geforce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization.
It also lets you create a single Wi-Fi network that combines the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz channels. Finally, it comes with very useful parental controls if you need them.
Read our full Asus RT-AX86U review
UK consumers looking for a simple, great value Wi-Fi 6 wireless router will find a strong contender in the Linksys Hydra Pro 6, which is easy to set up and use. It might not be as feature-rich as other routers on this list, but it's got a simple yet effective app, plethora of ports, and good coverage.
Its performance is strong as well, allowing us to achieve the maximum 100Mbps available from our broadband service and 12.5MB/s downloads from Steam during testing. It was also able to reach and deliver the same level of performance in the most Wi-Fi inaccessble part of the office.
It may not have the fancy frills, but it'll give you solid, reliable connection throughout. This is among the best wireless routers for folks looking for an affordable option.
Read our full Linksys Hydra Pro 6 review
When the Netgear Orbi hit the streets, it changed the wireless router scene. Then, in 2019, Netgear released the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, an economical alternative for casual users who don’t have a grand manor to cover. This makes it a worthy contender for the best wireless routers.
Sure, it comes with fewer antennae and ethernet ports than its higher end counterpart. However, it does deliver more than enough to provide very solid network coverage. Testing it in a medium-sized, three-floor property with just the router and none of the nodes plugged it, we got excellent coverage throughout the building as well as consistent speeds on the top floor where it’s located.
Connect the rest of the kit, and your network blues will be a thing of the past. Plus, the small form factor means that it will have no issues blending in – not that you will feel the need to hide it.
Read our full Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 review
The market is now flooded with wireless mesh routers, but it’s hard to complain when the level of coverage these wireless routers brings tops anything we’ve seen before. With devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, we can see how they’re only getting better and better.
The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus does an impressive job of providing solid coverage from only two units, as proven during our testing in a modest sized house. Thanks to its dedicated 5GHz backhaul channel, roaming seemed smoother as well.
By incorporating IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is, without question, an excellent choice for a smart home supporter, with built-in antivirus software to boot. Fair warning though, this router is a tad expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and an outstanding performance in exchange.
Read our full TP-Link Deco M9 review
If you’re in the market for a wireless mesh router that gives you a lot of control over your network, then the Eero Home Wi-Fi system might just be the answer. It has a price more premium than that of your standard router, but it also gives users total control over their network while touting a secure connection through AI.
The Eero system held up very well in our testing. We found the Eero completely capable of taking full advantage of our 100Mbps connection at home. And, it proved that it’s a more robust system than the original Google Wifi, which has issues handling standard, paster walls. It then strengthens its signal using two Beacon units connected via a third band of data transfer transmitting at 5.8GHz.
Even better, the Eero Home Wi-Fi System comes with subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and Encrypt.me VPN, which should keep everyone linked to your network safe and secure.
Read our full Eero Home Wi-Fi System review
Thick walls and massive obstructions are no match for this powerline system from Devolo. The Magic 2 WiFi 6 Mesh uses PowerLine to break through those obstacles, allowing you to enjoy robust and uninterrupted connectivity throughout your space. And, if you’ve got a large house or building and a number of rooms to cover, it utilizes mesh technology via plug-in adapters so that there aren’t any deadzones or weak areas.
And, it delivers the goods in the real world. During testing, it had no trouble breezing along at 110Mbps and delivering a rock-steady 12.5MB/s for Steam downloads. Yes, it offers relatively modest Wi-Fi speeds, but it’s more than enough for what most people need. We also appreciate that it’s got two Ethernet ports per device for an even more solid and faster connection, and it’s easy to set up and install.
Read our full Devolo Magic 2 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh review
How to choose a wireless router
When picking out a wireless router, there are a few things to keep in mind. Upgrading your wireless network is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
The first thing to consider is the type of router you need. You’re generally picking from two form factors: a traditional single-unit router and mesh Wi-Fi systems that are made up of multiple units, often one that connects to the modem with two or three satellite units strategically placed around the home or office for wider coverage.
If you have a small home or office, a normal router will more than cover you, not to mention cost less. For larger homes and offices though, a mesh router will do a much better job of reaching every nook and cranny with a strong, continuous signal as they provide a much larger area of coverage. They’re also much better at eliminating or minimizing dead or weak spots.
However, if you do have a newer router that just doesn’t have the reach you need, you can save a little and invest in a wireless extender instead of getting a more expensive mesh Wi-Fi router.
Once you’ve settled on the type of router you need, make sure they’re fast enough for your needs. Most contemporary routers should at least have the Wi-Fi standard of 802.11ac aka Wi-Fi 5. If you get a router with a slower and older standard like 802.11n, it will act as a bottleneck to your network no matter how fast the connection is from your provider or what speeds your new laptop can support. There is a newer standard, Wi-Fi 6 also called 802.11ax, that’s slowly being adopted and is even faster. If you want to future-proof your network, look for a router with that standard. Just know that it will cost a little more.
Lastly, while most devices are wireless or support a wireless connection, you’ll want to use ports for some of them. Maybe someone in your household is a gamer and needs the fastest speeds possible. Being able to connect that PC or console directly via an ethernet port is going to be much more vital than for general internet use. And, if you have an older PC or printer, you’ll probably need to physically connect that to the router as well.
How we test Wi-Fi routers
We test every wireless Wi-Fi router before we make our recommendations. We take a look at its design to ensure that they can blend in your space. We check its ease of initial setup and use, as well as its ports and features – like the ability to create a guest network and set up family controls.
Moving on to its performance, we check its range and strength of coverage. We find out how it performs in the Ookla speed test and our file download test, jotting down any information we collect. We also test it against our everyday network usage to give you a glimpse on its real-world performance. We then take everything we’ve learned and measure all that against its price to see if it’s a great value to consumers.
Which is best wireless router for home use?
There's no one ultimate answer to this. The best wireless router for home use depends on a number of factors, including the size of your home, the number of devices and users in your home, and your daily networking demands.
If you've got a massive home to cover, for example, it's worth looking into a mesh router option like the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), if you want Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, or the crowd-favorite, Google Nest Wifi. If there's a massive gamer in the house or there are a ton of devices, you'll want to consider something with MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) technology as it makes the router more efficient at handling a crowded network.
What does a good wireless router cost?
There are budget routers that cost less than $100/£100 like the 2020 model of the Amazon eero 6, if you skip the nodes and simply get the router. And, there are expensive models like the Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E that'll cost you more than $1,000/£1,000.
Ideally, you shouldn't be spending more than $300/£300 for a mesh system or more than $150/£150 for a single router. However, what's also good for you depends your network needs. If you need a more robust network, it's always better to spend a little more than it is to cheap out and struggle with your connection every day.