Right now, everything we do is online: our work, our play, even our socializing. So, it’s never been more important to go out and pick up one of the best wireless routers. Whether you’re watching the best shows on Netflix or enjoying the best PC game of the day, you don’t want your experience ruined by a poor connection. That’s why getting the best wireless router is wise.
But, you might be tempted to angrily call up your ISP and demand the fastest internet on offer, rather than going out to get the best router. However, even the fastest internet connection in the world won’t do much good if you don’t have a wireless router that’s up to the task. So, whether you need a gaming router or a wireless mesh router, the best routers are critically important.
You might be asking: what makes the best wireless router, well, the best? There are a few things you need to take into consideration. Both MU-MIMO and QoS (Quality of Service) will ensure that your online experience isn’t interrupted by other devices in your home. You should also look for a fast router – a rated speed of AC1900 should be sufficient for most users.
However, as soon as you walk into your local store, you’ll notice just how many wireless routers are out there. Fortunately, we here at TechRadar have picked out all our favorite wireless routers, from the Google Wifi to the TP-Link Archer C5400, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
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 – 2019 is the year of 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 know Asus, and more specifically its gaming products, you should know what you’re getting with 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 garish design is hardware that, for its price, easily tops the competition. You’re not paying a premium here for a gaming device, and if you’re looking for a fast connection at a great price, the Asus RT-AC86U is a great wireless router, as long as you can stomach the aesthetic.
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 Netgear Orbi first hit the streets, it completely changed the wireless router game. And, in 2019, Netgear is offering the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, a more affordable router for casual users that don’t need to cover a stately mansion. It features less antennae and ethernet ports than the original, but it’s still enough to offer very solid network coverage. Plus, the smaller size means that it can more easily blend in – you won’t feel the need to obscure it.
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
Now that smart homes are becoming more and more common, we need wireless routers that can also serve as a smart home hub. This doesn’t just do wonders for convenience, but it would clear out some of the clutter made by multiple routers, modems and hubs. And, the Samsung Connect Home does exactly that. It’s not the most feature-rich wireless router out there, 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 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
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’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
These days, wireless mesh routers are everywhere, and we love it – the level of coverage these routers offer is beyond anything we’ve seen in the past. And, with devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, we can see how wireless routers keep getting better. By integrating IoT smart home support, 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 bit pricey, but with all the features and performance you’re getting, it’s worth it.
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
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
If you’ve been on the market for a wireless mesh router, but wanted to maintain control over your network, you’ll love the Eero Home Wi-Fi system. It’s more expensive than your standard router, but it allows users complete control over their network, while still providing a secure connection through AI. To make things better, the Eero Home Wi-Fi System includes subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and Encrypt.me VPN – which should keep everyone on your network secure.
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
It might be even more expensive than the Google Wifi for similar performance, but the Amplifi HD has a modern, clean look to it. Aesthetic doesn’t matter to everyone, obviously, but it does help prevent users from installing this wireless router behind objects that will obscure its signal. 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
- Images Credit: TechRadar
- We’ve also picked out the best best wifi extenders of 2019