What Is The Best Router On The Market Right Now – To help us provide you with free unbiased advice, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase through links on our site. More details
If your Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping or Netflix keeps flashing and buffering, your wireless router is probably the culprit. However, with our selection of the best wireless routers you can improve your wireless coverage and make sure you get the most out of your broadband connection.
What Is The Best Router On The Market Right Now
There are many options to choose from. Below you’ll find a buyer’s guide, followed by a selection of the best wireless routers on the market, from budget models to the latest super-fast Wi-Fi 6 speed demons, and links to our full, in-depth review. Reviews.
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Before investing in a new router, make sure it will work with your internet connection. If you have an old-style ADSL connection, you’ll need a router with a built-in ADSL2+ modem; If you have fiber broadband, you probably need a router with VDSL2 support.
In some cases, you only need an external WAN port. If you’re a Virgin Media Fiber customer, for example, you can switch the supplied router into modem mode and connect it to the router of your choice with an Ethernet cable. Some routers support both ADSL and VDSL, which can be very useful if you plan to switch providers in the future.
Wi-Fi 6 – or 802.11ax, as it’s aptly named – is a new wireless standard that gives you faster connections and better penetration so you can get a good signal from every corner of your home or office. Because it’s designed for the connected age, it has less of a bottleneck than 802.11ac when multiple devices need to be connected at once.
Sounds great right? However, 802.11ax is still fairly new, and there are several new models available, and you’ll pay a premium for a router that supports it. And perhaps more importantly, when you have a shiny new router, you won’t get the full benefit until you upgrade your devices.
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All 802.11ax routers will work with older 802.11ac clients, but if you’re not ready to replace your smartphone and laptop, it might make sense to hold off now and wait for 802.11ax hardware prices to drop.
All modern routers can transmit and receive simultaneously in two radio bands. The 5GHz band is faster, but some older devices don’t support it; The 2.4GHz band is slower, but has a longer range, so may be good for large older homes with thick walls.
So far so good, but contention and interference can slow things down when different clients are trying to connect to the same radio. The tri-band router has two separate 5GHz radios, allowing twice as many devices to communicate simultaneously at full speed – so if you have a house full of Wi-Fi devices, it could be a good investment.
Note that this mainly applies to 802.11ac: As mentioned, 802.11ax handles simultaneous connections more elegantly, so tri-band technology is not needed as the world gradually transitions to the new standard.
The 9 Best Wireless Routers Of 2022
A mesh system performs the same basic function as a router, but in addition to the main unit, it comes with additional “satellites” that you place around your home to help spread the wireless signal more widely. A mesh kit will be more expensive than a regular router, but if you’re struggling to get a decent connection in far-flung areas of your home, it could be the perfect answer. If that sounds good, check out our guide to the best mesh Wi-Fi systems on the market.
Router manufacturers advertise very fast transfer speeds, but these are theoretical maximums: you will never come close to them in real life.
They also have the mistaken habit of adding up the speeds of different radios to get a total data rate. For example, if a router has a 2.4 GHz radio that supports speeds of 400 Mbps and two 5 GHz radios rated at 867 Mbps, the manufacturer can combine them to advertise a total speed of 2,134 Mbps. In reality, no device will achieve a connection faster than 867 Mbps, and the real-world transfer speeds you’ll see will likely be less than half that.
Don’t stick to extreme speeds: It’s nice to be able to transfer large files quickly across your private network, but when it comes to downloads and video streaming, the limiting factor is usually your Internet connection, not your router.
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Ethernet ports are not obsolete. Most “smart” home devices come with low-power hubs that need to be plugged into your router, and if you plan to add a NAS drive to your network at some point, this will also take up a port. Although you can buy an inexpensive Ethernet switch to add more wired devices to your router if needed – we suggest you look for a model with at least four ports.
Some high-end routers allow combining two ports into a single 2Gbit/s connection, or may have dedicated high-speed ports rated at 10Gbit/sec. In practice, you won’t be able to use these capabilities much: of course, you can give your NAS box a superfast connection to your router, but when you actually want to access your files, the connection from the router. It acts as a barrier for your laptop.
If you have children, you may want to choose a router with built-in parental controls. Some allow you to limit Internet access to one device at a certain time of day or for a certain period of time; Some even provide category-based web filtering. There are software packages that can do the same, but router-based controls are easier to maintain and manage.
Finally, a USB 3 port makes it easy to share a hard drive or flash drive with your entire network. While this does not provide the security of a properly configured RAID array, it is a cost-effective alternative to a NAS drive for easy file transfer. USB 2 also works but is very slow.
The Best Wireless Routers For 2023
Looking for more tips on extending and improving your Wi-Fi signal? Check out our guide to improving wireless speed and troubleshooting
You usually have to pay top dollar to get exceptional wireless performance, but the Asus RT-AX82U proves the exception to the rule. While it’s no match for the more exotic hardware, it comes very close and offers a sharp balance between price and performance.
In testing, this Wi-Fi 6 router delivered a strong, fast signal almost everywhere in the house, almost matching its more expensive sibling, the RT-AX88U. Despite this and the reasonable price, Asus offers outbound VPN support, a built-in VPN server, comprehensive parental controls and more. The included features were not reduced.
It’s not the cheapest router, but the Asus RT-AX82U is more competitive. It is a capable all-rounder at a very attractive price.
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Main Features – Modem: None; Wi-Fi standard: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6); Index speed: 5, 400Mbits/s; USB ports: 1 x 3.2 Gen 1
ASUS RT-AX82U 5400 Dual Band + Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router, Compatible with PS5, Up to 2000 sq ft and 30+ Devices, Mobile Gaming Mode, ASUS AURA RGB, Lifetime Free Internet Security, Wi-Fi Networking Support , gaming gate, The Black
Cheap Wi-Fi 6 routers are starting to appear, but there aren’t many of them yet. The absolute cheapest is the Honor Router 3, but it’s no longer available online. The D-Link EXO AX1800 is still basic, but at least for a slightly higher price, it offers a more rounded feature set, firewall and VPN support, as well as 4×4 MIMO and dynamic DNS. It’s not the fastest over Wi-Fi 6, but it’s reasonably priced and works great over Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac).
D-Link DIR-X1860 EXO AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router with Gigabit Ethernet ports, MU-MIMO, band management, 1024 QAM, OFDMA, Firewall, parental control and Speedtest. Works with Alexa/Google Assistant, Black £43.20 Buy Now
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In the absence of the Honor Router 3, which is currently sold in many places, the honor of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 router goes to the TP-Link AX10.
For less than £60, it supports the latest Wi-Fi standard, is easy to set up and use, and performed solidly in our tests, beating the more expensive Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 in terms of speed.
But when it comes to the key features, it’s a bit simple. It lacks USB ports and MU-MIMO, resulting in slightly slower long-term performance than the outgoing Honor Router 3. Still, for the money, we can’t complain, especially since it was recently reduced to an attractive price. 58.
TP-Link Next-Gen Wi-Fi 6 AX1500 Mbps Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Cable Router, OneMesh Support, Tri-Core Processor, Xbox/PS4/Steam and 4K Gaming, Compatible with Alexa (Archer AX10).
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It might not be the prettiest wireless router you’ve ever seen, but the Linksys MR7350 is fast and seriously good value thanks to the price drop.
Even at the original price
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