Why write about the best wireless router? Most people just rent their router from their internet provider and don’t give it another thought. However, having a quality connection is important, regardless of whether you want to boost your game’s internet bandwidth, connect several devices at once, or fill a large coverage area with a strong signal.
With any old router, you might experience an intermittent or weak signal. But the best wireless router gets out of the way of your internet connection at the very least. But they’re not limited to just a strong connection. They come with some impressive bells and whistles that ensure no interruptions while playing the best PC games, streaming Netflix in HD or 4K, or working on the cloud.
Since there are a plethora of choices out there, we’ve put together our list of the best wireless routers for you to choose from. They’ve all been tested and reviewed here at TechRadar so you know you’re getting the best of the best. Read on for our selection of the best wireless routers on the market.
Best wireless routers 2020 at a glance
- Google Nest Wifi
- Google Wifi
- Asus RT-AC86U
- Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
- TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
- Netgear Orbi Pro
- Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23
- TP-Link Deco M9
- D-Link Covr-C1203
- Eero Home Wi-Fi System
1. Google Nest Wifi
Google Wifi and Home together at long last
Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/5 GHz simultaneous dual-band | Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports | Features: Advanced security chip, Nest Wifi point with Google Assistant, privacy control
Smart speaker(s) included
Even simpler controls
No major performance gains
Not worth replacing existing mesh
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. This wireless router takes the Google Wifi, gives it the capabilities of Google Home and wraps it all up in an even sleeker and more appealing package. It’s a mesh router and a smart speaker in one, all with the simplicity that Google Wifi is known for.
Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi
2. 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
Limited hardware control
Lower AC rating
The days of traditional wireless routers are coming to an end; the age of the wireless mesh routers is here. Google Wi-Fi, alone, is proof that the mesh revolution is upon us, which means that you might be saying goodbye to the days when the only way to have wireless bliss was to install a number of wireless extenders. The idea of Google Wi-Fi is simple: purchase a set of points, put them in strategic places around the house and then scan a QR code. And, just like that, you’re connected anywhere you are in your home. It’s no surprise that this wireless mesh router claims the loftiest spot on our best wireless routers list of 2019, as it’s also the one that’s most effortless to set up and get going.
Read the full review: Google Wifi
3. Asus RT-AC86U
Performance as loud as the design
Speed: 802.11ac 1734 Mbps down | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network
Great speed and coverage
If you’re well-acquainted with Asus, especially its gaming computers, then you likely have a general idea of what the Asus RT-AC86U brings to the table. This wireless router may look like the lovechild of Doritos and Mountain Dew, if they spent a night together in a router making machine. But, inside that kitschy gaming aesthetic is a wireless router that, for its price, effortlessly outclasses almost all of its rivals on the market. Even better, you’re also not paying a premium for a gaming device, so if you’re looking for a high-speed connection with an affordable price tag, the Asus RT-AC86U should be at the top of your list.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U
4. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
A fantastic gaming router
Speed: 802.11ac 1.7GHz dual-core processor | Connectivity: 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports (4 LAN + 1 WAN) | Features: Two WiFi bands simultaneously, 4 external antennas, 15 more channels in 5GHz
Amazing DumaOS software
Not fazed by tricky architectural conditions
No broadband modem
The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 might be pricey and lacks a broadband modem. However, this is still a router that delivers, especially on getting those pings down. Designed for homes with gamers in-house, it’s supercharged for your online gaming needs, keeping those high “ping” and latency rates down to deliver an excellent connection whether you’re playing Call of Duty or PUBG. If you’re willing to pay a pretty penny – and if you’re a serious gamer, you should be – this is one of the best wireless routers to consider.
Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
- 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, WAN, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-band Wi-Fi, 8 external antennas, Alexa voice control
Fast and powerful
Alexa and IFTTT support
Are you in the market for one of the best wireless routers of 2019 and don’t mind a quirky design. If a ‘90s-inspired sci-fi design sounds like it will fit right in your home, then the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might be the best wireless router for you. It’s not exactly the most modern-looking mesh router out there, but it’s unique in that it can bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high-end functionality at a reasonable price point and with a relaxed setup. It’s peculiar looking, yes; however, if you’re scouring the market for a wireless router that can cover a mid-sized home, you can’t go wrong with this.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
6. Netgear Orbi Pro
A mesh router for the office
Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps | Connectivity: Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation
Easy to deploy
If you need to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with one of the best routers of 2019, then you must seriously consider getting the Netgear Orbi Pro. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router that takes some design and performance inspiration from its business-grade competitors. It’s on the more expensive side. However, if you’re running a business where you cannot afford any lags due to poor Wi-Fi, then it’s absolutely worth every penny.
Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro
7. 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, Pause WiFi, smartphone setup, Tri-Band networking, modular
Smaller than the original
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. 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 the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23
8. TP-Link Deco M9 Plus
A router for the smart home
Speed: 5GHz: up to 867Mbps, 2.4GHz: up to 400Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN, USB 2.0 | Features: Tri-Band connectivity, Dead-zone killer, Built-in smart hub, Built-in Antivirus, QoS, Parental controls
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, one of the best routers of 2020, we can see how they’re only getting better and better. 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. Fair warning though, this router is a tad expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and an outstanding performance in exchange.
Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9
9. 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
Not as fast as it could be
Ready to jump on the mesh wireless router bandwagon, but without breaking open that piggy bank? You’re in luck with the affordable D-Link Covr C1203. It’s one of the best wireless routers, if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. It offers comparable coverage to that of the Google Wi-Fi while also being affordable, and it also looks futuristic in a great way. It’s somewhat slower than Google’s legendary router, but it will still be fast enough for the typical user. It’s no surprise that the D-Link Covr C1203 gets our vote as one of the best wireless routers of 2020.
Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203
10. Eero Home Wi-Fi System
Mesh wi-fi for the power user
Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz and 5GHz | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, included security software, dynamic rerouting
Blends into the background
Pricer than competition
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. 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 the full review: Eero Home Wi-Fi System
Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Uy have also contributed to this article
Images Credit: TechRadar