Why do you need a Wi-Fi router?
One of the more essential parts of modern everyday life is putting in the best available Wi-Fi router in your home. It is also the easiest way of upgrading the home network. An up-to-date and new router can make all the smart TVs, laptops, doorbell cameras, and game consoles in your home appear pretty fast. A brand-new router can give you a faster Wi-Fi connection. But, some of them have interesting and useful features included such as app-based settings interfaces, network security software, and simple-to-use parental control. Some of the new routers have antennas that move for focusing the signals.
As so much of our life is spent on the internet, with the web needed everywhere from work to school, there is no substitute for a top-quality performing Wi-Fi router. In this review, we will check out some routers to find out the models that will be suitable for your home. You can also expect great performance, great pricing, and durability. The existing Wi-Fi router may be slower than it used to be, has a spotty reception, or you need something that can handle the number of smart devices in the house. A new router can fix all these issues and offer more.
The best Wi-Fi routers for 2022
Best budget Wi-Fi router: TP-Link Archer AX21
Best mesh Wi-Fi router: TP-Link Deco W7200
Best mesh value Wi-Fi router: Netgear Orbi (dual-band, AC1200)
Best gaming Wi-Fi router: Asus RT-AX86U
Best mesh performance: Netgear Orbi (tri-band, AX6000)
Best value Wi-Fi router: Linksys EA6350 Dual-Band
- TP-Link Archer AX21(Best for your budget): This Wi-Fi router is available for less than $100. If you catch a sale, you can get it for even less. This is a dual-band, entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router that is capable of supporting top speeds up to 1.2 GBPS with its 5GHz band. The router has nothing fancy in it but, it offers an almost flawless performance, especially for small and medium-sized houses. It is also pretty convenient to set it up due to the presence of TP-Link's Tether App. Surprisingly when you compare it with other good quality Wi-Fi routers, you will find that the router holds its own. It provides a better range, quicker download speed, and lower latency as well.
If you add a functional band steering mode to it, you will automatically be steered to between 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in one network. In addition to this, you get terrific network controls and a top-quality service engine to prioritize traffic to the more significant devices of the network. You can also get a good home networking upgrade which is affordable and straightforward. This might also be the right time to buy one. Buy from Amazon.
- TP-Link Deco W7200(Best mesh Wi-Fi router): If you are looking to get the top performance out of your mesh router, it might be a good idea to get one with Wi-Fi 6. If you can get a router with a tri-band design having 3 bands for traffic viz. 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and an additional 5GHz band will work great. This additional 5 GHz band can be used by the system as a dedicated wireless backhaul for their transmissions, within the Wi-Fi router and the satellites. Most routers with all these capabilities cost around $300 to $400 however, the TP-Link Deco W7200 will provide all these things for $229. Buy on Walmart.
It is easily the best deal out there for a tri-band mesh router with Wi-Fi 6. The router is a top performer as well. The only routers that will outperform this one, are those that cost around 3 times as much. In addition to this, the setup process from TP-Link is pretty simple. The satellite extenders join the mesh immediately after you have plugged them in. All this makes the Deco W7200 a terrific value for money. If you need something new, this is the mesh router you must opt for.
- Netgear Orbi dual-band, AC1200 (Best mesh value for money): This Wi-Fi router is not as well-featured as some of the other systems that are more expensive. This router also does not support Wi-Fi 6. This apart, the AC1200 variety of the Netgear Orbi is a budget-friendly mesh router. This is a clear winner when you are talking about mesh value machines of this category. The device is available for as low as $90 when you take into account a 3-device setup having a Wi-Fi router with a couple of extenders. This router is as cheap as any mesh router can become available. It can work with both Wi-Fi 5 and Nest Wi-Fi versions of the Eero mesh router from Amazon in terms of speed.
When you compare this Wi-Fi router with similar products from the category, you will find that Netgear Orbi will clock the fastest average top speed, especially at closer ranges. The display router shows surprisingly strong signal strength if you map these signals on the CNET Smart Home. The design offered on the router is also nice and has clever contours over the top that can vent out the heat well. Buy on Amazon.
- Asus RT-AX86U(Best gaming Wi-Fi router): All gaming Wi-Fi routers promise low latency and top performance for die-hard gamers. It is pretty common to find these routers at $300 or $400. The Asus RT-AX86U is a dual-band router that is not cheap at $280 either. However, this router gives good value in comparison with the other products. The performance provides by the gaming router is terrific. The greatest part of the Wi-Fi router is its latency management. This router leads all others tested gaming-wise or otherwise. It provides the lowest latency across all the tests. This fact will be greatly appreciated, by all the gamers.
There is something else you can appreciate. You will find a good mix of features and app-based controls including mobile boost mode. It allows you to prioritize the gaming traffic to the phone just by pressing a button. Apart from all the gaming features, the RT-AX86U provides complete support for Wi-Fi 6 giving stable, strong speeds and excellent range. If you are looking for extra range, you may add other AIMesh devices from Asus to the home network. This will allow you to make a centerpiece of the mesh. The router will check all the boxes you are looking to get from a high-quality gaming router. The pricing on offer for the router is also not a pain. Even if you are not a gamer, this is one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy. Buy on Best Buy.
- Netgear Orbi tri-band AX6000 (Best mesh in terms of performance): The AX6000 versions available from Netgear Orbi are far more expensive than other top-quality dual-band versions you can find. The pricing begins at $700 however, it is also a lot more powerful than other machines. The second 5GHz band serves as a dedicated backhaul for the machine's system transmission between the router and satellites. The router has full support for Wi-Fi 6.
If you perform lab tests with this router, you will find that the router will top the speed tests, especially in the mesh category.
In some of the tests conducted on the router, the device displayed an average speed of 289 Mbps for Wi-fi 5 devices and 370 Mbps for Wi-Fi 6 devices. These results include testing speeds at the farthest corners of the rooms away from the router. Even at a farther distance, the router was almost 95% as fast as the close connection. These are near-perfect results and no other mesh system can match up with these results. The question is, do you want this kind of quick performance and is it worth $700 to you? In most cases, people will find greater value in lower-priced models. There are many kinds of router models available that can fit the bill. But, if you are looking for an elite mesh performance and pricing is not an issue, this is the Wi-Fi router to buy. Buy from Crutchfield.
- Linksys EA6350 Dual-Band(Best overall value Wi-Fi router): The EA 6350 dual-band is a prime example of the fact that the best value does not have to come expensive. This Wi-Fi router provides just sufficient performance that is suitable for regular users. It provides up to gigabyte connection for a low price. This router can also be termed the best product for small businesses. Although the router is an older model, it holds up well in the pricing range. You can get wireless transfers up to 1.2 Gbps. There are Gigabyte Ethernet LAN and WAN ports available with beamforming technology.
Although the router is not as powerful as some of the others, it is good enough to satisfy the users. Linksys has included beamforming technology on this router to get terrific internet speeds even with lower wireless signals. It is available for a low cost as well. Although this router will not win prizes for build quality, it is decent. The setting up is relatively simple. Buy in Amazon.