Here's our summary of the best Wi-Fi routers in 2020:
- Best Mesh Wi-Fi System - Google Nest Wi-Fi Router
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Gaming - TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Best Long-Range Wi-Fi Router - ASUS RT-AC88U
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Average Home Users - Linksys EA7300
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Power Users - Linksys EA8300
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Streaming - NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX4
- Best Wi-Fi 6 Router - TP-Link Archer AX6000
- Best Budget-Friendly Wi-Fi Router - TP-Link Archer AX10
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Multiple Devices - NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S
- Best Wi-Fi Router for Network Security - Gryphon Wi-Fi Router
Choosing a Wi-Fi router can be a very stressful task. However, if you have a helpful guide, this could turn into quite an enjoyable experience. That's because Wi-Fi routers are made for different use-cases, so you need to pick the best Wi-Fi router based on your specific needs, priorities, and budget. And of course, you'll need some help to narrow down your selection.
Having a capable router can't be stressed enough – especially if you have multiple Web-connected devices at your home. Most importantly, all of those connections should work equally well and be stable enough. For example, you'll want to stream Netflix in 4K on your TV while downloading large files on your computer. You'll also want to keep your eye on your smart security camera by tapping into its live video stream. Therefore, this isn't a task that an underpowered router will handle with ease.
Let's not forget that routers should keep your family safe. Many home routers are vulnerable in some way, having security flaws, being targeted by malware, or being susceptible to remote takeover attacks. Therefore, if your router isn't secure enough, you could expose not only your devices but also your private information.
With this said, know that there are thousands of Wi-Fi routers out there. This is one of the most versatile categories when it comes to home tech. Naturally, you'll want the best Wi-Fi router for your particular needs and priorities, while staying within a specific budget. And trust us – you'll want as much help as you can get along the way.
Well, know that TechNadu's team has been heavily invested in testing and researching routers. Now, it's time to take a look at truly the best Wi-Fi routers that you'll find in 2020.
What to Look For in a Wi-Fi Router Before Your Buy?
If you're not familiar with Wi-Fi-related terminology, choosing a router can be frustrating. Of course, you can avoid spending hours learning this terminology by reading articles just like this one.
However, knowing the basics won't only help you pick a router aligned with all your needs. This article will also help you get the most out of your router once you buy it.
To find the best Wi-Fi router, you need to think about your current and future needs. To help you set-up a sound basis for your search, we've prepared a list of things you need to look for when browsing Wi-Fi routers. Check them out below.
- Wi-Fi Standards & Their Implications: Wireless Internet connections are referred to as "Wi-Fi." However, there are several Wi-Fi standards. Also described as “802.11,” we have 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, and so on (b/a/g/n/ac/ax). These are also referred to as Wi-Fi 1, Wi-Fi 2, Wi-Fi 3, and so on. In general, you should get a router that supports at least the Wi-Fi 5 standard (802.11ac). If you want truly the best, the Wi-Fi 6 standard is now widely available as well (802.11ax). Choosing an older Wi-Fi generation means you'll encounter limited speeds, and you'll get to connect a smaller number of devices.
- Single-Band or Dual-Band: Single-band routers use the 2.4Ghz band, while dual-band units also use the 5Ghz band. If you live in a crowded area (in an apartment building, for example), it's wise to go for a dual-band router. This is how you can avoid interference between radio bands and achieve much faster Internet speeds.
- Internet Speed Limitations: You'll most likely encounter terms like AC1200 or AX6000 when looking at Wi-Fi routers. These numbers indicate the maximum Internet speed you can expect out of a router. However, these are combinations of speeds from both radio bands. For example, an AC1200 router will support a single 2.4GHz band at 300Mbps and a single 5GHz at 867Mbps (rounded up to the nearest hundred – 1,200). Also, keep in mind your Internet connection's maximum speed (provided by your ISP).
- Planned (Expected) Area Coverage: A single router with robust antennas should cover those living in small- and medium-sized homes. However, if you live in a large-sized apartment or a house, considering using a long-range router or even better – a mesh Wi-Fi system. These come with several Wi-Fi routers that work together to cover thousands of square feet of indoor space. You can also go for Wi-Fi extenders if you already have a capable router.
- Support for Simultaneous Connections: Make sure to think about how many devices will be connected to your router. For example, getting an AC1200 router with a single 2.4GHz band (300Mbps) and connecting five devices will mean that each of your devices will get 60Mbps on average. We recommend getting a 5Ghz router (maybe even with two 5Ghz bands), especially if you like to stream online media.
- MU-MIMO vs. SU-MIMO: Depending on your average usage of the Web, you need to think about a router that can support demanding operations. For example, this goes for streaming Netflix in 4K while also playing an online game. This is where MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) comes into play. This technology's predecessor is SU-MIMO, still suitable for non-demanding users.
- Software & Security Features: Finally, let's not forget that today's routers come with parental controls. They also support VPN applications. If you want to take control of your Web connection, make sure to inspect what kind of software you will get. This could include accessing your router to change its settings or keeping an eye on your Web connection via a mobile app.
These Are The Best Wi-Fi Routers in 2020!
Finally, let's give you some on-point recommendations. These are the 10 best Wi-Fi routers in 2020 – suitable for different needs, priorities, and budgets. Take a look below.
1. Best Mesh Wi-Fi System – Google Nest Wi-Fi Router
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 2 | Number of USB Ports: 0 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC2200 | Item Weight: 13.4 oz | Item Dimensions: 4.33 x 4.33 x 3.56 in.
One of the most versatile mesh Wi-Fi systems comes from Google. This isn't surprising considering that this company has been making mesh systems for several years now. The latest generation is called "Google Nest Wi-Fi" and comes with several interesting types of hardware units.
As you can see above, we've recommended this system's core unit, Google's Nest Wi-Fi router. You connect it to your modem, and they rely on the Google Wi-Fi app to set-up the router, keep it updated, prioritize devices, check how your connection is used, and set-up parental controls.
If you get the router only (without additional hardware units), you can cover up to 2,200 square feet. If you want a more extensive coverage, this is where so-called "Points" come into play. One router and one Point cover up to 3,800 square feet, for example. And the best thing is – "Points" come with Google Assistant and can act as wireless speakers.
We should also mention that Google has finally taken its users' privacy very seriously. This mesh Wi-Fi system comes with all kinds of sensors and microphones, and it's the entry point for incoming and outgoing data -so you should be concerned about your privacy. However, your privacy will be watertight in this case, and you'll always have a set of comprehensive controls to fine-tune your experience.
- Pros: Attractively designed; Wide area coverage; Fast performance; Easy set-up; Parental controls included; Fast enough, even for demanding users.
- Cons: Deep customization isn't available; Can be pricey for extra-large homes.
2. Best Wi-Fi Router for Gaming – TP-Link Archer C5400X
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 9 | Number of USB Ports: 2 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 3 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC5400 | Item Weight: 3.0 lbs| Item Dimensions: 11.34 x 11.34 x 7.24 in.
Playing online games requires you to have an ultra-powerful router that can handle this task without any bottlenecks. Therefore, picking a Wi-Fi router with plenty of radio bands seems like an excellent idea, especially if multiple individuals rely on the same Wi-Fi network.
This is where TP-Link's Archer C5400X comes into play. This router is built for gamers from the ground up. Inside of the unit, you'll find a 1.8Ghz 64-bit processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM. Therefore, it's not surprising to see the Archer C5400X running high-end software in the background.
Related Content: Best Gaming Routers
Speaking of the router's software, you get accelerated loading and smooth gameplay. This is powered by a dynamic optimization engine, which optimizes throughput according to presets of custom settings. This is how you can prioritize gaming over other online activities, and vice versa.
The Archer C5400X comes with three bands. There's a single 2.4Ghz band running at 1,000Mbps and two 5Ghz bands running at 2,167Mbps each. You're free to dedicate these bands to certain activities, which means that wireless interference will be a thing of the past. If you decide to go the wired route, you can count on nine Ethernet ports.
Lastly, let's not forget to mention that you can install a VPN on this router. Even running your VPN server is possible, which comes in handy if you're connecting to public Wi-Fi networks (as you can always route your network through your home's connection).
- Pros: An incredibly fast processor; Supports three radio bands; Intelligent traffic prioritization; Plenty of Ethernet and USB ports; Antimalware support optional.
- Cons: Large and heavy; Comes with a quite aggressive design; High priced.
3. Best Long Range Wi-Fi Router – ASUS RT-AC88U
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 8 | Number of USB Ports: 2 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC3100 | Item Weight: 2.6 lbs | Item Dimensions: 30.00 x 6.50 x 18.80 in.
Here we have one of the best ASUS-made routers available right now. Even though it's being marketed as the ultimate gaming router, this is one of the most versatile options. Unlike the majority of gaming routers, the RT-AC88U doesn't come with overly aggressive aesthetics.
This is a dual-band router (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) that comes with four ultra-powerful antennas. Inside, there's a 1.4Ghz dual-core processor in charge of managing multiple connections without a hitch. Thanks to these beefy specs, ASUS' RT-AC88U covers up to 5,000 square feet. Therefore, this is easily one of the best long-range Wi-Fi routers.
Among other features, you'll find MU-MIMO supported. This is coupled with adaptive QoS, which means that you have full control over your Web connection. Each of your devices will get its full-speed Wi-Fi connection. However, you're also free to prioritize certain activities. This comes in handy if you play online games where low latency is crucial.
Lastly, ASUS' RT-AC88U is a great all-around family router. You get tons of options in terms of connectivity, with eight LAN ports and two USB ports. It also comes with a set of comprehensive parental controls and also comes with anti-malware capabilities.
- Pros: Incredibly extensive coverage; Plenty of customization options; Fast enough for the majority of home users; Regular software and firmware updates.
- Cons: Only one USB 3.0 port; Back antennas can block USB ports.
4. Best Wi-Fi Router for Average Home Users – Linksys EA7300
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 4 | Number of USB Ports: 1 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC1750 | Item Weight: 22.43 oz | Item Dimensions: 10.12 x 2.2 x 7.24 in.
Not everyone needs the fastest Wi-Fi connection or the latest features. We understand that many of you simply need a reliable home Wi-Fi router that comes affordably priced. This is precisely the reason why we're recommending Linksys' EA7300.
This one is designed to be a home router that meets the basic requirements (and more than that) in a very comprehensive way. You won't find anything unique here, nor will you find cutting-edge technology inside. However, this router is the best pick if you need fast and stable Wi-Fi connectivity, no matter how many devices you have at home.
Covering up to 1,500 square feet, the EA7300 comes with a dual-core processor and supports two bands (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz). In comparison to other AC1750 routers, this one delivers up to 4.4x throughput. So we're talking about one of the fastest (affordable) home routers here.
Among other features, you'll find four Ether ports and a single USB 3.0 port. You can control the router via the Linksys app, using which you get handy reports and impose parental restrictions. You can also use the app to share your Wi-Fi connection with your guests and change the name of your Wi-Fi connection and its password.
- Pros: Simple & easy to use; Supports speeds of up to 1.7Gbps; Incredibly fast and stable; Parental controls included; Inconspicuous design.
- Cons: Not suitable for large homes.
5. Best Wi-Fi Router for Power Users – Linksys EA8300
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 4 | Number of USB Ports: 1 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 3 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC2200 | Item Weight: 1.0 lbs | Item Dimensions: 6.37 x 8.41 x 2.16 in.
The most powerful Wi-Fi routers can easily cost $300+, which is obviously a lot of money to spend on a router. With this said, we didn't want to recommend some hugely expensive router for those of you who are power users. Instead, we've decided to recommend Linksys' E8300.
We believe this one to be the best Wi-Fi router for power users because it brings plenty of customization. You get nicely designed tools that help you configure this router based on your individual use case. You can fine-tune each of the three available radio bands, prioritize specific devices or activities, set up parental controls, configure guest access, and plenty more.
Considering that the EA8300 is a tri-band router, it also comfortably supports even the most resource-hungry activities. Streaming in 4K on one device, playing online games on another device, and downloading a large file on a third device should happen without a single problem. That's because EA8300 supports MU-MIMO and AirTime Fairness, which means the overall efficiency of your home Wi-Fi is highly optimized.
Lastly, let's not forget that you get four Ethernet ports and a single USB 3.0 port. Therefore, if you want to create an online hub for your household, or perhaps connect all kinds of peripherals, you'll be well covered.
- Pros: Good enough for future-proofing; Plenty of customization available; Easy supports up to 15 simultaneously connected devices; Highly efficient Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Cons: Not the widest coverage (up to 1,500 sq.ft.); One 5Ghz band limited to 400Mbps.
6. Best Wi-Fi Router for Streaming – NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX4
Wireless Specification: 802.11ax | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 4 | Number of USB Ports: 1 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AX3000 | Item Weight: 1.32 lbs | Item Dimensions: 13.38 x 8.11 x 2.24 in.
In case you didn't know, the latest iOS/iPadOS and Android devices support Wi-Fi 6. This one brings greatly improved speeds and excellent overall stability. However, to take advantage of this standard, you need both a device that supports this standard and a compatible router.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard is already present on the latest-generation iPhones and iPads and Android smartphones, such as Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10. If you own any of these smartphones or tablets, NETGEAR's Nighthawk RAX4 is an excellent pick, as it supports Wi-Fi 6.
The RAX4 brings the maximum Internet speed of 3Gbps (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz combined), making it suitable even for 1GB Fiber plans. Since it supports OFDMA (powered by Wi-Fi 6), you can easily connect up to 20 devices without losing quality. Each of your devices will be analyzed, and it will be assigned a specific priority entirely in the background.
We believe that the RAX4 is the best Wi-Fi router for media streaming because it comes with a powerful dual-core processor. Streaming in 4K UHD should not be a problem, even if you stream in 4K on more than one device. One thing is sure – you won't find any bottlenecks or performance issues here.
- Pros: Highly polished design; Supports Wi-Fi 6; Plenty of customization controls via the Nighthawk app; Brings Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Cons: Best used with devices compatible with Wi-Fi 6; Older devices won't be able to take full advantage of this router (still compatible, though).
7. Best Wi-Fi 6 Router – TP-Link Archer AX6000
Wireless Specification: 802.11ax | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 8 | Number of USB Ports: 2 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AX6000 | Item Weight: 3.50 lbs | Item Dimensions: 10.0 x 12.0 x 4.0 in.
If you're after the latest Wi-Fi technologies, know that TP-Link has produced a highly exciting product. Called Archer AX6000, this router is designed from the ground up to support Wi-Fi 6, including numerous benefits that this technology offers.
A 1.8Ghz quad-core CPU powers this unit, which gives you an idea of what to expect in terms of its power. There are eight LAN ports and two USB 3.0 ports (one USB-A, one USB-C), and a 2.5Gbps WAN port is also included. We can see that TP-Link has decided to include the latest technologies here, so it should be future-proofed as well.
In terms of Internet connectivity, the Archer AX6000 offers two bands – 2.4Ghz at 1,148Mbps, as well as 5Ghz at 4,804Mpbs (theoretical speeds). It also means that you can connect a massive number of devices whose connectivity will be controlled via OFMDA and MU-MIMO. These two technologies make sure that each of your devices gets proper treatment.
You can also count on using powerful software tools to control your Internet connection. Parental controls and content filtering are included, in addition to a real-time antivirus solution. To set-up the router, you can use Bluetooth - and the entire process takes no more than one minute.
- Pros: Uses the latest technologies; Incredibly powerful internals; Up to 6Gbps; Compatible with Amazon Alexa; Deep customization options.
- Cons: Large and heavy; Overly aggressive design; High priced.
8. Best Budget-Friendly Wi-Fi Router – TP-Link Archer AX10
Wireless Specification: 802.11ax | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 4 | Number of USB Ports: 0 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AX1500 | Item Weight: 1.9 lbs | Item Dimensions: 10.2 x 4.9 x 1.3 in.
Who says that the best Wi-Fi routers need to be costly? Here we have an exciting option for those looking for the latest Wi-Fi technologies without spending much. TP-Link's Archer AX10 is a recently released router that packs plenty in a very convenient package.
The Archer AX10 is powered by a triple-core 1.5Ghz processor, which is enough to ensure smooth performance. This is also a Wi-Fi 6 router with boosted Wi-Fi coverage, which means you can count on getting a strong signal even in medium-sized homes.
You'll find two radio bands here – 2.4Ghz at 300Mbps and 5GHz at 1200Mbps. And when it comes to its WAN port, it supports Gigabit Internet plans. To make sure there's enough bandwidth for all your devices, you can count on OFDMA and MU-MIMO. This makes streaming in 4K or even 8K on multiple devices, an activity that should be buttery-smooth.
It's also interesting to know that the Archer AX10 takes care of your mobile devices. It preserves their battery life by reducing those devices' power consumption. This is powered by Wi-Fi 6 and is supported by the latest generation of smartphones and tablets. Of course, you can use the Archer AX10 with older devices, as it's backward-compatible.
- Pros: Plenty of value; Easy set-up; Up to 1.5Gbps; Powered by Wi-Fi 6; Great for up to medium-sized homes; Beamforming available.
- Cons: No USB ports.
9. Best Wi-Fi Router for Multiple Devices – NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 4 | Number of USB Ports: 2 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 2 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC2600 | Item Weight: 3.5 lbs | Item Dimensions: 11.2 x 7.2 x 1.9 in.
When choosing a router for relatively small Wi-Fi networks, you shouldn't have a hard time finding a viable option. However, what if you want a router that can easily support dozens of devices? Well, this is where you'll encounter a very narrow range of options.
Among the best Wi-Fi routers for multiple devices, there's one product that stands out. NETGEAR's Nighthawk X4S can comfortably accommodate up to 45 devices, which is its biggest strength. It covers up to 2,500 square feet, providing an incredibly strong signal without any noticeable loss. Thanks to MU-MIMO, each of those 45 devices can receive enough signal to handle demanding online operations. Besides, this router offers speeds of up to 2.5Gbps, via two radio bands (2.4Ghz + 5 GHz).
Related Content: Best NETGEAR Routers
Considering that this is a NETGEAR router, you can also expect plenty of customization. It comes with built-in software that allows you to fine-tune various aspects of your connection, including setting up WPA2 security protocols, enabling guest Wi-Fi access, setting up a firewall, and even adding a VPN service.
Finally, it's worth mentioning that the X4S comes with two USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA port, so creating an online file hub is possible, and you can also connect all kinds of peripherals.
- Pros: Supports up to 45 devices; Covers up to 2,500 square feet; Powerful customization available; Plenty of connectivity options; Fast processor.
- Cons: Not the fastest option out there, especially considering the price.
10. Best Wi-Fi Router for Network Security – Gryphon Wi-Fi Router
Wireless Specification: 802.11ac | MU-MIMO: YES | Number of Ethernet Ports: 3 | Number of USB Ports: 0 | Parental Controls: YES | Number of Bands: 3 (2.4Ghz + 5Ghz + 5Ghz) | Certified Speed Limit: AC3000 | Item Weight: 1.8 lbs | Item Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 9.0 in.
All of the routers mentioned in this article brings some form of cyber-security. However, nothing can replace a dedicated Wi-Fi router that's built around security-related features. So, allow us to introduce you to Gryphon, an attractively designed and incredibly tough router.
When it comes to the router itself, it comes with a Qualcomm's IQP4019 Wi-Fi chip, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of flash storage. You can count on three bands (one 2.4Ghz and two 5Ghz) that combined bring up to 3Gbps. A single Gryphon router covers up to 3,000 square feet, and you can always get additional units and create a mesh.
When it comes to cyber-security, you will get a 12-month trial of Advanced Internet Protection - priced at $79/year once the trial is over. This software suite brings you malware and ransomware protection, backed by ESET technology. You can also get daily security updates, an ad-blocker, and the ability to isolate infected devices.
You will also receive a 3-month trial of Gryphon Homebound, which allows you to control your Web connection when you're not home. Furthermore, your mobile devices can be protected via this app using the Gryphon Mesh Router you have at home. Once the trial is over, Gryphon Homebound is priced at $49/year.
- Pros: Supports three wireless bands; Incredibly helpful features; Ransomware and malware protection; Daily updates; Regular firmware updates.
- Cons: No USB ports; Requires premium-priced subscriptions (optional).
You've reached the end of our guide to the best Wi-Fi routers in 2020. In case you have any questions or doubts, make sure to let us know by posting a comment below. And, of course, make sure to tell us about your pick, including your impressions.