Best Wireless Routers

This page contains the recommended wireless routers for your home with pros and cons of each. The routers have split into two groups: normal wireless routers and mesh routers (the use of satellites to extend coverage over the entire home).

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Last Updated: March 22, 2019

Best Wireless Routers for 2019

Best Overall Wireless Router – ASUS RT-AC88U

ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 Wireless Routers
ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless Router

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Pros: Eight LAN ports, MU-MIMO support, WTFast Gamers Private Network, numerous features, user-friendly Web interface, Asus AiProtection, best WiFi performance

Cons: Expensive

Notable ASUS RT-AC88U Specs

Total WiFi Bandwidth
5 GHz @ 2167 Mbps
2.4 GHz @ 1000 Mbps
= (AC3100) 3167 Mbps


Network Standards
802.11a,  802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6


Coverage Area & Antennas
Very Large Household (5000 square feet)
4 Detachable Dual-Band Antennas


Transmit/Receive
MU-MIMO technology
2.4 GHz 4 x 4
5 GHz 4 x 4


Data Rate
802.11a : 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g : 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n : up to 600 Mbps
802.11ac : up to 1734 Mbps
1024QAM (2.4 GHz) : up to 1000 Mbps
1024QAM (5 GHz) : up to 2167 Mbps


Processor & Memory
1.4 GHz Dual-Core Processor
128 MB Flash
512 MB RAM


Ports
Gigabit LAN Ports: 8
Gigabit WAN Port: 1
USB 2.0 Port: 1
USB 3.0 Port: 1


Security
64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPS support


Buttons
WPS Button, Power Button, Reset Button, LED On/Off Button, Wireless On/Off Button


WiFi Technology
Beamforming: standard-based and universal
1024-QAM high data rate
20/40/80 MHz bandwidth


Physical Dimensions
11.8 inches x 7.4 inches x 2.38 inches (WxDxH without bezel)
33.51 ounces


Best Value Wireless Router – ASUS RT-AC86U

ASUS RT-AC86U AC2900 Wireless Routers
ASUS RT-AC86U Wireless Router

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Pros: MU-MIMO support, WTFast Gamers Private Network, numerous features, user-friendly Web interface, Asus AiProtection

Cons: Expensive

Notable ASUS RT-AC86U Specs

Total WiFi Bandwidth
5 GHz @ 2167 Mbps
2.4 GHz @ 750 Mbps
= (AC2900) 2917 Mbps


Network Standards
802.11a,  802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6


Coverage Area & Antennas
Very Large Household
3 Detachable Dual-Band Antennas
1 Internal 3dBi Antenna


Transmit/Receive
MU-MIMO technology
2.4 GHz 3 x 3
5 GHz 4 x 4


Data Rate
802.11a : 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
802.11g : 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 54 Mbps
802.11n : up to 450 Mbps
802.11ac : up to 1734 Mbps
1024QAM (2.4 GHz) : up to 750 Mbps
1024QAM (5 GHz) : up to 2167 Mbps


Processor & Memory
1.8 GHz Dual-Core Processor
256 MB Flash
512 MB RAM


Ports
Gigabit LAN Ports: 4
Gigabit WAN Port: 1
USB 2.0 Port: 1
USB 3.0 Port: 1


Security
64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK, WPS support


Buttons
WPS Button, Power Button, Reset Button, LED On/Off Button, Wireless On/Off Button


WiFi Technology
Beamforming: standard-based and universal
1024-QAM high data rate
20/40/80 MHz bandwidth


Physical Dimensions
8.7 inches x 6.3 inches x 3.3 inches (WxHxD without bezel)
30.4 ounces



Best Gaming Wireless Router – NETGEAR XR500

NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 AC2600 Wireless Routers
NETGEAR Nighthawk XR500 Wireless Router

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Pros: Beamforming+, MU-MIMO support, Quad Stream, On/Off LED light switch, Geo-Filter, Network Monitor, User-friendly web interface

Cons: Expensive

Notable NETGEAR XR500 Specs

Total WiFi Bandwidth
5 GHz @ 1733 Mbps
2.4 GHz @ 800 Mbps
= (AC2600) 2533 Mbps


Network Standards
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, IPv6 support


Coverage Area & Antennas
Very Large Household
Four Detachable High-Performance External Antennas


Transmit/Receive
MU-MIMO technology
2.4 GHz 4 x 4
5 GHz 4 x 4


Processor & Memory
1.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor
256 MB Flash
512 MB RAM


Ports
Gigabit LAN Ports: 4
Gigabit WAN Port: 1
USB 3.0 Ports: 2


Security
Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack Prevention, VPN Support (Secure Remote Access), WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2—PSK), Double Firewall Protection (NAT and SPI)


WiFi Technology
Beamforming+
MU-MIMO
Quad Stream


Physical Dimensions
12.7 inches x 9.6 inches x 2.2 inches
28.32 ounces



Best Overall Mesh WiFi Router System – NETGEAR Orbi RBK50

NETGEAR Orbi RBK50 Wireless Routers
NETGEAR Orbi RBK50 Wireless Router System

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Note: A mesh WiFi system uses multiple satellites for whole home coverage.

Pros: Satellite auto-configures itself to router WiFi settings, MU-MIMO support, speedy Tri-Band, large coverage area

Cons: Bulky satellites, expensive

Notable NETGEAR Orbi RBK50 Specs

Total WiFi Bandwidth
5 GHz @ 1733 Mbps
5 GHz @ 866 Mbps
2.4 GHz @ 400 Mbps
= (AC3000) 2999 Mbps


Network Standards
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac


Coverage Area & Antennas
Up to 5000 square feet
6 Antennas


Ports
Gigabit LAN Ports: 3 (router)
Gigabit WAN Port: 1 (router)
Gigabit LAN Ports: 4 (per satellite)
USB 2.0 Port: 1


WiFi Technology
Tri-Band
Dedicated Backhaul 4×4 (1.7 Gbps)


Physical Dimensions
6.7 inches x 3.1 inches x 8.89 inches each
31.36 ounces each


Key Features
Guest WiFi Network
MU-MIMO Support
WPA/PSK2 Support
4 GB Flash and 512 MB RAM
Beamforming Technology



Best Value Mesh WiFi Router System – Google WiFi

Google WiFi Routers
Google WiFi Router System

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Note: A mesh WiFi system uses multiple satellites for whole home coverage.

Pros: Inexpensive WiFi system, simple and easy setup, small satellites

Cons: Google account and mobile device required, adding extra satellites adds to the cost, signal loss (the more satellites used, the longer it takes to receive data beyond the first satellite), lack of features and customization, lack of LAN ports, no USB ports

Notable Google WiFi Specs

Total WiFi Bandwidth
5 GHz @ 900 Mbps
2.4 GHz @ 300 Mbps
= (AC1200) 1200 Mbps


Network Standards
802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac


Coverage Area
Up to 1500 square feet (with one satellite – small home)
Up to 4500 square feet (with three satellites – large home)


Processor & Memory
Quad-core ARM CPU, each core up to 710 MHz
4GB eMMC Flash
512 MB RAM


Ports
Gigabit LAN Port: 1
Gigabit WAN Port: 1
WAN and LAN on primary WiFi satellite; both act as LAN ports on additional WiFi satellites


WiFi Technology
Dual-Band
Expandable mesh WiFi
AC1200 2×2 Wave 2 WiFi


Physical Dimensions
Diameter: 4.17 inches
Height: 2.70 inches
Weight: 12 ounces


Key Features
Guest WiFi Network
Bluetooth Smart Ready
WPA2-PSK Support
TX Beamforming Technology


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