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Whether you have just a handful of online devices or a house packed with smart home tech, Wi-Fi has become the center of our connected lives. Competition and necessity have pushed ISPs to increase their internet speeds as well as the tech that keeps customers connected. Even so, ISP-provided gateways are a one-size-fits-all solution to WI-Fi when just about every home has a different set of needs. Whether you're looking to get the best speeds possible in a suburban home or are looking to make the most out of your network in a congested apartment building, upgrading your home network with the right router has never been easier.

These are the best Wi-Fi routers to buy in 2023

AmpliFi Alien single tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router
Source: AmpliFi
AmpliFi Alien
Best overall

The AmpliFi Alien from Ubiquiti is a tri-band mesh-capable Wi-Fi 6 router with up to 7685Mbps of total wireless capacity. The Alien features two Wi-Fi 6 bands at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, plus another dedicated Wi-Fi 5 5GHz band with its own radio. The Alien can also be expanded as a mesh with more Alien MeshPoint.

  • Strong Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Easy mesh expansion with more Alien routers
  • Excellent design with a touchscreen
  • Second 5GHz bands doesn?t use Wi-Fi 6
  • A bit expensive for the raw performance
  • Limited mesh expansion options

Ubiquiti has become a bit of a fan favorite with its professional products finding their way into networking closets around the world. At the same time, with its home networking line AmpliFi, Ubiquiti has continued to impress with futuristic designs and the hardware muscle to back them up. As we saw in our AmpliFi Alien review, this router isn't the fastest you can get and doesn't have the widest coverage, but with its easy-to-use software, mesh expansion options, and consistently reliable performance, it's easy to recommend.

The rather tall tower-like design allows for strong coverage without the need for half a dozen antennas sticking out of the back. This router also looks cool with a matte black housing, green lighting at the base, and a touch screen on the front showing your network usage and connection quality. Sure, you can check the app with just about any brand to see how your network is running, but if you’re the type of person that wants to see your network info at a glance, it confidently crosses the line from gimmick to feature.

The wireless hardware isn’t as straightforward as some others with two Wi-Fi 6 bands and a Wi-Fi 5 band with a combined capacity of 7685Mbps. That breaks down to 1148Mbps available at 2.4GHz and 4804Mbps at 5GHz on Wi-Fi 6. The third band is 1733Mbps at 5GHz due to using Wi-Fi 5. When it comes down to it, this is much like a high-end AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 router with another 1733Mbps of Wi-Fi 5 capacity tacked on. The router comes with a gigabit WAN and four gigabit LAN ports for wired devices.

You can expand your Wi-Fi coverage with a mesh using either additional AmpliFi Alien Routers or MeshPoint nodes. AmpliFi estimates 3,000 square feet of coverage from a single router and up to 6,000 square feet when you add a MeshPoint. Finally, setting up this router is quick and easy with an app on Android or iOS so even if you’ve never set up a router before, you should be able to follow the steps and get connected without issue.

ASUS RT-AX1800S dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router
Source: ASUS
Best Value
$70 $100 Save $30

The ASUS RT-AX1800S is an affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with up to 1201Mbps at 5GHz, and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. You can manage your settings in the ASUS Router app or in a web browser with access to advanced features. ASUS also includes AIMesh expansion, so you can create a mesh network with most of ASUS’s routers from the last few years including ROG and ZenWiFi models.

  • Solid AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • AiProtection Classic is free
  • AiMesh expansion included
  • Parental controls lack content filters
  • Coverage isn't great

With Wi-Fi 6, AX1800 is as low as you realistically want to go in terms of wireless speed. The ASUS RT-AX1800S is a basic router by design with four antennas sticking out of the back allowing for up to 1201Mbps at 5GHz and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. Since most Wi-Fi 6 clients will max out at this 1201Mbps speed, an AX1800 router like this can be the perfect fit for a small home with one or two people.

What sets the ASUS RT-AX1800S apart from other cheap Wi-Fi 6 routers is the software, specifically AIMesh. This feature allows you to use multiple ASUS routers to build a custom mesh network. You could, for example, expand your mesh with cheap ASUS ZenWiFi routers or even an ROG gaming router. If you want to upgrade to a faster ASUS router later, you can use your RT-AX1800S for expansion.

On the software side, setup is quick and easy with the ASUS router app or using the web UI. If you don’t want to get into the weeds with your router settings, you can do everything from the app with access to the most important basic settings. Even so, ASUS’ app isn’t quite as simple and easy as something from eero, Google, Netgear Orbi, or TP-Link Deco.

Lastly, AiProtection Classic is a free security package that comes with features like malicious site blocking and infected device detection and blocking. It also includes parental controls with time scheduling, URL filtering, and a Kid-Safe preset. It lacks the content filters and internet activity dashboard of more premium ASUS routers, but for a router under $100, it’s a strong package.

Source: ASUS
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX6000
Best gaming router
$250 $330 Save $80

This dual-band AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 router looks fairly basic from the spec sheet, but it has been designed to keep gaming traffic moving as fast as possible. It has a high-performance quad-core CPU to keep up with the speed including the dual 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports for a fast gaming PC and multi-gig internet connections.

  • Dual 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports
  • AiProtection Pro is included for free
  • VPN Fusion and AiMesh are supported
  • Large size
  • Only dual-band Wi-Fi

If you’re a competitive gamer, you’ve likely complained about ping times in the past. Ping is a measure of latency between your PC or console and the server it's connecting to. High ping can make it seem like your shots aren’t landing even when you’ve done everything right. There’s not much you can do about the ping from your ISP to the server, but having the right router can keep your gaming ping times low and consistent when you have to share a connection with the rest of the family. The ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 is a great option with software to prioritize your gaming connection and fast hardware that can keep up with multiple demanding connections.

This router doesn’t look too special at first glance with its AX6000 connection breaking down to 4804Mbps at 5GHZ and 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz, but the hardware underneath makes the most of the speed. This router is also great for wired connections with four gigabit LAN ports and a 2.5Gbps LAN port. There’s also another 2.5Gbps WAN port for incoming connections so if you’ve upgraded to multi-gig fiber or 5G internet, you can make the most of that speed. If you can run an Ethernet cable to your gaming machine, you should, but if you have to use wireless, the Rapture GT-AX6000 has all the tech it needs to keep your data moving.

On the software side, you can set this router up like any other ASUS router using the app or the web UI. AIProtection Pro is included, so you get the full suite of intrusion protection and parental control content filters. AIMesh is supported, so you can cover the whole house without giving up your gaming features. Finally, ASUS includes software it calls VPN Fusion, which allows you to route most of your traffic over a VPN while passing your gaming connection directly through with no added latency.

Gryphon AX Wi-Fi 6 tri-band mesh router with parental controls
Source: Gryphon
Gryphon AX
Best parental controls
$90 $199 Save $109

The Gryphon AX isn't the fastest Wi-Fi 6 router you can get but with a tri-band connection, mesh expandability, and easy-to-configure software, it's still worth considering. Gryphon has focused on putting parents in control of how their kids use the internet with robust parental control including web history. With an AX4300 Wi-Fi 6 connection, it's fast enough for the whole family, including gamers.

  • Great parental controls software
  • Mesh expansion avaialble
  • Fast tri-band Wi-Fi 6 connection
  • Quite expensive for its speed
  • Some features require a subscription

The Gryphon AX isn't the fastest router you can get for the money, but it's not trying to be, with a focus on software and parental controls. Even so, the tri-band AX4300 connection should keep up well with a gigabit connection, even when used as a mesh. With its client 5GHz band limited to 80MHz, you won't see gigabit speeds in a congested area but has plenty of speed for 4K streaming or even downloading large files like PS5 games.

While Gryphon offers a paid subscription, you don’t really need it for the parental controls many people are looking for. You can create profiles for each member of the family and decide when and how long they’re allowed to use the internet, you can block sites, and you can use content filtering. If you’re concerned something has slipped through the cracks, you can view someone’s web browsing history from the Gryphon app, even if the history was deleted on the computer.

People spend more time than ever online, and it can be easy to get absorbed, especially for kids. If you’re looking to stay in control of how your kids are using the internet without needing to hover over their shoulders, Gryphon is a solid option that doesn’t make you pay extra for its best features. There are cheaper Gryphon routers available, but if you have a family with a healthy appetite for streaming or gaming, the extra speed and capacity of Wi-Fi 6 are worth the money.

Synology WRX560 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router
Source: Synology
Synology WRX560
Best Software

The Synology WRX560 is a dual-band AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 router with support for 160MHz connections, mesh expansion, and 2.5Gbps Ethernet. This router also comes with Synology's software suite with robust parental controls and VPN client capabilities.

  • Quick AX3000 router with 160MHz support
  • Full profile-based parental controls
  • Multi-gig 2.5Gbps Ethernet for WAN or LAN
  • Dual-band isn't optimal for mesh expansion
  • Expensive for the hardware

The Synology WRX560 is a fairly typical AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 router on the hardware side with some nice software tricks to improve its usefulness. Starting with the hardware, there's a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 connection with up to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and up to 2400Mbps at 5GHz. The 5GHz band supports 160MHz including support for DFS and UNII-4 spectrum. It must be said that UNII-4, or 5.9GHz support, is a very cool feature for mesh systems as its wider use of the upper 5GHz spectrum makes it perfect for a backhaul, limited client support makes it a bit perplexing on a dual-band router. Still, it's nice that Synology has left the option open to those that might want it.

On the back, the router has one gigabit Ethernet port for WAN, three gigabit Ethernet ports for LAN, and a 2.5Gbps Ethernet for WAN or LAN. This fast Ethernet port can be used either for a multi-gig internet connection or to connect to a fast NAS, such as one made by Synology. On the side, there's a USB 3.2 port that can be used for network storage. Overall, the router is fairly compact at just over nine inches wide and has a stand-up design with all internal antennas.

When it comes to software, this router can be used with Synology's app or can be controlled in a web browser on a PC. You can change your router's basic settings as well as monitor your network and its users. You can also use profile-based parental controls to track screen time, view usage history, and filter web content. VPN client mode is also supported to you can connect your devices to the internet using a VPN if you want. This is all included with no additional subscriptions so if you plan to use these features, Synology's higher prices start to make a lot more sense.

TP-Link Archer AXE300 quad-band AXE16000 Wi-Fi 6E router
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Archer AXE300
Best Wi-Fi 6E router
$487 $600 Save $113

If you’re looking for one of the fastest Wi-Fi routers ever made, the TP-Link Archer AXE16000 is one of a handful of ultra-fast quad-band Wi-Fi 6E routers. There are two 10Gbps WAN/LAN options with one Ethernet and one using SFP+ or Ethernet. It offers full Wi-Fi 6 speeds regardless of the band you connect to, so you can make the most of 5GHz and 6GHz clients at once.

  • Extremely fast AXE16000 quad-band Wi-Fi
  • Dual 10Gbps WAN/LAN ports
  • Solid parental controls with HomeShield
  • Full HomeShield options require a subscription
  • OneMesh expansion only works with specific Wi-Fi extenders

If you’re looking for the best Wi-Fi speeds without waiting for Wi-Fi 7, a quad-band AXE16000 Wi-Fi 6E router is the way to go. The TP-Link Archer AXE16000’s speed breaks down to 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz, 4804Mbps at 5GHz low, 4804Mbps at 5GHz high, and 4804Mbps a 6GHz. With a 10Gbps Ethernet port, this router is ready for the fastest fiber internet connections you can get at a residential address. All of this capacity also gives this router a ton of headroom so whether you’re hitting it with a large file transfer or a gaming session, it handles the traffic effortlessly.

These speeds seem a bit absurd, but with 5GHz congestion continuing to climb, this router keeps the capacity of older AX11000 tri-band routers while adding in a 6GHz band for the latest devices that support it. Despite its excellent hardware, the Archer is $100 less than the competition model from ASUS ROG, even if its software features aren’t as robust.

This router really shines when it comes to wired connections with two 10Gbps options, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, and four gigabit ports. One of the 10Gbps ports is Ethernet with the other available as Ethernet or SFP+ you can use if you have a high-end wired switch in your house already. Mesh expansion is possible with OneMesh using compatible TP-Link extenders, but it doesn’t work with multiple TP-Link routers.

You can set this router up using the TP-Link Tether app in minutes, with more advanced settings available with the web UI. TP-Link includes its HomeShield security suite with scanning for potential threats, content-blocking parental controls, and Quality of Service options for prioritizing devices. If you want more in-depth security controls, HomeShield Pro is available as a subscription.

TP-Link Archer AXE75 tri-band AXE5400 Wi-Fi 6E Router
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Archer AXE75
Best Wi-Fi 6E value
$180 $200 Save $20

If you’re looking for Wi-Fi 6E performance on a budget, the try-band TP-Link Archer AXE75 could be the answer. It has an AXE5400 connection with 2402Mbps available at 5GHz, 2402Mbps at 6GHz, and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. This allows for fast 160MHz connections at both 5GHz and 6GHz, so you can make the most of older 5GHz Wi-Fi 6 devices and the latest Wi-Fi 6 models alike.

  • Full 160MHz speeds at 5GHz and 6GHz
  • Solid parental controls with HomeShield
  • Inexpensive for Wi-Fi 6E
  • No multi-gig Ethernet
  • Full HomeShield requires a subscription
  • OneMesh expansion only works with specific Wi-Fi extenders

Wi-Fi 6E needn’t be prohibitively expensive if you keep things in perspective. While advertising throws around massive numbers, most Wi-Fi 6E devices will connect with a top speed of 2402Mbps. The TP-Link Archer AXE75 targets those speeds with its AXE5400 connection split up to offer 2402Mbps at 5GHz, 2402Mbps at 6GHz, and 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, so you have plenty of speed where you need it most. Unlike some AXE5400 mesh systems like eero Pro 6E, TP-Link Deco XE75, and Nest Wifi Pro, all of this speed is available to clients, so you can get the full speed of the 6GHZ band on all of your devices.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this router only comes with gigabit Ethernet for WAN and LAN meaning that it’s really only suitable for internet connections up to 1Gbps. That being said, having extra wireless speed helps your devices actually achieve that speed when there’s a lot of wireless congestion in your area. This is most important for those in apartment buildings.

Like the Archer AXE16000 above, this router comes with TP-Link’s HomeShield software which can scan your network for threats, use Quality of Service to prioritize important traffic, and parental controls. For free, you get basic content filtering and time scheduling for profiles. There are also some more advanced options available with a subscription, though many people will be happy with the free features.

This router also supports OneMesh expansion, so you can improve your coverage with compatible TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders. Unlike AIMesh from ASUS, OneMesh does not work with multiple TP-Link routers or with Deco routers.

Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi 6 5G router unlocked
Source: Netgear
Netgear Nighthawk M6
Best 5G router
$700 $800 Save $100

If you’re on the move a lot in an RV, boat, or truck, a strong portable 5G router can give you better network performance and speeds than using the hotspot on your phone. The Netgear Nighthawk M6 MR6150 is an unlocked hotspot with Wi-Fi 6 speeds, external antenna support, and a mode to supply internet to a home router or mesh.

  • Support for fast mid-band 5G connection
  • Not locked to a specific carrier
  • Solid AX3600 Wi-Fi 6 connection for up to 32 clients
  • No mmWave 5G support
  • Quite expensive

Netgear’s 5G hotspots are really in a league of their own with excellent design and easy expandability. The Nighthawk M6 hotspot supports a wide range of 5G and LTE bands including the latest mid-band coverage on AT&T and T-Mobile. Support for up to 6x carrier aggregation LTE + 5GNR allows you to make the most of the available connection. This model is unlocked, so you’ll need to purchase a data plan for it on your own, but you’re also not tied to a specific carrier.

It’s also compatible with TS-9 antennas, so you can get the best signal possible in an RV. This can also be a great solution for those that simply need to work far away from a fixed internet connection, especially when you remember that 5G Home Internet from carriers like T-Mobile is only supposed to be used in a single location.

The Nighthawk M6 has a wireless connection that tops out at Wi-Fi 6 AX3600 with 2900Mbps at 5GHz and 700Mbps at 2.4GHz. This is good for up to 32 connected devices at once. There’s a gigabit Ethernet port on the bottom, so you can connect a device directly. This Ethernet port also supports connecting to another router so if you want to use your 5G internet at home, you can simply plug it in. It even has an operating mode specifically for this which disables onboard WI-Fi and the battery.

Get fast internet across your whole home with the best Wi-Fi routers

The AmpliFi Alien ticks all the right boxes with reasonably fast speeds, an easy-to-use app, and mesh expansion capability. The display is totally unnecessary, but fun, and really makes the Alien feel special with even the most expensive routers sticking to blinking green lights. While it's not suited to multi-gig connections, the fact is, most people won't need anything faster than 1Gbps for the next few years. Whether you're looking to download large games, upgrade a home office, or just keep the internet usable while family members are streaming video, the AmpliFi Alien is a great choice.

AmpliFi Alien single tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router
Source: AmpliFi
AmpliFi Alien

The AmpliFi Alien from Ubiquiti is a tri-band mesh-capable Wi-Fi 6 router with up to 7685Mbps of total wireless capacity. The Alien features two Wi-Fi 6 bands at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, plus another dedicated Wi-Fi 5 5GHz band with its own radio. The Alien can also be expanded as a mesh with more Alien MeshPoint.

The AmpliFi Alien delivers fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds with plenty of style in a matte black housing making it a solid go-to router for someone with premium taste but simple needs. However, if you're a gamer, your needs are a bit different. Gaming has more to do with latency than raw speed with even the best gaming monitors or the best gaming mice getting response times down to just 1 ms in some cases. All of this is to keep the action on your screen feeling as immediate as possible. With online gaming, the responsiveness of your game is dependent on your latency to the server and the quality of your connection. Gaming routers can't pick a faster connection to the server; that's up to your ISP and the laws of physics, but it can make sure your gaming traffic reaches your ISP as soon as possible and ahead of less important traffic on your network.

Prioritizing traffic means that if someone in your home starts streaming a Netflix show, your gaming data is delivered consistently so that doesn't get stuck behind a chunk of buffering video. It doesn't really matter if your movie has to wait in line for a few milliseconds, but the difference can be much more profound in a real-time application like an online game. And if you prefer game streaming from a Chromebook, like the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, every millisecond counts. The ROG Rapture GT-AX6000 doesn't get bogged down with overkill wireless capacity or subscription services and stays focused on keeping gaming content moving along. And if you're a content creator, the 2.5Gbps Ethernet port is perfect for saving high-quality VODs to a fast NAS from a streaming PC with the speed to stream in full quality at the same time.

If you're considering upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E, there are a few things you know before hitting the buy button. The first thing is that Wi-Fi 6E is mostly the same as Wi-Fi 6 with access to 6GHz spectrum added which, since it's new, has very little congestion. If you are trying to get as much speed as possible in an apartment building or condominium, this can be extremely helpful, but in a suburb or rural neighborhood, you may see no uplift from 6GHz at all. If you're looking for the latest in Wi-Fi tech, Wi-Fi 7 routers are starting to become available and will be able to get even more speed out of the 6GHz band.