The time to buy a new WiFi router has come. All leading router manufacturers have released routers that support the latest wireless networking standard, WiFi 6, giving consumers plenty of options to choose from.
With a new WiFi 6 router, you can look forward to significantly improved data transfer speeds, much greater throughput, increased signal strength, and cutting-edge features.
Because WiFi 6 routers represent the latest and greatest in wireless networking technology, they’re not exactly cheap. As such, you don’t want to buy the first router you come across. Instead, you should compare multiple popular options and choose one based on your needs and requirements.
Here are some things to consider:
Area to cover: If you live in a house or large apartment, it makes sense to spend extra money on a WiFi 6 router capable of covering the entire area without any help from a WiFi extender. On the other hand, there’s no reason to break the piggy bank and purchase a flagship router if you live in a tiny apartment and rarely use more than two devices at the same time. If you would like to base your decision on concrete data, you can download a WiFi analyzer app like NetSpot and use it to create a signal heatmap. You can then easily decide if the new router should be more powerful than the current one.
Internet speed: WiFi 6 routers can support data transfer speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5. But do you really need to purchase the fastest router available? After all, the average download speed in the US is just 72 Mbps, so most people won’t come anywhere near using even last-generation routers to their maximum capacity. Instead of chasing after numbers that won’t have any meaningful impact on your day-to-day WiFi experience, we recommend you focus on other things instead, such as coverage and extra features.
Extra features: Modern routers come with all sorts of useful extra features aimed at different kinds of users. For example, routers aimed at gamers often include built-in VPN functionality and no-frills quality of service (QoS) configuration. And if you don’t play video games, you may appreciate features like parental controls, support for guest networks, or malware scanning.
Speed: 4804 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 1148 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band
Ports: 1× 2.5Gbps WAN port, 8× Gigabit LAN ports, and 2× USB 3.0 in Type A and Type C
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is a true next-gen router, offering sufficient data transfer speed and latency even for 8K streaming, competitive gaming, and other demanding tasks.
Thanks to a WiFi 6 feature called OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), the router can simultaneously connect many devices and deliver the optimum speed for each of them. On a 2.4 GHz band, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 can achieve 1148 Mbps, while the 5 GHz band supports up to 4804 Mbps.
As any high-end router should be, the TP-Link Archer AX6000 is equipped with extensive connectivity options, which include one Type C, one Type A USB 3.0 ports, eight Gigabit Ethernet ports. The router also comes with a wide variety of extra features, including a built-in antivirus, robust parental controls, and device/application-level Quality of Service.
Speed: 2402 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band
Ports: 1× Gigabit WAN Port, 4× Gigabit LAN Ports, 1× USB 3.0 Port
If you’re looking for an affordable WiFi 6 home router that doesn’t cost as much as a new smartphone, then the TP-Link Archer AX50 WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router is definitely worth looking into. This budget-friendly router can reach speeds up to 3 Gbps (2402 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band), which is more than enough for all next-gen applications, including ultra-high-definition streaming and high-quality video conferencing.
The TP-Link Archer AX50 can be configured in minutes with the TP-Link Tether App, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. All owners of the router automatically get a free lifetime subscription to HomeCare, a robust security solution that encompasses parental controls, antivirus, and Quality of Service. Just like most other features the router has to offer, HomeCare can be controlled directly from the TP-Link Tether App.
Speed: 8-Stream WiFi with up to 1.2 + 4.8 Gbps
Ports: 6× 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2× USB 3.0 ports
Not many WiFi 6 routers resemble the TIE fighter from Star Wars, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 certainly does. Hidden inside the two “wings” are 8 high-performance antennas, which provide stronger and more reliable whole home coverage, with combined WiFi speeds of up to 6 Gbps. Inside the router is a 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core processor that ensures smooth performance even with multiple users streaming, playing games, and browsing the internet at the same time.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 is intended to be controlled using the Nighthawk mobile app. The app makes it easy for users to monitor their network from anywhere, and it even includes an internet speed test so that users can check their speeds with a single tap. Unfortunately, the router is just as expensive as you would expect it to be, so you really need to consider if the performance it offers is worth the money.
Speed: 12 Stream WiFi with up to 1200 + 4800 Mbps
Ports: 5× 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports + 1× 5G/2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port, 2× USB 3.0 ports
Just like its slightly more affordable but equally formidable sibling, the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 RAX120 is a beast of a WiFi 6 router. It can establish 12 simultaneous WiFi streams to send and receive data from just about any device that you could possibly want to connect, all while maintaining 5x better performance compared with most AC routers.
That’s possible thanks to its unique antenna design, AX optimized powerful 64-bit Quad-core 2.2GHz processor, and technologies such as OFDMA.
Of course, performance isn’t everything when it comes to WiFi routers. That’s why the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 RAX120 is protected by Neatgear Armor, an advanced cyber threat protection package powered by Bitdefender. Included in this package is a VPN service that lets users enjoy 200 MB of free encrypted data traffic per day, with the option to unlock unlimited data.
Speed: 2.4 GHz up to 1148 Mbps, 5 GHz up to 4804 Mbps
Ports: RJ45 for BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for BaseT for LAN x 4, Support Ethernet and 802.3 with max. bit rate 2.5Gbps Mbps and auto cross-over function (MDI-X), USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 2
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 holds the title of the world’s first 10 gigabit WiFi router with a quad-core processor, and it still is one of the best WiFi 6 routers available. Its eight antennas arranged in a circle around the large base can cover a wide area with a reliable signal and transmit data of several devices at the same time to improve efficiency and reduce latency.
The target market segment of this router are gamers, who can appreciate features such as Game First and Game Boost, which prioritize gaming packets and decrease latency. Port forwarding requires just three simple steps with the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, and changing all other settings is similarly easy.
Speed: 802.11ac (5 GHz) up to 4333 Mbps, 802.11ax (2.4 GHz) up to 1148 Mbps, 802.11ax (5 GHz) up to 4804 Mbps
Ports: RJ45 for BaseT for WAN x 1, RJ45 for BaseT for LAN x 8, USB 3.1 Gen 1 x 2
The Asus RT-AX88U has received many awards because it offers outstanding wireless performance and some of the best security features of all WiFi 6 routers currently available. With its four antennas, it can deliver a WiFi speed of up to 6000 Mbps, which is enough to handle even the busiest network with ease.
To protect all connected devices against the latest cyber threats, Asus partnered with Trend Micro to deliver a commercial-grade cybersecurity solution called AiProtection. You can think of it as an antivirus that lives in your router and constantly analyzes your online activity for potential threads, blocking them if needed.
Speed: AX6000 Mesh Dual-Band Gigabit 1147 + 4804 Mbps
Ports: 2× USB 3.0 ports, 1× Gigabit WAN, 4x Gigabit LAN
The Linksys Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (MR9600) is one of the more affordable WiFi 6 routers currently available. But despite its welcoming price tag, it can muster up speeds of up to 6 Gbps, which is right on par with the best routers on the market.
Unfortunately, real-world numbers are considerably lower due to the router’s limited coverage. With that being said, a router like this should be more than enough for all apartment dwellers who don’t want their router purchase to compromise their ability to pay rent.
Best of all, the router supports Linksys Intelligent Mesh technology, which lets you grow your network and expand your coverage by linking multiple Linksys routers together to create a single mesh network. This feature alone makes the Linksys Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (MR9600) a safe purchase that can serve you well for many years to come.
Speed: 2.4 GHz (1200 Mbps) + 5 GHz (2400 Mbps)
Ports: 1× 2.5 Gbps WAN port, 4× LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports
The Netgear WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852) is a sleek mesh Wifi system with support for WiFi 6. It’s aimed at home users who want reliable performance and excellent coverage without having to go through a complicated setup procedure. In the most basic configuration with just two units, you can expect to cover large homes up to 5,000 sq. ft with fast WiFi, and you can always add additional units to cover an even wider area.
Because the Netgear WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852) aims to be as accessible as possible, it doesn’t offer many extra features, and it also has rather limited connectivity options. The lack of USB ports could be especially limiting depending on your needs. Just like most other high-end Netgear routers, the Netgear WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852) includes Netgear Armor, a capable cybersecurity solution that can protect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription.
You can activate it directly from the Orbi app and try it for free for up to 30 days. At the end of the free trial period, your connected devices and private information will be covered for $69.99 per year.
Speed: AX1800 Mesh Dual-Band Gigabit 574 + 1201 Mbps
Ports: 1× USB 3.0 port, 1× Gigabit WAN, 4× Gigabit LAN
If you’re looking for the most affordable WiFi 6 router available, the Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router (MR7350) should be high on your list. Costing only a little over $100, this compact router can cover up to 1,700 sq. ft and handle over 20 devices at the same time, delivering a speed of up to 1.8 Gbps.
Yes, there are many WiFi 6 routers that are several times faster, but they also cost several times as much, so you really need to think about what’s more important to you: performance or price. With that being said, the average user certainly doesn’t need to worry about being held back by this router.
Besides affordable WiFi 6 coverage, the Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router (MR7350) can also offer easy setup and control thanks to the Linksys app, which lets you access your network from anywhere and control everything from basic WiFi security settings to parental controls and much more.
If you own a smart speaker with Alexa, then you can link it with your Linksys MAX-STREAM Mesh Router (MR7350) router and easily manage WiFi access for devices and individuals in the home with your voice.
Speed: Up to 1.5 Gbps (1201 Mbps on 5 GHz band and 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz band)
Ports: 1× Gigabit WAN port, 4× Gigabit LAN ports
TP-Link Archer AX1500 (AX10) is a capable mid-range WiFi 6 router that reaches fast speeds up to 1.5 Gbps and simultaneously communicates more data to more devices using OFDMA and MU-MIMO.
Inside the router is a 1.5 GHz triple-core CPU capable of easily handling sudden bursts in demand without any noticeable slowdown. The router is equipped with four high-gain antennas that generate a reliable WiFi signal for all devices, regardless if they’re close to the router or on the other side of the house.
To make the TP-Link Archer AX1500 (AX10) extra convenient to use, TP-Link added support for Amazon Alexa, which means that you can make it a center of your smart home and control it with your voice. You can, of course, also control it using your Android or iOS smartphone and the Tether app.
WiFi 6 routers are finally here, and they offer much faster data transfer speeds, improved coverage, low latency, and the ability to simultaneously communicate more data to more devices using the latest wireless technologies. Regardless of if you’re dissatisfied with your current router or are just looking to improve your online experience, all of the top 10 best WiFi 6 routers listed in this article should be more than able to meet your expectations.
The best WiFi 6 router you can buy right now is the Asus RT-AX88U. This high-end router supports multiple cutting-edge wireless technologies in addition to the WiFi 6 standard, including MU-MIMO and OFDMA. As a result, the Asus RT-AX88U can cover a large area with a strong Wi-Fi signal and deliver fast download and upload speeds even in multi-user environments.
Yes, spending extra money on a WiFi 6 router is definitely worth it. While it’s true that there aren’t many devices yet that support the latest-generation Wi-Fi standard, their number is increasing at a steady rate, and it won’t take long before most new devices can reap the benefits of WiFi 6, which include higher data rates, increased capacity, and improved power efficiency.
Only a few at the moment. Asus became the first company in the world to launch a WiFi 6e-enabled router when it released the ROG RAPTURE GT-AXE11000 in September 2020. To take advantage of the cutting-edge wireless technologies the router offers, you need a compatible WiFi 6e client, which are not easy to come by.
There’s no simple answer to this question because you always need to consider the size of your home and your needs. If you live in a small house or apartment, you should be able to enjoy great wireless speeds and coverage even with a budget WiFi 6 router. On the other hand, a mesh WiFi system can reliably cover even a large house with a strong signal, making it well worth its steeper price.
If you want to get more information about Wi-Fi, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi routers, the best apps for wireless networking, WiFi signal, etc.