Wi-Fi 6 is here

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(Image credit: Future)

Join the next revolution in wireless technology with one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers. A lot of newer devices, from computers and TVs to smartphones, tablets, and even smart home devices, use this next-generation technology, and, if you want to get the most out of them, you’ll want a router that can take advantage.

With a quality Wi-Fi 6 router, your network will be more capable of meeting the demands of an overcrowded network. And, your internet signal will experience a boost in speed, which will not mean faster internet but a stronger, uninterrupted signal to every device and computer connected to your network. These routers also come with some useful features such as a good amount of ports and MU-MIMO.

So, don’t suffer middling internet speeds or dropped connections for your smartphones, tablets, or Ultrabooks. Invest in one of the top Wi-Fi 6 routers and upgrade your network. We’ve gathered our top choices here, including some fantastic mesh Wi-Fi routers that are perfect for larger spaces. 

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You’re getting a big bang for your buck with the TP-Link Archer GX90. (Image credit: TP-Link)

1. TP-Link Archer GX90

High-speed Wi-Fi 6 performance tailor-made for gaming

Specifications

Speed: IEEE 802.11ax/ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11ax/n/b/g 2.4 GHz

Connectivity: 1× 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN, 1× Gigabit WAN/LAN, 3× Gigabit LAN, 1× USB 3.0, 1× USB 2.0

Features: 4.8 Gbps Game Band, Game Accelerator, MU-MIMO

Reasons to buy

+

Wi-Fi 6 running at 6.6Gbps

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Dedicated 4.8Gbps ‘gaming band’

Reasons to avoid

Slightly fiddly set-up

There may be a few things you might not like about the TP-Link Archer GX90. It’s big, it’s bulky, and it’s expensive. However, those are easy to forgive when you realize that you’re getting a big bang for your buck. This is among the best Wi-Fi 6 routers out there, boasting a handful of features for hard-core gamers. That includes a dedicated 5GHz ‘gaming band’ that lets you hog most of your household bandwidth when you need it. Have younger gamers at home? It also provides good parental controls like content filters to block unsuitable material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages. 

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The Asus RT-AX86U comes with many useful features. (Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus RT-AX86U

For gamers wanting Wi-Fi 6 speeds

Specifications

Speed: up to 5700 Mbps

Connectivity: RJ45 for 10/100/1000 BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for 10/100/1000 BaseT for LAN, RJ45 for 2.5G BaseT for WAN/LAN, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1

Features: Router app, Link Aggregation- 802.3ad, MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro, Parental Control

Reasons to buy

+

Fast Wi-Fi 6 performance

+

Gaming-focused

+

Security features

Reasons to avoid

Not cheap

Asus has a winner on its hands with the Asus RT-AX86U. Not only does the company continue with its tradition of excellent gaming-centric devices but it has also introduced one of the more affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers out there, even if it’s still a bit pricey compared to most routers on the market. The device comes with some great features if you’re a gamer including assigning an ethernet port as a dedicated “gaming” port, a 2.5 Gigabit Wan port, and NVIDIA GeForce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization. It also comes with some other useful features such as robust parental controls.

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The Asus RT-AX58U brings Wi-Fi 6 into your home at a fantastic price. (Image credit: Asus)

3. Asus RT-AX58U

Entry level Wi-Fi 6

Specifications

Speed: up to 3000Mbps

Connectivity: RJ45 for BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for BaseT for LAN, USB 3.1 Gen 1

Features: Router app, MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro, Parental Control

Reasons to buy

+

Strong Wi-Fi 6 performance

+

Simple set-up

+

Good parental controls

Reasons to avoid

Dual-band only

There are some excellent Wi-Fi 6 routers coming to market. Unfortunately, quite a few are just way too much for most homes, not to mention too expensive. Enter the Asus RT-AX58U. It brings Wi-Fi 6 into your home at a fantastic price, with just enough features to keep most small to medium home networks at the top of their game. So while it might not have the port selection or gaming features that it’s big brother, the RT-AX86U, has, it does offer the same parental controls as well as excellent Wi-Fi 6 support.

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The Orbi WiFi 6 is your best bet when it comes to getting the best Wi-Fi 6 routers. (Image credit: Netgear)

4. Netgear Orbi WiFi 6

Netgear brings Wi-Fi 6 to its Orbi mesh range

Specifications

Speed: WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) tri-band with 1x 2.4GHz (1200Mbps), 2x 5GHz (2400Mbps)

Connectivity: 2.5Gbps WAN, 4x Gigabit Ethernet; satellite – 4x Gigabit Ethernet

Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent Wi-Fi range and speed

+

Simple set-up, and easy-to-use app

Reasons to avoid

Seriously expensive

Little support for Wi-Fi 6 right now

If you’re ready to jump on the Wi-Fi 6 bandwagon, the Orbi WiFi 6 is your best bet when it comes to getting the best Wi-Fi 6 routers. It’s not by any means a casual purchase, with its steep price tag, but if you’re looking to upgrade to a faster and more reliable router to cover a massive space – like your countryside mansion, perhaps, or your crowded smart home – then this one’s absolutely worth the money. Plus, it’s easy and straightforward to setup, making it great for people who don’t have too much experience with Wi-Fi networks.

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One advantage of the Asus RT-AX88U router over others on the list is the 8 LAN ports. (Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus RT-AX88U

Wi-Fi 6 comes to a gaming router near you

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac (5GHz) : up to 4333 Mbps, 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps

Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x8

Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

+

Affordable

+

Plenty of LAN ports

Reasons to avoid

Gamer aesthetic

The Asus RT-AX88U has all the bells and whistles that you could want out of a router, including Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. And, it’s because it offers so much while resting on the lower end of the current Wi-Fi 6 router price range that makes it our favorite on our list. One advantage of this router over others on the list is the 8 LAN ports. At twice the amount the most other routers carry, the RT-AX88U can save you from having to buy an ethernet switch. Couple that with the excellent web interface and gamer-friendly features, and you have one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers available right now. 

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You can count on the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 to help ease your pain. (Image credit: Asus)

6. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Wireless connectivity for gaming you can rely on

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps

Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x8, 2.5 Gbps LAN x1

Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

+

Excellent wireless performance

+

Easy to use

Reasons to avoid

Limited LAN ports

Sometimes running ethernet cable just isn’t an option. In fact, if you’re a gamer, it can actually be disastrous. You can count on the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 to help ease your pain. With 8 antennas, MU-MIMO and options to prioritize gaming traffic, this router can help reduce the latency that makes gaming via Wi-Fi a pain. This router has the same great, easy-to-use interface as the RT-AX88U, but only has 5+1 LAN ports. One of those LAN ports is a 2.5 Gbps line, however, which is great for connecting a NAS or other device that needs a lot of available bandwidth on demand. 

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Consider the Netgear Nighthawk MK63 if you need an extremely reliable network for gaming and 4K video. (Image credit: Netgear)

7. Netgear Nighthawk MK63

Fast mesh networking with Wi-Fi 6 for gaming and video

Specifications

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Connectivity: 1 x WAN 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x LAN 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port

Features: WiFi 6 technology, remote management via Nighthawk app

Reasons to buy

+

State-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6

+

Strong Wi-Fi performance

+

Easy to set up and use

Reasons to avoid

Expensive

Best suited to home over 2000 sq.ft in size

Larger homes need more robust solutions, and while the Netgear Nighthawk MK63 might be an overkill for smaller homes, it’s just the ticket if you have a space of up to 3500 sq.ft and need an extremely reliable network for gaming and 4K video. There are some neat features you’re getting here as well, including the ability to create a guest network and a network map for monitoring all devices connected to your network. There are no parental controls, however, and as long as you can live with that and the high price tag, this might be the best Wi-Fi 6 router for you.

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The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 RAX80 is an excellent affordable alternative for ASUS’s model. (Image credit: Netgear)

8. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 RAX80

Wi-Fi 6 for gamers on a budget

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1.2 Gbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4.8 Gbps

Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x5

Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

+

Plenty of features

+

Affordable

Reasons to avoid

Limited LAN ports

Netgear’s Nighthawk routers have always come highly recommended, and the Wi-Fi 6 models don’t fall from the tree. This is another Wi-Fi 6 router that ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to features, and surprisingly is on the cheaper side of the market. The one thing that made the RT-AX88U beat out the AX8 is the fact that it only has 5+1 LAN Gigabit LAN ports. Otherwise, this router is an excellent affordable alternative for ASUS’s model. 

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The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 RAX120 is a great alternative to the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. (Image credit: Netgear)

9. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 RAX120

The cheaper Wi-Fi 6 alternative that flaps in the night

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1.2 Gbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4.8 Gbps

Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x4, 5 Gbps LAN x1

Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

+

Included 5 Gigabit port

+

Excellent performance

Reasons to avoid

Divisive style

The Nighthawk AX12 is Netgear’s analog answer to the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, and as such it a great alternative. Inside the Batwing-looking appendages on the side are eight antennas, which delivers increased range and high-performance even when multiple devices are connected. If you have a device that needs high bandwidth on demand, this is an excellent router for you. One of the 5+1 LAN connections is a 5 Gigabit port, which once again, is great if you have a NAS. 

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With the Asus RT-AX92U, you get two routers for the price of any one.  (Image credit: Asus)

10. Asus RT-AX92U

Wi-Fi 6 perfect for wide open spaces

Specifications

Speed: 802.11ac (5GHz) : up to 4333 Mbps, 802.11ax (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps, 802.11ax (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps

Connectivity: 1 Gbps WAN x1, 1 Gbps LAN x4 (On each router)

Features: Link Aggregation, MU-MIMO, Adaptive QoS, Traffic Analyzer

Reasons to buy

+

Mesh router

+

Plenty of coverage

Reasons to avoid

Not as many features

The Asus RT-AX92U is for those who have a large area they need Wi-Fi in, but still want Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. It isn’t quite as feature-rich as many of its rivaling Wi-Fi 6 routers, but with its bundle, you get two routers for the price of any one of the others on our list. Since these are designed to work as mesh routers, it’s easy to get them going. You hook up one as you would normally, and use the second as an extender. It’s a perfect package for multi-story or sprawling households that one router just can’t cover. 

Should you buy a Wi-Fi 6 router?

Operating over 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, Wi-Fi 6 delivers a faster connection and much better performance than its predecessor. Upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router, therefore, will give your network a significant boost.

That isn’t all Wi-Fi 6 does, however. Besides that uptick in speed, Wi-Fi 6 routers also offer better support for crowded environments – that means networks to which several PCs, mobile devices, smart home devices, and Internet of Things are connected. They are much better equipped to handle multi-device households, offices, and other areas, which – let’s face it – are most spaces these days.

This means that a Wi-Fi 6 router allows for larger amounts of data to be transferred all at once without worrying about overwhelming your network and experiencing slowdowns.

Still, even if your network isn’t congested with devices and traffic, it’s still a wise choice to buy a Wi-Fi 6 router. More and more devices are coming out with Wi-Fi 6 support, and you’ll have to get one just to stay up to speed.

How we test Wi-Fi 6 routers

Because Wi-Fi 6 is a new wireless technology, we have to do things a bit differently. Still, doing so is very similar to testing non-Wi-Fi 6 routers, and we take it just as seriously as we do the other.

We take a look at the design first, naturally. We make sure that there are enough ports for wired connectivity, see just how easy (or hard) initial setup is, and check that the overall look doesn’t turn off the target market. 

Because some Wi-Fi 6 routers are mesh routers, we determine whether or not they have the type of aesthetic that will blend well into any space. Having several routers spread around your home or office, after all, isn’t exactly something to easily miss. 

We then move on to performance. We check the range and strength of coverage, perform the usual Ookla speed and file download tests, and of course, test them against real-world scenarios like having multiple devices connected at once. 

We then take all that information we’ve collected from each router we test and set it against the price to determine whether or not the router is a great value to consumers. That’s when we finally decide whether or not it’s worth our recommendation.

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