Contrary to what most people think, having one of the best wireless routers in your home is actually very essential. Whether you’re using your WiFi connection for work, gaming or simply connecting with friends and streaming videos, our computer lives exist almost entirely online, and having a less than stellar router can really hold you back.
You don’t want to deal with persistent buffering when you’re enjoying your favorite programs on Netflix, or to not be at your full potential when playing the best PC games. While your first impulse might be to call up your internet provider or upgrade your service, consider picking up one of the best wireless routers instead. After all, the fast the internet service won’t do you any good if your wireless router can’t keep up.
You’ll want to get one of the best wireless routers you can get your hands on. However, that might mean different things to different people. The best router might look like the most cutting edge wireless mesh router pumping signal into every corner of the house or it might look like an epic gaming router providing the signal. It might even mean upcoming Wi-Fi 6 capabilities that may make this list in the near future.
So if you’re looking for the best wireless routers on the market right now, you should keep a couple things in mind. MU-MIMO is a must for anyone with multiple devices, and considering that most homes will have multiple people with multiple devices, that’s probably everyone on the market for the best wireless routers. Check out the speed rating of the router as well – a rated speed of AC1900 should cover all your bases.
There are so many wireless routers to choose from, hundreds in fact, that getting the one that does everything you need might not be easy. To lend you a hand, we’ve collected the best wireless routers we’ve tested recently so you’re guaranteed to get a quality router, possibly the best wireless router for your home and your needs.
1. Google Wifi
The future of wireless networking gets affordable
Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 101.41 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 47.53 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi point (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each) | Features: AC1200 2 x 2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi, TX beamforming, Bluetooth Smart ready
Super simple setup
Limited hardware control
Lower AC rating
The days of traditional wireless routers are almost at their end – the age of the wireless mesh routers is nigh. Google Wifi, alone, is proof that the mesh revolution is coming, so you can finally say adieu to the days when the only way to achieve wireless freedom was to install a bunch of wireless extenders. The idea of Google Wifi is simple – buy a set of points and position them in strategic places around your home. Then, just scan a QR code, and you’re all set. It’s no fluke that this wireless mesh router tops our best routers list of 2019, as it’s also the one that’s simplest to set up and get going.
Read the full review: Google Wifi
2. Asus RT-AC86U
Performance as loud as the design
Speed: 802.11ac 1734 Mbps down | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network
Great speed and coverage
If you’re familiar with Asus, especially its gaming products, then you probably have a good idea of what you’re getting with the Asus RT-AC86U. This wireless router may look like the lovechild of Doritos and Mountain Dew, if they spent a night together in a router manufacturing machine. But inside that gaudy gamer-centric design is a piece of hardware that, for its price, effortlessly outperforms almost all the wireless routers on the market. You’re also not paying a premium here for a gaming device, so if you’re in the market for a high-speed connection with a sensible price tag, the Asus RT-AC86U is your best bet.
Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U
3. Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23
The Netgear Orbi, but smaller now
Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 68.8 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit | Features: Disney Circle parental controls, Pause WiFi, smartphone setup, Tri-Band networking, modular
Smaller than the original
When the Netgear Orbi came out, it reshaped the wireless router scene. Then, in 2019, Netgear unleashed the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, an inexpensive option for casual users who don’t have a stately manor to cover. This makes it a worthy contender for the best wireless routers. Sure, it comes with fewer antennae and ethernet ports than its higher end counterpart, but it does deliver more than enough to provide very solid network coverage. In addition, the small form factor means that it will no issues blending in – not that you will feel the need to hide it.
Read the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23
4. Samsung Connect Home
Speed: AC1300 (5GHz: 866Mbps; 2.4GHz: 400Mbps) | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per Wifi point | Features: MU-MIMO, Smart-home hub, Tri-band Wi-Fi, Smart device management
Wi-Fi features not as robust as others
Now that smart homes are fast becoming standard, more and more folks need wireless routers that also moonlight as smart home hubs. This doesn’t only make things much more convenient, but it also reduces all the clutter created by having several routers, modems and hubs scattered around your home. The Samsung Connect Home isn’t the most feature-rich wireless router out there today, but it can categorically hold its own against the Google Wi-Fi, while also packing in the SmartThings hub. It’s still clearly one of the best wireless routers – especially if your home is filled with smart devices.
Read the full review: Samsung Connect Home
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Google Wifi.
5. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
Weird looks, great performance
Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: up to 2,167 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: up to 1,000 Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x LAN, WAN, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-band Wi-Fi, 8 external antennas, Alexa voice control
Fast and powerful
Alexa and IFTTT support
Are you in the market for one of the best wireless routers of 2019 with a quirky aesthetic to boot? If a ‘90s-inspired sci-fi design sounds like what you’re looking for, then the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might be the fantastic wireless router for you. It’s not exactly the most modern-looking mesh router; however, it’s unique in that it can bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high-end functionality at a sensible price point and with a relaxed setup. It’s odd looking, yes; but if you’re combing the market for a wireless router that can cover a mid-sized home, you can’t go wrong with this.
Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
6. Netgear Orbi Pro
A mesh router for the office
Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps | Connectivity: Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation
Easy to deploy
If you need to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with one of the best routers of 2019, then you should seriously consider the Netgear Orbi Pro as one of your top options. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router that takes some design and performance cues from its business-grade rivals. It’s on the more pricey side, but if you’re running a business where you cannot afford any slowdowns due to poor Wi-Fi, then it’s absolutely worth every dime.
Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro
7. TP-Link Deco M9
A router for the smart home
Speed: 5GHz: up to 867Mbps, 2.4GHz: up to 400Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN, USB 2.0 | Features: Tri-Band connectivity, Dead-zone killer, Built-in smart hub, Built-in Antivirus, QoS, Parental controls
The market is now inundated with wireless mesh routers, but it’s hard to complain when the level of coverage these wireless routers deliver tops anything we’ve seen in the past. With devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, one of the best routers of 2019, we can see how they’re only getting better and better. By integrating IoT smart home support, on top of industry standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is, unquestionably, a brilliant choice for a smart home supporter. Fair warning, it is a little expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and an excellent performance in exchange.
Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9
8. D-Link Covr-C1203
Wireless mesh networking for everyone
Speed: 2.4 GHz: up to 300Mbps; 5GHz: up to 866Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN per node | Features: MU-MIMO, Parental controls, Smart network control, Smart device setup
Not as fast as it could be
Eager to jump on the mesh wireless router bandwagon without going broke? You’re in luck with the inexpensive D-Link Covr C1203. It’s among the best wireless routers for you, if you want to upgrade and save all at once. Not only does it offer comparable coverage to that of the Google Wifi while being affordable, but it also looks futuristic in a good way. It’s a slightly slower than Google’s legendary router, but it will still be fast enough for the typical user. It’s no wonder why the D-Link Covr C1203 gets our vote as one of the best wireless routers of 2019.
Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203
9. Eero Home Wi-Fi System
Mesh wi-fi for the power user
Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz and 5GHz | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, included security software, dynamic rerouting
Blends into the background
Pricer than competition
If you’re shopping around for a wireless mesh router that offers you a lot of control over your network, then the Eero Home Wi-Fi system might just be the ticket. It’s got a premium price higher than that of your standard router, but it gives users complete control over their network, while still boasting a secure connection through AI. Even better, the Eero Home Wi-Fi System comes with subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and Encrypt.me VPN, which should give everyone linked to your network a very secure connection.
Read the full review: Eero Home Wi-Fi System
10. Amplifi HD
Bringing style to mesh networking
Speed: 802.11AC 1300mbps | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, LCD touchscreen
Easy to set up
More expensive than competition
The Amplifi HD is one of the priciest wireless routers on this list. Yet, because of its clean, modern aesthetic, it’s found a loyal audience without issue. While the design doesn’t exactly top everyone’s priorities when choosing the best router for them, it does help encourage users to install and show them off it in central locations that will help boost the router’s signal. This wireless router swaggers with excellent performance and a smart design to match, as long as you’re willing to shell out a bit more than necessary.
Read the full review: Amplifi HD
Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article
Images Credit: TechRadar