Chances are that surfing the internet, streaming shows or movies, or gaming is a part of your everyday life. Because we are so heavily reliant on all things online, a WiFi router is arguably the most important piece of home technology we have.
It’s crucial to have a good wireless router that will optimize your connectivity while still landing in your budget’s sweet spot.
- 1 Top Wireless Routers This Year
- 2 Best WiFi Routers – Reviews
- 2.1 NETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
- 2.2 Google WiFi System
- 2.3 Linksys Tri-Band Wifi Router
- 2.4 eero Pro Mesh WiFi system
- 2.5 TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
- 2.6 ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router
- 2.7 TP-Link Smart Hub & Whole Home Wifi Mesh System
- 2.8 NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router
- 2.9 D-Link Exo Wifi Router AC2600
- 2.10 ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Dual-Band WiFi Router
- 3 Buyers Guide – What to Look for When Buying the Best Router 2020
- 4 Wireless Router FAQ
- 5 Find the Best Router
Top Wireless Routers This Year
We’ve rounded up what we believe to be the best wireless routers out there in 2020 to make your buying decision that much easier.
These are the Best Routers of 2020:
- NETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
- Google WiFi System
- Linksys Tri-Band Wifi Router
- eero Pro mesh WiFi system
- TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
- ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router
- TP-Link Smart Hub & Whole Home Wifi Mesh System
- NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router
- D-Link Exo Wifi Router AC2600
- ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Dual-Band WiFi Router
NETGEAR Orbi Ultra-Performance Whole Home Mesh WiFi System
You’ll love how far the Orbi router can perform in your home. It’s also a breeze to install thanks to the setup app. Thanks to its tri-band power and six internal antennas, you’ll get powerful connectivity wherever you are.
- Fast throughput speed
- Quality build
- MU-MIMO capable
- Choose app or browser set-up
- Consistent firmware updates to continue the improvement process
- Only two access points
- Large satellites
- Limited USB use
- Only offers a 1-year warranty
This is an outstanding router choice, as it can perform higher on its own than other systems with multiple nodes. It’s stylish enough to blend into your home and won’t break the bank, making it our top choice for a wireless modem in 2020.
- NO MORE DEAD ZONES: Whole home mesh WiFi coverage of up to 5,000 sq. ft. and 25+ devices. Mesh technology helps you stay connected as you roam around your home using a single network name. Extend coverage up to 2,500 sq. ft. with additional satellites.(sold separately).
- TRI-BAND BACKHAUL: A dedicated band between your Orbi router and satellite frees up the other two bands for maximum speed to your devices.
- WORKS WITH ALL INTERNET PROVIDERS: Replace your existing WiFi router and extender (separate modem or gateway required). Compatible with any Internet provider including cable, satellite, fiber, DSL, and more.
- WIRED ETHERNET PORT & FAST WIRELESS SPEED: 1 Gigabit Ethernet port and AC3000 WiFi powers up to 3Gbps of streaming HD video, gaming, or Internet surfing and downloads.
- PARENTAL CONTROLS: Pause device internet access, view site history usage, and filter websites for free. Set online time limits, schedule device internet access and more for $4.99/month. (1st month free trial)
Google WiFi System
The Google WiFi system features Bluetooth smart technology, TX beamforming, and AC 1200 2 x 2 Wave 2 WiFi. It’s easy to get going and will get you to wireless bliss in your home with just a few WiFi points.
- Simple set-up
- Simplify controls using Bluetooth
- Great value for the price
- Lower AC rating
- Limited control over hardware
As far as mesh WiFi systems go, this is probably the best router for it. Instead of needing multiple WiFi extenders to achieve full connectivity in your home without dead spots, you can simply use a few Google points and link them with a QR code.
- A new type of connected system that replaces your router for seamless WiFi coverage throughout your home, helping eliminate dead zones and buffering
- Network Assist technology keeps your connection fast by always selecting the clearest channel and fastest band for your devices ; WiFi throughput: 1200 Mpbs
- A simple app gets you set up quickly and allows you to see what's connected, prioritize devices, and pause the WiFi on kids' devices
- A single WiFi point covers up to 1,500 square feet, a set of three covers homes up to 4,500 square feet WiFi points work together so you can add more if you need additional coverage
- 24/7 phone support from Google; 1 year warranty; Material: Plastic
Linksys Tri-Band Wifi Router
This multi-purpose router from Linksys comes with features like 8 GB Ethernet ports so you’re never limited on your wired devices. In addition, its tri-band performance will eliminate buffering for super-fast speeds. With their proprietary app, you can even control your devices and set parental controls for young ones.
- Seamless roaming for an extended network
- Flawless quality when gaming and streaming 4k videos
- Supports MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology (read: better coverage and range)
- App makes it easy to use
- Bulky, unattractive design
With the Linksys Tri-Band WiFi Router, you’ll experience the fastest speeds on multiple devices, with multiple users, all at the same time. It was designed with a dual purpose for both work or entertainment, making it a versatile pick.
- Provides up to 3,000 sq. ft. of WiFi coverage for 25+ wireless devices
- Works with existing modem, simple setup through Linksys App
- Enjoy 4K HD streaming, gaming and more in high quality without buffering
- Tri band router delivers the fastest combined WiFi speeds to all your devices
- Tri band WiFi speeds up to 5.3 Gbps (5 GHz / 1000 Mbps) + (5 GHz / 2166 Mbps) + (2.4 GHz / 2166 Mbps)
eero Pro Mesh WiFi system
On the eero Pro Mesh WiFi system you can expect to find features like modular network coverage, dynamic rerouting, security software included. On top of that, it’s sleek, modern design will look great anywhere in your home.
- Powerful connectivity
- Blends seamlessly into the background
- Control over your network
- Secure connection via AI
- Pricier than some other options
- May experience unexpected disconnections
The eero is a stylish mesh router that will eliminate any dead-zones you currently have in your wireless router system. However, it’s performance doesn’t quite hold up when compared to other mesh routers, especially considering the cost.
- Whole-home WiFi system - The Amazon eero Pro mesh WiFi system (1 eero Pro + 2 eero Beacon) replaces the traditional WiFi router, WiFi extender, and internet booster by covering a 2-4 bedroom home with fast and reliable internet powered by a mesh network.
- eero 2nd generation - With the most intelligent mesh WiFi technology and powerful hardware, the eero 2nd generation WiFi system is 2x as fast as the original eero WiFi. Backwards compatible with 1st generation eero products.
- WiFi extender - The eero Beacon is a full-fledged WiFi access point that simply plugs in to standard outlets and easily extends your WiFi connectivity to every device with more reliability than the standard WiFi booster.
- Mesh network - Powered by proprietary TrueMesh technology, the eero mesh WiFi network leverages multiple wireless access points to create an incredibly dependable internet experience, all on a single mesh WiFi system.
- Quick & easy setup - Replacing your old WiFi router has never been easier than with the eero Pro mesh WiFi system. Setup takes minutes and the companion mobile app makes managing your home WiFi simple and intuitive.
TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router performs like an incredibly expensive router while still landing at an affordable price point. Its feature set includes two USB 2.0 ports, four GB LAN ports, and plentiful management settings.
- Great price, very affordable
- Fast throughput performance
- A breeze to install
- Plenty of management setting
- Its interface is not the most user-friendly
- File transfer speed is mid-level
- No regular USB ports, only USB 2.0 ports
This is our top pick if you need a budget-friendly router to support your Internet habits. You’ll get the fastest throughput speeds out there for a router that’s less than $100. Even though the interface might be a bit more challenging, it doesn’t take away from the connectivity that matters the most.
- Wireless internet router works with Alexa, compatible with all Wi Fi devices, 802; 11AC and older
- Dual band router upgrades to 1750 Mbps high speed internet(450mbps for 2.4GHz + 1300Mbps for 5GHz), reducing buffering and ideal for 4K streaming Comparable to the router NETGEAR R6700
- 3 external antennas for long range Wi Fi
- Gigabit Router with 4 Gigabit LAN ports, fast access to Multiple connected wired devices, Ideal as a gaming router
- Integrated USB port acts as a media Server, easily Share Your USB drive content
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router
This ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router is chock full of features like 8 Gigabit LAN ports and 4×4 MU-MIMO. If you’re looking for a way to improve your gaming without jumping to a wireless mesh system, this is the best wireless router solution for you.
- Compatible with AiMesh
- Great WiFi performance
- MU-MINO enabled
- A number of useful features
- High price point
- NAS performance was mid-level
- USB 3.0 port in an awkward spot
If you’re looking to really step up your entertainment performance with your dual-band router instead of switching over to the wireless mesh side, this is a good pick. If you don’t mind spending a lot for a future-proofed and high-performing device, the ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router could be your best choice.
- 1024 Qam technology 80 percent faster 5 GigaHertz at up to 2100 Mbps, 66 percent faster 2. 4 GigaHertz at up to 1000 Mbps; utilities: firmware restoration
- 33 percent greater 2. 4 GigaHertz coverage with a 4 transmit, 4 receive (4T4R) antenna design, able to reach our widest ever coverage up to 5000 square feet
- Expansive connectivity options: with exclusively has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports for up to eight Ethernet compatible devices to connect simultaneously
- Powerful 1. 4 GigaHertz dual core processor, faster USB data transfers enjoy up to over 100 MB/s Speed and the router download/UPLOAD speed (WAN LAN throughput) up to 1. 8 Gaps
- Smart Connect automatically chooses the best band available for you, Dimensions: 11. 8 x 7. 4 x 3. 3 inch (WDHP).
TP-Link Smart Hub & Whole Home Wifi Mesh System
The biggest feature of TP-Link’s newest whole-home WiFI solution is that it’s actually a 2-in-1. Not only do you get wireless connectivity even in larger homes, but it also acts as a home automation control center. Other features include anti-malware protection and parental controls that are easy to understand.
- A breeze to install
- Fast throughput speed
- Malware and virus protection built-in
- Parental controls
- Can control smart home devices
- Compatible with Alexa and IFTTT
- High price point
- Does not have Z-Wave support
- Unable to separate different radio bands
It’s a good performer and will work for someone who wants to invest in a robust WiFi system. If you’re looking for a way to streamline the tech in your home, you’ll love the automation hub role it serves.
- Whole home coverage – cover up to 4, 500 sq. Ft. With seamless, high-performance Wi-Fi and eliminate dead zones and buffering
- Faster tri-band speed for more devices
- Intelligent Wi-Fi network – Deco M9 Plus unites your home under a single Wi-Fi name and password while delivering the best connections as you walk from room to room
- Built-in smart hub – Connects your ZigBee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi smart home products, saving you the cost and space of extra hubs and control them all from the intuitive app. Operating temperature -10 to 40 degree Celsius
- Protect your smart home – safeguard your home network and every connected device against intruders, viruses and malware with advanced Wi-Fi encryption and comprehensive Antivirus by Trend Micro
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router
This is arguably the best WiFi router for large homes or spaces. With features like MU-MINO data streaming, lightning-fast speed, and an enterprise-level 10G SPF+ LAN port, it certainly impresses. Got a lot to plug in? There are plenty of LAN and USB ports to make connecting as easy as possible.
- Fast 60GHz throughput
- Impressive performance at 5GHz
- File transfer speed is high-level
- Supports Multi-User Multiple Input and Multiple Output
- 802.11ad and 160MHz networking technologies supported
- Extremely pricey
- The MU-MINO throughput was tested at mid-level
- QoS settings are lacking detail
If you’re ready to make a big investment in your connectivity and want all the features to come along with it, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000 delivers. Future-proof your internet router connection with its blazing-fast performance.
- FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 2000 sq ft wireless coverage with AC2300 speed (Dual band up to 600 + 1625 Mbps).
- RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 35 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices.
- WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports.
- LOADED WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Designed with a dual core 1GHz processor, 3 amplified antennas, Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, Smart Connect, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls, and more.
- USB CONNECTIONS: Share a storage drive and printer with any connected device, and create a personal cloud storage to access from anywhere, using the 1x3.0 and 1x2.0 USB ports.
D-Link Exo Wifi Router AC2600
Your signal will always be clear thanks to the D-Link Exo Wifi Router AC2600’s four antennas. With standard WPA, WPA2 and WPS security protection and parental controls, you’ll never need to worry about your system getting compromised. A year’s worth of tech support means you can troubleshoot any problem that arises.
- Fast throughput performance
- Security tools are strong
- Parental controls for safe browsing
- A breeze to install
- Pair with Alexa for voice control management
- The bulky design is not easy on the eyes
- File transfer performance is mid-level
With the D-Link DIR-2680, you’ll get a quick, dual-band router that takes advantage of its McAfee security assets to protect your network and all your precious data. While it’s not the lowest price, it could be the ideal product for certain budgets.
- AC2600 Dual band router: WiFi speeds of up to 2600 Mbps (800 Mbps in 2.4 gigahertz + 1733 Mbps in 5 gigahertz) to support more connected WiFi devices to your high Speed home network
- Stream, game, and more: Enjoy 4K/HD video and online gaming simultaneously with 4 x 4 data streams and 4 high performance antennas
- Dual Core Processor: the dual Core Processor gives you powerful wired and wireless internet network speeds
- Multi user MIMO technology: significantly improves simultaneous streaming on multiple devices
- Advanced Smart Beam: tracks your connected devices for enhanced WiFi speed and range throughout your home
ASUS RT-AC66U B1 AC1750 Dual-Band WiFi Router
This router has a number of features that anyone who likes to stay connected will appreciate. Four wired LAN ports, three antennas, and two bands mean powerful internet performance. Stay protected with specialty security features and parental controls.
- Fast throughput performance
- A breeze to install
- A total of 4 LAN ports
- Parental controls
- Malware protection
- File transfer performance is mid-level
- Antennas are not able to be removed
If you’re looking for a router that is budget-friendly, dual-band, and packed with features, the Asus RT-AC66U B1 is a good choice. It’s especially easy to install and you’ll notice a solid performance the whole time you have it.
- 1GHz CPU powers dual-band 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology for speeds up to 1750Mbps and wide, responsive coverage for large homes. Coverage area - 3,000 square feet
- Monitor and manage your network with ease from your mobile device using the intuitive ASUS Router App; Firewall：SPI intrusion detection,DoS protection
- Effortless router setup with ASUSWRT web-based interface. OS Support - Linux,Windows 8,Windows 10,Windows 7 ,Mac OS X or higher,Windows 8.1,Windows XP
- Integrated USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports enable printer sharing throughout your network and remote file access with AiCloud 2.0 support
- AiProtection Powered by Trend Micro provides multi-stage protection from vulnerability detection to protecting sensitive data
Buyers Guide – What to Look for When Buying the Best Router 2020
Don’t assume that just because a router has a top speed that it will improve the performance of your streaming or gaming. Consider that data will only ever move as fast as its slowest connection does.
Usually, the slowest connection falls between your home and your internet provider. If you’re having an issue with speed, try to troubleshoot it with them instead of looking for the solution in a new product.
If you really want a faster speed, you can likely sign up for a quicker connection from your internet service provider. However, unless you’re paying for speeds above 200 Mbps, it might not be worth your money.
Mesh vs. Standard
You might run into issues if your WiFi router is in a far corner of your home. Even some of the strongest pieces of equipment won’t be able to guarantee you a strong connection at the opposite side of your home.
If you’re in this predicament, consider a mesh network. Essentially, it uses two or more routers to do the work of one. It helps to expand your network reach without really dropping off your speed. Several of the routers we mentioned above fall into the category of mesh networks, so check them out!
Do you have a lot of house guests or visitors? A guest network is a great feature to look for if you’d like to create a second secured network for guests without giving them access to your own primary connection. Check your router options for this feature before purchasing.
It’s good to know how much security you’ll need for your network. You’ll always want to secure it with a password and nothing less than either WPA2 or WPA3 encryption. If you want further protection, look for a product with built-in malware and virus protection.
While you might want to invest in a router that will last you forever, that goal is pretty unattainable. No piece of networking hardware will last forever. Standards in this field change often, so you’ll want to be able to upgrade.
You’ll also notice that your hardware is put through a lot of stress having to perform on a daily basis. You’ll want to be able to trade up at some point.
It’s stressful enough with the standard devices connected, but with so many new devices being added to the mix (smart thermostats, automated lights, etc) the load continues to get heavier.
After having the same router for a few years, you may notice disconnections or a lowered standard of reliability. These cues are a good sign that it’s time to replace and upgrade.
Everyone has a different budget for technology. You never want to over-extend yourself in order to buy the top-of-the-line router. However, you get what you pay for.
A good range is anywhere between $100 and $200 for a reliable router that will last you a few years. We’ve reviewed several routers that fall into this range above. We also featured a few lower-priced items that perform well and high-price items that are worth the few extra dollars.
Single vs. Dual Band
A wireless router operates on two different bands of frequency: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
The 2.4GHz band will be used by most devices around your home, but it’s more likely to face interference.
The 5GHz, on the other hand, will be less cluttered and therefore a bit faster. If you live in a crowded area or have a lot of people using your network, you’ll be glad to have a dual-band router. For those who want the best of the best, it even features a tri-band router above.
If you don’t have many neighbors nearby and it’s just a few people using the LAN, you don’t need to spend more for an extra band.
LAN + USB Ports
LAN ports are important for when you need to connect your computer straight to the router via an old-school Ethernet cable. If you have smart home devices, many of them will need this port-hub connection in order to function. While you can always add more LAN ports with an Ethernet switch, it’s good to look at how many the device has built-in.
USB ports, on the other hand, are used to connect a flash drive or external hard drive directly to the network.
Quality of Service
If you like to play around with your computer and network settings, you’ll appreciate having QoS as a part of your product. With this feature, you can optimize your router’s performance for whatever task you’re working on at the time.
As an example, you’d be able to change your settings to work best for streaming videos, getting on a Skype call, streaming music, or playing video games.
If you just want a router that will figure all of that out on its own, you probably don’t need QoS.
As technology has continued to innovate and refine itself, we developed app-based management systems for just about everything, including WiFi routers. They make it incredibly easy to set up your network, troubleshoot, and adjust the settings as needed.
Wireless Router FAQ
What is a Router?
A wireless router is commonly found in offices and homes. It’s the hardware device that connects you to your Internet service provider’s network. Also called a WiFi router, it combines the functions of a router and a wireless access point. There are several different kinds of routers, including WiFi routers, mobile hotspots, and portable WiFi.
Router vs. Modem: What’s the Difference?
While it’s easy to get the two confused, a router and a modem are not the same thing. A modem brings Internet to your home, but a router brings the Internet to your devices (laptop, phone, Xbox). A modem has a public IP address, but a router assigns you a local IP address. A modem uses a WAN network, but a router creates a personal LAN network for you.
What Does WiFi Even Mean?
WiFi today means being wirelessly connected to the Internet. While many people try to speculate what the term stands for, it’s really pretty meaningless. The term WiFi is actually a branded name used by the marketing firm Interbrand in order to streamline their marketing efforts.
Find the Best Router
With a little bit of extra time and research, you can discover what features and benefits make a router great. You can also learn about the drawbacks of different products and make a smarter consumer decision.
Use our guide to lead you to your best router yet and stay connected all year long!