The market has changed a lot recently with the release of Wi-Fi 6 wireless routers. However, its still too early for some of us to upgrade to 802.11ax standard. Here in this article we will guide you through some of the best wireless routers that works with your Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ac devices.
Why you need a high-performance router?
The truth is we cannot stay away from WiFi for a single day. In reality, this is because our need for the internet has exploded due to the modern day devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs. The more devices you have the more internet will be used. This may rise a question in your mind!
How many Internet users are in the World?
According to Internet World Stats, there is a massive increase in internet subscribers since 2000. As of, 30th June 2018 the 55.1% population of our world is using to the internet. This makes over 4.2 billion active internet users in the world. In short, the total growth of internet users is 1066% in last 18 years.
Imagine what will be the number of global internet users by the end of 2025? Well I believe it will be over 5,962,746,332, that is over 5.9 billion.
With the growth of over 1066% of internet users, there is also an increase in internet speed. To efficiently utilize that speed, and enjoy seamless connectivity you need a best wireless router.
Yes, we know that the wireless connectivity cannot beat the cable internet speed. We understand that the cable connectivity is much more faster than the Wi-Fi, but wireless routers allow you to connect your modern day’s devices without wires which is convenient.
Now the question is how do we choose the best wireless routers and where we can search for the wireless router?
To make this task easier, we have put together a list of top 10 wireless routers in the market right now. For cheaper alternatives make sure to read our best Wi-Fi routers for Spectrum 100Mbps article.
Top-rated Wireless Wi-Fi 5 Router Reviews
Most of the WiFi Routers on the list are not for everyone because of the high price tag. But to cover our list of Top 10 Best Wireless Routers list, we choose these wireless routers.
Our Best Pick Wireless Router with excellent performance
Let us start with the router which sits at the top of our list! From amongst all the routers in the market, the ASUS RT-AC88U is still one of the best wireless router in 2020. It has an all-powerful feature set. The ASUS RT-AC88U, comes with the latest MU-MIMO technology. You will also be able to enjoy comfortable bandwidth throughout all of the devices.
ASUS RT-AC88U beats almost any other wireless router, when it comes to performance and budget. It is because it gives you the multiple numbers of gigabit Ethernet ports and USB ports. ASUS has very limited networking devices in the market, but with this WiFi router, they have made a statement and how!
Design and Look of ASUS RT-AC88U
To start with, the design of this wireless router is classic. The body of the router has a matte black finish. The top surface has an angular design. The router looks subtle. The antennas are usually the ugly looking parts of any router. However, the antennas on this WiFi router have a sleek design with red highlights on the sides. It makes the RT-AC88U attractive looking!
Feature and Configuration
ASUS RT-AC88U comes with 8 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports instead of 4, which is more than any other wireless router would provide, you can connect more wired devices like gaming consoles, servers and printers. You can combine multiple ports if you have multiple internet connections which is a useful feature for offices. It also has a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports to host a USB cellular dongle and to share media files and documents locally.
There is also wireless scheduling and modify authentication methods. It gives you the ability to enable or disable WPS. This wireless router also allows you to configure VPN. You can install and set up the router in a snap! The setup wizard by ASUS is simple and does almost all the work for you.
Coming to the performance part of this router, it gives you the fastest network speeds in close proximity. You get moderate file sharing speeds with the ASUS RT-AC88U.
The ASUS RT-AC88U gives you dual-band architecture. It provides lightning fast throughput. You can use it for data streaming. It has the modern MU-MIMO technology and a feature set to die for. Besides all the functionalities of a router, it also provides a user-friendly interface. It provides great settings for gaming along with mobile and cloud services. You get amazing parental controls. Connecting printers to it is very easy and convenient. It is the perfect router for passionate gamers. This is because it has a game accelerator for a smooth gaming experience. You can attach multiple storage devices, printers, gaming consoles and home theater systems. Given the burst of features at the given price, this router definitely tops our list
Overall Best Performance Wireless Router
The next best wireless router on our list is from the Nighthawk AC1900 R7000 by NETGEAR. It should be no surprise that it lives up to its name. You get much more than you would expect at the price you pay. You get a whole lot of features that you would not get in earlier NETGEAR wireless routers. Some of them are OpenVPN support, faster speed, and third-party firmware support. You can also connect your hard disk and take backups of your data.
Design and Look of NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000
Let us look at its design. It is bulkier than its counterparts. It also has a large power adapter. You will observe that the base of this wireless router is quite sturdy. The rubber feet make sure that it will not topple and fall. Like any other member of the Nighthawk series. Additionally, you get 128 GB of flash memory, a 256 MB RAM, and a front-facing USB 3.0 port and two guest networks.
Feature and Configuration
This wireless router is easy to set up. The installation manual is straightforward and clear. The manual explains everything in minimal steps. The Genie application allows you to modify network settings and to monitor network from your smartphone or tablet. You can schedule backups with the ReadySHARE Vault application along with the ability to customize the settings up to a certain extent. The TurboQAM technology promises you to get high speeds. The parental controls are efficient as in previous NETGEAR routers. With efficient prioritization software, the router guarantees optimal experience and higher bandwidths for all your activities such as gaming, video chat, HD media streaming and many more.
You will be thoroughly blown by the performance of this wireless router. You get speeds of up to 7 times of a regular Ethernet connection. From a 15 feet range as well as a 100 feet range, you get the highest speeds when it comes to this fantastic router from NETGEAR. It has a convincing performance in the 2.4 GHz band with a good boost due to the TurboQAM technology. Over long duration’s of over 48 hours too, the router will not cease to impress you. The consistent connection and the range that is spread over 30 feet from the router are both incredible.
On the other hand, this router also acts as a storage server when you attach a USB 3.0 external hard drive. This router lets you schedule backups. The Time Machine feature lets you back up your data to a hard disk. It is the perfect router for gaming. You will get a lag-free experience. With the ability to stream 4K Ultra streaming, you will not have to buffer videos without interruption.
Even with your slower devices, you get a lag-free connection. Though its file sharing capabilities are not much talked about, they are much better than the average rates. It gives high throughput and is an affordable router for the normal household. However, the router is huge in size. Its performance on the 2.4 GHz band is lower than that of ASUS RT-AC88U. It is a capable NAS server when coupled with an external hard drive. With premium security features and full VPN support, it is one of the best routers. Though it does not have a dual WAN support like the ASUS RT-AC88U, it does support Time Machine backups, which is not supported by the ASUS router. Being a tough competitor for the ASUS router regarding features and price, you can give it a shot!
Ultra-fast WiFi Performance, best for Gaming and Media Streaming
This Tri-band wireless router by D-Link does live up to the expectations and is hence, the third one on our list. At the hefty price tag, the speed and reliability you get are at par with other wireless routers in the category.
Design and Look of D-Link AC3200 Ultra
To start with, there is nothing about the router’s design that you would not like. You have a wireless router that is not dull black, instead has a sci-fi design like that of a spaceship. With an angular design for the body, red color, and differently arranged antennas, this wireless router will catch your attention. Moreover, it will be an attraction in your house rather than an odd-looking black device hidden somewhere in your living room.
Feature and Configuration
You will find the setup wizard very easy to follow and understand, and it will guide you through basic network settings and encryption settings within a minute’s time. Not just the easy setup, even the fantastic interface will be one less reason to worry about. Anyone in the house can check, configure and customize settings on this wireless router with the interface giving you all the help that you would need. Also, you get intelligent network prioritization, which allows the correct bandwidth to all your devices as per their need. May it be gaming or 4K media streaming, you can rest assured of a lag-free network. You can connect more devices as the dual-core processor takes care of the processing power you need. Advanced users also get the option to customize router firmware.
Talking about its performance, the six antennae design makes sure that you get the speed you paid. No matter how many individual devices are simultaneously connected to the router. Its performance in heavy load conditions differs only by a margin from that of the normal conditions. The AC3200 Ultra is one reliable wireless router. You get a consistent signal, without any loss of connection or crashes. Hence you get a router that is perfect for all your daily needs. Talking about its speed and connection rates, you seem to get it all! If you are a gamer, I must say that you are in for a pure delight.
Altogether you get incredible Wi-Fi performance. You get high speed and long range. You can manage the entire network from your tablet or smartphone. Also, it is a Tri-band router which is a huge addition given its price range. Not just the big, bold looks of the router, but also the performance speaks for the D-Link AC3200 Ultra. The interface of the router seems incomplete, and the antennas are not removable. On the contrary, the extra features you get are beneficial unlike the mere list of features that you will never get any use out.
Ultrafast Wireless Router with Tri-band data rate
The ASUS RT-AC3200 is by far the most versatile wireless router. That is why it is in the 4th position on our list. Not only can you configure it in several numbers of ways but you also get a nicely packed feature set. You get the Smart to connect feature. It decides from network congestion, the speed of the device and signal strength available.
Design and Look of ASUS RT-AC3200
The RT-AC3200 is beautifully designed with a semi-matte black finish all over. The angular design and trademark diamond shape of the device will leave you impressed. Along with this wireless router, you get six antennas. With 9 LED’s indicating the status of various aspects of the router, you will find it easy to find out if anything goes down. All in all, you will like the bold, rough and sturdy design of this wireless router by ASUS.
Feature and Configuration
This wireless router is magical. You will take less than 30 seconds to configure it! Believe me when I say that the Setup Wizard will take you there in mere three steps. The interface of the router is very detailed. It presents you with configurable parts as well as information regarding your network. The interface has a retro feel to it. You get all the information you need in one place. All instructions are clear, neat and present in multiple categories. This makes the interface very user-friendly and helpful.
The RT-AC3200 will have everything sorted whether your need is accessing the network from multiple devices at once or a very convincing bandwidth throughout all those devices. It has two USB ports, one at the front, the other at its back.
Performance-wise, you are looking at a device that gives extremely high data speeds in the proximity. It does not stop at that. The range and speed both are impressive from a 30 meters distance too. On using MU-MIMO, you will be able to serve your devices with better than average throughput speed. You get a wireless router that can double as a VPN support and also as a storage server. You can prevent malware from entering your home network using the functionality that the RT-AC3200 offers.
Altogether, with the ASUS RT-AC3200, you will get the latest ASUS firmware combined with all the features you expect from a router. Also, regarding both its performance as well as its design, the router stands out from the rest of its counterparts. You will be able to stream media, share files and download anything with great ease. This is one cost-effective router for providing three bands of Wi-Fi within your house. At the same time, it will also let you connect several clients at a stretch. It solves bandwidth problems arising due to media streaming, gaming or downloading files. You get stability, reliability and a killer feature set. The best part is that you get an all in one router.
Wireless Router with excellent 5GHz performance and Speed
The Max Stream EA8500 from Linksys is a next-generation wireless router. It comes at a slightly higher price for the functionalities it has to offer. You can practically fill your house with Wi-Fi access by getting your hands on this wireless router.
Design and Look of Linksys Max Stream EA8500
Firstly, it comes with a clean black design. Instead of flashy LEDs, you will see a single backlight reading Linksys. You can adjust the four antennas on this one as and how you wish. It can also use it as a bridge or an extender as per your requirement. The router also gets the ability to use Wi-Fi protection for when you are out of the house. It has the standard set of 4 Ethernet ports, a WAN port and 2 USB ports like any other router. But there are no status indicator lights for troubleshooting, nor do you get wall mounting screws. The router is comparatively smaller in size. This is the only plus from the design perspective.
Feature and Configuration
It has the same Smart Wi-Fi firmware as any member of the Linksys family. Thus, you can easily set up and configure this router. Also, you can customize without any issues. The web interface of the Max Stream EA8500 is convenient and well-organized. You can even manage the router from linksyssmartwifi.com remotely from anywhere around the globe. You can set up guest networks at an early stage of setup so that you do not have to repeat the procedure at a later time.
Over-viewing the speed aspect, the Linksys router beats heavy duty wireless routers from NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 and ASUS RT-AC88U in the close-proximity area. The throughput is average. But the router’s startling file sharing speed compensates for it. You will get a decent range though not a very impressive speed at longer distances. Using the MU-MIMO technology, you will get better performance regarding both speed and range though.
You get the best network storage performance from this router. It is so because the powerful hardware that this router possesses. You get the latest technology as well as a better than average 5 GHz performance, but the price you pay for it might seem higher than the worth. Beamforming technology provides better coverage without a signal drop. The Smart Wi-Fi application for Android as well as iOS allows you to control network settings from your smartphone or tablet. Due to small number of devices supporting MU-MIMO right now, this might feel an overpriced router. It has got a variety of software and ports. But as and when the MU-MIMO technology becomes more common, this router would be worth buying. So with the next generation technologies in mind, this router makes it to the 5th spot on our list.
Best Tri-band Wireless Router
NETGEAR is a widely known brand. It has many networking devices in the market. If you are a tech-savvy person, you already know the excellent build quality and astounding design that NETGEAR. The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 R8000 is the first three band Wi-Fi router to hit the markets. It supports six high-performance antennas. This router makes sure all connections are effortless.
Design and Look of NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 R8000
It has a full black design. It looks unusual compared to other routers. The R8000 has an angular design. The router is quite large in size, and the positioning of antennas appears similar to insect legs. The R8000 is not a particularly good-looking device. Coming to the software, you will get NETGEAR’s Genie software. The interface is self-explanatory and easy to navigate.
If you are a geek, you will be impressed. It allows you to customize every possible aspect of the available settings. It can be configured to connect your laptops, tablets, and smartphones to it automatically. Moreover, you can do so very easily, and the Wi-Fi power and status LEDs have convenient on/off buttons.
Feature and Configuration
You will love the powerful features accompanying this router. It has two USB ports. That allows you to connect to storage you already own. Also, you can play, view and share music, videos, photos on any of the connected devices. You will be able to schedule your files to backup automatically. Don’t let the price of this device break your heart. At a price, it gives you excellent security privileges. You can access your home network when away from home through VPN support. It provides the feature of filtering web content through Parental controls. You have the functionality to secure your Wi-Fi connections, also to have guest access to your network. Besides, you get dual-firewall protection with it.
Now let us move on to the most important performance parameters of the router – speed and range. The R8000 gives you the fastest connection speeds. It also creates a consistent, lag-free experience. You get super-fast wired, as well as wireless performance. This is due to its offload processors. The six fold-out antennas help you get the better range over larger homes as well. Apart from being a bit noisy at max load, the R8000 is a top-tier router in its category.
The router lives up to the expectations. It has a great specification set and price tag. You get a plethora of extra features which will never disappoint you. Along with that, the router interface makes this router easy to set up. Also, you get quite the speed of uploads and downloads. Also, it is immensely powerful when multiple clients connect to it simultaneously. It guarantees lag-free video streaming on home theater. It also gives high throughput to USB 3.0 port. Especially if you live in a multi-storied house or want Wi-Fi access just outside your house, then this router is the best pick. This router will leave you surprised for sure! Hence, the R8000 sits at number six on our list!
Long Range Wireless Router with super-fast speeds
We all want a wireless router with an advanced feature set and plenty of functions. ASUS RT-AC87U is also comes in one of the Best Wireless Router. After all, with the ASUS RT-AC87U, you can get great software and every feature that you are looking for in a wireless router. You can expect an exceptional wireless performance from this router.
There is also a low budget router which can help you connect multiple devices to it and with similar performance. Considering how much you will be using a wireless router on a daily basis, you could go for the ASUS RT-AC87R.
Design and Look of ASUS RT-AC87U
It has an innovative angular design, with blue LED lights at the front. You also get the provision of turning these lights off in case you find them distracting. The great appearance along with four antennas, 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB ports, all are evidence to the fact that this router is in the market to stay. Moreover, it gives you a combined W-Fi bandwidth of more than 2000 Mbps.
With six guest networks, you also get VPN support. At the same time, you get a Web History section. This section has a list of each website each device in your network is accessing. Also from a distance of over 30 meters, you get impressive connection speeds just like you get from shorter distances. In other words, you get coverage that very few other wireless routers can give. Even if you continuously transfer data between multiple wireless and wired devices, you will notice that no clients disconnect from this router. It is awe-inspiring the 48 hours of the testing period.
The ASUS RT-AC87U is a very efficient device. If you buy it, you will find it helpful in numerous ways. You will enjoy incredible speeds, excellent Wi-Fi range, and a never-seen-before feature array. You will find its four streams wireless performance very impressive. Even its well-designed web interface is just about everything you could ask for in a router with a modern build. This assures you that it will be compatible with devices of next-generation technology.
High Performance Wireless Router
The TP-Link Archer C9 is the number eight router on our list. It is the router that is made for you if you love extremely high speeds. It has multiple ports and many other features at an affordable price. Mainly, it is among the cheapest routers in the AC1900 range. Even you will see a huge difference in price between this and the other wireless routers in its category.
Design and Look of TP-Link Archer C9
Starting with the design, the Archer C9 looks very decent. Unlike fancy detailing from the likes of NETGEAR, D-Link, etc. it has a simple yet classic design. Archer C9 has silver sides combined with glossy and matte white parts. You will find it attractive. Its design is very similar to that of Apple devices. You will have to install the Archer C9 a vertically, unlike most other routers. Hence, it will be prone to tip over, which can be a little uneasy.
On the contrary, you will find the antennas very light. They are easy to attach and detach which is an advantage. You will also be able to distinguish the LEDs on the front of the router. Each LED is unique as opposed to the same lights on most other routers. Thus, it is a very user-friendly device. Similarly, the boxes on the back of the router are well-labeled. You will love the user interface. The mail reason is anyone can set up this router. On the other hand, you will get parental control settings.
As you would expect, this wireless router is an excellent value for money. In addition to that, with TP-link you now get an excellent feature set at a competitive price. You will notice not only impressive speeds but also consistent file transfer rates. You can just set up the router and forget about it! Unlike other wireless routers, you will not have to restart the router occasionally. You can access the network from within 15 meters radii. The performance of the Archer C9 is thoroughly impressive. You also get a map of all devices connected to the router which is a useful feature to monitor Wi-Fi usage.
You can rely on the performance and speed of the router. Likewise, you can be sure of loving the interface. You will also like the easy navigation. Besides, you get a great speed-to-price ratio. This is a hit in the category of budget routers.
Budget Wireless Router with good Performance
Are you looking for a router to extend the range of your existing connection to you and your family? Then look no further. TP-Link’s Archer C3150 is the one that you need. It provides an excellent connection speed over multiple shared devices. Therefore, the TP-Link Archer sits on the number nine spot on our list.
You could be a serious gamer. Alternatively, you could have a large family with lots of wireless devices. You might be looking for fast speeds or reliability and coverage. TP-Link Archer C3150 is the go-to router for superior performance to improve your network infrastructure. It does that by a considerable margin. This router provides you with comparatively more excellent signal strength and a better connection speed than spread out broadcast. It also has multiple processors. Thus, you will be able to perform high demand activities such as streaming and downloading with absolutely no lag.
Design and Look of TP-Link Archer C3150
It has a stylish, sleek design that is very appealing. Also, TP-Link Archer C3150 is very durable. It will not break or stop working within a few months, unlike other budget routers. It means you will enjoy a great Wi-Fi connection over a long time span. Also, you will not have to find a new router again and again.
If you want a high performing router for your home use, this is the right one for you. It is simple and easy to set up and use. For instance, it does not come with an installation CD. You will be able to navigate through it quickly without any confusion. On the other hand, you will get uninterrupted streaming and online gaming out of it. You can stream videos on multiple devices at once. This router does not give you feature-packed device. But it has everything you will look for in a router. You get it at an affordable price.
You also get two USB ports in this router to connect printers or external hard drives, using which you can share pictures, videos, and files easily. Surprisingly, you will get all of this at a price of less than 200$. Don’t let the packaging disappoint you, as the router’s incredible performance does all the talking about it! You also get two additional networks for your guests through the Archer 3150. You will find it convenient when you want your private information to be safe from other users who are using your Wi-Fi connection.
You will be able to set it up in one go. Along with that, you will get a consistent and robust signal without jitter. Combined with abundant ports and measurable performance, you get many setting options to suit your purpose. Given all these sparkling advantages, you should not hesitate to buy this amazing device!
There are so many Wi-Fi 5 wireless routers on the market that it is confusing to select a router. Without the knowledge of different features of routers, finding the perfect router for your needs is often difficult. From gaming needs to household use to building larger networks, we have included the best wireless routers in this article. Whether you want a budget router or an advanced feature-packed one, I am sure you will find the perfect match from our WiFi routers list. However, if you are looking for the Wi-Fi 6 routers, we have a separate article that cover the list.