There is no denying that the internet covers a huge part of our lives today and it’s almost impossible to imagine life without it. Thus, having a reliable and fast internet connection at home or work has become a top priority for most people, for a wide variety of reasons whether it’s freelancing, gaming, downloading and uploading files, watching videos, social media, you name it.
Back in the day, we were limited to slow cable connections, even the wireless ones would enable you to only establish one or two connections with very limited speed and range, but thankfully, this is one of those areas of technology that had witnessed a lot of positive changes in recent years, allowing people to overcome those frustrating times of slow internet connection.
With that said, we are now introduced to a far superior piece of technology called Wi-Fi Routers, the latter are wireless devices that perform the functions of the traditional modems as well as serving as a wireless internet access point for several other devices with remarkable speed and long distances.
Best Wireless Routers 2020
While in some cases you may experience some issues with the Internet Service Providers, it’s only fair to point out that Wi-Fi performance isn’t always down to ISP, sometimes it’s your own fault for buying a router that isn’t actually good enough. But it’s totally understandable, as choosing the appropriate router can be a struggle.
Hence why we dug in deep and came up with a list of the best wireless routers the year 2020 has to offer, so let’s begin.
1- ASUS RT-AC 88U: Best Dual-Band Wireless Router for Gaming
To begin with, we have the ASUS RT-AC 88U, if you ever wanted an amazing Dual-Band router to boost the speed of your connection and enhance your online gaming experience, the RT-AC 88U is the one for you.
The RT-AC 88U features an ultra-fast 802.11 dual-band that increases the speed for up to 3167 Mbps for low latency online gaming, the upload download speed of the router can reach up to 1.8 gigabytes per second.
It has a very powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, and 8 gigabytes LAN ports that allow you to connect up to 8 Ethernet compatible devices at once. This device also comes with a smart connect feature that automatically picks up the most suitable bandwidth and connects to it.
Furthermore, the RT-AC 88U can speed up the default connectivity by more than 60% and restore firmware settings to default if something goes wrong with your router thanks to the advanced 1024-QAM technology implemented within it.
As for security, this router features AIProtection technology which ensures surfing the net safely, as it blocks malicious sites, detects the vulnerability, and it establishes smart parental controls.
The ASUS RT-AC 88U is loaded with features, but sadly it comes at a hefty price and its range isn’t as good as the other models. But with that aside, if you’re a gamer and want the best online gaming performance there is, you just can’t go wrong with the RT-AC 88U.
- Dual-band for boosting speed
- Good for gaming
- Packed with features
- Sub-optimal range
2- TP-Link Archer C5400: Best Range and Most Versatile 2020 router
TP-Link manufacturers are notorious for making reliable routers that offer value and performance, and the TP-Link Archer C5400 is a prime example of that, as it is undoubtedly one of the most versatile packages on the market and can appeal to a variety of users.
Design-wise, the TP-Link Archer C5400 has a black plastic build with vents on top and 8 antennas giving it a look that seems fitting for a gaming desk. As for connectivity, it comes with 4 gigabit LAN ports including a WAN port, a USB 2.0, and a USB 3.0.
Additionally, it’s equipped with a dual-core 1.4 GHz Broadcom ARM processor with 3 co-processors for delicate data handling, this gives the router the ability to handle data traffic between devices and keep stable and strong.
Moreover, the 8 antennas can handle 2.4 GHz 1000mb/s bandwidth over 4 streams and two 5 GHz channels with 4 streams as well, and they can get to a potential speed of 2167 Mbps.
When it comes to performance, the Archer C5400 has an incredible range, the download speed average is 70 MB/s and 17 MB/s for the download speed.
Last up, setting up this router is a piece of cake as it’s all done pretty fast and you can even download the TP-Link tether phone app that guides you through the setup and configuration directly of the router via your smartphone, the router also features Alexa and IFTTT support.
On the downside, the Archer C5400 is also expensive and has a pretty awkward design for those who are into minimalism. However, if you value performance and quality over everything, the Archer C5400 got you all covered.
- Very long range
- Excellent connectivity
- Very easy setup
- Suitable for all types of users
- Supports Alexa and IFTTT
- Design can be unattractive for some
3- Netgear Nighthawk R7000: Best for Privacy and Security
The Netgear R7000 Nighthawk caters towards those who aim for total privacy and cybersecurity, in other words, this router is engineered to protect your smart home devices along with providing an excellent connection.
The R7000 Nighthawk design as the name implies resembles the famous F-117 Nighthawk aircraft, therefore, it displays a cool futuristic look.
This wireless router is designed to be set horizontally but it can be mounted up the wall with the wall mount ports it has, it also comes with 3 removable antennas, 4 gigabit LAN ports, a USB 2.0 port all on the rear, and a USB 3.0 port on the front. As far as specs go, the R7000 comes with a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, a 128MB flash memory, and 256MB of RAM. Moreover, through 1024 QAM.
This router is estimated to achieve a max speed of 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth and 1625 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. On top of that, it is capable of supporting all the latest 802.11 AC technology, MU MIMO for delivering data at the same time, as well as Beamforming technology for sending data with a direct signal to the client.
To conclude, the setup process of the R7000 is a breeze and the security features make this router stand out, with the Netgear Armor Anti-malware security service you can protect your network and all your connected devices from any kind of threat.
Unfortunately, though, these protection features require you to pay a yearly subscription and the storage capacity is inadequate. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned about cybersecurity, the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk is a safe bet.
- Provides maximum security
- Futuristic eye-catching design
- Decent wireless performance
- UM MIMO and Beamforming technology
- Underwhelming storage
- Requires paid subscription
4- TP-Link AC1750: Affordable Dual-Band Router
The TP-Link AC1750 is an excellent option for budget-conscious people, while the price of this router is cheap, its performance and connectivity features are anything but, because it is still a dual-band model with decent bandwidth speed.
First off, the TP-Link AC1750 has a 720MHz CPU that can reach a speed of 450Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5 GHz bandwidth.
Secondly, concerning the design, it boasts a glossy black color, and on the rear, it has 3 adjustable and removable antennas, 4Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, and 2 USB 2.0 ports, regarding the front it has LED light indicators for power, radio bands, Wi-Fi and all the backports.
Setting up this router takes a few minutes all you have to do is connect all the cables, go to the web console, press quick setup, then auto-detect and you’re pretty much all set. Interestingly, the AC1750 router enables you to establish separate guest networks with limited access for guests with many settings and options including parental controls. Finally, it can reach an impressive 91Mbps in 2.4GHz and 509Mbps in 5GHz at close range.
The major downside to this router is its very limited range, so it was mainly made for small houses and offices. All in all, the TP-Link AC1750 is a great bargain for people on a tight budget that lives and works in small places.
- Good speed
- Very easy and automatic setup
- Has a few interesting features
- Limited range
5- Linksys WRT32X: Best Gaming Router
Next up, we have the Linksys WRT32X, yet again another wireless router that excels at giving you the best gaming performances with a whole new level of high-end features.
The Killer Prioritizing Engine feature enables you to accelerate the network traffic and eliminate any lag, this mechanism also allows for Simultaneous High-Speed Data Processing which is necessary for high-quality gaming with no latency.
Moreover, the WRT32X works with all Killer enabled computers from MSI to Razor and Alienware. It can increase your Wi-Fi connectivity through the Special WRT32X technology and allow you o be on top of your game. This router has a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor, 256MB of RAM, and 512MB of firmware storage.
It comes with 4 modifiable antennas and a Gigabit Ethernet switch with 4 ports for connecting multiple consoles, each client device will get its own separate data stream and the bandwidth will not be shared with the other users. In addition to that, the WRT32X features a special Dynamic Frequency selection that enables the unit to triple its channels. Finally, this router is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 544.5Mbps at a 15ft range.
On to the negatives, the WRT32X has a mediocre range and its customization isn’t flexible compared to other routers. Overall, if you need an excellent gaming router that offers the best value per dollar, this router is the solution you’ve been looking for.
- Best for gaming
- High-end features
- Features Killer Prioritization Engine
- Low latency
- Mediocre range
- Limited settings customization
6- Netgear Orbi RBK 50: Best Long Range Router
It’s about time we included a router with long-range capacities and white design as well as a ton of features and impressive performance like the previous models, and for that, we have the Netgear Orbi RBK 50.
For starters, the Orbi RBK 50 is considered to be approximately 170% faster than other routers of similar quality, and one of its biggest advantages is the MESH Wi-Fi system that can cover every inch of your home or your workplace with high-performance network blankets for superb network connectivity.
In addition, the Orbi RBK 50 has no buffering issues even in Wi-Fi dead zones thanks to the overall coverage of 500SQ FT coverage and the speed of 866Mbits/sec on the 5GHz band, 400Mbits/sec on the 2.4GHz band, even if multiple devices are connected to the same connection you won’t have to deal with kind of lags.
The network stability is tremendous due to the special Tri-band technology that maintains a stable connection even at long ranges. Furthermore, with the Orbi smartphone app, you can set up your router pretty quickly and easily. Lastly, there are 4 Ethernet ports in the Orbi RBK 50 that can be used to connect several devices.
The fact that you can lose your connection from time to time coupled with the slightly high price-tag can draw the attention of some buyers away. In spite of that, the Orbi RBK 50 still provides a perfect option for those with large houses and offices.
- Astonishing range
- Beautiful design
- Fast connection
- Ultra easy setup
- The connection can be lost on rare occasions
7- Google Wi-Fi: Best Mesh Router
Google WiFi is one of the best performing and simplest Mesh routers, it’s also the most customizable and manageable router with its set of three-unit, it covers wide areas and provides perfect stable connectivity.
The Google WiFi has a short cylinder shape with an all-white body giving it a stylish look that can serve as a nice decoration on your desk.
Every unit has the same capabilities and performances so you can set any one of them as the main router and each unit is powered by USB type C cable. Thanks to their small size you can conveniently set them in any corner of your house.
Speaking of setup, you can download the smartphone app, scan the QR codes on the back of the routers, then follow the setup procedures and you’re ready to go. This app also enables you to monitor your network and measure the speed of your connection, in addition, it has a Wi-Fi test that showcases your connection strength within the network.
When it comes to connectivity performance the Google WiFi is unrivaled, as it is claimed that it can reach up to 4,500 ft of range with each unit having 1,500ft. Upon testing, this router could maintain an outstanding 100Mbps speed even at the maximum distance of 1,500ft.
When talking about the flaws of Google WiFi, we can say that the hardware controls aren’t as advanced compared to the ones of other routers. However, in terms of performance, it is miles ahead of its competitors and it’s definitely worth the money.
- Best mesh technology router
- Amazing range
- Reasonably priced
- Sleek design
- Easy setup
- Lackluster controls
8- Netgear Nighthawk X6: Best Tri-Band Router
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 is an all-rounder router, it was designed mainly for Tri-band operation, delivers great performances and connectivity, has an uncomplicated software, offers long-range, along with many more high-end features.
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 has an all-black plastic build with sharpened geometrical angles giving it a futuristic-like design, and just like the R7000P model it was tailored to be set up horizontally and can be mounted on the wall as well.
It is equipped with 6 antennas that can be adjusted to your liking and extended up 3.3 inches enabling you to create a single that suits each antenna. In terms of hardware, the Nighthawk X6 has a 1GHz processor, 256GB of RAM, and 128MB of flash storage. Moreover, this router is designed to handle 3 independent lanes of Wi-Fi traffic with 2.4GHz and 2.5GHz channels, each one can be dedicated jus for high-speed traffic, it also uses Beamforming technology thanks to its 6 antennas.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Nighthawk X6 provides a very safe cyber environment and its security setting can be adjusted to your preferences. As for the setup, the whole process takes only a few minutes, connect the router and turn it on and it will automatically connect you when you log in to the web.
On the other hand, the Nighthawk’s shortcomings are its bulky size and the somewhat expensive price. Other than that, if you’re looking for a top-notch router, this is the way to go.
- Tri-band router
- Attractive design
- Decent features
- Good internet speed
- Very secure
- Chunky size
9- D-Link DIR-842: Best Budget Router
The D-Link DIR-842 makes for a perfect option if you want an amazing router that ticks all the boxes without spending a fortune, as it offers great coverage and speed with decent hardware and software specs.
The DIR-842 boasts a black design, it has 4 adjustable antennas and 4 Gigabits ports on the rear. Also, this router features an 802.11 AC wireless system that will give you an outstanding online experience with superb connectivity and much-improved reliability. Furthermore, the DIR-842 supports fast 3D HD streaming which is a great feature to have if you’re a fan of multimedia in general.
Plus it has multi-user MIMO technology that allows you to stream your favorite content on several devices simultaneously. In addition, the setup procedures are pretty easy and comprehensible.
As for security, you can easily ban other people or your children from using the router, and WPA/WPA2 security prevents malicious people from connecting to your router. Lastly, the D-Link DIR-842 averages 34Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 213Mpbs on the 5GHz band from a short distance and the numbers showed an insignificant drop when testing from medium range.
However, this router lacks USB ports and doesn’t perform quite as well from long range. Overall, for such incredibly low price the D-Link DIR-842 doesn’t disappoint.
- So cheap
- Good mid and short-range performance
- Simple setup
- MIMO technology
- Has no USB ports
- Long-range connectivity isn’t good
10- Amped Wireless RTA2600: Best for Using Multiple Devices
Not only does the Amped RTA2600 deliver a fast and stable connection to various devices, but it also excels at pushing the signal through walls and obstacles, unlike other routers.
The Amped Wireless RTA2600 provides whole home coverage with 16 powerful amplifiers and 4 high gain antennas. Thanks to the feature MIMO technology you can connect multiple devices at once with great performance and up to 3 times more speed.
Regarding the hardware, it is equipped with a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 4 simultaneous Wi-Fi streams that can handle heavy traffic with ease. Besides, the RTA2600 is designed to send a signal within an unprecedented coverage area with tremendous speed even through walls thanks to the Unique Amped Wireless technology.
Moreover, it comes with 4 Wi-Fi radios and 4 adjustable antennas per frequency to blanket your home or office with a number of Wi-Fi streams for unrivaled connection. Last but not least, it offers advanced security options such as; coverage control, parental control, SPI Firewall, and website blocking.
The expensive price and the limited range are the RTA2600’s main downfalls. Nevertheless, it is still a solid option especially when it comes to using numerous devices at once.
- Offers great connectivity for multiple devices at once
- Good security features
- Comes with MIMO technology
- Walls don’t hinder its performance
- A bit pricy
Why do you need a good Wireless Router?
In this day and age, we can barely make it through the day without using the internet, whether it’s work, school, or entertainment, we heavily depend on the internet. Hence why we need reliable routers to cope with all that. But you must be wondering why should you care about having a new wireless router with high-end features when your old router still functions just fine? Good question but it’s not quite what you think.
First off, it is simply a matter of you not getting what you’re paying for, meaning you could be paying your ISP to get 16Mbps of connection but you’re only getting 8Mbps instead. And it’s your old router’s fault as it was only designed to handle a limited amount of speed and range, so you might consider buying a new up-to-date router that doesn’t rip you off.
Secondly, the internet world is progressing, with each year passing by new things are being invented and new technology is being implemented into the modern routers to provide more conveniences and help facilitate our daily tasks. Unfortunately, many old-school routers are outdated and lack the latter. So by buying a new and good router, you won’t miss out on any of the latest tech and features. Regardless if you’re a gamer, a workaholic, a geek, a streamer, or just a casual user a decent router will always come in handy ad make life easier.