Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

$88 at Amazon

Netgear R6700AX

Finest price range router for gigabit networks

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Although Wi-Fi 7 routers are on their method, in the intervening time, Wi-Fi 6 remains to be the most recent technology of Wi-Fi that is supported by many of the present technology of devices and units. And that will help you equip your own home with the quickest and most steady web connection doable, we have rounded up the perfect Wi-Fi 6 router choices in the marketplace proper now beneath. 

Virtually each new telephone and pc launch helps Wi-Fi 6, and we’re beginning to see assist pop up amongst peripheral units, too. Did you choose up an Apple TV 4K or Amazon Fireplace TV 4K Max media streamer to your TV? Each of these assist Wi-Fi 6. Have you ever managed to attain a brand new PlayStation 5 console but? That is a Wi-Fi 6 gadget too.

Wi-Fi 6 units like these are backward suitable with older routers, however if you wish to unlock their full potential for quicker, higher Wi-Fi efficiency, then you definately’ll want a Wi-Fi 6 router working your own home community. That was an costly proposition again when Wi-Fi 6 first arrived, however not anymore. Now, procuring round, you will discover a good variety of Wi-Fi 6 choices obtainable for lower than $100, in addition to mesh programs, gaming routers, vary extenders and extra. Some do the job higher than others — however that is the place we are available, with complete, hands-on exams to assist determine the perfect improve picks for the cash. 

Count on common updates to this submit as we proceed to place Wi-Fi 6 to the check in 2023. At any time when we discover a new router that deserves consideration, we’ll add it to the listing.

Finest Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2023

Ry Crist/CNET Like
Sooner efficiency and higher vary than comparable AX1800 routers

Straightforward-to-use app controls

Excellent worth
Don’t love
Lacks superior options

Not highly effective sufficient to take full benefit of gigabit web speeds

When a router helps Wi-Fi 6, that signifies that it is able to utilizing new options like OFDMA and 1024-QAM to ship quicker speeds and decrease latency to busy networks with a lot of related units. That is true even with the budget-priced worth picks — and amongst these, the one which performs the perfect is the TP-Hyperlink Archer AX21.

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Tri-band design ensures optimum mesh efficiency

Simplified setup, with extenders that mechanically pair with the primary router

Speeds corresponding to mesh routers that price a whole bunch extra
Don’t love
Bland, barely cumbersome design

Restricted retail availability

Wi-Fi Commonplace Wi-Fi 6Speed Score AX3600Range As much as 5,500 sq. ft. (two units)Wi-fi Networking Safety WPA2, WPA3Bands Tri-Band (2.4 and two 5GHz)

This was an excellent yr for TP-Hyperlink, and it wasn’t simply due to the Archer AX21. There’s additionally the TP-Hyperlink Deco W7200, which cruised by my velocity exams to earn a spot as my top-rated mesh router of the yr. With a number of units working like a group of routers to unfold a quicker, extra dependable sign throughout a bigger space than a single router can, it is a implausible choose for giant houses — and one that will not set you again very a lot.

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Glorious speeds, low latency, terrific vary

Complete gaming and community customization options by way of Asus Router app

Non-obligatory improve to a multi-gig Ethernet jack
Don’t love
“Sensible Join” band steering does not carry out properly in small houses (however you may flip it off)

Wi-Fi normal Wi-Fi 6Speed Score AX5700Range As much as 2,500 sq. ft.Wi-fi Networking Safety WPA3Bands Twin-Band (2.4 and 5GHz)

Asus is among the prime names within the gaming router class, boasting the perfect number of quick, flashy routers that promise elite efficiency, low latency, and superior controls to your connection. The Asus RT-AX86U is definitely one of many extra understated routers in that blend — it does not embrace color-changing lights or an oversize, ostentatious design — but it surely’s nonetheless among the finest gaming routers you should buy. Gaming apart, it is among the finest Wi-Fi 6 routers you should buy, interval.

Learn extra Ry Crist/CNET Like
Dependable, constant speeds

Glorious worth

Higher efficiency on high-speed, gigabit networks than different entry-level Wi-Fi 6 routers
Don’t love
Barely larger latency than comparable AX1800 routers

No USB jack

Pace Score AX1800Range As much as 1,500 sq. ft.

Gigabit web speeds are rising in availability from a large variety of main ISPs, and so they’re a fantastic match with the quicker wi-fi switch charges of Wi-Fi 6. In case you’ve made the improve to gigabit web speeds at house, then you definately’ll positively need a Wi-Fi 6 router that may take full benefit of it.

Learn extra Ry Crist/CNET Like
A constant prime finisher throughout a number of years of velocity exams

Multi-gig Ethernet jack helps the quickest web speeds obtainable right now
Don’t love
Costly and barely on sale, regardless of being just a few years previous

Wi-Fi Commonplace Wi-Fi 6Speed Score AX6000Range As much as 5,000 sq. ft.Wi-fi Networking Safety WPA, WPA2Bands Tri-Band (2.4 and two 5GHz)

Bear in mind how I discussed that the TP-Hyperlink Deco W7200 outperformed each different mesh router I’ve ever examined apart from one? Nicely, here is the one which beat it — the AX6000 model of the Netgear Orbi mesh system.

Learn extra Ry Crist/CNET Like
Robust efficiency and speeds, with assist for 160MHz channel width

Constructed-in Zigbee radio and assist for Matter make it a fantastic good house choose
Don’t love
Barely inconsistent bandsteering in small houses

Wi-Fi Commonplace Wi-Fi 6Speed Score AX3000Range As much as 1,500 sq. ft.Wi-fi Networking Safety WPA2, WPA3Bands Twin-Band (2.4 and 5GHz)

Going with a mesh router makes a ton of sense if you happen to stay in a big, multi-story house with a variety of house to cowl. In circumstances like that, it is value it to prioritize getting a system with greater than two units within the mesh — and Amazon’s Eero 6 Plus will get you there for $300, full with full assist for Wi-Fi 6.

Learn extra Ry Crist/CNET Like
A dual-band mesh router that performs extra like a tri-band mannequin

Compact, nice-looking design
Don’t love
Barely costly at full value

Wi-Fi Commonplace Wi-Fi 6Speed Score AX5400Range As much as 2,700 sq. ft.Wi-fi Networking Safety WPA, WPA2Bands Twin-Band (2.4 and 5GHz)

It was a bit too expensive for me to suggest when it launched at $380 for a two-piece setup, however I’ve seen the Asus ZenWifi XD6 marked all the way down to $300 at a number of retailers in current weeks, which makes it a significantly better worth.

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How we check Wi-Fi 6 routers

At any time when I take a router into consideration, I put it by the identical set of complete, managed velocity exams to get a very good sense of the way it performs in comparison with different fashions. All through the pandemic, I have been working these exams out of my 1,300 square-foot house in Louisville, Kentucky, however final yr, we have had been in a position to transfer these exams again into the CNET Dwelling check lab, the place we have arrange a 1,350 sq. ft. check setting with a gigabit fiber connection.

There are 5 rooms in that check house, so after setting the router up within the first of them, I run a battery of velocity exams in all of them to get a way of the common speeds at numerous ranges. For every set of exams, I begin in the identical room because the router with my check machine, a Lenovo ThinkPad Wi-Fi 6 laptop computer. I hook up with the router’s community, then I run three velocity exams and file the outcomes for add velocity, obtain velocity and latency. Then I transfer to the following room and repeat.

As soon as I’ve completed within the fifth room, which is farthest from the router, I restart my connection and repeat all of these exams in reverse room order. This method offers me a very good sense at how the router’s efficiency differs when the connection begins up shut versus when it begins at a distance, as this may typically affect your speeds. I repeat this whole course of thrice, throughout morning, afternoon, and night hours. I will usually additionally run devoted check runs to test the speeds on particular person bands, or if the router provides any distinctive efficiency settings. All informed, it provides as much as a whole bunch of velocity exams and a number of days of labor for every router I evaluation.

Which Wi-Fi 6 router is correct for me?

There are three fundamental issues to contemplate first as you are dialing in on a brand new router: the velocity of your own home’s web plan, the dimensions of your own home, and the variety of Wi-Fi units underneath your roof that want a dependable connection. In case you’re residing in a small- to medium-sized house with web speeds of 500Mbps or much less, and also you simply want a dependable sign to your telephone, laptop computer and streaming machine, then a easy choose just like the TP-Hyperlink Archer AX21 or the Netgear R6700AX ought to provide loads of bandwidth and vary to fit your wants. The 2 are largely indistinguishable until your own home has a high-speed connection, and the AX21 usually prices rather less, so I would suggest beginning there.

In case you’ve received a home crammed with good house units, or a number of relations who every make common use of your Wi-Fi with quite a lot of devices, or if you happen to’ve simply upgraded your web plan so as to add in gigabit speeds, it is best to most likely take into account a router with higher bandwidth potential. The tried-and-true Asus RT-AX86U is the one I would most likely suggest first as a result of it has been a daily standout by a number of rounds of CNET exams, together with full rounds of exams on three separate networks at three separate places.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’re residing in a bigger house, particularly a multistory house, then it is value contemplating stepping as much as a mesh router just like the Eero 6 Plus, the Asus ZenWifi XD6, or the TP-Hyperlink Deco W7200, as a result of these a number of mesh units will assist guarantee a greater, extra dependable sign all through the whole thing of your own home. You might additionally take into account splurging on a mesh powerhouse just like the Netgear Orbi AX6000, however at a value of a number of hundred {dollars}, it is most likely overkill for many houses.

Wi-Fi 6 router FAQs

In case you’ve received questions in regards to the ins and outs of Wi-Fi 6, make sure to try my full explainer on the usual and what makes it higher than the Wi-Fi of yore. It’s also possible to attain me by trying me up on Twitter (@rycrist) or by clicking the little envelope icon on my CNET profile web page to ship a message straight to my inbox. Within the meantime, I will submit solutions to any generally requested questions beneath. 

What makes Wi-Fi 6 higher than earlier than?

Wi-Fi 6 consists of assist for brand new Wi-Fi options that assist units go knowledge forwards and backwards quicker and extra effectively. One of many key upgrades is 1024-QAM, which stands for quadrature amplitude modulation, or the trick your router makes use of to ship radio waves that different units can learn as a sequence of ones and zeroes — the binary code that makes up every little thing you see, learn and expertise on-line. 1024-QAM permits your router to ship out 10 digits of binary code with every transmission, in comparison with eight digits of binary from Wi-Fi 5 routers that use 256-QAM. That is one of many key explanation why Wi-Fi 6 provides prime speeds which can be roughly 30% quicker than earlier than.

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Are Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E the identical factor?

Will older units nonetheless work with a Wi-Fi 6 router?

Sure — Wi-Fi 6 is absolutely backward suitable, so earlier-gen Wi-Fi units will nonetheless have the ability to hook up with them and get on-line. They simply will not have the ability to benefit from the brand new Wi-Fi 6 options that velocity issues up for current-gen units.

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