The Best Wireless Routers for 2022

These days your Wi-Fi router not only connects you to the internet, but often your job, too. Here’s what you need to build the best home network, along with reviews of our top-rated routers for a range of needs and budgets.

00:00 Introduction

00:51 Best Router for Most People: TP-Link Archer AX50
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01:35 Best Upgrade Pick: Asus ROG Strix GS-AX5400
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02:16 Best Sky’s-the-Limit Router: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
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03:12 Best Mesh System: Asus ZenWiFi ET8
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04:16 Best Router for Gamers: TP-Link Archer AX11000
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05:05 Best Cheap Routers: Asus RT-AC66U B1
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For a more in-depth look on each of these routers: is your ultimate destination for tech reviews and news.

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– So you’re in the market
for a new wireless router. The number of choices out there
can be totally overwhelming. Do you need a classic single
piece router, or a mesh system? What about network
prioritization for gaming? And what on earth is dual-band, or WPA3? Don’t worry. At PCMag, our wireless router testing Doesn’t just focus on
evaluating and explaining The latest features, though
we do take all of those Confusing abbreviations
like LAN, WAN, and MIMO Into account. We also look at how well
the router performs, And whether or not it’s a
good value for your money. Over the last two years, PCLabs has tested More than three dozen WiFi routers And WiFi mesh systems, To see if their performance stands up To what their router makers claim. So, let’s break down the
six best wireless routers That we’d recommend for
six typical situations. Almost all of them use the
latest WiFi 6 technology, Which you should insist on,
unless you’re planning to use Wired connections most of the time, And will avoid WiFi together. Whether you’re looking to save money, Or you need the fastest
bandwidth for online gaming, Here are the best routers
you can find at the moment. If you’re on a budget, But you still want to make
sure you’re getting support For the latest WiFi technologies, You’ll want to check out the
Archer AX50 from TP-Link. This affordable WiFi 6 router, The list price is $149.99, Delivers speedy throughput

And comes with a lifetime
malware protection And parental controls. It’s an excellent choice For people who just want reliable WiFi In a router that won’t become
obsolete in a year or so. The AX50 is easy to install, Regardless of whether you use
TP-Link’s Tether mobile app, Or the router’s web console. Just plug it in, install the app, Enter the password displayed on the card Included in the packaging, And you’re good to go. This router doesn’t support
the latest security protocols And its performance under throughput tests Could be a bit faster, But none of that prevents it from being The best router you can buy, If you’re looking to spend $150 or less. If you can spend a little more money, But not quite enough to reach
the $500-and-up category Of really elite routers, The ROG Strix GS-AX5400
from Asus is your best bet. This is our mid-range pick
among routers we have tested. It supports WiFi 6 And is able to deliver speedy throughput. It also has a lot of features Designed to enhance your
online gaming experience, But those don’t come at the
expense of robust security, Or highly customizable parental controls. As a bonus, one of this
router’s ethernet ports Is dedicated to gaming. It automatically
prioritizes network traffic To and from a gaming
console or a gaming PC That you connect to it.

This makes the router a
great choice for households With casual gamers who
want the best performance, But who don’t need the advanced And expensive features of
a top-end gaming router. Now, this is a router for
people who want lightning speed And a long list of features And who aren’t afraid to pay for them. The Nighthawk Tri Band
WiFi 6E router from Netgear Is one of the fastest WiFi
6 routers we’ve tested, And it’s loaded with features, Including a 1.8 gigahertz AX-optimized CPU That is designed to
handle heavy traffic loads And future looking demands,
like streaming 8K video. There’s also multi gigabit support For wired connections
and anti-malware tools. True, the Netgear Nighthawk is not cheap, Not at all. At a list price of $600, It’s one of the most expensive
routers we’ve ever tested, But it’s also one of the
fastest, supports WiFi 6E, Which makes use of the less
crowded 6 gigahertz band For smoother connections
with less interference. Granted, WiFi 6E client devices
are few and far between, And you may not own any yet, But if you’re an early adopter Looking to future-proof your network, The RAXE500 won’t disappoint. It’s worth it if you need a router Bristling with the latest standards For both wired and wireless connectivity. All this earns it our top recommendation For high-end WiFi 6E routers. Now some folks simply need more range Than the typical single, classic
style router can put out.

To get the best WiFi
coverage in a bigger house, Say four bedrooms or more, You should look into
getting a mesh WiFi system. A mesh system combines a regular router With one or more wireless nodes. The router and the node or nodes Reinforce each other’s signal, Which creates a blanket Or a strong net of WiFi between them, And ensures adequate coverage
throughout your home. Most importantly, it
does that with a single WiFi network name and password, So your devices don’t have to Negotiate multiple access points As they go in and out of range. Our favorite mesh system
is the Asus ZenWiFi ET8, Which is one of the best
performers of its kind That we’ve tested. This is a powerful mesh
system that supports WiFi 6E. As we mentioned with the
earlier Nighthawk router, WiFi 6E is a relatively new standard, And it’s a great future-proof option For your WiFi needs well into the future. The ET8 delivers strong WiFi
on multiple frequency bands Throughout your home. And beyond the mesh feature,
it offers a good selection Of direct wired connections
like gigabit, ethernet, and USB, For connecting printers and
hard drives to your network. It also comes with free network security And parental control software, Something that many other
routers in its class Require you to pay for. Lots of routers come with At least some gaming-friendly features,

But if you’re a hardcore gamer, One router stands above the rest. The Archer AX11000 Next-Gen
Tri-Band Gaming Router From TP-Link. This router has plenty of
USB and ethernet ports, As well as a slick management
console that lets you Optimize your network for lag-free gaming. The TP-Link AX11000 is one of the Fastest WiFi 6 routers we’ve tested, And it’s loaded with features too, Including a gamer-centric user interface, A whole lot of ports,
multi-gig LAN support, And anti-malware tools. If you need a ton of wired connections For interference-free gameplay, Perhaps this router’s whopping total Of 8 LAN ports will be enough. And let’s not forget the
4×4 MU-MIMO data streaming, Beamforming support, Dynamic frequency selection, And support for the 160
megahertz channel bandwidth. The AX11000 has features
power users and gamers want, And the performance to match. Now, if you don’t have a
whole lot of money to spend, You can find a whole host
of perfectly serviceable Everyday routers for under $100. They won’t have support For the very latest WiFi specs and speeds, But they’ll do the job
for everyday web work And a couple of people working
or taking classes from home. One of our favorite recent budget routers Is the RT-AC66U B1 from Asus. This is a budget-friendly dual-band router That’s easy to install, feature-packed,

And delivers solid throughput performance. No, it doesn’t do WiFi 6. You get dual-band WiFi 5 support, A wealth of management settings, And built in protection from
viruses, infected devices, And other malware, all for less than $100. You can’t hold a lack of WiFi
6 against this at its price. The list price is $109.99,
and when we recorded this, You could find it for around $100 or less. If the devices on your network
are still using WiFi 5, This is a perfectly acceptable option If budget is the number one consideration. As a bonus, this Asus model outperformed Similarly budget-priced routers In most of our throughput tests, And it’s very easy to install And configure on the
intuitive web console. The RT-AC66U B1 provides a
lot of bang for your buck, Enough that it earned
our Editor’s Choice Award For budget-priced routers. So, there you have it. Our favorite routers of the moment. Thank you for watching. To check out more of our deep reviews On any of these routers,
and a lot more hardware, With full testing results, Check out for more details.

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