11 Best Wi-Fi Routers (2023): Budget, Gaming Routers, Large Homes, Mesh

We’ve tested other routers that we like and have several more in the queue. These aren’t as good as the choices above, but might be worth considering for some people.

TP-Link Archer AXE75 for $200: Although this tri-band router made Wi-Fi 6E affordable, its performance was mixed. The 6 GHz band offers fast speeds at close range, but drops off sharply with distance. I found the 5GHz band to be somewhat inconsistent, recording fast performance in most of my tests but relatively slow results on a few occasions. You also need a HomeShield Pro subscription if you want full parental controls and network security, and the four Ethernet ports are limited to 1Gbps.

Synology WRX560 for $220: If you already own the Synology RT6600ax listed above, the WRX560 is a decent additional device for setting up a mesh network. I had a few setup issues that required a factory reset, but once up and running, the WRX560 offers a strong and stable signal on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. However, a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router is a hard sell at this price, so if you only need one, it’s worth spending the extra $80 for the RT6600ax.

TP-Link Archer AX5400 Pro for $200: This dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router is almost identical to the Archer AX73, except for the 2.5 Gbps WAN port. It offers relatively fast speeds on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and offers a channel width of 160 MHz on 5 GHz. The range is good, easily covering my house and garden, but performance was inconsistent. Moving files locally was also relatively slow. TP-Link OneMesh, VPN, and QoS are supported, but you only get basic parental controls and network security unless you subscribe to HomeShield Pro.

MSi RadiX AXE6600 for $200: This tri-band Wi-Fi 6E gaming router has that familiar red and black Sith spider look, although you can customize the lighting. It proved very fast in most of my tests, nearing the top of the chart at short range on the 6GHz band and delivering average performance on the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. But the mobile app had limited options, a confusing layout, and bugs (it crashed me more than once). The web interface was better, with more options including an open VPN, simple parental controls, guest network, and QoS optimization for gaming. Unfortunately, performance was inconsistent and I experienced random drops twice during a week of testing.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E for $230: One of the first tri-band Wi-Fi 6E routers (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz) to hit the market, the price has dropped significantly since its release. It was easy to set up and has a very simple app, although it was often slow to load. It has one 5Gbps WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports. Performance has been proven to be reliable, and it’s possible to get super-fast speeds at close range if you have a device that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Mid- and long-range coverage and speeds were average. There are free basic parental controls allowing you to block sites and schedule downtime, but only by device (no profile creation or age restriction filters). You can split the bands if you want and prioritize three devices. There’s also a guest network option and easy Wi-Fi sharing. Another plus point is that this router works with any other Linksys Intelligent Mesh router (including the Velop mesh line).

Linksys Hydra 6 for $130: In terms of specifications, this compact router is similar to our top pick (TP-Link Archer AX55). This is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with a gigabit WAN and four gigabit LAN ports. Setup was simple and uses the same Linksys app as the Pro 6E above, so you get free parental controls, guest networking, prioritization and band sharing. It was fast at close range and not bad at mid-range, but if your house is more than 1,600 square feet, it may struggle. However, as a smart mesh router, it can mix with other Linksys routers or its Velop mesh system. Linksys suggests a limit of 25 connected devices. Although it handled over 40 without issue in my testing, busy households will probably want something more powerful.

Firewalla Purple for $359: This original portable device (8/10, WIRED recommends) is perfect for people concerned about security and privacy. It offers comprehensive tools to monitor all traffic entering and exiting your home, robust and detailed parental controls, ad blocking, and enhanced security with a built-in firewall and VPN option. It serves as a router, but you’ll want to pair another router in hotspot mode for your home’s Wi-Fi. It’s expensive and can be intimidating for inexperienced people, but it offers deep insight into your network and an impressive depth of security features without an additional subscription.

Reyee RG-E5 for $120: Based on performance alone, this dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router impressed me. It offered excellent coverage, very fast speeds on the 5GHz band, and solid stability. It can also form a mesh with other Reyee routers and the app offers free parental controls. On the other hand, security is lacking (no WPA3, no 2FA, no anti-malware), you have to create a Ruijie Cloud account (Ruijie is the Chinese parent company), and the poorly translated application is slightly confusing .

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