Best Wi-Fi 6 routers for fast wireless internet connectivity

Best Wi-Fi 6 routers for fast wireless internet connectivity. Want to upgrade your home network to 802.11ax, the newest and fastest version of Wi-Fi? You’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 router. The best Wi-Fi 6 routers offer fast speeds and strong signals among standalone units and mesh kits alike. (Learn more in our article How To Choose The Right Internet Service Provider For Your Organization)

With broadband speeds increasing all the time, and higher speed internet becoming more readily available, it might be time to start thinking about upgrading your current router to one that is more future-proof and capable of achieving higher speeds by using the latest technology. (Learn more in our article What are the best Wi-Fi range extenders to boost your network in 2022)

The best Wi-Fi 6 routers provide excellent data-transfer speeds, a strong signal, and best-in-class device management regardless of whether they are standalone units or part of a mesh networking system.

The 802.11 standard we commonly call Wi-Fi gets a big upgrade every several years. With new features and faster speeds, the latest, 802.11ax, arrived in 2019. Since it was the sixth major generational update for Wi-Fi, the industry dubbed it Wi-Fi 6 to make things a bit less complex for the average shopper. (Learn more in our article Common Wi-Fi Issues And How To Fix Them For Beginners)

What are the best Wi-Fi 6 routers for fast wireless internet connectivity?

Below are some of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers for faster speeds available today.

Asus RT-AX86U – The best Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

Asus is one of the top names in the gaming router category, boasting the best variety of fast, flashy routers that promise elite performance, low latency, and advanced controls for your connection. With excellent range and great performance — even through walls and between floors — the RT-AX86U is equal parts general-use router and elite gaming router, and the collection of features and ports it offers are a steal compared to some of the top-performing gaming gear. If you want the best Wi-Fi 6 router for the whole household, the Asus RT-AX86U is it.

The Asus RT-AX86U is a Wi-Fi 6 powerhouse that delivers great speeds and killer gaming features, as well as awesome customization options, all for under $300. With high-end performance and lifetime protection against intrusions and malware, it’s also a great option for securing your entire home network, providing long-term protection without a subscription fee, and carrying a two-year warranty.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

If you’re a serious gamer and you don’t mind splashing out the cash on one of the fastest Wi-Fi 6 routers, then the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is definitely worth considering. Yes, it’s expensive, but it offers gaming features like adaptive QoS and WTFast which allow you to prioritize your gaming devices to reduce lag and get the best possible experience. (Learn more in our article How To Fix An Unstable Wi-Fi Connection At Your Office And Home)

Aside from its gaming benefits, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 also includes useful features for any home network, including support for Alexa, IFTTT, and speeds of up to 4804Mbps on the 5GHz bands. It might not offer the best value for money if you want a simple yet speedy router, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to advanced settings.

If you live in a large home and require whole-home Wi-Fi coverage, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a solid option. And, if you have devices that aren’t compatible with Wi-Fi 6 networks, you can still enjoy this router since it’s backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.

TP-Link Archer AX21 WiFi 6 Router

TP-Link has been making quality routers, with the best technology at affordable prices for some time now, and the TP-Link Archer AX21 Wi-Fi 6 Router screams quality and affordability, giving you a taste of the latest router technology without breaking the bank. Learn about Starlink Internet Coverage, cost, and speed.

While the TP-Link Archer AX21 is a more affordable option, it does still feature all the latest router technology that you would expect to see in a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router, including beamforming technology, a massive Wi-Fi range, and OFDMA, allowing you to seamlessly connect over 40 devices without impacting the overall speed.

The TP-Link Archer AX21 is easy to set up, even with no technical knowledge, and can be controlled by voice using a compatible Alexa device, letting you change settings with a quick and easy voice command. It’s ideal if your internet speeds are slightly lower and you don’t want to waste money on a more expensive router.

Linksys Atlas Max 6E – The best Wi-Fi 6e mesh router

The Linksys Atlas Max 6E was the first mesh Wi-Fi router we tested that beat the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E (RBKE963) in terms of overall throughput. At 15 feet, the Atlas 6E had a throughput of 1.189 Gbps of data, which stayed strong at 25 feet (1.008 Gbps), before dropping to 382.2 Mbps at 50 feet. 

Each Atlas Max 6E device has 12 amplified antennas, one 5Gbps WAN input port, four downstream gigabit LAN ports, and a USB 3.0 port for attaching a storage device. Just as significantly, each can be configured as the host router or satellite during setup. We also like the fact that it comes with a three-year warranty and lifetime support, which blows away the competition. (Learn more in our article Top 5 Calling Apps For Unlimited Calls With Wi-Fi)

TP-Link Deco W7200 – Best mesh system

With multiple devices working as a team of routers to spread a faster, more reliable signal across a larger area than a single router can, it’s a fantastic pick for large homes — and one that won’t set you back very much at just $229 for a two-pack.

What’s great about the Deco W7200, along with its full support for Wi-Fi 6, is that it’s a tri-band model with the usual 2.4 and 5GHz bands plus an additional 5GHz band that the system uses as a dedicated wireless backhaul connection between the main router and its satellites. That dedicated backhaul is the key to unlocking the best mesh performance because it keeps those system transmissions separate from your regular network traffic. Tri-band mesh routers like those will often cost you $400 or more, but the Deco W7200 gets you there for hundreds less.

ASUS AX5400

The ASUS AX5400 isn’t just a standard Wi-Fi 6 router for faster speeds, it also boasts some impressive game optimization features, as well as compatibility with the PlayStation 5, making it an ideal choice for gamers looking for an affordable way to make the most out of their next-gen console’s wireless technology.

Many Wi-Fi 6 routers seem to be adapting multiple antennas, making them much larger than conventional routers, yet the ASUS AX5400 is surprisingly compact, making it much easier to tuck away, without needing to take up more space than you would want from a router.

Wi-Fi 6 in itself already boasts an impressive range when compared to the older Wi-Fi 5, yet the ASUS AiMesh takes that a step further by seamlessly connecting a whole home network with any other AiMesh routers in your home, giving you whole-house connectivity all under one SSID.

Linksys Max-Stream Mesh Router (MR7350) – Wi-Fi 6 on a budget

Our favorite cheap Wi-FI 6 router is the Linksys MR7350, which proves that the capabilities and features of Wi-Fi 6 aren’t limited to high-priced units. 

The simple-looking router is a stripped-down model, sporting two simple antennas instead of the spider-like antenna arrays of other routers, and it drops niceties like built-in security and port aggregation. But that streamlined router still delivers solid performance and Wi-Fi 6 speeds, all for a very affordable price.

Capable of covering 1,700 square feet, it’s perfect for apartments and smaller homes, but the Linksys MR7350 also has a trick up its sleeve. The router can work with other recent Linksys products to create a mesh network from scratch. 

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 (RBK852) – A strong Wi-Fi 6 mesh router with Google Assistant

The Netgear Orbi RBK852 updates a long-time leader in mesh Wi-Fi with the speed and capability of Wi-Fi 6. The faster standard and whole-home coverage of Orbi’s mesh networking combine with the easy setup and stellar performance that the Orbi name is known for. 

With tri-band coverage that can handle 5,000 square feet with only a two-pack consisting of a base unit and satellite extension, the Wi-Fi 6 Netgear Orbi looks like it’s one of the best mesh systems yet.

In addition to massively improved speeds and handling of multiple devices, the Orbi also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for seamless voice control throughout the house. Every Orbi extension that we’ve loved in the past works with the new Wi-Fi 6 models as well, whether it’s the outdoor extensions or the Orbi Voice that has a built-in smart speaker

How to choose the best Wi-Fi 6 router (2022)

Choosing the best Wi-Fi 6 router isn’t terribly different from shopping for any other networking product. While complicated jargon can be confusing, there are really only two significant questions that need to be answered. 

First, what speed do you need for your internet use and devices? Second, what sort of coverage do you need for your home?

Speed

Wi-Fi 6 is good for high-speed connections since the newer standard offers a much higher throughput than the previous 802.11ac standard. It’s especially well-suited to gigabit-speed internet plans, which may be available in your area. However, even average broadband speeds will benefit from Wi-Fi 6, as the standard offers better efficiency for sharing your bandwidth among many devices.

Compatibility

Similarly, you’ll get the most out of Wi-Fi 6 by using Wi-Fi 6-equipped devices, from laptops to smartphones. While the new standard is backward compatible — it should work with every older Wi-Fi-connected device you already own — some of the features, like improved battery life for connected devices, will only work when both the router and the connected device have Wi-Fi 6 capability. 

Most new laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets now have Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, and a few even support Wi-Fi 6e, making a Wi-Fi 6 router the best way to futureproof your home network.

Coverage

The other question is coverage area, or how far and wide your Wi-Fi signal will travel. A basic standalone router is usually sufficient for an apartment or smaller home, with ranges of 50 to 100 feet being common. 

Larger homes, usually those with 3,000 square feet of space or more, would benefit from a mesh system, which pairs a base unit with satellite extensions that can be placed throughout the house. 

These extension units stretch the reach of your Wi-Fi signal to cover even the largest of homes and can be expanded as needed with additional units. (Learn more in our article What is a mesh Wi-Fi router, and how many do you need?)

Gaming

One other consideration is gaming. The last thing you want is to be slowed down or interrupted by your network connection in the middle of a team raid or battle royale. 

Gaming routers offer all of the capabilities of a standard router but are optimized specifically for gaming. They reduce interruptions, help eliminate lag time, and usually offer advanced controls for customizing how data is used in your home among different devices.

Price

Finally, the biggest factor in many people’s shopping decisions isn’t capability or specific features, but the price. While Wi-Fi 6 products are still notably more expensive than older standards, there are a handful of budget-friendly options available, and even a few with Wi-Fi 6e. 

Though many Wi-Fi 6 products cost $300 or more, there are options in both standalone and mesh devices at more affordable prices. While these do offer many of the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, they will often do so with more modest device handling and less impressive coverage. However, a solid Wi-Fi 6 standalone router can be had for under $150, and a mesh system can be found for under $300.

Wi-Fi 6 router FAQs

Is it worth buying a Wi-Fi 6 router today?

Wi-Fi 6 (otherwise known as 802.11ax) brings faster throughput speeds, better battery life, and less bandwidth congestion than what you get with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) technology.

Is WiFi 6 Actually Better?

Not only is Wi-Fi 6 able to handle much faster speeds than Wi-Fi 5 it has also been designed to keep up with the world’s increasing demand for smart technology.

With the average home now using some form of smart devices, such as smart doorbells or lights, your network needs to be able to handle more devices connected to your network, without it affecting the overall speed of your internet.

Are Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E the same thing?

No, Wi-Fi 6 is the latest version of Wi-Fi, while Wi-Fi 6E is a special designation for Wi-Fi 6 devices that are equipped to send signals in the ultrawide 6GHz band, which is something that routers couldn’t do until recently when the FCC voted to open that 6GHz spectrum for unlicensed use.

Does Wi-Fi 6 Benefit Older Devices?

Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible, meaning if you have older devices with Wi-Fi 5 you can still use them with your Wi-Fi 6 router. To see the benefit of increased speeds you would need to purchase a device with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities.

Will older devices still work with a Wi-Fi 6 router?

Yes, Wi-Fi 6 is fully backward compatible, so earlier-gen Wi-Fi devices will still be able to connect to them and get online. They just won’t be able to take advantage of the new Wi-Fi 6 features that speed things up for current-gen devices.

Is Wi-Fi 6 Safer?

The simple answer is yes, Wi-Fi 6 uses WPA3 certification when making a wireless connection. WPA3 means hackers need to be physically present to guess a password since a user can only make one guess at a time.

Does a Wi-Fi 6 router work with any modem?

Wi-Fi 6 is designed to be backward compatible with previous standards. That means that the vast majority of Wi-Fi products you have in your home probably work with a Wi-Fi 6 network, although almost none of them support 802.11ax themselves.

What channels does Wi-Fi 6 use?

Wi-Fi 6 supports channels widths of 20, 40, 80, and 160 MHz in the 5GHz band. While OFDMA allows for more efficient use of the spectrum, 20/40/80MHz channels are recommended for enterprise deployments, while 160MHz is best suited for environments with low channel utilization.

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