Thanks to themand his promise Performance, 2019 was a particularly interesting year for wireless networks and Wi-Fi technology. Well, in 2020, the advent of new ones, Options are worth paying attention to how well they pay – especially since so many of them are significantly cheaper than the systems that precede them.
All of this has given us a nice, long list of new WiFi router models that we can test. We still dutifully work through them, but we've found a lot of great picks that are easy to recommend. No matter if you are interested. . – or, if you just want something decent that doesn't break the bank – we're here to point you in the right direction.
Expect regular updates for this post as we continue testing on multiple devices. If we find a Wi-Fi router that deserves close attention, we'll add it to this list with links back to our most recent test data.
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Tyler Lizenby / CNET
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and fastest version of Wi-Fi, and we are expecting many new models to see it support in 2020 and, if you want, you can now upgrade to a more efficient Wi-Fi router with a Wi-Fi Get Fi performance faster from connected devices that support the new standard, like the iPhone 11 or the Samsung Galaxy S10. Wi-Fi 6 is backward compatible, so your older devices will still be able to connect – but your new WiFi router won't do anything to speed them up.
All of this is to say that for most of us, it's probably too early to get a new Wi-Fi 6 router (and don't forget that you really need a really fast internet connection to notice the difference in the first place).
That means if you want to upgrade now or if you need a new WLAN router and are looking for a future-proof solution for the next generation of devices, then choose the one TP-Link Archer AX6000, It essentially passes our performance tests and delivers the fastest top transfer speeds we've ever recorded, as well as excellent selection and low latency.
The AX6000 debuted at a price of $ 350, but we've seen it marked as low as $ 270. It's definitely not cheap, even at this price, but if you catch it on sale, it's a worthy way to upgrade to a robust Wi-Fi 6 network. And if you can, wait a few months because TP-Link has two new AX6600 routers that will be available later this year: the AX90 for $ 300 in April and the GX90 for games, which is $ 330 this summer will cost. If nothing else, it probably means a price cut for the 2019 model.
Read more on CNET.
Tyler Lizenby / CNET
If you need a new WiFi router that feels like an upgrade – but you don't want to spend hundreds on it – then make sure that D-Link DIR-867 is on your list. When we first tested it in 2018, it impressed us with a constant Wi-Fi speed and reasonable features for the price. After that, it held up against top-notch gaming routers when we tested it again in late 2019.
In fact, of all the routers tested, the DIR-867 achieved the fastest average download speeds in the 2.4 GHz band in both our top speed tests and our real speed tests. The Wi-Fi router also kept its own on the 5 GHz band, multiple routers that cost significantly more. It wasn't the best performance at range, so it's probably best for small apartments, but they're still strong performance for the price of $ 100 or less.
Note, however, that D-Link has just announced its new router range for 2020 at CES. This includes Wi-Fi 6 models starting at $ 120, which should start arriving in stores in the coming months – we'll keep an eye on how they arrive and let you know if they're worth the extra money over the DIR -867.
Read the CNET D-Link DIR-867 test.
Chris Monroe / CNET
With fast speeds, simple setup, and helpful, easy-to-use application controls, Google Wifi has been meshing our top routers for the past three years. His second generation follow up, Nest wifi, is faster, cheaper and just as easy to set up and use. In addition, the extended range points now also function as intelligent speakers from Google Assistant. This, coupled with a new design that is available in multiple colors, will always aim to keep these things outdoors where they will perform better.
It doesn't support Wi-Fi 6 (and the Wi-Fi extenders do increase the range of your Wi-Fi signal have no Ethernet jacks, which means you can't connect them back to the Wi-Fi router), However, Nest Wifi offers a number of useful, current upgrades, including support for new WPA3 security standards and 4X4 MU-MIMO connections. This means that devices that use multiple Wi-Fi antennas can reach faster top speeds. At $ 269 for a two-device setup that can cover an area of up to 1,800 square meters (an assertion that has been found in testing both in a small house and in the 5,800 square meter CNET Smart Home) the dual-band nest WiFi most suitable mesh router on the market and the first one I would recommend.
That said, with many new mesh systems just announced at CES 2020 – including some that support Wi-Fi 6 fewer Nest Wifi costs – it will be a very interesting (and busy) year for the mesh beat. If one of these new systems manages to dethrone Nest in our eyes, we will update this area.
Read CNET Nest Wifi review.
Ry Crist / CNET
It's not as extensive as systems like Nest Wifi, and the app controls that let you set everything up aren't nearly as smart – but other than that, it's new, budget-friendly Netgear Orbi System stands out as a clear selection of values in the mesh category. At just $ 150 for a two-device setup with the WiFi router and a single-range WiFi extender, it's about as cheap as a mesh network and could keep up with both Nest and Eero in our speed tests , It's even cheaper now – just $ 130.
In fact, Netgear Orbi drove in from these three systems with the fastest average top speed at close range – and when we tested that range with the CNET Smart Home, they pushed these two Wi-Fi systems out again. I even like the new design with clever contours that release the warmth in style.
What's next for Netgear? Interestingly, there is a new Nighthawk network system this month. It looks like this Orbi system, except it is black – and it supports Wi-Fi 6. That costs only $ 230 for a two-part build, and is one of the next mesh systems we hope to test. Stay tuned for more information.
Read CNET's Netgear Orbi test.
Tyler Lizenby / CNET
Gaming routers promise high performance and low latency for die-hard gamers, and it's not uncommon for them to sell for $ 200 or even $ 300. At around $ 150 that Asus RT-AC86U Dual-band routers aren't cheap either, but it's a strong value relative to routers like them – and the wireless router offers excellent performance, too.
In particular, the RT-AC86U dual-band router registered the fastest average top speeds on the 5 GHz band of any Wi-Fi 5 router we tested. It was also the best gaming router in our latency tests, with lower average ping over dozens of speed tests than any other router we saw. These include fancier gaming routers that cost more, and even some Wi-Fi 6 models. In the meantime, control the WiFi router with a great full-featured app that offers numerous advanced networking features, including parental controls for your WiFi network and device prioritization options.
This ticks all the boxes that most people expect from a good gaming router and a dual-band router, and gets you there at a price that we cannot recommend. You should consider waiting until later this year if Asus plans to release the RT-AX86U, which adds Wi-Fi 6 to support, but we don't know how much that router will cost or if it will hit stores.
Read more on CNET.
Originally published in 2019 and updated regularly.