Best wireless routers 2021: the best Wi-Fi for your home network

  By Orestis Bastounis 13 July 2021

  Stream, game and browse better with the best wireless routers

  We’ve compiled this list of our picks for the best wireless routers for you. (Image credit: Future)

  Upgrade your network with one of the best wireless routers. An ISP-supplied router may do an OK job – and one of the best Wi-Fi extenders could be enough to extend its reach. However, upgrading to a top-notch router should not only yield better results, but also future-proof and reduce clutter in your area of coverage.

  After all, buying yourself the best laptop or the best desktop PC will only get you so far. You also need a fast and reliable network to see you through your online needs, and the best wireless routers will always produce better results in terms of improving connectivity. As a result, you’re getting faster, smoother, and more consistent internet connection throughout your space.

  Whether you play a lot of online games or co-op games with friends, rely on your network for work or your business, or watch the best Netflix shows all day, it’s high time you invest in one of the best routers. From excellent mesh Wi-Fi routers to newer Wi-Fi 6 routers, here are our top picks.

  Google Nest Wifi takes the Google Wifi and gives it the capabilities of Google Home. (Image credit: Google)

  1. Google Nest Wifi

  Google Wifi and Home together at long last


  Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/5 GHz simultaneous dual-band

  Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports

  Features: Advanced security chip, Nest Wifi point with Google Assistant, privacy control

  Reasons to buy

  +Excellent design+Smart speaker(s) included+Even simpler controls

  Reasons to avoid

  -No major performance gains-Not worth replacing existing mesh

  Google kicks things up a notch in its Google Wifi line with its latest installment. Don’t get us wrong; the original Google Wifi is still among the best wireless routers today. However, if you’re all about the smart home life, then you’ll appreciate the pure genius of Google Nest Wifi. The best router 2021 has given us takes the Google Wifi, gives it the capabilities of Google Home and wraps it all up in an even sleeker and more appealing package. It’s a mesh fast router and a smart speaker in one, all with the simplicity that Google Wifi is known for.


  Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi

  (Image credit: Asus)

  2. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

  Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers


  Speed: 802.11ax 4804Mbps down

  Connectivity: 2.5 Gigabit Wan, 3 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, USB 3.1

  Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro

  Reasons to buy

  +Great Wi-Fi performance+Good security features

  Reasons to avoid

  -Expensive-Limited to two routers

  Asus has been rolling out some amazing Wi-Fi 6 routers recently, and it has been releasing them for just about every need and budget. With the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), It has also managed to introduce Wi-Fi 6 to that other cutting-edge tech in connectivity; mesh routers. While it is among the more expensive options out there and limits you to two mesh routers, the Asus ZenWifi AX offers blazing fast speeds as well as plenty of flexibility in its setup – such as the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. With excellent security features to boot, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking at mesh routers.

  Read the full review: Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

  (Image credit: TP-Link)

  3. TP-Link Archer GX90

  High-speed Wi-Fi 6 performance tailor-made for gaming


  Speed: IEEE 802.11ax/ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11ax/n/b/g 2.4 GHz

  Connectivity: 1× 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN, 1× Gigabit WAN/LAN, 3× Gigabit LAN, 1× USB 3.0, 1× USB 2.0

  Features: 4.8 Gbps Game Band, Game Accelerator, MU-MIMO


  Check Amazon

  Reasons to buy

  +Wi-Fi 6 running at 6.6Gbps+Dedicated 4.8Gbps ‘gaming band’

  Reasons to avoid

  -Slightly fiddly set-up

  There may be a few things you might not like about the TP-Link Archer GX90. It’s big, it’s bulky, and it’s expensive. However, those are easy to forgive when you realize that you’re getting a big bang for your buck. This is among the best wireless routers out there for gamers, boasting a handful of features for hardcore gaming like a dedicated 5GHz ‘gaming band’ that lets you hog most of your household bandwidth when you need it. Have younger gamers at home? It also provides good parental controls like content filters to block unsuitable material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages.

  Read the full review: TP-Link Archer GX90

  (Image credit: Asus)

  4. Asus RT-AX86U

  An impressive all-around upgrade


  Speed: 802.11ax up to 5700 Mbps down

  Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, 2.5G Wan, 2x USB 3.2

  Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control, NVIDIA Geforce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization


  Reasons to buy

  +Fast Wi-Fi 6 performance+Gaming-focused+Security features

  Reasons to avoid

  -Not cheap

  Asus has always had an excellent line of gaming-centric devices, and the Asus RT-AX86U continues that tradition. While expensive compared to run-of-the-mill routers, it’s actually a competitively priced Wi-Fi 6 router. And, considering Wi-Fi 6 is the future in connectivity, this router is a win for Asus and an ace for gamers. It also has some great features for gamers such as a 2.5 Gigabit Wan, the ability to assign an ethernet port as a dedicated “gaming” port, and NVIDIA Geforce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization. Finally, it comes with very useful parental controls if you need them.

  Read the full review: Asus RT-AX86U

  (Image credit: Asus)

  5. Asus RT-AX58U

  Wi-Fi 6 on a budget


  Speed: up to 3000Mbps

  Connectivity: RJ45 for BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for BaseT for LAN, USB 3.1 Gen 1

  Features: Router app, MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro, Parental Control

  Reasons to buy

  +Strong Wi-Fi 6 performance+Simple set-up+Good parental controls

  Reasons to avoid

  -Dual-band only

  Wi-Fi 6 is the new cutting-edge technology in networking. And while it offers faster speeds, better connections and larger area coverage, it comes at a price. With the Asus RT-AX58U, the company has been able to offer that Wi-Fi 6 performance at a much more reasonable price. And while it might not carry some of the extra features or ports that some of the more robust options have, it does offer some important ones such as MU-MIMO and Parental Controls. So if you’re looking for a no-frills way to get speedy internet, the Asus RT-AX58U may be the way to go.

  Read the full review: Asus RT-AX58U

  Netgear Orbi Pro is a modular Wi-Fi mesh router. (Image credit: Netgear)

  6. Netgear Orbi Pro

  A mesh router for the office


  Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps

  Connectivity: Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN

  Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation

  Reasons to buy

  +Easy to deploy+Fantastic performance

  Reasons to avoid

  -Very expensive

  If you need to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with the best router 2021 has on offer, then you must seriously consider getting the Netgear Orbi Pro. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router that takes some design and performance inspiration from its business-grade competitors. It’s on the more expensive side. However, if you’re running a business where you cannot afford any lags due to poor Wi-Fi, then it’s absolutely worth every penny.

  Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro

  Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 is an economical alternative for casual users. (Image credit: Netgear)

  7. Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

  The Netgear Orbi, but smaller now


  Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 68.8 Mbps

  Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit

  Features: Disney Circle parental controls, Pause WiFi, smartphone setup, Tri-Band networking, modular

  Reasons to buy

  +Fast +Smaller than the original

  Reasons to avoid

  -Still expensive

  When the Netgear Orbi hit the streets, it changed the wireless router scene. Then, in 2019, Netgear released the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, an economical alternative for casual users who don’t have a grand manor to cover. This makes it a worthy contender for the best wireless routers. Sure, it comes with fewer antennae and ethernet ports than its higher end counterpart. However, it does deliver more than enough to provide very solid network coverage. Plus, the small form factor means that it will have no issues blending in – not that you will feel the need to hide it.

  Read the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

  TP-Link Deco M9 incorporates IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage. (Image credit: TP-Link)

  8. TP-Link Deco M9 Plus

  A router for the smart home


  Speed: 5GHz: up to 867Mbps, 2.4GHz: up to 400Mbps

  Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN, USB 2.0

  Features: Tri-Band connectivity, Dead-zone killer, Built-in smart hub, Built-in Antivirus, QoS, Parental controls

  Reasons to buy

  +Strong coverage+Easy setup

  Reasons to avoid


  The market is now flooded with wireless mesh routers, but it’s hard to complain when the level of coverage these wireless routers brings tops anything we’ve seen before. With devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, we can see how they’re only getting better and better. By incorporating IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is, without question, an excellent choice for a smart home supporter, with built-in antivirus software to boot. Fair warning though, this router is a tad expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and an outstanding performance in exchange.

  Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9

  D-Link Covr C1203 is one of the best wireless routers if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. (Image credit: D-Link)

  9. D-Link Covr-C1203

  Wireless mesh networking for everyone


  Speed: 2.4 GHz: up to 300Mbps; 5GHz: up to 866Mbps

  Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN per node

  Features: MU-MIMO, Parental controls, Smart network control, Smart device setup


  Reasons to buy

  +Affordable +Great coverage

  Reasons to avoid

  -Not as fast as it could be

  Ready to jump on the mesh wireless router bandwagon, but without breaking open that piggy bank? You’re in luck with the affordable D-Link Covr C1203. It’s one of the best wireless routers, if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. It offers comparable coverage to that of the Google Wi-Fi while also being affordable, and it also looks futuristic in a great way. It’s somewhat slower than Google’s legendary router, but it will still be fast enough for the typical user. It’s no surprise that the D-Link Covr C1203 gets our vote the best router 2021 if you want a mesh one.

  Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203


Tomasz David
Tomasz David

Leave a Comment