The 10 Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Also known as 802.11ax and Wireless AX, the Wi-Fi 6 standard is a significant step ahead of Wi-Fi 5, thanks to clever mechanics that increase packet sizes, maximum concurrent transmissions, and even the battery life of devices. Only other Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices can take full advantage of these improvements, but more and more equipped laptops and phones are being released on a regular basis. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 11, 2020:
The last time we visited this category, it was all but impossible to get your hands on a consumer-level Wi-Fi 6 router. In truth, even today, many users won't be able to take full advantage of these just yet, as most devices are still using Wi-Fi 5 technology. In fact, if you don't plan of upgrading to a cutting-edge laptop or smartphone, a more common wireless-AC router could definitely serve you well.
On the other hand, if you want to be ready for the future, or you have a desktop PC with a premium Wi-Fi adapter, you might consider getting a next-gen router. The EDUP AX1500 is just about the cheapest worthwhile choice, although power users might find its overall performance a little lacking. Alternatively, the Archer AX10 is only slightly more costly, and should provide plenty of bandwidth and range for most users, today, as well as for years to come. If you want a slight uptick in performance, the Asus RT-AX56U and Archer AX50 are worthwhile choices with mid-range prices.
Those who are especially concerned with throughput have a few more options, although the prices start to get pretty high, pretty quickly. The TP-Link AX6000 isn't the absolute newest release, but it does do an excellent job of transmitting data at high speeds. Similarly, the Asus RT-AX86U has both premium throughput, as well as rock-bottom latency and powerful Quality-of-Service prioritization, which makes it worthy even of online gaming, something that hasn't long been the case with wireless routers. The Netgear Nighthawk RAX75 is another high-performing option that allows for 8 simultaneous streams, making it one of the best choices for households with many connected devices.
We'd also recommend looking into mesh systems, which do a very good job of minimizing and even eliminating dead spots. The TP-Link Deco X20, for instance, isn't even terribly expensive, and while the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 and Netgear Orbi RBK752 are significantly more costly, they provide performance on a par with the best.
February 04, 2019:
It's often nice to be at the forefront of the newest standards, and if you're in the market for an 802.11ax router, chances are you know more than a little about technology. As far as early adoption goes, there are only a few viable models currently available, topped with the surprisingly user-friendly Netgear RAX80, also known as the Nighthawk AX8. Aside from it and the Asus AX88, there are very few routers marketed to the general public. And even though we're seeing the bleeding edge of Wi-Fi 6 development right now, and will likely remain so for much of 2019, both of these are solid picks for anyone who wants to guarantee top-of-the-line connectivity in their home or small business. The Asus ROG goes just a step further, offering a 2.5-gigabit Ethernet connection, which players of high-end, ultra-competitive games will appreciate. The ROG also claims superior wireless prioritization, so if you're gaming without the LAN connection, it should still push your packets through first, helping to cut latency to just a few milliseconds, in the right settings.
After those three, we approach some seriously powerful, interesting, and expensive choices, all suited for various professional applications. The Aruba was purpose-built for large lecture halls and laboratory departments in modern schools, and it supports up to around 250 simultaneous users, helping all students to "get their learn on." The Aerohive is the latest revision to one of the first widely-available AX routers, and if your place of business requires it, it's a great pick. The Ruckus is particularly noteworthy for its focus on high-end security, and in fact, it offers some such features than many endpoint devices don't yet support. So it's important to do as much research as you can while setting up your Wi-Fi 6 system.
Aruba Networks A subsidiary of tech giant Hewlett Packard, Aruba Networks is responsible for a range of commercial networking solutions. Some of their cutting-edge developments include Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, which uses the as-yet-underutilized 6-gigahertz band to significantly increase bandwidth and allow for massive amounts of data transmission in professional environments. arubanetworks.com
Cisco Systems This is one of the most well-known networking providers in the industry, and if you need to build a professional system from the ground up, one of the best places to start. Of course, offering some of the best products also means their prices are relatively high, but the future-proofing, reliable design, and huge market share combine to make Cisco's technology worth the investment. cisco.com