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The mar­ket has a large selec­tion of routers in dif­fer­ent price cat­e­gories. The most advanced mod­els sup­port the new Wi-Fi 6 stan­dard with increased band­width. Pho­to: www.cnn.com

In recent years, the load on routers has been con­stant­ly grow­ing — watch­ing movies and TV shows on Wi-Fi, lis­ten­ing to pod­casts, arrang­ing bat­tles in online games, hold­ing online con­fer­ences and meet­ings (after all, many still work remote­ly due to COVID-19), the num­ber of con­nect­ed gad­gets is increas­ing. In order to per­form these tasks, a Wi-Fi router must pro­vide suf­fi­cient sig­nal speed and sta­bil­i­ty. In today’s arti­cle, we have col­lect­ed 7 high-qual­i­ty Wi-Fi routers for the home.

*All prices are at the time of pub­li­ca­tion of the arti­cle.

How was it evaluated

When eval­u­at­ing Wi-Fi routers for the home, we con­sid­ered the basic char­ac­ter­is­tics that affect the speed of wire­less Inter­net: the speed para­me­ters of WAN and LAN ports, the sup­port­ed fre­quen­cy range, Wi-Fi stan­dards and the num­ber of anten­nas. We com­pared each device from the rat­ing with each oth­er for each of these char­ac­ter­is­tics. For each cri­te­ri­on, the max­i­mum score is 5. Let’s talk more about these para­me­ters.

WAN and LAN port speed: what is it

  • WAN is a con­nec­tor on the router into which the net­work cable from the provider is con­nect­ed. That is, it pro­vides a con­nec­tion to the Inter­net.
  • LAN — through these con­nec­tors, you can con­nect a PC, game con­soles and oth­er gad­gets to the router. That is a local net­work. Routers usu­al­ly have mul­ti­ple LAN ports. The larg­er the num­ber, the more devices can be con­nect­ed via cable to the router.

The stan­dard port speed is 100 Mbps, in top mod­els — 2.5 Gbps for WAN and 1 Gbps for LAN.

In order for the Inter­net speed to be high­er than 100 Mbps, the speed of the WAN ports must be 1 Gbps. Giga­bit LAN ports facil­i­tate fast trans­fer of large files when copy­ing with­in a net­work.

Mod­els with 2.5 Gbps WAN and giga­bit LAN ports will receive 5 points.

frequency range

The sig­nal is broad­cast in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz fre­quen­cy range. The advan­tages of Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz include:

  • long sig­nal range from the Wi-Fi source and pen­e­tra­tion abil­i­ty (the sig­nal is calm­ly trans­mit­ted through 1 main wall or 2–3 inte­ri­or walls);
  • sup­port for more devices (net­work devices, routers, smart home gad­gets);
  • routers that sup­port only this fre­quen­cy range are cheap­er.

Pros of Wi-Fi 5 GHz:

  • the max­i­mum speed is high­er;
  • bet­ter band­width (reflects the max­i­mum speed that the router can pro­vide when con­nect­ing devices wire­less­ly);
  • low occu­pan­cy (because few­er devices sup­port this range).

Gad­gets oper­at­ing in both bands will receive the max­i­mum score.

WiFi standards

They affect the max­i­mum pos­si­ble speed of infor­ma­tion exchange between the router and the gad­gets that are con­nect­ed to it.

  • Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n is out­dat­ed, it makes no sense to buy mod­els that sup­port only these stan­dards.
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac — speeds in the 5 GHz band up to 1.3 Gbps, 2.4 GHz — up to 450 Mbps.
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) is the lat­est stan­dard with a 35% faster data rate.

Wi-Fi 6 devices have the advan­tage of being com­pat­i­ble with old­er wire­less stan­dards. They will get the high­est score.

Number of antennas

The more of them, the far­ther the sig­nal trans­mis­sion radius and the high­er the Wi-Fi speed. The max­i­mum score will be giv­en to mod­els with the most anten­nas.

Top 7 Fast Routers for Home

All prices are at the time of writ­ing.

TP-Link Archer AX73

TP-Link Archer AX73 is equipped with a vari­ety of tech­nolo­gies that pro­vide high speed and sta­ble sig­nal. Pho­to: androidauthority.com

Peculiarities:

  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN ports, all 1 Gbps;
  • USB 3.0 con­nec­tor for con­nect­ing dri­ves (for stor­ing infor­ma­tion or cre­at­ing a back­up copy of Apple lap­tops);
  • 6 fixed anten­nas, the posi­tion of which is adjustable (the man­u­fac­tur­er rec­om­mends installing them per­pen­dic­u­lar to the floor);
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 6 (wire­less con­nec­tion speed up to 5400 Mbps);
  • 3‑core Broad­com BCM6750 proces­sor togeth­er with 1‑core BCM43684 chip pro­vide high per­for­mance;
  • many tech­nolo­gies that pro­vide fast net­work per­for­mance and bet­ter per­for­mance of a large num­ber of clients (includ­ing Beam­form­ing to con­cen­trate sig­nal strength in the direc­tion of the client, OFDMA to reduce laten­cy, Air­time Fair­ness for effi­cient allo­ca­tion of time slots depend­ing on the pow­er of gad­gets, 4x4 MU-MIMO for trans­mis­sion infor­ma­tion to sev­er­al client gad­gets at once, 1024-QAM to increase through­put);
  • pro­pri­etary OneMesh tech­nol­o­gy for the for­ma­tion of a seam­less coat­ing with­out delay and sig­nal loss;
  • the Home­Shield fea­ture ensures the secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy of per­son­al infor­ma­tion;
  • dimen­sions 27.3 x 14.7 x 4.9 cm.

The TP-Link Archer AX73 router costs just under 10,000 rubles.

Pros:

  • pow­er­ful;
  • sup­port of mod­ern tech­nolo­gies;
  • sta­ble work;
  • easy to set up (many auto­mat­ic modes);
  • does not heat up.

Minuses:

  • the free ver­sion of Home­Shield is lim­it­ed (no secu­ri­ty set­tings);
  • lim­it­ed func­tion­al­i­ty of the USB con­nec­tor.

Xiaomi AX6000

Xiao­mi AIoT Router AX6000 has a sep­a­rate anten­na that is respon­si­ble for con­nect­ing Smart Home devices. Pho­to: androidpimp.com

Peculiarities:

  • 2 LAN (1Gbps), adap­tive WAN/LAN ports (1Gbps and 2.5Gbps);
  • Wi-Fi 6 (up to 6000 Mbps);
  • advanced tech­nolo­gies (includ­ing the abil­i­ty to cre­ate a MESH net­work between Wi-Fi points, high-speed data trans­fer 4K QAM);
  • 7 fixed anten­nas (a sep­a­rate anten­na respon­si­ble for con­nect­ing Smart Home gad­gets);
  • Qual­comm IPQ5018 proces­sor, 512 MB RAM;
  • dimen­sions 40.8 x 17.7 x 13.3 cm.

The Xiao­mi AIoT Router AX6000 router costs just over 25,000 rubles.

Pros:

  • ease of set­up;
  • fast data trans­fer;
  • sig­nal sta­bil­i­ty;
  • the abil­i­ty to con­nect up to 248 gad­gets;
  • port 2.5 Gbps.

Minuses:

  • no USB con­nec­tor;
  • expen­sive;
  • large sizes.

Asus RT-AX86U

Asus RT-AX86U sup­ports gam­ing fea­tures and is equipped with 2.5 Gbps. Pho­to: tomsguide.com

Peculiarities:

  • two USB 3.2 con­nec­tors;
  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN ports (all 1 Gb/s), adap­tive WAN/LAN port (up to 2.5 Gb/s);
  • three exter­nal and one inter­nal anten­nas;
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 6 (up to 5665 Mbps);
  • tech­nolo­gies Beam­form­ing, OFDMA, 1024-QAM;
  • com­pat­i­ble with GeForce NOW (a tech­nol­o­gy that gives gam­ing appli­ca­tions up to 90% band­width) and sup­port for gam­ing fea­tures for online games;
  • tech­nolo­gies AiPro­tec­tion Pro (set­ting parental con­trol) and AiMesh from ASUS (com­bin­ing sev­er­al routers into 1 net­work);
  • 4‑core proces­sor, 256 MB flash mem­o­ry and 1024 MB RAM;
  • dimen­sions 24.2 x 10.0 x 16.4 cm.

The cost of the Asus RT-AX86U router is about 25,000 rubles.

Pros:

  • high speed;
  • sup­port for gam­ing func­tions;
  • the pres­ence of two USB con­nec­tors;
  • mod­ern tech­nolo­gies;
  • the pres­ence of a 2.5 Gb / s con­nec­tor.

Minuses:

  • prob­lem with avail­abil­i­ty in stores;
  • heats up under heavy load;
  • high price.

Keenetic Ultra KN-1810

Kee­net­ic Ultra KN-1810 is a Russ­ian-made mod­el. It pro­vides a sta­ble sig­nal. Pho­to: Kee­net­ic

Peculiarities:

  • USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 con­nec­tors;
  • 5 uni­ver­sal giga­bit net­work ports (can be con­fig­ured, default 1 WAN, 4 LAN);
  • four exter­nal anten­nas;
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 5 (up to 2533 Mbps);
  • Medi­aTek MT7621AT proces­sor, 128 GB of per­sis­tent stor­age and 256 GB of RAM;
  • you can set parental con­trols and cre­ate seam­less net­works;
  • dimen­sions 21.3 × 15.3 × 3.3 cm.

The cost of the Kee­net­ic Ultra KN-1810 router is about 16,000 rubles.

Pros:

  • sig­nal range and sta­bil­i­ty;
  • ease of set­up;
  • fast speed.

Minuses:

  • does not sup­port Wi-Fi 6.

TP Link Archer A8

TP-Link Archer A8 is the most afford­able router from our selec­tion. Pho­to: TP Link

Peculiarities:

  • 1 WAN and 4 LAN ports (1 Gbps);
  • 3 fixed anten­nas;
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 5 (up to 1900 Mbps);
  • tech­nolo­gies Beaform­ing, Air­time Fair­ness, 3×3 MIMO;
  • Medi­aTek TP1900BN proces­sor, 8 MB RAM and 4 MB inter­nal mem­o­ry;
  • parental con­trol (basic options);
  • sup­ports the cre­ation of MESH net­works;
  • dimen­sions 24.3 x 16.1 x 3.3 cm.

The price of TP-Link Archer A8 is about 4300 rubles.

Pros:

  • quick set­up;
  • com­pa­ra­ble in speed to basic routers with Wi-Fi 6;
  • cov­er­age area;
  • afford­able price.

Minuses:

  • no Wi-Fi 6;
  • no USB port.

Redmi Router AC2100

Due to the pres­ence of many holes, Red­mi Router AC2100 does not heat up. Pho­to: thephonetalks.com

Peculiarities:

  • one WAN and three LAN ports (all 1 Gbps);
  • 6 fixed anten­nas;
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 5 (up to 1733 Mbps);
  • MU-MIMO for data trans­fer speed;
  • dual-core proces­sor MT7621A, 128 GB of inter­nal mem­o­ry and 128 GB of RAM;
  • dimen­sions 25.9 x 17.6 x 18.4 cm.

The Red­mi Router AC2100 router costs a lit­tle less than 7,500 rubles.

Pros:

  • sim­ple set­up;
  • good cov­er­age;
  • light (600 g);
  • does not heat up.

Minuses:

  • Chi­nese firmware and Chi­nese plug, but the kit includes an adapter for a Euro­pean sock­et;
  • no USB port.

TP Link Archer AX11000

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 gam­ing router is more expen­sive than oth­er mod­els from our selec­tion. Pho­to: tomshardware.com

Peculiarities:

  • two USB 3.0 con­nec­tors;
  • 1 WAN (2.5 Gb/s) and 8 LAN (1 Gb/s) ports;
  • eight remov­able anten­nas (do not rotate);
  • oper­a­tion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;
  • Wi-Fi 6 (up to 10756 Mbps);
  • Link Aggre­ga­tion — a mode of increased band­width or redun­dan­cy due to com­mu­ni­ca­tion with oth­er net­work equip­ment simul­ta­ne­ous­ly via two chan­nels;
  • sup­port for mod­ern tech­nolo­gies (MU-MIMO, Beam­form­ing, Air­time Fair­ness, OFDMA and oth­ers);
  • quad-core proces­sor.

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 router costs just under 40,000 rubles.

Pros:

  • WiFi 6;
  • fast (with a large mar­gin of speed for the future);
  • good cov­er­age;
  • sup­port of mod­ern tech­nolo­gies;
  • There are USB ports.

Minuses:

  • dimen­sions (29 x 29 x 18 cm with anten­nas installed);
  • high price;
  • heats up under load.

Results

The routers in ques­tion received the fol­low­ing rat­ings:

Mod­el / Para­me­ter LAN and WAN port speed fre­quen­cy range WiFi stan­dards Num­ber of anten­nas Aver­age score
TP-Link Archer AX73 four 5 5 four 4.5
Xiao­mi AIoT Router AX6000 5 5 5 four 4.75
Asus RT-AX86U 5 5 5 2 4.25
Kee­net­ic Ultra KN-1810 four 5 four 3 four
TP Link Archer A8 four 5 four one 3.5
Red­mi Router AC2100 four 5 four four 4.25
TP Link Archer AX11000 5 5 5 5 5

The fastest (and most expen­sive) router on our list is the TP-Link Archer AX11000. But for the aver­age user, its pow­er may be exces­sive. It is use­ful for those who have high-speed Inter­net and a lot of con­nect­ed gad­gets.

In sec­ond place is Xiao­mi AIoT Router AX6000 with a sep­a­rate anten­na for Smart Home devices.

In third place is TP-Link Archer AX73 — the most afford­able mod­el from the top three. It sup­ports many tech­nolo­gies for fast and sta­ble oper­a­tion.

Keep in mind that the Wi-Fi con­nec­tion speed is also affect­ed by the dis­tance from the router to the client and the pres­ence of obsta­cles between them.

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