One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to Wi-Fi is sticking with the same router that your broadband provider supplied. By branching out and buying your own router, you can make your internet speeds both faster and more reliable.

FInding the best router for the job isn’t always easy though, as there are a range of options and different price points. That’s where we come in. We test a multitude of routers and mesh systems every year, and have included the top scoring options right here.

When reviewing a router, we make sure to extensively test the performance at multiple ranges at every available band, making sure to use the exact same conditions to ensure a fair test. We also test other factors such as parental settings, design, and any additional features.

We’ve just reviewed one of the very first Wi-Fi 7 routers, which currently tops our chart as the best router. But we’ve also made sure to include more affordable options that still provide super-fast speeds. We will be updating this list as soon as we review more high-scoring routers too. And if you’re looking for a Wi-Fi extender instead of a router, check out our best Wi-Fi extender list instead.

Best Router at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test routers

We test every wireless router we review thoroughly over an extended period of time.

We use consistent testing conditions to determine the highest speed for every available band, while also noting down the performance at various ranges.

We also make sure to test all of the available features, including security and parental controls.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Eero Max 7

Fastest Wi-Fi 7 mesh system

Pros

  • Extremely fast
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of high-speed Ethernet ports

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No web interface

The Eero Max 7 is the fastest mesh system we have ever reviewed, mostly thanks to its support for the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 7 wireless standard. Our tests showed it to run at a blazing-fast 160MHz on the 5GHz band and 320MHz on the 6GHz band – that’s serious speed.

The jump to Wi-Fi 7 also allows you to make use of Multi-Link Operation, which enables a single device to stream data using a combination of the 5GHz and 6GHz bands at the same time. This will prioritise the Wi-Fi for that device, making it both faster and more stable, which could be really useful for gaming.

The greatest problem here is that you’ll need Wi-Fi 7 devices in order to benefit from these features. Most laptops and smartphones don’t support this standard just yet, so the Eero Max 7 is best thought of as a router that will future-proof your wireless network for years to come rather than providing immediate benefits.

That does admittedly make the steep price harder to swallow, especially as there are plenty of other fantastic routers that support the Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E standards at more affordable prices. But if you want to make sure all of your future devices have the best Wi-Fi connections possible, the Eero Max 7 is the way to go.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Eero Max 7 Review

Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System

Fastest Wi-Fi 6E mesh system

Pros

  • Extremely fast
  • 6GHz beats Gigabit Ethernet
  • Smart security features

If you can’t justify spending a lot of money on a Wi-Fi 7 router, especially since most devices don’t support the wireless standard just yet, then the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Wi-Fi 6E is the best mesh system alternative you can buy today. It comes with two satellites so you can ensure you get great coverage throughout your home, while our tests showed it to be among the fastest mesh systems we’ve ever reviewed, especially at a 10-metre range. 

Support for Wi-Fi 6E means it’s compatible with one of the latest Wi-Fi standards, just behind the new Wi-Fi 7, while the 6GHz band delivers faster-than-wired speeds. This is also a quad-band system, allowing you to have multiple devices connected to the router simultaneously without seeing a significant slowdown in download speeds. 

We were also impressed by the number of features on this router, including built-in parental controls, as well as optional cyber security software if you pay for a subscription. 

It’s hard to find any flaws with this mesh system, although it is frightfully expensive. But if you want the absolute best Wi-Fi 6E speeds, this is the best router or mesh system you can buy.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Wi-Fi 6E Mesh System Review

Linksys Atlas Pro 6

Best value mesh system

Pros

  • Great value
  • Very fast
  • Easy to set up

The Linksys Atlas Pro 6 is the best value mesh system we’ve tested so far, capable of spreading Wi-Fi coverage throughout your entire home. It’s available in packs of one, two or three, allowing you to scale up or down depending on the size of your house.

The dual-band router achieved very impressive speeds in our performance tests, even when 10 metres away from your device. It bested the Eero 6 Plus, which was our previous ‘best value mesh system’ champ, and even rivalled some tri-band routers that had a far steeper price point.

Wi-Fi 6 is supported, which isn’t quite the latest standard (Wi-Fi 7) but still ensures you’re making the most of modern devices such as the PS5, Xbox Series X and smartphones/laptops launched in 2022.

The main weak point of the Atlas Pro 6 router is the lack of features and custom settings, with even the likes of parental controls being limited. If you do like to tinker, then we’d recommend the Eero 6 Plus instead. But the Atlas Pro 6 will certainly still appeal to those who just want a simple, hassle-free mesh system with blazing fast speeds.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Linksys Atlas Pro 6 Review

Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router

Best entry-level router for small homes

Pros

  • Fast
  • Wall mountable
  • Can be used in a mesh

Cons

  • Not ideal for larger homes

If you live in a small home, such as a flat, where there’s no need for a mesh system to maximise coverage, then we recommend the Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router.

With Wi-Fi 6 support, our test results showed it to offer a superb performance, leapfrogging those that cost twice as much. But with just two bands, the router can struggle with homes that have dozens of devices trying to connect to the internet at once.

Those with small homes should see a big improvement on their default router though. And if you already own an Asus router with AIMesh upgrade, the Asus RT-AX59U can alternatively be used to extend an existing mesh system.

Best of all, the Asus RT-AX59U is very affordable compared to the competition, and so is a no-brainer option for those in small homes that was a serious speed boost for their Wi-Fi connection.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Asus RT-AX59U Extendable Router Review

Best value tri-band

Pros

  • Good price
  • Tri-band system
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Some features need a subscription
  • Most bandwidth is in one network

The TP-Link Archer AX90 is a standalone router rather than a mesh system, which means it’s best suited for those in a smallish home where fast and consistent internet speeds are more important than coverage. 

This is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router, which means it’s ideal for homes with many devices that require access to the internet. Our tests showed the 5GHz channel to be particularly speedy, offering comparable results to dedicated gaming routers such as the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

The accompanying 2.4GHz bands weren’t as impressive due to the level of neighbouring interference, but are at least decent options for devices where rapid Wi-Fi speeds aren’t quite as important, leaving more bandwidth for the likes of consoles and PCs. 

It also supports TP-Links’ OneMesh technology, allowing you to build a mesh network via compatible range extenders. That’s a decent option to consider, but the TP-Link Archer AX90 arguably represents better value for those who just need a standalone router with a solid Wi-Fi connection for multiple devices. 

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: TP-Link Archer AX90 Review

Netgear Orbi 5G Tri-Band WiFi 6 Mesh System (NBK752)

Best for 5G support

Pros

  • Supports 5G
  • Excellent parental controls and security
  • Reliable Wi-Fi speeds

Cons

  • Faster Orbi Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems available

It can be an absolute nightmare when the Wi-Fi goes down unexpectedly, especially if you’re working from home and have an important business meeting. The Netgear Orbi 5G Tri-Band WiFi 6 Mesh System (NBK752) looks to free us from such pain by featuring support for 5G.

By slipping in a 5G (or 4G) Sim card into the router, it will revert to the cellular network as a backup if the Wi-Fi ever goes down. This ensures peace of mind that you’ll stay connected to the internet, even if BT or Virgin lets you down unexpectedly. 

This Orbi can be purchased with either one or two satellites while offering tri-band Wi-Fi 6 that our performance tests showed to be both speedy and reliable. 5G speeds will of course depend on the signal available in your area.

We thought the parental controls and security features were excellent too, while the smartphone app can be used like a remote control for hassle-free tweaks. 

However, you can find faster Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems elsewhere, such as the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Wi-Fi 6E, so this is only worth considering if you reckon the 5G backup network will be an invaluable feature. 

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Netgear Orbi 5G Tri-Band WiFi 6 Mesh System (NBK752) Review

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1600

Best gaming router

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Excellent gaming and parental control

If you want a router primarily for online gaming, then there are a number of bespoke options. Our current favourite is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1600, which offers a blazing fast performance while also supporting the 6GHz band via the Wi-Fi 6E standard.

It’s important to note that this is a standalone router, and so doesn’t come with additional satellites to help spread coverage throughout large homes. But this is still one of the fastest routers we’ve ever tested, and could still manage breakneck speeds when 10 metres away from wireless devices.

We were really impressed with the various gaming-centric features when testing the Rapture GT-AXE1600. A Game Radar shows the user the current ping times of popular multiplayer games, while there are also parental controls that can help you prevent children from playing online past bedtime.

There are few better routers available for gaming, although given the high price, it’s worth checking out a mesh system if you care more about improving coverage for your home than high-speed gaming.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Review: Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE1600 Review

We also considered…

FAQs

Which router is fastest?

The Eero Max 7 is the fastest router/mesh system we’ve ever tested, although you’ll only unlock the full speed potential if you own devices that support the new Wi-Fi 7 standard.

Can a better router increase internet speed?

A router can speed up your Wi-Fi and provide you with a consistent wireless performance. Although you will of course still be handicapped by the maximum speed of your internet plan.

What is a mesh system?

A mesh system is essentially just a router that comes bundled with additional satellite devices. Each satellite uses the same wireless network, but improves the coverage of your Wi-Fi. This is a very good option for large homes, ensuring you have a great connection in every room.

UK RRP

USA RRP

Manufacturer

Size (Dimensions)

ASIN

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Model Number

Wifi Spec

Special features

Number of Ethernet ports

Wall mountable

Operating Modes

Trusted Reviews test data

2.4GHz (close)

2.4GHz (first floor)

2.4GHz (second floor)

5GHz (close)

5GHz (first floor)

5GHz (second floor)


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Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

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