Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2020: Pick One for your Home!

Asus RT AX82U 20
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX82U is easily coolest Wi-Fi 6 router so far.

Since the first Wi-Fi 6 router became available in early 2019, I’ve reviewed a couple of dozens of them. While the new standard is not a must-have yet, it’s now a good idea to get it if you’re in the market for a new router.

Not all devices I’ve tested make it here, but only those I’d use for myself — and I indeed have been using at least some. That said, any of them will work well. It’s just a matter of how well, and that depends on your situation.

By the way, if you live in a big home and need a multi-hardware-unit solution, check out this list of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems, instead. And bookmark this post — I’ll update it as I review more.

READ NOW:  Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Systems of 2020: The Real-Deal Collection

Dong’s note: This is a frequently updated post.

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The best Wi-Fi 6 router to date: Asus RT-AX86U

Asus RT AX86U 12
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

It’s tough to call a router the best because everyone has different needs and budgets. But the RT-AX86U has almost everything one would want from a standalone Wi-Fi 6 broadcaster. So far.

These include fast Wi-Fi speeds, excellent coverage, multi-gig wired connection support, and a ton of useful features, including those for online gaming. On top of that, using it won’t cause you to worry about your privacy, nor do you have to take a loan to get it.

And finally, the fact it can work as part of an excellent AiMesh system means it will last a long time, even when you move to a larger place.

ASUS RT-AX86U AX5700 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

9

Performance

9.0/10

Features

9.5/10

Easy of use

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast performance, excellent range, reliable
  • Tons of helpful networking features and settings
  • Useful settings for online gaming
  • Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app
  • Multi-gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support
  • Excellent NAS performance and features when hosting a storage device
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • No support for WTFast Gamer VPN
  • Not wall-mountable
  • Gaming features turn Adaptive QoS off
  • Multi-gig port caps at only 2.5 Gbps
READ NOW:  Asus RT-AX86U Review: The Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router to Date

But like all things, the RT-AX86U is not perfect. It’s not wall-mountable, nor does it support tri-band. And as a gaming router, it doesn’t have all game-related features collectively available in others. Also, its current price of some $250, while reasonable, can still be out of reach for those on a budget.

So there will be a new router that will topple its place. In the meantime, find below the lists of those that are getting close. Depending on your needs and budget, any will make an excellent choice.

Best Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2020: The lists

These lists are in reviewed order, latest on top.

There are a few lists for different home sizes, including small, medium, and large. And by those, I mean mostly the number of users and not necessarily space. That’s because if you have a large home, you might want to look into mesh systems instead.

It’s worth noting that a single Wi-Fi 6 router has about the same coverage as a Wi-Fi 5 counterpart of the same performance tier but likely delivers better performance when used with Wi-Fi 6 clients.

Scroll to the bottom of each section for the performance charts to see how their numbers stack up. Or check out this post on Wi-Fi 6 competing pairs to see how they pan out as direct competitors.

READ NOW:  Home Wi-Fi 6 Solutions Compared: A Quick Take on Which to Get

Best budget entry-level (AX1500) and mid-range (AX3000) Wi-Fi 6 routers for a small home

This list includes dual-band 2×2 routers that range from affordable to semi-affordable. They all have a bandwidth cap of 2.4 Gbps or lower when used with Wi-Fi 6 clients. These generally are routers for the budget-minded or those living in a small or medium home.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Archer AX10 shares the same physical design as other TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 routers, including the AX50 below and the Archer AX3000.

At just around $80, the Archer AX10 is one of the most affordable Wi-Fi routers on the market. And for one that supports Wi-Fi 6, it’s ridiculously cheap.

But this is not a cheap router. If you’re looking for a frill-free Wi-Fi machine that can handle a small home, the Archer AX10 is an excellent choice.

TP-Link Archer AX10 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router

$79.99
8.6

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Ease of Use

8.5/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance for the specs
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Subdued feature set, no USB port
  • No support for the 160 MHz channel bandwidth
READ NOW:  TP-Link Archer AX10 Review: An Underrated Budget Wi-Fi Machine

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The TP-Link Archer AX50 is a typical-looking Wi-Fi router.

The TP-Link Archer AX50, not to be confused with the similarly specced Archer AX3000, is a dual-stream (2×2) Wi-Fi 6 router, which makes a mid-range router. But since there are only 2×2 clients on the market, this router can still deliver the top Wi-Fi 6 speeds, especially considering it supports the 160 MHz channel width.

On top of that, the affordable pricing, plus an excellent set of features make it a great deal.

TP-Link Archer AX50 Wi-Fi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router

8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Ease of Use

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • 160 MHz channel support with fast and reliable performance for mid-tier router
  • Tons of useful networking and Wi-Fi settings
  • Valueable features, including free real-time online protection
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Compact design, wall-mountable

Cons

  • No multi-gig network port or Dual-WAN
  • HomeCare requires mobile app and login account with TP-Link to work
  • Slow NAS performance when hosting a portable drive
  • Runs a bit warm
READ NOW:  TP-Link Archer AX50 Review: A Nice Surprise of a Wi-Fi 6 Router

2. Asus RT-AX3000 (RT-AX58U): The best entry-level mesh-ready router

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX3000 is the smallest Wi-Fi 6 router I’ve tested.

The RT-AX3000 (a.k.a RT-AX58U) is the Asus’s answer to the TP-Link 3000 and Netgear RAX40 below. It’s slightly more expensive than those two, but it has way more than enough to justify the cost.

The router did well in my testing, has a ton of useful features, including a capable QoS engine you can use to quickly customize your Intenet for real-time voice/video conferencing. In all, for a small home with a budget, the Asus RT-AX3000 is an excellent buy.

ASUS RT-AX3000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

$179.99
8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • 160 MHz channel support
  • Fast and reliable performance
  • Ton of useful features with excellent AiMesh support
  • Full web interface and well-design mobile app
  • Compact design, wall-mountable

Cons

  • No multi-gig port or Link Aggregation
  • Modest hardware specs
  • Relatively short Wi-Fi range
  • The Parental Control feature could use some improvement
READ NOW:  Asus RT-AX3000 and RT-AX58U Review: A Little Excellent AiMesh Pair

1. Netgear RAX40: A safe Wi-Fi 6 choice for the semi budget-minded

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RAX40 has the usual number of network ports and a USB 3.0 port for a storage device.

If you live in a small home, the Netgear RAX40 is an excellent choice. It’s a muted version of the more expensive RAX120 that’s capable of delivering 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 (2.4Gbps) in full. That said, for now, it’s as fast any Wi-Fi 6 router can be, considering there are only 2×2 clients.

Among budget Wi-Fi 6 routers, the Netgear RAX40 is slightly faster (and more expensive) than the TP-Link AX50 above.

Netgear Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX40)

8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable pricing, reliable performance
  • 160 MHz channel width support
  • Good set of network features and settings
  • Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
  • Wall-mountable

Cons

  • Fluctuating Wi-Fi speeds
  • Wi-Fi range could be better
  • No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation
  • Mobile app require a login account with vendor
READ NOW:  Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 Review: Wi-Fi 6 for the Budget Minded

Best just-right (AX5400) Wi-Fi 6 routers for a medium home with sub-Gigabit Internet

These are dual-band routers with a mix of high-end (4×4) 5 GHz band and subdued 2×2 2.4 GHz band. They also have no multi-gig network port and relatively modest processing power.

However, considering we tend to care more about the 5 GHz band and most homes only have Internet of 500 Mbps or slower, these are actually great deals since they deliver where it matters.

3. Netgear Nighthawk XR1000: A different type of (gaming) experience

Netgear XR1000 12
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 comes in an eye-catching design.

The XR1000 is Netgear’s latest entry into the realm of gaming routers, and it proved to be quite different from the rest.

Running a game-centric DumaOS version 3.0, the new router has some unique features for gamers, as well as a ton of useful settings for regular users. In return, it’s a bit too pricey for its hardware specs, which are identical to the Asus RT-AX82U below.

Still, for those playing a particular set of online gaming, this is an excellent buy.

Netgear XR1000 Nighthawk Pro Gaming 6-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router

$349.99
8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Easy of use

7.5/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Sophisticated game-centric firmware
  • Fast Wi-Fi speeds and reliable perfornace
  • Robust web UI, beautiful hardware design
  • Useful mobile app, wall-mountable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Underpowered -- items of web interface can take a long time to fully load
  • Mobile app can't manage any gaming features
  • No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
  • Online protection and VPN require subscriptions
  • A bit buggy, mo mesh option
READ NOW:  Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Review: A Unique (Gaming) Experience

2. Asus RT-AX82U: Possibly the coolest gaming router to date

Asus RT AX82U 22
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus RT-AX82U and its unique programmable front-facing Aura RGB lighting.

The Asus RT-AX82U is almost the same as the RT-AX86U above in terms of performance and features. Almost because it’s a lesser option with less processing power and no multi-gig network port.

In return, it the only router so far that comes with an awesome looking programmable front lighting. On top of that its excellent performance and relatively friendly price tag don’t hurt.

Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Easy of use

8.5/10

Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Beautiful design with tons of helpful networking, game-related features and settings
  • Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app
  • Comparatively affordable

Cons

  • No support for WTFast Gamer VPN
  • No multi-gig network port
  • Network storage performance (when hosting a portable drive) could use some improvement
  • Not wall-mountable
READ NOW:  Asus RT-AX82U Gaming Router Review: A Fancy Little Wi-Fi 6 Performer

1. Netgear Nighthawk RAX50: The just-right Wi-Fi 6 router

Netgear RAX50 Router 18
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RAX50 is a compact and good-looking Wi-Fi 6 router.

Technically, the RAX50 doesn’t belong to this list because it’s an AX5400 router, nor does it belong to the list of the AX6000 routers below. Considering its relatively reasonable cost, I placed it here.

I called the RAX50 a just-right router because it can offer the same 5 GHz performance as those of the higher-end, like the RAX120, yet much more affordable.

Among other things, it does so by giving you lesser specs in the 2.4 GHz band, of which the higher-tier generally doesn’t necessarily give you faster speeds anyway.

Netgear Nighthawk AX6 6-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX50)

8.5

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi performance
  • 160 MHz channel width support
  • Excellent NAS performance when hosting a storage device
  • Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app with built-in online protection
  • Good set of network features and settings
  • Wall-mountable

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN, or Link Aggregation
  • Limited Wi-Fi settings
  • Mobile app require a login account with vendor
READ NOW:  Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 Review: A Just-Right Wi-Fi 6 Router

Best high-end (AX6000) dual-band Wi-Fi 6 routers for a medium home with Gigabit-class broadband

This list includes 4×4 routers that have the cap Wi-Fi bandwidth of 4.8 Gbps when used with Wi-Fi 6 clients. These Wi-Fi 6 routers are great for a medium or even a large home that has an average amount of devices, and a fast Internet connection.

Most of these routers come with a multi-gig network port, and they also tend to have lots of features and can all work as a viable mini NAS server when coupled with an external portable drive.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech There’s nothing round about the TP-Link AX6000.

The TP-Link AX6000 is anything but round. However, it does have a lot to offer, from reliable performance to a good feature set. Its main rival is the Asus RT-AX88U below, and the two are comparable in more ways than one.

If you live in a medium home and have a super-fast broadband connection, the TP-Link AX6000 can be an excellent fit.

TP-Link Archer AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

$269.99
8.1

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

7.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance
  • 2.5 Gbps WAN port with eight Gigabit LAN port
  • 160 MHz channel bandwidth support
  • Excellent QoS and Parental Control features
  • Robust full web user interface, helpful mobile app
  • USB-C ready, wall-mountable

Cons

  • No multi-gig LAN port
  • Bulky design
  • Not mesh-ready
  • Certain functions of the interface could use some improvement
  • Mobile app require a login account
READ NOW:  TP-Link Archer AX6000 Review: A Well-Rounded Wi-Fi 6 Router

3. Asus RT-AX89X: Arguably the best Asus standalone Wi-Fi 6 router to date

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech That’s my hand on the Asus RT-AX89X Wi-Fi 6 router.

The Asus RT-AX89X has the X (and not U) at the end of its name for a good reason. It’s the first on the market that features two 10Gbps network ports. Additionally, it also has eight Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port.

As a result, this latest Wi-Fi 6 router from Asus has the most diverse use of its network port, including a variety of Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation configurations.

The RT-AX89X also comes in a uniquely cool design, taking the shape of an octagon with eight collapsible antennae. In testing, it topped the charts in most categories.

ASUS RT-AX89X AX6000 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router

9

Performance

9.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance
  • Uniquely cool design with two 10Gbps network ports
  • Eight Gigabit network ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation
  • Super-fast network attached storage speed when coupled with an external drive
  • Tons of useful features, including free-for-life real-time online protection, and AiMesh

Cons

  • A bit buggy at launch, relatively expensive
  • Smart Connect setting not available at launch
  • Tweaking required to deliver top Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Bulky physical size with internal fan
  • Web interface needs work
  • Not wall-mountable, no universal backup restoration
READ NOW:  Asus RT-AX89X Review: Most Wi-Fi Bases. Covered. And More!

2. Asus RT-AX88U: The much better clone of the Wi-Fi 5 version

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The RT-AX88U comes in a traditional design of a Wi-Fi router.

In many ways, the RT-AX88U is the Wi-Fi 6 version of the RT-AC88U, which is an excellent router. The two look almost identical and share a lot of similar features, including the eight Gigabit LAN ports, and the lack of a multi-gig port.

ASUS RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router

$310.99
8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Fast Wi-Fi performance
  • Tons of useful features
  • Eight network ports with Dual-WAN and Link Aggregation
  • Universal setting backup and restoration
  • Fast network attached storage speed when coupled with an external drive.

Cons

  • No multi-gig network port
  • Buggy firmware at launch, especially as an AiMesh node
READ NOW:  Asus RT-AX88U Review: A Router for True Gigabit Internet

1. Netgear RAX120: The best looking Wi-Fi 6 router with awesome NAS performance

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Netgear RAX120 is an all-around excellent router.

Slightly cheaper than the RAX200, the RAX120 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that a 5Gbps multi-gig port. So, apart from fast Wi-Fi speeds, it also delivers top network-attached storage performance when hosting an external drive. And like its cousin above, it, too, has a cool futuristic design.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX120)

$384.77
8.1

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Design and Setup

9.0/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Powerful hardware, fast performance
  • Beautiful design
  • Multi-Gig network port (5Gbps)
  • Well organized web user interface
  • Ultra-fast network storage performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No online protection, gaming, or mesh features
  • A bit bulky
READ NOW:  Netgear RAX120 Router Review: The Multi-Gig Age Is Here

Best high-end tri-band (AX11000) Wi-Fi 6 routers for a large home

These are currently the non-compromising Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market. They collectively have everything you’d want from a single router. While they have similar Wi-Fi coverage as the 4×4 dual-band routers above, they feature a double Wi-Fi bandwidth thanks to the additional 5 GHz band. If you have lots of devices or Gigabit Internet, one of these is a must.

TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 3
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The TP-Link AX11000 is a massive router with eight removable antennas.

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 is not what TP-Link wants you to believe it is. It’s not a gaming router.

But you can play games with it, nonetheless, and most importantly it delivers in Wi-Fi performance. It’s also quite a cool-looking router to boot.

TP-Link Archer AX11000 Next-Gen Tri-Band Gaming Router

8.4

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

9.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance
  • 2.5 Gbps WAN port with eight Gigabit LAN ports
  • 160 MHz channel bandwidth support
  • Excellent, Antivirus, QoS and Parental Control features
  • Robust full web user interface, helpful mobile app
  • Eye-catching and convenient hardware design
  • USB-C ready, wall-mountable

Cons

  • Misleading gaming veneer, no actual gaming-specific features
  • No multi-gig LAN port, bulky design
  • Not mesh-ready
  • Artificial "Game" items make the interface unnecessarily confusing
  • Mobile app require a login account
READ NOW:  TP-Link Archer AX11000 Review: Excellent yet Ridiculously Misleading

3. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien: The one-of-a-kind Wi-Fi 6 router

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The AmpliFi Alien comes with a sleek touch screen and a bright ring of status light.

The AmpliFi Alien is a bit weird. It’s the first tri-band router with two different 5GHz bands. As a result, its mesh capability is somewhat handicapped due to signal loss. Also, it has no multi-gig port.

But this router has some cool features, useful mobile app, and excellent performance.

AmpliFi Alien Wifi 6 Router by Ubiquiti Labs

$688.00
8.3

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Design and Setup

9.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage
  • Sleek design, useful mobile app
  • Convenient Teleport VPN for mobile devices
  • Effective ad-blocking feature
  • Mesh-ready

Cons

  • Limited in conventional settings and features
  • Unconventional tri-band setup with no dedicated backhaul when used in a mesh setup
  • VPN doesn't support regular computers
  • No 160MHz channel support, multi-gig port, not wall-mountable
READ NOW:  Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Review: A Peculiarly Good Router

2. Netgear RAX200: An excellent tri-band router for a price

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Netgear RAX200’s Multi-Gig port caps at 2.5Gbps.

The awesome-looking RAX200 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router and proved to be one of the fastest in my testing. Its 2.5Gbps multi-gig port is also a bonus for those wanting to break the Gigabit barriers. It’s a great router if you can afford it.

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 12-Stream AX11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Router (RAX200)

$499.99
8

Performance

9.0/10

Features

7.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Reliable and fast performance
  • Eye-catching design
  • Helpful mobile app, robust web UI
  • Multi-Gig support (2.5Gbps)

Cons

  • Comparatively super-expensive with nothing extra
  • Shallow Wi-Fi customization, spartan feature set
  • Comparatively low CPU clock speed
  • No 5Gbps or 10Gbps LAN port, not wall-mountable
READ NOW:  Netgear RAX200 Review: Nice, Super-Fast but Overpriced

1. Asus GT-AX11000: The ultimate gamers’ edition of a Wi-Fi 6 router

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The Asus GT-AX11000 is a massive Wi-Fi 6 router.

The GT-AX11000 is the first Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers, and it delivers. This tri-band router has so many features and settings, and you can spend hours to figure out, and probably having fun doing it. Though sharing the similar hardware specs as the Netgear RAX200, it has much friendlier pricing, which is always a bonus.

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Gaming Router

8.3

Performance

8.0/10

Features

9.5/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance with excellent range
  • Lots of useful features for home users
  • Unique and effective settings for online gaming
  • Multi-Gig network port, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation
  • Mesh ready

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky design, loose antennas, non-wall-mountable
  • Fewer LAN ports than previous model
  • Long boot-up time, buggy firmware, fluctuating Wi-Fi throughputs
READ NOW:  Asus GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router Review: A Pro Gamer's Delight

Best Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2020: The performance

When it comes to wireless performance, it’s always the 5GHz band that matters. That’s true for both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 routers.

Wi-Fi 6 routers’ performance with Wi-Fi 6 clients

I test Wi-Fi 6 routers using 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients, which are currently the fastest in the market. In best-case scenarios, they have ceiling speeds of 2.4Gbps. When faster 4×4 clients are available, chances are you’ll see significantly faster performances in Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Best Wi Fi 6 Router with Wi Fi 6 Client Performance
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Wi-Fi 6 routers’ performance with Wi-Fi 5 clients

I use two types of Wi-Fi 5 clients when testing routers. One is a 4×4 clients (with the ceiling speed of 1733 Mbps) that works in the close-range test. For the long-range test, I use a 3×3 (1300 Mbps) clients.

Best Wi Fi 6 Router with Wi Fi 5 Client Performance
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Wi-Fi 6 routers’ performance on the 2.4 GHz frequency band

Due to the ubiquitous usage, the 2.4GHz frequency band’s throughput tends to be slow and fluctuate a great deal. For that reason, nowadays, this band is mostly for backup and backward compatibility purposes.

Best Wi Fi 6 Router with 2 4 GHz Client Performance
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

That said, I use a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 clients to test Wi-Fi 6 routers on this band.

READ NOW:  Best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Systems of 2020: The Real-Deal Collection

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205 thoughts on “Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2020: Pick One for your Home!”

  1. Dong, thank you so much for giving so much of your time and energy in preforming these tests and the write ups! I have used your guide several times to help colleagues pick the right router for their situation. I was curious if you could offer a spreadsheet to help quickly filter features & performance and narrow choices? Thanks again for sharing all your hard work.

    Reply
  2. I bought an Asus RT-AX89X in April and thought it the best thing I had ever used–for about two months until it started losing any network (wifi or lan) connections (or even visible SSID, no networking at all, wired or otherwise). Initially it required a restart to come back, and happened about once a week. Buy the end of June it was every ten minutes.

    I sent it to ASUS for warranty repair in early July. It took weeks to get them to send a RMA. A week after they received it they contacted me and said it couldn’t be repaired and told me I would be contacted about a replacement. I heard nothing in the remainder of July or August. Late August I began pestering ASUS. I had to buy another router because of the delay… Promises of a replacement have been made twice, but no router has come. And they refuse to send me another equivalent router. Rough working with them.

    Now I’m promised reimbursement. I don’t know if they’re even still making the RT-AX89X. It seems to have had many hardware issues. Which is too bad, because it was an awesome router with two 10GB ports, two USB ports and eight regular ethernet ports.

    Long story to get to my question. Is anything out there even nearly as capable as the router I bought in May? Anything on the horizon?

    Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    • Ah, I hate that when it happens. Sorry to hear, David. Mine has been working fine so far (knock on wood.) As far as I know, it’s still the only one that’s with two 10 Gbps ports.

      Reply
  3. Hello again dong. I am having a hard time deciding based on your buying guide. All of them look good but I don’t wanna spend more than I have to.

    Question for you. Is the ax86u worth the extra 100 over the tp link AX50?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Hi Dong

    I live in a 2500 square foot house but half of it is two levels and the other is off the back so the layout is longer. I have a R6400v2 router and an extender but the coverage is still poor along with a huge drop of in speed when we move away from the signal. And I don’t have any way of using wired connections. We only have 150mbs of speed although I am considering increasing to 500mb. I think any of these systems would be a huge improvement but my budget is $300 so I am leaning towards the X60.
    My question is around the drop of of speed with distance. Will 150mb speed be reduced much using either the X60 or MK63? And is one of these better than the other when the download speed is on the lowerside already and coverage is a priority? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  5. Hello.

    I am needing a new router that would be good to use for work and also gaming/streaming. I will only have 2 hard line connections and the rest of my house will be WiFi. I have an 1800 sqft home and the modem/router will be in the master bedroom on one end of the house.

    WiFi range and speed/stability are important to me. I currently am signed up with cox preferred plan (350mbps I believe don’t quote me).

    My budget is 150 or less. Currently I like the AX50 by TP-Link I think that’s the model number. But any other options would you recommend with my needs/budget?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Hi Dong!

    Thanks so much for the no-fluff and really informative content. It is greatly appreciated!

    I currently have a Netgear R7300 that seems to be failing (it is about 3 years old). I’ve tried reloading firmware and more or less anything I can think of, but the WiFi is almost completely unresponsive now and even cabled connections are starting to slow dramatically.

    I have a reasonably large house (over 3k sq/ft) and have the router in the center of the house underneath a wood floor. It’s actually done a fine job of reaching outdoor Nest cameras, doorbels, etc. I haven’t had any issues until it started to fail.

    We have gigabit internet and I’d like to take advantage of it and get better speeds if possible. I’m not as concerned with budget as I am with performance and a degree of future proofing.

    We stream all of our TV content and both myself and my wife WFH full time so we are on VPN’s all day. We have a fairly large number of devices connected total (27) about half via WiFi.

    I was considering the AX12 just for sheer performance but am concerned about range. I was also looking at the AX5400 is it just seems like a WiFi6 version of what I have now and seems to have more range.

    I’m curious what you think and if you’d be willing to make any recommendations.

    Thank you!

    Reply
      • Hello again Dong!

        Thank you for the amazingly fast reply.

        I may be in a situation where I have to replace my router tomorrow. Unfortunately the AX86U is not available to me locally and would take 1-2 days to get here, although I may try and hold out.

        Locally the best I can do from Netgear is the AX12 or AX5400. From Asus the only one available is the AC3100.

        If I can manage to hold out and get the AX86U I will definitely be using your affiliate link!

        Thanks again!

        Reply
  7. @Dong, I am trying to decide between the Asus RT-AC86U and the RT-AX86U. Currently I have a Netgear AC2400/R6800 and its 5 GHz signal is a tiny bit weak at the corner of the house. 99% of my devices are Wifi 5. From your Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 router performance charts, it appears that AC86U has better speed at longer range (40 ft) than the AX86U?

    Does the AC86U have better range/coverage than the AX86U for Wifi 5 clients?

    Reply
    • The RT-AX86U is a much better router than the RT-AC86U but only if you have Wi-Fi 6 clients or need multi-gig speeds. Their ranges are similar. If you have mostly Wi-Fi 5 clients and sub-Gigabit Internet, go with the latter.

      Reply
  8. Hi Dong,

    I love your site! It’s so hard to find practical reviews without the fluff on other review sites.

    I could use your help with my wifi-6 upgrade plans.

    Here’s my scenario:
    Large home, 4200sf, but over 4 floors. Every room in the house is wired with CAT5e. Gigabit FiOS modem and single wifi router in the basement, 24-port switch.
    I’m thinking to buy two higher-end wifi 6 routers, using one as an access point, placed more centrally (2nd floor ceiling), in order to have a single SSID throughout.
    Seems like Asus would be best, although Netgear’s UI has always seemed easier.
    Do I need tri-band? (I have a mix of clients)
    Do I need multi-gig port? (I have one NAS device)
    I’m not a gamer, but have 20+ devices (7 people in the home)
    Not planning on tweaking, just want strong signals over 4 floors.

    Thanks so much for your time!

    Reply
  9. Hi Dong,

    Great website. I’m a fan now. I live in Lima, Peru and my apartment is long and narrow with thick concrete walls. The place is prone to very weak/dead zones. I just upgraded to 1 Gbps of internet and am looking to build a new wifi network possibly mesh so that my equipment will be better up to speed with what I’m paying for. Any particular suggestions for these concrete walls? Thanks

    Reply
  10. Hi Dong,

    I am in a 2,900 sq. ft house, currently using a Netgear nighthawk x6 in the front of the house (lower level) and a Netgear ex8000 extender upstairs in the middle of the home. They are connected via wifi, no Hardline connection between the two. The nighthawk x6 is connected to my comcast xfinity gig internet box (with its own wifi turned off). I do have Sonos speakers throughout the house using the 2.4 channel i assume.

    I’m looking to improve speed and stability throughout the home for 30+ devices, including 4 people needing to use Zoom simultaneously.

    I could potentially hardwire a line to the other side of the 1st floor for an AP over there, I don’t have one currently. 2nd floor is difficult due to firebreaks between levels.

    I’m curious to know what you’d recommend i do to improve consistent speed and performance with my gig internet.

    Should i start a new system (wifi coverage isn’t an issue currently)? Looking to spend under $1,000 to improve total home speeds. I have been drawn to your write-ups on the new ASUS wifi 6 systems.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Reply
  11. hi dong.. am planning to setup AiMesh on currently used AC66U B1 with AX56.

    care to advise which one should i set as the main router?

    Reply
  12. Still torn on which router 6 to go with. I need reliability, speed. I do IT work. So i have multiple computers running, downloading etc. What do you suggest i buy and future proof?

    Reply
  13. Thanks Dong,

    Have you found the buggy firmware and inconsistent WiFi speeds to be an issue at this stage? Has firmware updates fixed those issues since your last full review on the GT-AX11000? Also, does this router have 160MHz Channel Support? I could not find that info in the review.

    Again thanks for your quick response and your reviews are much appreciated for those of us who are knowledgeable about IT, but not good enough to play in your sandbox :)!

    Bernard

    Reply
  14. Hi Dong,

    I have been waiting to get my hands on the Asus RT-AX89X. I like all the features that it has including the 160MHz Channel support, the multi gig ports, and the number of LAN ports. I will be moving soon into a 3200 sq ft home, so I need a router than can cover a house that size, I will have devices like smart lights, and several other smart home devices including smart TVs for streaming content such as Netflix. More than 2 dozen connected devices. I will have 400 Mb Internet, but may bump that up to the 1 Gb service. My question is, what other router would you recommend with the availability of the AX89X being what it is? I looked at your articles over and over and even looked at the full reviews on some models, and I was able to ignore the cons of the AX89X, but somehow I find it hard to ignore the cons on the other routers. I want to wait for the AX89X to become available, but there is no telling what that will happen. What’s your recommendation on the next best WiFi 6 router out there?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  15. Hi, I’ve been trying to decide between the tp-link ax10, tp-link ax50, and the netgear ac2000 (r6850). I don’t have many wifi 6 devices in the household but I was thinking that getting a wifi 6 router would be better for future proofing. I know they all have MU-MIMO so it will handle many devices better. An important aspect for me as well is reliability and ease of setup. When I looked at reviews for the netgear ac2000 (r6850) some people had some difficulty setting it up. There were also some reviews that the tp-link ax50 ran hot sometimes. Even if the theoretical bandwith of the tp-link ax50 is higher than the tp-link ax10, I feel like my internet provided by my ISP is not fast enough to take full advantage of the higher theoretical bandwith of the ax50. Which router would you recommend? Thank you.

    Reply
  16. Promise this is going to be the last question. Even though I don’t have many clients require WI-FI6 support for now, looking closer if RT-AX88U should be me primary and ac3100 secondary/node or vice- versa

    Reply
  17. Thank you for your quick response, really appreciate. Even though you have my full trust, something’s ringing in my ears that any time soon AC-3100 will not going to be enough to support repeater you’ve mentioned.At the moment with the ASUS support I can’t get even close to the wired speed, I would rather to spend the $ once and be covered for next 4-6 years as technology advance on the daily basis.

    Reply
  18. Dong. I can’t express how lucky I’m by founding your forum with tons of very valuable information. I would like to ask for your advise similar to the post from May,9. I currently have an Asus AC3100 router serving my 3 level home, which unfortunately is “buried “ in the darkest corner of my basement, whereof FIOS Gigabit connection enter the house.FIOS ONT is connected to the router and from there signal is getting directed to the HP managed switch, which serves all wired connections without a major issue. Problem I have is a WiFi distribution and signal (speed and strength).Up until last week UniFi AP AC PRO served with great success as the main source of WiFi for entire home (approx.40 devices). Works great and reaches all rooms decently, but unfortunately reached out it’s Iife span and entire “load” now has to taking care of by RT-AC3100.I am looking to improve the network and future-proof it with wifi6 compatible with current hardware. I would keep 1 router back where its right now and found placement for second either in the middle of the home or on the 2nd level. The second router will be placed about either 15 up to 40 feet apart separated by a floor. WPA3 support would be good, but not required unless you think I should wait for that feature. I always have 40+ devices connected These devices range from echos, PCs, Macs, apple TVs, multiple apple phones and multiple smart TVs, home security system, home security camera system etc. I utilize about 3TB of data a month on my cable internet. It would be great to be able to achieve max. speeds consistently through my router.

    I want to stay with Asus (I like their firmware support and user interface) and am hoping to continue utilizing my existing hardware (AC3100) Unless you convince me to exit the AC3100 I can create wired backhaul and I do consider the cost, but this would not be a critical factor. about cost of the new router(s). I do want the new router to continue to have the same features included in the AC3100 (such as QOS and Parental controls). What would you suggest I do? Performance and features are what I am looking for.

    Reply
    • Glad to have you, Jarek. Looks like your have your entire house wired, in that case, you only need an access point. Keep your RT-AC3100 and get the RP-AC1900 or the TP-Link EAP245. The latter is a bit cheaper and works better, but it will require a bit more work. Either will allow your network to be controlled by the router.

      Reply
  19. Dong,
    Have you run any vpn client speedtesting to compare between units? I am looking at upgrading my AC88U with it’s dual core 1.4ghz proc to the AX6000 and it’s quad core goodness. Currently my max speed on the AC88U is around 5MB/s on a good day but averaging less than 3MB/s of speed. Not sure if you have already done that or would consider adding that as a recordable dataset when comparing these units.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • No, Olin. When it comes to VPN, I only test it to the extent of if that works or not. I can’t test EVERYTHING on a router, unfortunately.

      Reply
  20. I finally received my AX11000 today. I started from scratch and made the AX11000 the main router and the AC3100 a node. I have a couple issues I’m hoping for commentary on so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel. My AC3100 was superb with stability and i’m hoping to achieve the same with the mesh.
    I’ve had it twice drop connectivity with multiple devices at the same time and am trying to tweak the settings to ensure stability and performance.

    I have some additional questions…
    1. I used to reboot the AC3100 for good measure once a week. I think that will be a good idea with the new setup to reboot both nodes. Any input you have on how to reboot both nodes and in the best order. I see you can set a reboot schedule, but am unsure if it will just reboot the one node or both since you can’t specify.
    2. Roaming Assistant under the wireless professional tab…. I had this turned off on my AC3100, but should it be on and what dBm should I set it to (default -70dBM)
    3. I found one of the keys to connection stability for all my devices on the AC3100 was turning off “airtime fairness”. (it made a huge difference) I have done the same on the new setup, but it leads to a general question about the “Professional” tab under wireless settings. Any chance you have done or would do a write-up for you thoughts on each of the professional tab settings in an aimesh network? Would love to get your opinions.

    Reply
    • The restart schedule generally will restart just the router, Bob, however it’ll force the node to reconnect which is has similar effect. I’m some combo the node will restart, too, but I can’t confirm yours.

      Yes, it’s a good idea to have ATF off. It’s a bit if a neglected feature. You can read more about dBM in this post. https://dongknows.com/asus-aimesh-overview/

      Reply
  21. Thanks, I just bought an AX88U too and I’ll do a little comparison with the TPLink to see which is the best for our home

    Reply
  22. Hi Dong, on your recommendation I have purchased a new TPLink AX6000 router, but am still trying to figure out the best setup. My current router, an ASUS AC87R is great, but is located centrally, but in the basement of a two story house. I have a pretty rectangular home and wired for ethernet in a few places on each floor. Currently we have a weaker signal near our garage/front door and we would like to add some wireless doorbell/cameras. I was thinking I could either a) keep the AC87R as a router and turn off the wireless AP, then run the new AX6000 on the first floor or b) run the AX6000 in the basement and then run the AC87R as an AP on the second floor above the garage/front-door. Any easy way to evaluate which scenario would be better. Do you recommend any sort of heat mapping software for Android or OSX?. Thanks!

    Reply
    • You just need to try different scenarios out and see which works best for you, Ross. There’s no software or app that can really help with that. Also, keep in mind that Wi-Fi doesn’t remain the same, it changes depending on the environment. More on that here. In your case, it’s better to use BOTH router’s Wi-Fi, just use the same Wi-Fi network and password, and yes, one of them in AP mode.

      Reply
  23. Hello, Dong.

    My D-link 890l has been lately been dropping 2,4Ghz occasionally, which sadly drops my Harmony hub, PS4 etc. out and I have to reboot the router. Sometimes it works for a month or two and then it can do the drops weekly… Irritating.

    There’s a sale on network things on one store here now and I’m really looking for a replacement for D-link.
    One thing I want, is to have a good QOS-which would keep things running (gaming, YT and video watching etc.) smoothly.

    I have something like 15 – 20 wireless connections at time, two-storey building with some concrete walls (and floor/ceiling). Range has not been an problem, though.

    First I was really considering buying Netgear XR500 (205€, there’s also XR700 for 295€ but that AD is waste of money), but it seems that DumaOS is slow and quite buggy (though they are readying version 3…)

    Then I got my eyes on Asus RT-AX88U (289€), which seems to have very good hardware, though I don’t have AX-devices and most likely won’t have for a while.

    Cheaper consideration is Netgear R7800 (129€).

    I have tons of gaming consoles (something like 40), but of course just a few of them on WiFi (Wii U, Wii, Xbone, PS4, Switch Lite, a couple of Vitas etc.) Main consoles are wired (XboneX, PS4 Pro, Shield, LG C9 and main computer).

    XR500 has good price and R7800 has even better price 😉
    But I’m still thinking about that AX88U, not because of the Wifi 6 stuff, but more for the capabilities and tinkering possibilities it has… After all, I may enjoy more tweaking and tinkering with network and other things, than then actually gaming! xD

    But most important thing is, that watching streaming videos and gaming at the same time is fluid, because kid can be playing, I may be gaming or watching videos and GF can be watching streaming videos also.

    So, what’s your take? Sorry about the long post, but I wanted to cover it properly…

    Reply
  24. Hey Dong I’m new here too as well as a lot of guys above (or below), I’m in the process of upgrading my internet service from a regular Liberty cable of 100mbps to a optic fiber dedicated line of 1gigabit. I know I need to change my router (right now is an old apple airport express) and I’m deciding of Wifi 5 or Wifi 6. I have a medium apartment in a high rise with all cement walls! (1100 square feet). I’m a bit new at this so I don’t know what means when you mentioned 2X2 or 4X4 clients or any abcXabc !!!! can you help me with guiding me what to look for and explaining what the 2X2 ect… nomenclature
    thanks in advance
    Victor

    Reply
    • Glad to have you here, Victor. I’d recommend you read this post, and then this one when you have time. If you need a quick decision, get one of the tri-band routers on the list, and place it as near the center of your home as possible.

      Reply
  25. Hi Dong, thanks for your informative posts! Prior to finding your site, I purchased the Asus GT-AX11000 router.. then, after some shoddy connection issues, I started researching more about Mesh systems (and Asus AIMesh), and that’s when I came across your website. I’m not a gamer, but I do run Autodesk Revit, which warrants the gaming-style PC I built, and BIM 360, which hosts cloud-based 3D Building Information Models, among other things. I am constantly involved in video conferencing while using these programs. I’ve read a lot, but I am having a hard time deciding what to do: return the Asus (stacking another node to use AIMesh seems unnecessarily expensive) and switch to a mesh system? Could it be a settings issue? The router location is definitely a factor, but moving it could pose a bigger issue..

    My router is situated under a steel staircase in an A/V closet, and my main desktop is upstairs, across the house (about 50 feet straight shot through 4 walls and a floor). As I type this, I’m starting to laugh about how ridiculous my expectations might be. I have a ton of systems running on my wifi as well, but some of the major clients are hard-wired through the router inside the AV closet. I have a feeling I need to try moving the router, but I’d like to know if you have any thoughts and/or other recommendations to try before I relocate my modem (i.e. install a new coax run) and/or the router (new cat6 run)?

    Thanks in advance, and I’ll be looking you up when I am making a tech decision from now on!

    -Jason

    Reply
  26. Thank you so much. Amazing response! It’s been trial and error here with these various systems. I really wanted the RAX200 to work out but am I missing something with setup on that extender? It seemed to make it worse and I tried a few different configurations. I don’t mind spending some money for strong, fast signals across the home as I have two children doing remote learning, I’m now working from home and my wife operates a small consulting business from home.

    It seems the GT-AX11000 is the genie of routers. If I were to use it with another ASUS router for an AI mesh setup, would that be the best hypothetical setup? It would seem to be about the same price as the RAX200 and the extender. At the moment, though, I’m surprised how well the Velop is working, although I understand its feature set may be more limited. Can I pay you to come to my home?!? 😉

    Reply
  27. Dong – your information and testing is by far the most comprehensive and helpful I’ve found the last three weeks. Even with all this information, I’m struggling to find the best solution for my home. And I’ve been trying a number of WiFi6 devices. My home is two floors – just under 3,000 square feet. The problem — cable connection is in the end room on the second floor, so that’s where my router is located. I have 400 download and it’s consistent to the router. I have about 35-40 devices (lots of IOT stuff) using our network. The old router wasn’t cutting it.

    So I’ve tried the RAX200, the RAX120, the Nest WiFi and now the Velop MX10. RAX200 worked well on the top floor but incredibly slow speeds at the end of the house on the first floor. Tried the new AX8 extender and it seemed to actually slow the whole network down? Tried the RAX120 and it was slower than the RAX200 (I thought it would be a stronger signal).

    ASUS routers are impossible to find now. I am thinking that given my situation, a Mesh setup is probably best. It seems the Netgear extender isn’t really a Mesh network, even with the same SSID. They didn’t seem to hand off traffic as a device moved about the home.

    Right now, the Linksys seems to be the best so far — am I stupid for considering it over the RAX200 and an extender, or waiting to see if I can get a hold of the twi-band ASUS and another ASUS for an AI Mesh setup?

    Thank you so so much for your insight.

    Reply
    • Hold up for an Asus set, Matt. By the time they are available again, they will come with better firmware that makes them more stable anyway. For your, a tri-band system like the ZenWiFi XT8 or CT8 will take care of it. Alternatively, if you could run a cable to the middle of the house and place a router there instead, a single router will probably.

      Reply
  28. Hello, I am new to the site. I love the information. Sadly I am confused by the two charts. I have a lot of devices connecting via WiFi and a large home with two floors and about 3,500 square feet. We have only one WiFi 6 capable device, an IPhone 11. My internet speed is 1 gbps in theory via a Fios connection so fast. If I am willing to spend a lot for wireless, particularly a mesh system, which mesh system is likely the best investment? I had been leaning towards the Orbi rbk852 system. Is having just one device capable of WiFi 6 a reason to wait? I am willing to spend money to get WiFi closer to my incoming fios speed. I just am confused by the charts and don’t want to waste money. Thank you for any advice.

    Reply
    • Glad you’re here, Roy. The charts are quite clear. Make sure you look at them closely. They show the max sustained speed of the router when working with a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client (currently the fastest available for the standard) and high-end Wi-Fi 5 clients.

      As for what you should get, this post might help, and this one, too..

      Reply
  29. Sorry man, but this is a list of most commercial router, not a real buying advice guides. There a lot of missed model here. Be honest with you, this is what you recevied and what you present.

    Reply
    • Not sure what you meant, JT. But the entire website is one big buying guide. Also, it’s a work in progress. 🙂

      Reply
  30. Hi Dong, love your site not sure how I never ran across it before! Keep up the great work!

    I cut the cord years ago and I have been relying on streaming services (NetFlix, etc) and my NAS Media Server that houses all my media for our entertainment. With both my wife and I working from home for the forcible future I decided to upgrade our Comcast internet plan. For $10 less a month I am going from something like 105Mbps to 1 gig. Now I need to update our network.

    We are currently running a Netgear CM500 modem and ASUS RT-AC87U router, generally I have been pretty happy with both (although I have never seen anything close to the 105Mbps speeds but I imagine that is comcast not the hardware). I have ordered a Netgear CM1100 largely because it was impossible to find another 1Gig Modem, everything is sold out and on back order. It hasnt arrived yet so if you have a better idea I am all ears.

    For the router ,I haven’t ordered a router yet as I will see how the current one works out but I think I need to replace it. House is about 3200 sqft, wife and I currently work near the router but I think I am going to turn one of the bedrooms into her office which is at the other end of the house on the 2nd floor. I am not looking for a cheap solution but a good long term solution. I am thinking Wifi 6 and 3 channel? Should I do a mess router? In the reading I have been doing it looks like you sacrifice some speed with a mess but gain coverage? I am still trying to decide with is more important to me. (Note, house is wired with a OnQ box but since it was built in 2004 I dont think it has CAT 5 certainly not CAT 5e, I have run at least one CAT 5e cable under that house for a specific use).

    Also, For the NetGear RAX120 you mention they are great for a NAS. I have a NAS that is my hub for all media and storage. What about RAX120 or any other Router makes it a better Router for a NAS? I had not considered that there might be unique. requirements so that NAS works at an optimal level

    Thoughts, suggestions? Brand and model numbers welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • All routers are good for dedicated NAS servers, David, though ones with multi-gig network ports or Link Aggregation are generally better with a compatible server. I think you misunderstood my take on this front. What I meant was that the router itself can work great as a mini NAS server. As for which router you should use, check out this post.

      Reply
  31. So I just came across your site for the first time today. What a great site Dong! Great reviews on all the things I love.

    I have a rather large home (three stories, about 9,000 square feet, plus live on a 1.5 acre lot). I am currently have 1Gbps Fiber and am running four Apple Airport Extremes, and needless to say, they are lacking quite a bit now. We have many rooms without signal, and this is with most of my 100+ devices wired except for various laptops, ipads, and iphones (the home automation is all wired). I am looking for a great Mesh system and so far have settled on the Asus ROG GT-AX11000. I have seen mixed reviews on this with a number of issues, but wonder if those aren’t more user-related with setup. I’m fairly experienced in IT, but not as much on the networking side.

    I’m am looking for coverage, performance and good parental controls.

    My questions are:
    1) Do you think the Asus ROG GT-AX11000 is a better choice than the other options for these purposes or would the newer Asus Zenwifi AX XT8 be better since it is newer.

    2) Would someone need multiple GT-AX11000’s or just one for the main router (and its features) and then less expensive Asus AX routers to complete the mesh? I would plan to do a wired backhaul back to the main router.

    3) Where can we buy these? It seems Amazon and Best Buy are sold out, and the other online retailers like BHP, New Egg, etc do not have very friendly return policies, at a minimum requiring consumer to pay return shipping. At first I was concerned I couldn’t buy any of these due to hardware issues, but am now assuming that with so many people working from home lately, that frustration levels tipped over and Asus and others haven’t been able to keep up the supply chain.

    Reply
    • Glad you’re here, Chris.

      1. It depends on what you want, but yes, generally the GT-AX11000 is better.
      2. The latter. If you have wired backhaul, a couple of units of RT-AX3000 will do, too. You can mix AiMesh routers.
      3. You just have to wait, it’s tough time right now for the vendors.

      Reply
  32. hi dong, i’ve read a bunch of your reviews and some of your comments below. i wanted to say GREAT write up. you’re one of the reviewers who understand how to test a router thoroughly to it’s limits. Too many reviewers test out theoretical speeds with capped internet speeds of 300Mb’s.so once again, thanks for the AWESOME reviews. On to my question… im currently on the Netgear Orbi RBK50, and i want to upgrade routers since I just upgraded to symmetrical gigabyte internet. I don’t need any of the routing features since i have a dedicated pfsense box. I only need a AP. Ubuiqiti’s Alien just came into stock and i’m considering buying it… I’d like to do VLAN tagging to isolate my IOT products, and im not sure which wifi 6 router will support that. I know Ubuiti’s other routers do, but i can’t find any info about the new alien.

    Is there any router you suggust besides the alien? Or would that remain a good choice. THank you in advance

    Reply
  33. i have 800mbps internet, 5500sqf 2.5 storey, 7 bedroom. i dont have wifi 6 client and use internet for browsing and streaming. No nas or file transfer between network. My current ISP router have deadspot in some rooms. Should i get zenwifi CT8 or XT8?

    Reply
  34. Thanks again for the responses. You make a great point. I can go with the AX11000, then wait for the next updated version of the AX1100 to replace the AC3100, which I’ll give to a family member.

    Reply
  35. Thanks for your write-up and your response to questions. I currently have an Asus AC3100 router serving my 3 level home. Works great and reaches all rooms decently, but I am looking to improve the network and future-proof it with wifi6. I will keep 1 router smack dab in the middle of the home on the 2nd level. The second router will be placed directly under the other router on the 1st level, about 12 feet apart separated by a floor. WPA3 support would be good, but not required unless you think I should wait for that feature. I always have 45+ devices connected to my router and it does pretty well and with their latest firmwares has been very stable. These devices range from echos, PCs, Macs, apple TVs, multiple apple phones and multiple smart TVs, plex unraid media server, Home security system, Home security camera system etc. I utilize about 3TB of data a month on my cable internet. Cable is docsis 3.1 and the level I have is 950mb Down and 35mb Up. It would be great to be able to achieve those speeds consistently through my router.

    I want to stay with Asus (I like their firmware support and user interface) and am hoping to continue utilizing my existing hardware (AC3100) Unless you convince me to exit the AC3100 and buy two new devices. I do NOT have a wired backhaul and am not worried about cost of the new router(s). I guess that means choosing between ax1100, Zenwifi and AX89X. I do want the new router to continue to have the same features included in the AC3100 (such as QOS and Parental controls). What would you suggest I do? Performance and features are what I am looking for.

    Reply
  36. So sad that the X60 is so slow. Could it be a firmware problem? I was all ready to buy this but I think Im going to go with XT8 instead

    Reply
  37. Dong, Thanks a lot, but tri band? I was thinking AX89X and an ASUS 3000ax as a mesh, but maybe the Asus Zen will serve the purpose. I was also looking at future proofing with the 89X with the multigig port.
    Any insight?

    Reply
  38. HI dong

    I did read both reviews and was impressed with booth units.

    For me, it only comes down which one has the strongest signals

    Also in Switzerland where I live, you can buy additional units
    Ct 8 units which make me also wonder how many satellite units you can add on each system I know Asus unit supports
    AiMesh

    Thanks

    Reto

    Reply
    • Ok, then go with the Asus, Reto. Five units are what Asus recommends. But if you use a wireless setup, I’d say three.

      Reply
  39. Hi dong

    Thank you for the quick reply.

    But if you had to chose between the orbi or the asus zenwifi
    Which one would you take

    Thanks

    Reply
    • The thing is I don’t have to choose, Reto, I have them both. 🙂 Seriously, you need to read the reviews and figure out which one you should get. Both should work for your needs equally well, though. By the way, for a wireless setup, you shouldn’t use more than three hardware units. Since you can only buy the ZenWiFi in a 2-pack, maybe the Orbi is a better fit for you.

      Reply
  40. Hello Dong, your site is very useful, I love it! Currently I have a RT-AC88U primary router and I want to setup AiMesh with WIFI 6. If I add a WIFI 6 router like ASUS RT-AX3000 as node, will I able to use WIFI 6 connection even though my primary router is WIFI 5? My question is what type of WIFI (6 or 5) connection is available when we mix both WIFI 5 and WIFI 6 devices in a mesh setup.

    Reply
    • Yes, both types of clients will connect just fine, Faisal. Chances are though, that your system will use the 80MHz channel width instead of the 160 MHz (though not necessarily always the case), meaning your Wi-Fi 6 clients will not connect at their top speed. More on that here.

      Reply
  41. Hi dong

    I really enjoy your very detail reviews.

    my question is

    I live in a very old house with massively thick stone walls.
    We currently run 3 eeros which hard hardwired by cat 6
    And as you can imagine, it works but could be better.

    I notice it extremely when I walk from one end of the house to another while on a what’s app call
    The call loses typically quality or drops entirely
    So I am looking to update to a wifi 6 mesh system.

    I am torn between wifi 6 Asus zen wifi ct 8 and the Orbi RBR850

    What would be your recommendation I need the most reliable and strongest signal possible.
    Which one has the stronger signal strength ct 8 or RBR850
    Also, how many satellites can you add to each system?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Reto, the issue you’re having is called seamless roaming or handoff. For that to work, both sides (router and client) have to support it. Generally, you should stay at one spot when using Wi-Fi calling. In other words, if you’re looking to have no issue while doing Voice over IP or video call while walking around your home, I don’t think there are any solutions that will give you that for sure. But any other mesh system will be better than the Eero, especially considering you have wired backhaul.

      Reply
  42. Hi Dong,
    Recently found your website and it has saved me a ton of time researching. Great reviews! I was hoping you could recommend what ASUS AImesh units would be best to match up with the ASUS – ROG Rapture AX11000 I just ordered. I have a 3000,sqft house. I was considering the ASUS RT-AX92U AX6100, but then I saw your review on the ZenWifFi XT8 and now I am confused again on which to purchase. If you have another product in mind please let me know.

    As a side note I have Gig internet through spectrum using Netgear CM1100

    Thanks again for all the work!
    John

    Reply
    • If you have wired backhaul, just get a couple of dual-band router, like the RT-AX88U. But if you intend to use a wireless setup, use AiMesh tri-band routers. As for which, that depends on your budget. Use the GT as the main router, though. More on that here.

      Reply
  43. Thanks for the great info. I am looking for a new WIFI6 , 2400 sq feet with 3 floors. Got Comcast Xfinity. As of now we have 20 devices ( laptops/TV’s Iphones ). I am thinking a Mesh setup with a satellite on each floor and not a single Router. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • This depends on if you have wired backhaul or not, Sandeep. If you have a wireless setup, make sure you place the main router on the 2nd floor (in between the satellite units) and use tri-band hardware.

      Reply
  44. Have you tried Merlin’s firmware which is a step above the stock Asus firmware. Go to snbforums to find the latest version

    Reply
  45. Hey Dong, great write up and very thorough but what would you suggest for smart home automation and multiple wireless IP cameras. (lots of devices). Biggest concern is the wireless IP camera’s, I can stream one camera at a time with no issue, but on my RTSP server if I try to build a Grid View to view more than one camera at once I get severe degregation in data transfer rate between all the cameras. I need something that can handle multiple devices constantly streaming data at once. Do I need to look at a 12 stream device or is the CPU/RAM more important for handling this request. Money isn’t an issue and I want to stay away from mesh systems as I know an upgraded wifi 6 router will be more than strong enough to cover the area I’m working with.

    Reply
  46. Hi Dong. I just found your website. Great information. I was hoping you could help me. I currently have the Asus RT-AC86U but for some reason anything working on the 2.4 ghz band will no longer connect. My laptop and printer can’t even see the network. I have already tried several trouble shooting steps but it appears this is a common issue with this router.

    Can you recommend a new router? My home is approximately 1900 sq ft, both mine and my wife’s phone can connect to Wifi 6, I play some PC games, play PS4, have wireless cams setup outside, and stream 4k media on two separate TVs. Thanks in advance for any help.

    Reply
  47. Dong, do you know of any on this list that would allow me to send logs to a remote system (Splunk or sysmon) so that I can use logs in my own alerting system?

    I am leaning towards the Netgear RAX40 or up but looks like they will only email logs to you unless you know otherwise (manual only shows email alerts at least).

    Thanks in advance for any info you might have.

    Reply
    • I haven’t looked much into this, Upirons, but all Asus routers can save their log file to a separate computer (log server).

      Reply
  48. Hi Dong

    I have bad experience with the AC88U whereby I do not get near to 300Mbps on my iPhone with 5Ghz band. It has been a widespread issues with the 5ghz band on this model.

    I am planning top upgrade to WiFi 6 router but I am not sure if AX11000 will face similar issues down the line like AC88U?

    Reply
    • Sorry, YT, but I’d blame the iPhone first. You can upgrade, that won’t hurt — the GT is clearly better. But if you expect better results on your iPhone, chances are you’ll be very disappointed. More on that here.

      Reply
  49. Hi Dong,

    I read through your review (which was really helpful!), but still, I think I need an exact model to go with so I can decide. Rn we (me and my partner) are using ‘TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750’ which, to be honest, is really underperforming. We have been using it for 2,5 years now and the Wifi is disconnecting from several devices, few times a day and we need to restart the router to make it work.. just a mess. So we decided to invest money and buy some router that provides stable, reliable and powerful connection. Money is not an issue here (we live in Czechia, so the prices here are different anyway).

    We are both passionate gamers, so this is n1 priority. Also streaming, so stability is the most important for us. About the coverage, the router we use rn is having trouble reaching 1 bedroom + balcony (still having the signal its just really low), so something with better coverage would be really nice to have (which I think all of those above provide). We have 1Gb/s speed provided in our apartment and 2 ethernet connectors from the wall in our gaming room, so we can both connect our PCs into separate LAN ports in router.

    Models I was thinking of are GT-AX11000, RT-AX88U and maybe GT-AC2900 which is cheaper but lacking Wifi 6. I am open to any other option, if it provides better connection than those mentioned. I would really appreciate your help here.

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  50. Thanks Dong. just did for both and move to 3.0.0.4.386_25217 instead after I read the release notes. Let me monitor the performance. Thanks again and good work.

    Reply
  51. Hi Dong
    Got my XT8. I’m facing similar problem where the node get disconnected frequently in a day and overnight for the past 3 days. so todaye I’m testing the node by reverting it back to the version that you tested. 3.0.0.4.386_24926. Do you think I should do it on the main router as well?The main now is at the latest firmware 3.0.0.4.386_25224.

    Btw, I’m from Malaysia. So I dont think I can get 160Mhz channel bandwidth unfortunately. Anyway, the speed and wifi6 really fast though. I used to have around 200+mbps with my Lyra and now i get over 500mbps. my fiber is 500mbps anyway.hopefully to upgrade in the future and thats the reason for me to purchase this XT8.

    Reply
  52. Some great info and I hope you can help me.We have a 4600 SF house (older with additions which means walls and odd configurations – not your typical four sided home. We also have a separate pool house approx 30 yards from the current modem location and a detached garage probably another 30 yards in the other direction. The home was built in 1974 so no ethernet connections or network cables and currently subscribe to our cable internet. We have tried multiple mesh systems including Linksys Velop and currently Eero. We do not get wi-fi in the garage and the signal is too weak for streaming in the pool house. Video games only work properly in the room with the modem and main router.
    1. I’m sure I should replace my cable rented modem with my own…what do you recommend?
    2. I have a cable outlet in the pool house, should I add a modem or additional main router there?
    3. Garage has nothing to connect to…what is the best option to get my wireless signal out there?
    4. Any other suggestions for complete wi-fi coverage?
    Thank you for any input. I have spent countless hours researching and money on systems that are not getting the job done.

    Reply
    • Hi Wendy. It’s impossible to give you the specifics without being there. I’d recommend getting some local professional service.

      Reply
  53. Thanks Dong for all this impresive reviews. I have a question, if you have a budget of $400 you will get a fancy Wifi 6 router like the AX-11000 from Asus or the Netgear AX12 or you will get an Ubiquiti Dream Machine for Home use with 15-20 devices? Thanks!

    Reply
  54. Hey Dong! Excellent review there comparing all the WiFi 6 routers.
    Can you look into Xiaomi AX3600 and compare amongst the WiFi 6 routers?
    That AX3600 seems like a great value WiFi 6 router to all those you have reviewed.

    Reply
  55. What routers do you recommend for large houses?

    If you recommend any mesh systems, It must go wirelessly(except the “main” one), since I can’t get a wire across the house.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  56. Hey Dong,

    Thanks for all the insight on my next router.

    I’m torn between the AX11000 and the XT8.

    Currently running a Nighthawk X8 AC5300 with 1gb fiber, moderate gaming and heavy streaming use.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    • The Netgear you have is quite capable, Matt. I don’t think the RT-AX11000 will give you much better performance on existing Wi-Fi 5 devices. More on that here. The XT8 is a mesh so if you need more coverage, it’s definitely better than the Netgear. By the way, the XT8’s latest firmware (ver. 3.0.0.4.386.25224) can be buggy in certain cases. If that happens to you, use the previous version (3.0.0.4.386.25217) instead until a newer version is available.

      Reply
  57. Dong,

    I ended up buying 2 gtax11000s. My home is about 3700 sq ft. Question for you, I only have the ability to connect the main router to an ethernet cable. The second is setup as a node. In terms of speed and connectivity, would you recommend I leave it this way, or should I connect my node to an ethernet cable with this powerline adapter?

    https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/PLP2000.aspx

    I have a 1 GB connection. We stream A LOT of 4K and HDR content and I play 4K games. Just want the best experience possible. If I need to, I could even have another ethernet port installed, but I would prefer to avoid it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • No Powerline, Jake. The wireless connection between the two is much faster than any Powerline adapter. Just don’t leave them too far away from each other. Btw, it’s always bullshit when a vendor claims their PLA to be faster than 1Gbps when the adapter itself only has 1Gbps ports. The actual speed will be even much lower.

      Reply
  58. Outstanding review. Thank you. I am replacing my Luma Mesh system for a 3000 square foot home. I think the TPLInk AX3000 has the best combo of coverage and features. Do you feel it will have sufficient coverage for 3000 square feet?

    Reply
  59. I have the RAX120 as main router and wireless but i have two areas where i want better reception in 5Ghz, i have cat6e everwhere,. Which acces point or mesh do you recomend me to install, i will need two AP hardwire back to the RX120.

    Reply
  60. Hi Dong, great write up!

    Currently I’m using Asus Lyra AC2200 mesh router that come in 3pack. Im thinking of getting the Asus Zenwifi AX XT8.’

    1. Can I used the lyra as nodes to connect to the XT8?
    2. based on your test, how far can the node of the Zenwife AX XT8 be located wirelessly from the main one?
    3. Do you think XT 8 is a good choice or should I get other wifi6 routers?

    Reply
    • Thanks, Leonard.

      1. Yes. Make sure you upgrade it to the latest firmware first.
      2. This depends on things you have in between them. If line of sight, it can be as far as 100 feet.
      3. Yes, it’s a great choice.

      Reply
  61. Dong,

    Great website, I’m glad I found you after the CNET days!

    I’m hoping you could help a decision. I currently have a 3 unit Google Wifi setup, with 1gb/60mb down/up via coax.

    Since the entire family (and neighborhood) is “working /schooling” from home now, I am consistently seeing lag, slowdowns, and buffering.
    I’m in a 2 story + basement house, with 49 devices connected (lots of streaming devices, and IoT).

    Last week I purchased the Orbi AX6000 mesh, and found immediate speed boosts but numerous drop outs and compatibility problems.
    It was not my first choice, but the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 and Amplifi Alien Mesh were both out of stock.
    I have returned the Orbi because of an incompatibility on the daughters Chromebook and lots of complaints from the family.

    I’m back on the Google Wifi temporarily while I find the right setup.
    Currently Asus ZenWifi XT8 is in stock, but of course Alien Mesh Kit is still out of stock.

    I do not have capability of running a wired backhaul for the Alien, but seem to like it’s features better (mainly coverage). Plus I’ve managed Ubiquiti products in my work environments and think they make great hardware.
    However, I’ve always adored Asus’ level of configuration in their home networking software.

    Any advice you could shed on which could be a better fit in my environment.
    I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

    – Brad

    Reply
    • Glad you’re here, Brad.

      Google WiFi is terrible (as well as Eero). It was good years ago and hasn’t improved much since. Orbi is good but it has a lot of lag.

      For that kind of speed, I’d recommend running network cables in the house. In this case, just get a could of dual-band AiMesh routers.

      If you can’t do that, get the Asus ZenWiFi XT8 or a couple of units of the GT-AC5300 or GT-AX11000.

      Reply
  62. Dong both of these are on sale for 299 which one should I get?
    Netgear AX12 (RAX120) or TP-LINK Archer AX11000? Thanks.

    Reply
  63. Hi Dong,

    I have 1gb speeds from my ISP my current Orbi maxes out at 600mb 4ft away, I have 3 wifi 6 clients in my home, and about 25 devices at any given time. If I wanted to take advantage of the 1gb speed over wifi what would you recommend ? It doesn’t have to be a mesh system.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  64. Hi Dong, fantastic article and website! I practically read every one of your articles today. Anyways, I have a new home that is almost finished being built and I’m pre-planning my networking. It’s going to be a 3500sf, 2-story house with no basement. Just 2 floors. I have every room wired with Cat6e and I will have somewhere between 400-1000 Mbps with the ISP I end up going with. The main router will be located in a fairly central location on the second floor. I’m definitely going to go ahead and get WiFi 6 to do some future proofing.

    My debate is, do I get a beefy single router and hope it gives me good coverage throughout, or go with a mesh system? I’m leaning toward a mesh system with one main and one node as I think that will be enough. Based on your articles tri-band seems pointless, especially as I have dedicated wiring and can therefore have a wired backhaul.

    Based on this information, if you were recommending a single router and alternatively a mesh setup, what would your two recommendations be?

    Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
    • Way to go, Rodney! Running network cables is the best investment for your home. With that, you can get away even with Wi-Fi 5. Like one or two units of the Asus RT-AC86U or Blue Cave. Or even the Lyra Trio. You can also try the Synology RT2600ac. The point is you have many options. Basically any mesh system that supports wired backhaul will work out, so you just need to pick one with the highest data rate (3×3 or faster) on the front haul.

      But if you want Wi-Fi 6, I’d recommend the Asus RT-AX89X. Try just one unit to see if could cover the entire home. I might be given the fact you’re going to place it in the middle. If it turns out to be not adequate, you can get another dual-band AiMesh router, like the RT-AX88U to extend later. Note that you can use tri-band routers, even in a mesh, though, you’re right, that’s not necessary.

      Reply
  65. Hi Dong –

    Oh, I know you, lol!

    I actually need your advice on the procurement of a new AX router for my home/business.
    Very recently, I have been noticing reviews that are negative in terms of quality on Netgear, so they are scaring me off.

    What Wi-Fi 6 router is really the best of breed – in quality, capability, performance and telephone technical support?
    Please pick two that you like the best, I’ll deal with the money part. Or do you think that I should wait and stay on AC.

    I’m also rather leery of units that have built-in fans – they eventually go.

    You have a very nice website and I appreciate all your help!

    Brian 🙂

    Reply
    • You sure do, Brian! 🙂

      I don’t generally need help so support is not really what I care about. Also, vendors tend to respond to me much faster than with general consumer — but you already know that, too :). If you want something simple and super easy to use, I’d recommend the Alien. If you want something with great features, get an Asus, like the GT-AX11000 or the RT-AX89X (it does have a fan but most AX routers do.)

      Hope that helps! Glad you are here.

      -Dong

      Reply
  66. Hi Dong,

    Thank you for your in depth and informative reviews! I am going to update and upgrade my current router setup, which is the older model of the Asus AC66U to a more capable router. I am trying to decided between the Asus AX88U, the AX11000 or the new Asus Zenwifi XT8 mesh network (2 pack). I am looking for a router with good range, fast speeds and low latency. My primary query however revolves around the latency of a mesh system vs a normal system. A few people who live within the house online game etc, I was therefore wondering what you think would be a more suitable solution in terms of reliable speed and low latency. I am worried that the latency may increase if a client is connected to the node and not the primary router using the Zenwifi system, or whether this is in fact negligible. Alternatively would it be a better solution to go for the AX88U or the AX11000 and then if needed expand into a mesh system down the line using the AiMesh system Asus supports.

    Thanks
    Guy

    Reply
    • Generally, Guy, a wireless mesh will have slightly higher latency than a single router or a mesh with wired backhaul. However, if your Internet connection itself has low latency, any mesh should work. But it’s really case by case. Asus had a pretty good QoS and that might help. If you’re a gamer, the GT-AX11000 is the way to go.

      Reply
  67. “Linksys MX10 Velop AX (model MX10600) is a Wi-Fi system that includes two Linksys MX5 Velop AX routers (model MX5300)”

    Reply
  68. Hi Dong, Thanks for your reviews. I really enjoy reading your articles and learn quite a lot. I am debating what I should buy for my next router, hopefully you can give me some recommendation. I am living in a 3 storey house (basement and upstairs), approx 3700 sq ft. The house is tall rather than wide. I am currently using the Asus GT-AC5300 with approx 40 devices connected at all times. 50% on CAT6 hardwired. 50% are wireless smart home devices, phones, tablets, and IP Cams. Signal strength is good at every corner of the house. But I am experiencing some performance issues with this router: 1) some occasionally connected devices got timeout when it first try to connect, it may take few tries to get connected. 2) couple IP cams show connected but no Tx/Rx activities, can’t even ping them, specially the ones I changed IP after first installed, I do set them up with reserved IP. Look like the router lose their routing. Let them sit for a day, it may come back next morning without rebooting the router, 3) internet streaming/VPN connections are pausing (I can tell it is not an issue on the other end because I can stream fine using my cellphone on cell network). It all looks to me that I am overloading the router with too many devices, however checking the router, CPU and memory usage are mostly less than 50%. My internet is at 150Mbps now, but I am upgrading to 1Gbps. I also want to upgrade to WiFi 6 as well. So, I am wondering what router or approach would can solve my issues. 3 options I can think of:
    1) Buy the new Asus ZenWiFi and setup my current GT-AC5300 as node under AiMesh, all 3 using wired backhaul, so I can have one device on each floor. My current AC5300 has good signal strength at every corner already. Not sure if this will help. But at least, sharing the load among all WiFI devices with the 3 nodes.
    2) Just replace my current router with RT-AX89X or GT AX-11000 – hoping that it can handles all the devices and my problems goes away.
    3) Use the ISP provided router as router to handle WAN, DHCP and wired devices. Get the ZenWiFi and set both units up as APs to handle WiFi device only. – Sounds like I am putting all the load to the ISP router, under utilize the expensive ZenWiFI router at all.
    By the way, we are not gamers, we don’t necessary need gaming speed, but we need stable streaming and VPN connections. Any advice you can give me? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  69. Very glad I found your site. Your reviews are very helpful. I’m in the process of moving to a new home (1700 sq ft ranch + basement) that will have 400M internet. Also going to set up streaming on 4 TVs (though don’t expect more than 2 at any time) so looking to upgrade from a much older router. I’m struggling to decide between a budget wifi 6 or a wifi 5. Wifi 6 routers seem to still be buggy based on customer reviews, but have some nice speed and features. After looking around, looking at the TP-Link AX3000, Netgear RAX40, and Netgear R7800. What would you recommend? Thanks,

    Reply
    • Glad, you’re here, Mike. Those are budget routers, they are no really better than a high-end Wi-Fi 5 router. With the same amount of money, if recommend a good Wi-Fi 5 router instead.

      Reply
  70. Your articles are very informative, which brings me back a few years when I was younger and very much into tech. Unfortunately, (and fortunately) a family and kids have taken over my life.

    In any case, I’ve been using an Asus RT-AC68W for the last 5 years and it has treated me well, for the most part. I moved into a 3 story townhouse a couple of years ago and have been contemplating upgrading it ever since, mostly for coverage. I went with the TP-Link Deco M9plus (3 piece) from Costco about a month ago, but am torn if I should try something else. First and foremost, the coverage is definitely better with a Deco on each floor (top 2 via ethernet backhaul, bottom floor via wireless). However, my speeds aren’t that great. The max speed is equivalent to the older Asus if I’m right next to a Deco.. However, as I move away from each Deco, the speed tends to drop off more quickly than the Asus. The most frustrating part is that the Seamless Roaming function doesn’t work very well. I double-checked to confirm that it is on. Also, I recently upgraded to Gigabit internet (at no additional cost) with AT&T, yet my top speeds remain the same. Directly through the modem/router combo, the speed is closer to 700mbps. But speeds through the Deco barely surpasses 300mbps when I’m right next to the Deco. I know it’s not ideal to use apps like SpeedTest to measure Wifi speeds, but at least for comparison purposes, the speed should at least increase now that I have Gigabit internet right? In fact, the Asus is faster then the Deco if I’m 100 feet away from the Asus, but only 50 feet away from a Deco. What gives?

    I’m tempted to upgrade to a newer Asus router, since their router worked so well for me for so long. And if I’m upgrading, I want to future proof it a bit with a Wi-Fi 6 router. With a budget of $200 or less, Do you think the Asus-AX3000 router is a good option?

    Reply
  71. Sir, you are fascinating! I love your replies to some of these comments, and your comment about BS in your Twitter description explains a lot.. Applause! I just stumbled upon your page tonight/this morning. I started looking at routers because I suspect my RT-AC87U cannot keep up with newly added smart home devices, specifically the Google Next Home Max we bought on Black Friday. It started having connectivity issues that seemed to snowball, I went round and round with Google and finally got it replaced. Well, a week in with the new one and it’s starting to have issues again, specifically with the always-on camera operating as a Nest Cam, it’s a new replacement as opposed to remanufactured unit. There’s a 4 total cameras now with aspirations of at least one more. Given that, I believe that’s currently 5 always “streaming” devices given the Hub is 2 devices in one (smart speaker and camera) plus the Nest Mini speaker, 2 phones, 2 tablets, 2 PS4, a laptop, a network printer and a DTV box/”server”.. (obviously not all working at one time) I just think it’s too much for a 5 year old router. I believe I’m set on the GT-AX11000 instead of the RAX200 or RAX120, probably mostly because I’m a Asus fan if nothing else. I really just wanted to drop a note to say I’m impressed by your knowledge but I suppose I do have a question.. Is the Asus a true 160MHz unit or 80x80MHz unit? I guess that would be the deciding factor for “future proofing”. Thanks a lot for your time and reading my novel, have a great day!!

    Reply
    • The GT-AX11000 supports true 160MHz channel bandwidth, Matt. However, I believe your issue is not the router but your Internet connection. My guess is you’re using a DSL broadband plan which doesn’t have enough bandwidth for all those upload-heavy devices. You might need a better Internet connection with a bigger upload pipe. More of bandwidth here and on upload here.

      Reply
  72. Hi. Very informative. I miss your reviews on cnet. I have gigabit internet. But at best the wifi speeds I’m getting are around 600 megabits. I have a dlink dir-882 AC2600 router. Even with 3×3 macbook pro I’m not getting 800+ speeds which I think it should. So I have been considering on getting an update. Should I go for a wifi 6 router to help me get closer to that gigabit speeds or try with a wifi 5 router to see if I can find some improvement. Currently I don’t have any wifi 6 devices but if getting one can improve my current devices and also future proofs for wifi 6 devices maybe it’s the right thing to do?

    Reply
    • Glad you found me here, Bunny. Wi-Fi 6 won’t help because your Macbook doesn’t support it. Also, you can’t expect full 1Gbps even if you have that Internet plan. That’s because, in your network, most parties involved, at best, perform at 1Gbps. Since that’s the ceiling speed, the sustained real-world speed will be lower. So 600Mbps is close to the best you can get. That’s not to mention the bandwidth (of both Wi-Fi and Intenet) is shared between multiple devices. For more, check out this post on bandwidth and this one on how to test your speeds. In short, you’re doing pretty well there! I only have around 300 Mbps, so please don’t rub it in! 🙂

      Reply
  73. Thanks Dong Ngo. That’s a quite good review. One complaint I have with amplifi, is that mesh repeaters do not “repeat” the 5gz Band, only the 2.4 one. That also has been confirmed by Amplifi Tech Support when I asked them. I think with Zenwifi is another story right? which one would you choose? Alien or Zenwifi? Thank you!

    Reply
  74. Dear Dong,

    I enjoyed your CNET videos…..However, I was sad that you did not include the ASUS RT-AX58U or AX3000 in your Best of WIFI6. Can you possibility do a review on it?

    Thank you

    Reply
  75. Dong your site is great but it is crazy to me that you haven’t performance tested the Linksys Velop MX. I thought 2 of them would be needed but a single MX5300 unit covers my entire 2 story house and backyard. It’s very fast and powerful, good looking wife approved, and so far stable (haven’t tested mesh). I’m very curious how it stacks up with your NAS testing. Grab one for $299 at Costco. It’s almost perfect and I like it a lot but a few software cons such as lack of real parent controls, real-time speed of devices, and can’t access cable modem 192.168.100.1 port 80, has me wondering what else is there to consider. Hence.. I’d love to see some performance comparisons. Thanks!

    Reply
  76. Hey Dong, I’m looking for a WiFi 6 router and I quite like your reviews. I’m deciding between the ASUS ax88u and the TP-Link ax6000. I’ve seen you tried the tp-link ax3000 but not the 6000. Do you have plans to review it I the future?

    Reply
  77. Are there any 8×8 or 4×4 clients for iMacs or MacBook Air laptops? My understanding is nothing usb yet but any devices that you can plug in via thunderbolt 3 or gigabit ethernet and use as a bridge to achieve near gigabit wifi speeds. I have a gigabit fiber connection and the fastest I am getting via mesh is about 600-700. Thinking of switching to a faster 12 stream router but looking for a good client adapter. Wondering if there is a way to achieve close to gigabit wifi speeds using a usb adapter or plugging in an ethernet cord into a bridge.

    Reply
    • What you get is close to a Gigiabit already. Don’t expect true 1Gbps since the connection tends to fluctuate. As for faster Wi-Fi, you’ll need to wait. Using Mac limits your opinion in terms of clients.

      Reply
  78. Another honest and trusted review Dong. I want to replace my Synology Mesh Network (2600 main router + 2 x 2200) slow, limited range and regular dropouts. I don’t have any Wifi6 enabled devices yet but will in the next couple of years. Live in a two floor house. At present, one of the 2200 mesh units is connected by CAT 6 cable and the other uses wifi backhaul. Would like option for link aggregation and parental controls, but also one that just works and saves my wife and family moaning when we have weekly wifi problems.

    Reply
  79. Hi.
    I am wondering if there is anything I would mis out, getting the ZenWifi XT8 configuration with one working as a router, and the node in mesh setup, either with backhaul(160 Mhz possibilities?) or without.

    I need to cover 3 floors at aproximately 300+ squaremeter, whereas I the router is located in a corner (not ideal..) My biggest fear is to buy something that lacks something which I will regret later.

    For me its either the Alien, ZenWifi or Orbi, because of mesh and looks. Recommendations and why? (Learning towards ZenWifi)

    Great review/list btw!

    Reply
    • All of them have a backhaul, Oystein, wireless or you can use a network cable. Hardware placement is one of the most important things in setting up a mesh system. Any of the systems you mention will work as long as you place the hardware strategically.

      Reply
  80. I have one as well did not realize what a deal it was at $299 from costco two months ago. Went back to write a review and product was no longer available there and then I found out its selling for 100 bucks more as a regular price. I am on firmware version 1.7 via web interface but the app only gave me firmware upgrade during initial setup and kept indicating I’ve got the latest firmware more than a month later but that wasn’t true. I do like the overall speed and coverage increase over my previous Amplifi HD router. I was interested in Amplifi Alien router since I can still return the Linksys MX5 but I’d be loosing USB 3.0 port it’ll cost more.

    Reply
  81. Thanks for this write up – great info! Are some of these routers more suited to serving a high number of devices? We have many clients in our household and am not sure what specs to look for in a router to ensure it can handle so many connections.

    Reply
  82. Hi Dong,

    I’m now using 2 pack of Asus RT-AX92U (AX6100) and is going to set up the 3rd unit to cover a dead spot in my house that cause the slowness in that area. My connection is wireless backhaul.

    Actually, I did upgraded from RT-AC86U (2 pack) previously and I don’t find much different, except that AX92U support Wifi 6 (my Samsung Note 10+). But since I’ve already sold my AC86U, I need to keep using 3 pack of AX92U. It’s a lot of investment.

    Reply
    • Yes, Wichai. If you have wired backhaul, you won’t see much of a difference betweeen the two sets. But the Wi-Fi 6 will be better in the future when you have more clients. 🙂

      Reply
  83. Sorry to bother you.
    I was wondering if you can help me.
    Im trying to upgrade my old asus to wifi 6 router.
    I want a main router and also gonna have another one as mesh but it going to be hard wire
    I wanna see what you recommend.
    looking for
    speed
    reliable
    range
    and good interface

    Reply
    • If you want a single router, Barbosa, just get any of this list. If you want a mesh, I’d recommend not using Asus yet. Get the Orbi Wi-Fi 6. But you don’t need Wi-Fi 6 right away. In that case, just get the Asus Blue Cave or RT-AC86U and use it with your old router. If your old Asus router supports AiMesh, then you’re good to go.

      Reply
    • I actually have all on this list (and more), Dale. :). But I use mostly a set of one Asus GT-AX11000, one Blue Cave and one Lyra Trio (single unit) in an AiMesh setup with wired backhaul.

      Reply
  84. Hi Dong, loving your site and reviews. I’m trying to decide if now is the right time to upgrade my router and desktop network card to wifi 6.

    I do have a quick question: I have a 4×4 Wifi 5 card now with an Asus AC88 router. My computer’s connection speed to my router ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 Gbps (gigibit fiber) but I don’t usually get above 500 mbps on speed tests. Do you think upgrading would help my connection speeds?

    Ethernet would be ideal but not doable without a sizeable project.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Stephen.

      A couple of things:

      1. The speeds you mentioned are “negotiated” speeds. The real-world sustained speeds tend to be much lower, generally, you’ll get above half of those at most.
      2. You don’t want to use the Internet (speedtest.net) to test the Wi-Fi speeds. More on this here.

      That said, moving to Wi-Fi 6 will not improve a lot, considering 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 is actually faster than 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 when 80MHz channels are used and many Wi-Fi 6 routers don’t support 160MHz channel, nor do many Wi-Fi adapters. So for now, I’d say stay with that RT-AC88U, it’s a great router. Getting Wi-Fi 6 router might improve things just a tiny bit, not worth the effort and cost.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  85. Can’t believe the new Linksys Velop MX5300 did not make the list. I have It and it is awesome! I upgraded from my 3 year old Linksys EA9500 V1. You should do a review on the new Linksys!

    Reply
  86. Thank you for the information. I think I will wait for the prices to come down or a possible sale, along with more devices that support it. Currently, my iPhone 11 Pro is the only device I have that can take full advantage of it.

    Reply

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