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Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers and Mesh Systems of 2020

The Netgear RAX120 is an impressive looking Wi-Fi 6 router with a 5Gbps network port. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

Folks have been asking me which are the best Wi-Fi 6 routers to get, and I’m still on the fence about whether anyone needs one right now. I’ve used about a dozen myself and found that, in most cases, they made little or no difference compared to Wi-Fi 5 counterparts.

I wrote a long post more than a year ago why you should wait, and most of those reasons still stand today. Among them, the high cost is obvious. There are now some clients on the market, and you can even upgrade your computer to Wi-Fi 6. However, in all cases, they are of mid-tier specs. That plus the lack of support for the 160 MHz channel bandwidth in many routers mean, in many cases, you’ll get slower speed than high-end Wi-Fi 5 devices.

So there’s no rush. But it doesn’t hurt to get one, either. If you’re ready to leap, below are the best Wi-Fi 6 routers among those I’ve tested. Bookmark this post — I’ll regularly update it as I review more.

Best Wi-Fi 6 routers of 2020: The list

This list includes both routers and mesh systems, in reviewed order, latest on top. If you want to see how their performance numbers stack up, scroll to the bottom of the page for the charts. Also, if you want to see how any of these routers stacked up against their direct competitor, check out this post on Wi-Fi 6 router comparisons.

READ MORE:  Home Wi-Fi 6 Solutions Compared: Which to Consider

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

The Asus RT-AX89X looks quite remarkable. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

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 12-stream AX6000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 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
  • Universal setting backup and restoration

Cons

  • No game-specific features
  • 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
READ MORE:  Asus RT-AX89X Review: All Wi-Fi Bases. Covered. And More!

11. Linksys MX10: The best Velop mesh to date

Each Linksys MX5 Velop AX router is quite massive. It’s the biggest Velop hardware I’ve seen. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The Linksys MX10 is a 2-pack system consisting of two Linksys MX5 Velp AX router. Frankly, it’s quite expensive considering what it has to offer.

However, it still has more features than the Arris SURFboard mAX below and, most importantly, it drivers in terms of performance. If you’ve had experience with a Velop system before, the Linksys MX10 is the best of its type.

Linksys MX10 Velop AX WiFi 6 Mesh System

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Easy of use

8.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Reliable and relatively fast Wi-Fi performance
  • Helpful mobile app, full web interface
  • Effective backhaul that delivers Wi-Fi 6 throughout in a mesh setup
  • Fast NAS speeds when hosting an external drive

Cons

  • Expensive with comparatively low Wi-Fi specs
  • No support for 160MHz channel bandwidth
  • Mobile app and login account required for initial setup
  • Spartan Wi-Fi settings, modest feature set
  • No multi-gig network ports, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation
  • USB port awkwardly place, not mountable
READ MORE:  Linksys MX10 Review: The Best-to-Date Velop for a Price

10. Netgear RAX40: An excellent Wi-Fi 6 router for the budget-minded

The RAX40 has the usual number of network ports and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port to host a storage device. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

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 AX300 below.

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 MORE:  Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 Review: Wi-Fi 6 for the Budget Minded

9. Asus ZenWiFi AX: The best AiMesh system to date

The ZenWiFi AX XT8 includes two identical routers. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The ZenWiFi AX XT8 is Asus’s first Wi-Fi 6 system built around the company’s popular AiMesh feature. Though not the fastest on the market, nor is it the one that gives you everything an Asus router has to offer, the XT8 has an excellent combo of performance, features, and cost.

If you’re looking for a system that can deliver your Gigabit-class internet connection in full and has a ton of useful features, including a free-for-life built-in online protection, without having a hole in your wallet afterward, the ZenWiFi AX is the one to get.

ASUS ZenWiFi AX Whole-Home Tri-Band Mesh WiFi 6 System (XT8)

8.9

Performance

8.5/10

Features

9.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Fast Wi-Fi performance and large coverage at a comparatively affordable cost
  • Improved and flexible AiMesh
  • Lots network settings and useful features, including free real-time online protection for life
  • Full 4x4 dedicated backhaul band with optional wired backhaul support
  • Multi-gig WAN port with Dual-WAN and WAN link aggregation

Cons

  • No 160MHz 4x4 support for Wi-Fi 6 clients, for now, in a wireless setup
  • Guest networking not available at the node
  • No multi-gig LAN port or LAN link aggregation
  • Only four network ports on each hardware units
  • Not enough instructions on network settings
READ MORE:  Asus ZenWiFi AX Review: The Best AiMesh System to Date

8. Netgear Orbi RBK852: The expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh that delivers

The Orbi Wi-Fi 6’s hardware units are almost identical. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The Orbi Wi-Fi 6 AX6000 (model RBK852) is not for everyone since it’s so expensive. But if you’re looking for a sure, and easy way, to blanket a large property with fast Wi-Fi that can deliver Gigabit-class Internet, it won’t disappoint.

Orbi WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852)

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

7.5/10

Pros

  • Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with large coverage
  • Full web interface with all common settings and features
  • Useful, well designed mobile app
  • 2.5Gbps multi-gig WAN ports
  • Support WAN 2Gbps Link Aggregation

Cons

  • High cost
  • No 160MHz channel support, limited Wi-Fi customization
  • Online protection and parental control not yet available
  • No multi-gig LAN port
  • Bulky design
READ MORE:  Netgear Orbi AX6000 Review: Great Wi-Fi for a Hefty Price

7. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien: The one-of-a-kind Wi-Fi 6 router/mesh system

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

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. It’s worth its current price tag. And if you get a kit to form a mesh, you won’t be disappointed, either.

Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien

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 MORE:  Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien Review: A Peculiarly Good Router

6. TP-Link Archer AX3000: The just-right Wi-Fi 6 router

The TP-Link Archer AX3000 has the usual amount of WAN and LAN ports. All are Gigabit. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The Archer AX3000 is a dual-stream (2×2) Wi-Fi 6 router, which makes it inferior to the rest on this list. However, since there are only 2×2 clients on the market, it’s not that much worse in real-world usage. And the affordable pricing, plus a few other things, make it a great deal.

TP-Link AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

8.1

Performance

7.0/10

Features

9.0/10

Design and Setup

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Reliable Wi-Fi, good coverage
  • Tons of network settings and customization
  • Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
  • Light weight, wall-mountable

Cons

  • Middling Wi-Fi specs
  • Fluctuating Wi-Fi connection speeds
  • No multi-gig port, USB 2.0
READ MORE:  TP-Link Archer AX3000 Review: Wi-Fi 6 Made Affordable

5. ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro: Fast but barebone Wi-Fi 6 mesh system

The ARRIS mAX Pro is the first tri-band 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 mesh system. Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

The SURFboard mAX Pro is ARRIS’s very first Wi-Fi 6 offering, and it’s a mesh system, a quite souped-up one in fact in terms of specs. The performance was great in my testing, and I also like the design. It’s a bit thin on the settings and features, however, so, make sure you don’t care for those.

ARRIS Surfboard Max Pro Mesh Wi-Fi 6 AX11000 System

7.4

Performance

8.0/10

Features

5.0/10

Design and Setup

9.5/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds
  • Dedicated backhaul; exceptional Wi-Fi coverage
  • Easy to use mobile app
  • Well-thought-out, compact, fan-less design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No web interface, mobile app feels unfinished and severely lacks features and Wi-Fi settings
  • Each router has only four network ports and no multi-gig port
  • Not wall-mountable
READ MORE:  ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro Review: Excellent Wi-Fi Stunted by Zero Multi-Gig Port and Scant Customization

4. Asus RT-AX88U: The Wi-Fi 6 router that’s a Wi-Fi 5 clone

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

In many ways, the RT-AX88U is the Wi-Fi 6 version of the RT-AC88U. The two look almost identical and share a lot of similar features, including the lack of a multi-gig port. Since the former is a Wi-Fi 6 router, I was expecting more from it than just good performance and useful features.

Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

8

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Design and Setup

8.0/10

Value

7.5/10

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, especially as an AiMesh node
READ MORE:  Asus RT-AX88U Review: A Router for True Gigabit Internet

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

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

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)

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 MORE:  Netgear RAX200 Review: Nice, Super-Fast but Overpriced

2. Netgear RAX120: The Wi-Fi 6 router with awesome NAS performance

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

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 AX6000 WiFi 6 Router RAX120

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 MORE:  Netgear RAX120 Router Review: The Multi-Gig Age Is Here

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

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

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 MORE:  Asus GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router Review: Gamers' 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.

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. 

But I test Wi-Fi 6 routers on both bands anyway, when possible — some mesh systems don’t allow for separating the two frequencies into two SSIDs. As a result, it’s not possible to figure out their 2.4GHz speeds for sure.

Note that I tested these routers using 2×2 clients, which, in best-case scenarios, have the ceiling speeds of 2.4Gbps. When faster 4×4 clients are available, chances are you’ll see their numbers doubled.

Any of routers listed here will likely give you a better experience than your current Wi-Fi 5 router, at least in terms of speeds. Whether or not that’s enough to justify their costs is a different story entirely. 

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About the Author: Dong Ngo

Before Dong Knows Tech, I spent some 18 years testing and reviewing gadgets at CNET.com. Technology is my passion and I do know it. | Follow me on Twitter, or Facebook!

58 Comments

  1. 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 🙂

    1. 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

  2. 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

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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,

    1. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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!!

    1. 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.

  7. 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?

    1. 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! 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

  18. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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!

    1. 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. 🙂

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

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