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.
12. Asus RT-AX89X: Arguably the best standalone Wi-Fi 6 router to date
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
- 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
- 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
11. Linksys MX10: The best Velop mesh to date
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
- 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
- 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
10. Netgear RAX40: An excellent Wi-Fi 6 router for the budget-minded
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)
- Affordable pricing, reliable performance
- 160 MHz channel width support
- Good set of network features and settings
- Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
- 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
9. Asus ZenWiFi AX: The best AiMesh system to date
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)
- 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
- 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
8. Netgear Orbi RBK852: The expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh that delivers
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)
- 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
- 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
7. Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien: The one-of-a-kind Wi-Fi 6 router/mesh system
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
- Fast, reliable Wi-Fi with excellent coverage
- Sleek design, useful mobile app
- Convenient Teleport VPN for mobile devices
- Effective ad-blocking feature
- 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
6. TP-Link Archer AX3000: The just-right Wi-Fi 6 router
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
- Reliable Wi-Fi, good coverage
- Tons of network settings and customization
- Responsive web user interface, useful mobile app
- Light weight, wall-mountable
- Middling Wi-Fi specs
- Fluctuating Wi-Fi connection speeds
- No multi-gig port, USB 2.0
5. ARRIS SURFboard mAX Pro: Fast but barebone Wi-Fi 6 mesh system
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
- Gigabit-class Wi-Fi speeds
- Dedicated backhaul; exceptional Wi-Fi coverage
- Easy to use mobile app
- Well-thought-out, compact, fan-less design
- 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
4. Asus RT-AX88U: The Wi-Fi 6 router that’s a Wi-Fi 5 clone
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
- 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.
- No multi-gig network port
- Buggy firmware, especially as an AiMesh node
3. Netgear RAX200: An excellent tri-band router for a price
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)
- Reliable and fast performance
- Eye-catching design
- Helpful mobile app, robust web UI
- Multi-Gig support (2.5Gbps)
- 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
2. Netgear RAX120: The Wi-Fi 6 router with awesome NAS performance
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
- Powerful hardware, fast performance
- Beautiful design
- Multi-Gig network port (5Gbps)
- Well organized web user interface
- Ultra-fast network storage performance
- No online protection, gaming, or mesh features
- A bit bulky
1. Asus GT-AX11000: The gamers’ edition of a 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
- 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
- Bulky design, loose antennas, non-wall-mountable
- Fewer LAN ports than previous model
- Long boot-up time, buggy firmware, fluctuating Wi-Fi throughputs
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.