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 most of the time, they make 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, and, therefore, can be slower 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 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.
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 AiMeseh 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
- Guest networking not available at the node in a mesh setup
- 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
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.
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: The fastest (and most expensive) Wi-Fi 6 router to date
The awesome-looking RAX200 is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router and proved to be 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 best multi-gig port performance
Slightly cheaper than the RAX200, the RAX120 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that has the fastest 5Gbps multi-gig port. So, apart from fast Wi-Fi speeds, it also delivers by far the fastest network-attached storage performance when hosting an external drive. And like its cousin, 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 bands. As a result, it’s not possible to figure out their 2.4GHz speeds for sure.
Note that I tested them using 2×2 clients, meaning when faster 4×4 clients are available, chances are you’ll see their numbers doubled. By the way, if you’re curious regarding how I came up with these numbers, check out my speed test methodology.
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.