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Best Multi-Gigabit Routers and Wi-Fi Systems: Build the Fastest Network Today!

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Multi-Gigabit is the term to describe data traveling at least twice the speed of Gigabit. To experience it, we generally resort to the new Multi-Gig wired network connection standard, which has become increasingly relevant thanks to the availability of Wi-Fi 7.

Confused about multi-Gigabit vs. Multi-Gig? Here's the crash course on the subject!

While there's no real need for multi-Gigabit at home in most cases, we all want it. It's the only way to enjoy true Gigabit Internet or faster broadband, among other things.

You'll find in this post the top multi-Gigabit-capable Wi-Fi (and non-Wi-Fi) routers and mesh systems. I picked them out of a comprehensive list I've evaluated. If you're looking for that ultimate router for 10GbE bandwdith, check out this list of best hardware for 10Gbps Internet instead.

All the hardware mentioned here has at least two multi-Gigabit ports—BASE-T or SFP+. Still, you'll probably need a Multi-Gig switch to build a faster-than-Gigabit network. Before considering any of them, make sure you've run network cables—we're talking about wired networking.

Dong's note: I first published this frequently revised post on December 13, 2020, and last updated it on June 4, 2024, to include up-to-date hardware options. As Wi-Fi 7 hardware, which generally supports Multi-Gig, starts to churn out, you can expect this piece to be updated regularly.

Netgear RS700S vs. Asus RT-BE96U Ports
Best multi-Gigabit routers: The Netgear RS700S and Asus RT-BE96U are among the first Wi-Fi 7 standalone routers with two 10Gbps Multi-Gig ports.

Wi-Fi routers with Multi-Gigabit capability: The lists

There are two lists. One is for standalone routers, and the other is for purpose-built mesh systems. If you find the number of products overwhelming, the Table of Contents will help.

I organize these lists in good-to-best rating order. The number before a product's name indicates its ranking. When applicable, I also include similar alternatives.

You should check each device's full review to see how it performs as a product. This list only considers the multi-Gigabit notion, which is not the end-all-be-all of a router.

Generally, a router with a USB and a Multi-Gig LAN port is excellent for NAS applications when hosting a storage device. However, that's not always the case, so there's a different list of the best mini NAS routers.

True multi-Gigabit: The top five standalone routers (and alternatives)

This list includes the top five standalone Wi-Fi and non-Wifi routers with multiple multi-Gigabit ports. All of them can host at least one multi-Gigaibit connection and, with the help of a Multi-Gig switch, a multi-Gigabit local network while maintaining true Gigabit or multi-Gigabit broadband.

Some can also handle two simultaneous multi-Gigaibit Internet connections via Dual-WAN, and a few can be members of a DIY mesh system.

In short, these are the routers to get for a complete Multi-Gig network. Most can also be used as the base router for a robust mesh system.

Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Special Edition UDM SE FrontAsus GT BE98 Pro Gaming Router with Aura lightAsus GT AXE16000 Quad band Wi Fi 6E Router 3TP Link Archer BE9300 BE550Netgear RS700S retail
NameUbiquiti UDM-SE's RatingAsus GT-BE98 Pro's RatingAsus GT-AXE16000's RatingTP-Link Archer BE550/Archer BE9300's RatingNetgear Nighthawk RS700S' Rating
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5. Netgear Nighthawk RS700S (Wi-Fi 7): 2x 10GBASE-T

The Netgear RS700S in action (ports)
Best multi-Gigabit routers: Here's the Netgear RS700S with its two 10Gbps ports in action.

The Nighthawk RS700S is Netgear's first standalone router with two Mulit-Gig ports—both are 10GBASE-T. In terms of hardware specs, it is virtually the same as the Asus RT-BE95U below despite having a markedly different design.

Netgear Nighthawk RS700S' Rating

8 out of 10
Netgear RS700S retail box
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
7 out of 10
Design and Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Top-tier Tri-band specs with Wi-Fi 7 support

Two 10Gbps Multi-Gig ports

Robust web interface, helpful (optional) mobile app

Practical fan-less design; runs cool and quiet

Cons

Only two Multi-Gig ports; no standard Remote Management via Dynamic DNS

Online protection and Parental Controls require the Nighthawk mobile app and premium subscriptions


4. TP-Link BE550/BE9300 (Wi-Fi 7): 5x 2.5BASE-T

TP-Link BE9300 Archer BE550 Wi-Fi 7 Router Ports
Best multi-Gigabit routers: Despite the labels, this TP-Link Archer BE9300, a variant of the Archer BE550, has all five 2.5Gbps ports.

The Archer BE550 is the lesser version of the Archer BE800—it has no 10Gbps ports. However, with five 2.5Gbps ports (1 WAN and four LANs) and at half the cost, it's still easily one of the most generous routers with multi-Gigabit wired connections. And it's much more compact than its older cousin, which is never a bad thing.

The new Wi-Fi 7 router has something interesting: There's an Archer BE9300 that's $50 cheaper with supposedly only one 2.5Gbps LAN port—the rest are Gigabit. As it turned out, despite the 1Gbps labels, all the ports are 2.5GBASE-T. What a pleasant surprise!

Similar alternatives:

TP-Link Archer BE550/Archer BE9300's Rating

8 out of 10
TP-Link Archer BE9300 BE550
Performance
8 out of 10
Features
7.5 out of 10
Design and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
8.5 out of 10

Pros

Wi-Fi 7 and Multi-Gig support; competitively priced

Robust web user interface with a good set of network features and Wi-Fi settings

Useful (optional) mobile app; EasyMesh-ready; compact and practical design

Cons

No 10Gbps ports or Dual-WAN; mid-tier Wi-Fi 7 specs and real-world performance; comparatively short-range

Online protection and advanced parental controls require subscriptions


3. Asus GT-AXE16000 (Wi-Fi 6E): 2x 10GBASE-T and 1x 2.5GBASE-T

Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad-band Wi-Fi 6E Router's ports
Best multi-Gigabit routers: The Asus GT-AXE16000 has three flexible Multi-Gig ports and excellent features.

The Asus GT-AXE16000 is the first home Wi-Fi router with three Multi-Gig ports, including two 10Gbps and one 2.5Gbps. Depending on your needs, you can use any of them as a WAN or LAN.

Similar alternatives:

It's worth noting that you can use multiple units of the GT-AXE16000 or a combo with any of the alternatives above to form a mesh Wi-Fi system with multi-Gigabit wired backhauling.

Asus GT-AXE16000's Rating

8.9 out of 10
Asus GT-AXE16000 Quad band Wi-Fi 6E Router 3
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
9.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
9 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Powerful hardware, Quad-band with Wi-Fi 6E support, three Multi-Gig ports (one 2.5Gbps and two 10Gbps)

Stellar performance throughout

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

Unmatched port flexibility, including interchangeable WAN, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Beautiful ROG Aura lighting

Cons

10Gbps ports' sustained rates and NAS performance (when hosting a storage device) could be better

Awkward backhaul band design in a wireless AiMesh setup, no UNII4 (5.9GHz) support, no SFP+

Bulky design, not wall-mountable


2. Asus GT-BE98 Pro (Wi-Fi 7): 2x 10GBASE-T and 4x 2.5GBASE-T

The Asus GT-BE98 Pro includes two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps ports
Best multi-Gigabit routers: The Asus GT-BE98 Pro includes two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps ports

The GT-BE98 Pro is Asus's second Wi-Fi 7 router, the first being the RT-BE96U. It has two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps ports. Like the base of the GT-AXE16000 above, these ports are super flexible. Users can use them in various roles and configurations, including WAN, LAN, Link Aggregation, and Dual-WAN.

The new router is also AiMesh-ready.

Similar alternative:

Asus GT-BE98 Pro's Rating

8.6 out of 10
Asus GT-BE98 Pro Gaming Router with Aura light
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Design and Ease of Use
8.5 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Quad-band with top-tier Wi-Fi 7 support and excellent real-world performance

Lots of free, in-depth, and valuable networking features and settings (VPN, AiProtection, Parental Control, Guest Network Pro, Bandwidth monitoring, etc.); tons of gaming-related features; AiMesh-ready

Two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports with WAN/LAN flexibility; supports Dual-WAN and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

No vendor required login account; fanless design; silent performer

Cons

Bulky design; lots of plastic wraps

MLO and AFC not available at launch

Unavailable outside of America


1. Ubiquiti UDM-SE (non-Wifi): 1x 2.5GBASE-T and 2x SFP+

UDM-SE SFP+ to TP link 10GBASE T Transceiver
Best multi-Gigabit routers: The UDM-SE has no 10GBASE-T port, which can be rectified using transceivers with its two SFP+ ports.

The Ubiquiti Dream Machine Special Edition (UDM-SE) is many people's dream router. It's a niche non-WiFi router for those looking for a non-compromising 10Gbps network and willing to invest in a top-tier SFP+-ready Multi-Gig switch.

By itself, the UDM-SE has two SFP+ ports and a 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig port and can handle a multi-Gigabit Dual-WAN setup while maintaining a 10Gbps local connection right out of the box. After that, the included 8 PoE ports are handy extra.

The UDM-SE can work as a standalone router or host multiple UniFi access points to form a robust mesh system.

Similar alternatives:

Ubiquiti UDM-SE's Rating

9 out of 10
Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine Special Edition UDM-SE Front
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
10 out of 10
Design and Setup
9 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Powerful enough to run all Ubiquiti's business hardware segments simultaneously

Reliable and fast multi-Gigabit performance with robust Dual-WAN support

A complete set of useful networking features, including powerful security/web-filtering and WireGuard VPN; excellent web user interface; useful mobile apps

Built-in PoE support; comparatively affordable; no subscription required; quiet

Cons

Single Multi-Gig (2.5GBASE-T) port; limited multi-Gigabit LAN options; no PoE++

Requires an account with Ubiquiti to work; not wall-mountable; runs a bit hot


True multi-Gigabit: The top five canned mesh systems (and alternatives)

This list includes the top five purpose-built mesh systems that simultaneously handle faster-than-Gigabit broadband and multi-Gigabit local networks.

Specifically, their primary router has at least two multi-Gigabit ports, and their satellite unit has at least one.

In a wired home, each can work as a robust system with Multi-Gig wired backhauling to deliver the best possible Wi-Fi performance.

Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro Wi Fi 7 Mesh SystemAsus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 2TP Link Deco BE85 Wi Fi 7 Mesh System front on tableTP Link Deco X55 Pro WiFi6 Mesh SystemNetgear Orbi 970 Series RBE973S
NameAsus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro's RatingAsus ZenWiFi Pro ET12's RatingTP-Link Deco BE85's RatingTP-Link Deco X55 Pro's RatingNetgear Orbi 970 Series (RBE973S)'s Rating
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5: Netgear Orbi 970 series (Wi-Fi 7): 2x 10GBASE-T + 4x 2.5GBASE-T (router) / 1x 10GBASE-T + 2x 2.5GBSE-T (satellite)

Netgear Orbi 970 Series (RBE973S) Router (RBE971) vs. Satellite (RBE970)Netgear Orbi 970 Series RBE973S Back
Best multi-Gigabit mesh system: The Netgear Orbi 970 series includes a router and one (RBE972) or two satellite (RBE973) units.

The 970 series is Netgear's latest Orbi mesh set and also the company's first canned system to feature Wi-Fi 7 and full Mulit-Gig. The hardware does not have a Gigabit port. Unfortunately, unlike the TP-LInk BE85 below, the satellite unit has only one 10Gbps port, meaning you'll need a switch before you can get a true 10Gbps wired backhauling system with it.

Similar alternatives:

Netgear Orbi 970 Series (RBE973S)'s Rating

6.9 out of 10
Netgear Orbi 970 Series (RBE973S) Box
Performance
8.5 out of 10
Features
6 out of 10
Design and Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
5 out of 10

Pros

Powerful hardware with Quad-band Wi-Fi 7 with all-Multi-Gig ports

Fast performance, extensive coverage, with excellent wireless backhaul bandwidth

Multi-Gigigabit wired backhauling support; easy to use; runs cool and quiet

Cons

Unreasonably expensive; the permanent 5GHz backhaul band is unavailable to clients in wired backhaul setup

No web-based Remote Management, limited Wi-Fi and network settings, few free features; mobile app (with a login account and even subscriptions) is required to be useful

No 2nd 10Gbps port on the satellite; unreliable (at launch); no USB port; lots of upselling pop-ups


4. TP-Link Deco X55 Pro (Wi-Fi 6): 2x 2.5GBASE-T

TP-Link Deco X55 Pro WiFi6 Mesh SystemDeco X55 Pro Ports in Action
Best multi-Gigabit mesh system: Each mesh router of the 3-pack TP-Link Deco X55 Pro has two 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig auto-sensing ports.

The TP-Link X55 Pro is one of many "Pro" Deco sets, but it's the first with two 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports. It's the first entry-level Wi-Fi 6 mesh system to host an actual multi-Gigabit local wired network. Like the Deco BE85 below, the Deco X55 Pro also forgoes Gigabit ports altogether.

TP-Link Deco X55 Pro's Rating

8.3 out of 10
TP-Link Deco X55 Pro WiFi6 Mesh System
Performance
8.5 out of 10
Features
7.5 out of 10
Design and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
9 out of 10

Pros

Reliable Wi-Fi coverage; top mid-tier performer via wired backhauling; dual 2.5GBASE-T ports

Ease to use; helpful mobile app with a standard set of network settings and features

Simple, practical design

Cons

Middling Wi-Fi specs with modest performance via wireless backhauling

Requires an account with TP-Link to work; limited Wi-Fi and network customization

No USB; not wall-mountable


3. TP-Link Deco BE85 (Wi-Fi 7): 2x 10GBASE-T and 2x 2.5GBASE-T

TP-Link Deco BE85 Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System TopThe TP-Link Deco BE85 is among the first home Wi-Fi hardware that forgoes Gigabit ports to start a new era of true multi-Gigabit.
Best multi-Gigabit mesh system: The TP-Link Deco BE85 includes three identical mesh routers, each having four Multi-Gig ports.

Like the Archer BE800 above, the Deco BE85 is TP-Link's first Wi-Fi 7 mesh system. It's also the first mesh hardware that forgoes Gigabit ports completely. Instead, it comes with two 10GBASE-T ports (one is an SFP+/RJ45 combo) and two 2.5GBASE-T ports.

With them, this 3-pack mesh is the best-performing Wi-Fi solution to date via wired backhauling.

Similar alternative:

TP-Link Deco BE85's Rating

8 out of 10
TP-Link Deco BE85 Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System front on table
Performance
9 out of 10
Features
7 out of 10
Design and Setup
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Four Multi-Gig ports, including two 10Gbps, one of which supports RJ45/SFP+ combo; multi-Gigabit wired backhauling out of the box

Wi-Fi 7 support, backward compatible with existing clients; excellent overall real-world performances;

Easy to use

Cons

The performances of the 2.4GHz band and 10Gbps ports could be better

Vendor-connected mobile app required; HomeShield Pro costs extra

Internal fan; runs a bit hot


2. Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12 (Wi-Fi 6E): 2x 2.5GBASE-T

Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12
Best multi-Gigabit mesh system: The Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12, like the ET8, includes two identical Wi-Fi 6E routers.

The ZenWiFi Pro ET12 is Asus's second purpose-built Wi-Fi 6E mesh system after the lower-tier ET8. It comes in a two-pack of identical routers, but you can use any as a standalone device.

The ET12's most remarkable feature is its two flexible 2.5Gbps ports. Consequently, you can use it out of the box with Multi-Gig wired backhauling. Like the XT12 above, you can even daisy-chain multiple satellites without a switch.

Similar alternative:

Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12's Rating

8.4 out of 10
Asus ZenWiFi Pro ET12
Performance
8.5 out of 10
Features
9 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Wi-Fi 6E-ready, extensive Wi-Fi coverage with top performance in specific setups with possible fast Wi-Fi performance in certain setups

Dual Multi-Gig ports with multi-Gigabit wired backhauling, flexible port configurations

Excellent performance and coverage as a standalone router

Tons of useful features and settings, flexible Wi-Fi customization

Helpful mobile app; no login account required

Cool design

Cons

Bulky, no USB, only four network ports

Fluctuating performance as a fully wireless mesh due to the lack of a dedicated backhaul band

Short 6GHz range

Expensive, not wall-mountable


1. Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro (Wi-Fi 7): 2x 10GBASE-T

A 2 pack Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro Mesh system includes tow identical routers but one is labeled as the main unitAsus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro Mesh Router Ports
Best multi-Gigabit mesh system: The Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro comes with two 10Gbps ports.

The ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro is the latest in Asus's ZenWiFi family and the first to support Wi-Fi 7. Most importantly, it's also the first to deliver Wi-Fi 7 in all its glory, to be the most powerful canned mesh system to date.

The new mesh system is available in packs and two or three units with a single unit option to come. Each unit can work as a standalone router.

Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro's Rating

8.8 out of 10
Asus ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Mesh System
Performance
9.5 out of 10
Features
9.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
Value
8 out of 10

Pros

Top Quad-band Wi-Fi 7 specs with all features (including AFC and MLO) to deliver excellent real-world performance both in throughputs and coverage; two 10Gbps Multi-The latest

The latest AsusWRT 5.0 has lots of customizations and free-for-life high-end features (VPN, Parental Controls, Online Protection, Dual-WAN, Link Aggregation, Smart Home Master, etc.).

Robust web user interface and helpful optional mobile app; easy-to-blend-in design

Comparatively compact with no internal fan

Cons

Comparatively expensive; numerous settings require a lengthy restart to apply

Only two Multi-Gig ports

Not wall-mount-ready


The takeaway

Generally, multi-Gigabit hardware makes sense only when you have Gigabit or faster broadband. But they never hurt to get and will also up the local network throughputs a significant notch.

Gigabit-class Internet and the magic of those Gbps

Some Gigabit routers can deliver 2Gbps speed by combining two 1Gbps ports in a clunky Link Aggregation setup.

Link Aggregation, also known as bonding, occurs when multiple router network ports aggregate into a single fast combined connection.

Typically, two Gigabit ports work in tandem to provide a 2 Gbps connection. In this case, Link Aggregation is a "cheat" way to get higher-than-Gigabit bandwidth out of two non-Multi-Gig ports. However, you can also bond two 10Gbps ports into a 20Gbps connection.

That said, Multi-Gig is a new standard that gives you a fast connection out of a single port, and Link Aggregation is a technique for artificially increasing the bandwidth when you have many ports to spare.

While Link Aggregation works, it's an awkward method to experience multi-Gigabit bandwidth due to the requirement of multiple network ports and cables.

While multi-Gigabit is not necessarily something we need, once it's in place, it's hard to go back. With Wi-Fi 7, this new connection standard has slowly become the new norm, just like Gigabit has been in the past decade. Eventually, relatively soon, it's something you can take for granted.

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148 thoughts on “Best Multi-Gigabit Routers and Wi-Fi Systems: Build the Fastest Network Today!”

  1. Hello Dong,
    I’d like to have your opinion as I would like to upgrade my current Asus router-Ai Mesh set up.
    I have 1Gbit connection with my provider (Xfinity). The provider modem is an Xfinity Gateway in which I disabled the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi (do not want to fight the Asus router Wi-Fi signals) and I only use the gateway Wi-Fi 6E for sporadic connection as the signal doesn’t go all the way thru my house. From the modem I go via ethernet to my main router which is an Asus RT-AX88U. I have two Ai Mesh points each with an Asus RT-AX86U. The first Ai Mesh point connect the main router RT-AX88U to the RT-AX86U (located in the living room) via ethernet cable. The second Ai Mesh point connect RT-AX86U (located in the living room) to the other RT-AX88U (located in the garage) via Wi-Fi (5Ghz). From the latest router (in the garage) I run an ethernet cable to a 8 port Netgear switch that provides all wired connection to all clients in my office (my own PC, my work laptop, home theater receiver etc.) As of today in the living room (adjacent the main router and 1st Ai Mesh) I measured 900Mbs on my wife laptop connected via ethernet cable and 430Mbps on my Samsung S23 Ultra using NetSpot app Wi-Fi speed test. In my office located adjacent the garage I measured 320Mbs on my working laptop (connected via ethernet to the Netgear switch) and 243Mbps on my Samsung S23 Ultra using NetSpot app Wi-Fi speed test. On a average, there are a total of 20-23 clients connected to my network (cell phones, computers, laptops, TVs, Roku boxes, Ecobee thermostat, google mini, etc.) My question to you is: if I upgrade my main router (for example) to a GT-AX11000 Pro i get some benefit or not? To get a real benefit do I also need to upgrade my Ai Mesh units? Which one should I pick
    Thank you in advance

    PS: Please note the following:
    1) The main router is located inside a small closet located below my loft stairs. The 1st Ai Mesh is located in the north-west corner of my living room and the 2nd Ai Mesh is located inside my garage, my house has a really weird layout :-). I wish I could send you my home layout but I cant here.
    2)The connection from the 1st Ai Mesh (living room) to the 2nd Ai Mesh (garage) is done with Wi-Fi as running an ethernet cable is really problematic.
    2)As of now I only use the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi signals as my daughters have each a google mini in their room which do not work on Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) (unless something changed lately!!!)

    Reply
    • You already have the performance speed as fast as Gigabit can give you (after overhead), Giovanni—more on that in this post.

      For your case, if you change the current gateway (it’s not a modem, by the way) to a Multi-Gig modem—details in this post—and use Multi-Gig hardware through out, you’ll experience true Gigabit or maybe slightly faster. But it’s likely not worth it.

      Reply
  2. Hi Dong,

    I currently have an AXE11000 and have issues with reception on the second floor, despite our space being small. I’ve lived with it but feel the time is right, with wifi7 getting ratified, to upgrade or add another unit. For details, I have full gig up and down via fiber, utilize lan aggregation for my Synology NAS, and have about 27 devices [4 6e connections, with the rest mixing 5 and 2.4 connections (smart devices, etc.) ]. I do have the ability to leverage a wired connection between the devices.

    My question, would you add the GT-BE98 Pro or would you take a look at going to the RS700S? I hate to have aesthetic play a role but the RS700S removes the eyesore from living quarters.

    I appreciate the feedback and the site – it’s how I decided to move to ASUS when the GT-AXE11000 was just released.

    Derek

    Reply
  3. Hey Dong,

    Love your article, the timing is impeccable that I came across your site when trying to find what’s best for my home network upgrade. haha

    I’m currently torn between these 3 routers – the ASUS RT-AXE7800 ($230), the ASUS RT-AX88U Pro ($260) and the TP-Link BE9300 / BE550 ($300).

    I will be replacing my old ASUS AC1200G+ router, as such either of them should do me good. Their prices are fairly close to one another, and I was just wondering which of these would be of the better value.

    Let me know your thoughts, or if you have a better suggestion, I am all ears.

    Cheers,
    Sham

    Reply
    • These are quite different routers as you might have noticed via their reviews, Sham. Generally, I’d pick Asus over TP-Link for its feature set and top-tier hardware over mid-range. So the 88U Pro would be it, but that depends on your need. You can add the 6GHz via an access point later by the way.

      Reply
  4. I recently upgraded my home network to 10 gig after I found out that I already have cat 5e cables running inside the walls. Since they are less than 100 feet, they are able to support 10 gig connections.

    I ended up getting two Netgear MS510TXM and one Netgear MS510TXUP switch. Thankfully, since those are Layer 2+/Layer 3 switches, I was able to get 7 gig+ transfers even though my router (Netgear RAXE500 at the time) only had a single 2.5 gig LAN port. Internet would still be capped to 1 gig since the router only had a single 2.5 gig port, so upgrading to the Netgear RS700 was a breath of fresh air with it having both a 10 gig Internet port and a 10 gig LAN port.

    Only issue is each switch costs $500+ ($100 more for the MS510TXUP since that’s PoE), but I guess that’s the price of 10 gig network at the moment, and it’ll be a while before consumer routers can even handle complete 10 gig networks.

    Reply
  5. Hi Dong,

    As usual, thanks again for a great article. I purchased four of the Deco BE95s when they first came out. I have a large number of IoT devices and my current WiFi6 network was just not handling the load.

    There have been some glitches along the way with the BE95s. The issues have been Decos not staying connected wirelessly and random dramatic speed drops for seemingly no reason. I have been working with one of their engineers in China by email to try and solve the problems. One of the R&D team members has also been involved. After a beta firmware update and removing a Deco that seems to have hardware issues, the system now has been stable for about a week.

    Because of the problems, I have considered returning the Decos and getting the ORBI 970. Here are two questions: Should I just keep the Deco system and wait for future updates to hopefully continue to improve the system, or just go for the 970. Alternately, should I return the Decos and just wait for WiFi 7 to become more mature?

    Thank you!

    Reply
      • Thanks Dong. I have read your take on the ORBIs before and was starting to fall for the advertising hype. Thanks for saving me!

        1. Should I stay with the BE95 banking on more firmware updates or move on to something else?

        2 . How would two of the RT-BE96U in an AiMesh setup work at opposite ends of the house. My home is 6800 Sq Ft. on three levels with the main (middle) level being the greatest percentage of that. I also need to cover a detached garage that is a double driveway away from the main house.

        Thanks again.

        Reply
  6. Fantastic article!

    I recently moved and got a Zyxel AX7501-B1 router from my ISP {…}

    It has one 10GB WAN port (and four Gigabit LAN ports) and the broadband is symmetric 10Gbit.

    I have eight CAT6 wired connections going out to all rooms in my apartment.

    The place is big enough (about 125m2 but with thick walls, not airy) that the router alone won’t cut it to blanket the apartment in reliable wifi.

    What’s the best way to get maximum performance with this setup? Do I need a multi-gigabit switch to connect to the 10Gbit WAN port on the router, then connect the the switch to the eight ethernet ports leading to all the rooms, then as many multi-gigabit access points {…} as I deem necessary?

    I assume there are other brands that have EasyMesh support that I could use in place of the access point I mentioned.

    Reply
  7. Did you see the IO router coming from Japan?

    It’s available on Newegg, for around $300USD.
    It has 10G RJ45 for WAN and another 10G RJ45 port for network.

    {…}

    Thanks
    Dan

    Reply
    • I’ve been to Japan, one of my fav places in Asia, and I can tell you that there’s a lot of stuff coming from there that we don’t see coming. 🙂

      As for this particular router, no, I haven’t had any expereince with it. I do hope, though, that there’s an English version since Japanaese is really hard. I generally only cover prodcuts made specifically for the US.

      Reply
      • How would you compare the advertised total bandwidth of these latest mesh/gaming routers (BE11000/19000/2200/33000) to an Omada stack and APs (AX3600/AX5400/AXE11000). While I would assume the Omada systems would offer better reliability, what real-world performance gains/losses could one expect when compared to these high tech consumer mesh/routers?

        I’m looking to redo my home networking for multigig support and the fact that these consumer routers are basically full multigig switches already is very compelling. Beyond reliability, is there any other reason to go with an Omada solution?

        Reply
      • There are workarounds for that. For example, the MikroTik S+RJ10, a 10 gigabit RJ45 SFP+ module, acts sort of like a two port switch, where it always talks to the host at either 1 gigabit or 10 gigabit, but talks to the client device at 10/100/1000/2500/5000/10000. The host device (the one with the SFP+ port) is none the wiser, it will think it’s talking to a 10 gig device when it’s actually talking to a 2.5 gig device. This comes at a cost, though, more heat.

        Reply
  8. thank you for this article
    i have fiber 2.5G
    was having thoughts
    MikroTik RB5009UG+S+IN or AX6000
    bought the second one
    should I use RB5009UG+S+IN instead ?

    Reply
    • Please express you thoughts better as mentioned in the comment rules. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Reply
      • I want a reliable product that will handle 2.5g connection
        without problem and fir long period of time
        some friends suggest me to check mikrotek products
        it’s out of stock.. but when it will be stocked
        should I replace my ax6000 with mikrotek equ with this specific model ?

        Reply
  9. Hi Mr. Dong,

    Thanks for the nice article. Have you gotten any chance to review QNAP Qhora 321 (6x 2.5GbE) and 322 (3x 10GbE & 6x 2.5GbE) wired router? Both unit are selling @ Amazon.

    Reply
  10. I have generic feedback if you want to take it.

    There are only handful of chipset manufactures, mainly Qualcomm and Broadcomm with WiFi 6E and WiFi-7. If you see products that use Qualcomm chipsets such as Google Nest Wi-fi Pro 6e or Eero, All their shortcomings are common ( they all contain 2 ports and gigabit). Similarly, Broadcomm based routers, all of them have only 1 multi gig port which is useless.

    My feedback is to do cover the chipset inside it ( may be even open the router), and categorizing the routers based on it. A lot of consumers does know what chipset their phones runs and make purchase decisions on it, Why not do the same for WiFi 7.

    To give an example: For WiFi 7 Qualcomm chipset “Immersive home 326” , All the qualcomm based routers are expected with 2 multi gig ports. This is a bit different to Broadcomm based solution which needs multiple chips to achieve multi gig ports. So, the way I see it, It’s best to segregate them into chipset groups and cover it.

    Reply
  11. Hey Dong, great article as usual. I commend you for the no nonsense honest reviews.

    Question;
    I am moving into a bigger multifloor house and getting 5 gigabit internet for a smart home configuration.

    I will need stellar wireless access on each floor.
    Floor 1 – which is where the modem will be,
    10 wired devices , multiple wireless devices
    Floor 2 – 15 wired Devices, multiple wireless devices
    Floor 3 – 10 wired Devices, multiple wireless devices

    I was thinking of going for a mesh network like the Orbi, but I am also looking for the best configuration that will make use of my 5gb internet both wired and wirelessly with excellent connectivity.

    Which devices would you recommend? Wireless Router and Router/Switches.

    Reply
  12. Hi Dong.

    goog morning.
    I currently have a mesh network with asus ax86u and ax88u. But I’m going to move to a bigger house, with 650 m2, and thinking about the future with a multi-gig internet, I want to buy a third router, but I’m lost about which one to buy. I thought of an rt-ax89x, ax11000, axe11000, among others.
    What models do you suggest? All will be wired backhaul connection.
    Thank you for your help.
    Vladimir

    Reply
  13. This is an excellent post!

    Question: I have a Gateway modem with one multigig port (in bridge mode), ROG AX-11000 (also one multigig port) and an 8-multigig switch.

    To take advantage of the >1 gb speeds from my ISP, do I want to connect the Gateway’s multigig port to the ROG’s 2.5 port, and then connect the ROG to the switch using the ROG’s 1gb port? Or is it better to connect the Gateway to the ROG’s Wan port and then connect the ROG to the switch from the ROG’s 2.5 port?

    Or does it matter?

    I suppose this question applies to any routers that have only one multigig port.

    Much appreciated!

    Reply
    • You want a router with two Multi-Gig ports, Daniel, as mentioned in the post.

      As is, the Gig+ WAN is only meaningful when multiple devices connect directly to the router. More in this the port on Multi-Gig in the Related Posts box.

      Reply
      • Makes sense, thanks! So basically the setup won’t matter in my case because I am missing the 2nd multi-gig port on my router?

        If that’s the case, why do they even make Gateways/Routers with only one multi-gig port?

        Reply
        • It does if you think about bandwidth, Daniel. Two concurrently active devices can draw the full Gig+ bandwidth out of the router. It doesn’t if you think only in terms of speed. So, yes, having a router with just one Mulit-Gig port can be quite annoying — the worst is likely the case of the Orbi RBK860. But going full Mulit-Gig is still very expensive, for now.

          Reply
          • Thanks so much! Maybe my first post focused too much on speed. So to increase bandwidth, should I connect the Gateway to the Router’s 2.5 port, even if it means connecting the Router’s 1gig Lan to the 2.5 switch; or should I connect the the Gateway to the Router’s 1gig Wan and then connect the Router’s 2.5 port to the switch’s 2.5 port.

            Put another way, what is the best way to use Router’s 2.5 port, if to use it at all?

  14. Hey Dong, I’d like some info/advice.
    Currently I have a EA8300 router that I’ll give to my mother and I was thinking to update to a better one, whatever 6/6E that would allow me to take advantage of 1.5Gbps in the near future.

    Here’s my situation though, right now I need a router, tri band at least, that would allow me to use WDS mode according to TPLink / Hybrid mode called by Asus (This is the mode that uses one radio to connect to the WAN router but the other radios keeps working like an AP)

    I’m really struggling to find something like this nowadays. Any tip or options that you could give me?

    Thanks !

    Reply
  15. Hi Dong,

    As always thank you for a lot of great articles and for taking the time to answer everyone.

    I have a rog Rapture gt-axe16000 with a 4g router as a modem. I have been trying to move Them around in either end of the house to get better coverage. And plex performance from my aging ds916+.

    I want to get the house wired but I want to be sure where to put it before i pay for that.

    I want to to get another router for aimesh. I think i read in one of articles that there is a problem with the gt-axe16000 and zenwifi pro et12/x12? Should i get one of those or wait for a better price for an additional gt-axe16000?

    Reply
  16. Hi Dong, thanks for the great article! I used to have 400/50 mbit internet and just switched to 1.5 Gbit/1Gbit. I have had 2 AX86U in mesh on merlin software (connected in wired backhaul through the 2.5gbe ports) since my previous connection, but I feel like I am not taking full advantage of my connection. currently most of my house is wired and i have no trouble with wireless connections, but it seems like the wired connections don’t feel as snappy as they used to (all Cat6). I’m not sure if it has to do with processing power or not, but I’m curious what to do. Do I change 1 router, do I add a managed switch with its own processor (such as the Zyxel you reviewed), or do i just switch to a ubiquiti system?
    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Reply
  17. What about a budget mesh set up for starlink. We are rural in a valley so i need something outside reliable.

    Reply
  18. Dong thank you for your answers! I have donated!

    Trying to discern real, valuable experience differences for what money. I thought I needed upload speed for work from home with Microsoft Teams etc but I probably have overkill. Household has 5 users and 20 devices.

    I have xfinity 1200/40 service with SB8600 (1Gb) with ac86u, two older netgear ac routers set as AP via wired backhaul, and 1gb infrastructure (switches). I get 941mbps to my 4 wired desktops. I have 5 people (two college students, one high school, and two adults and I work from home as an sales engineer. I got the gigabit service because I wanted the 35(40)Mb uplink because the next lower was 15(20). We have roughly 18 devices in the 2000sq ft house (main and basement each).

    I upgraded from n66u in 2020 to an AC86u and the Motorola SB8600 and things have gone very well….reliable too. However, I cannot take advantage of the over provisioned gigabit service. Xfinity with the SB8611 that I have been testing can do 1366 down wired and 885 down via an AX6000.

    I spent $765 to try my experiment……SB8611 with 2.5Gbps port to AX6000 with 2 ports. Internal 2.5Gb will go to a new TrendNet 2.5Gbps 16 hub for the 3 wired computers and then for one remote basement corner, I will put in the ac86u, and one for outside usage at a back window. I understand the loss of speed but pragmatic $$. AX6000 would cover the central house. Most of my wifi devices are ac wifi5. The AX6000 seems to provide 20-100% better download speed for the same distance on wifi5 devices…..

    Though with this investment, unless transferring large files or doing a speed test, it does not seem this upgrade will make much of a real world noticable difference? Does this extra downspeed make much difference? Many articles say no.

    Any comments on this situation or considerations? Debating to keep ‘my investment’ or send the whole kit and kabootle back and wait 2-3 years for wifi7 and DOCSIS 4.0. I could easily have a great setup with 3 x ac86u properly placed for good 5ghz with 80mhz channel and even probably lower my internet speed to 300/15 and be fine. only my son’s gaming computer downloads multi GB updates for some games. But the 40Mb uplink makes my work for Zoom and Teams and Onedrive upload and sync faster……so I think…..

    Thank you in advance for any advice. Peace.

    Reply
  19. Hi Dong, I discovered your blog/portal yesterday and literally spent 3 hours to read articles, although my basic English;) You make an amazing job and I’m loving your writing style, deep and well balanced!
    Anyway, I’m waiting my 2500/1000Mbs GPON Fiber here in Italy scheduled in October, I can’t wait to move from a 60/20Mbs DSL!
    The fiber will be delivered with an external ZTE ONT with a 2.5Gbs Ethernet.
    Actually I’ve a FritzBox 7530AX router, Fritz are very famous in EU, really great Router/OS with tons of features, and are very good for VOIP with an integrated DECT base and a mini PBX, very usefully also in a small office.
    Sadly, at the moment, Fritz dont’make a 2×2.5Gbs router and I’m looking for a replace with an Asus GT-AX6000 or GT-AXE16000 or the new GT-AX11000 pro or something else.
    I’m confused, because for the 2.5 Fiber the AX6000 is today enough, but isn’t future proof for the next fiber upgrade due to lack of 10Gbs ports.
    Is it better to spend now 375€ for the AX6000 and when the WAN will be > of 2.5 (2-3-5 years!?) buy the correct router, or spend now 680€ for the 16000/10Gbs ports…

    Reply
    • Hi Giacomo. Your English is excellent!

      I’d go with the GT-AX6000. 10Gbps is not necessary for now, and can be complicated to experience — more in this post. But the GT-AXE16000 doesn’t hurt but I’d wait for the cost to come down.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the tip, I agree, I’ll go with 6000, may be the 16000 is overkill now in my environment, but you know, we’re IT enthusiast and we’re “tempted”!
        Check also the Fritz products, imho greats brand, totally different style compared to Asus/Asian products, I don’t know if they are available in the US.

        Reply
        • Prego, Giacomo. And I’m familiar with Fritz. We have families and friends in Germany, the UK, and France who use those. They are great.:)

          Reply
  20. I have a 6100 sq ft home and 5gb/5gb Fiber internet I am currently using the orbi 960 and 3 satelites that are are wired with cat 6a. I have two computers that have 10gb cards and I am able to get wired speeds of 2.4/2.4. Since the 960 only has a 10gb port and then 2.5gb out port( which in my case runs to a switch) I am looking for recommendations for a mesh system that can support 10gb and which switch would you recommend?

    Reply
      • Thank you. I just read that. I am getting about 2300/2300 now on my other house which has fiber 2gb/2gb. Your price for 10gb is amazing. For 5gb here is $180 a month and 2gb is 110. In north Texas. I think for me I am going to wait until the orbi has at least 2 10gbe ports. It gets a little complicated because I am running Video IP and also need POE for my cameras. This is a new house that is closing sept 8th so I am trying to figure out the right switches. I asked the HT guy but my guess is he is not very familair with 10gbe switches and setups. I said all of that to ask this. Do you think I should get different switches for different things ( IE one for my internet/networking, one for my Video/Audio and one for my Cameras with POE? or should I try and find an all in one?

        Reply
        • The one I mentioned in the post is a PoE one, Don. And it’s been great! But you can use any others, here are those I’ve reviewed — there are not many options yet. And you can use as many switches as you want, you can use a main Multi-Gig switch and a Gigabit PoE for devices if that works better cost-wise.

          I heard utility costs are very high in Texas. But housing is a lot more affordable so there’s that. 🙂

          Reply
  21. Want to know if it’s right device to get GT-AX6000 to replace RT-AC68U ( use this old router as AiMesh Node via ethernet backhaul)
    As I’m on giga fiber broadband as on AC68U on speedtest getting around 600 Mbps, when I remove router and connect direct to GPON media converter, getting around 950 Mbps.
    So AC68U can’t get higher speed as just drops speed, using on LAN.
    Will AX6000 can do higher speed?
    Even better wifi as all walls are solid blocks.
    Even in future to connect to 2.5 Giga broadband..
    I’ve been using AC68U for 8 years, only difference is speed on 1 Giga fiber connected last year.

    Reply
  22. Now that the ET12 can be purchased as a single unit for $480 on Amazon is this generally the best single router solution / best value for a multi-gigabit network?

    Only $130 more than GT-AX6000 for tri-band & 6E ($350 vs $480).

    Reply
      • Your reviews were extremely helpful in making a purchasing decision and I went with the ET12. Only notable downside of ET12 that annoys me is no Merlin support (yet).

        So outside of 6E do you consider the ET12 / GT-AX6000 to be roughly equivalent (same 2x 2.5gbps, same new 16nm quad core CPU etc.)?

        My original question was primarily related to how you think the ET12 being available as a single unit for $480 changes it’s value proposition relative to others multigigabit options. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

        Thanks for the amazing site!

        Reply
  23. Hi Dong, thank you for all of the great info you provide. I have a question about multi-gig routers I was hoping to ask you about. My home is not wired, unfortunately, but I have an Asus RT-A86U that provides decent wifi coverage across the home. However, one thing I’d like to improve is my computer’s connectivity. The computer doesn’t have built-in wifi, and so I’ve been using a USB wifi adapter which hasn’t been that great. As an alternative, I’ve been looking for a second router that I could use as a wifi to ethernet bridge. My computer has a 2.5gbe ethernet port, and so I’d like to get a Wifi 6 router that has a 2.5gbe LAN port, and that can be used as a wifi to ethernet bridge. I suppose I could get another Asus RT-86U, but I was wondering if you knew of a less expensive router? I was looking at a one-pack of the TP-Link Deco X90 or X5700 since those have 2.5gbe LAN ports, but I couldn’t tell from those products’ manuals if they can be used as a wifi to ethernet bridge.

    Reply
    • You’d waste your money in that case, Eugene, because chances are the wireless connection will not be as fast as the speed of the wired port — you’d be lucky to get 1Gbps of sustained speed in most cases. If your computer is a desktop, get a PCIe adapter instead. Don’t bother with Multi-Gig until you get the place WIRED.

      Reply
  24. I have a 2,5g internet connection and would like to maximise my wifi Network. I have a orbi 752 (limited to 1gb). I have a 1000ft2 flat, what is the best choice for multi gig router: asus xt8, orbi 852, netgear raxe500, others ?
    Thanks for your help!! Best regards

    Reply
    • You *can’t* get 2.5Gbps out of a wireless connection, E. So, generally any of these routers will do on the wireless front. But if you want to really enjoy a real 2.5Gbps, then you need one with *two* 2.5Gbps (or better yet 10Gbps) Multi-Gig ports. Make sure you read the intro part of this post. Also, check out this post on how hard it is when it comes to getting *real* Multi-Gig Internet.

      Reply
  25. I would like to setup the 2.5Gbe LAN network as I purchased Asustor 5304t with 2.5Gbe ports.

    My current setup are as follows:
    Internet: Exetel HFC
    Modem from NBN: Arrius CM8200
    Modem router from Exetel: ZTE H268A using 2 VOIP service (4 x 1 Gbe ports and 1 1Gbe WAN port)
    Mesh Router from ASUS: ASUS Xt8 mesh (1 2.5 GBE port and 3 x 1 Gbe) and 1 mesh satellite

    Current connection is from NBN modem port to Exetel HFC wan port and then Exetel HFC lan port to ASUS XT8 WAN port. 3 rooms with wired LAN (1 downstairs and 2 upstairs cat6 wiring) are currently connected to ZTE H268A modem. 2 VOIP phones are connected to the ZTE H268A modem router. The ASUS XT8 satellite is connected to the ASUS Xt8 router wirelessly.

    I just obtained the Internet and VOIP settings from Exetel so I thought I can remove the modem router and using asus xt8 router and buying 2.5 switch and VOIP phone adapter (grandstream?)

    Also if I setup the network using ASUS XT8 in wired backhaul, I think I have some issue which causes no internet (when the cat 6 wiring connects to the asus router and then the lan wiring upstairs connected to the asus mesh satellite upstairs using wired backhaul)

    Q1. What is the best setup in my scenario?

    Q2. What sort of extra equipment should I get?

    Q3. Should I get a 8 port managed switch (e.g. QNAP) or unmanaged switch (QNAP)? Does a managed switch help to solve the asus wired backhaul issue?

    Q4. Is it a way to solve the wired backhaul issue?

    Reply
  26. I have three Zyxel 2.5 GB switches in my network – thanks for the recommendation, by the way! Is maintaining a consistent 2.5 GB wired LAN connection from the router to the switches sufficient justification to buy a router with a 2.5 GB LAN port? I subscribe to my ISP’s 1 GB Internet plan.

    Reply
  27. I am here in the multi gig (LAN) world thanks to the posts on your website, I am running a full GT-AX6000 mesh and all nodes are wired and running at 2.5 GB.

    I do have an oddity though. I have a QNAP 2104-2T multi-gig switch to connect to the satellite nodes and the satellite speed is at full throttle (930 Mb) for a 1GB WAN .

    When I connect my Imac 24 (1GB) to the router I get the full speed (930 Mb) but when I go thru the QNAP switch (either the 2.5 or 10GB port) the speed drops to about 600 Mb. Same cable etc.
    n
    Source OOKLA speed test. Very consistent result. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Something to do with the switch, Mario, in case it’s not obvious to you. 🙂 That or because you connected the switch to a Gigabit port on the router.

      Reply
  28. Dong
    Can you recommend mesh system, with at least 2gig wan and 2 gig lan on each unit. My fiber connection is 2gig so obviously need the wan at least 2, but also want a 2 gig lan .

    thanks
    joe

    Reply
  29. I have read your article on Multi-Gig Wi-Fi 6 Routers. I am looking to purchase an Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 AX6600 to use as a wifi access point or AIMesh point with an existing ASUS GT-AX11000. The question is, can hooking up the 2.5gb ethernet ports on the 2 devices work to establish a 2.5 gb connection or is the port on the X8 an unusable WAN only port.

    Reply
  30. Hi Dong

    Love your site and advice.
    Can I ask about a new setup of the Orbi Pro SXR80 with extra satellites, the use of CAT6 cabling as backhaul and the use of the single 2.5G port (port 1) vs using the 1GB port (port 2) for WAN. I have a 2.5G D-link switch available.

    My Internet via NBN is maximally at 1,000Mbps.

    I was going to change the default on the SXR80 to use Port 2 for the WAN, and use Port 1 (2.5G) to connect to the 2.5G switch and then use that to backhaul to the satellities via Ethernet.

    Is that the most best methodology to get the best speed all around?

    Using the WiFi backhaul on the Router sounds enticing but my place is big with solid concrete walls – thus the Ethernet backhaul consideration.

    Appreciate your advice.

    Thanks

    Andrew

    Reply
    • I haven’t tested the SXK80, Andrew, so I can’t say for sure, but you can try that. Generally, though, you don’t want to use the Orbi if you have wired backhauls. Also, the option for Multi-Gig backhauls are limited.

      Reply
    • I haven’t tested the SXK80, Andrew, so I can’t say for sure, but you can try that. Generally, though, you don’t want to use the Orbi if you have wired backhauls. Also, the options for Multi-Gig backhauls are limited.

      Reply
  31. Multi gig is a non thing to me. I have xfinity 1200 with a netgear cm 2050v and am never able to get any multi gig because of weak links in the chain-under 1 gig

    Reply
    • 1.2Gbps is Gig+, Thomas. That’s not Multi-Gig yet. But you’re right, often the Gigabit is the bottleneck.

      Reply
  32. Hello Dong,

    Can I “soup-up” the performance of my WiFi 5 TV by streaming with a WiFi 6 router and WiFi 6 streaming device like the Fire TV 4K Max?

    Reply
  33. There comes a point where the selection of wifi routers with more than one multigig port is so slim that it makes sense to start looking at separate wired/wireless setups. For example, the MikroTik RB5009UG+S+IN, a $219 wired router that has an SFP+ 10G port, 1×2.5G port, and 7x1G ports. With this, you can use one of the multigig ports for the WAN, one of the multigig ports for connecting to a multigig switch or wifi access point (and since many of the wifi routers on your list have just a single multigig port, they can be used for this), and connect 1G devices directly to the router.

    There is also the $379 Ubiquiti UDM Pro, which is kind of overkill and large, but for a router with two 10G SFP+ ports and a 3.5″ HDD bay, the price isn’t that bad.

    The downside would be that these sorts of routers is much less user friendly than typical consumer fare. But then, I think we’re still at the point where people who are paying for Internet connections faster than 1 gigabit are probably still more technically savvy people.

    Reply
  34. Hey Dong, do you have a multi-gig router suggestion that is not super expensive for my setup (wifi is not important)

    – 2-port WAN link aggregation
    – Multi-gig LAN port (1 or more)

    Reply
  35. Hi Dong,

    I have a single mode G.657.B3 fiber to my unit, with a 1.5Gbps service.
    What router I could use?
    I have 2 computers that are pretty far and I want to use fiber to them with SFP+, so I need at least 3 SFP+ ports, one for WAN and 2 for the other computers.
    Other ports can be 1Gb and wi-fi 6 should do it.

    Thanks for the article, this is a new issue with home networking.

    Reply
    • You’ll need a Multi-Gig switch, Dan. As for the router, the RT-AX89X is about the only one right now. Use its SFP+ for WAN and the 10Gbps BaseT to connect to the switch.

      Reply
      • Thanks Dong,
        I’m not sure the Asus is enough or I need a modem also.
        I could use the WAN SFP+ from the termination point, but this is single mode, I’m not sure if it works, Asus says multi mode SFP+.
        As a switch, I could use a Mikrotik with 4 SFP+ ports between the router and my computers.

        Dan

        Reply
          • I finally pulled the trigger on an RT-AX89X, ver. A2 and updated to the latest firmware. Using the SFP+ port as WAN (SMF) with the 10GBase-T port hooked up to a 10Gbe switch. That in turn is linked to my PC via a 10G SFP+ to Thunderbolt 3 adapter. Got close to advertised ISP speeds measured on Ookla initially. Testing the next day saw speeds drop to a tenth of what the ISP provides. I unplugged the router and hooked up the ethernet link directly to the PC from the 10Gbe switch and got back nearly full advertised speeds. I tried turning off Ai Protection, which hurts performance, but no dice. Ended up doing a hard reset of the router and apparently that worked. Going to monitor it for the rest of the week to see if the LAN speeds drop off again like before. The transceiver in the SFP+ port runs uncomfortably hot even with a fibre optic one plugged in. I’m concerned that will shorten the lifespan of the router even with the built-in fan and will monitor closely. Like everyone else, I got this for the 10G ports so wifi wasn’t really a priority, if only there was a function to disable the radios. The wifi is spotty at best with the 5Ghz band sporadically disappearing and dropping my AC/AX devices down to 2.4Ghz. Hence, the family uses a separate wireless home network. Looking forward to the Wifi 6E version of the router if there is going to be one. I’ve also set my sights on TP Link’s Archer AX206 as well but there’ve been no new updates since it was announced at CES 2021 in January.
            Archer AX206 | AX11000 Tri-Band 10G WiFi 6E Router | TP-Linkhttps://www.tp-link.com › home-networking › archer-a…
            Oh the global chip shortage…

  36. Hi Dong

    I have an Asus AX89X and I have created two different bands because I was having issue with the dual band smart connect options- the homepods kept disconnecting from the Apple TVs for some strange reason. Seperating the bands seem to be working much better for me. A few questions-

    1. Do you recommend keeping the bands seperate?
    2. How many devices can the AX89X support on the 5G band? With most of my devices 5Ghz and Wifi 6 capable is one band enough or would you recommend a triband router?
    3. I love the ASUS router because it allows me to connect to the internet directly by plugging the ethernet cable into the RJ45 port and get rid of the ISP router from BT. Is the ASUS the only device capable of doing that?

    Sorry of I sound like a bit of an amateur, networking is not my thing and I cant think of anyone better to ask these questions.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
      • Thank you. Love the article, it’s made things a lot clearer and answered a lot of questions.

        I wasn’t aware that all routers could do that? I was under the impression that most routers needed the isp modem to be active and an Ethernet cable to connect the modem to the router. Just to be clear what you’re saying is that all Wi-fi 6 routers can connect to the internet directly, bypassing the need for a separate modem?

        Reply
        • No, Nipun, all routers need a terminal device, be it a modem or an ONT. The 89X has an SPF+ port so it might be able to handle a special ONT. So it’s more of a port issue than a router issue.

          Reply
          • Thank you 😊

            Great decision separating the bands anyway. I thought toggling the dual band smart connect would make things easier, things have been super smooth since disabling it.

  37. Hi Dong,
    Loving your reviews! Been busy reading to make sure the choice of my new routers meets my expectations and needs.

    I have one question that I’m not 100% sure on though. I am considering getting two RT-AX86U’s to cover my house in Wifi using AiMesh. I have a Cat6 wired backhaul already installed.

    With those two RT-AX86U’s can I use the 2.5Gbps multi-gig ports to connect them through the wired backhaul? I gather once you set up AiMesh you lose many configuration options on a node, so I’m not sure I’d be able to set up the multi-gig port as the WAN (LAN is default).

    Thanks again for your amazing content!

    Reply
    • That will work out well, Jeri. AS for the Multi-Gig backhaul, that’s a no, at least for now — the port won’t as backhaul work on the node. It might change via firmware update though.

      Reply
  38. Thank you for this article.

    I’m looking to upgrade to my ISP’s 5 gigabit plan (an extra $50/month). So I’m needing a multi-gig router.
    I want to keep connect my existing ethernet wall jacks into a 10 gigabit network. (got a WiFi 5 AP in one room, and a switch with a desktop and a couple servers in another room)
    None of the options here seem to support multiple wired multi-gig LAN connections. Do you know of any router than does?

    Reply
  39. Hi Dong,

    This is certainly a great article, I have a quick question. I live in an apartment (full concrete walls, floor and ceiling) wiring is not an option even though is a small area (800 sqft), and I need a strong backhaul mainly for streaming from my gaming pc to my 2 tvs, which router would you recommend for this situation?

    Reply
      • Thanks a lot! One last question would you recommend a mesh system to keep both tvs and desktop wired to the satellite/router and rely on the backhaul to transfer data between them? if so any recommendation on a mesh device? streaming will be 4K HDR if that is possible.

        Reply
  40. I came across another idea, but am not certain if it would work as I think it could.

    I am waiting on the AX86U to arrive, driven by your review. Thank you.

    the question is as follows,
    I have NAS that supports LAN Aggregation.
    AX86U supports LAN Aggregation.
    So the question is – If I buy a USB-C 2.5G RJ45 Ethernet dongle and connect it to the LAN configured 2.5G port on the router will I be able to use the 2G connectivity option between the NAS, Router and My Mac?

    I am still looking for the answers online and I could not find anything conclusive enough.

    Cheers,
    Martin

    Reply
    • Yes, Martin. Try it. Note though, that even if you don’t have a multi-gig device, the LA from the NAS still helps when you have multiple devices accessing it.

      Reply
      • Ok. To make it short it does not work as I thought it would. There is a technical limitation within the router and it does not allow speeds to be exchanged between the 2.5G port and LAN Aggregated ports 1 and 2.

        uGREEN USB-C 2.5G adapter to 2.5G port on Router works fine but the maximum speed of transfer is 1G aka 110MB/s on average.

        The transfer speed from my MBP16 to the NAS over wifi is still averaging 75-85MB/s over wifi, only it seems this router leaves the old AC88U in the dust. Internet speeds and coverage across the apartment have been improved considerably.

        In order for my 2.5G idea to work I need the following:
        1x uGREEN USB-C dongle for Mac (199RMB)
        1x uGreen USB-A dongle for Synology(189RMB)
        1x 2.5G enabled switch TP-Link TL-SH-1008(549RMB)
        on top of the 1450RMB router.

        so for now I have decided to stay with the 1G wired link until a more options hit the market. Or until it becomes financially more reasonable for investing into setting up the 2.5G network at home. I can do the current work on 1G.

        In case anyone has a similar question on the fringe situation, this may help them find the answer.

        Reply
  41. Hello, I really enjoy your reviews. I am thinking of upgrading my current fios router (g1100) and extender. I currently have fios gigabit. Would it be better to use the Verizon 3100 router and their 3200 extender (connected to moca / coax) or use a mesh network like asus xt8?

    Thanks,
    John

    Reply
  42. For Wi-Fi some use ~60% figure for effective throughput. Does USB 3.0+ go as bad as that?

    (reply button is missing, so starting a new thread)

    Reply
    • Possiblily worse. But don’t quote me on that. Let’s conclude here. I don’t have answers to all of your questions, especially you just want me to confirm your belief, instead of reading and learning yourself. Take care. 🙂

      Reply
      • So I’m under my own beliefs and I can’t study to learn by myself. Where did all that hostility come from? Yeah, take care.

        Reply
        • It’s really not my business what you’re under or what you can or can’t do, Davi. But just because I’m open to answering your questions doesn’t mean you should waste my time. If you do a search, you’ll see that I have written about the said issues in multiple posts. (Examples: USB, Wi-Fi.) Also including a link to your own stuff in a comment is spamming. (I removed that from your original comment). Don’t do that! So, no hostility at all, just real hard truth.

          Reply
          • You are *assuming* that that link was my own stuff. Which is not. The link was a legitimate source for my comment (it was just a MCS table). I only bothered to make that comment because I enjoyed your article but unfortunately you chose to be hostile towards a reader based on your own assumptions. Your assumptions simply didn’t meet reality. Hard truth. Funny because you blamed *me* for being under beliefs.

          • Well, it must have been some misunderstanding. I had lots and lots of comments and emails daily, things might get mixed up. Again, no hostility, I was just being blunt. And I don’t blame anyone for anything. Appreciate the fact you enjoyed my articles. Check out those I linked in previous comments, too.

  43. Both my Netgear Orbi RBK853 and RAX20 have a setting that allows “WAN aggregation (2.5 Gbps + 1 Gbps, LACP-IEEE802.3ad)” using the WAN port and the first LAN port. Quoted text copied from RBK853 Internet Setup page.

    Reply
      • For me to use Nighthawk RAX120 WAN Aggregation, I need to find out if my FiOS routers support LAG, if not then either replace my RAX120 with an Asus unit.

        Reply
  44. @DongNgo – on the RAX120 I cannot seem to get the WAN aggregation (1gb + 1 gb) to work. I have two Fios connection, so I should be able to link the to connection to the RAX120. I get “error: unable to setup Wan Aggregation”. Is Wan Aggregation the same as Dual-Wan support?

    Let me know your thoughts, or should replace the RAX120 to the Asus GT-AX11000?

    Reply
    • No, Dual-WAN is different from WAN Link Aggregation, John. The former is when you use TWO separate broadband plans, like cable AND fiber, for faster speed or higher availability. The latter is to combine two ports into a single connection.

      Reply
  45. Quick comparison across different technologies:

    Wi-Fi 6* ————> ~1 Gbps (“real life”, per article)
    SATA 3.0 ————> 6 Gbps
    USB 3.0** ———–> 5 Gbps
    USB 3.1 Gen 2*** —-> 10 Gbps
    10GBASE-T**** ——-> 10 Gbps
    PCI Express 3.0 —–> 128 Gbps (x16 lanes)
    PCI Express 4.0 —–> 256 Gbps (x16 lanes)

    Also known as:
    * 802.11ax
    ** USB 3.1 Gen 1; USB 3.2 Gen 1×1; SuperSpeed USB
    *** USB 3.2 Gen 2×1; SuperSpeed+ USB
    **** 802.3an-2006

    ~

    Wi-Fi data rates (“theoretical”):
    Wi-Fi 5* ————> 3.5 Gbps (160MHz; 4SS; 256QAM)
    Wi-Fi 6** ———–> 9.6 Gbps (160MHz; 8SS; 1024QAM)

    aka:
    * 802.11ac-2013
    ** 802.11ax (final approval est. Feb 2021)

    Reply
      • The other throughput figures can help when you want to tell whether your piece of equipment (say a USB 3.0 drive) can handle the throughput of a given technology (say a file transfer over 802.11ax). In this case, yes, if it’s connected to functional USB 3.0 port from Wi-Fi 6 ready system.

        Or maybe you are designing a PC for a given application and you want to be able to tell if there is some nasty bottleneck in your system data flow (you strive for a overall well balanced system).

        Thanks for the article, by the way.

        Feelthhis

        Reply
        • Sure, Davi. Your numbers are all theoretical so they are not really applicable when it comes to picking a piece of equipment. 🙂

          Reply
          • If I can’t rely on the standards themselves, I have no idea of what to rely on that would serve as an initial foundation for picking a compatible equipment or for building a system without obvious bottlenecks. What would you suggest?

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