A routing device (router) is the heart of any home network. Your Internet provider determines the Internet speed and bandwidth. But a wrong router could significantly limit them or even block your Internet access.

We analyzed the reviews from users. We also reviewed the tests on different websites, such as PCMag, Googl and CNet. And then, we prepared a guide that will help you choose the best Wi-Fi router of 2020.

How do you choose a Wi-Fi router for the home?

There are many technical characteristics that you need to know when looking for a router. First of all, note the following:

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

These are two bands in the radio frequency spectrum. Wi-Fi technology uses these bands to transmit signals. The speed of the 5GHz band is much higher. But it is difficult for it to pass through the walls and other barriers. The 2.4GHz band loses less of its speed while passing through an obstacle. But a congested wireless data transmission environment weakens it.

Many devices, such as video baby monitors, use the 2.4GHz. That could create a frequency interference with the router.

So, we recommend you to choose the router model that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. Only by testing them can you understand which one of the two bands works better at your home.

Two bands or three bands

Two bands or three bands

Three-band routers are much more expensive than two-band ones. A three-band router broadcasts three signals at the same time: two on the 5GHz band and one on the 2.4GHz band.

LAN ports

LAN ports

The majority of modern routers have Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections. Expensive routers have up to eight ports, while the cheaper models only have four.

USB ports

USB ports

Good Wi-Fi routers for home use typically have one USB port, but some models have two. And there are routers without any such ports. Why do you need a USB port? You can use it to connect an external hard drive or a 4G modem. You can also connect a printer to print from any device linked to your home network.

Number of antennas

Number of antennas

There are not any Wi-Fi routers without antennas. So, if you do not see them, it means that the antenna is inside the device body. Old router models used to have one antenna that was designed to receive and transmit. Their maximum speed was as high as 72 Mbit/sec.

Modern models are equipped with two, three, or more antennas. The router’s speed depends on the number of antennas – the more antennas, the higher the speed. Besides, some antennas can be designed to receive a better signal or for 3G/4G networks.

OK, we are done with the theory, now to the Top 10 of the best routers of 2020.

The best wireless routers of 2020 rating

10. ASUS GT-AC5300 Rapture

ASUS GT-AC5300 Rapture

Average price – 370$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad
  • Max speed: 5334 Mbit/sec
  • Supports an optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 8xLAN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

This device is one of the fastest three-band routers. It is equipped with eight removable antennas.

It allows the user to connect cable modems, such as a 3G modem and an LTE modem and has two USB 3.0 ports. Two out of eight LAN ports can be bundled together for channel aggregation to provide the 2 Gbit/sec speed. These two ports automatically get network priority. So, you can see that your gaming console gets more bandwidth.

Another great feature for gamers is network analysis. It will prioritize the gaming traffic for gaming consoles. (For example, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and 3DS, or Microsoft Xbox One).

This router also provides built-in support for a private gaming network. (For example, WTFast Gamers Private Network, GPN). That allows a private and safe connection to gaming servers. And also provides low ping and optimized performance for a thousand compatible games.

This model has its own VPN server and a build-in antivirus. It also allows you to monitor the Wi-Fi signal from other devices. That enables you to track interference and certain range congestion. Still, many users complain that the stated feature works only at the 2.4 GHz.

Pros: high bandwidth; eight LAN ports; stylish futuristic design. Plenty of settings for gamers.
Cons: expensive, bulky, no external firmware, very complicated interface. At first, it will be challenging to make sense of it.

9. NETGEAR R7000

NETGEAR R7000

Average price – 240$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1900 Mbit/sec
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

This mid-price segment router is equipped with three removable antennas. The device uses both bands at the same time – 2.4 / 5 GHz.

It has one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port and simple settings. According to the users, the router works stably and offers enough range for even a large home. The NETGEAR R7000 Wi-Fi network can be connected to multiple devices. And even then, the transmission speed will still be high.

Pros: simple interface; no unnecessary settings; automatically installs the latest updates.
Cons: bulky; bright lights could bother you in the dark.

8. Linksys EA7500

Linksys EA7500

Average price – 140$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1900 Mbit/sec
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

This router is an excellent choice for working on multiple devices at the same time. If you live with many people, they certainly own many devices. (For example, tablets, gaming consoles, phones, etc.) In this case, the Linksys EA7500 is for you.

This router connects twelve or more devices at the same time. It has one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a 1.9 Gbit/sec speed limit. The device features three antennas and MU-MIMO technology. All that allows this router to process stream connections to multiple devices simultaneously. Besides that, they provide a reliable wireless connection.

You can set a multiple device priority on the router’s home page (or in the mobile app). You can also prioritize certain apps and games, but only manually.

Pros: you can set up an external DNS; large coverage area. The router features a simple and user-friendly interface.
Cons: bulky; the Linksys EA7500 design certainly will not make it a workspace decor.

7. D-link DIR-853

D-link DIR-853

Average price – 55$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1267 Mbit/seс
  • Supports an optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

This reliable and cheap Wi-Fi router is a dual-band device. It uses a build-in Yandex.DNS content filtering service. This service features three-level security and SafeDNS. It allows you to set up protection from fraudulent and virus-infected websites. Also, you can block adult websites.

Dual-core processor and 128 MB of RAM, strong and stable Wi-Fi signal, and a USB 3.0 port. All that makes this router the right choice for the users looking for a decent router at a low price.

Pros: cheap; allows you to set up a guest network; detailed documentation.
Cons: web-interface sometimes hangs; spontaneous restarts; slow torrent client.

6. TP-Link Archer C7 V5

TP-Link Archer C7 V5

Average price – 75$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1750 Mbit/sec
  • Supports optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

The TP-Link Archer C7 V5 is one of the fastest wireless routers for home. The device is in the price segment of under ten thousand rubles. Supports two frequency bands (2.4 / 5 GHz), allows you to connect 3G/4G modems and has a speed limit of 1750 Mbit/sec.

The router offers enough range for a large apartment or a house.

All settings can be made in the web interface with detailed tips for each item.

Pros: reasonable price; high bandwidth; easy installation; mobile app.
Cons: glossy and easily soiled surface; no USB 3.0 port; only USB 2.0 port. Many users complain about occasional spontaneous restarts.

5. ASUS RT-AC86U

ASUS RT-AC86U

Average price – 230$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 2917 Mbit/sec
  • Supports an optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

Not looking for gaming features that the ASUS GT-AC5300 Rapture offers? Then the RT-AC86U model would be a smart choice for you. It is a reliable Wi-Fi router with the USB 2.0 and the USB 3.0 ports and the high speed. It also lets you set up a guest network.

It is equipped with three removable antennas. If necessary, you could replace them with the more powerful ones. The device is highly productive and can be used as a NAS server.

However, the majority of users complain about the original firmware. The problem is that it does not allow you to do anything advanced. For example, you can not set up the Entware storage to install or delete Linux apps on the router’s console. So, if you know how to do it, you should install the Merlin-a firmware on this device.

Pros: beautiful design; you can switch off the LED lights if they bother you; long power cord (about 2 meters).
Cons: overheats due to the passive cooling; not the best choice for a big house. Its signal fades, passing through more than two load-bearing walls.

4. Netis WF2780

Netis WF2780

Average price – 28$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1167 Mbit/sec
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec

It is the best affordable router. The setting takes just a couple of minutes. The device works great in the two- or three-room apartments with thick walls.

This router features Gigabit ports and a dual-band access point. All that provides the connection speed of up to the 300 Mbit/sec (at the 2.4 GHz) and 867 Mbit/sec (at the 5 GHz). It also has a conveniently scheduled reboot function. But, since it is a cheap model, there is no USB port.

Pros: powerful antennas; the firmware features the Yandex.DNS functionality; simple setting.
Cons: the device overheats under high load; old-fashioned design.

3. MikroTik hAP AC Lite Tower

MikroTik hAP AC Lite Tower

Average price – 40$.

  • Characteristics:
  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Supports an optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Ports speed 100 Mbit/sec

This device is one of the best affordable Wi-Fi routers in the market. It was developed by MikroTik. It is famous for the outstanding quality of its products, both inside and outside.

The hAP AC Lite Tower model is equipped with four LAN ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one POE output port. It allows the user to connect a 3G modem and an LTE modem and uses both Wi-Fi frequencies 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time.

However, minimal knowledge of network parameters might be necessary for setup. The new users would not call the router’s interface user-friendly. Still, if you set up everything right, the MikroTik hAP AC Lite Tower will run like clockwork for many years.

Pros: excellent quality for a small price; beautiful design; lots of settings.
Cons: the interface is not user-friendly.

2. Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Router Pro

Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Router Pro

Average price – 40$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 1167 Mbit/sec
  • Commutator 3xLAN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec

Did you think that the list of the best home routers of 2020 will not include Xiaomi products? Here it is, an excellent affordable router in a neat aluminum case. It features the USB 3.0 port, and it is easy-to-manage both via the web interface and the Mi Wi-Fi mobile app.

This router’s software allows you to configure many parameters. For example, a guest network, a network firewall, an FTP server, or a file server. The users like the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Router Pro because it offers a stable signal and sufficient range.

However, if Chinese is not your native language, you might find it difficult to set up. The same goes for the users who, for some reason, do not want to set up the router via the mobile app.

The thing is that, unlike the mobile app (which is in English), the web interface is in Chinese. The Xiaomi developers did not want to spend their money on the English translation. So, be ready to use an online translator while cursing at their greediness. Still, you can always install an external firmware.

Pros: powerful; build quality; stably working router.
Cons: the developer did not spend money on the forth LAN port or the translation from Chinese.

1. Keenetic Ultra (KN-1810)

Keenetic Ultra (KN-1810)

Average price – 125$.

Characteristics:

  • Wi-Fi standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Max speed: 2533 Mbit/sec
  • Supports optional 4G modem
  • Commutator 4xLAN
  • Supports VPN
  • Ports speed 1000 Mbit/sec
  • USB print server

The Keenetic Ultra (KN-1810) is the best «value for money» Wi-Fi router for the home of 2020. It has a five-star rating on Yandex.Market and lots of positive reviews on other resources. What is the secret of this model’s success?

Well, it is an excellent combination of nice features. For example, an affordable price, high maximum speed, and a user-friendly interface. Not only a computer technology pro, but any common user will be able to make sense of its interface.

The device also works stably; you just set it up and forget about it. It supports more than ten devices at the same time and does not lose the connection quality.

Keenetic Ultra (KN-1810) operates even in a huge space with multiple walls. Its last update features an excellent new option. Now you can configure each home network device separately. This way, it connects either directly or through a VPN.

Pros: stylish design; SFP port; one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port.
Cons: bulky; tends to overheat.

 

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