Just when we were getting used to Wireless-AC, there's a new standard creeping its way onto the market. Thankfully, the Wi-Fi Alliance has realized how confusing the 802.11b/g/n/ac/ax nomenclature is for consumers. So, now you'll be looking for the best Wi-Fi 6 router instead of trying to figure out what random letter combination is the latest and greatest.
So what's Wi-Fi 6, and why should you care? Well, Wi-Fi 6 is the successor to 802.11ac (commonly branded as Wireless-AC) and promises lower latency, greater range, and faster speeds. While older devices can't benefit from these advantages, newer ones, like the iPhone 11 and Galaxy 10 lines – not to mention Ultrabooks equipped with Ice Lake processors – come equipped to use Wi-Fi 6. Additionally, many of these newer modems feature great non-Wi-Fi features, like multiple 1 Gbps ethernet ports, MU-MIMO, great hardware, and web interfaces that offer both ease-of-use and plenty of options for power users.
If you're in the market for a new router, there's really no reason not to future-proof your home network and get the best Wi-Fi 6 router you can afford. Since the technology is still new on the market, you'll pay a bit more, but you won't have to worry about upgrading a year or two down the road to take full advantage of your new device's capabilities.
We haven’t had a chance to test all of these routers ourselves, but don’t worry – we here at TechRadar are Wi-Fi experts, and we’ve used our tech expertise to find the best Wifi routers on the market right now. And, because we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, you can be confident that you’re getting the best Wi-Fi 6 router deal on the internet.
The Asus RT-AX88U has all the bells and whistles that you could want out of a router, including Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. It's our favorite on our list because it offers so much while resting on the lower end of the current Wi-Fi 6 router price range. One advantage of this router over others on the list is the 8 LAN ports. At twice the amount the most other routers carry, the RT-AX88U can save you from having to buy an ethernet switch. Combine this convenience with the excellent web interface and gamer-friendly features and you have one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers available right now.
Sometimes running ethernet cable just isn't an option, and if you're a gamer, that can be disastrous. If you're stuck in this situation, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 can help ease your pain. With 8 antennas, MU-MIMO, and options to prioritize gaming traffic, this router can help reduce the latency that makes gaming via Wi-Fi a pain. This router has the same great, easy-to-use interface as the RT-AX88U, but only has 5+1 LAN ports. One of those LAN ports is a 2.5 Gbps line, though, which is great for connecting a NAS or other device that needs a lot of available bandwidth on demand.
Netgear's Nighthawk routers have always come highly recommended, and the Wi-Fi 6 models are no different. This is another Wi-Fi 6 router that ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to features, and surprisingly is on the cheaper side of the market. The one thing that made the RT-AX88U beat out the AX8 is the fact that it only has 5+1 LAN Gigabit LAN ports. Otherwise, this router is a good alternative for ASUS's model.
The Nighthawk AX12 is Netgear's analog for the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, and as such it a great alternative. Inside the Batwing-looking appendages on the side are eight antennas for increased range and high-performance even when multiple devices are connected. This is another great router if you have a device that needs high bandwidth on demand. One of the 5+1 LAN connections is a 5 Gigabit port, which once again, is great if you have a NAS.
This package is for those who have a large area they need Wi-Fi in, but still want Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. The RT-AX92U isn't quite as feature-packed as most Wi-Fi 6 routers, but with this bundle you get two routers for the price of any one of the others on our list. Since these are designed to work as mesh routers, it's easy to get them going. You hook up one like as normal, then use the second as an extender. It's a perfect package for multi-story or sprawling households that one router just can't cover.