Best Wi-Fi 6 Router in 2021

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With almost everyone running errands from the comfort of their homes due to the pandemic, it is most likely that the internet has become one of the essential tools towards achieving productivity, mainly if you have to work online. It is, therefore, imperative that a stable internet connection has to be established. Well, here’s where we meet Wi-Fi routers. 

You most probably have come across a Wi-Fi router, maybe even on several occasions in your daily life, and you even know they come in different types, sizes, and shapes. Nonetheless, what’s vital for you to know is that the best Wi-Fi router should offer you a fast and seamless internet connection either for work, education, or entertainment purposes. Regardless of the type of router, your ultimate choice should be quick and convenient and have features that will ensure easy management of your home network. 

The Wi-Fi 6 router age is here with us! Since its introduction a few years ago, Wi-Fi 6 has taken over as the new Wi-Fi standard. With an increasing number of devices supporting the new wireless network technology, the need for Wi-Fi 6 Routers is seemingly becoming a necessity. If you spend plenty of time online, (almost everyone on the planet does that). In that case, you have the chance to treat yourself to a faster and smoother internet connection experience, thanks to the excellent performance of the Wi-Fi 6 routers.


Why Wi-Fi 6?

You might be asking why all this stress is being put on the Wi-Fi 6 router and not any other in a world where we have countless routers. The fact is, if you are suffering from buffering, Wi-Fi 6 is the bearer of good news. The Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the world’s latest technology designed to improve your home network and enhance its internet connection. If your internet connection is not the best, you’re looking into an opportunity to enjoy faster download speeds, buffer-free streaming, and the ability to add a handful of smart devices to your network; without slowing down your internet connection.

Here are four reasons why you should get yourself the Wi-Fi 6. 

Wi-Fi 6 offers the best internet speeds and range

Wi-Fi travels in streams. Streams are components of Wi-Fi frequency bands, usually within the 2.4GHz and 5GHz range. Older versions of Wi-Fi routers like the Wi-Fi 5 offer a maximum of 8 streams, while the Wi-Fi 6 gives you 12 streams. The increase in the number of streams increases your network’s speed as your devices find more ways to communicate with the router. It has been proven that Wi-Fi 6 customers enjoy an increased connectivity speed of 40% over those on Wi-Fi 5.

Wi-Fi 6 gives you the highest-level performance in multi-device households

Even when Wi-Fi 5 brought us gigabit internet speeds, it is currently falling short in delivering the same rates as devices are getting smarter and require more connection speeds. Wi-Fi 6, on the other hand, uses its OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Multiple Access) features to make sure that all devices get a robust connection, regardless of their different bandwidth requirements. 

Wi-Fi 6 is designed for Smart Homes

With IoT applications and Smart Home devices’ availability, the average Wi-Fi-connected devices you can find in a single home is increasing from 10 to as many as 50. Keeping in mind that each smart switch, CCTV camera, Wi-Fi connected lightbulb, or door lock is a load to your Wi-Fi connection, you ought to find a more robust router that will serve all devices without affecting speeds. With a Wi-Fi 6 router, you can enjoy an uninterrupted connection of thermostats, lights and switches, and any other IoT devices within your network.

Wi-Fi 6 routers are the best to use for 4K/8K UHD video streaming

You require a consistent and high-speed internet connection to stream 4K/8K resolution videos. If, for instance, your household has multiple users that need to stream high-quality video, you’ll need an even more intelligent and faster internet connection. Wi-Fi 6 routers come to the rescue in such a scenario, offering unimaginable internet connectivity speeds, owing to their combination of ultra-fast processors, increased radio streams, and improved memory. You can hold multiple HD video streaming sessions without experiencing buffers, shuttering, or other annoying hitches, as you see in older Wi-Fi routers.

Now that we’ve seen that moving to a Wi-Fi 6 device is a total upgrade, let’s look at some of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers.

Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers

If you’re a serious gamer, you know how slow internet connection can be a put-off. The TP-Link Archer is here to give you complete control over your resources. Moreover, the TP-Link router also allows you to see resource utilization and real-time latency to help you keep your network speed at its maximum. Apart from its super-fast file transfer system, the router comes with a lifetime anti-malware subscription, strong parental controls, and a game acceleration option; all displayed adequately on a slick gamer-friendly dashboard. 

At first sight, you’ll surely love the AX11000’s black textured cabinet and eight red non-adjustable antennas. Apart from that, the router has an LED indicator that glows white when the connection is good, orange when Wi-Fi is disabled and bright red in the case of total signal loss. Nonetheless, the router is relatively big and might take up quite some space during installation.

The rear panel houses several I/O ports, namely, a 2.5GB WAN port, eight gigabit LAN ports, a power jack, a power switch, and a reset button. To the right of the router, you find a USB 3.0 type A port and a USB 3.0 type C port input. The router houses a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 512MB flash memory in terms of performance. This 12-stream tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router can attain 1,148MBPS on the 2.4GHz band and 4,804MBPS on either 5GHz bands. 

The TP-Link AX11000 can be controlled with the router’s tether mobile app or through a web-based console. 

Quick review on the TP-Link Archer AX11000

Key SpecsWireless specification: 802.11ax
Number of USB ports: 2
Number of bands: 3
AC speed: AX11000
Number of Antennas: 8
Number of wired LAN ports: 8
Wireless networking security: WPS, WPA2, WPA3
IPv6 Compatible: Yes
VPN Client Pre-Installed: Yes
Anti-Malware tools: Yes
Link Aggregation: Yes
Guest Networking: Yes
Beamforming: Yes
Wireless Parental Controls: Yes
Supports DD-WRT: No
MU-MIMO: Yes
ProsNumerous gamer-friendly settings
Multi-gig WAN
Lifetime malware protection
Link aggregation
Solid parental controls
ConsBulky
Expensive


Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wi-Fi 6 Router

For fast network and file transfer speeds, you can trust the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 router. Even though it might look a little pricey, it delivers stellar 5GHz performance and a breakneck file transfer speed. The router supports a multi-LAN port and WPA3 encryption, but on the other hand, lacks strong parental controls and malware protection. 

The Nighthawk AX12 spots a ‘double-wing design with a matte black finish. On the top side, you’ll find the power indicator, a WAN port, five LAN ports, two USB ports, two Wi-Fi indicators as well as WPS and Wi-Fi on/off buttons. You’ll find four gigabit LAN ports, a 5GbE port for fast Ethernet connectivity, and a WAN port on the backside. Within the four gigabit LAN ports, two can be set up for link aggregation. 

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12, also known as RAX 120 comes with 512MBs of RAM, 1GB of flash memory and a 2.2GHz quad-core processor under the hood. The router is a dual-band 12-stream router, featuring eight streams on the 5GBz band and four streams on the 2.4 GHz band. The theoretical maximum connectivity speed of the RAX 120 is 1.2 GBps on the 2.4GHz band and 4.8GBps on the 5GHz alternative. Unlike other up-to-date routers like the ASUS RT-AX88U and TP-Link AX6000, the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 supports WPA3 standard. Besides, the RAX 120 supports other technologies like the 8×8 MU-MIMO data streaming, OFDMA data transmissions, 1024-QAM and direct signal beamforming. 

You can operate the router from a mobile app or web management console. You can, for instance, use the app to configure Wi-Fi and internet settings, run speed tests and control the internet settings of target devices. Nonetheless, you can only use the web console to access the advanced settings where you can access things like port forwarding, link aggregation VPN services and port forwarding. 

You can access the various settings for attached devices, quality of service, guest network and ReadySHARE USB devices. 

A quick review of the Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Key specsWireless specification: 802.11ax
Number of USB ports: 2
Number of bands: 3
AC speed: AX6000
Number of wired LAN ports: 4
Wireless networking security: WPS, WPA2, WPA3
IPv6 Compatible: Yes
VPN Client Pre-Installed: Yes
Anti-Malware tools: No
Link Aggregation: Yes
Guest Networking: Yes
Beamforming: Yes
Wireless Parental Controls: Yes
Supports DD-WRT: No
MU-MIMO: Yes
ProsEasy to install
5GbE port
Fast performance and file transfer
ConsNo malware protection
Expensive
Limited parental control


Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

This is a Wi-Fi router designed for gaming. It is designed with a sculpted back cabinet that has red grillwork on the back and forth. Unlike the TP Archer’s AX11000 8 antennas, this router only comes with four antennas. The top side of the outer hosts LED indicators for showing internet activity, Wi-Fi buttons, and WPS buttons. The Power LED lights White when the router is running perfectly and amber when running firmware updates. The back panel hosts a gigabit WAN port, four LAN ports, a reset button, a USB 3.0 port, and a power button. However, the XR1000 lacks a multi-gig LAN port(2.5GB) and link aggregation support. 

The Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 runs on a 1.5GHz tri-core processor with 512MB RAM and 256MB flash memory. This dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router records 600Mbps and 4.8Gbps speed on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, respectively. Supporting the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology(802.11ax), 160MHz channel bandwidth, 1024 QAM(Quality Amplitude Modulation), WPA3 encryption, OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming and beamforming, this router has proven to be among the best in the game. 

A quick review of the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

Key FeaturesWireless specification: 802.11ax
Number of USB ports: 1
Number of bands: 2
AC speed: AX5400
Number of Antennas: 4
Number of wired LAN ports: 4
Wireless networking security: WPS, WPA2, WPA3
IPv6 Compatible: Yes
VPN Client Pre-Installed: Yes
Anti-Malware tools: No
Link Aggregation: No
Guest Networking: Yes
Beamforming: Yes
Wireless Parental Controls: No
Supports DD-WRT: No
MU-MIMO: Yes
ProsEasy to install
Solid throughput performance
Gamer-friendly Operating System
Fast file transfer speeds
ConsIt lacks a multi-gig LAN port
Pricey
It doesn’t support link aggregation
You’ll need to obtain anti-malware tools separately.

If you’re looking for an affordable yet robust midrange Wi-Fi 6 router, then the TP-Link AX50 is your ultimate choice. Let’s review it below.

The AX50 has found the sweet spot between budget-class router models and high-end models but still offers outstanding quality making it a popular choice. The router delivers the latest Wi-Fi technology (802.11ax) and provides solid internet connectivity speeds. Despite its low price, this router comes with lifetime parental control services, link aggregation, USB connectivity, and anti-malware software. The only feature that could have been improved is the file transfer speed, but that doesn’t make it slow in any way.

The AX50 features a glossy and matte black finish, with four adjustable antennas, textured grills, and six LED indicators. The router has a WAN port, a power jack, a power button, a reset button, a USB 3.0 port, and a WPS/Wi-Fi button. Nonetheless, the ports are not multi-gig, but the router makes up for this weakness by supporting link aggregation. If we talk about speeds, the AX50 can reach speeds of 574Mbps and 2,402Mbps on its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, respectively. 

The AX50 has a dual-core CPU under the hood. It uses OFDMA packet transmissions, direct-to-client beamforming, Smart Connect, and MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming to establish a quality internet connection to your devices. However, the router doesn’t support 160MHz channel bandwidth and WPA3 encryption. 

Quick Review of the TP-Link Archer AX50

Key specsWireless specification: 802.11ax
Number of USB ports: 1
Number of bands: 2
AC speed: AX3000
Number of Antennas: 4
Number of wired LAN ports: 4
Wireless networking security: WPS, WPA2
IPv6 Compatible: Yes
VPN Client Pre-Installed: Yes
Anti-Malware tools: Yes
Link Aggregation: No
Guest Networking: Yes
Beamforming: Yes
Wireless Parental Controls: No
Supports DD-WRT: No
MU-MIMO: Yes
ProsEasy to install
Strong parental controls
Link aggregation
Anti-malware protection
Solid signal strength and performance
Cheap
ConsIt doesn’t support 160MHz or WPA3
Not the best file transfer performance


Asus RT-AX86U AX5700

The Asus RT-AX86U AX5700 is a mid-range router that delivers fast data rates with fast connectivity options, malware protection, robust parental controls, and a gamer-friendly experience. It also comes with a 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, link aggregation, a dedicated LAN gaming port, and every other tool you need to optimize your gaming experience. 

This slick Wi-Fi 6 router spots a chiseled black enclosure whose grill is red along the bottom edge and has three removable antennas along the top edge. The bottom part of this antenna is laced with ten LED activity indicators, four LAN ports, WPS, radio bands, and 2.5Gbps and 1Gbps WAN sections. On the backside, you’ll find a 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, a gigabit WAN port, a power jack, a power switch, two USB 3.2 ports, and a reset button. One of these LAN ports can be dedicated as a gaming port, and you can reserve the other two ports for link aggregation. 

If we’re talking about data speeds, the AX86U reaches maximum data rates of 861Mbps and 4,804Mbps on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, respectively. The router has 1GB of RAM under the hood, 256MB of flash memory and run by a 1.8GHz quad-core processor. It also uses 802.11ax Wi-Fi technology, OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), 160Mhz bandwidth, Target Wake Time (TWT) direct-to-client signal beamforming, data streaming, and WPA3 encryption. You can use a mobile app to access the router remotely and control every aspect you wish to. 

Quick summary of the Asus RT-AX86U AX5700

Key SpecsWireless specification: 802.11ax
Number of USB ports: 2
Number of bands: 2
AC speed: AX5700
Number of Antennas: 4
Number of wired LAN ports: 4
Wireless networking security: WPS, WPA2, WPA3
IPv6 Compatible: Yes
VPN Client Pre-Installed: Yes
Anti-Malware tools: No
Link Aggregation: Yes
Guest Networking: Yes
Beamforming: Yes
Wireless Parental Controls: Yes
Supports DD-WRT: No
MU-MIMO: Yes
ProsEasy to install
Multi-gig LAN
Robust Malware protection and parental controls
Link aggregation
ConsFile transfer could be made better
Vertical mount only


Conclusion

These are some of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers in the market, sampled after considering a few key specs. Now that we’re spending more time at home than ever, picking up a great quality Wi-Fi 6 router to ensure that the entire household gets a reliable Internet connection is a worthwhile investment.

Be it for working from home, gaming, or just watching Netflix, a robust Wi-Fi 6 router ensures that your time spent at home is free from frustrations with getting a poor Wi-Fi signal.

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