Best wireless routers the best Wi-Fi for your home network 2021

Best wireless routers the best Wi-Fi for your home network 2021
RyDesk

Best wireless routers the best Wi-Fi for your home network 2021

Upgrade your network with one of the best wireless routers. An ISP-supplied router may do an OK job – and one of the best Wi-Fi extenders could be enough to extend its reach. However, upgrading to a top-notch router should not only yield better results but also future-proof and reduce clutter in your area of coverage.

After all, buying yourself the best laptop or the best desktop PC will only get you so far. You also need a fast and reliable network to see you through your online needs, and the best wireless routers will always produce better results in terms of improving connectivity. As a result, you’re getting faster, smoother, and more consistent internet connections throughout your space.

Whether you play a lot of online games or co-op games with friends, rely on your network for work or your business, or watch the best Netflix shows all day, it’s high time you invest in one of the best routers. From excellent mesh Wi-Fi routers to newer Wi-Fi 6 routers, here are our top picks.

Google Nest Wifi

Google Nest Wifi takes the Google Wifi and gives it the capabilities of Google Home. (Image credit: Google)

1. Google Nest Wifi

Google Wifi and Home together at long last

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz/5 GHz simultaneous dual-band | Connectivity: Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports | Features: Advanced security chip, Nest Wifi point with Google Assistant, privacy control

Excellent design
Smart speaker(s) included
Even simpler controls
No major performance gains
Not worth replacing the existing mesh

Google kicks things up a notch in its Google Wifi line with its latest installment. Don’t get us wrong; the original Google Wifi is still among the best wireless routers today. However, if you’re all about smart home life, then you’ll appreciate the pure genius of Google Nest Wifi. The best router 2021 has given us takes the Google Wifi, gives it the capabilities of Google Home, and wraps it all up in an even sleeker and more appealing package. It’s a mesh router and a smart speaker in one, all with the simplicity that Google Wifi is known for.

Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi

Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers

Speed: 802.11ax 4804Mbps down | Connectivity: 2.5 Gigabit Wan, 3 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, USB 3.1 | Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro

Great Wi-Fi performance
Good security features
Expensive
Limited to two routers

Asus has been rolling out some amazing Wi-Fi 6 routers recently, and it has been releasing them for just about every need and budget. With the Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8), It has also managed to introduce Wi-Fi 6 to that other cutting-edge tech in connectivity; mesh routers. While it is among the more expensive options out there and limits you to two mesh routers, the Asus ZenWifi AX offers blazing fast speeds as well as plenty of flexibility in its setup – such as the option to set up one or two networks using the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. With excellent security features to boot, this is a fantastic choice if you’re looking at mesh routers.

Read the full review: Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

TP-Link Archer GX90

(Image credit: TP-Link)

High-speed Wi-Fi 6 performance tailor-made for gaming

Speed: IEEE 802.11ax/ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11ax/n/b/g 2.4 GHz | Connectivity: 1× 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN, 1× Gigabit WAN/LAN, 3× Gigabit LAN, 1× USB 3.0, 1× USB 2.0 | Features: 4.8 Gbps Game Band, Game Accelerator, MU-MIMO

Wi-Fi 6 running at 6.6Gbps
Dedicated 4.8Gbps ‘gaming band’
Slightly fiddly set-up

There may be a few things you might not like about the TP-Link Archer GX90. It’s big, it’s bulky, and it’s expensive. However, those are easy to forgive when you realize that you’re getting a big bang for your buck. This is among the best wireless routers out there for gamers, boasting a handful of features for hardcore gaming like a dedicated 5GHz ‘gaming band’ that lets you hog most of your household bandwidth when you need it. Have younger gamers at home? It also provides good parental controls like content filters to block unsuitable material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages.

Read the full review: TP-Link Archer GX90

Asus RT-AX86U

(Image credit: Asus)

4. Asus RT-AX86U

An impressive all-around upgrade

Speed: 802.11ax up to 5700 Mbps down | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit Wan, 2.5G Wan, 2x USB 3.2 | Features: MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control, NVIDIA Geforce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization

Fast Wi-Fi 6 performance
Gaming-focused
Security features
Not cheap

Asus has always had an excellent line of gaming-centric devices, and the Asus RT-AX86U continues that tradition. While expensive compared to run-of-the-mill routers, it’s actually a competitively priced Wi-Fi 6 router. And, considering Wi-Fi 6 is the future in connectivity, this router is a win for Asus and an ace for gamers. It also has some great features for gamers such as a 2.5 Gigabit Wan, the ability to assign an ethernet port as a dedicated “gaming” port, and NVIDIA Geforce Now Cloud Gaming Optimization. Finally, it comes with very useful parental controls if you need them.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AX86U

Asus RT-AX58U

(Image credit: Asus)

5. Asus RT-AX58U

Wi-Fi 6 on a budget

Speed: up to 3000Mbps | Connectivity: RJ45 for BaseT for WAN, 4 x RJ45 for BaseT for LAN, USB 3.1 Gen 1 | Features: Router app, MU-MIMO, Traffic Analyzer, Adaptive QoS, AiProtection Pro, Parental Control

Strong Wi-Fi 6 performance
Simple set-up
Good parental controls
Dual-band only

Wi-Fi 6 is the new cutting-edge technology in networking. And while it offers faster speeds, better connections, and larger area coverage, it comes at a price. With the Asus RT-AX58U, the company has been able to offer that Wi-Fi 6 performance at a much more reasonable price. And while it might not carry some of the extra features or ports that some of the more robust options have, it does offer some important ones such as MU-MIMO and Parental Controls. So if you’re looking for a no-frills way to get speedy internet, the Asus RT-AX58U may be the way to go.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AX58U

Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi Pro is a modular Wi-Fi mesh router. (Image credit: Netgear)

6. Netgear Orbi Pro

A mesh router for the office

Speed: 802.11AC 3Gbps | Connectivity: Gigabit WAN, 4 x Gigabit LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, easy setup, traffic separation

Easy to deploy
Fantastic performance
Very expensive

If you need to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with the best router 2021 has on offer, then you must seriously consider getting the Netgear Orbi Pro. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router that takes some design and performance inspiration from its business-grade competitors. It’s on the more expensive side. However, if you’re running a business where you cannot afford any lags due to poor Wi-Fi, then it’s absolutely worth every penny.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 is an economical alternative for casual users. (Image credit: Netgear)

7. Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

The Netgear Orbi, but smaller now

Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 68.8 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per unit | Features: Disney Circle parental controls, Pause WiFi, smartphone setup, Tri-Band networking, modular

Fast
Smaller than the original
Still expensive

When the Netgear Orbi hit the streets, it changed the wireless router scene. Then, in 2019, Netgear released the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, an economical alternative for casual users who don’t have a grand manor to cover. This makes it a worthy contender for the best wireless routers. Sure, it comes with fewer antennae and ethernet ports than its higher-end counterpart. However, it does deliver more than enough to provide very solid network coverage. Plus, the small form factor means that it will have no issues blending in­ – not that you will feel the need to hide it.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

TP-Link Deco M9

TP-Link Deco M9 incorporates IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage. (Image credit: TP-Link)

A router for the smart home

Speed: 5GHz: up to 867Mbps, 2.4GHz: up to 400Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN, USB 2.0 | Features: Tri-Band connectivity, Dead-zone killer, Built-in smart hub, Built-in Antivirus, QoS, Parental controls

Strong coverage
Easy setup
Pricey

The market is now flooded with wireless mesh routers, but it’s hard to complain when the level of coverage these wireless routers bring tops anything we’ve seen before. With devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, we can see how they’re only getting better and better. By incorporating IoT smart home support, alongside industry-standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is, without question, an excellent choice for a smart home supporter. Fair warning though, this router is a tad expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and outstanding performance in exchange.

Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9

D-Link Covr-C1203

D-Link Covr C1203 is one of the best wireless routers if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. (Image credit: D-Link)

Wireless mesh networking for everyone

Speed: 2.4 GHz: up to 300Mbps; 5GHz: up to 866Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN per node | Features: MU-MIMO, Parental controls, Smart network control, Smart device setup

Affordable
Great coverage
Not as fast as it could be

Ready to jump on the mesh wireless router bandwagon, but without breaking open that piggy bank? You’re in luck with the affordable D-Link Covr C1203. It’s one of the best wireless routers, if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. It offers comparable coverage to that of the Google Wi-Fi while also being affordable, and it also looks futuristic in a great way. It’s somewhat slower than Google’s legendary router, but it will still be fast enough for the typical user. It’s no surprise that the D-Link Covr C1203 gets our vote for the best router 2021 if you want a mesh one.

Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203

Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Eero Home Wi-Fi System gives users total control over their network while touting a secure connection through AI. (Image credit: Eero Home)

10. Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Mesh wi-fi for the power user

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz, 5.2GHz and 5.8GHz, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz and 5GHz | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit WAN/LAN | Features: Modular network coverage, modern design, included security software, dynamic rerouting

 Powerful
 Blends into the background
Pricer than competition

If you’re in the market for a wireless mesh router that gives you a lot of control over your network, then the Eero Home Wi-Fi system might just be the answer. It has a price more premium than that of your standard router, but it also gives users total control over their network while touting a secure connection through AI. Even better, the Eero Home Wi-Fi System comes with subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and Encrypt.me VPN, which should keep everyone linked to your network safe and secure.

Read the full review: Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Uy have also contributed to this article

Images Credit: TechRadar

HP EliteBook x360 1040

(Image credit: HP)

7. HP Envy x360 15 (2021)

Powerful performance if not the most comfortable

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 – 7 / 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon / Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ diagonal 4K UHD, UWVA, BrightView, AMOLED – 15.6″ diagonal FHD, IPS, micro-edge, WLED-backlit | Storage: up to 256 GB Intel SSD + 16 GB Intel Optane memory

Best-in-class performance
Exceptional battery life
Fantastic price
Tablet mode a bit unwieldy
No docked stylus

Among the best HP laptops for consumers, the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is nearly in a class in its own right, a 2-in-1 laptop that combines impressive CPU and GPU power with an elegant yet robust design, a stunning display, and outstanding battery life – all for an incredible price. In fact, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value for a 2-in-1. Its huge collection of ports make it an even better value, especially if you have a few peripherals in your arsenal. It’s not the most comfortable to use as a tablet, but even the most premium contenders aren’ perfect, so it’s easy to forgive this laptop for that.

Read the full review: HP Envy x360 15 (2021)