Invest in one of the best wireless routers on the market to expand your network. Whatever router your ISP has, it can do a decent enough job, and adding one of the best Wi-Fi extenders will increase its reach. But purchasing a top-tier router will reduce the clutter as you can skip a repeater, secure your network in the future, and most importantly, significantly improve your connection.
If you’re using one of the best laptops or desktops out there, you don’t want your network to interfere with your computer experience. After all, for everything we do online these days, a reliable and robust signal is paramount, and the best wireless routers will inevitably give you the best results when it comes to communicating with the outside world. The result is a faster, smoother, and more consistent signal in your coverage area.
Google Nest Wifi
Google Nest wifi is the company’s latest breakthrough in mesh networking and results from the huge success story of Google wifi. We love the most about this new model because it finally integrates Google Home in a targeted and ready fashion.
It is precisely what the previous models lacked, regardless of whether the Google Home speakers were routers on their own or the Google wifi routers did not serve as Google Home speakers. Finally, these two worlds collide, which is excellent.
However, don’t expect absolute power or bandwidth and profound control over routers or network systems from Linksys or Netgear. Google Nest wifi is focused on features that matter to the largest network of consumers.
It includes easy prioritization of device traffic, simple family and parental controls, relatively easy setup, and a look that’s good enough for outdoor use – the most important factor for faster, more reliable wifi connections. However, for those who already have a smart speaker or have Google wifi or a similar mesh product, there is an excellent reason to upgrade to Nest wifi. Therefore, we can highly recommend Nest wifi, but Google wifi remains our editor’s choice.
Price and availability
Google Nest wifi is now available in the US, UK, and Australia starting at $149 / £129 / AU$229 for a single router. This wireless router plugs into your modem or gateway and provides wifi coverage of up to 204 square meters for 100 connected devices.
If you want to pair this router with a Google Point domain extension product, it will cost you $269 / £239/AU$399. It will increase overall wifi coverage by 1,600 square feet (149 square meters), and the Point will become the Google Home speaker with variable mics and 360-degree speakers.
Finally, Google offers a bundle of three in the US and Australia at $349 / $549 (outside the UK) that will cover up to 5,400 square feet (502 square meters) and offer all the same Google Assistant features available only through point devices.
Unfortunately, Google only appears to offer light blue “Sand” and “Mist” beige in the US, as these options do not appear in Google’s online stores in the UK or Australia.
We found the Google Nest Wifi to perform just like the original Google Wifi in normal use, looping through downloads and streaming video over the 100Mbps service via Verizon. This is especially impressive given that our review unit only included one router and Point, compared to the three routers / points included in our Google Wifi setup.
In comparison, the Nest Wifi ran slightly faster than the original model at 5GHz in our Ookla speed test and faster in our file download test. For 2.4 GHz, we found that performance was significantly worse in the speed test, but identical in the file download test.
However, this latest speed test result does not match our experience with router and hotspot, and the 2.4GHz frequency is usually lower than 5GHz. So it could be the 15-inch Surface Book 2 we used for these tests, or an anomaly in the 2.4GHz version of the speed test.
We’re ultimately happy with the performance of the Nest Wifi, but it doesn’t surprise us in terms of reaching the maximum throughput of the 100Mbps service we pay for. Of course, there are other routers out there that can help us get the most out of the services we pay for, but they will definitely be uglier and more manageable.
By the way, we like to be able to check our Wi-Fi speed simply by asking Google to do it for us or by a few taps in the Google Home app. This is how simple Wi-Fi has become over time.
Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)
The Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) is quite possibly the best router the company has made and one of the best mesh routers and best Wi-Fi 6 routers we tested.
You cannot buy the Asus ZenWifi AX (XT8) directly from Asus, but it is widely available online. If you’re in the UK and need a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade for your current router, you can buy the ZenWifi AX for £219.99, which can cover up to 2,475 square feet. Introduced – although this single router option is not suitable. Not currently available in other countries.
The two-piece grid system we’re reviewing here covers a much more spacious area of 4,400 square feet and costs £399.99 / $449.99 / AU$899.00. It’s available in black or white, but be careful not to confuse it with the less expensive Asus ZenWifi AC (CT8). It’s nearly identical but, as the name suggests, still uses the older version of Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
It’s expensive, even by the standards of the newer Wi-Fi 6 routers, but the Asus ZenWiFi AX deserves its impressive feature set and performance.
Both routers support tri-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) on both 2.4 GHz and dual-band 5.0 GHz, with a total speed of 6600 Mbps (6.6 Gbps). It is much faster than most modern 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers and quicker than many newer Wi-Fi 6 routers.
However, Wi-Fi 6 is still compatible with millions of devices using 802.11ac Wi-Fi, so you should have no problem using it on existing computers and mobile devices.
Several home broadband services are approaching the speeds supported by Wi-Fi 6, so Asus is setting aside one of the 5.0 GHz bands to use as a “link” to provide high-speed connectivity between two network routers. In comparison, the other two bands are 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz for transferring data to your computers and mobile devices.
To get the most out of the router’s performance, each router also has a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port for high-speed Internet connectivity, as well as three additional Gigabit Ethernet ports for devices that require a wired network connection and a USB 3.1 port for USB sharing. Storage device on your network.
TP-Link Archer GX90
TP-Link’s Archer range is always a good choice for people looking for an affordable upgrade for their home router. However, some high-performance models are also available in the range, including the recently launched Archer GX90.
At £ 299.99, the GX90 is very focused on the gaming market, offering triple-band Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax) with a maximum speed of 6.6Gbps. That’s not a bad price for a high-end router like this. The GX90 offers several additional features that will especially appeal to serious gamers looking for a competitive edge.
TP-Link Archer GX90 on Amazon for INR 16,999
The GX90 costs AU $ 557.00 for Australian customers, but interestingly, the US opts for a different model called the AX90, which looks a bit different but offers similar features and performance for $ 329.99.
You will need a computer or other mobile device that supports Wi-Fi 6 to get the most out of the GX90, but the router will still be compatible with existing devices that also use 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
We’ve had a few minor hiccups using the TP-Link Tether app to get started.
Once the router is plugged in and connected, the app allows you to scan the QR code printed on the router so that it can automatically connect to your new Wi-Fi network. It worked without a problem, but we kept getting error messages telling us that the router was not connected to the internet, even though we had already connected it to our existing broadband router.
Only after digging a little deeper into the app did we come across an option that requires you to select which of the router’s two available Ethernet ports, 1Gb or 2.5Gb, is used to connect to the internet.
It should be part of the initial connection process, and the app’s habit of throwing out terms like “MAC address” and “dynamic IP” can be a bit confusing for new users. However, more experienced users and gamers will appreciate the web browser interface that allows you to dig deep into network settings and improve gaming performance.
The GX90 doesn’t disappoint with this result either. We tested all three Wi-Fi networks, and as expected, all three bands performed excellently with the Ookla speed test, with a 100Mbps download and 11Mbps upload for devices in the same room as the router provides. Our broadband connection.
Buy it if
You have a crazy ability
The GX90 is a fast and versatile router, but its proper focus is gaming, with a dedicated 5GHz “gaming band” that allows you to have the most home bandwidth and additional tools to fine-tune your game performance.
money is nothing
The GX90 isn’t cheap for a high-end Wi-Fi 6 router, but it’s still too expensive for most people. It’s much faster than most home broadband services, so it’s unnecessary unless you have high-speed fiber broadband.
Your kids play too
Surprisingly, the GX90 manages to provide good parental controls along with all the gaming features. There are content filters to block inappropriate material, with pre-set profiles for children of different ages. You can also create a schedule to limit internet use on school nights.
Don’t buy it if
You have a limited budget.
Most home broadband services max out at 100-150Mbps, so that a 6.6Gbps router would be much better for most of us. Many less expensive routers, including routers that still use the older 802.11ac version of Wi-Fi (also known as Wi-Fi 5), can handle some decent gaming routines.
You are not a player.
The GX90 focuses heavily on gaming, and its speed and specialized features would be overkill for routine tasks like watching Netflix and making Zoom calls. Most of us don’t have Wi-Fi 6 computers or mobile devices yet.
You have little space.
The GX90 is large and bulky, and the set of tapered antennas are designed to provide Wi-Fi coverage for large homes with up to four bedrooms. There are less expensive models in the Archer range that are better suited for smaller homes.
The new Asus RT-AX86U attempts to provide a high-performance router suitable for gaming and other demanding tasks at a more affordable price.
Asus already has a line of specialized routers, called Rapture, explicitly designed for gaming. Rapture routers are super fast, but they’re also bulky, bulky, and expensive, making the Asus RT-AX86U an attractive proposition.
It’s still not cheap, costing £ 229.99 ($ 249.99; AU $ 536.00), but it’s a competitive price for a high-performance dual-band router that supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology. Asus RT- AX88U is faster and has additional wired ports, but it costs more than £ 350 (about $ 460 / AU $ 640).
The matte black Asus RT-AX86U is more compact than many gaming routers, measuring 242mm wide and 100mm deep.
It is a dual-band router, compatible with Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, on the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands, with a maximum speed of 5700Mbps, which should be fast enough to handle games and videos, and music. on most home broadband services. In addition to providing high speed, Wi-Fi 6 also uses new technologies like OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) to improve reliability when transmitting data to many devices simultaneously.
Your computers and mobile devices will also need to be Wi-Fi 6 compatible to utilize these advanced features fully. However, Wi-Fi 6 routers are still compatible with existing devices that also use 802.11ac Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when buying a new Wi-Fi 6 router like this one.
However, the router also sets one of its Ethernet ports as a dedicated “game port” and automatically prioritizes any device with a wired connection to that port.
The app also has a mobile gaming mode that can prioritize up to four mobile devices to play Wi-Fi. And if you’re brave enough to delve into the router’s web browser interface, there’s a special GeForce Now option that Asus developed with Nvidia.
It is designed to improve performance when using game streaming services, such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service, and provides ‘hyper-priority’ to select devices, allocating up to 90% of available bandwidth to the router.
Trend Micro offers malware protection and a good set of parental controls, including content filters for inappropriate material and a scheduling option to restrict internet access at specific times. These security features and parental controls are better than those offered by some of Asus’ router competitors, and we’re glad to see that Asus isn’t trying to charge additional subscription fees for these features either.
The Asus RT-AX86U doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance either. It was able to push the 50Mbps internet connection to its limit, which squeezed a slightly faster speed to 59.3Mbps for devices in the same room as the main broadband router.
We also have an office in the back of the building with abysmal Wi-Fi reception, but the RT-AX86U didn’t have an issue there, staying flat at 58.9Mbps. It makes the Asus RT-AX86U a good choice. Wi-Fi upgrade on the ground provides a good range and coverage and fast speeds for gaming, video, and other demanding online tasks.
Netgear Orbi Pro
Anyone who works in an office will know that the distribution of Wi-Fi signals is far from uniform, creating empty areas where connectivity is poor or non-existent. Complaints about this can affect the extended IT department, which can dispose of any number of access points in an effort to fill gaps in coverage.
Ultimately, Band-Aid solutions are not enough, and investing in a more comprehensive approach to wireless networking is the only reasonable solution. And for Netgear, the working solution is called Orbi Pro.
NetGear Orbi Pro (White) at Amazon for INR 21,949
The term “meshed network” is used quite often, but the Netgear Orbi Pro is a classic example of how power in a single router is traditionally distributed among several nodes.
The value of this approach is that a wireless mesh network can cover a large area with consistent links and performance, and allow client devices to roam freely everywhere.
The Netgear SRK60 package is an entry-level solution that includes a custom router unit and a branded satellite bit. None of the items have a modem, so you’re supposed to have a broadband cable or ADSL connection to a separate modem or router where you want to disable Wi-Fi.
The range of routers and satellites is designed to cover a building of up to 5,000 square feet. Netgear also sells a larger package with two satellites that cover a whopping 7,500 square feet, in case you need more coverage up front.
Those unsure of their spatial requirements can purchase additional satellite access points for £260 (about $354), and the router can work with three of them in total, adding an additional 2,500 square feet each. Each node can serve up to 40 client wireless devices simultaneously, and a router configuration plus three satellites can cover a 10,000 square foot office.
Modules of the second generation of Orbi have a characteristic shape, vaguely reminiscent of a high-quality vase. It measures approximately 10 inches (25 cm) long and can be placed on any flat surface or fixed to a wall with bracket and panel edge.
The problem with determining performance in Orbi Pro is that it depends heavily on the environment and how the device is configured.
But another factor we have to mention is that as a network solution, some of the available bandwidth is used to allow nodes to talk, and more is used to transfer data between them.
If you imagine a basic configuration where the router is on one floor and the satellite is on the ground above, any traffic intended for the second router node must be sent from the router to the satellite before being sent to the client machine.
This affects the bandwidth allocation of the router even if it is not talking directly to the client machine, and the same is true in reverse.
Or maybe if the Orbi Pro designers hadn’t already thought about this problem at the design stage and found an elegant solution.
Apparently, since this is a dual-band 4×4 MIMO system, you can reasonably assume that with four channels (2 x 2.4 GHz and 2 x 5 GHz), half of this should be allocated to the main traffic between nodes. But that’s not how this solution works.
Instead, Netgear built this device that supports 8×8 MIMO, leaving all 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels to serve directly connected clients and leaving four dedicated 5GHz channels for the node routing backbone.
That’s 1.7 GB/s for the backbone, divided by the many client devices using the system.
Logically, each nodes could also be connected through a wired network to reduce relay traffic, but this would create loops within the network architecture and routing would increase traffic.
Despite the brilliance of this thought, it is still necessary to think about where to put the devices. Having all the nodes on a serial line with the router at one end is much less efficient than having the router in the middle of a swarm of satellites, for example.
Since 5GHz performance drops more than 2.4GHz in distance, this also limits the distance nodes can be, although 5GHz is required to provide the amount of bandwidth to give client devices the best they can. possible experience.