All of the Wi-Fi tricks and strategies in the world won’t help you every time. Dropped connections outside your house, the need to turn off your media streaming box while playing an online game, or, even worse, slow surfing even if you’re just a few rooms distant from your router are all symptoms to look for. A new router or a mesh-networking kit will boost the range, reliability, and speed of your Wi-Fi across your home. If your router is much more than a couple of years old and experiencing issues in more areas than not.
After testing and reviewing 55 routers over 300 hours, we found that the TP-Link Archer AX50 is the best router for wirelessly connecting your laptops, smart gadgets, and everything else your daily life depends on.
The TP-Link Archer AX50 is fairly priced, yet it can manage an increasing number of laptops and smart devices while outperforming routers that cost twice as much. It’s normally fast and capable of reaching vast distances; it has little latency even when the network is congested, and it’s an excellent choice if you have a high-performance internet service package. It supports Wi-Fi 6, the most recent wireless standard, and it has built-in security in the form of a lifetime subscription to upgrades.
If our top option is out of stock or costs more than $30 extra, try the TP-Link Archer AX20 instead. The AX20 resembles the AX50. It provides a robust, responsive network that’s almost as excellent. Especially if your home isn’t as huge as our 2,300-square-foot test home. However, it is not as quick across longer distances. TP-Link compromises a few complex features and settings in its administrative interface to match the cheaper pricing.
The Asus RT-AX88U had the least latency of any router we tested. It was quicker overall than our top selections. But you pay twice the price for what most people consider a minor increase. If you already have gigabit internet service and require a strong router to deal with all that bandwidth, we believe the upgrade is worthwhile. This model is also ideal for your geekier side. If you want to spend an hour or five over the weekend changing your network settings to improve a new smart gadget or video conferencing performance. This Asus model has more customization choices than our other recommendations.
The TP-Link Archer A7 router is low-cost. It slightly older router that may nevertheless provide a reliable network for small homes or one- or two-bedroom flats with few electronic devices. Over longer distances or on busy networks, it’s noticeably slower than our more expensive options. Since our review in 2018, TP-Link has improved the Archer A7 by adding features. They include compatibility with TP-OneMesh Link extenders and frequent firmware updates. We feel the Archer A7 is the best router under $100. It is often half the price of the Archer AX50.