July 2021

Routers: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Router rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2021.

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Routers.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Routers, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for July 2021 ranking

At a glance - July 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Router
Tom's Guide
Wirecutter
ZD Net
Observer
Business Insider
TechRadar
Digital Trends
Laptop Mag
CNET
How To Geek
1
- $169 Google Nest WiFi
3
-
-
3
3
1
3
2
2
5
2
- $272 TP-Link Archer AX6000
6
-
5
9
-
-
2
3
1
-
3
- $450 Asus GT-AX11000
4
-
2
13
-
-
-
4
-
3
4
+2 $130 TP-Link Archer AX50
-
1
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
2
5
-1 $58 TP-Link Archer A7
9
4
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
8
6
-1 $300 Asus RT-AX88U
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
9
-
1
7
+1 $272 Asus RT-AX86U
1
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
6
-
8
-1 $442 Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
5
4
9
- $675 Netgear Orbi 6 AX6000
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
6
4
-
10
- $98 TP-Link AC2300
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
11
- $389 Netgear Nighthawk AX8
2
-
-
12
-
-
-
-
-
-
12
- $200 Synology RT2600ac
-
-
3
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
13
- $263 Netgear Nighthawk RS400
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
14
- $329 NetGear Orbi AC3000
-
-
4
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
New * $550 Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
10

We ranked Google Nest WiFi #1 in July 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Google Nest WiFi as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

A great mesh router with built-in smart speaker

Pros
Good performance
Google Assistant built in
Easy setup

Cons
Short range
Minimal configuration options

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Observer

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Business Insider

The best mesh router

Pros
Easy to set up and manage, router, points are small and attractive, access points double as smart speakers. reliable performance at range, attractive pricing

Cons
Wi-Fi 6 upgrade is sorely needed

Go to ranking

TechRadar

Google Wifi and Home together at long last

Pros
Excellent design
Smart speaker(s) included
Even simpler controls

Cons
No major performance gains
Not worth replacing existing mesh

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

The easiest wireless router to use

Pros
It creates a powerful mesh network
perfect for larger homes.

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Laptop Mag

Best mesh Wi-Fi router system for most people

Pros
Excellent, reliable coverage
Easy to set up
Built-in Google Home speaker
Smart home functionality

Cons
Limited ports
Lacks advanced configuration options

Go to ranking

CNET

Editors' choice

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How To Geek

Best Budget Mesh Router

Pros
Mesh Wi-Fi on a budget
Simple configuration

Cons
No Wi-Fi 6

Go to ranking

We ranked Asus GT-AX11000 #3 in July 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best Wi-Fi 6 gaming router

Pros
First Wi-Fi 6 (802.11AX) router
Performance improves with distance
Plenty of customization
Impressive 2.5Gbps wired connector

Cons
Big

Go to ranking

ZD Net

Best for: The power-hungry worker

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Observer

Go to ranking

Laptop Mag

Best Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers

Pros
Blazing fast speeds
Excellent performance at range
Extensive customization and optimization for gamers via software

Cons
Large footprint
Pricey

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How To Geek

Best Gaming Router

Pros
11000 Mbps speeds
Tri-band Wi-Fi
Packed with cutting-edge features

Cons
It's pricey

Go to ranking

We ranked Asus RT-AX88U #6 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Asus RT-AX88U as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Wirecutter

Upgrade pick

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Laptop Mag

Best future-proof Wi-Fi 6 router

Pros
Fantastic Wi-Fi 6 performance
Solid built-in malware protection
Abundant ports
Easily configurable network options

Cons
Expensive
Limited Wi-Fi 6 devices still

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How To Geek

Best Wi-Fi Router

Pros
Wi-Fi 6 and future-proof hardware
Packed with features
6000 Mbps speeds

Cons
No Tri-Band
Not the fastest Wi-Fi 6 Router
Not the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 router

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We ranked Asus RT-AX86U #7 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Asus RT-AX86U as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

Great for a full house,and for gaming

Pros
Excellent throughput and performance
Security software with lifetime updates
Multi-Gig input and port aggregation

Cons
Lacks advanced gaming features like geofencing and ping heat map

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TechRadar

An impressive all-around upgrade

Pros
Fast Wi-Fi 6 performance
Gaming-focused
Security features

Cons
Not cheap

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CNET

Best gaming router

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We ranked Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 #8 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers

Pros
Great Wi-Fi performance
Good security features

Cons
Expensive
Limited to two routers

Go to ranking

CNET

Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh router

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How To Geek

Best Mesh Router

Pros
Wi-Fi 6
5500 square feet of coverage
QoS for traffic prioritization

Cons
More expensive than mesh systems without Wi-Fi 6
Not as simple to configure as Google Nest Wifi

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We ranked Netgear Orbi 6 AX6000 #9 in July 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Trends

Pros
Mesh routers offer expanded coverage and the latest speeds — this is one of the best available

Go to ranking

Laptop Mag

Best high-end mesh Wi-Fi router

Pros
Excellent range and expandable
Easy to set up
Smart speaker integration

Cons
Expensive
Overkill for most users
Large footprint

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CNET

Best mesh performance

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk AX8 #11 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

A great router overall

Pros
High performance
Includes malware apps
Good configuration options.

Cons
Expensive
Throughput falls off quickly with distance.

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Observer

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We ranked Synology RT2600ac #12 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
ZD Net

Best for: Those who need a VPN connection

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Observer

Go to ranking

We ranked Netgear Nighthawk RS400 #13 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best router to secure your whole house

Pros
Good performance
Three years of security software
Easy setup

Cons
Short range
Not much to configure

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Laptop Mag

Best Wi-Fi router for the security-conscious

Pros
Extensive security features
Includes 3-year Bitdefender subscription
Easy setup

Cons
Expensive for performance
Limited range

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We ranked NetGear Orbi AC3000 #14 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
ZD Net

Best for: A home mesh Wi-Fi network

Go to ranking

Observer

Go to ranking

We ranked Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 #15 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Business Insider

The best gaming router

Pros
Wi-Fi 6E support, excellent maximum performance, plenty of wired connectivity, QoS can reduce lag

Cons
Huge, expensive

Go to ranking

How To Geek

Best Wi-Fi 6E Router

Pros
Bleeding-edge Wi-Fi 6E
Our top gaming router, upgraded

Cons
Few devices have Wi-Fi 6E
It's pricey

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