December 2022

Routers: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Router rankings posted by key online experts, as of December 2022.

Summary

As of 1 Dec 2022, TP-Link Archer AX50 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed router with 6 expert endorsements. 1 experts out of 6 recommended it as the '#1 router' this month. It is followed by Asus RT-AX88U and Google Nest WiFi , with 4 and 5 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - December 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Router
PCMag
Lifewire
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter
Business Insider
TechRadar
T3
How To Geek
Digital Trends
Tom's Guide
1
- $99
TP-Link Archer AX50
4
2
3
1
2
-
-
2
-
-
2
+1 $262
Asus RT-AX88U
-
3
9
2
-
-
-
1
-
-
3
-1 $75
Google Nest WiFi
-
8
2
-
5
3
-
-
-
5
4
- $251
Asus RT-AX86U
-
-
4
-
-
5
-
-
7
1
5
- $215
TP-Link Archer AX11000
1
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
6
- $329
Asus Rapture GT-AX11000
-
5
-
-
-
-
6
4
-
4
7
- $369
Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
5
-
-
8
- $365
Netgear Nighthawk AX8
-
6
-
-
-
-
10
-
-
3
9
- $46
TP-Link Archer A7
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
4
9
10
+1 $60
TP-Link Archer A8 AC1900
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
3
-
-
11
-1 $200
TP-Link Archer AX6600 AX90
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
2
-
16
- $450
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
7
17
- $225
TP-Link Archer GX90
8
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
18
- $186
Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 RS400
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
19
- $249
Linksys Hydra Pro 6
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
-
13

We ranked Asus RT-AX88U #2 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Security

Pros
Advanced Wi-Fi 6 support
Advanced security features
Eight LAN ports

Cons
A bit pricey

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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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Wirecutter

Upgrade pick

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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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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 December 2022 ranking

We ranked Google Nest WiFi #3 in December 2022 because:

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

Best for Smart Homes

Pros
Attractive and simple design
Integrates with Google Home
Point units double as smart speakers

Cons
No Ethernet ports on points
Lacks a dedicated backhaul channel

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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

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Business Insider

The best budget 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

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TechRadar

The best mesh router if you want something affordable

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

Cons
No major performance gains
Not worth replacing existing mesh

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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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We ranked Asus RT-AX86U #4 in December 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Asus RT-AX86U as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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
Extremely low latency

Cons
Large footprint
Pricey

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TechRadar

The best Wi-Fi 6 router with gaming-focused features

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

Cons
Not cheap

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Digital Trends

Best router for mobile gaming

Pros
Mobile gaming mode
Dedicated gaming port
Wi-Fi 6
Mesh and security software included

Cons
Not as useful if there aren't any gamers around

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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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We ranked Asus Rapture GT-AX11000 #6 in December 2022 because:

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

Best for Gaming

Pros
Advanced Wi-Fi 6 Support
Extremely Fast Performance
Cutting-edge game-centric QoS

Cons
Large footprint
Expensive
User interface can be a bit daunting

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T3

A top wireless router for power users and gamers

Pros
Support for Wi-Fi 6
Powerful software control
Eight Wi-Fi antennas

Cons
Expensive
Large

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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

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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
Very large in size compared to other routers

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We ranked Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 #7 in December 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best wireless router overall

Pros
Great Wi-Fi performance
Good security features

Cons
Expensive
Limited to two routers

Go to ranking

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 Nighthawk AX8 #8 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Design

Pros
Sleek design
Wi-Fi 6 Support
8K streaming

Cons
Expensive
Design can make for awkward placement

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T3

Wi-Fi 6 support and much more besides

Pros
Support for Wi-Fi 6
Stunning design
Excellent traffic management

Cons
Very expensive

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Tom's Guide

A great router overall

Pros
Excellent performance
Includes anti-malware apps
Lots of configuration options

Cons
Throughput falls off quickly with distance

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 #12 in December 2022 because:

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

Best Wi-Fi 6E router

Pros
Supports Wi-Fi 6E
excellent Wi-Fi performance
performance holds up at range
as a 2.5 Gigabit LAN port

Cons
Large
could use more Gigabit LAN ports for its size

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Tom's Guide

The Wi-Fi 6e speed demon

Pros
Top speeds with 6GHz band
Very customizable
Security software built-in

Cons
Throughput declines quickly with distance

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 RS400 #14 in December 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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We ranked Linksys Hydra Pro 6 #15 in December 2022 because:

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

A fast, easy-to-use Wi-Fi 6 router for home networks

Pros
Simple but effective app
Lots of physical ports

Cons
Weak parental controls
Not suited for gamers

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Tom's Guide

A pint-sized Wi-fi 6 router that's easy to set up

Pros
Small and easy to set up
Good customization options
Wide 160MHz data channels available

Cons
Expensive
No extra security software

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