November 2021

Routers: Aggregated Ranking Report

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

At a glance - November 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Router
How To Geek
Digital Trends
Laptop Mag
Wirecutter
Business Insider
TechRadar
PCMag
T3
Lifewire
Tom's Guide
1
- $139
Google Nest WiFi
5
3
2
-
3
1
-
-
8
3
2
+1 $115
TP-Link Archer AX50
2
-
3
1
2
-
5
-
2
-
3
-1 $449
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
3
-
4
-
-
-
-
6
5
4
4
+2 $268
Asus RT-AX88U
1
-
9
3
-
-
-
-
3
-
5
- $50
TP-Link Archer A7
8
-
5
4
-
-
-
-
-
9
6
New * $265
TP-Link Archer AX11000
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
1
-
-
7
+4 $380
Netgear Nighthawk AX8
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
10
6
2
8
-1 $349
Asus RT-AX86U
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
1
9
+1 $93
TP-Link AC2300
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
10
-2 $400
Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8
4
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
11
New * $260
TP-Link Archer AX6600 AX90
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
12
New * $599
Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
7
13
- $160
Netgear Nighthawk RS400
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
14
-5 $680
Netgear Orbi 6 AX6000
-
6
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
-1 $550
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
10
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-

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

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Google Nest WiFi as #1.
Critic endorsements:
How To Geek

Best Budget Mesh Router

Pros
Mesh Wi-Fi on a budget
Simple configuration

Cons
No Wi-Fi 6

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

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

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

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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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

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 November 2021 ranking

We ranked Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 #3 in November 2021 because:

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

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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

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

We ranked Asus RT-AX88U #4 in November 2021 because:

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

Best Security

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

Cons
A bit pricey

Go to ranking

We ranked Netgear Nighthawk AX8 #7 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Routers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
T3

Wi-Fi 6 support and much more besides

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

Cons
Very expensive

Go to ranking

Lifewire

Best Design

Pros
Sleek design
Wi-Fi 6 Support
8K streaming

Cons
Expensive
Design can make for awkward placement

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Tom's Guide

A great router overall

Pros
High performance
Includes malware apps
Good configuration options.

Cons
Expensive
Throughput falls off quickly with distance.

Go to ranking

We ranked Asus RT-AX86U #8 in November 2021 because:

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

An impressive all-around upgrade

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

Cons
Not cheap

Go to ranking

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 ZenWiFi AX XT8 #10 in November 2021 because:

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

Go to ranking

TechRadar

Wi-Fi 6 meets mesh routers

Pros
Great Wi-Fi performance
Good security features

Cons
Expensive
Limited to two routers

Go to ranking

We ranked Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 #12 in November 2021 because:

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

Best for Wi-Fi 6E Early Adopters

Pros
Speedy throughput and file transfer performance
Utilizes 6GHz radio band
Multi-gig LAN/WAN
Link aggregation
Supports 160MHz channel bandwidth

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Tom's Guide

The Wi-Fi 6e speed demon

Pros
Top speed with 6GHz band
Customizability
Security software

Cons
Expensive
Throughput declines quickly with distance

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We ranked Netgear Nighthawk RS400 #13 in November 2021 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 Netgear Orbi 6 AX6000 #14 in November 2021 because:

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

The best mesh router

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

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

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

Go to ranking

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