The 12 Best Long-Range Routers of 2020

Eliminate those dreaded Wi-Fi "dead zones"

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Asus RT-AC88U

Asus RT-AC88U
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Powerful, sleek and full of ports, the RT-AC88U from Asus is the gold standard for routers that offer fast speeds alongside an extended range that can fill an entire home. Weighing 2.6 pounds and measuring at 6.5 x 30 x 18.8 inches, the Asus isn't small, but with a larger size comes a superb router that's worth every penny. The extra footprint doesn't go to waste, as the Asus is the first router with eight Gigabit LAN ports capable of running eight separate Ethernet-compatible devices simultaneously. Additionally, the Asus is powered by 1024-QAM technology, which offers 80 percent faster speeds at 5GHz (2100Mbps) and 66 percent faster speeds at 2.4GHz (1000Mbps). Accompanying the faster speeds, the AC88U offers 33 percent greater coverage at the 2.4GHz range with the four-transmit, four-receive antenna design allowing expansive coverage in areas up to 5,000 square feet.

Beyond coverage range, the Asus excels with its fun-to-use Web interface, easy setup and outstanding network monitoring features. It includes a built-in VPN, as well as TrendMicro vulnerability detection to ensure a safer and more secure browsing experience protecting against malware. Furthermore, the Asus includes support for MU-MIMO, which offers each connected user his/her own dedicated Wi-Fi connection. And for gamers, the AC88U includes built-in game acceleration and route-optimized servers to offer the lowest ping-times during gaming sessions.

Best Design: NETGEAR Orbi Home Wi-Fi System

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Netgear’s Orbi system gives you multi-unit “hotspot” system with plug-and-play simplicity. This particular tri-band system comes with two separate units: the Orbi Router and the Orbi Satellite. Technically speaking, the router works like any of the other routers on the list, the satellite unit works basically like an extender. But what’s interesting about a holistic system like this is that they all work together under the same name. So, a Wi-Fi-connected computer will see each unit as its own separate router under one unified name, giving you amazing coverage.

What does that coverage amount to? In this case, the two units will easily cover a 5,000-square-foot home, which is more than enough unless you live in a McMansion. The added benefit here is you can string more units into the package to extend the range even further. So, while one unit might not mind-blowing range on its own, if you hook up enough of them, you’ll beat the range of any powerhouse unit on this list. It doesn’t hurt that they look pretty slick, too.

Best Splurge: Linksys E9500 Tri-Band Wireless Router

Linksys AC5400 Tri-Band Wireless Router
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With its multitude of antennas and streamlined black design, the Linksys E9500 Tri-Band Wireless Router is an excellent addition to any home. While most routers offer both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, the inclusion of a third band at 5GHz offers blazing fast Wi-Fi speeds that are perfect for gaming and streaming online video. Powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and sporting eight Ethernet ports, the AC5400 is ready to tackle any job. At 3.25 pounds and 5.39 x 14.29 and 11.73 inches, the router is not small, but the larger size also enables the longer range and excellent W-iFi performance. The router also supports MU-MIMO technology, so each device connected to the Wi-Fi network can operate independently without affecting the speed of other devices.

Beyond the tri-band feature set, the inclusion of 802.11ac offers the fastest possible Wi-Fi signal, which is especially great for busy households or home offices. All totaled, the 802.11ac connection paired with the three Wi-Fi bands add up to a combined potential speed of 5.3Gbps. Actual data speeds are limited by environmental factors and device limits, but for the price, the E9500 is future-proofed for years to come. Paired with a separately purchased Max-stream range extender, the EA9500 automatically switches to the strongest Wi-Fi signal available while roaming around the house. Online reviews peg the AC5400’s best performance under 150 feet of range without the extender, which is an exceptional range for a standalone router.

Best Range Extender: AmpliFi HD

AmpliFi HD
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In today’s connected world, everyone wants faster Wi-Fi speed and a bigger Wi-Fi range and fortunately, the tech industry is listening. Enter Mesh networking, a relatively new Wi-Fi router technology that offers complete home coverage through a multitude of devices plugged in around the home or office. AmpliFi HD’s home Wi-Fi system is a new entry into the Mesh networking space and is already leading the pack with glowing online reviews.

Inside the main AmpliFi HD box are six high-density long-range 802.11ac 3x3 MIMO antennas offering speeds up to 5.25Gbps and a range of 20,000 feet. The design of the five-pound, four-inch main box is a complete breakaway from traditional router appearance and it’s a well-deserved change.

Setting up the network is as easy as plugging in and watching once Internet dead spots in your home disappear. On the front of the all-white unit is a lone multicolored LCD that offers both the current time and speed statistics. Beyond the base router are the white plastic “mesh points” that look like slightly larger USB sticks that plug into traditional power outlets around the home. Overall, the AmpliFi HD is the most robust mesh router on the market that offers a unique style and solid performance in both speed and range.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best mesh wi-fi network systems

Best Setup: NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200


To the average person, routers are undeniably confusing. Between their multiple antennas, bands and inputs, they can be incredibly frustrating to set up. So we’re pleased to recommend the Nighthawk X6 as not only one of our favorite long-range routers but one of the easiest to set up as well. With its tri-band technology plus beamforming+, it smartly assigns each one of your devices to an optimal Wi-Fi band, ensuring they can connect at their max speed, up to 3.2Gbps.

As for its simple set-up? The NETGEAR genie app makes installation a snap. It supports a single sign-on (SSO) feature that lets you use one login for all of your NETGEAR accounts and also enables you to monitor, connect and control your home network remotely from your iOS or Android phone. On top of that, it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can control your home network via voice commands .

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Linksys WRT1900ACS Open Source Wi-Fi Router

Linksys WRT1900ACS Open Source WiFi Router
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Released in 2015, the Linksys WRT1900ACS Open Source Wi-Fi router might not offer the most aesthetically pleasing design, but its performance will have you all but forgetting its uninspiring looks. Offering the same black and blue design that has dominated router appearance for years, the 1.77-pound and 7.67- x 9.76- x 2.01-inch WRT1900ACS offers a large footprint. With that comes a slew of performance-enhancing additions and excellent range. The design also includes four adjustable, high-performance antennas designed to enhance the 2.4GHz (600Mbps) and 5GHz (1300Mbps) dual-band communication to ensure maximum Wi-Fi coverage and performance. Additionally, the inclusion of a 1.6GHz CPU enhances high-speed data processing allowing multiple users in the same home or office to simultaneously stream Netflix or Hulu, as well as play games online without any lag.

Overall, the dual-band technology can handle up to four independent lanes of Wi-Fi data traffic at its peak performance of 1.9Gbps. Utilizing beamforming technology, the WRT1900ACS works to get every drop out of your wireless signal and push it across the house. Unfortunately, the WRT1900ACS lacks MU-MIMO capability for increased efficiency across data traffic, but still handles multiple connections in the same home with aplomb. Beyond its excellent speed, the setup for the WRT1900ACS is a snap with the Linksys iOS or Android app or Web browser.

Best Value: TP-Link AC1900

TP-Link AC1900
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Finding a budget-priced router with excellent range isn’t an easy request, but the TP-Link AC1900 wireless long-range router is an excellent wallet-friendly option. Offering support for 802.11ac and dual-band networks (2.4 and 5GHz), the AC1900 adds three high-powered antennas to create a strong and reliable Wi-Fi signal throughout your home or small office. Setup is a snap with the free TP-LINK tether app available on both Android and iOS, which allows you to both initiate the router right out of the box, as well as manage settings throughout its life.

From a design standpoint, the all-white aesthetic differentiates it from the traditional black utilitarian look of traditional routers. At three pounds and 13.2 x 3.9 x 9.5 inches, the AC1900 has three detachable antennas that are assisted by beamforming strengthening connections, which help direct the routers signal focus toward devices. Additionally, the AC1900 is tweaked out-of-the-box to enable gaming and 4K video streaming without interruption even if multiple devices are connected to the network at the same time.

Runner-Up, Best Design: Portal

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Featuring a glossy white design, the Portal has nine antennas that are located inside the router. Portal's unique "Fastlane" feature offers a patented technology that helps steer your devices to exclusive Wi-Fi channels typically reserved for non-consumer devices avoiding both congestion and reduced speeds. Portal's unique technology introduces a reliable router experience that's perfect for both everyday computing and business work, as well as lag-free gaming. The 802.11ac-equipped router includes MU-MIMO technology, as well as Turbo-AC2400 spectrum boost, which offers speeds that are three times faster than ordinary AC3200 routers. Add in Mesh 2.0 readiness and hook the Portal up to additional units for 10x faster speeds and 3x more coverage. Even without additional mesh units, the standalone portal can easily cover up 3,000 square feet of your home.

Best for Speed: TP-Link’s AC5400 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router

TP-Link’s AC5400 Wireless WiFi Tri-Band Gigabit Router
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If it’s speed you want, spring for the TP-Link’s AC5400 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit router. At just three pounds and 9.1. x 9.1 x 1.7 inches, it’s more compact than most routers at this price range with a comparable set of features that make it shelf- and desktop-friendly for any room in the house. However, don’t let the Archer’s compact size fool you; it’s powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor running three co-processors for each wireless band, the two 5GHz bands and a lone 2.4GHz band. The eight high-powered antennas pair enable the Archer to provide blazing fast speeds, but also to offer extended range capable of hitting every room in the house. Additionally, the included NitroQAM technology delivers a total of 5400Mbps Wi-Fi speeds over the lone 2.4GHz band (1000Mbps) and the two 5GHz bands (2167Mbps).

To make the signals range and speed even more reliable, the included MU-MIMO beamforming technology creates standalone connections to ensure the fastest possible speeds without affecting other users on the same network. Even gamers who demand fast speeds to keep up with users around the world will love the faster connection and high-speed signals that can fill a house up to 10,000 square feet.

As a bonus, the Archer includes VPN security that locks away access to hard drives and other devices connected to the router Add in a slew of Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports and the Archer is an attractive, feature-rich Wi-Fi router that offers blazing fast performance.

Runner-Up, Best Value: Motorola N450

Motorola - N450
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Motorola's N450 is a powerhouse router, at least as far as regular at-home usage goes. Their proprietary MIMO antenna gives you wireless-n technology with an extended range and fewer dead spots (which you can extend ever further by learning about the best place to set up your wireless router). 

It offers up to 450 Mbps with 802.11 b/g/n wireless connectivity, which Motorola claims is enough for 4k streaming. Of course, that claim is up for debate, but the transfer rate is pretty impressive nonetheless. All of these specs are stepped up even further with Motorola’s built-in Power Boost wireless tech that works in tandem with the MIMO antenna to give you as much as range as possible without that frustration of having to reconnect.

The on-board DOCSIS 3.0 modem provides eight downstream channels and four upstream channels to accommodate as much bandwidth as possible, and the built-in four Gigabit LAN ports give you the wired option, too. Round that out with all the expected network compatibility and some industry standard encryption levels and you have an extremely reasonably priced router that’ll give you plenty of bang for your buck.

Best for Busy Homes: TP-Link Archer AX6000

While official approval for the 802.11ax wireless standard—also known as Wi-Fi 6—hasn’t been finalized, its benefits may soon have it replacing older wireless standards. As TP-Link’s first 802.11ax router, the Archer AX6000 makes an immediate impact. Beamforming and “Rangeboost” technologies help its eight external antennas deliver strong long-range signals. With 802.11ax operating on both the 5-GHz and 2.4-GHz bands (802.11ac only operates on 5 GHz), this next-generation router supports speeds of 4804 Mbps at 5 GHz and 1148 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for a total of about 6 Gbps.

But with many households now filled with multiple phones, tablets, 4K video streaming, and smart-home devices competing for download and upload capacity, Wi-Fi improvements need to be about more than range and speed. The 802.11ax standard boasts four times greater capacity and performance, thanks to both uplink and downlink MU-MIMO working with OFDMA (orthogonal frequency-division multiple access) technology to handle heavy wireless traffic much more efficiently. The Archer AX6000 also has features aimed at the safety and security of all these gadgets and their users, such as adaptive antivirus, parental control profiles for groups of devices, and custom levels of active content filtering.

Best for Streaming: NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12

The AX12 is an absolute powerhouse added to the Netgear Nighthawk line. At its core, it offers improved network capacity due to the more modern Wi-Fi 6 technology, which is helpful if you have more than 20 devices streaming on the same network. This is important for video streaming because, in today’s modern household, it’s very likely that a dozen devices will be streaming video on the same network. The AX12 stands out with its sheer bandwidth speed, which will enable you to enjoy smooth, bufferless streaming for your favorite TV shows.

There are 12 streams of signal available, all amounting to up to six gigabytes per second transfer speeds, which Netgear is promising will support 4K and even 8K video streaming. This is accomplished thanks to the eight separate high-efficiency antennas, which also provide 50 percent higher Wi-Fi range than previous generations. The whole system is supported by the WPA3 security protocol and a dual-core processor with 256MB of RAM. Plus, because it’s a Netgear device, you can control who has access to your Internet connection and when using a really intuitive smartphone app.

To top it all off, the AX12 includes 512MB of flash memory, 16GB of RAM, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, two USB 3.0 ports, and five Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Tested by

Our Process

Our reviewers spent 102 hours testing three of the most popular long-range routers on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

What to Look for in a Long-Range Router

Coverage - Placement of the router in your home can make a difference, but if you’ve tinkered with that to no avail, a long-range router will get you covered. They range from 3,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet and up, so consider your space and buy something suitable for you.

Single-, dual- or tri-band - In a large home, a single-band router probably won’t cut it. A dual-band device, with a 2.6GHz and 5GHz band, provides a faster signal and prevents overcrowding. If you want to take it up a notch, look for a tri-band router, which adds a 5GHz band for even faster speeds and less congestion.

Additional features - Newer routers pack in additional features like MU-MIMO technology and beamforming technology. These help to distribute data more efficiently and route the signal to where it’s needed most. You’ll notice a big difference with these features.

Test Results: Asus RT-AC88U (Best Overall)

What We Like
  • Easy setup

  • Dual-band technology

  • Good user interface

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Asus AC3100 RT-AC88U

Setting up the RT-AC88U was “surprisingly easy” for one of our testers, who also said it was sleek and efficient.” The router’s efficiency — and its great range — is due to four tall antennas, which one tough tester wished could be a little “flatter.” He said, “Basically, I want a powerful router that is invisible.” (One can dream.)

Test Results: NETGEAR Orbi Home Wi-Fi System (Best Design)

What We Like
  • Fast

  • Quick setup process

  • Customizable configurations

What We Don't Like
  • Big

  • Pricey

Netgear Orbi
Netgear Orbi router
Netgear Orbi box

Our testers made it clear why this router got a five-star rating: One person said it “provided seamless connectivity throughout the entire home” and increased his wireless speeds. Plus, the network is easily customizable with options to turn off connectivity for individual devices and monitor kids’ online activities with parental controls.

Test Results: Linksys E9500 Tri-Band Wireless Router (Best Splurge)

What We Like
  • Tri-band technology

  • Remote maintenance and configuration can be done from an app

  • Advanced features that are customizable

What We Don't Like
  • Big

  • Design doesn’t allow for wall mounting

Our testers’ feedback revealed that this router is just as good for beginners as it is for more tech-savvy users. It’s easy to set up but also very customizable. One reviewer remarked, “So far, this router has a ton of features and is very simple to configure. It has VLAN capability, port forwarding, and remote access. The list goes on.” Our testers also reported that their Internet connection from far distances was much improved using this router.

Test Results: AmpliFi HD (Best Range Extender)

What We Like
  • Great range

  • Amazing speed

What We Don’t Like
  • Bulky

One Lifewire reviewer only got 45 Mbps download speeds with his previous Spectrum modem/router combo, but AmpliFi HD increased the speed to 145 Mbps “instantly,” according to him. He said, “I already recommended it to a friend this morning.” Testers got strong Wi-Fi signals no matter how large their houses and apartments were. One person told us he could still surf the Web at the end of his 100-foot driveway.

The router’s touchscreen is also a helpful feature: “I set the display to the connectivity status, which allowed me to monitor the connection while being at my desk,” one person said. “If, for some reason, the download speed seems slow from the computer, all I need to do is take a look at the display and I will get immediate feedback about the router's status. No need to log into the router via a browser interface.”

Test Results: NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 (Best Setup)

What We Like
  • Tri-band technology

  • Very fast setup

  • Guests can easily get Wi-Fi access through EZ Mobile Connect feature

What We Don't Like
  • Big

Netgear Orbi

One tester said he was able to install this router in just 30 minutes. He went on to give a glowing recommendation: “I would absolutely recommend purchasing this, especially if users have been burned by unwieldy installations, long setup times, and arcane menu design. The user support is exceptional and the ease of use is second-to-none.” One reviewer connected 10 devices and still couldn’t think of one negative thing to say about this router.