The 5 Best Netgear Routers of 2023

Get a stable Wi-Fi connection and a good range

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The best Netgear routers give you a stable Wi-Fi connection and good range and can help you connect multiple devices. The company offers standard dual-band routers, gaming-oriented tri-band routers, and whole-home mesh networks.

Best Overall

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi System

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi System


What We Like
  • Speedy performance

  • Full home coverage

  • Beautiful aesthetics

What We Don't Like
  • Very expensive

  • Older devices complicate things

Netgear's Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi is the company's first specifically-made mesh router system, with a pair of units acting as a base station and a "satellite" unit to provide corner-to-corner coverage at a 5,000-square-foot home. The system is simple to set up via Netgear's Orbi smartphone app, so you can get online within minutes of plugging it in.

The tri-band coverage offers lightning-fast performance, thanks to technologies like MU-MIMO and six internal antennas, reaching speeds of up to 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and 833Mbps on the 2.4GHz side. The Orbi also works with Amazon Alexa voice commands, and the smartphone application allows for parental controls powered by Circle. There's even the ability to set up guest Wi-Fi networks and connect new devices.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: NETGEAR Armor, WPA2 | Standard/Speed: AC3000 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4

Netgear Orbi

Lifewire / Bill Thomas

Best Speed

Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 8-Stream AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router

Netgear Nighthawk RAX80

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy setup

  • Fast file transfer

  • Future-proof Wi-Fi 6 support

What We Don't Like
  • Only dual-band

  • Expensive

Even if your PCs and gaming consoles aren't ready for Wi-Fi 6 yet, the RAX80 still provides up to 2,500 square feet of coverage for your 5GHz 802.11ac and older 2.4GHz devices with a throughput of up to 4.8Gbps and 1.2Gbps on each of its bands, respectively, thanks to the four antennas encased in its hawk-like wings.

With support for MU-MIMO and eight simultaneous 160MHz channels, plus a 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, more devices can use maximum Wi-Fi speeds simultaneously, so you don't need to worry about your family members or roommates slowing down your connection. It's also more than capable of handling even the more tricked-out smart homes, and thanks to WAN port aggregation, it can even manage Multi-Gig internet plans up to 2Gbps.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ax | Security: Netgear Armor, WPA2, 802.1x | Standard/Speed: AX6000 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5

Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 Wi-Fi 6 Router

Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen 

Best Value

Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router (R8000)

Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

What We Like
  • User-friendly mobile app

  • Three bands for optimal multi-device Wi-Fi support

  • Meant for 4K streaming and gaming

  • Advanced parental controls

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Takes up a lot of space

  • Some performance drops

  • Buggy initial setup

The Netgear Nighthawk X6 is integrated with Amazon Alexa for voice command prompts and features six external high-performance antennas that combine with tri-band Wi-Fi for increased performance and signal strength. A 1GHz dual-core processor works alongside three offload processors to maintain network performance, while Netgear's Smart Connect software works to allow each device to connect to the strongest signal.

Beamforming+ technology helps improve existing signals by directing unused bandwidth directly at each connected device. And setting up the X6 is a snap, thanks to the downloadable Netgear Up smartphone app that's available for Android and iOS and can connect you to your home network with just a few taps. With a total speed of 3.2Gbps across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac bands, the X6 excels at online gaming or 4K streaming.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA, WPA2, | Standard/Speed: AC3200 | Bands: Tri-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5

Netgear Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router

 Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best for Gaming

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Wireless Gaming Router


What We Like
  • Very configurable for gamers

  • Good 2.4GHz performance

  • Easy setup

What We Don't Like
  • Poor longer range performance

  • Pricey

One of the best-reviewed gaming routers on the market, Netgear's Nighthawk XR500 is built with gamers in mind. The hardware includes gaming-specific features such as QoS for prioritizing gaming devices on the network for the best possible signal and allocating any extra bandwidth to eliminate lag. A gaming dashboard helps to show real-time bandwidth use, so users can help minimize ping times, while a gaming VPN allows instant connection to any VPN client to maintain security and privacy.

Monitoring network strength is easy via the downloadable Netgear smartphone application, and the dual-core 1.7Ghz processor helps to maintain the hardware performance and support the demands of online gaming traffic. With four external antennas for increased signal strength, the XR500 adds MU-MIMO and Quad-Stream technologies for more gaming boost. Add a total network speed of 2.6Gbps across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and you've found a gaming router worthy of its price tag.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA2 | Standard/Speed: AC2600 | Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 4

Best Budget

Netgear Nighthawk R6700 Smart Wi-Fi Router

Netgear Nighthawk R6700 Smart Wi-Fi Router


What We Like
  • Solid 802.11ac performance

  • Advanced features like QoS

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Weaker 2.4GHz speeds

Compatible with 802.11ac, the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 speeds up to 450Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. Capable of simultaneously supporting up to 12 devices at a time, the Nighthawk offers a straightforward setup with the company’s smartphone application. There, parents can find a slew of parental controls and options to create guest networks and update the router with the latest firmware for up-to-date security and performance.

Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice command usage, the Nighthawk has a dual-core processor inside that powers the hardware to help maintain steady performance. The three external high-performance antennas can be directed toward device locations (i.e., a desktop or television) for improved signal strength and range.

Wireless Spec: 802.11ac | Security: WPA2 | Standard/Speed: AC1750| Bands: Dual-band | MU-MIMO: No | Beamforming: Yes | Wired Ports: 5

What to Look for in a Netgear Router


There are a lot of cases where it’s better to plug a computer, game console, or another device into an Ethernet port. Count all the devices you want to connect via Ethernet and look for a Netgear router to accommodate your setup. Most routers have four LAN ports, but if you have many devices to connect, the alternative is to invest in an additional Ethernet switch later. These can expand your Ethernet port options to 16 or 20. A USB port on a router can also be handy for connecting a printer, external hard drive, or other devices to create sharable storage.

Multiple antennas

Unless you live in a tiny studio apartment, you’ll need a Netgear router with multiple antennas. Three is enough for most houses and small businesses, but you’ll need four or more if you have a big, multi-story home or a large office. Higher-end routers can have as many as six or eight. Generally speaking, the more antennas, the better your range and connectivity are, though that also depends on the type of router. The Orbi can cover 5,000 square feet with its six antennas. The more budget Nighthawk R6700 has three antennas, covering up to 1,500 square feet.

Multiple bands

You can get by with a single-band router for most basic usage but look for a dual- or tri-band Netgear router if you want to connect many devices. Some dual-band routers can provide a solid connection to up to 20 devices simultaneously, and tri-band routers give you even more options. You'll also want to look at the Wi-Fi standard. Many options support Wi-Fi 6, though Wi-Fi 5 is still the standard.

  • How long do Netgear routers last?

    Netgear is one of the biggest and most reputable manufacturers of networking products. All Netgear routers come with warranty support, and you should register your device online. The warranty support for default is one year and 90 days of complimentary technical support, extended warranty support is two years. Refurbished products come with 90 days of warranty and 90 days of complimentary technical support.

  • Where are Netgear routers made?

    Netgear routers are manufactured primarily in mainland China and Vietnam, though some lower-volume products are also manufactured in Taiwan. Netgear has product quality organizations based in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

  • Are Netgear routers compatible with Xfinity?

    Netgear routers are compatible with Xfinity modems in most cases, though you should check this list to confirm compatibility. If you can't find your modem on the list, you may want to call Xfinity customer support and have them verify support for your Netgear router.

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