The 10 Best Wireless Routers of 2019

Shop the best routers for gamers, streamers, large houses, apartments and more

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Google Wi-Fi

4.7

What We Like

  •  Attractive and simple design

  •  A reliable 500 Mbps speed per unit

  • Easy installation and set-up

  • Covers up to 4,500 square feet

What We Don't Like

  • Network settings are lacking

  • Setup can be a clunky (you'll need a phone)

Google Wi-Fi uses satellites that communicate with each other to eliminate dead zones in your home and offer a reliable wireless network for high performance. Each unit gets 500 Megabits per second, which just indicates how fast your Internet can be while performing tasks like downloading. With 3 Google units together, you get 1.5 Gbps, which equates to fast and reliable Internet. It can cover up to 4,500 square feet of blanketed coverage by utilizing its quad-core CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 4GB of flash memory, and combining 2.4GHz and 5GHz into a single band. Simply download their app for Android and iOS and get going. If you want a simple, fast set-up and a “set it and forget it” router, this is the one to get.

Best for Full Home Coverage: Netgear Orbi

Netgear Orbi
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.5

What We Like

  • Covers up to 6,000 square feet

  • One of the best Tri-band routers

  • It stands vertically unlike most routers

What We Don't Like

  • Very pricey

  • Tech support costs extra

The Netgear Orbi can cover up to 6,000 square feet, which is excellent, and can handle speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps over that range. Each Orbi unit is 8.9 x 6.7 x 3.1 inches and small enough to fit just about anywhere or be tucked away near your modem. It also stands up vertically, which adds to its already great specs and doesn’t need antennas or any adjustment. As for the hardware, you’ll find both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio connections in a tri-band, 802.11ac support, four Ethernet ports and a great mobile app for all your needs.

Best for Larger Homes: Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router
Courtesy of Amazon.com
4.5

What We Like

  • Simple and intuitive router

  • Excellent for streaming with multiple devices

  • Great price for the specs you get

  • Hits speeds up to 1.9 Gbps

What We Don't Like

  • Speeds can fluctuate wildly

  • Software is not robust

If you have a large home, you might have a lot of people with a lot of different devices: Tablets, Alexa, TVs, gaming consoles, phones, and VR rigs all compete for the Internet. So thankfully the Linksys AC1900 can let you connect 12 or more devices at once. It sports both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, four gigabit Ethernet ports, speeds of up to 1.9 Gbps and unobtrusive design. You don’t get much in the way of software, and if you stretch the router too thin with way more devices than is normal you’ll get inconsistent downloads, but otherwise this will perform just fine for everyday means.

Best for Smart Homes: Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi + Hub

4.6

What We Like

  • Covers up to 1,500 square feet

  • Great app to control all devices

  • Sleek, elegant design

What We Don't Like

  • Not the easiest to install

  • Lackluster tech support

  • Not the fastest (866 Mbps)

If you want to create a Smart Home, you need a smart router, and that means a Wi-Fi mesh router that extends throughout your home and connects all of your devices together to function in harmony. Therefore, we highly recommend the Samsung SmartThings line of products. This is the all-in-one solution for controlling over 100 devices, and if you buy a pack of three routers you can cover up to 4,500 square feet. Once you get everything installed, the app allows total control over your smart home.

Best for Gaming: Netgear Nighthawk XR500

4.8

What We Like

  • Great bandwidth allocation

  • Lots of ports for PCs and consoles

  • Low lag latency for gaming sessions

What We Don't Like

  • Big and bulky

  • Antennas aren't flexible for repositioning

Sure, the Nighthawk XR500 is pricey, but it also has beefy specs. Namely, it can achieve speeds of 2.6 Gbps thanks to its dedicated 1.7 GHz processor and four external high-performance antennas (you can’t really position them around, but you might not need to). The XR500 can even designate express lanes of traffic to avoid network congestion and reduce lag spikes. Finally, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports for gaming and streaming, so you can connect your PC, console, surround sound system, and more.

Best Under $50: TP-Link AC1200

What We Like

  • Affordable and reliable router

  • Can get over a Gigabit per second of speed

  • Set-up is easy and hassle free

What We Don't Like

  • The range is lacking

  • Missing some features like Alexa voice support

If you are on a budget, check out the TP-Link AC1200. It can get up to speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, has a two-year warranty, a USB port, and even has detachable antennas. This is a simple to use, easy to install dual-band router that is tiny (9.05 x 5.68 x 1.45 inches) and lightweight (about a pound). The AC1200 also has MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input and output) technology powering it, which essentially means more than one device can be on the Internet simultaneously without sacrificing speed.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best routers under $50

Best for Streaming: ASUS AC5300

What We Like

  • 8 LAN ports for any smart devices

  • Great 5.3 Gbps speed

  • Award winning security built-in

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Inconsistent at longer ranges

The AC5300 is well worth the hefty price tag. It’s what’s on the inside that counts here, and Asus provides it in spades. With up to 5.3 Gbps, 512 MB of memory, a tri-band 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, and 802.11ac 4x4 tech, you’re getting the goods where it counts. On top of all of that, the AC5300 has up to 5,000 square feet of coverage and four gigabit Ethernet ports for all your gaming needs. The only thing we noticed was some inconsistency at longer ranges, but if you’re gaming you want a wired connection with fiber optics anyways.

Best for Speed: NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200

What We Like

  • Blazing fast three-band speeds of 7.2 Gbps

  • Versatile and durable

  • Easy to install and use

What We Don't Like

  • Very expensive

  • Signal can’t penetrate walls well

Netgear’s Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is powered by a 802.11ac quad stream Wave2 along with a 60GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which gives you up to 7.2 Gbps of throughput. It also includes a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, media server with two external USB 3.0 ports and six Gigabit Ethernet ports. This router can absolutely handle whatever you throw at it: 4K streaming, VR gaming, and instant downloads, all lag free. If you can stomach the entry price, this router will be with you for long haul.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Netgear routers

Best for Busy Homes: Asus Blue Cave AC2600

What We Like

  • Great user interface and security features

  • Voice controls with Amazon Alexa and Echo

  • Sleek, unconventional design

What We Don't Like

  • No Mesh networking

  • Customer service is lacking

The Asus Blue Cave AC2600 dual-band router comes with the latest 802.11ac 4x4 technology, advanced parental and scheduling controls usable from any mobile device to manage your family’s usage, and a free year-long subscription to Trend Micro Security. In addition to featuring cool LED lighting, other specs include four LAN ports for home theater set-ups or people with multiple game consoles, and Wi-Fi speeds of up to 2.6 Gbps.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best ASUS routers article.

Best Technology: NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8

What We Like

  • Up to 6 Gbps of wireless speeds

  • Can pair with up to 50 devices

  • 8K streaming

What We Don't Like

  • Will take a big bite out of your wallet

The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 is the cutting edge in router technology. It boasts a staggering ability to handle 30 to 50 devices at once and can output both 4K and 8K video streaming. But with its Wi-Fi 6 technology, can absolutely handle 20 devices at high volume with blazing fast speeds. The AX8 sports a quad-core 1.8 GHz processor, a full gigabyte of RAM, 512 MB of flash memory, and supports backward compatibility for all existing Wi-Fi devices. And having up to 6 Gbps is well above average for router speeds, so you won’t be having a problem streaming, playing games, or downloading big files.

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought and tested seven top-rated wireless routers. Our reviewers spent 370 hours connecting multiple devices, browsing the Web, streaming video, playing games, and more. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these routers, from range to connection speed. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Wireless Router

Compatibility - As wireless standards change fairly frequently, a router more than a few years old is likely out of date. Even if your devices aren’t yet using 802.11ac standards, we recommend a router that supports it as a means of future-proofing.

Single- and dual-band - Dual band routers have both a 2.6GHz band and a 5GHz band, which ultimately increases your connection speeds. If you live in a densely populated area, you probably want a dual-band router to avoid too much interference, but if you’re in a more rural area, and single-band solution will likely suit you just fine.

Range - The ability of your router to deliver a strong signal to all corners of your home is important, but its positioning will likely make just as much of an impact. Higher end routers will offer up better range, but a Wi-Fi extender can also work wonders if dead spots are an issue.

Test Results: Google Wi-Fi (Best Overall)

4.7

What We Like

  • Attractive design

  • Fast

  • Easy installation

  • Great range

What We Don't Like

  • No customizable network settings

  • Phone is required for setup

Google WiFi
Google WiFi parts
Google WiFi box

Behind speed, the majority of our testers listed the system’s sleek design as one of the top selling points. The system consists of three hockey-puck-like satellites that you can place in unobtrusive locations around your house to extend your Wi-Fi network. Our reviewers could barely find a negative thing to say about Google Wi-Fi and told us that it definitely increased the speed and range of their home connections.

Test Results: Netgear Orbi (Best for Full Home Coverage)

4.5

What We Like

  • Fast speeds

  • Simple setup process

  • Configurable options

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

  • Bulky

Netgear Orbi
Netgear Orbi parts
Netgear Orbi detail
Netgear Orbi instructions

Our testers loved Netgear’s Orbi High-Performance AC3000. (Did you see the perfect 5-star rating?) This mesh network Wi-Fi system noticeably increased our reviewers’ wireless speeds and extended the network’s range to surprising places. “I get a very good connection even working out in the yard,” one person said. One of our testers said the system “provided seamless connectivity” throughout his entire home, which is something he had never experienced before.

Test Results: Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router (Best for Larger Homes)

4.5

What We Like

  • Easy setup

  • Unobtrusive design

  • Great value

What We Don't Like

  • Inconsistent download speeds

  • Not the fastest model

  • Software is a bit barren

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router
Linksys Dual Band Wireless Router
Linksys Wireless Router
Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Router

One of our testers felt that, for a reasonably priced router, the Linksys AC1900 really delivered: "The router does what it sets out to do," he said. "It provides an excellent streaming experience at a mid-range price." Our reviewers also liked that it was easy to set up and that its design made it blend in with its surroundings. On the other hand, one tester acknowledged that it wasn't the fastest router out there, that its download speeds were inconsistent, and that its software was "limited but effective."

Test Results: Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Network & Hub (Best for Smart Homes)

4.6

What We Like

  • Super fast

  • Seamlessly connects smart home devices

  • Good range

What We Don't Like

  • Time-consuming setup

Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Network & Hub
Samsung SmartThings
Samsung SmartThings Hub
Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Network & Hub Box

“This product changed the way that I interact with my home,” one of our testers raved of this router system. In addition to being able to connect a variety of smart home devices, our reviewers were also impressed with the range and speed. One of our testers noted, “I was able to completely eliminate dead spots in my apartment — and didn't realize that my home Wi-Fi could be so fast.” While one of our reviewers said setup was time-consuming, he also revealed, “After I set up the app and the first router, setting up additional routers and smart appliances was a breeze.” Overall, our testers were thrilled with how seamless the product worked in their homes. “I didn't have to do much, if any, tinkering with settings or resetting the router,” reported one of our reviewers.

Test Results: Netgear Nighthawk XR500 (Best for Gaming)

4.8

What We Like

  • Allows for bandwidth allocation

  • Easy to connect devices

  • Geo-filter reduces lag

What We Don't Like

  • Big

  • Antenna placement restricts placement

Netgear Nighthawk XR500
Netgear Nighthawk XR500 detail
Netgear Nighthawk XR500
Netgear Nighthawk XR500
Netgear Nighthawk XR500

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 performed well among all of our testers who game frequently. One person thought this router is best suited for users who are “very particular about their Internet connection” since it allows for device prioritization and offers detailed connection monitoring. You’ll pay a bit more than a traditional router to take advantage of these features, so it’s up to you to decide what you need. One tester noted that his game lagged once but said, “It was very slight and fixed itself quickly. If I used my own router it may have taken a few seconds longer to reconnect.”