With the rise of streaming, online gaming and all the bevy of devices that we use throughout the course of a day, it’s easy to forget about the thing that makes it all possible: a router. There’s a good chance you haven’t thought about upgrading yours in a while. But as technology around all of the devices you love has evolved, so have routers. Now, more than ever, they’re more equipped to handle everything you throw at them, with the ability to scale your network coverage depending on your needs. Check out our six favorites to help you with your coverage needs.
1. NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK SMART WIFI ROUTER
BEST OF THE BEST
The key word with this Nighthawk router from Netgear is smart. Capable of detecting which devices are taxing the network the heaviest and adjusting bandwidth accordingly, users won’t notice a drop-off in performance when everyone is using a different device (it has support for up to 35 WiFi-enabled gadgets), all at once. And with the corresponding mobile application (which allow also users to set time limits and website filters), setup is a breeze, eliminating a lot hassle that comes with installing a new router. It’s everything a modern router needs to be, at a price point that’s more than justifiable.
2. ASUS RT-ACRH13 ROUTER
While the ASUS RT-ACRH13 doesn’t automatically flight-control your devices in the same way as the Nighthawk, it does provide consistent access through its dual-band frequencies and four external antennas. The combination of both elements means that you’ll have strong signal access throughout your home. Additionally, it includes a smart setup via the ASUS app. It might not be as technical as some want, but for the value, it’s tough to beat.
3. GOOGLE WIFI ROUTER
BEST FOR SMALL SPACES
Small, discreet and plain cool looking, the Google Wifi router is a great solution for city-based apartment-dwellers that need something powerful in a small space. If you do want to cover a large area, the router is part of a mesh system, so buy however many you may need in order to ensure the appropriate coverage. Additionally, Google’s Network Assist works to make sure that your devices always have the fastest lane possible for optimal speeds on all of your devices.
4. EERO HOME WIFI SYSTEM ROUTER
BEST LARGE HOME ROUTER
All wrapped up in one nice, big package, is the eero Home WiFi system. The system starts with a really stylish, sleek base unit that’s augmented by a series of beacon systems (the entry level unit comes with one beacon, but there are options to upgrade accordingly) that plug into your standard electrical outlet. Fast and easy, with units that eliminate garish antennae, it’s an elegant solution for homeowners looking to never lose a step with their coverage.
5. AMPLIFI HD WIFI SYSTEM ROUTER
Another mesh system solution like the Google Wifi and the eero, the AmpliFi System router works as a whole home solution that includes two towers to help ensure the best signal throughout your home. And it also happens to look damn good while doing so. Seriously, the touchscreen display is not only practical (it displays key information that’s typically been reserved for unclear flickering lights) but looks like something you’d see in Star Wars.
6. TP-LINK ARCHER AC5400 WIFI ROUTER
BEST GAMING ROUTER
Considering it almost looks like an alien spaceship you’d be hunting down in a video game, this TP-Link router seems fitting to be the best solution for hardcore gamers looking for a router that won’t slow them down in the heat of a match. Eight dual-band antennas will support a series of high-grade processors that promise to provide optimal–and lag-free–connectivity for every single round of Fortnite. But if that’s not enough, you can tailor your setup to provide a higher bandwidth to your game devices over standard devices. Strong power, with lots of customization options? Sounds like this router is almost a game within itself.