Netgear has been at the top of the router totem pole for years now. All of the routers that the brand has on offer deliver a ridiculously stellar performance that is going to transform your internet experience.
There are a lot of Netgear routers, though, and sometimes you don’t feel like scrolling through all of the technical jargon to decide what you want to buy. Luckily for you, I’ve done that hard work.
What We’re Looking For
There are a few different things that users of Netgear routers are going to be looking for. Each router can provide these functions, generally, but the quality differs depending on your budget.
Speaking of budget, that’s the first criteria you should be looking at.
Wi Fi 6 routers can get expensive, especially ones from a large brand like Netgear. With multiple high-end models available, you’re going to need to set yourself a specific price point.
Ideally, you should be looking at anywhere between $250 and $500. That’s not to say that there are no cheaper routers because there certainly are. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, you’re going to be shopping around those numbers.
Do You Need It?
This factor ties into the budget quite a bit. Do you actually need a really good Wi Fi router?
Most people are looking for some decent Wi Fi and data to connect to the internet that can handle multiple media devices with good security and a quality signal. If that’s all you’re in the market for, then the lower offer routers are going to be able to provide that.
However, if you have particularly broadband intensive hobbies, like being a gamer, for example, then you might consider getting a solid upgrade.
Think about the people in the house. Do you have kids that are constantly on the PlayStation and Netflix? What about Zoom calls for work and school? All of this should factor into your decision.
The measure of a good router is speed. Naturally, the faster the router, the better the data that the users are able to connect to.
Netgear is particularly well known on this front. All kinds of people in need of high-speed system options use Netgear routers, from professional gamers to corporate offices.
Again, this is going to vary depending on what funding you’re working with. As a rule of thumb, though, try not to dip below around 1,800mbps. The speed that you get on your devices is going to differ based on a few things, such as whether your router is dual band or the new tri band. As well as dual band and tri band, having a new wi fi 6 router is also going to help the speed dramatically. Needless to say, tri band is going to be the preferred option over dual band, and we want wi fi 6 over wi fi 5 Netgear Nighthawk routers.
Ports is the name given to the slots on your router box that allows you to plug in devices and make connections. You’re going to want a router with at least four ethernet ports and a handful of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 slots.
Ethernet is wired internet. It’s significantly faster than wireless, even on a wi fi 6 tri band router, so you’re going to want to connect this way as much as you possibly can.
Lastly, you’re going to want to take the anti-malware software that your Netgear comes with into account.
The best antivirus that Netgear offers is your common sense, but it never hurts to make sure your firewalls are up to date on your devices.
Again, Netgear tends to be well on top of this aspect of its routers. Users are constantly talking about how good the security on the devices is, but just make sure you’re keeping that in the back of your mind.
Before we get started on our technology coverage, I have to give you a little disclaimer. Netgear is a brand that specializes in creating routers for gaming. This brand offers some of the best speeds and features in the world and are known as “Nighthawks.”
There are going to be a fair few Nighthawk esque models on this list, so if you’re not a fan or anything with a gamer aesthetic or associated with the medium, then you’re going to have a little trouble finding a Netgear that you like.
That’s not to say that you can’t, though. There are plenty of Netgears out there that look like normal models; it’s just that these units generally can’t compare to the performance given off by Nighthawks.
I know I’ve just talked about how many Nighthawks are going to be on this list, so it seems a bit hypocritical for my first entry to not actually be a Nighthawk model. Either way, the Netgear Orbi is among the best mesh home networks in the world.
What does that mean? Well, a mesh network is when you have multiple satellite devices set up around your home that all connect to one another. This way, you’re maximizing your signal coverage and getting good speeds no matter how anti Wi Fi your house layout is.
Mesh systems are the latest new technology advancement when it comes to models that have seen mainstream popularity, and that’s thanks in no small part to the Orbi. It offers users better square feet coverage and speeds than most wireless options on the market today, and that includes pro gaming models.
It’s easy to set the satellites up, too. It comes with specific new features dedicated to making it easy for users to get the wi fi system up and running as soon as possible.
It’s not a router in the traditional sense, although it does come with one. Instead, it’s simply what very well may be the solution to all of your wi fi signal strength and ethernet woes.
Now, we’re getting into the gaming router models that we’ve talked about. The R8000 X6 is one of the more moderately priced Netgear gaming router models. That does mean that you’re not going to get the same home performance on your network that you would get with higher-end devices, but the X6 is perfectly adequate.
It has decent speed for the price point that is going to do you wonders for gaming when you’re upgrading from your regular wireless router or modem.
However, the R8000 is notorious for having low square footage wi fi range, meaning you’re not going to want one if you’re living in a big house.
It’s not a 5ghz band, which hurts it somewhat compared to the newer WiFi router models, but it’s still going to be a performance upgrade from your base network at a reasonable price that comes with all the typical Netgear Nighthawk features.
The R8000 got the job done, but the X10 is absolute overkill. It’s an incredible router that is considered one of the best models available in the gaming scene right now.
That phenomenal performance doesn’t come cheap, though. The X10 falls into the higher range of prices for Netgear Nighthawk models, so bear that in mind if you’re shopping on a budget.
If you don’t mind shelling out the extra cash, though, then this model should absolutely be at the top of your list.
Like the R8000, though, the X10 suffers a little bit when it comes to performance over range. If you’re operating out of a large house, your best option is to opt for a mesh network system.
The R6700 is a moderately priced router that sees use in plenty of homes looking for a general internet router rather than something for gaming specifically.
It has 2.4ghz and 5ghz radios making it easy to set up and media that you might need to.
It also comes with the typical ethernet ports and USB ports that are expected of modern smart bandwidth routers.
The R6700 is great for households that are constantly streaming things. Streaming from Netflix or Disney Plus eats up a lot of bandwidth, and the R6700 is more than equipped to deal with that.
Last but not least on our list is the Nighthawk R7000P. This router is the perfect upgrade router that features all the hardware and software functionality that you could ever need.
It reaches incredible speeds even with streaming services eating up all of the bandwidth. Is easily able to compete with the high levels of the latest new router releases, which is a testament to just how well this device is built.
It delivers incredible speeds over better ranges than the majority of its counterparts and offers a range of smart functionality.
Of course, it also comes with your USB ports and ethernet ports.
If you’re looking for a flat upgrade to your router, as in nothing fancy, then this should be your pick.
There you have it. That’s my personal list of the best Netgear routers on the market today.
There are a few things to look out for that I didn’t mention here, such as parental controls. The need for parental controls is a niche requirement for a router, but all of the best Netgear Routers have software that can accommodate that.
While this network upgrade is built for wireless performance while gaming, the speeds that the routers offer have far more application beyond gaming and fun devices. Having good internet is a must for anyone working from home, which is why I made this list.
With that out of the way, my pick for the definitive best performance out of all the best Netgear routers is the Orbi.
When I was putting this best Netgear routers list together, the Orbi was a bit of a dark horse. However, how easy it is to set up and how large the range makes it too good to not give the number one spot to it.
Sure, you’re sacrificing a little bit in the way of functionality, but that’s more than worth it for a solid internet experience across the board.