Wi Fi has become engrained into every single aspect of our lives to the point where a poor internet connection can end up being a major issue.
One of the best ways you can fix this issue is by upgrading your router. That’s technical, though, which is why I’ve created this guide outlining what to look for, as well as listing five of my favorites.
Why Do You Need a Wi Fi Router?
Of course, the big question is why you even need a router in the first place. Isn’t your wireless network good enough? In most cases, no.
A lot of the time, your internet network only delivers you out a modem. This modem is how you connect to the internet but doesn’t optimize your connection.
In other words, you’re not going to be getting the same wireless performance or speed that you would if you had a router.
It’s particularly important that you get yourself a decent router if you have multiple people connecting to the same network. For example, if you’re in a family house, think about how many devices are connected to the wireless internet at once.
You’ve got connected devices like PlayStations and Xboxes, computers, phones, people watching Netflix, anyone on a Zoom call or classroom, and so on.
Each device connected to the network is going to decrease the wireless speed, so you want to make sure that your bandwidth is being dished out efficiently.
To do this, you’re going to need a new router.
What to Look For in a Network
Buying a router can be a complicated process. I’m going to give you my top five recommendations, but I’m also going to provide you with a bit of a guide so that you can go off and do some shopping for yourself.
I’m going to stay as far away from the technical jargon as possible here. If I dove into things like mesh system, 5ghz bands, proxies, virtual servers, and all that stuff, then we would be here all day.
Instead of that, I’m going to run you through some things to think about when shopping for a new home network.
The biggest thing you need to be thinking about with your router is the speeds that it delivers. The performance of your house internet is almost directly a reference to the wireless speed, making it the most important factor.
The more devices connected to the wireless, the more internet being used, meaning, the faster you’re going to want the internet to be.
You’re also going to want to get fast internet if you work from home and have regular video calls. This means that the audio and picture quality is going to be as optimized as possible, so you’re less likely to miss out on any important information.
Who’s Using the Internet?
Depending on who’s using the internet and what they’re using it for, you’re going to want to change your buying plans.
If there’s a gamer in the house, for example, you’re going to want to prioritize a low latency, low ping router that is designed with gaming in mind.
Space and Function
The Square feet measurements of your home are going to play a large part in the performance of your devices.
The larger your home, the further the internet needs to travel to reach a device. The further it needs to travel, the worse the performance.
So if you’re living in a particularly large home, you’re going to want to prioritize a device built for that kind of performance.
Lastly, think about what ports are on the box itself. Most modern high end tri band router models have four gigabit ethernet ports and two USB ports. If the device you’re looking at doesn’t fall into that category, then you’re going to want to avoid it.
The more ports you have, the better the functionality of your devices is going to be. One or two ports is likely all you’re ever going to use, but still, try and optimize what you have available to you.
You’re going to find that TP-Link is constantly in the picture when you’re shopping for Wi Fi routers. There is a reason for this, though.
TP-Link has been putting out Wi Fi 6 routers that deliver a stellar performance for years now, and the TP-Link Archer AX6000 is no exception. This router is relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of the bigger players out there, and yet it still delivers a phenomenal performance that makes it the best priced Wi Fi 6 router in terms of value for money.
The TP-Link Archer wireless router sits sort of in the middle of the pile when it comes to mesh router options for your house. It’s better than a lot of other units around this price point. However, it does fall short compared to some heavy hitters like the well known Netgear Nighthawk line.
Despite that, though, this router gives you a performance that is well beyond how much it’s going to cost you. It’s capable of delivering fast speeds even with multiple devices connected to it, which is a testament to TP-Link’s quality of service.
The TP-Link Archer router box itself has got USB 3.0 and USB C port as well as eight gigabit LAN ports. That’s double the LAN ports that a lot of modern routers offer, meaning you’re going to have plenty of room for your wired devices.
What you might realize as you navigate the wireless router landscape is that a lot of the best router models tend to be gaming router units.
Professional gamers require particularly fast speeds to compete against world-class competition, meaning that most of the best routers out there are going to be gaming router models.
That’s the case with the Asus Rog Rapture GT-AC5300.
The Asus Rog Rapture GT is among the best wireless routers that money can buy despite being a fair bit cheaper than the best Netgear Nighthawk routers.
It gives a performance better than that of the TP-Link and includes a variety of functionality and security options that make it a great choice for anyone who spends a lot of time competing in the likes of Call of Duty.
The Asus RT-AX88U is a step up from the last two routers both in price and performance. We’re still not hitting the higher end of Wi Fi 6 routers, but we are pushing up into that territory.
While Wi Fi 6 router models are still finding feet in the current infrastructure, the Asus RT-AX88U remains at the top of that hill in terms of speed.
It’s one of the best mesh networking routers you can buy right now, which is impressive considering the relatively moderate price point.
It also has great software functionality, such as parental controls, malware protection, and more.
The Netgear Orbi is a bit different from the other three. Rather than just being a router, it’s a tri-band device that comes with satellites.
The idea of the Orbi is that it’s designed to cover wide areas, making it a great option for bigger smart homeowners.
You set the Netgear Orbi tri-band device up wherever you want and then plug the satellites around your house in different rooms. This smart home mesh network then amplifies the mesh Wi-Fi around the house, helping to deliver good speeds across the board.
These are the types of Wi-Fi routers that you’re going to want if you have multiple stories that need to receive a good connection.
Google Nest Wifi is the king of smart home WiFi, and for a very good reason. Google assistant has been delivering high performance in many people’s homes these days, so naturally, the best smart Wi-Fi you can get comes from the same source.
It’s another mesh, meaning the mesh is going to deliver fast speeds across the house. What’s more, the satellites also double as a smart speaker.
If you’re looking to maintain a smart house, then the Nest WiFi setup is going to be your best bet. Just be aware that the router doesn’t come with the traditional functionality that you’re used to, such as LAN slots, a WAN port, USB 2.0 or 3.0, and so on. It does come with the software you’re sued to do, including parental controls.
Therefore, out of these five, only one can be considered the best. While I’ve purposefully included a range of routes to suit multiple needs here, I would argue that the Asus is the best sole router.
Ultimately, which is end up going with depends on your personal needs and preferences.
The internet has evolved to the point where we need to customize our packages to our experiences and requirements, so there is no one size fits all solution. Analyze your situation, then decide which you think you need.