Best Netgear routers Windows Central 2021
Netgear has long been a name associated with quality internet, and indeed some of the best Netgear routers also make up the list of the overall best Wi-Fi routers. If you find yourself stuck at home working or trying to binge a TV show, but spotty internet is holding you back, one of these should improve your situation.
- Great for most homes: Netgear Nighthawk R6700 — AC1750
- Upgrade pick: Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 Wi-Fi 6
- Best budget: Netgear R6080 — AC1000
- Best for gaming: Netgear Nighthawk XR500 gaming router
- Wi-Fi 6 gaming: Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000
- Best mesh network: Netgear Orbi RBK50 mesh Wi-Fi
- Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh: ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 mesh router
- Next-gen Wi-Fi 6: Netgear Nighthawk RAX120
Great for most homes: Netgear Nighthawk R6700 — AC1750Editor's pick
This AC1750 Wi-Fi 5 router has 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios to serve all your devices, and it has the performance to handle a standard household and family. Four LAN ports are available for your wired devices, and a USB-A 3.0 port can be used to connect external storage for easy sharing.
Upgrade pick: Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 Wi-Fi 6Staff pick
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 is a solid option if you want to spend a little more on your router to get even faster speeds and Wi-Fi 6 capability. This router has four LAN ports, a 5GHz radio, two USB 3.0 connections, MU-MIMO technology, and six Wi-Fi streams for faster performance.
Best budget: Netgear R6080 — AC1000
This Wi-Fi 5 router offers theoretical speeds up to 300Mbps and 700Mbps on 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios, ideal for smaller spaces and few users with light work. It includes four 100Mbps Ethernet ports on the back for wired devices, and two antennas will reach up to about 1,000 square feet.
Best for gaming: Netgear Nighthawk XR500 gaming router
This Wi-Fi 5 gaming router hits blistering AC2600 speeds across 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios, with tailored QoS to ensure your gaming PC or console receives the best speed. Four Gigabit LAN ports are included for wired devices, and four external antennas help boost range and reliability.
Wi-Fi 6 gaming: Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000
This AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 router is an absolutely killer option for gaming thanks to a 1.5GHz CPU, six streams, beamforming, MU-MIMO, and four LAN ports. DumaOS 3.0 is included for total control over your network, and four external antennas help boost range.
Best mesh network: Netgear Orbi RBK50 mesh Wi-Fi
Upgrading to mesh is excellent for large homes with many users. The Orbi and its satellite can cover up to 5,000 square feet and offers combined tri-band speeds up to AC3000. Dedicated backhaul and LAN ports offer mesh flexibility so you can get the exact setup you're looking for.
Best Wi-Fi 6 mesh: ASUS ZenWiFi XT8 mesh router
The ZenWiFi XT8 is simply the best mesh router option if you need a fast, low latency Wi-Fi 6 connection, and the ability to have a network span up to 5,500 square feet.
Next-gen Wi-Fi 6: Netgear Nighthawk RAX120
Thanks to Wi-Fi 6, this router offers four times the data capacity of 802.11ac tech. It has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios with combined speeds up to AX6000, ideal for large households with plenty of users. Connect all your devices (including wired devices thanks to five LAN ports) and see consistent speed, no matter the task.
Any of the above routers will deliver a steady stream on wireless internet. However, if you're still wondering exactly where to start, we suggest going with either the Nighthawk R6700 for the average household that doesn't need Wi-Fi 6 or advanced features, or the Nighthawk RAX50 if you're willing to spend a bit more for the future.
These are both great routers, though the latter will likely be better for people with many users in one home or building thanks to higher theoretical AX5400 speeds across 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios. But even if your house isn't packed with people all vying for streaming and gaming bandwidth, these routers should be sufficient and won't break the bank.
If you're interested in upgrading to Wi-Fi 6, something like Netgear's Nighthawk RAX120 makes a lot of sense. It's expensive, but it'll set you up for the future as more and more devices, like the HP Pavilion Aero 13 move to the latest standard. And if you'd like to combine Wi-Fi 6 and mesh networking, the Netgear Nighthawk MK62 is the way to go.
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