Spectrum is a multimedia TV, phone, and Internet service provider (ISP.) It offers a variety of broadband speeds and throws in a compatible modem free of charge, but without a router, you'll have no access to Wi-Fi. You can pay a $5 monthly fee to rent one from Spectrum, or you are welcome to install your own. Our roundup of the best routers for Spectrum spans a range of budgets, and the units are yours to keep forever, compatible with other ISPs should you switch.
Best for most people
The affordable A7 supports wireless networking up to 2,500 sq. ft. and uses the same dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard as the Xbox Series X|S. Suitable for up to 50 wireless devices and sporting 4x Gigabit LAN ports for wired Ethernet, making it the simplest solution for most Spectrum users.
Best for smaller homes
Covering up to 1,400 sq. ft. with a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 signal, the EA7300 supports 10x wireless devices and 4x wired via Gigabit LAN ports, plus a USB 3.0 port helps share printers. Suitable for smaller households or apartments, it's an affordable replacement for the Spectrum fee.
Best for large homes
Expanding up to a whopping 3,000 sq. ft. of coverage with its modern Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard, the RT-58U supports up to 30x wireless devices and features 4x Gigabit LAN ports for Ethernet alongside USB 3.1 for network-attached extras.
Best for gamers
Any gamers signing up for Spectrum to enjoy high-speed online multiplayer, the ROG Rapture gaming router features device priority with a dedicated gaming LAN port and support for easy port forwarding and open NAT.
Best for mesh Wi-Fi
For homes with thick foundations or other causes for wireless dead zones, the Deco X55 mesh system provides reliable Wi-Fi 6 connectivity in every room. The 3-pack covers up to 6,500 sq. ft. with 3x Gigabit Ethernet ports on each for wired devices, including desktop PCs.
Best for Wi-Fi 6E
The latest cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E standard features a wealth of improvements to wireless connectivity, all built-in to the tri-band Archer AXE75, including a dedicated 6GHz band. 4x Gigabit LAN ports connect wired devices to your high-speed, ultra-modern network.
Avoid the Spectrum monthly router rental fee
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Spectrum offers Internet connectivity up to 1Gbps, and its modems are included free of charge, so you can save money by passing on combination modem-router units. Still, you'll need a router to connect your devices around the home, preferably without paying the monthly rental fee from Spectrum. Our best overall choice in the TP-Link Archer A7 covers you for any ISP and features an impressive feature set for an affordable price.
For large homes that need reliable Internet in every room, you can pick up the ASUS RT-AX58U to cover up to 3,000 sq. ft. via a single unit or up to 6,500 sq. ft. with the fantastic TP-Link Deco X55. Any of my choices are compatible with multiple ISPs, perfect since Spectrum has ditched annual contracts, and the $5 monthly fee would soon match the cost of the best budget routers (opens in new tab) available today.
Consider your needs for wireless range and the number of devices to connect to help you decide which model to buy, knowing that practically any router is an investment, thanks to their versatility when paired with any compatible modem.
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Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or share opinions.
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