These days, everything from watching TV, making calls, adjusting your furnace, and changing the color of your lights is handled over Wi-Fi alongside your usual PC traffic, so choosing the wrong router can spell plenty of frustration. For heavy users, there are powerful options like the Linksys EA9500 Max Stream, while average users can get by with a budget TP-Link Archer A7. No matter your usage scenario, here are the best routers available now.

Ultimate performance

Linksys EA9500 Max Stream

With the Linksys EA9500 Max Stream, you get three bands of Wi-Fi, 4 x 4 MU-MIMO, and a ton of ports to connect your wired devices. A 2.4 GHz band with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps is perfect for older devices, and two 5 GHz bands at up to 2,166 Mbps support 4K streaming and seamless online gaming. Eight Ethernet ports let you connect plenty of wired devices.

$350 at Amazon

Best budget

TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link's Archer A7 has two Wi-Fi bands, one 2.4 GHz at 450 Mbps for 802.11a/b/g/n devices and one 5 GHz at 1,300 Mbps for 802.11ac devices. A USB-A ports on the back of the router allow you to connect external storage for media sharing across all devices in your home, and it includes Amazon Alexa integration.

$70 at Amazon

Money no object

Netgear Nighthawk X10

NETGEAR's Nighthawk X10 features the 802.11ad wireless standard with a 60 GHz spectrum for better speed on more devices at once, especially when streaming. A quad-core processor keeps things humming along smoothly with multiple devices connected, there are 10 Ethernet ports on the back, and MU-MIMO capabilities help deliver uninterrupted data to your compatible devices.

$450 at Amazon

Best gaming

Linksys WRT32X

The Linksys WRT32X's 2.4GHz band offers speeds up to 600 Mbps, and the 5 GHz band up to 2,600 Mbps, and 3 x 3 MU-MIMO ensures your most important devices are receiving an uninterrupted signal. The real kicker here is the Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE), which automatically detects which devices in the area are using a Killer wireless card with the necessary software.

$174 at Amazon

Best range

Netgear Nighthawk R7000P

The NETGEAR R7000P Nighthawk is the updated version of the R7000, now offering slightly higher speeds in its 5 GHz band and a bit better range. The 2.4 GHz band offers speeds up to 600 Mbps for 802.11a/b/g/n devices, and the 5 GHz band offers speeds up to 1,625 Mbps for 802.11ac devices. Bandwidth is automatically prioritized to deliver lag-free gaming and video streaming, and four Ethernet ports provide access for plenty of wired connections.

$170 at Amazon

Best features

Synology RT2600AC

The Synology RT2600AC is a speedy router with a ton of extra features that can be added from Synology's Package Center. Set up a multimedia server, set up a VPN, or set up P2P file sharing straight from the router. Besides the extra features, you're getting dual-band performance (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), 4 x 4 MU-MIMO, and four Ethernet ports on the back for connecting your wired devices.

$200 at Amazon

If we're making some suggestions

All of the above routers no doubt have an audience based on the specific needs of a home network, and there's quite a bit of range in price to help with different budgets. If we're picking a router based on the best all-around performance for gaming, streaming, and handling plenty of devices at range, the Linksys EA9500 Max Stream is it. If you don't have a large home or you don't need dual 5 GHz radios for connecting plenty of devices, the TP-Link Archer A7 no doubt makes a lot more sense. It costs hundreds less than the EA9500 Max Stream, but it still has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios, Ethernet and USB ports on the back, and offers decent range that will cover the average home in a Wi-Fi signal.

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