Best Wi-Fi Routers Windows Central 2020

Between PCs, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, streaming devices, and IoT gadgets, home networks have more connected devices than ever before. Choosing a router that can handle your usage is key to keeping everything connected and running smoothly. No one likes bad Wi-Fi, so here are the best routers available now, from top-of-the-line powerhouses to budget-friendly picks.

Ultimate Performance: Linksys EA9500 Max Stream

Staff favorite

The Linksys EA9500, one of the best routers for streaming, has three bands to better accommodate more high-bandwidth devices. It reaches theoretical speeds up to 2,166Mbps on each 5GHz radio and up to 1,000Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio. Eight LAN ports can connect all of your devices.

$280 at Amazon

Best Budget: TP-Link Archer A7

The dual-band Archer A7 is a solid pick for the average home, and it comes at a great price. It can reach combined theoretical speeds of 1,750Mbps across the 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios, and three antennas provide a good range. Four LAN ports on the back let you connect wired devices, and this router has Amazon Alexa support baked right in.

$58 at Amazon

Next-Gen Wi-Fi: Netgear Nighthawk AX8

The Nighthawk AX8 is your ticket to incredible wireless speeds through Wi-Fi 6. Combined theoretical speeds across both radios can hit a whopping 6Gbps, and eight streams allow for quality connections to more devices. If you're looking to future-proof your wireless network for the next few years, this is a good choice.

$350 at Amazon

Best Gaming: Linksys WRT32XB

Whether it's used for console or PC gaming, the Linksys WRT32XB uses specialized software to eliminate latency. Theoretical speeds across both bands reach 3.2Gbps, and four LAN ports on the back let you connect wired hardware. This is also an excellent router for streaming and general connectivity.

$179 at Amazon

Best Features: Synology RT2600ac

The dual-band Synology RT2600ac brings combined theoretical speeds up to 2.5Gbps across both radios, as well as four LAN ports for connecting wired hardware. It includes a built-in VPN tool, add-ons for easy creation of a multimedia server, and powerful Quality of Life (QoL) tools for monitoring traffic and prioritizing bandwidth to important devices.

$179 at Amazon

Best Mesh: Eero

Amazon's eero mesh Wi-Fi system can be had in single nodes or three-packs, the latter best for large spaces. Setup is a breeze, and you can go with wired backhaul for maximum performance. 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios work together to offer seamless internet no matter where you go in your house.

From $99 at Amazon

High Performance: Netgear Nighthawk X10

The Nighthawk X10 is a high-performance router ready to handle your gaming, streaming, and media server ambitions. Its tri-band performance hits combined theoretical speeds up to 7.2Gbps across 2.4Ghz and two 5Ghz radios. It's packed with powerful hardware for easy QoL management, and six LAN ports (two with link aggregation) make it easy to connect and stream from external storage.

$390 at Amazon

Budget Gaming: D-Link EXO DIR-879

The D-Link EXO DIR-879 is a cost-effective router if you have gaming in mind. It delivers solid range and throughput from four antennas, with theoretical speeds up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz radio and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz radio. Four LAN ports on the back let you hook up wired devices for better performance.

$67 at Amazon

Splurge Option: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 can handle a huge traffic load with ease, thanks to dual 5GHz radios and a 2.4GHz radio. Expect combined theoretical speeds up to 5.3Gbps and enjoy plenty of extra features, including built-in VPN support and 4x4 MU-MIMO. This is a router designed for high-performance gaming, but it'll also handle streaming and your general devices.

$294 at Amazon

If we're making some suggestions

There are hundreds of good routers on the market, including mesh systems with far better coverage than traditional routers. While this is not a comprehensive list of every great Wi-Fi router out there, all of these routers are outstanding performers that can serve any home network well. Our pick, based on all-around performance for gaming, streaming, and range is the Linksys EA9500 Max Stream. It's perfect for networks that get a lot of use because its dual 5GHz radios and eight Gigabit Ethernet ports support plenty of connected devices, while its 5.3Gbps max speeds ensure uninterrupted 4K streaming and online gaming.

The TP-Link Archer A7 is a more sensible option for the vast majority of people who don't need a top-shelf router, as it costs hundreds less than the EA9500 Max Stream. If you have a smaller home or don't have a ton of internet-connected devices, it offers solid dual-band performance.

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