Imagine that you’re sitting at home watching Stranger Things on Netflix, when all of a sudden the action immediately stops and that annoying buffering icon shows up in the middle of the screen. We’ve all been there. It sucks. If this is something that happens to you on a regular basis, it might just be time to upgrade to one of the best routers. You could just fork over more cash every month and get a better internet plan, but that’s not always the smartest move – the first thing you should consider is getting your hands on one of the best routers on the market, then you can see whether your own hardware is the bottleneck.
We get it, though: you looked for a router on Amazon, but there were just so many to choose from that you had no idea which ones were good, and which ones will die within the first month. So how do you pick one out? Well, here at TechRadar, we’ve put our expertise to use to create a list of the best routers you can buy today, and if you stick with our recommendations, you should be just fine. Plus, every router here has been extensively tested or reviewed by the TechRadar editorial staff, so you can be confident that every single router here deserves its spot.
1. Google Wifi
The future of wireless networking gets affordable
Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 101.41 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 47.53 Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports per Wifi point (1 WAN and 1 LAN port each) | Features: AC1200 2 x 2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi, TX beamforming, Bluetooth Smart ready
Super simple setup
Limited hardware control
Lower AC rating
With Google Wifi, you can finally say goodbye to the days when the only way to achieve true wireless freedom throughout the house was with a bunch of outlet-bound range extenders. It’s become clear that Google Wifi, and systems like it, truly are the future of wireless routers. The premise of Google Wifi is simple – you buy a set of points and place them around your house. Then all you have to do is scan a QR code, and voilà! They’re all set up.
Read the full review: Google Wifi
2. Netgear Orbi
Wireless coverage that’s high-end, almost to a fault
Speed: 802.11ac 5GHz down: 90.14 Mbps, 2.4GHz down: 93.69 Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN + 3 LAN for Router, 4 LAN for Satellite), 1 x USB 2.0 port | Features: 4GB flash memory, 512MB RAM, AC3000, MU-MIMO ready
Finicky Wi-Fi band settings
Unlike Google Wi-Fi, the Netgear Orbi wireless mesh system ships with two units rather than three: a router and a satellite, much like a cell phone signal booster. It’s expensive, but once you get past the price, you’ll see that the price tag is justified. Its simple setup, requiring little more than being plugged into a modem and a spare wall adaptor, makes the Orbi accessible to say the least. Add that to its stately performance and you’ll see why we love it so much.
Read full review: Netgear Orbi
3. Billion BiPac 8900AX-2400
A highfalutin router that doubles as a modem
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,400Mbps 802.11n: 2,400Mbps | Connectivity: 1 x DSL port, 4 x 1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 x EWAN Ethernet port, 1 x USB 2.0 | Features: Built-in ADSL2+ modem, 1 x 2.4GHz; 1 x 5Ghz bands, LED status lights, reset button, power button
ADSL2+ modem included
Only USB 2.0
Billion is back at it again, this time with the fastest router it’s ever produced. Exhibiting a throughput of 2,400Mbps over both a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, the BiPac 8900AX-2400 isn’t conventionally attractive by society’s standards, but it is immensely capable. In lieu of a shabby interface, this router dons a wide range of ports for added storage down the line in addition to integrating a state of the art ADSL2+ modem.
Read the full review:
- This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and AU readers: check out a comparable alternative in the .
4. Starry Station
Wi-Fi made easy (and attractive)
Speed: 802.11ac: 1,300Mbps 802.11n: 450Mbps | Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit LAN port | Features: Dual-band Wi-Fi technology, 3.8-inch LCD touchscreen, embedded speaker/microphone
Elegant, simple interface
Touchscreen offers info and control
May need to rewire source
Gets noticeably loud
For those of us clinging to (presumably leased) routers supplied to us by our ISPs, the Starry Station makes Wi-Fi easier without handing over your clean money month after month to a greedy conglomerate. Not only is it fast, bearing download speeds that are typically around the same as a Verizon FiOS stock router, but the Starry Station is stylish enough where you won’t have to tuck it away in a cabinet that will inevitably obstruct its signal. What’s more, it manages to avert those pesky numerical gateways that no one wants to memorize.
Read the full review: Starry Station
- This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the .
5. Synology RT2600ac
NAS or router – why don’t…