Best Buy Wireless Router Reviews !!EXCLUSIVE!!
A new router is among the best upgrades you can purchase for your home. The router you buy will determine the network speeds of every device you own, from smartphones to game consoles and computers. A cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 (sometimes seen as 802.11ax) router can deliver speeds many times faster than older Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) routers.
best buy wireless router reviews
But which should you buy? I spent dozens of hours sorting through the hundreds of routers available, testing numerous models first-hand. I judged these routers not only by their Wi-Fi performance but also their ease of setup and use.
This led to a clear result: TP-Link's Archer AX73 is the best router for most people. Its Wi-Fi performance is close to the quickest routers I've handled, yet it's affordably priced, easy to set up, and doesn't take up too much space on a desk or shelf. I have also selected several alternatives including budget-priced, mesh, and gaming routers.
My tests show the Archer AX73, which supports Wi-Fi 6 and quotes a maximum wireless bandwidth of 5,400 Megabits per second (Mbps), is nearly as fast as high-end routers, like the and Linksys EA9500, Netgear Nighthawk RAX200, and TP-Link AX6600. When near the router, I see sustained real-world speeds of up to 682Mbps, which drops to 106Mbps in a detached home office. The AX73 was no more than 20% slower than top performers across my tests.
The AX73 comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with an inbound Gigabit Ethernet wide-area network (WAN) port, and has a single USB 3.0 port for connecting a storage device directly to the router. At this price, I would like support for faster WAN speeds, such as 2.5Gbps or 10Gbps Ethernet. This isn't a concern for most owners, however, as few people have access to internet service that exceeds Gigabit performance.
The AX73 is exceptionally easy to set up and use. The company's Tether app, which is used to set up and control most TP-Link routers, is among my favorites in the industry. The app is not required, however: TP-Link also offers a great web interface that can be accessed through a PC or Mac's web browser.
I like the look and size of the AX73. It's fairly conventional and, while larger than less expensive models, still reasonably easy to place on a shelf or desk. Other, faster routers take up more space and stick out more in a room.
The TP-Link Archer AX50 is an outstanding Wi-Fi router that effectively makes every other budget Wi-Fi router obsolete. You can buy a router for less, but the sacrifice you'll make in performance isn't worth the savings.
However, the AX50's performance remains respectable at range. It handled our two most demanding test scenarios (a living room chair on the opposite side of the house and a detached office) just as well as the more expensive AX73. This budget router also beats budget mesh systems like Google's Nest Wi-Fi.
The AX50 connects to the same intuitive, approachable Tether app used to set up other TP-Link routers. Router setup takes less than five minutes. Power users can still rely on an in-depth web interface accessible through a PC or Mac's web browser. It also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a single inbound Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, which is typical of most modern Wi-Fi routers.
Netgear's Nighthawk RAXE500 is perfect for those seeking extreme performance from a conventional Wi-Fi router. It delivers incredible Wi-Fi speeds over the new Wi-Fi 6E wireless standard.
Performance holds up at range, as well. I saw speeds up to 100Mbps in a detached office 50 feet and many walls away from the router. That's not as quick as the Linksys Atlas 6E mesh router featured below, but high enough to feel fast and reliable.
Like most routers, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is easy to set up through the company's Nighthawk mobile app. It includes the company's Armor security, which provides notifications when new devices are connected or suspicious network activity occurs. The Nighthawk app was easy to use and felt quick in my testing. You can also control the router through a web browser.
The RAXE500 is a very large router. You might have trouble finding a place to position it. Given it size, the router's inclusion of just four Gigabit LAN ports is surprising. There's room for more. The router also has a 2.5G LAN port and two USB-A 3.0 ports.
Netgear's Nighthawk RAXE500 is expensive but justifies its price by providing a flagship experience. It's ideal for mid-sized homes that can place a router in a central location. At close range, it can deliver performance in league with the Linksys Atlas Max 6E mesh system at a lower price.
Mesh systems often promise outstanding performance, but don't always deliver. Linksys's Atlas Max 6E is an exception. This mesh system demolished other routers to become the fastest mesh router I have ever used.
Performance is outstanding while close to the primary access point, hitting an average of 753Mbps in our benchmark. What impresses me most, though, is the Atlas Max 6E's fast download and upload speeds across all test scenarios. There's even more performance available. This is a Wi-Fi 6E router, which means it has a 6GHz band available for even higher speeds on compatible devices.
Wired connectivity is strong as well. Each access point has one 5G Gigabit WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports, plus a USB-A port for attaching peripherals to the network. This means you can use any of the mesh system's access points as the primary router. The wired ports will not work on the additional access points, however.
The real problem is the price: at least $800 for two routers or $1,200 for three. This is a high price for any router. However, it's in line with the price of competing routers with Wi-Fi 6E support.
Starting at $300 for a router and secondary node point (and often on sale for much less), you can purchase a three-point Nest Wifi system for significantly less than more capable mesh routers from Linksys or Netgear.
Google's Home app is used to set up and control the Nest Wifi router and any connected access points. This is appealing if you use Google Home to control other smart home devices, like smart lights or a Chromecast. Nest Wifi access points also double as Google Home smart speakers.
I tested real-world router performance using a file transfer test and the Ookla Speedtest app. To keep the testing objective, all benchmarks are carried out on an Apple iPhone 12 Mini using the same files and app.
All testing was conducted while the home network was free from other traffic. The routers were connected to a modem providing Gigabit internet service. To ensure the internet service provider was not a bottleneck, I verified its speed with a desktop connected to the modem. The ISP provided network speeds of 930Mbps on average.
5G: The term "5G" is used by routers to either describe a 5 Gigabit Ethernet port or, in some cases, a wireless router's 5GHz band. It has nothing to do with 5G cellular connectivity found in smartphones.
Ethernet: Ethernet is the tried-and-true standard for wired internet connectivity. All routers have at least one Ethernet WAN port that accepts an incoming connection from your internet modem. Most routers also have Ethernet LAN ports that can be used to connect wired devices.
LAN: This acronym stands for Local Area Network and, for routers, describes the Ethernet LAN ports used to connect wired devices. LAN ports can connect devices on your local network but can't connect directly to your internet modem (unless they are dual-purpose WAN/LAN ports).
Mesh: A mesh router system uses multiple access points to create a blanket of Wi-Fi coverage over a wide area. Devices connected to a mesh system will automatically connect to the mesh router or access point that provides the best Wi-Fi signal.
A good router is essential for daily life, whether you're streaming movies in 4K or want to look your best during your Zoom meetings. Our picks are discounted pretty regularly throughout the year, but especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday; TP-Link routers, for example, are usually available for $20 less than retail.
We're already seeing some impressive deals, like $200 off Linksys's Atlas Max AXE8400 Tri-Band Mesh Wifi 6E System at Best Buy. We rounded up mesh routers, budget routers, and more at different prices for your budget below.
You want to make sure that your Wi-Fi extender is speedy enough to give you the kind of solid connection you need. That means at least a wireless standard of 802.11ac, the default on most current routers. And, if you want to future-proof, consider one with Wi-Fi 6, the successor to 802.11ac that is slowly taking over.
Wi-Fi extenders, also known as Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters, are largely the same thing under a different name. If you have areas of your home where your current wireless internet cannot reach, they're the perfect piece of kit to boost your existing signal.
Naming conventions appear to be a branding decision, but there are a few different ways that Wi-Fi extenders work. The most common is that your booster or extender houses two wireless routers, much like the wireless router you already have at home, or in your place of work. One of these wireless routers picks up the existing Wi-Fi network and then passes that to the secondary router which transmits the boosted signal.
Getting a newer wireless router is a must in that case since the connection itself will only improve with a better device at the heart of your network. Upgrading the router to a newer one that can handle more devices or has Wi-Fi 6 support will also be the better way to go if you have a slow connection.
The best Wi-Fi extenders boosts your router's signal in order to extend its reach and give you better Wi-Fi coverage. One of these range extenders can be a cost-effective network solution if you're dealing with poor network coverage or dead spots in certain areas of your home or office. 041b061a72