In today’s world, where everything is connected, being online is more important than ever. Almost every house is packed with connected devices such as phones, computers, TVs, and even refrigerators. To keep all these devices connected well three key factors should be kept in mind. Highest Coverage, Lowest Latency, Sufficient Bandwidth.
These are what will form the basis of our list for the best routers in 2020. Because it is essentially a router that will help you keep all this in check. So here are the Best Routers for your use case scenario.
1. Best Mesh Wi-Fi System
Netgear Orbi RBK50
There are a few options available in Mesh Network systems. Even fewer that work well. Netgear Orbi outshone every competitor in almost each of our tests. While most other Mesh kits required three nodes, our Standard Orbi Kit had just two nodes and still managed to outperform ahead of the others.
We put it first on our list because Mesh WiFi Kits are becoming more and more popular among medium to large households and even some office places. A single router is usually insufficient to cover the whole space and setting up multiple wireless networks is too much effort and trouble.
Mesh Systems step in here. Though they are a little more expensive, a host of features and benefits make up for that. Quick Setup, Intelligent Network Management, Advance Access Control are to name a few.
Netgear Orbi Kit is competitively priced for this segment at $270. We absolutely love it for the great performance. The larger size of nodes enables it to pack bigger and better quality antennas. It is also bundled with a four-port switch which is more than what almost every other Mesh Kit currently offers.
2. Best Wi-Fi Router for Most Households
Asus RT-AC68U AC1900
If you are not in need of a sophisticated router kit like the Mesh and are just looking for a traditional router for your household we have a couple of suggestions for you. The Asus RT-AC68U is a strong performer and comes with a price tag of $135.
The Asus RT-AC68U looks sleek and subtle while still packing three removable antenna setup to offer a wide range. This dual-band AC1900 router manages to cover a large space while managing a great bandwidth. AC 3×3 technology allows for combined speeds up to 1900 Mbps. On the IO side of things, it includes four gigabit LAN and one WAN port along with three USB ports offering up to USB 3.0 support.
Asus offers a robust mobile app and web-based utility to manage the network. It includes quick setup, parental controls, wireless traffic management, guest SSID, dual-WAN support, VPN, QoS, and other security settings. It is also a Mesh ready router but we’d recommend a dedicated Mesh kit if you want to go there.
Another great recommendation will be Synology RT2600ac. Though towards the higher end of the price spectrum, it offers an upgraded processor and a lot of advanced network tools that are useful for thoughtful tinkerers. If you want a router for a household then this one is the best router 2020 for that purpose.
3. Best for Enthusiasts / Prosumers
Ubiquiti UniFi AC Pro Wireless Access Point
There is an ever-present gap between consumer and enterprise solutions. Many users are stuck in the middle. A regular router is just not enough and most other enterprise solutions require too many resources and aren’t worth it. For those in this dilemma, we got you! Ubiquiti with its UniFi AC Pro steps in to fill in this gap. This is an Access Point for those who are just not satisfied by the traditional home routers and want a high-quality robust network.
Looking at the price tag of $130, one usually forgets that this is just an Access Point. So you will need to get an additional Router and Switch which combined will cost you under $80. You’ll also need a PoE Injector since there isn’t a dedicated power output. So before you dive into the Ubiquiti UniFi AC Pro, be ready for this slight complexity.
But once set up, you will get a seamless transition between the APs and reliable operations even with dozens of devices connected. One major prerequisite is some basic understanding of networking skills to set up the UniFi. But once set up, it will be well worth it.
4. Best Gaming Router
Someone asked us to describe the Asus RT-AX88U in one word. “Overkill” is how we put it. If you are looking for superfast speeds, this router won’t disappoint. It was one of the first WiFi 6 ready routers to hit the shelves. But the backward compatibility is strong and all no devices will suffer any performance issues. It is one of the best routers 2020 for gaming purposes.
Gaming Router is perhaps the most unique category of all the routers. A great gaming experience almost always demands the least latency and is less reliant on bandwidth. So these routers are built keeping that in mind. Asus RT-AX88U is a Quad Antenna $300 router that leaves no stone unturned to give you the best experience you could expect. It comes packed with a ton of useful features to fine-tune the performance. A 1024-QAM system allows for four times the throughput while the 4×4 MU-MIMO architecture bundled with as many as 8 LAN ports allow for many clients to be connected at once. Asus has also added some stunning features like Link Aggregation to combine multiple ethernet ports into a single connection or Mesh Readiness with AiMesh. Name it, you’ve got it!
5. Best Budget Router
Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750
To conclude our list of The Best Routers in 2020, we bring in the balancing choice. Netgear’s R6700 Nighthawk is an affordable option that gets the job done. It lacks many advanced options that other expensive options offer. But at a price less than $80, can we really complain?
There are other cheaper options than the R6700, but they bring more troubles to the table than the savings are worth. This router packs the required security features, updates, and has a decent performance. There really isn’t much to say about it except that if you are on a budget and want something simple, this is the option that will get the job done!