If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re using either a data connection or your current internet router. Yet have you given much thought to what you can get from an internet router? You might be using a standard model or one sent by your cable company now, but there are many excellent options made to provide more connections, more consistent connections, and a faster internet speed that won’t limit the full capability of your service plan. In short, you should consider getting an upgrade, and we’ve found the best options for you.
Yet while you might be looking for “the best” internet router, we instead would like to emphasize that different people and different families will have different needs and expectations from their routers, and as such will find that different routers are best for them.
That being noted, here are our top five internet routers for 2020:
1) D-Link AC1900 DIR-878
For our first selection on this list, we wanted to select a router that’s not only effective but easier to install and use while remaining affordable at about \$120. Not everyone needs the top option for a modest space, and the D-Link DIR-878 can serve as a perfect all-around router for the needs of the average home.
This dual-band router uses four antennas to maximize the speed available to users: 4 Gigabit for a wired local area network and 1 Gigabit for a wireless area network. This means that if you have the right service, this router can provide multiple users with 4k streaming capability and a seamless gaming experience.
The device is easy to install and manage when compared with some more complicated routers.
Four local area network ports to maximize speeds for multiple devices in the households with ethernet cables.
An affordable price for the features provided, allowing one to recoup the costs of renting a device from an ISP within the lifetime of the device.
There is no USB connectivity or ports, making interfacing with some devices more difficult.
While the WiFi capabilities were good for most purposes, there are still better options on the market for those needing maximum wireless download speeds.
The average household that is looking for performance from a router that won’t cost more than some of the devices that use it.
Someone who is looking for an easy-to-use and adjust router, who doesn’t need a bloated load of niche features.
2) TP-Link Archer A20
A bit of a more expensive model that currently ranges in price from \$180-200, the TP-Link Archer A20 doesn’t necessarily offer anything innovative, but instead it offers a solid package at an average price that will fit the needs of your lively and connected home.
The most notable aspect (and perhaps the main selling point) of the TP-Link Archer A20 we would like to point out is the fact that it is a tri-band router. It broadcasts a 2.4 GHz band (which is better for longer ranges but doesn’t provide as fast a connection) and two 5GHz bands (shorter range, but much faster) so that you’ll have the best access wherever you are around your home. These multiple channels also make it easier for households with multiple devices to keep running smoothly.
A USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port for easy access to certain connected drives and devices.
Extra features such as voice control, parental controls, and anti-malware tools that may give it extra utility to certain households.
Three bands which give the network more versatility than what most standard routers provide.
It may appear to be unwieldy or not too aesthetically pleasing to some, especially if you plan to put it in a prominent location where it will stand out.
Speeds are still not as fast overall as some of the top options on the market. Additionally, it still cannot beat mesh routing for complicated, large homes with many obstacles obfuscating the signal.
Families or areas that get a lot of traffic from multiple devices and could best take advantage of the multiple channels.
A household that is large enough to need a router that can provide a wide network area, but not to the degree a mesh network would cover.
3) ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
With a science-fiction aesthetic and technology driving it to lend that appearance credence, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is, to put it mildly, a beast of a router. Using newer WiFi 6 technology to create its connection, this router is, when compared to the other options on the market, on the cutting edge for standard setups.
While it is extremely expensive (about \$340) for a router to the degree that the average user shouldn’t even give this a second thought, it is a nice option if you’re looking to future-proof your setup, and gamers looking for the most serious hardware available to them can end their search there. Certain professional setups that use far above the average bandwidth regularly might also see this router as a worthwhile investment.
Enough LAN ports (4) to meet most needs, in addition to two USB 3.1 ports. There is also a 2.5G LAN port.
Excellent UI, hardware, and an overall package.
One of the fastest routers on the market by most metrics, if not the fastest router commonly available.
Profoundly expensive when compared to what most homes need, and perhaps overpowered for all but the most serious of gamers and households.
WiFi 6 is not commonly used by most devices yet, so you may not be able to make the most of the technology at this current time.
Professionals who use the best internet services available on the market and need a router that can use their full potential.
Gamers looking for a router that will never fail them.
4) Google Nest WiFi
A different setup than any other router listed here, Google Nest WiFi, as the title suggests, uses a nest structure made of multiple points and a router to provide maximum coverage to your apartment or home. You may also confuse it at first with Google WiFi, but this is a bit of a more advanced product with greater coverage when properly placed.
From the setup, you can expect speeds of 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. From the 5GHz band, you can expect speeds of 1,733 Mbps, which is more than enough for any streaming (or other) needs. It will use automatic band steering to help your devices always find the best possible performance.
A small router and points, making it easy to place around the home. On a complimentary level, setup is generally easy and can be done from an app (Google Home) that also can control other functions.
Generally above-average speeds at a distance, especially when compared to other routers. Coverage is customizable based on how many points you get and is superior to most options.
As there are no USB ports and it can be difficult to change more advanced settings, we wouldn’t consider Google Nest to be the most user-friendly experience.
Larger households and apartments mean more points are required, which can get expensive rather quickly. Prices start at about \$160 for just the router.
Very large households that want to be able to access fast internet throughout their home.
Households that use many different Google services already and would like more synergy throughout their home.
People who aren’t afraid to pay a bit more for reliability, simplicity, and integration.
5) Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750
Our last choice, but certainly not the least, the Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 is a great and affordable (at only \$70, it is the cheapest of our top choices). Using both a 5GHz band that can reach rates of 1300 mbps and a 2.4GHz band that can reach 600mbps, we find that this router might be all you need if you find yourself limited by your connection options but still want to own a router yourself.
With parental control features, plenty of LAN ports for a standard household (and a USB port), and a noteworthy range, we consider the Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 to be the standard-bearer for budget options in the year 2020.
Superior range and speed when compared to other routers at the same price point.
A basic and easy-to-use router that provides the user with plenty of status information
This is a very large router and will likely require some planning to properly place in your home.
Software that isn’t up to the par set by our other selections. This router may feel outdated sooner than its competitors.
Anyone looking for an effective budget router that will still be a great choice for the average person.
Someone who is looking for a router that can easily replace the one they’re getting from an ISP.
Finding a router for your home or apartment can be a tough choice, especially given the number of options available to people. Yet you deserve either an upgrade or to not have to pay monthly fees to your service provider for equipment rental anymore, so taking a few minutes to go over our top picks listed above is well worth the effort. We hope you get the speed, coverage, and utility you’re looking for from whatever your final choice is.