The 7 Best Wi-Fi Routers for Long Range and Reliability
Is your Wi-Fi spotty and slow? Do you wish you could get wireless reception in every room in your house, or even outdoors? Then you may need a new router.
While interference can cause issues, poor wireless performance is often down to your router. This is especially true if you’re using the basic router provided by your ISP. Upgrading to a long range router might solve your Wi-Fi problems.
Here are the best wireless routers to improve your home network.
The Linksys AC2200 is a tri-band long range wireless router that promises 2,000 sq. ft. of Wi-Fi coverage. The router can support over 20 simultaneous wireless connections, with MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology to maintain speed across the network.
With one 2.4GHz band for older devices, and two 5GHz bands offering combined speeds of up to 2.2Gbps on supported devices, the AC2200 allows you to stream 4K content across the network. Linksys’ Airtime Fairness feature is designed to ensure a fair distribution of bandwidth across the network.
Also Consider: Linksys AC5400, a beefier version of the AC2200 that promises 3,000 sq. ft. of wireless coverage and over 25 simultaneous Wi-Fi connections. It’s also considerably more expensive.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX3000 has a sleek and unique design, as do many of the routers on this list. The router is powered by a dual-core processor to deliver four simultaneous streams. That means you can connect up to 16 wireless devices to the access point without performance issues.
Netgear doesn’t specify a wireless range either on the Amazon listing or its product page, but instead recommends the AX3000 for “medium to large homes.” We’d interpret that as around 2,000 sq. ft.—however, your mileage may vary.
It’s fully Wi-Fi 6 compliant, which means up to one gigabit wireless speeds on supported devices, and backward compatibility with just about everything else. The AX3000 promises smooth 4K local streaming, plus there are five gigabit ethernet ports for wired connections too. Depending on your needs, it may be the best long range router for your home.
Also Consider: Netgear Nighthawk AX6000, a pricier, more capable version of the AX3000 with eight wireless streams, quad-core processor, and a single two-gigabit ethernet port.
The TP-Link AC5400 is a tri-band gaming router with a distinctive, arachnid aesthetic. Eight antennas help deliver extended wireless range with beamforming technology to maximize reach. TP-Link doesn’t specify a specific range but refers to “medium-sized offices and public cafes” on its product page.
The AC5400 has four separate wireless streams with MU-MIMO technology, allowing the router to serve up to four devices at once. This is all made possible by the onboard 1.4GHz dual-core processor.
Since this is a tri-band router, there’s a standard 2.4GHz band for older devices, and two 5GHz bands for faster network performance, gaming, 4K streaming, and fast file transfers.
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are a little different to your average wireless router, with the Netgear Orbi being one of the most awarded products of its kind. Mesh routers are built with two things in mind; Wi-Fi coverage and usability.
This ultra-performance Orbi system comes with a router and one satellite for a total coverage of 5,000 sq. ft. The Orbi is set up using an app on your phone, which means no browser-based admin panels, and easy access to features like parental controls. The device even comes with antivirus protection, a firewall, and the ability to block known malicious sites.
This mesh router system provides three bands; one 2.4GHz, and two 5GHz to accommodate older and newer devices. If you find that this setup doesn’t quite provide the coverage required you can upgrade it by purchasing and installing another Orbi satellite. You can have a total of one router and three satellites within the system.
By far the cheapest way to extend your current wireless coverage is to purchase a range extender. The Netgear EX3700 is a great budget option that adds an additional 1000 sq. ft. of range to your network.
The compact design plugs into a wall socket and provides dual-band speeds of up to 750Mbps. It works with any existing wireless router, not just Netgear-branded products. The extender can handle up to 15 devices at one time, though you shouldn’t expect the high-end performance of a dedicated router.
In addition to extending the Wi-Fi range, the EX3700 provides a single megabit ethernet port for connecting wired devices. If your existing network hardware is working just fine, the EX3700 is an inexpensive solution to poor wireless coverage.
At the other end of the scale is the Netgear EX8000, which the company regards as its ultimate range extender. This tri-band extender provides a single 2.4GHz and two 5GHz bands with auto-switching for seamless roaming. The EX8000 is compatible with any brand of wireless router.
With this extender, you can increase your wireless range to 2500 sq. ft. and support 50 simultaneous devices. Speeds of up to 3000Mbps are possible on supported devices, which is enough to stream 4K content. There are also four gigabit ethernet ports for connecting wired devices.
The EX8000 is probably overkill for most households. It doesn’t just plug into a wall socket, it’s a router-sized unit that you’ll need to find space for. But if only the best range extender will do, look no further.
Another option to improve your network, is to drop your wireless connection, and opting for a powerline ethernet. The TP-Link AV2000 provides two gigabit ethernet ports that make use of the existing powerlines in your walls.
Each adapter connects directly to a power outlet, with pass-through so you can still connect another device. The system is plug and play, so there’s no complicated setup. Just connect one end to your router, and the other end to your console, computer, or whatever else you’re trying to network.
The AV2000 is HomePlug AV2 compliant, which means it’s certified for 4K streaming and gaming. The network is also encrypted end-to-end with 128-bit AES. Finally, the smart power-saving feature detects when the network is in use, reducing power consumption by 85 percent during quiet periods.
The Best Wi-Fi Router for Long Range
Modern routers and range extenders can certainly help resolve Wi-Fi woes, but all too often there’s a cheaper solution. By learning to identify and resolve problems with your wireless network, you’ll have a faster and more stable network regardless of how old your equipment is.