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Which Wireless Router Brands Are Best? 5 Top Brands to Consider

Gavin Phillips Updated 14-07-2020

Shopping for a new wireless router isn’t fun. A new wireless router isn’t something you shop for every day. But when you do, there are a lot of important wireless router features to consider.

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You want a wireless router that will last and is of reasonable build quality. Of course, it should also use the latest Wi-Fi technology to provide blazing fast internet speeds.

So, what are the best router brands? And which router brands should you avoid at all costs?

What Makes a Good Router Brand?

A great router from a brand doesn’t necessarily need to be advanced. We are not talking about individual router models or the features that make one router better than the alternative.

The following article discusses the overall quality across all of their offerings. Here is what we mean by a good brand.

  • Price and value: Do you get what you pay for? Do you get more than what you paid for? Are the routers priced competitively, and are the prices in line with the features offered?
  • Quality and reliability: Are the products built to last? Does the brand skimp on build quality just to knock a few dollars off the price tag? What’s the average lifespan of one of their routers?
  • Customer support: Are people happy with the products they bought from a brand? If not, how does the brand respond? How far will they go to help you solve potential issues? And if a product is defective or doesn’t meet expectations, what will they do to rectify?

At the end of the day, the brand is only one of several factors you should consider before buying a router, but it’s an important one. Few things are worse than spending money on a router that breaks in six months and is backed by horrible customer support.

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The Best Router Brands

A quick note upfront; no brand is perfect. That’s the nature of business, but it’s especially true in the realm of gadgets and devices. On the whole, these brands have a track record of producing good stuff, but you may run into a dud now and again. Just know that that’s normal.

1. Google

Google Nest Wifi Router Google Nest Wifi Router Buy Now On Amazon $119.99

Google is one of the more recent additions to the router manufacturing marketplace, but, as you might expect, many of their routers are excellent. Google first entered the market back in 2015 with the OnHub router.

Since then, Google routers have become some of the most popular options on the market. The latest Google router, the Google Nest Wifi, received positive reviews across the board and brings mesh Wi-Fi into residential homes, as well as acting as a smart speaker and the focal point for your smart home.

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If you don’t want the full works that the latest Google router brings, there’s always the option of the standard Google Wifi router, which is also an expandable mesh Wi-Fi system. If you’ve been struggling with Wi-Fi coverage in your home, one of these mesh Wi-Fi routers may be the solution.

2. Netgear

Netgear Nighthawk X10 Netgear Nighthawk X10 Buy Now On Amazon $249.00

Netgear is another hardware manufacturer with an extensive history of excellent Wi-Fi routers. In the past, there were some major differences in quality between Netgear’s top-tier routers and their budget models. However, those issues in performance and build-quality appear a thing of the past.

At the top end of the spectrum, you’ll find the Netgear Nighthawk X10, with theoretical maximum speeds up to 7200Mbps, a quad-core processor (yes, in your router!), and Plex Media integration, pushing the boundaries of consumer routers.

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If that seems like too much router for your household, check out the Netgear R6400 instead. The R6400 is an excellent choice for small to mid-sized homes, with a decent speed throughput and Wi-Fi range to boot.

Netgear was once hit and miss with consumer routers. More recently, you can rely on a Netgear router to bathe your home in glorious Wi-Fi coverage.

3. TP-Link

TP-Link Archer C5400 TP-Link Archer C5400 Buy Now On Amazon

TP-Link remains a popular Wi-Fi router choice, with routers covering all budgets and specifications. Despite being a Chinese company, its products don’t have the same issues of quality that other gadgets produced in the region might have.

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The TP-Link Archer C5400 is a powerful tri-band MU-MIMO Wi-Fi router with theoretical maximum speeds of up to 5334Mbps, plus eight external antennas for the upside-down dead spider look.

If that seems a little over-powered, or your internet connection will simply not reach those speeds, you could opt for the TP-Link Archer C3200. The C3200 is the younger sibling to the C5400 but still offers blazing fast speeds, good build quality, and six external antennas.

In short, TP-Link is for value buyers. You won’t find anything as flashy as a Netgear Nighthawk, for example, but you will find robust devices that provide bang for your buck.

4. ASUS

ASUS RT-AC5300 ASUS RT-AC5300 Buy Now On Amazon $270.47

Whether you lean towards the high end or the low end, Asus routers are some of the best on the market—but especially so if you have the budget to go for one of the higher-end models. ASUS routers cater specifically to gamers, too, with some options coming from the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand.

Regardless of your status as a gamer or not, some ASUS ROG routers come with extra performance or features that make the brand worth your time.

The eye-catching ASUS RT-AC5300 is one of ASUS’ most popular Wi-Fi routers, with combined theoretical maximum speeds up to 5300Mbps, eight external antennas, MU-MIMO, and a lifetime security guarantee from Trend Micro.

The Asus RT-AC3200 is a solid option toward the lower-end of the router scale. It still packs a punch and will power the Wi-Fi requirements of most households, and comes with the same Trend Micro security guarantee.

5. Linksys

Linksys WRT3200ACM Linksys WRT3200ACM Buy Now On Amazon $219.99

Linksys remains a reputable router manufacturer, even if other hardware manufacturers have surpassed them in recent years. The Linksys WRT3200ACM is well-reviewed, provides solid dual-band Wi-Fi performance, and comes in the classic Linksys blue and black color scheme.

One bonus to the Linksys WRT3200ACM is the open-source router firmware, which allows for extensive customization and control over your Wi-Fi network.

If you prefer a mesh Wi-Fi router, check out the Linksys MR9000, which provides up to 3000 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage, with speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 3000Mbps.

What Is the Best Router Brand?

The best brand of router is tough to call. Google’s recent Wi-Fi router offerings are excellent, providing great coverage and speed while looking pretty smart. That said, you can’t go wrong with industry-standards like ASUS or a TP-Link router.

Of course, you don’t have to choose a router from the router brands on our list. There are several other decent router brands available, and you might already have a favorite manufacturer.

Another router brand you might have considered is D-Link. If that ends up being your final choice, learn how to secure your D-Link wireless router How to Secure Your D-Link Wireless Router If your D-Link router truly secure? Follow these steps to ensure your Wi-Fi network is protected from hackers and mischievous kids. Read More .

Related topics: Buying Tips, Network Tips, Product Brands, Router, Wi-Fi.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Gordon Latimer
    July 17, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    You basically have to use the router that your ISP recommends, or it might not work on your internet setup.

  2. sfmitch
    July 15, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Netgear makes pretty good equipment but if my interactions are any indication, their customer service is beyond horrible. I am almost 20 calls / 8 hours in trying to get a Nighthawk mesh router 2 pack replaced. My experience has truly been a customer service nightmare.

    There is no way I could ever buy another Netgear product.

  3. VicN
    November 27, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Joel ,
    Your interaction in your comment section is to be applauded. Most other writers just post their article and wash their hands , job done , been paid , thanks !
    Your participation in the comments and your replies show that your have an interest in peoples views and opinions and obviously you seem to acknowledge that you can also learn from your readers.

    Hats off to you ,
    Vic.

  4. Martin
    September 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Where is Ubiquiti? They have best routers out there

  5. Bruno
    September 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

    In Switzerland, Austria and Germany, AVM has a marekt share > 50 %. The Fritz!Box is the Swiss Army knife of routers. I even have an old one in my car, works now as a LTE-Router for phone and internet radio. It draws some attention, when I talk on a rotary phone in my convertible - priceless. I connected several of those Fritz together (VPN), so I can use my girlfriends flat rate for making phone calls. Or she can answer her "landline" when she is with me or in the car. One Fritz can repeat the other Fritz by WLAN and you can connect phones even on the repeater. It has an integrated NAS, can block phone calls, works as a DECT-Base, can operate with ISDN office phones, can make internal calls over the internet (replaces Skype) and I could go on... And it's made in Germany, not in China. Even a 10 year old Fritz is still useful, as an ATA/SIP-Adapter.

  6. tkj tkj
    June 20, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Why not include the ComCast routers in your review??? Mine have performed flawlessly and at high speed WiFi (5Gb) and on comcast's system which is technically capable of cable speeds of THIRTY Gb's ( yes: 30 ! ) , tho not activated at that speed yet for public use ........

  7. Ethesham
    March 9, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Surprised to see belkin being claimed as unreliable. Have a belkin router for 7+ years and its still going strong.

  8. Mithun
    September 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    What about D-Link? No mention of it.

    • Joel Lee
      September 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Good question, Mithun! It was in the rough draft of the article but got pushed out. Basically, D-Link is okay. It isn't fantastic (it used to be) but it isn't terrible either. Or in other words, I wouldn't mind using D-Link but it's far from my first choice these days. Hope that helps!

      • D-link user
        May 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm

        Yes, D-link is good only for a 2nd router for basic wifi connection, don't expect perfection from the low Tier brand.

        I used to have DIR-605L and it gave me range upto 2 floors down, but I don't recommend it as your primary router.

        Netgear would be my first choice followed by Asus, but I drooling over Linksys now, haven't tried it yet.

        Why Netgear?

        Cause Netgear makes some solid routers that beats almost everything in it's class in Performance inspite of having a not so good User Interface.

        If you compare, the AC1900 class routers: Netgear R7000 is at the top followed by the ASUS AC68U. WRT 1900ACS is good too but not often spoken about.

        Again in AC2600 class routers: Netgear R7800 X4S has the best 5 GHZ range, check up CNET & Small net builders.

        I wouldn't be surprised if Linksys could outperform the Netgear, since it's a bit more pricier than the Netgear.

        But over the years, people the 3 most well known brands are : Linksys, D-link & Netgear.

        ASUS & TP-LINK evolved later.

  9. Floyd
    September 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I use Fritz!box 7490 from AVM (Germany). Good wifi range, very reliable. Has survived several thunder storms so far, where others (widely available, cheaper brands) did not.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:15 am

      Hmm, I've never heard of Fritz!box before -- and the fact that it can survive thunderstorms (I assume that means it has some kind of surge protector?) is very, very interesting. Doesn't seem like it's available in the U.S. but thanks for mentioning it, Floyd!

      • tkj tkj
        June 20, 2017 at 9:47 pm

        Resists thunderstorms??? I assume he means 'lightening' strikes .. Now, yes, if an induced lightening voltage hits the grid, it might help protect ya .. IF it's like 100 mi. away!!!! but NOTHING .. NOT A THING, NO THING can protect against a close lightening strike.
        "Arrestors" ??? sure , they attract lightening like nice tall wet trees !!!

  10. Shawn Amison
    August 31, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I have tried all of these brands at one point or another in the past. My first router I had was a Linksys but it died after about a year. I had a fantastic cheap Netgear wireless B router which was my first router way back in the early 2000's and that thing lasted probably 4 or 5 years before I upgraded and the range was incredible on it. I could stay connected to it nearly 4 houses away. Granted, this was at the time where there wasn't nearly the amount of wireless interference that we have today, so the signal had nothing to compete with.

    I had a Buffalo router that worked pretty good for a while, probably one of the more reliable brands from a few years ago compared to the market leaders of Netgear, Dlink, and Linksys at the time (6 or 7 years ago).

    Belkin and Dlink have always been junk from my personal experiences (I used to call it Dead Link).

    These days I use TP-Link. I've had mine for over a year now and it hasn't rebooted or failed me even once yet. And this is with 2+ smart phones, tablets, smart TV's, 2 laptops, all connected to wireless, with a NAS and desktop connected to gigabit ethernet. Not a small amount of traffic!

    I've been tempted to try Amped wireless. I almost bought one. The real benefit is that they put out a true 1 watt transmitter power, so if you really need awesome range, this is probably the way to go. I just can't speak from personal experience on this brand yet.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:12 am

      Excellent, nice to hear another anecdote in favor of TP-Link! I remember Netgear being big back in the early 2000s, though I don't remember if they were actually any good (I was too young to know anything back then). If you do try Amped Wireless, maybe you could come back and let me know how it goes, Shawn. I haven't heard any ringing endorsements for them yet.

  11. Praveen Kumar S
    August 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    A humble TP Link - TD - W8968 Modem Router (30 USD) as my main Wi-Fi Modem and TP Link TL - WR720N Router (12 USD) as a signal repeater. These two covers 2000 sqft and way beyond. (between 8 walls each with 6" thick concrete) 24x7 online. What I didn't like about the modem is once or twice in a week it stops showing the SSIDs. I have to restart the modem to get it to work again. Many people complained about this particular model. I had Beetel 450 Bx modem router (36 USD - 2009), it's very compact single antenna device yet very powerful. I never had such problems with Beetel during its 6 years of 24x7 service.

    But overall TP Link is a big bang for buck!!

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Ah, that sounds annoying. I think if my router ever got to the point where I had to restart it once or twice a week, I'd consider it broken and get a replacement. (I did have a Netgear router once that required upwards of ten reboots a day. Lol, that one was terrible!) Anyway, as you say, TP-Link is still good value! Thanks for sharing, Praveen.

  12. TomSJR
    August 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I have a very reliable ASUS RT-N66W router and have never had a problem since I purchased her a few years ago from woot.com. Every now and then, I will have to reconfigure her, maybe once a year, but other than that, she is a very reliable and trusty router.

    Linksys was also my go-to router WHEN I WAS NAIVE AND NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE. Now, as a retired Network Admin, ASUS seems to pick up where Linksys left off, only IMPROVED.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:08 am

      Yeah, the Linksys name is no longer what it used to be. A once-per-year reconfigure doesn't sound so bad to me, so I'm glad to hear that your Asus router is treating you well. Thanks for sharing, Tom!

  13. Anonymous
    August 27, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Yes, Linksys was my go-to brand for many years. But about the time Cisco bought them, the quality degraded rapidly. The stand-alone WAP's were my first failure at one-week out of warranty and a simple "so sorry" from Linksys.

    You mentioned Synology as being a good NAS manufacturer. Again, used to be the case. I just sold my DS214play because it began randomly dropping files or entire folders. At one point the /home share just disappeared completely with no resolution from Synology. Good thing for my multi-point backup strategy or I would have suffered a great loss.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Hmm, I wasn't aware that Synology's quality had gone down. I still hear good things about their NAS devices, but not-so-good things about their other stuff. I'll have to look into that more. Thanks Roger.

  14. Archie S
    August 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    I use an ASUS router that was given to me by T-Mobile. It's not the biggest baddest thing on the market, but my home is 100 years old with cielings that are coated with an inch of plaster over metal mesh lath then wood lath. The walls are 8 inches thick coated the same as the cielings. This router gives me full signal and full speed as provided by my ISP even on my 3rd floor bedroom with the router on the 1st floor. 100 Mbps. No problems.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:04 am

      Wow, that's incredible! I guess that's a strong word in favor of Asus routers. I've never had a router that could penetrate walls that thick, and to think that this was a router given to you by T-Mobile. Interesting! Thanks for sharing, Archie.

  15. kammak743
    August 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    I used to have a belkin router which was absolute junk. Constantly rebooting and the control panel not operating properly along with poor speeds does is all just dreadful.
    I now use the router that came with my plusnet fibre connection. It is the Sagemcom 2704N. It is certainly basic with only 802.11n and minimal settings but it works and nearby and wired devices achieve the full 38mb/s speeds of the broadband. Further away and through walls my computer only got 15mb/s but I bought a TP-Link desktop aerial and plugged it into my computers wireless card and now get 38mb/s.
    I probably will upgrade it to the TP-Link AC750 soon.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:02 am

      Yes I've had a lot of bad experiences with Belkin routers. Then again, I've always gone for the budget or mid-tier models so perhaps I was asking for trouble. The upgrade to TP-Link sounds great! Hope it turns out well for you. Thanks for sharing, Kammak.

  16. Anonymous
    August 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I current;y have an "old" Linksys WRT54G which I have been thinking of upgrading/replacing but I really don't have a problem with it now .

    People who think replacing it will really provide me benefits, I'd like to hear.

    Not sure I want to upgrade just to have "something newer".

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:01 am

      Imo, I'd keep it. As far as I'm concerned, I only replace/upgrade routers when they break -- or if I really need an advanced feature that my current model doesn't have, but that has rarely happened. If it connects me to the internet, I'm happy.

  17. Steve D
    August 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    You forgot to add that TP-Link routers can usually be flashed with DD-WRT which often unlocks even more features for you. They are also the only ones (so far) to affirm that they will carry on supporting the open source community router flashing.

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm

      There are dozens of other routers besides TP-Link that can be flashed with DD-WRT, OpenWRT and/or Tomato. Complete lists of compatible routers can be found on each software's site.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 3:00 am

      Hey Steve, you're right! Actually a lot of modern routers can be flashed with DD-WRT now, but perhaps I should've mentioned that somewhere in the article. DD-WRT is really good and it's nice that you brought it up. Thanks!