Speaker 1: Maybe you missed it, but routers have leveled up in the last year or two, but where do you even start if home networking? Isn't your strong suit? Well, you can relax cuz I'm here to help
Speaker 1: In this video. We are gonna take a look at some of your top tested router options, including mesh and wifi, six gaming, you name it no matter what your budget is, we're gonna help you find the router that is right for your home. Let's start with wifi [00:00:30] six, which is the newest generation of wifi among other key advancements, including support for the latest in wifi security devices that support wifi. Six can send bigger chunks of data with each in will transmission. And that makes them up to 30% faster than before. If you've bought a new phone tablet or laptop in the last couple of years, then there's a pretty good chance that it supports wifi six, but you're going to need a wifi six router at home in order to take advantage of those faster speeds under your own roof. The good news is that upgrading to a wifi six [00:01:00] router doesn't need to be.
Speaker 1: If you live in a small to medium sized home with an internet speed of 500 megabits per second or less, then you'll probably be perfectly fine with an entry level model. Like one of these three that just magically appeared in front of me. Now, how can you tell that these are entry level wifi, six routers? The key is to look for the speed rating on the box. Like this one, the ax part tells you that it's supports wifi six because the official name of wifi six is 8 0 2 11 ax. The number next to the ax tells you [00:01:30] the combined top speeds of each of the routers bands. A number like 1500 or 1800 is about as low as you'll see from a wifi six router. Now all three of these here are ax 1800 routers and tested them side by side. They all tested pretty well, but the one that tested the best was this one, the TP link, Archer ax, 21 it's off and on sale for less than a hundred bucks. And it's a great wifi, six bargain pick perfect for an apartment or a small home, especially if you don't wanna spend very much,
Speaker 1: [00:02:00] But let's say your home is a little bigger. Maybe something like a two story, multi bedroom townhouse with a few thousand square feet of space to cover for a big range boost and a strong signal in every room. Your best bet is a mesh router that uses multiple devices to relay traffic from all corners of your home. Back to the modem. That was a pretty expensive proposition just a couple of years ago, but with interest in mesh routers, soaring manufacturers started to make a bunch of them and prices started to come [00:02:30] down quite a bit. Take this system for instance, the AC 1200 version of net gear. Orbi it's the cheapest most basic Orbi router out there available in a three pack Walmart for just a little over a hundred bucks right now it doesn't support wifi six and it is isn't built for blazing fast gigabit fiber connections.
Speaker 1: But if you're living with something slower, like a cable or DSL connection, and you just want a router capable of bringing your whole house online, this system will absolutely get the job done. And don't worry too much about setup. Routers have gotten a lot more [00:03:00] user friendly in recent years. Thanks to the fact that just about every one of them comes with a companion app that can walk you through the setup process. In most cases, you'll be able to get a new router up and running in a matter of minutes, just plug it in and follow the instructions in the app. Along with TP link and net gear, your top router manufacturers include ACEs links and D link Euro, Google nest. All of them have been cranking out lots and lots of routers in recent years. So even with the supply chain shortage, you've got a lot of options.
Speaker 1: Let's take a look at a few more that performed well in our tests. [00:03:30] If you're looking for something that's a little more powerful than that wifi five neck gear Orbi system. And if you're willing to spend a bit more than $200, you'll start to see routers that include support for wifi six. This is where I'd be looking if I were buying a router right now, but with so many options available at so many different price points, it can be tough to tell whether or not you're spending more than you should take this mesh system. Another one from the net gear Orbi line, it's an ax 6,000 mesh routers. So it offers fast speeds and full support for wifi I six. [00:04:00] And it also features aand design, which means that it has three separate bands of traffic, 2.4 gigahertz, five gigahertz and a second five gigahertz band that the system uses as a dedicated wireless back haul connection between the router and its satellites.
Speaker 1: That tri band approach is a really nice upgrade in the mesh system like this. In fact, from a performance endpoint, this ni Orbi system is the best mesh router we've ever tested. The only problem with it is that it's really expensive. It's $700 for a two pack. Fortunately, we are starting [00:04:30] to see prices come down on try band mesh routers with support for wifi six. Like that one last year, I was quite impressed by the performance I saw from the ACEs Zen wifi XT eight, which costs four 50 for a two pack as well as the Euro pro six from Amazon, which costs 400 for a two pack. Neither of them are quite as impressive as that Orbi system, but they're awfully close and they cost hundreds less, even better. This TP link deco w 7,200 mesh router, which just hit the market this fall at just [00:05:00] $230 for a two pack.
Speaker 1: It offers full support for wifi six, as well as that fancy tri van design with a dedicated back haul. And it performed just as well as the ACEs and I routers. I mentioned if not slightly better in some respects right now, this is probably the easiest mesh router for me to recommend. And one of the first ones I'd point people towards it checks all of the boxes you'd want an pick and the price is pretty much unbeatable. And then there are the upgrade picks that are tougher for me to recommend. If you're a gamer, you might be tempted to spend [00:05:30] up on a fancy looking gaming router like this one from ASIS and routers. Like these are typically very powerful and they have nice designs and they have lots of extra features that promise to help you optimize your connection and reduce latency whenever you're gaming online.
Speaker 1: The problem that I have with them is that they're typically pretty overpriced. And in a lot of cases, the gaming gains you're gonna get with your latency and with your connection are pretty minimal at best. Still, there are some very good picks in the gaming router category. If you know where to look, my favorite is this one, the ASIS RT, [00:06:00] a X eight six U available for about 250 or less. It isn't unreasonably priced and it offers great performance that makes full use of wifi six. Even if you aren't a gamer, this router is a really nice pick and a good step up from those entry level wifi six routers. I start at the video with, I would also urge some caution with regards to wifi six E, which is another recent wifi advancement. That's gonna try and tempt you into spending big. If you're shopping right now, wifi six E isn't a new generation of wifi like wifi six is [00:06:30] instead wifi six E is a special designation for wifi six routers that are equipped to send signal in the newly open six gigahertz band.
Speaker 1: And that's something that routers couldn't do before an FCC vote last year to open that band up. The six gigahertz band is more than twice as wide as the five gigahertz band. So there's room for lots and lots of bandwidth from lots and lots of devices. And there aren't any earlier gen devices on that band to cause interference. And that makes it sort of like an exclusive members only club for wifi, six [00:07:00] devices. Only the problem with the six gigahertz band is that it doesn't offer range. That's as strong as the five gigahertz band, particularly with respect to uploads on top of that most home internet connections, aren't nearly fast enough to take full advantage of it. In my early test with wifi 60 routers from names like ACEs, net gear and links, the six gigahertz band basically performed identically to the five gigahertz band, but with less range.
Speaker 1: Now that's not to say that wifi six is useless. If you're at a stadium or an airport [00:07:30] or anywhere else where you might need to use a crowded public wifi network, then a six E connection might be absolutely fantastic, but that just makes me wanna wifi 60 phone or laptop on the go, not a wifi 60 router at home and yeah, wifi 60 routers like these and others are really, really expensive. For instance, the newest net gear Orbi mesh system supports wifi 60, but it costs well over $1,000 for a two pack. That is just way too expensive for me to recommend, especially at a time when there aren't [00:08:00] a whole lot of wifi, 60 devices out there that can even take advantage of that six gigahertz band. All of that said, if you are a true early adopter who wants to Futureproof your home and you really want to buy in right now with wifi 60, we are starting to see some deals that might be worth considering.
Speaker 1: For instance, the links this hydro pro here is a wifi 60 router that usually costs $500. But with the holidays coming up, it's already marked down to 350 right now that's the only wifi 60 router that I can really come close to recommending. [00:08:30] But if you want a router like that, I think the better plan is probably to wait until next year. For more information on all the routers I talked about today, plus a whole lot of others, including all of my nerdy performance charts that show you how they stack up head over to cnet.com and check that content out. If you found this video helpful, please consider giving it a like, and be sure to subscribe. If you wanna see more, you can also check out the routers I talked about at the links below. If you're looking to buy one today, thanks a lot for watching and leave us a comment. Let us know which one you're interested in and which ones you want us to check out [00:09:00] in the future.