9 Best Wi-Fi Routers (2023): Budget, Gaming Routers, Large Homes, Mesh
We have tested some other routers we like and have several more in the queue. These aren’t as great as the picks above but could be worth considering for some folks.
Linksys Hydra Pro 6E for $290: One of the first Wi-Fi 6E tri-band routers (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz) to hit the market, the price has dropped significantly since release. It proved easy to set up, and has a very straightforward app, though it was often slow to load. It has a 5 Gbps WAN port and four Gbit ports. Performance proved reliable, and it’s possible to get lightning fast speeds at close range if you have a device that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Coverage and speeds at mid and long range were average. There are free basic parental controls enabling you to block sites and schedule downtime, but only on a per device basis (no profile creation or age restrictions filters). You can split bands if you want to, and prioritize three devices. There’s also a guest network option and easy Wi-Fi share. Another positive is that this router works with any other Linksys Intelligent Mesh router (including the Velop mesh range).
Linksys Hydra 6 for $177: Specs-wise, this compact router is similar to our top pick (TP-Link Archer AX55). It’s a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with a Gbit WAN and four Gbit LAN ports. Setup was easy, and it uses the same Linksys app as the Pro 6E above, so you get free parental controls, guest network, prioritization, and band splitting. It proved speedy at close range and not bad at mid-range, but if your home is larger than 1,600 square feet, it may struggle. However, as an Intelligent Mesh router, it can mix and match with other Linksys routers or its Velop mesh system. Linksys suggests a limit of 25 connected devices. Although it managed more than 40 without issues in my testing, busy households will likely want something more powerful.
Firewalla Purple for $329: This quirky portable device (8/10, WIRED recommends) is perfect for people who worry about security and privacy. It offers comprehensive tools for monitoring all traffic in and out of your house, robust and detailed parental controls, ad-blocking, and enhanced security with a built-in firewall and VPN option. It serves as a router, but you will want to pair another router in access point mode for Wi-Fi in your home. It’s expensive and may prove intimidating for inexperienced folks, but it offers deep insight into your network and an impressive depth of security features without an additional subscription.
Reyee RG-E5 for $150: Based purely on performance, this dual-band, Wi-Fi 6 router impressed me. It offered great coverage, very fast speeds on the 5-GHz band, and solid stability. It can also form a mesh with other Reyee routers, and the app boasts free parental controls. On the downside, security is lacking (no WPA3, no 2FA, no anti-malware), you have to create a Ruijie Cloud account (Ruijie is the Chinese parent company), and the poorly translated app is slightly confusing.