9 Best Wi-Fi Routers (2023): Budget, Gaming, Big Home, Mesh

1 year ago

We have tested some other routers that we like and we have a few more in line. They are not as good as the selection above, but for some people they are worth considering.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E for $290.: One of the first tri-band Wi-Fi 6E routers (2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz) to hit the market, the price has dropped significantly since launch. It turned out to be easy to set up and has a very simple application, although it was often slow to load. It has a 5 Gb/s WAN port and four Gb ports. Performance has been solid, and it’s possible to get blazing speeds at close range if you have a device that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Coverage and speed at medium and long distances were average. There are free basic parental controls that allow you to block sites and schedule downtime, but only on a per-device basis (no profile creation or age restrictions filters). You can split the bands if you like and give priority to three devices. There is also a guest network option and easy Wi-Fi access. Another positive is that this router works with any other Linksys Intelligent Mesh router (including the Velop mesh range).

Linksys Hydra 6 for $177: This compact router is similar in performance to our top pick (TP-Link Archer AX55). This is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with a gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports. Setup was easy, and it uses the same Linksys app as the Pro 6E above, so you get free parental controls, guest networking, prioritization, and band sharing. It’s fast at close range and decent at medium range, but if your home is over 1,600 square feet, it might be in trouble. However, as an Intelligent Mesh router, it can mix and match with other Linksys routers or its Velop mesh system. Linksys offers a limit of 25 connected devices. While it handled over 40 without issue in my testing, busy households will likely want something more powerful.

Firewalla Purple for $329.A: This unusual portable device (8/10, recommends WIRED) is ideal for people who are concerned about security and privacy. It offers comprehensive tools to monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic, 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 need to connect another router in Wi-Fi hotspot mode in your home. It’s expensive and might seem intimidating to inexperienced people, but it offers a deep understanding of your network and an impressive depth of security features without an additional subscription.

Reyee RG-E5 for $150A: Judging by the performance, this dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router impressed me. It offered excellent coverage, very fast speeds in the 5GHz band, and stable performance. It can also mesh with other Reyee routers, and the app boasts free parental controls. On the other hand, there is no security (no WPA3, no 2FA, no malware protection), you need to create a Ruijie Cloud account (Ruijie is the Chinese parent company), and the badly translated app is a bit confusing.

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