9 Best Wi-Fi Routers (2023): Budget, Gaming Routers, Large Homes, Mesh

We’ve tested a few other routers that we like and have several more in the queue. These aren’t as good as the tips above, but might be worth considering for some people.

Linksys Hydra Pro 6E for $290: As one of the first Wi-Fi 6E tri-band routers (2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz) on the market, the price has come down significantly since its release. It proved easy to set up and has a very straightforward app, although it was often slow to load. It has one 5Gbps WAN port and four Gb ports. Performance has proven to be reliable, and it’s possible to hit blazing fast speeds up close and personal if you have a device that supports Wi-Fi 6E. Mid-range and long-range coverage and speeds were average. There are free basic parental controls you can use to block websites and schedule downtime, but only per device (no profiling or age restriction filters). You can split bands if you want and prioritize three devices. There’s also a guest networking option and basic Wi-Fi sharing. Another plus is that this router works with any other Linksys Intelligent Mesh router (including Velop’s Mesh line).

Linksys Hydra 6 for $177: In terms of specs, this compact router is similar to our top pick (TP-Link Archer AX55). It is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router with one Gb WAN and four Gb LAN ports. Setup was easy and it uses the same Linksys app as the Pro 6E above, giving you free parental controls, guest networking, prioritization and band sharing. It proved fast at close range and not bad at mid-range, but if your home is larger than 1,600 square feet, there can be problems. However, as a smart mesh router, it can be paired with other Linksys routers or its Velop mesh system. Linksys suggests a limit of 25 connected devices. Although it managed 40+ without issue in my testing, busy households will likely want something more powerful.

Firewalla Purple for $329: This quirky wearable (8/10, WIRED recommends) is perfect for people concerned about security and privacy. It offers comprehensive tools to monitor all traffic inside and outside your home, robust and detailed parental controls, ad blocking, and enhanced security with a built-in firewall and VPN option. It’s acting as a router, but you want to pair another router in access point mode for Wi-Fi in your home. It’s expensive and can 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: I was impressed by the performance alone of this dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router. It offered excellent coverage, very fast speeds in the 5GHz band, and solid stability. It can also mesh with other Reyee routers, and the app offers free parental controls. On the downside, security is lacking (no WPA3, no 2FA, no anti-malware), you need to create a Ruijie Cloud account (Ruijie is the Chinese parent company), and the poorly translated app is slightly confusing.

https://www.wired.com/gallery/best-wifi-routers/ 9 Best Wi-Fi Routers (2023): Budget, Gaming Routers, Large Homes, Mesh

Zack Zwiezen

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