The Best WiFi Routers

Upgrading your WiFi router

Upgrading WiFi routers is often a good way to improve Wifi speeds in your home, and if you’re going to upgrade your router we figure you’ll want to upgrade to something decent, so here are our choices for the best routers currently available. Our best wifi routers list excludes anything costing over £300 as they tend to be quite specialised and not the sort of thing the average user is ever likely to need.

If your household has multiple users, has multiple devices connected and if the best possible WiFi coverage is needed, buying your own router to upgrade on the free router your broadband supplier gave you makes sense. If your house is stuffed to the rafters with IoT devices, if have a serious gamer in the house or are one yourself, you shouldn’t think twice about investing in a top line router.

Home WiFi Router reviewsIf you don’t want to read the explanations, click one of the router names below to scroll down to that section.

Best WiFi Routers

Basic Router Types

Without going into technical aspects unneccessarily, there are two main types of routers, those with built-in modems and those without one. Most UK households will want the first type, with a built-in modem, because ADSL and VDSL (fibre FTTC) require a modem. The second type, without a modem, is for people with cable broadband, such as Virgin Media customers.

Increasing available there is also a third type of router, referred to as mesh Wi-Fi kits. These systems are comprised of two or more Wi-Fi routers which work in partnership to deliver a mesh Wi-Fi network capable of covering even the largest of homes. They aren’t as expensive as you might expect, so if WiFi area coverage is your primary concern, consider buying a mesh system that will connect to your existing router and provide a much better signal.

Things to look for

802.11ac is the main standard at the moment, and most reasonably priced routers will support this standard, or higher. The latest routers have what is called Wi-Fi 6, which is better for homes with multiple WiFi devices trying to access the internet at the same time. However, very few devices currently support WiFi 6, so it’s really something for the future.

For best results, look for an 11ac wireless router with at least three aerials. With many homes still finding a need for wired ethernet connections, it makes sense to have a good number of LAN ports. Look for Gigabit ports, as these run up to 10 times faster than the older 10/100 Ethernet ports. The actual number of ports isn’t too important as these can be easily extended using a Gigabit switch device.

Worried about guests accessing your devices?

Some routers offer a ‘guest’ network facility which allows friends or guests get online without also giving them access to the computers and other gadgets connected to your home network. This facility might not be important to most households but where your kids are bringing home lots of friends and allowing them to access the wifi or if you’re running a small business such as a guest house, it could prove invaluable.

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band, Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router for Phone Line Connections, 2 USB, 3.0 Ports

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900

Wireless Dual Band, Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router for Phone Line Connections, 2 USB, 3.0 Ports
General purpose router and the best budget option for gaming routers

Buy on Amazon £99.99

Main features:

  • Ethernet WAN and USB ports, the VR900 is fully compatible with VDSL2/ADSL2+/ADSL2/ADSL standard, fibre/cable access and 3G/4G USB dongles
  • Superfast Wi-Fi 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz + 1300 Mbps on 5 GHz
  • WiFi range – high power amplifiers and three dual band detachable antennas provide maximum Omni-directional wireless coverage and reliability
  • 1 GHz Dual-core Processor – ensures no interruption while processing multiple wired or wireless tasks simultaneously
  • Beamforming technology – improves wireless range and performance on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band

Notes:
The design of the TP-Link Archer C9 is a little unusual but this router is a solid performer. Rather than the usual horizontal design, the Archer C9 employs a space saving vertical design, complete with a metal support stand. Although low cost, the router is not low-spec, with two USB ports, support for Beamforming, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and parental controls.

D-Link EXO AC2600 Smart Mesh Wi-Fi Router, Dual Band, 802.11 ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMo, Alexa Compatible

D-Link EXO AC2600

Smart Mesh Wi-Fi Router, Dual Band, 802.11 ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMo, Alexa Compatible, Built-In McAfee Protection

Buy on Amazon £99.99

Main features:

  • Latest Wi-Fi technology with MU-MIMO delivers a reliable wireless connection with combined speeds of up to 2,533 Mbps
  • Includes McAfee Secure Home Platform subscription, protecting all devices connected to your network
  • Wi-Fi Mesh-ready, create a seamless mesh Wi-Fi, simply by adding a compatible extender
  • SPEEDTEST powered, allowing you to find out the true speed of your Internet, straight from the router

Notes:
The D-Link DIR-2660 EXO AC2600 is a definite upgrade from the routers provided by UK broadband suppliers with better range and faster overall speeds thanks to 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO tech. The 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports support wired connections, and there are both USB 2 and USB 3 connectors for sharing external drives across your network. If you need a serious router on a strict budget, the EXO AC2600 is hard to fault.

Asus DSL-AC68U Dual-Band Wireless VDSL/ADSL 2+ Gigabit Modem Router

Asus DSL-AC68U

Dual-Band Wireless VDSL/ADSL 2+ Gigabit Modem Router (USB 3.0 for Media Server for Phone Line Connections)

Buy on Amazon £139.99

Main features:

  • 3G/4G data sharing
  • AiCloud, AiDisK
  • Printer server. OS Support – Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Download Master

Notes:
Released a couple of years ago, the AC68U is still a good buy at current prices. The Asus DSL-AC68U comes with a built-in ADSL modem, so it can completely replace the standard router you got from your broadband supplier. You can also use one of the 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as a WAN connector and use it with an external modem if required. Wi-Fi provision is dual-band, and the USB 3 port at the back can be used to share a printer or storage. You can also connect a 3G/4G USB mobile internet adapter as a backup if needed.

TP-Link Archer VR2800 / AC2800 Dual Band Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router for Phone Line Connections, 2 USB 3.0 Ports

TP-Link Archer VR2800 / AC2800

Dual Band Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router for Phone Line Connections, 2 USB 3.0 Ports

Buy on Amazon £149

Main features:

  • VDSL Modem Archer VR2800 runs at 2167 Mbps on 5 GHz and 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
  • 802.11 ac Wave 2 – The latest standard of Wi-Fi includes MU-MIMO
  • Broadcom 1 GHz dual-core CPU with two co-processors
  • Four external detachable dual band antennas
  • Archer VR2800 is compatible with VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2 and ADSL

Notes:
The TP-Link Archer VR2800 is a great value router with 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi and works with ADSL2+, VDSL2 and cable connections – and it even supports Sky Fibre and ADSL connections. If you’re looking to upgrade your standard router, this TP-Link router is definitely worth considering and one of the best wifi routers for ADSL connections at a reasonable price.

Netgear Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream Wi-Fi 6 Router

Netgear Nighthawk AX4

4-Stream Wifi 6 Router (RAX40), AX3000 Wireless Speed (up to 3Gbps), Coverage for Small-to-Medium Homes, 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports

Buy on Amazon £178

Main features:

  • Fast WiFi 6 performance giving dual band wireless coverage for small-to-medium homes with AX3000 speed
  • 4 Simultaneous streams – provides more capacity so more devices can use Wi-Fi at the same time
  • Wired ethernet ports – 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Dual-core processor, 2 amplified antennas, Beamforming+, OFDMA, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls
  • Nighthawk parental controls let you manage device internet access and filter websites
  • Supports WPA2 wireless security protocols and includes Guest WiFi access, DoS, Firewall and VPN

Notes:
The Netgear Nighthawk AX4 is a decent router and an affordable entry to 11ax Wi-Fi 6. One of the main features of this newer standard is being able to handle several devices at once. The router has a horizontal design with two external antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports, a single USB port, and a row of green indicator LEDs. For those who want the throughput that Wi-Fi 6 offers, the Netgear AX4 is an attractive and competitively priced offering.

Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Wi-Fi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 2.6 Gbps, AC2600, 802.11ac

Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500

Wi-Fi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and Wireless speeds up to 2.6 Gbps, AC2600, 802.11ac, Optimized for Low ping

Buy on Amazon £227

Main features:

  • QoS-Prioritize gaming devices and allocate bandwidth by device to eliminate lag due to queuing at the ISP network
  • Geo Filter-Fix your gaming lag by limiting distance and get a guaranteed local connection
  • Create a blacklist or whitelist of your preferred servers
  • Personalize dashboard to view real-time bandwidth utilization by device and more on a single screen
  • Connect to the VPN server with a VPN client to protect your network identity
  • Network Monitor-Check bandwidth utilization by device and application
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports-Maximize speeds using a wired connection
  • Supports two WiFi bands simultaneously to double available bandwidth

Notes:
The XR500 DumaOS offers the operating system flexibility that you’d expect from a Synology NAS. though the DumaOS is focused on effective network management rather than providing network services. Allows for good network management. Kids won’t put down their IPads and do some housework? No problem, one click and the IPad is offline. Want to block sites for certain devices? Just as easy. Of course, it is on the expensive side and lacks a broadband modem. It might look as if it wants to invade the world and disintegrate everyone with a death ray, but designed for homes with serious gamers, this is one of the best wireless routers to consider.

Asus DSL-AC88U AC3100 Wi-Fi Gigabit Modem Router, USB 3.0 for LTE/3G Connection, Media Server

Asus DSL-AC88U

AC3100 Wi-Fi Gigabit Modem Router, USB 3.0 for LTE/3G Connection, Media Server

Buy on Amazon £227

Main features:

  • Ultra-Fast Wi-Fi – DSL-AC88U features NitroQAMTM (1024-QAM) delivering combined speeds of up to 3167Mbps
  • Future-proof DSL Compatibility – Supports ADSL, ADSL 2/2+, VDSL2, and G.fast broadband connections
  • Multiple ways to connect with a choice of DSL or Ethernet port
  • Network Standard IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac, IPv4, IPv6
  • Gigabit WAN/LAN ports for the fastest performance
  • Built-in USB 3.0/2.0

Notes:
Delivering a total speed of up to 900Mbps, DSL-AC88U features the latest G.fast technology and ensures super-fast network speeds and ultra-smooth performance for all bandwidth-intensive tasks. This versatile, future-proof router offers complete compatibility with any DSL connections, being compatible with ADSL2/2+, ADSL, VDSL2 and Vplus 35b.It’s far superior to the typical router that broadband suppliers provide, and ideal for any household that uses Wi-Fi extensively. Not to be confused with the near-identical RT-AC88U which lacks the ADSL modem necessary for most UK broadband packages.

Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream™ AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Tri-band Wi-Fi Router

Linksys EA9500

Max-Stream™ AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Tri-band Wi-Fi Router

Buy on Amazon £265

Main features:

  • Dual-purpose home office and entertainment Wi-Fi router
  • MAX-STREAM AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router (EA9500) delivers Wi-Fi to multiple users on multiple devices at the same time and same speed
  • Featuring MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, the EA9500 treats your devices as if each has its own dedicated router
  • Eight Gigabit Ethernet ports (up to 10x faster than Fast Ethernet) plus 2 fast USB 3.0 ports

Notes:
The Linksys EA9500 is a formidable looking router, with eight aerials helping provide extremely fast Wi-Fi connections. In addition to 8 ethernet ports it also enjoys an Ethernet WAN socket (which you’ll need to connect an external broadband modem).

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Cable Gaming Router, NitroQAMTM (1024-QAM) and 4-Stream technology, 4 Gigabit ethernet Ports

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

MU-MIMO Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Cable Gaming Router, NitroQAMTM (1024-QAM) and 4-Stream technology, 4 Gigabit ethernet Ports, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, Ideal for Xbox/PS4

Buy on Amazon £269

Main features:

  • Advanced NitroQAMTM (1024-QAM) and 4-Stream technology increase maximum Wi-Fi speeds on all bands, combined Wi-Fi speeds of up to 5334Mbps
  • Tri-Band Wi-Fi offers three distinct wireless bands for more devices
  • MU-MIMO allows the router to achieve 4X efficiency by communicating with up to four devices at once
  • Beamforming technology delivers highly efficient wireless connection
  • Smart Connect automatically assigns each device to the best available band to achieve optimal performance
  • Ultra-Fast 1.4GHz Dual-Core CPU and 3 co-processors provide fast and stable overall performance
  • 8 External Antennas maximize the Wi-Fi coverage and enhance the wireless connections
  • USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports
  • Efficient Guest Authentication for small businesses like guest houses

Notes:
If you don’t mind the design (it’s a router, not a decoration) the Archer C5400 v2 is one of the very best wifi routers available today. The C5400 is a significant improvement over previous models, and now ranks among the best gaming routers, especially in the 5GHz range. The only thing you might say is lacking is specific tech to decrease latency, which you can find in competing models like the Netgear XR500.

Asus RT-AX88U Top-line gaming router with WiFi 6

Asus RT-AX88U

Top-line gaming router with WiFi 6

Buy on Amazon £297

Main features:

  • Next-Gen WiFi 6 Standard – 802.11ax WiFi standard for better efficiency and throughput
  • 4 antennas + 8 LAN ports to support more clients at the same time
  • AiProtection Pro, powered by Trend Micro™, blocks internet security threats for all connected smart devices
  • Compatible with ASUS AiMesh WiFi system for seamless whole-home coverage
  • Smart Home Ready – Control your RT-AX88U by linking your Amazon Alexa to it

Notes:
One of the very best WiFi routers on the market, the Asus RT-AX88U is made for Multi-device Households – The latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) provides future-proof technologies, higher network efficiency, faster Wi-Fi speeds, greater coverage and improved battery life for connected devices, providing a significantly better networking experience for users. Eight Gigabit LAN ports make RT-AX88U the ideal solution if you have multiple wired devices, such as NAS systems, PCs and switches. The feature set is outstanding, with 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3 ports. The web portal includes a VPN server, and you can use Alexa and IFTTT to automate basic tasks. There is also class leading Adaptive QoS, along with Trend Micro antivirus and the WTFast GPN.