In 2019, we saw an influx of Wi-Fi 6 and the promise of more efficient and faster Wi-Fi performance. In 2020, there is a rise in the number of second generation mesh router options. This is also exciting as the new Wi-Fi routers are much less expensive than their predecessors.
Well, this means the people looking to upgrade their router have an exciting range of options to choose from. There can never be a better timing than 2020. Imagine, the world is hit by a pandemic and people are mostly confined to their homes. In such times, you definitely need a reliable internet connection than ever before.
In this article, we are going to cover a variety of routers – gaming routers, mesh routers and Wi-Fi 6 etc. Additionally, there are recent reports pointing to the launch of a new Wi-Fi 6E router capable of accessing the 6GHz bandwidth by the end of 2020. If we find a better alternative, we will surely update this list later.
TP Link Archer AX6000 (Best Wi-Fi 6 Router)
Wi-Fi 6 is the fastest and the most recent update of Wi-Fi and we wish to see a number of models that support it in 2020. And if you wish, you can now upgrade from your normal router to a faster and better Wi-Fi 6 router for an elevated performance. With the Wi-Fi 6 being backward compatible, you will be able to connect your older devices but it won’t help the router to speed them up.
It might be a reason that experts believe it is too early to shift to a new Wi-Fi 6 router. However, if you are looking for an upgrade and need a new wireless router which will stay with you for years to come, you can go with the TP-Link Archer AX6000.
The AX6000 delivers an excellent transfer speed along with excellent range and low latency. It was initially priced at $350 but you can avail a discount to purchase it for $270. We are not saying it is cheap but if you can buy it in a sale, it’s a steal.
Google’s Wifi has been an industry favourite mesh router since the last three years. The second generation Nest Wifi is an affordable and faster router. It has an easy set up and use functionality plus the range extensions work as a Google Assistant smart speaker. The new Nest comes with a better design and multiple colors that will pester you to keep it out in the open for better performance.
The Nest Wi-Fi doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, however it adds in a couple of upgrades for faster speeds to devices that use multiple Wi-Fi antennas. These features enable Nest Wi-Fi to outweigh other mesh routers with similar specifications. You can now buy the Nest Wi-Fi on best buy at $269.
DIR-867 (For budget buyers)
If you need a new Wi-Fi router as an upgrade but still don’t want to break the bank, then D-Link’s DIR-867 is your best bet. It has impressed one and all with stable Wi-Fi speeds and decent features at a decent price.
DIR-867 fared much better than the pricey competitors when tested on the 5 GHz band. However, you will not get a superior range with this router. Hence, it is best suited for small apartments/offices at $115 is a great buy.
In 2020, D-Link announced a new range of routers for 2020 which includes a Wi-Fi 6 model starting at $120. Time will tell if it is worth spending the extra few dollars for the Wi-Fi 6 model. It is always a pain to find the DIR-867 in stock, maybe due to the announcement of a newer Wi-Fi 6 model coming later this year.
Netgear Orbi (dual band, AC1200)
The Netgear Orbi isn’t a full feature router like Nest Wi-Fi and though the app control isn’t as slick as you would expect, an economically viable router in the mesh category is like a dream come true. It is priced at $150 for a twin device setup with the Wi-Fi router and a single WiFi extender and it provides decent speed when compared with Nest Wi-Fi. During sale, you can even pick up the Orbi for a modest $130.
We really like the new design and clever contours on top to vent out heat in style. If you are looking for a mesh router on a budget, you should definitely consider the Netgear Orbi.
ASUS RT – AC86U
If you are a die-hard gamer looking for high performance and low latency, you might want to consider the Asus RT-AC86U. Normally, you can find gaming routers to be in the range of $250-300 but Asus’s RT at $150 can not get any better.
The RT-AC86U has the fastest avg top speeds on the 5 GHz bandwidth. It also tops the chart on latency tests done by many gizmo lovers. It is easy to control the router through a full-featured app which has advanced controls like parental control and device prioritization.
This router definitely ticks all the boxes that most gamers want from a router and it is decently priced too. Meanwhile, Asus also released the latest version of the RT-AC86U with Wi-Fi 6 speed at about $250.
Now that we have listed the top 5 Wi-Routers of 2020 based on pricing and functionality, we would like to know your thoughts on the same. Do you think we will see Wi-Fi 6E this year amidst the pandemic? How important is a wi-fi router for connectivity in a WFH setup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and android game development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.