Fri. Apr 19th, 2024


Wi-Fi 6E routers provide the best wireless speeds combined with low latency, less network interference, and increased stability of the 6GHz band. Our picks for the best Wi-Fi 6E routers will help you build a better home network.


UPDATE: 12/29/2023

We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated our picks for the best budget mesh and best overall Wi-Fi 6E router.

What to Look For in a Wi-Fi 6E Router in 2023

Wi-Fi 6E is a relatively new technology, so there aren’t as many available Wi-Fi 6E routers as there are Wi-Fi 6 routers. But even with this comparatively small pool of devices, there are some big differences to be seen. For example, there is a wide variation in the top speed available from these routers, with the fastest providing connection speeds as high as 4.8Gbps in optimal conditions.

If you are currently using a Wi-Fi 5 or earlier router, an upgrade to a 6E router will give you a noticeable bump in network speed. For anyone already using Wi-Fi 6, the benefits of upgrading to Wi-Fi 6E are more subtle. You can expect a more reliable connection, better latency, and less interference from other network users, but only if the devices you are using to connect are capable of accessing the 6GHz band.

The list of 6E-compatible devices is currently short, but it is likely to get much longer over the next 12 months. Several flagship phones from Google and Samsung already support Wi-Fi 6E, and it’s rumored the next iPhone will also be Wi-Fi 6E compatible. There are several Wi-Fi adapters available that can add 6E capabilities to your PC, but it may be a while before anything other than the most expensive laptops can connect to it.

The 6GHz band that Wi-Fi 6E uses has a very wide spectrum for bandwidth. That means more “space” for signals from other devices and less chance of interference, therefore providing you with a more stable connection. On top of that, there are currently far fewer devices using the 6GHz frequency, so there is also less competing traffic.

It is worth remembering that the 6GHz band is really an additional feature, and any Wi-Fi 6E router will also work perfectly well with devices that use Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5.

Coverage is also an important element to look at. The 6GHz band uses a shorter wavelength than 5GHz, just as 5GHz is shorter than 2.4GHz. This means the signal doesn’t penetrate walls and ceilings and has less range in general.

The exact coverage range will vary, based on the materials your house is constructed from, among other things. The higher the coverage promised, the more likely you will be to have a good connection in all areas of the house.

The capacity of the Wide Area Network (WAN) port on the router can also make a big difference in how it performs. The WAN port is how you connect the router to your Internet source, and the routers in our list have WAN ports that range from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. If you have multi-gigabyte Internet, making sure you choose a router that can make full use of that through the WAN port means you won’t have a speed bottleneck.

As mentioned above, Wi-Fi 6E has not yet been heavily adopted by device manufacturers, so any gains you get from a 6E router may be limited for now. But if you want to upgrade from an older router to something that is going to be future-proof, a Wi-Fi 6E router is going to serve you well.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

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How-To Geek’s product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

tp-link archer axe300
TP-Link

Pros

Cons

Fantastic performance

No dual-WAN or Gigabit WAN support

Three multi-gig ports and quad-band support

HomeShield Pro requires a paid subscription

Good coverage range

Reasonable pricing

TP-Link produces some of the best Wi-Fi routers and mesh systems on the market, and the Archer AXE300 is no exception. It’s an extremely capable and feature-rich Wi-Fi 6E router that performs fantastically. It has almost everything that most people want in their wireless router.

For example, it features three multi-gig ports, including two capable of 10 gig speeds. You can use any of the three to connect the cable from your ISP modem, and the other two will work as the LAN ports. So, whether you have a gigabit or multi-gigabit connection, you will have no trouble with the TP-Link offering. You also get four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired networking.

Another highlight of the AXE300 is the quad-band support. This means, apart from the 2.4GHz and 6GHz bands, you get two 5GHz bands for efficient distribution of connected devices.

There is also support for TP-Link’s OneMesh technology. So, if you ever want to expand the wireless coverage area, you can add compatible routers or a mesh system. Plus, the company’s HomeShield feature adds parental controls, Quality of Service (QoS) options, and a real-time network scanner. You can further pay for a subscription to get HomeShield Pro benefits like advanced parental controls, DDoS Attack Protection, and more.

Moreover, the Wi-Fi performance of the AXE300 is top-notch, and it delivers reliable networks.

While there is a lot to like about the Archer AXE300, it’s not perfect. It lacks dual-WAN and Gigabit WAN support. It’s also quite bulky with its eight antennas. That said, you can mount it on a wall to save some desk space.

tp-link archer axe300

TP-Link Archer AXE300

Best Wi-Fi 6E Router Overall

$431 $600 Save $169

TP-Link Archer AXE300 shines as a Wi-Fi 6E router with its top-notch performance, multi-gig ports, and quad-band support. It’s also priced quite reasonably.

Front panel of the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E
Jordan Gloor / How-To Geek

Pros

Cons

Good value for money

2.4GHz and 5GHz speeds are not great

Impressive speed at 6GHz

Very easy to set up and use

5Gbps WAN port is better than others

If you aren’t sure that you are ready to spend five hundred dollars to dip your toe into the world of Wi-Fi 6E but still want to experience the new technology, the Linksys Hydra Pro 6E could be the answer. This capable, low-key, and easy-to-use 6GHz router can be picked up for around half the price of most other Wi-Fi 6E routers, making it pretty hard to ignore.

The Hydra Pro 6E promises coverage of up to 2700 square feet, which isn’t the best available, but still plenty for the average-sized home. If you need more coverage, the router is compatible with the Linksys Velop mesh system and can be connected to one or more extender devices. These need to be purchased separately, but it is nice to have the option.

The wider 6GHz band allows for many more devices to be connected at one time without experiencing interference, and the Hydra Pro can handle more than 50 devices easily. Although other routers on our list can handle more concurrent connections, that is pretty good for a router at this price.

The maximum speeds at 2.4GHz and 5GHz are good at 600Mbps and 1200Mbps respectively. These speeds won’t be breaking any records, but they are in line with other mid-range Wi-Fi 6E routers, and should be more than enough for average household use.

The maximum achievable speed at 6GHz is an impressive 4800Mbps. That is actually comparable to our top pick, the GT-AXE11000, unlike the 2.4 and 5GHz speeds, where our top pick blows the MR7500 out of the water. It’s unlikely that you will experience these maximum speeds unless you are sitting directly next to the router, but that is the case with any 6E router.

Setup is easy through the Linksys app, which is available for iPhone and Android. You are led through the process and the router can be up and running in a few minutes. You can also choose to set up the router in a connected browser, but this is more complicated and can take some time to figure out if you are not experienced with setting up networks.

If you’re worried about looks, the Hydra Pro 6E is very understated compared to other routers, making it easy to hide away in a corner. In terms of connectivity, on the back are four Gigabit LAN ports and a very welcome 5Gbps WAN port. There is also a single USB 3.0 port for connecting a NAS or other network device.

The Linksys MR7500 Hydra Pro 6E isn’t going to win any awards for raw speed, product design, or coverage range. But for anyone who wants to experience Wi-Fi 6E without breaking the bank, this router is a brilliant choice.

linksys hydra pro

Linksys MR7500 Hydra Pro 6E

Best Budget Wi-Fi 6E Router

$200 $280 Save $80

A very good Wi-Fi 6E router that will let you experience the 6GHz band without breaking the bank.

Pros

Cons

Unique design looks great

WAN port capacity could be higher

Very fast speeds on all frequency bands

Great coverage range

Very stable signal is great for gaming

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 not only looks unique—it also brings high-speed connections across all three frequency bands and a few extra features that make it brilliant for gamers.

The Wi-Fi 6 version of the Nighthawk has proved to be a top choice for anyone wanting to game online without drops in speed and connectivity. The RAXE500 model only improves on its predecessor with the addition of the 6GHz band and even greater internet stability.

The Nighthawk looks like no other router that is available right now, with two wing-like panels on the sides. These do serve a purpose as they contain a total of eight internal antennas, each positioned in such a way as to provide strong and reliable connections in any direction. On the back panel are five ethernet ports, along with a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port. You can link two of the gigabyte ports together to give a 2Gbps connection to a single device.

The RAXE500 is an AXE11000 router, meaning it has a combined total capacity across all three bands of 10.8Gbps. This is broken down as 1.2Gbps on the 2.4GHz band, and 4.8Gbps on both the 5GHz and 6GHz bands. With 12-stream connectivity, you can expect some truly fast and stable connections. This is perfect for gaming where stability can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

Coverage of up to 3500 square feet is another great feature of this router. This is more than enough for even large houses, with the optimized antennae helping to ensure you can get a good connection wherever you are.

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is much more than just a pretty face. If you want both speed and stability for your online gaming sessions, the Nighthawk is the way to go.

NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream WiFi 6E Router (RAXE500)

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

Best Wi-Fi 6E Router for Gaming

$481 $600 Save $119

A uniquely-designed Wi-Fi 6E router that can provide impressive connection speeds for gaming and anything else you need to do online.

Netgear mesh system on grey background
Netgear

Pros

Cons

Incredibly high potential speeds

Expensive even for a mesh system

Coverage for even very large houses

Dedicated 5GHz connection between nodes

Nicely and subtle design

If you want to ensure great Wi-Fi speeds all over the house, particularly if that house is large and constructed of brick or stone, a mesh wi-fi system is the way to go. This is even more true if you want to experience Wi-Fi 6E all over the house, as the wider 6GHz bandwidth can struggle to pass through walls and ceilings. When it comes to Wi-Fi 6E mesh systems, the Netgear Orbi RBKE963 is leading the way.

This quad-band mesh system features a hub and two satellites, which if correctly positioned can give a huge coverage area of 9000sq.ft. You can even add a third satellite, for approximately the price of a stand-alone router, extending that coverage to 12,000sq.ft.

Few home users will ever need this, but it is impressive nonetheless. The Orbi mesh may be more suited to a commercial environment, considering that you can also connect up to 200 devices concurrently.

Unlike most Wi-Fi 6E routers, which are tri-band, the Orbi is billed as a quad-band router. The extra band refers to the dedicated 5GHz Wi-Fi connection between the hub and satellites. This leaves the 2.4, 5, and 6GHz bands completely free for your devices, losing none of the bandwidth to the backbone connection.

The main hub of the Orbi features an incredible 10 Gigabit WAN port, a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, and three extra gigabit ports. Both satellites have the same, just without the 10Gbps WAN port.

Strangely, there is no USB port on either the hub or the satellites. While it’s probably not a deal-breaker, it does mean that if you want to connect a NAS, you will have to use up one of the LAN ports.

The components all have the same sleek, modern design with no external antenna. The Orbi mesh is available in white and silver or black, with both versions featuring a discreet LED light on the front that changes color to show connection status.

The only real downside for most home users is the high price. At $1500, this is by far the most expensive Wi-Fi 6E option on our list. No three-node mesh that offers 6GHz connectivity will be cheap, and you do get a huge coverage range and blistering data transfer speeds. Even so, this will be a large investment for most people.

But if you can swallow the price, this is the best Wi-Fi 6E mesh system currently available.

netgear orbi

Netgear Orbi RBKE963

Best Mesh Wi-Fi 6E Router

$1212 $1500 Save $288

A high-spec, quad-band mesh router that packs in some impressive features to go along with its fairly large price tag.

tp-link deco xe75
TP-Link

Pros

Cons

Excellent value for money

HomeShield Pro is paid

Good performance

No suitable for multi-gig connections

Easy to install

Good coverage from just two nodes

If you have a tight budget but still want a Wi-Fi 6E-compatible mesh router, the TP-Link Deco XE75 is a good option. It costs less than $300 for a two-pack or less than $500 for a three-pack.

This mesh router has a nondescript design with a cylindrical appearance. Each node features three Gigabit Ethernet ports, one of which you can use to connect to your ISP modem. The other two help run a wired backhaul or direct-wired connections to your devices.

But as it tops out at Gigabit ports, it’s most suitable if you have a sub-gigabit Internet connection. Otherwise, you will be best served by our best Wi-Fi 6E mesh router pick.

Among other features, being a tri-band mesh system, it has 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands. While the 6GHz band is reserved for wireless backhaul by default, you can also switch to offer regular connectivity to your devices, granted you have a few or more Wi-Fi 6E-compatible devices.

The Deco XE75 is easy to set up and delivers solid performance with a good range. You can get up to 5,000 square feet of coverage with two nodes.

Plus, like other TP-Link offerings, it comes with HomeShield, which provides a network scanner, parental controls, and QoS options. You can upgrade to the Pro version for even more features by paying for a subscription.

tp-link-xe75

TP-Link Deco XE75

Best Budget Mesh Wi-Fi 6E Router

$230 $300 Save $70

TP-Link Deco XE75 is an affordable Wi-Fi 6E mesh system that delivers good performance and is easy to use. It’s best for people with a sub-gigabit connection.



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By John P.

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