5 Best WiFi 6 (802.11ax) Routers for 2019

Best Wifi 6 routers
Best Wifi 6 routers

WiFi 6 is upon us, and if you are a wireless user, you should be excited. WiFi 6 promises not only faster speeds (which most people cannot take advantage of without Gigabit fiber), but better reliability and more complete coverage in terms of range. WiFi is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives and cordcutters everywhere are rejoicing at the generation improvements that WiFi 802.11ax (WiFi 6) offer.

Gamers have typically been among the most adamant anti-WiFi internet users for the simple reason that an Ethernet connection is more stable and will keep ping as low as possible. And that is still true; a hardwired internet connection is still king for reliability and speed. But WiFi 6 brings us one step closer to an equivalent wireless connection, although at a (significant) price.

So let’s get this out of the way now: WiFi 6 routers are not cheap. Some of them are really-not-cheap, others are not-cheap, and only a few are what most people would find reasonable. But if you are interested in the newest tech and the best wireless connection possible, it may be worth the price. And if you read our previous article on WiFi PCIe cards and opted for the Fenvi WiFi 6 receiver, then you may want to complement it with a router that can keep up.

With all that in mind, here are our recommendations for best WiFi 6 routers available today:

Best WiFi 6 Routers – My Recommendations

Best WiFi 6 RoutersDesignRecommendation
Best Budget WiFi 6 RouterVANIN AX1500 Wifi 6 routerVANIN AX1500
Best Mid-range WiFi 6 RouterNETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000
Best High-end WiFi 6 RouterNETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 AX6000Nighthawk AX8 AX6000
TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000
Best Mesh WiFi 6 RouterASUS RT-AX92UASUS RT-AX92U

Best Budget WiFi 6 Router

VANIN AX1500 Wifi 6 router

This one is a tough category. To be honest, there are no budget WiFi routers that are from major manufacturers that we can recommend with 100% confidence. However, there is one ‘budget’ router available today to consider if you are on a budget but still want to test the newest technology (and are comfortable with the Amazon protection for products, which is pretty great!). Keeping in mind the relative term ‘budget’, our recommendation by default for best budget WiFi 6 router is the VANIN AX1500.

VANIN is not a common name in electronics, and its reputation is a big question mark. On Amazon, it has two products listed (a robot vacuum cleaner and this router), so it is probably a safe bet that it is a Chinese manufacturer. On the other hand, the first few reviews are positive and it offers some nice features at a very competitive price.

So if you are comfortable taking a bit of a gamble to save around $100 (or 50%!) compared to the next recommendation, the VANIN AX1500 is the only option available. Amazon offers a good protection policy so that’s a plus, and at $90 the router is much less expensive than the competition. So although it might not be the most confident recommendation we’ve ever made, the VANIN AX1500 is by default our recommendation for best budget WiFi 6 router.


Best Mid-range WiFi 6 Router

NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000

The next step up is a big one in terms of quality (or at least reputation), but it comes with a hike in price as well. For the middle of the road WiFI 6 router, we are targeting a truly reliable, high-quality router that may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the truly high-end offerings, but will give us a great connection at a reasonable (relatively) price. Within this category, the offerings are again slim for the moment (we’re sure that more routers using WiFi 6 will arrive soon), but we have enough information to make a much more confident recommendation than the budget category above. For someone with a bit more to spend to ensure a high-speed, reliable connection with the newest tech, we recommend the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000.

Netgear is a big name in wireless connectivity. They make everything from USB adapters to routers and are pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of both price and features. They might not be the absolute best in terms of introducing new features, but they are always right near the top in terms of price-quality ratio. And this particular router is no different. Multiple Ethernet ports, USB ports, four individualized streams for multiple devices, and a dedicated Nighthawk app….not too bad for a ‘mid-lineup’ WiFi router.

Now, don’t say we didn’t warn you: the Nighthawk AX4 AX3000 comes in at a cool $192. Clearly, to have the peace of mind and features of a major manufacturer with a strong reputation and years of experience, you have to pay a bit more. On the other hand, compared to a few other routers that you’ll see below, the Nighthawk AX4 AX3000 is a great choice without spending as much while still getting the newest tech and best wireless connection available.


Best High-end WiFi 6 Router

There are some truly pricey WiFI 6 routers on the market right now. While the most expensive we found comes in at near $600 (the Nighthawk AX12 AX11000), even in a luxury category we have trouble recommending a router at that price. Unless you have a truly massive house and an enormous family with a ton of devices, and therefore need the specialized coverage and device capacity of a router like that, there is no reason to spend that much. However, if you want a router that will give the average user more features than they could ever need, we have two recommendations.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 AX6000

If you want to pay a bit more to have the fancier Nighthawk design, the Nighthawk AX8 AX6000 (middle brother between the Nighthawk AX4 AX3000 and Nighthawk AX12 AX110000) is a great looking router with a ton of great features. 

TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000

If you are going to put your router in a corner and never look at it again, the TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000 offers almost exactly the same features at a slightly lower price.

We just described Netgear above, but the other router we recommend in this category comes from a company with just as great a reputation. TP-LINK is similarly focused on all things network, from adapters to routers (and was mentioned multiple times in our best PCIe WiFi adapters!). This specific router offers the same 8 individualized stream and speeds as the Nighthawk AX8 AX6000, and both have a variety of ports and add-ons like apps and security services that are largely comparable. Between the two, from a feature perspective, you are looking at two very high-end, but largely equal, WiFi 6 routers.

The only place these two routers differ is design and price. The Nighthawk has a more stylized design, hiding the antenna within ‘Batman’ style wings, while the TP-LINK maintains a pretty typical router design. But the Nighthawk makes you pay for that design, $50 to be precise, bringing its total to $350. The TP-LINK is $300, so still very expensive, but slightly less so. If you are even considering spending that much on a router, you might want the design, but if you are a luxury buyer but don’t like the look of the Nighthawk or if you have a firm $300 limit, the TP-LINK will serve you just as well.


Best Mesh WiFi 6 Router

ASUS RT-AX92U

A newer development (although no longer absolute cutting edge) in wireless connectivity is the idea of a mesh WIFI solution. A mesh solution will use multiple routers (or router/sub-router pairs) to provide a wireless connection with great coverage and higher speeds by managing the connectivity through the multiple routers. If you have a smaller house or an apartment, you likely will be served just as well with a single router solution, but if you have a larger house (and a larger budget!), a mesh solution may be interesting for you compared to one ‘luxury’ router. And if you are looking for this type of wireless option, we recommend a pair of ASUS RT-AX92U WiFi 6 mesh routers.

ASUS is a big name in computing, one of the biggest in many ways. ASUS has components, peripherals, pre-built computers, adapters, and network choices, amongst many other categories. And despite (or perhaps thanks to) this very broad scope of focus, ASUS is generally well-liked and considered very reliable. For this specific router, ASUS again offers plenty of features and great build quality. From high-end mesh technology to in-built security, to the high speed and reliability we would expect from WiFi 6, the RT-AX92U keeps all the features we would expect, without going overboard on unnecessary add-ons.

In terms of pricing, the RT-AX92U is an interesting choice. As it’s meant to be used as a mesh solution router, you buy the RT-AX92U in packs of two. They aren’t cheap at $400 for the two, but if you consider the cost on a per-router basis, they become more reasonable at $200 each. Again, if you are not specifically looking for a mesh solution to fill your specific needs, there is not a huge reason to choose the RT-AX92U over a router like the Nighthawk AX4 AX3000, but for those users that do want to maximize their coverage and connect a large number of devices, the RT-AX92U is an interesting alternative to a single luxury router.


Conclusion

Best WiFi 6 RoutersDesignRecommendation
Best Budget WiFi 6 RouterVANIN AX1500 Wifi 6 routerVANIN AX1500
Best Mid-range WiFi 6 RouterNETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000
Best High-end WiFi 6 RouterNETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 AX6000Nighthawk AX8 AX6000
TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000TP-LINK ARCHER AX6000
Best Mesh WiFi 6 RouterASUS RT-AX92UASUS RT-AX92U

At the end of the day, WiFi 6 is the future and this is only the first wave of routers. As this wireless technology becomes better adopted and wider-spread, prices should come down and more options should be available. If you are using a wireless connection through ADSL or VDSL (or even the remaining broadband users out there), there is really no reason to get a WiFi 6 router as your internet connection will never keep up. On the other hand, if you have Gigabit fiber or very fast speeds and want to translate those speeds into the fastest and most reliable wireless connections possible, WiFi 6 should be a serious improvement over WiFi 5. For gamers looking to cut cords and move their tower away from an Ethernet cable, or for users that just can’t stand hardwired connections, or for those that love to be early adopters for new tech, the WiFi 6 routers recommended above are great for their respective budget categories and should more than satisfy your WiFi needs.

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