5 Best Best Routers for Smart Homes in 2023

As technology advances, our homes become smarter and more connected. From smart thermostats to security cameras, our devices rely on a steady and reliable Wi-Fi connection. But with so many routers on the market, how do you know which one is best for your smart home needs?

With more smart devices being added to our homes every day, it’s important to have a router that can handle the increased traffic and provide a strong, stable connection.

In this article, we will explore the top 5 routers for smart homes that are sure to provide a seamless and efficient internet experience. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or just starting with your smart home setup, these routers have got you covered.

Keep reading to find out which router will be the best fit for your smart home needs in 2023.

What should you look for in a router?

As we continue to rely more and more on smart home devices, it’s essential to have a reliable router that can handle the increased demand. When it comes to selecting a router for your smart home, there are a few things you should consider to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your devices.

Here are some things you should look for in a router for your smart home:

Speed and Range

One of the most important things to consider when buying a router for your smart home is speed and range. Smart home devices such as security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart speakers require a stable and strong Wi-Fi connection.

Look for a router that can deliver at least 100 Mbps connectivity speeds and has a range sufficient to cover your entire house.

Wi-Fi Standard

The Wi-Fi standard of your router determines the maximum speed of the connection. Currently, routers with the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard are the best in the market, providing faster speeds and higher capacity than previous standards.

However, if your smart devices are older and do not support Wi-Fi 6, you may not need the latest and greatest and can settle for a router with an older standard.

Security Features

Smart home devices collect data and are connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking attempts. Hence, it’s vital to have a router with built-in security features to protect your smart devices and the data they collect.

Look for routers with features such as WPA3 encryption, automatic firmware updates, and guest network options.

Ease of Setup

Setting up a router can be a complicated process, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. Look for a router that has an easy-to-use setup process, with clear instructions and a user-friendly interface.

Additionally, routers that have mobile applications for setup and management make it easier to monitor your network and make changes on the go.

Parental Controls

If you have children in your home, parental controls are essential. Look for routers that allow you to set up parental controls, such as blocking inappropriate content or setting time limits on internet usage.

This feature not only provides peace of mind for parents but also helps to manage bandwidth and ensure that the network is not overloaded.

WiFi StandardWiFi 6
WiFi Speed6600 Mbps
Frequency BandTri-Band
2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps
5 GHz: 4804Mbps
5 GHz:1201Mbps
Coverage5,000 sq. ft.
Ethernet PortsOne Gigabit WAN Port
One 2.5 Gigabit WAN Port
Three Gigabit LAN Ports
Management AppTether App
Security FeaturesHomeShield Security
HomeShield Parental Controls
Other Features8 external antennas
High-power FEM
8 Data Streams
OneMesh™ Supported

The TP-Link Archer AX90 is a tri-band router with a 2.5 Gbps internet port, great coverage, and excellent speeds.

With Wi-Fi 6 tri-band technology, the AX90 can reach theoretical speeds of up to 6600 Mbps, divided into 4804 Mbps (5 GHz 1), 1201 Mbps (5 GHz 2), and 574 Mbps (2.4 GHz). It’s perfect for streaming, gaming, and browsing.

Plus, if you pair it with Google Fiber 2 Gbps, you can experience download and upload speeds of almost 2 Gbps and 741 Mbps, respectively. Thanks to the 2.5G WAN port, you can even connect your gaming consoles directly to the router for even faster speeds.

But the best part is how well it works with all your smart devices. We tested it with 30 devices, including TVs, cameras, fans, and lights.

Great enough, the connection was stable thanks to the router’s beamforming, OFDMA, and MU-MIMO technologies. If you want reliable and lightning-fast internet for your entire home, the Archer AX90 is the way to go.

The AX90 has eight antennas that can extend up to 2,500 Sq Ft of coverage. But, let’s be real, that’s in perfect condition. In my tests, it covers a three-bedroom apartment, about 2,270 Sq Ft.

The networking technologies are amazing! They make sure the signals are equally distributed throughout your space.

The device offers various security features like guest access, WPA3, VPN, access control, and auto-firmware updates. Additionally, the free HomeShield suite provides parental controls.

The parental control router includes features such as online time and activity monitoring, age-based filters, and network pausing. It offers some level of safety and security for children online, although it may not be as all-encompassing as other options. Keep your child safe and secure in this online world.

Best Performance: Netgear Nighthawk RAX50

WiFi StandardWiFi 6
WiFi Speed5,400 Mbps
Frequency BandDual-Band
2.4 GHz: 1148 Mbps
5 GHz: 4804 Mbps
Coverage5,000 sq. ft.
Ethernet PortsOne 1GbE WAN Port
Eight LAN Ports
Management AppNighthawk App
Security FeaturesNETGEAR Armor
Other Features4 external antennas
High-power FEM
Adaptive QoS
Compatible with Amazon Alexa

The Netgear RAX50 offers a solid combination of features, performance, and affordability.

The Netgear RAX50 is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router that delivers a massive throughput capacity of 5400 Mbps. The 5 GHz band clocks at 4804 Mbps, while the 2.4 GHz band delivers 574 Mbps.

When we tested it using an Xfinity 1 Gbps plan, we got download and upload speeds of around 949 Mbps and 34 Mbps, respectively, in close proximity.

Even at 30 feet away, the speed only dips around 25%-30%, which means it’s got great antenna strength.

The internet speeds provided allow for seamless streaming of 4K content on all smart devices, and the router includes five Ethernet ports with a speed of 1 Gbps for wired connections requiring additional speed. Plus, the router has five 1 Gbps Ethernet ports for any wired connections that need extra speed.

The router can handle up to 30 home automation devices without any issues thanks to beamforming, OFDMA, and MU-MIMO technology.

Best Value: Orbi RBK752

WiFi StandardWiFi 6
WiFi Speed4,200 Mbps
Frequency BandTri-Band
2.4 GHz: 600Mbps
5 GHz: 1200 Mbps
5 GHz:2400 Mbps
Coverage5,000 sq. ft.
Ethernet PortsOne 1GbE WAN Port
Three LAN Ports
Management AppOrbi App
Security FeaturesNETGEAR Armor
Other Features
512MB NAND Flash and 1GB RAM
Adaptive QoS
Compatible with Amazon Alexa

The Orbi RBK752 mesh system offers numerous customization options to ensure optimal performance for your smart devices. It features long-range, tri-band, and Wi-Fi 6 support, and can be used with both Google and Alexa voice assistants for advanced smart control.

This mesh system is fast, with a theoretical speed capacity of 4,200 Mbps distributed over three bands. When we ran a speed test with an Xfinity 1 Gbps plan, the results were very impressive: 915 Mbps for downloads and 29 Mbps for uploads.

That means you could stream up to 30 UHD Netflix shows at once!

But what about connecting multiple smart devices? Thanks to MU-MIMO and OFDMA, this mesh system can handle connections for up to 23-24 devices at once. While that may be lower than some other options, it’s perfect for most average-sized homes.

This unit is amazing because it’s a mesh system. This means it can create a network across spaces by connecting from one node to another while staying on the same network.

With just a two-piece set, you can cover up to 4,000 Sq. Ft. at once. Plus, it has great security features like WPA3, VPN, access control, and guest access to encrypt data packets and keep them secure.

If you want additional advanced features, Netgear offers premium software called Netgear Armor, which can be accessed through monthly or yearly subscriptions.

Best Budget: ASUS RT-AX55

WiFi StandardWiFi 6
WiFi Speed1,800 Mbps
Frequency BandDual-Band
2.4 GHz: 574Mbps
5 GHz: 1201 Mbps
Coverage2,500 sq. ft.
Ethernet PortsOne 1GbE WAN Port
Three LAN Ports
Management AppASUS Router APP
Security FeaturesAiProtection
Other Features128 MB Flash and 256 MB RAM
NitroQAM™ (1024-QAM) technology
Adaptive QoS
Compatible with Amazon Alexa

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Wi-Fi 6 router for your smart home the Asus RT-AX55 is quite a catch! It comes with Alexa voice control, multi-device connectivity, and a good range.

The dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router has a max throughput of 1800 Mbps. For speeds, it has 1200 Mbps on 5 GHz and 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.

The speeds in our Cox 500 Mbps plan were impressive. Downloads and uploads reached 465 Mbps and 19 Mbps, respectively, with devices in the same room. Two walls away, speeds were still decent but reduced by almost 40%.

Want to connect multiple smart devices? No problem! Thanks to technologies like OFDMA and beamforming, the Asus RT-AX55 can handle up to 25 devices at once. You won’t experience any lag or jitter in your smart home ecosystem.

However, this unit has less coverage compared to our other recommendations. During testing, it was able to cover around 1,800 sq. ft. If you’re living in a mid-sized home, that should still be enough.

Now, let’s talk about security features. This Asus router is great because it offers advanced security features for free. We all know how important security is when most of our devices are run on the internet.

AiProtection Classic software provides a firewall that prevents unauthorized devices from accessing your network. Additionally, it conducts weekly scans and notifies you of any suspicious activity.

On top of that, this product has some pretty impressive parental control capabilities. You can filter content based on age, manually block websites, pause WiFi access, and even create personalized internet schedules.

It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a secure and safe internet experience for an affordable cost!

Best Gaming Router: ASUS RT-AX86U

WiFi StandardWiFi 6
WiFi Speed5,700 Mbps
Frequency BandDual-Band2.4 GHz: 861 Mbps5 GHz: 4804 Mbps
Coverage2,500 sq. ft.
Ethernet PortsOne 2.5 GbE WAN PortOne 1GbE WAN PortEight Gigabit LAN Ports
Management AppASUS Router APP
Security FeaturesAiProtection Pro
Other Features256 MB Flash and 1 GB RAMNitroQAM™ (1024-QAM) technologyBeamformingOFDMAAdaptive QoSCompatible with Amazon Alexa

The Asus RT-AX86U dual-band router delivers amazing gaming performance. This sweet router is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router. For the 2.4 GHz band, you’re looking at speeds of up to 861 Mbps. And for the 5GHz band, it goes up to 4804 Mbps.

What really sets this router apart is its latency management. It has the lowest average latency of any router I’ve ever tested, making it perfect for online gaming.

Plus, it has awesome app-based controls, including a mobile boost mode that prioritizes gaming traffic to your phone with just one touch.

But even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, this router has a lot of other great features. It supports Wi-Fi 6 and has strong, stable speeds and a good range. And if you need more range, you can add other Asus devices to create a mesh network.

Honestly, this router checks off all the boxes for what most people want in a gaming router. And at a price that won’t break the bank, it’s an easy recommendation. Trust us, this is one of the best Wi-Fi 6 routers you can get right now.

Is a WiFi 6 router worth buying?

Getting a Wi-Fi 6 router is worth buying for your smart home if you want to future-proof your network and take advantage of the latest wireless technology.

While it may be more expensive than older models, the benefits in terms of speed, reliability, and security are worth it if you have multiple devices and want a seamless smart home experience.

However, if you have older devices or a small network, you may not see any significant improvement. Let’s take a closer look and see if it’s best for your smart home.

Benefits of Wi-Fi 6 for Smart Homes

One of the main benefits of Wi-Fi 6 is that it can support multiple devices simultaneously without compromising speed or performance. This is especially important for smart homes, where you may have dozens of devices connected to your network at once.

Wi-Fi 6 routers also have a better range and can penetrate walls and floors more effectively, which means you’ll have fewer dead spots in your home.

Another advantage of Wi-Fi 6 is that it reduces latency and improves reliability. This is important for smart home devices like security cameras, which need to respond quickly and consistently to events.

Wi-Fi 6 also offers improved security features like WPA3 encryption, which can protect your smart home from cyber threats.

Cost and Compatibility

While Wi-Fi 6 routers offer many benefits, they are more expensive than older models. You can expect to pay around $200 or more for a Wi-Fi 6 router, compared to $100 or less for a Wi-Fi 5 router.

However, prices are expected to drop as the technology becomes more widespread.

It’s also worth noting that not all smart home devices are compatible with Wi-Fi 6. If you have older devices that only support Wi-Fi 5 or earlier, you won’t see any benefit from upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router.

However, as more devices are released with Wi-Fi 6 support, it may become a more compelling upgrade.

The Bottom Line

As technology keeps evolving, picking the right router will impact your WiFi experience at home or at work. Just a friendly reminder: before you purchase a new router for your home, make sure to check your needs and your budget. 

 Your internet service provider should provide the same internet capacity, too. Otherwise, even the fastest routers won’t make a difference in your internet speed.

We’re glad we could help you make an informed decision about upgrading your WiFi router. If you’re considering a tri-band router, check out our list of the best ones! 

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