With so many devices hogging your Wi-Fi connection, your internet can slow to a crawl. Fortunately, there are really powerful routers available that can boost speeds so you get the connection you’re looking for.
The following list contains the best routers on the market.
Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
The Asus RT-5300 is another tri-band (single 2.4 GHz, dual 5 GHz) router. However, with the latest 4×4 802.11ac multi-user MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) technology, it can deliver speeds of up to 5.3 Gb per second and a range of up to 5,000 square feet while ensuring that multiple mixed band (2.4 or 5 GHz) gadgets connect at their maximum speeds.
It has a fast 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB of RAM to do the heavy lifting and four built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports. Added USB 2.0/3.0 ports are also available for external storage and added networking functions.
The RT-5300 also features Smart Connect technology that can dynamically assign bands to the connected gadgets based on the speed, load and single strength for optimized bandwidth and coverage.
Other features include access to route-optimized servers called the WTFast Gamers Private Network. These servers ensure low latency and stable ping times crucial to online gaming.
With its 4×4 MU-MIMO technology, the Asus RT-AC5300 is a step up from the older 802.11ac routers but this advantage certainly doesn’t come cheap. This router’s list price is $336 but you can get it for as low as $360 on Amazon.
Netgear AC5300 Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band Router
The current king of tri-band 802.11ac routers is the Netgear AC5300 Nighthawk X8. Similar to the Asus RT-5300, it also utilizes three bands (single 2.4 GHz, two 5 GHz) and four MU-MIMO data streams for speeds of up to 5.3 Gbps. It also sports a 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU to process and prioritize the multiple data streams it was designed to handle.
Netgear also boasts that the Nighthawk X8 has its exclusive Active Antenna technology that improves wireless performance by boosting the antenna itself. The company did this by moving the amplifiers from the motherboard to the top of the antennas themselves.
In addition to these features, aside from the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, the X8 has six Gigabit Ethernet ports, two of which can be combined to double the connection speed to a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.
Although the Netgear Nighthawk X8 is similar to RT-5300 in features, it outdoes the ASUS with its six Gigabit LAN ports. This is definitely the ultimate router for folks who not only need the speed of 802.11ac but are planning on hard-wiring more gadgets to the router too.
Again, these added features don’t come cheap. This router is currently listed at $260 on Amazon.
TP-Link AD7200 Tri-Band Gigabit Router
We’ve been talking about the upcoming Wi-Fi standard called WiGig/802.11ad and WiGig routers are starting to roll out.
The first one we’ve seen so far is the tri-band TP-Link Talon AD7200. Aside from the 60 GHz band that WiGig requires, the Talon also operates over 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. With the newer 802.11ad Wi-Fi protocol and its 4 stream MU-MIMO technology, this router can deliver speeds of up to 7.2 Gbps.