best wireless router

Best Wireless Routers 2019

(Last Updated On: February 5, 2019)

Which is the best Wireless Router in 2019?

Anyone that has [tried] to use the internet on a slow connection will understand the frustration of billions

There’s no point cursing your Internet Provider either. Yeah, they could send you a better router, but that’s never going to happen.

The best option is to invest in a router designed to deliver a stellar performance.

And we’ve got a bunch of suggestions for you!

If you’re up for shelling out a little bit your earnings on a super-fast router so you can stream, browse and play games without wanting to punch a hole through your computer screen, read on.

Beam me up, Scotty…Sorry, that was terrible.

1

Asus RT-AC86U – AC2900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router

Best All-Rounder. Excellent for heavy duty internet users and gamers. Mind-boggling performance. Great for price.

☆ TOP TITAN PICK ☆

Product Name: Asus RT-AC86U Wireless AC 2900Mbps Gigabit Router

Product Description: ASUS RT-AC86U Wi-Fi AC2900 USB 3.0 Router with AiProtection powered by Trend Micro, WTFast game accelerator inside for free, link aggregation, adaptive QoS, ASUS router app support, Dual-WAN 3G/4G support. Operating frequency is 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz.

Overall
9.7/10
9.7/10
  • Performance - 10/10
    10/10
  • Range - 9.9/10
    9.9/10
  • Firmware - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Looks - 9.3/10
    9.3/10
  • Price - 9.5/10
    9.5/10

The Specs

Speed: Dual band AC2900 802.11 / 1734 Mbps
Connectivity: 5 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x USB 2.0 1 x USB 3.0
Processor: ARM dual-core 1.8GHz
Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 3.3 inches
Features: Traffic analyzer, adaptive QoS Gamers Private Network

Pros

  • Exceptional Wireless Performance
  • AiMesh Compatible
  • Stunning Wired Performance
  • Tonnes of Firmware
  • Excellent speeds
  • Incredible for gaming

Cons

  • The look doesn’t suit everyones tastes (although we love it)
  • Some of the firmware can be somewhat complex
  • No mounting options

The Write Up

If you’re looking for an affordable router that can master 4K streaming, intense gaming and heavy metal browsing, the RT-AC86U is about as good as you will get right now. The £200 price tag may be more than you want to pay for a router, but it’s well worth it!

The Asus AC86U’s dual-band router packs a punch and gives you more than enough power to service multiple users.

As a matter of fact, the RT-AC86U is specifically designed for gaming and can handle anything you throw at it.

Not only is this a powerful router, but if you set up an account through the Asus website, they throw in an extra 5GB of gratis cloud storage.

Design and Setup

The RT-AC86U may not be the best looking router on the shelf, but it certainly isn’t an ugly duckling either. The angular edges and status lights on the front have an agreeable appearance.

The sleek black and red colour scheme is something of a technology cliche, but when the splash is right, it’s difficult to argue that it doesn’t work. Asus certainly offer an alternative to the uninspiring all-black or all-white shells.

In terms of software design, the AC86U has an intuitive menu and customisable features. Set up is straightforward. All you have to do is connect the router to the modem and laptop, power the router and enter a PIN. Enter the login and password and the job’s done.

Connectivity and Performance

Asus must be working with a genius. They have somehow managed to produce a router that delivers up to 750Mbps on a 2.4GHz bandwidth using a 1.8GHz dual-core CPU.

This is not the first time we have come across Asus products that give more than firmware suggests.

The super-speed is mostly thanks to the NitroQAM modulation technology. With a 5G band you could be getting lightning speeds of up to 2167Mbps even when multiple users are draining the beast with heavy-duty data streaming. Furthermore, Asus has built-in a Trend Micro that should protect your network from viruses, malicious malware and infected clients.

So what about those little extras?

Robust parental controls come in useful if you want to prevent users from accessing undesirable content.

Bottom Line

The Asus RT-AC86U is perfect for large homes with multiple users. We’re pretty confident this device will not disappoint, and for £200 is actually one of the most competitively priced routers in the premium bracket.

Titan Score:  9.7/10 

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2

Synology RT2600AC

Great for users needing performance at range. Impeccably simplistic. OS like features.

☆ TITAN NUMBER 2 ☆

Product Name: Synology RT2600AC

Product Description: Redefine your network with Synology Router RT2600ac's powerful wireless capabilities and rock-solid, security-focused Synology Router Manager core. Designed for both homes and offices, MU-MIMO support ensures more devices can connect at higher speeds while SRM's Parental Controls and Traffic Manager allows simple management and fine-tuning of network traffic.

Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Range - 9.9/10
    9.9/10
  • Firmware - 9.3/10
    9.3/10
  • Looks - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Price - 8/10
    8/10

The Specs

Speed: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac simultaneous dual-band, 2.4Ghz – 800Mbps / 5Ghz – 1.73Gbps
Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit RJ-45 LAN, 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 WAN, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SDXC/SDHC
Processor: Dual-core 1.7GHz
Dimensions: 77x280x169mm
Features: SRM, MU-MIMO technology, BeamForming Technology

Pros

  • Impeccable range
  • Lots of media server capabilities
  • Great performance (punches above weight)
  • SD Slot and two USB Ports
  • Extremely simple to use interface

Cons

  • Not the prettiest router in the world
  • Price a little prohibitive
  • Only 5 network ports available

The Write Up

Synology has given its previous model the RT 1900AC a serious upgrade – and considering the first-gen device was well received by the general public, we were expecting to be impressed by the RT2600ac. We weren’t disappointed!

The RT2600AC does everything Synology’s 1st-generation router did but is better equipped to handle multiple users.

The upgraded device has more power, features, and stability together with an improved platform which can integrate new technologies.

And users can, of course, expect zippy Wi-Fi speeds even when hosting more than one broadband connection.

Design and Setup

Let’s be straight; routers are not the most eye-catching devices.

Don’t expect an alluring design from the RT2600AC either. The rectangular black box has an unsymmetrical hexagon carved into the top and with four unsightly antennas protruding into the air, looks like a dead beetle.

The good news is that this beast does everything you want it to and it does it well. Functionality is a dream.

Thanks to the Synology Router Manager (SRM), the RT2600AC is equipped with advanced firmware and more features than you can shake a stick at.

Perhaps the only issue for some users will be setup and compatibility. The technology includes MU-MIMO which allows multiple users to access the router wirelessly.

The problem is, for all its hype, MU-MIMO technology is not a common feature in other devices because it’s expensive.

As a result, the RT2600AC has compatibility issues with a high percentage of home computers. Although it should still work, it won’t deliver its best performance.

Don’t expect to hit top speeds if you have more than six users.

A small business that has invested in MU-MIMO computers, on the other hand, won’t have any issues.

Connectivity and Performance

The RT2600AC is for power users. Ideal for small businesses or big homes, the quad-stream router has ceiling speeds of up to 1.73 gigabytes per second (Gbps) on a 5GHz bandwidth.

With four LAN connections, USB ports and an SD-card slot can handle multiple users, and with a dual-core 1.7GHz CPU has enough grunt under the hood to easily handle more than several devices.

The technology that gives this router an edge over its competitors is the Synology Router Management which essentially acts like an operating system akin to a computer and smartphone.

The SRM includes touches which are uncommon in routers; notifications, transition animations and customisation. These are all easy to install because they work in the same way as the firmware on your smartphone.

Bottom Line

For internet users that know your tech and need plenty of power in order to accommodate multiple users, the Synology RT2600AC wireless router is the pick of the bunch. And for £185, the RT2600AC is not unfairly priced.

Titan Score:  8.7/10

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3

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

☆ TITAN NUMBER 3 ☆
Tp Link Archer Wireless Router

Product Name: TP-Link Archer C5400 V2

Product Description: The Archer C5400 Tri-band Router sends more Wi-Fi to more devices and intelligently connects faster Wi-Fi to every device for smoother gaming and 4K streaming. Groundbreaking 4-stream and NitroQAM sends up to 5400Mbps of total Wi-Fi throughput over one 2.4GHz (1000Mbps) and two 5GHz (2167Mbps) bands. MU-MIMO gives up to 3x greater Wi-Fi performance while gaming and streaming on multiple devices, while Smart Connect keeps everyone on the best available connection. Experience high-speed connections and non-stop entertainment thanks to a powerful 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and 3 co-processors. The free Tether app enables you to adjust network settings or manage your home network from your phone (Android, iOS). Archer C5400 works with your ISP, such as Virgin media. You can connect the TP-Link Wi-Fi router to a modem/modem router with an Ethernet cable via the WAN port. Four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports provide reliable wired connectivity for more quests and action. Recommended for 5-8 people with many devices gaming or 4K streaming at once. (The right router for large families)

Overall
8.4/10
8.4/10
  • Performance - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Range - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Firmware - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Looks - 6.9/10
    6.9/10
  • Price - 7.9/10
    7.9/10

The Specs

Speed: 802.11ac, 2.4GHz – 1000Mbps / 5GHz – 2167Mbps
Connectivity: 2 x USB 2.0 and 3.0, 4 LAN ports
Processor: Dual-Core 1.4GHz
Dimensions: 230x230x43mm
Features: Powerful security, antivirus, parental controls

Pros

  • Exceptional 5GHZ performance
  • 8 high gain antennas (makes it look kinda nuts!) – good range
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports W/ Link Aggregation
  • Feels expensive, good build quality
  • AC5400 Tech inside

Cons

  • Looks aren’t to everyones taste
  • USB performance isn’t great
  • Although relatively simple to set up, can be a little fiddly with advanced features

The Write Up

The TP-Link is a straightforward no-nonsense router that is simple to set up and use. There’s no messing with wi-fi meshing like some of the new fandangled routers such as Google Wi-Fi and Netgear Orbi.

You’ll also be pleased to know that thanks to the user-friendly interface, you don’t have to work in IT to configure the router either. Built with powerful hardware, the Wi-Fi performance is fast and reliable. You couldn’t ask for more really.

Design and Setup

There’s only one way to describe the look of the Archer C5400; ugly. Okay, we know routers are not designed to be eye-catching, but this clunky-chunky monster with its eight thick, disturbing antennas is just plain – ugly.

Having said that, all you really need to care about in a router is functionality and performance. And the Archer won’t let you down with either.

In terms of set up, the Archer C5400 is ideal for non-tech savvy users. It’s easy to install and exactly what you would expect from hooking up a router to your computer. You plug it in, turn it on and use the intuitive setup Wizard directly from your smartphone.

Sorted.

Connectivity and Performance

Built with 2 USB ports and four one-gigabit ethernet slots, the connectivity of the Archer C5400 is pretty standard fare.

Where this beast really earns its corn though is the impressive performance. Boasting the four-stream booster, Nitro QAM, and tri-band technology, you can rifle 5.3Gps and balance devices for optimal speed.

The only catch is that the Archer uses MU-MIMO adapters, so unless you have compatible hardware, you won’t hit the maximum speeds.

Even still, it’s possible to reach downloads speeds of 100MB/s over Wi-Fi on a 5GHz connection. And that’s with 10 devices narrowing the bandwidth.

To put that in perspective, an Ultra HD stream needs around 13Mbps. If your current router struggles with that measly amount, you can appreciate how powerful the C5400 actually is.

And for all you trendy techno-geeks that like talking to your devices, this TP-Link router is compatible with Alexa.

Bottom Line

You may be wondering how a router that was originally released in 2017 has made it into a list of best routers in 2019. Well, technically, the second version of the C5400 v2 was released in 2018, even though the updates were minimal.

The real reason for including this TP-Link speed demon is because it is still one of the best router options on the market – and TP-Link has reduced the original asking price from a balking £350 to a much more reasonable £239.

Titan Score:  8.4/10

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4

Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router

☆ TITAN NUMBER 4 ☆
Netgear Night Hawk Wireless Router

Product Name: Netgear Nighthawk XR500

Product Description: AC2600 WIFI ROUTER. Nighthawk Pro Gaming is designed for the ultimate gaming performance. The XR500 Router takes the best-in-class Nighthawk features with cutting edge software, giving you the power to win. Compete in FPS games and make sure that your Twitch stream has the highest quality with stability. Optimize game performance and kill lag before network issues arise.

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Performance - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Range - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Firmware - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Looks - 9/10
    9/10
  • Price - 8/10
    8/10

The Specs

Speed: 802.11ac, 2.4GHz – 800Mbps / 5GHz – 1733Mbps
Connectivity: 2x USB 3.0, 1xWAN, 4xLAN
Processor: Dual-core 1.7GHz
Dimensions: 12.7×9.6×2.2 inches
Features: Parental controls, Advanced Setup Wizard, robust content filtering, virtual private network (VPN) support

Pros

  • Awesome for gamers(!)
  • Simple to install
  • Looks badass
  • Great, continuous performance
  • Breathtaking close-range performance

Cons

  • Not great with long range
  • Although gaming performance is great, lacks in other areas
  • Cost is a little prohibitive unless investing in a gaming router

The Write Up

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 turns in a performance many of its rivals do not live up to.

Although the hardware is not groundbreaking, it is the software that allows the Nighthawk XR500 kick ass.

Netgear has teamed up with DumaOS which gives your rig an extra edge. The hardware helps reduce the lag, but it is the DumaOS software that is the real hero.

Design and Setup

Netgear has designed the Nighthawk XR500 Pro specifically for gamers, and the angular edges and B-move sci-fi shell is an attempt to make the router blend in with the rest of your gaming rig.

Netgear may not have pulled the design off as well as they could perhaps, but the Nighthawk XR500 Pro does take the central podium against its competitors in terms of appearance.

Fortunately, Netgear made a better job of the set up and configuration. It only takes a few minutes, but requires more manual input than rival routers. A synch for gamers though.

Once you’ve plug it in, head over to http://routerlogin.net. A setup wizard will test your internet speed and prompt you to update your login details.

Then the real magic starts.

When you login, you will be confronted with the DumaOS. The all-web-based utility is a dream for gamers.

Not only does the software have a great UX, features like geofilter, anti-bufferbloat and bandwidth allocation really make a difference to your gaming experience.

Connectivity and Performance

Performance speeds are fairly standard – 2.4GHz will give you up to 800Mbps, and 5GHz maxes out at 1733Mbps. The wired Ethernet connection helps to picks up throughput speeds.

When tested alongside the Alienware 15 R3, on a 5GHz, the Nighthawk showed its true worth – hitting 924Mbps compared to the Alienware’s normal 876Mbps. Another plus, albeit not always essential for a home router is the range. The Nighthawk is capable of reaching up to 150 meters although the throughout speed obviously weakens the further away you are from the router.

Having said that, you will still get a better quality stream with the Nighthawk than most home routers carrying the same specs even if the router is downstairs and you’re playing away in your bedroom. You might experience some lag in the attic though.

Box title

The Nighthawk XR500 Pro Game may not be the quickest router on the market, but it is an essential tool for players that want more control over your gaming experience. With a £240 price point, this is not the cheapest option available either, but is worth the dough if you want to amp up your game play.

Titan Score:  8.3/10

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5

Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wireless Router

☆ TITAN NUMBER 5 ☆
linksys wireless router

Product Name: Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wireless Router

Product Description: The WRT1900ACS is the ideal router in its class. At speeds of 1.9 Gbps, it delivers unmatched performance for the demanding networks. Equipped with the first four-antenna configuration and professional-grade 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU, the WRT1900ACS provides high signal strength and range. The professional-grade WRT1900ACS Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router from Linksys offers speeds up to N600 + AC1300 Mbps in addition to a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor that's designed to push data through the network at lightning-fast speeds.

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Performance - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Range - 6/10
    6/10
  • Firmware - 8/10
    8/10
  • Looks - 8/10
    8/10
  • Price - 9.8/10
    9.8/10

The Specs

Speed: 802.11ac, 2.4GHz – 600Mbps / 5GHz – 1.3Gbps
Connectivity: 1 x USB 2.0 & 3.0, 4 x Ethernet ports
Processor: Turbo QAM support
Dimensions: 10.1×7.3×1,6 inches
Features: Smart Wi-Fi Cloud, parental controls

Pros

  • Great for the price
  • Impeccable wireless performance
  • OpenVPN Server
  • Top notch performance when it comes to storage sharing
  • WDS bridging and repeating

Cons

  • 2.4 GHZ performance is awful
  • Looks bulky
  • Support for only three spatial streams
  • Build quality isn’t all that
  • Range isn’t great, but close wireless performance is unbelievably good

The Write Up

The WRT1900AC Dual Band Wireless has been built to rival the all-conquering Asus RT-AC68U – so is Linksys most important router of 2019. And they’ve pretty much gone all out in order to compete with their closest rivals.

The AC1900 not only delivers an uncompromising performance, but Linksys has also been aggressive with the pricing, a snip at £150 when compared to other top-end routers on the market.

Ahhh, now that’s piqued your interest hasn’t it…

Design and Setup

Whilst Linksys has not necessarily challenged the traditional look of wireless routers, they have made a little bit of effort to move away from the standard blueprint. They’ve even added a bit of blue – at the front of the casing.

The other significant factor is that the build quality is rock solid and has wall-mountable brackets which make placing the device in a central location more convenient.

Setting up the device takes ten simple steps – five or six more than most other routers to be fair. But the Smart Setup Wizard is intuitive and takes under 20 minutes to nail it. Once you’re done, you can control your home network from remote locations via the mobile app.

Connectivity and Performance

There’s no arguing the Linksys WRT 1900AC turns in an impressive performance. Throughput is excellent, a lot better than most wireless clients on the market.

Fitted with a professional-grade 1.6 GHz dual-core processor and three beam-forming antennas, the signal is focused towards individual devices rather than a blanket signal. As a result, everyone gets a solid connection.

Another bonus is the four gigabit Ethernet ports that enable users to transfer data 10 times faster than Fast Ethernet. The 600Mbps speeds on a 2.4GHz still fall short of the Asus’ top dog, but its still quick enough to prevent anybody from quibbling.

Bottom Line

The Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router boasts some powerful networking hardware and is a good option for large homes that rely on routers that have a wide range and fast download speeds.

Setup takes slightly longer, but only so users can access the router settings from a smartphone. And for £150, this router offers excellent value for money.

Titan Score:  8.3/10

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BB

Trendnet TEW-818RU AC1900 Dual-Band Router – Budget Buy

☆ TITAN BONUS ☆
trendnet wireless router

Product Name: Trendnet TEW-818RU AC1900 Dual-Band Router

Product Description: TRENDnet’s AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router, model TEW-818DRU, is a great little router at the price (despite mixed reviews - we tested it and it was excellent!) It creates two concurrent wireless networks - a 1.3 Gigabit Wireless AC network and a 600 Mbps Wireless N network to connect common wireless devices.

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Performance - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Range - 7/10
    7/10
  • Firmware - 8/10
    8/10
  • Looks - 8/10
    8/10
  • Price - 10/10
    10/10

The Specs

Speed: 802.11ac dual band, 2.4GHz – 600Mbps / 5GHz – 1300Mbps
Connectivity: 4 x LAN, 1 WAN, 1x USB 2.0 and 3.0, 2x SSID
Processor: 1.3GB Dual-core
Dimensions: 48x155x180mm
Features: Pre-encrypted, Firewall, parental controls

Pros

  • Fantastic price for the performance
  • AC1900 tech inside
  • USB 3.0 and 2.0
  • Extremely simple to set up
  • Astounding 802.11 ac throughput

Cons

  • 2.4 GHZ performance not great
  • Limited mounting options
  • Interface leaves a little be desired

The Write Up

You may not have heard of Trendnet already, but if the electronics firm continues to craft advanced technologies with price-friendly tags, you will be hearing much more of them in years to come.

The TEW-818DRU AC1900 v1.1 is a prime example of the company’s philosophy.

Here they have produced a high-speed router that delivers Gigabit Ethernet speeds on a 5GHz broadband so you can enjoy online gaming and HD streaming on a reliable and secure connection.

Design and Setup

In terms of design, the TEW-818DRU practically mirrors its predecessor; a textured, dark pseudo-metal finish gives it a sleek outer shell.

It looks pretty cool – from a distance.

Get close up and there’s a hideous plastic beige filler sandwiched in the middle. It’s a budget piece of equipment. There’s been no expense spared.

But it’s the technology that matters the most, and the TEW-818DRU AC1900 v1.1 shows its class with a simple, user-friendly setup.

Plug it in, connect the WAN to your broadband modem, and that’s it. The router has default settings. All you have to do is name the network and give it a password.

Router setups do not come more simple than that!

Connectivity and Performance

There are advanced setup options if you want to enhance connectivity and performance, however.

Again, Trendnet makes this very easy with an intuitive user-interface whereby you select the features and update the options available.

Most users probably won’t need to change the default settings. And given 802.11ac routers are more superior to pre-existing Wi-Fi’s, you will be satisfied with the speed and stability immediately.

The 818DRU has excellent throughput and can still reach speeds of 47.12Mbps in the far reaches of a large house – which is 25% faster than other routers in this price bracket.

If your devices have TurboQAM support you’ll get even more out of this budget-friendly speed demon.

Bottom Line

The hardware specs may not be as powerful as the high-end routers we have featured in this article, but the Trendnet TEW-818DRU certainly pummels rival in this price bracket.

At £65.99, you won’t find a wireless router that delivers a fully-rounded package like this; a no-nonsense, cost-effective, one-touch network that delivers an uncompromising internet experience.

What more could you ask for?

Titan Score:  8.3/10

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If you’re in the market for a high-performance wireless router, we trust you will find what you are looking for with our 5 Titans Top Five selection.

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