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Best Wi-Fi 6 routers for your 2020 home wireless setup

Best Wi-Fi 6 routers for your 2020 home wireless setup
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band router.

Today, homes are becoming increasingly smart. By incorporating smart TVs, smartphones and even smart speakers into our daily lives, we undoubtedly will need something to support the increasing range of bandwidth hungry devices within our households.

And with the recent release of Sony’s most powerful console, the PlayStation 5, embracing the future of next-gen gaming needs some getting up to speed.

And fully appreciating the possibilities of next-gen technologies and gaming will require next-gen network systems, in order to optimise its performance and fully unleash its potential. 

That’s where the latest and newest Wi-Fi 6 technologies come into play, to support the increasing number of devices homes have. It’s faster and more efficient than the current Wi-Fi 5, and you can read more here.

Yet, the rise of new technologies comes the ever persistent headache of having to decide which router will deliver the optimal connectivity and help boost the performances of all other devices connected. 

In order to ease the transition to a future of stable, hassle-free and lightning fast connectivity, we’ve put together a list of the newest Wi-Fi 6 routers for you to have a seamless home wireless setup.

1. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band router

This chunky router may look like a mystical inscribed stone right out of the ruins of a lost city, but it’s anything but ancient. The Asus ROG GT-AX11000 is the world’s first tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router.

Featuring a trailblazing performance 1.8 GigaHertz Quad Core cpu and 2.5 G gaming port, the router has a lightning fast maximum speed of 11,000Mbps. This means greatly reduced ping rate and latency gameplay, thus accelerating and optimising online gaming experiences. 

Moreover, this Wi-Fi 6 router offers an 80 per cent greater network coverage and dedicated gaming-focused elements. And while enjoying lag-free time, you can game with a peace of mind as the AsusAiProtection security helps neutralise internet threats before they hit your network.

Outfitted with a gaming-dedicated Wi-Fi band, the router prevents competition for network bandwidth from other wireless devices while you are gaming. This, alongside the DFS (dynamic frequency selection) support means less network congestion during gameplay. 

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The router even boasts a NAT Open (network address translation) ecosystem, creating a user-friendly three-step configuration process for port forwarding on consoles. Console gamers will now find it easier to team up with other players or host matches.

The router even offers a Game Radar feature for checking ping rates of different servers, to allow gamers to select matches with the best connection. It is a little on the pricey side at US$409 (S$550), but its performance will more than likely justify its pricing.

2. Asus RT-AX82U Dual-Band gaming router

If the ROG GT-AX11000 looks like an ancient stone, then placing the RT-AX82U alongside it creates a true juxtaposition. With its sleek black finish and Aura RGB dynamic lighting effects, this Wi-Fi 6 router looks like a futuristic alien spaceship right out of a sci-fi movie.

Priced at just US$229, its delivery of Wi-Fi 6 speeds of up to 5,400Mbps and the increased signal range of the router thanks to Wi-Fi 6, helps reduce the number of Wi-Fi dead spots within your home, so you can finally kiss lag times in gameplay goodbye.

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While the Wi-Fi 6 router is built to support mobile gaming, it also comes with a specialised Gaming Port which doubles as a LAN port. Any device hooked up to it via the port will thus be prioritised, allowing the user to enjoy fast and stable connection.

Moreover, similar to the ROG GT-AX11000, the RT-AX82U also boasts a NAT Open ecosystem to ease the process of teaming up with other console players or hosting matches.

And furthering their dedication to gamers, you can configure the Adaptive QoS (Quality of Service) feature to prioritise traffic from different kinds of apps, including games. 

3. Asus ZenWifi XT8 Tri-Band mesh system

Comprising a pair of Asus AX6600 routers and priced at a hefty US$448, these mesh routers certainly don’t come cheap. However, despite burning a hole in your pockets, the Tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system is equipped to deliver the best connections to your home.

The unique antenna placement enables the router to deliver a total wireless speed of 6600Mbps, which is coupled with a strong and stable connection to every nook and cranny of your home.

The mesh system runs on a quad-core CPU, optimising its signal strength and along with its specially-designed vents, allowing the Wi-Fi 6 router to better support your gaming sessions.

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Using AiMesh Technology, the router offers next-Gen Wi-Fi 6 Technology for all that gaming goodness and seamless connectivity across multiple wireless devices.

Using OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) and MU-MIMO (Multi-user Multi-input Multi-output), the ZenWiFi XT8 boasts increased efficiency in transmission which won’t be hindered even with multiple devices transmitting data at the same time.

The Wi-Fi 6 router blends in perfectly with your smart-home ecosystem, working perfectly with services such as Alexa skills and IFTTT. It even comes in two finishes, black or white to better integrate nicely with your home decor.

4. Linksys E9450 EasyMesh router

Despite looking like a PlayStation 5 imposter, this powerful router definitely isn’t trying to be sus given its powerful performance. Priced at $399, the Dual-band router is powered by a tri-core 1.5GHz processor, allowing it to transmit 2.4GHz (600Mbps) and 5GHz (4,800Mbps) connections.

This Wi-Fi 6 router comes with four internal antennas, and effortlessly covers up to 2,500 square feet (230 square metres) with a bandwidth of over 40 devices across three bedrooms wirelessly.

What if you just purchased an actual shiny new PS5 console and wish to connect it to the router, yet you’ve already connected your PC and smart TV to it?

With four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port, you can easily connect up to five devices directly to the Linksys E9450, and won’t have to worry too much about running out of ports to connect to.

The router even comes equipped with a new Easymesh modular technology, allowing for fuss-free and better spread connection to Linksys nodes across your home.

5. Linksys MX5 Velop AX mesh system (MX5300)

Questionable home layouts have often led to some serious head-scratching and hair-pulling when trying to deal with sudden drops in wireless connectivity for multiple devices in use concurrently. As such, Linksys introduced one of the first mesh network devices to rectify this issue.

Now, the system is back with some big upgrades to join in the journey of creating cutting edge Wi-Fi 6 technologies.

The Linksys Velop MX5 (read our review) is a WiFi amplifier with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core processor that offers faster speeds, wider coverage and larger capacity for better wireless connections.

This alleviates congestion faced by previous Wi-Fi technologies and allows for the delivery of speeds at four times faster than previous mesh networks.

Priced at US$699.99 for a 2-pack, the router boasts a 4 x 4 MU-MIMO Tri-band system delivering true gigabit speeds of up to 5.3 Gbps with 12-stream connectivity for simultaneous gaming, 4K TV, HD streaming and support of the latest and upcoming mobile technologies.

Moreover, additional coverage within your home can be obtained by simply adding more Velop Mesh WiFi nodes around the house.

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Setting up the MX5 is easy and fuss-free. If your home lacks the Velop system, simply download the Linksys app on your smartphone, create a new account, plug in the LAN cable from the ONT to the MX5, and power it up.

You can even follow the step-by-step instructions provided on your mobile screen to complete the set up. Furthermore, BSS (basic Service Set) Colouring Technology reduces network interference from other Wi-Fi networks.

Now, you can enjoy gaming from anywhere in your home without the fear of Wi-Fi dead spots.

6. Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Tri-Band router

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 truly embraces its name, easily passing off as a variation of the iconic Batwing from the Caped Crusader’s nightly adventures.

And just as the Batwing sweeps across the skies, the Wi-Fi 6 router sweeps across your entire home with greater network capacity and a consistent, powerful signal strength for all connected devices.

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Priced at a steep US$699.99, the router justifies its price with a powerful dual-core processor with a fully offloaded CPU boosts the performance of the network.

Along with the OFDMA, 1024-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), and 160MHz channel support it provides Gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity for faster streaming, downloading and connecting to all devices in use.

7. TP-Link Archer AX11000 Tri-Band gaming router

With eight antennas sticking out, this Wi-Fi 6 router may look a little silly, but its performance is nothing to laugh about.

With 1.8GHz Quad-core processor, 1 gigabyte (GB) of RAM, and 512 megabytes (MB) of flash memory, this 12-stream tri-band router is capable of reaching Wi-Fi speeds of over 10 Gbps: 1,148 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 4,804 Mbps on each of the two 5 GHz bands. 

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The router also features a 2.5 Gbps WAN port and eight Gigabit LAN ports, 2 USB 3.0 in Type A and Type C for increased connectivity.

Similar to other routers above, the Archer AX11000 employs OFDMA, 1024 QAM, 4X4 MU-MIMO data streaming, beamforming, DFS, and support for 160MHz channel bandwidth to cut latency and optimise streaming, gaming and more while reducing lag. 

Moreover, the Wi-Fi 6 router comes with a host of anti-malware tools, WPA3 encryption, and a free lifetime subscription of homecare security system to help keep your account and information secure.

The router also boasts BSS Colouring Technology that reduces overlaps with other network transmissions. At a price of $449, the router certainly doesn’t make for a budget one, but with all the features available, it’s definitely worth the investment in the long run.

With the constant development of smarter home devices, it is important to have good support and wireless connectivity in order to push the performance of these next-gen technologies.

You may feel your wallet crying as you try to decide between investing in your gaming consoles or your Wi-Fi systems.

However, at the end of the day, it could be worth upgrading the heart of home networks and take advantage of the blazing speeds and improved bandwidth of one of these premium Wi-Fi 6 routers. 

This article was first published in Geek Culture.

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