What is the best Wi-Fi router on the market?

7. Synology RT2600ac – Best with storage option

Synology approached its line of routers with the same design ethos as its excellent line of NAS and the RT2600ac is the stunning result. While some manufacturers just talk about security, flexibility and performance, the RT2600ac unequivocally meets all three criteria. It’s also very handy if you don’t have a NAS drive yet, as it’s possible to add a hard drive to this router to become one.

FAQ Buying a Wi-Fi Router

Choosing a Wi-Fi 6 router or a Wi-Fi 6E?

Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) is still the most popular standard today, but we think you should go for Wi-Fi 6 unless it’s for you. too expensive.

It’s important to understand that Wi-Fi 6 isn’t consistently faster than Wi-Fi 5: you need to look at specs and read user reviews to be sure how a router performs in the real world.

Manufacturers use terms like AX1800 and AX5400 to describe overall performance and allow buyers to make comparisons, but that’s a pretty misleading number.

Indeed, it is the total speed calculated by adding the possible speeds using different frequencies, including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. However, devices only connect to one frequency at a time.

Other factors come into play, such as the number of data streams a router can broadcast simultaneously.

The highest speeds are often achievable only with routers and relatively expensive phones/laptops/tablets.

In summary, here’s the takeaway: Wi-Fi 6 offers additional features that enhance your overall experience. However, you will need Wi-Fi 6 in your mobile devices to take full advantage of it.

Of course, Wi-Fi 6 already has its successors, but there is little point in choosing a Wi-Fi 6E router, because the prices are very high and few phones and other devices are compatible. And, surprisingly, Wi-Fi 7 is on the way and seems to be the one to go for eventually.

What Features to Look for in a Router?

Once you have decided on the Wi-Fi standard and know whether you need a router with or without a modem, you still have to determine your budget and decide which features will be useful to you.

Since many homes require wired Ethernet connections, it’s a good idea to have plenty of LAN ports.

Look to gigabit ports, which are up to 10 times faster than older 10/100 Ethernet ports.

Don’t worry too much about the number of ports, as they can be easily and cheaply expanded using a hub such as the TP-Link SG1005D, although this does give you more power cables to conceal.

If you want to share a hard drive without the hassle of buying a NAS drive, look for a router with a USB port that supports storage. Many routers also allow a USB printer to be shared this way. Synology’s RT2600ac router combines the software of its NAS drives with the hardware of the router, so you can simply add your own external storage.

Most routers allow you to create a separate “guest” network for your friends to connect to, without having access to computers and other gadgets on your home network. This can be very useful if you run a small business, like a bed and breakfast, or rent out properties on Airbnb.

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