Best Budget WiFi 6 Routers of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

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Upgrading to the best budget WiFi 6 router can significantly improve network functionality without costing you a fortune.

This new technology is essential for households with more than five devices connected to the Internet.

There are plenty of options when it comes to routers, which is why we’ve chosen five of the best for you to consider.

Comparison Chart

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TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX50) – 802.11ax Router, Gigabit Router, Dual Band, OFDMA, MU-MIMO, Parental Controls, Built-in HomeCare,Works with Alexa
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ASUS AX5700 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX86U) – Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, 2.5G Port, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Free Lifetime Internet Security
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NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Wifi 6 Router (RAX120) – AX6000 Wireless Speed (Up to 6 Gbps) | 3,500 sq. ft. Coverage
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Linksys AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 Router for Home Networking, Dual Band AX Wireless Gigabit WiFi Router, Fast Speeds up to 3.2 Gbps and Coverage up to 2,500 sq ft, Parental Controls, Maximum 25 Devices (E8450)
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Rockspace WiFi Router – Routers for Wireless Internet, Computer Routers, Gaming Router, WiFi 6 Router, AX1800, Wireless Router, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, Gigabit WAN/LAN Ports, USB 3.0, WPS, IPv6, 4K Video Streaming

Best Budget WiFi 6 Router Reviews

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Router

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First on our list is the stylish NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Router.

This router offers speeds up to 6 Gbps. It boasts 3,500 square feet of coverage, so anyone in your house can enjoy a stable WiFi connection.

If you’re searching for faster speeds and more power, this is a fantastic product to consider.

Product Highlights

With this router, you’ll notice significant improvements when streaming movies and playing games, as well as when downloading files.

If your bandwidth supports it, you should be able to acquire up to 6 Gbps worth of WiFi speeds.

This device is highly compatible with all internet providers up to 2 Gbps, ranging from fiber to DSL internet.

What’s more, setting up your new router with the Nighthawk app is an extremely streamlined process.

Users can manage all of their WiFi settings within the app, such as viewing speed history.

You’ll also be able to keep an eye on data usage as well as test your internet speed when needed.

If you’re looking for a plug-and-play experience, this is one of the more high-quality models to consider.

As soon as you connect the router to your existing modem, the setup will begin on its own.

You’ll appreciate the two 3.0 USB connections for attaching storage drives, and you can create a personal cloud account.

There’s also plenty of wired Ethernet ports for all of your devices, including four 1G ports and one 1/2.5/5G port.

The 2.2 GHz quad-core processor provides remarkable speeds to reduce lag and latency when gaming or streaming.

It also features Dynamic QoS, allowing you to maximize your home network’s potential.

With the integrated Amazon Alexa Voice Control, you can quickly add it to your existing smart home devices.

The Smart Connect feature lets you connect all of your devices simultaneously to your WiFi.

You’ll find support for WPA3 and WPA2 protocols, as well as Guest WiFi features, DoS protection, and VPN support.

Users can also opt to sign up for NETGEAR Armor for $69.99/year.

Your subscription provides anti-virus and anti-malware protection as well as fraud, phishing, and ransomware security.

With a paid account, you’ll have protection for an unlimited number of devices connected to the network.

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What to Like About It

Setting the NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Router up is extremely simple with the integrated features.

You’ll be able to connect to the Internet from anywhere in your home, as this device ensures there aren’t any dead spots.

You will also be far less likely to experience WiFi drops, even with 20+ clients simultaneously connected.

What Not to Like About It

It would be convenient if this router had more Ethernet ports, especially for its price.

Also, it doesn’t have auto-reboot functionality, even though the mobile app would be an impressive add-on.

Pros:

  • Straightforward setup
  • Zero WiFi drops
  • No dead spots
  • Easily manages 20+ clients

Cons:

  • Requires more Ethernet ports
  • Doesn’t have auto-reboot functionality

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The TP-Link WiFi 6 Smart WiFi Router is a dual-band router from a company that won the JP Power Award for customer satisfaction.

You’ll have plenty of benefits with this device, including faster speeds and more reliable connectivity.

What’s more, it has a slim design that makes it easy to fit into your home office.

Product Highlights

In this router, you’ll find a dual-core Intel CPU that assists with reducing buffering and offers a smoother experience.

It also provides speeds up to three times faster than previous-generation routers.

Homes with plenty of internet-connected devices will like how they can connect four times more devices to the same network.

Also, the next-gen speeds are easily achieved, thanks to the four-stream dual-band technology.

You’ll get speeds as high as 2402 Mbps on 5 GHz bands and 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz bands.

If you are someone who streams content and enjoys gaming, this is one of the best options for you.

The TP-Link WiFi 6 Smart WiFi Router boasts OFDMA technology that allows you to communicate more data per second.

This upgrade ensures you can connect more devices to your WiFi without slowing your connection down.

You’ll also begin to notice significant improvements to internet lag throughout your devices and apps.

It can be beneficial to consider this router if you’re a fan of 4K videos, online gaming, or video chatting.

On average, users can experience up to 75% less lag than with previous-gen routers.

You will experience increased battery life, too, as it requires less power to connect to the router.

Another impressive feature is the parental controls. With this, parents can have peace of mind by protecting their children from accessing inappropriate sites.

You can also ensure your network and devices are protected from cyber-attacks with TP-Link HomeCare.

Each router purchase includes a free lifetime subscription to the anti-virus program, including parental controls.

The backward-compatible features of the TP-Link WiFi 6 Smart WiFi Router are essential for adding to your existing setup.

Using the TP-Link tether app, you can reconnect to your Internet within seconds.

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What to Like About It

This router is impressive regarding faster speeds, as you will see significant increases with WiFi connectivity.

Also, if you need to change any settings, you don’t have to reboot the entire unit.

Users can opt to turn the LED indicators off, convenient for open storage. You’ll also appreciate the router’s casing is slimmer than expected.

What Not to Like About It

The most considerable concern with this router is the inaccessibility of its functions, which is different than older models.

You won’t have built-in features, like parental controls, and you’ll be required to use the mobile app to access them.

Pros:

  • Changes don’t require reboots
  • Slimmer than expected
  • Can turn LED indicators off
  • Encourages faster speeds

Cons:

  • Requires extra setup for network management
  • No built-in parental controls

3. ASUS AX5700 WiFi Gaming Router

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ASUS is renowned for its gaming equipment that ranges from PCs to routers.

With the ASUS AX5700, you will have powerful speeds that provide a dual-band gigabit wireless connection.

It’s also powered by unique technology specifically designed to improve the gaming experience.

Product Highlights

Although the ASUS AX5700 WiFi Gaming Router is advertised for gaming, it is more than sufficient for everyday use.

Households looking for a significant boost to their internet are sure to be impressed with the ultrafast speeds.

You can increase your network to 5700 Mbps and access 160 MHz channels.

One of the more unique features is the Mobile Game mode, ideal for reducing latency and lag.

If you are a mobile gamer, all you have to do is use the ASUS Router app to adjust mobile gaming settings.

Another impressive component is the accurate 2 Gbps wireless and wired speeds.

You’ll find a 2.5 Gbps port, which is the perfect option for people who prefer to connect their gaming PCs via Ethernet.

Compared to standard WiFi 5 routers, this model is a substantial upgrade that’s up to three times faster.

Your devices will also experience seven times more battery life, and you’d be able to connect four times more devices.

If you have begun to notice a significant WiFi range reduction, this router is a great device to consider.

Users have experienced ranges that are up to 80% further to cover every area of your home.

AiMesh is one of the more innovative technologies with wireless networks in your home.

This router is compatible with Asus AiMesh, allowing you to connect multiple routers simultaneously.

You won’t need to worry about throwing out your previous-generation routers, as they can quickly be networked together.

Another significant upgrade in this unit is the dedicated gaming port that can be prioritized.

When a wired device is connected, the router will automatically prioritize it without any extra steps.

Users can use the adaptive QoS features, too, allowing you to prioritize other items on your network.

If you’re concerned about network security, the ASUS AX5700 WiFi Gaming Router has a commercial-level solution.

With your router purchase, you’ll have access to commercial-grade AiProtection Pro, as well as WPA3 security protocols.

Parents have innovative parental controls, ensuring every device is sufficiently connected when on your network.

When you download the mobile app, you can analyze your traffic, manage the guest WiFi, and run network diagnostics.

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What to Like About It

The most considerable benefit you’ll experience immediately is the significant upgrade to the WiFi range in your home.

You’ll also find that when on 5 GHz, you’ll have adequate stability for all-day use.

Users will find it’s one of the better routers for managing a lot of traffic, and it’s very durable.

What Not to Like About It

The ASUS AX5700 WiFi Gaming Router requires more firmware updates than expected, which can be a hassle.

Also, if you want to connect it to your smart home, Alexa isn’t 100% functional with the device at this time.

Pros:

  • Significant WiFi range upgrade
  • Durably built
  • Good 5 GHz stability
  • Handles plenty of traffic

Cons:

  • Requires consistent firmware updates
  • Alexa connectivity isn’t 100% functional

4. Linksys AX3200 Router

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Linksys is one of the most well-known brands in router manufacturing, and for good reasons.

Their new WiFi 6 router is a powerful option in homes up to 2500 square feet searching for network upgrades.

You should obtain speeds up to 3.2 Gbps and simultaneous connectivity for 25+ mobile devices.

Product Highlights

The Linksys AX3200 Router performance is sure to be a substantial upgrade from your existing gear.

You can connect more than 25 devices to the network, including gaming systems, PCs, smartphones, and smart home devices.

The setup is effortless and is essential for beginners, as it provides a step-by-step wizard to guide you through the process.

You’ll immediately notice an improvement in network speeds, thanks to the dual-band streaming function.

Wireless signals on 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz channels can simultaneously experience stronger connections.

Users can also switch between both channels for added performance and range.

Protecting the users on your network is effortless with the impressive parental controls. The upgraded security features can help you blacklist specific devices and limit online access.

You’ll also be able to create a guest account, which is essential for securing your data.

As mentioned, this device is ideal for beginners, as it has many of the same features as previous-gen devices.

For example, the setup is browser-based rather than app-based; also, it’s very straightforward to connect to your devices.

With four Ethernet ports, you can manage most of your devices by adding wired connections.

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What to Like About It

The simple browser interface of the Linksys AX3200 Router makes it incredibly straightforward to set up.

It also offers plenty of range for 2500 square feet, especially in mid-sized condos.

If you need a router to reduce internet slowdown in a slim package, this is a phenomenal model to consider.

What Not to Like About It

When setting up your guest network, you won’t be able to customize the SSID, which can be frustrating for some.

Also, the WPS is challenging to work with, as it doesn’t function 100% of the time.

Pros:

  • Impressive range
  • Compact design for desks
  • Reduces internet slowdown
  • Simple browser interface

Cons:

  • Cannot change SSID of a guest network
  • Inaccessible WPS features

5. Rockspace AX1800 WiFi Router

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The Rockspace AX1800 WiFi Router has plenty of exciting features to improve your Internet’s overall quality.

If you want a device with many of the same features as mid-level options, this model is useful.

You’ll notice a sharp improvement in data streaming and average computing once it’s installed.

Product Highlights

The first benefit you’ll notice with your new router is improved WiFi speeds using 802.11ax technology.

Users can experience up to four times better network capacity in traffic-dense areas of your home.

The ultra-fast wireless speeds are perfect for 4K streaming and online gaming.

You’ll also find that connecting multiple devices to your network will be far more efficient with less lag.

There are four built-in high-gain antennas with beamforming technology to assist with full-home coverage.

Like other mid-tier modems, this model covers up to 2500 square feet with ease when placed in a central location.

You’ll find that OFDMA technology is built into the device for data scheduling, ensuring data transfer is more efficient.

It’s a significant improvement for homes with multiple devices connected to the network simultaneously.

The quad-core processor helps to reduce latency and boost your overall WiFi performance with uninterrupted connections.

On average, you should be able to connect 35+ devices to the same network with speeds up to 10 times faster.

You’ll also find a USB 3.0 port so that you can connect the unit to storage devices and other peripherals.

Like the Linksys router, the Rockspace AX1800 WiFi Router also boasts a browser-based setup.

One of the router’s more unique features is its BSS Color technology.

With this, the router marks neighboring networks and automatically ignores them to focus solely on your tasks.

This feature significantly reduces interference and ensures your traffic is prioritized on your network.

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What to Like About It

The Rockspace AX1800 WiFi Router is an excellent option for a router that allows devices to connect quickly.

It also boasts impressive coverage for plenty of square feet, even in rooms on the other side of your house.

If you’re worried about setting up a router, this option is convenient, as it lets you easily transfer your existing settings.

What Not to Like About It

If you have a mesh network in your home, this isn’t the best device to consider.

You will find that this router will regularly drop, which can be frustrating to deal with.

Also, smart TVs can experience continuous drops in connection.

Pros:

  • Allows for setting importing
  • Impressive coverage
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Fast connections

Cons:

  • Smart TVs disconnect regularly
  • Unreliable mesh system compatibility

Buyer’s Guide

When buying a router, it’s essential to know what features to look for.

As WiFi 6 is a new technology, here are some of the upgrades your prospective device should have.

1. Coverage/Range

The coverage or range your router provides will make a world of difference in your home.

Even when you have multiple users throughout the house, everyone gets a streamlined wireless connection.

Many WiFi 6 routers provide an exceptional range for homes larger than 2,000 square feet.

You’ll need to take your square footage into account, as well as other areas you’d usually use the Internet.

For example, if you have a 2,000-square-foot home and use your WiFi in the backyard, a WiFi 6 router is essential.

With a 3,000 square foot range, you can connect to the Internet inside, in your backyard, and even on the street.

2. Speed

Router speeds are among the most talked-about features, but they’re not always the most important.

You might find a router that advertises speeds as fast as 2.2 Gbps, but that doesn’t mean that speed is guaranteed.

Most ISPs throttle your internet speed, allowing customers to use a fraction of the entire internet’s power.

With that said, purchasing a router with high speeds can allow you to maximize your connection to your ISP.

Although you might not have 2.2 Gbps, you can get closer to the cap for your specific connection.

This is also important to consider regarding the quality of your connection. Faster routers allow your devices to connect quicker and push more data to each device.

3. Ports

The ports on your router are essential for Ethernet devices and any storage devices you enjoy using.

You’ll want to ensure there are enough ports for you to connect your gaming consoles, cable boxes, and computers.

Most routers have a minimum of four ports and an extra USB 3.0 port for storage.

4. Gaming Optimization

The most impressive upgrade with WiFi 6 routers is that they are optimized for gaming.

Lag and latency will be significantly reduced, essential for lowering in-game slowness and unreliability.

Upgrading your router is best for improving your FPS games’ ping or sure-fire connectivity for MMOs.

Another part of the gaming optimization is to allow users to customize the devices with access to the Internet.

You can quickly adjust your console’s or PC’s prioritization, so it gets the primary chunk of internet speeds.

5. Security

Your network’s security is imperative, especially with the popularity of smart home tools. You’ll need to ensure there are multiple types of passwords you can use, such as WPA and WPA3.

It’s also important to consider the parental controls included, especially with children in the home.

Most modern routers either have built-in security features or packages you can purchase separately.

Budget WiFi 6 Router FAQs

1. Are WiFi 6 routers worth it?

WiFi 6 routers can be a heftier investment than WiFi 5 devices, but it is well worth the cost.

If your household uses the Internet often and has multiple devices connected simultaneously, these routers are ideal.

You’ll have a more streamlined experience and be able to take better advantage of your internet package.

2. Does WiFi 6 penetrate walls better?

The excellent coverage that WiFi 6 provides shows that it can better penetrate walls, especially using beamforming technology.

For the best performance, it is always recommended to place the router in a central location.

However, you’ll find that it’s easier to connect on the other side of the house with 3,000+ square foot ranges.

3. What’s the difference between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6?

The most significant differences between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 pertain to speed, reliability, and range.

It’s an impressive step up that allows homeowners to maximize their internet packages’ efficiency.

As Gigabit internet becomes more popular, you’ll want a device to accommodate faster speeds and more traffic.

4. Is Ethernet better than WiFi 6?

Ethernet is always the superior option compared to any type of WiFi, especially regarding video game consoles and printers/fax machines.

With Ethernet, you are plugged into your modem, directly connected to your ISP.

On the other hand, WiFi is a wireless signal susceptible to environmental and neighborly interference.

You’ll see significant speed improvements with a wired connection regardless of your router type.

5. Will WiFi 6 make my Internet faster?

WiFi 6 will undoubtedly make your internet faster, as it’s designed to boost your connection to your ISP.

You’ll also notice that these routers handle larger groups of traffic far better than previous-generation units.

For example, your old router might have handled 10 people connected simultaneously, while new ones can manage 35+ devices.

Even though more people are on the network, the device will distribute data more efficiently for a faster experience.

Our Final Recommendation

The NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Router is the best budget WiFi 6 router with multiple benefits.

You’ll experience significantly fewer dead spots in your home with its effortless connectivity.

As long as you keep the router updated regularly, you’ll be able to use the internet to its fullest potential.

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