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What Is a WiFi 6 Router? Which One Is Best for 2022?

As the heart of a wireless network, a router is an indispensable network device in modern homes. However, it’s getting harder and harder for last-gen WiFi 5 routers to keep up with the ever-growing number of online devices (including smart devices) and high-bandwidth applications (AR, VR, 8K video, and more).

This is where WiFi 6 comes in.

In this article, we’ll walk you through what a WiFi 6 router is, what benefits you can expect from it, and how to choose the one that best suits you.

If you’re just looking for a lowdown on everything, we’ve provided you with plenty of lists detailing WiFi 6 features.

What is a WiFi 6 router?

First, we need to know what a router is.

A router receives and sends data on computer networks. It’s typically connected to a modem to receive data packets from the internet, then distributes them to personal devices like computers, phones, and tablets.

A router provides Ethernet ports for wired access and supports specific WiFi standards for wireless access.

A WiFi 6 router supports the new-generation WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax) standard.

As one of the most advanced innovations in WiFi technology rolling out globally, WiFi 6 (802.11ax) is designed to improve speeds, increase efficiency, and reduce congestion in high-bandwidth usage scenarios.

What are the benefits of having a WiFi 6 router?

Built and improved upon from WiFi 5 (802.11ac), WiFi 6 enhances router performance, significantly improving your WiFi experiences even in highly crowded networks.

  • Explosively fast WiFi up to 9.6 Gbps. WiFi 6 packs more data with 1024-QAM, increasing raw speeds by 25% compared to WiFi 5. It also expands the WiFi band from 80 MHz to 160 MHz, doubling the channel width. Experience stutter-free VR and enjoy stunning 4K and 8K streaming.
  • 4× more capacity for more devices. WiFi 6 uses 8×8 uplink/downlink MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and BSS Color to provide up to 4× larger capacity to handle more devices. Come home to a virtually flawless smart home experience or throw house parties with a network built to serve all the devices of your guests.
  • Lower power consumption. Target Wake Time (TWT) allows devices to negotiate when and how often they will wake up to send or receive data, increasing device sleep time and substantially improving battery life for mobile and IoT devices.
  • Backward compatible. WiFi 6 takes your WiFi to the next level while being backward compatible with the previous 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards. Your new devices with the latest WiFi standard get their best performance, while older devices with earlier WiFi standards can still function.

How to choose a WiFi 6 router

Follow the instructions below to better understand your network needs and choose the best router for you.

  • Consider the broadband speeds of your ISP.

    WiFi 6 routers are generally equipped with gigabit WAN ports to benefit the most from the broadband speeds of local ISPs. If your ISP provides more than 1 Gbps broadband speeds, consider buying a router with a 2.5 Gbps WAN port, such as Archer AX90 or Archer AX6000.

  • Consider your ideal scenarios.

    For daily use like web surfing, video streaming, and downloads, an entry-level router like Archer AX10 or Archer AX20 is sufficient. For zero-latency online gaming, choose a high-end gaming router like Archer AX11000 or Archer GX90. Refer to the table below for more information.

    Table 1: Ideal scenarios for WiFi 6 routers

    Level

    Model

    WiFi Speed

    Ideal For

     

    Flagship

     

    High-end

    Archer AX11000

    AX11000

     

    √ VR

    √ Online gaming, 4K and 8K streaming

    √ Daily surfing, online videos, video conferencing

    Archer GX90

    AX6600

    Archer AX90

    AX6600

    Archer AX6000

    AX5400

    Professional Mid-level

    Archer AX73

    AX5400

    √ Online gaming, 4K and 8K streaming

    √ Daily surfing, online videos, video conferencing

    Archer AX72

    AX5400

    Archer AX55

    AX3000

    Archer AX50

    AX3000

    Entry-level

    Archer AX23

    AX1800

    √ Daily surfing, online video, video conferencing

    Archer AX21

    AX1800

    Archer AX20

    AX1800

    Archer AX10

    AX1500

  • Consider the WiFi speeds for your devices.

    Make sure the router’s WiFi speeds at each band meet your needs. Your maximum internet speed depends on your internet service, but routers that provide faster speeds still benefit connections between devices on your home network.

  • Consider the WiFi range you need.

    To avoid weak signals in areas where you need WiFi, check the router’s specifications and ensure its WiFi range is sufficient. If one router can hardly cover your spacious house or multiple floors, consider getting a router and an extender that both support OneMesh for seamless WiFi coverage and centralized management.

  • Consider other features you may need and how much you’re willing to spend.

    Just like any other router, WiFi 6 routers come with various features that can bring specific benefits. But remember that every feature ups the price tag. The best router for you is the one that best meets your networking needs.

Best WiFi 6 routers for 2022

Featuring numerous products and pricing options from entry-level to high-end, TP-Link is committed to serving more people WiFi 6 and leading the way in WiFi 6 technology through our AX product line.

Best WiFi 6 router for gaming: Archer AX11000

Built for victory, the CES innovation award-winning AX11000 Tri-Band Gaming Router brings WiFi speed to a revolutionary level—over 10 Gbps, demolishing network latency and interference. More than that, Archer AX11000 serves as a game accelerator to optimize gaming streams, as a game protector with the HomeCare security system, and as a game network analyzer with its finely tuned UI.

Best WiFi 6 router overall: Archer AX73

Equipped with the top structure 4T4R and HE160 on the 5 GHz band, Archer AX73 enables users to enjoy the ultra-fast 5.4 Gbps WiFi that can stream multiple 8K videos without buffering. With the HomeShield service kit including Antivirus, Parental Controls, QoS, and Home Network Scanner, Archer AX73 delivers expert-level care for managing your network.

Best WiFi 6 router for mobile devices: Archer AX55

Featuring a 160 MHz bandwidth and 1024-QAM, Archer AX55 delivers true gigabit speeds up to 3 Gbps. Drastically improved speeds enable streaming, fast downloading, and gaming—all at the same time. 5 GHz with 160 MHz channel support doubles the bandwidth, enabling 8K video without lag. 4 high-performance external antennas boost WiFi signals throughout your home.

Best WiFi 6 router for entry-level: Archer AX23

Archer AX23 provides super-fast dual-band wireless connections with speeds up to 1.8 Gbps—perfect for 4K streaming and short download times. Thanks to breakthroughs in efficiency, Archer AX23 delivers pure power, outperforming all other AX1800 routers that TP-Link has tested—all at a lower price point. In the lab, Archer AX23 surpasses its direct competitors from six top brands in speed and coverage performance while saving more energy.

Best affordable WiFi 6 router: Archer AX10

If you have a limited budget for home network devices, Archer AX10 may also be a good choice. Archer AX10 is the first product to offer WiFi 6 technology at a cost similar to a WiFi 5 router and speeds up to 1,500 Mbps. Enjoy all the benefits of WiFi 6, at the lowest price possible.

Can’t wait to choose your own WiFi 6 routers? Go and search for your WiFi 6 routers now, or simply follow our online router-buying guide for step-by-step instructions.

More information about WiFi 6:

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6

TP-Link Brings WiFi 6 to Everyone

What Is a WiFi 6 Adapter?