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The 8 Best Wireless Routers in 2020 for a Fast and Reliable Home Network

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Best Wireless Routers 2020

Your internet service provider or ISP typically gives you a router/modem combo and while it does come with WiFi, its speed and range are usually not that good.

If you want a fast and reliable home network, you will need the help of the best wireless routers in 2020 that you can find on the market.

Read further to find out our recommendations.

Best Wireless Routers

1.Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400

Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400

Price: $355

The best overall wireless router on this list is none other than the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400. The company’s Nighthawk series is especially geared towards gamers, but I find that this particular model is actually a great all-arounder.

It is a WiFi 6 router that enables you to tap into the newest and fastest standard. Of course, you will need to have a device that can support it, but future-proofing your home network is not a bad thing at all.

This router is quite easy to set up thanks to Netgear’s Router Genie. Its dual-bands provide the fastest possible speeds and the unit is coupled with a 1.5GHz Triple-core processor so you will know that it can handle multiple devices without a hitch.

For security, it has WPA3 compatibility so that no other user can connect to the network without knowing your WiFi password.

People that want consistent and reliable data streams would love its included beamforming and Smart Connect features.

While this router is expensive, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400 is certainly one that you should consider buying for a future-proofed network.

2.Google Nest Wifi

Google Nest Wifi

Price: $239 (2Pcs)

If you want to build a smart home, the Google Nest Wifi is definitely one that you’d want to consider. That is because it not only acts as a router but it can also be your voice assistant as well.

It has a rather simple design so that no matter where you want to put them, it would fit right in.

The Google Nest Wifi is a dual-band AC router that is simple to configure and provides excellent range.

This particular unit is perfect for people that just want a plug and play approach to having a router, though keep in mind that other than its built-in virtual assistant, the Nest WiFi doesn’t include any other features.

Still, it has excellent range and because it is easy to set up, it is really not hard to recommend this.

3.Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Price: $375

If you play online games and you want a router that you can rely on, then the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 will not let you down.

This is actually one of the first routers on the market that has adapted the new WiFi 6 standard and its design is really suited for gamers.

It is a tri-band router that comes with 8 oddly shaped antennas for maximum range. It prioritizes game packets by default so your in-game latency is improved, it comes with a lot of Gigabit LAN ports and USB ports if you want to plug in additional devices, and it’s heavily customizable thanks to its robust firmware.

The signal of the router is so good that you need not buy a home mesh WiFi at all.

Despite how feature-rich this particular unit is, keep in mind that its price is too expensive that most people might shy away from this. And, its big price kind of also translates to a much bigger form factor as well. You will need ample space on your desk to place this unit in.

All in all, for anyone that is on the lookout for the best gaming router on the market, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a worthwhile investment.

4.Netgear Nighthawk RS400

Netgear Nighthawk RS400

Price: $170

As cyber threats have become rampant nowadays, it is important that you protect your home network against any attackers.

While installing antivirus software is a good first step towards better online security, your router should also do its job of protecting your devices as well.

That being said, the Netgear Nighthawk RS400 is a strong recommendation, especially if you are looking for a router that puts security at its forefront.

When you buy this product, you are given a code to let you download Bitdefender’s Total Security software. It is a program that comes with a lot of features, not to mention that it is one of the best security programs on the market today.

Aside from impenetrable online defenses, the RS400 also provides you with solid performance across the board. Although its range can cover most homes, it is not its strongest quality.

Still, I would recommend the Netgear Nighthawk RS400 for small to medium-sized homes that want peace of mind when browsing the web.

5.Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi Pro

Price: $329.99

Another mesh router, the Netgear Orbi Pro boasts amazing range, design, and accessibility. Its range is so great that you can even use it in an office as well.

Unlike the Google Nest Home above, you can actually configure a lot of things from within the router itself.

It is an AC router that provides up to 3Gbps of data throughput. It has 4 Gigabit LAN ports if you want to run wired connections and the setup process is a breeze.

Really, with its speed, performance, and easy configurability, it is quite easy to recommend. The only downside is its price because it is really one of the most expensive out there.

But, if you want a reliable router in the office that provides amazing speed and WiFi range, it is definitely worth your money.

6.TP-Link Archer C5400X

TP-Link Archer C5400X

Price: $259.99

Another gaming router to beat, the TP-Link Archer C5400X is a really fast model that not only provides amazing gaming performance across the board, but also adds security features to make your home network more secure than ever.

It has a very gamer aesthetic with a black base and black/red accents all around. It also has 8 antennas similar to the Asus Rapture mentioned above, but the problem is that you cannot adjust the antennas to your liking. Still, they provide excellent range.

The tri-band router actually has a single 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands to ensure that you get connected to the best possible frequencies for maximum performance.

Just like the other gaming router mentioned in the article, this one is also big and will take up a lot of space.

Still, its ease of use coupled with its amazing WiFi performance makes the Archer C5400X a worthy contender.

7.D-Link EXO DIR-3060

D-Link EXO DIR-3060

Price: $199

When you first look at the D-Link EXO DIR-3060, you might think of it as a gaming router, but that is actually not the case. Its distinction is actually a Smart Mesh Wifi Router and I will explain it further.

Why this router is called as such is because you can integrate it really well with D-Link’s Mesh Wifi products for added range and it is called a ‘Smart’ router due to its integration with Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Smart assistant.

Its 6 antennas are actually pretty good from a performance and range standpoint that you really do not need to buy any home mesh WiFi system at all.

Setting this router up is a breeze because you can download its companion app, fire it up on your smartphone, and it will instantly detect the router so that you can configure things from there.

The router’s dual-core CPU is fast and its MU-MIMO support ensures that every device that is connected to the network gets consistent data.

With its amazing feature set, the D-Link EXO DIR-3060 is an awesome mid-range router that should be on your shortlist without a doubt.

8.TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link Archer A7

Price: $65

What if you just want a budget router that has considerable performance and a good range for your home network? If that is what you want, the best budget offering on the market is the TP-LInk Archer A7.

Also known as the AC1750, this particular model is a budget, no-compromise solution when it comes to building your own home network.

For those of you who do not know, it is also an AC dual-band router that has maximum supported speeds of 3000 Mbps.

It has 3 antennas that provide you with a consistent and reliable range and it should be adequate for most homes.

The included USB ports found on the back of the unit also serves as a hub for your data drives or printers.

You can also set the router up using its companion app so it makes it easier for even non-tech-savvy users to get it up and running.

If you want a no-compromise budget home WiFi solution, the TP-Link Archer A7 is one that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Why Do You Need a Wireless Router?

Most of the time, your ISP will provide you with either a standalone modem or a modem/router combo. If you are given the latter, chances are that its speeds, as well as its reliability, is subpar at best. That is why you will need a dedicated router.

Finding the right one for you is easier said than done. With so many options out there, a non-tech-savvy user might not know how to choose the right router for their home network.

In the next section, I will talk about what you need to consider before buying one.

What Features to Look For

1.WiFi Standard

The first thing that you’d want to consider is the WiFi standard. The latest nowadays is WiFi 6 and it provides blazing fast speeds and more secure connections. However, you will also need a device that can support the new standard as well.

In most cases, getting an AC router (or sometimes denoted as 802.11AC) should be good enough as almost all devices support it (it can sometimes be called WiFi 5).

The reason why I would still not urge you to buy an AX or WiFi 6 router is due to the fact that only recent devices (ones that were released at least two years ago) can support the new standard and AX routers are still quite expensive.

If you have the money, though, there’s nothing wrong with buying the latest and greatest.

2.Bands

In your quest to find a wireless router, you might find the 2.5GHz and 5GHz frequencies. These are known as radios or ‘bands’ and they act simply as a route for your device to connect to the router.

Single-band routers are those that only have the 2.4GHz band and it is for that reason that it is quite clogged up. If you have neighbors that use any router, you will find that they, too, use this frequency band and that is also the reason why it is usually crowded.

The best thing that you can do is buy at least a dual-band router. This will add the 5GHz frequency band to the mix and if your device supports it, you should be able to connect to the much faster, less congested frequency.

Keep in mind that your device must be able to support the 5GHz band. Otherwise, it will not show if you search for your home network.

You might also find tri- or even quad-band routers that have (2) 2.4GHz bands and (1) 5GHz bands for the former and (2) bands for both radio frequencies for the latter. This is pretty overkill for a standard home network, though if you have a small office, getting them would make more sense.

3.Price

Price is always going to be a huge consideration when you are buying consumer products. That being said, there are routers in the budget category and there are also those that are considered premium.

The good thing is that by considering all other features, the price of the router that you buy will be contingent upon those. So, if you are not really looking for anything high-end, a budget router would definitely suffice.

4.Range

Obviously, you want to get a router that can cover your entire house. Getting a subpar product may result in dead spots or zones in your home where you cannot get any signal.

If the coverage is very important to you, a mesh wifi router would be much more beneficial. That is because they are intended to provide WiFi signals in a huge area, though speeds vary depending on the make and model of the device.

5.USB Ports

Since you are going to buy a router to establish your home network, you probably want people that are connected to your WiFI to be able to access files on an external hard drive or even print some important files.

If that is important to you, you would need a router that has USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. How many you need will be dependent on your use-case.

6.MU-MIMO

If there are a lot of people that use your home network, you might need to get a MU-MIMO router.

MU-MIMO stands for Multi-User, Multi-input and Multi-output. To understand what it is, you must first understand SU-MIMO.

SU-MIMO is Single User, Multi-input, Multi-output. Most routers are like this and in most cases, it would be fine. However, the problem with SU-MIMO is that it is only able to provide data to one device at a time. The reason why it is almost negligible is that it is fast in providing data to the devices that need it.

Well, if you have multiple users at home doing a lot of different things at one time, for instance, one is playing a game and one is streaming Netflix, then either one of them has to give.

With MU-MIMO, all of the connected devices get consistent streams of data which means that their connection to your router doesn’t get interrupted. 

7.Additional Features

The aforementioned features are what I would consider the most important things to consider before choosing your home or office router. However, having additional features is not bad at all (though keep in mind, any added functionality will most likely increase the price as well).

For instance, if you are a gamer, getting a gaming router might make sense because this kind of router prioritizes gaming packets to reduce latency.

Or perhaps you want beamforming technology where the most active device gets consistent, uninterrupted data.

What additional features you need will entirely depend upon your needs.

Gaming

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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The 8 Best Wireless Routers in 2020 for a Fast and Reliable Home Network

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Best Wireless Routers 2020

Your internet service provider or ISP typically gives you a router/modem combo and while it does come with WiFi, its speed and range are usually not that good.

If you want a fast and reliable home network, you will need the help of the best wireless routers in 2020 that you can find on the market.

Read further to find out our recommendations.

Best Wireless Routers

1.Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400

Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400

Price: $355

The best overall wireless router on this list is none other than the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400. The company’s Nighthawk series is especially geared towards gamers, but I find that this particular model is actually a great all-arounder.

It is a WiFi 6 router that enables you to tap into the newest and fastest standard. Of course, you will need to have a device that can support it, but future-proofing your home network is not a bad thing at all.

This router is quite easy to set up thanks to Netgear’s Router Genie. Its dual-bands provide the fastest possible speeds and the unit is coupled with a 1.5GHz Triple-core processor so you will know that it can handle multiple devices without a hitch.

For security, it has WPA3 compatibility so that no other user can connect to the network without knowing your WiFi password.

People that want consistent and reliable data streams would love its included beamforming and Smart Connect features.

While this router is expensive, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 AX5400 is certainly one that you should consider buying for a future-proofed network.

2.Google Nest Wifi

Google Nest Wifi

Price: $239 (2Pcs)

If you want to build a smart home, the Google Nest Wifi is definitely one that you’d want to consider. That is because it not only acts as a router but it can also be your voice assistant as well.

It has a rather simple design so that no matter where you want to put them, it would fit right in.

The Google Nest Wifi is a dual-band AC router that is simple to configure and provides excellent range.

This particular unit is perfect for people that just want a plug and play approach to having a router, though keep in mind that other than its built-in virtual assistant, the Nest WiFi doesn’t include any other features.

Still, it has excellent range and because it is easy to set up, it is really not hard to recommend this.

3.Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

Price: $375

If you play online games and you want a router that you can rely on, then the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 will not let you down.

This is actually one of the first routers on the market that has adapted the new WiFi 6 standard and its design is really suited for gamers.

It is a tri-band router that comes with 8 oddly shaped antennas for maximum range. It prioritizes game packets by default so your in-game latency is improved, it comes with a lot of Gigabit LAN ports and USB ports if you want to plug in additional devices, and it’s heavily customizable thanks to its robust firmware.

The signal of the router is so good that you need not buy a home mesh WiFi at all.

Despite how feature-rich this particular unit is, keep in mind that its price is too expensive that most people might shy away from this. And, its big price kind of also translates to a much bigger form factor as well. You will need ample space on your desk to place this unit in.

All in all, for anyone that is on the lookout for the best gaming router on the market, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a worthwhile investment.

4.Netgear Nighthawk RS400

Netgear Nighthawk RS400

Price: $170

As cyber threats have become rampant nowadays, it is important that you protect your home network against any attackers.

While installing antivirus software is a good first step towards better online security, your router should also do its job of protecting your devices as well.

That being said, the Netgear Nighthawk RS400 is a strong recommendation, especially if you are looking for a router that puts security at its forefront.

When you buy this product, you are given a code to let you download Bitdefender’s Total Security software. It is a program that comes with a lot of features, not to mention that it is one of the best security programs on the market today.

Aside from impenetrable online defenses, the RS400 also provides you with solid performance across the board. Although its range can cover most homes, it is not its strongest quality.

Still, I would recommend the Netgear Nighthawk RS400 for small to medium-sized homes that want peace of mind when browsing the web.

5.Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi Pro

Price: $329.99

Another mesh router, the Netgear Orbi Pro boasts amazing range, design, and accessibility. Its range is so great that you can even use it in an office as well.

Unlike the Google Nest Home above, you can actually configure a lot of things from within the router itself.

It is an AC router that provides up to 3Gbps of data throughput. It has 4 Gigabit LAN ports if you want to run wired connections and the setup process is a breeze.

Really, with its speed, performance, and easy configurability, it is quite easy to recommend. The only downside is its price because it is really one of the most expensive out there.

But, if you want a reliable router in the office that provides amazing speed and WiFi range, it is definitely worth your money.

6.TP-Link Archer C5400X

TP-Link Archer C5400X

Price: $259.99

Another gaming router to beat, the TP-Link Archer C5400X is a really fast model that not only provides amazing gaming performance across the board, but also adds security features to make your home network more secure than ever.

It has a very gamer aesthetic with a black base and black/red accents all around. It also has 8 antennas similar to the Asus Rapture mentioned above, but the problem is that you cannot adjust the antennas to your liking. Still, they provide excellent range.

The tri-band router actually has a single 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands to ensure that you get connected to the best possible frequencies for maximum performance.

Just like the other gaming router mentioned in the article, this one is also big and will take up a lot of space.

Still, its ease of use coupled with its amazing WiFi performance makes the Archer C5400X a worthy contender.

7.D-Link EXO DIR-3060

D-Link EXO DIR-3060

Price: $199

When you first look at the D-Link EXO DIR-3060, you might think of it as a gaming router, but that is actually not the case. Its distinction is actually a Smart Mesh Wifi Router and I will explain it further.

Why this router is called as such is because you can integrate it really well with D-Link’s Mesh Wifi products for added range and it is called a ‘Smart’ router due to its integration with Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Smart assistant.

Its 6 antennas are actually pretty good from a performance and range standpoint that you really do not need to buy any home mesh WiFi system at all.

Setting this router up is a breeze because you can download its companion app, fire it up on your smartphone, and it will instantly detect the router so that you can configure things from there.

The router’s dual-core CPU is fast and its MU-MIMO support ensures that every device that is connected to the network gets consistent data.

With its amazing feature set, the D-Link EXO DIR-3060 is an awesome mid-range router that should be on your shortlist without a doubt.

8.TP-Link Archer A7

TP-Link Archer A7

Price: $65

What if you just want a budget router that has considerable performance and a good range for your home network? If that is what you want, the best budget offering on the market is the TP-LInk Archer A7.

Also known as the AC1750, this particular model is a budget, no-compromise solution when it comes to building your own home network.

For those of you who do not know, it is also an AC dual-band router that has maximum supported speeds of 3000 Mbps.

It has 3 antennas that provide you with a consistent and reliable range and it should be adequate for most homes.

The included USB ports found on the back of the unit also serves as a hub for your data drives or printers.

You can also set the router up using its companion app so it makes it easier for even non-tech-savvy users to get it up and running.

If you want a no-compromise budget home WiFi solution, the TP-Link Archer A7 is one that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Why Do You Need a Wireless Router?

Most of the time, your ISP will provide you with either a standalone modem or a modem/router combo. If you are given the latter, chances are that its speeds, as well as its reliability, is subpar at best. That is why you will need a dedicated router.

Finding the right one for you is easier said than done. With so many options out there, a non-tech-savvy user might not know how to choose the right router for their home network.

In the next section, I will talk about what you need to consider before buying one.

What Features to Look For

1.WiFi Standard

The first thing that you’d want to consider is the WiFi standard. The latest nowadays is WiFi 6 and it provides blazing fast speeds and more secure connections. However, you will also need a device that can support the new standard as well.

In most cases, getting an AC router (or sometimes denoted as 802.11AC) should be good enough as almost all devices support it (it can sometimes be called WiFi 5).

The reason why I would still not urge you to buy an AX or WiFi 6 router is due to the fact that only recent devices (ones that were released at least two years ago) can support the new standard and AX routers are still quite expensive.

If you have the money, though, there’s nothing wrong with buying the latest and greatest.

2.Bands

In your quest to find a wireless router, you might find the 2.5GHz and 5GHz frequencies. These are known as radios or ‘bands’ and they act simply as a route for your device to connect to the router.

Single-band routers are those that only have the 2.4GHz band and it is for that reason that it is quite clogged up. If you have neighbors that use any router, you will find that they, too, use this frequency band and that is also the reason why it is usually crowded.

The best thing that you can do is buy at least a dual-band router. This will add the 5GHz frequency band to the mix and if your device supports it, you should be able to connect to the much faster, less congested frequency.

Keep in mind that your device must be able to support the 5GHz band. Otherwise, it will not show if you search for your home network.

You might also find tri- or even quad-band routers that have (2) 2.4GHz bands and (1) 5GHz bands for the former and (2) bands for both radio frequencies for the latter. This is pretty overkill for a standard home network, though if you have a small office, getting them would make more sense.

3.Price

Price is always going to be a huge consideration when you are buying consumer products. That being said, there are routers in the budget category and there are also those that are considered premium.

The good thing is that by considering all other features, the price of the router that you buy will be contingent upon those. So, if you are not really looking for anything high-end, a budget router would definitely suffice.

4.Range

Obviously, you want to get a router that can cover your entire house. Getting a subpar product may result in dead spots or zones in your home where you cannot get any signal.

If the coverage is very important to you, a mesh wifi router would be much more beneficial. That is because they are intended to provide WiFi signals in a huge area, though speeds vary depending on the make and model of the device.

5.USB Ports

Since you are going to buy a router to establish your home network, you probably want people that are connected to your WiFI to be able to access files on an external hard drive or even print some important files.

If that is important to you, you would need a router that has USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. How many you need will be dependent on your use-case.

6.MU-MIMO

If there are a lot of people that use your home network, you might need to get a MU-MIMO router.

MU-MIMO stands for Multi-User, Multi-input and Multi-output. To understand what it is, you must first understand SU-MIMO.

SU-MIMO is Single User, Multi-input, Multi-output. Most routers are like this and in most cases, it would be fine. However, the problem with SU-MIMO is that it is only able to provide data to one device at a time. The reason why it is almost negligible is that it is fast in providing data to the devices that need it.

Well, if you have multiple users at home doing a lot of different things at one time, for instance, one is playing a game and one is streaming Netflix, then either one of them has to give.

With MU-MIMO, all of the connected devices get consistent streams of data which means that their connection to your router doesn’t get interrupted. 

7.Additional Features

The aforementioned features are what I would consider the most important things to consider before choosing your home or office router. However, having additional features is not bad at all (though keep in mind, any added functionality will most likely increase the price as well).

For instance, if you are a gamer, getting a gaming router might make sense because this kind of router prioritizes gaming packets to reduce latency.

Or perhaps you want beamforming technology where the most active device gets consistent, uninterrupted data.

What additional features you need will entirely depend upon your needs.

Gaming

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review- The Best Mainstream Gaming CPU in 2020

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Intel Core i5-10600K Review

Ever since the launch of the Ryzen 3000 CPUs, more and more people are recommending the R5 3600 for people that want to build a budget gaming PC. It is pretty sad that Intel chips are not getting recognition, but that is going to change with the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K.

Today, I am going to review the said chip. Find out why I think it is the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020 by reading the rest of the article.

Comet Lake Architecture

Intel Core i5-10600K Review 2020

The 10th generation Intel Processors is part of the ‘Comet Lake’ family that uses a much-improved architecture than Skylake (where it’s derived from).

While the i9-10900K is definitely a beast of a chip, the Intel Core i5-10600K is surely something that most people are going to want to look at.

Competition is very important, especially to us consumers. When AMD released their Ryzen line of processors, Intel had to respond in kind to stay in the game. 

Back then, you normally wouldn’t find i5 chips to have hyperthreading, which is essentially the same as the SMT or simultaneous multi-threading feature that is present in AMD’s CPUs. But now, the 10600K not only has one, but the core frequency is clocked higher as well.

Here is a rundown of the Intel Core i5-10600K’s specs:

  • Cores: 6
  • Threads: 12
  • Lithography: 14nm
  • Base clock: 4.1GHz
  • Peak Turbo (single-core): 4.8GHz
  • Peak Turbo (all-core): 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12MB
  • TDP: 125W
  • PCIe Lanes: 16

As you can see, thanks to hyperthreading being enabled, you get to have two times more threads than an i5 chip of yesteryears. This means that you get considerably better performance across the board, especially for multi-core/multi-threaded workloads.

But, where the 10600K really shines is through its gaming performance and I will talk about this in the next section.

Performance

Intel Core i5-10600K

When you ask people what CPU you want to compare the 10600K to, it would be the AMD Ryzen R5 3600. That is because they have the same core and thread counts but there is a huge difference when it comes to their clock frequencies.

You see, the R5 3600 has a base frequency of 3.6GHz and a boost (all-core) frequency of only 4.2GHz. The 10600K, on the other hand, has a base frequency of 4.1GHz with an all-core boost of 4.6GHz.

Because Intel has added a new boost algorithm wherein the best core inside the CPU boosts higher than others, you get a clock frequency of 4.8GHz maximum on the said core, giving you even more performance.

Now, how does this translate into the real world? Well, in most multi-core benchmarks, the Intel Core i5-10600K performs so much better than the chip that it is compared to. Seriously, I would recommend this Intel chip for anyone who engages in productivity workloads on the side.

When it comes to gaming performance, there is no question that the 10600K beats the R5 3600 by a lot. That is due to the combination of the architecture, as well as the higher core frequencies of each core of the said chip.

Overclocking

Intel Core i5-10600K Box

What makes Intel chips appealing to the overclocking community than AMD Ryzen processors is the fact that you can eke out even more performance by setting the clock frequency of the cores higher than their rated specs. This is possible if you have a ‘K’ series chip (which the Intel Core i5-10600K is) and a compatible Z490 motherboard as well.

In most cases, people can set the frequency to 4.8GHz all-core with the single-core frequency (the best one) set to 5.1-5.3 GHz depending on the silicon of your particular chip. This provides even better performance across the board which is pretty nice.

I do have to caution you to not overclock the processor until you get one of the best CPU coolers on the market.

Because of the higher core frequency and because of the fact that you add more voltage to the chip just to make it stable, overclocking will result in higher heat production than usual. You will need a very competent cooler to keep things at relatively good temperatures.

Verdict

The Intel Core i5-10600K is way better than its predecessors- both in terms of architecture and performance.

Its rival, the Ryzen 5 3600, doesn’t come close to its performance thanks to the Intel chip’s higher clock frequency and better boost algorithms.

This is not to say that the AMD CPU is bad because there are some cases where it is more warranted than the 10600K.

For instance, if you are really on a tight budget, the Ryzen 5 3600 makes sense because it already comes with a cooler out of the box and its performance is still quite good for the price (currently at $160 compared to the i5-10600K’s $280 price tag).

The money that you can save by getting the Ryzen chip could be budgeted towards a better graphics card or faster storage, so there is still value that can be had when you go this route.

However, if you are okay with spending $280 and if you want a processor that can comfortably last at least 3 years competitively, then the Intel Core i5-10600K is indeed a much better option.

All in all, the Intel Core i5-10600K is definitely what I would consider to be the best mainstream gaming CPU in 2020.

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review- A Comfortable and Great-Sounding Headset for $100

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Razer Blackshark V2 Review

Back then, I never would recommend any of Razer’s gaming headsets because they often sound muddy due to the obvious preference towards the lower frequencies, but the company has changed its stance ever since.

The Razer Blackshark V2 is shaping up to be one of the best gaming headsets that are priced competitively in the market. Should you get one of these or look for something else? Read on to find out.

Design

Razer Blackshark V2 Review 2020

The ‘Blackshark’ line of headsets is nothing new because there is one that was released so many years ago. However, the Razer Blackshark V2 is a pretty polished iteration that I think would warrant the people’s attention.

Its design is quite similar to its predecessor, albeit there is a noticeable volume control dial located on the left ear cup.

Usually, Razer would put leatherette ear cups on its gaming headsets, but the Blackshark V2 actually comes with mesh foam ear cups instead.

In terms of comfort, I would prefer these over leather ear cups any day, but some people would want the feel of the leatherette material. So, to each his own.

The headset itself is quite simple-looking, although the aviation-style aesthetic might not appeal to some. I especially do not like the green wire that is exposed on each ear cup as you could potentially damage it if you are not careful.

Also situated on the left ear cup is the port for the removable boom microphone. I like the fact that you can completely remove it as it will not impede your vision when you are not using it.

Now, I’ve heard of some reports that the clamping force of the Razer Blackshark V2 makes this headset uncomfortable, but I beg to disagree.

If anything, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets that you can find on the market.

I do have to point out that, being a large person myself, its clamping force is a bit on the stronger side, but it is still relatively comfortable for me to wear even during prolonged gaming sessions.

The Razer Blackshark V2 connects to your game console or PC either via 3.5mm headphone jack or with the use of its included USB soundcard (the latter is only usable on the PC, however).

Audio Performance

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset

The company has come a really long way when it comes to audio quality. Gone are the days where the soundstage gets muddied by the lower frequencies as everything sounds pretty balanced right from the get-go.

Razer has partnered with THX to provide you with a better surround sound gaming experience and if you use the included USB soundcard, its 7.1 surround sound implementation is so much better than what the company used to offer.

Once you plug this thing in using the said USB connector, its drivers will get installed on your PC and you can use it to your heart’s content.

You can use the Razer Synapse 3 software to tweak the EQ settings or choose from a variety of different presets.

Personally, the default sound quality is already pretty good as it is quite balanced overall. Of course, you could add more kick to the bass by tinkering with the necessary settings, but I find that the default soundstage is already good for most use-cases.

Whether you are playing MMORPGs, fast-paced games like Overwatch and CS:GO, or even just listening to your favorite tunes, I am blown away by the sound quality that the Razer Blackshark V2 provides.

It is worth noting, however, that because of the mesh foam material of the ear cups that you will experience some sound leakage as a result. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you want to play games as you do not want to disturb the people around you.

Microphone

Razer Blackshark V2 Gaming Headset Microphone

While I am impressed by the audio quality of the Razer Blackshark V2, I am disappointed with the boom microphone.

It just doesn’t sound well. My voice is tinny, it is not full-bodied, and for the most part, the volume could definitely be improved.

Even when using the USB soundcard, nothing changes for the betterment of the said gaming headset. You should be using its 3.5mm connector instead as I find it to be considerably better.

Because it is a cardioid microphone, it should be able to get your voice really nicely, right? Well, that is talking from a theoretical standpoint, but in reality, it can still pick up unwanted background noise so I am really disappointed with the microphone of the Blackshark V2.

Verdict

So, what do I think about the Razer Blackshark V2? If we are talking purely from an audio standpoint, the Razer Blackshark V2 is one of the best out there. This is especially true if you are going to use the included USB soundcard and wire this to your PC.

However, I am really disappointed with the microphone quality. The output is not full-bodied at all and you are better off using a third-party standalone microphone instead.

Do I recommend the Razer Blackshark V2? Well, as I’ve said, if you are okay with its mediocre microphone quality, then this product is definitely one of the best out there. However, if you are looking for a complete package, you are better off finding something else.

The Razer Blackshark V2 costs $100.

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