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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amazon Luna- Everything You Need to Know About Amazon’s Cloud Gaming Service
It seems that cloud gaming is the future as a lot of companies are pooling their resources just to make things happen.
Amazon Luna is Amazon’s foray into cloud gaming and it is going to be available soon. Read further to find out more information about this new experience.
Google has paved the way for cloud gaming to come to the fore with the release of the Stadia not too long ago. Although it was mired with a lot of different issues, it seems that the company has found a way to make things work.
Amazon also wants in on the action and although there are some similarities with Luna and Stadia, there are also some stark differences as well.
Before I begin, I just want to explain the concept of cloud gaming. Basically, instead of downloading games to your gaming PC or whatever platform you choose to install them, you will just stream those games using data centers that are scattered all over the world.
It should go without saying that you need to have a fast internet connection to make this happen and so that you will not experience high latency (which was a huge problem when Stadia launched).
That being said, the premise of Google Stadia is that you need to either purchase an individual game so that you can play it at any time (forever) or you could subscribe to the monthly plan and play the games that are on offer every month (and continue to play them so long as you’re subscribed).
With Amazon Luna, you will be presented with different channels that you can subscribe to. Each of these channels has different games on offer which makes this quite appealing for game developers to show their mettle.
Right now, the platform is still in beta and there are only two channels available at the moment- Amazon’s own Luna Plus and the Ubisoft Channel. The latter will have 50 games that you can play right away and more Ubisoft games will be added in the future.
Keep in mind that this channel-based system makes it so that developers can price their services accordingly. It remains to be seen how much Ubisoft will charge individual users, so stay tuned for that.
1080p and 4K Gaming
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna will support both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Of course, the latter would be more taxing and you will need a fast internet connection to be able to enjoy high-fidelity gaming. I suggest that you get a WiFi 6 router and a compatible device to make the most out of your experience.
Unlike Stadia, Amazon Luna is more flexible in that it supports a lot of different devices. Not only can you play on your PC, but you can also choose to play it using your iOS devices, Android phones, and you can even utilize the company’s own FireTV devices as well.
Now, there has been this entire debacle about Apple’s 30% cut on every app in its App store but the good news is that Amazon can circumvent that.
You see, when you are going to play on your iOS devices, the application will actually be a PWA or a Progressive Web App. Basically, the game that you want to play will run in a contained web browser instead of it being an actual application that you install in your device. This bypasses the whole 30% cut issue which is a good thing.
NVIDIA Hardware Use
According to a recent Steam survey, the vast majority of PC users are all using NVIDIA graphics cards. This is a good thing for Amazon Luna because it means that it can support a lot more people.
That is because the company’s cloud gaming service will use NVIDIA GPUs instead of AMD cards (which Stadia uses for graphics processing).
Supposing that Amazon Luna will be more popular than any other cloud gaming service out there, NVIDIA will enjoy huge profits as a result.
Can Be Streamed to Popular Sites
Twitch is arguably the most popular streaming platform today and Amazon is looking to forge a partnership with the said service to allow you to stream your games to the popular website.
The said platform is widely used as a means of generating revenue- something that is quite popular today due to the recent pandemic.
This move also makes it appealing as well as more and more content creators can use Amazon Luna to reach a broader audience.
New Controller with Alexa Support
Just like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna also requires you to get a special controller. The good thing is that the control will have a microphone so that you can use Alexa for specific voice commands.
What’s interesting about the Luna’s controller is that it is completely connected to the Cloud, which means that you do not have to pair it with the specific device you are going to use to play games online.
According to Amazon’s website, it should have a grippy texture and will feature low-friction thumbsticks that provide maximum performance across the board. By using the controller’s microphone, you can actually tell Alexa to fire up the specific game that you want to play, so long as it is inside the channel that you’ve subscribed to.
Amazon Luna is quite enticing, at least, on paper. It is shaping up to be a better cloud gaming service compared to its competitors but the service is still in beta, so there are more things that need ironing out before its official release.
Right now, there are only two channels that are available and Ubisoft hasn’t imposed its pricing yet. The Amazon Luna channel is priced at $6.99
If you are interested in getting in on the action, you can be an early beta tester by subscribing to the service.
Amazon Luna will be out sometime in October.
Acer Nitro XV340CK Review- A Greatly Competitive Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500
Ultrawide monitors used to be a niche display in that the only people who work on productivity tasks and creative workloads usually buy them.
Fortunately, the display technology has evolved and gamers, too, can enjoy a much wider screen.
Today, I am going to review the Acer Nitro XV340CK which is a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is priced competitively.
Even though this is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro XV340CK actually doesn’t look like it. It looks simple and I love the aesthetics, especially if you want to place this in your office.
The only thing that might make you think that this is a gaming display is that red accent that you can find on the base of the monitor but that’s about it.
Anyway, let’s start with the stand. Aside from the aforementioned red accent, the stand provides good ergonomics.
It gives you the ability to swivel the monitor a complete 360 degrees, you can tilt it to 35 degrees back and you can adjust the height up to 5.9 inches. Because this is an ultrawide monitor, you cannot put this thing in portrait mode.
I love the fact that this monitor has slim bezels. At only 0.4 inches, you can place another monitor right beside it and it wouldn’t really take a lot of screen real estate at all.
The overall build quality is good. Despite the fact that it doesn’t feel premium, at least when compared to the best gaming monitors out there, it still feels sturdy nevertheless.
For the ports, you get two Displayport 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Due to the wealth of ports on offer, you can use this for your PC or your game console.
The only thing that might be cumbersome for some users is that the OSD controls are situated at the back of the monitor- particularly on the bottom right side. The buttons are also a bit smaller than usual, so you may have a hard time pressing the right ones.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK has a 34-inch IPS display with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and an aspect ratio of 21:9. It is the same as other ultrawide gaming monitors that you can find on the market so there is no problem with that.
You do have the option to enable the picture-in-picture mode so that you can divide the display in two if you wish to fire up two different programs at the same time. This is why it is not only a handy gaming monitor, but it can also be used for office work as well.
Its contrast and brightness leave much to be desired. With a native contrast ratio of 1048:1 and peak SDR brightness of only 247 nits, it is not the best display when it comes to these things.
However, its redeeming quality is that its colors are accurate. After calibration, I got 95% sRGB, 82% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3. It is relatively color accurate and it would have been nice for creative workloads, but its peak brightness just falls short of making it an ideal display for such use-cases.
It is also worth noting that if you are in a well-lit room that the brightness could be a huge issue. The good thing is that the display’s matte finish can help reduce glare significantly, though you will still find that it is not bright enough in some situations.
I am surprised by the fact that there is literally no color bleed on the Acer Nitro XV340CK. This is unheard of, especially since ultrawide monitors are notorious for this.
Sure, its peak brightness and contrast could have improved, but gamers are not especially focused on those things. If anything, it is the performance of the display that usually takes the cake and I am happy to report that you won’t be disappointed with the Nitro XV340CK.
Normally, with IPS panels, they tend to not have a good response time, but that is actually not the case here. At just 5.3ms, it is definitely one of the best out there even when compared to other, more premium models.
How about input lag? This is a speed monitor and as expected, input lag is minimal. At just 4.2ms, I am really blown away by the performance of this thing. Every keypress on your gaming keyboard will register almost immediately and that is really great from a competitive standpoint.
It is also worth noting that its 144Hz refresh rate is ideal, especially since most gamers are clamoring for high refresh rate displays anyway.
This is a FreeSync gaming monitor and you can enable this variable refresh rate feature in both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
To get a hold of the said features, it is important for you to know that you should use the DisplayPort cable that is included in the box. There is also an included HDMI cable if you want to use this display for your Xbox or Playstation consoles.
With all of those things being said, if I were to ask you how much this thing costs, what will be your guess? If you’ve guessed around $700, you’re wrong.
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is priced at just $450! At that price, you are getting a relatively color-accurate monitor, a really fast display with minimal input lag, and a vast number of ports that you can use for your PC or game consoles.
Sure, its contrast and peak brightness could have been improved, but if you are talking about raw gaming performance, the Acer Nitro XV340CK blows other ultrawide gaming monitors out of the way.
Just make sure that you have a nice gaming PC for this thing to work nicely. Other than that, I highly recommend the Acer Nitro XV340CK for its price and performance.
HyperX Cloud Stinger S- A Comfortable 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
As an audiophile, I’ve always loved HyperX’s gaming audio solution. They are inexpensive and for the price, you are actually getting sound quality that you normally would only hear from expensive products.
In today’s article, I am going to review the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. This is a budget offering that aims to improve upon the original Cloud Stinger with the inclusion of a 7.1 surround sound option.
Do I recommend this headset? Find out later on in the article.
The HyperX Cloud Stinger S is actually quite similar to the original version. It has the same pleather ear cups that envelope your ears quite nicely and the clamping force of the headset itself is actually quite okay.
I’ve been receiving reports that there are some people that have problems with the tightness or, shall I say, how loose this thing can be. But that will probably be a result of the size of your head and not the actual product itself. For me, the fit was okay, but your mileage may vary.
Although this thing is predominantly made in plastic, the overall build quality is good, though I would advise you not to throw this headset when you lose a round in a MOBA game or first-person shooter.
There is a microphone on this headset and just like the original, it is not removable. It would have been nice if you could remove it when you are not using it because even if you fold the microphone (which also acts as a way of muting it), you will still see it which can be annoying at times.
This thing is quite simple and all you have for the controls is the volume slider that is located on the right ear cup.
While other HyperX gaming headsets come with a carrying pouch, I am sad to say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t have one.
All you get in the box aside from the headset is a USB dongle that is attached to a relatively long cable and some documentation. And, since you use this thing completely wired, it can also be used in your Playstation or other game consoles as well.
The 3.5mm analog cable should be inserted in the USB dongle if you wish to use its 7.1 surround sound implementation, but if you are just going to watch movies or play non-competitive games, I suggest that you do not use it.
There are two modes that you can utilize if you are going to use the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. You can use its 3.5mm headphone jack and enjoy stereo sound or you could insert that into the included USB dongle and use the 7.1 surround sound feature.
Keep in mind that if you are going to use the 7.1 output that it is only supported on the PC since you will need the NGENUITY software to enable it.
That being said, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S’ sound signature leans more toward being bright and with a little emphasis on the bass. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gamers since lower frequencies can make those in-game sounds pop-out more.
I also love the mid frequencies as it is quite balanced as well. I’ve had no problems listening to in-game dialog and when I am using the microphone, it just works really well.
Although the high frequencies are okay, I would say that it is the weakest of the bunch, though not so much as to diminish the overall sound quality. You will still hear the sibilance of the cymbals and lead guitars, but it is not as pronounced as the lower and mid frequencies.
As for the 7.1 surround sound, you should enable it in the companion software and it is only available when you are on the PC.
Anyway, its surround sound is okay but I say this because it is a budget gaming headset. If you compare it to the more premium ones, this is subpar at best. Still, you could enable it in your favorite games but I will advise against it if you are just listening to music or watching movies.
Despite a relatively good clamping force, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S doesn’t do so well in terms of sound isolation. People around me can still hear what I was listening to, so this might not be ideal if you are playing at night and there are people sleeping.
There is usually this notion that budget headsets have horrible microphones but not the HyperX Cloud Stinger S. In fact, I would go on to say that it has one of the better ones on the market.
Instead of sounding tinny, the microphone quality of the Cloud Stinger S is full-bodied and my teammates can hear every word I said without any problems.
The volume of the microphone is also quite good as well. Normally, with budget offerings, you tend to sound a bit ‘too far’ but that is not the case here.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone. The only thing that I do not like is that the flippable microphone may impede your vision sometimes, but I think that you can adjust to this.
For a budget headset, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is definitely one of the better sounding ones. I also love the fact that the microphone’s quality is top-notch and it can even go head-to-head against its more premium counterparts.
I am just a bit disappointed that you do not get a carrying pouch with this one because other HyperX gaming headsets have them. But, this is a minor inconvenience.
I did not feel the need to talk about the NGENUITY software mainly because it is pretty barebones and all you can do with it is to enable the 7.1 surround sound, adjust the volume and microphone, and that’s about it. There is no equalizer present which is quite odd.
Still, for what it is giving you, the HyperX Cloud Stinger S is highly recommended. This thing costs $60.
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