What’s The Best Router For Smart Home Automation?

Despite what your ISP might say in their marketing blurb, the default WiFi router you got bundled with your package is likely not the best router for smart home use.  Your router has the important task of connecting together all your smart home appliances and devices. In short, it needs to be up to the job.

Best Overall
"Exceptional speed, tri-band technology, and expansive coverage."
  1. Brand: TP-Link
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 6600Mbps
  3. CPU: 1.5 GHz Quad-Core
  4. Gaming Features: Game Accelerator, Game Band, Game Statistics
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Amazon UK
Runner Up
"Ultrafast Wi-Fi 6, extensive coverage, robust quad-core CPU."
  1. Brand: Asus
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 11,000 Mbps
  3. CPU: 64-bit 2.0 GHz quad-core
  4. Gaming Features: Triple-level game acceleration, 2.5G gaming port
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Amazon UK
"Exceptional performance, tri-band WiFi6E, powerful 1.7GHz CPU."
  1. Brand: TP-Link
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 5400 Mbps
  3. CPU: 1.7 GHz quad-core
  4. Gaming Features: Suitable for seamless LAN streaming
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Amazon UK
"Ultrafast WiFi 6 speeds, extensive coverage, gaming optimisation."
  1. Brand: ASUS
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 5700 Mbps
  3. Gaming Features: Dedicated gaming port, QoS, mobile game mode
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Amazon UK
"Unrivaled coverage, ultra-fast speeds, sleek design"
  1. Brand: Linksys
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 5.4 Gbps
  3. CPU: 1.7 GHz Quad-Core
  4. Gaming Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-Band, Media Prioritization
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Amazon UK
"Robust performance, seamless connectivity, and extensive features set."
  1. Brand: TP-Link
  2. WiFi Speed: 1200 Mbps (300Mbps for 2.4GHz + 900Mbps for 5GHz)
  3. CPU: Dual-Core
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Amazon UK
"Exceptional connectivity, robust performance, and swift setup."
  1. Brand: NETGEAR
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 2.6Gbps (800Mbps 2.4GHz + 1733Mbps 5GHz)
  3. CPU: Dual-core processor
  4. Gaming Features: Advanced QoS for lag-free gaming
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Amazon UK
"High-speed, feature-rich, tri-band connectivity with advanced CPU"
  1. Brand: Tenda
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 5.6Gbps
  3. CPU: Broadcom 1.7GHz Quad-core
  4. Gaming Features: Near-zero latency, Wi-Fi 6E support
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Amazon UK
"Exceptional signal strength, advanced security, and seamless smart home integration."
  1. Brand: ASUS
  2. WiFi Speed: Up to 7800 Mbps
  3. CPU: Information not available
  4. Gaming Features: Information not available
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Amazon UK
"Robust build, versatile setup, excellent WiFi speed, gaming optimisation."
  1. Brand: ASUS
  2. WiFi Speed: WiFi 6 (802.11ax) up to 574 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 2404 Mbps (5 GHz)
  3. Gaming Features: Gaming Port, QoS, AiMesh, Adaptive QoS
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Amazon UK
"Robust signal, outstanding performance, seamless compatibility, and advanced features."
  1. Brand: TP-Link
  2. WiFi Speed: AX5400 Mbps
  3. CPU: 1 GHz Dual-Core
  4. Gaming Features: Gigabit Wi-Fi for 8K Streaming, QoS for gaming traffic
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Amazon UK
"Reliable, swift, and feature-packed connectivity enhancer."
  1. Brand: Linksys
  2. WiFi Speed: Dual-Band AC1900 (600 + 1300 Mbps)
  3. CPU: 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM
  4. Gaming Features: Beamforming, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
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Amazon UK

When you get into smart home integration, you will definitely make life easier if you do a bit of research and pick a decent smart WiFi router. In this new guide, we’ll be asking exactly what is the best router for smart homes?

Help me find the best router for smart home use!

Lets jump straight in and look at some of the best new smart home routers out there. There are a growing number of these and the big brands, such as Linksys, Asus and Netgear, all have their own smart router products that do something slightly different. But which one is right for your smart home automation?

How we test and rank products: Our approach to ranking the top products in a specific category, such as 'Best Router For Smart Home', begins with establishing key performance indicators that we then use to meticulously compile our product roundup. We work with a base of often hundreds of products and to ensure absolute impartiality, our final rankings are determined by an advanced AI algorithm that uses the data collected during our testing phase. We trust that you will find this roundup insightful and valuable.
Top Pick
Tp-link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

Tp-link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router

Optimal router for gaming and smart homes.

Sturdy, reliable and feature-rich, the TP-Link AX6600 router is perfect for gamers and tech-savvy households seeking top-tier internet performance.

Save £90.00 TodayRRP £319.99
£229.99 at Amazon UK

Prices checked: 29th May, 00:15:43

Brand: TP-Link
WiFi Speed: Up to 6600Mbps
CPU: 1.5 GHz Quad-Core
Gaming Features: Game Accelerator, Game Band, Game Statistics
Why this made our roundup: With tri-band Wi-Fi 6 technology, this router offers a dedicated 4.8 Gbps Game Band for uninterrupted gaming.
The TP-Link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router is a powerhouse for seamless online gaming and streaming. With incredibly fast internet speeds of up to 6600Mbps and tri-band technology, it ensures multiple devices can connect without lag. The router boasts 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port, and 2 USB ports for lightning-fast wired connections and easy connection of external storage devices. Its powerful quad-core CPU guarantees smooth performance even under heavy network traffic. The user-friendly interface and TP-Link Tether app make setup and network management a breeze. Additionally, it provides excellent WiFi coverage for a 4-bedroom house and operates in the 5GHz upper band for critical WiFi needs.

What we liked:

The Tp-link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router offers incredibly fast internet speeds and seamless connectivity for gamers and streaming. It provides excellent WiFi coverage and a user-friendly setup.

What we didn't like:

However, there are challenges with WiFi settings stability and specific network configurations, such as limited channel selection and poor WiFi signal on 5GHz-1 for some devices.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers, the TP-Link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router stands out for its impressive internet speeds, excellent WiFi coverage, and user-friendly setup. However, it faces challenges with WiFi settings stability and specific network configurations.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The TP-Link AX6600 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router is ideal for gamers and streaming enthusiasts who prioritize fast internet speeds and seamless connectivity. Despite some challenges with WiFi settings stability, its impressive performance makes it a worthwhile investment for those seeking reliable and high-speed internet connections.

Pros
  • Impressive Speed: Offers up to 6600Mbps for seamless gaming and streaming.
  • Multiple Bands: Tri-band technology supports numerous devices simultaneously.
  • Multiple Ports: Includes 4 gigabit Ethernet ports and a 2.5Gbps WAN/LAN port.
  • Powerful CPU: Quad-core processor ensures smooth network traffic.
  • Wide Coverage: Ideal for 4-bedroom houses with strong signal strength.
Cons
  • Limited Channels: Some devices struggle with 5GHz-1 signal.
  • Settings Instability: Unpredictable WiFi configuration changes can disrupt connectivity.
  • Connectivity Issues: Random WiFi disconnections necessitate Ethernet reactivation.
Runner up
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router

Essential for hardcore gamers and large homes.

Robust, reliable, and rapid, the Asus router excels in multi-floor homes and for gaming enthusiasts, offering cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 technology.

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Brand: Asus
WiFi Speed: Up to 11,000 Mbps
CPU: 64-bit 2.0 GHz quad-core
Gaming Features: Triple-level game acceleration, 2.5G gaming port
Why this made our roundup: Tailored for gaming with triple-level acceleration and prioritisation from device to server.
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router offers an impressive array of features that cater to the needs of a smart home. With its fast Wi-Fi speeds and easy setup, it ensures high-performance networking. The router also boasts excellent coverage, making it suitable for multi-floor homes.

What we liked about the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000:

The router impresses with its fast Wi-Fi speeds, easy setup, and excellent coverage, making it suitable for multi-floor homes. Its future-proof design supports Wi-Fi 6 protocol and offers a high level of customization. Additionally, it comes with robust security features and ample LAN ports for wired connections.

What we didn't like about the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000:

However, some drawbacks include limited range, unattractive design, and potential firmware issues. Users also reported Wi-Fi signal inconsistency and mesh limitations, which may impact the overall experience.

How does it compare to similar routers?

When compared to similar routers, such as the eero 6+ Whole Home mesh Wi-Fi 6 router system, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 stands out with its gaming-oriented features, higher Wi-Fi speeds, and robust hardware, making it a suitable choice for gaming enthusiasts and smart home users.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 offers fast Wi-Fi speeds, excellent coverage, and robust security features, making it ideal for multi-floor homes and gaming enthusiasts. However, potential drawbacks such as limited range and design preferences should be considered. Overall, it caters to users looking for high-performance networking with a focus on gaming and smart home applications.

Pros
  • Exceptional Speed: Boasts Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to 11,000 Mbps for seamless streaming and gaming.
  • Easy Installation: The setup process is user-friendly, making it easy for users to get started.
  • Broad Coverage: Designed to provide strong Wi-Fi coverage across multi-level homes.
  • Advanced Technology: Wi-Fi 6 support and mesh capability ensure future-proof networking.
  • Robust Security: Features like AIProtect and VPN offer strong network protection.
Cons
  • Limited Aesthetics: Some users may find the router's design and LEDs unattractive.
  • Signal Range: There are concerns about signal strength dropping at extended distances.
  • Firmware Reliability: A minority of users have reported issues with Asus firmware.
Tp-link AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

Tp-link AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

Outstanding choice for high-speed smart homes.

Sturdy, reliable, and delivering blazing-fast WiFi, the TP-Link AXE5400 is perfect for tech enthusiasts and smart homes needing robust connectivity.

Save £60.00 TodayRRP £289.99
£229.99 at Amazon UK

Prices checked: 29th May, 00:15:43

Brand: TP-Link
WiFi Speed: Up to 5400 Mbps
CPU: 1.7 GHz quad-core
Gaming Features: Suitable for seamless LAN streaming
Why this made our roundup: Tri-band WiFi6E technology ensures a dedicated, congestion-free channel for your smart devices.
The TP-Link AXE5400 router stands out with outstanding performance and a wide range of features, making it an excellent choice for smart home setups. With impressive WiFi speeds and auto optimization scans for optimal performance, this tri-band WiFi6E model offers a dedicated and fast connection, perfect for high-performance devices. The Tether app simplifies network management, and the easy setup streamlines the installation process, saving time and effort. Additionally, the router provides improved signal strength, making it suitable for LAN game streaming and enhancing connectivity for smart home devices. One of the standout features is the unbeatable performance with BT Fibre, significantly outperforming ISP-supplied routers. However, some users have reported memory issues and concerns about firmware updates. While the 6GHz 6E capability is a valuable addition, some users found its performance disappointing compared to older routers. Moreover, there were concerns about the limited throughput and potential for better alternatives, prompting questions about the value of the upgrade. Compared to similar routers, the TP-Link AXE5400 offers exceptional performance and a feature-packed Tether app. However, users should consider the reported memory issues, limited 6GHz 6E capability, and potential alternatives for a comprehensive evaluation. In summary, the TP-Link AXE5400 router delivers outstanding performance and fast WiFi speeds, making it suitable for smart home setups and tech power users. However, potential buyers should consider the reported issues and alternatives before making a purchase decision.
Pros
  • Exceptional Performance: The TP-Link AXE5400 shines with its robust capabilities and feature set, making it a top-tier choice for a smart home environment.
  • Tri-Band WiFi6E: An additional 6GHz channel provides a fast, dedicated connection for high-performance devices.
  • Auto Optimisation: The router's automatic scans deliver optimal channel selection, enhancing network efficiency.
  • User-Friendly App: The Tether app offers a reliable and feature-rich interface for easy network management.
  • Fast and Stable WiFi: This router guarantees rapid and dependable WiFi speeds, crucial for a seamless smart home experience.
Cons
  • Memory and Firmware Issues: Instances of router crashes due to memory problems and concerns about the frequency of firmware updates.
  • Limited 6GHz 6E Performance: The 6GHz band's performance did not meet some expectations, especially when compared to previous models.
Asus RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router

Asus RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router

Optimal router for seamless gaming and smart homes.

Sturdy, reliable, and exceptionally fast with WiFi 6 technology. Tailored for gamers and users with heavy smart home integration who demand top-tier performance.

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Brand: ASUS
WiFi Speed: Up to 5700 Mbps
Gaming Features: Dedicated gaming port, QoS, mobile game mode
Why this made our roundup: WiFi 6 delivers four times the network capacity of WiFi 5, ensuring more connected devices can thrive without congestion.

What we liked:

The Asus RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router offers a superb combination of great hardware and UI functions. It provides excellent Wi-Fi coverage and stability, making it an ideal choice for smart home networking. The router's intuitive user interface functions and fast, solid Wi-Fi with excellent range make it a top choice for users.

Furthermore, the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Router is a great upgrade for gaming, offering stable and prioritized gaming connections. The easy setup process, along with options for customization and advanced settings, enhances the user experience. It also boasts impressive Wi-Fi range and multiple network options, suitable for large properties or multi-floor setups.

What we didn't like:

While the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Router offers numerous benefits, it does have some drawbacks. The device is not secure by default and requires manual security setup. Additionally, certain settings need manual adjustment for optimal performance, and there are occasional issues during the setup process, such as keyboard input issues and lack of wall mount option.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers, the ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) stands out for its excellent hardware, wide Wi-Fi coverage, and prioritized gaming connections. It offers comprehensive features for advanced users, including mesh capabilities and internet security filters. However, it may require additional security configuration and manual adjustment for optimal performance.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The ASUS RT-AX86S (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router is a top choice for those seeking reliable and feature-rich smart home networking solutions. With its seamless setup, prioritized gaming connections, and extensive Wi-Fi coverage, it is suitable for users looking for a stable and high-performance router with advanced features.

Pros
  • Exceptional Hardware and UI: High-quality components paired with an intuitive user interface.
  • Unmatched WiFi Range: Extensive coverage with stable connections across distances.
  • Enhanced Gaming: Prioritized gaming connections for uninterrupted play.
  • User-Friendly Setup: Easy installation with advanced customisation options.
  • Robust Features: Offers mesh capabilities and comprehensive internet security filters.
Cons
  • Security Setup Required: Initial user configuration needed for optimal security.
  • Manual Channel Adjustment: Some settings, like channel 160, require manual tuning.
  • No Wall Mount: The router lacks a wall mount feature, limiting placement options.
Linksys WiFi 5 Router

Linksys WiFi 5 Router

Optimal choice for expansive Wi-Fi coverage

Sturdy, reliable, and feature-rich; perfect for large homes needing strong Wi-Fi coverage and multiple device connectivity. A smart investment for seamless online experiences.

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Brand: Linksys
WiFi Speed: Up to 5.4 Gbps
CPU: 1.7 GHz Quad-Core
Gaming Features: MU-MIMO, Tri-Band, Media Prioritization
Why this made our roundup: Tri-Band technology ensures more devices can connect without congestion.
The Linksys EA8300 Max-Stream AC2200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router provides an array of features tailored for smart homes. We found that the improved signal strength and range compared to ISP-provided routers instantly enhanced Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house. The network map feature allows for easy visualization and management of connected devices, making network traffic monitoring a breeze. Additionally, the router offers parental controls and guest access, giving us control over internet access and the ability to provide temporary Wi-Fi passwords for guests. The media prioritization feature ensures lower latency by allowing the prioritization of devices and applications for seamless performance. With USB drive support for onboard storage, sharing files across the network without cloud upload becomes convenient. The router's intuitive menu system and modern design provide a user-friendly interface and easy navigation. Moreover, the wireless scheduler enables smart network management, allowing the scheduling of wireless network access based on specific days, ideal for parental control. The port forwarding functionality caters to specific needs such as downloading torrents or hosting game servers. However, we encountered some limitations, including the router going into continual reboot mode after a day of use, leading to product failure. Additionally, the refund under warranty did not cover postage costs, resulting in additional expenses for product return. Some users also reported initial setup issues, requiring a replacement. Furthermore, the limited language support may hinder accessibility for non-Spanish speakers, and there are potential long-term reliability concerns. The Linksys EA8300 Max-Stream AC2200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router offers enhanced signal strength, comprehensive network management features, and seamless setup. However, the recurring reboot issues and potential long-term reliability concerns warrant cautious consideration. Overall, this router is suitable for individuals seeking improved Wi-Fi coverage, robust network management, and convenient setup for their smart homes.
Pros
  • Enhanced Coverage: Provides up to 3,000 sq. ft of superior Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Tri-Band Speeds: Delivers combined speeds of up to 5.4 Gbps for demanding tasks like 4K streaming and gaming.
  • Advanced CPU: Equipped with a 1.7 GHz Quad-Core processor for robust performance.
  • Smart Features: MU-MIMO technology, media prioritization, and network management options.
  • Design: Sleek, modern aesthetic that complements any home office or living space.
Cons
  • Reliability Issues: Some users reported rebooting problems, suggesting potential stability concerns.
  • Additional Costs: Warranty refunds do not cover postage, adding extra expense for returns.
Tp-link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router

Tp-link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router

Optimised router for smart home integration.

Sturdy, reliable, and equipped for the modern smart home, appealing to users seeking a balance between performance and price.

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Brand: TP-Link
WiFi Speed: 1200 Mbps (300Mbps for 2.4GHz + 900Mbps for 5GHz)
CPU: Dual-Core
Why this made our roundup: Includes advanced security with WPA3 and supports IPv4 and IPv6 for future-proofing your smart home network.
As professional tech reviewers, we have thoroughly tested the TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router and have found it to be a reliable and feature-rich option for smart homes. The router impresses with its advanced features, easy setup, and reliable performance. It offers a wide range of features for advanced networking needs, making it a versatile choice for various smart home applications. The installation process is straightforward and user-friendly, ensuring a hassle-free setup experience for users. One of the standout features of this router is its excellent Wi-Fi coverage and strong signal strength, providing reliable connectivity throughout the smart home environment. Additionally, the router delivers high-speed internet connectivity, especially on the 5 GHz frequency, supporting seamless streaming and online activities. However, some limitations have been noted, such as subpar Wi-Fi coverage compared to other routers and issues with NAS protocols, including inconsistent file transfer speeds. The absence of a dedicated WPS button may also be inconvenient for connecting devices. In comparison to similar routers in its category, the TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router stands out for its extensive feature set and reliable performance. While it may have some limitations, it remains a solid choice for those seeking a high-performing router for their smart home setup. In summary, the TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Smart WiFi Router offers advanced features, easy setup, and reliable performance, making it a suitable option for smart home environments. Its excellent range and speed make it ideal for various applications, although users should be mindful of potential limitations in Wi-Fi coverage and file transfer speeds.
Pros
  • Full-featured: Offers a comprehensive feature set for advanced networking.
  • Easy setup: Straightforward installation, user-friendly interface.
  • Good coverage: Excellent Wi-Fi range and signal strength.
  • Reliable performance: Stable and consistent router operation.
  • High-speed connectivity: Fast internet with dual-band technology.
Cons
  • Limited coverage: Some users report subpar Wi-Fi range.
  • NAS protocol issues: Difficulties with FTP and Samba for NAS.
  • Inconsistent speeds: Variability in file transfer rates, especially on the 5 GHz band.
Netgear Nighthawk AC2600 Smart WiFi Router (R7450)

Netgear Nighthawk AC2600 Smart WiFi Router (R7450)

Optimised for high-speed smart home connectivity.

Sturdy, reliable, and featuring advanced QoS, NETGEAR's AC2600 is optimal for smart home enthusiasts seeking robust performance and swift setup.

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Brand: NETGEAR
WiFi Speed: Up to 2.6Gbps (800Mbps 2.4GHz + 1733Mbps 5GHz)
CPU: Dual-core processor
Gaming Features: Advanced QoS for lag-free gaming
Why this made our roundup: Supports MU-MIMO for simultaneous data streaming to multiple smart home devices.

What we liked:

The Netgear AC2600 Smart WiFi Router offers quick setup and faster speeds during installation, providing reliable performance with good coverage on multiple floors. It is a good value for the price compared to other routers, with improved wireless speed and consistent performance. The router is also efficient for a single-floor house with good coverage.

What we didn't like:

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. The misleading listing as a certified refurbished product instead of new may deter potential buyers. Additionally, the router forces users to sign up for a Netgear account for setup and has limited coverage range, especially for larger homes. Inconsistent band switching during heavy WiFi saturation and the potential hindrance of the Smart Connect feature on wireless speed and efficiency are also concerns.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers, the Netgear AC2600 Smart WiFi Router stands out for its quick setup, improved wireless speed, and reliable performance, making it suitable for single-floor homes. However, the listing as refurbished and limited coverage range are notable considerations for potential buyers.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The Netgear AC2600 Smart WiFi Router offers quick setup, improved wireless speed, and reliable performance, suitable for single-floor homes. However, the listing as refurbished and limited coverage range are concerns for potential buyers.

Pros
  • Quick setup: Users experience fast installation with immediate speed improvements.
  • Wide coverage: Offers strong multi-floor coverage and eliminates dead spots with Beamforming+.
  • Value for money: Competitively priced with features rivalling more expensive models.
  • Consistent performance: Delivers stable wireless speed crucial for smart home reliability.
  • Connectivity: Resolves issues effectively, improving smart home automation interactions.
Cons
  • Product listing: Some confusion over new vs. refurbished status may be off-putting.
  • Forced account setup: Requiring a Netgear account for setup may deter privacy-conscious users.
  • Coverage limitations: Larger homes may find the range insufficient without additional extenders.
Tenda AXE5700 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router(RX27 Pro)

Tenda AXE5700 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router(RX27 Pro)

Tri-Band Powerhouse for Smart Homes

Robust, high-speed Tenda AXE5700 router enhances smart home connectivity. Ideal for tech-savvy households seeking efficiency and performance.

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Brand: Tenda
WiFi Speed: Up to 5.6Gbps
CPU: Broadcom 1.7GHz Quad-core
Gaming Features: Near-zero latency, Wi-Fi 6E support
Why this made our roundup: Featuring WiFi 6E, the Tenda AXE5700 offers the latest in high-frequency wireless technology, ensuring more stable and faster connections for smart homes.

What we liked:

The Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router impressed us with its easy setup, stable connectivity, and feature-rich software. Its strong signal strength, high speeds, and versatile usage as a modem or extender make it a valuable addition to any smart home setup.

What we didn't like:

Unfortunately, we encountered some drawbacks, such as misleading installation info and poor customer service. We also noticed signal range limitations and unreliable failover performance. Annoying WiFi behavior, where the router automatically turns WiFi back on after disabling it, was also noted.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers, the Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router stands out with its impressive speed, strong signal coverage, and feature-rich software. However, it falls short in terms of customer support and signal range limitations, which may impact its overall appeal.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router offers easy setup, stable connectivity, and feature-rich software. It provides strong signal strength, high speeds, and good value for money. However, the drawbacks, such as misleading installation info and poor customer service, detract from its overall appeal. Overall, it's a suitable choice for those seeking reliable and fast connectivity for their smart home setup.

Pros
  • Easy setup: Attaching antennae, inserting SIM, and powering up is all it takes.
  • Stable connectivity: Sustains data flow without interruptions over long periods.
  • Feature-rich software: Advanced features in a user-friendly software layout.
  • Strong signal strength: Full strength mobile network connection consistently.
  • High speeds: Delivers on its advertised LAN and WiFi velocity promise.
Cons
  • Misleading installation info: Documentation issues may cause setup frustrations.
  • Poor customer service: Manufacturer and ISP support is lacking, causing potential user distress.
  • Signal range limitations: Speed diminishes with distance, affecting remote room connectivity.
Asus RT-AXE7800 Tri-band WiFi 6E Extendable Router

Asus RT-AXE7800 Tri-band WiFi 6E Extendable Router

Unmatched connectivity for the modern smart home.

Sturdy, reliable, and feature-packed, ASUS RT-AXE7800 is ideal for tech-savvy users demanding top-tier network performance and security in their smart homes.

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Brand: ASUS
WiFi Speed: Up to 7800 Mbps
CPU: Information not available
Gaming Features: Information not available
Why this made our roundup: With WiFi 6E Technology, ASUS RT-AXE7800 ensures your smart home devices enjoy ultra-fast and reliable connections.
As experts in the field of smart home technology, we understand the critical role of a reliable router in ensuring seamless connectivity and optimal performance for all our smart devices. The ASUS RT-AXE7800 Tri-band WiFi 6E Extendable Router has consistently impressed us with its top-notch features and capabilities.

What we liked:

The ASUS RT-AXE7800 offers exceptional signal strength and improved connection speed compared to standard ISP modems, ensuring stable Wi-Fi even in older buildings with thick walls. It significantly enhances home coverage and speed, delivering high download/upload speeds and stable performance. The router provides extensive configuration options, robust security features, and seamless integration with other ASUS routers for wide coverage, making it a user-friendly and reliable choice.

What we didn't like:

Some concerns we noted include limited compatibility with legacy devices for the new 6 GHz spectrum, potential mixed reviews on ASUS AI Mesh functionality, and a relatively higher price point, which may not be suitable for all users despite the advanced capabilities of the router. Initial hesitance regarding perceived complexity in setting up the router was also reported, despite the actual ease of configuration and use.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to other routers in its category, the ASUS RT-AXE7800 stands out with its superior functionality, stability, and speed, along with robust security features and extensive configuration options. However, potential users may need to consider its compatibility with legacy devices and the mixed reviews on ASUS AI Mesh functionality for comprehensive network coverage.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The ASUS RT-AXE7800 impresses with its excellent signal strength, stable performance, and extensive configuration options, making it a reliable choice for users seeking robust network control and wide coverage. However, concerns about legacy device compatibility and ASUS AI Mesh functionality may warrant additional consideration for potential users.

Pros
  • Signal Strength: Strong and improved signal for consistent connectivity.
  • Building Penetration: Penetrates thick walls, ensuring wide coverage.
  • High Speeds: Supports rapid download/upload rates for efficient smart home device operation.
  • Advanced Features: Offers robust security features and extensive network control.
  • Smart Home Integration: Compatible with ASUS AI Mesh for expanded coverage.
Cons
  • Compatibility Issues: Limited legacy device support on new 6 GHz band.
  • Price Point: High cost might not be justifiable for all budgets.
  • AI Mesh Reviews: Mixed opinions on ASUS AI Mesh efficiency.
Asus TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router

Asus TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router

Exceptional router for gaming and smart homes

Sturdy, reliable, and equipped with WiFi 6, ideal for gamers seeking high-speed connectivity and dynamic smart home integration.

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Brand: ASUS
WiFi Speed: WiFi 6 (802.11ax) up to 574 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 2404 Mbps (5 GHz)
Gaming Features: Gaming Port, QoS, AiMesh, Adaptive QoS
Why this made our roundup: Built with the trusted TUF durability for a stable WiFi experience.

What we liked:

The ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 impressed us with its straightforward functionality, stable connectivity, and excellent hardware at a competitive price. The router offers high performance at a reasonable price point and comes with a fast CPU and hardware. It provides flexibility and ease of use for setup through the app or web interface, making it user-friendly for all levels of users.

Furthermore, the router's build quality is robust and durable, ensuring reliable wireless connectivity across different frequency bands. It also offers transparency and customization options for advanced users through open-source base software.

For non-technical users, the ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 offers a very simple and quick setup process. Additionally, it comes with multiple plugs for UK and Europe, making it convenient for users in different regions. The router also provides clear visual indicators for monitoring, thanks to the LEDs for main functions.

What we didn't like:

While the ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 offers robust features, there are areas that need improvement. Providing a detailed PDF version of the manual would enhance user support, and some options for filtering outbound traffic should be grouped under one section to improve user experience, especially for parental control features.

Enhancements in filtering settings for URL, MAC, and IP filtering, as well as additional settings for DHCP lease and managing dropped packets, would benefit smart parents and advanced users. The option for emailing an alert message when a rule is triggered would also further improve network security and management.

How does it compare to similar WiFi 6 routers?

Compared to similar WiFi 6 routers, the ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 stands out with its stable operation, durable build quality, and competitive pricing. While it offers impressive features, it could benefit from enhancements in filtering and notification settings to elevate its appeal to both novice and advanced users.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The ASUS TUF Gaming AX3000 V2 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router impresses with its straightforward functionality, stable connectivity, and excellent hardware at a competitive price. It is suitable for users seeking reliable wireless connectivity and robust features, with the potential for further enhancements through firmware updates.

Pros
  • Comprehensive functionality: No hidden costs and no required subscription.
  • Flexible setup: Supports app and web-based configuration.
  • Value for money: Fast CPU and hardware at a reasonable price.
  • Stable connectivity: Reliable signal on both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.
  • Quality build: Robust physical construction.
Cons
  • Lacks comprehensive manual: A detailed PDF manual would be beneficial.
  • Filtering features need improvement: Streamlining of filtering options required.
Tp-link AX5400 Mbps Multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router

Tp-link AX5400 Mbps Multi-Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router

Superlative gaming and streaming router.

Sturdy, reliable, and equipped with advanced features, the TP-Link AX5400 is a powerhouse for gamers and streamers seeking high-performance connectivity.

Save £50.00 TodayRRP £279.99
£229.99 at Amazon UK

Prices checked: 29th May, 00:15:43

Brand: TP-Link
WiFi Speed: AX5400 Mbps
CPU: 1 GHz Dual-Core
Gaming Features: Gigabit Wi-Fi for 8K Streaming, QoS for gaming traffic
Why this made our roundup: Featuring OneMesh support, the TP-Link AX5400 enhances seamless smart home integration.
The TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router, also known as the Archer AX72 Pro, has made a significant impact in the market for smart home routers. We found that this router provides outstanding performance for game streaming, robust signal strength across multiple floors, and seamless compatibility with various devices. It delivers high-speed connectivity for demanding tasks such as game streaming and high-definition content, making it a top choice for smart home enthusiasts.

What we liked:

The router's outstanding performance for game streaming and its ability to provide robust signal strength across multiple floors impressed us. Additionally, its seamless compatibility with various devices, advanced features, and great Wi-Fi coverage are noteworthy.

What we didn't like:

However, limitations in the USB 3.0 port speed, incompatibility with specific connections such as Sky FTTP, and inconsistent performance in larger homes are notable drawbacks that potential buyers should consider.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers, the TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router stands out for its outstanding performance for game streaming and robust signal strength across multiple floors. However, potential buyers should carefully consider its limitations in USB 3.0 port speed and compatibility with specific connections.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The TP-Link AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 Router, also known as the Archer AX72 Pro, is a top choice for those seeking outstanding performance for game streaming and robust signal strength across multiple floors. However, potential buyers should carefully consider its limitations in USB 3.0 port speed, incompatibility with specific connections, and inconsistent performance in larger homes.

Pros
  • Outstanding performance: Ideal for game streaming with smooth, lag-free experiences.
  • Robust signal strength: Strong Wi-Fi signal across multiple floors without dropouts.
  • High-speed connectivity: Perfect for demanding tasks like streaming and downloading 8K content.
  • Stable connection: Offers consistent performance without frequent reboots.
  • Advanced features: Includes VPN support, parental controls, and QoS settings for gaming.
Cons
  • USB 3.0 limitations: Restricted file transfer speeds may not meet all requirements.
  • Incompatibility with Sky FTTP: Limited support for certain connection types.
Linksys WRT AC1900 Dual-Band+ Wi-Fi Wireless Router

Linksys WRT AC1900 Dual-Band+ Wi-Fi Wireless Router

Ultimate performance for a connected home.

Sturdy, reliable, and lightning-fast, the Linksys WRT1900AC is ideal for tech enthusiasts and large households demanding superior internet coverage and speed.

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Brand: Linksys
WiFi Speed: Dual-Band AC1900 (600 + 1300 Mbps)
CPU: 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM
Gaming Features: Beamforming, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Why this made our roundup: Designed with an OpenWRT compatible firmware for users who love customisation and open-source solutions.

What we liked:

The Linksys WRT1900AC router offers easy installation, reliable range, and comprehensive software. The auto-installation disk obtained cable modem settings, making the setup seamless. Its reliable range provides full 11Mb rate throughout a modern 3-bedroom semi, even without an external aerial. Additionally, the router comes with versatile connectivity, allowing the connection of external USB hard drives for media sharing and NAS drive compatibility.

What we didn't like:

Despite its strengths, the router has its drawbacks. It faces wireless compatibility issues with devices needing to connect at 802.11g, causing frequent dropouts and disconnections. The guest access feature can only be managed via specific software, limiting customizations. Moreover, the lack of seamless OpenWRT support poses challenges for advanced users.

How does it compare to similar routers?

Compared to similar routers like the eero 6+ Whole Home mesh Wi-Fi 6 router system, the Linksys WRT1900AC offers a cost-effective solution with reliable range and versatile connectivity. However, it may lag in terms of seamless OpenWRT support and guest access management. Users seeking a plug-and-play solution with reliable performance may find the Linksys WRT1900AC suitable for their needs.

Verdict: Is it worth a buy?

The Linksys WRT1900AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router offers easy installation, reliable range, and comprehensive software, making it suitable for users who prioritize fast and stable performance. However, it may pose challenges for non-tech users and those requiring seamless OpenWRT support.

Pros
  • Easy setup: Auto-installation makes getting started a breeze.
  • Reliable coverage: Seamless connectivity throughout a standard home.
  • Comprehensive software: Well-documented and feature-rich for user satisfaction.
  • Exceptional value: Competitively priced at 50.70 for top-notch quality.
  • Fast and stable: Perfect for demanding tasks like file sharing and streaming.
Cons
  • Compatibility issues: Some devices may face connection problems with this router.
  • Limited guest access: Guest network management is somewhat restrictive.

Smart home automation relies on your WiFi

Adding the wonderful world of smart home automation to your life is one of the best things you can do. And whether you’re looking to be able to control your lights with Alexa, or going for a full-blown smart home, you’re not going to get very far without your Internet being up to scratch.

With smart home integration, one of the main ways your devices will talk to each other, and your’ll be able to communicate with them, is over your home network. While you don’t need an obscenely fast connection to the web to be able to run an effective smart home, you might want to consider upgrading your router to something better suited to a modern smart home.

Sorry little free router – your days are numbered…

Normal routers vs. SMART routers!

So before we get onto the best router for smart homes, what exactly IS a smart router? What’s it do that the free ones that come with Internet packages can’t?

Smart router benefits

  • Easier to use
  • Setup to handle more devices at once, intelligently
  • Can be controlled and monitored with an easy smartphone app

One HUGE benefit people find in buying a third party router rather than using the one their ISP (Internet Service Provider) sends out is that they can often solve connection problems, or persistent low speed speed problems. Even if you have zippy fibre broadband, some users find they get faster speeds with less restarting.

Making routers a bit less geeky

If you’ve ever tinkered around with your WiFi router’s admin section, you’ll know that they’re a tad shall we say technical. I’ve done a fair bit of work in the settings of a lot of different routers and they can be a real pain in the butt to get them to do what you want. Not to mention horror stories about people ‘bricking’ (permanently breaking) their routers.

One of the aims of smart WiFi routers is to open this up a bit more and give users more control without the boring and inaccessible technical side.

Using your smart phone with your router

While most people likely use their smart phone on the WiFi with their router every day, smart WiFi routers can be controlled easily with a downloadable app, on a smart phone or tablet. Using this app you can control technical stuff that your router can do easily with simple menus and buttons that we’re all familiar with.

The best router for smart homes will allow you to do stuff like grant guests Internet access, setup parental controls and much more. All without going into difficult-to-use settings.

How about being able to do some of these things, without having to google it:

  • Setup parental controls for kids access
  • Prioritize certain devices for improved speed
  • Grant guests access without giving out your password
  • Completely PAUSE the Internet (time for dinner!)
  • See which devices are using your WiFi

Connecting lots of devices and load balancing

When you start to add up all the devices connected to your WiFi, it can mount up pretty quickly. It seems everything connects to the Internet these days (yep, we even have smart coffee machines that need you WiFi these days too!) Once you start working on your smart home automation, you’re going to ramp up that number drastically.

The best WiFi routers for smart home use will take this in consideration and normally use something called load balancing. This is where your router looks at all the devices connected intelligently and puts them into their own separate ‘lane’. Once it’s done this, each device can get the WiFi and Internet access it needs, without any device hogging all the resources and slowing things down.

Smart Router Buyer’s Guide

MIMO is great for smart homes

Getting a new router? Definitely think about getting one that supports MIMO! It stands for Multiple In, Multiple Out and it makes for a much better internet experience than regular old modems and routers. MIMO means that your router can handle much more ‘traffic’ and can do it way better than older systems. Multiple devices can send and receive at the same time. Got a minute to spare? Check out this super-short video on the wonders of MIMO:

Modem Router or Just a Router?

One thing that’s super-confusing about smart WiFi routers is that you can get ones that have a modem built in, and some that don’t have a modem built in. (Which may require a separate modem to connect to the Internet).

The modem part is the bit that connects to the Internet. The router is the part that connects all the devices together, and connects multiple devices to the Internet. Some people prefer a separate modem and router and there are benefits and drawbacks to doing this.

What’s even more confusing is that modem routers and non-modem routers look exactly the same! If you want an easy life, check the description of your new smart home WiFi router before you buy and pick one that has a built in modem. This will replace anything you have at the moment in one easy box.

Smart routers with CPUs built in

One of the things you’ll come across when searching online for the best wireless router for smart homes is that many WiFi routers have a built in CPU. This is something that, at one time, you wouldn’t see in your router but it can help a great deal once you start connecting your smart home devices up. Try to find a router that has a CPU and factor in the speed of the CPU (measured in GHz) into your decision.

Let me know in the comments down below how your smart home is coming along. Did you use any of these smart WiFi routers? Which smart internet router are you using that you think our readers will love?

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Hello, thanks for reading my guide. My name is Tom and I am a tech blogger who loves everything about creating a smart home. I live with my wife and two children in the North East of England.