In a world where everything from meetings to movies flows in and out of your home via the internet, having a reliable WiFi connection is important. And with WiFi devices spread from the home office to the kitchen to the rec room, a WiFi router with a long range is a must.
The best WiFi router for long range will provide enough speed and bandwidth for devices all over your house and prevent loss of connectivity and dead zones. The right long-range router can avoid buffering, lag time, and signal loss, too.
Read on for reviews of some of the best WiFi routers for long range.
- BEST OVERALL: ASUS AX6000 WiFi 6 Gaming Router
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: TP-Link Wifi 6 AX1500 Smart WiFi Router(Archer AX10)
- BEST UPGRADE: NETGEAR Orbi Whole Home Tri-band Mesh WiFi 6 System
- BEST PARENTAL CONTROL: GRYPHON – Advance Security & Parental Control
- BEST USER-FRIENDLY: Amazon eero 6 dual-band mesh Wi-Fi 6 system
- BEST FOR SPEED: TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router(Archer AX6000)
- BEST FOR STREAMING: NETGEAR Nighthawk 12-Stream AX12 Wi-Fi 6 Router
What to Consider When Choosing the Best WiFi Router for Long Range
The best WiFi router for long range will depend on a variety of factors, including the home’s size, the number of devices needing WiFi access, and the type of antenna on the router.
Many manufacturers rate their WiFi routers to cover a certain square footage, so check that against your needs. Long-range routers can provide WiFi for areas ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 square feet. The range will depend on several factors, including the type of antenna the router has and the home’s construction. Fireplaces, concrete walls, and multiple stories can act as barriers to the signal.
A wireless router communicates with your home WiFi via a built-in antenna. Until recently, most routers used omnidirectional antennas that sent out a signal in every direction. Today you’ll find routers with adjustable antennas that allow you to point the antenna toward areas in your home where you’re getting signal losses or dead zones.
If you still don’t get full coverage, add a WiFi extender to amplify the router’s range in your home.
Sometimes a long-range router and extender don’t do the trick, and a boost is needed to cover a broader area. If that’s the case, consider a mesh network. A mesh network comes with a central router and additional satellite routers. The main router connects directly to the modem, and the satellites are placed throughout the house. The satellite routers create a network that spreads the WiFi signal across a larger area.
These networks can be configured and managed using a mobile app. A mesh network can provide advanced features like device prioritization, parental control, guest networking, and MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output). That’s a fancy way of saying a lot of users on a lot of devices will be able to get on the WiFi at the same time.
Memory and Processor
The hardware inside the router matters, especially the CPU (processor) and the amount of RAM (short term data storage space.) Think of the router as a mini-computer. All data is processed through the modem and the router before it reaches its destination. Faster CPUs and more RAM improve the router’s performance. Older routers with slow CPUs and less RAM can cause network bottlenecks and can make even the fastest internet service lag. To solve this, look for routers that come with dual-core or quad-core CPUs and 1-gigabit or more of RAM.
Dual-Band vs. Tri-Band
There are two types of routers on the market:
- Dual-band routers broadcast a wireless signal on two radio band frequencies: the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band. That’s desirable because older WiFi-enabled devices and newer smart-home devices typically only work on the 2.4 GHz band, while newer devices work on the less crowded (and therefore speedier) 5 GHz band.
- Tri-band routers have a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. The third band allows more devices to connect and be busy all at once without slowing down the network.
Signals in the 2.4 GHz frequencies offer better range because they can penetrate walls and other structures. However, they also compete with other devices using the same frequency— like Bluetooth devices, microwaves, and baby monitors—that can interfere with the WiFi signal.
A 5 GHz frequency offers more bandwidth, faster speeds, and doesn’t compete with as many devices, so the WiFi signal is stronger. For devices connected to an online gaming service or streaming video services, the 5 GHz band is the better choice.
Many routers come with a smartphone app that allows the user to configure settings remotely. Some routers have apps to control all its features, allowing the user to see the WiFi network status and the number of connected devices, and to manage and repair their home network. Some apps allow the user to prioritize connected devices for better performance. There are also simpler apps used for changing WiFi passwords and other basic elements, but not a whole lot more. If the router doesn’t come with an app, users may be able to use a general app like Fing, WiFi Analyzer, and Router Admin Setup.
QoS (quality of service) manages data traffic on a WiFi network. This router feature allows the user to prioritize applications and clients on a network to improve WiFi range and performance. The user chooses what device gets premium bandwidth and what doesn’t. For instance, video conferencing and voice over IP (VoIP) could be set to have more WiFi rights during the day, and online gaming or movie streaming services could have priority at night. Whatever the preferences are, QoS settings work great for anyone who uses a lot of applications and bandwidth.
Other features to consider in a router:
- WiFi 6 compatibility The newest WiFi standard is WiFi 6. It offers faster speeds, less bandwidth congestion, and extends the battery life of mobile devices by only sending data when the devices are awake. WiFi 6 routers give superior performance.
- MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) is a nice feature to have in smart homes, where there may be more than 20 devices connected to the WiFi. MU-MIMO allows multiple devices to connect to a router at one time, decreases wait times for a signal, and speeds up a network.
- OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) allows multiple devices with differing bandwidth needs to be served with WiFi at the same time, increasing efficiency.
- Beamforming focuses a WiFi signal in the direction of a specific device, boosting the range and getting rid of dead zones.
- A VPN (virtual private network) sends your data through a secure, encrypted connection. VPNs help keep your sensitive information safe and away from curious eyes.
- A firewall lets you control traffic flowing to and from the internet, protecting your network from hackers and prying eyes. The firewall also scans data to protect your security.
- Antivirus software prevents virus and malicious malware from getting on a network.
- Guest networks let you set up separate access for WiFi connectivity with a distinct password. You can give guests access to the internet without giving them access to other devices on the network.
- Parental controls let you set up your kids on a guest network, block them from certain websites, limit access to social media platforms, and schedule access times.
Our Top Picks
The following are some of the most popular WiFi routers for long range and have been measured against the aforementioned shopping considerations.
This WiFi 6 router from Asus is a good way to future-proof a home network even if there aren’t a lot of devices that run on the newer, speedier standard for WiFi. Rated to cover about 2,900 square feet of space, it’s equipped with four antennas, AiRadar beamforming, and RangeBoost technology. The router comes with AiMesh technology that allows the user to expand the WiFi range by adding additional Asus routers (sold separately).
Capable of blazing fast 6 Gbps WiFi speeds over dual-bands, this router can handle busy networks, provide lag-free online gaming, and supply smooth video playback. The powerful quad-core CPU with 1-gigabyte of RAM also helps to ensure smooth streaming. The OFDMA and MU-MIMO increase capacity and efficiency, and the QoS settings allow a user to prioritize which applications get priority. For security, the router comes with AiProtection that blocks internet threats.
This reasonably priced WiFi router provides enough range for a 1,500-square-foot home. The Archer AX10 has four antennas and beamforming to extend coverage. Users can focus signal strength in a specific direction to help with dead zones. OFDMA and MU-MIMO allow connectivity for up to 25 devices without network slowdowns.
The dual-band WiFi 6 router has a combined network speed of 1.5 Gbps for faster online gaming, streaming, and more. Users can allocate devices to different bands for optimal performance. The tri-core processor ensures buffer-free communications between the router and connected devices and smoothly handles bandwidth-intensive activities.
For fast WiFi and the option to connect a ton of devices, consider NETGEAR’s Orbi RBK852. This two-pack router and satellite cover a range of up to 5,000 square feet. Users can add more units (not included) to the mesh system if needed. Each unit covers 2,500 square feet and can handle more than 100 devices. Experience fast online gameplay, connect smart lights, stream video on multiple devices, and more.
The tri-band router delivers data to every corner of the house. The quad-core processor with 1-gigabyte of RAM ensures a buffer-free experience. Setting up the router and managing the network is simple with the Orbi app. The router also comes with a 30-day free trial of NETGEAR Armour powered by Bitdefender to protect connected devices from viruses, malware, and data theft.
GRYPHON’s tri-band WiFi router provides comprehensive parental controls and easy setup. Parents can set up the router through a smartphone app that also lets them manage their kids’ online usage by allowing them to apply content filtering, view browser history, set bedtimes and homework times, limit screen time, enforce safe search and safe YouTube access, and suspend internet usage anytime. The router has 24/7 security to protect devices against hackers and intruders.
One Gryphon unit covers a range of 3,000 square feet. It has six powerful antennas, beamforming, and MU-MIMO that enables multiple devices to connect at once. Because the units support mesh WiFi, users can add additional units as needed to increase coverage.
Setting up an eero Pro 6 mesh network is easy. Simply download the mobile app, create an account, and follow the simple instructions. Within minutes, a mesh system can be installed and ready to go. Plus, the app lets users manage the network from anywhere via smartphone and comes with free support 7 days a week. The eero WiFi router and satellites cover up to 5,000 square feet. Bye-bye dead spots and buffering. The TrueMesh technology intelligently routes traffic throughout the home, so there’s no need to worry about drop-offs while online gaming or streaming video.
Up to 75 devices can connect to the system simultaneously. As needs change, the network can be expanded by adding additional eero products.
The Archer AX6000 from TP-Link delivers fast internet connections with no lag. The eight targeted antennas provide a strong WiFi signal throughout the home. Beamforming and RangeBoost provide a far-reaching network. OFDMA and MU-MIMO increase capacity and performance and dramatically increase the number of connected devices the router can operate. The coverage area is 2,500 square feet.
The router has a 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU and two coprocessors to eliminate wait times. It also comes equipped with TP-Link HomeCare for network security that delivers antivirus protection, parental controls, and QoS.
Stream video, games, or video conferences on multiple devices at once with NETGEAR’s Nighthawk AX12. It supports 12 simultaneous streams with a combined throughput of 6 Gbps. Eight high-efficiency antennas amplify the signal for a maximum range of 3,500 square feet. Beamforming boosts speed and coverage, OFDMA hikes up efficiency, and MU-MIMO allows for a slew of connected devices. The dual-band router intelligently selects the fastest band for each connection to ensure the best WiFi for all connected devices.
The router sets up in minutes using the Nighthawk app. The app also allows users to manage WiFi settings at the device and network level.
FAQs About WiFi Routers for Long Range
Still need information about long-range WiFi routers? Check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q: What are the characteristics of a long-range router?
Long-range routers cover a broader area and handle different types of devices connected to the network. They come with multiple antennas, and many of them support beamforming to send a WiFi signal where it’s needed most.
Q: Can a better router increase WiFi range?
Yes and no. A better WiFi router can increase range, but in larger homes with a lot of problem areas, you may need to add a WiFi extender or set up a mesh network with a central router and satellite nodes throughout the home.
Q: How far away can a router be from a modem?
Some manufacturers recommend that the modem and router sit 3 feet apart. Having them too close together can cause signal interference or occasional signal loss.