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The Best Gigabit Routers in 2021: Top-Rated & Reviews

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your internet connection speed falls short of your expectations? At some point you may start to wonder: What is the cause for such a problem? One of the most common reasons for this is your router. It is not fast enough, and this happens possibly due to its old age. You want to install a new router, but you don’t know where to start. If you’re having the same question then don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place. Our article about the best gigabit routers will definitely give you the help that you need.


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There are many factors that can affect the speed of your connection, your router being one of the most influential ones. To obtain the maximum speed available (gigabit WiFI), you need a gigabit router to support it. However, the fact that there are multiple models available doesn’t help at all, so you need some suggestions. That’s exactly what we’re gonna show you right now: a list of the best gigabit routers currently on the market.

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12

With a theoretical maximum speed of 12 Gbps, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 is one of the fastest routers right now. This workhorse of a router supports WiFi 6, setting it apart from other models. It’s worth mentioning that the difference between WiFi 6 compared to WiFi 5 is not mainly the speed, but more about connection quality and network performance. Although WiFi 6 is not ubiquitous at the moment, it's better to come prepared. 

Another advantage of the Nighthawk AX12 is its high level of cybersecurity. The router is accompanied by a signature technology of NETGEAR: NETGEAR Armor. NETGEAR Armor, powered by BitDefender, helps protect your network and connected devices from potential threats like viruses, malware, and data theft. You’re given a 30-day free trial of this service, and afterward, you can decide whether you want to sign up or not.

With all the modern technology, you may think that the Nighthawk X12 requires a lot of professional knowledge to set up and operate. The truth is totally the opposite: you don’t need to be tech-savvy to know your way around this router. It comes with the Nighthawk app that allows you to install, manage and customize your network settings at ease. From testing internet speed to monitoring data usage, everything can be completed on your own with a little help from a mobile app.

2. ASUS RT-AC5300 

If you’re searching for a router to support your gaming, ASUS RT-AC5300 is without a doubt your perfect match. Designed with gaming in mind, this router incorporates multiple state-of-the-art technologies for a maximum throughput of 5.3 Gbps. Besides generating an elevated speed compared to traditional routers, this gigabit model also excels regarding power. The router is powerful enough to maintain stable signals throughout the house without the help of a range extender (as long as the walls of your house are light to medium in thickness). 

What sets this router apart is a technology called MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output). This modern technology enables multiple users to connect at each user’s respective maximum speed. To put it more simply, imagine two people streaming videos on the same network. Unlike a traditional router that would switch from buffering one video to another, the RT-AC5300 would create four unique streams for the heaviest users. 

Security is also a strong point of the RT-AC5300. Powered by Trend Micro, the protection technology offers multi-stage protection, from early intervention as vulnerability detection to sensitive data protection. 

3. TP-Link Archer AX6000

The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is another strong candidate when it comes to the position of the best gigabit routers. The max speed of the AX6000 is half as much as that of the Nighthawk AX12, but the overall performance is not that far behind. This router supports WiFi 6, and despite the fact that WiFi 6 is not widely available yet, you can expect that once WiFi 6 is ready the AX6000 will deliver even better performance.

Similar to the two previously mentioned routers, the Archer AX6000 also exceeds when it comes to security. The advanced security protects your devices with a premium antivirus program and strong parental control. And you know what’s better? You are entitled to a free lifetime subscription to TP-Link HomeCare, so you don’t have to pay any extra money for cybersecurity. 

4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Another high-speed router is the NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200, with a theoretical max speed of 4.6 Gbps. This router is full of modern technologies, from a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 4 amplified antennas, Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, Dynamic QoS, Amazon Alexa Voice Controls, and so forth. All of them are designed to turn the X10 AD7200 into a powerhouse.

The Nighthawk X10 AD7200 is also a top choice for people living in bigger houses, as this router has a maximum coverage of 2500 square feet. Furthermore, like many other routers from Netgear, the X10 AD7200 can be connected to the Nighthawk app to aid internet access management and help in filtering websites. 


Buying Guides

 

1. WiFi 6 Support

WiFi 6, or 802.11ax, is the top tier in the current WiFi standards. You can see that many gigabit routers have “AX” in their names, for instance the TP-Link AX3000, that’s the indication for the capacity of WiFi 6 support. WiFi 6 uses MU-MIMO technology and OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) to allow for simultaneous connections from multiple devices without lowering connection speed.

2. Dual-Band vs. Tri-Band

Dual-Band routers communicate with devices at two frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), while Tri-Band routers add an extra 5 GHz band. The addition of a 5 GHz frequency band minimizes the chances of lag and internet congestions.

We highly recommend you purchase a tri-band router, one like the Amazon eero Mesh WiFi Router to get optimal performance. 

3. Quality of Service (QoS) 

Quality of Service enables you to manage the available bandwidth to intelligently distribute appropriate speeds to appropriate devices. 

Besides bandwidth management, QoS is also responsible for network prioritization. Thus, with QoS, you can select the suitable bandwidth for specific purposes.


FAQs

 

1. What is a gigabit WiFi router?

A gigabit router gives you a theoretical maximum network speed of at least 1 Gbps (gigabit per second). To achieve this speed, Ethernet cables are required, and you can easily see the influence of the speed discrepancy when you share files or stream music, videos over your network. 

So what does a gigabit router refer to? A gigabit router actually means the speeds available through a wired connection. 

2. Can gigabit routers boost the speed of internet connection?

Generally, a gigabit router indeed boosts the connection speed. However, it can only do that to a certain extent, because the possible speed is limited by your ISP. 

If your ISP provides router speed lower than 1 Gbps, getting a gigabit router would mean nothing, if not to say a waste of money. However, when the provided speed from ISP is higher than the speed of the targeted router, you can purchase that router with no concern.

3. What’s the difference between Fast Ethernet and 1 Gbps Router?

Fast Ethernet, actually 100 Mbps Ethernet, is a standard that exists earlier and supports the speed of 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, the 1 Gbps is 1000 Mbps, substantially higher than Fast Ethernet. Consequently, the 1 Gbps router outperforms the older Fast Ethernet.

Nonetheless, if your activity doesn’t include file sharing, especially large-sized files, then you can settle for Fast Ethernet.

You may also like: Best Mesh Wifi Routers

4. What is required for Gigabit WiFi?

You may think that buying a gigabit router will solve all problems regarding gigabit WiFi, but that’s not everything. The remaining components of your network (your wiring, ports, and CPU) have to be ready for gigabit wifi as well.

5. So, do I need a gigabit router?

The answer to this question totally depends on your personal situation as well as your preference. If you want to boost your connection speed and share big files on a regular basis, then don’t hesitate to spend some extra money on a gigabit router, because that’s the best way to go!


Final Thoughts

 

Above is what we’ve got to say about the best gigabit routers. To make it easier for you in your selection process, we’ve rounded it up to a list of clear winners as well as the aspect that they excel in. The list is as follows:

And that wraps up our article on the best gigabit routers on the market at the moment. Hopefully you find this post helpful and can decide on which router you want from our recommendations. Thank you and see you next time!

Thuy Tran
Thuy Tran
As a technology enthusiast, Thuy Tran has many years of researching and using AI with Big Data to support in the field of Digital Marketing. In his free time, he often plays games, writes reviews and shares his own experience in technology.