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Here are the best long-range Wi-Fi routers you can buy right now

BY Nicole George | Tue Mar 05, 2019
Here are the best long-range Wi-Fi routers you can buy right now

A variety of internet routers out there have great range and can blast internet throughout your whole home. However, the best router for you might not be the router with the longest range and highest price.

We’ve chosen long-range Wi-Fi routers with easy network setup requirements and fit different network needs so you can get the most out of your Wi-Fi without filtering through hundreds of options.

Each router is a good, long-range router option because each operates on dual-bands.

The best long-range routers use both 2.4GHz (which reaches up to 150 feet) and 5GHz (which can’t reach as far, but tends to be faster) frequencies to help your home Wi-Fi get signal reach and speed.

Best long-range Wi-Fi routers

  • Linksys AC1200 – Best long-range router for easy setup
  • Netgear Nighthawk C7000 AC1900 – Best cable-compatible introduction to the powerful Nighthawk router line
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 – Best DSL-compatible introduction to the powerful Nighthawk router line
  • ASUS RT-AC86U – Best long-range router for 5GHz

Best router for easy setup – Linksys AC1200 Dual-Band Router

When you’re buying your own router to maximize your Wi-Fi at home, setup should be as easy as possible. The Linksys AC1200 makes getting Wi-Fi going at home easy, plus, it’s pretty affordable compared to long-range routers that can sell for more than $150.

The Linksys AC1200 router has more than 5,500 reviews on Best Buy, and more than 1,800 customers cite easy setup as one of its perks.

Easy setup for your long-range Linksys router

You can configure a Linksys router using a variety of methods. One way is by wirelessly configuring the router via an iPhone or iPad. You can also set up your new router using the Smart Setup Wizard on your desktop or laptop computer.

Linksys also has easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your router if you have cable internet service. In less than 10 steps, you can get home Wi-Fi going with your cable internet and new Linksys router.

Best introduction router to the NETGEAR Nighthawk family – NETGEAR Nighthawk C7000 or R7000

There’s a reason the NETGEAR Nighthawk is on so many internet router lists; the NETGEAR Nighthawk gives you excellent speeds all over your house. It comes in multiple iterations and different models support different types of internet connections.

Each Nighthawk model is known for powerful internet performance, and online customer reviews for each model iteration cite excellent range and speeds. Customers often write that they get the speeds they should, and sometimes, customers have even cited getting speeds faster than the advertised speed.

One router review states that when the router was placed in the middle of the house, the reviewer’s children were able to get amazing speeds in what was previously a Wi-Fi dead zone.

We choose the C7000 for cable internet and R7000 for DSL internet because each has performed well for customers and is cheaper than newer iterations. While a new model like the Nighthawk R9000 provides more RAM and access to the 60GHz band, you’ll pay more than $300 to get this router. The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 is also commonly cited as having amazing signal range, but again, you’ll pay nearly $400 to get one.

DSL compatible NETGEAR Nighthawk – the R7000 AC1900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5 Router

It’s compatible with DSL internet providers, like CenturyLink and Frontier, and costs under $200. Although large, customer reviews state it’s easy to set up, it has a longer signal range than other Wi-Fi routers they’ve tried and it works well on other floors. Its three antennas help distribute Wi-Fi signals throughout the house, and the angled antennas help signals stay stronger as they travel through walls.

Cable compatible NETGEAR Nighthawk – the Nighthawk Dual-Band C7000 AC1900 Router with DOCSIS modem

The other version of the Nighthawk AC1900 router works with cable internet connections. Running under $200 as well, it is compatible with cable providers such as XFINITY, Spectrum and Cox. Reviews of the cable compatible Nighthawk model state amazing reach, a consistent, powerful signal and ease of setup.

Best router for 5GHz coverage and speeds – ASUS RT-AC86U

The ASUS RT-AC86U is the newer version of the AC68U, which previously beat the Nighthawk in signal range in an MB Reviews test.

Like the Nighthawk model, the AC86U uses multiple, angled router antenna to help maximize signal strength and distance. ASUS included a RangeBoost feature in the AC86U model, which they claim gives you up to 120% coverage.

The AC86U also gives you multiple band options so you can use either 2.4GHz or 5GHz.

When the router’s signal was tested by Digital Citizen on 2.4GHz, it tended to beat other tested models in signal strength throughout the house. But, on 2.4GHz, it did not give the fastest download or upload speeds.

However, on the 5GHz test, the RT-AC86U offered amazing signal strength, often beating or tying the other tested routers. Plus, Digital Citizen said they saw the fastest speeds they’d ever measured before using the RT-AC86U 5GHz band. Using the ASUS RT-AC86U 5GHz band, they reached a maximum download speed of 716.25 Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 521.7 Mbps.

Other great long-range routers

Other solid long-range routers you might want to consider to maximize your Wi-Fi at home include:

The right long-range router for you will be based on your internet connection type, your budget and how large your home is. If you’re looking to enhance your current internet signal, buying a Wi-Fi extender might be a better option for you. But as you shop for a new internet plan or plan to move, investing in one of the long-range routers above can help you enjoy faster speeds throughout your entire home.

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