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Best Netgear Routers in 2024 – our top picks

Some of the best Netgear routers, handpicked by us

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on April 23, 2024
A Netgear wireless router with four antennas on a purple background, accompanied by a small "Best Netgear routers" logo in the upper left corner.
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If your current router is feeling the strain from the glut of wireless devices from phones and laptops to TVs by way of smart fridges that now depend on a home network, then a router upgrade may be in order. Among the leading manufacturers of home networking solutions, Netgear is among the most recognized and well-respected. The name is synonymous for many with a networking powerhouse and the very best routers money can buy.

With no shortage of options to choose from, finding the right Netgear router can be challenging. The company has multiple models for virtually every scenario, use, and home, from budget dual-band workhorses to costly, high-performance routers boasting the most cutting-edge wireless features such as support for the Wi-Fi 6 and 6E standard.

If trawling through Netgear’s line-up leaves you despondent and you need pointing in the right direction, you’ve come to the right place. In our guide, we’ll be highlighting some of the best Netgear routers around. These are all sure to inject some much-needed speed, range, and stability into your ageing home network.

Products at a glance

How we picked

When hunting down the best Netgear routers, we paid close attention to several key specifications: Wi-Fi standard, range, on-router ports, antennas, theoretical speeds, and integrated technologies. We scrutinized these factors when assessing each router, favouring those that incorporate a well-rounded balance of these as well as reliable real-world performance.

In the end, we whittled down our selection to five recommendations that, in our opinion, tick all the right boxes. We know that not everyone uses a home network in the same way. As such, we’ve tried to incorporate recommendations suitable for the most popular uses, such as gaming, and general day-to-day tasks like browsing and video streaming. Similarly, you’ll also find picks covering a range of budgets from cheap and cheerful options to top-of-the-pile, performance-oriented routers.

Read on to find a brief review of each, pinpointing why they are worth integrating into your home network. Let’s jump in.

Our top picks

Best Netgear router overall
  • NETGEAR ORBI AX6000 | 3 Pack
Best in Class
  • Standard: WiFI 6E
  • Frequency bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz
  • Max speed: 6 Gbps
  • LAN ports: 3 x 1 Gbps
Reasons to Buy
  • Has WiFi 6E technology, so it can reach speeds of 6 Gbps
  • Getting the three extenders gives you 8,000 sq. ft coverage
  • Comes with a year’s subscription to Netgear Armor
Reasons to Avoid
  • You can’t ignore the premium pricing
  • Smaller homes won’t need to go for the three pack option

The Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E is the most impressive WiFi 6E Netgear system currently on the market. Its mesh system is capable of creating four individual networks – 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz, which are distributed by 12 high-power antennas in each unit. Its range is optimized by the latest WiFi 6 technology – including beamforming and MU-MIMO, making it an incredibly powerful and efficient long-range Wi-Fi 6E router.

The impressive specs list only continues to grow: inside its compact and sleek form factor is a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM, allowing this router to reach impressively fast speeds of up to 6 Gbps. What’s more, as a whole mesh system, you’re looking at getting up to 8,000 sq. ft of dead spot free coverage for up to 100 devices. On top of that, you get a package that’s comes including the advanced security of Netgear Armor for one year. Basically, you’re getting a mesh system that’s capable of providing really high-quality internet for office environments as well as busy home spaces.

Netgear provides users with an incredibly user-friendly interface that makes it very easy to manage the mesh system. This can be controlled over on the web interface, or the app. Whilst the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E is arguably the most impressive and advanced router on the market in regard to its range, it comes at an incredibly high price and is definitely unaffordable for most. Regardless it tops our list of the best Netgear routers.

The impressive specs list only continues to grow: inside its compact and sleek form factor is a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor and 1 GB RAM, allowing this router to reach impressively fast speeds of up to 6 Gbps.

PC Guide

What users say

Considering that it’s an advanced WiFi system, users on Amazon have praised the Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E for being really easy to set up, and of course, its speed is also a commendable feature. One review comments that it’s “very easy to setup and the speed in internet has improved”, and another says that the “performance is GREAT hardware or WIFI connection”. However, the feedback on the value this system offers is a bit more varied, which is expected – it’s a big investment, which often causes reviews to be a bit more critical.

Best designed Netgear router
  • Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
  • Standard: WiFi 6E
  • Frequency band: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6GHz
  • Max speed: 10.8 Gbps
  • LAN ports: 4 x 1 Gbps
Reasons to Buy
  • Also has the new 6 GHz band for faster speeds and more devices
  • Sleek design, and can be wall mounted too
  • Inclusion of powerful 1.8GHz quad-core processor allows for smooth 4K/8K streaming
Reasons to Avoid
  • WiFi 6 signal may not be that strong further away from the router
  • It’s a big investment, costing $599.99 when not discounted

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is one of the leading WiFi 6E routers Netgear has to offer. With WiFi 6E technology, the RAXE500 is capable of incredibly fast wireless speeds. This router is steps ahead of the game with support for 2.5 Gigabit/sec ethernet speeds. It’s fair to predict that 2.5 Gigabit/sec ethernet support will be a common feature we’ll see popping up on new routers in the future.

While the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is a very advanced router, its interface is user-friendly nonetheless, and the setup is fairly straightforward. You can set up the Netgear RAXE500 through your mobile device by using the Nighthawk app. Further, advanced network settings can then be tweaked on the web interface.

While the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is a very advanced router, its interface is user-friendly nonetheless, and the setup is fairly straightforward.

PC Guide

The RAXE500 does not offer any form of parental control, however, it does feature a robust security system – Netgear Armor. Netgear Armor automatically blocks suspicious connections, scans devices for vulnerabilities, and provides excellent malware protection. The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is incredibly high performing and sits comfortably on our list of the best Netgear routers.

What users say

As you’d expect from one of the leading WiFi 6E routers from Netgear, users on Amazon seem to be pleased with the performance, speed, and signal strength of the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500. In fact, one review summarises that whether “you’re a hardcore gamer, a streaming enthusiast, or simply seeking a reliable, high-performance home network, the RAXE500 exceeds expectations”. However, it is worth noting that while it does include the 6 GHz band, you might find its coverage to be significantly shorter.

  • A modern NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XR1000 gaming router with four external antennas and a glossy black finish with red accents.
  • Standard: WiFi 6
  • Frequency band: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
  • Max speed: 5.4 Gbps
  • LAN ports: 4 x 1 Gbps
Reasons to Buy
  • Gaming-specific OS and features
  • Theoretical speeds up to 5.4 Gbps
  • Easy bandwidth allocation
Reasons to Avoid
  • Security subscription (after free trial) adds to the cost
  • Might not be easy to set up for beginners
  • Operating system is tricky to use

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 is a beastly Wi-Fi 6 router designed specifically for gaming thanks to a purpose-built OS, features, and plenty of speed to boot.

The router features six streams with theoretical speeds up to 5.4 Gbps – 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 4,800 on the 5 GHz band. On the Wi-Fi 6 front, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 includes 160 MHz channel support for up to 4.5 times the performance of Wi-Fi 5 routers. Naturally, you’ll need Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices to benefit from these blisteringly fast speeds.

On the gaming side of things, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 runs the DumaOS 3.0 operating system. The OS features a trove of gaming-specific features, including geofencing to filter game servers, a ping heatmap, connection benchmarks, QoS bandwidth allocation to prioritize gaming devices, and a traffic blocker to prevent unwanted network activity hogging bandwidth. When combined, these features work to reduce latency and offer a more stable ping.

The range is equally impressive, and the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 confidently carves a path through the densest home layouts.

PC Guide

More standard tech like Beamforming +, MU-MIMO, and Smart Connect further boost the router’s stability. The range is equally impressive, and the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 confidently carves a path through the densest home layouts.

Other features include four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a triple-core 1.5 GHz CPU, four powerful antennas, and one USB 3.0 port. Like other Netgear routers, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 features Netgear Armor for added security, although in the context of an already expensive piece of kit, this is somewhat of a letdown given the need to pay for a subscription once the month-long free trial runs out.

This is Netgear’s best offering for a gaming router, but to see how it stacks with others on the market at the moment check our top picks for the best gaming routers out right now.

What users say

The gaming specific features of the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000 was listed as one of our ‘Reasons to buy’, and this was a comment also brought up in its Amazon user reviews. One user in particular said that the “advanced features that makes this a great router for any use”, showing its versatility for use outside of gaming too. However, it’s also worth noting that while these advanced settings can be impressive, they can be tricky to set up and configure, especially if you’re a novice.

  • Standard: WiFi 5
  • Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
  • Max speed: 2.6 Gbps
  • LAN ports: 4 x 1 Gbps
Reasons to Buy
  • Theoretical speeds up to 2.6 Gbps
  • Gaming OS and features
  • Beamforming QoS, and MU-MIMO
Reasons to Avoid
  • Only option to include WiFi 5 instead of WiFi 6
  • Quite a heavy router, weighing 3.71 pounds

For those that aren’t worried about Wi-Fi 6 support quite yet, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 is easily one of the better gaming-oriented routers that Netgear makes.

You’ll find many of the same gaming-specific features as the more expensive Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR1000, and these work just as well on the 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 standard. These include the DumaOS, a customizable gaming dashboard to track bandwidth, ping, wireless status, traffic prioritizing, QoS, network analytics to track down bandwidth-hungry devices, and the same geofiltering utility that hones in on the best servers.

In terms of specifications, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 sports dual-band Wi-Fi, four data streams per band to maximize speeds and stability, MU-MIMO, Beamforming +, four high-performance external antennas, and theoretical speeds up to 2.6 Gbps, 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1733 Gbps on the 5 GHz band.

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 doesn’t include Netgear Armor but is nevertheless decently equipped for security with VPN support through the OpenVPN connect app and WPA/WPA2. On the unit, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect consoles and multiple desktop gaming rigs, as well as two USB 3.0 ports for media sharing across the network.

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 doesn’t include Netgear Armor but is nevertheless decently equipped for security with VPN support through the OpenVPN connect app and WPA/WPA2.

PC Guide

Despite the lack of Wi-Fi 6 support, the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 still necessitates a considerable investment compared to more general use routers on Netgear’s roster. As such, we recommend only taking the plunge if you genuinely need a decked-out gaming router with all the bells and whistles.

What users say

Just as you’d hope from investing in a gaming specific router, reviews of the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR500 on Amazon have commented on how much its improved their gaming experience. For example, one user describes it as a “blessing for online gaming”, and another commends how their “gameplay drastically improved because I had a reliable, stable connection”.

Things to consider

Wi-Fi Standard

As a rule of thumb, we recommend opting for routers that support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 standard. Widespread compatibility with most devices and speeds that won’t be surpassed by most ISP internet speeds make Wi-Fi 5 suitable for most homes.

Those looking to future-proof their router may want to choose one of the growing number of routers integrating support for the new 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 standard. However, it’s worth noting that device support (phones, PCs, laptops, etc.) is relatively slim, and the standard does command a premium.


A typical router has a Wi-Fi range anywhere from 50 to 150 feet depending on the band used, the router’s placement, the layout of the home, and obstructions such as thick rock walls. For most homes, this is more than sufficient for a strong, reliable signal throughout. But, larger homes may suffer from dead zones, in which case we recommend routers with more ample range or looking into Wi-Fi extenders or, better, a mesh network.


While the speeds advertised by router manufacturers chart ever higher, including Netgear’s, these numbers are only theoretical. The actual speeds you’ll experience using a home network vary greatly depending on the speed offered by your ISP, the brick and mortar design of your home, and the top speeds supported by your modem. Choosing the right modem and router combination can drastically increase your internet speeds and reliability.

It’s easy to get bogged down in advertised speeds, but in reality, the overwhelming majority of routers have theoretical speeds that surpass most, if not all, those offered by ISPs. For example, in the UK average broadband speed sits at around 50 to 60 Mbps, while in the US, the figure is roughly 130 Mbps. An AC3200 router (i.e., speeds up to 3200 Mbps), for example, is overkill for all but the most demanding setups and speediest ISP internet plans.


Routers aren’t just about establishing a fast and reliable wireless connection. Certain situations, such as multiplayer gaming, benefit from a traditional wired Ethernet connection. Most routers come with at least one or two Ethernet ports as standard, but if you plan to hook up multiple devices via Ethernet (smart TV, PC, console, printer, etc.), make sure there are sufficient ports before committing to a purchase.

Similarly, some routers include USB ports, ideal for hooking up external storage to share files, documents, media, and the like across a home network at fast speeds. These are less common so don’t just buy expecting a USB port as you would an Ethernet port and research specifications beforehand.

Tom is an experienced PC hardware, video games, and tech writer with a particular interest in 3D printers. He's written reviews, how-tos, guides, and news for NME, VideoGamer, WePC, TheNerdStash.