By Etha Mathilde
Updated May 16, 2018
8 Best 802.11ac Routers 2018

For those who live in homes with a lot of connected devices, internet congestion can be a big problem. Whether you use tablets, smartphones or computers in your home, a wireless router with a strong 5GHz band can be the perfect solution for all your streaming devices. Here you'll find both 802.11ac routers and 802.11n iterations to meet all the needs for faster connectivity in your home.

In this list, you'll find the best 802.11ac routers on the market. That way, you'll be able to make the choice for the best 802.11ac router for you and your family.

Product
Image
Device
Name
WeightData Transfer RateWireless Compatibility 
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security by Trend Micro, AiMesh for Mesh WiFi system, and WTFast game Accelerator (RT-AC88U)ASUS AC31002.6lbs3,100Mbps802.11A/CBuy on Amazon
NETGEAR Orbi Home Mesh WiFi System (RBK50)Netgear Orbi3.92lbs3,000Mbps802.11bgn/a/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz Radio FrequencyBuy on Amazon
Portal Mesh Wi-Fi Router – Reliable, high-performance wireless ready for gaming. Unique DFS Spectrum usage to eliminate congestion. Advanced Mesh Wi-Fi covers whole home.Portal AC24001.6lbs2,400Mbps802.11A/C/a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz & 5GHz radio frequency.Buy on Amazon
ASUS Whole Home Dual-Band AiMesh Router (AC1900) for Mesh Wifi System (Up to 1900 Mbps) - AiProtection Network Security by Trend Micro, Adaptive QoS & Parental Control (RT-AC68U)Asus AC1900 RT-AC68CU1.4lbs1,900Mbps802.11A/C/a/b/g/n, 5.8GHz radio frequencyBuy on Amazon
Netgear (R8000-100NAS) Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Router, Gigabit Ethernet, Compatible with Amazon Echo/AlexaNetgear Nighthawk X6 AC32002.43lbs3,200Mbps802.11A/CBuy on Amazon
ASUS AC5300 Tri-Band WiFi Gaming Router(Up to 5330 Mbps) w/MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security by Trend Micro, AiMesh for Mesh WiFi System, built-in WTFast game accelerator (RT-AC5300)Asus AC53003.2lbs5,300Mbps802.11A/CBuy on Amazon
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security by Trend Micro, AiMesh for Mesh WiFi system, and WTFast game Accelerator (RT-AC88U)TP-Link Archer C7 AC17501.9lbs1,750Mbps802.11A/C
D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router With 6 High Performance Beamforming Antennas (DIR-890L/R)D-Link AC32002.5lbs3,200Mbps802.11a/b/g/n/acBuy on Amazon

If you have an uncommon operating system, then it's going to be important to make sure that the router you choose will be able to work with it so that you won't run into any problems. You'll also want to consider the kind of connection speed you'll need as well as how many bands will be best for you. If you're a light internet user, one band may work just fine. However, if you have many devices that will need to connect, it can be helpful to have two or three bands available.

Manyac router buyers are aware that the Asus AC3100 wireless-AC1300 is an excellent choice if you're looking for speed. With this router, you'll get two bands including a 2.4GHz up to 1000Mbps and a 5GHz up to 2100Mbps so you have plenty of power for connecting devices to. The AC88U is also able to provide a great coverage area of around 5,000 square feet.

The speeds offered on this Asus model are known to be 80 percent faster for the 5GHz and 66 percent faster on the 2.4GHz band. It's also powered through the combination of a 1024-QAM technology and a fantastic 1.4GHz dual-core processor. With the speeds offered by the AC88U, you'll be able to get incredible coverage in your house for several connected devices.

With the assistance of MU-MIMO features, each device can have it's own dedicated Wi-Fi connection so that you don't have to worry about several devices slowing down the entire network. You'll also be able to setup the AC88U in a matter of minutes, as the web-based installation process is a snap. Compared to other internet routers, this Asus device is highly recommended as one of the best routers on today's market.

The combined range of around 3167Mbps that you can get from the four-receive, four-transmit antenna on the AC88U is excellent. With the easy setup that can be done online, you'll be able to reach these fast connections in no time at all. Without a doubt, this little 2.6-pound device has a lot of outstanding features to offer.

From time to time, you may notice that devices have lost their connection with this router. It'll just need to be restarted in order to be able to regain the connection.

Pros
  • Great design.
  • Doesn’t drop connections easily.
  • Great download speeds.
Cons
  • There can be some bugs in the Firmware.
  • In some cases, it may require reboots to regain a connection.

If you're looking for something that can offer a high connection speed and a lot of power, this is a fantastic option.

If you're looking to cover your office or entire home with Wi-Fi without having to take out a second mortgage, Netgear's Orbi WiFi system is worth looking into! It's a mesh networking system that is able to provide a stronger, faster signal than other router options. You'll also get the benefit of a signal strength that is able to cover a 4,000-square foot home without a problem.

The Orbi is a lightweight device, coming in at just 1.96-pounds for each of the two devices. It's a fantastic option for replacing both old routers and WiFi range extenders while giving you the greatest possible signal. Orbi's great device also offers MU-MIMO technologies so that it can handle multiple users online whether they're gaming, browsing online or streaming 4K films at the same time.

Because it offers Tri-Band Wi-Fi connecting options including a 2.4GHz band that can offer intense speeds up to 400Mbps and a 5GHz band with speeds up to 1733Mbps as well as 866Mbps, each individual WiFi user will be able to have a strong connection. In combination with great beamforming abilities, you'll be able to trust that the Orbi can offer you a secure system with fast speeds.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best mesh wi-fi network systems.

Setup is a snap for the Orbi, as it comes preconfigured so that all you need to do is get it set up with your personal Internet Service Provider. Once it has been set up, the Orbi will offer each device online the best available signal strength as it runs.

In some rare instances, customer who use Android or iOS devices can have a little trouble with using this router.

Pros
  • Great download speeds.
  • Reliable connection.
  • Excellent range.
Cons
  • In some cases it can cease working after only a few months.
  • Some customers have found it may not work as well with Android or iOS.

If you're looking to upgrade your system to one with mesh networking capabilities, the Orbi is a great way to go!

For a great look and a lot of coverage for your home, check out Portal's Wi-Fi router. Aside from having a great design, this 802.11ac router is also able to cover 3,000 square feet so you won't have to worry about a weak signal range. Using the FastLanes afforded by this device, you'll be able to avoid congested WiFi signals like a pro.

The Portal is able to offer 3x the coverage of other router options and a connection that is 10x faster when you add an additional Portal unit. Because of the duel-band internals and Wave-2 version of the 4x4 MU-MIMO, you'll find that it's also faster than many competitive AC3200 router models. If you're looking for a fantastic WiFi extender and wireless router that isn't a flashy device, you'll love the flattened pebble design that the Portal offers.

With some great features and fast channels, you'll get exactly the boost you need from this Mesh-ready device. Setup for the Portal is a snap, whether you only need a single unit or multiple in a single home. The patented technology on the Portal allows you the power and ability to control your networks and enjoy browsing online from both Android and iOS-compatible applications.

For some users, the connection can become unstable and drop or slow down at random times.

Pros
  • Fast connection.
  • Aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Can decrease connectivity problems.
Cons
  • Some customers find that the connection can be unstable.
  • In some cases, the network may drop frequently.

If aesthetics are as important as function to you in a router, then the portal offers a lot of power and a great design.

If you're searching for the latest technology that can give you ultra-fast speeds, then the Asus' AC1900 RT-AC68CU 802.11ac router is a superb choice. You'll get the benefit of several fantastic features including AiRadar, Broadcom TurboQAM technology as well as beamforming technology. The AC68U also offers high-power signal connectivity so that you can get a stable signal for all of your devices.

Due to the dual-band 3x3 antenna technology and 1GHz dual-core CPU, the Asus AC68U gives you large speed increases over other options and extended coverage. It also comes with an easy setup process, allowing you to configure the device using a web-based installation process. Once it's ready to go, users online will be able to get speeds of 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz 802.11n band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz 802.11as band.

Through the use of Trend Micro and AiProtection on the AC68U, you'll be able to trust that your connection will be secure and protected from multi-stage threats. This layer of security is great no matter whether you're browsing, gaming or enjoying 4K HD streaming with the amplified power of the Asus AC68U.

The speeds on this router may not always be at its most ideal, in some cases the speeds can fluctuate and become lower than what is preferred.

Pros
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • Allows for many connected devices.
  • Can eliminate gaming lag.
Cons
  • The speed on this router may fluctuate.
  • In some cases, Wi-Fi capability may not work as well.

When you're looking for a new router that has a lot to offer and multiple bands, this is a fantastic option.

For those looking for the best pound-for-pound performance, Netgear's Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is able to offer the Wi-Fi speed that many are searching for. Using 6 high-performance antennas, a 1GHz dual-core processor and another three additional offload processors, you'll be able to reach internet speeds of up to 3.2Gbps. You'll also get the benefit of the latest beamforming technology in combination with a 802.11ac splurge that will ensure the most powerful connection.

This fantastic Netgear device also uses Tri-Band WiFi connections to increase performance and offer each connected device a stronger signal. All of these features go towards ensuring that you get the strongest possible connection every time. You'll also be able to access all of this in just a few minutes using the simplified setup online.

Because if the Dynamic Qos, you can trust that whether you're using a fast or slow device, the Netgear router will ensure that your device is getting the correct bandwidth prioritization. That way, any device online will get the best connection speed and WiFi signal stability. This is due to the tri-band feature, which connects your devices to separate networks.

Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk is a fantastic device that works to offer the most signal possible to your devices using the bandwidth prioritization. If you're looking for something that will give you a lot of value for your money, this Netgear device is worth a look.

A few customers who have tried out this device have noticed that their signal starts out strong, but does start to wane over time.

Pros
  • Can increase connection speeds.
  • Multiple bands allow for multiple connected devices easily.
  • MU-MIMO capable.
Cons
  • In some cases, connections may slow over time.
  • Some customers have experienced problems with customer service.

If you've been saving up for a truly great router to improve your internet experience, this option is definitely worth a look.

With speeds of up to 5,334Mbps and tri-band performance including a single 2.4GHz band and dual 5GHz bands, you'll have no trouble reaching the maximum speed available on the Asus5300. You'll also get the benefit of the latest 802.11ac 4x4 technology and a Gamers Private Network (GPN) that will allow gamers to get peak performance as they play. The stable ping times and higher speeds afforded on this device will ensure that the only frustration gamers experience is due to their enemies rather than a slow connection.

If you're looking for something that will work for a larger home, you'll be happy to know that the Asus AC5300 is able to cover up to 5,000 square feet, which means it can also be great for a business. Not to mention you'll also get great features like AiRadar beamforming, MU-MIMO technology and increased multiplayer performance to allow for multiple people and devices online at once. The Trend Micro and AiProtection will be able to offer you an extra layer of protection from unwanted internet intruders.

The AC5300 uses a four-receive, four-transmit antenna setup that will allow for an amplified signal that can reach areas that may normally be difficult. This 4x4 setup allows the Asus to fill dead spots, increasing Wi-Fi speeds in places that were once weaker. By eliminating these vulnerabilities, you'll be able to allow more devices on your home network and give them a stronger signal to connect to.

As far as tri-band routers go, you'll find that this one is designed more for intense internet users than the Asus AC68U, so it's going to depend on just how much power and speed you need. The range on the Asus5300 is also made for larger homes, so if your regular device has trouble reaching all the corners then this is worth a look. Asus hardware is well known for its stable Wi-Fi connections and maximum speed capability, so you'll be able to trust in the unwavering direct signal the Asus AC5300 can provide.

Overall, this Asus device is excellent for providing both Wi-Fi and wired connections, as well as detecting and protecting you from potential security problems with its built-in features.

In some circumstances, there can be some random disconnects experienced with this router that may require you to reboot it.

Pros
  • Offers excellent coverage.
  • Provides multiple bands to connect devices to.
  • Powerful.
Cons
  • On the expensive side.
  • Some customers have experienced random disconnects.

If you have a larger home and need something that will be able to offer the range to cover it, this is a fantastic option.

Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money on a router, and in those circumstances, the Tp-Link Archer C7 AC1750 is a solid choice. This cheap 802.11ac router offers a fantastic signal strength using future-proofed tech. You'll also be able to get both MU-MIMO technology and beamforming capabilities with the budget pricing on this router.

On the AC1750, you'll have access to an 5GHz 802.11ac band that offers up to 1300Mbps as well as a 2.4GHz band at 450Mbps. At less than $100, you'll get browsing, streaming and hassle-free gaming due to the bandwidth boosting abilities that come from the six powerful antennas on this device. You'll also be able to trust that every room in your home will be reached by the high-speed WiFi on the AC1750.

Using TP-Link's tether app, the setup on this device will also be a snap. Whether you use iOS or Android, you won't have any trouble making use of online features by connecting to the AC1750. Many buyers will agree that the C7 hardware on the AC1750 comes at an excellent price point that makes it cheaper than many other models. It functions well as a standalone feature, which allows you to save even more money.

Some customers have experienced problems with the Wi-Fi capabilities on this router.

Pros
  • Easy to set up.
  • Great for streaming.
  • Excellent value.
Cons
  • Wireless function may not work as well.
  • In some cases, it can cease working after only a short period.

For those who are looking for a great router that won't break the bank, it's worth taking a look into the AC1750.

This interesting router definitely has the appearance of something you may find in your favorite Sci-Fi film, and because of that may go well to suit the preferences of a gamer. The D-Link AC3200 is designed with six powerful beamforming antennas that allow it to offer a lot of power. It's a tri-band WiFi router is fantastic for intensive gaming, offering fast speed and maximum performance for gamers who want to avoid lagging while they play.

With the D-Link, you'll get 2x 1300Mbps on a 5GHz band and a 2.4GHz that offers a great 600Mbps performance. It makes use of a 1GHz dual-core processor to allow for 4K video streaming as well as fantastic gaming abilities whether it's just you or you're in a multiplayer setup. It's a lightweight, 2.5-pound router that you can connect multiple devices to, trusting that the Smart Connect feature will be able to direct your device to the best possible band.

Due to the AC SmartBeam feature on the D-Link, each device stay routed on the ideal of the three WiFi bands for the maximum WiFi performance and re-routes those that are not getting the best performance. The beamforming technology on the D-Link also ensures that all Wi-Fi users are getting the best possible speed specs while they're online.

For gamers, it's often important to make sure the speed on their internet is not only great, but that is has a range that covers the entire house. That way, gamers using multiple device types will be able to easily connect to and use the D-Link.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best gaming routers.

While it typically functions well, not everyone is a fan of the design of this router. It tends to be a little more clunky, causing it to become an eyesore.

Pros
  • Easy to use.
  • Reliable connection.
  • Great range.
Cons
  • Design is a bit clunky.
  • Can stop working after only a short time of ownership.

For intense gamers, this router offers top-of-the-line performance so that you won't have to worry about lag.

Conclusion

These top-notch routers all have a lot to offer, so it's worthwhile to take your time comparing to make sure you get what you need. You'll also have to test out the router of your choice to ensure it can offer you the strongest possible signal. Luckily, each of these options is fully capable of offering a reliable connection.

Depending on what your needs are, you'll surely find the idea AC router for you from this list. It’s a great place to start to help you get headed in the right direction!

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