Best Long-Range Routers for Extended Wi-Fi 2022

We tested a batch of routers to see which ones hold up at long distances.

  • Best overall
    TP-Link Archer AX90
    TP-Link Archer AX90
    • $295.93*
    • Multigig internet support
    • Better long-range speeds
    • Subscription-based antivirus
  • Best for budgets
    TP-Link Archer A10
    TP-Link Archer A10
    • $49.99*
    • Decent Wi-Fi 5 speeds
    • Easy-to-use interface
    • No multigig connections
  • Best for gamers
    The NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200 wings actually fold.
    NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200
    • $419.99*
    • Best long-range speeds
    • Multigig internet support
    • Hefty price tag
  • Best for Wi-Fi 5
    ASUS RT-AC88U
    ASUS RT-AC88U
    • $399.00*
    • Great Wi-Fi 5 speeds
    • Lots of wired networking
    • Hefty price tag
  • Best for mesh
    The three-pack kit includes three Eero Pro 6 units, three power adapters, and an Ethernet cable.
    Amazon Eero Pro 6
    • $599.00*
    • Good wide-range Wi-Fi 6 speeds
    • Dedicated Eero-to-Eero connections
    • Hefty price tag

Our pick: Which long-range router is best?

The TP-Link Archer AX90 is our top pick long-range router. Truth be told, every standalone router on this list can hit speeds around 120 Mbps at 90 feet if unobstructed. But the AX90 did extremely well broadcasting Wi-Fi through solid doors in our tests, although the NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200 is admittedly faster if you’re willing to spend the extra money.

How we test routers

We vigorously test routers to see how well they stack up against the competition in speed and range. We also evaluate the setup process and dig into the web and mobile apps to see if they’re easy to use. Check out our methodology section for more information.

The 5 best long-range routers

Compare long-range router speeds and prices

Best forModelImageMax throughputPriceGet it
Best overallTP-Link Archer AX906,600 Mbps$295.93*View on Amazon
Best for budgetsTP-Link Archer A102,600 Mbps$49.99*View on Amazon
Best for gamersNETGEAR Nighthawk RAX20011,000 Mbps$419.99*View on Amazon
Best for Wi-Fi 5ASUS RT-AC88U3,100 Mbps$399.00*View on Amazon
Best for meshAmazon Eero Pro 64,200 Mbps$599.99*View on Amazon

What should you look for in a long-range router?

First, you want a router with two or more antennas—we recommend at least four for a reliable signal at long distances. Routers use different antennas (and channels) as you move throughout the home for the best connection possible. Multiple antennas provide more bandwidth and allow the router to aim signals in your direction.

Also, look for the number of streams a router can provide on a single band. Typically, you want more than two download and two upload streams (2×2), as nearly all devices use a 2×2 configuration. The more streams you have, the less likely your devices will have to share bandwidth with others as they connect.

Do you have the best internet speeds to go with your long-range router?

If not, be sure to enter your zip code below to see what options are available to you.

Best overall—TP-Link Archer AX90

Best overall

TP-Link Archer AX90
Photo by Anastasia Hrivnak

The best long-range speeds for the buck

Score:

3.8

out of 5

The Archer AX90 is our top pick because it serves lots of long-range speed for the money. You don’t get the premium features offered in other TP-Link routers, although the built-in VPN server and client are a huge win for this model.

 

   Pros    Cons
  • Multigig internet compatibility
  • Built-in VPN server and client
  • Great unobstructed speeds up to 90 feet
  • Subscription-based antivirus
  • App exclusive QoS, antivirus, and parental controls

Price: $295.93*

Expand for product details and ratings

Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Accomplishes speeds close to the more expensive NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200, even after 80 feet.
Features 3 Includes a VPN server and client but lacks some premium features offered in other TP-Link routers.
Design 4 Supports gigabit and multigig internet.
Setup 4 Takes very little time to get up and running.
Ease of use 3 Limits parental controls, security, and QoS to the Tether mobile app.

What we like about it: The AX90 did extremely well in our tests, coming close to the more expensive NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200. Eventually, their speeds matched at around 90 feet, so the AX90 is a better bargain if you don’t need all the fanciness the RAX200 offers. We didn’t experience any issues during our video streaming test either, which is great news.

What we wish it did better: TP-Link should provide all available settings and features in the web interface. As is, TP-Link limits antivirus and some parental controls to the Tether app, and a HomeShield Pro subscription costs $5.99 per month (or $54.99 per year).

Why do we recommend it? The AX90 is a good pick if you want lots of speed at long range but don’t want to pay over $400. It’s ready for multigig internet too, but most devices won’t see multigit wireless speeds.

 

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 6,600 Mbps
  • Antennas: 8
  • Streams: 8
  • Bands: 3
  • WAN/LAN ports (2.5 Gbps): 1
  • WAN/LAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 3
  • USB 3.2 ports: 1
  • USB 2.0 ports: 1

Best for budgets—TP-Link Archer A10

Best for budgets

TP-Link Archer A10
Photo by Anastasia Hrivnak

Decent long-range speeds for the price

Score:

3.8

out of 5

Compact and lightweight, the Archer A10 puts out decent speeds for the price. You don’t get the premium features offered with other TP-Link routers, but the built-in VPN server and Amazon Alexa support are a plus.

 

   Pros    Cons
  • Good speeds for the price
  • Native Amazon Alexa support
  • Low-end components
  • Wi-Fi 5 speeds

Price: $49.99*

Expand for product details and ratings

Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Holds its own in testing, providing decent Wi-Fi 5 speeds up to 70 feet.
Features 4 Includes a built-in VPN server and Amazon Alexa support.
Design 3 Clings to a basic design with low-end components, minimal connections, and antennas you can’t remove.
Setup 3 Gets up and running fast, but the process could be a bit overwhelming to novice users.
Ease of use 4 Keeps things simple in the web interface, but the mobile app is even easier to use.

What we like about it: The Archer A10 performed as expected in our tests, zipping along at over 500 Mbps, 30 feet out. It’s not quite as fast as the ASUS RT-AC88U, but that’s okay since you’re not paying three figures for this router. We didn’t see any issues in our 4K streaming test, either.

What we wish it did better: Out of the box, the router was already at 50% memory capacity with just two connected devices. We didn’t experience performance issues in video streaming tests, but the measly 256 MB of RAM and dual-core processor may cause bottlenecks as you connect more devices.

Why do we recommend it? It’s cheap and maintains decent speeds for at least 70 feet out. It’s a good solution for households on a budget that don’t create a lot of in-home traffic.

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Max throughput: 2,600 Mbps
  • Antennas: 4
  • Streams: 8
  • Bands: 2
  • WAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 4

Best for gamers—NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200

Best for gamers

Photo by Anastasia Hrivnak

High long-range speeds for a high price

Score:

4

out of 5

The Nighthawk RAX200 packs a long-range punch, plus it’s better equipped to handle your traffic than other routers. But its features require four different accounts, one of which you need just to use this router.

 

   Pros    Cons
  • Multigig internet compatibility
  • Superfast Wi-Fi at long range
  • MyNETGEAR cloud account requirement
  • Multiple subscriptions for premium features

Price: $419.99*

Expand for product details and ratings

Category Score* Summary
Performance 5 Surpasses all other routers we tested on this list, providing the best speeds even at 90 feet.
Features 2 Supports multigig internet but requires four different accounts for full use.
Design 5 Offers loads of wired and wireless connectivity for every type of user.
Setup 2 Forces owners to create and use a MyNETGEAR account—you can’t log in without one.
Ease of use 3 Provides a good app experience but has an ugly and clunky web interface.

What we like about it: The NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200 is the top speed demon of the group and the fastest router we’ve tested to date. Even at 90 feet, it keeps up enough speed to download a 2 GB video file in just under three minutes. It also sustained six 4K video streams without a hitch.

What we wish it did better: The RAX200 needs a better web interface. NETGEAR invests lots of money into creating a specialized interface for its gaming routers, but this one is just ugly and clunky—you’ll have a better experience with the Nighthawk app. We also wish you didn’t need a cloud account to just use this router—and three other subscription-based accounts to enjoy everything this router has to offer.

Why do we recommend it? The RAX200 has the best speeds, hands down, but there’s more to the story than raw throughput. It has three Wi-Fi bands and 12 streams, which translates to six full-speed, uninterrupted Wi-Fi connections. Sure, it costs a pretty penny, but it’s worth the investment if you have a crowded home.

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 11,000 Mbps
  • Antennas: 8
  • Streams: 12
  • Bands: 3
  • WAN ports (1 Gbps): 1
  • LAN ports: 4
  • WAN/LAN ports (1–2.5 Gbps) 1
  • USB 3.2 ports: 2

Best for Wi-Fi 5—ASUS RT-AC88U

Best for Wi-Fi 5

ASUS RT-AC88U
Photo by Anastasia Hrivnak

A great Wi-Fi 5 router but a high price

Score:

4

out of 5

There’s a lot to love about the RT-AC88U, like the built-in VPN server and client, Trend Micro security, and gaming controls. But for a router that uses the older Wi-Fi 5 standard, it’s rather costly.

 

   Pros    Cons
  • Built-in VPN server and client
  • Included Trend Micro security
  • Wi-Fi 5 speeds
  • No multigig internet support

Price: $399.00*

Expand for product details and ratings

Category Score* Summary
Performance 4 Outpaces the TP-Link Archer A10 in our tests but costs a lot more.
Features 4 Provides loads of security features at no extra cost, along with settings dedicated to gaming.
Design 4 Supports multigig networking and loads of wired connections.
Setup 4 Gets your wireless network up and running quickly.
Ease of use 4 Displays a nice and clean web interface, but we prefer the streamlined mobile app.

What we like about it: The RT-AC88U is a Wi-Fi 5 router, so it can’t match the RAX200 and Archer AX90 in speed. But it’s one of the better Wi-Fi 5 routers, with consistently fast speeds the further you move away. In fact, you’ll probably see speeds matching its Wi-Fi 6 competitors around 90 feet out. As for our video test, we didn’t experience any issues.

What we wish it did better: We generally wouldn’t recommend a multigig internet port on a Wi-Fi 5 router, but in this case, it would have been the proverbial icing on the cake. But you can get a USB Wi-Fi 5 adapter for a desktop or laptop that supports speeds over 1 Gbps.

Why do we recommend it? The RT-AC88U is a fast Wi-Fi router, and it’s packed with great features like the VPN server and client, Trend Micro security, built-in media center, and dedicated gaming settings.

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Max throughput: 3,100 Mbps
  • Antennas: 4
  • Streams: 8
  • Bands: 2
  • WAN ports: 1
  • LAN ports: 8
  • USB 3.2 ports: 1
  • USB 2.0 ports: 1

Best for mesh—Amazon Eero Pro 6

Best for mesh

Amazon Eero Pro 6
Photo by Anastasia Hrivnak

The best mesh networking kit you can get

Score:

3.9

out of 5

Amazon’s Eero Pro 6 packs a punch, and it’s easy to set up and manage. But the overall price may force you to consider a less expensive, more powerful standalone router.

 

   Pros    Cons
  • Good Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Easy network management
  • Hefty price tag
  • No multigig internet support

Price: $599.99 (3-pack)*

Expand for product details and ratings

Category Score* Summary
Performance 5 Outperforms other mesh kits and achieves speeds close to the standalone RAX200 and Archer AX90 routers.
Features 3 Locks security and parental control behind a subscription and doesn’t integrate Amazon Alexa into the hardware.
Design 4 Includes a third Eero-to-Eero wireless band for better throughput and two Ethernet ports on each unit for wired connections.
Setup 4 Provides one of the fastest and easiest setups we’ve experienced to date.
Ease of use 4 Requires the Eero mobile app, which is streamlined to make network management and adjustments quick and easy.

What we like about it: The Eero Pro 6 is the fastest mesh kit we’ve tested to date, but it’s more of a wide-range solution than a long one. The third Wi-Fi band is dedicated to Eero-to-Eero communication at up to 2.4 Gbps, so when your device shifts from Eero to Eero, your distance from the main unit doesn’t heavily reduce your download speed.

What we wish it did better: Each unit needs more than two usable streams on the 5 GHz band. Currently, each one broadcasts six streams in a single direction: four for Eero-to-Eero communication only, and two that your devices use. So if you have two devices connected to the 5 GHz band on the same Eero, the 1,200 Mbps maximum is cut in half for each device.

Why do we recommend it? It’s the fastest mesh kit we’ve tested to date, plus it’s easy to set up and manage. It supports Amazon Alexa, but it’s not a smart speaker/networking node combo like the Google Nest Wifi kit.

Wi-Fi specs Wired specs
  • Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Max throughput: 4,200 Mbps
  • Antennas: 4
  • Streams: 8
  • Bands: 3
  • LAN ports: 2

Long-range router specs and features

Choosing the perfect long-range router can be difficult because nearly all routers designed for home use have decent range. Manufacturers typically advertise coverage in square feet, which looks impressive but doesn’t really tell you how fast your data flies into the backyard. Here are some things to consider that can help you make an educated decision.

Wi-Fi 6

Get a router with Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e if you want gigabit speeds at close range. You won’t see blazing fast speeds at 100 feet—even less so if you have doors and walls blocking your view of the router—but the newer specification enables better speeds at longer distances. Even the 2.4 GHz band gets a speed boost, but it’s still not enough to use as your default connection.

Wi-Fi bands

Most modern routers access both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency spectrums for Wi-Fi, although you primarily want to use the latter. There’s just more speed and less congestion with the 5 GHz band—a 2.4 GHz connection is best used by IoT devices and legacy gadgets.

We suggest getting a router with two 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands, but they’re typically more expensive than a dual-band router. The NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200, for example, is ideal if you have four laptops that support Wi-Fi 6 speeds up to 2,400 Mbps each. Some models have a third 6 GHz connection with even faster Wi-Fi speeds.

Antennas

The more antennas you have, the better. Two or more ensure you have a more reliable connection and faster speeds than a router with just one antenna broadcasting Wi-Fi. They’re more about signal quality and speed than invading your neighbor’s house with your Wi-Fi signals.

Generally, dual-band routers have two or more antennas—some are dedicated to the 2.4 GHz band and others to 5 GHz. They’re always omnidirectional too, meaning they broadcast signals in every direction perpendicular to the antenna’s position.

Streams

When your router receives a single data stream from the modem, it divides the data into multiple streams and broadcasts them through the antennas. The signals bounce around until they reach your wireless device, which pieces it all back together into one usable data stream.

Multiple streams and antennas are a faster way to send and receive data than just one. Nearly every wireless device supports two incoming and two outgoing streams.

So, if you have a small home, a router with two transmit streams and two receive streams (2×2) may be just fine. If you have a busy home full of wireless devices that hog the internet, you may want to consider an 8×8 configuration.

Beamforming

Beamforming is another way to use streams. In this case, the streams don’t bounce around until they land on the target device. Instead, the router changes the power and timing of the assigned antennas, so the signals converge where the router believes your wireless device sits within the area. It doesn’t create an actual beam—there’s no pewpew going on here—but instead directed donuts of energy.

MU-MIMO

Multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (or MU-MIMO) enables a router to simultaneously download data to multiple devices. This technology works in conjunction with the router’s stream count.

So, if the router has two download streams on one band, it downloads data at full speed to one device or at half speed to two devices—and they don’t take turns. Connect a third device, and the router downloads to two devices at a time only.

The bottom line is that you want a router that supports MU-MIMO, but you want as many streams as possible so your wireless devices take fewer turns communicating with the router.

Our verdict

The TP-Link Archer AX90 is our top pick for the best long-range router. It’s not the fastest on our list, but it comes close and isn’t terribly expensive. It supports multigig internet connections too, making it ideal if you have a fiber internet connection up to 2.5 Gbps in speed. The three Wi-Fi bands and stream count mean your wireless devices compete less for bandwidth, which is a good thing.

Methodology

We test router speed by setting up each router in an office and connecting it to a local test server. Then, we transmit test data between our wireless devices and the server, taking numerous measurements to account for fluctuations in Wi-Fi speeds.

The first tests occur close to the router, without obstructions—so the Wi-Fi is as strong and fast as it’s gonna get. We repeat the process straight out at 10, 20, and 30 feet, with only a glass door obstructing our view of the router. The same glass door and an exterior door blocks our path when we test outside at 40 and 50 feet.

We also run tests in a hallway to the left of the TV room and office—where there’s a glass door, three walls, and an air handler unit blocking our view of the router. The dining room, another testing point, sits to the right of the kitchen, TV room, and office—two walls and a glass door block the path in this test.

To test video streaming, we connect a fast storage device to the router and stream a 4K video to six wireless devices simultaneously—two phones, three tablets, and a laptop—connected to the same wireless band.

Client devices used in testing

iPhone 12 Pro MaxGoogle Pixel 3
Wi-Fi specificationWi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 5
Stream configuration2 x 22 x 2
Max 5 GHz speed (AX)1,200 Mbps
Max 5 GHz speed (AC)866 Mbps866 Mbps
Max 2.4 GHz speed (AX)195 Mbps
Max 2.4 GHz speed (AC)195 Mbps144 Mbps

Router benchmarks

Here are the average 5 GHz speeds recorded for each router. Wi-Fi speeds fluctuate significantly, so these numbers reflect at least three tests taken at each 10-foot interval.

TP-Link Archer AX90

2 feet10 feet20 feet30 feet
iPhone 12 Pro Max860818764692
Google Pixel 3642534464359

TP-Link Archer A10

2 feet10 feet20 feet30 feet
iPhone 12 Pro Max657633597523
Google Pixel 3655622575515

NETGEAR Nighthawk RAX200

2 feet10 feet20 feet30 feet
iPhone 12 Pro Max880864833750
Google Pixel 3703671538511

ASUS RT-AC88U

2 feet10 feet20 feet30 feet
iPhone 12 Pro Max691650615596
Google Pixel 3681643587561

Amazon Eero Pro 6

2 feet10 feet20 feet30 feet
iPhone 12 Pro Max772709660644
Google Pixel 3645611554506

Other routers we tested

We tested nine standalone routers and mesh kits to determine which routers were ideal for long-range Wi-Fi speeds. Here are the tested models we do and don’t recommend.

Other routers we recommend for long-range Wi-Fi

TP-Link Archer AX11000 ($261.01*): The AX11000 is currently our top pick for the best gigabit router, and it’s a great candidate for long-range coverage too, based on our tests.

View on Amazon

 

TP-Link Archer AX20 (79.99*): The AX20 is our top pick for the best gigabit router if you’re on a budget. It’s a faster alternative to the A10 with a slightly higher price, but it has fewer streams per band.

View on Amazon

Other routers we don’t recommend for long-range Wi-Fi

Google Nest Wifi ($214.15*): The big selling point for Google Nest Wifi is that it’s a mesh kit with built-in smart speakers, but we weren’t thrilled with the speeds.

View on Amazon

 

NETGEAR Orbi RBK752 ($349.00*): This was our least favorite of the mesh kits we tested, as it didn’t perform as expected. We may return to this one in the future.

View on Amazon

FAQ about long-range routers

Which Wi-Fi connection has the best range?

Technically, the 2.4 GHz band has the longest range, with up to 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors. The 5 GHz band has a shorter range at 50 feet indoors and 100 feet outdoors.

But when we think about the “best range,” speed at a specific distance comes to mind. The 5 GHz band excels in that department, as we can record 330 Mbps at 100 feet—but absolute zero speed at 100 feet when we test again on the 2.4 GHz band.

That said, go with the 5 GHz band to stream 4K content in your neighbor’s yard. Use the 2.4 GHz band for your new smart lock installed on the garage door.

What is the best router for a two- or three-story home?

Get a mesh networking kit or a router with four or more manually adjustable antennas for a multi-floor home.

A mesh networking kit emulates long range by daisy-chaining Wi-Fi signals between multiple units—your devices automatically switch between them. The main selling point is the signal strength from each unit, but the overall speed loss due to range still applies with each “satellite” unit you install.

In contrast, a single standalone router broadcasts signals at a very long range. You can flatten some of the antennas to push signals up into the second floor too. The router knows which antennas to use based on its communications with your wireless devices on those floors.

Which antenna is best: External or internal?

External antennas are ideal for long range, as they broadcast Wi-Fi in a directed donut-like shape. However, the broadcasts have a blind zone at the top and bottom, so you must adjust any antennas you want to direct Wi-Fi into a basement or second floor.

Internal antennas are ideal for general use indoors. Mesh kits and gateways typically have both horizontal and vertical antennas mounted inside, so together they broadcast in a sphere—the size of the sphere depends on the router’s internal components. The drawback is you can’t reposition these antennas—you must reposition the router, mesh unit, or gateway instead.

Disclaimer

Author -

Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on internet security.

Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.