What’s the Best Netgear Router? 4 Options Ranked

True Score Methodology

v1.5

191,916

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 18, 2024 7:09 PM

Table of Contents

best netgear router guide that shows the top best router model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

If you’re looking for the best Netgear routers, consider high-speed performance and advanced features that cater to both everyday internet use and high-demand activities like gaming and streaming. Netgear routers, like the Nighthawk series, offer impressive speeds, versatile connectivity, and user-friendly management through mobile apps and web interfaces.

Out of 37 routers evaluated, only 4 earned a spot on our buying guide. We analyzed 191,916 reviews using our unique True Score system, which certifies products as tested and uses proprietary algorithms to filter fake and low-quality reviews. The winning Netgear routers showcased robust performance, reliability, and user satisfaction​​. If you’re curious about other brands, we have guides for the top Asus routers as well as the best routers overall, regardless of brand.

How Did We Rank the Best Netgear Routers?

In our quest to find the best Netgear routers, we evaluated data from more than 200 sites, integrating customer reviews, expert analysis, and various testing methods. We used our True Score system to determine the 2 required test results, 2 advantageous features, and 1 essential specification that define top-performing routers. This ensures you have the most comprehensive and reliable information for your purchase.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must be Netgear

? Test Criteria

  • 2.4 GHz Download Speed: A download speed on the 2.4 GHz band of at least 50 Mbits.
  • 5 GHz Download Speed: A download speed on the 5 GHz band of at least 200 Mbits.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Router Range: A range of at least 50 feet before the signal from the router begins to become noticeably weaker.
  • Latency: A latency of 30 ms or less.

Latest Updates

  • 06/18/2024: Republished the list to include the best Netgear routers based on our True Score system.

Top Netgear Routers For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Netgear Orbi RBKE963

    • Best For Netgear

    This is a top-tier mesh solution with unbeatable 6 GHz speed (847 Mbits/s), perfect for high-demand use across large homes. It includes three units for extensive coverage. Premium-priced for peak performance and convenience.

    Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Review →

    True Score

    89
    89
    4

    Experts

    91
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $200
    $1,499.99
    $1,299.99

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Good connectivity speeds
    • Widespread coverage
    • Easy to set up and install

    Reasons to Avoid

    • No USB connectivity

    Specifications

    # of LAN Ports# of LAN Ports4
    Frequency BandsFrequency Bands2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz, 6.0 GHz
    MU-MIMO SupportMU-MIMO SupportYes
    Wireless StandardWireless StandardAC, AX, N
    Mesh SystemMesh SystemYes
    Quality of Service PrioritizationQuality of Service Prioritizationn/a
    # of Phone Ports# of Phone Portsn/a
    # of WAN Ports# of WAN Ports1
    App CompatibleApp CompatibleYes
    Available StorageAvailable Storage512MB
    Band TechnologyBand TechnologyQuad
    Data Encryption TypeData Encryption TypeWPA2
    Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
    Integrated ModemIntegrated ModemNo
    LAN PortsLAN Ports4 Gb Ethernet
    Number of AntennasNumber of Antennas12
    Parental ControlsParental ControlsYes
    Processor CoresProcessor CoresQuad
    Processor SpeedProcessor Speed2.2GHz
    WiFi RangeWiFi Range9000 sq. ft
    WiFi SpeedWiFi Speed10.8 Gb
    Wired SpeedWired Speed10000 Mb

    All Specs

    Test Results

    2.4 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)93
    5 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)331
    6 Ghz Download speed (Mbits/s)847
    Latency (ms)0
    Router Range (ft)95
    2.4 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
    5 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
    6 Ghz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0

    All Tests

    All Retailers

    • $1,299.99
      $1,500
      Save $200

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $1,299.99
      $1,500
      Save $200

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No
    • $1,299.99
      $1,500
      Save $200

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

    • $1,479.00
      $1,500
      Save $21

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No

    Our Verdict

    The Netgear Orbi RBKE963 is a premium mesh solution with everything you need to set up a mesh network in your home or business. It offers an impressive 6 GHz download speed, coming in at an excellent 847 Mbits/s, giving you plenty of bandwidth for high-demand streaming, including 4K movies. Plus, it features an excellent 330.8 Mbits/s download for 5 GHz and 93.4 Mbits/s for the 2.4 GHz band, meaning it’s great across the board for any device in your home for anything from basic web browsing to intense gaming.

    Part of the high price tag behind the Orbi is the fact that three “towers” come in the box. This means you can set up your mesh network access points exactly where you want them throughout your home to help minimize dead zones and keep a consistent connection no matter where you go.

    If you need a mesh network, you can set it up out of the box without any additional purchases, and that can be easily expanded by simply buying another device of the same type, the Orbi is a fantastic choice. With its easy setup, excellent speeds across the board, and great whole-house range, it’s an easy way to get dead-zone-free web browsing—but be ready to pay a premium for both the performance, the convenience, and the three included mesh points.

     

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300

    • Best For Small Business

    It offers robust 6 GHz performance (756.8 Mbits/s) at a more accessible price without QoS prioritization. A solid choice for diverse connectivity needs, albeit less suited for competitive gaming.

    Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Review →

    True Score

    85
    83
    9

    Experts

    91
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $102
    $399.99
    $298.00

    Did you know 64% of router reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 46 of 127 router reviewers as of June 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every router review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    191,916

    Router Reviews Analyzed

    37

    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

    • Best For Gaming

    It delivers unmatched 6 GHz speed (1004.1 Mbits/s) for intensive tasks like 4K/8K streaming and gaming. It offers exceptional performance across all bands, ideal for tech-heavy households.

    Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 Review →

    True Score

    85
    84
    7

    Experts

    89
    3k

    Customers

    $597.34

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    When selecting the best router for Optimum, it’s important to find one that offers strong performance and compatibility with your internet plan. TP-Link routers are known for their reliability and ease of use, making them a great choice for various ISPs.

    For those with specific service providers, choosing the right router is crucial. Consider a router for Google Fiber for high-speed internet needs or a router for CenturyLink to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Netgear RAX20

    A budget-friendly, dual-band router with reliable performance (5 GHz at 328 Mbits/s) for everyday use. Lacks 6 GHz support but is a practical option for those prioritizing affordability and basic needs.

    Netgear RAX20 Review →

    True Score

    80
    77
    3

    Experts

    84
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $35
    $149.99
    $114.66

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Netgear Routers?

By focusing on these criteria (2 required, 2 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these routers and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a router that will meet your needs.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
2.4 GHz Download Speed> 50 Mbits/sYesThe maximum speed that the router can reach when downloading on the 2.4 GHz band.
5 GHz Download Speed> 200 Mbits/sYesThe maximum speed that the router can reach when downloading on the 5 GHz band.
Router Range > 50 ftNo (Nice to have)How far a device can be from a router before the signal starts degrading. It is worth noting that 2.4 GHz reaches further than 5 GHz.
Latency< 30 msNo (Nice to have)The delay that is created by a signal being sent by the router and then received.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 120+ router reviewers and found that 46 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for routers.

  1. James Morris – Kit Guru, LinkedIn
  2. Matt Spencer – TechGearLab, LinkedIn
  3. Brian Nadel – Tom’s Guide, MuckRack

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every router review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Router Test Data & Results

Disclaimer:

Evaluating router performance is more than hardware analysis. While hardware tests are straightforward, the challenge lies in contextualizing the results within the limits of real-world usage. Routers operate under conditions that testers cannot fully standardize, including variations in Internet Service Providers (ISPs), network traffic congestion, discrepancies between advertised and actual internet speeds, and the physical layout of homes. These factors introduce a degree of unpredictability, making it hard to draw universal conclusions. As such, our router recommendations aim to provide useful general guidance, accommodating a wide range of home environments and internet setups.

1. 2.4 GHz Download Speed (Mbits/s)

The oldest and slowest of the bands on a router is the 2.4 GHz band, but it sticks around for a reason. Generally speaking, while this band features the slowest available speeds and has the lowest bandwidth, but also reaches out the furthest. It’s not the best band to connect to connect if you need high speeds, but if you just need to be connected for light browsing or anything that’s low bandwidth, it works. Alternatively, if you own a lot of old devices, this band may be the only band they can “see” and therefore, use.

Given the age of the band, top speeds on 2.4 GHz cap out very quickly. We recommend a speed of at least 50 Mbits/s, but if you aren’t really going to be using this band for anything other than checking web pages, you can go lower. It’s worth noting, though, that this might lead to a more frustrating and laggier time on modern sites with lots of scripting and high-quality images.

2.4 GHz Download Speed (Mbits/s; higher is better; 0 = No Data)

2. 5 GHz Download Speed (Mbits/s)

The much faster 5 GHz band offers up much greater bandwidth and is much, much better at meeting high-speed demands. Streaming high-quality video, using streaming services, gaming, downloading large files and games – the 5 GHz band is what makes all of these activities quick and bearable. It reaches a lower range than the 2.4 GHz band, but it’s also much faster, so you’ll use it more, especially on newer devices that actually support the band.

Given how much you’ll be using this band, we recommend a speed of at least 200 Mbits/s to ensure you’re able to enjoy streaming and gaming on at least a few devices simultaneously. Any lower and you start to run into real bottleneck concerns, such as endless buffering, lagging, or drops in connection.

5 GHz Download Speed (Mbits/s; higher is better; 0 = No Data)

3. Router Range (ft)

Router range is exactly what the name suggests: how far can you get from the router before you start experiencing issues with your connection? The complicating factor is the simple fact that range depends on the band you’re using. 2.4 GHz is a band that offers greater range, so it gives tests results that show a greater range than tests that use the 5 GHz band. In general, our research found most publications used the 5 GHz band, so our recommendations are based on that.

As such, we recommend your router have a range of at least 50 ft. This gives you a good “bubble” around the router that you can connect to, but it’s important to know that things like the walls in your home can cause issues. Thicker walls block more signal, thinner walls block less. Some materials will also do a better job than others will at stopping signal, so if you see a router with a range of 65 ft, know that it might not reach that far in your home. It could reach further – or not nearly as far. This is also why you get dead zones in your home – it’s a matter of geometry and materials.

Router Range (ft; higher is better; 0 = No Data)

4. Latency (ms)

On a router, latency refers to how long it takes for the router to send out and receive a signal. The longer it takes, the more delay there is between you sending and receiving data, which can introduce lag in video games and also makes video conferencing harder since the person you’re speaking with now has to contend with your delay and vice versa. If you’ve ever spent a call talking over someone because you don’t know they started talking a second ago, that’s latency.

For that reason, we recommend a latency below 30 ms. As low as you can get it is obviously preferable, but latency is another aspect of your internet connection that is hard to manage. Latency differs to every single place you connect to, and every ISP has its own latency they “add” because you have to connect to their service too. Latency creeps in from your ISP, from the site you’re requesting data from, from your router, and from your own onboard Wi-Fi antenna – and that’s just to name a few sources. If you’re gaming, you also have a delay introduced by your connection to game servers and the delay that exists on a hardware level when you input commands.

Latency (ms; lower is better; 0 = No Data)

Best Netgear Routers: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Compatibility with Your ISP: Buying a Netgear router without ensuring compatibility with your internet service provider (ISP) can lead to connection issues. Check that the router is approved for use with your ISP to avoid any setup problems.

  2. Overlooking the Router’s Standard: Choosing a Netgear router with an outdated Wi-Fi standard can limit your network’s performance. Ensure the router supports at least Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), though Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E are better choices for future-proofing.

  3. Neglecting Security Features: Skipping advanced security features can leave your network vulnerable to attacks. Select routers with robust security measures like WPA3 encryption, firewall protection, and regular firmware updates.

  4. Underestimating Coverage Requirements: Not considering the size and layout of your space can result in inadequate coverage. Evaluate your area and choose a router that provides sufficient range. For larger or more complex spaces, consider a Netgear mesh Wi-Fi system.

The Best Netgear Routers Tests Compared

Product
True Score
2.4 GHz D/L Speed
5 Ghz D/L Speed
6 GHz D/L Speed
Range
Latency

Netgear Orbi RBKE963

  • Best for Netgear

89
  • 93.4 Mbits/s

  • 330.82 Mbits/s

  • 847 Mbits/s

  • 95 ft

  • 0

$1,299.99
$1,500
$200

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300

  • Best for Small Business

85
  • 221.65 Mbits/s

  • 851.59 Mbits/s

  • 756.81 Mbits/s

  • 170 ft

  • 5 ms

$298.00
$400
$102
85
  • 416.64 Mbits/s

  • 844.37 Mbits/s

  • 1,004.13 Mbits/s

  • 105 ft

  • 19 ms

$597.34
80
  • 70 Mbits/s

  • 328 Mbits/s

  • 0

  • 70 ft

  • 0

$114.66
$150
$35

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