How We Ranked the 5 Best Secure Routers

True Score Methodology

v1.5

191,916

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 16, 2024 7:39 PM

Table of Contents

best secure router guide that shows the top best router model

Choosing the best secure router is the only way to safeguard your information. it’s crucial to prioritize features that ensure your network’s safety. Top considerations include support for WPA3 security protocols, which offer stronger encryption and protection against brute-force attacks. Our unique approach to identifying the best secure routers involves evaluating 37 models and analyzing 191,916 reviews.

Only five routers earned a spot in our buying guide after this rigorous process. We certify products as tested and use our scientifically proven True Score system to filter out fake and low-quality reviews. This ensures that the winning products are not only secure but also perform well in real-world scenarios, providing you with reliable and verified recommendations for a secure home network. Ultimately, selecting the best router is crucial for both protection and performance.

How Did We Rank the Best Secure Routers?

To rank the best secure routers, we meticulously analyzed testing methods, expert reviews, and customer feedback from more than 200 websites. Our review focused on encryption strength, firewall effectiveness, and update protocols. By understanding these critical features and pain points, we determined 2 required test results, 2 additional beneficial features, and 1 must-have specification. This rigorous approach guarantees our true score accurately represents the top secure routers available.

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 have data encryption type of more than WPA3.

? 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”

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

Latest Updates

  • 06/16/2024: Republished the list to include the best secure routers based on our True Score system.

Top Secure 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 Nighthawk RAXE300

    • Best For Secure

    Delivers swift speeds and advanced security with WPA3, ensuring a robust, fast, and secure network for streaming, gaming, and more.

    Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Review →

    True Score

    83
    82
    9

    Experts

    90
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $102
    $399.99
    $298.00

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Superb Wi-Fi speeds
    • Wide range
    • Simple setup

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Limited range (6GHz)
    • No USB A port
    • Subscription-based security solutions

    Specifications

    # of LAN Ports# of LAN Ports6
    Frequency BandsFrequency Bands2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz, 6.0 GHz
    MU-MIMO SupportMU-MIMO SupportYes
    Wireless StandardWireless StandardAC, AX, N
    Mesh SystemMesh SystemNo
    Quality of Service PrioritizationQuality of Service PrioritizationNo
    # of Phone Ports# of Phone Ports1
    # of WAN Ports# of WAN Ports1
    App CompatibleApp CompatibleYes
    Available StorageAvailable Storage256MB
    Band TechnologyBand TechnologyTri
    Data Encryption TypeData Encryption TypeWPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA3
    Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
    Integrated ModemIntegrated ModemNo
    LAN PortsLAN Ports4 Gb Ethernet
    Number of AntennasNumber of Antennas6
    Parental ControlsParental ControlsYes
    Processor CoresProcessor CoresQuad
    Processor SpeedProcessor Speed1.7GHz
    WiFi RangeWiFi Range2500 sq.ft
    WiFi SpeedWiFi Speed7.8 Gb
    Wired SpeedWired Speed1000 Mb

    All Specs

    Test Results

    2.4 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)222
    5 GHz Download speed (Mbits/s)852
    6 Ghz Download speed (Mbits/s)757
    Latency (ms)5
    Router Range (ft)170
    2.4 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)0
    5 GHz Upload speed (Mbits/s)175
    6 Ghz Upload speed (Mbits/s)247

    All Tests

    All Retailers

    • $298.00
      $400
      Save $102

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $299.99

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No
    • $339.65

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

    • $379.95
      $399
      Save $19

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      No

    Our Verdict

    The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 router is a strong performer, especially in the realm of speed and security, catering to the needs of users who demand both in their networking devices. It showcases impressive speeds in the 5 GHz band, with download and upload rates of 851.6 Mbits/s and 175 Mbits/s, respectively, making it suitable for high-definition streaming and online gaming. The 6 GHz band further enhances its capability, providing download and upload speeds of 756.8 Mbits/s and 247.2 Mbits/s, ensuring the router is ready for future Wi-Fi demands.

    Security is a standout feature of the Nighthawk RAXE300, with support for WPA3 encryption offering a significant advancement in network security. This protocol provides robust protection against external threats, making it harder for unauthorized users to breach the network. This level of security is critical for protecting sensitive information in home and small business environments.

    Additionally, the router offers a range of 170 feet and boasts an exceptionally low latency of 5 ms, enhancing its appeal for large homes or spaces needing consistent coverage without sacrificing speed or responsiveness.

    Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 balances high-speed performance with advanced security features. Its support for WPA3 and its speed and coverage capabilities make it a reliable choice for users looking to maintain a secure, fast, and responsive network environment.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Asus RT-AX86S

    • Best For Gaming

    The Asus RT-AX86S balances cost and performance; excellent for streaming and gaming with high download speeds, though limited upload speeds may affect content creators.

    Asus RT-AX86S Review →

    True Score

    83
    82
    3

    Experts

    89
    1k

    Customers

    $339.00

    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

    Asus ROG GT6 Mesh

    • Best For Mesh

    A mesh system with excellent speed, extensive coverage, and WPA3 security, perfect for large homes needing seamless connectivity and high security.

    Asus ROG GT6 Mesh Review →

    True Score

    81
    82
    6

    Experts

    86
    4k

    Customers

    $457.00

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    When selecting a strong small business router, look for robust security features and reliable performance to ensure smooth operations. For those constantly on the move, leading travel routers offer portability and secure connections wherever you go. If security is a top priority, consider the strongest VPN routers, which provide enhanced protection for your data.

    In our buying guide, we also highlight the best VoIP routers for clear and uninterrupted voice communication. For in-depth reviews, check out our Synology RT2600AC review, known for its powerful performance and extensive features, and our Wyze Wi-Fi 6E mesh review, which covers its seamless coverage and advanced capabilities.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Eero Max 7

    • Best For Wired

    This router offers premium speed and coverage, with WPA3 for top-notch security. It is ideal for those expanding their network with additional “towers.”

    Eero Max 7 Review →

    True Score

    80
    80
    7

    Experts

    86
    185

    Customers

    SAVE $90
    $599.99
    $509.99

    Category Snapshot

    Routers

    • Total Brands/Products Tested

      12 Brands, 37 Products

    • Top 2 Brands

      Netgear, Asus

    • Price Range (Budget-Premium)

      $45-$600

    • Average True Score

      79.42

    • Important Test Criteria

      Download & Upload Speed (bits/second)

      Range (feet/meters)

    • Most Trusted Testers

      router top trusted testers

    • Top Router Experts

      James Morris, Matt Spencer

    • Typical Warranty

      1 year

    • Covered by Insurance

      Yes – AKKO

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    TP-Link Archer AXE75

    • Best For Parental Controls

    An affordable choice that doesn’t skimp on speed, coverage, or security, making it perfect for medium-sized homes on a budget.

    TP-Link Archer AXE75 Review →

    True Score

    79
    79
    4

    Experts

    85
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $30
    $199.99
    $169.99

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Secure 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 routers 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 40 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 Secure Routers: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Firmware Updates: Firmware updates contain security patches and bug fixes that help protect your router from vulnerabilities and exploits. Ignoring firmware updates or choosing a router with limited update support can leave your network susceptible to cyber attacks. Look for routers with regular firmware updates and automatic update features.

  2. Choosing Weak Encryption: Encryption is crucial for securing your network traffic and preventing unauthorized access to your data. Avoid routers that only support outdated encryption protocols like WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and opt for routers that offer modern encryption standards like WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3) for enhanced security.

  3. Using Default Settings: Default settings on routers are often insecure and easily exploitable by hackers. Change default usernames, passwords, and network names (SSIDs) to unique and strong ones to prevent unauthorized access to your router and network. Additionally, disable remote management features unless absolutely necessary.

  4. Neglecting Guest Network Security: If your router supports guest networks, ensure they are properly secured to prevent guests from accessing your main network and compromising its security. Use strong passwords and enable features like guest isolation to restrict communication between devices on the guest network.

The Best Secure Routers Tests Compared

Product
True Score
2.4 GHz D/L Speed
5 Ghz D/L Speed
6 GHz D/L Speed
Range
Latency
83
  • 221.65 Mbits/s

  • 851.59 Mbits/s

  • 756.81 Mbits/s

  • 170 ft

  • 5 ms

$298.00
$400
$102

Asus RT-AX86S

  • Best for Gaming

83
  • 89 Mbits/s

  • 563 Mbits/s

  • 0

  • 140 ft

  • 15 ms

$339.00

Asus ROG GT6 Mesh

  • Best for Mesh

81
  • 139.35 Mbits/s

  • 701.28 Mbits/s

  • 0

  • 95 ft

  • 21.89 ms

$457.00

Eero Max 7

  • Best for Wired

80
  • 95.9 Mbits/s

  • 1,078.48 Mbits/s

  • 1,222.5 Mbits/s

  • 90 ft

  • 7 ms

$509.99
$600
$90

TP-Link Archer AXE75

  • Best for Parental Controls

79
  • 65.05 Mbits/s

  • 309.1 Mbits/s

  • 317.9 Mbits/s

  • 60 ft

  • 9 ms

$169.99
$200
$30

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