Best Wi-Fi Router for Long-Range 2021
Our experts analyzed and selected the top five best wireless router for your large home.
When you need wireless coverage for a large house, a run-of-the-mill router won’t cut it. You’ll need a Wi-Fi router designed for long-range, like our top pick, ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000.
But the best routers cost a ton, so you might consider a cheaper alternative, like the TP-Link Archer AX73. We’ve also got recommendations for a top-notch modem/router combo, mesh router, and outdoor access point—read on for all the deets.
Best Wi-Fi routers for long-range
The best long-range router on the market is the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, thanks to its superior coverage and numerous features. But if you want something cheaper—and don’t mind scaling back on your specs—TP-Link Archer AX73 will get the job done.
If you have cable internet and want a modem/router combo, go for the NETGEAR CAX80. Or, if you have an odd-shaped house or thick walls, consider opting for a mesh Wi-Fi system with the ASUS ZenWiFi ET8.
And if you need Wi-Fi connectivity outside, pair your router with the weather-ready NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y. Just don’t drop your tablet while you’re streaming TV from the pool, okay?
Compare the best long-range Wi-Fi routers
|Best mesh Wi-Fi system|
|Best outdoor extender|
|ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000||$431.07||Wi-Fi 6||2.4GHz, 5GHz (x2)||View on Amazon|
|TP-Link Archer AX73||$184.68||Wi-Fi 6||2.4GHz, 5GHz||View on Amazon|
|NETGEAR CAX80||$428.06||Wi-Fi 6||2.4GHz, 5GHz||View on Amazon|
|ASUS ZenWiFi ET8||$529.99||Wi-Fi 6E||2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz||View on Amazon|
|NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y||$269.00||Wi-Fi 5||2.4GHz, 5GHz (x2)||View on Amazon|
While you can get a decent router for around $50, those average joes won’t blanket 3,000 square feet in Wi-Fi. The best router for a big house will have cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E technology, plus powerful antennae to cover every corner of your home.
You’ll also note that we favor routers with tri-band frequencies, usually with one 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands. Tri-band is handy for building out mesh Wi-Fi systems like the ASUS ZenWiFi ET8, which you can pair with more devices to cover dead spots in your home.
Read on to learn more about each of our picks and find the best Wi-Fi router for your large home.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000: Editor’s choice
- Designed for gaming online
- Runs VPN and internet connection simultaneously
- Comes with built-in network security
- Costs a bunch of cash
Our editor’s choice is the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000—a long-range gaming router. Since you can easily customize this router to devote an entire band to gaming, you’ll get a super smooth online play experience.
The GT-AX11000 also comes with a VPN fusion feature. The router keeps the majority of your internet-ready devices protected with your favorite VPN, while your gaming consoles bypass the VPN and connect straight to the game server. You’ll enjoy max gaming speeds while protecting all your most important data.
Even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll appreciate this long-range router’s built-in security. Your home network will be safe from outside attacks, even if you don’t have security systems installed on all your devices.
But even with all its perks, we recognize the GT-AX11000 is a costly beast. If you want to forgo the bells and whistles in favor of saving some cash, check out the TP-Link Archer AX73.
TP-Link Archer AX73: Cheapest
- Affordable price
- Built-in security
- Extensive parental controls
- Doesn’t include a 2.5 Gbps LAN port
- Doesn’t have tri-band Wi-Fi
The TP-Link Archer AX73 features advanced Wi-Fi 6 tech, supports gigabit speeds, and offers plenty of top router perks like built-in security and parental controls. It’s also pretty darn cheap as far as long-range routers go.
Sure, the TP-Link Archer AX73 doesn’t have some of the top-notch specs we like to see, but not every large home needs all those perks. If you don’t have an internet plan with speeds over 1 Gbps, and your home isn’t in an odd shape that would warrant mesh Wi-Fi, this router will treat you just fine.
We’d recommend the TP-Link Archer AX73 for most families using the internet in a large house. Installation is easy with TP-Link’s Tether app (on Google Play and the Apple App Store). If you just want a strong Wi-Fi router and don’t need extra bells and whistles, the TP-Link Archer AX73 is the one for you.
NETGEAR CAX80: Best modem/router
- Works as modem with cable internet providers (Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, etc.)
- Includes cyber security
- Chooses the best Wi-Fi band for every device
- Only dual-band Wi-Fi
- Less flexibility to upgrade
We usually recommend that folks get separate modems and routers because it’s often more affordable, and it offers more flexibility if you need to upgrade later. But if you prefer an all-in-one option—and you have cable internet—our long-range modem-router combo pick is NETGEAR CAX80.
This do-it-all device comes with the latest modem technology (DOCSIS 3.1) and plenty of ports to support up to 2.5 Gbps internet speeds. It will also protect your devices from cyberattacks with built-in security, and it automatically selects the best Wi-Fi band to run your devices.
We wish only that this buddy was a tri-band router—then it would cover all our bases. But as far as a cutting-edge modem/router goes, this is the best we’ve seen on the market. And wouldn’t you know it, it works great for big homes too.
ASUS ZenWiFi ET8: Best mesh Wi-Fi system
- Comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology
- Provides more coverage than a traditional router
- Includes cyber security and parental controls
- Costs a lot
Mesh Wi-Fi systems are a must-have for large houses that think outside the box—that is, houses that aren’t boxes. If your home has sprawling wings or odd-angles that lead to dead spots, you should consider a mesh router solution.
While there are plenty of mesh Wi-Fi systems out there, the ASUS ZenWiFi ET8 is our top pick. It comes with not only Wi-Fi 6 but also the latest evolution: Wi-Fi 6E. This tri-band router includes a 6GHz band, a frequency that the FCC released for public use in 2020.
There aren’t yet a lot of devices out there that work on 6GHz, but they’re coming, and they’ll be great. If you want to future-proof your home Wi-Fi, this is the long-range router to go for.
NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y: Best outdoor extender
- Meets international standards for protection against sun, rain, snow, dust—and sprinklers
- Easily pairs with an existing router
- Doesn’t use Wi-Fi 6 technology
If your large home includes a big yard, you should get a load of the NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y. This Wi-Fi extender can take your home internet to the great outdoors so you can stay connected on your property.
The NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y is completely dust-tight, and it will hold up against direct high-pressure jets, like your sprinklers. Don’t go leaving it in a bucket of water, obviously, but otherwise, you won’t find a better device for outdoor Wi-Fi.
Remember that the NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y isn’t a router by itself, so you’ll need to have another router set up inside to pair with it. It works well with a mesh Wi-Fi system, too, if that’s your preference.
And you’ll notice that this router uses Wi-Fi 5, so it won’t get you the same top speeds and range that your Wi-Fi 6 router can reach. But that router is stuck indoors, so the NETGEAR Orbi RBS50Y isn’t jealous.
What to look for in a long-range router
When shopping for a router with some serious range, it’s not all just speed capacity and fast processors. There are a few essential features to look out for and understand.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology. It’s more than twice as fast as Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), and it can reach up to 80% further. Wi-Fi 6 is a must-have to get the best internet experience in a large home.
Additionally, Wi-Fi 6E expands on Wi-Fi 6’s advancements by opening up the 6GHz frequency. Not many devices run on this yet, but those that use it will get a strong internet connection with less interference from other devices. Going for a Wi-Fi 6E router is a spectacular way to future-proof your home internet.
Mesh networking uses two or more routers working together to spread your Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. It’s similar to adding a Wi-Fi range extender to your network, though it tends to be much simpler to set up.
Mesh networking has been used commercially for quite a while. But it’s new to the consumer space, and it’s quickly becoming the go-to for people with a lot of square footage to cover. They’re a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it if you want to kiss dead spots goodbye forever.
If you go for a traditional router with external antennae, check if they can be adjusted. Adjustable antennae, like those you’ll find on the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 and TP-Link Archer AX73, allow you to direct the signal toward either a specific device or a specific area of your home.
Don’t worry that your mesh router doesn’t have external antennae. Its internal antennae work by evenly saturating your home with Wi-Fi using multiple devices—just a different approach to the same issue.
If you want a modem/router combo for your cable internet, the NETGEAR CAX80 is perfect for big houses.
For this article, we pulled from the 25 specially-designed long-distance routers of top-router producers ASUS, Linksys, Netgear, and TP-Link. We compared their Wi-Fi coverage, specs and features, price, and customer satisfaction. Then we chose the top five for everyday large home router needs.
To learn more about how we choose our recommendations, check out How We Rank.
Long-range router FAQ
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