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If you have lots of devices in your home, you need to make sure you have a wireless router that is able to cater for them all at the same time. Don’t let your router become the bottleneck in your home network; make sure you have one that is up to the task.
In this buyer’s guide, we will take a look at a few of the key features you should be looking for when shopping for a wireless router as well as my recommendations for the 7 best wireless routers for lots of devices.
In a hurry?
If you don’t have much time, my favorite wireless router for lots of devices is the Gryphon for the speeds it can offer, the coverage it can provide, the vast number of devices it can have simultaneously connected, and many of the useful features.
Plus it looks really cool!
The Comparison Table
|Gryphon||3,000 Mbps||3,000 sq ft||$$$|
|Netgear Nighthawk X10||7,200 Mbps||2,500 sq ft||$$$$$|
|Linksys AC2200||2,200 Mbps||2,000 sq ft||$$|
|TP-Link Archer A20||4,000 Mbps||2,500 sq ft||$$$$|
|Netgear Nighthawk R7800||2,600 Mbps||2,500 sq ft||$$$$|
|TP-Link AC1900||1,900 Mbps||2,000 sq ft||$|
|Netgear Nighthawk RAX80||6,000 Mbps||2,500 sq ft||$$$$|
Best Wireless Routers for Lots of Devices
The Gryphon certainly has the most unique design I have ever seen in any piece networking hardware, let alone a router. It resembles an obelisk that twists around halfway up the structure.
It will certainly be a conversation starter should anyone visit your home and see it.
The Gryphon has security and parental controls at the heart of its design, but that’s not to say it’s not an excellent choice for a router for you have lots of devices.
It is a tri-band router that is able to cover up to 3,000 sq ft using its wireless mesh technology.
This router really is a powerhouse with its six high powered antennas, 4×4 MU-MIMO capabilities and antenna beamforming. Not forgetting that it is able to deliver speeds of up to 3,000 Mbps.
The Gryphon router can seem intimidating and you can imagine it to be difficult to setup and configure, but the Gryphon apps takes you through the process step-by-step to get you up and running and to secure your home network.
Through the app, you can manage parental controls and monitor all of the devices connected to your network.
A yearly subscription service offered by Gryphon includes daily security updates to protect you from the latest threats, the ability to scan your devices to identify vulnerabilities, and intelligent intrusion detection, amongst many other features.
The Advanced Internet Protection subscription is free for the first year with your Gryphon router and then cost you $79 per year should you wish to continue using this service.
In terms of parental controls, Gryphon offers some of the best I have seen in a router. You can create multiple users to keep kids safe but provide adults with unrestricted access, see website ratings, view browsing history even when using Incognito mode, limit screen time, set bedtimes and much more.
Gryphon truly provides an excellent product for anyone that wants to keep their network and their devices safe and secure.
One downside to this router is the limited connectivity options. There is no USB port and only 3 Ethernet ports. Some people have also reported that technical support can be slow to respond too.
Still, this router is very powerful and an excellent choice should you have lots of devices you want to be connected to your Wi-Fi at the same time.
2. Netgear Nighthawk X10
The Netgear Nighthawk X10 can provide coverage of up to 2,500 sq ft and is capable of delivering speeds of up to 7,200 Mbps.
Netgear claims that you can have up to 45 devices connected to X10 simultaneously whilst still being able to reliably stream videos, play games, browse the Internet and connect smart home devices.
In terms of connectivity, the X10 provides six Gigabit Ethernet ports and a single 10G SFP+ port. The SFP+ port is intended for fast network-attached storage access whilst there are also two USB 3.0 ports for connecting other devices, like a printer.
Just like some of the other routers featured on this list, this Nighthawk model has four amplified antennas, beamforming and MU-MIMO technology built-in; perfect for when you have many devices to connect at any one time.
Other useful features include dynamic quality of service, Alexa voice controls and smart parental controls through the Nighthawk app.
The Nighthawk X10 is certainly more on the expensive side, but definitely one of the fastest routers out there. The 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, 60 GHz 11ad wireless and quad-stream design provide combined wireless speeds of up to 7,200 Mbps.
This is blisteringly fast.
A few things to note with this router is that it is very large, especially when compared to some of Netgear’s older routers. Be sure to measure the surface you intend to place the Nighthawk as it will take up quite a bit of space.
The included WAN cable is also Cat5e, not Cat6. Granted the cable is six feet long and you likely wouldn’t see a difference in performance, but still, if you have a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, Netgear could have chucked in a Cat6 cable instead.
This is a very minor complaint, but one that does get noted when you are paying a premium price for a router.
If you want incredibly fast performance even when you have many devices connected, the Netgear Nighthawk X10 should be on your shopping list.
3. Linksys AC2200
The AC2200 router by Linksys isn’t as powerful or feature-rich when compared to some of the other routers featured on this list, but it is more affordable and is still a good choice if you have a modest amount of wireless devices.
The main selling point of the AC2200 is that is has been designed to seamlessly integrate with the Velop mesh Wi-Fi system for extended coverage. When used with a mesh Wi-Fi system, the AC2200 serves as the master node and can be a great way to extend the overall Wi-Fi signal in your home.
This is a tri-band router, so performance-wise you can expect to receive speeds of up to 2,200 Mbps across all three bands.
The AC2200 may not look as nice or have the same connectivity options compared with the Nighthawk models, but what it does have will certainly meet the needs of the majority of people. It has four adjustable antennas, a single USB 3.0 port, and four Ethernet ports.
Coverage and the number of devices that the AC2200 can support are also not as good as some of the other routers mentioned, but again, it is likely to be plenty for most people. You can expect coverage of around 2,000 sq ft and be able to connect 20+ devices.
You may find, however, that integrating the AC2200 into a mesh Wi-Fi network helps extend the total coverage beyond that of what other standalone routers can provide.
There are a few potential issues with this Linksys, however. Whether you consider them to be applicable to you is dependent on whether you need parental controls, or are using other Linksys gear in your home.
Firstly, the parental controls are very limited. You are able to block certain sites by name, but a kick in the teeth is that you can only block a maximum of 10 sites. I don’t really understand why there would be a limit if the feature is already there, but that is unfortunately what Linksys have decided to implement.
Also, the AC2200 appears to not be compatible with older routers as they don’t have a bridge mode. One person was looking to add in an older Linksys router with a separate SSID as the Wi-Fi signal in a certain part of their home was a bit weak, but was unable to do so.
It is a bit disappointing that the AC2220 isn’t backward compatible with other routers from the same manufacturer. I guess this is so they can sell you their own newer mesh Wi-Fi nodes instead.
The Linksys AC2200 certainly isn’t a bad router and will fit the needs of most people, but I would recommend one of the other routers if you have a particularly large number of wireless devices and want some more features and connectivity options out of your router.
4. TP-Link Archer A20
This router by TP-Link is a smart tri-band router with an excellent combination of performance and features and is, in my opinion, very good value for money.
The Archer A20 has a powerful 1.8 GHz quad-core processor allowing it to process multiple requests simultaneously whilst also accelerating load times.
MU-MIMO technology makes connecting multiple devices at the same time possible without the dreaded buffering we are all familiar with. Just remember that your devices need to also support MU-MIMO in order to take full advantage of it.
This TP-Link router has three bands to improve network speeds and minimize disruptions on your network. Combined, these bands can reach speeds of up to 4,000 Mbps. The built-in Smart Connect feature automatically steers your devices in the direction of the most optimal band.
The result? A faster network connection without having to do any extra work.
In addition to beamforming, the Archer also utilizes TP-Link’s RangeBoost to deliver a strong Wi-Fi signal across your entire home without the need for range extenders.
TP-Link HomeCare protects each device on your network thanks to the built-in anti-virus and the ability to block inappropriate content and restrict access times. It also provides quality of service features so you can prioritize certain devices for faster performance when needed.
The router can be set up in just a few minutes thanks to the intuitive web interface or via the Tether app. It also works with both Alexa and IFTTT (If This Then That).
You can turn on the guest Wi-Fi with an Alexa voice command and then use IFTTT to trigger actions when a device connects or disconnects from your network.
What I did find slightly worrying is that there have been several reports of defective units being shipped and replacements being required within just a few weeks. Unfortunately, the time it took to receive a replacement device was longer than expected for some customers.
That being said, I wouldn’t let this put you off from considering the Archer A20. It has the balance of features, performance, connectivity and price to make an excellent choice for a wireless router.
5. Netgear Nighthawk R7800
The second Nighthawk router to make the list of best wireless routers for lots of devices is the R7800.
Unlike the other routers featured, this one is only dual-band but it is still capable of delivering fast wireless speeds of up to 2,6000 Mbps which is plenty for even the most demanding activities such as 4K video streaming or online gaming.
The R7800 will intelligently choose the most appropriate band for your devices which minimizes interference whilst maximizing the speeds each device can receive. With this router, you can expect to experience seamless Wi-Fi on up to 45 devices.
For connectivity, you can find four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back of the router in addition to two USB ports and a single eSATA port to let you share a storage device or printer across your home network.
The R7800 helps keep your network secure as it is protected with high-level WPA/WPA2 wireless security and double firewall protection. You also have the ability to create a guest network which is kept separate from your home network.
As is the case with most modern routers, there is an accompanying Nighthawk app which makes setting up the R7800 very easy and requires just a few simple steps.
The parental controls aren’t as extensive compared with some of the routers mentioned, but you still have the option to manage website access, setup web filtering and pause Wi-Fi access for individual devices.
Despite providing good coverage and speeds, the R7800 does seem to have issues with its firmware. Some people have reported it has become quite bloated which makes for a laggy experience when trying to configure the router.
Also, the support Netgear provides has left a lot to be desired for some of those that have needed to contact them for some assistance.
The Nighthawk R7800 is still a good router, but for just a little bit extra you can get an alternative with an additional band and the ability to better cope with multiple devices.
6. TP-Link AC1900
The TP-Link AC1900 is more of a budget option, but certainly one that shouldn’t be discounted.
As you would expect for the price, the AC1900 is a dual-band router, but it can still deliver combined speeds of up to 1,900 Mbps.
It does support MU-MIMO, though. The three simultaneous data streams improve the efficiency of communication between the router and all of your devices.
This combination of dual-band Wi-Fi and MU-MIMO makes it perfect for handling the needs of a home network that has many devices connected at any given time.
The AC1900 comes with beamforming which, when combined with three external antennas, allows you to concentrate the Wi-Fi signal directly to your devices.
Just like with the Archer A20, the AC1900 comes with Smart Connect functionality. This automatically optimizes your device’s connection by switching it to the fastest available Wi-Fi band.
In addition to this, a feature called Airtime Fairness prevents older devices from slowing down your Wi-Fi and compromising the speeds that your newer devices can receive.
Not necessarily a complaint, but something you should be aware of is that the Tether app sends data back to the manufacturer. It is not exactly clear as to what data is sent and you don’t get an option to turn it off during setup. Thankfully, it can be turned off later in the settings menu.
For a no-thrills attached router, the AC1900 still does an excellent job at catering for lots of devices and comes with features that you are more likely to actually make use of. For the price, it can be considered a great choice.
7. Netgear Nighthawk RAX80
Yet another member of the Netgear Nighthawk family makes the list, with the AX6000 being great if you have a particularly large home and are looking to connect multiple devices at the same time.
The RAX80 features eight simultaneous streams, providing more capacity so more devices can use the Wi-Fi at the same time. There are also five Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back to connect your most used devices to.
Connecting to your router directly using an Ethernet cable will generally offer greater performance compared to relying on a Wi-Fi signal, but for some people, this isn’t always possible.
The Wi-Fi in this router is certainly not an issue, though. Similar to the other Nighthawk routers, the RAX80 uses Wi-Fi 6 which provides great coverage for large homes and offers combined speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps.
Other features include four amplified antennas, dynamic quality of service, Alexa voice control, two USB 3.0 ports, and smart parental controls.
Some people have said that the RAX80 is great when it works, but the initial setup can be tricky. There have been times where the mobile app installation hadn’t worked and so the setup via the web-based portal had to be resorted to.
Also, the same complaints about the Netgear support apply here; poor customer service and it can take a long time to get an answer from a support agent.
The RAX80 definitely isn’t the cheapest router out there, but with the super-fast speeds, MU-MIMO and the eight simultaneous streams, you certainly shouldn’t have any issues connecting many different devices to it.
Plus it looks like it’s come straight out of Star Wars which immediately gives it the thumbs up from me!
Choosing the right router for your needs can be a daunting task with the vast choice that is available. Before purchasing a new router, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Size of your home
- Your internet speeds
- How many devices you have
- Router type
- Wi-Fi standards
- Number of frequency bands
- Other features you are looking for
Size of Your Home
The physical size of your home, as well as the size of each room, are factors to consider when shopping for a new router.
If you have a smaller home, like an apartment, you will likely get away with a router that doesn’t have as great a reach.
In a large home, however, this is more important as you may find that some areas of the home do not receive a Wi-Fi signal, depending on the router you have and its coverage.
A mesh Wi-Fi solution may be just what you are looking for if you have a particularly large home.
Your Internet Speeds
Before being tempted to purchase a router that offers incredibly fast speeds of up to 6 Gbps, remember that you will be greatly limited by the Internet package you are signed up to with your ISP.
For example, you may be on a 150 Mbps plan where this is the absolute maximum speed you can expect to receive, regardless of which router you have.
Purchasing a router purely because it offers the best speeds compared to the others may well end up proving to be a waste of money.
It is definitely an important factor to consider, but one that must be thought-about alongside the rest of this buyer’s guide.
How Many Devices You Have
All Internet traffic gets routed through the router, so it needs to be up to the task should many devices wish to connect to it in order to access the Internet.
Having a router that can only handle a device or two connecting to it simply isn’t good enough these days.
With a large number of devices that are found in almost every home, the router can’t be the bottleneck and must be able to fulfill the needs of your home network.
You must be certain that the router you are looking to purchase is able to accommodate the number of devices you expect to be connected at the same time. My advice is to overestimate just so you have a bit of a buffer.
It’s also worth bearing in mind what each device will be doing when they are connected; streaming high-quality video online is going to take up more of the router’s resources compared to some very basic web browsing.
Without the relevant security measures in place, it can be easy for nearby troublemakers to leech on to your Internet connection, monitor what you are doing online, access files that are stored on your devices, infect your network with a virus, and generally cause you a nuisance.
You must ensure that any router you purchase supports at least WPA2; the second implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol.
In addition, every device you plan on connecting to the router must also support WPA2 for this security measure to be effective.
Remember this: Your entire network is only as secure as the least secure device that is connected to it.
The previous generation of WPA is better than nothing, but definitely not ideal, and it isn’t a good idea to rely on WEP security as this can easily be cracked by tools that are free and easy access online.
Some routers will come with extra security functions, such as having an extra layer of encryption, the ability to monitor devices and block certain devices or people from the network entirely.
Getting a router with these features should be considered if you are particularly concerned about the security of your entire home network.
When it comes to choosing a router, you will typically come across two different types. These are the traditional single-unit routers and the newer form of technology being mesh routers.
The single-unit routers are still incredibly common and what I personally use in my own home network.
These get plugged into the modem to create a local area network and allow access to the internet to be shared with all of the devices that connect to the router.
A lot of people, including myself, will actually have the router and modem built into a single unit, in which case it is just a case of connecting it up to however you receive the internet connection in your home. In my case, this is DSL which makes use of the existing telephone line.
Technically, these single-unit devices also act as a switch and wireless point too given that they contain several built-in ethernet ports and emit a wireless signal.
Although these single-unit routers may be perfectly suitable for a lot of people, there will be some that find them not to be quite good enough in terms of wireless range, depending on the size of the home and if there are any obstructions in the way of particular materials that affect the wireless signal.
This is where mesh routers are becoming increasingly popular; they are made of up of several individual units that are placed throughout the home evenly to provide wider coverage.
The primary unit will connect to the modem, which then communicates wirelessly with the other nodes to form a mesh network and more effectively share the wireless signal throughout the entire home.
If you have a particularly large home, you may want to consider looking at a mesh-based router, but that being said, many people will still choose a single-unit router and then help to improve the coverage of a wireless signal through something like a wireless access point.
At the time of writing, we are almost a quarter of the way through 2021, which means we are all in the process of moving away from the Wi-Fi 5 standard to the newer, more powerful Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Wi-Fi 6 routers are being increasingly more available, with them not only being faster but also having better support for lots of devices being connected at the same time.
Devices that only support the Wi-Fi 5 standard will absolutely still work with Wi-Fi 6 routers, but you won’t be able to take full advantage of what Wi-Fi 6 has to offer.
You can also still purchase Wi-Fi 5 routers if you would prefer and are looking to save a bit of money, but I would suggest at least considering a Wi-Fi 6 router just to future-proof yourself more than anything.
This is especially true if you are looking to upgrade some of your other tech in the future which will undoubtedly be able to make use of Wi-Fi 6.
Number of Frequency Bands
Most wireless routers these days will be dual-band, but there are some out there that are tri-band. The number of frequency bands the router can operate on is definitely something you want to keep an eye out for when doing your comparison work.
Dual-band routers all came about because of the traditional 2.4 GHz frequency band becoming very crowded, so manufacturers decided to also offer the 5 GHz frequency band to help balance the load better.
Some routers will only allow one frequency band or the other to be used, but most will allow both bands to be used at the same time.
Tri-band routers broadcast three different wireless signals, which makes it appear like it is hosting three different wireless networks at the same time.
You may be expecting a tri-band router to be broadcasting a third frequency band, but this isn’t actually the case. It broadcasts a single 2.4 GHz signal and then two separate 5 GHz signals.
Tri-band routers work in a similar way to dual-band ones and broadcast the different signals to help reduce congestion and offer more speed that will be shared amongst all of the connected devices.
At first thought, you may be wondering why the appearance of the router even matters and why it features on this buyer’s guide, but consider this: there are many routers out there that all offer similar features and performance, so it could be the appearance of the router that makes you choose one over another.
In order to get the best wireless connection possible, you will want the router positioned somewhere central and prominent, so it will undoubtedly be seen.
You may be willing to part with a bit more cash for a router that looks aesthetically pleasing given that you will likely find yourself seeing it pretty often.
Other Features of a Router
In addition to the extra security features that come with some routers, there are routers available that come with a vast array of other useful features.
These include USB 3.0 ports for connecting an external hard drive which then becomes a NAS, quality of service for giving priority of network traffic to particular devices, and gigabit ports to get the best possible performance for certain devices.
What you are looking to get out of your router, other than its ability to get you connected to the Internet, will vary from person to person and network to network.
Carefully read the product description and feature list of each router you are considering before making a purchase to ensure that it will fit your needs and come with the features that will be most useful to you.
These are the best wireless routers for lots of devices I have found that provide the speeds, coverage and features in addition to the capacity for a large number of devices to be connected at any given time.
When choosing a router, remember to consider the physical size of your home, the download and upload speeds you receive from your Internet service provider, how many devices you plan on connecting to your Wi-Fi, whether adequate security protocols are in place, and any other features you may want, such as USB 3.0 ports or advanced parental controls.
If I were to recommend one of the wireless routers featured on this list, it would have to be the Gryphon.
I feel it strikes an excellent balance between the speeds it is capable of, the coverage it can provide, and how much it costs to purchase. The six high-powered antennas, 4×4 MU-MIMO technology and beamforming make it an excellent choice for anyone with lots of devices.