Best Netgear routers in 2023

Netgear is known for building fast and reliable routers and it continues that trend with its latest Nighthawk and Orbi options.

Netgear and its Nighthawk line have earned a reputation for delivering fast and reliable Wi-Fi speeds with little fuss, and it still makes some of the best routers you can buy. Netgear’s Orbi line keeps mesh Wi-Fi simple with stylish and cable standalone routers while Nighthawk is more focused on enthusiasts. Netgear is also pushing its software subscriptions hard with Netgear Armor and Smart Parental Controls both requiring a monthly or yearly subscription to get the most of them. Luckily, most of the Netgear routers you buy today come with a month or a year to try out these services to see how they fit into your life.



Upgrade your home network to Wi-Fi 6 with these Netgear routers

Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 Best overall

Exceptional performance for families

$250 $300 Save $50

This middle-of-the-road dual-band AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 router has all the speed most families need, with support for fast 160MHz connections and a competitive price. The connection breaks down to 600Mbps for 2.4GHz devices and 4.800Mbps for 5GHz devices. The Nighthawk RAX50 also includes support for Netgear Armor for enhanced security and Smart Parental Controls.


  • Fast dual-band AX5400 connection
  • Support for 160MHz at 5GHz
  • Solid 2,500 square feet of coverage


  • No multi-gig Ethernet
  • Older antenna design

$250 at Amazon $250 at Best Buy $270 at B&H

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 isn’t the latest and greatest, but it strikes the right balance for most people with a fast AX5400 connection and support for fast 160MHz connections. The connection breaks down to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4800Mbps at 5GHz. The six-stream connection means you can connect multiple devices at full speed without getting bogged down, thanks to MU-MIMO. That means that most families will struggle to overload this router, even with local networking.

This router has four external antennas with full articulation, so you can optimize your coverage. On the back, there’s a USB 3.0 port as well as five gigabit Ethernet ports. Four of those ports can be used for your wired devices, with the last one used for your incoming internet connection. There isn’t a multi-gig Ethernet option, so you should only use this router with an internet connection of up to 1Gbps, which is the typical top speed for many fiber providers.

This router has support for Netgear Armor with enhanced security and vulnerability scans. You can also use Netgear Armor to monitor your network and keep track of which devices are connected and how they’re using the network. Smart Parental Controls are included, too, with features like content filtering and time scheduling. Both come with a 30-day trial to see if they’re worth it to you but have separate subscriptions after that.

NETGEAR R6700AX Router Best value

Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 on the cheap

$80 $100 Save $20

This simple AX1800 Wi-Fi router has enough speed and coverage for a small home with 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1200Mbps at 5GHz. It also comes with a year of Netgear Armor security, which typically costs more per year than this entire router. There are four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices as well.


  • Cheap for an AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router
  • Netgear Armor included for a year
  • Four gigabit Ethernet ports


  • Relatively weak coverage
  • No USB ports

$80 at Amazon $120 at Best Buy $120 at B&H

The R6700AXS is a basic dual-band Wi-Fi 6 AX1800 router at its core. It has 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1200Mbps at 5GHz, which is about as slow as you’ll find on a Wi-Fi 6 router, but most importantly, it’s fast enough for a lot of people. If you only have a few devices that need to get online at once, the AX1800 connection should be able to keep up with strong download speeds on 5GHz. While it will struggle if you add dozens of devices, for a small home, this router should get the job done.

On the back, things are fairly basic, with three antennas, four gigabit Ethernet ports for your wired devices, and an Ethernet for the incoming connection. That means you won’t have the speed for internet connections over 1Gbps, but that’s fine for many homes. In fact, many popular routers compact Wi-Fi 6 routers like the Eero 6 are AX1800 routers. This router should have no trouble with 4K streaming on a couple of devices or large downloads.

While this router lacks the Nighthawk branding, it’s still set up and managed using the Nighthawk app. In fact, Netgear’s flagship software packages, Netgear Armor and Smart Parental Controls are both included. It comes with a free year of Netgear Armor, so you can keep your network secure and decide if the service is worth it before you renew. Smart Parental Controls require a subscription at $7.99 per month but come with content filtering, time scheduling, and monitoring, so you can stay on top of how your kids are using the internet.

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Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 Best for big families

Tons of capacity for dozens of devices

$246 $450 Save $204

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 is one of Netgear’s earlier Wi-Fi 6 models, but it still packs a punch with a high-capacity 12-stream AX6000 connection. That means support for up to four 2×2 devices at once with MU-MIMO. On top of that, a 5Gbps Ethernet port means you’re ready for multi-gig internet connections.


  • Fast 12-stream AX6000 connection
  • Multi-gig Ethernet included
  • Support for multiple full-speed 5GHz connections


  • Expensive for AX6000
  • Can’t be wall-mounted

$246 at Amazon $246 at B&H

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 seems like a bit of an oddball sitting alongside other cheaper Netgear AX6000 Nighthawks, but it has a trick up its sleeve. The RAX120 is a 12-stream router meaning it has the capacity for four full 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 connections at once. That’s four devices running at 1201Mbps using MU-MIMO, so this router doesn’t collapse under the weight of multiple demanding connections. If you’ve got a family full of gamers or streamers, the RAX120 can minimize buffering and can keep gaming connections smooth, even when a lot of devices are online at once.

Alongside the beefed-up Wi-Fi tech, Netgear has included strong wired options with five gigabit Ethernet ports and a multi-gig port with support for up to 5Gbps. You can use the multi-gig port for WAN or LAN, so if you’ve got a home server with caching or just a lot of hosted media, you’ve got plenty of speed for it. If you’re upgrading to multi-gig internet service, you can use it to make sure you can access your full internet speeds. There are also dual USB 3.0 ports on the back for simple but quick network file sharing.

Like most Netgear routers, you can set this one up using the Nighthawk app or in a web browser. Also, like most of Netgear’s high-end routers, it comes with a year of Netgear Armor, a security package powered by Bitdefender. Netgear Armor protects your entire network with enhanced security and vulnerability scans. When it comes time to renew, the service costs $100 for a year.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 Best Wi-Fi 6E

Fast speeds for the latest 6GHz tech

$349 $400 Save $51

While not the fastest Wi-Fi 6E router from Netgear, this Nighthawk RAXE300 makes sense for this looking to test out Wi-Fi 6E. Its AXE7800 connection comes with a 2,420Mbps connection at 6GHz, while still including all the speeds of a fast AX5400 router for your older Wi-Fi 6 devices.


  • Fast AXE7800 Wi-Fi 6E connection
  • Full 4804Mbps reserved for 5GHz devices
  • Ethernet at 2.5Gbps for WAN or LAN


  • More expensive than competing AXE7800 routers
  • Smart Parental Controls requires a subscription
  • Netgear Armor is expensive after renewal

$349 at Amazon $400 at Best Buy $349 at B&H

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 isn’t the fastest Wi-Fi 6E router that Netgear makes, but for most people, it is the most sensible pick. The AXE7800 tri-band connection breaks down to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, 4,804Mbps at 5GHz, and 2,402Mbps at 6GHz. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but the fact of the matter is that most of our wireless tech uses 5GHz for Wi-Fi, meaning you want the majority of your speed available on that band. Even so, the best Android phones and even some of the best gaming laptops only support up to 2402Mbps at 6GHz with a 160MHz connection.

On the back of this router, you get five gigabit Ethernet ports and one at 2.5Gbps. The fast port can be used as WAN or LAN, meaning you can use it for your internet connection if it’s over 1Gbps, or use it on a fast NAS or PC if your internet tops out a 1Gbps, as is common with residential fiber. Link Aggregation is also supported for up to 2Gbps using two Ethernet ports. Netgear packs all of its antennas in the two wings on either side of this router, giving it a sleek appearance as well as solid coverage.

For software, the Nighthawk app makes setup and management easy, though you can also connect to a web browser to get access to more advanced settings. Unlike Netgear’s Orbi line, the Nighthawk still allows users to change advanced settings if they choose to. You’ll still need to use the app for Netgear Armor controls and parental controls if you’re willing to pay the extra $7.99 per month for Smart Parental Controls. Luckily, the Nighthawk RAXE300 comes with a free year of Netgear Armor.

Netgear Orbi RBK762 Best mesh system

An affordable tri-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh

$400 $500 Save $100

The Orbi RBK762S is a tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system from Netgear with an AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 connection. This breaks down to 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2,402Mbps at 5GHz-1, and 2,402Mbps at 5GHz-2. It also comes with a free year of Netgear Armor for enhanced security available in the Orbi app.


  • Fast tri-band AX5400 connection
  • Support for 160MHz connections
  • Strong coverage at 2,500 square feet per node


  • Expensive compared to other AX5400 mesh kits
  • No multi-gigabit Ethernet
  • Limited satellite compatibility
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$400 at Amazon

The Netgear Orbi RBK762 is a tri-band mesh system with fast 160MHz connections on both 5GHz bands. This kit supports a fast tri-band AX5400 connection on both the router and satellite with 600Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz-1, and 2402Mbps at 5GHz-2. This means your link between the router and satellite, known as the back haul, gets full 160MHz speeds. Unlike the previous generation Orbi routers, you also get 160MHz support for devices means that you can see up to 2402Mbps on modern high-end WI-Fi 6 devices, giving you the headroom needed to make the most of your gigabit internet connection, even in congested areas.

The router has a gigabit Ethernet port on the back for your incoming internet connection, with three more gigabit ports for wired devices. The satellite has three more gigabit Ethernet ports making it a great fit for a home office or an entertainment center. Though you probably don’t need it with up to 5,000 square feet of coverage with two nodes, you can get more RBS760 satellites for an additional 2,500 square feet of coverage if desired.

It must be mentioned that compared to some of the other best mesh Wi-Fi systems, Orbi has some drawbacks. For example, satellite compatibility is low, meaning you’ll need to use the same type of satellite for expansion. That also means you can’t use Orbi paired with a Nighthawk router.

Netgear includes a year of Netgear Armor for free with the purchase of this router, allowing for increased security and more in-depth network information. Powered by Bit-Defender, this can protect all the devices on your network from unsafe connections as well as conduct vulnerability scans. Smart Parental Controls are also supported with a $7.99 per month subscription adding content filters, time limits, and usage statistics.

Netgear Orbi RBKE963 Best mesh Wi-Fi upgrade

Whole-home 6GHz Wi-Fi

The Orbi RBKE963 was one of the first Wi-Fi 6E systems to hit the market with incredible AXE11000 speeds and quad-band Wi-Fi. This mesh kit has a dedicated 5GHz band to keep speeds high and consistent without stealing any bandwidth from connected devices. It’s also ready for multi-gig internet with a 10Gbps Ethernet port on the router. Netgear estimates this three-pack can cover up to 9,000 square feet.


  • Extremely fast AXE11000 connection available for clients
  • Dedicated 5GHz backhaul avoids 6GHz coverage issues
  • Fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet on the router and satellite


  • Only one 10Gbps port (internet)
  • Very expensive
  • Few satellite options for expansion

$1461 at Amazon $1500 at B&H $1500 at Best Buy

While it may seem like a bit of a waste to upgrade to Wi-Fi 7 tech right around the corner, the fact of the matter is that the Orbi RBKE963 mesh Wi-Fi system already has plenty of speed for the fastest residential internet connections you can get. It has a 10Gbps Ethernet port on the back of the router, so you can hook up a fast multi-gig internet connection or get connected to your existing fast wired network. The router also a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port alongside three gigabit ports. The satellite units lack the 10Gbps port but retain the 2.5Gbps and gigabit ports.

Speaking of satellites, Orbi mesh systems don’t work the same way as an ASUS or TP-Link mesh. That is to say, you have a dedicated router with satellites for extra coverage. Netgear is also more restrictive than others when it comes with which satellites will work with typically only a couple of models supports. That, at least, guarantees you’ll be ready for an optimal mesh connection. Speaking of that mesh connection, Netgear has a dedicated back haul to link the nodes running on a 4×4 5GHz band. The rest of the router enjoys a tri-band AXE11000 connection with 4804Mbps at 6GHz, 4804Mbps at 5GHz, and 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz. A dedicated band ensures your connected devices won’t need to share a band with the mesh helping to keep performance fast and consistent.

When it comes to software, the system is set up with the Orbi app, which looks a lot like the Nighthawk app, with a few features stripped back. Setup is quick and easy and should be over with in a matter of minutes. Netgear includes a year of its Armor security software with your new router, though a subscription is required after that. Armor is designed to keep your network secure, even if you’re using old and out-of-date tech.

Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 Best modem router combo

Multi-gig internet support with one box

$440 $500 Save $60

The Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is an all-in-one solution for those with cable internet. This DOCSIS 3.1 modem is ready for the fastest multi-gig internet speeds from Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and more with a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port and AX6000 Wi-Fi 6.


  • Easy setup with the Nighthawk app
  • Fast AX6000 connection with 160MHz support
  • Strong wired connectivity including 2.5Gbps Ethernet


  • No mesh expansion options
  • Much more setup than an ISP-provided gateway
  • Tech support from the ISP will be limited

$440 at Amazon $474 at Best Buy $440 at B&H

A lot of people use cable for their internet connection through massive providers like Xfinity, Cox, and Spectrum. These providers have been working fast to compete with fiber and 5G solutions meaning that multi-gig internet service is now available using the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. If the equipment in your area has been upgraded, you can sign up for internet service over 1Gbps, but you’ll need a modem that can handle it. The Nighthawk CAX80 supports internet speeds up to 6Gbps and can deliver that to devices with an AX6000 wireless connection, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, and four gigabit ports. That connection breaks down to 1148Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4804Mbps at 5GHz.

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You can easily set it up with the Nighthawk app which also includes access to Netgear Armor. Of course, you’ll also need to get in contact with your ISP’s customer service to activate the modem at your address, and it’s not a bad idea to check compatibility ahead of time if you’re not sure. ISPs will often pitch their own hardware with a monthly fee, and while that’s fine for most people, they often have much more restrictive settings. If you want the best speeds your cable ISP can deliver without taking on yet another monthly fee, the Netgear Nighthawk CAX80 is one of the fastest you can get.

Netgear Nighthawk M6 Best portable router

Upgrade your RV or boat

A fast Wi-FI 6 AX3600 connection, gigabit Ethernet, and up to 6x Carrier Aggregation make the Netgear Nighthawk M6 one of the fastest hotspots money can buy. The M6 can be a great option for those on the move or off the beaten trail with excellent 5G support and connectors for an external antenna.


  • Fast Wi-Fi 6 connections
  • Support for sub-6 5G with 6x Carrier Aggregation
  • Optional TS-9 antenna support


  • Expensive for a hotspot
  • High-band mmWave 5G limited to Pro model

$699 at Amazon $700 at Best Buy $699 at B&H

The Netgear Nighthawk M6 is not only a fast and capable compact 5G router with Wi-Fi 6 support, but can also work with an existing mesh system or router you already have in your home. When you’re home, the Nighthawk M6 can cover up to 2,000 square feet in high-performance mode and can also use built-in TS-9 connectors for better 5G reception. When you’re ready to hit the road, it can operate for up to 13 hours on battery.

This router has a dual-band AX3600 connection with support for up to 32 devices. If you’ve got to get the whole crew online and public Wi-Fi isn’t an option, the Nighthawk M6 makes sure everyone can get connected. For wired connections, you can use the built-in gigabit Ethernet port or, as many slim laptops have ditched Ethernet, you can connect using USB-C at up to 5Gbps. As far as configuration, you can do just about everything on the 2.4-inch touchscreen on the front of the M6, but you also can connect using the Nighthawk app.

It’s certified to work with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Google Fi, so you should be able to find a network with coverage just about anywhere in the country. There’s support for up to 6x Carrier Aggregation with LTE and 5G, which allows the M6 to connect to multiple wireless bands at once for faster speeds. It even supports 2x uplink Carrier Aggregation for improved upload speeds. If 5G isn’t available, LTE CAT19 support means you’ll support all the most important bands in the U.S. so there aren’t too many places left you won’t find coverage.

Get the speed and coverage your home network needs with Netgear

The right router for your home depends on a number of elements including, but not limited to, the design of your home and the materials used. For example, some homes were built with internal block or plaster walls which can destroy Wi-Fi signals. A mesh system can help in this scenario by not only offering powerful repeaters but being able to navigate around troublesome walls. Mesh systems can also be useful in a condominium or large apartment as your device can connect to a closer access point, avoiding some congestion.

When it comes to speed, getting a router with enough headroom means your speeds can stay high, even in challenging layouts. Few people have internet connections over 1Gbps, but there are still benefits to a fast router. For example, having some extra capacity allows your connection to stay strong, even when you have neighboring Wi-Fi connections fighting for spectrum. This is also helped with modern Wi-Fi 6 tech like 1024 QAM and OFDMA which can modulate your signal to stay strong with a lot of congestion.

Overall, the dual-band AX5400 connection on the Nighthawk RAX50 should be sufficient for most people with plenty of coverage for most homes. The fast 5GHz band with 160MHz support gives your devices the best chance of getting your full internet speeds, even with a lot of congestion from neighbors. Finally, Netgear Armor can give you some peace of mind at a time when security breaches have become worryingly commonplace.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 Best Overall$250 $300 Save $50

This middle-of-the-road dual-band AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 route has all the speed most families need with support for fast 160MHz connections and a competitive price. The connection breaks down to 600Mbps for 2.4GHz devices and 4800Mbps for 5GHz devices. The Nighthawk RAX50 also includes support for Netgear Armor for enhanced security and Smart Parental Controls.

$250 at Amazon $250 at Best Buy $270 at B&H

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