I think this affordable Wi-Fi 6 router is what most people should choose. The smooth black finish is attractive, and there are four antennas to direct Wi-Fi into every corner (worth tweaking and testing different positions). Performance was solid throughout my 1,600-square-foot, two-story home, but dipped slightly in the back garden. Stability has been great over a few weeks of testing, hitting the upper mid-range in my speed and range tests. This router also ticks all the features you want (MU-MIMO, beamforming, WPA3 – we explain many of these terms in our How to Buy a Router guide). It has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a single Gigabit WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port on the back, which is enough for most people.
I’m a fan of TP-Link’s Tether app, where you can review traffic, split bands, create a guest network, schedule reboots, set automatic updates, and even tell the LED to turn off the night. TP-Link’s free basic HomeShield tier offers network scanning, Quality of Service (QoS) for device prioritization, and basic parental controls so you can filter and blacklist websites. If you want more perks like app time limits, downtime, and real-time security protection, you’ll need to upgrade to HomeShield Pro ($6 per month or $55 for the year).
★ Another alternative: The TP-Link Archer AX50 ($120) is very similar to the AX55 but can be prone to overheating. The AX50 also doesn’t support OneMesh, allowing you to add extenders to create a mesh network with the AX55. On the other hand, the AX50 has HomeCare, a service launched before HomeShield that includes superior parental controls without a subscription.