What’s the Best Long-Range Router?

If you live in a large home or on a large property and need to extend the range of your Wi-Fi, you may be considering purchasing a long-range router. And while there are many different options on the market, the one you choose will ultimately come down to which features best align with your needs.

Do you have a dead zone where your Wi-Fi connection isn’t reaching? Do you have an individual device that needs to be targeted specifically? Or are you looking for the longest range possible? If you’re unsure where to start, we’re here to help. We’ve gathered details about all the features you might consider as well as long-range router recommendations based on specific situations.

What is considered long-range for a router?

In general, routers that operate on a 2.4GHz band can reach anywhere from 150 square feet indoors and up to 300 square feet outdoors. Routers operating on a 5GHz band get smaller ranges of 50 to 100 square feet, depending on if they are indoors or outdoors.

On the other hand, long-range routers can reach ranges up to 5,000 feet, depending on the model and features.

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Important features of long-range routers

If you are thinking of purchasing a long-range router, there are a number of different features to consider in order to make sure you’re getting a router that fits your needs.

Range

When talking about long-range routers, not all are created equally. While some models can reach up to 5,000 ft., others are better suited for ranges closer to 2,500 ft. For this reason, it’s important you have a good idea of the range you’re trying to cover before getting too deep into your router search.

Mesh compatibility

In a typical modem and router set up, every device connects directly to one access point. This can lead to connectivity issues and dead zones in areas that are large or where the router is not, or cannot, be optimally placed to avoid interference from things like walls, furniture, and appliances.

For a mesh Wi-Fi system, multiple routers are set up in different areas, which serve as “nodes.” Internet-capable devices can connect to the node that is closest and this can help with connectivity and range issues. Not all routers are mesh compatible though, so if you’re planning to build a network with multiple nodes now or in the future, this will be an important feature to look for in the long-range router you choose.

Memory and processor

When it comes to long-range routers, the internal hardware is important. We ask a lot of routers these days, from streaming movies to online gaming and all the different online activities being performed at any given time. For this reason, make sure the router you choose has a least a dual-core processor and at least 128MB of RAM. To support the increasingly fast speeds of the internet, also make sure the router you choose has speed capabilities of at least AC1200.

Antennas

When thinking about antennas for your long-range router, this is a situation where bigger is definitely better. Though many traditional router antennas are fixed and meant to transmit signals in all directions, many long-range antennas allow you to point your signal in a specific direction. If you intend to point your signal towards a dead zone or reach certain devices that are further away, you’ll want to choose a long-range router with an adjustable antenna.

Wireless protocol

If wireless protocols refer to how wireless networks communicate, then 802.11 is the language they speak. The version of 802.11 translates to how fast a router can transfer information. In today’s wireless world, you’ll want a router that has dual-band technology and at least 802.11ac, which can support multiple gigabits of data per second. Older versions, including 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n, might not process information fast enough, while 803.11ax is currently the fastest wireless protocol available and can support the most connections.

Wireless bands

Routers used to only operate on a single band and broadcast on a 2.4GHz frequency. Then along came Bluetooth and wireless phones, which also broadcast on the same frequency leading to more interference. As routers evolved, dual-band technology was implemented, allowing users to toggle between 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections. The latest evolution of routers features tri-band technology, which allows you to toggle between 2.4GHz and two different 5GHz connections.

When choosing a long-range router, consider looking for a tri-band router if you anticipate heavy internet usage, including multiple devices streaming and gaming, or a large number of connected devices overall.

Ports

The number of physical ports a long-range router has might not necessarily be important since most devices will likely connect wirelessly. But if you know you have (or will eventually have) an extensive network, having multiple ports as direct access to your internet connection may be important.

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Additional considerations

Beyond the standard long-range router features, there are a few additional considerations to make when you’re shopping for a new device.

MU-MIMO 

MU-MIMO only works within the 5GHz Wi-Fi band, so you’ll need to have at least dual-band technology to take advantage of this feature. MU-MIMO stands for “multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output” and means that a router can send and receive multiple data streams to multiple devices at once.

You will see MU-MIMO routers available in 2×2, 3×3, or 4×4 options, and these numbers represent how many data streams the router supports.

Beamforming

Beamforming is an important feature if you are trying to boost the signal to a particular device or in a specific direction.

Guest networks and parental controls

Though this feature does not have anything to do with a router being long-range or not, a router that features guest networks and parental controls allows you to set different security levels with different passwords so that you have more control over how devices access your network.

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Best long-range routers

Now they’ve we’ve got you up to speed with all the information you need to know about long-range routers, we’re not going to leave you to search for a router on your own. Instead, we’ve done the research for you and pulled together a list of the best long-range routers to suit your needs.

Best budget long-range router

TP-Link Archer C80

For a router that costs under $100, the TP-Link Archer C80 has a lot of great features, including top-notch security, a fast processor, multiple ports, and MU-MIMO. With this router, you’ll have a range of up to 500 ft, but the antennas are fixed, which does not allow you to point your Wi-Fi in any particular direction.

Range: up to 480 sq. ft. | Speed: AC1900 (supports up to 1300Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: Yes | Processor: AC1900 / 1.2GHz CPU | Security:  WPA3 | Antenna(s): 4 fixed | Wireless protocol: 802.11ac | Wireless bands: Dual-band | Ports: 1 WAN port and 4 LAN ports | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $59.99 to $79.99

Best long-range router for coverage

Netgear Nighthawk X6

This router is a great option for long range, adjustable reach with 6 antennas that can be pointed in many different directions.

Range: up to 3500 sq. ft. | Speed: AC3200 (supports up to 3200Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: No | Memory/Processor: 25MB RAM/1.GHz dual-core | Security: WPA2 | Antenna(s): 6 adjustable | Wireless protocol: 802.11ac | Wireless bands: Tri-band | Ports: 4 | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $299.99

Best mesh long-range router 

Nest Wi-Fi

The Nest Wi-Fi router is a sleek device that you might not even realize is a router at first glance. With a diameter of 4.1 inches and a height of 2.7 inches, it can be placed just about anywhere without looking clunky.

Range: up to 2200 sq. ft. | Speed: AC (supports up to 400Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: Yes | Memory/Processor: 1GB RAM/2.4GHz quad-core | Security: WPA2/WPS3 | Antenna(s): 5 fixed | Wireless protocol: 802.11ac | Wireless bands: dual-band | Ports: 2MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $299.99

Best user-friendly long-range router

Amazon Eero Pro

The Amazon Eero Pro has a lot of features that most people want in a router, including a long-range. It has been reviewed by many industry professionals as being very easy to set up. But, it doesn’t support super-fast speeds, and the fixed antennas make it difficult to direct your internet connection in any particular direction.

Range: up to 2000 sq. ft. | Speed: AX4200 (supports up to 438Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: Yes | Memory/Processor: 1.24 GB RAM/1.4GHz quad-core | Security: WPA2/WPS3 | Antenna(s): 6 fixed | Wireless protocol: 802.11ax | Wireless bands: dual-band | Ports: 2 | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $229

Best long-range router for speed

NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12

The NETGEAR Nighthawk AX12 can support lighting fast speeds and comes with almost all the bells and whistles you’d want in a long-range router, except for range. If you need to reach beyond 200 sq. ft., this might not be the router for you.

Range: up to 200 sq. ft. | Speed:  AX6000 (supports up to 6000Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: Yes | Memory/Processor: 256 RAM/2.2GHz quad-core | Security: WPA3 | Antenna(s): 8 fixed | Wireless protocol: 802.11ax | Wireless bands: tri-band | Ports: 6 | MU-MIMO:  Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $330.99 to $425.00

Best overall long-range router

Netgear Nighthawk X6

Yes, this router was our pick for the best router for long range, but it also hits the mark as the best overall long-range router. Not only does it have an amazing long-range reach, but the 6 adjustable antennas give you the ability to concentrate your connection when needed. And though you will need to add a mesh extender if you want to set this up as part of a mesh network, that might not even be necessary with this modem’s reach and versatility.

Range: up to 3500 sq. ft. | Speed: AC3200 (supports up to 3200Mbps) | Mesh Compatibility: No | Memory/Processor: 25MB RAM/1.GHz dual-core | Security: WPA2 | Antenna(s): 6 adjustable | Wireless protocol: 802.11ac | Wireless bands: Tri-band | Ports: 4 | MU-MIMO: Yes | Beamforming: Yes | Guest network and parental controls: Yes | Average price: $299.99

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/29/22.

Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.