Having a strong Wi-Fi signal that reaches every corner of your home is crucial for getting the most out of your wireless devices. However, many routers lack sufficient range to cover large homes or multi-story dwellings. Thankfully, there are now routers specifically designed to provide expanded coverage and greater range.
In this guide, we will compare the top long-range routers to help you determine which model has the best wireless coverage for your needs and budget.
Overview of Factors that Impact Range
Before looking at specific routers, let’s review some key factors that affect a router’s wireless range:
- Antenna Design: Routers with 3 to 4 external high-gain antennas generally provide better range than routers with internal antennas. Positioning the antennas properly also helps focus and direct the signal.
- Wireless Band and Standard: Newer routers that support 802.11ac on the 5 GHz band offer faster speeds at shorter ranges. 802.11n on 2.4 GHz provides the best long-range performance.
- Transmit Power: Higher transmit power (measured in milliwatts or dBm) allows signals to travel farther and penetrate walls and obstacles better.
- Advanced Technologies: MU-MIMO, beamforming, and amplifiers can also boost range and performance.
Keeping these factors in mind will help you choose a router optimized for long-range Wi-Fi.
Reviews of the Top Long-Range Routers
Here are reviews of the top-rated routers for range and wireless coverage to help you decide which model is right for your home:
1. Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router
The Linksys WRT32X is a high-performance dual-band router designed with gaming and long-range Wi-Fi in mind.
- Tri-stream 160 MHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi with speeds up to 3.2 Gbps
- 4 high-gain detachable antennas and advanced beamforming
- MU-MIMO for simultaneously streaming to multiple devices
- Custom gaming firmware settings and optimization
- Powerful dual-core 1.8 GHz processor
The 4 external antennas provide significantly more range than routers with internal antennas, covering up to 5,000 square feet. It also offers excellent throughput speeds thanks to fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a powerful processor.
With a $200 price tag, the Linksys WRT32X is an excellent gaming router that also excels at delivering long-range wireless coverage. It’s a great choice for large homes.
2. Netgear Nighthawk R6700
The Netgear Nighthawk R6700 is a popular AC1750 dual-band router praised for its reliability, speeds, and range.
- AC1750 Wi-Fi with up to 450 + 1300 Mbps speeds
- High-powered amplifiers and 3 external antennas
- Advanced features like Dynamic QoS, ReadySHARE Vault
- USB 3.0 port for shared storage
- Armor cybersecurity and Netgear genie app
This router provides a reliable wireless signal up to 1500 square feet thanks to high-powered amplifiers and three adjustable antennas. It offers fast 450 Mbps speeds on 2.4GHz for better long-range performance and also has a fast 5GHz band at 1300 Mbps.
With solid ratings and an affordable $80-100 price point, the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 is arguably the best long-range router for most homes. It has excellent range and speeds.
3. Asus RT-ACRH13
Asus makes some of the best gaming and Wi-Fi routers. The Asus RT-ACRH13 dual-band router stands out for its long-range performance.
- AC1300 WiFi speeds up to 400 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 867 Mbps on 5GHz
- AiRadar Beamforming and RangeBoost technology
- Gigabit WAN/LAN ports and USB 3.1 for shared storage
- Built-in WTFast game accelerator
- Asus Router app for monitoring and settings
This Asus router provides reliable Wi-Fi coverage up to 3,500 square feet thanks to features like RangeBoost and Beamforming that help send signals farther. It has good throughput speeds on both bands and lots of useful features perfect for gaming.
Priced around $100, the Asus RT-ACRH13 is one of the top-rated long-range routers for homes that need expanded Wi-Fi coverage at a reasonable cost.
4. TP-Link Archer C5400X
The TP-Link Archer C5400X is a premium tri-band wireless router focused on delivering blazing fast speeds and maximum Wi-Fi range throughout homes.
- Fast tri-band Wi-Fi with 2,167 Mbps on 5GHz bands and 800 Mbps on 2.4GHz
- 8 high-gain antennas and beamforming for expanded coverage
- 5 Ethernet ports, 2 USB ports, and 1 WAN port
- MU-MIMO for multiple device streaming
- Powerful 1.8 GHz 64-bit CPU and three coprocessors
With a total of 8 high-gain antennas, this TP-Link router can cover up to 5000 square feet of living space with reliable Wi-Fi. It offers incredibly fast Wi-Fi speeds across the bands while maintaining long-range signals.
The only downside is the high $280 MSRP. But if budget is not a major concern and you want maximum speed and range, the Archer C5400X delivers excellent performance.
5. Google Nest Wifi Pro Router
Google Nest Wifi Pro is a brand new tri-band mesh router focused on expanding coverage for smart homes.
- Fast 4.2 Gbps AX6000 tri-band Wi-Fi
- Up to 2200 sq ft coverage from router alone
- Ai-driven mesh technology for whole-home coverage
- Doubles as a Nest smart speaker with Google Assistant
- Simple app for setup, management, and controls
This newly released router provides a strong wireless signal covering up to 2200 square feet thanks to its intelligent antenna array and full-speed 160 MHz channels. It also has a fast 5 GHz band, ensuring devices stay connected at top speeds.
As a smart speaker, Whole-home mesh system, and reliable long-range router in one, Nest Wifi Pro is an excellent choice despite its high $200 starting price. It’s the best option if you want a flexible mesh system with extended range.
Key Factors to Consider When Selecting a Long-Range Router
Here are some final tips on how to choose the right long-range router for your needs:
- Carefully measure the size of your living space and where your devices need connections. This will determine the required range.
- Consider router placement carefully – centrally locating it high up in your home helps maximize range.
- Look for key features like external antennas, beamforming, and amplifiers that boost wireless reach.
- Make sure the router has enough Ethernet ports for wired devices and useful features like USB file sharing, QoS, and security protocols.
- Getting a router with fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi or MU-MIMO ensures good performance for streaming, gaming, and more once connected.
- Mesh Wi-Fi routers like Google Nest offer simple whole-home coverage but single routers provide better range from a single device.
- Routers with 4+ external antennas like the Linksys WRT32X tend to provide the longest physical range, up to 5,000 sq ft.
- Look for beamforming, amplifiers, and wireless standards like 802.11n that are optimized for long-range Wi-Fi.
- Consider mesh routers if you need whole-home coverage but single routers like the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 work better for maximizing range in one direction.
- Balance range with speed, ports, and extra features when choosing a router that fits your budget and needs.
Boosting your Wi-Fi router’s range is crucial to get connections in every area of your home. While mesh systems help, purpose-built long-range routers provide expanded coverage from a single device. Models like the Netgear Nighthawk R6700 and Linksys WRT32X are excellent choices that combine speed, features, and top-tier wireless reach. Evaluate your coverage needs, usage, and budget to pick the ideal long-range router for your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best router brand for range?
A: Linksys, TP-Link, and Asus are top brands known for long-range routers. But Netgear’s Nighthawk series offers the best balance of affordability, performance, and range.
Q: How far can Wi-Fi routers reach?
A: Most routers reliably cover up to 100 feet indoors. But long-range routers with 802.11n Wi-Fi and multi-antenna designs can reach 150-200+ feet through walls and obstructions.
Q: Does antenna positioning affect range?
A: Yes, positioning antennas properly and pointing them where you need maximum coverage focuses the signal, enhancing range.
Q: Does the number of antennas matter for range?
A: Generally, routers with more high-gain external antennas provide better range. Aim for at least 4 detachable antennas.
Q: Should I get a single router or mesh for range?
A: Mesh systems like Google Nest blanket a whole home with Wi-Fi. But single routers place multiple antennas in one spot to maximize long-range performance.
Q: What is the farthest Wi-Fi has traveled?
A: In 2007, a team achieved a Wi-Fi connection over 100 miles between two islands! But for homes, ranges beyond 250 feet are rare without additional equipment.
Q: Can I increase my router’s range?
A: Beyond getting a long-range router, you can optimize placement, upgrade antennas, add signal boosters and access points. But upgrading the router itself has the biggest impact.
Q: What blocks Wi-Fi signals?
A: Thick walls, metal, and dense materials like concrete block Wi-Fi. Try placing the router high up or near an exterior wall and away from appliances to improve range.
Q: What is a Wi-Fi booster?
A: A wireless range extender picks up your router’s Wi-Fi signal and rebroadcasts it further into dead zones. Positioning it well extends coverage.
Q: Why does 2.4GHz offer better range than 5GHz?
A: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signals penetrate obstacles and travel farther at the cost of slower speeds. 5GHz is faster but has shorter range. Routers with both bands have the best Wi-Fi coverage.
Q: How do I know if I need a router with better range?
A: Check if there are slow zones or dead spots in your home, especially far rooms. Upgrading to a long-range router can help get full bars and speeds everywhere.