• Finding the best router is imperative for your online connection.
  • Consider the cost before you dive in.
  • Check out our review of the Netgear Nighthawk series of routers.

A reliable Wi-Fi connection is a must for every household. Whether you're streaming, gaming, or simply browsing, a good Wi-Fi setup can make all the difference and that includes having the right type of router

This is where Netgear routers come in, offering a range of options from standard dual-band routers to gaming-centric tri-band models and whole-home mesh networks. Don’t mix up a modem with a router, though. A modem and a router are indispensable: the modem brings the Internet into your home, while the router distributes the connection to your various devices.

If you're in the market for a top-tier router, the Netgear Nighthawk series is worth considering, but don't forget to make sure that you have the right Internet plan, too.

What to look for in a Netgear router

Before we jump into the range of Netgear Nighthawk routers out there, let’s take a look what you should be looking for first:


For many devices, especially gaming consoles or desktop computers, a wired Ethernet connection is often more reliable and faster than Wi-Fi. Count the devices you plan to connect via Ethernet and ensure the Netgear router you choose has enough LAN ports to accommodate them. 

Most routers come with four LAN ports, but if you need more, you might consider an additional Ethernet switch, which can provide 16 or 20 extra ports. Additionally, a USB port on the router can be useful for connecting printers, external hard drives, or other devices to create shared storage within your network. 

Multiple antennas

Unless you live in a small studio apartment, multiple antennas on your Netgear router are a must. Three antennas are typically sufficient for most homes and small businesses, but larger, multi-story homes or expansive offices may require four or more. 

Some high-end routers come with as many as six or eight antennas, significantly boosting range and connectivity. Generally, more antennas equate to better coverage, though this also depends on the router's specifications.

Multiple bands

While a single-band router can suffice for basic Internet use, a dual- or tri-band Netgear router is advisable for households with multiple devices. 

Dual-band routers can handle connections for up to 20 devices simultaneously, providing a stable connection for activities like streaming, gaming, and working from home. 

Tri-band routers offer even greater capacity and flexibility. It's also important to consider the Wi-Fi standard; many modern routers support Wi-Fi 6, offering improved speed and efficiency, though Wi-Fi 5 remains common and capable for most uses.

Our Netgear Nighthawk picks

Best speed: Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 Wi-Fi 6

Pros Cons
Simple setup Limited to dual-band
Rapid file transfers Higher price
Supports future Wi-Fi 6 standards  

The Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 Wi-Fi 6 Router is designed to deliver robust performance, even if your current devices don't yet support Wi-Fi 6. 

It covers up to 2,500 square feet, providing high-speed connections for both your 5GHz 802.11ac and older 2.4GHz devices. 

With speeds up to 4.8Gbps on the 5GHz band and 1.2Gbps on the 2.4GHz band, it's powered by four antennas integrated into its sleek, winged design.

Equipped with MU-MIMO and the ability to support eight simultaneous 160MHz channels, the RAX80 ensures that multiple devices can enjoy maximum Wi-Fi speeds at the same time. 

Its 64-bit 1.8GHz quad-core processor further enhances performance, making it ideal for busy households and advanced smart homes. 

Additionally, with WAN port aggregation, this router can handle Multi-Gig Internet plans up to 2Gbps, ensuring it remains a future-proof investment.

Best for gamers: Netgear Nighthawk XR500

Pros Cons
Highly customisable for gamers Weak long-range performance
Strong performance on 2.4GHz band Expensive
Simple setup process  

The Netgear Nighthawk XR500 is a top-rated gaming router designed specifically for gamers. It features advanced gaming-specific options like Quality of Service (QoS), which prioritises gaming devices on your network to ensure the best possible signal and reduce lag. 

The gaming dashboard provides real-time bandwidth usage, helping to minimise ping times, and a built-in gaming VPN offers instant connectivity to any VPN client for enhanced security and privacy.

You can monitor network strength through the Netgear smartphone app, and the dual-core 1.7GHz processor ensures smooth performance, even with heavy online gaming traffic. 

The XR500 is equipped with four external antennas to boost signal strength and employs MU-MIMO and Quad-Stream technologies for an enhanced gaming experience. 

With total network speeds of up to 2.6Gbps across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, this gaming router justifies its price with powerful features and performance.

Best for your budget: Netgear Nighthawk R6700

Pros Cons
Excellent 802.11ac performance Slower speeds on the 2.4GHz band
Advanced features like Quality of Service (QoS) Netgear Nighthawk R6700 review

The Netgear Nighthawk R6700 delivers impressive 802.11ac performance with speeds up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. 

This router can support up to 12 devices simultaneously, making it ideal for busy households. Setup is simple with Netgear’s smartphone app, which also offers parental controls, guest network options, and firmware updates for enhanced security and performance.

Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the Nighthawk R6700 can be controlled via voice commands. Its dual-core processor ensures stable performance, while the three external high-performance antennas can be adjusted to improve signal strength and coverage in your home.

Best overall: Netgear Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi System

Pros Cons
Fast speeds High price point
Comprehensive home coverage Compatibility issues with older devices
Sleek design  

The Netgear Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi System is Netgear's premier mesh router solution, designed to deliver smooth Wi-Fi coverage across a 5,000-square-foot home. 

This system includes a base station and a satellite unit, ensuring strong signals even in the farthest corners of your home. Setup is straightforward with the Netgear Orbi app, so you can get online quickly.

This tri-band system offers outstanding performance, leveraging technologies such as MU-MIMO and six internal antennas to achieve speeds up to 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and 833Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. 

It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa for voice commands, and the Orbi app provides parental controls via Circle, guest network setup, and device connectivity management.

Got more questions?

Are you looking to upgrade your Internet plan while you upgrade your router? Talk to the team at Compare Broadband. We’ll walk you through which plans are best for your household needs.