WiFi is essential, but what good is paying for premium speeds if you're not getting them? Routers for Xfinity consistently perform at top speeds with the latest technology. The router that’s right for you will depend on the range you need, how you use the internet, and your Xfinity internet package.
We've rounded up routers that are easy to set up and use, improve the performance of connected devices, and a few even include special features to enhance gaming. Of course, they’re all compatible with the Xfinity protocol, as it’s important to make sure you have the best router for Xfinity that is compatible with your internet service provider.
— Best Overall: TP-Link Archer AC4000
— Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 (GT-AX6000)
— Best Premium: Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E (RBKE963)
— Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852)
— Best Budget: TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router
How We Picked These Products
Here are the factors we took into consideration when making our recommendations for the best routers for Xfinity:
Coverage/Expandability: Your home’s layout, the construction materials used in your home, and the number of devices you have connected to the router all affect its range. However, most routers have at the very least a range estimate that’s given in square footage.
Wireless Protocol: We considered the router’s wireless protocol, as well as the additional features within that protocol. For example, some models included link aggregation or WAN aggregation, along with beamforming to expand the customization options.
Number of Bands: Today, most people need at least a dual-band router. However, we also considered tri- and quad-band routers and indicated the type of user that can benefit from additional bands.
Ease of Installation: We looked for routers with intuitive setup and installation. Users shouldn’t need a degree in computer science to set up their router.
Security and Parental Controls: Security and parental controls are a nice bonus. While we looked for models with strong controls, we also considered those that offered excellent signal strength and performance but may require third-party apps for additional security.
Best Routers for Xfinity: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: TP-Link Archer AC4000
Why It Made The Cut: The tri-band AC4000 lets users assign devices to specific bands and offers MU-MIMO for data streaming and beamforming.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ac
— Range: Approximately 2,500 square feet
— Number of Bands: Three
— Robust parental controls
— Strong anti-malware
— Fast throughput speeds
— Simple, fast installation
— Voice control through Alexa
— 5 GHz (gigahertz) performance is only so-so
The TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router, also known as the archer A20, offers a wide range of features for homes around 2,500 square feet. It’s equipped with four gigabit LAN ports, two of which are set aside for link aggregation, It has three bands, one 2.4 GHz band with speeds up to 750 Mbps and two 5 GHz bands with speeds up to 1,625 Mbps each (speeds are under ideal conditions).
The AC4000’s installation process isn’t complicated and can be done with either a web console or the TP-Link Tether app. Through these connections, you can assign connected devices to a specific band or disconnect them at any time. You can also set up a guest network or enable Alexa voice commands.
All of the AC4000’s security features come through the HomeCare platform, to which buyers get a three-year subscription upon purchase of the router. HomeCare provides robust network security and powerful parental controls. You can also use the Quality of Service (QoS) settings to improve throughput speeds and performance by prioritizing gaming, streaming, and other usage options.
The AC4000 delivers solid performance, making it the best router for Xfinity overall. If it has a weakness, it’s that the 5GHz bands offer only average transfer speeds.
Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 (GT-AX6000)
Why It Made The Cut: The GT-AX6000 gives gamers multiple ways to configure the router to enhance gaming, including WAN aggregation and support of DFS channels.
— Wi-Fi Protocol: 802.11ax
— Range: NA
— Number of Bands: Two
— Supports DFS channels to reduce congestion
— 2 WAN ports with optional aggregation
— Three in-depth options to optimize gaming
— Strong anti-malware and parental controls
— Huge footprint
The ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 (GT-AX6000) is a router designed for the serious gamer who knows how and enjoys optimizing their gaming experience, making it the best gaming router for Xfinity. More specifically, it benefits multi-user homes the most.
We tested the AX6000 in a 2,600-square-foot home. It lived up to its Republic of Gamers (ROG) name. ASUS calls the host of game-optimization features triple-level game acceleration. In practice, it offers three general ways to optimize gaming. First, there's device prioritization, both with hardware and software. When multiple users are on, the router makes sure that your gaming experience doesn't slow down.
The second game-optimization feature is Game Boost, which gives gaming data priority over bandwidth to reduce lag and latency. The final piece in the trifecta of gaming is the VPN feature that connects to the optimal server for gaming, even if that server isn’t the closest server.
In performance, it meant that the AX6000 made gaming a joy. Speeds stayed up even when using graphic-heavy games, and it could handle downloads without a problem. At the same time, streaming and downloads continued even while our tester played to his heart’s content.
We also can’t talk about this router without mentioning the robust anti-malware and parental controls. They’re great, and that’s all we need to say about that. It also supports DFS channels, which reduce overall congestion, which we loved.
The downsides — the AX6000 is huge and expensive. You have to make room in your home and budget for this one.
Best Premium: Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E (RBKE963)
Why It Made The Cut: The RBKE963 brings speed, connection options, range, and the latest technology to the largest of homes.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ax
— Range: Approximately 9,000 square feet (expandable)
— Number of Bands: Four
— Impressive throughput, download, and upload speeds
— Fantastic and expandable range
— 6E technology
— Easy-to-use app
— Can only take advantage of the 6GHz band if you have 6E devices
The Netgear Orbi RBKE963 is one of the best Netgear routers; it comes with enough satellites (and you can add more) to cover a jaw-dropping 9,000 square feet. That entire space gets filled with 6E technology, the latest in technology as of this writing. In theory, that could also make this the best gigabit router for Xfinity as well.
That 6E technology gives this quad-band router access to the 6 GHz band in addition to its one 2.4 GHz and two 5 GHz bands. One of the 5 GHz bands is solely dedicated to the connection between the router and satellites. If 9,000 square feet isn’t enough range, you can add satellites, increasing the range by up to 2,500 square feet per satellite. Netgear reports that in ideal conditions (which don’t exist in the real world), it can reach speeds of up to 10.8 Gbps for data transfer.
We tested this model for ourselves in a 3,500-square-foot house. It delivered top speeds for the available internet package. It also punched through walls (not literally) that the older Orbi system already in place had difficulty penetrating, delivering fast speeds in rooms that typically got spotty service.
We didn’t have access to any 8K TVs or 6E devices to try out the 6GHz band, but this router has no trouble with multiple users gaming, streaming, or downloading simultaneously. Each satellite also offers direct wired connections for far faster download speeds than through a typical wireless connection.
Before you get too excited, this really is a premium router for BIG homes with the latest tech. It comes with a big price tag that’s not really worth it unless you have the latest devices, a top internet package, and multiple users.
Best Mesh: Netgear Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System (RBK852)
Why It Made The Cut: The Orbi RBK852 is easy to set up, great speed, and has an expandable range, creating the best mesh system for the majority of homes.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11 ax
— Range: Approximately 5,000 square feet (expandable)
— Number of Bands: Three
— Intuitive setup
— Good range with the option to expand
— Control over devices on each band
— Requires BitDefender subscription for best security
— Limited parental controls
The Netgear Orbi RBK852 is one of the best mesh WiFi systems for the average home. However, like other mesh setups, it's not perfect. We tested the two-tower kit, but it also comes in three and four-tower kits. You can add a satellite after purchasing a kit, adding up to 2,500 square feet of coverage. However, individual satellites are more expensive when bought individually.
The RBK852 is a tri-band router, with one of the 5 GHz bands devoted to maintaining the connection between the router and satellites. The connection between satellites is definitely one of the strengths. The intuitive setup is all done through the Orbi app with step-by-step guidance the entire way. Overall, the app is fairly intuitive to use, even for non-techy folks.
We tested the Orbi RBK852 in a 2,300-square-foot home, though it can cover up to 5,000 square feet. It performed at top speeds for the available internet package, including up and downloading, streaming, and light gaming. The layout of the home in which it was tested proved to be a challenge due to the construction and extra insulation in the walls. However, it still got the signal to all but the corners of a distant bathroom.
The RBK852 comes with a few built-in security measures. For example, we set up two-factor authentication and notifications when a new device connected. We also set up a guest network to better control who has access to what.
However, we wouldn't call the security robust. You have the option of purchasing a Bitdefender subscription for more thorough protection. The router is already expensive so that additional subscription is a disappointment. While the RBK852 has parental controls, they aren’t robust. You may have to add a third-party parental control app for additional security.
Best Budget: TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router
Why It Made The Cut: The AX3000 is mid-range in price and features but includes lifetime malware protection and excellent parental controls.
— WiFi Protocol: 802.11ac
— Range: NA
— Number of Bands: Two
— Simple installation
— Excellent parental controls
— Link aggregation
— Strong signal strength
— File transfer performance lags behind other models
The AX3000 is one of TP-Link’s mid-range routers, but its performance is anything but middle of the road. For the price, you get a load of features, including link aggregation, MU-MIMO data streaming, band steering (you tell the band where to go), and beamforming.
You can install it using the TP-Link Tether app or a web console. Either way, installation is straightforward, and managing the router is pretty easy even if you’re not super techy.
We like the signal strength and throughput speeds you get with the AX3000. For an affordable router, it has a good performance that lets you stream or do light gaming without increasing latency or lag.
While this isn’t the faster router out there, for the price, you’re getting a solid build, excellent parental controls, and strong signal strength.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Router for Xfinity
Before investing in a router for Xfinity for your home, give some thought to these features:
Range or Coverage Area
Most routers have a coverage area that lies somewhere between 1,500 and 3,500 square feet, though you’ll find a few that cover less and a few that cover more. Start by looking at routers that have a range that at least covers the square footage of your space. Ideally, it would cover a little more to ensure the signal reaches distant corners. However, not all manufacturers give you a square footage estimate because many factors affect the range.
The location of your router within your home layout, the home's construction materials, and the number of connected devices can all reduce the router’s range. Also, consider where the router has to be located within the home. A router that’s located at one end of a long single-story rambler may need an extender or a mesh system to fully cover the home’s square footage.
The most common wireless protocols are now 802.11ac and 802.11ax. The 802.11ac wireless protocol includes the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, the two most widely used bands. A dual-band router has one of each band. A tri-band router usually has one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. A quad-band router may have two of each band or a single 2.4 GHz band and three 5 GHz bands.
The 802.11ac protocol can send and receive up to eight spatial streams at once by using Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. Some models have beamforming capabilities, which send signals to targeted locations to maintain the signal’s strength. Targeted signaling reduces latency, enhances speed, and improves range.
A few 802.11ac models include Multiple User MIMO (MU-MIMO). This technology separates the bandwidth among several devices rather than sequentially ordering them. That way, devices aren’t waiting for their turn because they run simultaneously. Some models that have the 802.11ac protocol can also include link aggregation, which bonds two network connections together to increase performance speeds.
The 802.11ax wireless protocol is found on WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E routers. The WiFi 6 routers provide more speed, greater range, less congestion, and a greater capacity for smart devices. They typically have MIMO or MU-MIMO technology, beamforming, and other advanced features.
A 6E router has all of the benefits of a WiFi 6 router, except it also includes access to the 6 GHz band. That additional band doesn’t have the congestion of the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band because, at this point, few devices are capable of using it. If you have devices with 6E technology, one of these routers will make sure you get every last Mb (or gigabit) out of your internet package.
Every device you connect to your router uses bandwidth. Smart bulbs and plugs, televisions, smart refrigerators, and game consoles are just a few examples of the growing number of devices that connect directly to your router.
Routers have a maximum capacity on the number of devices they can manage. Homes with a few smart devices don’t need to worry too much. However, highly connected homes will need a router that can manage up to 60 or more smart devices simultaneously.
Take a good look at your internet package. The specifics of your package will determine the type of router you need. For example, if you have a gigabit package, you’ll need a router that can handle that speed, plus it will need a gigabit port.
If you don’t have any 6E devices, there’s no need to pay extra for a 6E router. If you think you’ll be adding the latest devices to your home, like an 8K television or updated gaming console, then a 6E router makes sense. It’s all about matching the best router with the best modem for your internet package and usage patterns. In some cases, you can find the best modem router combo to reduce the number of devices in your home.
Q: What routers are good with Xfinity?
Many third-party routers are good with Xfinity, but TP-Link, Asus, and Netgear offer some of the best options.
Q: What is the fastest Xfinity router?
The fastest Xfinity router would be a 6E router like the Netgear Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E (RBKE963). If you have 6E capable devices, this router can provide top speeds as long as you have a matching internet package. Its mesh design also covers a huge range.
Q: Can I use any WiFi router with Xfinity?
You cannot use just any WiFi router with Xfinity. The router must be compatible with Xfinity protocols, which not all routers are. The router’s manufacturer should list the compatible provider protocols. You can also call and confirm with Xfinity before buying a router.
Q: Can I get a better router from Xfinity?
The routers provided by Xfinity offer good speeds, throughput, and capacity. However, third-party routers often have extras like added parental controls or security measures and may cost less than one you rent through Xfinity. They may also be specialized to your usage, such as with a gaming router. Basically, you can often get a better router and pay less by going with a third-party model.
Q: Can I use a Netgear router with Xfinity?
Yes, you can use a Netgear router with Xfinity as long as that router is compatible with the Xfinity protocol. Most of the latest Netgear routers are compatible, but always double-check.
Q: What gaming router can I use with Xfinity?
One of the best gaming routers is the ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 (GT-AX6000). This router keeps games moving at top speeds. The WAN port gives you the option of aggregation, and there are features that prioritize devices to boost performance even when other users are online.
Q: How much does a router for Xfinity cost?
Routers for Xfinity can cost anywhere from $50 to $75 to up to $400 or more. The price depends on the range, wireless protocol, and additional technology like beamforming, link aggregation, and the aggressiveness of security and parental controls.
The TP-Link Archer AC4000 has a great mix of speed, features, and price make a smart choice for most homes. The additional anti-malware and parental controls are a nice bonus. If you’re on a tighter budget, the TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 Smart WiFi Router has impressive performance for the price. You may not get top speeds, but for a home where there is light gaming, streaming, and average internet use, it’s perfect.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.