(Pocket-lint) - Home networks are, in some ways, the key to a happy family life. There might be worse things to break, from heating to plumbing, but if your home's Wi-Fi is either consistently terrible or occasionally breaks you'll be living in perpetual annoyance.
A network is only as good as its router, too, despite the fact that most people just use whatever comes in the box that their Internet Service Provider (ISP) sends through to them. The reality is that in most cases you can do so much better. Now, a new generation of Wi-Fi standards is out in the wild — Wi-Fi 6.
Although not that many devices, computer and phones actually use Wi-Fi 6 as yet, over the next few years you can expect it to become the default, due to the improved speed and stability it offers.
So, if you're looking to replace your router, you might want to make sure that you're getting a Wi-Fi 6 compliant one for the sake of future-proofing.
Luckily for you, we've taken a look at the options out there right now for you, to provide a shortlist of the very best Wi-Fi 6 routers available right now. Enjoy!
Our pick of the best 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 routers
Netgear Nighthawk AX8
The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 was one of the first announced Wi-Fi 6 routers, and drew plenty of attention with that unbelievable, Batwing-esque design. As you'll see throughout this list, though, it is far from the only outlandish Wi-Fi 6 router about.
Still, though, it's the performance that really matters, and the Nighthawk AX8 is a powerhouse. It's got stunning performance, will work whenever you start using Wi-Fi 6 predominantly, and most impressively of all isn't actually astoundingly expensive. It can handle up to 6GB per second, meaning it's likely to be more than enough for most households.
Asus's AX88U looks like some sort of radiant alien crown and does have a slight gamer-style look to it, but only because of those gold accents. It's a cracking router, though, with a huge 8 ethernet ports for your wired connections in addition to powerful Wi-Fi performance.
It's also impressively priced given how new Wi-Fi 6 is, and will be more than enough for most homes, even ones where gaming latency (or the lack thereof) is a high priority.
Netgear Nighthawk AX12 RAX120
You might figure out just from looking at it that Asus had a design aesthetic in mind for its Nighthawk line, and the similarities don't stop at just the AX12's looks. It's got a lot of what makes the AX8 great, but adds even more power and a further four streams, making it a powerhouse that's more expensive as a result.
If you're happy to pay the extra money for that jump, this is a pricey but peerless to get yourself ready for the slow transition to Wi-Fi 6, though you might find yourself wincing as you finance it.
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
So far we've seen Batwings and a crown, but please try to tell us the GT-AX11000 doesn't look like something straight out of Mordor. It's a visual design that is sure to divide people, and we can't say we're wholeheartedly on board with it. That said, its wireless performance is admirable, and that is really the point of a router when all is said and done.
If you don't mind its looks, this is a great router from Asus, although you'll have to fork out a fair old whack to enjoy its buttery-smooth connectivity.
TP-Link Archer AX6000
Finally, TP-Link also takes a leaf out of Sauron's book for the foreboding looking Archer AX6000. It's a solid effort that offers up good connectivity, though its user interface isn't quite as smooth as others further up this list.
A couple of nice touches do show TP-Link's pedigree, though, from Alexa integration to allow for voice commands to a USB-port that's handy for charging devices if the router's in a useful place.