If you live in an apartment, you might have previously assumed that any router would get the job done. That is just not true. You need to have the best router for apartment possible.
But, what makes a router work well for an apartment? You will need to think about what you are doing online, the types of speeds that you need, and even the size and layout of your apartment.
The right router for your apartment might not be the same as someone else’s so you need to consider what your individual network’s needs are in order to find the perfect one.
What To Consider When Choosing A Router For Your Apartment
The first consideration that you should make is what the size of your apartment is. When we are discussing size, we do not just mean the square footage, though that is also important, but you need to think about how many bedrooms you have and how much furniture is in there.
The more crowded the apartment, the more obstacles the wireless signal will have to travel through to reach its destination.
WiFi Interference & Walls
Another big consideration when it comes to routers for apartments is WiFi interference. The interference can happen because there could be too much traffic along the 2.4 GHz band, so you really will want a dual-band router.
The other reason could be if your router is next to a microwave, because they can jam router signals as well. Also, brick and concrete walls are difficult for WiFi to penetrate as well.
Number Of Connected Devices
The amount of connected devices that you have in your apartment will also make a difference on what is the best router for apartment.
If you live along and only have one or two devices, you will not need a high performance router to meet your needs. If you are heavily gaming and have a lot of devices going at the same time, you will need a router that can accommodate that.
Your Activity Online & Speed Requirements
The final consideration that you should make when it comes to finding the right router for your apartment is what your activity online is, meaning whether you are streaming or browsing.
If browsing, you will want a router that is capable of 4K streaming. You will also want to make the most out of the internet that you pay for through your ISP, so get a router that is faster than your speed package.
5 Best Routers For Apartment (2020)
1. TP-Link Archer AX21
2. Netgear RAX120
3. Motorola MR2600
4. Motorola MG7550
5. Netgear XR700
1. TP-Link Archer AX21 WiFi Router
Best Router For Apartment (Editor's Choice)
It is not uncommon to think that any router will do for your apartment, whereas the truth is you should still be shopping for the best WiFi router for apartments. Our choice for the best router is the TP-Link Archer AX21. This is a Wi-Fi 6 router, so it is using the latest available Wi-Fi standard.
When you look at the design of the AX21, you will see that it is a standard-appearing router in a lot of ways. It has the typical black casing and it sits horizontally along your shelf, table, counter, desk, or wherever you plan on keeping it.
It is relatively long and wide in size, but it is not incredibly tall. The height is compensated for with the four powerful antennas that stand up from the backside of the router. These antennas can be moved slightly to help you get signal in the direction you need it the most.
The AX21 comes with a USB 2.0 port, which will allow easy file sharing between the connected devices within your network, or will also work to have a central printer that any device in the network can access. The router also has four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports to help you plug in any kind of device that would do better with a more direct connection.
There are a lot of great performance features that come with the AX21, including its processor. The AX21 has a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, which means that you will have as little latency as possible with your router. It is built to handle whatever you throw at it. This ultimately ensures that the communication between your router and your connected devices will not have any amount of trouble.
As we said before, the router is a Wi-Fi 6 router, making that it is going to give you the best speeds that you can find. The AX21 can reach speeds up to 1.8 Gbps, which is incredible Most ISPs cannot support this level of speed, but using the router will definitely get you the most out of your speed package. Using the Beamforming technology, the power of the AX21 can reach out as far as possible in order to give you a reliable connection.
2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 WiFi Router
Great high performance router for an apartment is the Negear Nighthawk RAX120. This is a beast of a router in both size and performance, and it is nearly impossible to find a router that is capable of more.
Taking a look at the design, the RAX120 has a different design than other routers. Instead of the more traditional external moveable antennas that you would find with most routers, the RAX120 has two fins that act has high powered antennas. The antennas themselves are concealed within the fins. They are still high-gain antennas, but you cannot move them to point in specific directions.
The Nighthawk RAX120 also comes with not just one 3.0 USB port, but two 3.0 USB ports. It even has a 2.5/5G Ethernet port. All of this connectivity capability will allow you to connect any device that you want to have a direct connection.
That can supply you with uninterrupted coverage for the devices that need it the most. Another perk is that you can create a personal cloud with the router, which is uncommon and pretty amazing.
The performance of the RAX120 is what makes it so amazing. This devices easily supports 12 simultaneous streams, which has more capacity to support many WiFi devices at the same time, which will keep your network running smoothly without any trouble, regardless of how many devices are on at the same time. It also comes with Beamforming+ to get that extended range that you need and MU-MIMO technology to allow more than one user at a time.
Also, the RAX120 can reach up to 6 Gbps in speeds, which is amazing to say the least. Most ISPs cannot offer speeds at that level, but if you have some high speed capability in your apartment, the router will be making the best use of it.
3. Motorola MR2600 Wireless Router
Great router for apartment that works well with a budget is the Motorola MR2600. The MR2600 might be a more basic router, but it still gets the job done well.
Beginning with the design of the MR2600, like we said above, is the basic router design, meaning that it sits horizontally with a black casing.
It also has four high-gain antennas that extend the signal through walls or other obstacles, but you still want to keep it away from concrete and brick walls. The antennas do have the ability to be moved so they point in the direction that needs the signal the most.
It has a USB 3.0 port, but unfortunately it is located in the front of the router, making it awkward to attempt to plug something into it. It comes with four Gigabit LAN ports, so you will be able to wire in whatever devices need a more reliable connection, whether it is a gaming system or an HDTV, or something else. Having a wired connection to the router is the best way to get uninterrupted signal.
Taking a look at the performance of the MR2600, the router has speeds up to 800 Mbps, which is incredible since the router is also budget friendly. You will still be limited by the 100 Mbps, but it’s good that it can do more. It is a dual band router as well, working on both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz channels, ensuring that you do not get bogged down by traffic from anyone nearby.
The MR2600 also comes with Wave 2 MU-MIMO, which allows multiple devices to stream at the same time. This is great if you have any online gamers on your network or simply two people who want to stream without interruption. Finally, you will also get Beamforming with this router, which means a powerful signal boost.
4. Motorola MG7550 Modem Router Combo
Modem Router Combo
If you are looking more for a modem/router combo for your apartment, take a look at the Motorola MG7550. This is an excellent combo unit that brings with it the best of both modems and routers.
The design of the MG7550 is standard for a Motorola device in that it is a tower design. Towers are great, because they offer an excellent amount of venting so that the device will stay cool without any trouble. This increases the longevity for the device as the components will not have an opportunity to overheat and breakdown like a horizontal unit would break down.
Also part of the design, the MG7550 comes with four 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports to provide you with wired connections to Windows and Mac computers, HDTVS, gaming consoles, or any other device that you would like to have hard-wired to your modem.
The firmware on this device is not easy to upgrade, so that should at least be a consideration if you are hoping for firmware updates.
The performance of the MG7550 is decent, especially for a combo unit. The router portion of the device is dual-band, so you will get both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands to work with, so you can put your streaming devices on the 5 GHz band and your browsing devices on the 2.4 GHz band, allowing your network to run smoothly without interruption.
The modem portion of the device is a cable modem, so it will not work with DSL, which you need to be aware of. The device comes with Motorola’s Power Boost which is designed to increase the strength and range of the wireless signal.
This can matter a lot if you have a lot of walls or space in your home and needed a modem that can try to work through that. It also has Beamforming technology which can really help you hone in on the devices that need a stronger signal.
5. Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700 WiFi Router
If you have any serious gamers in your apartment, you might be looking for a gaming router. For this, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700. This router was made specifically for gamers, so it should meet all of your gaming needs.
The XR700 has four high-gain antennas, which will help you extend the reach of your router throughout your network. This router is a little bulky when compared to others and it does takes up a lot of space, making it difficult to put on a desk.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the XR700 is that it was designed by gamers for gamers, which means that all of the important features that you would want to find inside of your gaming router have a good chance of being there. With six LAN ports and one WAN port, the XR700 makes it easy to wire-in any device that needs it.
To put it simply: the XR700 was built for performance. It can reach speeds up to 7.2 Gbps, using its powerful 1.7GHz quad-core processor, that is, as long as your ISP package allows for that kind of speed.
The XR700 router has the lowest ping on the market and since every millisecond counts when gaming, this is a great way to ensure that you are able to play to the best of your ability. In fact, it uses Anti-Buffer Bloat (ABB), which will prioritize traffic and keep you in the game.
Also included with the XR700 is geo-filtering to help your router connect to the closest servers and players, giving you efficient response time and allowing you to dominate on the battlefield. You also can monitor your network and game ping in real time.
This means that you are able to see what is hogging your bandwidth if you have any slowdowns. In this way, even if you have neighbours who might be crowding the bands, you should still be able to move around swiftly.
Where To Place Your Router For The Best WiFi Speeds
Sometimes the location of your router is enough to give you more reliable speeds. You cannot just put your router anywhere and hope that the speeds will work out the way that you want them to.
You will need to make sure that the router is away from obstacles, like refrigerators or televisions. It also should not be against a brick or concrete wall, because they will interfere with your signal.
It should be in a centralized location and out in the open, rather than shoved under something. The more central the location, the more equally the signal can travel.
When you live in an apartment, the perfect choice for you might be different than the best choice for someone else, but any of the routers that we have mentioned will do an excellent job.
The overall best router for apartment is the TP-Link Archer AX21. This is a versatile router that covers all of the basic needs that you might have in your apartment.
Otherwise, gamers might prefer the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 or even the RAX120, because both of those routers offer high performance.
Take into consideration your network’s needs and then you will find the perfect router for you.
Hey, it’s James here. I’m the founder and editor here at RiverstoneNet.com. I’m a network engineer during the day and a blogger at night. Let me know if I can help you with choosing a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.