If you are on the market for a new router, you should really be looking for a tri-band router.
Once you are beginning the search, however, how can you know what the best tri-band router on the market is? There are a lot of options on the market.
A tri-band router is the way of the future. They allow for better speeds, connectivity, and a generally more positive online experience.
In order to find the right one for you, you will need to think about your network’s internet needs and what you are doing online. Here is what you need to know.
How Does A Tri-Band Router Work?
Tri-band routers work by providing you with three frequencies to choose from for your wireless internet. Most routers have two bands to work off of, so you get an extra one with a tri-band router.
They add in an extra lane, so to speak, so that there is less congestion along your network and less interference when you are streaming online. A tri-band router can steer devices toward the optimum band to keep the internet moving swiftly throughout your network.
Benefits Of Using A Tri-Band Router
A tri-band router is ideal when you have an active home network. The router can use Smart Connect and direct devices to the most appropriate bands to ensure that there is no interrupted coverage.
This is ideal for online gaming or streaming, where a slow signal can ruin your entire experience. You can also dedicate certain devices to specific bands to keep them where you want them to be.
When there are more bands involved, there is less interference as well as faster file transfers and a smoother handling of devices that are operating simultaneously.
5 Best Tri-Band Routers (2020)
1. Netgear X6S Router
2. Netgear RAX200
3. Linksys AC2200
4. Netgear XR700
5. Gryphon AC3000
1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S Wireless Router
Best Tri-Band Router (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best tri band router of 2020 is the Netgear Nighthawk X6S. This is an amazingly powerful router that should do well with most home networks.
The aesthetic design of the X6S is a little different than the average router. It sits horizontally, but it has six external antennas coming out of it. You can place the antennas in the directions that you prefer.
It looks a little more like a drone than a router. There are four high-speed 1G wired connections available as well, which is great for wiring in game boxes, computers, and any other device.
This router also has Smart Connect and Circle App parental controls. These features allow you to pause internet access by device, view site history, and filter websites for free in addition to setting time limits and schedules.
The app is great, but the settings cannot all be configured through the app, unfortunately. The app does only take about 5 minutes to set up and is helpful generally.
The X6S comes with MU-MIMO technology. It also supports up to 55 devices to work on the router, as well as ensuring that you do not suffer any lag when streaming or gaming due to another device hopping on to do the same. It will allow you to stream without interruptions, delays, or signal drops.
Looking at the router’s coverage, you will find that you can reach up to 3,500 square feet with this router. The speed is also outstanding, working over three bands to give you a combined total of 4,000 Mbps, as long as your internet package allows for it. There is heavy-duty streaming on board with 4K Ultra-HD.
2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 WiFi Router
If you are looking for the best tri band wireless router that is also the highest performing, we suggest the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200. This is a beast of a router that is built to give you the best of all it can.
Design-wise, the RAX200 is interesting. It rests horizontally, like most routers, but instead of antennas, it has fins. Inside of the fins are 8 amplified antennas that help to boost the signal of the router to reach even farther.
The fins emit a power radio signal that should be able to cover your network. It does make it much harder to hide, however.
It also comes with a lot of security features, including a built-in firewall, VPN, and guest Wi-Fi access, making it easy to protect your network. It supports WPA2 wireless security protocols.
The RAX200 has AX11000 speed, with tri band capabilities of 1.2 + 4.8 + 4.8 Gaps. Speed-wise, you are looking at up to 11 Gbps, which is impressive. Hopefully, your ISP will allow you to achieve that kind of speed, but at least you know the router can do it if given an opportunity.
The router has a 64 bit 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor as well as Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, and dynamic QoS, making it ideal for a network that has a lot of streaming going on. It also supports Wi-Fi 6, which has been redesigned to meet the needs of the modern network.
It has 4 times the capacity and speeds than previous versions. Combine that with the tri band feature, and you will find yourself with an incredibly powerful router.
3. Linksys Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Router
If you want a tri band router, but do not want to spend a fortune on one, take a look at the Linksys Tri-band router. This router should still meet your needs without breaking the budget.
The design of the Linksys router is a little bit award. It does sit flat on a table, desk, or shelf, but the antennas stand completely straight up. There are 4 antennas in total and they can be pointed whatever direction you would like, but they are difficult to hide if you wanted to.
The router is equipped with 4 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to wire in any devices that really need that direction connection. The wired connections can be 10x faster than the wireless connections, so it is really nice to have. There is also a USB 3.0 port for ultra-fast speeds if you need them.
Even if this is a less expensive tri band router, you will not lose out on good performance. This router supports over 20 wired devices connected at the same time, which is perfect for the average modern home. It also can cover up to 2,000 square feet in range, using its high gain antennas.
With the three bands, the router can reach speeds up to 2.2 Gbps. You will also find that it has MU-MIMO technology on board as well as 4K HD streaming, which will make streaming or gaming on this router incredibly easy.
This router also has Airtime Fairness, which will ensure an equitable distribution of Wi-Fi to different devices. This can help reduce lag overall, especially if another device begins to stream.
4. Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700 WiFi Router
If you or someone within your networks enjoys gaming, you might be more in the market for a tri band router that also is made for gaming. In that case, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk Pro XR700.
The design of the XR700 was designed by gamers for gamers. That means that all of the important features that you would dream of or expect in a gaming router are included with the XR700.
There four high-gain antennas from the XR700 included with the design, which help you extend the reach of your router even further. They also can be positioned in the directions that you would prefer to ensure that your signal is reliable. It is a little bit bulky and it does take up quite a bit of space, making it difficult to put on a desk if that was what you were hoping for. The casing of the router is also a little bit unique, with red accents.
This router allows for speeds up to 7.2 Gbps, using its 1.7GHz quad-core processor, as long as your ISP allows for it. It has the lowest ping on the market, which is essential if you are doing any heavy online gaming, because every millisecond counts.
The XR700 comes with geo-filtering which will help your router connect to the closest servers and players, giving you efficient response time. You also can monitor your network and game ping in real time, so you can see what is dragging down your bandwidth and adjust accordingly. The advanced QoS ensures that no device will drain your bandwidth when you are in the middle of a battle.
5. Gryphon AC3000 Mesh WiFi Router
Extended Coverage For Large Home
A tri band router that has amazing coverage for your large home is the Gryphon AC3000. This is a unique router that can also act as a mesh system.
The Gryphon has a more distinctive design than the average router that we have looked at here. To begin with, it is white and stands vertically which will help keep the router cool while making it easier to blend in with your décor.
The antennas on this high performance router are all internal, so there are no external pieces to get in the way.
The set up for this router is simple and straightforward, so you should be up and running in no time at all.
It is also simple to add on new Gryphon routers to extend the coverage as far as you need it to go. It does come with security features as well, including malware detection and filtering.
The Gryphon is a powerful router that covers up to 3,000 square feet, supplying signal as far as you need it. But, the Gryphon also works as an expandable mesh system, so the more Gryphon routers you add; the further your signal will be able to go.
It does not need more than one device to get 3,000 square feet in coverage, however, added points should work with the average larger home network.
It comes with tri-band radio, including a 2.4 GHz band and 2 5 GHz bands, which will keep traffic flowing steadily on your network, without interruptions. It also has 4x4 MU-MIMO technology, making it easier for more than one user to stream at the same time without interruption.
What's The Difference Between Single-Band vs. Dual-Band vs. Tri-Band Routers?
What Is A Wireless Band?
A wireless band is a radio frequency that transmits your wireless data. The two frequency bands that are used are the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Since they are radio frequencies, they work like a radio does, so 2.4 GHz goes longer at a slower speed, and a 5 GHz is faster, but can’t go as far.
Single-band routers are not commonly found any longer, but they do still exist. They operate only one radio frequency, which is the 2.4 GHz. Since 2.4 GHz has been around longer than the 5 GHz has, it is often more congested by neighbouring networks and users.
Remember that the 2.4 travels farther, so it is more affected by other users than you would get with the shorter 5 GHz band. Single-band routers are limited and make it difficult to stream or game online.
This is more appropriate for networks that browse the internet, but do not do much in the way of uploading or downloading.
Dual-band routers are the most commonly used type of router. They have both a 2.4 GHz frequency and a 5 GHz frequency.
Because of the range that you get with 2.4 GHz, it is still important to use the band, despite the potential traffic from neighbours on the same band. Having a dual band router gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to stream on the 5 GHz and do less involved tasks on the 2.4 GHz.
This will keep your speeds up as high as possible. You can usually identify which devices should operate on what band.
Tri-band routers are still relatively new to the router world, but have made their place quickly. Typically, they are made up of one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. Tri-band routers provide the maximum level of bandwidth since there are three bands that devices can choose from.
The tri-band routers allow users to enjoy multiple connections at the same time, allowing networks to have any combination of streaming, browsing, and gaming simultaneously.
They work at minimizing any interference as well, so there will be the maximum amount of data influx. They are the ultimate in performance routers.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Tri-Band Router
Internet Speed Package
Your router’s speeds will always be limited by the package that you have with your ISP. A router might offer you speeds up to 2G, but if your internet cannot accommodate those speeds, you will only be able to max out what the ISP is allowing you to have.
You can always buy a router capable of more speeds than you can get from your ISP, but just know your limitations.
What You Do Online
How you use the internet is a huge consideration when it comes to buying the best tri-band router. If you live alone or have only a couple of devices, you really do not need the capabilities that come with a router that supports 20 or more devices.
Likewise, if you have a heavily connected network, you will want a router that can accommodate that. Whether you game or stream, your router needs to support it.
House Size & Obstacles
The size of your house as well as the shape of it will also need to be considered. Every router will tell you what its maximum range is, but you need to remember that this range is reliant upon the amount of obstacles that are in the way of the signal.
If you have concrete walls, for example, you will need a router that can travel through them.
5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Band - Which One Is Better For What?
We have already gone over the differences of a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz router. As we stated, a 2.4 GHz is not as fast, but does travel farther than the 5 GHz. Meanwhile, the 5 GHz band is faster, but shorter.
The 5 GHz band is less crowded than the 2.4 GHz band since fewer devices use it. The 2.4 GHz band is ideal for general browsing and social media. The 5 GHz band is better for streaming and for gaming, because there is less outside interference to mess with its signal.
The best tri band router that you can get is the Netgear Nighthawk X6S. The X6S has great range, features, and generally good performance. This makes it ideal for the average home network. It really touches on all of your needs for a router.
If you have a larger or more encumbered space, however, you might be happier with a router that has extended coverage, like the Gryphon router.
Gamers would be happy with the gamer-created XR700 that is built to give you everything you need to have an excellent experience.
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.