On average, the typical American house has 11 connected devices.
Imagine the average number of connected devices for a smart home.
Take my 1150 sq. ft. smart house. It is connected to 23 devices. More than Double The average household.
You need reliable, efficient and fast WiFi signals to ensure that all these devices work at their best and are not interfering with one another.
The best router is essential to ensure the best signal quality for your smart home.
Best router for smart home automation
These are the best routers for smart house automation in 2022.
- TP-Link Archer 9 Smart WiFi Router ( Best Budget smart home router).
- Amazon Eero Mesh WiFi Router ( Best mid range smart home router)
- NETGEAR Orbi Compact WiFi System (Best mid-to-high smart home router)
- Ubiquiti UniFi Dream Machine (Best high-end smart home router)
1 You must have specifications for your router
1.1 802.11ac wireless standards, Wave 2 (MU–MIMO)
1.2 Dual band radio (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz)
1.3 1200 Mb/s speed
2 Must-have router specifications
2.1 Mesh Wi-Fi
2.3 Smart speaker Integration
Three new router specifications you need to know
3.1 WiFi 6. (802.11ax).
3.2 Triband radio
4 TP-Link Archer A9 – best budget
5 Amazon Eero: Best mid-range
6 NETGEAR Orbi – Best mid-high range
7 UniFi Dream Machine – best high-end
8 Similar Posts:
Specifications for routers are required
Let’s take a closer look at each router before we dive into the in-depth reviews.
You should consider cost and performance when purchasing a router for your smart house.
We want to ensure that the purchase will last at most five years ( hopefully for longer).
You will have the best chance of achieving this goal by ensuring that your router meets these minimum requirements:
- 802.11ac wireless standards, Wave 2 and better
- Dual band radio (2.4 and 5.0 GHz), or higher
- 1200MBps Or Better
Do not be alarmed, all smart home routers that I recommend meet these minimum specifications.
This is why you should have more devices connected to your network.
A newer version of 802.11 is 802.11ax. This is also known as WiFi 6. This is the latest version of 802.11ax, or WiFi 6. I will talk more about it later. For now, I think it won’t be relevant for most consumers for many years.
Dual-band radio (2.4 and 5.0 GHz).
Good news: Most routers now have dual-band radio signals.
This allows you to connect devices to either the 2.4 GHz or the 5.0GHz networks.
Two separate networks allow for greater flexibility and speeds. Dual-bands prevent interference and connection problems and provide greater stability overall.
Some routers offer tri-band (or three distinct network bands), but I would not worry about that unless there are a lot of concurrent users.
1200 MBps speed
Router speeds are the sum of two things: the speed offered by the 2.4GHz band and the speed available via the 5.0GHz band.
The advertised speed of 1200 Mb/s is actually only 350 MBps in the 2.4GHz band, and 850 MBps in the 5.0GHz band.
Your fastest speed is actually only 850 MBps (since 5.0 GHz offers the fastest speeds).
You can increase the coverage by adding more satellites.
Cost is the problem here. The more satellites you buy, the higher your price tag.
However, you should consider mesh capabilities if your home is large or has multiple floors. You might consider ensuring your router supports mesh.
Many routers come with firewalls and antivirus protection.
Some integrations go further than McAfee and Trend micro.
These security services can manage your entire home and offer additional peace of mind.
It is not an absolute requirement but a nice-to-have.
Integration of smart speakers
This is a great idea for smart home enthusiasts.
Routers are increasingly integrating with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Assistant.
These integrations are great because they allow you to control your WiFi network by speaking. You don’t have to sign in to a separate router interface.
You can ask Alexa, for example, to enable a Guest network you wish to allow a friend access.
You can also say “Alexa disable WiFi access for kids” if you have multiple networks.
With a voice command, you can also restart your router.
You should be aware of new router specifications
Technology is constantly improving and routers are no exception.
The following are some of the most recent and exciting updates:
- WiFi 6 (802.11ax).
- Tri-band radio
Although routers already include WiFi 6, they are still quite expensive.
If you are a homeowner and plan to use your router for very normal purposes, I would recommend a WiFi 6 router.
This new protocol, was specifically designed for public high-density environments such as airports, train stations, and stadiums.
Dual-band allows you to connect to two networks in your home (either the 2.5 GHz or the 5.0GHz network).
Triband adds a third radio station to its mix. The third band can be thought of as a second network on 5.0 GHz.
Tri-band has a 2.4GHz network and two 5.0GHz networks: 5.0GHz A and B.
The additional benefit of dual band is that more devices can be connected to your WiFi and work together without interfering.
This new technology, like WiFi 6, isn’t really necessary. Unless you have an inordinate number of WiFi-connected devices, you don’t need to worry too much about tri-band.
802.15.4 is just one more wireless protocol. It’s actually the protocol ZigBee uses.
Check out my article on the major smart home protocols (ZigBee and Z-wave).
The important thing is that it is a protocol currently embedded in millions of smart home products.
As the protocol grows in popularity, routers are gradually incorporating the 802.15.4 language.
Smart home devices that use a protocol other than WiFi will not be competing for bandwidth in the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands.
These smart devices can instead connect to and communicate via the 802.15.4 protocol.
This is why I don’t have any routers that are truly affordable on my list. To get the best, you will need to spend some cash.
This router, which I believe you can get for the cheapest price and still have a great smart home router, is the TP Link Archer A9.
The TP-Link Archer A9 is a great value and best suited for small to medium homes (around 2500 square feet).
This router is the only one on my list without mesh capabilities. You won’t have any way to increase your network coverage using it. This is important to remember.
Eero is pioneering the ability to position multiple satellite devices around your house to improve WiFi coverage.
You’ll pay about 100 dollars for the Eero router stand-alone.
This is the mid-range smart router I recommend. If you buy Eero, chances are you will also be buying additional satellites . (If you don’t require the extra coverage, stick with the TP Link Archer 9 above).
NETGEAR Orbi – Best mid-high range
The Orbi router can be used to make flat-out designs.
Although it’s twice as fast as the Eero but almost twice the price, you get what you pay almost twice as much.
This technology uses tri-band technology. You have three networks that can be connected to. This is great for gamers, for instance. This allows you to dedicate your entire network to gaming.
This will ensure that you don’t have to deal with lag, etc. You won’t have to deal with any additional congestion in your network.
Orbi will connect you to the best network, based on which satellites you have set up, when you move about your home.
You can even get a weatherproof satellite for outdoor use to extend your wifi
UniFi Dream Machine – best high-end
The Dream Machine is the perfect investment for anyone who has the money and the space to build a home.
Ubiquity is the manufacturer of this router. They have a reputation for making amazing products.
It used to take 4 devices to punch the punch the Dream Machine does now.
Ubiquity put a lot of effort into designing this router.
UniFi is what really sets this router apart from all other routers on the market.
You may be wondering what UniFi is.
UniFi, a wireless network management program that comes with the Dream Machine, is too complex to describe.
You can manage multiple wireless networks with a web browser. The feature-set that it provides is amazing. These are just a few of the highlights.
- Multiple wireless networks – This is like having two routers. This allows you to connect all your smart home devices to one network, and then your computer, smartphone, and other devices to the other network. switch to the other network.
- DPI – Deep packet inspection. This allows you to monitor every device in your network’s activity in real-time. It will show you the current website that you are browsing.
- QOS- Quality of service. The Dream Machine performs a speed test when it is set up in order to determine the maximum speed. It can ensure that no device or combination of devices slows down your network.
The top smart home routers must meet the following minimum specifications. They will run 802.11ac wireless standards (WiFi 5 ) and have dual band radio (2.4 and 5.0 GHz or higher). They’ll also have 1200 MBps or greater .
Mesh WiFi routers, with additional security options and integrations with smart speakers like Alexa or Google Assistant, can be nice but not necessary.
Future routers will be more common and use WiFi 6, tri-band, and the ZigBee 802.15.4 protocol. These features will not be available for free for at least five to ten years.