Readers like you help support XDA Developers. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Many of us rely on cable companies like Spectrum for our internet needs, and typically, there’s plenty of speed to go around. Spectrum offers internet download speeds up to 1Gbps on cable or fiber, but many people will be perfectly happy with a slower and cheaper package. Unfortunately, if you want Wi-Fi, you’ll need to rent a router from Spectrum or buy you own. Luckily, there are a lot of routers to choose from whether your need coverage in a large house, or just want reliable gigabit speeds on Wi-Fi.

You can use your own router with a modem (ONT for fiber) provided by Spectrum, or you can even buy your own modem if your want to own all of your equipment. Of course, if you just want one box that does it all, a router/modem combo can be a strong choice, but you’ll give up some of your flexibility when it comes time to upgrade your equipment. Whether you’re looking to save on your monthly bill or just want full control of your network, there are a lot of good routers to choose from.

Get the right router for your Spectrum connection

The Asus RT-AX5400, like most sensible choices, looks a little boring with its matte black housing, lack of RGB lights, and reasonably compact size. That being said, this router is technically a match for some of Asus’ best Wi-Fi 6 routers with a dual-band AX5400 wireless connections kicking out up to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz and 4804Mbps at 5GHz. It supports 160MHz connections as well Wi-Fi 6 features like 1024QAM, MU-MIMO, and beamforming that can help keeps speeds high when there’s a lot of congestion.

Asus"" data-modal-id="single-image-modal" data-modal-container-id="single-image-modal-container" data-img-caption="""">
Asus RT-AX5400 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 VPN router
Source: Asus
Asus RT-AX5400
Best overall

Plenty of power for the family

$159 $180 Save $21

The Asus RT-AX5400 skips the RGB and keeps its design simple to offer strong AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 speeds for a reasonable price. Asus hasn’t skimped on the software details either with AiMesh and AiProtection Pro included with easy setup in an app or web browser.

  • The fast AX5400 connection can keep up with Spectrum?s fastest speeds
  • Strong VPN client support with VPN Fusion
  • AiProtection Pro included
  • Only dual-band
  • No multi-gig Ethernet

On the back of the router there are four permanently attached antennas with four Ethernet ports for LAN devices underneath. There’s also a USB 3.0 port that can be used for USB network storage, a printer, or even for a USB modem if your internet goes out. The best way to set up an Asus router is with the ASUS Router app, and it comes with access to the most important settings including AiProtection Pro. AiProtection Pro comes with improved security features as well as a full set of parental control features.

One of this router's biggest strengths is its VPN capabilities. This router supports both VPN server and client connections meaning you can connect to your home network from afar or connect your router to a VPN service. VPN Fusion makes VPN Client even more useful by allowing you to pick which devices use the VPN or not. For example, this allows you to pass through gaming connections for the best possible ping.

tp-link-archer-ax21-ax1800-dual-band Background Removed
TP-Link Archer AX21
Best value

For Spectrum's cheaper plans

$75 $100 Save $25

The TP-Link Archer is a dual-band AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router that’s priced to be one of the cheapest Wi-Fi 6 routers money can buy. Despite this, the router features a solid design, easy software controls, and even EasyMesh support with a firmware update.

  • Solid AX1800 connections is a good pick for 300Mbps or 500Mbps Spectrum packages
  • Four Ethernet ports on the back
  • Mesh expansion supported with EasyMesh
  • Not all hardware versions support EasyMesh
  • No VPN client support

The Archer AX21 from TP-Link is a tough little router with enough speed for all but Spectrum’s fastest internet speeds. The dual-band AX1800 connection offers up to 1201Mbps at 5GHz and another 574Mbps at 2.4GHz. While its speeds aren’t setting any records, it supports Wi-Fi 6 features allowing it to keep speeds consistent when there’s a lot of congestion from the neighbors.

On the back you get four Ethernet ports for your wired devices between the four antennas, and not much more. Almost the entire top of the router is perforated for ventilation for reliable operation. Overall, the router is compact and a strong choice for an apartment or smaller home. While it can technically support gigabit speeds, this router will likely fall short of that goal due to congestion, so it’s better for the cheaper packages.

Setup is easy with the TP-Link Tether app allowing you to get set up and up to date in a few minutes. You’ll want to make sure you’re up-to-date as some of the Archer’s best differentiating feature s arrived via update such as EasyMesh support. EasyMesh allows you to build your own mesh network with multiple supported routers. EasyMesh was added in a firmware update to Archer AX21 with revision 3 and newer supported.The Asus RT-AX57 is one of our favorite routers with its low price and AX3000 hardware punching above its weight. An AX3000 router has 574Mbps of capacity at 2.4GHz with 2402Mbps at 5GHz. Besides that, it also supports 160MHz bands, so your devices can actually connect at the full 2402Mbps with a strong signal. While it’s cutting it close in terms of power, this router could be a good fit for Spectrum’s fastest 1Gbps package as long as your don’t have a lot of congestion.

Best Budget Routers in 2023
Source: Asus
Asus RT-AX57
Best gigabit value

Get gigabit speeds for less

$101 $140 Save $39

The Asus RT-AX57 is a compact Wi-Fi 6 router with an AX3000 connection that allows for 160MHz support at 5GHz. It supports AiMesh expansion and even solid parental control presets with AiProtection Classic.

  • Solid AX3000 connection can keep up with gigabit speeds
  • VPN Client support
  • Solid free parental controls with AiProtection
  • AiProtection Classic lacks features of the full package
  • Coverage is weaker than pricier Asus routers
  • No multi-gig Ethernet

The back of the router sports four adjustable antennas and four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired devices. Like all Asus routers, the easiest way to set it up is with the Asus Router app. This app also includes the controls for AiProtection Classic and parental controls. Parental controls on this router are basic, but solid enough for most people with filtering and time schedules. You can also block specific URLs.

eero 6+ dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh routers three-pack
Source: eero
Eero 6+
Best mesh

Coverage in every room

The Eero 6+ is a compact AX3000 mesh router from Amazon. It has two Ethernet ports on each node and works with any other Eero router making building a mesh easy. You can even expand your mesh with compatible Amazon devices like the Amazon Echo.

  • Compact and stylish nodes
  • Solid AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 speeds
  • Expansion with any other Eero
  • The software lacks advanced controls
  • Eero Plus is quite expensive
  • Some Eero Plus features should be free

Eero 6+ is one of our favorite mesh routers thanks to its solid speeds and compact size. Eero also impresses with one of the easiest apps to use and extremely fast setup. The AX3000 dual-band connection on Eero 6+ is quick enough to keep up with Spectrum’s gigabit plan thanks to a strong backhaul and up to 2402Mbps of total capacity on the 5GHz band.

All Eero antennas are internal and the node itself is small making it easy to place a few nodes around the house without standing out too much. On the back, there’s a USB-C port for power and two Ethernet ports. Out of the box, a single Eero 6+ only supports a single wired device, but wired devices can be plugged into the nodes, and you can also use a switch with Eero+ is you need a lot of wired options.

Eero 6+ is set up with the Eero app and can be finished in just a few minutes depending on updates. After that, adding nodes to your mesh is quick and easy and can be done at any time. If you’re interested in Eero but not sure how many nodes you’ll need, you can start small and expand as necessary.

TP-Link Deco XE75 AXE5400 mesh Wi-Fi 6E
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Deco XE75
Best gigabit mesh

Gigabit speeds in a mesh

$217 $249 Save $32

The Deco XE75 is a Wi-Fi 6E mesh system with three bands and up to AXE5400 speeds. With most devices only support 5GHz Wi-Fi for the near future, the Deco XE75 keeps the 5GHz and 6GHz bands balanced for strong support now and in the future.

  • A fast tri-band AXE5400 Wi-Fi 6E connection
  • Fast 6GHz backhaul avoids congestion
  • Expansion compatibility with all other Decos
  • A 6GHz backhaul doesn't reach as far as 5GHz
  • 6GHz client connections are off by default
  • No multi-gig Ethernet on this model

If you want Spectrum’s best internet speeds in every room of the house without running a single wires, a fast tri-band mesh system is a must. The Deco XE75 from TP-Link is a tri-band Wi-Fi 6E mesh kit with AXE5400 speeds. Its speed breaks down to 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 2402Mbps at 5GHz, and 2402Mbps at 6GHz. It uses this 6GHz band as a dedicated backhaul be default, but if you’ve got Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 devices already, you can enable client connections in the settings.

Mesh systems need to use some of their capacity to link the nodes to one another and while a dual-band system like the Eero 6+ above share part of the 5GHz connection, these can struggle with higher speeds and congestion. The Deco XE75 sidesteps the congestion issue by using the mostly vacant 6GHz spectrum to link the nodes. Unfortunately, 6GHz Wi-Fi simply doesn’t reach as far as 5GHz so if you’re looking to replace an older mesh, you may find your old node placement isn’t compatible with this Wi-Fi 6E system.

On the software side, TP-Link keeps its Deco systems relatively simple with limited settings in the app and even fewer options in a web browser. Luckily, TP-Link’s software generally works well so if you don’t miss the advanced settings, you should be happy with the options available. TP-Link’s HomeShield security package includes some solid free features, but if you want the full package, you’ll need to pay. For most people, however, the free features are more than adequate.

TP-Link Archer tri-band Wi-Fi 6 gaming router AX6600
Source: TP-Link
TP-Link Archer GX90
Best for gaming

Get a dedicated gaming Wi-Fi band

$200 $250 Save $50

The Archer GX90 from TP-Link is a relatively cheap, yet powerful, tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router with an AX6600 connection and 2.5Gbps Ethernet. It has a loud design with red accents on most surfaces, but performance is strong with a dedicated gaming band and plenty of capacity.

  • Strong tri-band AX6600 connection enables a dedicated gaming band
  • Strong coverage
  • Dedicated band for gaming connections
  • Gaming mode can cut download speeds
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Not everyone will love the gamer aesthetic

While some so-called gaming routers limp in with little more than a placebo effect, the TP-Link Archer GX90 has genuinely useful gaming features that help it deliver strong results, even over Wi-Fi. This router has a tri-band AX6600 connection with 574Mbps at 2.4GHz, 1201Mbps at 5GHz-1, and 4804Mbps at 5GHz-2. You get four gigabit Ethernet ports and a single 2.5Gbps port which can be used for WAN or LAN.

This second 5GHz Wi-Fi band is labeled as the gaming band and has its own SSID. The idea is that you can put all of lower-priority devices, like streaming boxes, on the slower 5GHz-1 band with only gaming traffic on the second band. While modern routers are very good at handling multiple connections on the same band without issue, TP-Link’s approach is simple and works well enough.

On the software side, you get the usual TP-Link Tether experience with the addition of a game acceleration button. When pressed, all of your other traffic takes a back seat to gaming meaning you don’t need to worry if someone starts streaming a 4K movie in the living room when you’re looking for the last kill in Valorant. The app will even give you a look at your real-time latency, so you know whether the lag is in your control or not.

Get the right router features for your needs

Spectrum offers high-speed internet over both coaxial cable and fiber with speeds up to 1Gbps. Spectrum customers are free to use their own routers with a modem provided by Spectrum or with their own modem. While any of the best Wi-Fi routers will work with Spectrum, it’s worth getting one that has the features and coverage you need in your home.

If you need a lot of coverage, you should get a router that supports mesh expansion or just grab one of the best mesh Wi-Fi kits that’s ready to go. The Asus RT-AX5400 is a mid-range Wi-Fi 6 router with a ton of features and a powerful dual-band Wi-Fi connection. With most devices using 5GHz, this is a solid router with up to 4804Mbps at 5GHz with 160MHz support. This router really stands out thanks to its software with strong VPN support and AiMesh compatibility thanks to Asus. It also comes with free AiProtection Pro with strong parental controls.

Asus"" data-modal-id="single-image-modal" data-modal-container-id="single-image-modal-container" data-img-caption="""">
Asus RT-AX5400 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 VPN router
Source: Asus
Asus RT-AX5400
Best overall
$159 $180 Save $21

The Asus RT-AX5400 skips the RGB and keeps its design simple to offer strong AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 speeds for a reasonable price. Asus hasn’t skimped on the software details either with AiMesh and AiProtection Pro included with easy setup in an app or web browser.

Do you need your own modem?

Spectrum provides its customers with a modem they can use with their own router, though it will likely guide you towards renting a router. Some users report that modem from Cox struggles to support the fastest internet speeds available, so you could also upgrade with a supported modem of your own.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to use your own equipment, you’re pretty much on your own if something goes wrong with it. If you’re using Spectrum’s equipment, technicians will be able to provide better support if something goes wrong. For some people, the extra support is worth sticking with Spectrum’s equipment alone.

How fast is Spectrum internet?

Spectrum offers internet service at 300Mbps, 500Mbps, and 1Gbps with varying upload speeds. Most Spectrum customers are using coaxial cable lines for their connections with some fiber coverage available. Fiber connections can offer much higher upload speeds than cable due to the way resources need to be allocated on the aging cable infrastructure. This means that upload speeds on cable are quite low with the fastest internet package getting only 35Mbps upload. This would be disappointing on even the cheapest spectrum plan, but that only gets 10Mbps upload.

At least Spectrum doesn’t have any data caps, so you can stream as much as you like without worrying about getting punished with fees for using the internet you pay for like Xfinity and Cox do.

Spectrum hasn’t yet rolled out multi-gig internet service yet the upgrade to DOCSIS 4.0 planned for 2024. If you want to be ready for multi-gig internet or want ultra-fast home networking, you can upgrade to something like the Asus RT-AX88U Pro with its fast processing and powerful hardware. For most Spectrum customers, however, there’s no need to support multi-gig internet just yet.