Posted on Leave a comment

Best Prime Day router and WiFi deals: Save on Eero, TP-Link, Netgear and more – CNET

Deal

Savings

Price

Show more (6 items)

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

 Amazon Prime Day 2020 runs until the end of today, and there’s still time to get great deals in the wireless networking category from big names like Netgear and Eero as you shop. That includes deals on brand-new routers that support the newest, fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, gaming routers designed to reduce your lag, and mesh routers that promise to fill your home with a fast, reliable connection in every room.

The marquee offers are for each of Amazon’s new mesh router systems, the Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. Like the names suggest, both systems offer full support for Wi-Fi 6, and each also includes a built-in Zigbee hub for connecting things like smart locks and smart lights to your home network. Neither system ships until early November, but you can preorder them right now — and in each case, as an early Prime Day deal, Amazon will throw in a couple of free devices to help sweeten the pot.

At any rate, let’s get to the full list of deals, which I’ll be updating regularly as things come in and out of stock.

Now playing: Watch this: Wi-Fi 6: What the heck is it?

6:57

Deals live now

Amazon

The cost for a three-piece Eero 6 system with the router and two range-extending satellite devices is $279. That system won’t hit stores until early November, but if you’re willing to preorder, you can currently get it bundled with a free Echo Dot and two free Philips Hue bulbs. Total cost: still $279, which is a heck of a deal.

Thanks to that new Zigbee hub in the Eero router, you’ll be able to pair those Hue bulbs directly with your home network, and with Alexa, which is where that free Echo Dot comes in. From there, you’ll be able to turn the lights on and off, adjust the brightness and color temperature, or trigger your favorite smart lighting scenes with a quick voice command to Amazon’s assistant.

A few things to keep in mind, though. First, while this deal nets you the new, Wi-Fi 6 version of Eero’s mesh router, it doesn’t get you the newest Echo Dot with its new spherical design. Instead, you get the previous, puck-shaped model from 2018. No biggie there.

Second, the two Hue bulbs are Hue White Ambiance LEDs. That means that they can change color temperatures on the white light spectrum, with shades ranging from a yellowy, candle-like glow to hotter, more bluish-white daylight tones. They cannot change colors on the RGB spectrum, however — so no greens, blues, pinks, purples, reds or anything like that. That’s a bit of a bummer, but at least the new Eero routers make it so you don’t need a Hue Bridge if you’re just going to control them via the Alexa app. Read our Eero 6 first take.

Amazon

Meanwhile, if you’d rather upgrade to the fancier Eero Pro 6 system, which also comes out in November, you can currently find the $599 three-pack bundled on Amazon with a free Fire TV Cube, which usually sells for $120 on its own. That router can hit faster top speeds than the regular Eero 6 listed above, and the triband design features an additional 5GHz band that you can dedicate to system transmissions between the router and extenders. That’s the best approach for fast, high-end mesh networking, as our tests repeatedly show. Adding in a free Fire TV Cube helps lessen the sting of that higher asking price, too. Read our Eero 6 first take.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Want a three-piece mesh router, but don’t feel like spending hundreds for a fancy, triband Wi-Fi 6 system? Consider last year’s version of Eero, as the 3-pack is on sale for $75 off during Prime Day. Like I said, there’s no support for Wi-Fi 6 (and no free Philips Hue bulbs or Echo speakers), but it’s still a perfectly capable system for people with ISP speeds of less than 500Mbps. A well-tested mesh router with two extenders for anything less than $200 is a steal. Read our Eero (2019) review.

Amazon

Look, don’t ask me to pronounce it, but Ziyituod’s AX3000 PCIe card can bring full-speed Wi-Fi 6 support to your laptop, and it’s available on Prime Day for $25, which is about as cheap as cards like this come. With support for 160MHz channels and top speeds of up to 2,400Mbps on the 5GHz band, it’ll make easy work of incoming connections, and help your laptop stay up to speed with the newest and fastest routers on the market. 

As for compatibility, you’ll need a PC running 64-bit Windows 10 or a Linux distribution like Ubuntu, as well as an F_USB connector on your motherboard. According to the listing, it’ll work with both Intel and AMD processors, as well as PCI-E X1, X4, X8 and X16 slots.

TP-Link

OK, so we’re only talking about a $7 discount here, but still, that brings the price for a workable dual-band router down to just $28. With top 5GHz speeds of about 900Mbps, it isn’t fast enough for gigabit connections, but TP-Link hardware performs reliably well in our tests, and the simplified controls in the Tether app for Android and iOS devices make setup a cinch. If you just need something cheap to tide you over until you’re ready for a big upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, this should get the job done.

Want a little more oomph? The Archer A7, which raises the top speed on the 5GHz band to 1.3Gbps and also adds in support for Alexa voice controls, is on sale today for $52.

D-Link

If you want a budget router that feels a little more sophisticated than that last budget pick, then consider spending up for the D-Link DIR-1360-US, which is marked down below $50 for Prime Day. I haven’t tested this specific model, but other D-Link routers in the same family like the excellent DIR-867 left me impressed with speeds that are faster and more reliable than you’d expect for what they cost. At $48, this one looks like a strong value pick, and it adds in support for MU-MIMO connections, and support for Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls, too.

Want more speed? You’ve got more options. Up first is the DIR-1960-US, which can hit speeds of up to 1.3Gbps. The $30 Prime Day discount brings the asking price down to $70. You can also save $35 on the gaming-centric DIR-2660-US, which raises the 5GHz speed limit to 1.7Gbps — that one is down to $84 for Prime Day.

Netgear

Meanwhile, this AC1600 router from Netgear is marked down to $56 for Prime Day, which saves you $24. It’s a touch faster than some of the other budget picks on sale today, too, with a top speed of 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band. That might make it a decent pick if you’re paying for gigabit internet and you just want a simple router that’s capable of hitting those top speeds.

Expired Offers

Check back to see if these offers return

Netgear

The AX6000 version of Netgear’s popular Orbi mesh router boasts a triband design with two 5GHz bands, as well as full support for Wi-Fi 6. It’s one of the fastest and most impressive mesh routers I’ve ever tested, and it doesn’t come cheap, with a two-piece system typically selling for $700. Now, for Prime Day, you can get a three-piece system with the router and two satellite devices for that same price, saving you $300. That’ll cover up to 7,500 square feet with a fast, reliable connection. Read our Netgear Orbi AX6000 review.

Netgear

If you want to upgrade to a triband router with a 2.4GHz band, a 5GHz band, and another 5GHz band, then this Prime Day offer for the Netgear Nighthawk X6S might be right up your alley. It doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, but it’s about as powerful as Wi-Fi 5 routers get, and capable of hitting gigabit speeds on both 5GHz bands. At the sale price of $180, you’re saving $100.

Deals I’d skip

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, but still, Asus has a very strong record in our gaming router tests — and this model, the GT-AC5300, is a behemoth among the Wi-Fi 5 crop, at least as far as specs are concerned. With eight antennas in an eye-catching array, it’s about as show-offy as routers get, and the triband design lets you dedicate an entire 5GHz band to your priority gaming traffic while leaving the second 5GHz band free for your standard network traffic.

At a Prime Day price of $245, it’s available for more than $100 less than the usual list price, but here’s the thing: The last time I tested out a big batch of gaming routers, I included the Wi-Fi 6 version of this router in the mix — and it didn’t win. The top spot went to the less expensive, dual-band Asus RT-AC86U instead — and Asus just released a follow-up to that router with support for Wi-Fi 6. That new model, the RT-AX86U, costs $250 — just $5 more than this offer — and it looked awfully impressive in our early speed tests, especially when it comes to managing latency. If I was in the market for a new gaming router, I’d skip this offer and just buy that one at full price, instead. Read our Asus RT-AX86U first take.

Josh Miller/CNET

It’s not a Prime Day deal per se, but Google recently gave its original mesh Wi-Fi system a price cut, bringing the cost of a three-piece Google Wifi setup down to $200. That’s a fair price for this well-reviewed system, but I want to see it go on sale for even less given that it’s about four years old at this point. There’s also a reasonably good chance that we’ll see a Black Friday sale on the newer, faster Nest Wifi, which debuted just last year. If you’re in the market for a mesh router from Google, that’s probably a deal worth waiting for. 

It’s also possible that Google could debut a new, Wi-Fi 6 version of Nest Wifi here at the last minute before the holiday buying season kicks off, but I don’t think that’s likely given that Google’s newest Pixel phones, Nest speakers and Chromecast streamers all skipped Wi-Fi 6 altogether. Even so, I think you can find better deals than this at this time of year. Read more on CNET.

Leave a Reply