Although AT&T includes equipment rental fees in the costs of its fiber plans, you may still want to invest in your own equipment if you’re looking for additional features. Owning your own router allows you to customize your equipment to your specific internet needs, giving you more control over speed, coverage and security features.
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Best AT&T router winners
Should you rent or purchase your AT&T equipment?
You may wonder what the point of purchasing your own AT&T router would be, especially when the provider requires you to use the supplied AT&T-compatible modem and router combo. But using your own router can have its perks. Below are some pros and cons to help you decide what the best option is for you:
Pros of getting your own router
Features allow for greater customization, like more control features, added security protocols, speeds customization and a greater number of ports
You will still have to pay the AT&T rental fee, but you can add extra features with just a one-time payment for the router, and you can choose one that fits your budget
Cons of getting your own router
You have to know what you’re looking for in a router, which may require being versed in the technical terms or a longer time spend researching the products
The AT&T modem router combo that the provider supplies comes pre-set to work with the network and plan, which is easier on you as a consumer
How we chose the best router for AT&T
When looking for the best AT&T router, we compared the supported speed to the price of the device. Other features for routers compatible with AT&T to use in conjunction with the provided best AT&T modem included:
- The number of ports offered
- Parental controls included
- Setup and control ability, such as controlling the device through an app
- Band number
- Security features including encryption and firewalls
- Extended ranges
- How the device directs Wi-Fi signals and how that affects speed, range and reducing interference
Finally, we also looked at customer reviews online, including Amazon star ratings and comments about how it was to use the product.
Best router for AT&T Fiber 300: TP-Link Archer A7
The TP-Link Archer A7 is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable option without sacrificing performance. This router can reach gigabit speeds over a wired connection, but we chose it for the AT&T Fiber 300 plan because of its wireless speeds, which are far more suitable for a mid-range plan.
Customer reviews really set the TP-Link Archer A7 apart. With almost 70,000 global ratings, this router has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers love its affordable price, range and reliability.
Best router for AT&T Fiber 500: Netgear R6700AX 4-stream Wi-Fi 6 router
We chose the Netgear R6700AX as the best choice for the AT&T Fiber 500 plan. It’s a 4-stream Wi-Fi 6 router that supports up to 20 connected devices with coverage of up to 1,500 sq. ft. Not only is this router affordable at less than $100, it also has an easy app-based setup process and provides fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds.
The Netgear R6700AX has almost 50,000 ratings on Amazon and maintains 4.4 out of 5 stars — it’s also an “Amazon’s Choice” product. Customers love its coverage and consistently mention its great speeds compared to other routers they have tried.
Best router for AT&T Fiber 1 Gig: ASUS RT-AX86U
If you have AT&T’s Fiber 1 Gig plan, we think the ASUS RT-AX86U is a perfect fit. It is described as a gaming router, so it supports the blazing fast gigabit speeds you need to game, stream or work from home.
The ASUS RT-AX86U also has some great features, like a mobile game mode, parental controls and a multi-gig port that can support wired speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps. Even if you’re not a gamer, this router is great for heavy internet users who need high speeds and low latency.
Best router for AT&T multi-gig plans: ASUS GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 gaming router
AT&T’s multi-gig fiber plans usually offer more speed than the average internet user needs, but if you’re looking for a router that can handle 2-gig and 5-gig speeds, then the ASUS GT-AX11000 is our pick.
This is a tri-band router, so it has an extra 5GHz band which allows it to support those high speeds. It is pricey and quite large, but if you’re a power user or gamer then the GT-AX11000 is the router for you. It has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with customers loving its easy setup and ability to support their heavy internet use.
Best router for the Internet 10-100 AT&T plans: Linksys N300 Wi-Fi Wireless Router
The Linksys N300 gets up to 300 Mbps of transfer speed, making it a good option for the AT&T core plans, which run in tiers at 10 Mbps, 18 Mbps, 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps expected download speeds. So, a lower transfer speed router may fit your needs better on these plans. For the price point, you get a wide range of features: four Ethernet ports at 10/100 Mbps, customizable security settings like WPA/WPA2 Personal and SPI firewall protection, easy setup with included software and parental controls.
It currently sits at a 4.1 Amazon star rating at the time of writing. However, reviewers state that speeds can fluctuate, it does not have the strongest Wi-Fi signal for many people and it seems to perform best in smaller spaces.
What to look for in an AT&T-compatible router
Four of the main features to consider when looking for an AT&T router to go with the AT&T modem gateway include:
- Speed: The speed of the router is the most important, and it’s listed as Mbps (megabits per second) or Gbps (gigabits per second). The faster the speed, the faster your data transfer will be and the less lag you’ll experience.
- Security: Good routers have a firewall or two, as well as the latest encryption, like WPA2.
- Setup and controls: Routers may be controlled through apps, websites or software to make setup easier. Controls like a parental block can also be a useful option.
- Number of ports: Pay attention to the port number, as that will help you hook in the right number of devices you have.
Looking for AT&T modems?
AT&T at the time does not offer modem compatibility. Per AT&T contract, modems used must be AT&T issued. So if you’re looking for a modem compatible with AT&T service look to the obvious source, AT&T service provider!
The bottom line
Having your own AT&T router can help improve internet speeds. Even though you still have to use the AT&T-certified modems, having your own router can add additional features and make your internet experience run smoother. And remember, your broadband supporting equipment is only as good as your ISP plan, so stay knowledgeable about your current service and if it’s still right for your current needs.
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Written by:Camryn Smith
Camryn Smith is an Associate Writer with Allconnect.com. She specializes in writing about the broadband industry and helping consumers navigate complex internet service purchasing decisions…. Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content