Having a good router to better manage your network and surf the internet with peace of mind is essential when you have a home connection as fast as fiber. A specific fiber router allows you to maximize performance to better enjoy streaming, games, and any other activity.
There are two distinct types of fiber optic connections:
- FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet): it is a mixed technology, there are fiber cables up to the street cabinet and then continue in copper up to each house. It is currently one of the most widespread connections in Italy and compared to FTTH it is slower, as it reaches a maximum of 200 Megabits per second.
- FTTH (Fiber to the Home): with this technology the user has the optical fiber up to the home, enormously increasing performance. It is also called hyper-fiber and reaches speeds of 1 Gigabit per second in download, allowing you to download movies in a matter of minutes.
The connection of the router is different for the two technologies and it is important to understand which router to choose based on the type of fiber connection.
For FTTC it is the same as ADSL, through the copper pair, and in this case, modems/routers come in handy for those looking for a device that manages everything. So it is essential to be aware of the fact that for the FTTC it is also necessary to have a modem in addition to the router, otherwise, you will not be able to access the network. If you already have a modem, you can also purchase a router-only model and daisy-chain it with the WAN port to the modem.
For FTTH, on the other hand, the router alone is sufficient, with the fiber cable entering the device directly or via the operator’s ONT (Optical Network Terminal). If you are looking for a device that also manages telephony, then modems/routers are also perfect in this case.
Now let’s see the ranking of the best fiber optic routers of 2023, from the high-end to the cheapest.
Our Recommendations for Best Routers for Fiber Optic
1. Asus Rog Rapture GT-AC5300
The Best fiber router for gaming is the Asus Rog Rapture GT-AC5300, a high-end tri-band Best Router For Fiber Internet with exceptional performance designed especially for gamers. One of the two 5 GHz bands can in fact be selected for exclusive use on the device you are playing with, while the other clients connect to the other bands. This model is a router only, it does not have modem functionality.
It is powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 256MB of flash memory. It uses 1024QAM technology, to achieve maximum speeds of up to 1000 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 2167 Mbps on each of the 5 GHz bands. In addition, it supports all the latest 802.11ac technologies, such as Beamforming and MU-MIMO 4×4, which ensure a stable and fast connection to all devices.
The Asus Rog Rapture GT-AC5300 is also equipped with adaptive Quality of Service, a function that allows you to select a specific client so that it always has connection priority over all others.
The router includes built-in support for Gamers Private Network, powered by WTFast, minimizing ping and latency, for smooth, lag-free gaming, and features AiProtection Pro, an intrusion prevention system based on Trend Micro technology to protect against external threats and attacks.
On the back of the Asus Rog Rapture GT-AC5300, we find 8 gigabit LAN ports, two of which are game ports that have network priority, 2 USB 3.0 ports, a WAN port, and power and reset buttons. The Link Aggregation feature allows you to merge two LAN ports into a single fast 2Gbps connection for compatible NAS devices.
- High speeds
- 8 Gigabit LAN ports
- Integrated WTFast and AiProtection
- Quite bulky
- Poor file transfer rates
2. TP-Link Router AX6600
The TP-Link Router AX6600 is the Best Gigabit fiber router for those looking for a versatile model. It is capable of routing wireless and wired traffic, managing DSL and analog phone lines, and managing DECT phones, printers, and network storage. By inserting a 4G key, it is also possible to browse through the router in 4G in case the fiber is missing.
It is a model of both modem and router, therefore perfect also for FTTC owners, and it is also excellent for gaming, thanks to functions such as Quality of Service, which manages data traffic by establishing which device has priority.
The TP-Link Router AX6600 is a dual-band Best Overall Fiber Optic Router, which supports the 802.11ac wireless standard. It can therefore take advantage of both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, reaching very high speeds, respectively 800 Mbps and 1733 Mbps. It is equipped with a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, and an additional 512 flash memory.
The retro design is very distinctive, you may not like it. The four internal antennas offer excellent Wi-Fi coverage, enhanced by Beamforming technologies, which route the signal to connected devices, and MU-MIMO, which keeps the connection stable for each client.
Among the various security features of the AVM FRITZ! Box 7590 we find a firewall, VPN, secure access for guests, number blocking, and parental control. As for connectivity, on the back of the router, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN, 2 USB 3.0 ports for memory and printer, 2 ports for analog telephony (RJ11), and one for ISDN telephony.
- Value for money
- Multiple functions
- High maximum speed reached
- Particular design
3. Netgear Nighthawk R7000
The Netgear Nighthawk R7000 is a dual-band Best Budget Fiber Optic Router with 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, with a futuristic trapezoidal design with flared sides. For those looking for a model for their home fiber, this router is able to manage any connection ensuring excellent performance.
Inside the Nighthawk is a 1 GHz dual-core processor and Wi-Fi reaches 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Three external antennas come with the router and connect to the rear panel. The R7000 also has 128MB of flash memory and 256MB of RAM.
A noteworthy feature of the Nighthawk R7000 is the quality of QoS, which is excellent for optimizing downstream traffic for video streaming or upstream for gaming. There is also Beamforming +, an improved version for the 5 GHz bands.
With the Nighthawk app, the configuration is quick and easy, as is management, even if it is a bit slow to apply the changes. At the security level, there is Netgear Armor, which constantly checks the vulnerability of the network by blocking all possible threats.
In terms of connectivity, we find a Gigabit WAN port, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, and 2 USB ports. The USB 2.0 port is located on the back while the 3.0 port is located at the front, away from the 2.4 GHz radio, deliberately inserted here to reduce the interference of the Wi-Fi signal. Both ports support USB storage and printers.
- Quality of Service
- Full VPN functionality
- Nice design
- Slow in applying settings changes
- Suboptimal 2.4 GHz performance
4. Asus RT AC86U
The Asus RT AC86U is a dual-band Gigabit router with a built-in stand, to be placed anywhere, and packed with many features to increase performance. For those looking for a mid-range model, this router is characterized by its high value for money. Not being a modem, it is mainly recommended for FTTH.
It is designed especially for gaming, in fact, we find integrated WTFast, which increases the speed and responsiveness of games, and adaptive Quality of Service to always have connection priority. The lag-free gaming experience is guaranteed and 4K streaming will be seamless as well.
The NitroQAM technology ensures speed of Wi-Fi 5 is very high, reaching 2167 Mbps at 5 GHz and 750 Mbps at 2.4 GHz. As for the hardware, the Asus RT AC86U has a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor, with 512 MB of RAM and 256 MB of memory flash.
The Asus AiRadar and Range Boost technologies increase the Wi-Fi coverage, which should in fact cover the whole house well. If necessary the router supports AiMesh to increase the area with other Asus models. We also find MU-MIMO, which improves the performance of concurrently connected clients.
The design of the Asus RT AC86U is rather aggressive, typical of gaming routers and Best Mid-Range Fiber Optic Router. On the back, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN, and 2 USB ports, one 3.0 and one 2.0.
- Excellent Wi-Fi coverage
- Integrated WT Fast to optimize ping
- Poor speeds at short range
- Complex firmware
5. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000
The TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 is the younger brother of the 7590 from AVM and represents an excellent compromise at a lower price for those looking for a versatile quality modem router. It is the best mid-range router compatible with TIM and Fastweb, very popular among those who have these operators.
It is a dual-band Best High-End Fiber Optic Router with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard that reaches a maximum speed of 1266 Mbps using the two 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands at the same time. It has four integrated antennas with Beamforming to improve the reception of wireless devices.
Other features are MU-MIMO, for more stable and performing connections, and Quality of Service, to always have fast Internet where you need it. The FRITZ! Box 7530 is optimized for managing a mesh network, so as to bring the wireless signal uniformly into the home.
We find numerous functions related to security: it is equipped with WPA2 encryption, allows accurate monitoring of connections via WPS, allows you to use a secure connection for guests, and there is a pre-installed Firewall and VPN for secure remote access.
The hardware connections of the AVM FRITZ! Box 7530 includes 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, the first of which can also be used for a WAN connection, a USB 3.0 port, and one for analog telephones. For those who need to connect a cordless phone, it is possible to take advantage of DECT wireless technology, through which up to six different telephones can be connected.
- Modem router
- Intuitive Fritz! OS interface
- Lots of features
- The design may not like it
6. Netgear Nighthawk R6700
The Nighthawk R6700 is one of Netgear’s most popular routes, it’s fairly inexpensive and doesn’t have many features of the more advanced routers, but it’s packed with great features. For those looking for a router under $100, the R6700 could be for you.
Wi-Fi is dual-band with 802.11ac standard and AC1750 protocol, offering speeds of 450 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz. The 2.4 GHz frequency band handles non-intensive tasks, such as browsing the Internet, while the 5 GHz frequency band is perfect for more intense activities, such as streaming or gaming.
Uses Beamforming technology, responsible for better wireless range and greater signal focus, resulting in faster connections to mobile devices, and also Airtime Fairness, which prevents network lag when connecting slower devices. Quality of Service is ideal for streaming and smooth HD gaming it is the Best Fiber Optic Router.
As security, Netgear Armor is present, as in all devices of the Netgear range. In terms of connectivity, on the other hand, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN, and a USB 3.0 port, located at the front.
- Quality of Service
- VPN support
- High-performance NAS storage
- Not great performance at 2.4 GHz
- MU-MIMO is missing
7. ASUS AX6000
The ASUS AX6000 is a compact design Best Fiber Optic Modem with internal antennas, suitable for those looking for a versatile model. It is compatible with all internet connections, ADSL, FTTC, and FTTH, and manages fixed-line calls and VoIP telephony accounts.
The Wi-Fi network supports the standard Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wave 2 (Wi-Fi 5) and is of type dual-band, able to reach 867 Mbps on the network 5 GHz and 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz. There are Beamforming technologies, which automatically detect wireless devices and generate targeted connections for greater efficiency, and MU-MIMO, for equal performance across multiple clients.
Other options that can be accessed from the configuration and management page are Quality of Service, Parental Control, define SSID, and Wi-Fi passwords. There is a section dedicated to VPN that allows you to enable and configure an OpenVPN, IPsec, or PPTP service.
Connectivity consists of 4 Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN port, a VDSL2 port, a DSL port, and a USB 3.0 port for sharing devices. There are also 2 FXS ports, for connecting your phones.
- Modem router
- A good number of advanced features
- Many ports available
- There is no support for mesh Wi-Fi networks
8. TP-Link Archer AX10 AX1500
One of the Best Router For Fiber under $150 is the TP-Link Archer AX10, a Dual Band router with a high quality/price ratio, suitable for those looking for a model with the new Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ax standard.
It features a 1.5GHz triple-core CPU, 256MB of RAM, and 16MB for flash memory. Wi-Fi reaches speeds of 1200 Mbps at 5 GHz and 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and has excellent coverage, further enhanced by Beamforming technology. It does not support 160 MHz bandwidth, hence the speed is limited to 1.2 Gbps.
Among the various features offered by the TP-Link Archer AX10, we find OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access), which allows multiple users to share the same channel for higher bandwidth utilization efficiency, TWT (Target Wake Time), to reduce client power consumption, and simultaneous MU-MIMO data streaming.
The router is small with a glossy, matte black design and comes with four non-removable antennas. On the rear panel, it contains four Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port, a reset button, and a WPS button. As with most budget routers, the AX10 lacks multi-gig LAN ports, typical of high-end Wi-Fi 6 routers, and USB ports.
- Great 5 GHz speed
- Good Wi-Fi coverage
- Wi-Fi 6
- There are no USB ports
- It does not support 160MHz bandwidth
Modem VS Router: What’s the Difference?
A modem is a device that connects to the internet, typically using telephone line service. A router is a device that can do more than just connect to the internet-it can also provide routing services for devices on your network.
Routers are better at handling large networks with lots of devices. They can handle traffic more efficiently, which can save you money in the long run. Routers also allow you to set up separate networks for different types of devices-like home office and gaming systems. This way, you don’t have to share resources like bandwidth or IP addresses.
If you’re looking for a simple way to get online, a modem might be the best option for you. If you need more flexibility or power than a modem provides, a router could be the better choice. It all comes down to what you need and want from your internet connection.
Things to Consider Before Buying This Gadget
Wireless routers use different frequencies and antennas to connect to the internet, so if your home or office is equipped with multiple wireless networks, you’ll need to choose a router that supports all of them.
If you only have one network, a newer model 802.11ac router should work fine. If you have more than one network, however, you’ll need to choose a router that supports at least dual-band WiFi. This means your router will support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, which are the most common types of WiFi networks.
If your home or office has an existing wired network connection, you may not need a separate router at all. In this case, your current router will work just fine with fiber optic internet.
Quality of Service (QoS) settings
Routers that are designed for broadband service can use different QoS settings than routers that are meant for office or home networking.
For example, if you plan on using your router to provide bandwidth-intensive streaming media like Netflix or Hulu, make sure the router has a setting that will allow you to prioritize those services over other traffic. If you only need basic web browsing and email functions, avoid routers with heavy-handed QoS settings that could slow down your entire network.
Routers with four or more LAN ports are typically best suited for use with fiber optic internet, as they can accommodate more network devices. Additionally, routers that have multiple LAN ports can be used to connect multiple networks together.
1. Do I need a special router for fiber optic?
If you are a homeowner looking to connect your home to the internet and want to use fiber optic cables, you will need a special router. Routers that can handle fiber optic signals are not common, so you may need to look for one specific to this type of signal. If your home is already connected to the internet through copper lines or other means, you do not need a new router.
2. What is the difference between fibre router and WiFi router?
A fibre router is a more advanced type of router that uses fibre optic cables to connect to the internet. WiFi routers use radio waves to connect to the internet. Fibre routers are faster and often have more features than WiFi routers. They can also be used to connect devices in different rooms of your house, which is why they are sometimes called “multi-room” routers. However, they can be more expensive than WiFi routers.
3. Is fiber better than Ethernet?
Ethernet cables are commonly used to connect computers together, but they can also be used to connect different types of devices together. Fiber optic cables are much faster than traditional copper cables and can be used to connect computers, printers, and other devices.
In this article, we have outlined some of the best routers for fiber optic cabling and provided tips on how to get the most out of your purchase. Whether you are looking for a basic router that can handle all types of cabling or something more advanced that can do specific tasks, we hope this guide has helped you find the perfect router for your needs. Thanks for reading!