On most routers, you have to make two separate network names—such as “mynetwork2.4” and “mynetwork5”—and then decide which of your devices should join which network.
If you don’t give your networks different names (SSIDs), in practice all your devices end up piling onto one 5 GHz band, and you’ll experience slower speeds, delays, and even dropped connections when several of them are online and busy at the same time.
If you have any area in your home separated from the router by 30 feet and two or more walls, you’ll see noticeably better and more reliable performance with the R7000P.
That’s made us a lot pickier about what routers we accept as best for the most people, and a lot more interested in new features like band steering and a third wireless band. Though all modern routers are at least dual-band—one slower but longer-range 2.4 GHz band and one faster but shorter-range 5 GHz band—it’s not easy to take full advantage of both bands.An older router that doesn’t support 802.11ac, has a weak CPU, or doesn’t have Gigabit Ethernet ports, can hold you back significantly. Any of our picks will easily outperform any router you got from your Internet service provider, or any router more than a few years old.