7 Best Routers for Frontier FiOS in 2022

This is our review of the best routers for Frontier FiOS

Frontier Approved Modems

We have bought a bunch of routers and tested them to find out which one is best for Frontier.

But, as with all ISPs that offer both Fiber and DSL/Cable, it’s hard to recommend a single device given the huge speed differences. 

However, unless you have Frontier’s 2 Gbps Fiber plan, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is a clear winner that will cover most of any user’s needs.

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com

Editor’s Choice – ASUS RT-AX3000

Best Overall

  • Type: Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier 1 Gbps Plan or below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 
  • Warranty: 2 years

But depending on your Frontier Internet plan, you might be able to save some serious cash by choosing another router while still squeezing out all the performance you need.

Let’s look at what routers are best for Frontier, depending on each situation.

Top 7 Routers For Frontier

  1. ASUS RT-AX3000 (Editors Choice – Wi-Fi 6 Router)
  2. TP-Link Archer AX10 (Budget-Friendly – Wi-Fi 5 Router)
  3. TP-Link Archer AX50 (Best Value – DSL – Wi-Fi 6 Router)
  4. ASUS RT-AX88U (Best Value – Fiber – Wi-Fi 6 Router)
  5. Netgear RAXE500 (Best Performance – Wi-Fi 6E Router)
  6. TP-Link Deco S4 (Best Budget-Friendly – Mesh Wi-Fi)
  7. Orbi RBK852 (Premium Mesh System – Mesh Wi-Fi)

Best 7 Routers for Frontier

Here are the best routers for Frontier Internet and Fiber Internet. With both traditional routers and mesh Wi-Fi to choose from.

#1 Editor’s Choice (Best Overall) – ASUS RT-AX3000

ASUS RT-AX3000
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier Fiber Internet 1 Gbps and below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Good performance
  • Free app and security features
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Mediocre range
  • No multi-gig ports

The ASUS RT-AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 router was an easy winner here. 

It measured an impressive 889.41 Mbps on the 5 GHz band at 5 feet. That means you will be able to take advantage of any Frontier Fiber Internet plan, besides the 2 Gbps one, without wasting bandwidth. 

At a mid-range price point, that’s simply hard to beat. You will usually need to spend significantly more to get any more performance. 

The RT-AX3000, paired with any Frontier Fiber Internet plan, should be more than enough to handle your household browsing needs. That means HD streaming, gaming, video calls, and more for a family of 2 to 4 people

One drawback of the RT-AX3000 is its range. While it’s not terrible, you only get about half the performance (415.11 Mbps during our tests) when standing about 50 feet from the router. Still respectable and not a deal-breaker, in our opinion.

If signal range is a big concern, you might do better with a mesh Wi-Fi system. We’ll see some options for those later.

As a mid-range router, the features are what you expect. 

It offers parental controls, allowing you to manage what sites your children can access, as well as setting up schedules and cut-off times for when they can access the Internet.

There is a complete set of traffic control features. Most importantly, adaptive QoS. It is a feature that allows you to prioritize your most important activities, like gaming or video calls, so they always get the bandwidth they need before anything else. 

Bandwidth limitation is another included feature, which helps you control how much data an app or activity can use. Add to that traffic monitoring to help you keep your network secure.

At its price point, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is a fantastic deal, sure to cover the needs of the vast majority of households. 

However, we recommend pairing it exclusively with Frontier Fiber Internet plans and not DSL. Otherwise, you’ll be spending way more than you need to. We’ll explore some options for DSL below.

Read our full review of the ASUS RT-AX3000.




#2 Budget-Friendly – TP-Link Archer AX10

TP Link AX10 Transparant
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 651.97 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier Fiber Internet 500 Mbps and below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Good speed for the price
  • Decent range
  • Smart features

Cons

  • No USB ports

If you have any Frontier Internet plan below 500 Mbps, including DSL plans, the Archer AX10 might be all you need. 

This entry-level router offers performance that far exceeds its price-point—clocking an impressive 651.97 Mbps in the 5 GHz band at 5 feet. Its output easily rivals routers that cost twice as much. 

That is more than enough to cover the needs of most traditional households. That is, 2 to 4 people streaming movies, gaming, and browsing simultaneously as long as your Internet plan can handle it. 

Moving 25 feet away from the router, we could still get 351.81 Mbps, which is not bad and still very usable. Especially at this price. No complaints from us here for any plan of 500 Mbps or below.

But we must admit it’s not all fun and games. There is a reason the AX10 has such a competitive price. It lacks some features that could be important to you.

For starters, parental controls are present but limited to URL filtering and time schedules. No other options are available. 

Add to that a very basic QoS feature. Not adaptive and limited to devices only. This means you can limit the speed for specific devices, so they don’t take up as much bandwidth, but that’s about it.

It does support TP-Link OneMesh™, though. So you can pair up the AX10 with other compatible TP-Link devices and create a mesh network that covers much larger areas.

For its price, it might prove to be an excellent mesh satellite. However, you will probably be better of with a dedicated mesh Wi-Fi system since the setup is much simpler.

All in all, the lack of features might be irrelevant for many people, making the TP-Link Archer AX10 almost a no-brainer for any Frontier Internet plans 500 Mbps and below.

Even if you have DSL, finding a cheaper option with comparable characteristics will be hard. So wasted bandwidth is a non-issue.

Read our full review of the TP-Link AX10.




#3 Best Value (DSL) – TP-Link Archer AX50

TP-Link Archer AX50
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 690.52 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier Fiber Internet 500 Mbps and below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Excellent range
  • Fast
  • Great features (QoS, Parental Controls, etc)

Cons

  • Missing OneMesh

There is a slight difference between Frontier DSL and its competitors; they offer higher speeds. While most other DSL providers cap at around 75 Mbps, Frontier Internet offers DSL plans up to 115 Mbps.

This is why we chose the TP-Link Archer AX50 as our favorite router for DSL plans. However, keep in mind that even Frontier Fiber 500 Mbps plans and below will make good use of this device.

At 5 feet on the 5 GHz band, it measured 690.52 Mbps during our tests. Quite impressive given its low(ish) price point.

The AX50 did well in medium distances, coming in at 371.87 Mbps when 25 feet away. If you plan to go any further than that, we’d urge you to consider a mesh system because the performance did degrade quite a bit. 

But that’s about as far as the disadvantages go. The TP-Link Archer AX50 is packed with features.

It offers TP-Link’s HomeCare™ parental controls, which allow you to fully customize them to your liking. You can set up profiles, content filtering, app blocking, URL filtering, and time limits.

HomeCare™ also extends to features like QoS, enabling you to direct the bulk of your bandwidth to the most essential activities, like gaming or streaming. You could also set it up by device. So you could prioritize bandwidth for your work laptop over your TV streaming, for example.

The AX50 offers much more, like guest networks, security notifications, MU-MIMO, and even Alexa compatibility.

It may sound like the TP-Link Archer AX50 is overkill for DSL, and it is. But given its price, it’s hard to recommend anything else, especially for the DSL 115 Mbps plan.

Read our full review of the TP-Link AX50.




#4 Best Value (Fiber) – ASUS RT-AX88U

ASUS RT-AX88U
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 927.17 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier Fiber Internet 1 Gbps and below
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Extremely good range
  • Loads of great features

Cons

  • A little pricey

If you have Frontier’s Gigabit plan (it’s 940 Mbps, to be exact), you’ll be wasting bandwidth and paying for more than you can use with all of the router options above.

That is not the case with the ASUS RT-AX88U. 

It measured an impressive 927.17 Mbps during our tests at 5 feet on the 5 GHz band. However, distance is a factor with the RT-AX88U, as performance nearly halves at 25 feet, where it came in at 571.36 Mbps in the 5 GHz band.

Strangely, further doubling that distance didn’t seem to affect its performance much. At 50 feet distance, we could still get 472.95 Mbps. And while that’s half its original performance, it’s impressive for such a long distance.

Whether at 5, 25, or 50 feet, the ASUS RT-AX88U can handle even the most demanding tasks. 4K streaming, gaming, and heavy browsing are all easily managed by this router.

As you can expect, all this performance is reflected in its price tag. But you can count on a set of features that make it worth it.

It offers full-featured parental controls. Allowing you to manage and control the websites, devices, applications, and schedules your children can access while browsing the Internet.

With adaptive QoS present, you can make sure your most important activities, like browsing, streaming, or gaming, are always given bandwidth before anything else. 

The RT-AX88U will also let you analyze your traffic for increased security. But that’s not all. 

It includes ASUS AiProtection Pro™ powered by Trend Micro, which increases the security of your network by regularly updating security signatures and protecting your personal data from Internet threats.

Its four antennas sure make a statement (and take quite a bit of space), but they are put to good use by supporting MU-MIMO and OFDMA technologies, which is always welcome.

These are good because they will allow the router to talk to more devices simultaneously.

So, while it’s definitely not for those on a tight budget, the ASUS RT-AX88U is a highly reliable device focused on performance that won’t disappoint even the most demanding users.

Read our full review of the ASUS RT-AX88U.




#5 Best Performance – NETGEAR RAXE500

Netgear RAXE500
  • Type: Wi-Fi Router
  • Tested Max Speed: 1203.59 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Frontier Fiber Internet 2 Gbps plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6E
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Very fast
  • Good range
  • Tri-band for more bandwidth

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lacking features

One of Frontier’s most significant advantages is offering a 2 Gbps Fiber Internet plan. But one of its disadvantages is that few wireless routers can even come close to handling those speeds.

The NETGEAR RAXE500 will come close, though. During our tests, it could output an impressive 1203.59 Mbps at 5 feet. 

There’s one caveat here, though. You will need to be on the 6 GHz band and have a compatible client device to achieve these speeds. Even in 2022, there are not that many.

As is typical with any high-end device featuring new technology, the price tag might surprise you. And we don’t mean it in a good way.

Wireless range is also not its strong suit. But to be honest, that is more of a disadvantage of the 6 GHz band, not an issue with the router itself. For context, standing at 25 feet, we measured 959.71 Mbps. Not necessarily bad, but it makes the price tag hardly worth it.

Going further away, at 50 feet, things are not pretty. We were unable to catch any signal at all. Nevertheless, the RAXE500 does switch to the 5 GHz band if needed, where it clocked 301.08 Mbps at this distance—still underwhelming given its price.

 Its features are not necessarily impressive. Parental controls are limited to blocking websites and creating schedules only. So it’s not the best router for families with younger children.

QoS is not present at all, though you’ll hardly miss it with such crazy performance. 

While this section might’ve looked negative with the high price tag, and lackluster features, they were never the reason why this router was created. 

Those seeking what the RAXE500 offers above all other routers, speed, should not be discouraged and will get what they were looking for.




#6 Best Budget-Friendly Mesh System – TP-Link Deco S4

TP-Link Deco S4 Overview
  • Type: Mesh Wi-Fi
  • Tested Max Speed: 317.27 Mbps
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5
  • Recommended for: All Frontier DSL plans & Fiber 500 Mbps or below
  • Warranty: 2 years

Pros

  • Good price
  • Superb range
  • Great features (QoS, Parental Controls, etc)

Cons

  • Not the quickest kit

The value proposition of the TP-Link Deco S4 mesh system is crazy. You can create an entire mesh Wi-Fi system for the price of an average router. It doesn’t get much better if you are on a tight budget but have to cover a large area. 

The Deco S4 system measured 317.27 Mbps at 5 feet on the 5 GHz band. As you can see, it’s not super fast. But it should be more than enough for any DSL plan. You could also consider it for the Fiber 50 Mbps and even the Fiber 500 Mbps plan.

At 25 feet, we found the Deco S4 could achieve up to 169.59 Mbps. Going farther away, at 50 feet, it was almost unusable.

However, keep in mind that the whole point of a mesh system is that you will have several access points around your home. And you should always be close enough to one. So this isn’t really an issue, but we thought it was important to mention.

Features are there but limited. Not a surprise given its fantastic price. 

Parental controls only allow for URL filtering and schedules. Quality of service is basic and can only prioritize one device over another, not by activity.

Even then, if budget is an important consideration and your home is large enough, you probably won’t find a better option. 

Just keep in mind that no matter your Internet plan, you’ll always be limited to speeds around 320 Mbps. If your plan is much faster than that, you’ll be wasting money.

Read our full review of the TP-Link Deco S4.




#7 Best Premium Mesh System – Orbi RBK852

Netgear Orbi RBK852
  • Type: Mesh Wi-Fi
  • Tested Max Speed: 851.86 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Any Frontier Internet plan
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: 1 year

Pros

  • Super quick
  • Great coverage
  • Fast satellites

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No USB ports

Options are somewhat limited if you have both a big home and the fastest Frontier Fiber Internet plans.

The good news is that a mesh system like the Orbi RBK852 can output speeds around 851.86 Mbps in the 5 GHz band at 5 feet, which is what it measured during our tests. 

Meaning you can get the Frontier Fiber Gigabit plan and make good use of it even in the largest house.

The bad news is that the Orbi RBK852 is around five times the price of the TP-Link Deco S4 we explored above. 

But if performance is what you’re looking for, performance you’ll get.

The RBK852 will be capable of handling almost anything you throw at it. 4K or HD streaming, heavy gaming, large file downloads, and multiple users are all easy tasks for this mesh system.

Unfortunately, this is as far as it’ll get you. As far as features go, it doesn’t have much going on.

Parental controls and Quality of Service are not present at all. You’ll find guides online with workarounds to set schedules for devices, but most people won’t want to get into that. Considering that, the RBK852 might not be the best for families with young children.

It does offer beamforming and MU-MIMO for added performance (it seems high speeds were their only goal). 

So, if fast Internet is what you’re looking for, the Orbi RBK852 won’t disappoint.

Read our full review of the Netgear Orbi RBK852.




Frontier Router Buying Guide

Frontier DSL Internet plans are available in 25 states, while their Fiber Internet offering reaches 19 of those.

Which plans are available to you will depend on your location. 

They go from a basic 9 Mbps DSL Internet plan [1] to an impressive 2 Gbps Fiber plan [2] that rivals even Google’s top plan.

For Fiber, you must make sure you get a router that can handle your Internet speed. And for DSL, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily overspending.  

Let’s explore the factors you should consider when making your decision.

Speed

Frontier divides their Internet plans between DSL and Fiber. 

DSL plans go from 9 Mbps to 115 Mbps. This means that any router in this article will perform great. 

However, if your top speed is 115 Mbps, you might as well get the cheapest option. Because no matter how good your router is, it will never be faster than your Internet plan.

On the other hand, Fiber plans go from 50 Mbps to 2 Gbps (2000 Mbps). And while the same concept for DSL applies to the 50 Mbps plan, all other fiber plans will need a router that can handle its high speeds. 

It’s not worth paying for a Gigabit connection if your router can only handle 300 Mbps.

This is a good time to mention that the 50 Mbps Fiber plan is not really worth it. It’s even slower than some DSL plans. You can 10x your speed and jump to the 500 Mbps plan for less than $10. Definitely worth it.

Wireless Standard

As soon as we start talking about Gigabit speeds, wireless standards become important. And if we’re talking about the 2 Gbps Frontier Fiber plan, they are crucial.

To take advantage of these high-speed plans, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router and client devices. Make that Wi-Fi 6E for the fastest 2 Gbps plan. 

Wi-Fi 5 routers are cheaper and might offer similar features but will be limited to around 600 Mbps no matter how premium they are. 

On the other hand, while Wi-Fi 6 and now Wi-Fi 6E are bound to become the new normal, they are way too much for any Frontier DSL plan.

For more info, check out our guide on Wi-Fi 5 vs. Wi-Fi 6.

Bands

All routers on this list are dual-band with the exception of the ASUS RAXE500, which is tri-band.

Dual-band routers can use both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. 

2.4 GHz offers longer ranges and better signal, but speeds are underwhelming for today’s standards. The 5 GHz band allows us to reach those 500-900 Mbps speeds, but it’s prone to significantly degrade over longer distances, as we could see above.

Some newer routers are even tri-band. Usually offering a second 5 GHz band, which is especially handy if you’re looking to build a mesh network. This way, your mesh can communicate using this third channel and leave the usual bands free to use.

However, some newer Wi-Fi 6E routers, like the RAXE500 in this list, can now use the 6 GHz band as their third band for even greater speeds.

For more info, check out our article on dual-band vs. tri-band.

Mesh Wi-Fi

A single router, even top-performing ones, usually have a max range of 80 to 110 feet. If your home is larger than this, you will encounter spots where there is no signal. 

A mesh network is a group of interconnected access points that act as a single broadcast to users. 

You could have four different access points throughout your house, and your devices will seamlessly jump from one to another without you noticing it. As far as you know, you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi. 

While it sounds good in theory, keep in mind a mesh system is usually more expensive than a single router since you will be getting more than one device. So we’d recommend getting one only if you need it.

If you have a Frontier Fiber plan of 500 Mbps or faster, ensure you get a mesh system that can handle such speeds. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting some bandwidth. Anything lower than that should be good with any mesh option.

For more info, check out our article on Mesh Wi-Fi vs. traditional routers.

Features

Routers today offer dozens of different features, depending on their brand. And that number is constantly increasing.

But the features most people commonly look for are Quality of Service (QoS), parental controls, and guest networks.

QoS helps you “reserve” the majority of your bandwidth for your most important activities. For example, if your work depends on video calling, you can set up QoS to prioritize it above anything else.

This way, even if many people use your connection, video calling will always be smooth. It will be other less important activities that run slower.

Parental controls help you control what content your kids can access while browsing the Internet, and when. You can set up automatic schedules and block websites, categories, or even devices from accessing your network. The goal here is to offer kids a safe browsing experience.

Guest networks create an entirely separate connection, using the same Internet link, for your guests to access while visiting your home. The primary purpose of guest networks is security. 

If a guest connects to your main network, they could access your router’s admin settings.

They could also inadvertently introduce a virus into your primary network, which means it could spread to all devices connected to it. This is something guest networks will protect you from.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Frontier and their equipment.

Do I need a modem for Frontier?

Yes and no.

You will need a modem for any Frontier DSL plans, which Frontier will provide free of charge.

For Fiber Internet plans, you will need an ONT, which serves basically the same purpose. Frontier should also provide you with this device.

Regardless of your plan, Frontier will provide you with a gateway, which is a modem that also serves as a Wi-Fi router. The cost of the gateway is already included in your monthly bill.

Why do I need a router if Frontier provides a gateway?

Great question! The honest answer here is, you don’t!

You could do just fine by using Frontier’s included gateway for your Wi-Fi connection and save some money. 

However, Frontier’s gateways (or any ISP gateways for that matter) will normally underperform vs. a known brand router. Mainly because the free gateways are cheap devices built to save money, not for quality or performance. [3]

Additionally, signal range on gateways is usually limited, and they will not reach as far as a router with dedicated antennas. Add to that that you won’t be able to use them to set up a mesh network if you need one.

Which one is better, Frontier DSL or Fiber?

Considering the price difference between Frontier DSL and Fiber Internet plans, always choose Fiber. That is, if it’s available in your area, of course.

Even at the same speeds, fiber connections are symmetrical, meaning your upload speeds will match your download speeds. Something that does not happen with DSL.

On that same note, if Fiber is available in your area, always opt for the 500 Mbps plan or more. Considering the slight price difference, the 50 Mbps Fiber plan is not really worth it.

Wrap Up

Frontier Internet plans go from basic and slow to blazing-fast top-of-the-line fiber. You should base the router you get on your plan, not the other way around.

If you start by getting the router first, you will probably pay way more than you need for it. Or your router won’t be able to handle your Internet plan, which means wasting bandwidth and money every month. 

Having said this, if reliability and good-enough performance are all that matter to you, the ASUS RT-AX3000 is sure to give you a great experience no matter your Frontier Internet plan.

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