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Have you subscribed to Kinetic Fiber 500 or 1 Gig plan but aren’t getting the intended speeds? You need to replace your Windstream router with one with higher throughput, consistent speeds, and reliable & stable network performance.

By getting your own device, you will get rid of a $6 monthly rental and enjoy extended control, features, security, etc. But then, finding the best-suited router for your Windstream connection isn’t that easy.

You have many options, and technological advancements might make it more complex. That’s why I took 15 popular routers that work with Windstream internet and tested them for two months. After detailed testing, here are my top 6 choices for 2024:

  1. Best All-Around: Netgear RAXE500
  2. Best for 1 Gig Plan: TP-Link AX6000
  3. Best Gaming Router: ASUS RT-AX82U
  4. Best Mesh for Large Homes: Amazon Eero 6+
  5. Best for Work from Home: Motorola MR2600
  6. Best Low-Speed Plans: D-Link DIR-1950-US

6 Best Windstream Routers of 2024

In the subsequent sections, I will present detailed reviews of the qualified models. The list features some high-end, mid-range, and a budget options at the end. This way, you’ll get at least one option matching your requirements and budget.

1. Best Overall: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 AXE11000
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6E
  • Suitable Plan: Kinetic Fiber 2 Gig
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 1200 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 4800 Mbps
  • 6GHz Speeds: 4800 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 3,500 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 60
  • Ports: 1 x 2.5G WAN/LAN + 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 2 x USB 3.0
  • Processor: 1.8GHz Quad-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 1GB + 512MB
  • App Support: Yes

Kicking off the list of Windstream-compatible routers is the Nighthawk RAXE500 with Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E and a speed capacity of a whopping 11 Gbps. This makes it a perfect fit for power users, gamers, and data scientists with superfast internet workflow where there’s a need to undertake heavy tasks.

Besides, Netgear RAXE500 brings a lot of upgrades to give out an overall boost in terms of speed, coverage, and overall performance over the older model, RAXE7800.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

Testing it on the Kinetic Fiber 2 Gig plan, my Galaxy S21 had got the download speeds at an eye-watering 1.96 Gbps and 173 Mbps as upload speeds in the 5GHz band. Such speeds are sufficient for almost every internet process, and you can download big files within seconds. I could also stream 4K content on Netflix over multiple devices at the same time.

And its 2.4GHz band yielded decent speeds, with downloads at 1.1 Gbps and uploads at 125 Mbps. Such speeds are also sufficient to take over any bandwidth-intensive tasks.

Wired Speed

This device is also a holy grail for people who are fans of wired connections. It ingrains a 2.5G port that lets you experience multi-gigs of speeds. My PS5 gave out the download and upload speeds at 2045 Mbps and 945 Mbps, respectively; in turn, hand over a few extra Mbps to run your games even faster and smoother.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity

Unlike traditional routers, there aren’t any external antennas on RAXE500. But that doesn’t impact its performance and could cover a 3,000 Sq Ft house leaving any dead spots or weak network zones.

The antennas further integrate beamforming technology that focuses the signals in one direction rather than spreading the signals around.

It further resonates with technologies like MU-MIMO and OFDMA to send consistent signals to multiple devices without speed drops. I could connect over 50 devices at a stretch and experience unmatched speeds.

Security Features

Security is the biggest letdown of the Nighthawk RAXE500. Despite being a premium router, it only has basic features such as an additional VPN server and WPA3 encryption. Having the latest WPA standard means transferred data are kept in encrypted form. While on a VPN server, you can browse any website without revealing your identity.

Other than that, you only get basic features like pausing WiFi and monitoring the online time of your connected devices. But if you want to level up your home network security, Netgear Armor is a worthy subscription.


To conclude, RAXE500 is the most powerful router to pair with Windstream 2 Gig service plan. The cutting-edge technology, advanced features, long range, and 2.5G Ethernet port let you experience multi-gig internet. However, it comes at an exorbitant price, which is expected considering the features it boasts.

Want to learn more about this device? Check out my full review of the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500.


    • Future-proof Wi-Fi 6E
    • Exceptional WiFi coverage
    • 2.5 Gbps multi-gig port
    • Supports Link Aggregation


    • Expensive
    • Armor security at an added cost

TP-Link Archer AX6000
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Suitable Service Plan: Kinetic Fiber 1 Gig
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 1148 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 4804 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 3,000 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 50+
  • Ports: 1 x 2.5G WAN + 8 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB-C 3.0 + 1 x USB-A 3.0
  • Processor: 1.8GHz Quad-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 1GB + 128MB
  • App Support: Yes

Archer AX6000 is probably one of the notable names in TP-Link’s lineup. Its improved hardware and extensive port setup are complimented by cutting-edge firmware to deliver a much better performance than the Archer C5400.

Alongside, it boasts beautiful aesthetics with 4 foldable antennas to become an appealing purchase for any technical geeks.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

A 1.8GHz Quad-Core processor and Wi-Fi 6 technology work harmoniously to take its maximum throughput capacity to 6000 Mbps. So, to determine how the device fare in real life, I used my iPhone 13 with Wireless AX ability, paired with a Kinetic Fiber gig plan, and here are the results.

On the 5GHz band with maximum throughput capacity, a speed of 920 Mbps was extracted for downloads, while upload speeds raked at 32 Mbps. At the same time, download and upload speeds on the 2.4GHz band clocked at 817 Mbps and 22 Mbps.

I also tested the router on multiple locations across the house, and it performed much better than its predecessor. The high-speed internet connection should help you trade stocks, play online games, stream UHD videos on Youtube, along with check emails, trend memes, and content, and watch live news.

Wired Speed

If wireless speeds can’t satisfy your bandwidth-hungry devices, establish a wired connection with a few. You can plug in your devices to the 2.5G WAN port and use an internet connection accordingly to experience multi-gig of speeds and give you more possibilities to explore.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity 

Seeing its coverage capacity of 3,000 Sq Ft, I conducted my coverage tests in my 2,500 Sq Ft test center, and its 8 foldable antennas did the job well. The router left no weak spots or network dead zones throughout the lab, and I could complete my network-bound activities without any issues.

As the name suggests, the antennas are laid with beamforming technology that forms a beam of signals to be forwarded to client devices. Together, MU-MIMO and OFDMA send streamlined signals on 35 devices simultaneously. You can work on any of your bandwidth-intensive activities without experiencing any lags or dropouts.

Security Features

The Archer AX6000 is a high-end router with all the manufacturer’s whistles and bells, besides advanced security features. Its free-to-access security features include WPA3 and an additional VPN server. Alongside, its free parental controls are to keep track of online activities and pause WiFi.

TP-Link offers a few advanced security features with its HomeShield antivirus, powered by Tenda Micro. This identifies and blocks a virus or malware-infected website based on preset categories. Also, it delivers a detailed weekly scan report entailing all major threats on your network or devices.


TP-Link AX6000 is a high-performance router to get for Windstream internet. Its powerful hardware, numerous ports, and high-performance antennas give most households extremely fast wired and wireless internet. But, the lack of an additional band and lesser throughput capacity than my previous recommendation pushed it to the #2 spot.


    • 2.5G WAN and 8 GigE LAN ports
    • Fast wireless speeds
    • Great WiFi coverage
    • Consistent throughput
    • Reliable performance


    • Not a tri-band router

3. Best for Gaming: ASUS RT-AX82U

  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Suitable Internet Plan: Kinetic Fiber 1 Gig
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 574 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 4804 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,000 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 30+
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.1
  • Processor: 1.5GHz Tri-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 512MB + 256MB
  • App Support: Yes

If you’re a gamer and find most routers letting you down in terms of performance and price, then Asus RT-AX82U is the ultimate solution. Several gaming-oriented improvements over RT-AX56U deliver a much faster and low-latency gaming experience.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

Asus RT-AX82U got me into a state of pure bliss with its impactful performance over the Kinetic 1 Gig plan. The 5GHz band crossed speeds of 902 Mbps when downloading and 31 Mbps when uploading. And the inferior 2.4GHz had respective speeds of 451 Mbps and 25 Mbps.

These speeds are well-complemented by the powerful 1.5GHz processor and ample RAM to complete your internet-bound tasks within minutes. My long-awaited game “Call of Duty: Warzone” took me around 15-20 minutes to download, and the gameplay was smooth, running at 105fps throughout.

Wired Speed

You’ll find a decent arrangement of high-speed Ethernet ports to access extra bandwidth on your connected devices. My PS5 got download speeds of 1015 Mbps and 415 Mbps upload speeds, further enhancing my gaming experience. Besides, it’s possible to configure Link Aggregation on this device and boost your WiFi speed several times.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity 

The router performed decently well on the long-distance tests, courtesy of its 4 high-performance antennas. At a stretch, it could cover a 1,800 Sq Ft apartment without leaving any weak spots. Also, you can expect better coverage if your walls are not so thick or there aren’t many networking devices to interfere with the signals.

Now, coming to connection capacity, technologies like OFDMA and MU-MIMO have made it possible for the router to connect with 26 devices concurrently. Although it can’t handle bandwidth-hogging tasks on each client device, it handles most of your online tasks.

Security Features

Unlike the Netgear model, which requires you to get a monthly or yearly subscription to access advanced security measures, ASUS gives it for free for a lifetime. AiProtection suite has features like malware blocking, weekly scans, and more.

Furthermore, parental controls have seen some improvement in terms of website blocking, monitoring online hours, and online activities.


This dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router by ASUS is an excellent gaming companion with unmatched performance with top-tier speed plans. Starting from speed, coverage, and security, it has got all. But some features are average, which takes the router down to the third position. To learn more, read a full review of the ASUS RT-AX82U.


    • Great speeds
    • Decent WiFi coverage
    • Premium design
    • Lifetime free security
    • Supports Link Aggregation


    • No 2.5G port

4. Best Mesh Router: Amazon Eero 6+

Amazon Eero 6+ AX3000
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Suitable Internet Plan: Kinetic Fiber 500 Mbps
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 574 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 2401 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 3,000 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 75+
  • Ports: 2 x Gig LAN
  • Processor: 1GHz Dual-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 512MB + 4GB
  • App Support: Yes

If you live in a large house with many WiFi dead zones or network weak spots, establishing a mesh network would help. And Amazon’s Eero 6 Plus is an excellent mesh router. It has come a long way from Eero 6 to this with upgrades like Wi-Fi 6, better and more powerful antennas, alongside greater connections capacity, costing just over $200.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

Eero 6 plus delivers faster speeds, combined with well-designed hardware and latest-gen Wi-Fi 6 dual-band support. Upon pairing it with Kinetic 500, it clocked speeds of 487 Mbps and 18 Mbps for downloads and uploads on the 5GHz band.

On the other hand, the speed score for downloads and uploads on the 2.4GHz band was lower, valuing 415 Mbps and 15 Mbps, as expected. And with such speeds in your arsenal, watching 4K movies over Netflix on multiple devices should be a cakewalk.

Wired Speed

If you want to squeeze out more performance from the mesh system, consider plugging your client devices into the Ethernet port. The speeds over the similar plan were around 494 Mbps and 19 Mbps. Besides, you can upgrade the plan to 1 Gbps if you need more speeds.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity 

I conducted coverage tests in my client’s 3,000 Sq Ft house. Its 4 internal antenna setups made it possible to cover an entire house without any signal drop. Qualifying as one of the best mesh routers for large houses.

Alongside this, the credit for increased coverage goes to its patented Truemesh technology. It works harmoniously with the beamforming antennas to eliminate drop-offs and connects you to the fastest network throughout the day. Further, there’s MU-MIMO, which makes it possible for you to connect 59 devices concurrently without any hiccups.

Security Features

Concerning security, unlike my previous recommendation, you won’t get anything for free. But there’s two-fold premium security on offer, Eero Secure and Secure+. It includes several high-end security features to shield your network and client devices from viruses, malware, and cyber attackers.

But if you don’t want to spend anything, experience the basic features in the form of VPN-passthrough and WPA3 encryption. Also, concerning parental controls, only basic features like pausing the WiFi and monitoring online time are available.


Overall, Eero 6 plus is a reliable mesh router that supports Windstream internet. It doesn’t leave a weak spot in your large house. Its speeds are also decent to satisfy most bandwidth-hungry devices you have. But the lack of multiple ethernet ports and lesser speeds than my previous recommendations pushed it down at #4.

For more detailed information, read my Eero 6 Plus review.


    • Decent coverage
    • Advanced security measures
    • Simple setup
    • Decent speeds


    • Few Ethernet ports

5. Best for Streaming: Motorola MR2600

Motorola MR2600 AC2600
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Suitable Service Plan: Kinetic Fiber 500 Mbps
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 800 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 1733 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 2,000 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 100+
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Processor: Dual-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: N/A
  • App Support: Yes

If you have subscribed to 500 Mbps internet from Kinetic by Windstream and need a budget-friendly router that doesn’t compromise, Motorola MR2600 is a great choice. It gives upgrades like a powerful processor and port options over your ISP-rented Windstream WiFi router.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

MR2600 offers superb value for the hardware and speeds you receive, especially for models in a similar price bracket. Connected to the 500 Mbps plan, I managed to snag speeds of up to 421 Mbps for downloads, while the value was placed at 17 Mbps for uploads on the 5GHz band. Similarly, speeds clocked at 384 Mbps and 14 Mbps for the 2.4GHz band.

Although the speeds seem below par than other models on my list, it is surely much better than its competing models. I got 4 times the speed and better latency than the ISP-rented router. And with that, I played games like GTA V, Valorant and Fortnite at 80fps, but there were some minor inconsistencies.

Wired Speed

So, if you want to get rid of that, try plugging in your gaming console or other devices to the router’s Ethernet ports. The performance improved, with fps increasing from 80 to 90 and speeds from 421 to 495 Mbps for downloads. With 4 Ethernet ports, you can connect up to 4 client devices at once.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity

Now, talking about connections capacity, Motorola’s 4 external antenna setup gives you a much better range and connections capacity than any ISP-rented device. My grandpa’s 1,700 Sq Ft home was well encased with powerful signals, and I could work on 45 devices at a stretch without many inconsistencies.

The signal strength on connected devices was further bettered by technologies like smart QoS and 4×4 MU-MIMO, which streamline the emitted signals and ensure a better connection.

Security Features

Similar to most of my recommendations, Motorola doesn’t offer much in terms of security. But what makes it different from others is the lack of any premium security upgrades, which demands installing a third-party antivirus on your devices. Alongside, the parental control features haven’t got much for you regarding tracking and controlling your kids’ online activities.


In conclusion, Motorola MR2600 is a good router for Windstream that offers a stable and powerful connection. It is enough to dissipate strong signals in your 2-bed apartment and let you connect multiple devices at a stretch. But, the lack of advanced security and the latest wireless standard is why it’s ranked second last.


    • Decent throughput
    • Budget-friendly
    • Decent port setup
    • Good design
    • MU-MIMO & smart QoS


    • WiFi range could be better
    • No Wi-Fi 6 support

D-Link DIR-1950-US AC1900
  • Wireless Standard: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
  • Suitable Service Plan: Kinetic Internet 100 Mbps
  • 2.4GHz Speeds: 600 Mbps
  • 5GHz Speeds: 1300 Mbps
  • WiFi Range: Up to 1,800 Sq Ft
  • Number of Devices Supported: 25+
  • Ports: 1 x Gig WAN + 4 x Gig LAN + 1 x USB 3.0
  • Processor: 1.25GHz Dual-Core
  • RAM & NAND Memory: 128MB + 128MB
  • App Support: Yes

D-Link DIR-1950-US smart routing device offers ample bandwidth to watch or download your favorite movies or play online games. And its powerful antenna setup makes sure you never run out of internet wherever you move across your small-sized apartment.

It might not be one of those high-end routers out there, but the features it presents add up to make it a versatile and reliable router.

Why is it suited for Windstream?

The suitability of the router comes with the processor and the technologies it boasts, and this D-Link did a good job in that respect. Despite inferior Wi-Fi 5 support, it works with any basic or low-tier Windstream plans.

I paired it with the 100 Mbps plan they have, for which I got 92 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads with the 5GHz band. But the tests weren’t conducted on the 2.4GHz band with the existence of multiple interferences.

But the ability to stream HD movies and play online games adds a cherry on top. It might take some time to download your large files, or there might be occasional hiccups with HD games, but it does provide value as per the price it comes in.

Wired Speed

Connect your devices to the Ethernet ports if you want faster speeds with zero lags. You can even upgrade your internet plans when connected and experience faster speeds.

WiFi Coverage & Connections Capacity

Despite featuring a 4-antenna setup, it can’t spread signals farther than bedrooms on the same floor. In my tests in a 1,500 Sq Ft house, most corners had zero or one bar network signal, taking the approximate range to around 1,300 Sq Ft.

Besides, the lack of advanced technologies like OFDMA or MU-MIMO limits its connections capacity, taking the value to around 12. But if you have a large home and want extended coverage, pair this router with D-Link extenders. This allows you to create a mesh network and expand its range by almost 300-400 Sq Ft.

Security Features

Security is also the weak spot of this budget router. There isn’t much free available except the WPA3 standard, which encrypts the data transferred over the channels. But there aren’t any premium security features on offer, premium or free, which require you to pay extra to install third-party security software on your devices.


In conclusion, this router isn’t on par with those high-end options, but the right combination of hardware and software makes it an effective replacement for the Windstream internet router. But, it lacks security features and signal strength, hence the reason for its placement at the bottom of the list.


    • Compatible with D-Link extenders
    • Budget-friendly
    • Good throughput
    • Good internet speeds


    • Lacks MU-MIMO & OFDMA
    • Security features aren’t advanced

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my own router with Windstream?

Yes, you can. But unlike other ISPs, you must ensure your selected router is compatible with Windstream. The DSL connections can be handled by a router that supports ADSL. Or if you are subscribed to a VDSL or GBOND connection, your router must support that.

Will any WiFi router work with Windstream?

Any router should fare well with the fiber connection of Windstream. But if you’re into DSL, VDSL or GBOND connection, check for your router’s compatibility with those.

Does Windstream charge for a router?

To get any router along with the internet connection from Windstream, it rents you the same for anywhere from $6 to $10 a month. But there’s no option to purchase the equipment outright from the service provider.

How do I set up a new router with Windstream?

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a router with Windstream: 
– If you’re using an ISP-supplied router, there’s activation data for the equipment that the company sends through the mail, so wait to install until that day. This is not the case with any third-party router.
– On the date, place the modem in a centralized location, plug a DSL filter, and then the phone line into it. Skip this step if you don’t have a DSL connection.
– Power up the modem, connect it to the router using an Ethernet cable and turn it on.
– Once the indicator lights turn up, connect your browser to the router and activate it by entering the user credentials on the official website.


The routers compatible with Windstream featured here should work well with any of their internet plans. I hope this list completes your quest to find an ideal match. But if you were still unable to pick one, here’s my curated list of the best models:

  • Are you planning to subscribe to the highest possible internet plan and the plans to be launched in future? Then you can give Netgear RAXE500 a try.
  • If you want to focus on high-performance connectivity and port setup, TP-Link Archer AX6000 is the best device to try.
  • Finally, if there’s a budget constraint and a much cheaper option, I would recommend opting for D-Link DIR-1950-US.

Thanks for reading!