I remember playing Call Of Duty online with my friend back in the day, I would always win, and he would always lose. Then, after losing a match, he would scream that his internet connection had lagged out, and he missed his headshot.
Of course, I thought he was just making up excuses at the time, but eventually, he ended up buying a new router once he had saved up some money and true story… After that, I never managed to beat him in a game again.
Not many people know it, but a router is an extremely important part of any gaming setup. The fact that you have searched to find the best gaming router and ended up here tells me you are smart enough to have figured that out.
There are so many routers currently out there it’s sometimes hard to find one, and you might make your internet speeds worse if you buy the wrong router and that it is something I want to help you avoid. The other thing you should know is that it can be done on a budget. Just check out this list.
Importance of the Best Gaming Router
The best gaming routers will ensure that your online gaming session will never be interrupted ever again. If you are someone who spends plenty of time in front of your computer – playing video games and such – then you probably encounter stressful and annoying lag once in a while or most of the time.
It usually disrupts your gaming momentum and destroys your gameplay – which is the last thing that you want to experience. If you are tired of this recurring problem every time you play, then maybe it’s the right time to invest in your first gaming router to block all those spikes and never let them bother your intense gaming again.
Dedicated gaming routers facilitate network traffic specifically for your games, all thanks to the micro mechanism known as Quality of Service or QoS. It assists in making sure that your internet gaming won’t be disrupted by your sister watching Netflix or brother downloading their games.
Apart from this, you also want to look for the MU-MIMO so that each member in your home network can experience the uninterrupted online gaming session that they deserve. Wired connections are hailed as the smartest way to establish a connection with your online games – and avid gamers and experts couldn’t agree more.
However, you still want to guarantee that the best gaming routers you choose are outstanding gaming routers. It means that the best gaming routers should have Gigabit Ethernet ports and the newest Wi-Fi standards, which is the Wi-Fi 5. In addition, with numerous external antennas that you can easily adjust to improve wireless speeds and enhance signal strength, you got yourself a heavy-duty backup to achieve the best gaming performance.
There are a lot of new mobile gaming platforms, as well as 4K-capable systems for both PC and console. You might find yourself wanting to invest in the best routers for gaming to reinforce your high-speed games with little to no lag, specifically if your goal is to stream games as well.
There are plenty of high-performance gaming routers on the market today, and most of them are specifically engineered to match different gaming situations. The most popular is the Nighthawk XR500 from Netgear. It is a robust router specially designed for gamers – but not limited to such. So, if you are looking for the best routers for gaming, here’s a list of the top-rated gaming routers for your particular gaming requirements.
Which are the best routers for gaming?
Best Overall Routers for Gaming
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Router
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Wi-Fi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and…
The NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Router utilizes cutting-edge software to maximize your internet connection. It decreases lag spikes, normalizes ping, maintaining you in the game through reliable and consistent wireless and wired connectivity for ultra-speedy gaming.
You can also customize your gaming dashboard to display real-time bandwidth utilization ping, devices, and plenty of other parameters. The NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Router reduces the lag that allows you to achieve a stable local connection with the help of a Geo filter or allow the quality of service for assigned bandwidth and assigned gaming devices.
2. ASUS ASUS ROG Rapture GT AC2900 Gaming Router
ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC86U) – Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet…
The ASUS ASUS ROG Rapture GT AC2900 Gaming Router is engineered to provide exceptional network performance with its 1.8ghz Dual-Core processor with the newest 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology. In addition, optimize your gaming experience with its game-enhancing adaptive QoS, built-in network security powered by AiProtection, and gamer’s private network provided by WTFast.
3. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Gaming Router
ASUS AC3100 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-AC88U) – Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router,…
The ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Gaming Router is seasoned with the newest 4×4 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology and 8 Gigabit LAN ports powered by ASUS-exclusive AiProtection designed by Trend Micro. As a result, ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Gaming Router has a dual-band RT-AC88U that offers the fastest wireless speed you are looking for and the protection you highly need.
The ASUS RT-AC88U also has a total data rate of 3167 Mbps. In addition, it comes with Smart Connect, and complete home extended coverage to guarantee quick and consistent connectivity for every Wi-Fi device you have at home.
4. TP-Link Archer C5400 Gaming Router
TP-Link AC4000 Tri-Band WiFi Router (Archer A20) -MU-MIMO, VPN Server, 1.8GHz…
The TP-Link Archer C5400 Gaming Router delivers massive Wi-Fi connections even with multiple connected devices. It smartly provides accelerated Wi-Fi to each device for seamless gaming and 4K UHD streaming. The cutting-edge NitroQAM and 4-stream send more than 5400Mbps of total Wi-Fi throughput to one 2.4GHz (1000Mbps) and two 5GHz (2167Mbps) bands.
Apart from this, the Archer also sports the MU-MIMO technology that offers as much as 3x faster Wi-Fi performance while steaming and gaming on multiple devices. Furthermore, its Smart Connect maintains the greatest connection availability for every connected device.
Give yourself a favor and experience ultra-speedy connections when playing your favorite online games and unlimited entertainment when watching your well-loved movies and TV series – all thanks to the high-level 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and combined 3 co-processors.
5. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000
ASUS ROG Rapture WiFi 6 Gaming Router (GT-AX11000) – Tri-Band 10 Gigabit…
The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 provides the quickest Wi-Fi current to Wi-Fi 5 and NextGen Wi-Fi 6 devices. In addition, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 also creates gigabit speeds while giving a wide range of devices that simultaneously need quick and stable uploading, gaming, and streaming.
6. TP-Link Archer C5400X Gaming Router
TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band WiFi Gaming Router(Archer C5400X) – MU-MIMO Wireless…
Whether you are collecting more resources, fighting a MOB, or conquering the battlegrounds, your survival is greatly affected even by seconds of network lag. The TP-Link Archer C5400x Gaming Router operates efficiently at the center of your network command to defeat this real-world enemy. With the help of a cutting-edge 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU working on each service, application, and thread. In addition, the TP-Link Archer C5400x has three co-processors that balance out the Wi-Fi demand. With this, the TP-Link Archer C5400x can provide unmatched gameplay and the power you deserve to fight enemies with confidence and zero worries about lag spikes.
7. TP-Link Archer C4000 Gaming Router
TP-Link AC5400 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Archer C5400)
The TP-Link Archer C4000 Gaming Router delivers high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices simultaneously. Allow the C4000 to do all the operations by assigning wireless devices to the quickest band so you and your family can enjoy lag-free 4K streaming and ping-free gaming at the same time.
Which are the Best Gaming Routers Under $100?
Best Gaming Routers Under 100
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 – AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750…
The AC1750 works well for homes with multiple different Wi-Fi devices and will work with up to 12 different connections. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 also has other features built-in for lag-free gaming like a dual-core processor, 1750 Mbps and a very impressive range that will cover even the biggest pads. I am quite impressed that the AC1750 falls into a good price range, and I am also impressed with the options to speak on live chat direct to Netgear staff which isn’t something you can also do when buying a game router online.
2. TP-Link N450
TP-Link N450 WiFi Router – Wireless Internet Router for Home (TL-WR940N)
Personally, I would recommend the N450 if you are on a very tight budget because it does quite a primary job. The TP-Link N450 offers wireless speeds at 450Mpbs, which is definitely on the lower side but still might be faster than your current choice of router. In addition, it comes with 3 antennas and has 802.11n technology, which gives it quite a good range and again, this might be better than whatever router you are using now.
The setup is a bit outdated, and the software isn’t that great, but if you are willing to put in the extra time to get it working in exchange for saving yourself some money, then I would recommend this. I think you get what you pay for with the N450 router.
3. Actiontec 300 Mbps
Actiontec 300 Mbps Wireless-N ADSL Modem Router (GT784WN)
Most gamers will not have heard of ActionTec before. The reviews are mixed for this, and I’m not too sure what I honestly think of the Actiontec router for gaming. The wireless speed is a low 300 Mbps, 2.4 GHz, and the other features are not that impressive either. However, it is in my desired price range, and if you just want a standard average cheapish router for gaming, this might be the one. I would say that there are much better options in this list I have put together, but I thought I would include this router since many people have never heard of the brand before.
4. ASUS AC1750
ASUS AC1750 WiFi Router (RT-AC66U B1) – Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet…
This ASUS router falls in just under my desired budget but sure does pack a punch. It has a super-fast wireless speed of up to 1750Mbps, which is no less than what I would expect for the cost of this. It is Dual-Band 2.5 & 5 GHz and has 3 antennas, ensuring that the wireless range on this is good for even the largest of houses.
They don’t officially claim how many wireless devices are connected to their router, but I would guesstimate it to be around the 20 mark, which is slightly higher than average. The setup is down to ASUS being an established, well-run company that put a lot of effort into perfecting their products, including the AC1750 router.
5. Medialink AC1200
Medialink AC1200 Wireless Gigabit Router – Gigabit (1000 Mbps) Wired Speed & AC…
If you are a complete and utter technical noob but still want a high-quality gaming router on a budget, then I would recommend the Medialink AC1200. It has an easy setup and is pretty much plug-and-play.
It is a budget router with 1200 Mbps wireless, which is slightly lower than most routers, but it still offers faster speeds than other generic routers. If you are a parent reading this, then the parental controls feature allows you to restrict wireless internet access at certain times. If you are a kid reading this, then tell your parents that this router sucks, lol.
What Makes the Best Gaming Router?
The best gaming routers presented in this list were carefully tested in a real setting using different kinds of high bandwidth applications, such as file transfers, 4K video, general web surfing, and gaming. The newest model of the router’s firmware is displayed at the start of the testing. All the customers’ devices were stable throughout the whole testing and operating of the brand new software and drivers.
Testing was carried out by utilizing NetPerf software. A computer that features a Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000) was utilized to deliver the data through a wired connection going to the router through a CAT 5e cable. A total of three test runs were performed in every wireless adapter at every 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, at both far and close distances, using the maximum throughput for every parameter recorded.
When you are looking for the best routers for gaming, you should determine which model of Wi-Fi it can support. The major two you might want to watch out for are Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) since they provide the quickest wireless speeds as of the present. Moreover, during your shopping for a router, you’ll find models that are engineered for Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n).
They have a very sleek look, thanks to their cheap cost. However, you should stay away from this thirst trap. Please note that Wi-Fi 4 is already outmoded, and it delivers bad speeds, unlike its aforementioned contemporary counterparts. Apart from this, you might want to look for a dual-band router.
Single-band gaming routers only provide limited support for the 2.4GHz band, which works for downloading and web browsing. On the other hand, the dual-band gaming routers incorporate another 5.0GHz channel that offers much quicker and reliable wireless speeds.
Apart from this, you’ll also come across Tri-Band routers that offer another 5GHz band you can specifically assign for gaming only. Some of them are mentioned on the list discussed above. To sum it all up, here is a list of several considerations you should pay attention to when purchasing the best gaming routers:
1. Quality of Service
Remember that not every network traffic is made the same, and the QoS enables the router to decide which kind of data should be considered a priority. For example, the best gaming routers are engineered to prioritize games without altering other features in the settings. It guarantees that when you are in the middle of killing your enemy in the game, the server will prioritize gaming traffic over other traffic on your network.
2. Wi-Fi vs Ethernet
Though there have been many upgrades in the best wireless routers over the past years, the idea is still clear: playing using an ethernet connection is much better than playing through Wi-Fi. So if possible, invest in a router that can offer ultra-efficient Ethernet ports to accommodate all your consoles, as well as your gaming PC.
If this can’t happen, the 802.11ac will work best for your gaming needs. You can choose from dual-band or tri-band, but usually, having two is sufficient enough to give you a seamless gaming experience. However, upgrading to a tri-band is highly recommended if your consoles and gaming PC is backed up by 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
The most significant distinction is that the best gaming routers are designed for higher bandwidth, gamers and lower latency. It not only allows more data to flow into and out of your home, but it also allows it to travel faster in both directions. Ping timings, which measure the time it takes for a signal to travel from your gaming PC or console to the game servers, are reduced. As a result, internet gaming becomes more responsive.
Better hardware is responsible for improved performance. A router is a specialized computer that maintains all of your home network’s connections and information packets, sorting and rearranging them as needed to link your various devices. And, like with any computer, better components will result in speedier performance. For example, the best gaming routers have more processing power and built-in memory than standard routers, allowing them to handle more connections while maintaining low latency.
5. Bandwidth Management
Today’s house is full of linked gadgets, ranging from gaming PCs and consoles to smart TVs and smartphones, as well as refrigerators and other appliances. It results in a crowded residence filled with bandwidth-hungry devices.
All modern routers have some sort of automatic bandwidth prioritizing, so your Netflix viewing isn’t hampered when your refrigerator needs to download an update. The best routers for gaming go a step further with QoS features.
More direct control over what bandwidth flows where, the ability to prioritize certain devices (such as your gaming rig). The priority is based on what activity or service is being used. The ability to automatically re-adjust for the time of day, number of devices, and more are all QoS capabilities.
A good gaming router is engineered to handle both quicker and more connections. A multi-gig LAN port offers faster speeds than Wi-Fi, supports Gigabit speeds and higher, and extra antennas to push Wi-Fi further and handle more devices with ease.
When you add up all of these unique and advanced features, it’s easy to see why a dedicated gaming router is a good choice for anyone looking for a competitive advantage in online gaming. In addition, it offers better support for a home full of technology.
Is it better to have a dual-band or a tri-band radio?
The best gaming router will have at least two radio bands. The 2.4GHz frequency is the most often used and is more congested than the 5GHz channel. The 2.4GHz band has a far better range than the 5GHz band, but it can’t match the 5GHz’s speeds. The performance of various bands can vary.
The 5GHz band will deliver the best performance throughput if your gaming system is close to your router. A tri-band router is your best bet if you have a lot of devices connected to your network, especially if you’re using range extenders to reach the remote corners of your house.
Tri-band routers offer a second 5GHz frequency to your network that you can use for specific devices or applications. For example, you can set aside an entire 5GHz band for gaming and utilize the other 5GHz band for high-bandwidth activities like video streaming, big file transfers, or torrent downloads. It frees up the 2.4GHz band for common tasks like online browsing and connecting to smart-home devices like lighting, cameras, locks, and security systems.
How Does Wi-Fi 6 Work?
Wi-Fi 6 or High Efficiency (HE) Wireless is another name for 802.11ax, and there are plenty of Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market. This standard is a development of the 802.11ac standard. Several new and enhanced wireless networking technologies offer increased throughput speeds (up to 4.8Gbps). In addition, it guarantees less network congestion, greater client capacity, and better range performance.
OFDMA(Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) boosts total throughput by dividing Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels, allowing up to 30 users to share a single channel. Target Wake Time (TWT) is a power-saving feature that allows devices to choose when and how often they wake up to start sending and receiving data.
TWT technology is intended to improve the battery life of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and battery-powered smart home devices like security cameras and video doorbells. All of these features make Wi-Fi 6 ideal for Wi-Fi mesh routers. As a result, they are quickly becoming the most popular alternative for wide-area home networking, especially now that their prices are falling.
Wi-Fi 6 employs previously unused radio frequencies to deliver better 2.4GHz performance and revised uplink and downlink capacity management to improve QoS. It also supports MU-MIMO streaming on both the uplink and downlink. In contrast, 802.11ac only enables MU-MIMO on the downlink. In addition,Wi-Fi 6 is backward-compatible with devices that employ 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi radios, just as the 802.11ac protocol.
Despite the widespread availability of Wi-Fi 6 routers, many client devices do not currently support this latest standard. In addition, although we have recommended one general-purpose device, we have not seen any dedicated, gaming-specific routers that handle the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard.
In terms of software and capabilities, Wi-Fi 6E is identical to Wi-Fi 6, although routers that support 6E can use the newly announced 6GHz band. It provides a significant bandwidth boost. It aids bandwidth-hungry apps, particularly games, and chronic connection issues caused by congestion in highly congested areas.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1. Is it Necessary to Get a Gaming Router?
Why spend money on gaming routers when you already have one at home? You don’t need one if you’re not a hardcore gamer. Whether you prefer online and co-op games or you frequently download games from Steam, gaming can consume a significant amount of data, thus slowing down your network.
On the other hand, the best gaming routers will not only provide a stable, uninterrupted connection but will also allow you to prioritize traffic to your PC and consoles. In addition, they’ll dramatically improve your gaming and download speed by reducing lags and providing smoother images.
It will also include technologies like MU-MIMO and Quality of Service (or QoS) to help you take your network to the next level, whether playing with or against people from all around the world. In addition, the best routers for gaming are better prepared to manage several devices and people accessing the network simultaneously so that multi-device households benefit as well.
2. What is the Purpose of a Wi-Fi Router?
You must be linked to your modem to send and receive data from the internet; however, your router allows you to do so without using a wire. Instead, it’s just a large, expensive antenna for your modem that allows you to connect to it over the best wireless routers. You can also connect other devices in your homes, such as printers or remote storage servers, to that local Wi-Fi network.
3. Should I Choose Wired or Wireless Connections for Gaming?
Given the propensity for Wi-Fi connections to fail, we recommend directly connecting your gaming PC to your router whenever possible. If that fails, a Powerline connection will suffice. Wireless connections are becoming more effective, and Wi-Fi 6 is now good enough to allow wireless VR streaming.
The best routers for gaming include numerous LAN ports for wired connections. They also utilize the latest Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11ax, aka Wi-Fi 6, to set themselves apart from ISP-provided hardware. It means faster and more efficient wireless data flow for many devices. That last component is crucial for rock-solid wireless performance in an age of smart devices and appliances.
4. How Much Should I Pay for a Router?
A small to medium-sized home or apartment can generally get by with a well-tested dual-band router in the $100 range. It depends on what you require and how many people and gadgets you need to connect. If your home is larger, a mesh networking system that can distribute more constant speeds from room to room is certainly worth the extra money. If you work from home, play online games, or share bandwidth with numerous housemates or family members, upgrading to a high-speed tri-band elite gaming router is likely a worthwhile investment.
5. What’s the Best Way to Set Up a Wi-Fi Router?
The old-fashioned technique is to plug it in, connect it to your modem via Ethernet cable, and then start the configuration by typing its IP address into a browser’s URL bar. The easier and more current option is to use the router’s app, which will lead you through the setup process in around 5-10 minutes. After you’ve completed the setup, you may access the router’s settings or change your Wi-Fi password using either method.
6. Is it Possible to Use Any Gaming Router with My Service Provider?
Before spending money on a new router, be sure it’s compatible with your current Internet service provider. Some ISP-provided cable modems don’t have pass-through connectivity, which means they can’t be coupled with a high-performance router. As a result, it’s critical to ensure that you’re not squandering your funds.
The best routers for gaming are not simply a marketing stratagem. These devices truly have significant features that can level up your gaming experiences, such as additional Gigabit Ethernet ports, gaming traffic prioritization, competent router hardware, and the newest wireless standards. However, it’s also vital to note that not all of these features are limited to gaming routers. The best gaming routers also have additional features like dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, and QoS.
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