Best Router For Gaming

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Everybody has experienced the heart-pounding moment when they are ready to execute a brilliant move in their preferred online game, but a brief lag spike causes them to fail terribly. Or perhaps it’s when we wait in line for a competitive match only to have our internet connection suddenly fail three seconds into the game. Even worse are the sporadic lag spikes that plague gamers the entire time, causing the game to become a choppy mess. Even though some of these difficulties will be beyond our control (and probably in the hands of our internet service providers), others may be related to our routers. So, if you want to become competitive online, it’s crucial to make sure you have a rock-solid router for gaming.

Avoid using your old router because you might use an out-of-date Wi-Fi standard (like Wi-Fi 4, aka 802.11n). More modern routers may not prioritize your gaming traffic, which leaves you vulnerable to lag spikes when other devices are connected to the network. A good gaming router should support Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) or Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connections and many Ethernet ports for quick and reliable connectivity. Some even include three Wi-Fi bands, allowing you to set aside one band for gaming, preventing your gaming console or computer from fighting with every smartphone and smart home device that tries to connect to the router.

Gaming routers may appear to be a passing trend among enthusiasts, but they represent a brand-new product worth discussing. With minimum band support, conventional ports, and few customizations, routers have thus far tended to be uninteresting. However, because of the huge demand for gaming routers, manufacturers have begun making high-quality routers with numerous optimizations just for that reason.

Today’s game consoles and multiplayer online gaming platforms call for better data transmission management. This points to which router on the market is the best for gaming. Router Guru looked through a vast array of routers and identified the top 5 gaming routers that can easily handle high data transmission. Before moving on, let’s first discuss the specifications and benchmarks to look for in gaming routers.

How do gaming routers work?

A router is a device that connects different devices to the internet and one another. Its main job is to send the info where it needs to go.

A router connects the devices to the high-speed internet service offered by the ISP for gaming purposes, enabling players to gather and enjoy a hassle-free online game while lounging in the comfort of their homes.

The decision of how to select the finest gaming router adds another challenge to purchasing a gaming router.

How Do I Pick the Best Router for Gaming?

There are several factors to consider if you’re looking for a router, whether the best gaming router or something less focused on gaming.

Which should you choose: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) or Wi-Fi 6/6E (802.11ax)?

You should get at least Wi-Fi 6, but certainly not 6E just yet, unless you’re planning to buy a cheap router to tide you over. Check out our Wi-Fi 6/6E section for more details on this. 

Despite the ease of Wi-Fi, cable Ethernet is still the best option for gaming because of its stability and low latency. Therefore, if you play competitive games, you should always have an Ethernet connection to your router. Most routers come with one input for your Internet connection and four LAN ports for connecting four Ethernet devices (WAN).

Most people only need four ports, but as smart home hubs, set-top boxes, consoles, and other devices increase, you might need more. Sometimes (but not always), higher-end alternatives come with more Ethernet ports. The Archer AX6000 from TP-Link boasts an astounding eight Ethernet ports. As an alternative, you might connect one of the best network switches and increase the number of Ethernet ports to meet the demands of your network.

Take into account the size and layout of your house. The size and age of your home, which tend to determine what’s inside your walls, are other factors that must be considered when choosing the finest gaming router. Consider a mesh-compatible or a mesh-compatible router if you have a large space and walls made of materials like brick, metal, or foil-wrapped insulation so that you can purchase additional satellites to deploy in locations where signal strength is weak. It should be noted that most of Asus’ current routers can work in a mesh configuration; seek a feature called AiMesh (opens in a new tab). Range repeaters and extenders can also fill in gaps or increase throughput. But unlike a mesh configuration, which your devices will perceive as a single network regardless of where you are in your home or whatever device you are connected to, they are frequently more difficult to set up and don’t operate as smoothly.

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What number of bands do I need?

That mostly depends on the number of devices connected to your network at home. Consider bands as distinct thoroughfares that gadgets can connect to. Remember that not all highways have the same speed limits or lane counts. Without going into too much detail that might turn this entire section into a story in and of itself, if gaming traffic is your top priority, look for a router with two 5 GHz bands so that most of your modern devices can connect to one. You can leave the other completely open for your gaming packets.

What are the advantages of purchasing a gaming router over a standard router?

  1. Gaming routers have strong processors and are built to minimize lag.
  2. Most entry-level routers cannot handle high-speed internets, such as 500 Mbps or 1 Gbps. Gaming routers easily support higher speeds.
  3. Buffering problems won’t arise if you are streaming video, playing games, or using a lot of bandwidth.
  4. They provide cutting-edge tech, including WIFI 6, 5 GHz connections, a longer range, and enhanced security features.
  5. Using the 5 GHz channel is advisable to increase data throughput and reduce latency. I’ve also added Wi-Fi 6 routers that work well for streaming 4K and 8K games and media.
  6. The top gaming routers in India that offer quick speeds, extended range, dependability, and minimal latency have been narrowed down.

Things to Think About When Purchasing a Gaming Router

Router Guru has compiled a few characteristics that are essential in gaming routers. It’s crucial to realize that routers now feature processors, RAM, and onboard storage, making them into operating systems unto themselves. In light of this, the issue arises: If it has the necessary hardware, where is the data transmission optimization software? That is where gaming routers got their start. You may learn about the changes made to conventional routers due to the influx of gaming routers here. To considerably boost performance, the following functions have been added to gaming routers via software; you should search for these features when purchasing a gaming router.

Adaptive QoS

Today’s gaming routers must enable Quality of Service Optimization if you plan to purchase one. Additionally, it must be dynamic to prioritize hosts and services to boost performance.

As an illustration, consider the time when a network client would ask the router for a data packet and receive one. In the meantime, if another client requested a data packet, that request wouldn’t be granted until the previous request was finished. Here, prioritizing is not considered, which causes service to be delayed. The conventional router cannot prioritize requests based on which ones need more attention.

This issue is resolved by dynamic QoS thanks to a special engine that determines which hosts and services need to be handled immediately. If you are playing an online game, you anticipate that it will run smoothly and without lag. Dynamic QoS steps in to close the gap and offer low-latency gaming at that point.

MU-MIMO Assistance

The basis of gaming routers is MU-MIMO. Multiple User- Multiple Input and Multiple Output is what it stands for. Multiple clients can request and retrieve data simultaneously without any packet drops, as it goes without saying. In gaming routers, this is an absolute requirement. Remember that for this technology to function, your gaming console must also support it. This feature should not be disregarded at any cost if you’re looking for the best wireless router for gaming.

Tri-Band

In general, routers support two bands, such as 2.4GHz and 5GHz. But having a third, distinct 5GHz frequency makes everything run even more smoothly. The 2.4GHz band can manage light browsing in homes with many people and various devices. An additional 5GHz would handle high-volume transmission and TV streaming. Smooth gameplay would be achieved by having a third, independent band that is free from interference and can only be used for gaming.

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Beamforming Innovation

A recent development in the networking industry is beamforming technology. Typically, routers send signals in all directions without considering the device’s location. This issue is resolved by beamforming technology, which releases signals solely in the direction of the target device. The router becomes much more effective, and the likelihood of a network drop is much reduced. If you want the greatest Wi-Fi router for gaming, Beamforming technology is a must-have.

6 Best Router For Gaming in 2022

#1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S

It would help if you moved quickly when playing a video game, and having nothing in your path can help. With the Netgear Nighthawk X6S, you can have that. With 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity, this gaming router has the standard features you might anticipate and a few extra antennas for a powerful signal. However, it adds a 5GHz band to your connectivity options, which is a plus. If you prefer to game over Wi-Fi rather than an Ethernet connection, you can set aside an entire 5GHz band for your gaming while still giving the rest of your home a 5GHz connection.

Even though this router doesn’t have all the newest technologies, like Wi-Fi 6E or 2.5Gbps WAN, it still costs less than routers. And you might not need those functions right now to enjoy a fantastic gaming experience from your router unless you have severe networking needs in your home or an almost unheard-of connection from your ISP.

#2. The Asus RT-AX88U

Wireless standards frequently consist of more marketing hoopla than actual, useful improvements and come and go (looking at you, WiGiG). The Wi-Fi Alliance’s most recent standard, 802.11ax, is known as “Wi-Fi 6,” while 802.11ac was renamed “Wi-Fi 5” to make wireless standards more straightforward.

The benefits of Wi-Fi 6 include, unsurprisingly, increased bandwidth. Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), which aims to expand the number of subchannels for each wireless channel, reduce latency, and enable the router to support more clients concurrently, is the second major development here. Additionally, beamforming has been improved, MU-MIMO has been made better, and more data can now be delivered simultaneously.

Because of the vertical configuration, the four antennas on the RT-AX88U are more evenly placed than on a router with a similar horizontal configuration. Additionally, there are two USB 3.1 ports on the side and one on the rear. Black matte plastic with a tendency to display fingerprints makes up the finish.

The RT-specifications AX88U are generally fairly impressive and can easily compete with the best gaming routers on the market. This router’s hardware components include a quad-core CPU running at 1.8 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and 256 MB of flash memory.

According to our tests, the next-generation Wi-Fi standard, 80211ax (Wi-Fi 6), offers definite advantages for 5 GHz throughput and gaming in a crowded network environment. With performance this amazing, the RT-AX88U deserves to be in the high-end category despite its current street price of $346.

With what we have seen of 802.11ax thus far, consider ourselves impressed. The Asus RT-AX88U is a router upgrade option that is worth taking into account.

#3. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is intended to be the “best of the best” gaming router in its class, and judging by the technical specifications, it more than lives up to expectations. It offers a lot and builds on the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300, the previous router in its series, by using Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Although this router has four Gigabit LAN ports and a dedicated 2.5G Base-T port for better-wired bandwidth, we prefer the eight ports other Asus routers provide (opens in new tab).

This Wi-Fi 6 tri-band solution provides more than 10 gigabits of wireless bandwidth in addition to DFS bands to prevent interference.

Additional features geared toward gamers include integrated WTFast, VPN Fusion to separate gaming traffic from VPN traffic for maximum throughput, Dynamic QoS to prioritize gaming traffic, Games Radar (no, not that one) to check the ping times to various game servers to minimize latency, and Aura RGB for those who prefer a more colorful environment.

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We were impressed after running the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 through our tests. The 5 GHz speeds are remarkable, with one of the best throughput speeds of any router to date at 334 Mbps, while the 2.4 GHz speeds are respectable at 171 Mbps on the far test. Oh, and since we don’t even have an 802.11ax USB Wi-Fi adaptor, the client-side equipment used for this is 802.11ac. This router is truly that excellent, yes.

#4. Netgear Nighthawk AX4 

The Nighthawk AX4 is a great example of what Wi-Fi 6 can do, even on a more affordable router, as this specification spreads through product lines. The Nighthawk AX4 lacks the high-end gear’s bright, colorful stripes and LEDs. It is horizontally oriented and features four Gigabit LAN connections, one USB connector, a row of green indication LEDs, and two external antennas.

The interface is handled by the Nighthawk app and may also be accessed through a web portal. The latter is more generic because it uses the more well-known Netgear OS rather than DumaOS. Additionally, there is QoS (which may be easily turned on or off) for gaming. However, there is still no fine-grained control to better balance gaming and media streaming demands across numerous linked devices to improve the overall experience.

The Netgear AX4 is a tempting option for people who desire the throughput that Wi-Fi 6 gives at a more reasonable price than others. The throughput performance for the AX4 was impressive during testing, with relative testing speeds of 344 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 345 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency. The Wi-Fi 6 standard value was demonstrated in the far testing with 222 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz frequency and 309 Mbps over the 5 GHz frequency.

#5. Nighthawk XR1000 from Netgear

The setup should be simpler and devoid of RGB lighting, but Netgear’s Nighthawk XR1000 offers Wi-Fi 6 with beamforming and the robust DumaOS 3.0 for fine-tuning the network to prioritize traffic. Wi-Fi 6E is not present either, but since so few devices implement that standard and adding it would require giving up a second viable 5 GHz band, most users are better off without it for at least a few more years. Although it has several restrictions, D-$99 Link’s EXO AX1800 gives Wi-Fi 6 on the cheap if you’re looking for something simpler and significantly less expensive.

Given its $300+ price tag, the Netgear NXR1000 might not suit everyone. However, people who prefer a true gaming router with precise settings over flashy lighting should consider this the finest gaming router for their requirements.

#6. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 WiFi 6E 

The first Wi-Fi 6E router to be made available was the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 from Asus, and it demonstrates that adopting a new standard early is not without its challenges. The exceptionally fast Wi-Fi throughput, simplicity of setup, built-in security, support for OutFox, a service that offers lower gaming latency, and versatility in the wired ports that allow link aggregation is all strengths of this router.

However, the GT-AXE11000 is rather expensive, there aren’t many Wi-Fi 6E devices available, and our tests with the available firmware revealed subpar QoS performance at the time. Returning to an earlier version of the firmware resolved the problem. However, it also caused latency problems. Asus was still working out some software glitches during our testing.

By reading this, these performance concerns may have been resolved, if not already. However, Wi-Fi 6E is still very much a young technology. You might want to wait till more 6E routers are available, and the standard has had some time to grow and disseminate to more clients unless money isn’t an issue and you must have the newest Wi-Fi standard.

Conclusion:

Overall, this was an effort to compile the top 5 wireless gaming routers so that you may select one that suits your needs. Buy Netgear Nighthawk X6S and put the matter to rest if you take gaming seriously and don’t want to make any compromises. You can also check out other routers that are reasonably priced. The author of this article, Router Guru, sincerely hopes that it has helped you confidently choose a gaming router.

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