Last updated: September 3, 2020

How we pick our products

16Products analyzed

24Hours invested

7Studies researched

73Comments collected

You may have an incredible RAM capacity, the most powerful graphics card out there, and an insuperable processor. Yet, you cannot get the best performance out of your favorite video game. If you think you have tried everything, consider having a look at the router you’re using.

If video games are more than a small pastime for you, the time has probably come for you to think about purchasing a gaming router. These models are specifically designed to offer the very best performance during online gaming sessions. In the following guide, we will help you pick the router you need.

Key Facts

  • If you’re an avid gamer, a powerful computer with top tech specs simply isn’t enough anymore. A gaming router will genuinely make a difference in terms of power and technical quality.
  • Despite the technological advances that routers have gone through in recent years, the emergence of the gaming world has led to the development of gaming models for increased performance and reliability.
  • Gaming routers are, therefore, specifically tailored to play video games. We will delve into their specificities in the last section of this guide.

Our Selection: The Best Gaming Routers on the U.S. Market

You may not fully grasp the concept of gaming routers. If you’ve recently started thinking about purchasing your own, you may have a difficult time choosing a specific model. In the following section, we have selected some of the best products on the market to help you make the right decision.

Best Value-For-Money Gaming Router

NETGEAR is the leader in the router industry, so seeing its R6700 model be Amazon’s Choice in the category shouldn’t be a surprise. This affordable router offers everything you need to increase your in-game performances, starting with wireless speeds of up to 1,750 Mbps and 4 Ethernet ports with speeds of 1 gigabit. This model also integrates Beamforming technology and Dynamic QoS system for greater gaming fluidity.

Most Powerful Gaming Router

This is the most advanced model of our selection, and it offers some of the most powerful features out there. This tri-band router has a quad-core processor, 2.5G gaming port, and an adaptive QoS system.

Its 1.8 GHz CPU is designed for faster connections, while ASUS’s AiProtection security is another outstanding feature that neutralizes any external attack on the Internet before it can reach your home network. Truly built for gamers.

Best Budget-Friendly Gaming Router

This is one truly affordable router brought to you by TP-Link, another force to be reckoned with in the industry. The Archer A7 is a dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi router that is compatible with Alexa – Amazon’s virtual assistant.

TP-Link also offers a mobile app to help you remotely manage your router, whose Wi-Fi coverage can reach 2,500 square feet. Including 4 Ethernet ports, the Archer A7 is Amazon’s Best Seller in the category.

Best All-Round Gaming Router

NETGEAR’s Nighthawk AX8 is a real UFO – both in design and performances. Offering an incredible Wi-Fi speed of up to 6 Gbps and a total of 6 Ethernet ports (including a 2G port), this gaming router is compatible with the 5GHz frequency band and smart home devices.

This quad-core model also integrates Beamforming+ technology and Dynamic QoS system so you can truly customize it to all your gaming needs.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Gaming Routers

Now that we have looked at various gaming routers and their specificities, it is time to delve deeper into these features and what they actually mean. Technology is evolving at an incredible rate, and new hard-to-grasp concepts are constantly seeing the light of day. Let’s have a look at some aspects that will help you choose the best gaming router.

Routers-gaming

A router with a bandwidth of 160 MHz can reach speeds of up to 1,733 Mbps, which is ideal for stress-free gaming.
(Source: Fflorian Olivo: Mf23RF8xArY/ Unsplash.com)

What sets gaming routers apart from the rest?

If you’re looking for a gaming router, it is because you want stability, speed, and low latency. These models offer the very best in these categories thanks to their high-quality processors, ample RAM, high-speed Ethernet ports, dual-band Wi-Fi (or higher), and QoS.

When compared to traditional routers, gaming models often feature a design that resembles a spacecraft or a UFO with all the antennas they integrate. Beyond this purely esthetic aspect, the main difference concerning other routes lies in the advanced features they offer and that we will see in greater detail below.

What are the differences between standard and gaming routers?

What does this mean? Gaming routers Standard routers
Ping or latency This is the time it takes for information to arrive. They are designed to reduce ping. They have higher latency.
Band  This represents the performance offered by a network to play on the Internet. Tri-band Dual-band
Capacity to handle online gaming Gaming routers can better identify and manage the needs of online games by prioritizing the signal over other applications and devices. They all offer this functionality. They are not designed for this purpose.
Internal hardware This is the set of components found in the material internal part of the router. They offer features for users to truly make the most of their router. Their basic specifications are designed for more general Internet use.

What aspects should I consider when buying a gaming router?

You may still think that a standard router could help you solve the performance problems you’re facing during your gaming sessions. If that’s the case, you should ask yourself one question before considering the purchase of a gaming router: in which areas is my current model failing?

In the following table, we want to show you the most important features of gaming routers so you can leave aside any doubt regarding the model you need. While you shouldn’t expect to become an expert in the field, this information will certainly help you make an appropriate decision that will satisfy you.

Requirement What does it offer me?
Wave 2 ac Wi-Fi It provides improved performance when connecting with multiple devices.
1,000 Mbps Fiber optic speed or bandwidth. Advanced Gigabit Ethernet ports help reach this speed.
5 GHz This band generally accepts fewer connected devices, which leads to less interference and higher speeds.
Beamforming This technology offers a more efficient connection by focusing the signal in the direction of the connected devices.

Why should I use a cable to connect my PC to my router?

If you love to give the best of yourself and win during your gaming sessions, or if you plan on playing professionally, you will be looking for the highest-quality connection possible. In that regard, our first piece of advice is that you never play using a Wi-Fi connection.

While wireless connectivity is a fantastic option for the majority of people using the Internet, this isn’t the case for gamers. To get the best connection, we recommend that you use a cable to connect your PC to your router. This will ensure stability and avoid external interference that may hinder your connection.

What external factors can impact my connection?

As you probably know, the router is just one element of the whole to have a connection that allows you to play video games. Even if you purchase the very best router on the market, other factors may stand in the way of a pleasant gaming experience. First of all, you will need to have a quality Internet connection.

The overall quality and performance of your computer are naturally fundamental criteria, as are the game servers. This is why you should make sure that all other connections are performing to their maximum potential before investing your money into a new gaming router.

Buyer’s Guide

You should still become familiar with certain concepts before you can decide to buy a specific gaming router. Understanding these aspects and how they contribute to your gaming experience is the best way to making the most successful purchase possible. In fact, these aspects are what sets gaming models apart from traditional routers.

Bandwidth

The bandwidth determines the data transmission speed. This means that the higher the channel bandwidth is, the faster your connection will be. Gaming routers should offer a bandwidth of 160 MHz, which will allow them to reach speeds of up to 1,733 Mbps. This is ideal for stress-free gaming sessions.

Faster network speed is basically what you need to have enhanced performance for activities such as gaming and advanced streaming. That being said, don’t forget that the high bandwidth needs of a network with limited channels can affect the connection speeds of other devices that are connected to it.

Beamforming is a built-in technology in the most modern routers designed to improve the range of your Wi-Fi signal.
(Source: Chainarong Chokrung: 70258009/ 123rf.com)

Beamforming

The Beamforming technology integrated into the most recent routers allows them to improve their Wi-Fi signal range. If you choose a model with this function, you will prevent your Wi-Fi from suffering various interferences during your gaming sessions, since it significantly improves the signal.

The usefulness of this feature is particularly noticeable if there are many walls and obstacles in the space where you use the Internet, as a more powerful router is then required. While Beamforming technology certainly makes your life easier, there are other ways of increasing your connection in large spaces – Wi-Fi extenders are one of them.

QoS System

Reasonably unknown to the general public, the concept of QoS (Quality of Service) establishes mechanisms to ensure the fluidity of the network traffic. This is a particularly useful feature in the world of video games, where having the best connection is fundamental.

These mechanisms are essentially capable of prioritizing traffic based on the type of data it is transmitting. If you want to improve the connection between your video game console and the Internet, you can therefore prioritize the transfer of gaming data. The QoS system is a big leap forward for gamers.

Routers also integrate a processor and RAM.
(Source: Nito500: 49828391/ 123rf.com)

Wi-Fi Standard

In recent years, AC Wi-Fi has undoubtedly gained ground over N Wi-Fi. This type of Wi-Fi is more modern and offers many advantages over the Wi-Fi standards that were used until now. AC Wi-Fi, for instance, operates in the 5 GHz frequency band, which is wider and allows for higher frequency ranges.

Since it is less used by other devices, the main benefit of this frequency is that it has more space and suffers less interference, in addition to being more powerful. Exceeding the gigabit barrier, it can reach speeds up to three times faster than those of the previous Wi-Fi standards.

Processor and RAM Memory

While many people are unaware of this, routers also integrate a processor and RAM. This means that the more power and more memory they have, the better they will perform as they process various connections and the available bandwidth. This will prevent freezing and disturbances as you’re playing your favorite video game.

For this reason, these two aspects are particularly important to set gaming routers apart from standard models. If you’re subjecting your router to several actions that require great power, you will quickly notice that the results obtained with your gaming model are much higher than with any other router.

Summary

To take advantage of their full potential and excel in their art, gamers are very demanding with the equipment they use when they play. Technological progress has made it possible to further increase in-game performances by purchasing advanced products such as a gaming router.

If your router is continually freezing and you can’t seem to make the most of it, it might be time for you to get your hands on one of these products too. Few people know that this little device often abandoned in a dusty corner can become so useful when used correctly. Now that you know the secret, why not make the most of it?

If you found our guide on gaming routers helpful, feel free to share it on your social media so that others can learn more about these networking devices. You can also leave us a comment in the section below!

(Source of featured image: Kittichai Boonpong: 77882735/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.