The wired connection has always been the fastest and most reliable type of network connection, but unfortunately, it isn’t usable in every situation and on every location. On the other hand, wireless connectivity offers lower speeds, but redeems many of the cable connection limitations and delivers the biggest flexibility of all the network connection types. This is especially notable in the case of the best router for gaming devices that, in a contrast to everyday routers, are packed with the latest features and offer a pretty close performance to the LAN cable connection.
Of course, finding the best gaming router isn’t an easy task, particularly if you are not that familiar with the subject, but some advice here and there will certainly help you a lot in that search.
How to Choose the Best Router for Gaming
If you want to get the best gaming router possible, it is important to have a couple of things in mind and pay closer attention to the following details during your pursuit:
Before the purchase, think through what you really need. If you are a regular user, you probably don’t need for more than a one or two-band device. On the other hand, if you are into simultaneous multiple streaming, a tri-band, with a MU-MIMO function is your necessity. In other words, see what your current needs are and try to predict what they will be in the future – and choose in accordance with that.
When talking about the supported speeds, things are simple. The faster the device, the faster the data transfer and overall network traffic. For that reason, always go for the higher numbers.
Be sure to get yourself a device with functions that allow you to use it for many years to come. Therefore, go for routers with advanced, modern features such as MU-MIMO or Beamforming.
Parental control, VPN server, or malware protection maybe aren’t needed by everyone, but still, they can be very handy from time to time, especially if your network is the target of an online attacks, or you need to limit the access to the network for a certain device. Therefore, although it may seem as you don’t need certain features, be sure of that before the purchase, or even better, if your resources allow it, buy a feature-rich device that will prevent any possible future issues.
Considering connectivity, things are straightforward. More LAN ports, USB ports, etc. means that you will be able to connect more devices. For that reason, calculate well and be sure that there are enough outputs to accept all your hardware.
8 Best Routers for Gaming
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300
A Decent Entry-level Device Ideal for Easy Setup Lovers
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 is a solid, nice performing device, packed with numerous features, which make it highly appealing not only to gamers but a wide range of users. It comes equipped with four Gigabit LAN ports and one WAN port and offers very fast 802.11ac wireless dual-band connectivity that allows for speeds of up to 450Mbps in the 2.4GHz band, and up to 1300Mbps in the 5GHz band.
The router itself runs on a modest dual-core CPU, with 1GHz speed, 128 MB of Flash, 512 MB RAM and the Duma OS, that aren’t much but are still sufficient to allow for a great gaming experience. Among others, this device comes with some highly useful features that include connection prioritization, with upload and download speed limitations and customizable Gaming Dashboard, which allows for easy network tweaking and therefore, reduces lag, lowers the ping and ultimately creates a network up to your needs.
XR300 is compatible with PC, Xbox, PS, Nintendo Switch and many other devices, which makes it highly versatile. Also, it comes supplied with three highly-efficient antennas that guarantee quality performance, but only if that area isn’t too large, in which case it demands “reinforcements” such as Wi-Fi extenders.
All in all, if you are searching for the best gaming router for Xbox One, PS4, or any other similar type console that doesn’t demand for too much network knowledge and allows for easy setup at the same time, NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 is the perfect choice for you.
- Easy setup
- Not that great Wi-Fi range
Linksys WRT AC3200ACM
A Quality Router Meant for the Gamers Who Want Full Control
Full customizability is a primary issue for many users and Linksys WRT AC3200ACM router really shines in that department, allowing for the installation and use of the open-source firmware, as for example OpenWRT or DD-WRT. With this firmware change, users have the opportunity to use many advanced features, as for example TOR or VPN, and more importantly, have full control over the device and the network itself.
If you are not into these advanced aspects, you will be glad to know, that you can also use it with its own firmware, which allows for easy setup and offers a very handy configuration over the phone or any other mobile device.
This router comes with a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, 256MB of flash and 512MB of RAM and is equipped with five Gigabit LAN ports (one is reserved for the modem), USB3.0 port for printer and file sharing and ESATA port that can also be used as a USB port. In other words, great performance and versatility are guaranteed.
Linksys WRT AC3200ACM offers a dual-band Wi-Fi, with speeds of up to 600Mbps in 2.4GHz range and up to 2600Mbps in 5GHz, and also offers an MU-MIMO function, which basically allows for simultaneous use of its Wi-Fi by multiple devices, at the same high speeds.
Altogether, one of the best routers for gaming and streaming is in front of you.
- Fair price
- Great features
- Coverage not always up to the task
TP-Link Archer C5400X
An Exceptional Gaming Router with a Powerful Performance
For everyone looking for an amazing performance and easy setup (it can be also done by mobile devices such as phones or tablets) in one, TP-Link Archer C5400X comes as a great option. Although quite expensive, this router offers a superior set of features and more importantly, premium work stripped of any compromise.
This 802.11ac wireless router offers tri-band networking, with speed of up to 1000Mbps in 2.4GHz band and with speeds of up to 2167Mbps in both of its two 5.0GHz bands. It comes equipped with Broadcom BCM4366 Wi-Fi chip, quad-core 1.8GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and 128MB of memory, which altogether makes a nice PC, packed in the shell of a router.
Archer C5400X also offers many interesting features, such as MU-MIMO function for simultaneous connection of multiple devices, or beamforming that allows for the transmission to adapt to the receiving hardware and exploit all its potentials. Furthermore, there is a built-in VPN server for anonymous connecting and a great set of security features, such as a Malicious Content Filter (blocks bad cites), Intrusion Prevention System (it prevents attacks) and an Infected Device Quarantine, which basically makes this router’s networking a perfectly safe place.
Even though it is a power-hungry and maybe lacks some of the features such as geo-filtering, Archer C5400X is still an amazing device that comes with a two-year warranty, good reach that is pretty resistant to the obstacles such as walls and ceilings, and overall a great performance. As a whole, this is probably the best wireless router for gaming you can have – of course, if you can pay for it.
- Nice performance
- Excellent 5.0GHz speeds
NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 WiFi 6 Next-Gen Router AX3000
A Great Entry-Level Device in the Wi-Fi 6 World
If you are following trends and want to get yourself a future-proof device that won’t cost you a fortune at the same time, NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 Wi-Fi 6 Next-Gen Router AX3000 is a great option. This Wi-Fi 6 router allows for simultaneous, multi-device 4k streaming, without any lag or network congestion.
Thanks to its compliance with the ax standard, this router offers faster speeds than most highly adopted ac routers and, more importantly, allows for concurrent use of both of its bands (2.4GHz and the 5.0GHz) on the contrary to the ac standard that only supports the use of one band at the time.
NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000 itself is equipped with the 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM and 256MB of storage space and comes with numerous features, which include Beamforming, VPN support, MU-MIMO (it supports for up to four simultaneous streams), Nighthawk App for easy setup and a lot more.
In the 2.4GHz range, this router allows for speeds of up to 600Mbps, while in 5.0GHz range, these speeds can reach up to the 2400Mbps mark, making a total speed of 3000Mbps when combined, which is highly respectable for today’s routers.
Altogether, if you want to get yourself one of the best gaming routers that is bringing new technology to the game, NETGEAR Nighthawk AX4 AX3000 is an ideal choice.
- Very fast
- Good home option
- Still pretty unknown Intel chipset
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000
The Best of the Best
Purchasing something that can deliver amazing performance and offer all the best that a certain technology can bring is a dream for many, but because of the high price, reality just for a few… and ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is exactly that type of device. There are great features, amazing speeds, appealing looks and the final result: the best router for gaming that money can buy.
Similar to other premium models, this router comes with 1GB of RAM, 256MB of flash memory and quad-core 1.8GHz CPU, that are the most responsible for its great performance, and a kind of a modest set of outputs that includes one USB3.1 port, four LAN and one WAN port. When talking about its features, it is good to know that there is Beamforming, OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), Dynamic QoS, WTFast, VPN Fusion (it separates gaming traffic from VPN), and many other functions that make this router a one-of-a-kind device.
With support for ax standard, this tri-band device allows for simultaneous use of all its bandwidth, which includes one 2.4GHz band, with maximum speeds of up to 1148Mbps, and two 1.5GHz bands that allow for speeds of up to 4804Mbps, or over 10000Mbps when all the bands are combined.
All in all, if you want the best gaming router available on the market, and spending a ton of money isn’t a problem for you, ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 should be your ultimate choice.
- Exceptional performance
- Super speeds
- Large size
D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router
A Midrange Router Perfect for People Who are Looking for Quality rather Than Features
D-Link EXO AC2600 is not a device that will bring you super-fast speeds, or come with an endless list of features, but still, its decent performance and good usability make it highly appealing to a large base of users.
Its 880MHz dual-core processor, 128MB of RAM, and 128MB of memory aren’t much but are enough to support a dual-band networking with speeds of up to 800Mbps in 2.4GHz band and 1733Mbps in the 5GHz band, which is very good for any ac standard router.
D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router, as its name suggests, supports the MU-MIMO function, but also Beamforming, Advanced Smart Beam, Intelligent QoS and many other features. Nevertheless, handy functions such as parental control or antivirus protection are nowhere to be found, but that is something that could be expected from a mid-range device.
This router allows for up to four simultaneous streaming of 4k content and offers super-easy setup, which makes it practical for both gamers and ordinary households. Therefore, if you are looking for the best router for gaming, but also a good everyday router, D-Link EXO AC2600 is an ideal, affordable choice.
- Easy setup
- Decent performance
- No parental control
- No malware protection
TP-Link AC1900 (Archer A9)
An Affordable, but Highly Useful Wireless Router
If you are searching for a cheap, but highly efficient device, TP-Link AC1900 (Archer A9) is the router you should pay your attention to. Thanks to its easy setup, quality performance and a decent set of features that cover every important aspect (security, simultaneous streaming, parental control, etc.), this device offers everything that a regular user might need.
There is the MU-MIMO function, firewall, Beamforming, support for guest networks and much more, except for a VPN server, but that is something expected from a router under $100.
Archer A9 comes with dual-band connectivity and offers speed of up to 1300Mbps in 5GHz range and 600Mbps in 2.4GHz, and is equipped with four gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port and one USB2.0 – a rather sluggish port, but still, USB connectivity is there.
Overall, with TP-Link AC1900 (Archer A9), you are getting exceptional value for the money, and more importantly, one of the best budget routers for gaming devices available on the market.
- Great value for the money
- No VPN server
- Poor USB throughput
A Solid-Performing Router Constructed for Gamers
Razer Sila comes with a box design that incorporates nine internal antennas and offers decent-performing capabilities. Where this device shines is its 802.11ac performance and a great throughput, in which it is better than, for instance, NETGEAR’s Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 that, on the other hand, surpasses it in the 802.11n field, where the Sila shows its weakest side.
Nevertheless, this device is, thanks to its quad-core 717GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of Flash memory, more than capable of providing solid performance and support to numerous features such as Razer FastTrack, MU-MIMO, beamforming, automatic band steering, etc. Unfortunately, the parental control function, although present, has limited capabilities, while the malware protection is completely missing, which isn’t that great for a router of this price.
On the other hand, Sila offers an easy setup and comes with a practical Mesh networking support that allows for pairing of up to three Sila devices, and coverage of a great area (9,000 square feet) with a Wi-Fi signal. Also, this router comes equipped with one USB2.0 port, one USB3.0 port, one WAN port and the rather disappointing three LAN ports.
When talking about provided speeds, this tri-band router allows for speeds of up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, 1734Mbps on one 5GHz band, and 866Mbps on the second 5GHz band, resulting in an overall 3000Mbps when all the bands are combined.
Although it isn’t perfect, Sila is still one of the best gaming router options you can find and surely one of the more interesting ones, at least considering its looks.
- Great 802.11ac performance
- Support for Mesh networking
- Only three LAN ports
- No malware protection
Hopefully, after reading this guide, your search for the best gaming router has become a much simpler task and you are a one step closer to the best choice possible. If that is the case, this guide’s mission is fulfilled! Good luck!