Although not given much attention in front of the internal hardware of a computer, a Router is crucial for any gaming setup. If you use a poor router to provide an internet connection to your gaming devices, it is very likely that you are missing out on much of the premium gaming experience despite having a fully able processor and CPU.
It might be counterintuitive to say that you should spend hundreds of dollars on internet routers, most people think that any router will do the job and it’s not worth spending excess dollars on it. The truth couldn’t be farther from that, routers play a major role in providing a rock-solid internet connection and bandwidth and thus providing a lag-free smooth internet connection.
The best routers provide a stable and reliable connection to various users, a larger signal radius for greater area coverage in places like offices and larger institutions. With the router technology taking big leaps there is always some product in the market providing breakthrough technology and promising unmatched user experience, this article will help you to navigate through a marketplace full of promising routers, and choose the best one for you.
Having the best gaming router in your home will not only take your gaming to the next level but will also provide a strong internet connection for video and movie streaming etc. There are many gaming routers in the market, some of them are way too expensive providing high-end features, but if you are a normal home user you won’t be needing most of the high-tech features that these flagship routers present. So you must decide what are your needs and preferences, then look for the relevant best gaming router in your price range.
In this article, we will be reviewing in detail some of the best gaming routers having mid-range to high-end features.
#1. Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
• Network Standard:802.11ac
• performance:1000+2167+2167 Mbps
• Frequency Band:2.4 GHz (1 band) / 5 GHz (2 bands)
• Transmit/Receive:MIMO technology (2.4 GHz 4 x 4,5 GHz-1 4 x 4,
• Processor:1.8GHz quad-core processor
• Memory:256MB NAND flash and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
• Operating Frequency:Tri-band Wi-Fi
• LED Indicator: yes
The Asus ROG Rapture is made for hardcore gamers who want nothing but the best gaming experience from their system. And all such gaming perfectionists out there are not just limited to having the best gaming processor and CPU but they require an undeniably fast and reliable internet connection, this is where rapture GT-AC5300 comes into play. With its flagship design and features, it redefines what wonders a mere router can do for your gaming performance. The tri-band router is one of a kind providing gaming acceleration through software and hardware-based prioritization, loads of LAN ports, and a powerful quad-core processor which makes it an invincible device.
ROG Rapture has an impressive design and builds quality, the design specifics of this router justifies the high price that it demands.
Being able to provide one of the fastest 5GHz close proximity connections, and various built-in applications for performance enhancement it stands apart from average gaming routers. Offering 8 LAN ports which are more than what most routers provide at this price point, it is undeniably worth the high price.
For all those hardcore users who cannot stand compromising their gaming equipment and performance for the money, then this is the best gaming router for you to buy.
- Unchallenged performance
- Sleek interface
- Eight LAN ports
- Various applications for optimization
- Bulky design
- Excessive features for most users
#2. TP-Link Archer AC5400X
- Speed:11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 1,000Mbps
- Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0
- Features: MU-MIMO support, Alexa integration, IFTTT
- processor/storage/memory:8GHz quad-core/1GB/128MB
Archer AC5400x strikes just the right balance between performance, speed, and design. Housing a powerful router in a compact and durable build quality. The design specifics of Archer AC5400X are appealing for most people, with its outward folding 8 antennas like most flagship models and an immensely compact design it forces you to think about how it can perform so well with such a small footprint. The no-frill design of this router is worth spending your money over.
Despite its minimal size and simplistic design, it manages to provide a strong internet connection with a pretty decent range and impressive throughput. TP-link Archer AC5400 also has its own antivirus software to provide reliable protection from malware and other threats trying to access your network. TP-link also provides a two-year warranty and support with the AC5400 which gives it an edge over many competitors, as most routers at max provide a one-year warranty.
There are some downsides to this device like any other, lacking sufficient wired ports and in some cases, the Dual 2166MHz 802.11ac radios didn’t auto-negotiate connections for the user, apart from it doesn’t have the most beautiful design, though it absolutely gets the work done due to the rise of the popularity of fancy and flashy gaming devices some people might not love the no-frill simplistic design for this price.
- Compact design
- Antivirus software included
- Great performance
- Insufficient wired ports
#3. Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router
- Processor: ARM dual-core @ 2GHz
- Wireless Connectivity: Dual band AC3200 802.11a/g/ac/n MU-MIMO (N600, AC2600
- Storage: 512MB NAND flash
- Memory: 512MB RAM
- Ports: 1x Gigabit WAN, 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0/eSATA
- Dimensions:7 x 7.6 x 2 in (246 x 194 x 52 mm)
The Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router is another great flagship router that will make sure that you don’t miss out on those intense gaming moments where the slightest lag can demolish all your progress. Having the Rivet Networks’ Killer Prioritization Engine it is able to prioritize devices that are using a killer network LAN hardware
It has an impressive design with two antennas at the rear and front, altogether these four antennas are fully movable and can be tilted in any direction. This router has a set of LEDs in the front that indicate connectivity and network status. The WRT32X gaming router also has the standard five-port switch setup and separate USB and eSATA ports on the rear.
The performance of this router is up to the mark with good throughput performance and reduced latency. It is not just a great option for the gamers out there but also other users who require an undeniably fast and reliable internet connection for even general purposes.
The price of this router goes well over $250, which makes it fall in line with the more flagship routers of whom nothing but the best is expected. Linksys’s WRT32X gaming router is an ideal option for all the gamers who already have killer network hardware, in the other case although the WRT32X still packs massive value but might be considered an overpriced product.
- Employs killer network optimization
- Easy to install and user-friendly configuration
- Great throughput performance
- Outdated hardware
- Requires killer network hardware for best services
#4. Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
- Frequency Band: 4 GHz / 5 GHz
- Wireless Protocol:11a/b/g/n/ac
- Routing Protocol: IGMPv2, IGMP, static IP routing
- Status Indicators: Power, system, wireless, WPS, Internet
- Clock Speed:7 GHz
- Manufacturer: ZyXEL Communications Corp.
- Encryption Algorithm: WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise
Zyxel’s Armor Z2 AX2600 is a dual-band wireless gigabit router. Having an impressive sleek look gives off the vibe of a next-level piece of technology. With its Qualcomm’s StreamBoost bandwidth-management technology it provides a strong internet connection with a large bandwidth, sufficient enough to get you through most computing be it gaming, video streaming, or data transfer. Like most routers, it also supports MU-MIMO streaming technology with decent management options.
In terms of performance capabilities, the Z2 router leaves behind much of the competition with providing up to 1733Mbps to wireless connections. This router would be a reliable option as a gaming router, providing fast internet connections, the simple and easy configuration makes it more of a general-purpose router that anyone can use and not just tech geeks.
The design and build of this router make it look simple yet attractive it might not be able to inspire some of those hardcore gamers who want massive futuristic designs for their gaming rig, but it is a very compact device with a small footprint.
With all that said it is important to note that it is one of the most expensive routers that we have reviewed, if you are not willing to spend such huge sums for a router of this class then you shouldn’t go for this device. As there are various cheaper alternatives in the market who provide the same value more or less.
- User-friendly installation
- Cool and compact design
- Good throughput performance
- Not most devices use quad-stream 802.11ac
- USB ports are sluggish
#5. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
- Speed: AC2600
- Antennas: 4 removable
- Ports: 1 WAN/4LAN gigabit per second, 2 USB
- Wi-Fi: 5 (802.11ac)
- processor/memory/storage: Qualcomm dual-core 1.7GHz/512MB/256MB
- WiFi chip: Qualcomm QCA 9984
- Range: 115 feet
- Dimensions:6 x 12.6 x 2.2 in
- Weight: 77 lb (803 g)
Low latency, high performance, and aesthetic design however you define a good gaming router the Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 has it all. It could be said to be the best and one of the fastest gaming routers, with double-width data channels having geo-filtering and a user-friendly quality of service engine. This router ensures reduced ping with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port further reducing lags and frustrating network buffer. The Dual-band router is capable of providing blazing fast internet speeds up to 2.6Gbps.
Nighthawk Pro has a futuristic design with an angular structure, which looks cool and it’s very unlikely that anyone won’t be satisfied by the look of it. Other than that it does not have an included fan, which might be a downside in some routers of this domain but nighthawk pro manages quite efficiently to get heated even without a fan. The router provides the option to switch to the virtual private network(VPN) with just a click; it employs the OpenVPN software to get this done. And as promised the router has an incredible speed and performance installed with Qualcomm’s WiFi chip it can surely handle all the heavy gaming load you put on it.
- Good range
- Impressive traffic management
- Provides OpenVpn option
- WiFi 6 not available
#6. D-link AC31500 Ultra WiFi router
- Chipset:Broadcom BCM4709C0 @ 1.4 GHz
- RAM:256 MB
- LAN ports: 4 x 10/100/1000 Mbps
- VPN support:QuickVPN
- Antennas: 4 x 3 dBi fixed
- Speed: 1000 + 2167 Mbps
D-link’s AC31500 could be said to be one of the best mid-range router options in the market right now providing good performance and a flagship design. With the availability and support of the latest WiFi technology such as beamforming, MU-MIMO streaming, and band steering it is a fully functional modern router with all the necessary bits. To be used for gaming purposes this router won’t disappoint having 4 x 4 data streams and 1024-NitroQAM technology ensures a smooth and fast internet connection providing an uninterrupted gaming experience. The AC31500 also has an easily configurable and user-friendly interface that also provides network management from mobile phones or desktops.
Not just gaming, but the D-link AC31500 Ultra WiFi router is well designed to live up to the needs of all kinds of users whether you have to stream movies and videos in 4k resolution or receive or send large data files, this router will live up to its promise of providing a safe and fast internet connection as a mid-range device.
Although the price tag of this device is slightly higher than what would be of an ideal mid-range device, it very well manages to provide the value expected out of it.
- Good throughput performance
- Employs latest WiFi technology
- Cool design
- Slightly overpriced
Things to consider when buying a gaming router
When looking for the best gaming router you must consider these specifications:
The processor capacity of your router plays a major role to provide a smooth and blazing fast internet connection. The higher the processor speed of your router, the higher will be the rate of data transfer and internet connection.
Just like in a PC a router also requires ample RAM memory to be able to hold a functional Cisco IOS operating system and buffer RAM is also useful for performing packet buffering. All in all, look for maximum RAM in your router to get the best performance from your router.
There are different measures if wireless standards are available, the most common one until now has been 802.11ac which has grown outdated and will be soon replaced by WiFi 6 technology for most systems. Always check which wireless technology your router uses and choose the one with the latest technology.
Bands of WiFi technology
The number of channels that your router can transmit data to is dependent on the bands of WiFi technology. Flagship routers are able to provide data for up to three channels thus having tri-band technology. Look for a router with tri-band or at least dual-band technology for extraordinary performance.
Gaming routers might not sound like an important part of your gaming rig but they are of great importance. Considering almost every activity or task requires a solid internet connection routers are necessary and will provide the edge in your work/hobby by providing low-latency and lag-free internet connection.
Having the best gaming router will undoubtedly give you a unique edge in your gaming performance, it might be hard for you to allocate such large sums of cash for a mere router but the truth is if you can spend thousands of dollars on a gaming PC you cannot afford to compromise on a gaming router by spending less and getting frustrating and poor internet connection for the rest of your life. We hope that this article will prove to be a useful guide if you are looking to buy the best gaming router or just wish to know more about these phenomenal pieces of technology and their role in any gaming setup.
Hey, I’m David Currier. I’ve been Gaming building computers and writing about Gaming building computers, gaming products for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.