Best Gaming Router: Top WiFi Routers for Gaming and Streaming

Editor choice Best Gaming Router: Top WiFi Routers for Gaming and Streaming

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  • Tri-band (dual 5 GHz, single 2.4 GHz) with the latest 802.11ac 4x4 technology for maximum throughput (5334 Mbps) and coverage (up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
  • MU-MIMO technology enables multiple compatible clients to connect at each client's respective maximum speed

Are you interested in purchasing a brand new wireless router, but finding the research needed to be a bit confusing? Well then you’ve come to the right place as this simple guide will help you find the best gaming router for your specific needs.

We will go over the different things you need to consider before buying a gaming router. We’ll also answer common questions related to buying a gaming router and reasons why it’ll benefit you. In this day in age where streaming is so common and online multiplayer depends on a reliable connection, finding the best gaming router within your budget is a must.

So hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two by the time you’re done with this guide and we hope you find exactly what you’re looking for in a gaming router.


Stop relying on your old router for gaming

Old WiFi router for gaming

What’s so bad about older routers? First off like most things they tend to get worn down over time. Some microchips may get overheated as time goes and fry up causing you to lose internet speed. In addition, the older routers are less reliable as the internet speed can fluctuate from sometimes going insanely fast to going incredibly slow. This is because sometimes the router can’t manage the radio waves it gets sent. However, purchasing a gaming router can change all of this, since they are built for people who need to have a strong connectivity at all times.

One of the bigger differences on a gaming modem is that it has many antennas attached to it, but this doesn’t mean the internet will go faster. The antennas only help it to catch and send out the radio waves to the device you are using. It is recommended to use a wire to connect to your PC, even the best gaming routers perform more efficiently when connected with a wire. However, your internet won’t get any faster if you’re paying your broadband provider a certain amount for a fixed speed, in this case you should pay more money for unlimited speed, which is well worth it.

Every gamer needs a router there is no doubt about that, but do you need a wired connection or not? Connecting your console or PC directly to the router is defiantly the better option, since this ensures that your gaming computer is going to get the full power of the router. Your console won’t have to worry about connecting to the router, which is great as connecting via Wi-Fi normally means that you will lose a couple of MB/s. Unless you live in a place where the internet speed is extremely fast that you don’t have to worry about this then connecting through wire is defiantly something you should consider.

To play triple A games you need a high end graphics card, right? Well the same goes for the router. Nowadays people need faster and faster internet speed for various reasons whether it’s to stream games on the internet or watch 4K films, the truth is we can’t live without high speed internet today. Most smartphones now have 4G internet, which is amazing when you think about how we all had flip phones 10 years ago. The reason why this is brought up is that most people have their routers for years and don’t worry about changing. However, this is a major mistake. You don’t want a flip phone right? The same goes with the router. Having an old router is going to bring the quality and speed of your internet drastically down as it won’t be able to handle the speed.

Finding a high end router is not as difficult as you might think when you have the necessary information at hand. Knowing the different little things to look out for can play a major role in helping you decide which is the best gaming router is for you. For example, some routers come with a touch screens and if that’s something you need then taking a glance at some of Microsoft’s newer routers is something you should do.

How to find the best gaming router

How to find the best gaming router

  • WiFi speed: Internet speed is a major factor when it comes to gaming. You never want to be in a game only to find out that you’re going to be lagging due to bad internet connection. Making sure to get a good gaming router that can take intense speed is very important to avoid such scenarios, otherwise the lag is just going to make you discouraged to play in the future.
  • Mu-MIMO: Mu-MIMO or wave 2 is the latest routers that support more than one single client. MU-MIMO stands for multiple user, multiple output. So from the name you can understand that the Mu-MIMO is designed to be used more than one client, in fact routers with this function can be used with four clients at the same time. Having the Mu-MIMO is far more efficient than the 802.11n MIMO as there is less bandwidth wasted and the data can travel through multiple channels. The reason why it is so much more efficient is that it takes advantage of the radio wave phenomenon of multipath propagation.
  • Range: If you’re the type of person who can’t connect your gaming computer via wire for whatever reason then range is an important factor for you. You simply can’t play using a router that is too far away, because the strength of the connection will get extremely weaker the further you go. Some people may not have the luxury of having a router nearby, in this case purchasing a router with long range connection is a must. Have in mind purchasing a router with many antennas doesn’t mean it’s going to connect long range, but rather getting one of the best WI-FI routers for gaming with a description of long range would be the better option.
  • Quality of service: Quality of Service or QoS for short is a very important feature to have, because this can set the router to prioritize more important traffic over less important information, which allows you to use your bandwidth more efficiently. Only the best gaming routers will have this option, which can be optimized using the router itself or a smartphone. If you want your games to be low ping or watch ultra-high resolution streams then getting a router with the QoS option is a must.
  • Firmware: Having a secure connection with your router is very important as you might have private information your computer that you don’t want anyone to know. This is why having a router with good firmware is very important, otherwise your computer could be vulnerable to attacks. It is important to get a router which brings out updates for the firmware regularly, but this doesn’t mean that you are 100% safe from attacks. There are many online communities that offer open source firmware solutions which are also maintained by them, this is a good option for anyone looking to get helpful support.
  • Beamforming: Beamforming is very important as this will allow the right devices to get the amount of bandwidth they need. This technology lets the router send the package of data straight to the client more efficiently, instead of sending the information in all directions equally.
  • Using smartphones: Typically changing the password or setting up a network would be done on a computer, but with today’s technology this can now be done using a smartphone. There are free apps that are provided by the manufacturer. You can use Android or IOS to use these apps, but have in mind some of these apps may not be supported by the software. In addition you can use these apps on a tablet or smart watch too.
  • Performance: Getting a gaming router that can handle a lot of bandwidth is very important for those people who love to stream, game and so on. However, you can’t do this if you purchase a router that isn’t made for such purposes. Some routers are better at certain things than others so you should make sure to do the research of what features you need most.

How to test a router

Deciding on which is the best router for gaming is entirely up to you, it all depends on what things you want to focus on whether it’s speed, range or anything else. Testing a gaming router is fairly simple, all you have to do is download an app that checks the speed of your router. This can be achieved by using a computer, tablet or smartphone.

On the other hand, you can turn on streams, download games on your device and check how fast the speed is going there, since this will give you a more accurate direct feeling of what the router is going to be like.

Ideal price for a gaming router

Routers come in all shapes and sizes and there are many reasons behind this. For example, style is important as for some gamers they want their set-up to match as much as possible. On the other hand, other people don’t care about style and want as much power as they can get, but what if both are possible?

The ASUS AC5300 Wireless Tri-Band is an amazing router for those people who are looking to take their set-up to the next level. However, this gaming router does cost more than the average, but this is not a problem as getting something that is durable and reliable is well worth the price. Going for the more expensive product will work out better in the long run, since you know that the product will last a long time.

Why you should get a router for gaming

Best gaming router

Typically an everyday router is made for basic connections to you phone, computer, table, so on. However, gaming routers are engineered for gamers who want to get a whole new experience. No gamer wants to play on bad servers and this is the same with the internet connection, who wants to lag in a game, right? Going out of your way to get a router made especially for gaming is a great choice, but why should you get a gaming router and not anything else?

  • New experience: You might be bored of having the same old dusty black router in your house and you think it’s time for a change. Once you get one of these gaming routers you will begin to see what you have been missing out on. No longer will you have to wait for your friends or family to go offline so you will be able to get the right amount of bandwidth to handle your games. Instead you will be able to use the QoS app that you would have downloaded on your phone to get all the bandwidth to yourself, rather than getting a small fraction of what you needed.
  • Style: As mentioned previously you might be a gamer who is obsessed with their gaming set-up to look as perfect as possible. Well, with gaming routers the manufacturers have thought of this and designed their routers to look stylish, with options to change the colour making your router have the same theme as your PC set-up. However, if you’re the type of gamer who is just looking for a good experience rather than looks then getting something like the TP-Link AC3150 Wireless Wi-Fi Router may be the option for you.
  • Speed: Speed is everything when it comes to watching live streams or playing mass multiplayer online games. Without getting the right amount of bandwidth your connection to the game can be in trouble, but with gaming routers connections are more stable. This is where Quality of Service comes in, you can manually set the router to give you more speed, thus giving you the extra boost that you might have needed in the past. Also, note that if your PC can’t handle the speed of the router then there is no point in upgrading, since your PC won’t be able to use the extra speed anyway.
  • Lag: The most annoying thing any game will face is lagging out of an intense game, but this can be fixed with upgrading your router. Your router is the heart of your gaming set-up, without it there is no point in owning a computer. No router means no internet, which means no games even with an old router getting low speeds is just as bad as getting no speed. However, getting the latest gaming router will change all that giving you the edge on your opponents, since ping will be down you will be able to react way faster than your opponent.
  • Streaming: If you are into live streaming then going for a router that can upload as well as download really fast is something you should prioritize. The TP-Link AD7200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router is an amazing router for people looking to do such things. On the other hand, if you love watching live streams then there is an option to go for the TP-Link AC3150 which is cheaper but gets the job done.

These are just but a few reasons why you should consider upgrading your router. Routers are only going to be improving and getting better in the future. If you are on a budget don’t worry as the new ASUS routers are going to end up dropping in price once the newer products come out. This is a great method that some people choose to do. They wait until the next generation of products come out and when the other products drop in price they cease the moment and buy the product that was once too expensive for them.

Buying the best gaming router FAQ

  • Do you need a gaming router? There is no simple answer to this as it depends on what you need. Do you need fast connections? Do you have to share your internet? Getting a gaming router makes life easier for you as it comes with many features such a QoS, which allows you to get more bandwidth while giving a small amount away to other devices.
  • What brand should I go with? This depends on you for some people brands make no difference. However, for some people this can put them off into looking at the product completely. It is always better to go for a brand that is well known, since you know their products are reliable. On the other hand, you might be missing out on a small gem, maybe the router you need isn’t an ASUS that looks crazy powerful, but something different like TP Link Archer C1200.
  • Do I need a router that supports QoS? Well, if you are looking to do intense gaming while sharing internet with somebody else, then yes. Optimizing your gaming router is a big plus, since you will most likely need more bandwidth than most people as gaming does take a lot of power.
  • How can I use QoS? QoS is very simple to use in the guide book of your newly purchased gaming router there should be instruction on what to do. The manufacturer should have an app that you can download on your smartphone, tablet or even go on a browser.
  • What are some things I should avoid when considering a gaming router? The price is a major turn away for many people when it comes to buying things like gaming routers. You should think of it as an investment instead of buying/upgrading your router every few years consider getting a router that is more expensive but durable.
  • Should I buy a gaming router without warranty? No, you never know maybe your gaming router came with a fault that will unveil itself in a few months. Having a warranty is crucial, otherwise you could end up wasting your hard earned cash.

Hopefully we’ve covered more than enough details and answered enough questions for those of you looking to buy the best gaming router. Now we will go over the best different routers in this list below. We hope it helps you pick out a router that matches your needs.

Best gaming router

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ASUS AC5300 Wireless Tri-Band (Dual 5GHz + Single 2.4GHz) Gigabit Router [RT-AC5300]...

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Last update was in: August 16, 2017 2:31 am

$327.49

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When it comes to gaming all you need is a persistent flow of bandwidth to play your games, which the ASUS AC5300 can offer. It has tri-band dual 5 GHz and a single 2.4 GHz with the latest 802.11 ac 4×4 technologies to get maximum speeds, up to 5334 Mb per second. Furthermore, it has built in MU-MIMO technology that will let you connect to each other’s clients at good speeds. This ASUS router can switch from going 5 GHz to 2.4 GHz by using the ASUS smart connect system, rather than letting one device get more bandwidth than it needs it would send the right amount of MB to the right device.

Seen WTFast sponsored on the internet but don’t know what that is? WTFast is a gamers private network that lets people from all around the world to connect to each other. The point of WTFast is to provide stable connections while reducing your ping to a minimum. Most people have to pay to use this feature, but if you purchase the ASUS AC5300 it will already have it built in. By taking advantage of a free trial you can take advantage of this feature to see what it is like.

Can’t connect using a wire and have your PC too far away? This would be a problem ten years ago, but now with technologies getting better every day we don’t have to worry. This router provides a staggering 5000 square feet perimeter range, which comparing to some of the other routers is amazing. You could probably provide internet for a whole flat to give you an idea of the distance this thing has. The reason why it can cover so much ground with no effort is the 802.11 ac 4×4 technology with the 8 antennas on the side, which not only makes the router fast but also look powerful.

If price is not a major factor for you then you should look no further, this is definitely one of the best gaming routers out right now. However, if it does look too expensive for you then consider that you are buying a router that will last an extremely long time and in the years to come the router will prove to be a valued pick up. With the internet becoming unsafe as each day passes you are in safe hands with the ASUS router having AiProtection that is powered by Trend Micro. It provides multiple stage protection from vulnerability detection to your sensitive data.

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Best router for gaming (Runner-up)

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TP-Link AD7200 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Talon AD7200)

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$292.99 $349.99

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When it comes to wireless connectivity to your PC most people would say that is not practical, because connecting via wire will simply give you more power. However, what if that’s not the case? With the Talon AD7200 this is a completely different story as it is the first of its kind supporting 802.11 ad (the most powerful wireless technology). The Talon AD7200 runs on 60 GHz Wi-Fi that reaches speeds so much faster compared to than other technologies. With this router you can download 4k films in a matter of minutes, watch full HD live streams, even talk to people with a crystal clear view.

The main reason it can cope with all this intense speed is the dual core CPU. Having dual CPU’s rather than one lets the router function at an easier pace. Each CPU is 1.4 GHz which is certainly more than most people need, but if you know that you’re going to stream videos and so on then getting something as powerful as this is a must. The Talon AD7200 has a 4-stream design so it lets you have faster connections by adding more data streams to the talon AD7200’s 5 GHz and 2.4GHz bands. Together they give you amazingly fast speeds that let you enjoy things like streaming films and so on.

Having MU-MIMO technology on your router is a must, without it you can experience bad connections, since its job is to help multiple devices connect to the router. MU-MIMO is especially important for people who are looking to game online, because having this feature lets more and more users connect to the router without affecting the actual performance of the router. The connections would be spread out on its 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, rather than having many connections on one band, this lets it achieve unreal speeds without interruption.

The range is definitely and good of course having the router next to the device you are going to play on is much better, but with high end routers like these that isn’t really a problem. Keep in mind the further the router the slower your speeds will get, since the radio waves get weaker the further they go. However, this router comes with eight antennas giving you long range with speeds up to 7200 Mbps making this definitely one of the best wireless routers for gaming.

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Best budget router for gaming

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TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router (Archer C1200)

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$61.33 $94.99

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Are you looking for a reliable gaming router, but don’t have much to spend? Then the TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router may be the best option for you. Costing under a hundred dollars this router is definitely one of the best budget routers for gaming on the market. It supports 802.11 ac connectivity, which is the next generation of Wi-Fi that allows crazy fast speeds. The bandwidth sharing is great with a 2.4 GHz (300 Mbps) and a 5 GHz (867 Mbps) which allow a total of 1.2 GB per second flow.

You can easily share any media files that you would like using the USB 2.0 port or with networked devices, even remotely via FTP server. Guest network access is provided with a secure Wi-Fi connection for sharing your home or gaming house connections. However, this router isn’t really designed for a gaming house, but for houses with singles computers. Although being a budget router don’t mistake its power, it can still give amazing speeds for the casual gamer, plus connecting other devices like a phone shouldn’t be hassle as it has multiple GHz chips to share the load.

Do you live with your brother, sister or even with kids? Then parental controls are must, because they can help you block out any websites you don’t want other people to see. This can help you block out websites that may cause potential harm to your computer, since many websites contain cookies which have viruses imbedded in them. You can even manage when and how the devices are connected and which one have access to the internet.

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Best affordable mid-range gaming router

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D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router With 6 High Performance Beamforming Antennas...

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$189.99 $219.99

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Next on this list we have the AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router although not looking the best in the design department this router makes up for that with its insane Wi-Fi capabilities. It contains a 2.4 GHz chip that does up to 600 Mbps and two 5 GHz chips that can do up to 1300 Mbps each, which is enough for any gamer. However, if you are looking into live streaming and watching films then getting all the bandwidth you can is a must. This router is one of the best Wi-Fi routers for gaming as you can play games without interruptions or download games in a matter of minutes.

In addition, for maximum effect the router uses advanced SmartConnect which allocates the best bandwidth to your devices. Furthermore, it comes with intelligent QoS traffic optimization that you can use to optimize your router giving you the speeds you need to game while leaving bandwidth for other activities. You can use your smartphone to select the options you want for your gaming router, go online to see the best variations that you can apply to yourself.

Is safety a big factor to you? The AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router offers advanced security features encrypting your connections to achieve a safe home network. In addition to keeping your connections private the advanced AC SmartBeam system tracks the devices you have connected to enhance Wi-Fi speed and range. Also, the router is programmed to distribute the traffic efficiently using band steering technology for better performance.

Think of the AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router as not one router but rather as three wireless routers in one. The speed that it has to offer is incredibly fast comparing to other routers that we have on the market today, which is a big achievement when you look at the price of this thing. Costing less than a couple of hundred dollars this router is a bargain and if you don’t like the product then you can return it within 30 days, but that is highly unlikely as this router is one of a kind. In addition, it comes with a 1 year warranty, which is a must when purchasing these types of products as sometimes they can have faults.

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Best router for gaming and streaming

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NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router (R8000) Compatible with Amazon...

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$231.14 $279.99

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The NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is one of the fastest routers on this list with so many features for people looking to game and stream this is 100% in the debate for the best router for gaming and streaming. The 6 antennas give it a wide range and a lot of bandwidth power to send out. The speed of this router is impressive with speeds up to 3.2 GB per second, which is one of the fastest Wi-Fi speeds for uninterrupted gaming. However, having speeds of 3.2 GB/s is not needed unless you are going to connect multiple computers and stream full HD.

This router is especially good for gaming houses as E-sports get more and more popular every year the demand on high power routers gets bigger. Connecting around 6 gaming computers that need to stream full HD gameplay would take so much bandwidth that most routers would simply not handle, but the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is made for such intense purposes. The tri band makes it more efficient like mentioned previously, don’t think of it as one router but three in one.

This router has QoS installed to make it easier to optimize your router to the settings you prefer. You can toggle the settings via phone or internet browser. BeamForming is installed in this router giving you a much better connection in addition to being reliable. Also, if security is a concern of yours then don’t worry about it with this router. It comes with parental controller filtering any websites you don’t want people to go on. Plus, you can make a GNA (Guest Network Access) to separate and give secure access to your guests. In addition to all this you can even create your own personal FTP server and customize the free URL.

This gaming router comes with a return policy, so if it doesn’t work or you aren’t happy with the performance then you can send it back for a full refund within 30 days. Always get a product that comes with a warranty, otherwise you might end up paying lots of money only to find out that the product has been damaged.

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The best bang for the buck gaming router

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ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for...

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Last update was in: August 16, 2017 2:31 am

$269.99 $299.99

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ASUS has done an amazing job with the ASUS RT-AC88U featuring everything a gamer would need. From having speeds of up to 2100 Mbps to features like Smart Connect this is definitely one of the routers you should be considering. The 1024 QAM technology gives the 5 GHz 80% more power hence why it can get speeds up to 2100 Mbps and giving a 66% boost to the 2.4 GHz making it go as fast as 1000 Mbps.

The 4 transmit 4 receive antenna design is able to cover a whopping 5000 square feet, which is something you might need if you live in a big house. The ASUS RT-AC88U has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports that allow you to connect 8 devices simultaneously. This is especially great for people who are looking to game in groups, because connecting with a wire gives you a more stable connection most of the time. Featuring Smart Connect this allows the router to choose and connect your device to the best band that is available to you.

Ever experience high ping when you are playing really enjoyable intense games? Well no longer will you have to feel the pain of lag again (unless your internet provider has capped you on a certain Mb/s speed) as this router has WTFast installed inside of it. In addition to having all these great features it has MU-MIMO technology, which is a must when it comes to gaming, since you might be in a position where you have to share your internet.

 

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Martynas Pupkevicius

Martynas Pupkevicius

Martynas Pupkevicius is a freelance writer who writes articles, blogs, reviews and webpage content on a wide variety of topics. Enjoyed the quality of this review? Then get in touch for more of the same.
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