Gaming is meant to be fun; it is supposed to be a platform to let go of your worries and aggression, some may call it a place to release stress, in the perfect world for a gamer, every game would run flawlessly on their gaming PC.
Whether you’re going for the last kill in “Fortnite,” racing for money in GTA V, or about to hit a goal in “Fifa,” a fast Internet connection can make a huge difference.
However, the worst nightmare for gamers would be a racing Internet connection with a junk router. Eventually, it’s not the speed of your internet connection that matters; instead, it is whether your router cannot keep up with it. The wrong router can destroy any online gaming experience and can make the experience stressor rather than a de-stressor
In simple words, if you are paying a high amount for a lightning-fast internet connection but still experiencing lags and frozen screens, then you know who to blame. With the arrival of Wi-Fi 6 that promises a network speed of 6Gbps, we are entering a new world of fast at-home internet bandwidth, but without a router that can cope up with that, all your efforts will go in vain.
Well, there exists an argument that every router works just as good, but the main difference between the best gaming routers and a regular is smart technology called Quality of Service (QoS) features. QoS helps in prioritizing network traffic. It will make sure your gaming experience isn’t being interrupted by your family members watching an HD online stream.
In this article, we will discuss all the best gaming routers, keeping into consideration the needs of gamers.
The Best Gaming Routers Available Today
Speed: 802.11ac: 2167Mbps 802.11n: 1000 Mbps | Connectivity: 9x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0 | Features: 1024-QAM, MU-MIMO, WTFast Gamers Private Network, Asus AiProtection, AsusWRT Software
The Asus RT-AX88U might be the best choice for a higher-end router. Its dual-band RT-AX88U offers whopping speed of AX6000, it is equipped with MU-MIMO technology and an impressive 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports. AX88U is compatible with next-generation 802.11ax technology, you will also get protection powered via Trend Micro, which provides multi-stage protection from any threats, which ensure that your data is protected, Asus RT-AX88U also allows the gamers to monitor their network using ASUS router app and adaptive software that will prioritize game data ensuring your gaming experience as smooth as possible.
With so many features, it is evident that this router will be expensive, but its cutting-edge speeds promise to be the way better option than its counterparts when it comes to busy places and gaming zones.
TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
Speed: 802.11ac: 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
TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 is loved for its old school aesthetics, but not only that, but it also comes with the modern cutting-edge features that might surprise you, now you can enjoy flawless gaming experience while your roommate is watching HD stream on Netflix because of its Ultra-fast 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO WiFi.
TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 is an upgraded version of the C5400, it now comes with a speed of one 2.4GHz (1000Mbps) and two 5GHz (2167Mbps) bands, you don’t need to pay costly VPN subscriptions because it allows you to set up a personal VPN server, its smart Smart Connect features assigns each device to the best available band to achieve smother Performance.
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 600Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, Link Aggregation, traffic analyzer, WPS, 512MB RAM, 8 external antenna
Loaded with tons of advanced features, Asus RT-AC5300 helps you enjoy lag-free gaming with this Asus tri-band gigabit router. A built-in game accelerator strengthens the gameplay by reducing packet loss and ping time, it has the transmission speed of 2 Gbps which provides efficient gameplay, it is an excellent high-end gaming router and comes with an easy to use but strong interface.
It supports every operating system and protection powered by Trend Micro, and its Asus tri-band gigabit router features promises privacy and parental controls, it also includes account time limits and schedules to encourage safe browsing.
D-link DIR-885L/R router
Speed: 802.11ac | Connectivity: 4x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, SmartConnect
The router comes up with a lightning-fast speed of 2167Mbps on 5GHz and 1000 Mbps at 2.4GHz. This red dragon has been launched with the design, which is quite similar to its older models. The router is mounted with four detachable antennas rather than having six non-detachable antennas. The router is standardized with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac adapters with MU-MIMO technology along with a 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 port, it is also featured with an intelligent QoS (Quality of service), and smart connect system.
The D-link DIR-885L/R router shares the flash memory of 128 MBs of NAND while testing on a wide area network, the router’s speed ranges up to 1 Gigabit on an internet port and up to 4 Gigabit. The router shares the same specifications as compared to Asus RT-AC88U but the D-Link router is equipped with only 4 LAN ports while the Asus router has 8 LAN ports and similar is the case with the USB ports having one in D-link DIR-885L/R router and 2 in the Asus RT-AC88U router both having almost the same prices.
TP-Link Archer C5400X
Speed: 802.11ac; 2.4GHz: 1,000Mbps; 5GHz: 2,167Mbps | Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN, 8x Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 2x USB 3.0| Features: MU-MIMO, Advanced Wireless AC beamforming, Tri-band networking, VPN acceleration
Although massive in size, the “X” in the end represents extra speed, TP-Link Archer C5400X comes with a Leading-edge 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU accelerators and 1GB of RAM, its 1024QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation), technology which helps it to reach the data rates of up to 1,000Mbp, it has eight Ethernet ports at the back.
The MU-MIMO and Tri-band support guarantees that your gaming experience will be as smooth as possible, C5400x equipped with 8 GB LAN ports, 2 of them can be configured for link aggregation which means double speed and compatibility with the NAS devices. No matter where you are in the house, its RangeBoost gives strength to the reception, and beamforming sends targeted Wi-Fi to keep devices connected at further distances.
Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
Speed: 802.11ac: 2.6Gbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 2 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, QoS, Geo-Filter
With the alien spaceship-like design, the Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router comes with a blazing fast speed of up to 2.6 Gbps, and it combines high-speed data with a low-latency design, its four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports means the lowest ping possible and lag-free performance. The XR500 takes the revolutionary Nighthawk features and cutting-edge software to give you efficient and advanced gaming experience, its geo-filtering feature helps to connect with the closest servers so that you can respond in milliseconds.
You can also monitor your network and ping anytime to catch the culprit device or application who’s using extra bandwidth, its unique size and some cutting-edge advanced features means it will be expensive, but if you're a hardcore gamer and looking for an online advantage, then Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 might be a perfect choice for you.
Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
Speed: 802.11ac: 2,167Mbps, 802.11n: 800Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO support, StreamBoost, dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 512GB RAM, Zyxel One Touch app-based setup
The ZyxelArmor Z2 AC2600 stands distinct in terms of its versatile high-end productivity, and it has multiple NAS units meant to provide file-based data storage services. AC2600 comes with the latest features of networking. Despite the exquisite features, the company itself hasn’t got that much recognition while comparing it with other networking products. The Armor Z2 stood among the best routers of 2017, but then it’s popularity faded away.
The Zyxel Armor Z2 has been tested our 802.11ac adapter and has been recorded with a lightning speed of 657 MB/sec at a distance of 1m, although the speed was reduced by 297 MB/sec at the range of 5m.
It stands apart because of its elegant look and astounding performance. You can always see it at the top order of the recommendation chart, although it is slightly above the other MU-MIMO routers regarding its price.
Speed: 802.11ac: 1,734Mbps; 802.11n: 450Mbps | Connectivity: 4 x Ethernet, 1 x WAN, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: MU-MIMO, AiDisk, Adaptive QoS, WTFast Gamers Private Network
Asus RT-AC86U is equipped with a variety of advanced features, and it is pushing the limits to the extreme. The router comes up with astonishing Gigabit Ethernet ports along with a wide area network inputs on the backside having a USB 2 plus a lightning-fast USB 3.1 port. The problem might be the exterior design, that does not meet the standards of the market, it’s cabling system is embedded on its rear end, so it is hard to mount it against the wall. The design has made some vacant space to place the buttons with some features that are hidden in the firmware.
The Asus RT-AC86U has been phenomenal with its work by merging the hardware with the firmware. The prioritization of media seems to be a bullseye. The router can manage the ping at a stable level and minimizes the lag throughout the gameplay. The good news is that it is not expensive. So, if you are looking for a router with top-notch performance and want it to fall just under your budget, then this might be the best choice to be considered.
Finding The Best Wireless Routers
To find the best wireless routers for our roundup we conducted an extensive search. We best our decision on several factors such as;
- Amazon Customer Reviews
- Online Customer Reviews
- Best Buy Wireless Router Reviews
Take Your Online Gaming to The Next Level
If you are looking for a wifi router to take your online gaming to the next level these routers are all a solid buy. The best overall router will depend on your specific needs and more importantly your budget.
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.