9 Best Router for Gaming in 2018
The best router for gaming with, we don’t know we need one, until the lag hits and it’s too late! Imagine a scenario where you are playing Call of Duty, and just when you’re about to kill an opponent with a perfect headshot, the internet WiFi, modem or router plays it’s trick, your ping goes through the roof – snatching that moment of glory from you.
Top 9 Best Routers For Gaming in 2018
- 1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 High Speed Tri-Band Router for Gaming
- 2. ASUS RT-AC5300 AiProtection Tri-Band Gigabit Gaming Router
- 3. D-Link AC3200 High Performance Tri-Band Gaming Wi-Fi Router
- 4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S WiFi Gigabit Gaming Router
- 5. ASUS RT-AC88U Dual Band Gaming Router with Trend Micro
- 6. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 High Performance Wifi Gaming Router
- 7. TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
- 8. NETGEAR N600 Dual Band Wi-Fi Router for Gaming
- 9. ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router
Annoying, isn’t it? Well, that’s what happens most of the time when you have updated every equipment of your gaming rig except for the router. We’ve come up with some of the best routers in this article that’ll help you pick the right router for your gaming needs. Here it goes –
Buyers Guide Questions
What are all the Extra Ports on Gaming Routers used For?
Are you a gamer? Then these ports will definitely interest you as they connect your best console or PC to the internet. These ports are used for Ethernet connections that come across a network cable. Some devices on your network are not compatible, so having physical plugs for your network cables to plug into on your router will give your network added devices for you to access. The great thing about having wired connections mixed in with your wi-fi environment means that your devices can communicate with one another, provided that your wi-fi connection has been configured correctly.
In some instances, the Gigabit Ethernet connection that is offered by many of these routers is necessary for Gigabit enabled servers, PCs and laptops, where high volume data transmissions are needed, as this is the fastest method of connecting. This is especially useful for local copies of data on your home network, with things such as 4K video or massive data loads from programs, apps and photos finding the most benefit from being transmitted at the best high speed Gigabit connections.
Connecting at Gigabit speeds will allow gamers to get the most enjoyment out of their wireless routers and it is sure to give anyone that uses it for the first time a pleasant surprise if they are moving away from traditional 100Mbps LAN connections. Gigabit Ethernet ports also offer the best and most excellent solution for gamers that find themselves living in a multi floor building with thick, reinforced concrete ceilings and floors.
This ultimately leads to weakened signal, regardless of how powerful your router happens to be, its probably right not argue with physics, if you know what’s most suited for you. So for people that find that their wireless is a tad on the spotty side, the Gigabit Ethernet ports come to the party and save the day. To manage this miraculous feat by using a physical cable that can be run down an electrical conduit between floors and walls, or even dangled out the window and down to the adjacent window.
Ethernet cables are manufactured using copper cable, which has amazingly efficient conductive properties, and allows for insanely quick transfer speeds in general, and when the previously unused pairs of Ethernet wires within the cable are used, we get the resulting speed increases in the form of Gigabit Ethernet. The only relay limiting factor with using an Ethernet cable will be your range: 100m (328 feet) is the absolute maximum length of a single cable before signal degradation and packet loss starts to occur, which can be helped by installing a Gigabit repeater or, you guessed it, another one of the best Gigabit routers.
Some of these routers have something called a WAN port, also known as a Wide Area Network port. This is a port that is best used specifically to route your network traffic to your Internet Service Provider or additional routing equipment that is provided by your telecommunications company or internet provider. This allows your router to connect the internet or larger, multi-site network in some instances. But as a home user, you will probably just use it to connect to the internet as nature intended.
How will my Gaming be Optimised by a Gaming Router?
Gaming routers offer a superior gaming experience by using packet optimization and high speed transmissions. When your network is running at maximum speed, then you will not have any bottlenecks on your connection. This means that lag issues that come from high latency connections will be eliminated completely, which is an ideal way to enjoy your gaming experience to the fullest. Other features that are offered include USB connectors so that when you are not playing, you can stream or capture the video and other multimedia content across your network.
Other gamer related benefits that can be had through the optimization of services through a specialized router such as the items in this list include: smooth video playback, great latency and ping responses over the local network, packet prioritization, routing and policy management, and much more. Another interesting factor to consider is the average number of antennas that are present on these high tech, next generation gaming mega routers. Gone are the days of routers just sporting 1 or possibly 2 small directional antennas.
Instead we have some of the best routers boasting up to 8 aerials, providing true omni directional super signal for all of your wireless devices. This means that you can expect to enjoy only the fastest and most intense action to be broadcast over your network, as you take full advantage of the surplus bandwidth being provided by the Dual-Band and Tri-Band technology that lives within your specific router. The end result is that your games will suffer from fewer dropped information packets on their journey to your wireless router, to your internet service provider, to your gaming server, and then back to you again.
This reduced trip time results in a buttery smooth networking experience that is sure to have you playing at your absolute best, whenever you decide to log in and play your favourite digital AAA titles. This is not limited only to PC games, and the current crop of consoles are more than capable of taking advantage of all of these new and highly functional wireless technologies. The knock on effect of an extra strong wireless signal is the fact that your setup needs not be limited to a closely situated gaming desk or room to your router.
In fact, some of these new standards in wireless gaming have allowed for a much more flexible setup for many, and this allows for the absolute freedom of movement within a gamers living space, allowing them to setup in just about any room that they want. The only drawback of course, is the aforementioned steel reinforced concrete.
The Faraday effect that is created by having metal encased in such concrete materials creates an Electro Magnetic Interference, and has an adverse effect on some wireless routers, so always make sure that your house has a conducive building layout for wireless before you splurge out on a premium, high end gaming router such as the fantastic examples that we have laid out before you in our epic best of list. These make for awesome gifts for gamers.
What does Gigabits Mean?
Gigabits are a unit of measurement that determines connection speed. A gigabit connection is 1,000Mbps. This is currently the fastest transmission speed available to home users that make use of the Ethernet standard, and it is really, really quick when comparing it to 100Mbps connections, which is the next highest speed. These speeds have built up gradually over the years, and the pinnacle of this transmission on the Ethernet spectrum of wired connections is currently 1 gigabit.
This makes copying large data sets and video footage very quick and very efficient so that you don’t have to spend the whole day waiting for your files to copy over. Other great features that the technology brings include error correction and enhanced addressing technologies, these new technologies allow you to enjoy a much faster gaming experience and will allow you to feel the enhanced connectivity that is afforded to you by these great strides in technological progress.
It also means that chunks of data can be encapsulated in different lengths, creating a much more efficient transmission method, making it faster and more reliable than anything else that has come before it in the home enthusiast market. We need only look back a few years to see how the revolutionary technologies that built the internet have been slowly supplanted by faster emerging technologies, making the previous generation of hardware all but obsolete.
Internet speeds in the early days of the world wide web were lucky to exceed 56k, which translates as 5.6kbps in today’s download comparative metric. What does that mean, exactly? Well, streaming a single Netflix episode of your favorite hour long show in High Definition would take somewhere in the order of 5 and a half days at 56k! That’s why so many people used to read books back then.
What is dual-band and Tri-band?
A Dual-Band router allows you to have both a 2.4GHz network, and a 5GHz network simultaneously. A Tri-Band network will have an additional 2.4GHz or 5GHz network enabled on the router, giving it 3 segments that can be broadcasted simultaneously. Cross compatibility between devices is almost guaranteed when these routers are being used, and that means that you can get your programs, devices and services all talking with one another with no connectivity slow-downs or disconnections.
A good way to think about these different standards, rather than just purely as a speed metric, would be to imagine your Wi-Fi router as some kind of service provider. The dual-band router has just 2 different frequency spectrums to offer your devices, while the tri-band has 3. This means that in the unlikely event that you find that you have some kind of signal interference on one of your router’s bands, then you can go ahead and try one of the others, until your connectivity issues go away. Alternatively, take a look at our review of the best WiFi adapters for fast gameplay here.
You might be curious to know, what would cause interference like that? You may be surprised to know that all signals like wifi, radio and cellphones exist on certain wave lengths. These wave lengths are literally the length of the wave of each pulse that gets transmitted during wireless use of any kind. If a malfunctioning appliance such as a microwave or an old CRT monitor/TV are malfunctioning or are missing some vital shielding, then it can result in a rogue signal being leaked out onto your reserved wavelength, creating a wall of noise that disrupts your neatly packed and timed network data.
Having a few extra frequency bands that you can hop onto will save you a lot of head scratching when trying to diagnose your neighbor’s faulty appliance issues that are inadvertently seeping into your living room and messing with your Wi-Fi fun! So the bottom line is this: having a dual band wifi router is good, and is probably going to give you more than enough spectrum to fall back on for all of your devices, both old and new.
Tri band routers can be seen as an even better expansion of this premise, so if you have the choice between the two, take a look and decide for yourself what you would like to have in your home, bearing in mind that not all old devices will be able to take full advantage of all of the hardware on your network. Always plan ahead for any new hardware that could come into your life in the future such as a new smartphone or tablet, and you are sure to be set for a very, very long time.
What is Trend Micro?
Trend Micro is Security Software vendor that creates antivirus and internet security applications. They have over 155 million endpoint installations globally, and service over 500,000 customers worldwide. Their entire focus is on all things related to digital security, so when you see a device that is Trend Micro enabled, you know that one of the most well-known internet security and antivirus creators have got your device covered with some of their proprietary software and security software that has been built into your router, making it safer and much more secure than a standard router that has no security features associated with it.
Having a device with this built in software technology will give your network an additional safeguard that is likely to offer additional protection for your gaming environment. Sometimes your guests can inadvertently connect an infected device to your wireless network, and having a Trend Micro developed system built into your router can help you to avert potential virus and malware occurrences on your network. Trend Micro also offers installable software products that can enhance the safety and security of your computer, budget gaming laptop, tablet or phone, which creates a safer network for you and your fellow Wi-Fi users.
Our best Top Pick is the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 High Speed Tri-Band Router for Gaming. This router checks all of the boxes that are needed when it comes to enjoying the fastest speeds. It has gigabit ports for plugging in your wired devices, and it transmits at multiple frequencies via a Tri-Band setup. 5GHz and 2.4HGz wireless transmissions allow users to connect up a wide variety of devices, making their networks compatible which may more devices, and at higher transmissions speeds as well. Slow Wi-Fi speeds were the norm for many people not long ago.
People would avoid using Wi-Fi altogether because of high latency and slow transfer speeds. Running cables through your house is never a good idea, so using Wi-Fi in a usable form will give gamers an amazing advantage over the opposition. 6 Antennas provide insane transmission capabilities, making all but the largest houses and properties, ready to connect no matter where you are situated around there.
Combined speeds of this router’s Wi-Fi interfaces add up to an insane 3.2Gbps, meaning that all of your transmission requirements are bound to be catered for, with plenty left over for streaming and watching local content over your Wi-Fi. This is great for anyone that is building a new network or similarly, upgrading an existing wireless network that needs to be spruced up for higher transfer speeds and greater bandwidth capacity. The Gigabit LAN, combined with wireless tri-band functionality is sure to attract even the most discerning of gamers, be they console or PC aficionados. So there we have it, a worthy Top pick for our top 10 rated selection list, fantastic functionality meets high quality gaming device design and implementation.
Our Premium Choice is the ASUS RT-AC5300 AiProtection Tri-Band Gigabit Gaming Router, which is the ultimate wireless router that we have brought to our review selection. It is a Tri-band router that offers Dual 5GHz networks and a single 2.4GHz. It uses the 802.11ac standard, making it highly compatible with both newer and older devices so that no matter how old your media box or laptop gets, you will be able to stay connected and continue using them as time goes by.
This is how you can enjoy the win win situation. 8 Antennas stand proudly on the ASUS RT-AC5300 AiProtection Tri-Band Gigabit, and that should tell you everything that you need to know about this device: it transmits really, really well. So well, in fact, that you would be hard pressed to saturate its Tri-Band Wi-Fi connections, no matter how many devices you connect up to this premium router. MU-MIMO ensures that there is very little chance of your device not connecting at its maximum potential speed, meaning that you will always be running blisteringly fast.
For those of us lucky enough to afford a premium wireless router such as the ASUS RT-AC5300 AiProtection Tri-Band Gigabit can rest easy, knowing that they have not only just gone ahead and bought a seriously fast and efficient wireless router with enhanced Tri-Band functionality, but they have also gone and gotten a hold of a safe, secure and enhanced router as well. Finding safety in a wireless device is not something that many companies have been able to achieve in this review, so the manufacturers that have been able to do so, like Asus with their AiProtection, have been greatly rewarded, in this case, with the best Premium Choice stamp of approval from us.
Our Great Value pick is the D-Link AC3200 High Performance Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router, which manages to punch above its weight when slugging it out against the other routers in our review. It is a great looking router, and is enclosed in a crimson plastic top and is flanked by 6 different antennas, giving it the look of a high end consumer electronic device. It features a Tri-Band setup and is able to transmit in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which is the top way to go about looking at your wireless connectivity requirements, making your connectivity options abundant and versatile.
Your electronic devices will always be able to connect, and you know that all of your gaming needs are catered for, as well as any media streaming services that you need to use around your house and garden. Not all of us have the means to buy exactly what we want, especially in the expensive world of gaming hardware, so it is refreshing to know that companies like D-Link still think of the little guy, looking to find their way through the labyrinth of different devices, technologies and advertising campaigns that can sometimes dilute the message and confuse the consumer.
Not so in this case, as D-Link cuts through much of the confusion and jargon with straight forward descriptions and easy to use features. This is definitely a budget buy, and for that reason we have gone ahead and awarded the D-Link AC3200 High Performance Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router with our Great Value stamp of approval. This means that for the money, gamers will be hard pressed to find a better router at standard pricing than this bad boy. So there we have it. A wide range of routers that fit the needs for all, as reviewed by the electronics team at HotRate.