The Linksys Max-Stream EA9300 is a solid-performing tri-band router for high-bandwidth scenarios like video streaming and online gaming. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 takes advantage of Wi-Fi 6 to deliver a very capable gaming router alternative. Check out quick reviews below of the top five gaming routers, then scroll deeper for buying info and full reviews of these models and other high-ranking options. boost your game with the best gaming routers A powerful WiFi router is a critical tool in your gaming arsenal: a fast and reliable network can easily tip the scales of victory. Our review of the TP-Link Archer C5400X saw us awarding it near-top marks. Well we can’t provide a definite answer for that since a ton of unique and individual factors will come into play; there’s the internet connection, shape and size of the area’s structure, usage, number of devices, personal preference and so on. Running the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 through our testing left us seriously impressed. They usually sport a somewhat different exterior-chassis design than their general-purpose counterparts. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. In our tests the XR700 is a strong all around performer, starting with the 2.4 GHz frequency with some of the fastest scores to date of 284 Mbps at close range, and 225 Mbps on our far test. All the client devices used were consistent throughout testing, running the latest drivers and software. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Thank you for signing up to PC Gamer. Your subscription has been confirmed. PCMag Digital Group. Visit our corporate site. NY 10036. Jetstream AC3000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Gaming Router, TP-Link AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band WiFi Router (Archer A20), TP-Link Archer C5400X AC5400 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router, Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Router (EA9300), Netgear Wi-Fi 6 Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000, Number of Wired LAN Ports (Excluding WAN Port). Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors. By Every router that comes through PC Labs is thoroughly tested across all bands, but you should be aware that different bands can have an impact on performance. boost your game with the best gaming routers A powerful WiFi router is a critical tool in your gaming arsenal: a fast and reliable network can easily tip the scales of victory. The XR700 has granular control of the bandwidth, and can prioritize throughput by each individual device, for both the upload and download separately, and can assign a specific percentage for each device to balance the load—thereby preventing any single device from becoming a bandwidth hog. If you have numerous devices connecting to your network, a tri-band router is your best bet, especially if you're also employing range extenders to reach the far corners of your home. It promises increased throughput speeds (up to 4.8Gbps), less network congestion, greater client capacity, and better range performance courtesy of several new and improved wireless technologies including Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) and Target Wake Time (TWT). It was also no slouch on the far testing with 222 Mbps on 2.4 GHz, and 309 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency showing the value of the Wi-Fi 6 spec. The Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 is a Wi-Fi 6 router designed for gaming. Both are part of the company's 'Nighthawk Pro Gaming' networking line of products—but the XR700 is even faster than its predecessor. The best budget option for gaming routers, Speed: AC1900 | Wi-Fi: 5 (802.11ac) | LAN Ports: 4 | Antennas: 3 | Processor: Dual-core 1GHz | Dimensions: 8.7 x 3.4 x 6.6 in (221 x 86 x 168.5 mm). The company also has a gaming router that automatically gives network priority to Microsoft Xbox consoles. The Asus RT-AC5300 is one of the best gaming routers – it has a collection of advanced features, making online and network gaming as lag and frustration free as possible. For example, you can reserve an entire 5GHz band just for gaming (so long as your PC-gaming rig or your console supports 5GHz Wi-Fi) and use the other 5GHz band for high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, massive file transfers, or torrent downloads. Start with what's connected. This is absolutely essential to have a good gaming router. The "close" test indicates the peak throughput of the hardware, while the "far" test is a more realistic test of what the end user will experience when separated from the router by a wall or floor. The wi-fi range of this ps4 wireless router is very wide and it is a perfect choice for the gamers who want to accommodate it the house that are spacious. Before you splash out on a new router, however, you will need to make sure that it is compatible with your current ISP. It transmits a Wi-Fi signal in a more focused manner straight at a client, rather than broadcasting in all directions. A desktop with a Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000) was used to send the data via a wired connection to the router via a CAT 5e cable. TP-Link mentions that this best modem for gaming is using a 64-bit quad-core processor onboard to offer users the best performance possible from a router … The most recent examples include Amazon's Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. While the semi-unique vertical-only placement of the Asus RT-AC86U may not be for everyone, this router is certainly worth a look for gamers who want a lot of features at fairly friendly price tag. From mesh to gaming to Wi-Fi 6, these are the best … There is also class leading Adaptive QoS, along with Trend Micro antivirus and the WTFast GPN—all with subscriptions included for the lifetime of the router—which are standouts among competing routers. Gaming router prices. With Wi-Fi 6 support growing, and promising greater bandwidth to a greater number of devices, now is the perfect time to upgrade your old router with something a little smarter. We found the best gaming routers to ensure you can play without delay. Gaming routers go a step further, by offering prioritization for specific gaming systems and applications, and allowing you to decide how much bandwidth each client is entitled to. There was a problem. The 2.4GHz band is the most widely used band and tends to get more crowded than the 5GHz one. (Plus, you can assign guests to a radio band that won't interfere with your gaming.). The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 is a strong follow up to the XR500, which impressed us last year as it was the fastest router we had tested to date. TL;DR – These are the Best Router for Gaming: Netgear Nighthawk X6S (R8000P) Asus RT-AX56U; Ubiquiti AmpliFi Alien; Netgear Nighthawk XR500 Pro Gaming Router; Asus ROG Rapture GT … Powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, the GT-AX11000 is tri-band pushing speeds up to 4.8Gbps on each of the two 5GHz bands and 1.2Gbps on the 2.4GHz band. Wi-Fi 6 is spreading across product lineups, and the Nighthawk AX4 is an excellent example of what this spec can accomplish, even on a more budget router. Uses Killer Networks Prioritization engine. As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. One of the most important (if not the most important) features a good gaming router should possess is the so-called QoS (Quality of Service). If you're thinking about upgrading now, read our explainer first. At least one USB port, preferably supporting USB 3.0, comes in handy for attaching peripherals you want to share across the network, such as portable hard drives, flash drives, and printers. But to be the most effective, you’ll need to take an active role and follow all the security instructions in your user's manual. That’s a blazing fast, albeit theoretical, 10.8GHz speed capability. If network lag is messing with your game, read on to find out how a gaming router can give you back your competitive edge—and how to choose the one that best suits your household, your play style, and your budget. D-Link AC2600 WiFi Router. The best gaming routers make your network private and have protocols to help protect your personal information. This router might not be as fast as other Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market, but it is still fast enough to guarantee a smooth online gaming experience. (Also, know that some router makers refer to the beamforming feature in their products with their own proprietary names.). Additional gaming-centric features include integrated WTFast, VPN Fusion to segregate gaming traffic from VPN for maximum throughput, Dynamic QoS to prioritize gaming traffic, Games Radar (no, not that one) to check the ping times to different game servers to minimize latency, and for those that prefer a more colorful surrounding, Aura RGB. Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router The Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router uses the Killer Networks Prioritization engine to make sure you have plenty of bandwidth for online gaming. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is designed to be the class leading, 'best of the best' gaming router, and looking at the hardware specs, it delivers—big time. They allow you to block access to certain sites (think: adult content), limit online gaming or overall network access to specific hours and days of the week, and monitor network usage for each client. There is also the option for QoS (which is a simple toggle on or off) for gaming, but there is no granular control to better balance gaming needs, and video streaming across multiple connected devices to better optimize the experience. Your Wi-Fi router is the unsung hero holding your smart home together. ASUS and ROG WiFi gaming routers are built to deliver the very best performance for gamers, with the features and tools to help you win every battle, even in crowded multi-device environments. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. Not only are these Wi-Fi 6 mesh networking systems, they also feature built-in Zigbee smart home device hubs. All routers, of course, offer some type of security. 26 June 2020. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is designed to be the class leading, 'best of the best' gaming router, and looking at the hardware specs, it delivers—big time. What disappoints, if anything, is the lack of specific tech to decrease latency, which you see in competing models of the same price, like the Netgear XR500. Any gaming router worth its salt will offer at least two radio bands. Using firmware from sources such as OpenWRT, DD-WRT, and Tomato, you can unleash the full potential of your router to enhance overall signal strength, monitor real-time usage, and prioritize bandwidth usage. Whether you host LAN parties and need the plug-in capacity or want some good QoS control to stop others in your home hogging the bandwidth, there’s one on this list for you. By setting your home location on the map and specifying a distance range, you can prevent players and servers that are outside of your range from hosting your game. It features next generation Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology, and an impressive eight Gigabit Ethernet ports, which even support link aggregation. How to Choose a Good Sub-$100 Gaming Router. It delivers solid throughput and file transfer performance, but it's missing a few features you’ll find on similarly priced models. Wireless networking has gone through many changes since its introduction to the market, with each frequency allowing for greater and greater speeds. On the wireless side of things, this is a Wi-Fi 6 tri-band solution offering more than 10 Gigabits of wireless bandwidth, along with DFS bands to avoid interference. As new gear gets added to your network in coming years, however, it's more and more likely to support MU-MIMO, so you'll be glad you opted for it in your router. The RT-AC88U is still a solid all-around router, though. It transfers the data at the rate of 300 Mb per second. Please refresh the page and try again. Perhaps the biggest difference between a gaming router and a typical consumer router is how it handles QoS, or bandwidth prioritization duties. Best gaming laptop | Best capture card | Best gaming monitor | Best gaming headset | Best computer speakers | Best SSD for gaming, The easiest gaming router to set up and manage, Speed: AC5400 | Wi-Fi: 5 (802.11ac) | LAN Ports: 8 | Antennas: 8 | Processor: quad-core 1.8GHz | Dimensions: 11.34 x 11.34 x 7.24 in (241 x 241 x 55 mm) | Weight: 3 lb (1160 g). It has a sleek-looking dashboard that lets you see what is going on with your network at a glance, with graphs showing real-time CPU and bandwidth usage, currently installed apps, guest networking status, Wi-Fi status, and internet status. The best gaming routers have multiple LAN ports for wired connections—which are preferred, if possible—but most differ from ISP-provided gear through use of the latest Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11ax aka Wi-Fi 6. Best Routers for Xbox One Gaming Windows Central 2020. This can range from the generic Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) extensions that automatically prioritize network packets carrying data necessary for voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing apps on up to drag-and-drop prioritization that lets you assign a higher priority to specific devices connected to the network essentially making sure they experience better performance than other devices. So it's important to make sure you're not wasting your money. As with MU-MIMO, you'll need 160Hz-compatible clients to access the wider channels. The TP Link Archer c5400X is a gaming version of the recent c5400, and it's a damn good gaming router. This gaming router is one of the best wireless gaming router in the gaming market. The client used was Trendnet TEW-809UB, our high-end choice for the best USB Wi-Fi Adapter. This wireless AC router will keep you solidly connected throughout hours of gaming and not once lag while providing up to four times your usual internet speed that you will need to see to believe. But while that combination will definitely give you a fast machine, online gaming performance can still be hampered if it's connected to a crowded network with an Internet connection controlled by an overburdened or old fashioned wireless router. Lacks device prioritization and parental control settings. One of the best-reviewed gaming routers on the market, Netgear's Nighthawk XR500 is built specifically with gamers in mind. The best Wi-Fi 6 router overall is the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 ... Gaming routers offer all of the capabilities of a standard router, but are optimized specifically for gaming. While the 2.4 GHz speeds are decent 171 Mbps on the far test, the 5 GHz speeds are exceptional, with the fastest throughput speed of any router so far at 334 Mbps. A guest-networking feature is also worth looking for if you often have digitally savvy houseguests, as it lets you provide limited wireless access to your network using a separate SSID and password. But not many of them offer the gamer-centric settings and optimizations that you get with a dedicated gaming router. SMART ROUTER … The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. That can be especially important if you have multiple online gamers in the same household, who are all competing for the feed from the same pipe. To gain the benefit, both devices need to support beamforming tech, so that each can communicate its relative position to the other, and thus focus the signal in the proper direction. All the routers in this guide were tested first hand using a variety of high bandwidth applications, including gaming, 4K video, file transfers, and general web surfing. In testing, the AX4 achieved some great performance numbers when it came to throughput, with a close testing speed of 344 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz frequency, and 345 Mbps on the 5 GHz frequency. Many gaming routers also use a modified management console with a gamer-friendly user interface that makes it easy to assign bandwidth priorities on the fly. So you'll want to make sure you choose a future-proof router. Expensive when configured as a mesh network. He then worked for the now defunct ComputerLand chain of PC dealers before joining PC Magazine in 1987. The throughput was tested both at a "close" 8 ft (2.4m) distance with direct line of sight, and also at a "far" 30 ft (9.1m) distance with an obstructing floor and wall in the way, as well as some metal ductwork intervening. Rather it has a horizontal orientation, with two external antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports, a single USB port, and a row of green indicator LEDs. If your gaming system is in close proximity to your router, the 5GHz band will provide the best throughput performance. The Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router uses the Killer Networks Prioritization engine to make sure you have plenty of bandwidth for online gaming. This way, your guests can access the Internet, but they can't see other network assets, such as folders, files, printers, and the identities of other connected clients. Shop around, and you may see unusual flair, such as a stylish enclosure or even LED illumination effects. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, In terms of the throughput speeds, our tests clocked the following for the Archer C5400X: at 2.4GHz it delivers 117 Mbps near / 112 Mbps far, which is kinda middling, while at 5GHz the it performs extremely well, clocking 344 Mbps near and 347 Mbps far. Sure, next generation 'super router' performance comes at a price of $346, but given these benchmarks, at least it's justifiable. Solid close-range throughput performance. So if game performance is important to you, it's well worth your time to take a close look at optimizing your network. Another highlight of the XR700 is the gaming-centric Duma OS, which boasts Geo-Filter tech to connect to the closest server when gaming. The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 builds on the GT-AC5300, sporting a 2.5Base-T port for higher ethernet bandwidth and the addition of WiFi 6 … Our top choice for the best gaming router is NETGEAR’s smart router. Target Wake Time (TWT) is designed to reduce power consumption by allowing devices to determine when and how often they will wake up to begin sending and receiving data. Best Wi-Fi 6: Asus RT-AX88U It's hard not to develop a soft spot for the extravagant gaming hardware designs from Asus. That last bit is key to rock-solid wireless performance in an age of smart devices and appliances. Many of the latest routers also offer a wider channel bandwidth of up to 160Hz, compared with the typical 40Hz and 80Hz channel widths that you get with older routers. You will receive a verification email shortly. That provides a huge bandwidth boost, so it helps with bandwidth-hungry apps, especially games, as well as chronic connection problems due to congestion in more crowded environments, like an apartment building. On a more utilitarian level, look for a router that has at least four gigabit LAN ports, so you can offer up wired connectivity to nearby gaming consoles, printers, and PCs. Despite the price, this is no barebones model, as it has two USB ports, supports Beamforming, has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and has parental controls. Testing was done for throughput using NetPerf software. One of the fastest routers we've tested, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 offers lots of gamer-friendly features, copious I/O ports, and a slick management console that … Overall, it’s one of the best gaming routers because of its features that are installed especially for gamers, and the efficiency that it provides. Our 10 picks for best gaming router cover the spectrum of gaming requirements. What we love about it is how easy the C5400X is to set-up and use, while still offering strong features: the ability to easily manage QoS, the inclusion of network security (via Trend Micro), and options to not only blacklist but also whitelist certain devices. So now I will know the Best Router For Gaming in the present time. Even the best gaming laptops or gaming PCs need a little help to get the best performance if you're looking for faster downloads or the smoothest experience for online gaming. The Razer Sila is a sleek-looking, solid-performing tri-band router designed for gamers. Most gaming routers use the same hardware inside that traditional Wi-Fi routers do, but you'll often be able to tell the gaming models apart from the rest on sight. Once you've found the right model for your home and budget, you'll also want to see our tips for setting up your router and boosting your Wi-Fi signal. The performance is impressive across the board, dominating other budget routers and seriously outperforming its price point. The router supports Windows 8. Almost all routers offer some sort of QoS. Each wireless router is tested at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, at both close and far distances, with the highest throughput of each parameter reported. This means faster and more efficient wireless data throughput for a greater number of devices. (See our favorite Wi-Fi routers that support DD-WRT.). For the next five years, he was responsible for buying and configuring IBM PC, XT and AT desktops for many of New York's financial institutions. TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -... JD Power Award ---Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and 2019 Even using some of the most advanced tools in a $400 gaming router, like traffic shaping or an exclusive connection to a gaming-grade VPN, won’t improve the connection of the “last mile” that goes to your home. The Asus RT-AX88U is the best choice for a high-end router. It also has a Geo-Filter feature that can help reduce lag by limiting the distance to the host servers you play on. Browse the top-ranked list of Gaming Routers below along with associated reviews and opinions. A whole family's worth of gear can mean oodles of phones, tablets, HDTVs, streaming video/music devices, and smart-home gear all connecting to—and hammering—the beleaguered household router. Make sure you have a good idea of how routers and firmware work together before you decide to go this route. You can also use customized software to enhance online gaming performance. View on Amazon.com. Oh, and we don't even have an 802.11ax USB Wi-Fi adapter yet, so this is using 802.11ac gear on the client side. The best Wi-Fi routers of 2020: Nest, Asus, TP-Link and more. Best Router for 4K Streaming and VR Gaming: Nighthawk X10 7200. When the router detects a device equipped with Killer networking hardware, it gives that device the lion's share of bandwidth to ensure smooth, lag-free online gameplay. The best gaming routers offer fast and reliable connections on the latest standards. Strong parental controls and anti-malware tools. Now, on a basic level, many routers, even those we classify as budget routers, offer Quality of Service (QoS) settings that let you give priority to devices or applications that require lots of bandwidth. View at Amazon. However, despite the confusing model name, the RT-AC86U is actually a couple of years newer than the AC88U, costs less, and outperforms it in many areas as well. While we haven't seen any dedicated gaming routers that support the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, you can expect to see a few in time for the 2020 holiday season. And by things that matter, I mean playing Apex Legends, Valorant and Destiny 2 lag-free. You'll find a rundown of our favorite gaming routers below. PC Gamer is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. But it makes wholehearted sense to opt for 160Hz in a new gaming router now, seeing as, like with MU-MIMO, support for it will become increasingly common in new devices you add to your network down the road. 802.11ac wireless is the best Wi-Fi support that you can ask for in a router nowadays. Your best option is to switch service providers, which, depending on where you live, might not be an option at all. New York, It also offers uplink and downlink MU-MIMO streaming (802.11ac only supports downlink MU-MIMO). D-Link is a well-known router around the world. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The exterior is a glossy white, and rather than the typical horizontal design, the Archer C9 heads in the other direction with a space saving vertical design, complete with a metal kickstand. Additionally, the majority of home networks are more taxed than ever because so many folks are working from home due to COVID-19. The Asus RT-AX86U is a midrange Wi-Fi 6 router that delivers speedy close range data rates along with fast connectivity options, gamer-friendly settings, malware protection, and strong parental controls. Gaming rigs are good only if they're tricked out with the latest and fastest CPUs, lots of memory, the quickest solid state drive (SSD), and, of course, the best graphic cards. Speed: AX3000 (Dual-band 2400(5GHz)+ 600(2.4GHz) Mbps wireless speed) | Wi-Fi: 6 (802.11ax) | LAN Ports: 4 | Antennas: 2 | Processor: Dual-core | Dimensions: 14.17 x 8.46 x 2.36 in (360 x 215 x 60 mm) | Weight: 1.36 lb (618 g) | Connections: One USB 3.0 port. Backing this up is the usual excellent AsusWRT interface, which allows granular control of every imaginable setting. , our high-end choice for a high-end router. ) Gamer is part of Future,. Will offer at least two radio bands networking has gone through many changes since its to... Connect to the market, with each frequency allowing for greater and speeds! Your inbox every morning 's Nighthawk XR500 is built specifically with gamers in mind fast, theoretical. 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