What is a gaming router. What is a gaming router

Then connect your gaming platform to the network with a network cable. Regardless of the speed, Wi-Fi is always less ideal and will extend your broadband latency by a few extra milliseconds or even a lot.

Best gaming routers for 2022

A gaming router might be overkill for most of us, but if you’re looking for low-latency performance and advanced features, here’s what we recommend.

Playing online takes some practice and skill, but you also want the best gaming platform possible. Many people invest in the latest gaming console or a great computer, keyboard and mouse, but neglect one important factor: the quality of their home internet connection.

If you’re having a persistent lag in making critical split-second decisions to win or lose, your internet connection may be slow. Some players connect their devices permanently with an Ethernet cable to combat lag, but others don’t want to be tied up with a wire. If this is your case, you may be considering upgrading your wireless router .

Before purchasing gaming routers, I recommend reading my beginner’s guide to gaming lag to see if there’s anything else you can do to reduce ping. In many cases, this can be as simple as moving the wireless router to another location or adjusting the angle of the standard router’s antennas. But, if you’ve tried all of these and your gaming connection still needs to be updated, you’re reading the right recap.

There are a lot of gaming routers out there that promise to boost your gaming performance – but which ones are really the best gaming routers? Is it worth splurging on a wireless gaming router that supports the new high-speed Wi-Fi 6 standard? That’s what I wanted to know, so I started testing things on a personal expedition to find the fastest router that would improve my internet connection. This buyer’s guide – which I will update periodically – covers everything I’ve found so far, starting with the models I think you should focus on finding the best gaming router first.

Get smart home reviews and ratings, video reviews, buying guides, prices & comparisons from CNET.

Best gaming router overall

Asus RT-AX86U

The first is the first gaming router I would recommend to most people, and a router that I would recommend to anyone, to tell you the truth. This is the Asus RT-AX86U and it replaces our previous top router. Asus RT-AC86U.

We liked this previous model because of its fast, stable speeds, an impressive set of player-oriented features, and a strong finish in our latency tests. Relatively new (released in 2020), the RT-AX86U offers the same, and adds Wi-Fi 6 support at a list price of $ 280. It’s certainly not cheap, but more brilliant gaming routers can run at $ 400 or more.

What is most impressive about the RT-AX86U is how it handles the lags. Every time I test my router, I log at least 100 different speed test results, including the ping time the router needs to signal to the remote server and get a response. Most routers do pretty well, except for the occasional jump. Such latency spikes can be deadly when playing online – but thankfully the RT-AX86U achieved the lowest average ping time of any routers I have ever tested, never exceeding 25ms. This is an excellent result.

It is equipped with a USB port, four LAN ports, 2.5Gbps and 1Gbps WAN and WPS.

In addition to lag management, Asus also offers an excellent router app and web control interface for easy setup, along with useful features like a quality of service engine, mobile gaming booster mode on your phone, and many other ways to optimize your connection. Plus, the design is player-friendly, but not too over the top. If you’re looking to upgrade your wireless router with gaming in mind but are worried about buying more than you need, then look no further – this gaming router is the place to be.

Gaming routers aren’t just a marketing gimmick. They offer really many useful features, such as prioritization of traffic in games, additional Gigabit Ethernet ports, the latest wireless connectivity standards and powerful router hardware.

What Does a Gaming Router Do?

If manufacturers want you to buy a gaming router, what makes them different from a regular router? The key difference between a gaming router and a regular router is the Quality of Service (QoS) features. The QoS tool mainly focuses on sending data exactly where it should be.

A typical router doesn’t care what kind of traffic is which. Your roommate using BitTorrent at maximum speed, uploading and downloading files from Dropbox, browsing the web, Netflix, games – it’s all the same for your router. All of this has equal priority when it comes to your internet connection

Of course, if you live in a busy household where many people are trying to use these services at the same time, your internet may have a hard time meeting demand. And if you’re trying to crush someone online in FIFA while someone else is streaming 4K video and another decides to upload their entire photo collection, your online gaming experience becomes definitely lagging behind.

Gaming Router Quality of Service and Other Features

QoS takes over this incoming data and, understanding the importance of the game, prioritizes incoming traffic for your game. In this way, the gaming router tries to minimize packet loss for gaming connections while grouping the rest of the incoming and outgoing network data into a separate stream.

One of the most common quality tools is Qualcomm’s StreamBoost. StreamBoost (or variants based on StreamBoost) are available on a wide variety of gaming routers as many are supported by the Qualcomm chipset.

Producers improved and developed their own versions as well. StreamBoost and similar technologies are considered adaptive QoS because they can automatically adapt to changing home network requirements.

In many cases, Adaptive QoS isn’t there to thwart connections from other Internet users in your home. (Unless you set it that way, of course.)

Rather, Adaptive QoS tries to balance the inbound bandwidth requirements for end users. But since it’s a gaming router, gaming QoS will take precedence if you need it.

Other Useful Gaming Router Features

Gaming routers also come with a host of other useful QoS and quality of life (QoL) features. There are a few features of your gaming router that you should pay attention to.

  • Gigabit Ethernet. How many Gigabit Ethernet ports does the router have? The Netgear Nighthawk XR700 even has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port for those with ultra-fast internet connections. The answer lies in your home network. How many wired devices do you have, and will you add more in the future?
  • Wireless standards. At this point, most gaming routers incorporate the latest wireless connectivity standards. The most popular wireless standard at the time of this writing is 802.11ac. However, the IEEE is developing 802.11ax, the successor to 802.11ac, while 802.11ay is expected to operate in the largely untapped 60 GHz spectrum (wireless internet currently uses 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz).
  • Multi-band Wi-Fi. High-end routers now support tri-band wireless, allowing them to transmit on three channels simultaneously. Some gaming routers use three bands to transmit on two 5 GHz and one 2.4 GHz, while others broadcast on the newer but still largely unused 60 GHz frequency.
  • Processor and RAM. Powerful modern gaming routers are equipped with faster, more powerful processors and more RAM. The increased power and memory in the gaming router means it can a) handle more connections and try to reduce latency, and b) build and use more advanced QoS features.

Now none of these features are exclusive to “gaming routers”. However, they certainly cannot be found on low-end routers or ISP-provided routers. But they’re certainly available on routers that are cheaper than high-end gaming routers.

It’s important to note that every internet connection has a certain delay specified on the provider’s side – no connection has zero latency. You can’t help it.

The TP-Link Smart WiFi AC1750 WiFi router is perfect for gamers and people using multiple devices at the same time. It uses QoS bandwidth prioritization which can handle connecting up to 50 devices simultaneously. With a range of 2,500 square feet, TP-Link Smart WiFi Router can reach every corner of your home and is easy to set up with the Tether app that allows you to remotely monitor and check your WiFi network.

Pros: Compatible with Alexa, comes with WPA / WPA2 wireless encryption, parental controls, and guest access.

Cons: 5GHz isn’t that good when it’s too far from the router.

gaming router

Amazon

$53.99 $79.99 33% OFF

ASUS Tri-band WiFi Gaming Router

The aggressive styling of this WiFi router features eight antennas and a red and black color scheme, which should be a dead indication that this is a gaming router. Of course, a router isn’t all about looks. This tri-band system supports two 5 GHz bands and one 2.4 GHz band. In addition, it has four LAN ports, a WAN port, and even a USB 3.0 port for multiple connectivity options.

Pros: Powerful tri-band connection. Multiple connection ports. Protected by TrendMicro for safe browsing.

Cons: Firmware may need to be updated.

gaming router

Amazon

ASUS Tri-band WiFi Gaming Router

Advantages: The powerful performance of MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) will not slow you down when using multiple devices. It allows you to create a separate guest network for guests.

The takeway

The gaming router is a matter of nuances. Matched can improve your gaming experience – a little or a lot depending on how your existing (non-gaming) router is working, taking into account your internet connection and local network condition.

That said, purchasing a gaming router doesn’t guarantee a win, but the right one will definitely give you the edge.

Are you looking for one right now? Check this list to find the best options you can buy today.

Now none of these features are exclusive to “gaming routers”. However, they certainly cannot be found on low-end routers or ISP-provided routers. But they’re certainly available on routers that are cheaper than high-end gaming routers.

So Are Gaming Routers Worth the Extra Cost?

Features like QoS and MU-MIMO are already available on dozens of non-gaming routers available, and you can often get the same router with the same number of features and same power for hundreds less than the gaming version. With game-oriented routers, you don’t pay much more than for a unique design and a few marketing nonsense; even this bargain basement router ASUS comes with extensive QoS and MU-MIMO options for less than $ 70.

If you want a router that looks straight out of the future and fits neatly into your gaming PC definitely discard the extra coin, but if you’re just hunting for something that works and does its job, it’s much better to just grab the router that has it the features you need at an affordable price you can afford.

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Chris Stobing, a technology writer with seven years of industry experience, came to MakeTechEasier to do just one thing: make technology easier for people who need it!

2 comments

So .. basically all this hype around “gaming routers” is nothing but buzzing words and commercials?… wow….. I’m glad I’m an old nerd who doesn’t care about streaming games or Netflix. I will just do as I always .. play games on the game console I bought for this… watch TV on the 40 inch flat screen HDTV I bought for this purpose and just use “normal router design…it has been doing its job… since i bought it for this purpose.

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