We rated, reviewed, & compared 12 of the best gaming routers across various budgets. This guide is broken down by price and feature set and covers some of the best routers for gaming currently on the market.
|ASUS RT-AC5300||5300 Mbps||4||9.0/10|
|D-Link AC3200||3200 MBps||4||8.7/10|
|ASUS AC1750||1750 Mbps||4||8.4/10|
|ASUS RT-ACRH13||1267 Mbps||4||8.2/10|
Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or someone who plays casually, you know that a big part of your in-game performance relies on your internet connection. And, if you are forced to use a wireless connection, your router is going to be a crucial part of your gaming experience. In this post, we’ve sought out to look for the best router for gaming in 2018 and we’ve come up with 12 different options for various budgets.
There’s nothing worse than having a cutting-edge system coupled with a router that doesn’t effectively handle your performance needs. An average Joe could get by with an out of date model, but gamers have specialized needs that require additional features to deliver the best total experience possible.
Although a hardwired Ethernet connection is the ideal option, it’s not always possible for every user. Having the right networking hardware coupled with high-speed internet service, a modern graphics card, and high-end PC components can make a big difference in the speed and consistency of your gameplay.
The best gaming routers have extra features that you won’t find in a standard model. They have a more robust processor and the ability to prioritize gaming traffic over the network.
These routers may also come with dual or tri-band networking, lots of extra ports so that you have multiple input options, better security (check out how to secure your Wi-Fi connection), and enhanced software. Some of the high-end models can offer embedded functions, like VPN support, to eliminate the need for your computer to run it in the background, freeing up resources.
Here we’ll give you a rundown of some of the best routers on the market ranging from less than $100 up to $500. No matter what your budget, you’ll be able to pick the best router for gaming and streaming for you from our list.
Best Wireless Routers for Gaming Under $500
What you’ll find in this category is the holy grail of wireless gaming routers. If you have between $200 and $500 to spend on this component, you’ll find options with lightning fast speeds, powerful processors, tri-band service, and some compelling extras.
Expect that each of these is designed with functionality that will appeal to gamers. In some cases, you’ll find a dedicated private network of servers to transport your gaming packets. In others, the routers are optimized with Dynamic QoS to enhance your gaming experience.
The highest end models featured here have lots of LAN ports, and two can be aggregated to achieve even faster speeds. If you’re looking for the latest in 4K technology, this is an appealing feature.
These routers can support multiple devices in one home, without sacrificing the speed or quality of the connection to any of them. That’s one of the things that sets this category apart from the less expensive counterparts.
Here’s our roundup of choices at this price point. Here you’ll find the best wireless router for gaming for you.
Comparison of Gaming Routers Under $500 (Click ‘Read Review’ to Expand)
Best Wireless Routers for Gaming Under $200
Shopping for a router that fits your needs as a gamer for under $200 doesn’t mean you’ll need to sacrifice speed or processing ability.
While you will see slightly slower speeds in this category, they are all more than enough to support what you’ll need to play competitively. Some models still include tri-band technology, while others incorporate a dual-band frequency. This is something to pay attention to if you have multiple users all connecting to your wireless router and using significant amounts of data at the same time.
Other main differences in these options versus their more expensive counterparts are the number of antennas, and therefore the range of the wireless signal. You’ll also see less gigabit ethernet ports on these routers, so if you need the capability to plug into more than four, check out the models in the category above.
Here’s our round-up of five routers under $200 that deserve your attention, and what you need to know about each.
Comparison of Gaming Routers Under $200 (Click ‘Read Review’ to Expand)
Best Wireless Routers for Gaming Under $100
If you’re looking to upgrade your router and not spend a fortune to do it, several options will give you an extra boost of speed for under $100. Depending on what you’re working with currently, these routers can give you between four and 100x faster response times than your current hardware.
While you won’t see any of the advanced optimization technologies here, you will find dual-band routers with enough power to cut out lag time completely. Although you won’t always see automatic features that can streamline these routers for gamers, some of them to have manual options that allow you to optimize your system and allocate most resources to a specified device which will help to keep your power where you want it on your network.
If you’re someone who likes streaming 4K, or who wants to have multiple players using lots of data on your network at the same time, these routers might not work for you. However, if you’re just looking for faster speed and better processing ability, there are some attractive options in this category.
Here we’ve rounded up the best options for less than $100 and given you the rundown of what they can do, what they can’t, and who would find them to be the best fit.
Comparison of Gaming Routers Under $100 (Click ‘Read Review’ to Expand)
What Gaming Router is Right for You?
When it comes to most anything technology related, the more you spend, the more bells and whistles you get. If you’re a serious competitive gamer, having the fastest possible connection options with built-in technology to optimize your gaming packets is crucial to your success.
Newbies, or casual players who want faster connections that aren’t compromised by the number of users on your network or where in your house you want to play, can benefit from nearly any of the options we reviewed here.
Remember, your router is at the heart of your set-up. To create the ultimate gaming package, you’ll need not only a fast internet connection but hardware that supports that speed. Combined with your gaming skill set, lightning fast internet response times can put you at the top of your game in your online world.
It’s also important to remember, as technology continues to evolve, so will what’s available in routers. The next up and coming change is to the Wi-Fi standards. Currently, 802.11ac is the norm, but the next generation 802.11ad will add a third frequency, 60GHz to the fold. Keep an eye out for those changes, and for routers to adapt to the new standard with increased bandwidth in the future.