May 13

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Best Gaming Routers – 12 Top Options For Gamers in 2020

By Anton

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated May 13, 2020


I remember playing Call Of Duty online with my friend back in the day, I would always win and he would always lose. After losing a match he would scream out that his internet had lagged out and he missed his headshot. Of course I thought he was just making up excuses at the time but eventually he ended up buying a new router once he had saved up some money and true story... I never managed to beat him in a game again.

Not a lot of people know it but a router is actually an extremely important part of any gaming setup, the fact that you have searched to find the best gaming router and ended up here tells me you are smart enough to have figured that out. There are so many routers currently out there it's sometimes hard to find one and you might actually make your internet speeds worse if you buy the wrong router and that it is something I want to help you avoid. The other thing you should know is that it can be done on a budget, just check out this list. 

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Here's our Top Overall Pick

ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting...
7,952 Reviews
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting...
  • 1024 Qam technology 80 percent faster 5 GigaHertz at up to 2100 Mbps, 66...
  • 33 percent greater 2. 4 GigaHertz coverage with a 4 transmit, 4 receive (4T4R)...
  • Expansive connectivity options: with exclusively has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports for...
  • Powerful 1. 4 GigaHertz dual core processor, faster USB data transfers enjoy up...

Here's our Top Budget Pick Under 100

25%
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700) - AC1750 Wireless Speed (up to 1750...
44,401 Reviews
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700) - AC1750 Wireless Speed (up to 1750...
  • FAST WiFi PERFORMANCE: Get up to 1500 square feet wireless coverage with AC1750...
  • RECOMMENDED FOR UP TO 25 DEVICES: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the...
  • WIRED ETHERNET PORTS: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and...
  • LOADED WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Designed with a 1GHz dual core processor, 3...

The best gaming routers will ensure that your online gaming session will never be interrupted ever again. If you are someone who spends plenty of time in front of your computer – playing video games and such – then you probably encounter stressful and annoying lag once in a while or most of the time. This usually disrupts your gaming momentum and destroys your gameplay – which is the last thing that you wanted to experience. If you are tired of this recurring problem every time you play, then maybe it’s the right time to invest in a gaming router to block all those spikes and never let them bother your intense gaming again.

Gaming routers will facilitate network traffic specifically for your games, all thanks to the micro mechanism known as Quality of Service or QoS that assists in making sure that your gaming experience won’t be disrupted by your sister watching Netflix or brother downloading their games. Apart from this, you also want to look for the MU-MIMO so that each member in your home can experience the uninterrupted online gaming session that they deserve. Wired connections are hailed as the smartest way to establish a connection with your online games – and avid gamers and experts couldn’t agree more.

However, you still want to guarantee that your gaming router is an outstanding router. This means that your gaming router should not only have Gigabit Ethernet ports but also with the newest Wi-Fi standards, which is the Wi-Fi 5. When you have numerous antennae that you can easily adjust to improve wireless speeds and enhance signal strength, you got yourself a heavy-duty back up to achieve the best online gaming experience.

Since there are a lot of new mobile gaming platforms, as well as 4K-capable systems – for both PC and console – you might find yourself wanting to invest in an incredible router to reinforce your high-speed games with little to no lag – specifically if your goal is to stream games as well.

There are plenty of high-performance gaming routers on the market today and most of them are specifically engineered to match different gaming situations. The most popular is the Nighthawk XR500 from Netgear. It is a robust router specially designed for gamers – but not limited to such. If you are looking for the ideal gaming router, here’s a list of the top-rated router for your particular gaming requirements.


Best Overall Routers for Gaming

1) ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Gaming Router

ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting...
7,952 Reviews
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting...
  • 1024 Qam technology 80 percent faster 5 GigaHertz at up to 2100 Mbps, 66...
  • 33 percent greater 2. 4 GigaHertz coverage with a 4 transmit, 4 receive (4T4R)...
  • Expansive connectivity options: with exclusively has 8 x Gigabit LAN ports for...
  • Powerful 1. 4 GigaHertz dual core processor, faster USB data transfers enjoy up...

The ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Gaming Router is seasoned with the newest 4×4 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology and 8 Gigabit LAN ports powered by ASUS-exclusive AiProtection designed by Trend Micro. It has a dual-band RT-AC88U that offers the fastest wireless speed that you are looking for and protection that you highly-needed. It also has a total data rate of 3167 Mbps that comes with Smart Connect and complete home extended coverage to guarantee quick and consistent connectivity for every Wi-Fi device that you have at home.

Pros

  • AiProtection Powered by Trend Micro offers multi-stage vulnerability prevention and security
  • Built-in access to WTFast Gamers Private Network or GPN provides low, consistent ping times
  • Comes with a dual-band that has the newest 802.11ac 4x4 that reaches as much 3167 Mbps throughput
  • 33% greater 2.4 GHz coverage that comes with 4 transmits, 4 receives (4T4R) antenna design, which can reach the widest coverage available that’s as much as 5000 SQFT.
  • Expansive connectivity options that come with 8 x Gigabit LAN ports and can accommodate 8 Ethernet-compatible devices simultaneously.

Cons

  • Issue connecting with 5G band
  • Loud cooling fans
  • Relatively slow SSD

2) TP-Link (Archer C5400X) Gaming Router

TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router – MU-MIMO, 1.8GHz Quad-Core 64-bit CPU,...
3,125 Reviews
TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Gaming Router – MU-MIMO, 1.8GHz Quad-Core 64-bit CPU,...
  • JD Power Award- Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and...
  • WiFi Router Made for Gamers: Leading edge 1.8 GHz 64 bit Quad-core CPU and 1G...
  • 8 Gigabit LAN ports and 1 Gigabit WAN port, with Link Aggregation, you can team...
  • AC5400 Tri-band Wi-Fi over one 2.4GHz(1000Mbps) and two 5 GHz...

Whether you are collecting more resources, fighting a MOB, or conquering the battlegrounds, your survival is greatly affected even by seconds of network lag. To defeat this real-world enemy, the Archer C5400x Gaming Router operates efficiently at the center of your network command with the help of cutting-edge 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU working on each service, application, and thread. It also has three coprocessors that balance out the WiFi demand. With this, the Archer C5400x was able to provide unmatched gameplay and the power you deserve to fight enemies with confidence and zero worries about lag spikes.

Pros

  • Cutting-edge 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU that enhances loading time. Versatile optimization that focuses on traffic to prevent latency.
  • RangeBoost improves reception and beamforming delivers specific Wi-Fi to maintain devices connection even at farther distances compared to other routers.
  • Link Aggregation offers one LAN that comes with the WAN port or combines two of the eight Gigabit LAN ports to multiply wireless speed.
  • AC5400 tri-band Wi-Fi over two 5 GHz bands or one 2.4 GHz. Airtime Fairness and MU-MIMO optimize total throughput, as well as response rates.
  • State of the art antivirus that works from the router to secure all the connected devices from potential cyber hazards and threats.

Cons

  • Problem with 5G band
  • Not compatible with all VPN providers

3) ASUS AC2900 Gaming Router

ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router with 1.8GHz Dual-core...
1,389 Reviews
ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router with 1.8GHz Dual-core...
  • Dual-band (2. 4 + 5 GHz) AC2900 wireless router with the latest 802. 11AC...
  • 1. 8GHz 32bit dual-core processor optimizes network traffic and connectivity...
  • Designed for lag-free online gaming and flawless 4K UHD streaming with WTFast...
  • A protection powered by Trend Micro provides built-in 24/7 protection from...

The ASUS AC2900 Gaming Router is engineered to provide exceptional network performance with its 1.8ghz Dual-Core processor that comes with the newest 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology. Optimize your online gaming experience with its game-enhancing adaptive QoS, built-in network security powered by AiProtection, and gamer’s private network provided by WTFast.

Pros

  • Engineered for an online gaming experience that’s lag-free with seamless 4K Ultra-High-Definition streaming powered by adaptive QoS and WTFast game accelerator.
  • Dual-band (2.4 5 GHz) with ac2900 wireless router and newest 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology for faster data transfer with a speed of up to 2900 Mbps.
  • 1.8 GHz 32 Bit dual-core processor maximizes network traffic and improves connectivity speeds from the 4x gigabit LAN ports and USB 3.1 Gen1.
  • Protection supported by trend micro offers built-in 24/7 protection from outside threats and attacks, regulating them before they could damage your connected devices or network.

Cons

  • Troublesome power supply
  • Difficult to connect with the 5G band

4) ASUS ROG GT-AX11000

ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-Band 10 Gigabit WiFi Router,...
1,283 Reviews
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-Band 10 Gigabit WiFi Router,...
  • Triple level game acceleration accelerate game traffic With device, game packet...
  • Cutting edge hardware offers the best performance 1.8 GigaHertz Quad Core cpu...
  • Your own gaming mesh network Compatible with ASUS AiMesh Wi Fi system for...
  • ASUS wrt enables support for open, advanced monitoring and control which...

The ASUS ROG GT-AX11000 provides that quickest Wi-Fi current to 802.11ac devices and NextGen 802.11ax devices. It also creates gigabit speeds while giving a wide range for devices that need quick and stable uploading, gaming, and streaming simultaneously.

Pros

  • Tripe-tier Game Acceleration – improve game traffic with device, game server prioritization, and game packet.
  • State of the art Hardware provides unparalleled performance with 2.5G gaming port for maximum performance and 1.8GHz quad-core CPU.
  • ASUS WRT allows reinforcement for OpenVPN, control, and advanced surveillance that includes the use of device bandwidth, as well as usage or device prioritization.
  • You have your gaming mesh network that works with the ASUS AiMesh Wi-Fi system for faultless and complete home coverage.

Cons

  • Signal disruption

5) TP-Link (Archer C5400) Gaming Router

27%
TP-Link AC5400 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Archer C5400)
881 Reviews
TP-Link AC5400 Wireless Wi-Fi Tri-Band Gigabit Router (Archer C5400)
  • BATTLE TESTED Enjoy 4K video and play online games simultaneously with ultra...
  • LIGHTNING FAST WIFI AC5400 Tri Band with 4 Stream and NitroQAM technology...
  • UNIQUE ANTI VIRUS TP Link HomeCare protects every single device on your...
  • FASTER WIFI FOR EVERY DEVICE Multi user support from MU MIMO technology...

The TP-Link (Archer C5400) Gaming Router delivers massive Wi-Fi connection even with multiple connected devices and smartly provides accelerated Wi-Fi to each device for seamless gaming and 4K UHD streaming. The cutting-edge NitroQAM and 4-stream send more than 5400Mbps of total Wi-Fi throughput to one 2.4GHz (1000Mbps) and two 5GHz (2167Mbps) bands. Apart from this, the Archer also sports the MU-MIMO technology that offers as much as 3x faster Wi-Fi performance while steaming and gaming on numerous devices. Furthermore, it’s Smart Connect maintains the greatest connection availability for every connected device. Give yourself a favor and experience ultra-speedy connections when playing your favorite online games and boundless entertainment when watching your well-loved movies and TV series – all thanks to the high-level 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and combined 3 co-processors.

Pros

  • AC5400 Tri-Band that comes with 4-Stream and NitroQAM technology that offers as much as 5400Mbps Wi-Fi speeds in two 5GHz (2167Mbps) bands and one 2.4GHz (1000Mbps).
  • Quicker Wi-Fi for each connected device since it offers multi-user support from cutting-edge MU-MIMO technology. The Smart Connect automatically gives every device the greatest available band to experience nothing but maximum performance.
  • Experience 4K HD video while streaming and playing online games simultaneously with quicker Wi-Fi available to all connected devices.
  • Compatible with Alexa for efficient voice control and IFTTT for easy smart home personalization.
  • Ultra-efficient connections with zero lag spikes and disruptions. This is because of the competent 1.4GHz dual-core CPU with combined 3 co-processors. System requirements include NT, Microsoft Windows 98SE, UNIX or Linux, MAC OS, 2000, NetWare, Windows 8/8.1/10, and XP.

Cons

  • Much better if the firmware is not updated to prevent issues
  • Recurring problems with connectivity

6) TP-Link (Archer C4000) Gaming Router

TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router - Tri Band Router, MU-MIMO, VPN Server,...
1,563 Reviews
TP-Link AC4000 Smart WiFi Router - Tri Band Router, MU-MIMO, VPN Server,...
  • JD Power Award- Highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers 2017 and...
  • Tri Band Wireless Internet Router for 4K video, streaming and gaming with...
  • Archer A20 V3 with Powerful 1. 8 GHz 64-bit CPU, three co-processors and 512 MB...
  • Eliminate buffering with MU-MIMO technology letting you connect more devices...

The TP-Link (Archer C4000) Gaming Router delivers and receives high-speed Wi-Fi to numerous devices simultaneously. Allow the C4000 to do all the operation by assigning wireless devices to the quickest band so you and your family can enjoy lag-free 4K streaming and ping-free gaming at the same time.

Pros

  • Wide-ranging coverage with beamforming and RangeBoost technology for optimum coverage and performance.
  • AC4000 tri-band WiFi offers as much as 1625 Mbps on every 5 GHz band and 750 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. You can operate every connection with outstanding speed since it has a heavy-duty 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU.
  • Secure your network with the state of the art WiFi encryption and cover-all antivirus security. You can also control, limit, and track internet usage to help you personalize Wi-Fi connection for each device and person.
  • Connect plenty of other devices while also optimizing performance with Smart Connect, Airtime Fairness, and Multi-User MIMO.
  • Double wired connection speeds that come from 2 Gbps and 1 Gbps, as well Link Aggregation and Supported Operating Systems that include Linux, Mac OS 10.12, and Windows 10.

Cons

  • Much better if it has a greater power adapter

7) NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XR500 Gaming Router

34%
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and...
2,408 Reviews
NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 WiFi Router with 4 Ethernet Ports and...
  • Minimize ping and maximize performance with four 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports for...
  • Amp up your WiFi with AC2600 dual band router that delivers blazing fast speeds...
  • Put your gaming traffic in a designated express lane with advanced Quality of...
  • Make every millisecond count by using geo filtering to connect to the closest...

The NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro XR500 Gaming Router utilizes cutting-edge software to maximize your internet connection by decreasing lag spikes, normalizing ping, maintaining you in the game through trustworthy and consistent wireless and wired connectivity for ultra-speedy gaming. You can also customize your gaming dashboard to display real-time bandwidth utilization ping, devices, and plenty of other parameters. Nighthawk reduces the lag that allows you to achieve a stable local connection with the help of Geo filter or allow the quality of service for assigned bandwidth and assigned gaming devices.

Pros

  • Upgrade your Wi-Fi with the AC2600 dual-band router that provides snappy speeds that can reach as much as 2.6 Gbps.
  • Reduces ping and optimizes performance with the four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports for paired-connectivity, lag-free, and .7 GHz dual-core processor network productivity.
  • Place your gaming traffic in a specialized express lane with the state of the art quality of Service that skips network congestion and minimizes lag jitters, jumps, and spikes.
  • Take advantage of the geo-filtering and make each millisecond count. It enables you to connect to the players and servers that are closest to your location for you to respond to and take over.
  • Track your game ping and network in real-time so you can find out and identify who is reaching the bandwidth via application and device.

Cons

  • Connectivity problems
  • Overheats

Best Gaming Routers Under 100

1) NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750


NETGEAR-Nighthawk-AC1750

The AC1750 works good for homes that have multiple different wifi devices and will work with up to 12 different connections. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 also has other features built in for lag free gaming like a dual core processor, 1750 mbps and a very impressive range that will cover even the biggest pads. I am quite impressed that the AC1750 falls into the a good price range and I am also impressed with the options to speak on live chat direct to Netgear staff which isn't something you can also do when buying a game router online.

Pros

  • Dual Core Processor
  • Lag Free Hardware
  • Great for streamers

Cons

  • Questionable longevity

2) Medialink AC1200


Medialink-AC1200

If you are a complete and utter technical noob but still want a high quality gaming router on a budget then I would recommend the Medialink AC1200. From my research this has one of the easiest setups and is pretty much plug and play, so to speak. It is 1200 mbps wireless which is a little bit lower than other routers but it is still offers faster speeds than other generic routers. If you are parent reading this then the parental control feature allows you too restrict wireless internet access at certain times. If you are a kid reading this then tell your parents that this router sucks lol.

Pros

  • Connect up to 20 devices
  • 4k Ultra HD Lag Free
  • Range Extender
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Issues with it disconnecting sometimes

3) TP-Link N450


TP-Link-N450

I would only personally recommend the N450 if you are on a very tight budget because it does quite a primary job. The TP Link N450 offers wireless speeds at 450Mpbs which is definitely on the lower side but still might be faster than your current choice of router. It comes with 3 antennas and has 802.11n technology which gives it quite a good range and again this might be better than whatever router you are using now. The set up is a little bit outdated, and the software isn’t that great, but if you are willing to put in the extra time to get it working in exchange for saving yourself some money, then I would recommend this. I think you really get what you pay for with the N450 router.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest options
  • Decent wireless range

Cons

  • Speeds not great
  • Feels a bit outdated

4) ASUS AC1750


ASUS-AC1750

This ASUS router falls in just under my desired budget but sure does pack a punch. It has super fast wireless speeds of up to 1750Mbps which is no less than what I would expect for the cost of this. It is Dual Band 2.5 & 5 GHz and has 3 antennas making sure that the wireless range on this is good for even the largest of houses. They don’t officially claim how may wireless devices can be connected to their router, but I would guesstimate it to be around the 20 mark which is slightly higher than average. The setup is, and that is down to ASUS being an established well-run company that really put in a lot of effort into perfecting their products including the AC1750 router.

Pros

  • Multiple antennas for longer range
  • Excellent 1750Mbps speeds
  • Dual Band 2.5 & 5 ghz

Cons

  • Not great at connecting to a lot of devices

5) Actiontec 300 Mbps


Most gamers will not have heard of ActionTec before, the reviews are mixed for this, and I’m not too sure what I honestly think of the Actiontec router for gaming. The wireless speed is a low 300 Mbps, 2.4 GHz and the other features are not that impressive either. It is in my desired price range, and if you just want a standard average cheapish router for gaming, then this might be the one. I would say that there are much better options in this list I have put together but thought I would include this router since a lot of people have never heard of the brand before.

Pros

  • Okay price

Cons

  • Extremely low speeds
  • Unknown brand

What Makes a Gaming Router

All the gaming routers presented in this list were carefully tested in a real setting using different kinds of high bandwidth applications, such as file transfers, 4K video, general web surfing, and online gaming. The newest model of the router’s firmware displayed to the router at the start of the testing. All the devices that the customers utilized were stable throughout the whole testing and operating of the brand new software and drivers. Testing was carried out by utilizing NetPerf software. A computer that features a Gigabit Ethernet port (10/100/1000) was utilized to deliver the data through a wired connection going to the router through a CAT 5e cable. A total of three test runs were performed in every wireless adapter at every 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies, at both far and close distances, using the maximum throughput for every parameter recorded.

When you are looking for a game router, you should determine which model of Wi-Fi it can support. The major two you might want to watch out for are Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) since they provide the quickest wireless speeds as of the present. Moreover, during your shopping for a router, you’ll find models that are engineered for Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) that have a very sleek look, thanks to their cheap cost, however, you should stay away from this thirst trap. Take note that Wi-Fi 4 is already outmoded and it delivers bad speeds, unlike its aforementioned contemporary counterparts. Apart from this, you might want to look for a router that is a dual-band.

Single-band routers provide limited support for the 2.4GHz band only, which works for downloading and web browsing only. On the other hand, the dual-band routers incorporate another 5.0GHz channel that offers much quicker and reliable wireless speeds. Apart from this, you’ll also come across Tri-Band routers – some of them are mentioned on the list discussed above – that offers another 5GHz band you can specifically assign for gaming only. To sum it all up, here is a list of several considerations you should pay attention when purchasing gaming routers:

Quality of Service – always remember that not every network traffic is made the same and the QoS enables the router to decide which kind of data should be considered as a priority. The best gaming routers are engineered to prioritize games without altering other features in the settings. This guarantees that when you are in the middle of killing your enemy in the game, the server will prioritize it over other traffic on your network. 

Wi-Fi vs Ethernet – though there are plenty of upgrades in Wi-Fi over the past years, the idea is still clear: playing using a wired connection is much better compared to playing through Wi-Fi. As much as possible, invest in a router that can offer ultra-efficient Ethernet ports to accommodate all your consoles, as well as your gaming PC. If this can’t happen, then the 802.11ac will work best for your gaming needs. You can choose from dual-band or tri-band, but usually having two is sufficient enough to give you a seamless gaming experience. However, if your consoles and gaming PC is backed up by 5 GHz Wi-Fi, upgrading to a tri-band is highly-suggested.

Conclusion

Gaming routers are not simply a marketing stratagem. These devices truly have significant features that can level-up your gaming experiences such as additional Gigabit Ethernet ports, gaming traffic prioritization, competent router hardware, and the newest wireless standards. However, it’s also vital to take note that not all of these features are limited to gaming routers. The best gaming routers also have additional features like dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, and QoS.

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

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