Best Router for Gaming – The Ultimate 2016 Guide

Tired of disconnections when gaming online? Well, get the best router for gaming so you never experience this again.If you’re looking to take your online gaming experience to the next level, you need to do a few things.

Firstly, you need to consider getting the best router for gaming.

There’s nothing more annoying than playing online against a fierce competitor and to have your gameplay lag throughout. What’s even worse is when the connection suddenly resets and you have to start all over again.

A lot of people think this is due to their Internet and don’t even consider the router they’re using. However, this actually plays a huge part, especially when it comes to playing video games online.

If people in your household are using various different devices, and you’re playing online on your PS4 or Xbox One, you need something powerful to ensure a stable and lag-free connection.

What we have done is compile a list of the top 10 best wireless routers for gaming. We then review 5 of our favorites in order to find the best router out on the market. These are scattered across different price ranges to make sure people with all budgets can benefit from our guide.

So, whether you’re a hard core gamer that is happy to spend $300 or a casual gamer who doesn’t want to spend more than $50, you’ve come to the right place.

Without making you wait further, let’s get through our list to find the best gaming router out on the market today.

NameTransfer RateBandRating (1-5)Price
NETGEAR Nighthawk X63,200 MbpsTri4.9$$$
TRENDnet TEW-828DRU3,200 MbpsTri4.6$$$
NETGEAR Nighthawk1,900 MbpsDual4.4$$$
TP-LINK Archer C91,900 MbpsDual4.3$$
TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2300 MbpsSingle4.1$

The Top 5 Gaming Routers in 2015

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 AC3200 Tri-Band


Judging by the appearance of the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6, we can already tell it is going to be an excellent gaming router.

With a 1GHz dual core processor and 256MB of RAM, this powerful Tri-Band Gigabit router lets you enjoy lag-free online gameplay without disturbing other connected devices on the network. Being Gigabit wired, this is perfect for gaming online and HD streaming.

The X6 offers some of the fastest WiFi speeds we’ve ever seen. You literally get up to 600+1300+1300Mbps at Gigabit speeds, which is unheard of by most people.

There is good dynamic QoS bandwidth prioritization built-in, which helps to optimize your Internet speed for online gameplay and video streaming. On top of that, there are six high performance antennas along with some very powerful amplifiers to increase the overall range, which is great if you have a large home.

There is also a load-balancing feature to ensure both of the 5GHz WiFi networks are utilized efficiently.

If you’re not very techie and have no idea which wireless channels to use, not to worry because the X6 features Smart Connect, which intelligently selects the best WiFi option for each available device. It’s also very easy to install and use. There is an easy push button to help connect to the network (WPS).

Once you combine all of these features, you get a very reliable and consistent connection. The X6 is a high performing product and features implicit and explicit Beamforming+ technology. Essentially, this helps to deliver a stronger connection throughout the entire home, whether you’re in the backyard or upstairs in the attic.

There are 2 USB 2.0 ports as well as 1 Superspeed USB 3.0 Port if you need to access your hard drive or connect to your printer. All of this arguably makes the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 the best router for gaming.

2. TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 Tri-Band


The TRENDnet TEW-828DRU is by no means cheap, but is easily one of the best gaming routers out on the market right now.The TRENDnet TEW-828DRU is a solid product and easily matches up to the NETGEAR X6 when it comes to performance.

In our opinion, it is the best router you can find at this price.

With 3 concurrent WiFi bands offering similar 600+1300+1300Mbps Gigabit speeds at the X6, the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU is certainly no slouch and offers seamless gameplay and 4K video streaming.

The targeted Beamforming and powerful 1 GHz dual core processor help to offer excellent real-time performance and wireless signal strength throughout the entire home.

If there are quite a few people in your household, you will be pleased to know that the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU features Smart Connect technology. To explain, this automatically manages both AC bands by grouping faster devices on the highest performing band and the slower devices on a separate band, ensuring no disruption amongst any of the devices on the network.

Like the Nighthawk X6, you get a Super Speed USB 3.0 port as well as 2 USB 2.0 ports if you want to share printers or any media.

Overall, we would consider the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU to be a top quality product and possibly the best wireless router for gaming in its price range.

3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band


The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is definitely the best gaming router under $200.Costing under $200, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 is certainly not cheap. However, it is the best router in this price point and you get a solid product.

You get 1900 Mbps speeds, which is lower than the 3200 Mbps speeds you get with the best 2 products above.

Apart from that though, there aren’t many differences between them. There is still a powerful 1GHz dual core processor and an advanced QoS in order to help recognize and prioritize online gameplay and streaming over other lower bandwidth consuming activities. This ensures you get the best gaming and video streaming experience.

It is Gigabit wired, which is extremely important when it comes to HD gaming. As mentioned before, it lets you take advantage of the game console wiring and offers lightning fast speeds. On top of that, there is also Beamforming+ technology for extra speed, reliability and range.

High-powered amplifiers and 3 external antennas are built-in to ensure a reliable and strong signal throughout your entire home. There’s nothing worse than suffering constant disconnections when you’re using the Internet.

You can access your USB hard drive via either the USB 2.0 or the Superspeed USB 3.0 Port.

All of this makes the NETGEAR AC1900 is a very powerful option for the money, and arguably the best gaming router under $200.

4. TP-LINK Archer C9 AC1900 Dual Band


While the TP-LINK Archer C9 may look small, it is arguably the best best wireless router for gaming near the $100 mark.The TP-LINK Archer C9 is dual band and costs around the $100 mark. It’s perfect if you don’t want to spend an absolute fortune but still want something that is excellent quality.

With support for the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi, you always get the best speeds that are included by your ISP.

Like the NETGEAR R7000, there is 1.9Gbps of total bandwidth available, which is quite surprising since the Archer C9 costs around $70 less than the R7000. Similarly, there are simultaneous dual band networks, comprising of one, which is 2.4GHz (600Mbps) and the other, which is 5GHz (1300Mbps). There is also a 1GHz dual-core processor, which again matches up to the NETGEAR R7000.

It does offer Gigabit WIFI and wired connections as well so it is ideal for gaming online or streaming HD video.

There are 3 detachable dual band antennas in order to maximise the wireless coverage and offer a reliable connection throughout your home.

On top of that, there are some high performing features such as Beamforming technology. Again, this helps to locate the various wireless devices connected to the network and creates a stronger connection according to their specific location.

There are also USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports if you need to share printers or media across your network.

Once you combine all of these features, the Archer C9 easily handles simultaneous wired and wireless connections without any sort of interruption. Having tested this product ourselves, we can confirm that it offered absolutely seamless HD gaming and is as good as many products that are far more expensive.

It is, in our opinion, the best router for quick speeds and a reliable connection around the $100 mark. It’s also very good for gaming online.

5. TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2 N300


The TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND is a top gaming router and offers Gigabit wiring.Priced at under $50, this TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2 is a bargain and easily the best router at this price.

With speeds up to 300Mbps, the TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND obviously isn’t competing against the other options on our list. However, considering the massive price difference, that is to be expected. There is a Speed Boost Mode, which helps to increase speeds up to 450Mbps, which is not a bad addition. For a lot of people, this should be good enough. However, if you’re a hard core gamer, we suggest you look elsewhere.

Saying that, there is something really good about this product. Firstly, there is a Gigabit Ethernet Switch built-in as well as 4 Gigabit ports. This is perfect as it lets you take advantage of the game console wiring to enhance speeds significantly. For a $50 product, that is a very impressive addition and upon our test, we weren’t disappointed. The connection was stable throughout and we didn’t suffer any lag when playing online.

There is an IP-based QoS, which helps to control bandwidth levels and ensures no individual user is abusing it. This is also not a bad feature to have.

You get 3 5dBi detachable antennas inside the box, to ensure the wireless connection is strong and stable throughout your home.

Unfortunately, there is no Superspeed USB 3.0 port but you still get a USB 2.0 port in order to share printers and other media.

Overall, we really liked using the TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2. While it is obviously not great for high performance video games or 4K video streaming, it will do a great job for gaming online and HD streaming. It will offer an overall smooth experience and is definitely the best gaming router under $50 that we could find.

Features to Consider

Before getting your wallet out, you need to consider a few things to ensure that you pick up the best router according to your requirements.

Firstly, it’s crucial that you look at something that has Gigabit Ethernet ports. To explain, these ports simply let you capture and take advantage of the 1,000 Mbps speed that is built in to your PC or games console wiring.

A lot of people will talk about connecting the router directly to your games console but actually a lot of Broadband providers offer a fixed speed rate and so you won’t be able to take advantage of it. Thus, it’s very important that you get one with Gigabit Ethernet ports.

As mentioned before, if you have multiple people in your household connecting their devices to the network, you might experience issues with the stock model that your ISP sends you.

What you need is a dual-band or tri-band router, which basically reserves a large amount of bandwidth for playing online and a smaller amount for other devices. This includes smartphones and laptops, as with daily browsing, these will not require a lot of bandwidth.

Finally, there is one more thing you should consider. Basically, you need something that has a Quality-of-service (QoS) engine, which is why the best gaming routers will always have this feature. Essentially, this allows you to shape network traffic in order to distribute a larger amount of bandwidth to gaming traffic than any other network traffic.

We hope this made some sense to you. It’s always a good idea to get an understanding of what you’re buying before actually doing so. It makes the experience of using it better than it would normally and will prevent headaches in the future.

Summary

It wasn’t that long ago when we were using Dial-up Internet at mediocre settings and now we’re seeing these gaming routers with incredible speeds. It just shows how far technology has advanced over the last 10 years or so.

With this post, our aim was to help gamers understand what they need to enhance their online gameplay. Believe it or not, changing your router can make a huge difference and the best quality one is necessary if you’re a hard core gamer.

Even if you just enjoy playing video games online casually, it will be a worthwhile investment. Not only will it allow lag free gaming, it will also ensure other devices connected to the network don’t suffer.

With that in mind, we would consider the NETGEAR Nighthawk X6 to be the best router for gaming. At just under $300 though, It will cost you a pretty penny so do bear that in mind. If you who want something that works well but won’t break the bank, the TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND is arguably the perfect option.

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