The best gaming routers
- Gaming routers include all the extra hardware and features you need to keep your ping (and lag) as low as possible while playing real-time multiplayer games online.
- NETGEAR's Nighthawk XR500 has gaming-specific network optimization features, an intuitive user experience, and all the bandwidth you need for a fair price - it's our overall best gaming router.
Nothing derails a gaming session like some hardcore lag, or a delay in time from when you press a button to when the corresponding action happens on-screen. Truly bad online lag sees your characters glitching throughout the game, teleporting them across the map and or forcing you to watching a practical slideshow of your match as attacks that are supposed to land simply aren't.
That's why you should consider investing in a gaming router. There are many standard routers out there which can handle gaming perfectly fine, but the ones we're talking about today have all the ingredients to maximize the potential of your network for online gaming.
An effective gaming router has multiple high-gain antennas, Gigabit speeds for both wireless and Ethernet connections, a fast chipset, extras like USB ports, network management tools such as traffic prioritization, and advanced wireless technologies, like beamforming (centering signals toward specific devices) and MU-MIMO (capacity for multiple data streams per connected device at once). Many of them strive to look the part, but aesthetics have no real bearing on performance.
Even if you're not a gamer, you'll probably want a gaming router. The quality of your connection is just as important for activities like 4K video streaming, video calls, and more. With more households wth multiple people doing multiples of these activities simultaneously, these advanced routers give you enough power to handle all of that, and then some.
Here are the best gaming routers you can buy:
- Best gaming router overall: Netgear Nighthawk XR500
- Best cheap gaming router: TP-Link AC1900
- Best gaming router for speed: ASUS ROG RT-AC5300
- Best gaming router for custom firmware: Linksys WRT AC3200
- Best WiFi 6 gaming router: Netgear Nighthawk AX12
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The best gaming router overall
The best cheap gaming router
The best gaming router for speed
The best gaming router for custom firmware
The best WiFi 6 gaming router
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