The best gaming routers provide optimal coverage throughout your home and enough bandwidth to ensure single-digit latency even with multiple people connected to the internet at the same time.
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To help you select the best gaming router for your house or apartment, we’ve rounded up multiple popular routers to see which of them offer the best performance and value.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the world’s first 10 Gigabit WiFi router, but that’s just one of many selling-points that make it the best gaming router out there. Thanks to its support for the latest-generation WiFi standard, 802.11ax (WiFi 6), this router can deliver ultrafast speeds of up to 11,000 Mbps to handle even the most bandwidth-intensive tasks with ease.
Inside its black casing hides a 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz. The powerful processor enables advanced gaming optimization features and delivers rock-solid stability and state-of-the-art security. The router can be controlled using the ROG-themed Gaming Center, which exposes all important information at a glance and makes it easy to change any setting thanks to its point-and-click nature.
As you probably expect, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is far from affordable. In fact, it’s one of the more expensive routers for gaming currently available, but you really do get your money’s worth when you purchase it.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 has a lot in common with the best gaming router currently available, the above-described Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. The router not only looks the same but is controlled using a similar interface, the ROG-themed Gaming Center, which provides easy point-and-click control over all features. The router even supports the same triple-level game acceleration technology, so you can rest assured, knowing lag won’t ruin your best gaming moments.
The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is equipped with a state-of-the-art intrusion prevention system called AiProtection Pro, which protects your gaming network from external attacks and threats. Best of all, this powerful security feature has you covered for life—no need to pay a monthly subscription fee. You can also take advantage of a feature called VPN Fusion and use it to run a VPN and an ordinary internet connection at the same time.
The Asus RT-AX86U AX5700 Router is a mid-range gaming router that’s ideal for gamers living in apartments and small houses. Because the router supports WiFi 6, it can deliver true 2 Gbps wired and wireless speeds (aggregated 2 Gbps WAN connections + wired 2.5 Gbps port) and minimize latency during online gaming. Just like all other WiFi 6 routers, the Asus RT-AX86U AX5700 is fully backward compatible with older devices that don’t support the cutting-edge standard.
In total, the router is equipped with four LAN ports, and one of them is intended specifically for gaming. When connected to the internet via this port, the router automatically prioritizes all traffic coming to and from the connected device (such as a PC or console) to prevent other connected devices from slowing it down. You can also prioritize traffic from the RT-AX86U’s online control panel to take care of wireless-only devices, such as your smartphone.
Linksys isn’t the first company that comes to mind when it comes to gaming, but that didn’t stop it from producing one of the best wireless routers for gaming, the Linksys WRT32X. What makes this router stand out is the Killer Networks Prioritization engine, the first router purpose-built to prioritize gaming.
When connected to a compatible gaming PC, the router is able to automatically identify, prioritize, and accelerate your gaming traffic above all other devices, reducing peak ping times by up to 77% to deliver smooth, lag-free gaming.
The Linksys WRT32X is equipped with four gaming antennas that help it cover even large areas with a strong signal, and it features a custom-built user interface. Unfortunately, the user interface is one of the router’s weaker parts because it leaves something to be desired when it comes to usability and intuitiveness.
While we don’t think the TP-Link Archer C5400X is a particularly good-looking router, that doesn’t prevent it from delivering exceptional value. Its secret? Tri-band Wi-Fi with speeds up to 5,400 Mbps over one 2.4 GHz (1,000 Mbps) and two 5 GHz (2,167 Mbps) bands.
But that’s not everything. The router also supports MU-MIMO and Airtime Fairness technologies to efficiently transmit data packets to multiple devices at the same time, and its RangeBoost feature strengthens reception quality to reinforce connections in your home.
The TP-Link Archer C5400X is equipped with eight Gigabit Ethernet ports, so there’s no shortage of connectivity options when it comes to connecting PCS, smart TVs, and other stationary devices to the internet. Just keep in mind that the router itself is rather large and bulking, which means that finding a suitable place for it might be an issue.
The D-LINK DIR-879 EXO is certainly one of the most interesting-looking gaming routers out there. Its angular black and orange casing hides a fast dual-core CPU and an advanced Wi-Fi chip that intelligently locates the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for optimal performance.
As far as connectivity goes, the router is equipped with four fast gigabit Ethernet ports, but it completely lacks USB ports. The lack of USB ports is the router’s biggest downside, one that can understandably convince many potential buyers to choose a different model.
Another downside that you should know about is the underwhelming user interface, which, while visually appealing, lacks certain customization options that we expect a router of this caliber to have. That said, all essential features, such as parental controls, quality of service, and internet activity monitoring, can be accessed with ease and configured with a few simple clicks.
Manufactured by Ubiquiti and endorsed by Nvidia, the AmpliFi HD Gamer’s Edition is the best gaming mesh WiFi system because it combines excellent ease of use with powerful performance and a wealth of extra features. The router is equipped with the GeForce NOW QoS mode, which Ubiquiti developed in cooperation with Nvidia to quickly adjust networks for optimal game streaming performance.
Unlike most routers, the AmpliFi HD Gamer’s Edition is meant to be seen. The main unit features a touchscreen display that shows your current internet upload and download speed. You can double-tap it to bring up the router and WAN IP addresses, triple-tap it to display the current throughput speeds, and tap it four times to view the status of connected devices. Sure, it’s easy to say that the display is just a gimmick, but even.
The NETGEAR WiFi 6 Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 is an excellent gaming router for gamers who are ready to embrace the WiFi 6 standard and enjoy up to 4x capacity and a 40% increase in data throughput. The router comes with NETGEAR Armor, which is a subscription-based cybersecurity solution that provides multi-layered cybersecurity on all your devices, including smartphones, computers, smart TVs, security cameras.
Thanks to the excellent Nighthawk app, you can set up the NETGEAR WiFi 6 Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 using your smartphone, and the entire process takes just a few minutes from start to finish. Changing all common settings seldom requires more than three or four taps, and you can even use the app to manage your NETGEAR subscription services, including NETGEAR Armor.
Modern routers are complicated devices whose performance exceeds that of many personal computers from the last decade. The best wireless routers for gaming offer a whole host of gaming-oriented features intended to improve your experience, and they are certainly worth spending extra money on if you consider yourself to be an avid gamer.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important criteria for choosing the best router for gaming:
The best gaming router that you can buy in 2021 is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, but there are many other routers that come close. Ideally, you should select a router that can reliably keep lag from ruining your gaming moments and do so without breaking your bank. Just make sure to pick a suitable location for it and configure its settings to minimize signal interference and the performance issues that can potentially be caused by it.
The best router for gaming is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000. This router offers impressive WiFi speeds, excellent connectivity options, and a whole host of gaming-oriented features that place it in a class of its own.
Most pro gamers use gaming-oriented routers. That’s partially because they’re often sponsored by their manufacturers and partially because such routers allow them to achieve the lowest latency possible.
Absolutely! A high-performance router can provide optimal coverage throughout your home and keep annoying lag from ruining the best gaming moments. What’s more, the best routers for gaming offer all kinds of useful features that you would otherwise have to spend extra money on, such as a secure VPN.