Any gamer worth their salt knows that you need a seriously good internet connection to be able to play seamlessly. The rookie mistake that a lot of people make is to focus too much on their computer; many gamers will customize their computers and even build parts of it themselves but not paying much attention to their actual internet connection. This kind of thinking will kill you if you’re planning to play competitively online.
Unless you want to hook your computer up to a wired internet connection, you are going to have to rely on WiFi, and that means having a great WiFi router. Gamers especially need really good routers if they want to be sure to have a good connection to play online. You’ll need to find one that’s fast, has the proper bandwidth and is reliable. It’s easier than you think to find the right router for you, and many top-end routers are really affordable these days so you have tons of options right at your fingertips.
We’ve compiled a list of the very best WiFi routers for gaming.
What You Need To Consider Before Buying
Your first consideration will probably be budget, but don’t let that stop you from looking around. Resist the urge to scoop up the cheapest router just because it will do the job. You’ll need something that has a lot of bandwidth, is super fast and ideally has the ability to prioritize your devices. Why do you need to prioritize your devices? If you have several people running their smartphones on WiFi, internet TVs like Netflix, or personal computers you’ll be competing for bandwidth. Even if you don’t have someone else at home using your computer, you could still be eating up valuable bandwidth simply because so many items are connected to the internet these days. The so-called “Internet of Things” means that several items in your home are online and sucking up your bandwidth. Smart gamers will choose routers that allow them to prioritize their gaming above everything else.
We’ve broken down the five best routers for you, in all different price ranges. If you’re a serious gamer, get one of these for optimum performance.
The price tag on this bad boy might seem a little steep, but it’s totally worth every penny. There are three things that set this router apart from the pack; the speed, internet range and the ability to prioritize which activity you want to take precedence. The super speed is thanks to its 1024-QAM technology. If you have small children at home, you’ll love the fact that this device allows you to assign protections for certain devices. Totally secure, fast and with ample bandwidth, this router won’t let you down. The only downside is that it occasionally needs to reboot. This could be a problem if you’re mid-game and it fizzles out for no good reason. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a small concern for people who need seamless connectivity.
Pros: This router is super fast and you can prioritize your activities.
Cons: You might occasionally need to reboot this router, interrupting service.
The TP-Link Archer AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is a cost-effective way to get the best internet quickly and cheaply. This router comes with a two-year warranty. It really outperforms many higher priced models and is one of the best devices in its class. The range is especially impressive, so if you’re planning on getting your gaming on far from the physical router itself, you won’t be disappointed. The router itself has a strong performance and good bandwidth, but there is one small downside. It’s difficult to get customer service help if there is an issue. Like any electronic device, you might run into a snag or two that requires technical support. Unfortunately, customer and technical support services aren’t the greatest for this product.
Pros: This is a cost-effective router that has amazing range.
Cons: Customer and technical support services leave a little to be desired with this product.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router is solidly in the middle of the price spectrum and boasts great speeds of 600+1300 Mbps. It even caters to gamers with specific features that allow you to play seamlessly. In fact, this is one of the best options on our list if you’re willing to pay a little extra. You can prioritize your gaming, which is a huge plus when you need uninterrupted internet. You won’t experience any lags or slowdowns at all! The only real problem that we found is that the 5g channel occasionally has some glitches. This can cause headaches. Other than that, the product is a solid choice for gamers or people who need super fast internet.
Pros: This router is really fast and allows you to prioritize gaming over other functions.
Cons: There are occasional problems with the 5g channel with this router.
This router is specifically made for gamers and boasts “lag-free gaming” as one of its primary features. It’s affordable for almost every budget and definitely a great choice if you’re looking for a router that will let you play at length with no interruptions. It comes with detachable antennas so you can customize how much radius you want your device to have. This comes in handy if your router is far away from where you’re planning on setting up shop and playing. No matter how many devices you have hooked up, the internet will flow seamlessly. It’s a bandwidth beast! The only real downside is that it needs to be restarted once in a while. This glitch can be a pain, but it shouldn’t interrupt the natural flow of your game.
Pros: This router is specifically designed with gamers in mind and has lightning speed and a good range.
Cons: You might need to restart this router once in a while.
Now we’ve reached the Mac Daddy of router options. This system isn’t technically your traditional router, but an upgrade of sorts that allows you to have consistent, clear, uninterrupted and fast internet throughout your entire home. Google’s Wifi system is one of the more expensive items on this list, but if you have some extra cash to burn it’s totally worth it. This device completely eliminates dead zones in your house so you’ll be able to do your gaming from anywhere with absolutely no interruptions. Even better, you can prioritize your gaming to make sure you’re always getting the best of the bandwidth and playing in real time. People who are into aesthetics will appreciate the sleek, round and minimal design of this system. The only downside is that it costs nearly $300, making this system a pretty big investment if you’re looking to buy a new router.
Pros: This system will give you full, fast internet coverage throughout your entire home and you can prioritize gaming.
Cons: This system will set you back nearly $300.
What’s The Final Verdict?
When choosing the best wireless routers, you’ll have to keep a few things in mind. It needs to have the proper bandwidth and speed to be able to support gaming. Additionally, you’ll want to think about what routers can give you options to prioritize gaming above all other applications. Many of the routers that we outlined in this list can accomplish exactly that, like the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router. Other products are specifically built with gaming in mind, such as the TRENDnet AC2600 MU-MIMO, Wireless Gigabit Router. If you’re willing to pay extra for a premium router, you should check out the Google WiFi system which allows you to play anywhere without having to worry about encountering a dead zone. Google WiFi is also notable for its speed and bandwidth. If you are sharing your space with little ones, the ASUS AC3100 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router lets you put certain protections on different devices. This is especially important if you want to play all of the best not-safe-for-kids online games.
Ultimately, all of the routers we’ve outlined here are great choices for any gamer. When it comes to choosing the best wifi routers for gaming, you’re only limited by your budget and what you want to accomplish. Don’t make the rookie mistake of not paying attention to your router and you’ll be well on your way to crushing it with playing online games.