When you’re gaming, you try to make your experience the best possible. That means a great monitor, top of the line GPU, powerful CPU, and RAM to spare. Gamers are spending more and more time looking for excitement and explosions in online settings, playing against real people all around the globe.
It stands to reason, then, that another key piece of your gaming setup is a dedicated gaming router. With that in mind, here are five of the best gaming routers on the market today.
ASUS RT-AC5300 – Expensive, yet Powerful
- Powered by 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
- 802.11ac support
- Tri-band (dual 5-GHz, single 2.4 GHz) technology
- MU-MIMO technology for multiple simultaneous connections
- ASUS AiProtection for better security
- WTFast support for Gamers Private Network (GPN) access
ASUS RT-AC5300 is built for speed, distance, and security. It is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB of memory. Also, it’s Tri-band technology with the latest 802.11ac 4×4 capability allows you to enjoy up to 5334 Mbps throughput. If you are looking for top routers for gaming, this is definitely one of the top gaming routers out there.
With four-transmit and four-receive (4T4R) detachable antennas surrounding its square perimeters and smooth sides, the ASUS RT-AC5300 looks the part of a router for gaming. Furthermore, the red lines on the smooth black surface and the square design pattern in the middle adds to the mystique of this device.
The symmetric design of the router means that there is no discernible front and back. On one side of the router, you will find the power button, power port, USB 3.0 port, WAN port and 4 LAN ports.
The status LEDs are gathered together on another side to make it convenient to monitor the router. The power, 2.4 GHz signal, 5 GHz signal, WAN, LAN and WPS LEDs are all lined together on this side. Opposite to this side, you can find a USB 2.0 port, LED on/off button, WPS button and WiFi on/off button.
Tri-Band Smart Connect Supports More Devices at Higher Bandwidth
The RT-AC5300’s tri-band technology gives you 1000 Mbps at the 2.4 GHz channel and 2167 Mbps on each of the two 5 GHz channels. Therefore, you don’t have to constantly worry about disruptions in real-time game streaming. Good gaming routers don’t leave you hanging and this router will definitely not leave you hanging.
But ASUS went further to provide you the best in-class support for this router by making it MU-MIMO ready. The Multi-user Multiple-input Multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology ensures that your performance doesn’t suffer when multiple devices connect simultaneously.
Gaming Acceleration using WTFast
The RT-AC5300 uses WTFast client to access Gamers Private Network (GPN), a network of route-optimized servers. It means that your gaming packets will have access to fastest routes possible. Thus, you can play without worrying about network traffic bringing down your game.
Prioritized Security for Safe Gaming
ASUS AiProtection guards against external threats. When you play multiplayer games, you are exposing your private network to the world. It leaves you vulnerable. A multi-stage protection system like AiProtection can help.
Also, the ASUSWRT user interface and router app gives you the ability to monitor your network and manage your security settings easily.
Why is this router worth it?
The 1.4 GHz dual-core processor ensures that you have the necessary power to enjoy the full benefit of tri-band technology. Also, it looks really good — good enough to impress your friends.
The 8 antenna backed MU-MIMO support ensures fast, reliable and consistent connections. With this router, you can play games and stream 4K videos without feeling any performance degradation.
- Fast and furious with 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
- Reliable and consistent coverage with 4×4 antenna MU-MIMO technology
- Plenty of bandwidth to go around for multiple devices
- Highly secure and user-friendly
- Price point might be too high for some gamers
- Design looks good but it takes a lot of physical space
- Quality and number of USB ports is disappointing
2. Linksys WRTAC3200ACM – Best Linksys Wifi Router
- Powered by Ultra-fast 1.8 GHz CPU
- Tri-stream 160 doubles 5GHz bandwidth
- Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) channels expands bandwidth
- Open source ready for OpenWrt and DD-WRT
- Smart Wi-Fi app support
Linksys WRTAC3200ACM is designed to deliver blazing-fast, reliable dual-band connections to multiple devices at the same time. It is an enterprise grade solution that makes it a perfect contender for best router and modem. Also, the tri-stream 160 technology doubles bandwidth and the ultra-powerful 1.8 GHz dual-core processor makes it one of the best routers.
The WRTAC3200ACM has a simple classical flat panel router look. Its simplicity is its asset. Moreover, the four antennas are detachable and pivot easily on the connection points.
The front panel of the router has all the necessary LED indicators. The LED lights are line shaped. They indicate the status of power, internet connection, 2.4 GHz network, 5 GHz network, eSATA, USB 1, USB 2 primary, USB 2 secondary, 4 Ethernet primaries, 4 Ethernet secondaries, and WPS.
The back panel has Wi-Fi protected setup button, 4 ethernet ports, an internet port, USB 3.0 port, combo USB 2.0/eSATA port, reset button, power port, and power switch. Also, the 4 antennas are attached to the back and side of the router.
Tri-stream 160, DFS and MU-MIMO
The WRTAC3200ACM uses its innovative tri-stream 160 technology to achieve 3x160MHz at 867Mbps or 2.6 Gbps on the 5 GHz network. It means your games can breeze through the network with ease.
This router is also certified for dynamic frequency selection (DFS) by the FCC. This enables the router to operate in the bandwidth airspace that other routers aren’t allowed. Next-Gen MU-MIMO technology allows it to support simultaneous connections without performance degradation.
Open Source Firmware
Linksys has made the WRTAC3200ACM open source ready. Therefore, you can easily use OpenWrt and DD-WRT technology to set up your own secure VPN, turn your router into a web server to host games, manage traffic patterns, use TOR network and more.
Gamers with advanced technical knowledge are free to use any compatible open source software they want with this router.
Gigabit Ethernet for Gaming
The WRTAC3200ACM has a USB 3.0 port for fast file sharing and an eSATA/USB 2.0 port for USB hard drive connections. These features are very useful for gamers as file sharing and disk space are important concerns.
However, gamers will find the 4-gigabit Ethernet ports extremely useful to for wired connectivity. Gigabit Ethernet is 10x faster than regular Ethernet. Your games will not lag on this router.
Why is this router worth it?
Linksys WRTAC3200ACM gives you full-control of your router through open source support. Hence, you are responsible for creating the best gaming modem using your own expertise and technical skills.
You can optimize every aspect to squeeze out the performance you need. Even if you are not into tinkering, with tri-stream 160 and powerful 1.8 GHz processor you will at least have a good router for entertaining.
- Open source firmware give gamers the control they want
- Reasonable cost makes it a good choice
- Enterprise level processing power
- Tri-stream 160 speeds up the 5 GHz network
- Gigabit Ethernet makes it great for wired gaming
- Coverage is not reliable
- Aesthetically it looks plain
3. Netgear Nighthawk X4S (R7800) – Best Budget Router
- Dynamic QoS useful for prioritizing gaming traffic
- Quad-stream and MU-MIMO for high performance and lag-free gaming
- Compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa
- Powerful 1.7 GHz dual-core processor
- Beamforming+ technology for maximum range
In the first place, Netgear Nighthawk series has always been at the forefront of producing best wifi router for playing game. Netgear Nighthawk X4S (R7800) is no exception. With 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and X4 architecture high-fidelity streams, Netgear Nighthawk X4S (R7800) is a serious contender for the best router for gaming 2017.
The X4S (R7800) stays true to the Nighthawk series design. The design looks like the F-117 Nighthawk fighter plane. There are four antennas in the back. The black surface is ultra sleek and polished. The meshed side panels provide the necessary ventilation for the powerful processor.
The status LEDs are located on the top-front area of the router. There are LEDs for power, internet connection, 2.4 GHz WiFi, 5 GHz WiFi, 2 USB 3.0 ports, eSata and 4 Ethernet ports. The WiFi and WPS buttons also serve as LED status indicators.
On the back panel, there are LED on/off button, reset button, 4 Ethernet ports, Internet port, power connector and power on/off button. In addition, the left panel has 2 USB 3.0 ports and the right panel has eSata port. The 4 detachable antennas are connected to the back and side panels.
High Performance through Quad-Stream
The X4S (R7800) provides next generation Wave2 WiFi using 160MHz, MU-MIMO, and quad-stream. Quad-stream technology speeds up wireless simultaneous delivery to multiple devices. The performance makes it the best wireless router.
The 4 antennas support the functionalities to give this router the ability to reach up to 2.53 Gbps (800+1733 Mbps). It also has dynamic frequency selection (DFS) on 15 more channels in the 5GHz band for interference-free operations.
The dynamic quality of service (QoS) is Nighthawk series feature that enables the routers to dynamically allocate upstream and downstream traffic. It can make this determination based on the application or device type of the traffic source.
Dynamic allocation means the router can prioritize gaming traffic so there are no interruptions during gameplay.
OpenVPN and ReadyCloud
The Nighthawk X4S (R7800) has Open VPN and ReadyCLOUD. You can securely connect to your home network devices from remote locations.
Why is this router worth it?
In the first place, Netgear Nighthawk X4S (R7800) brings a unique look, powerful hardware and superior performance. Dynamic QoS gives gamers an opportunity to keep their game traffic free from interruptions. Finally, quad-stream technology makes it one of the best modem and router.
- High-speed performance
- Modern look and feel
- OpenVPN and ReadyCloud ensure secure remote access
- Dynamic QoS helps with managing game traffic
- Provides great range across a large house
- Expensive compared to other similar devices
- 2.4 GHz band doesn’t perform well
- Admin panel user interface is confusing
4. TRENDnet AC3200 – Cheap Tri-Band Gaming Router
- Powered by 1 GHz dual-core processor
- Tri band to support 3 concurrent networks
- Up to 3200 Mbps speed
- Gigabit Ethernet ports for maximum gaming speed
- Beamforming technology helps pinpoint devices
TRENDnet AC3200 is designed for extreme performance. Hence, it produces 3 concurrent networks for maximum device coverage – two separate 1300 Mbps wireless ac networks and a 600 Mbps wireless N network. It allows gamers to have dedicated networks for their gaming needs.
TRENDnet AC3200 has classic flat router design with 6 detachable antennas. Also, the rectangular shape and small size make it easy to install anywhere.
The router status LEDs are located on the front panel. LEDs represent power/WPS, internet port, 4 LAN ports, 2.4 GHz network, dual 5 GHz networks, and USB connection.
On the back panel, USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, WPS Button, 4 LAN ports, internet port, power on/off switch, power port and reset button. Additionally, the 6 detachable antennas are connected to the left, right and back panels.
Ultimate WiFi Performance
TRENDnet AC3200 is built to provide the concurrent service on extremely busy WiFi networks. Hence, it has gigabit ports to support gamers with a need for high bandwidth streaming.
Even though it maintains 3 networks, smart connect technology takes care of the complexity behind the scenes. As a result, each gaming device on your network will get the best-optimized network making it a great gaming wifi router.
TRENDnet AC3200 router has beamforming technology. Beam forming allows AC3200 to hone in on devices and concentrate the signal directly to the devices. A stronger signal means less interruption in service. So, it can help games run smoother.
The AC3200 OpenVPN is a great tool to set up secure connections during gaming sessions. Tunneling can cause some performance degradation but it helps keep your game-data secure.
Why is this router worth it?
TRENDnet AC3200 is a midrange router that can provide most of the benefits that a gamer needs. Because the tri-band simultaneous support and targeted beam forming provide the necessary strong wireless signal for pleasant gameplay.
- Super fast WiFi performance with 3 simultaneous network support
- OpenVPN supports DD-WRT for secure remote connections
- Nice and sturdy design
- Six antenna provides enough range
- Performance can be unreliable
- Weak technical support
5. ASUS RT-ACRH13 – Cheap but Powerful Gaming Router (under 100)
- Quad-core A7 processor network speed
- MU-MIMO technology for simultaneous delivery
- Improved WiFi range
- Beamforming for better performance
- Combined speed of up to 1267 Mbps
ASUS RT-ACRH13 is an ultra thin, stylish router with dual-band performance. It is an AC1300 which means it has 1300 Mbps total bandwidth which might seem in the lower range compared to the other routers on this list. But it makes it up in terms of affordability.
ASUS RT-ACRH13 is ultra thin with eye-catching diamond patterns on the top. Without the 4 antennas, it would look like a placemat.
All the status LEDs are located on the top near the front panel. The LED panel has power, WAN, shared 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, USB and LAN. In addition, there is a USB 3.0 port in the slender front panel.
On the back panel of the router, there is the reset button, power button, power port, 4 LAN ports, WAN and WPS button. The 4 antennas are attached to the back and side panels.
Quad-core Processor for Network Speed and Accuracy
ASUS RT-ACRH13 has a lot of horsepower underneath the slim exterior. Because it is equipped with a quad-core A7 processor to improve WAN and LAN speed.
MU-MIMO technology cuts out sequential transmissions to create more reliable connections between devices and servers. It also has beamforming technology to concentrate signal on targeted devices.
The MU-MIMO technology is supported by 128MB memory for multitasking. For wire connections, Gigabit Ethernet ports provide full bandwidth utilization.
Why is this router worth it?
ASUS RT-ACRH13 is relatively tame compared to the other routers in this guide. However, this router is also tame in the price category. For gamers looking for a good deal on a router, ASUS RT-ACRH13 can be a good candidate for best router 2017.
- Quad-core processors, MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology provides secure high-speed connections
- Easy setup with ASUSWRT and ASUS router app
- Less expensive solution
- Online gaming support for latest-gem consoles
- Performance deteriorates fast for longer distance
- Low bandwidth compared to other gaming routers
Considerations to Find a Gaming Router
Due to the myriad options, finding good routers for gaming is a challenging task. When it comes to choosing a gaming modem or router, the 3 important things are:
- Signal Stability: Will my routers for gaming maintain consistent signal during gameplay?
- Transferring Speed: Will my good gaming router be able to keep up with fast moving video gaming streams?
- Signal Range: Will my best gaming WiFi router be able to cover all the devices in my household?
Once you have satisfactory answers to this questions, making a decision about the best modem for gaming becomes easier.
With consideration for stability, speed, and range, ASUS RT-AC5300 seems to be the best gaming router 2017. It provides fast speed with the help of its dual-core CPU. Also, the 4R4T antennas provide the necessary range and signal stability.
The ASUS RT-AC5300 is a marvelous feat of achievement. It will help you excel in your gameplay. Finally, it is one of the top rated routers out there that provide great performance in an aesthetically pleasing package.