Best Wireless Routers for Gaming 2018 – Buyer’s Guide
They say that gaming is an expensive hobby! But we’ve been trying night and day to prove that wrong.
And You’ll find much more about “Gaming” if You search it using the box at the top right corner!
Recently we heard a lot about network issues in the gaming communities. Although ISP’s are offering high data plans but the routers aren’t good enough for heavy duty online gaming or even 4K streaming. We also have loads of WiFi devices connected 24/7.
ISP’s routers aren’t capable of routing bandwidth optimally, the range is below average, and You can’t even prioritize gaming consoles. What’s worst than not handling more than 15 devices? And if someone’s downloading You can’t even load another round!
There can be numerous reasons to look out for a good wireless AC router for gaming. But like I said above, we are trying day and night to present You the most impressive gaming gadgets that are worth your money!
Best Wireless Routers for Gaming
Our top 10 recommended routers for gaming enthusiasts to buy this year.
Every gaming router included in our review is Nvidia GameStream ready, equipped with new networking technology, features class-leading Speed, Range and delivers lag-free, high-performance game streaming and wireless speeds of up to 3.2Gbps for ultra-performance for streaming HD media and downloading large files.
Every Wireless router included in the list below is good enough for all your gaming needs but it depends on your choice and budget as some of them are bit expensive.
- ASUS RT-N66U (Best editor’s choice for Budget gaming router)
- Linksys WRT-1900ACS (Runner-up)
- Netgear Nighthawk X8 (Best choice for enthusiast having good budget)
- NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700 (Extreme Wi-Fi speed for gaming up to 1750Mbps)
- TP-Link Archer C9 (Best for smart home products and online video gaming)
- TRENDnet TEW-828DRU (Extreme performance AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router for gamers)
- D-Link DIR-890 (Nvidia’s recommended GameStream ready router)
- TP-Link Archer C5400 (Tri-Band Gigabit Router for peak performance, smooth gaming, and streaming)
- ASUS RT-AC88U (Built-in Game Acceleration)
- ASUS RT-AC5300 (Asus best and dedicated router for Gaming)
1. ASUS RT-N66U: Gigabit Gaming Router
In fact, an avid gamer was able to get excellent signal strength across 4000-sq feet home with 2 floors, and the router was in the basement. Thanks to the WIFI amplifier that shower signals around, using three blazing antennas.
The dual-band transmission of 2.4 and 5 GHz, sums up to 900Mbps of speed. Meaningly, all Your multiplayer gaming, 4K streaming, and file sharing are well taken care of. Even if you are wired to one of its 4 LAN ports, or You are connected to WIFI, luckily the going to is same. It won’t require technical skills to set up and manage the network. Thanks to the Quick Installation Setup and ASUSWRT utility. That enables You to play around the most advanced router settings hassle free. You can even add multiple 3G dongles into the USB 2.0 ports, along with the standard WAN connection.
To stay online 24/7! There’s a dual-core processor to manage all the features efficiently. And it’s good enough for home or small office to work and play faster under a budget. Although it’s a beginner’s router, but You can still connect and manage all Your networking goodies like PC, Xbox One, PS4, etc. Famous in STEAM gaming communities. Who can’t compromise on playing games like Dota 2 with highest FPS and GPU settings?
The best part is, You can have this fantastic router for around $86 from Amazon.
- Standalone VPN server support
- Multiple SSIDs
- IPv6 support
- 2x USB 2.0 for Printers, Storage, 3G Dongles
- Extended signal strength
- Stable network performance
- No USB 3.0 support
- Little bit buggy Firmware
- Close enough to predecessor on 2.4GHz band
- Wires can ruin looks
2. Linksys WRT-1900ACS: Open Source Gaming Router
It’s a dual-band router with similar Mbps on both the bands just like our previous pick above. But adding $20 more bucks to $120 might sum up to $140. But You’ll get a lot more than You can expect from a dual-band AC router.
It’s equipped with 4 powerful antennas, 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, 512MB Ram, multiple USB & e-SATA support and what’s better than the Open-Source software? You are getting longer and stronger signals, faster networking speeds, and high-end software control over your entire network.
So what’s in it for gamers? Well, You can create a WLAN gaming network for all Your friends in the neighborhood. You can even prioritize bandwidth to specific devices and the type of content You wish to. And this is where online 4K gaming begins. It’s perfect for a 24/7 gamer with plenty of buddies around. And is quite common in hostels where they can’t compromise on work and play, on a budget.
Some geeks have been using it for practicals and consider it the most configurable router. Let’s end up with understanding it in gamer’s language. Assuming significant bandwidth, You can connect a gaming rig, PS4, Xbox One. And play 3 different heavy games like The Witcher 3, Arma 3, and Mass Effect, simultaneously without network lags or low pings!
- Great storage sharing performance
- WDS bridge/repeat support
- VPN server support
- Open-Source software
- All essential ports
- Full-fledge network tweaking
- Poorer 2.4GHz band performance
- Not very easy to setup and control
3. Netgear Nighthawk X8: Extreme Tri-Band Gaming Router
Greatest picks require more scrolls, and that’s what it’s all about! Nighthawk X8 delivers fiber optic performance and is made for hardcore gamers. Who can’t compromise on speed, signal strength, traffic, and more?
It’s a rock solid gaming router with all the essential gaming features You’d expect from a premium wireless hub. Like; QAM, that multiplies standard speed up to 5.3 Gbps. Along with dynamic QoS, MU-MIMO, Open Source, and a combination of 8 (4 internal, 4 external) antennas.
All that sums up; “Superior Gaming, Faster Streaming, Zero Buffering” It’s known to extract bandwidth from ISP like a powerful pump, and some of the buyers were even able to get more than their ISP limit. Tom’s Guide ranked it as their Editor’s choice in 2016.
The hardware quality is literally next gen, whereas the software is very configurable too. But be aware it isn’t meant for moderate gamers and You shouldn’t grab it for less than 10 moderate users. That’s due to the cost of $350.
Netgear focused on users who have loads of WiFi devices along with great bandwidth. It’s even shipped by some ISP’s on corporate data plans. That clearly means active gaming communities must rely on this wireless router for large tournaments of games like; CS GO, Battle Field 2, League of Legends, etc.
- Competitive Speed and Range6 LAN Ports
- Highest speed USB 3.0 performance
- Minimal yet sexy design
- All essentials for hard-core gaming fans
- Old-School design
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk R6700: Smart Gaming Router
Unlike Asus RT-N66U, this is more of a smart gaming router with a lot better features and performance. The 2.5GHz band is as usual to shower 450Mbps of speeds. The 5GHz band goes up to 1300Mbps, and that’s where the fun begins. It’s perfect for around 10 heavy duty gamers connected together on LAN or even WAN.
The Beamforming technology amplifies speed and range of the entire network. And delivers bandwidth to the most demanding WIFI devices. And this allocation can be set up using Netgear Genie App. Along with QoS to prioritize gaming laptops, consoles, etc.
You don’t have to care about range anymore, thanks to three high-power antennas. Meaningly, you can enjoy 4K streaming or file sharing from your garden to backyard hassle free. There’s even a USB 3.0 port to connect an external drive or 3G/4G dongles. Along with four standard LAN ports for wired gaming.
The fast NAS storage option takes it apart from the competition, making it Amazon’s best selling gaming router. You can keep gaming files and media on router storage for fastest possible access. It’s easy to set up and control using the smartphone app, even if you are abroad.
You can definitely enjoy games like DOTA 2 and even Battle Feild 2 online without lags. Make sure to have sufficient bandwidth from your ISP. Rest will all be taken care by Netgear’s Nighthawk R6700 for around $110.
- USB 3.0 support
- Fast NAS storage option
- Great WIFI range
- Easiest to Setup and Control
- Real power of 5 GHz band
- Single USB port
- Might not stay alive for years
- Below average Parental Controls
4. TP-Link Archer C9: Dual Band Gaming Router
With an addition of around $10 from the previous pick, that’s around $120. TP-Link Archer C9 offers breathtaking features under a budget. You’ll get up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band whereas the 5Ghz band promises over 1300Mbps. Along with Beamforming, dual-core processor, multiple USB ports and insane range powered by 3 external antennas.
That clearly means faster lag free gaming, 4K streaming and instant file sharing across the network. And what’s better than 2-Year of warranty? This investment can literally turn your office or home into a pro gaming arena. 4xLAN ports along with a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 is sufficient enough to connect as many essential devices as possible.
Assume You have a high-end gaming rig along with an Xbox One or PS4 and around 5 smartphones. You can’t blame it for slow network speeds. Because the Archer C9 is tested to deliver exact network/bandwidth as demanded. So that means if 8 of your friends are home to play DOTA 2, You’ll be praised later. Or even if You are on Origin playing Fifa 17, it won’t let You down either.
- Quite ahead in competition
- Excellent AC performance
- Smartphone control app
- Full bandwidth control
- USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 support
- Unique design
- Lack advanced network tweaking options
- No VPN server support
- Medium storage performance
5. TRENDnet TEW-828DRU: Tri-Band Gaming Router
Trednet AC3200 is an all in one Triband router with the most affordable price tag of around $170! Price apart, it offers multiple 5GHz bands with 1300Mbps speed along with a standard 2.4GHz band. It’s like adding more lanes to a highway that won’t increase the speeds but add more room for the traffic.
Powered by 3 insane dual-core processors that sum up to 2.96GHz of Penta-core processing. And 6 powerful antennas to deliver spacious WIFI frequencies to the widest area possible. We even have beamforming, and smart connect technology for excellent consistencies.
You can even flash custom firmware for personalized network settings, thanks to the DD-WRT support. Whereas VPN and Storage sharing are a must have feature for such a cool gaming router. Along with multiple USB ports for maximum connectivity.
All these features sum up that Trendnet 828DRU is great all in one router. That can handle multiplayer 4K gaming, stream heavy VR content and get all Your family members or colleagues happy. Even if You’re downloading torrents or updating Steam libraries, everyone’s going to get required bandwidth.
What’s even better than Trendnet’s 3-Years of warranty? So if you’re a hard-core gamer, let me ensure that it’s the most affordable Tri-Band gaming router that doesn’t suck!
- Open-source DD-WRT support
- Penta-Core Processing
- 3-Years Warranty
- 6 powerful antennas
- Auto A, C, N sensing
- Mediocre built-quality
- Some faulty units were shipped but replaced immediately by Trendnet
6. D-Link DIR-890: Ultra Tri-Band Gaming Router
Looking for the sexiest gaming router? Well, D-Link heard You. Because this WiFi router is specially engineered for hardcore gamers who can’t compromise on ‘LOOKs’. Although it’s a pricey pick in competition, but we know You guys well enough!
Not only it’s PC Mag editor’s pick, but You’ll find it nearly everywhere on the internet. What are the reasons? Let’s find out;
The 890L/R offers standard band speeds as of our previous pick. Along with 6 high-performance antennas, a dual-core processor, and it seems like nothing new right? As far as the technologies are concerned, we got SmartConnet, SmartBeam and QoS support. But that’s all usual right?
So what makes it a $200 router? Well, it’s all about the quality of hardware and design that D-Link’s offering. It’s filled with highest quality AC3200 chipsets, and the casing is right in front of You. So You are being charged for consistently promising WiFi range and network speed, along with the gamer’s dream casing.
You can get all Your gaming machines and consoles connected to it 24/7. And like we mentioned earlier, there’s no practical limit for devices You can connect and kind of heavy online games You can play. In fact, a pro gamer was able to get below 60ms ping around his house while he was trying to boot up a round of League of Legends.
- Pure gaming performance
- Sexiest design
- Advanced security features
- All essential features like; QoS, SC, SB, VPN, etc
- Low configuration options
7. TP-Link Archer C5400: Tri-Band Router with NitroQAM
Remember that Tri-Band adds more lanes to a highway for traffic? But Nitro QAM technology makes all those lanes smooth enough to get more speed! And that’s what Archer C5400 is all about! You’ll get 1000Mbps out of the 2.4GHz band and insane 2167Mbps on 5GHz bands.
Meaningly all your online gaming desires around countless gamers are fulfilled. As it’s powered by tri 1.4GHz processors and there’s even MU-MIMO support for exceptional amplification and processing. And what’s better than 8 powerful antennas that can shower strong signals around your neighborhood or building.
Whereas QoS, Beamforming, and Smart connect is as usual, but QAM adds more power overall. You can set up highest GPU setting on heavy games like Watch Dogs 2 and all your network related issues like low pings and lags are a history.
I would personally recommend it to enthusiast gamers who have plenty of WiFi users around, but still need better signals, speed and over bandwidth. Because $235 isn’t easy to pay, but considering all the essential network requirements for gaming is fulfilled, it’s quite affordable.
What’s better than TP-Link’s trust and 2-Year warranty? No matter You are on PC, MAC, Xbox One, PS4 or whatever gaming console You are using, Archer C5400 won’t let You down!
- Nitro QAM support
- Sexy design and robust build quality
- Full of network control and monitoring features
- All essential features like; QoS, SC, SB, VPN, etc
- Smartphone control App
- Only 4 LAN ports
- Minor bugs in stock firmware
- Need switchless connection for best performance
8. ASUS RT-AC88U: Dual Band Gaming Router with QAM
Although we were discussing Tri-Band routers and this one seems Dual-Band. But this is a special pick and yet a gaming focused WiFi router. And even Asus is bragging that “Game Faster, Game Further, Game Safer” isn’t that attractive and appealing?
Whereas this AC router is all about quality and all in one nature from Asus, just like D-Link’s DR-890 (Our 6th pick above). So high end features like; QAM, AiProtection, Smart Connect, Beaming, GPN, and MU-MIMO is where we are headed.
You do know what all that means by now, right? In case You don’t consider 3100 Mbps overall bandwidth, along with 100 Mbps data transfer across Your devices and up to 1.8 Gbps of throughput. Whereas 4 insane antennas are guaranteed to cover over 5,000 square feet of range.
There’s a special WTFast Game Accelerator inside, which clearly means lowest pings, lags, and the best online gaming performance overall. Although long range means You are exposed to hackers but don’t worry as AiProtection by Trend Micro is there to guard it.
The best part is we got 8 LAN ports, which clearly takes this gaming router apart from the competition. It’s literally better than many Tri-Band routers in the market and best for power gaming lounge or professional gaming leagues of DOTA 2, CS Go, etc. But You will have to pay around $270 to grab this deal from Amazon!
- 8 LAN ports with Link-Aggregation
- Blazing WiFi transfer speedInsane range
- Built for heavy duty Gamers
- All essential features like; QoS, SC, SB, VPN, etc
- Not Tri-Band
9. ASUS RT-AC5300: Tri-Band Gaming Router with GPN
Did You know that ASUS was ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Wireless Routers in the U.S.”– by J.D. Power (A marketing research company). And that’s what it’s routers pricey yet overall the best. Similar is the case with RT-AC5300.
Remember You were worried why isn’t our previous pick Tri-Band? Well here is an answer to that question. It’s literally all the same with ASUS’s special features. But be aware, there isn’t QAM, which means that bands are not overclocked to offer more speed.
But there’s something unique in it, and that’s “WTFast Gamers Private Network” to accelerate and boost stable pings. Along with previously discussed features like; AiProtection, MU-MIMO, Smart Connect and 1.4GHz dual-core processors.
Along with GPN, we are amazed to witness 8 powerful antennas, that deliver signals up to 7,000 square feet. We also got all other essential hardware and software gigs, as expected from a high-end gaming router. You can guess what’s such a masterpiece is capable of doing, regardless of a heavy price tag of around $300, but totally worth every penny!
- 8 Antennas for longest WiFi range
- Neat configuration options
- Sexy Gamer's design
- Insane built quality
- Premium hardware inside
- No wall mounting
- Single USB 3.0 port
- Only 4 LAN ports
Hope You’ve made a buying decision by now. But if You’re still unable to choose the best gaming router in 2017 or ahead. Let’s find out our favorite or top picks from the entire list! I’m gonna go from prices down to features, that way You can grab a great gaming router under a budget of $100, $150, $200, etc.
OUR TOP PICKS
1# Asus RT-N66U is our top pick! Because it is the only gaming router under 100 dollars with sufficient features for seamless gaming. It’s range of up to 4,000 square feet and Dual-Band nature makes it good enough to stand out loud in the competition. It’s pretty easy to set up, control, play for just around $86.
2# Linksys WRT-1900ACS (our 4th pick) is the runner up! Because it’s an advanced Dual-Band router with higher speed and greater competitive features like; Open source software, great storage performance, and wider signal strength plus stability. Luckily all that comes under 150 dollars, sufficient for a gaming party in the neighborhood.
3# Netgear Nighthawk X8 (our last pick) wins third place! Although it’s way ahead of all the routers in the list until a price tag of $350 isn’t a problem for You. Packed with features like; QAM, MU-MIMO, Beaming, Smart Connet and around 7,000 square feet of range. It won’t only break your bank but is known to break ISP’s speed limit!
Still, need more help? more support? and more reviews? Don’t worry we won’t charge You for that but remember to buy it using one of our Amazon’s link. That’s how we earn and make a living and You won’t have to pay 1 extra penny for that directly!