Best Gaming Routers in 2017


Gaming routers have evolved very fast in the recent years with tons of features, latest technology, high speed, sleek design, user friendly setup and security features to meet the demands of the today’s users.

However, it can be quite overwhelming to decide the right buy for your requirements, given the plethora of choices. We’ve gathered a good sample of many of the better and best feature loaded routers available and reviewed their performance to help you find the best router suited for you.

Gaming router features to look for and how we test–

  1. 802.11ac Wireless: 802.11ac is the latest wireless standard, which offers improvements like wider channel width, MIMO spatial stream, downstream Multi-user MIMO (provides bandwidth to multiple devices at the same time) as well as beamforming (technology that sends wi-fi signal directly to the client rather than broadcasting it). Gaming routers generally have high-end Wi-Fi hardware that supports the standard. Of course, it is only meaningful if your hardware is 802.11ac-compatible.
  2. Gigabit Ethernet Ports: These ports are a must for gaming, to be able to connect your gaming console or desktop to one of the available Gigabit LAN ports. Wired connections might not increase the speed but they offer lower latency and interference with increased reliability than wireless ones.
  3. Dual-band Wi-Fi: Gaming routers should preferably support dual-band networking, allowing them to transmit on two different bands simultaneously. If you have a dual band gaming router you could connect all your gaming devices to the 5.2 GHz band and other devices using bandwidth only to surf, check social media on the 2.4 GHz channel. This offers you more wireless network capacity and an interrupted gaming experience.
  4. Quality of Service (QoS) – QoS technology ensures that the traffic (online gaming session) you prioritize gets the required bandwidth over other resources competing like BitTorrent download.
  5. Speed – There is a wide range of speed available to choose from in the 802.11 ac standard. A device with AC3200 rating will support 600Mbps on the 2.4 GHz and 1300 on each 5.2 GHz. Hence the name, 600 + 1300 + 1300 = 3200. However, these speeds marketed by companies should be taken with a pinch of salt, as 3200 is the combined speed of all the bands and not the potential throughput of the connected client.
  6. USB Ports – While USB port is a nice-to-have feature, it is not a must for gaming routers. USB port on a router is used for connecting to and sharing drives or a USB printer.
  7. Security – Choose a router with WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol’s second implementation) for most security. Latest security features include inbuilt firewall, parental controls, ability to add extra encryption, content filtering and more. Some routers also offer multiple guest accounts with separate PIN through multiple SSID feature.
Product Name LAN Ports Links  
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 4
TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 4
ASUS RT-AC66U 4
Linksys AC1900 (WRT1900ACS) 1
ASUS RT-AC5300 1

 
 
 

1. Best Overall – NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

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This fast router has been optimized for gaming. It utilizes 802.11ac, powered by dual core processor that runs at 1 GHz, dual band. gigabit wired with advanced QoS and beamforming.

It has made it to Amazon’s bestseller list for its latest technology and design, built specially for gaming and fast speed. Indeed, it offers amazing value for money that offers one of the best signal strength.

Technology – 802.11 ac with speed upto 1900 Mbps

Ports – 6 Ethernet, 1 WAN, 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0

Features

1. Simultaneous dual band with 600 +1300 Mbps speed
2. Built-in VPN server
3. Beamforming+ to improve range and performance
4. 3 high-powered antennas for extended coverage.
5. Advanced upstream and downstream Qos
6. Allows guest WiFi setup and managing parental control
7. Ease of use with easy setup, Netgear Genie App to monitor and control your network.

Price – $179.99

Pros
  • Affordable for the excellent set of features
  • Great performance on the 5.2 GHz channel
  • Solid build with plug-and-play setup
Cons
  • Hefty design
  • Average performance on the 2.4 GHz band.
  • No virtual pacer feature

 
 
 
 
 

2. Best budget- TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750

 
   

If you are a gaming enthusiast, looking for a pocket-friendly 802.11ac wireless router with good wireless range and impressive features, TP-LINK might be the right fit for you.

Technology – Supports 802.11 ac with speed of 450Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps at 5GHz

Ports
– 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports + 1x Gigabit WAN port

Features

1. Dual USB Ports for printer and HDD sharing
2. QoS bandwidth management
3. IP-based Bandwidth Control to manage bandwidth among devices and users
4. Setup Guest Network Access and parental control
5. WPA2 security
6. Media server

Price – $85.99

Pros
  • Remarkable list of features for the price
  • Clever robotic styling
  • Great wireless coverage
  • Sturdy external antennas
Cons
  • Average throughput
  • Lack of MU-MIMO mode and latest wireless standards
  • No USB 3.0 port

 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Entry level gaming router- ASUS RT-AC66U

 
   

If you are not a heavy duty gamer but looking for great performance and coverage at great price, then this ASUS device is what you should buy. It does not have a great feature list or latest technology, however it is known best for its reliability and speed.

Technology – Supports 802.11 ac with wireless speed of upto 1750 on dual bands (2.4 and 4.2 GHz)

Ports – 4x LAN + 1x Gigabit WAN Ethernet + 2x USB 2.0 ports

Features

1. Security features like Firewall
2. High powered antennas for enhanced coverage
3. Access control including Parental control and port filter
4. USB ports for easy file transfer
5. ASUSWRT dashboard UI for easy setup, monitoring and control.

Price – $115.76

Pros
  • Best performance and coverage in the class
  • Easy setup and maintenance with intuitive UI
Cons
  • Lack of latest generation standards and features like MU-MIMO, beamforming and single-core CPU.
  • Performance via USB is sluggish
  • No USB 3.0 port

 
 
 
 
 

4. Excellent mid-range – Linksys AC1900 (WRT1900ACS)

 
   

Linksys WRT1900ACS is a powerful dual band router with 1.6 GHz dual core CPU, excellent connectivity that delivers unparalleled performance and range. It’s ideal for big homes and businesses where other routers in the class cannot provide range.

Technology – Supports 802.11 bgn with simultaneous dual-band speed up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 1300 Mbps (5 GHz)

Ports – 4x Gigabit Ethernet + 1x USB 2.0 + 1x USB 3.0 ports

Features

1. Advanced 1.6 GHz dual core processor for faster throughput speeds and simultaneous gaming, streaming and surfing.
2. USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for easy file shares.
3. Four external antennas for extended coverage and range
4. Anytime, anywhere monitor and manage your home-network using wi-fi app
5. Setup Guest Access and parental controls
6. Quick and easy setup

Price – $197.64

Pros
  • Superb Wi-Fi performance at long range
  • Good USB transfer speed
  • Powerful UI
  • OpenWRT support to allow advanced users to customize with open source firmware
  • Beamforming for stronger and faster connections
Cons
  • Bulky design
  • Lacks MU-MIMO feature

 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

5. Best High-end router – ASUS RT-AC5300

 
   

If you are not a heavy duty gamer but looking for great performance and coverage at great price, then this ASUS device is what you should buy. It does not have a great feature list or latest technology, however it is known best for its reliability and speed.

If you think the ASUS AC5300 is overpriced, take a closer looks. It offers tri-band for multi-user performance, latest WiFi technology, NitroQAM for super fast single-user throughput, AiRadar Beamforming and game accelerator along with Link aggregation to support close to 2 Gbps wired transmission. Perhaps, now you think it is fully-featured and offers value for the price.

Technology – Supports 4X4 802.11 ac with wireless speed of upto 5334 Mbps on dual bands (2.4 and 5 GHz concurrent)

Ports – 1 x Gigabit WAN port, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x USB 2.0 port

Features

1. 8 antennas for superior range
2. USB storage, printer and media sharing
3. ASUS WRT UI for easy setup and monitoring
4. AiCloud 2.0 lets you securely access, sync, share and stream your files anywhere, on any internet-connected device.
5. AiProtection to protect sensitive data
6. Port aggregation
7. VPN client
8. Setup guest network
9. MU-MIMO technology enables several compatible clients to connect at their respective max speed
10. Built-in game accelerator
11. Tri-band smart connect delivers consistent bandwidth by dynamically switching clients between different channels based on speed, load and signal strength
Ease of use with intuitive UI and router app.

Price – $369.96

Pros
  • Incredible speed and performance
  • Tons of features
  • 8 antennas provide excellent range and strong signal
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Only one USB 3.0 and 4 Gigabit Ethernet port.
  • Only 256 MB RAM instead of 512MB
  • In-attractive design with excess antennas and bulky built

About the Author Wilma Hamlin

Wilma Hamlin is a creative designer & writer. She writes for Crayonify. Being a designer as well she use to create amazing designs using many tools. In her lesuire time she love to read books and tries to learn new designs.

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