Best Gaming Routers 2018-2019-Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
Best Gaming Routers 2018–If you’re looking for the best router for gaming, you’ve come to the right place. One of the coolest things about todays video game consoles is how they allow you compete with players from around the world. Unfortunately, if your using a standard wireless router your fun and excitement can be ruined in a heart beat. With a gaming router your gaming experience will be better and you can get faster, smoother and more enjoyable games .
Every day I get into a bunch of people who have basically exceeded the capabilities of their wireless (or wired) routers by either connecting too many devices or Playing video games over Wireless router or streaming videos that their router cannot handle.
Best Gaming Routers 2018-Not all wireless routers are created equal. Most standard routers are fine for surfing the web and checking email but a playing a Videogame over a Wireless connection uses several times more bandwidth than some basic activities on the web. Many standard and cheap routers cannot handle (network sensitive) video games or high-definition video streams without running into problems like lag, jitter and dropped connections.
- Top 10 Best Routers For Gaming 2018
- 1. ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900
- 2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000)
- 3. D-Link DIR-890L/R
- 4. TP-LINK TL-WR841
- 5. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 (R6700)
- 6. Linksys AC1900 (WRT1900ACS)
- 7. Netgear Nighthawk X6 (R8000)
- 8. TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750)
- 1. LINKSYS WRT32X
- 2. ASUS RT-AC86U
- 3. ASUS AC5300
- 4. D-link DIR-885L/R
- 5. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S
- 6. Asus RT-AC88U
- 7. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10
- 8. TP-Link AD7200
- Best Wireless Routers for Gaming:
- 5. Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 – Check Price
- 4. TRENDnet AC2600 – Check Price
- 3. D-Link EXO AC2600 – Check Price
- 2. Linksys E4200 – Check Price
- 1. Linksys WRT32X – “Killer” Wireless Gaming Routers – Check Price
- 1. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100
- 2. ASUS RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router
- 3. Linksys WRT AC3200
- 4. Netgear Nighthawk X4s
- 5. TP-Link AC3150 WiFi Router
Top 10 Best Routers For Gaming 2018
BEST SELLER/ POPULAR
BEST SELLER 10%OFF
4.Linksys WRT AC3200 Dual-Band
BEST SELLER 39%OFF
BEST SELLER 2916+REVIEWS
POPULAR 29% OFF
BEST SELLER 6696+REVIEWS
9.Netgear Nighthawk X8 Tri-Band
BEST SELLER 43% OFF 17517+REVIEWS
BEST SELLER 29216+REVIEWS
1. ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900
From the manufacturer of the world’s most powerful router, ASUS has given yet another awesome wireless router unit that can brings gaming performance to another level.
The RT-N66U comes packed with a built-in wi-fi amplifier for a wider signal range. The device is also equipped with the latest networking technology and designed for high speed internet connection rate that can delivers as fast as 900 Mbps.
Its expanded wireless coverage makes it the one of the best choice for multi-level homes or even large offices.
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000)
What makes the best router for gaming 2018 is a very fast connection rate, and powered by an impressive processor, and can delivers a wide signal range – you can find all of these features in the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 router.
It is a dual band Gigabit Router and offers speed of up to as fast as 1900 Mbps (600+1300 Mbps). It has ultimate range and will amplify the performance of the wi-fi, extending the reach of the wi-fi signal and can cover very large homes. It is perfect for online gaming, video streaming and internet surfing.
The Nighthawk AC1900 also offers automatic backup for the Windows OS. With its excellent features, you can totally enjoy a lag-free game.
3. D-Link DIR-890L/R
This is a tri-band wireless router that has an exceptional Wi-Fi performance, allowing users to stream HD multimedia or gaming all across their homes. The Tri-Band frequency is perfect when it comes to speeds up to 3200 Mbps.
Unlike other older models, the D-Link AC3200 is also quipped with remote access and management, which makes it easy for you to customize the network directly using tablet or smartphone. It has awesome Wi-Fi performance with 3200Mbps Tri-Band speeds (1 x 600 Mbps in 2.4GHz + 2 x 1300 Mbps in 5GHz) so that more devices can be connected to your home network.
There are also other great features found in this device like 6 high-performance antennas and USB 3.0, Advanced SmartConnect, AC SmartBeam, Intelligent QoS and Intuitive UI for faster installation and network management can be managed from your mobile devices or desktop.
4. TP-LINK TL-WR841
If you are looking for a cheap wireless router that has very good features on the market, the TP-LINK TL-WR841 is the answer. This product can be used for various purposes, from streaming, web browsing, downloading and of course for gaming.
It comes with Two 5dBi antennas that can increase its wireless stability, easy and fast setup process with Easy Setup Assistant and combined with WPS button.
Also it has parental control function that allow you to manage the internet access for your kids or employee and IP based bandwidth control which makes the administrators easier to allocated, Which makes it easier for administrators to determine bandwidth capacity to each Computer and Internet devices.
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 (R6700)
With the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 dual band router, you can experience lag-free gaming because it is offering an outstanding wireless internet speed and wide signal coverage. It can deliver up to 1750 Mbps (450+1300) Mbps connection rate.
The device is designed for maximum compatibility and ideal for medium to large house with at least 12 or more wireless-enabled devices, and it also offers Beamforming+ technology that can increase its range, boost speed and also improve overall device performance for both 2.4 and 5GHz devices.
Other key features include Dual core processor, Advance QoS, Parental Control, Netgear Genie App, and much more.
6. Linksys AC1900 (WRT1900ACS)
This is a wireless router with open source support that offers speeds up to N600 + AC1300 Mbps plus a robust 1.6GHz dual-core processor that is spesially designed to make the device run faster and all data can be sent through your network at lightning-fast speeds.
Linksys equip this device with stronger as well than its predecessor, with 512MB of RAM so that the speeds of data transfer even for large files will be much improved. More users can game online, stream movies, and transfer files at the same time or simultaneously without lag at all.
To expand and improves its wifi coverage and signal strength, Linksys packs it with external antenna and for home Wi-Fi control at anywhere and anytime, you can use Linksys’s software called Smart Wi-Fi with Network Map. The firmware can be customized too because it is Open Source-ready.
7. Netgear Nighthawk X6 (R8000)
Netgear is one of the most well-known manufacturers of networking products, and this Tri-Band Gigabit Wif Router unit has no different when it comes to the brand’s quality standards. Although it’s not the cheapest in the line, it has a series of features that are undoubtedly hard to defeat.
For example, it offers 3.2Gbps wifi speed which is great for uninterrupted gaming or streaming, the six external antennas and, the powerful amplifiers and processor, 1GHz dual core are known to maximize range, meanwhile the Smart Connect technology can select only the best WiFi for the device you are trying to utilize.
The Netgear Nighthawk X6 also comes with a Genie with Remote Access, ReadySHARE Vault app for automatic back up on Windows PC, USB 3.0 port that can be utilized for a variety of activities, etc.
8. TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750)
The Archer C7 by TP-Link has 6 powerful antennas and the new generation of Wireless AC technology to makes wifi run faster and can reaches every room.
It’s a dual band router and you can choose between router’s 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies to work so that all your devices will always get maximum speed. There are 4 gigabit ports included so if you want to make your wired devices like Xbox, PlayStation, PC or Mac connect to this C7 router, you can do it quickly.
With its Intuitive Mobile Interface, the installation and controlling your wifi can be done through TP-Link Tether app where from this simple app, you can access all wifi settings or even get the newest firmware updates.
9. ASUS Dual-Band 3 x 3 AC1750 (RT-AC66U_B1)
We have another great dual band router for gaming, the ASUS RT-AC66U_B1 that brings ASUSWRT web interface for easy setup and ASUS Router App for manage your router and home network and with ASUS AiCloud 2.0.
You will always be connected to your data wherever and whenever as long as you have an internet connection and for advance security system there is AiProtection feature that provide the next-level protection from vulnerability detection to make your sensitive data safe all the time.
The speeds offered by this router 1750Mbps make it great for various online purposes including gaming.
10. Netgear WNDR3700
If you want to enjoy faster and smoother internet performance, the wireless router from Netgear should be on your consideration. The Netgear WNDR3700 router is the excellent wifi router to choose especially for home and business networking.
This dual band router can operate in a combined speed of 600 Mbps. This is a well-designed router and packed with various great features that are ideal for video streaming and online gaming.
It has a user-friendly interface as well as easy-to-use controls and NETGEAR Genie that can help to monitor, control or even repair your home network.
Best Router For Gaming – Features To Look For ;
When looking for the best router for gaming these are the features you want to look for:
- Speed: 300Mbps Wireless N speed and Gigabit Ethernet switch ports.
- Security: WPA/WPA2 encryption (This is a given on any wireless n router.)
- Performance: Internal processors designed for gaming and video streaming
- QOS: Quality Of Service features to optimize your network for gaming
- Optional: Dual bands to run your games with less interference
- Obviously you’ll also need a high-speed broadband connection to the Internet. They higher the speed the smoother the gameplay.
Once you have one of these high-performance gaming routers you’ll be able to enjoy everything the exciting world of online gaming has to offer.
The Best Router For Gaming – Luxury Or Necessity?
The basic function of a standard wireless router is to act as a bridge between your home network and the Internet. Most wireless routers can handle this. Once your router is set up correctly and your game console is connected you should be able to go online. (If you’re unsure abut this step visit my site on setting up a wireless network.)
Unfortunately, for many online gamers, this is where the fun stops and the frustration begins. If you’re using a standard wireless n router you may start to see some irritating, performance-related issues such as lag, jitter and dropped connections. As you probably already know, this can take all the fun out of your games.
Some of these issues may have to do with the speed of your Internet connection. There is only so much that can be done about that. Most likely, these issues are caused by your wireless router not being able to handle the intense load your game is putting on it.
To run intense, timing-sensitive video games a wireless router needs additional processor power, extra internal memory and the fastest Ethernet port speed possible. Yes, even though your games are wireless a gigabit wireless router is a good thing to have. Many gaming routers also have QOS controls. QOS stands for Quality Of Service. QOS allows you to configure your router so that certain network activities (Such as gaming) have priority over more mundane activities (Such as surfing).
With a high-performance gaming router you have the peace of mind to know you can run your favorite games from begining to end without worrying about a sudden interruption ruining everything. I mean we play games to relieve frustration not create more right?
You can also prevent the activities of other network users from interfering with your game by using a dual band wireless router. A dual band wireless router allows you to run your games on a separate network. This prevents what everyone else is doing from stomping all over your games and vice versa.
1. LINKSYS WRT32X
Linksys provided a loaner WRT32X for survey alongside a MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro tablet, which went unused (we officially claim one). Executioner is known for its remote cards found in prominent execution portable PCs like Dell’s XPS and Alienware line, Razer, GIGABYTE, Acer, Lenovo, and MSI. The Killer Wireless 1535 card when joined with Killer’s Control Center programming gives client a chance to organize information bundles by application and administrations. In particular, the Killer Wireless framework works by gathering parcels for an amusement stream over foundation assignments, record downloads, or other low-need capacities. That same innovation is presently a piece of the Linksys WRT32X, and it gives clients a chance to gathering and organize gadgets for web execution.
In addition, the KPE guarantees “low inertness and less slack for all Killer-empowered gadgets on your system” automatically.The WRT32X is outfitted with an intense processor that enables clients to run synchronous activity through the wired, remote, USB 3.0 and eSATA interfaces all in the meantime. With 1Gig administration ending up more accessible to the power clients, the WRT equipment is prepared to take full advantage.Wired execution is likewise improved utilizing a SOHO-review Gigabit Ethernet switch controller with five incorporated Gigabit Ethernet handsets and TCAM (tertiary substance addressable memory). This controller is equipped for dealing with a high volume of steered, exchanged and IPv6 go through movement locally, in this manner offloading this work from the CPU so it can be held for other framework functions.
The WRT32X remote router underpins three spatial streams on a broad channel (Tri-Stream 160), which brings about a hypothetical most extreme association rate of 2.6Gbps. The monstrous transfer speed of this remote connection enables the router to send more remote information at a quicker rate than any time in recent memory. This router is able to do and guaranteed to work on DFS channels, which are a subset of the 5GHz range that requires Dynamic Frequency Selection (the way toward changing to an alternate channel when a radar is distinguished). Working on these channels can possibly enhance execution in light of the diminished probability of broadcast appointment dispute. Note: check your customer bolsters DFS before utilizing one of those channels, else it may not identify the 5GHz system. The WRT32X underpins both verifiable and express beamforming innovation to convey better system extend and quicker Wi-Fi speeds in the home. This innovation is intended to correctly change, steer and screen the heading and state of the Wi-Fi signals for better execution to any remote gadget. At the point when the customer gadget bolsters express beamforming, you will see considerably more noteworthy speed and range.
- File transfer speed is good
- Supports MY-MIMO
- Good testing speed
- 160 MHz clients are absent
2. ASUS RT-AC86U
To put it plainly, ASUS RT-AC86U is the swap for the famous ASUS RT-AC68U that work well for me for recent years. Stacked with worked in WTFast, speedier AC2900 speeds helped with NitroQAM, MU-MIMO, 256MB glimmer, 512MB RAM and more up to date PC-review 1.8GHz double center processor. All around ensured too. To put it plainly, it has an indistinguishable bundling from my current RT-AC68U. Once taken out RT-AC86U, you can discover 3 separable reception apparatuses, 19 V with max. 1.75 A power connector (US plug), RJ-45 link, guarantee information and speedy begin manage (in Chinese). No stress, you can download both English snappy begin guide and client manual at ASUS Website.
RT-AC86U has cooler and easier digital plan at front while RT-AC68U has slick precious stone example outline. Incidentally, RT-AC86U is somewhat heavier at 872g. Having LED light markers for 4 LAN ports, Internet WAN, 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi and power status. Missing USB ports status from RT-AC68U. That is the major unique. The rest are the same.Not an IT master, no stress, you can begin utilizing ASUS RT-AC86U after finished establishment setup. In any case, on the off chance that you need to receive every one of the highlights in return, this is the place that you have to invest energy in. Coincidentally, do download and read the online client manual to know the majority of the capacities. Not surprisingly, ASUSWRT UI has a larger number of stuffs and subtle elements than the portable application – ASUS Router. So, versatile application covers the fundamental stuffs while web interface has all including the propelled stuffs.
Run part of tests on various areas, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz remote range does somewhat shorter than past one. Smidgen frustrated no uncertainty with 4 dBm shorter. Not surprisingly, them two are set at a similar spot on first floor. What’s more, screenshots beneath were taken while I was on ground floor. Note – Jayce-ASUS == RT-AC68U. In any case, despite everything it can cover entire twofold story house effortlessly with 2.4GHz. 5GHz useful for a large portion of the scope not surprisingly.
- 3 year warranty
- Many additional features
- Supports multiple languages
- Good quality
- Improvements required in firmware
3. ASUS AC5300
The RT-AC5300 is Asus’ lead device. For that you get unquestionably the most recent in Wi-Fi innovation, with NitroQAM for unimaginably quick single-client throughput, close by MU-MIMO innovation and two 5GHz groups for quick multi-client execution. There’s additionally the alternative of connection collection utilizing the Ethernet ports, taking into consideration up to 2Gbps throughput. Initial introductions of the RT-AC5300 really come through its crate, which gives the device all the ceremony you’d expect given its cost. Expelling each layer of cardboard security uncovered the different parts of the device, including the impeccably adjusted and independently supported aerials – every one of them eight.
Set up them together and you have a creature of a device. Without aerials it gauges 245 x 245 x 65mm; with them it extends to more than 30cm square and 17cm tall. Consolidated, the bundle tips the scales at more than 1.7kg – making it by a wide margin the heftiest customer review device you can purchase. It’s a touch baffling, at that point, to find that there are just four Gigabit Ethernet ports on this machine. For such a huge unit – and at that epic cost – I’d expect no less than a couple of all the more, particularly given that the Asus double band RT-AC88U packs in eight. In a comparable vein, having just a single USB 3.0 port appears somewhat tightfisted, regardless of the possibility that the odds of anybody requiring more than one is thin. Rather, you get another USB 2.0 port.
A change over the RT-AC3200 is that the USB 3.0 port here is arranged on the back, which makes for a far tidier setup if utilizing a USB hard drive forever connected to share your documents. The other USB is on the left half of the gadget, where it’s joined by catches for WPS, turning the status LEDs on and off and turning the Wi-Fi on and off. Be that as it may, while the move from 256-QAM to 1024-QAM may seem like an immense jump, the subsequent potential execution help is in reality just 25%. In any case, it implies that the greatest Wi-Fi transfer speed of this device ought to be among the best we’ve at any point seen. Fueling everything are several Broadcomm BCM43465 chips, which each handle four of the reception apparatuses and also the 1024-QAM innovation that gives this device such marvelous speed. In addition, you’re getting that speed on each of the three groups that this device offers.
- good speed
- Many options
- Plenty of setup options
- Very costly
- Has just one USB 3.0
- Just four ethernet ports
In case you’re confounded when attempting to think about AC3150 and comparable looking AC3200 devicees, at that point you’re following after some admirable people. Makers have neglected to make a decent showing with regards to in sketching out the distinctions and advantages. Remote groups is the zone to concentrate on. While accumulated, hypothetical paces sound comparable over the two classes – 3150 Mbps plays 3200 Mbps – how the devicees accomplish that total varies. AC3150 devicees are double band gadgets. The D-Link DIR-885L/R bolsters accelerates to 1000 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 2165 Mbps at 5 GHz. AC3200 devicees, in any case, are tri-band gadgets, transmitting three individual remote systems (600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 1300 Mbps on every 5 GHz band). In short it implies that – in principle – an AC3150 device can offer quicker speeds on a solitary association (a greatest up to 2165 Mbps) yet tri-band AC3200 devicees might be more qualified to congested families with may remote gadgets.
As far as highlights, you’ll discover everything that is anticipated from a mid-extend device. A SmartConnect highlight enables the device to consequently guide remote to the most ideal band, streamlining execution. We’ve seen the component executed on a scope of devicees in the course of the most recent a year and it certainly supports execution. Somewhere else, you’ll find beamforming, for improved speed and range, MU-MIMO availability (through a firmware refresh) boosting speeds on good remote customers, a coordinated DLNA server and the standard activity advancement and security highlights. Remarkably, the device underpins DD-WRT open source programming, so on the off chance that you concluded that you required more design choices than is given by D-Link’s own product, streak away. Something else, the D-Link AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router offers a really direct particular, without an excessive amount of standout.Aesthetics aside, the equipment feel sensibly very much developed, with negligible squeaking or contorting under anxiety. The lower raise edge at the back of the device is somewhat sharp, yet by and large, it’s an average form. The four recieving wires, which attach two at the back and one either side close to the front of the gadget, sink effortlessly and for the most part hold their position. Be that as it may, it doesn’t take a lot of a thump to move them and, as most fasten recieving wires, they’re inclined to falling over. D-Link today declared the accessibility of the double band AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi device (display DIR-885L/R) which is the solution to Asus’ as of late reported RT-AC88U. The new device has a similar Wi-Fi specs as its Asus partner and furthermore underpins muti-client multi-input multi-yield (MU-MIMO). MU-MIMO is another Wi-Fi innovation that takes into consideration better proficiency in information transmitting over Wi-Fi and all things considered it upgrades the association rates to customers of various Wi-Fi grades. This implies you ought to have the capacity to interface a wide range of sorts of gadgets and have them all perform ideally.
- Very good speed
- Open source firmware is supported
- MU-MIMO technology is supported
- Only one USB port
- Only four Gigabit ports
5. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S
The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a super-quick, top of the line device. Accessible in two forms, the R7800 is a device just while the D7800 incorporates a modem, which implies you can dispose of all the pack ISPs convey – unless you’re on fiber broadband. Offering AC2600 WiFi, this is one of the speediest devicees accessible. Four radio wires project from the Nighthawk X4S, giving it a forcing look, and the unit is genuinely extensive generally speaking. The X4S is maybe somewhat less bonkers-looking than the D-Link DIR-890L AC3200, however unmistakably these two top of the line devicees are going for the generally same market.
Many will be pulled in to the Netgear Nighthawk X4S as a result of its guarantee of up to 1,733Mbps from its 5GHz band and 800Mbps from the 2.4GHz one. At this moment, in any case, the main genuine approach to see the X4S is to utilize a moment device as a scaffold, checking the exchange rate between the two.The Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a breeze to get up and running. A setup wizard flies up on first associating a PC to the device, and this takes you through the short initialisation, quite a bit of which is mechanized in any case. To perceive how blockhead evidence it is, I had a go at stopping the link driving from my Virgin Super Hub (going about as modem) into the standard Ethernet ports, as opposed to the one planned for the web bolster. Beyond any doubt enough, the wizard proposed this as one of just a couple of potential issues.This doesn’t give all the vital controls, however. To oversee QoS, you have to delve into the device all the more specifically, by tapping its IP address into the program address bar. What’s more, this piece of the Netgear Nighthawk X4S’s product is to a greater extent a maze. It’s particularly a great device interface: appalling, befuddling and regularly very moderate.The R7800 likewise has another first for NETGEAR and the Wi-Fi industry; its 5 GHz radio backings 160 MHz data transmission mode. Like MU-MIMO, 160 MHz mode support will essentially engage people attempting to future-confirmation their next Wi-Fi device purchase. In spite of the fact that this mode can possibly twofold connection rates for 1×1 and 2×2 Wi-Fi gadgets, those gadgets should likewise bolster 160 MHz data transmission mode. As of this composition, there are no 160 MHz empowered gadgets.
As noted in the Linksys EA7500 audit, I am incidentally stopping MU-MIMO execution testing. When VeriWave gives guaranteed overhauls, I’ll retest all MU-MIMO items tried to date, post an article with the outcomes and add MU-MIMO benchmarks to the Router Charts.The R7800 abstains from the commonplace finned heatsink, rather utilizing a heatsink plate that sits under a large portion of the best cover. You can see the oily slide marks from the warm cushions that couple the heatsink to the radio (left) and processor (right) segment RF can tops.
- Great speed
- Can be connected to many HDDs
- Good range
- Some reliability issues
6. Asus RT-AC88U
A moment wave of 802.11ac remote devicees have started to show up, and the new should have highlight is MU-MIMO, short for Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. We as of now checked on the initial two MU-MIMO devicees we could get our hands on from Linksys and Netgear, and now Asus has entered the shred with a double band AC3100 device named the RT-AC88U. This is a leader device that has every one of the fancy odds, however it separates itself from the opposition by offering Link Aggregation and eight LAN ports, which are extraordinary highlights in a customer class device. The Netgear Nighthawk X8 likewise underpins Link Aggregation and has six LAN ports, however is a tri-band device.
The RT-AC88U has a refreshed outline that looks like the last device we inspected from Asus, the tri-band AC3200. This new device includes a 4×4 plan that contends straight on with the Nighthawk X4S, yet while the Nighthawk uses a Qualcom chipset this Asus item utilizes a Broadcom SoC with NitroQAM Technology. In spite of the fact that the two devicees offer a 4×4 plan, the Nighthawk is equipped for 1700Mb/s on the 5GHz band while the Asus can relegate 2100Mb/s on the 5GHz channel (hypothetically, at any rate). The Asus device likewise presents to 1000Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band while the Netgear device is fit for 800Mb/s. On the spec sheet, the Asus device has the high ground, as it were. One fascinating component of this device is that is offers Smart Connect, which is an element we’ve just observed already on tri-band devicees. It joins the two groups into one SSID and cleverly associates gadgets as indicated by their similarity. This makes it less demanding to interface with the system in a house loaded with gadgets as the device does the “troublesome” work of picking a legitimate system for you. As expressed over, this is a 802.11ac double band device with connect conglomeration, a huge amount of LAN ports, and MU-MIMO. For both connection conglomeration and MU-MIMO you require extra good equipment to exploit these highlights. For interface total you require a NAS or device that backings it, and for MU-MIMO you require a portable PC or remote system connector that backings MU-MIMO, and these are still fairly uncommon. We ought to likewise specify that the device incorporates a two-year guarantee.
At the point when combined with a convenient drive, the RT-AC88U NAS execution wasn’t as amazing as its Wi-Fi numbers. By means of a Gigabit association, the device enrolled the supported speed of 30MBps for composing and 34MBps for perusing. This wasn’t by any methods moderate, however contrasted with different devicees with a similar component it was likewise a long way from the quickest. Regardless, at these rates, the device can function admirably as a home NAS server, with enough data transmission for media gushing and also document sharing and reinforcement. Actually, it’s significantly quicker than Apple’s Time Machine and subsequently a vastly improved option. The AC88U’s more rakish styling prevails with regards to anticipating a more forceful picture. In any case, it additionally has a functional advantage of better ventilation. The best side wind stream through the substantial best grille situated directly finished the inside heatsink is supplemented with littler air-scoops agreed with the column of marker lights and on the front edge. There are additionally vents along the best back board over the connectors. Base side ventilation is great, as well, with the base cover loaded with ventilation openings. The base likewise has two mounting screw openings uncovered by expelling their elastic attachments. The spaces are toward the back, which will point the connectors up in the event that you hang the device on a divider.
- Eight incredibly fast Gigabit ports
- Many helpful options
- Very good WiFi execution
- Not a very good NAS performance
7. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10
Sitting at the highest point of Netgear’s device positions is the Nighthawk X10—a perfection of highlights that speak to a major stride forward for purchaser devicees. So much is pressed inside the X10’s shell that the majority of it stays open for venting endlessly warm. Indeed, this is most likely the main shopper device I’ve run over with a real fan/heatsink combo. The Nighthawk X10 device proceeds with the Netgear custom of on a level plane designed, dimly hued, angulated organizing gear. While it has a conventional column of status LED’s over the best front, there are extra lights to give information about the 60 GHz recurrence also. A champion element for LED enthusiasts is that each of the four radio wires has a column of blue LED’s going up either side. (We additionally welcome the LED on/off device as this could be too splendid in a room when rest coaxes following an extreme day of gaming.)
The Nighthawk X10 is contending on cost with top-end work device units. At the back of the Netgear X10 device are seven Gigabit ports—a solitary yellow WAN port, and six LAN ports. Ports 1 and 2 can be keep running in Aggregate Mode to consolidate throughput for twofold speed, a trap not found in bring down estimated devicees. Be that as it may, this is not a device for minor mortals. Netgear reveals to us that the X10 is for the individuals who really need the most bold system setups. All things considered, the X10 is one of the main buyer devicees on the planet to include 10-gigabit bolster. That is fundamentally 10-times quicker than anything you’ll discover coordinated on your gaming motherboard.The Netgear X10’s 10Gbit port is a SFP+ port, which requires a different handset—typically optical—and offers you some flippant measures of transfer speed. You can likewise purchase copper-based links called coordinate join Twinax links, however they more often than not aren’t long.
- Good speed
- Very good range in big places
- Heating issue
8. TP-Link AD7200
The TP-Link Talon AD7200 is the world’s first device to utilize the new 802.11ad Wi-Fi standard. Otherwise called WiGig, it presents to 4,600Mbps exchange speeds, which is four times quicker than the speediest 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Be that as it may, the new standard has a short range and can’t enter dividers, so will be of constrained use in numerous families thus. Strikingly, however, those Gigabit Ethernet ports are hypothetically too ease back to stay aware of AD Wi-Fi. They can convey a most extreme of 1,000Mbps, while AD Wi-Fi is appraised up to 4,600Mbps. Actually the Wi-Fi would at times achieve such grand statures at any rate. In any case, it’s an early marker of exactly how quick AD Wi-Fi really is. On the front of the device is a decent determination of marker lights and catches. Where a few devicees manage with just a solitary light to endeavor to demonstrate the status of the device, here you get singular ones for control, every one of the three Wi-Fi groups, LAN movement, web, WPS and the two USB ports. Furthermore, you get a catch that can kill all these in the event that you’d rather not have lights flickering at you over the front room. You likewise get catches for WPS and Wireless On/Off.
The Advanced settings menu offers a Status screen that showcases Internet, Wireless, LAN, and Guest Network data, and sub-menus with settings that enable you to modify DHCP settings and design NAT Forwarding, Quality of Service (QoS), Advanced Network, and Advanced Wireless settings. There’s likewise a Security menu that offers Access Control, Denial of Service (DoS), and SPI Firewall settings, and a VPN Server menu that gives you a chance to make an OpenVPN server and create endorsements. TP-Link says that in the not so distant future, it will discharge a Smart Connect highlight through a firmware refresh that will let the device naturally pick which band to utilize, contingent upon arrange activity stack.
- Good speed
- Good advanced settings
- Performance issues
The majority of the PC aficionados or clients know about the organization Asus on account of their top notch gaming equipment. Be that as it may, Asus is additionally in charge for making a few high finishes, awesome devicees. The gadget we are discussing is the RT-AC88U.
The remote device offers a trendy, smooth look. In the event that somebody has utilized an Asus item before, they will discover this plan well-known. The device is tastefully satisfying with its total dark development with red accents along the reception apparatuses; it watches straight out of a gaming lineup by Asus.
The RT-AC88U is effectively the best device from Asus to date and a standout amongst other double band devices available. With brilliant execution and a huge amount of highlights, it’s an awesome purchase for any individual who needs to get the most out of their home system. The way that it has eight Gigabit LAN port (rather than the typical four) implies you can connect numerous more wired customers to it before the requirement for a device emerges. Furthermore, in case you’re a MMO gamer, the device’s help for the WTFast is certainly justified regardless of the additional money.
So, there’s no other device that offers more. However, in the event that you needn’t bother with favor highlights and simply need a steady device to share your Internet association, likewise consider the Asus RT-AC68U, the Netgear R7000 or the Linksys WRT1900ACS. These are additionally awesome devicees and at a lower cost.
Best Wireless Routers for Gaming:
5. Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 – Check Price
- Eyecatching and interesting wireless router designed for gamers in mind.
- Angled housing with intelligent vents which is both durable and helps with cooling during network intensive sessions.
- Ideal for high network-intense and time-sensitive tasks like VR gaming or online gaming.
- Excellent performance in ultra high-def video streaming (4K, 4K HDR).
- Beamforming technology for excellent coverage of the wireless signal and stable connection to devices.
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for your high-speed local wired network.
- Built-in firewall and WPA2 wireless security to protect your network from attacks.
- Three levels of QoS with priority engine for a lag-free gaming experience.
- Easily add USB-devices like printers or storage to your network.
- Manage this router from your iOS and Android tablet with Netgear Genie App.
This router might be a perfect choice for any home but it sure is a perfect router for gamers looking for lag-free online sessions. With the mean and angry design of this router matched with it’s extreme and reliable performance, this router can get through extensive game sessions without any hiccups and offers some excellent range and speed.
4. TRENDnet AC2600 – Check Price
- Wireless AC technology for ultra-fast speeds of 2600 Mbps.
- MU-MINO technology and 4 high-gain detachable antennas for blazing fast speeds on the wireless network.
- With StreamBoost technology to boost performance and reduce latency in online gaming and video playback.
- High-performance dual-core 1.4 GHz processor and pre-encrypted wifi network for great performance and security.
- USB share ports for printers and storage devices.
- Robust QoS for ultimate network performance even in high traffic periods.
- Wall-mountable design for easy installation.
This wireless gaming router combines great network feature to benefit your online gaming sessions or 4K video streaming. This wireless gaming router offers traffic shaping for advanced QoS and multimedia services like iTunes library streams and BitTorrent sharing directly from it’s USB 3.0 ports, great performance, and customizability for a very reasonable price.
3. D-Link EXO AC2600 – Check Price
- AC2600 (dual-band) to support more high-performance devices connected wirelessly to your home network.
- Enjoy the lag-free multiple 4K Video streams and online gaming with 4 x 4 data streams and MU-MIMO technology.
- 4 high-performance antennas make this wireless blanket more area with wireless signal.
- Advanced beam-forming technology for reliable connection even at some distance where other routers fail to deliver.
- Easy to set-up for the first time and get up and running in minutes. Can also be managed through your iOS or Andriod device.
- Smart QoS and traffic prioritization for seamless gaming sessions.
- 2 USB ports for adding portable storage devices to your network.
- Compatible with FTP, SAMBA and DLNA enabled devices for multimedia streaming and local file hosting.
This router is built for those who demand more from their local network in terms of ultra high-def video streams and network sensitive gaming, all day. With 4 simultaneous streams of the wireless signal coupled with 4 high-performance (amplified) antennas, this gaming wireless router can cover a large area with its wireless signal, not going to miss and always going to deliver.
2. Linksys E4200 – Check Price
- Simultaneous Dual-band Wireless N network for optimal speed and range.
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports to add high-speed devices to your network over ethernet.
- Get maximum wireless speeds of up to 750 Mbps combined on both bands.
- Internal 3×3 MIMO (multiple in multiple out) antennas.
- Stellar wireless coverage and performance even on the far end of the network.
- Integrated firewall and WPA2 wireless encryption protect your network from hackers.
- IPv6 ready and optimized for DLNA and media services.
- QoS for prioritization of media and entertainment traffic over regular web services.
- Create a separate network for guest to keep them away from your home network.
This router is very simple and easy to install and manage your network but does not let that simplicity fool you. There lies a beast behind that simplicity which handles all the high performance and low-performance devices separately to give you best possible speeds and performance for lag-free gaming and entertainment.
1. Linksys WRT32X – “Killer” Wireless Gaming Routers – Check Price
- Great retro design now in matte black (with glossy accents) which looks mean and angry so you know it’s powerful.
- Built just for gaming in mind as the first priority.
- Comes with a Killer Prioritization Engine to prioritize your gaming over all other traffic.
- Next-gen Wireless AC standard (paired with a 1.8 GHz dual-core CPU) for max throughput of 3.2 Gbps over a wireless connection with a separate data stream for every user.
- Reduces Peak ping by 75% over other routers.
- Simultaneous data processing for blazing fast speeds.
- Sleek and totally practical web interface to manage your router.
- Pro-grade ethernet switch with high-speed 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports to expand your network over Ethernet connections.
- 2 USB ports and an eSATA port to add additional devices to your networks like Portable storage drives or a printer.
- DFS (Dynamic Frequency Switching) to enable operation at 160 Mhz which also enables the router to work in a clear airspace field where most routers are not allowed to.
This gaming router was built from the ground up to provide true solutions for online gaming. With a custom firmware for online gaming, this router can prioritize gaming traffic over other traffic like youtube, facebook, or even high-speed downloads so the online gaming experience stays the best it can be.
1. ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100
ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router
The RT–AC88U is an AC3100 WiFi router with 8 Gigabit LAN ports to give expansive connectivity. Eight Ethernet compatible devices can get connected at once. It is a dual band wireless router which can act as a NAS as well. Installation is super easy because of its user-friendly interface.
Its Quick Internet Setup Wizard will do the job very fast. The RT-AC88U wifi router gives multi-client MU-MIMO data streaming which is fast on both bands.
Enjoy faster USB data transfers through two ports with over 100 MBs speed. Smart Connect feature allows automatic selection of the best band available for you. The AC88U wifi router comes with ASUS AiProtection powered by Trend MicroTM. It keeps blocking malicious attacks to your PC or connected device.
It is the best WiFi router for gaming with its WTFast Game Accelerator. The AC-88U is not without flaws. It is large, and its design might not be appealing to mature users. The bottom line is this wireless router is probably the best WiFi router for multiple devices.
2. ASUS RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Router
ASUS RT-AC3200 Wireless Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router
The ASUS –AC3200 fits the tag for a classy WiFi router. It has an aggressive design packed with amazing features. It comes with an incredible ASUSWRT interface for easy setup. The AC-3200 can work as an OpenVPN server.
It can also work as a NAS. It comes with powerful hardware with flawlessly speeds with no hiccups. Its traffic meter gives accurate results on the amount of data used by each device.
ASUS AiCloud 2.0 lets you access, sync, share or stream files from any internet connected devices. It comes with in-built 2.0 and 3.0 USB ports giving ten times data transferring to any device. It also allows printer sharing including supporting 3G/4G dongles. The AC3200 is a best tri-band WiFi router for a large business.
Handy QOS on the AC3200 wifi router works well. It supports assigning bandwidth priorities to each device. The router supports up to 50 devices at the same time. It is a fantastic wireless router despite its problem of dropping connections.
3. Linksys WRT AC3200
Linksys WRT AC3200 Dual-Band Gigabit Smart Wireless Router
The WRT AC3200 is a wireless router with the super-fast setup. This router is usable right out of the box. It comes with pre-set broadcast IDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz. The AC3200 qualifies to be among the best WiFi routers for a large business or home.
It can accommodate up to 50 guests. It comes with a fast and easy to navigate admin panel for controlling set up. Make use of its Open Source firmware compatibility which is a huge plus.
MU-MIMO technology allows multiple users simultaneously stream 4k videos. They can also engage in other data-intensive tasks without buffering. Its 1.8 GHz processor is an improvement over its predecessor the AC1900 wifi router. Enjoy improved data transfer speeds via USB with 256MB Flash and 512 MB of RAM.
Tri-Stream 160 technology exclusive to Linksys delivers supersonic speed. The bandwidth of 5 GHz doubles with ultra-fast 2.6 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds. On the cheap, prioritizing media connectivity to the internet creates streaming lag on this wireless router.
4. Netgear Nighthawk X4s
NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S – Smart WiFi Dual Band Gigabit Gaming Router
The X4s wifi router is a four-stream WiFi architecture router with fast internet connection. This wireless router comes with MU-MIMO. It boasts WiFi connectivity speed in crowded places from interference from other networks. As the best wife router for long range, the X4s gives better coverage. Stream 4k videos, share files or backup storage over this network.
With a host of external ports, the X4s wifi router allows seamless connections. It has super-fast twin USB 3.0 ports and eSATA. The X4s can work as a printer, an external hard drive and as a storage server.
Use ReadyCLOUD when accessing the storage anytime from anywhere. This WiFi router comes with dynamic QOS. You get lag-free gaming by prioritization bandwidth. Its variety of management settings is remarkable.
It provides reliable WiFi for a bigger home. Your home is secure with the OpenVPN which you can access on your iOS or Android device. The software for this device is a little confusing for novice users.
5. TP-Link AC3150 WiFi Router
TP-Link AC3150 Wireless Wi-Fi Router – High Performance Wi-Fi for 4K Streaming and Gaming
The AC3150 wifi router is a 4–stream wireless router with NiroQAM technology. It delivers up to 3150 Mbps WIFI speed via a dual 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. With Smart Connect, your devices will run faster. It will intelligently direct them to the best connection available. Making it one of the best routers for gaming.
The faster WiFi enables simultaneous gaming online with 4k HD video streaming. Possible with a powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU with two co-processors.
Enjoy supersonic internet speeds on wired connections using four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Its web interface is quick and responsive. Thus, the configuration is comprehensive and customizable.
You can even set this wireless router without going through the setup wizard. The AC3150 wifi router offers reliability, smooth connection, and disconnection. It also gives a powerful wireless signal and high uptime without reboots.
The TP-Link Tether app for your smartphone works seamlessly. Renaming connected devices is quite a hassle on this wireless router. Though, you will eventually maneuver it.
These days, wireless routers are everywhere. Nearly every house, apartment, business, and sketchy van parked down by the river has one. A functional wireless router allows you to easily connect your computer to a broadband Internet service so you share data files and stream media between mobile/Wi-Fi devices.
Although you could opt for a wired router, we suggest a wireless model so you can avoid stringing Ethernet cable around your home unless you absolutely have to; besides, a wireless router is the best way to access the Internet using your smartphone or tablet. And if you ever discover you absolutely must have a wired connection, the router will have a built-in switch to handle it. While you’re at it, check out the best 802.11ac routers on the market, along with our guide on how to secure your wireless network.
Do you need a router?
Routers are not absolutely necessary if you prefer to use a hard-wired connection and run an Ethernet cable directly to your computer, but given most mobile devices lack a dedicated Ethernet port, opting for a wireless network remains the only solution for picking up an Internet connection using a smartphone or tablet.
Routers also allow you to share media, stream music and video, and seamlessly connect every device in your home — whether you want to stream music to your speaker system or simply pick up an Internet connection on the other side of the room. A single desktop may not need a wireless router, but for a house full of devices, it’s often a necessity.
Choosing network standards
Now let’s talk about the features you should look for in a wireless router. Just like smartphones, router manufacturers are constantly implementing new and more powerful wireless standards (IEEE standards, specifically) as technology becomes more advanced. That’s why we have standards like 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac – these aren’t just random numbers, they are a description of router capabilities. The traditional single-home user will likely need a different kind of router from the heavy-gamer or media enthusiast.
The latest standard is 802.11ac, which you see on all the newest routers. That means that the router can support up to Gigabit speeds, much faster than the previous 600Mbps limit. Like previous standards, “ac” is backwards compatible with devices made for older standards. As it becomes widely adopted, 802.11ac is growing more affordable and will soon be commonplace.
If you are buying a new router, look for the “ac” standard first. However, be aware that you won’t see the new standard’s full benefit unless your devices also support it. If your smartphone only supports 802.11n, for example, then you won’t see any speed boost on that phone if you purchase an 802.11ac router. You might find none of your devices support 802.11ac, in which case an older, less expensive router could make more sense.
Capable routers touting the “ac” capability include ASUS Dual-Band AC1750 Wireless Gigabit Router and Netgear Nighthawk AC 1900 Dual-Band Wifi Gigabit Router, each of which offers considerably quicker speeds at the expense of compatibility.
Interpreting Wi-Fi network speeds
Remember, you should always take manufacturers’ speed declarations with a grain of salt. For example, many manufactures list “theoretical” maximum bandwidth on their boxes. You’ll see anything from 350Mb/sec to 1900Mb/sec (megabits per second), but you’ll rarely see throughput that high in realistic environments in which walls, doors, appliances, and other barriers separate your router from its client devices. A plethora of other specs and standards also influence real-world speeds from router to router, so use listed speeds as more of a general guideline.
Fortunately, wireless routers manufactured in compliance with the 802.11ac standard should be capable of streaming high-definition video over a reasonable distance, provided there aren’t too many obstacles in the path between the router and its client.
All wireless routers also feature built-in Ethernet for hard-wired network connections, but cheaper routers will have switches rated at only 100Mb/sec. You won’t regret spending a few extra dollars to buy a model with a Gigabit switch (that’s 1,000Mb/sec).
When buying, remember that a router’s speed only determines the speed of your home network. It won’t make your Internet connection quicker unless it was bottle-necked by your previous router. Today, that’s unlikely in most parts of the world. A typical American router on Comcast, for example, will have bandwidth between 40 and 150 Mb/s. That’s not enough to utilize all the bandwidth recent Wi-Fi standards can handle.
Wireless data security
Wireless networks are as insecure as they are convenient — if you don’t take steps to secure your network, just about any troublemaker within range can eavesdrop on your online activities, leech off your Internet connection, access any of the files stored on your computers, infect your systems with viruses, and cause all sorts of other problems.
Any router you buy should support at least WPA2 (the second implementation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol), but every device you add to your network must also support WPA2 for this to work. Your network is only as secure as the least-secure device that’s connected to it. WPA is acceptable, though not ideal. It’s not a good idea to rely on WEP, which is easily cracked by tools that anyone can download for free.
Also keep in mind that some routers are designed with enterprise or advanced family security in mind. These devices come with many extra features, including the ability add extra encryption, monitor devices, block unwanted users from the network, and even see what people are browsing.
How many bands do I need?
Manufacturers have sold dual-band routers for years, but now many are starting to roll out tri-band routers as well.
Dual-band typically means that the router is equipped with two radios, one that operates on the 2.4GHz frequency band, and one that runs on the 5.0GHz frequency band. This enables you to set up two separate wireless networks, so you can improve speeds in a crowded wireless network by bumping some devices over to the alternate frequency.
Make sure you read the fine print, though. Some dual-band routers in fact have one radio that can operate on either the 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz bands, but not both at the same time.
Tri-band routers include a second 5.0GHz band. This is helpful if you have a lot of mobile devices on one network and need to spread them around three bands for greater efficiency and data management. Tri-band routers remain rare, because very few people need them. They can be useful in a dorm or office, but aren’t necessary for the average house.
Smart Wireless Management
One of the worst problems to plague the average router is interference. A router isn’t much good if it can’t give you acceptable wireless signals everywhere you want it. Fortunately, most modern routers have a couple other tricks to deal with this problem.
The solution is using “smart” processes that identify devices or dead zones and target them with Wi-Fi signals so they they always get service. The monstrous D-Link AC3200 Ultra, for example, has SmartBeam technology to do just this. Products like Luma, on the other, encourage people to buy several routers and link them together to create a Wi-Fi web around your home that eliminates dead zones. These solutions are something to keep in mind if you’ve had bad experiences with routers in the past.
Google’s recently introduced OnHub router goes a step further, baking extensive Wi-Fi functionality into an easily understood smartphone app. Other manufacturers are also taking this route, though OnHub’s is the easiest to understand so far.
Quality of Service
Despite the label, Quality of Service (QoS) is not related to the quality of your Internet connection; rather, it’s a set of mechanisms within the router’s firmware that reserves certain resources for different applications.
If you rely on a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service, such as Vonage, for telephone service, QoS allows you to configure the router to assign that data flow higher priority. So if someone in your home is downloading a large file while you’re talking on the phone, the quality of your call won’t degrade.
QoS can also be used to optimize your network’s performance with online games, video streaming, and similar applications. QoS can’t increase your network’s bandwidth or speed up your Internet access, but it can make the best use of the online resources you do have.
The last router feature we’ll examine is USB support. You’ll find USB ports on many routers, but it’s important to find out what that port is used for. On some routers, it’s merely a means of transferring setup information (network ID and password, for example) from the router to a client via a USB memory key. Better routers will allow you to plug in a USB mass-storage device to add NAS (network-attached storage) functionality. Plug a large USB hard drive into your router and every device on your network will have access to that storage resource — it’s like having a cheap server.
You should also pay attention to the generation of the USB port. Many routers have a combination of both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. Some only have one or the other. At least one USB 3.0 port is a smart feature to purchase if you plan on attaching any accessories.
What to spend: Price vs. performance
Router prices vary greatly based on their features, antennas, ports, and much more. Generally, the best routers available today vary from $100 to $250. You can find smaller routers below this range, and large enterprise routers above it, but most fall somewhere along the line. If you’re on a tight budget, you can find some decent routers for $50 or less, but they won’t offer all the latest and greatest features.
A cheap router that delivers sub-par performance is no bargain. Product reviews will give you a hint as to what you can expect, but setting one up in your own home is the only sure way to know how the router will perform in your unique environment. When you buy yours, make sure the retailer you do business with offers a liberal return policy if you’re not satisfied.
A router is the magic box that lets you distribute your internet connection to a variety of devices throughout your home, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart-TV sets, and streaming media devices such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku.
And while wired Ethernet connections are typically faster and more secure, you’re better off with a wireless connection if you want to move around your home, using laptops and other mobile devices. Wireless also eliminates the clutter that cables bring.
Here’s what you need to know to go shopping for a wireless router.
Love the One You’re With or . . .
If your internet service provider is your cable company, your router will plug into a cable modem, which provides your link to the internet. For other services—such as Verizon FiOS—the router may be combined with a broadband modem in a single box that your provider supplies when you sign up.
Besides an obvious reason—say, your router is broken—you might also consider a new model because:
1. You don’t want to buy or rent a router from your service provider.
2. You already have a broadband modem directly connected to a single computer but want to be able to go online with multiple devices.
3. Your router has only wired connectivity, but you want to go online with wireless devices, such as a laptop or tablet.
4. Your existing router is too slow or its wireless range is too short to reach important places in your home.
Sip or Gulp: Types of Wireless Routers
The most basic decision you’ll need to make is whether to get a bigger or smaller model, size being measured, in this case, by speed and range (also known as throughput).
Until recently, Consumer Reports tested and rated both 802.11n and 802.11ac routers. But falling prices for the latter have rendered the former all but obsolete. Routers using 802.11ac are significantly faster than those using 802.11n, especially at close range. The only reason to get 802.11n is if you are on a really tight budget and you can get one for a steal.
The size and layout of your home will also affect performance. Before you go shopping, you should do an assessment of your house or apartment: the overall size, the building materials used, and where the router will be located vis-à-vis your media.
Drywall, plaster, and hollow doors will interfere with your router’s performance; even uninsulated doors and floors can cause signal degradation. But the biggest offenders are aluminum studs (found in office buildings and modern apartments); insulated walls and floors; glass; and solid brick and stone. The more floors, walls, and windows of any kind in the way, the worse for the signal.
For more information on getting a stronger WiFi signal throughout the house, read this article.
For the Signal Sipper: Less Throughput
You have a small apartment where the router will be just a room away, or even in the same room. Distance won’t play as big a role, but you’ll still want speedy throughput capabilities. In our ratings, look for a router that performs with Excellent or Very Good throughput in both “near” and “midrange” situations.
For the Signal Gulper: More Throughput
You live in a large house with many rooms and more than one floor. You’ll want a router with a long range and strong data throughput at a distance. You should place the router in as central a location as possible. In our ratings, look for a model with Excellent or Very Good throughput in “far” situations.
The Router Limits
A router with top speed won’t necessarily improve the streaming performance of Netflix and YouTube videos. Across any network, data only moves as fast as the slowest connection. In most cases, the slowest connection for internet traffic is the one between your house and your internet service provider.
You can sign up for a faster connection from your service provider if you like. Unless you pay for connection speeds in excess of 100 Mbps, you’re unlikely to run up against the performance capabilities of most routers.
If your modem is located in a far corner of your home, even a router with a lot of throughput can’t guarantee a good connection on the other side of the house. For this situation, mesh networks, which comprise two or three small routers that work in unison, may be the solution. This system improves on wireless repeaters by expanding the reach of your network without a drastic drop-off in speed.
Frequent Houseguests or Airbnb Visitors?
If so, use the guest network, which is available with all the routers we tested. It’s a second network that provides online access without you having to give guests your regular security password, giving them access to your primary network.
How Much Security Do You Need?
You should secure your router with a password using WPA2 encryption. You’ll normally need to enter the password into each wireless device you use just once; afterward, the device will remember it. Security is especially important if you live in close proximity to others, such as in an apartment building or a crowded urban area.
Features to Consider
LAN ports are used to connect a computer to the router using an Ethernet cable. Many internet-connected smart-home devices, such as Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, require a LAN port-connected hub to function. If you need more LAN ports than the built-in ones, you can expand the number available by adding an Ethernet switch.
USB ports on a router are used for connecting to a flash drive, an external hard drive, or a USB printer if the router has a built-in print server.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Also called Media Prioritization or Traffic Control. If you’re the type who likes to play with your computer settings, you might appreciate the flexibility this feature offers. You can optimize the router’s performance depending on what you’re doing at a given time. For example, you can change the settings to work best for streaming videos, making Skype calls, playing games, or streaming music. It will give those applications more of the bandwidth—so, for example, your Netflix movie doesn’t pause and rebuffer because someone in your house is downloading a large file.
With a high-performance wireless gaming router, you have a peace of mind to know that you can run network demanding games from the beginning to end without even worrying about a sudden interruption or hiccup that ruins everything though you do need a high-speed broadband connection to help with your shiny new router.
Just keep that in mind, that any wireless router, I mean the best of best, is not going to improve your internet speeds whatsoever. It is only going to make your wireless and a wired network (WLAN and LAN) more robust, stable and reliable over time.