Akhil Dev has been an online writer for more than 11 years and enjoys writing about technology, photography, and special occasions.
The 14 Best Gaming Routers on the Market
Each router is rated and includes pros and cons. Use this list to choose the best wireless router for gaming.
- Asus RT-AC88U
- Asus RT - AC66U
- TP LINK Archer C7 AC1750
- Linksys EA9300 AC4000
- Linksys WRT1900AC
- Asus RT-N66U N900
- NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900
- Netgear N900
- NETGEAR N750
- TRENDnet TEW-818DRU
- BUFFALO AirStation Extreme WZR-1750DHP
- TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND V2 (N300)
- D-Link DIR-655
- ZyXEL NBG5715
1. Asus RT-AC88U – Best Gaming Router
The RT-AC88U comes with a bundle of useful features for all the hardcore gamers out there. It uses MU-MIMO technology to connect multiple Wi-Fi devices without affecting the bandwidth. The only con is that you will need MIMO compatible network adapter too. It delivers blazing throughput on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands compared to the competitors.
The RT-AC88U measures 3.3 by 11.8 by 7.4 inches with a matte black housing. LED indicators for power, WAN, WPS, LAN, USB, etc. can be seen at the front and there are 4 removable external antennas and a multitude of connection ports in the back. It hosts 8 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 2.0, WAN port, and power jack. There is one USB 3.0 port also on the front.
Asus AC88U’s web interface and mobile app are excellent in terms of usability and navigation. There is a Game Boost page where you can connect WTFast Gamers Private Network, a software to accelerate online gameplay.
The Asus AiProtection feature can detect and monitor virus and malware that affect you and can block malicious sites. The AiCloud feature lets access the data from a smartphone. The set up process is very easy using the configuration wizard or you can manually configure.
On a 30 feet distance, the router showed 305Mbps which is excellent performance in terms of range. The 2.4GHz band performance was also good managing 98Mbps at 30 feet. File transfer speeds are also satisfactory with 28Mbps write speed and 32Mbps read speed.
The Asus RT-AC88U dual-band router offers excellent throughput performance, multi-client MU-MIMO feature, gamer-friendly QoS settings, parental controls, cloud feature and other extensive management capabilities. With a number of connectivity options and faster performance, the AC88U is a perfect choice for gamers if your budget is around $250.
2. NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 – Best Gaming Router Under $150
This beautifully designed dual-band is really a monster in the business. Although it lacks a built-in ADSL modem, you can buy an external modem along with the Nighthawk.
It has four LAN ports, one WAN, and one USB 2.0 and one 3.0 port. The company claims it is the fastest AC1900 router, which is almost true. The router is fast enough for all of your gaming purposes. It has long-range and stable connectivity over the distance.
Speaking of software, the Netgear Nighthawk didn’t impress us as Linksys did. We found Linksys software more user-friendly and with more features.
Finally, the Netgear Nighthawk is one of the fastest wireless gaming routers we have examined that comes with useful features like content-based parental controls, Android and iOS app support, and free back-up software.
Apart from the fact that the web interface is a little bit clunky, this router gives complete bang for the buck. If you are looking for a mid-range gaming router, this is the one.
3. Asus RT-AC66U – Best Gaming Router Under $100
The RT-AC66U is a well designed wireless router that looks exactly like the N66U but offers more speed and coverage. It also sports 4 gigabit LAN ports, 2 USB ports and 6 antennas. LAN port allows you to connect using Ethernet cable which offer fast and stable connection. One USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports enables users to connect all the external devices.
Similar to the N66U, this one also offers beamforming technology to deliver stronger connections at a speed of 1300Mbps on a 5GHz band. It also includes a 2.4GHz band for older devices. The device is secured with NAT and SPI firewalls to protect you from web-based attacks along with the WPS2 encryption for Wi-Fi.
The router also offers parental controls, can block access to particular sites using keyword blocking and direct URL blocking, Setting up the router is a simple task, you can connect via LAN to set it up the first time as it does not come with a pre-configured network. Once you get access to the configuration page, you have the full control and customisability, one feature that is uncommon among the competitors.
Now, the difference between N66U and AC66U for 802.11N and 802.11AC can be clearly seen in the speeds, provided that you turn off the QoS. For 2, 4 and 5 GHz N speed on both the devices was almost the same at all locations.
Overall, the ASUS RT-AC66U offers top class performance in speed, performance, security and controls for budget gamers and home users.
4. TP LINK Archer C7 AC1750 – Best Budget Gaming Router
TP LINK’s budget gaming router C7 is a dual-band router which delivers 1.75Gbps bandwidth. The dual USB ports enable the sharing of printers, media and networked devices locally and through the FTP server easily. It also offers a guest network which provides secure Wi-Fi access for guest sharing. It supports 802.11ac which is 3 times faster than the old N routers. It has very good coverage, thanks to the strong external antennas that won't turn upside down or tilt easily.
Design-wise, the Archer C7 is a mediocre one that measures 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches with a plastic housing in shiny black. But performance-wise this one is a real killer for the money. It has very good wireless coverage, drops only 10 % of throughput from a distance of 5 to 30 feet at 2.4 GHz band. It has three 5dBi antennas which are detachable. You can find LEDs on the front for notifying various active ports. It has 2 USB 2.0 ports, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one WAN port on the back.
The performance is satisfactory for both gaming, streaming and graphics works. It has an easy Setup Assistant with multi-language support to get your router set up in minutes. The company offers two year warranty and 24/7 toll-free technical support.
Overall, the Archer C7 is a perfect choice for the average home user without spending much.
5. Linksys Max-Stream EA9300
The Max-Stream EA9300 is one of the latest high-end routers from Linksys which delivers blazing-fast performance for the price. The EA9300 is designed as a beefy looking router with six angular antennas surrounding the boxy enclosure. Inside the bulky router hosts a powerful quad-core CPU and three peripheral processors which ensures uninterrupted internet access.
From a tech perspective, it offers everything that a router can do at top-notch performance. The MU-MIMO technology lets you connect multiple devices without limiting the bandwidth. We were able to get up to 950Mbps close to the router which is well above the industry standard of similarly priced routers. In terms of range, this router excels with beamforming technology using the six directional antennas in getting the full 360-degree range. It also hosts nine amplifiers which will be turned on or off depending on the location of users. This lets you focus the beam to enhance the range. With the quad-core processor, the number of users is not at all an issue here.
The additional features include QoS function called Airtime Fairness which allocates cap to various internet uses. There are options to configure guest network and a full suite of parental controls are available.
Overall, EA9300 is one of the powerful routers available on the market. For serious gamers, its either Asus RT-AC88U or Linksys EA9300. Both will never disappoint you.
6. ASUS RT-N66U N900
The ASUS RT-N66U N900 delivers incredible performance and extended coverage range. This router is suitable for multiplayer gaming, video streaming in HD, file sharing, etc. The RT N66U increases transmission speed by 50%, to up to 900 Mbps for both bands together.
It has a built-in WiFi amplifier for larger and multi-level buildings. The router is easy to set up and connect devices quickly using QIS (Quick Installation Setup). With ASUSWRT, you can quickly set up networks and customize user access, monitor signal strength, etc.
The main feature of the ASUS RT-N66U N900 is the three detachable WiFi antennas which provide a stronger signal and wide range. The router is dual-band, up to 450Mbps each. The ASUS Ai Radar functions enable high-powered amplification and beamforming.
It features Gigabit Ethernet ports and is IPv6 enabled. The twin USB 2.0 ports can be used for faster file sharing.
7. Linksys WRT1900AC
Linksys WRT1900AC features a four-external-antenna configuration and a powerful 1.2 GHz dual-core processor to deliver unparalleled WiFi performance. Multiple users can play games, stream HD movies, or transfer files simultaneously without a single lag.
The connectivity options are yet another beauty. It features four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports for easy file transfer. The four antennas provide greater coverage and signal strength, and the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor enables users to experience ultra-fast data processing, HD video streaming, web surfing and gaming.
This is the first router to feature four antennas to enhance dual-band performance. You can use Linksys Smart WiFi software for total home network control. This extreme gaming router is ideal for multi-storied buildings. It also features optional open-source firmware for advanced users.
8. Netgear N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (WNDR4500 v2)
The Netgear WNDR4500 v2, the successor to the wildly popular WNDR4500, is a simultaneous dual-band wireless router with four Gigabit network ports and six internal WiFi antennas to accommodate super-fast wireless and wired networks. So you just connect your computer, laptop, media player, tablet, and smartphone to the internet in a snap.
ReadySHARE: Two USB Ports on Board
The Netgear WNDR4500 v2 has two ReadySHARE USB ports on board. Using one of these ports, one can incorporate an external hard disk drive into the network. So you can make the WNDR4500 v2 a basic NAS (Network Attached Storage), to download movies, music and other computer files to the network to store and share. The other USB port can be used to share a printer with other network users.
- High WiFi speed (450 + 450 Mbps) with simultaneous dual-band
- Block some websites with Live Parental Controls
- Six Internal antennas for a wide range and a strong WiFi signal
- Two USB ports for connecting a hard drive or printer
- Ability to set up guest networking
- On / Off button for WiFi
- No USB 3.0 connectors on board
- No wall mounting
9. NETGEAR N750 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (WNDR4300)
The Netgear WNDR4300 is a simultaneous dual-band router to run a fast wireless network. You can connect your computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone media player to the Internet in no time. If you prefer to turn off the wireless internet signal while you're not home, turn off the WiFi connection with the push of a button. With Netgear WNDR4300 you can create a guest network, so your guests can use wireless internet.
Share Your USB Device via the Internet
The Netgear WNDR4300 has a ReadySHARE Cloud USB port on board to connect an external hard drive, USB drive, or printer with the network. So share your downloaded movies, music and other computer files with other users on your home network.
- USB connection
- Guest networking
- On/ Off button for WiFi
- No USB 3.0 port to connect a hard drive
10. TRENDnet TEW-818DRU AC1900 Wireless Router
This dual-band high-performance wireless gaming router provides two concurrent wireless networks to eliminate Wi-Fi bottlenecks. Designed for gaming, the AC1900 offers both Gigabit and USB 3.0 connectivity.
This router is made to be placed vertically, is compact, and has five Gigabit ports (one WAN and four LAN), one USB 3.0 port, and one USB 2.0 port. It has the antennas inside, which may reduce the range.
The strongest signal extends sideways, rather than from the back and front. LED indicators are easily visible, the set-up is very easy to perform, and you get a simple, clutter-free control panel. The router has guest access and parental control in the wireless settings.
This router's user manual is the most detailed one we encountered. The 68-page downloadable pdf file has everything you need to know about the router. Overall this is a versatile and powerful Gigabit Ethernet router offering an aggregate wireless throughput of 1900 Mbps. It provides the performance needed to enhance a network—both wired and wireless—for streaming video, gaming and backup by the power user, for both today’s and tomorrow’s needs, in a convenient package.
11. Buffalo AirStation Extreme AC1750
This is a Gigabit dual-band router with DD-WRT. You get high-speed wireless on the 5 GHz band. DD-WRT is a Linux based open source firmware which is more useful for advanced users and gamers, and it sure is more capable than Buffalo’s default firmware.
With this firmware, the router can be used as an access point, wireless extender, or client bridge. You can define advanced access controls and create a hotspot.
No matter what-all blocks are in between, AirStation AC1750 delivers powerful and stable signal within the specified range.
The two detachable stands allow users to place the router vertically or horizontally. It has four LAN ports, one WAN, one USB 3.0, and one USB 2.0. Enough for hardcore gamers too. You will not find any difficulty in connecting the gadgets after router placement. The LED indicators will tell you the status of the router.
The set up is extremely easy. Connect your Internet source to the WAN port and you are ready to go. You can customize the router settings yourself via the Router Web Interface.
Even though the range is not as impressive as others (Linksys and ASUS) in the list, Buffalo AirStation AC1750 is the most stable wireless router we have seen. You don’t even have to think about rebooting this monster. If you are fond of DD-WRT firmware and you want a stable wireless gaming router, AirStation AC1750 is right here.
12. TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2
The TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2 is a single-band wireless router with three directional external antennas for good wireless coverage. The router has four Gigabit LAN ports for wired network devices and includes a USB port for connecting an external hard drive or network. This router is popular, due to its performance and good value. Besides, the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2 very tweakable. The firmware has been replaced by the open-source software DD-WRT, which is even more customizable than the standard firmware. So you can increase the wireless speed up to 450 Mbps by activating Speed Boost. Because of this facility, this router has won several awards, including a Silver Award from Hardware.info.
- Increase wireless speed up to 450Mbps with Speed Boost
- Easy installation via the Easy Setup Assistant
- Gigabit LAN ports for high-speed data transfers
- USB port to connect an external hard drive or printer
- Secure (WPA) with one press of a button (Quick Security Setup)
- Antennas are set up for better wireless coverage
- No dual-band
- No guest network
13. D-Link DIR-655
The D-Link DIR-655 is a wireless single-band router (300N) with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and three external, directional antennas. The D-Link DIR-655 also has a USB port to connect an external hard drive.
The DIR-655 is part of a series of "green" D-Link products. These products are environmentally friendly without sacrificing speed or quality. Use without prejudice: When no data is sent or received, the router is automatically put into sleep mode to save power.
- Three external, directional antennas
- Convenient USB port for file sharing
- No dual-band. This router uses the 2.4GHz frequency only
14. ZyXEL NBG5715
ZyXEL NBG5715 is a simultaneous dual-band Wireless-N router. It can work simultaneously on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands at speeds up to 450 Mbps. In addition to wireless internet, ZyXEL NBG5715 also offers four Gigabit network connections to set up a fast wired network. ZyXEL NBG5715 is therefore particularly suitable for lightning-fast connections such as fiber-optic networks.
- Fast wireless internet with simultaneous dual-band. Wireless N 450 + 450 Mbps.
- Two USB ports to connect an external hard drive or printer to the network
- "Smart Range" technology enhances the WiFi range on the 5GHz band
- Turn WiFi off with one press of a button
- Gigabit Ethernet and WAN
- Does not have USB 3.0 ports
I will not recommend this one since we have ASUS and Netgear at far lower price and better performance.
Which is your personal favorite?
Akhil Dev (author) from India on September 01, 2017:
yes. it works
Brandon Hart from The Game on May 02, 2017:
If I've got three stories and a basement do you think I should go with the Linksys AC1900 or maybe like 2 N900s?
Jacobb9205 on August 21, 2015:
Thank you for this, I actually didn't know you could change your router at first.