Best Router for Gaming (2020)

A router is not the most exciting purchase, but it is important. The last thing you want is constant drop outs or lag while gaming, and typically ISP devices lack the features power users and gamers require. We checked out the best routers for gaming in 2020 and found the ASUS AC3100 to best device for the price in terms of price to performance. Check out the rest of the high-end to budget gaming routers we reviewed below.

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Top Pick
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-Band 10 Gigabit WiFi Router, Aiprotection Lifetime Security by Trend Micro, Aimesh Compatible for Mesh WIFI System, Next-Gen Wifi 6, Wireless 802.11Ax, 4x Giga
ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security by Trend Micro, AiMesh for Mesh WiFi system, and WTFast game Accelerator (RT-AC88U)
Asus AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router with MU-Mimo, Aimesh for Mesh WIFI System, Aiprotection Network Security Powered by Trend Micro, Adaptive Qos and Parental Control (RT-AC68U)
NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R7000) - AC1900 Wireless Speed (up to 1900 Mbps) | Up to 1800 sq ft Coverage & 30 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 2 USB ports | Armor Security
Linksys AC3200 Dual-Band WiFi Gaming Router with Killer Prioritization Engine (WRT32X)
Title
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
ASUS AC3100
ASUS RT-AC68U
Nighthawk AC1900
Linksys AC3200
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
11,000 Mb per second
3,167 Mb per second
1,900 Mb per second
1,300 Mb per second
3,200 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Dual-Band
Dual-Band
Dual-Band
Dual-Band
Number of Ports
4
8
4
5
5
Wireless Compatibility
802.11ac, 802.11ax
802.11ac
802.11ac
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Top Pick
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Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 AX11000 Tri-Band 10 Gigabit WiFi Router, Aiprotection Lifetime Security by Trend Micro, Aimesh Compatible for Mesh WIFI System, Next-Gen Wifi 6, Wireless 802.11Ax, 4x Giga
Title
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
11,000 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Number of Ports
4
Wireless Compatibility
802.11ac, 802.11ax
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ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router (AC3100) with MU-MIMO, supporting AiProtection network security by Trend Micro, AiMesh for Mesh WiFi system, and WTFast game Accelerator (RT-AC88U)
Title
ASUS AC3100
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
3,167 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
Dual-Band
Number of Ports
8
Wireless Compatibility
802.11ac
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Asus AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router with MU-Mimo, Aimesh for Mesh WIFI System, Aiprotection Network Security Powered by Trend Micro, Adaptive Qos and Parental Control (RT-AC68U)
Title
ASUS RT-AC68U
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
1,900 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
Dual-Band
Number of Ports
4
Wireless Compatibility
802.11ac
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NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R7000) - AC1900 Wireless Speed (up to 1900 Mbps) | Up to 1800 sq ft Coverage & 30 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 2 USB ports | Armor Security
Title
Nighthawk AC1900
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
1,300 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
Dual-Band
Number of Ports
5
Wireless Compatibility
802.11a/b/g/n/ac
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Linksys AC3200 Dual-Band WiFi Gaming Router with Killer Prioritization Engine (WRT32X)
Title
Linksys AC3200
Prime
Data Transfer Rate
3,200 Mb per second
Frequency Bands Supported
Dual-Band
Number of Ports
5
Wireless Compatibility
802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Best Router for Gaming (Overall)

The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is the best gaming router, if money is not a limiting factor it’s the best router for gaming on the PLANET right now, we highly recommend the product for gaming and great home wifi.

Pros:
  • Tri-band + dedicated band for gaming
  • WTFast - 5300Mps
  • 8 ethernet ports
Cons:
  • It's big
  • Very expensive
  • Design might not be for everyone

The ASUS Rapture GT-AC5300 is by far the fastest router we reviewed, which is not surprising considering it is also the most expensive! The router is packed full of features and in our opinion the device is the best router for 2019, with double the number of ethernet ports than its predecessor.

​Features

The device is tri-band, meaning it can push up to 5300Mps throughput, the device achieves these speeds using it’s EIGHT external antenna’s. The device is an excellent choice for gamers due it’s ability to dedicate one Wi-Fi band to gaming, reducing network noise and latency for gaming. We recommend using the band with the least amount of devices on in your area for improved performance. The device also uses WTFast technology to prioritises wireless gaming network traffic.

In addition to the above specifications the device has 2 USB ports and multiple firmware options that can be utilized using the devices bundled software and built in malware detection.

​Design

The GT-AC5300 has almost identical aesthetics to the previous model the RT-AC5300. The device is not small, and by not small we mean this thing is a GIANT for a wireless router, once all the wireless antennas are attached the thing measures in at 320mm x 320mm and stands at about 80mm tall and weighs in at a whopping 1.8Kg! Installation is fairly stragith forward. However, adding the antennas is a bit of a pain, but it only needs to be done once.

The device has 6 LED’s on the front for power, 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, Internet connection status, ethernet activity and WPS. On the back there are eight ethernet ports and a WAN ethernet allowing connection to your modem. Both of the USB ports are also located on the back of the device and the devices power on and off switch.

Two of the eight ethernet ports are labelled “gaming” these the points you should connect your consoles and gaming PC’s as they utilize the devices WTFast traffic prioritization for gaming.

Conclusion

The overall performance the gaming focused features make the GT-AC5300 is the best router for gaming. Additionally the ethernet 8 ports and extremely fast wifi performance make the device great for any modern home network where streaming and other high bandwidth tasks are performed.

Related Top 5 Buying Guides

Best Value Gaming Router

The Best Value Gaming Router on the market, low power consumption and the auto overclocking function make this a great hassle free choice offering the best Bang for Buck.

Pros:
  • 8 Gbp Ethernet ports
  • USB 3.0 file sharing
  • Built in Anti Virus and Vulnerability Scanning
Cons:
  • Large design
  • Only 4 Ethernet ports
  • Still a little pricey

Features Overview:

  • 1.4 Ghz dual core processor
  • 512 Mb RAM
  • 100Mb USB Read Speed
  • Up to 1800 Mbp WAN to LAN speed
  • Up to 1000Mbp 2.4ghz speed
  • Up to 2167Mbp 5Ghz speed

Overview

The first thing you’ll likely notice about the AC3100 is that it uses the ROG ASUS theme, the second is the MASSIVE size (11.8″ x 7.4″) of the device and weighs in at 950G.

Performance

The performance features of this router set it above the competition for the price point in the market. ASUS designed the AC3100 with performance in in mind, with the device boasting a 128Mb flash storage and 512Mb of DDR3 RAM with a 1.4Ghz dual core processor. The range on the AC3100 is equally impressive offering 54000 sq feet of wifi coverage! The device has a stack of additional features as well, such as turning it into a NAS by simply inserting a USB 3.0 hard drive or thumb drive.

The device also comes with WTFast, a feature that allows you to join one device to a GPN. That’s not a typo for VPN, a GPN focuses on connection based optimization for specific games and does not encrypt traffic like a VPN.

Conclusion

Is the AC3100 router worth it? Yes, while it’s the best value router in our selection it is still an expensive device but it offers the best performance, price and reliability. This is the router of choice for the cash conscious gamers out there who need a router for heavy duty gaming that has excellent performance and wifi range.

Budget Gaming Router

RT-AC68U is the Golden Oldy, and it might be old but it’s still a great bit of kit and due to it’s age now it’s our pick for a cheap gaming router.

Pros:
  • Dual WAN mode
  • 2.4Ghz / 5Ghz
  • AsusWRT (install Linux apps!)
Cons:
  • Slower than modern routers
  • No cloud setting configuration
  • Design might not be for everyone

The router is well built and is of solid construction and as a “stood up” looking design. The router is dual band and comes with 3 detachable antennas and comes with LED indicators on the front for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wifi bands, but if the LED’s get on your nerves you can turn them off using a button on the back.

Performance

The device has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, 4 Gigabit Ethernet port. The device has on Ethernet WAN port but has the functionality to turn one of the LAN ports into an additional WAN port. When the second WAN port is in use you can configure the WAN port to fail over or balanced (pretty cool feature for a home user router!).

Mid-range Router

The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is a beast, the routers form factor is massive and on top of that the charging brick is also HUGE. But, inside of the chassis it has some pretty impressive hardware components, more on those below.

Pros:
  • Fast 5Ghz speed
  • Good value
  • Excellent range
Cons:
  • Slow 2.4Ghz performance
  • Big router
  • Slow USB performance

The AC1900 boasts a dual-core CPU that runs at 1,000MHz, 128GB internal flash memory for storage space, and 256MB of DDR RAM. The router supports USB 3.0 and has one front facing USB 3.0 port. On the 5GHz band, when working with 802.11ac wireless cards, the router offers up to a 1.3Gbps wireless speed. And on the 2.4GHz band, the R7000 provides up to 600Mbps.

Like the AC68U the AC1900 uses the Broadcom BCM4709 Wi-Fi chip which uses it’s own  proprietary TurboQAM technology. TurboQAM works by allowing each 1.4Ghz band to support 200Mbp instead of the standard 150Mbp.

 

Best DD-WRT Router for Gaming

This router comes alive when you install DD-WRT! We recommend this for gamers who are looking for the best DD-WRT router, but we wouldn’t bother buying it if you’re going to run the stock Linksys firmware.

Pros:
  • Excellent DD-WRT router
  • Great hardware
  • Killer Wifi
Cons:
  • Stock firmware
  • Price
  • You'll have to install DD-WRT

Being a fan of Linksys products we found it disappointing to have to say this router let us down in a number of ways, from flakey drops on the wifi (same test environment) and then slow ethernet performance with killer wifi enabled, we noticed speeds as slow as 4Mb/sec when performing our file transfer speed tests.

Performance

We have been informed that Linksys have fixed the performance issues that we encountered while testing the unit in a recent firmware update. However, we have not retested the unit with the updated firmware so cannot confirm for sure that the issues are resolved we recommend you check out the latest amazon reviews for the unit.

What Would we Buy?

Personally I would go with the ASUS RT-AC68U, it’s well priced, well built and it would meet my requirements. If I had a little more money I would go for the ASUS AC3100 but, there is no way on earth I would shell out for the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 due to it’s price alone. I feel the money could be better spent on other hardware and see a better performance gain for the price spent. If you’re a geek grab the Linksys AC3200 and install DD-WRT straight away!

Editor & reviewer of gear from iOS control pad’s to high-end PC gaming hardware. He’s been gaming since the 1980s and mostly plays CS GO & Overwatch.