Best routers for gaming Windows Central 2022
There's nothing worse than lag when you're playing games online, costing you the victory or even suffering disconnection penalties. If gaming is a hobby you take seriously, then it's time to ditch your dusty old router and upgrade to one of the best routers for gaming. This collection covers a range of budgets and specs to make sure you bag those critical wins.
- Best overall: TP-Link Archer AX11000
- Second-best: TP-Link Archer GX90
- Third alternative: Netgear Nighthawk XR1000
- Budget-friendly: TP-Link Archer AX50
- Cutting-edge: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
- Wired for speed: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Third alternative: Netgear Nighthawk XR1000
The QoS software included with the XR1000 proves especially useful for online play. The included DumaOS features tools for monitoring and adjusting your network for the best connection to the fastest game servers. Its Wi-Fi 6 tech sticks to dual-band but still proves capable, with four Gigabit LAN ports to back it up.
Cutting-edge: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
The fastest in its price range, the RAXE500 sports tri-band Wi-Fi 6E up to 6GHz for wireless devices. Ethernet connections hit top speeds via four Gigabit LAN ports, all managed with the Nighthawk software. It's also better looking than the other routers, proving gaming can be stylish.
Wired for speed: ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Some argue that serious gaming is only done over Ethernet, no matter how fast the Wi-Fi is. Enter the GT-AC5300 with its eight Gigabit LAN ports offering huge options for hard-wired networking. The 802.11ac wireless tech might be older, and it's still a capable tri-band setup hitting speeds up to 5,300Mbps, but this router takes LAN speed as its priority.
Choosing the best gaming router
Routers designed for gaming will prioritize your multiplayer network traffic and maintain a lag-free experience, critical for enjoying your online play. Plenty of manufacturers claim to offer the best Wi-Fi routers, but the TP-Link Archer AX11000 is the best overall, specifically for gaming performance and value.
It was a close choice next to the Archer GX90 from TP-Link, but the value for money drops ever so slightly. If budgets aren't an issue, then certainly consider the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 to take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi 6E tech or the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 to connect a broader collection of wired PCs and consoles with Ethernet cables.
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