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Is TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 a good Wi-Fi router for gaming?

Is TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 a good Wi-Fi router for gaming?

Best answer: The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 is a good all-around router, but for superior gaming performance, check out something like the Linksys WRT32X.Better suited for gaming: Linksys WRT32X (opens in new tab) ($148 at Amazon)Great all-around router: TP-Link Archer C7 (opens in new tab) ($80 at Amazon)

The Linksys WRT32X has impressive specs

The Linksys WRT32X is a serious router that can handle a lot of traffic, as is evidenced by its specs. It's a dual-band router classed at AC3200, meaning you get a 2.4 \GHz radio with theoretical throughput up to 600Mbps and a 5GHz radio with theoretical throughput up to 2,600Mbps. It's also enabled with MU-MIMO functionality, meaning up to three compatible devices can receive uninterrupted data flow.

There are four antennas on the router that can, in our testing, effectively cover about 2,000 square feet in a solid signal, and beamforming capabilities help with walls and obstacles for better speed and range. It can also support three spatial streams on a 160MHz channel (what Linksys calls Tri-Stream 160), which effectively doubles bandwidth and allows it to operate in airspace not already clogged with signals.

A dual-core 1.8GHz processor (CPU) helps handle wired and wireless network traffic, and it also deals with data transfer through eSATA and USB-A physical interfaces that allow you to connect external storage. Finally, there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports for when you absolutely need a physical connection to your PC and other devices.

What makes the Linksys WRT32X so special?

The specs and features above might be closely matched by a lot of other premium routers, but there's one thing that sets the Linksys WRT32X apart when it comes to gaming. Rivet Network's Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE) is designed to work with gaming PCs using Killer wireless cards, like those from Razer, Acer, Dell, Alienware, Lenovo, and MSI, for example.

What's so special about the KPE? Linksys has this to say:

When a user starts a game, the Killer hardware on the PC communicates with the router and tells the router how to treat the data and with high priority. If the network is bogged down from other users on the Internet, the WRT32X is able to keep the gameplay fast and smooth because it prioritizes the Killer game traffic above other traffic that is being used. Conversely, the PC also communicates to the router when a less important activity is taking place (like a download) so that the router won't let the download impact the experience of other users while they are on the Internet in the home.

When gaming, especially in a competitive environment, any lag or latency can mean the difference between glory and defeat. If you're in a home with plenty of internet traffic, this router should prove indispensable.

While a wired connection should usually be more reliable and overall faster than a wireless connection, in our own testing we saw a lower ping from a wirelessly prioritized connection than with a wired connection to the Linksys WRT32X. It's not just all talk, and this router does open up the option of having an excellent wireless connection for gaming.

Is the Linksys WRT32X easy to set up and manage?

You might think that a router like this is a pain to set up, but in reality all it takes is a quick connection with your PC before you're greeted with a setup wizard to walk you through the steps. Once set up, the user interface (UI) is uncluttered and simple. It has a modern layout, there's plenty to tinker with, and it's hard to cause problems if you're a networking novice.

Better gaming performance

If you're an avid gamer and want superior wireless performance, stick with a router designed for gaming. The Archer C7 is undoubtedly a great all-around router, but the Linksys WRT32X is the right tool for the job.

Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.