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Gamers want more than a pre-determined storyline and a fixed number of missions. The world has shifted to online gaming, which offers new and unique challenges every day. However, online gaming requires rapid communication, which puts our focus on gaming routers. Any delay (milliseconds) in data exchange can put a gamer at a disadvantage, especially in competitive first-person shooter games like Valorant and Fortnite. Currently, the latest and fastest data transfer protocol is 802.11ax or WiFi-6E.

The most crucial component that can lower your online gaming performance is a wireless gaming router. It connects all your devices to the internet wirelessly using WiFi. As the WiFi technology progresses, the performance of the routers is also improved but then comes the question of what makes a router best for gaming. How to choose the best gaming router within one’s budget? This article will explain all the latest technologies associated with WiFi and list the best routers within the specific price point. So let’s start by understanding the latest technologies in WiFi:

Features to Consider When Choosing a Gaming Router

When selecting a router, you must know about all the technologies in WiFi to date. It’s easier to understand why we picked these products as best for a particular price range. Here are the features that a user should look for in a gaming router:

Wireless Speed

Currently, 802.11ax, otherwise known as WiFi-6 or WiFi-6E, can reach up to 11.7 Gbps (theoretically). It is the fastest available internet connection protocol. Here is a chart explaining all the WiFi technologies:

Feature802.11a802.11n802.11ac802.11ax
Frequency band5 GHz2.4 and 5 GHz5 GHz2.4 and 5 GHz
Maximum Data Rate54 Mbps300 Mbps3.46 Gbps11.7 Gbps
Indoor Range35 m (115 ft)70 m (230 ft)70 m (230 ft)>100 m (330 ft)
Outdoor Range120 m (390 ft)250 m (820 ft)250 m (820 ft)>500 m (1640 ft)
Year Released1999200920142021

Modulation

It may sound very technical, but it’s easy to understand. Consider a simple sine wave transmitting data through the air. You can change the amplitude, frequency, and phase of the wave to send different information. Modern WiFi routers can send up to 1024QAM combinations of these three categories. It allows a very high data rate of 10 bits per symbol compared to 4 bits per symbol of an older 16QAM router.

OFDMA

In older technology, WiFi delivers a single frequency packet to a user. OFDMA allows multiple user data in a single packet, enhancing video and audio performance. Streaming and online gaming performance significantly improves with OFDMA (WiFi-6).

QoS

If multiple users share your WiFi router, one of them may be consuming all of the bandwidth. QoS is a quality-of-service feature that allows users to direct most bandwidth to the user that requires it the most. In gaming, latency is vital, and with QoS, gamers can ensure that their game remains uninterrupted.

MU-MIMO

MU-MIMO first came with WiFi-5 technology. It allows routers to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously. In contrast, the older technology limited the router to transfer data with one device at a time, which caused lag as the number of users increased.

The Best Gaming Routers for Different Budgets

AC5400 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router

Best Gaming Router Under $100

Specification

Brand: TP-Link

Generation: WiFi-5

Band Nature: Tri-Band

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CPU: 1.8 GHz Quad-core

RAM: 1 GB

There are a lot of options within the budget category. We picked the one with the most performance and value for money. TP-Link AC5400 features WiFi-5 in its glory. It comes with MU-MIMO that allows multiple devices to communicate with the router. Gamers can enable QoS, MU-MIMO, and tri-band to get the maximum performance. Users can dedicate one high-speed 5GHz band for gaming-related accessories and leave the remaining for other home devices.

The device has a speed of 2167 Mbps (802.11ac) using the 5GHz band. Its eight antennae are excellent for broader coverage and signal density. It also features beamforming, which can direct signals to a device to enhance signal strength and data transfer speeds. It also features a powerful HomeCare3 anti-virus that works at the router level to secure all the devices.

ROG GT-AX11000 Tri-band WiFi 6 Gaming Router

Best Gaming Router Under $300

Specification

Brand: Asus ROG

Generation: WiFi-6

Band Nature: Tri-Band

CPU: 1.8 GHz Quad-core

RAM: 1 GB

A professional gamer cannot compromise on internet speed. They stream, game, and upload their gaming skills live. Any drop in speed or slight stutter can upset viewers, so it’s essential to find a device that targets the Republic of Gamers (ROG). Asus ROG GT-AX11000 provides unparalleled performance for a router within the price range. It features the latest WiFi-6 technology with all its vital features. It ensures excellent OFDMA, beamforming, 1024-QAM, and 20/40/80/160 MHz bandwidth for the most efficient and high-performance gaming experience.

As games like PUBG, Call of Duty, and Fortnite become popular on mobile devices, a fast router that prioritizes the device from others becomes vital. It also features “wtfast,” which enables gamers to connect to more rapid response servers. Its intelligent system ensures that the game runs at low latency, lower ping, and loses fewer packets during connection. So whether you are playing MMO, FPS, or MOBA games, GT-AX11000 will ensure maximum performance.

Nighthawk AXE11000 Tri-Band AX11000 Wi-Fi 6E Gaming Router

Best Gaming Router Over $500

Specification

Brand: NETGEAR

Generation: WiFi-6E

Band Nature: Tri-Band

CPU: 1.8 GHz Quad-core

RAM: 1 GB

The router looks like something from a sci-fi movie, but the uniqueness doesn’t end there. Its combination of MU-MIMO, beamforming, and 12 spatial streams allows Nighthawk AXE11000 to provide unparalleled data transfer speeds to individual devices. Each router antenna can be dedicated to a single device, thus improving simultaneous data transfer. The signal transmission and retrieval range goes up to 3,500 square feet. Gamers who make a living from buying and selling game accounts and in-game items need a reliable internet connection, which Nighthawk provides.

The router can deliver up to 10.8Gbps speed. It’s excellent for handheld devices and home appliances that connect to the internet for operation. Its eight highly optimized antennas ensure perfect indoor coverage and a reliable internet connection. It supports the latest cutting-edge WPS3 security, with VPN and NETGEAR Armor security. Overall, it’s an excellent device for multi-device connection.

Tips to Keep Gaming Router Working Fast

To ensure that your router is running at its maximum potential, these are the tips that users can follow. They provide that no hardware or software restriction can cause gaming to slow down:

  • Location: Keep your router away from walls in a central location of the house or workplace.
  • Height: Elevate the router to a reasonable height, thus ensuring the removal of most obstructions from the signal transmission.
  • Antennas: If the antennas are adjustable, make sure they are straight-up. Straight-up will cause broader coverage, whereas a flat position will cause stronger signals across multiple floors.
  • Interference: Keep the router away from reflective surfaces, microwaves, and other electronic devices that could interfere with the router’s data transmission.
  • Enable Features: Make sure the router has MU-MIMO, ODFMA, wtfast, beamforming, tri-band, and QoS to prioritize your device.

Conclusion

While it may seem overwhelming to select the best router for yourself, there are plenty of options besides those on our list. Make sure that the router has the necessary features that support high-speed connectivity. The latest WiFi-6E might be the newest technology, but the difference between the WiFi-5 and WiFi-6E will only be visible if you are a power user. If you are a gamer who invests in buying and selling on marketplaces like Eldorado, then you make enough money to buy expensive equipment, such as a WiFi-6E router. However, if you are at the start of your career, then we recommend going for WiFi-5 as it gives the most value for money. So why wait? Get your high-speed gaming router now!

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