Gamers who like to stream video games need something that’s powerful enough to deliver a strong connection between their internet service provider to the computer or gaming platform. That source of power if a router. Whether playing on an Xbox or computer, using WiFi or an Ethernet cable, the name of the game is speed, and a router that is specially designed to handle HD streaming and multiple devices at once is a must for anyone who plays video games.
A router with ample QoS or Quality of Service means that it has the power to deliver the high-end graphics and audio of a game to ensure that you’re playing the game the way it was designed to be experienced. Having a gaming router is important not just for delivering a high-quality gaming experience, it also ensures that everyone in your home is able to continue streaming video and browsing online without any interruptions.
Routers with Ethernet connections are ideal for gaming, with the wired connection typically delivering a faster speed for online use. Ideally, you want a WiFi enabled wireless router that can be connected with an Ethernet port for the computer you use for gaming, while still providing WiFi in the home for other devices. A WiFi enabled router also allows you to move around the home with your computer when gaming, but if you find that you’re consistently dropping the signal for your game or seeing a lag in graphics, we recommend setting up your router close to where you normally game to allow for an Ethernet connection.
An AC2200 wireless rating and above is ideal for gamers who don’t want to use an Ethernet, but those routers have a high price point. Using an Ethernet helps to bring up the speed and we’ve included routers that come close to that rating, which still pack an impressive amount of power and speed into their WiFi setting.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics of what to look for, here are three great routers that any gamer will love.
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk Dual Band Smart WiFi Router
With extreme WiFi speed that enables mobile streaming to run 100 percent faster and a huge range that provides HD coverage to every device in the home, the NETGEAR Nighthawk is perfect for gamers who need fast streaming service while sharing their WiFi. The NETGEAR Nighthawk comes equipped with features like Airtime Fairness, which prevents network lag caused by slow devices, and high-powered amplifiers that push fast WiFi to the entire house, ensuring that gamers will have a lag-free experience while the rest of the home gets their own fast WiFi.
Pros: The NETGEAR Nighthawk has an AC1750 wireless rating, making it the best option for playing on WiFi on our list. With a 1GHz Dual Core Processor, the NETGEAR Nighthawk has a large enough bandwidth to deliver WiFi to up to 12 or more WiFi devices in the home, which means it can handle online gaming while other people are in the home. The NETGEAR Nighthawk has advanced features specifically designed for a lag-free gaming and video streaming experience, with up to 1750 Mbps, an advanced QoS and a dual-core processor, and a USB 3.0 that provides access to stored media at rates that are 10 times faster than the average router. For those with children in the home, the NETGEAR Nighthawk provides parental controls for online browsing.
Cons: Some customers have found that the router can easily overheat. The NETGEAR Nighthawk also comes with a large price tag.
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2. NETGEAR Dual Band Smart WiFi Router
With the ability to handle multiple HD streaming devices and boasting enough range to reach any spot in your home, the NETGEAR Dual Band Smart WiFi Router comes with 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which will keep all your devices running lag-free at the same time.
Pros: Designed for optimal HD video and gaming streaming, the NETGEAR Dual Band Smart WiFi Router has Gigabit Connectivity to quickly connect all your WiFi enabled devices to your router. With four LAN ports, the NETGEAR Dual Band Smart WiFi Router can handle multiple gaming sessions at once.
Cons: With an AC rating of 1200, gamers may need to use the Ethernet when playing online. If using the 5GHz band, make sure your computer is near the router so as not to see a lag due to physical obstacles like walls. Some customers also had issues when using the 5GHz network.
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3. TP-Link Smart WiFi Router
With three times faster AC1750 WiFi and the ability to work with Amazon Alexa, the TP-Link Smart WiFi Router stands out for its speed, range, and added security, including a WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption, as well as parental controls and guest access.
Pros: Like the NETGEAR Nighthawk, the TP-Link Smart WiFi Router has AC1750 WiFi, ideal for gamers and those running multiple devices at once. The TP-Link Smart WiFi Router has a stable WiFi performance ability that has bandwidth prioritization QoS, which can handle connecting up to 50 devices at once. With 2,500 square feet of coverage, the TP-Link Smart WiFi Router can reach every corner of your home and is easy to set up thanks to the Tether App, which allows you to remotely monitor and check in on your WiFi.
Cons: The TP-Link Smart WiFi Router has four Ethernet ports, while the NETGEAR Nighthawk has five. Like the NETGEAR Dual Band Smart WiFi Router, TP-Link Smart WiFi Router also had some connectivity issues when using the 5GHz network.
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