Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
10 Best Gaming Routers for 2022
August 30, 2021
What makes the best router for gaming online? Today’s gaming routers are loaded with must-have features, including methods to prevent lag, improve security, and maintain a steady and smooth connection. Here’s our list of the best wireless routers for gaming, along with what to look for in your next purchase.
The Best Gaming Routers
Which gaming router topped our list? These top 10 products offer incredible perks for the price. See how they compare to the competition.
If you’re looking for the latest in dual-band WiFi tech, consider this gaming router that offers WiFi 6. The ASUS RT-AX86U WiFi 6 Gaming Router allows speeds of up to 5700 Mbps and boasts 4 LAN ports, one of which is a “gaming port” compatible with your PS5 and similar consoles that prioritizes network traffic to this port over all others. It also has 2 USB ports and 2 WAN ports (one offers 2.5G speeds).
One cool feature is the “mobile game” button. Just press it to optimize your connection for mobile gaming. This router also makes it easy to set up a true mesh network. Just connect with compatible routers to connect in any room using the same network name. It also has parental controls and a clean Quality of Service (QoS) interface that lets you prioritize which devices should receive the most bandwidth.
The ASUS RT-AX86U WiFi 6 Gaming Router’s data collection practices and multiple necessary firmware upgrades may not make this a hit with everyone, but the focus on network priority for a single gaming device make this a solid pick for avid gamers who want more control.
If you’re looking for fast mobile app-based setup and support for up to 30 wireless devices, the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router delivers. It promises coverage for up to 1,800 square feet and both bands can channel up to 1300 Mbps combined. The 1 GHz dual-core processor is qualified to handle all the traffic that goes through a typical gaming household as well.
The 3 amplified antennas aim to send your WiFi signal even to awkward areas of the home, making it easy to connect your Alexa devices (which it supports through voice command controls).
The 4 wired Ethernet ports each support 1GB of speed. Plus, it comes with both 3.0 and 2.0 USB ports for streamlined file-sharing inside the network.
While the Circle parental controls features are more applicable than older devices, you need to pay for a separate monthly service to access them. The same applies to the Netgear Armor security services, which use the network to protect against viruses and malware.
Some users may be turned off by these extra costs or the reported occasional overheating due to the powerful processor. Plus, you can only hard-wire 4 devices at a time. However, the no-nonsense setup, guest network tools, and innovative app make the speedy NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router one to consider.
TP-Link’s gaming routers don’t mess around, and the TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router delivers all kinds of new features to an already solid history of performance and reliable connection. The perks of this model are notable, from the wireless speeds of up to 5952 Mbps (broken into 4804 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 1148 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band) to the OFDMA technology that outperforms standard 802.11ac connections.
This router has 8 antennas – nearly double the competition – and the 1.8 GHz quad-core processor features 2 additional coprocessors for added stability. It also brings more to the gaming experience with ports. There are 9 of them, not including the USB connections. Plug your primary gaming device into the 2.5 Gbps port, and then enjoy 8 Gigabit LAN ports for all of your other devices.
Unlike other routers, TP-Link’s security software is always free, including the parental controls and antivirus protection. The only thing that may cause you to hesitate is the price, which is well above some of the standard routers on the market. But if you take gaming seriously and need a wired router that features the latest in WiFi, the TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router is an easy decision to fit into your budget.
The ASUS N900 WiFi Router is a dual-band router that offers both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz transmissions, with rates of up to 900 Mbps. It comes with a stand, too, so you can lay it flat or on its side. The geometric pattern is a nice touch that sets it apart from other standard-looking black square routers. With 5 Ethernet ports and 4 LAN ports, it will support most of your devices. Plus, all the ports function similarly, so you don’t need to pick a special port for gaming.
All 3 R-SMA type antennas are detachable, which is useful if you need to pack up the router to relocate it, but it works best with all 3 attached. They feature omni-directional joints, too, so you can bend them to fit your space.
This device has been on the market for more than 10 years, which means you’ll need to upgrade its firmware immediately for the best experience. While the ASUS N900 WiFi Router may not boast the higher speeds promised by other routers, it’s a steady networking tool with robust parental controls, modern security capabilities, and enough speed to handle one or two serious gamers in the same house.
If ping is a problem, meet the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Wi-Fi Router designed to increase performance and reduce lag with speeds of up to 2.6 Gbps. This device comes with tons of clever features designed with gaming in mind, including geo-filtering so you connect to the closest servers and players. This may even give you an advantage over those trying to reach servers across the globe.
The QoS tools are handy, too, allowing you to always prioritize your console or PC over other devices on the network. Plus the ping monitoring will tell you at a glance if it’s you, your game server, or something else that’s causing jitter or lag.
The addition of a secure gaming VPN server will help ward off DDoS attacks and keep your information private. It offers 2 USB 3.0 ports and 4 antennas, as well as an edgy design.
This device features only 4 Ethernet (1 Gigabit) ports and doesn’t have additional LAN ports for other devices. However, it boasts a smart monitoring app that alerts you to network issues when they happen. If you plan to use the NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Wi-Fi Router for dedicated gaming and don’t mind the wiring limitations, it’s a mid-priced router that counters aggravating ping issues in your games and delivers every advantage possible.
The most serious gamers will want to take a look at the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Ethernet Wireless Router, a premium-priced router with some very cool features from ROG. First, it has a unique design that resembles a spider, with 8 futuristic-looking antennas with geometric details.
This is a tri-band router offering a full 10 Gigabits through its quad-core processor and a total of 4 LAN ports. It also boasts 1 true 2.5 G gaming port, so you can directly connect your primary console or PC to the router, plus 3 USB 3.1 ports. You can set it up like a mesh system, too, to enjoy adaptive QoS and innovative security features to ward off DDoS attacks.
Downsides to this router are the bulky weight and the hefty price. While this device is designed to deliver high speeds and excellent reach, you’ll pay hundreds for the privilege. Also, some reviewers say they’d prefer to have a few more ports for the price.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk XR1000 Pro Gaming Router has many of the same popular perks as the NETGEAR XR500 that we reviewed earlier in our list. Spend a bit more money for this model, though, and you can use WiFi 6 compatible devices and get double the total speed – up to 5.4 Gbps. It also comes with 5 Ethernet ports (1 with Gigabit capability), and a single USB 3.0 port.
This model also boasts an upgrade to DumaOS 3.0 router platform, which may offer some improvements in play experience. Plus, you can’t overlook the OFDMA feature.
While it’s a bit lacking in ports, gamers will appreciate the ease of setup and DumaOS software. The NETGEAR Nighthawk XR1000 Pro Gaming Router is a serious contender for those who want a clever, gamer-geared interface and all the advantages of WiFi 6.
This ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gaming Router is ready to deliver high speeds to spaces bigger than 1,800 square feet and with more than 15 connected devices. The dual-band router’s data transfer speeds go up to 2900 Mbps (750 Mbps and 2167 Mbps) and a mid-performance dual-core processor can optimize even 4K UHD streaming and gaming.
The real beauty of this router is the management app. It’s designed to help gamers manage everything from QoS to virtual private network (VPN) settings. With network-based event notifications, you won’t be in the dark about issues that could affect your gaming.
Some gamers may want more than the modest selection of 4 ports, but the free MicroTrend antivirus and attack coverage is a welcome addition to the ASUS AC2900 WiFi Gaming Router that rounds out the package. It’s priced right, too, and offers ASUS’s quality support.
Mesh router systems like this Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition WiFi System are making single SSID log on and whole-house networking easier than ever. This package comes with a router and 2 “mesh” repeaters to spread your wireless signal throughout your gaming space. Plus, this “gamer’s edition” bundle claims to provide 10,000 square feet of coverage, with LED indicators to indicate signal strength.
The router features 4 LAN ports and a single USB, so you’re not getting as many hard-wired ports as some other devices on our list. Plus, its QoS controls are a bit limited, which may frustrate gamers who need to separate their devices.
The major selling points of the Ubiquiti AmpliFi Gamer’s Edition WiFi System are the aesthetics and ease of use. This system takes the magic of mesh and makes it seamless to use. But if you need more management features, you may be disappointed.
It has all the clever features of the DumaOS, including geo-targeting and ping monitoring. The 1.0 GHz dual-core processor may be slightly slimmed-down, but it supports the 1.75 Gbps promised by the specs. You won’t get WiFi 6 support, though, and the lack of OFDMA may impact performance on congested WiFi networks.
If you prefer a hard-wired connection and you don’t have the highest internet speeds to begin with, this NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR300 WiFi Router is a solid pick. Plus, it provides all the user interface perks that make the Nighthawk experience so rewarding.
What to look for in a good gaming router
Gaming routers offer so much these days, but you don’t need every single flashy feature to get the most out of your device. Keep an eye on these key features.
Four LAN ports is an acceptable minimum for any router these days. But if you play with multiple devices, even more ports can be better. Just be sure that one of them is designed for Gigabit capacity. Look for a gaming port with at least 1GB, though 2.5GB is better.
Guided setup and management
Say goodbye to the days of fussing over a new router’s setup thanks to advancements in UI that make the process as easy as opening an app. The better routers take their software one step further, addressing common gaming pain points like ping rate and QoS.
What is the best gaming router for you?
When buying a new gaming router, you often get what you pay for, and the clear winner of this roundup may set you back a bit. The TP-Link AX6000 WiFi 6 Router costs more than the competition, but the value is clear because it simply offers more speed and features. You get double the antennas, double the ports, and even extra processors to support the already-powerful quad-core CPU. Add in the lifetime of free TP-Link security and the benefit of future-forward WiFi 6, and this router soon pays for itself.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.
HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price
The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle
Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.
Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.
HP Rewards qualifying and eligible products/purchases are defined as those from the following categories: Printers, Business PCs (Elite, Pro and Workstation brands), select Business Accessories and select Ink, Toner & Paper.