Gaming enthusiasts are always keen on the kind of devices they use while gaming. One such device is the gaming router. The gaming router gives gamers an edge when playing online games. In this guide, we would be considering why you should get a gaming router, especially for your online games.
What Are Gaming Routers?
Gaming routers are more sophisticated versions of traditional routers. They’re designed to improve performance and streamline user management. Unlike a typical router, these devices provide the means to configure your local internet traffic to make it more efficient.
While gaming routers are great for individuals, you’ll see even more benefits if you’re part of a high-traffic or multi-user household. Some options may only offer a marginal improvement, but there’s a diverse market of devices with varying prices and features.
Conventional Router and Gaming Router Comparison
Unlike comparing Wireless-G and Wireless-N routers or 5GHz WiFi vs Ethernet for gaming, there isn’t an obvious winner between regular Wi-Fi routers and gaming routers. While any modern router has enough internet speed for basic wireless connectivity, you may experience network lag if numerous devices are on your Wi-Fi router.
The most significant benefit of a gaming router is the QoS feature, which prioritizes your gaming traffic to cut through network congestion. That said, most online games experience faster speeds through a wired connection, regardless of which wireless router you use.
The typical router offers gigabit ethernet over an ethernet connection, and many offer multiple GHz bands like 2.4 and 5GHz. In addition, a high-end router, even if it isn’t a gaming model, should deliver good download speeds and enough bandwidth for a multi-user home.
Reasons to use a Gaming Router
Greater Responsiveness and Better Connection Speed
The data handling ability of a gaming router is better than a standard router making it fit for any shared connection without compromising the accuracy of visual and audio aspects. The same can be further optimized from the settings of the router which can be accessed via 192.168.254.254 or other addresses depending upon the router brand. Also, the data handling capacity of the router ensures that the disruption that you face while playing games is minimum.
Better Quality of Service
The Quality of Service feature is the USP of any gaming router. The Quality of Service feature in a gaming router is optimized such that gaming is a high-priority task. Subsequently, it assigns to it the bandwidth that is required for a stable gaming experience. Depending upon the requirement, the traffic can be optimized through 10.0.0.1 or other addresses, which can be checked on the user manual of the gaming router.
Negligible Data Loss
Internet traffic is sorted at a high speed by gaming routers which ensures that the data flows in the fastest pathway that is available. This further minimizes data loss by the gaming router. In a standard router, the data loss is comparatively more which results in discrepancy.
Greater Power for Multiple
Users A gaming router will provide a good browsing speed for all the users of the router, irrespective of the number of devices that are connected to it. It removes the worry of reduced speed because multiple users are using the same network for different purposes.
Wider Wi-Fi Range
The hardware that is used in creating a gaming router is better than the standard routers. The superior quality hardware used by a gaming router ensures that the Wi-Fi ranger is better. Many gaming routers ensure that the Wi-Fi range is such that it is accessible to users from anywhere in the house. However, the Wi-Fi range provided by different gaming routers is different and one needs to check it and compare it with the size of the house before investing in a gaming router.
Effective Range and Better Efficiency
The difference between a standard router and a gaming router can sometimes be made simply through its look. Not only do the gaming routers look super fancy, but it also has many extra antennae too. The antennas present in a gaming router are not there to give it a fancy look. In fact, it has a purpose of its own. The different antennas of a gaming router receive different signals based on its location and this, in turn, allows the gaming router to manage the different devices that are connected to it in a better way and even prioritize a single device over others.
Stronger Security Features
Built-in security is a common feature in any router, provided the fact that cybercrimes are rising. However, the degree of built-in security varies from one router to another. For gaming routers, network security is a priority, and therefore, its security features are more advanced. The connection protocols are stronger and it also sometimes comes with integrated anti-virus software.
Useful Gaming Router Features
Gaming routers also come with a bunch of useful QoS and quality of life (QoL) features. There are a few gaming routers features you should look out for.
- Gigabit Ethernet. How many Gigabit Ethernet ports does the router have? The Netgear Nighthawk XR700 even has a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port for those with an ultra-fast internet connection. The answer lies in your home network. How many wired devices do you have and will you add more in the future?
- Wireless standards. At this point, most gaming routers pack in the latest wireless standards. The most common wireless standard at the time of writing is 802.11ac. However, the IEEE is developing 802.11ax, the successor to 802.11ac, while 802.11ay is set to function in the largely untapped 60GHz spectrum (wireless internet currently uses 2.4GHz and 5GHz).
- Multi-band Wi-Fi. High-end routers now support tri-band wireless networking, allowing them to transmit on three channels at once. Some gaming routers use tri-band to transmit on two 5Ghz and a single 2.4GHz, while others broadcast on the newer but as yet largely unused 60GHz frequency.
- Processor and RAM. Powerful modern gaming routers feature faster, more powerful CPUs and more RAM. Increased power and memory in your gaming router means it can a) handle more connections and attempt to decrease latency, and b) create and use more advanced QoS features.
Buyer’s Guide for a Gaming Router
Hardware (Processor & RAM)
The first thing that you need to consider is the hardware which includes the processor and RAM. If you have a powerful processor then it will mean that your router will be able to perform at a very high speed which will result in the gaming router handling multiple connections and transferring data to connected devices at a very fast speed.
Along with the processor, you will also need to consider the RAM of your gaming router. We have different modern-day routers from companies like Asus that come with multiple gigs of RAM and these routers can easily outperform most of the other routers out there.
Multiple Band Wi-Fi Connectivity
You should pick a gaming router that has multiple-band Wi-Fi connectivity features available. Nowadays, you will find most of the routers in the market having dual-band frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Both of these frequencies have their own pros and cons but if you really want a good gaming router then we recommend that you pick a router that has a tri-band frequency option available.
Wireless Standards are important to consider for gamers when buying new routers. Wireless Standards are a measure of standards that determines the connectivity standards for which your router is designed. Currently, the most widely used wireless standard in the market as of now is the 802.11ac but since the WiFi 6 is slowly coming out, it will be soon replaced by the WiFi 6-supported 802.11ax.
As these wireless standards keep on changing with time, you should go for the router that has the latest wireless standards installed to ensure the highest level of connectivity and performance.
You will also need to consider the security and encryption protocols of the router. In this age, the security of IoT devices including WiFi routers is very important because WiFi routers can give access to the whole network and all the devices connected to the internet.
So, whenever you buy a gaming router, make sure that you keep security protocols in mind, and the security of the router should be one of the important things during your decision-making process. Automatic firmware updates should be turned on from the router interface at 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. This will ensure you are receiving security updates periodically from your router manufacturer.
Quality of Service
Quality of Service or QoS is very important for online gaming because it helps prevent things like packet loss, jitter, and high latency, all of the things that can cause lag and disconnectivity during online gaming which can affect your online gaming experience. Almost every good router nowadays comes with QoS, which works by identifying which application requires the most network resources and then allocates the resources accordingly.
So, with QoS, activities like online gaming that require more resources and management than other things or devices like thermostats are given more priority which results in a better gaming experience. And if your router has a high-end processor, as we mentioned earlier, then built-in functions like QoS will perform much better. Router manufacturers like TP-Link produce outstanding gaming routers in which all these features are taken care of.
To conclude, Does a gaming router make a difference? Even if you aren’t a gamer, the answer for most users is a resounding yes. QoS features improve user experience across the board, offering a more intuitive and hands-on way to manage WiFi signal, traffic, and your household bandwidth. Now that you know more about the benefits of a gaming router, check out some of the links in each section to find the best one for you.