Best Gaming Wi-Fi Router 2019 – Wireless Routers For Gamers On PC, Xbox And PS4

best gaming router

Here we go with another “best gaming router 2019” list. But this one is a bit different for two particular reasons.

The first reason is that these are routers specifically for gamers. Optimised devices to get the best possible ping, speed, and reliability for gamers. These devices are not exactly affordable and if you are looking for budget devices I would suggest looking elsewhere. We have an article in the works just for that – budget rooters – coming soon.

The second reason is that there are so many outdated devices on this sites it is not even funny anymore. I have even seen wireless G and N routers passed as the best buy for this year. Ridiculous!!! 

Hello, it's 2019!!!

We're getting old, we can't waste time waiting for buffering on YouTube and NetFlix. Especially the latter. You should see my wife's bloodshot eyes when the internet goes out while watching "Orange Is The New Black". She's scary. The kids are even worse though.

The Top 10 Wireless Routers For Gaming

ROUTER

WI-FI

LAN PORTS

PERFORMANCE

PRICE

AC - 5300 mbps

8

AD - 7200 mbps

4

AC - 5400 mbps

8

AD - 7200 mbps

7

AC - 5300 mbps

4

AC - 2600 mbps

4

AC - 2600 mbps

4

NO - Wired Only

4

NO - Wired Only

4

AC - 2600 mbps

3

So What Goes In Our Selection Process?

You might notice that my best gaming router list is a bit unorthodox. There are a couple of devices that are not your common gaming devices. I’ve included a few wired routers that are very affordable and offer unsurpassed price/performance ratio.

But why a wired router? It’s 2019, remember?

Because of lag. Lag kills. Literally.

Do you know how many times I’ve lost games in Battlefield because of lag. Especially in the early days when the “netcode” was not optimised and hits were recorded with delay. You shoot, you see the headshot splashing virtual blood all over the place and all of a sudden you die because the enemy has a faster internet connection and his hit recorded before yours. Talke about rage quits on another level.

As advances as new wireless routers are, they still can not compete with a wired connection.

Here, I said it. OK, AD routers are faster than most 1Gb connections at close range. That close range can be 3-4 feet and then we drop significantly. Put a wall between them and we’re done – no signal whatsoever.

I’ve included two commercial grade routers in this review. They are easily transformed into wireless with a purchase of a somewhat inexpensive WiFi access point. In a matter of fact, a setup of a dedicated wired router + access point might render cheaper than buying an expensive tri-band router. Yes, it might not be tri-band and it might lack a few consumer options but the performance will easily blow much more expensive devices out of the water.

Zilla Best Editor's Choice: 

We tested ten different wireless routers and we really think  that the Asus's ROG ( Republic Of Gamers ) is still the choice for the serious gamer. Yes, it costs a considerable amount of money and it might lack AD capabilities, but its gaming performance is the bets we have ever experienced with router in this class. 
It is a significant upgrade over the already hugely popular ASUS RT-AC5300 monster router and the higher price is well worth it. 
For a slight bump in price you get twice the memory, twice the processor cores, twice the storage and twice the number of gigabit ethernet port available for wired connections.
You almost get twice the router over the RT-AC5300 for less than 10% increase in price. Well worth it!!!

Our Choice For The Best Gaming Wireless Router - Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

ASUS ROG Rapture

GT-AC5300

The second reason is that is this is not your typical Asus, Linksys, D-Link dominated list of devices from 2014 repurposed in another post just to create some content without a second thought. I have just spent the last two days in research of what to include and I noticed something interesting. Yes, there are some ASUS, Linksys and D-Link devices included but there is a reason for that inclusion. Most of the searches that Google returned are severely outdated and even include wireless N routers. I even found some lists that included wireless G devices from 5 years ago.

Best Gaming Router 2019 - Fastest AC Wi-Fi Routers For Home

The Best Gaming Router OF 2018Some of them are good, some of them are excellent. There is no such thing as the best gaming router. There is the best router that fits your needs perfectly. The top gaming routers are expensive and most people might not see the value in it in order to spend the money. That’s completely understandable and I can’t blame them for it.

Some people can not run wires and are looking for a top wireless router for gaming. Yes, ping will suffer from wireless but with a good setup that can be minimized to an acceptable level, especially if you have a fiber connection. You have to keep in mind that most, if not all, wireless routers cannot deliver the speed that the manufacturer promises. Ony wired routers can keep up with a fast gigabit connection, especially at distances longer than a few meters. That is that sad truth.

Yes, AD standard supposedly will change that. Eventually, one day. But try moving away from the router in AD mode to see how soon and how fast the connection will drop from a few Gbps to a few Mbps. It’s really quick. Now imagine what will happen when you put a wall between you and the router? Yes, AC and even N will perform better. 

1. ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 – The Fastest Wi-Fi Gaming Router

Asus ROG GT-AC5300 Review Price

Ok, I have to agree that it is a beast of a gaming router. It works great for console gamers too – it is great router for PS4 and Xbox.  The Rapture is the gaming version of the already fantastic RT-AC5300 wireless router. It is no coincidence that the GT-AC5300 is first in our charts – I really think it is the best device for gamers for a number of reasons.

Asus RT-AC5300 Performance

First of all, it is the fastest AC wireless router we have ever tested. Speed and range are just phenomenal and Asus really outdid themselves with the ROG Rapture. While the 2.4G performance is nothing to write home about, the 5Ghz is the best we ever experienced. In our tests, it even outdid the router that it is based on – the RT version. It might be a fluke in our testing process, but it was still a tad faster. Let’s take a look at the results:

These results were achieved with a TP-Link Archer T9E PCI-Express adapter. We tried couple of laptops with a built-in AC adapters but the speeds were inconsistent at best. Your results might vary and it is always best to pair a high-end router with a high-end adaptor for max performance.

As you can see the Asus gaming router is in a category of its own. It managed to get very close to 750Mbps at close range and over 500 when 20Ft away from the client. That is really really good for an AC router. It means that you can freely stream 4K content with high-def audio and play and stream 4K games without any noticeable stutter. Yes, the price is very high even by our standards but you get what you pay for – the ROG version of the RT-AC5300 is a living proof of that.

So What Are The ASUS ROG GT Flaws? 

There are a few downsides of this router. The main one is the dreadful interface and the color scheme of the GUI (Graphical User Interface). While we do understand that the ROG is aimed at gamers and gamers alone, there are quite a few bugs and wrong lingo in the GUI. QoS, as familiar with other router interfaces, here it is called “Game Boost”. There are quite a few other mishaps and misspells. The red theme is horrible and people who have some ideas of routers might get really confused with the lingo. While it is predominantly gaming oriented, a lot of features are renamed and they can be really hard to find compared to other ASUS devices – like the RT-AC88U, for example.

Another flaw can be the app Asus designed to use with it – it is buggy at best and it works when it wants to. It is just not that good. That shouldn’t be a big deal for most people but if you want to use the app to change settings and optimize the routers it might frustrate you beyond belief.

What Are The Differences Between Asus RT-AC5300 And GT-AC5300? 

You might ask yourself the question:

Why should I buy the ROG GT-AC5300 over the Asus RT-AC5300?

While the original RT-AC5300 is a great product, the GT version is just better. For a few more bucks (around 40-50 at the moment) you get twice the RAM, twice the processor, link aggregation, 4 more LAN ports and lots of built-in gaming features. It is faster and more reliable router with better hardware. The GUI is tweaked as well, but not for the better. We like the original graphical interface better. You can see the full Asus RT-AC5300 review and decide for yourself. The little brother – the RT-AC3200 is no slouch either and it is a great alternative if you want to squeeze the best price/performance ratio. 

Let's take a look at the features and the specs of this beast: 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 Features

  • Lan Aggregation - Turn a LAN port into a second WAN to combine speeds for a fast connection or use it for a backup ISP.
  • Network Security: The ROG offers lifetime TrendMicro protection for the entire network (including IoT smart devices) against online threats.
  • Advanced network monitoring and Quality of Service (QoS, also called Quality of Control) features: You can monitor the traffic in real time and set up QoS to prioritize internet services to individual client in the network.
  • Advanced USB - While the USB 3.0 ports can be used for storage and sharing, they can be also used for backup 4G internet - just connect a USB dongle and share the net away!
  • Built-In Gaming Features - the router has a plethora of gaming optimizations included - WOW, Battlefield and more are already included.
  • Three Separate Bands - You can connect slow 2.4G devices on the slow band and use the two 5G bands for 4K streaming, gaming and more.
PROS
CONS
  • Solid Hardware
  • Faster CPU and more RAM than the RT-AC5300
  • Dedicated Gaming Features
  • Lots of LAN and USB connections 
  • Very High Price
  • Same Built-In Games Available In RT-AC5300 
  • GUI Could Be MUCH Better
  • Asus APP Is Not Working Most Of The Time

The Talon AD7200 is a fantastic router for a single room in AD mode. The connected devices within that room will enjoy a wireless connection that is very close in terms of speed to wired one. Once you get out of that room you'll have to switch to AC and there is no way around it. It performs marvelously in AC and N modes and it is very close to the best AC router we tested - the GT-AC5300 by ASUS. 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

TP-Link Talon AD7200 Router Features

  • Wireless AD support - the first router on the market to do so. 
  • Up to 7200Mbps combined wireless speeds. Up to 800Mbps on 2.4GHz, 1733Mbps on 5GHz, and 4600Mbps on 60GHz.
  • Multi-Band Technology establishes three distinct networks that allow you to connect more devices while still enjoying peak performance
  • MU-MIMO serves multiple devices simultaneously, providing speeds that are up to 3X higher
  • 1.4GHz dual-core processor powers through multiple complex tasks at the same time
  • Eight external high-performance antennas maximize coverage and enhance stability
  • Beam-forming offers stronger and more reliable wireless connections. 
PROS
CONS
  • Very Fast Hardware
  • The First AD Wireless Router
  • Excellent AC Performance
  • Close To Ethernet Performance
  • High Price
  • 60GHz Unusable At Long Distance
  • Can't Penetrate Walls At 60GHz

3. Linksys Max Stream EA9500 – Top Choice For Streaming

While the Asus has the best gaming router, I think you’ll agree that the Linksys EA9500 is the best AC wireless router overall that money can buy.

It is a strong contender with plenty of advanced options available. Just like the Asus ROG, it has a lot of ethernet connections, two USB ports (although one of them is USB 2.0) and a very strong wireless signal.

The main reason why the Linksys Max Stream isn't on top of the ASUS ROG is that it isn't really a gaming-focused router. It has some features and it supports some games but it's not really in the class of the ASUS gaming wise. It is also a tad slower than the competition. Not by a lot by any means, just enough to move it down the ladder. Nothing you will notice in real-life situations though. 

Linksys Max Stream EA9500 AC5400 Wireless Router Review Price
The Linksys performance is on par with the big boys in terms of speed and signal strength. It is very strong at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It is a very competent wireless router that is able to cover even very large homes.

As we can see above, the Linksys Max Stream has solid 5GHz performance, at least on par with the ROG router. What’s amazing is that it totally trumps the ASUS in terms of 2.4GHz speed and coverage. That might not be important for people with lots of 5G devices, but households with lots of 2.4G devices might benefit hugely from the EA9500 performance.

Even better, the 2.4G signal travels much better than the 5G through walls and floors and you might get much better performance at long distance using the 2.4G band, especially in large offices and two or three-story houses.

What’s amazing about the Linksys router is that we managed to get a very strong signal even at 100 feet and above. We managed to average about 450Mbps download speeds at 100 feet. Not even within a line of sight – we had 2 solid walls between the router and the testing laptop. The Linksys little brother delivered very similar results when testing in AC Wi-Fi mode and you can see the full EA9500 review here

Let’s take a look at the results that we were able to achieve when testing the network speed:

That’s an amazing result for a consumer wireless router. That means that you can stream 4K content without interruption even two floors down. Excellent news for people with a really large house or even farms.

There are a few flaws if you can call them that based on the performance recorded above.

The router is huge. It is 11 inches long, 9.5 inches wide and 2.2 inches tall. That’s massive compared to the average routers bundled from internet providers. It weighs more than twice the weight of an average router too. It hits the scale at over 3 pounds. If you consider that router please make sure you have an adequate space for installation – it is not small by any means.

The interface is nothing to write home about either. It has some convenient features like drag and drop app prioritization but it is no different than any other Linksys router on the market. You can access the router setting locally and over the internet. The downside with the remote setup is that the router needs to be connected to Linksys server at all times in order to use the function. Some people have privacy concerns about that and I can see their point too.

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

EA9500 Max Stream installation is no different than any other Linksys router. It is straightforward and easy - just take the router out of the box, connect it to your modem and login to the admin area to adjust the settings and the wireless SSID and passwords. 

The EA9500 comes packed with a quick start guide, ethernet cable, power adapter and a CD-ROM with the manual and other documentation. Linksys also provide a very useful Android and iOS app that you can use to set up the router and change settings from your phone.

PROS
CONS
  • Amazing Range And Speed
  • Very Strong 2.4GHz Performance
  • Very Long Range At 5GHz Mode
  • 8 Ethernet Ports
  • Very Bulky And Heavy
  • No Link Aggregation
  • Somewhat Expensive

4. Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 – Wi-Fi Router For Best Range

Netgear Nighthawk R9000 AD7200 Wireless Router As expected, the Netgear router managed to out-do TP-Link in the AD wireless department. As usual, whenever someone introduces a new product with a new standard first on the market they are considered the pioneers. But whoever is second manages to offer a better device.

Yes, the Netgear X10 is a better device than the TP-Link Talon AD7200.

No, there isn’t anything wrong with the Talon, quite the opposite. It is a fantastic AD router for the money. It’s just that the X10 feels a better build and developed product for a higher price, of course.

Just like the Talon, the Nighthawk over promises and under delivers. This is not due to some faults with the device or anything like that – it is just that AD is still a very new tech. It claims massive speeds and signal strength but in reality, it is still a single-room technology. It can not penetrate walls, let alone floors. In order to use the Nighthawk X10 in AD wireless,  you’ll have to be sitting right next to it. Few steps away and the connection drops to AC wireless levels and below. Few more steps and your signal is gone. Literally. Put a wall between you and the router and you can’t connect to it – there is no AD signal.

So let’s take a look at the wireless performance of the Netgear Nighthawk X10

As you can see from the chart above, the AD performance of the X10 is extraordinary in AD mode right next to the router. 10 feet away falls below most AC standard routers. 20 feet away is slower than a wireless G router. 30 feet away in a clear line of sight with no walls - signal is gone. Please keep that in mind if you're thinking that you'll manage to get fast AD signal throughout the house. 

There are a few things that set apart the Nighthawk AD router from the competition of the Talon AD7200

The first one is the 10Gbps optical ethernet connection that the Nighthawk has. The second is the link aggregation service the X10 has and the Talon hasn't. The third one is the two extra ethernet ports over the Talon.

Yes, I have to agree that these are not a huge dealbrakers for the Talon, but if you're in the market for a router that can handle large networks and can connect to optical networks then the Nighthawk is worthy of your consideration. 

Other interesting features of tNighthawk are the built-in Plex server and the Amazon Cloud backup features, as they are found in the R7000 router as well.  You can connect a hard drive or a NAS device to the X10 and easily spin up a Plesk streaming server. If you have an Amazon cloud account you can backup data to it straight from the router - a very convenient feature. 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 installation is no different than any other Linksys router. It is straightforward and easy - just take the router out of the box, connect it to your modem and login to the admin area to adjust the settings and the wireless SSID and passwords. 

The X10 comes packed with a quick start guide, ethernet cable, power adapter and a quick start guide. Netgear also provide a very useful Android and iOS app that you can use to set up the router and change settings from your phone.

PROS
CONS
  • Capable AD Router
  • Strong Wireless AC and N Performance
  • 10Gbps Optical Connection
  • 6 Gigabit LAN Ports
  • No Gaming Settings
  • Much More Expensive Than The Talon AD7200
  • Not Particularly Strong Signal

While testing the signal strength and speeds we managed to achieve the fastest MU-MIMO connection compared to any other devices on this list. We tested the simultaneous speed of three wireless AC equipped laptops and the speed was noticeably faster than the Asus ROG and the Linksys EA9500. We got a little over 278Mbps on each of the three laptops. That's 60Mbps faster than any other routers on this list. As usual, your mileage might vary, but keep in mind that the D-Link is a very competent MU-MIMO router that will be ideal for households with a large number of devices. If the big brother is a bit too much in terms of features and costs, the AC1750 alternative, the DIR-869 that we have reviewed here might be a decent choice. 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 installation is no different than any other Linksys router. It is straightforward and easy - just take the router out of the box, connect it to your modem and login to the admin area to adjust the settings and the wireless SSID and passwords. 

The X10 comes packed with a quick start guide, ethernet cable, power adapter and a quick start guide. Netgear also provide a very useful Android and iOS app that you can use to set up the router and change settings from your phone.

PROS
CONS
  • The Best MU-MIMO Performance In Class
  • Strong Wireless AC and N Performance
  • Futuristic Design
  • No Special Gaming Settings
  • Much More Expensive Than The Talon AD7200
  • Not Particularly Strong Signal

6. Synology RT2600AC – The Best AC Router For Multiple Devices

The Best Dual Band For Gaming And Streaming - Sinology RT2600AC You might’ve heard about Synology – it makes hands-down the best NAS (Network Access Storage) devices in the world. So no wonder they made such a good dual-band gaming router. It has an excellent price-performance ratio and, again, the best operating system we’ve experienced in a router. We even think that it is an even better product than wireles champions like the Asus RT-AC66U and Netgear R7000.

See, most routers have a very complicated and confusing graphical interface. There are lots of options and networking lingo that most people have no idea about it. This one is different – the GUI is designed like an operating system itself and you can add functionality just by installing different apps. You can open multiple apps at the same time, you have a control panel where all the settings are and so much more.

For example, if you need a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server functionality, all you need to do is download the VPN package and install it – just like you’d install an app on your Android or iOS device. Need a solid firewall and security? Simple – install the “Intrusion Prevention” app and you’re good to go. There are eight different packages that you can use to extend the router’s functionality and Synology promises that there are more to come.

There is also a free Android and iOS app that you can manage the router with – it is called DS Router app and it lets you change router and server setting on the go using your phone or tablet.

Ok, we all know that the GUI it is not what persuaded us to consider the Sinology RT2600AC for this best gaming routers list – it is the stellar performance that makes the Synology product so desirable. Let’s take a look at the wireless speeds that this router achieved in our tests:

As you can see from the chart above, the RT2600AC is on par with the best in terms of wireless speed and performance. Yes, it doesn't have three separate bands like the Asus ROG GT5300AC but it also doesn't have the price tag of the Asus. As you can see, the performance is very similar in terms of raw wireless speed. The only difference is that you can connect few devices less simultaneously. The shouldn't matter for most households as the router can comfortably handle more than 10 connections at the same time without a hitch. 

You might ask yourself “What are the flaws of the Synology RT2600AC?”
To be honest, there aren’t many. Synology might not be a brand known for making the best wireless routers, but the device offers phenomenal performance at a very reasonable price.

The only really limiting factors, if you can call them that, are the absence of link aggregation for faster than gigabit internet connections and the limited number of ethernet ports. It is not a dealbreaker for most people so not a huge issue. People with large number of wired devices, such as NAS devices, for example, might feel limited by the only four gigabit ports available.

The wireless gaming performance more than makes up for it. The speed is exceptional as seen in the graph above. The signal strength is very good too. When sitting over a hundred feet away from the router we managed to consistently maintain over 90 Mbps connection. That’s on par with signal strength champions like the Asus RT-AC66U, for example.

USB performance is excellent too – the read/write speeds of a connected SSD drive to the available USB 3.0 were respectively 93MB/s read and 84MB/s write. That’s very good USB performance – you can easily stream movies and TV shows off a connected hard drive to the USB port without experiencing any buffering or glitches like we did with the ASRock router, for example. 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation

Synology RT2600AC Wireless Router Features

  • 1.7GHz Dual Core Processor
  • 4GB Storage (Best In Class) - need for app installs and extra packages
  • VPN Server
  • NAS Functionality - similar to dedicated Synology NAS with connected HDD
  • Quad Stream And Working MU-MIMO
  • Beamforming for more reliable signal delivery
  • Hardware Acceleration Engine
  • Dual Band - Speeds Of Up To 800Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1733Mbps on 5GHz
  • Outstanding Parental Controls And Security Features
PROS
CONS
  • Affordable Price
  • The Best GUI Ever
  • Strong Signal
  • Fast WiFi - On Par With The Best
  • Useful Add-Ons
  • Not Particularly Gaming
  • No Link Aggregation
  • Only Four LAN Ports

7. Zyxel ARMOR Z2 – Cheapest Gaming AC Router 

Here we go with what we think is the best router under 200 dollars (GBP/EUR). It might seem a bit of an unconventional choice – it is, probably. Actually, the next three routers on this list are a bit unconventional too so let’s take a look the Zyxel device.
We haven’t thought much of Zyxel before – I had an idea that they are a networking equipment manufacturer but never thought of them as a solid router maker. We were really surprised when we plugged and turned on the Armor Z2 and started testing its performance. The Armor Z1 was a solid machine, but way overpriced and it didn’t offer the performance the match the price tag. The Z2 is a whole different ball game.

We had the router for a week working non-stop with large downloads and uploads, connected hard-drive for streaming and backups, lots of online gaming and streaming. It didn’t flinch!!! Anything we threw at it took with pride and dignity and just kept on working. Amazing for this price.

It looks great too. A bit unassuming, but sleek and conventional design. The yellow elements make it look gaming oriented and they, in combination with the tipped forward look, resemble the front of a fast and expensive sports car. It is a rather large router – 9.8 x 6.6 x 2 inches. It is on par with the ASUS ROG and the TP-Link talon in terms of size but the performance is nowhere near them.

Let’s take a look at the performance figures:  

As you can see from the figure above the Zyxel Z2 is offering more than adequate performance at a affordable price. Only a few routers below 200 bucks can offer 5GHz speed of over 650Mbps and the ARMOR is proudly sitting amongst them. The download speeds at this range are impressive, allowing you to easily download and stream content throughout you home without buffering and hiccups.
The USB performance is not on par with the wireless one. When testing the router’s transfer speeds between a connected external SSD drive and a wired computer, the top download speed we managed to record when transferring a 4GB file was only 47MB/s. That in general is not enough to stream high-definition content from a connected to the USB port hard drive. 4K is out of the question too.

The Zyxel ARMOR Z2, as you can see from the features and specs below, is a very similar device to the Synology RT2600AC feature above it. It has basically the same hardware and a very similar design. The Synology feels like a more quality device though - it feels more upscale and the build is just better. The software is on another level too - the SRM is a pure pleasure to work with. It is stable, reliable and offers great performance and customization options missing in the Zyxel device. On the other hand,  this is reflected in the Zyxel price - it can be found online way below $200 when the Synology is rarely below that. 

  • Features
  • Specs
  • Installation