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Suppose you’re shopping for a premium router. In that case, you may wonder about the difference between a gaming router vs a normal router. It’s easy to assume that standard routers are no different from routers for gaming. In truth, a high-end gaming router does more than offer an internet connection.
The wireless speed required for a lag-free experience is much faster than what traditional routers can offer. So, if you’re wondering what internet-connected device wins in the gaming router vs a regular one debate, read this guide.
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.
Do not overload a dual-band router by only using a single band. For example, place bandwidth-intensive tasks on the 5GHz band, and use the 2.4GHz band for smart appliances or simple web browsing.
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. And if you don’t care about a gaming-specific router but want a consistent and reliable connection, you can also check out the top-rated wired routers.
While a gaming model will offer faster speeds than a budget router, you won’t notice a huge difference with a router like the ASUS RT-AC86U. That said, some gaming routers provide a mode for gaming that gives network priority to your gaming connection.
If you want consistently fast wireless connections through an extensive or crowded network, read our guide to a mesh Wi-Fi system vs. a regular router.
Your subscription level with your internet service provider is the most significant factor for any online activity. That said, some routers are better suited for gaming’s bandwidth usage. If you are a power user, your online gaming experience might benefit from a gaming-specific router. To do so, you’ll want to know how to choose a router that’s perfect for gaming.
Buying a Wi-Fi 6 router will deliver more than enough performance for gamers. Most modern routers offer dual-band gigabit speeds, prioritizing your network without QoS. In addition, you’ll save money by going with a plain-but-powerful router that doesn’t try to sell the gamer aesthetic. While it won’t increase speed, a repeater over a router can boost the signal if you experience dead spots while gaming.
Remember to upgrade your router’s security firmware. If not, you and your network are at risk of software viruses and hackers.
How will a gaming router improve my gaming?
Gaming routers have the potential to prioritize your gaming router traffic. So, if you have busy household bandwidth, you may want to use the QoS feature to get the competitive edge.
Do I need a gaming router?
Unless you’re a professional gamer in need of the fastest speeds possible, you probably will not notice a noticeable difference over a standard router with a 5GHz band.
How much bandwidth does gaming need?
Since modern game developers have optimized gaming net code, most experiences only need 20Kbps or .02 Mbps. Most ISP contracts offer up to 200+ Mbps so most wireless routers will be fine.
STAT: According to a 2018 US Census Bureau survey, 81% of rural households have an active internet subscription. (source)