What do Gaming Routers do?

Updated: Feb 14, 2024 8:29 AM
what do gaming routers do guide

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If you’re shopping for the best router, you may consider what routers for gaming might have to offer. While most standard routers can handle most online games, gaming routers claim to provide faster speeds and less latency for a smoother gaming experience.

So, if you’d like to learn how gaming routers work and what they offer, read on. Additionally, you can read our comparison of a gaming router vs a normal router and check out some of the best routers for streaming to ensure they suit your needs.

Key Takeaways_

  • Gaming routers have better hardware performance than standard models due to increased RAM and processors.
  • Gaming models utilize advanced Quality of Service (QoS) protocols to prioritize gaming activity on your home network.
  • Look for a dual-band gaming router minimum to prioritize your network by bandwidth usage further.

What are the Benefits of A Gaming Router?

a gaming router with pcs in the background

Gaming routers offer advanced features over traditional models. Most utilize Wi-Fi 6 and provide a mode for gaming.

Some models have cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E routers that have an additional 6GHz band.

That said, only gaming models give network priority to gaming traffic from Wi-Fi or Gigabit ethernet over wired connections.

In addition, if you’re wondering why your Wi-Fi booster isn’t working, you may need to replace your current router with a gaming model.

While most homes do not need a dedicated gaming router, the gamer-centric features allow for an excellent online gaming experience in a multi-user home.

insider tip

Never place all of your network traffic on a single band of your dual-band gaming router. Your network gaming will get bogged down by all the other bandwidth hogs in your home or office.

In addition, a high-end gaming router will optimize your online gaming performance and utilize advanced software features to check which devices are connected to the wireless router.

If you have questions about other router issues or functions, check out our guides regarding connecting a WiFi router with a LAN cable, or learning how often to reboot a WiFi router.

QoS Features

The QoS (Quality of Service) features give bandwidth priority to devices like gaming PCs and consoles.

Gaming router traffic is split between intensive competitive play and regular internet activity like video streaming or checking emails.

So, while your internet speed may not increase, your gaming session will be smoother and have lower ping times. You can learn to ping your router to see if there are any issues with receiving a signal.

Gigabit Ethernet

As any hardcore gamer will tell you, an ethernet connection is the best choice for a lag-free experience.

Luckily, most gaming routers have high-end ethernet ports for superior connection speeds over normal routers.

STAT: According to a 2018 survey from Pew Research Center, 49% of women between 18-29 often play video games. (source)

Multiple GHz Bands

If you want a high-end router, you need plenty of connectivity options. A dual-band frequency router will have a 2.4 and 5GHz band.

Feature2.4 GHz Band5 GHz Band6 GHz Band
Bandwidth11 channels (US)24 channels59 channels
Speed600 Mbps theoretical max speed1300 Mbps theoretical max speed9600 Mbps theoretical max speed
Range/CoverageRoughly 150 ft. indoorsRoughly 75 ft. indoorsRoughly 75 ft. indoors
Device CompatibilityMost devicesMany modern devicesNewest devices with the latest technology
Use CasesGeneral use, IoT devicesHigh-bandwidth activities (streaming, gaming)High-performance applications, dense environments

The slower 2.4GHz band is helpful for smart home devices and simple web browsing, while the 5GHz band is best for bandwidth hogs like online games and HD video streaming.

With a dual-band gaming router, you can split your household bandwidth by need.

As stated earlier, there are newer routers that take advantage of an additional 6GHz band. So, if you have a lot of devices, this additional band can help even more with network congestion.

Cutting-Edge Wireless Standard

Most standard routers have Wi-Fi 5, which features beamforming and near-gigabit wireless internet.

However, gaming routers will typically have Wi-Fi 6, which eclipses 1000Gbps. In addition, gaming routers with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E will see superior wireless performance even outside of their gaming rig.

warning

Do not use your gaming device too far from your Wi-Fi signal. Your gaming connection will lag at the edges of your range.

It should be noted that Wi-Fi 7 promises significantly faster speeds, lower latency, and improved capacity for handling more devices simultaneously. However, at the time of this writing, the Wi-Fi 7 standard has not been released.

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