Best gaming routers 2021: Amazing Wi-Fi performance

(Pocket-lint) – If you’re an avid gamer, whether on console or PC, you’ll know the struggle that bad Wi-Fi can bring. Dodgy connections can often be caused by a router than just can’t hack it when it comes to sending signal through walls or floors.

Replacing your ISP’s stock router with one specifically aimed at gamers can be a great way to bring up your speeds, and all the models we’ve gathered here today offer absolutely bleeding-edge connectivity. You should notice the difference in range and connection quality, which all adds up to fewer obstacles in your way while you game online.  

Our guide to the best gaming router to buy today

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Netgear Nighthawk XR1000

We’re huge fans of this beastly router.


This router from Netgear has been powering our gaming for a good few weeks now, and it’s an absolutely brilliant unit. With huge range and support for speeds of up to 5.4 GB/s, it should be able to support your needs even if there are more than one of you gaming or streaming at once. 

It’s Wi-Fi 6 enabled, which partly explains the high price, to ensure that it’s really future proof, and also lets you easily geo-fence your location in case you have specific servers that you know serve you up with low-latency games. Setup is easy with the Netgear app, and four ethernet ports make multiple wired connections an easy option as well. The design might not be super subtle, but it’s also miles more subdued than many others on our list. 

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Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

Another really impressive router.


Speaking of a less subdued design, here’s an absolutely remorseless one from Asus – it’s got a distinctly fantasy-castle look to it, so it might depend on your taste a little.

If you don’t mind the looks, you’ll get a seriously compelling package that offers comparable speed capacity to the Nighthawk model above, and actually packs in eight ethernet ports to make for brilliant hub connectivity if needed. 

A handy programme called the ROG Gaming Centre also lets you quickly check on key stats like lag and traffic, and setup is once again nice and simple. 

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TP-Link Archer C5400

A solid option that looks a little less gamer-y.


This router from TP-Link isn’t aimed as squarely at gamers, but its powerful options make it a great shout for it nonetheless. We also like how it basically looks like the business-centric version of the Asus router above.

It can’t quite match the speeds of the last two routers, but is a little less pricey in fairness, and still offers really impressive range to ensure that it can work for a decent-sized house without needing any mesh support. Like the Netgear router, it’s got four ethernet ports on its rear. 

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Asus RT-AC86U

A great option at a lower price point.


The most normal-looking router on our list by a little distance is this Asus model, which is a good chunk less expensive too. You get really solid tri-band Wi-Fi for the price, and handy built-in antivirus protection as added peace of mind. 

A clever game boosting mode lets you prioritise your game’s connection when it’s detected, a handy way of ensuring that the network doesn’t betray you if someone else in your home starts streaming a video at a pivotal moment in your match. 

Once again, four ethernet ports are offered up for wired connections, and setup is similarly straightforward as the others we’ve selected. 

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TP-Link Archer C5400X

A superb, chunky router


This router is strikingly similar to the first Asus model on our list, in design and specs, although the loud red accents on its antennae does make it probably the loudest of all the options on the table. 

It’s got great speed and range to offer up, matching the best on this list, and can power Tri-Band Wi-Fi in your home to give plenty of options on your end. Plus, it’s got eight ethernet ports to make it one of the most adaptable choices as well. 

Still, the fact that we’d want it hidden in a cupboard does play against it somewhat, sadly. 

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.

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