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Best Gaming Routers of 2021: That FTW List

If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi router that is great for general needs and has customization for specific games, you’re at the right spot. This post is a collection of the best gaming routers I’ve reviewed.

All listed here meet at least one of my criteria that qualify them to be gaming routers. While you can generally play online games with any router, these are those that will give you an edge, most as Wi-Fi machines, but all as placebos.

See also  Gaming Routers Explained: How Latency Kills (Your DPS)

Dong’s note: I last updated this frequently revised post on November 16, 2021.

Best Gaming Routers: Asus's Trio
Best Gaming routers: Asus’s tri-band trio, the GT-AX11000, RT-AX92U, and GT-AXE11000, each has a lot to offer gamers.

Best gaming routers of 2021: The list

All routers on this list are excellent for general use. On top of that, they collectively check all the boxes to be qualified as gaming gear.

They are listed here on reviewed orders with the latest on top — the number in front of their name is not for ranking, but just numerical.

10. TP-Link Archer GX90: The latest among gaming routers that “look the part”

In case you didn’t read the intro: This is the latest member of this list. The number is not the ranking.

TP-Link Archer GX90 AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: The TP-Link Archer GX90 AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band gaming router sure looks cool.

The GX90 is somewhat of a replacement to the Archer AX11000 (below). It is also rather of a pseudo gaming router since it doesn’t have any game-related novelty.

But it does look the part, and you sure can play a lot of online games just fine with it. And the fast Wi-Fi performance doesn’t hurt, either.

TP-Link Archer GX90: Rating

8.6 out of 10
TP Link GX90 AX6600 Gaming Router 2
Performance
9/10
Features
8.5/10
Design and Setup
8.5/10
Value
8.5/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN

Excellent feature set and network settings

Robust full web user interface

Nice design and comparatively affordable

Cons

Thin on gaming

Single Multi-Gig port; no Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

USB-based storage performance could be better

See also  TP-Link Archer GX90 Review (vs Archer AX11000): A More Refined Lesser Clone

9. Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400: Representing a new gaming product line

Asus GS-AX5400 vs GS-AX3000
Asus’s two new gaming routers: The Asus GS-AX5400 next to the lesser-specced but similar GS-AX3000.

The GS-AX5400 is an excellent new (gaming) router. It represents the new ROG STRIX product line and is a better version of the similar GS-AX3000.

Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400's Rating

8.8 out of 10
Asus ROG STRIX GS AX5400 Gaming Router 3
Performance
9.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
8/10

Pros

Excellent overall performance

Complete AiMesh 2.0 support, including system-wide Guest network

Robust web interface, well-designed mobile app, no login account required

Lots of useful features, including those for gamers

Cool Aura RBG lighting

Cons

No Multi-Gig port or Gamer VPN (WTFast)

Performance as a NAS server could be better

A bit boring

See also  Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400 Review (vs RT-AX82U): An Excellent Alternative

8. Asus GT-AXE11000: Wi-Fi 6E is a still blur, but gamering is a sure thing

Asus GT AXE11000 Aura RGB Lighting
Best Gaming Routers: Among other things, the Asus GT-AXE11000 sure looks the part.

The GT-AXE11000, despite the similar hardware, is not an upgrade to the GT-AX11000 below. It’s the first Wi-Fi 6E router on the market.

One thing is for sure, though. This Wi-Fi machine is of the routers that Asus has put a crazy amount of what I called “gamering” on. It has everything you’d need to get the best out of your games, with the rights to brag like there’s no tomorrow.

Asus GT-AXE11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
Asus GT AXE11000 Top View
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support

Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port

Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)

See also  Asus GT-AXE11000 Router Review: A Massive Wi-Fi Luxury, for Now

7. Asus RT-AX92U: The little router that could

Asus RT AX92U AiMesh
The Asus RT-AX92U is also available as a 2-pack AiMesh set.

The Asus RT-AX92U is an interesting case. At launch, it was a bit of controversy due to the odd hardware specs and shoddy firmware. Later on, though, Asus managed to improve it a great deal via updates.

As of now, this is one of the best tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers you can buy, and in many ways, it’s like the mini version of the ultimate gaming router that is the GT-AX11000 below.

ASUS RT-AX92U's Rating

8.5 out of 10
Asus RT AX92U Cuteness
Performance
8.5/10
Features
8.5/10
Ease of Use
8/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Compact design, tri-band specs

Good performance, large coverage

Excellent set of features, including online protection, WTFast VPN for gamers, and system-wide Guest network when working as a mesh

Link Aggregation and Dual-WAN support, wall-mountable

Comparatively affordable

Cons

Wi-Fi 6 available only on one of the 5GHz bands

No Multi-Gig port

See also  Asus RT-AX92U Review: A Cute and Effective Little Odd One Out of AiMesh

6. Netgear XR1000: A sophisticated gaming router

Netgear XR1000 12
Best gaming routers: The Netgear XR1000 looks quite nice.

The XR1000 is somewhat of an upgrade to the XR500 below. It’s the second gaming router based on the DumaOS and the first that uses Wi-Fi 6.

The new router runs version 3.0 of the game-centric firmware and has fantastic features, including an improved Geo-Filter with polygon mode and Ping heatmap.

The new firmware version is a bit heavy for the router’s hardware specs, and the XR1000 is a bit pricey, but overall, it’s an excellent router for those playing a set of specific games.

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000's Rating

7.9 out of 10
Netgear XR1000 15
Performance
8/10
Features
8.5/10
Ease of Use
7.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Sophisticated game-centric firmware

Fast Wi-Fi speeds and reliable performance

Robust web UI, beautiful hardware design

Useful mobile app, wall-mountable

Cons

Expensive but underpowered – items of the web interface can take a long time to fully load

Limited Wi-Fi settings

Mobile app can't manage any gaming features

No multi-gig port, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

Online protection and VPN require subscriptions

Buggy — firmware needs some serious updates; no mesh option

See also  Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Review: A Unique (Gaming) Experience

5. Asus RT-AX82U: Possibly the coolest-looking gaming router

Asus RT AX82U 20
Best gaming routers: The Asus RT-AX82U and its unique programmable front-facing Aura RGB lighting

The Asus RT-AX82U is the RT-AX86U below with slightly lesser hardware. In return, it unique has a fantastic-looking programmable front lighting that sure will turn any gamer on! If you’re into gaming routers with bling, this is the router for you.

Asus RT-AX82U's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus RT AX82U 19
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
9.5/10

Pros

Excellent performance

Beautiful design with tons of helpful networking, game-related features, and settings

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app

Comparatively affordable

Cons

No support for WTFast Gamer VPN

No multi-gig network port

Network storage performance (when hosting a portable drive) could use some improvement

Not wall-mountable

See also  Asus RT-AX82U Gaming Router Review: A Fancy Little Wi-Fi 6 Performer

4. Asus RT-AX86U: The best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router to date

The Asus RT-AX86U is an Excellent Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: The Asus RT-AX86U is in fact the best dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router, and gaming is just one of many things it has.

I called the Asus RT-AX86U the best dual-band router to date for a reason. It’s great.

As for gaming, it has lots of features, including a set of robust pre-programmed settings, a game LAN port, and more. The 2.5 Gbps multi-gig port also means it’s ready if you need an ultra-fast wired connection.

ASUS RT-AX86's Rating

9 out of 10
Asus RT AX86U 12
Performance
9/10
Features
9.5/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
9/10

Pros

Fast performance, excellent range, reliable

Tons of helpful networking features and settings

Useful settings for online gaming

Robust web UI, well-designed mobile app

Multi-Gig, WAN/LAN Link Aggregation support

Excellent NAS performance and features when hosting a storage device

Comparatively affordable

Cons

Single, low-speed (2.5Gbps) Multi-Gig port

Not wall-mountable

Gaming features turn Adaptive QoS off

No support for WTFast Gamer VPN

See also  Asus RT-AX86U Review: Arguably the Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router to Date

TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 3
Best gaming routers: Not really a gaming router, but the TP-Link AX11000 sure looks the part.

Yes, this is the one I called “fake.” But the TP-Link Archer AX11000 does look the part as a gaming router, and it has a robust QoS where you can easily turn on prioritization for gaming.

TP-Link Archer AX11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
TP Link Archer AX11000 Router 18
Performance
8.5/10
Features
8/10
Design and Setup
9/10
Value
8/10

Pros

Fast and reliable Wi-Fi performance

2.5 Gbps WAN port with eight Gigabit LAN ports

160 MHz channel bandwidth support

Excellent, Antivirus, QoS, and Parental Control features

Robust full web user interface, helpful mobile app

Eye-catching and convenient hardware design

USB-C ready, wall-mountable

Cons

Misleading gaming veneer, no actual gaming-specific features

No multi-gig LAN port, bulky design

Not mesh-ready (at launch)

Artificia" "Game" items make the interface unnecessarily confusing

Mobile app requires a login account

See also  TP-Link Archer AX11000 Review: Cool Looking yet Ridiculously Misleading

2. Asus GT-AX11000: The ultimate gamers’ edition of a Wi-Fi 6 router

Asus GT AX11000 Router
Best gaming routers: The Asus GT-AX11000 is a massive Wi-Fi 6 router.

The GT-AX11000 is the first Wi-Fi 6 router for gamers, and it delivers. Among other things, it has built-in support for WTFast gamer VPN, which allows it to be part of a unique VPN where you can enjoy certain games with extremely low lags.

Alternatively, you can also opt for the RT-AX92U, which is the mini version of this router.

Asus GT-AXE11000's Rating

8.4 out of 10
Asus GT AXE11000 Top View
Performance
8.5/10
Features
9/10
Ease of Use
8.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

Tri-band with Wi-Fi 6E support

Excellent 5GHz and 2.4GHz performance

Excellent set of game-related, online protection and monitoring features, full AiMesh 2.0 support

2.5Gbps LAN/WAN port, Dual-WAN, and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

Cons

Expensive

Wi-Fi 6E is not fully available

Only one 2.5Gbps port, no 10Gbps port

Bulky design, not wall-mountable, buggy firmware (at launch)

See also  Asus GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi 6 Router Review: Gamers' Delight

1. Netgear XR500: A gaming router at heart

In case you didn’t read the intro: This is the first member of this list. The number is not the ranking.

Netgear-XR500-1
Best gaming routers: The XR500 has a cool design that looks like a spaceship.

You can’t deny the Netgear XR500 is a gaming router. That’s because it was the first, in the U.S., that runs DumaOS, a special firmware made by the U.K. firm Netduma which develops special gaming routers.

As a result, the XR500 has lots of unique game-related features, including Geo-Filter, which allows you to create a low-lag zone for gaming. Alternatively, you can also find the XR300 and XR700.

The former is the lesser version of the XR500, while the latter is a souped-up version that, unfortunately, uses 802.11ad Wi-Fi standard that adds no extra value since it’s not widely adopted.

Netgear Nighthawk XR500's Rating

7.9 out of 10
Netgear XR500 1
Performance
8.5/10
Features
8/10
Design and Setup
7.5/10
Value
7.5/10

Pros

DumaOS delivers comprehensive and effective QoS and online gaming features with a robust web interface

Excellent overall performance

Easy to set up and fun to use

Cons

No built-in security to protect the entire network from online threats

Content filtering can't block secure website sites such as Facebook or Youtube

Limited Wi-Fi settings

See also  Netgear XR500 Nighthawk Pro Gaming Review: A Cool Router for Gamers

Best gaming routers of 2021: Hardware specifications and Wi-Fi performance

I tested all of these routers the way I do all Wi-Fi broadcaster. I also tried their gaming features via wired and wireless connections, without a retail or mesh extender.

It’s best to use a game console (or PC) via a wired connection as a rule. If you have to use Wi-Fi, make sure the device connects directly to the very first broadcaster of your home if you have more than one Wi-Fi hub.

Best gaming routers: Wi-Fi performance

I got the 5GHz numbers below via a 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 160MHz client and a 4×4 Wi-Fi 5 client.

Best Gaming Routers 5GHz Performance

On the 2.4GHz, I use the same 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 160MHz client and a 3×3 Wi-Fi 4 client.

Best Gaming Routers .4GHz Performance

Best gaming routers: Hardware specifications

Looking to compare these routers side by side, the table of hardware specifications below will help.

TP-Link Archer AX6600
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Asus ROG STRIX GS-AX5400
Dual-band Gaming Router
Asus ROG Rapture
GT-AXE11000
Wi-Fi 6E
Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX92U 
AX6100 Tri-band 
Wi-Fi 6 Router
Netgear XR1000 
Nighthawk 
Wi-Fi 6 Pro 
Gaming Router
 Asus RT-AX82U
AX5400 Dual-Band
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
Asus RT-AX86U
AX5700 Dual-Band
Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router
TP-Link Archer
AX11000 Tri-Band
Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Asus ROG Rapture
GT-AX11000
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Netgear XR500
Nighthawk
Pro Gaming
Wi-Fi 5 Router
ModelArcher GX90GS-AX5400GT-AXE11000RT-AX92U XR1000RT-AX82URT-AX86UArcher AX11000GT-AX11000XR500
Wi-Fi TechnologyTri-band AX6600Dual-band AX5400Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E 
AX11000
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6
AX6100
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5400
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5400
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX5700
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX11000
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 
AX11000
Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5
AC2600
First Band 2.4GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps 2.4GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 574Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 AX 
Up to 1148Mbps
2.4Ghz 2×2 Wi-Fi 4
Up to 400Mbps
2.4GHz 2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
2.4GHz 2×2 AX
Up to 574Mbps
2.4Ghz 3×3 AX 
Up to 861Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 1148Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 1148Mbps
2.4GHz 4×4 AC
Up to 800Mbps
Second Band5GHz 2×2 AX: Up to 1201Mbps 5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 2×2 AC
Up to 867Mbps (low band)
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX 6
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX 6
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AC
Up to 1733Mbps
Third Band 5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
None6GHz 4×4 Wi-Fi 6E
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
NoneNoneNone5GHz 4×4 AX 6
Up to 4804Mbps
5GHz 4×4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
None
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n/ac802.11a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) SupportNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
AP ModeYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Mesh-readyYes (OneMesh) Yes (AiMesh 2.0) Yes (AiMesh 2.0)Yes (AiMesh 2.0)NoYes (AiMesh 2.0)Yes (AiMesh 2.0)Yes (OneMesh)Yes (AiMesh 2.0)No
160MHz Channel SupportYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Number of 
160MHz Channels
1x on the 5GHz-2 band2x on one 5GHz band7x on one 6GHz band
2x on one 5GHz band
1x one 5GHz band2x on one 5GHz band2x on one 5GHz band2x on one 5GHz band2x on two 5GHz bands2x on two 5GHz bandsNone
Gigabit Port1x LAN/WAN
3x LAN 
4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN8× LAN4x LAN, 1x WAN4x LAN, 1x WAN
Multi-Gig Port1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LANNone1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WANNoneNoneNone1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN1× 2.5Gbps WAN1x 2.5Gbps LAN/WANNone
LAN Link AggregationNoYesYes (LAN ports 1 and 2)Yes (LAN1 + LAN2)NoneYes (LAN 1 and LAN 2)Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)Yes (LAN 2 + LAN 3)Yes (LAN ports 1 and 2)None
WAN Link AggregationNoYesYes (WAN + LAN4)Yes (WAN + LAN4)NoneYes (WAN + LAN4)Yes (WAN + LAN4)NoYes (WAN + LAN4)None
Dual-WANNoYesYes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
Yes (WAN + LAN 1, or WAN + USB)NoneYes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)Yes (WAN + LAN4 or USB)NoYes (WAN + USB 
or LAN4 or 2.5Gbps)
None
USB1× USB 3.0 Port
1× USB 2.0 Port
1x USB 3.02x USB 3.01x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.01x USB 3.01x USB 3.02x USB 3.01× USB-C 3.0,
1× USB-A 3.0
2x USB 3.02x USB 3.0
Mobile AppTP-Link TetherAsus RouterAsus RouterAsus RouterNetgear NighthawkAsus RouterAsus RouterTP-Link TetherAsus RouterNone
Gaming FeaturesFancy-looking hardware and web interface
QoS
Aura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
OpenNAT
ROG First
VPN Fusion
Dedicated Game Port
OutFox
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Aura Lighting
WTFast VPN
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
DumaOS 2.0
Geo-Filter
Ping Heatmap
QoS
Dedicated Game Port
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Aura Lighting
Dedicated Game Port
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Fancy-looking hardware and web interface
QoS
WTFast VPN
Game Boost
Open NAT
Mobile Game Mode
QoS
Aura Lighting
DumaOS
Geo-Filter
QoS
Processing Power1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU1.5 GHz Tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.8Ghz dual-core CPU, 
512 MB RAM, 256 MB Flash
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU,
256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
1.8 GHz 64 bit quad-core CPU,  
512 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
1.8 GHz quad-core CPU, 
256MB Flash, 1GB RAM
1.7GHz dual-core CPU,
256MB Flash, 512MB RAM
Dimensions 
(no antennas)
8.3 × 8.3 × 2.0 in
(212 × 212 × 51.8 mm)
10.56 x 7.08 x 6.53 in
(268 x 180 x 160 mm)
10.4 x 10.4 x 2.9 in 
(26.4 x 26.4x 7.4 cm)
6.1 x 6.1 x 2.07 in
(15.5 x 15.5 x 5.26 cm)
11.61 x 7.87 x 2.51 in 
(29.5 x 20 x 6.4 cm)
10.83 x 7.26 x 6.5 in
(27.5 x 18.4 x 16.5 cm) 
9.52 x 3.93 x 12.79 inc. 
(24.2 x 10 x 32.5 cm) 
9.5 x 9.5 x 2.2 in 
(24.1 x 24.1 x 5.5 cm)
9.5 x 9.5 x 2.4 in 
(24.1 x 24.1 x 6.1 cm)

12.7 x 9.6 x 2.2 in
(32.2 x 24.4x 5.5 cm)
Weight2.4 lbs (1.1 kg)1.55 lbs (701.3 g)3.94 lbs (1.79 kg)1.43 lbs (651 g)1.32 lb (.6 kg)1.63 lbs (740 g)1.8 lbs (814.5 g)3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)3.8 lbs (1.73 kg)1.77lbs (801g)
Price
(as of post’s date)
$249.99$250$550$210$300$230$250$350$450$250
Best gaming routers of 2021: Hardware specifications
See also  Best Wi-Fi 6 Routers of 2021: Take One, or Two, Home Today!
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47 thoughts on “Best Gaming Routers of 2021: That FTW List”

  1. My 3 teenagers are big gamers so we just upgraded to Spectrum Ultra which is 400 mbps download speed. However, our current router is not working well. I’m trying to read reviews and I’m thinking about getting the ASUS RT-AX86U AX5700. I’m assuming it can handle the 400 mbps but just wanted to confirm that. Is that what the 5700 represents? If so, is this overkill for our needs? I wish my brain could understand all this technical jargon but it doesn’t. Since the kids are on a different floor than the router, should I consider buying something else to boost their signal?
    Thanks for any insight on the matter!

    Reply
  2. Hey Dong, 1800 sqft apartment, 500mb connection, Only game on ps5 (wired) and kids on PS4. Mostly all other devices are on Wi-Fi. Looking at the ax86u. What do you think?

    Reply
  3. Hi Dong, hope your well. Do you think the ASUS TUF AX5400 and the ASUS ROG AX 5400 would have similar performance considering their specs are the same and their both marketed at gamers? I’m just asking as there is a considerable price difference In the two with the TUF being c.£100 cheaper. IF the performance is likely to be the same the TUF is a no-brainer!

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • If you use just a router and not a other ROG hardware, then there’s likely no difference between the two, Aaron.

      Reply
  4. Hi Dong,

    What a great read, I was wondering if you could help me, I’m in the process of finally upgrading to serious router at home and I’m stuck on 3 routers

    Netgear Nighthawk XR1000
    Netgear Nighthawk XR500
    ASUS ROG RAPTURE GT-AX11000

    Both the ROG and XR500 are available in South Africa but the XR1000 would need to be imported.

    I’m big on network management and controlling bandwidth allocation and setting some VLANS up if possible, so I’m looking for a great UI and feature pack as well as performance when gaming.

    Which of the above 3 would you recommend, WiFi6 is not a must but decent signal is.

    Reply
  5. Hello Dong,

    First – thank you so much for these articles, it is so amazing to read everything you have written that is not just a top 5 – check price on Amazon site. I feel you have a site one can trust and you really break it down for us and the answering questions in the blog is amazing.

    I’ve searched through all your articles and your comments to others but still am finding myself still not knowing my best setup.

    2400 sqft on top 2 levels and 1000 sqft basement (where we use phones and home theatre and switch). Current router on top floor is Internet modem/router and a repeater in basement but its not always great. Usage is a Family of 4, 3 tvs 2 laptops 2 desktops(wired), 2 tablets, Nintendo switch, 3 TVs and a dozen smart plugs and an Alexa and newly an Occulus Quest 2 that I’d like to use to play pcvr via airlink on occasion – my computer is beefy with rtx 3080 and id like to run as high resolution as possible and have future bandwidth for when but headsets improve in the next generation of hardware. And playing it ideally not in same room as current computer and router setup on the top floor.

    I was fairly settled on the a 86u but read your recommendation to someone to get the ax92u (but wired) and dedicate the third band to their quest.

    I was further motivated to get the ax92u because I can get two of them for 460 Canadian (or one for 250) where a single ac86u costs about 400 Canadian here and the ax11000 is 500.

    Budget is a consideration as I don’t want to be frivolous, but it’s not my first one and I really just prefer to get the best product that has a noticeable real world benefit over the others.

    Where I’m having trouble is a direct comparison between the products – you recommend the ax86u as the best in one article, but for something like the ax11000 I’ve seen you rate it an 8 for performance on one page but a 9.5 on another and I’m having analysis paralysis here in determining what the best experience is and what cost is reasonable. Just about every device but the quest and our phones at the moment are on the 2.4 ghz though I imagine but expect that will change over time.

    My house is not yet wired for Ethernet but I expect to eventually place a second router somewhere in the home and wire to it rather than a wireless mesh system. Much as I really don’t feel like patching holes, I still want the best experience.

    My computer motherboard also has built-in wifi6 and I’ve read I can hotspot my computer for the quest which is intriguing though again I may not be in the same room as my computer when using the quest.

    Thanks so much, I’ve searched your site and Reddit exhaustively and the ax86u seems to come out ahead, but it’s seems often to be made by people who don’t realize you can use the third band… and I gave a lot of weight to your comment to another user to use the ax92u and after reading your ac92 review.

    Help!

    Reply
    • Check out this post on the OQ2, Ian. So for your case, I’d go with the RT-AX92U — it has gaming and stuff, plus an excellent support for a mixed wired/wireless setup. But you can also go with the RT-AX86U + XD6 plus an additional PCIe adapter card for your VR machine. But it boils down to how you configure the setup. It’s always the nuances that matter. Have fun!

      BTW, we love Ontario. Stay warm!:)

      Reply
  6. Hi Dong.

    I am wondering if I should get a triband or not.

    I have a 600ft apartment with walls and like 5-8 devices connecting.

    Need low latency for gaming.

    Will a dual band router with MU-MIMO and QoS set towards consoles, perform the same, with a tri-band router which I maybe able to set a private band for the console?

    Currently running a 1gb fibre broadband.

    For similar budget of the triband entry levels like MX4200, I may get the Asus RTAX82u (with like USD40 more).

    Would like to seek your advice.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Hey Dong, Great reviews.
    I am happy I found your website. I currently have an RT-AC3100 with Lyra mesh that I want to get rid off. Constantly have to reboot it and it just stops accepting new DHCP clients.
    Anyhow, I am a console gamer using mostly wired connections for that and my wife and I work from home. Everything apart from the consoles is wireless, problem I face is that to have my console wired my router has to be in the basement, so solid coverage is important (that’s why I use the Lyra mesh).
    I was looking for an AX1000 (Asus or TP Link) but wondered if you think it may be overkill, however I would like to remove the mesh nodes if possible. Maybe the AX86U will give me most of the same features?

    Internet is 500up/20 down =(

    Thanks for your help!!!

    Reply
  8. Hi Dong,

    I have an ASUS ac2400 which I run wired to a ps4. Would the Netgear xr500 be an upgrade? Also my house is 1350 sq ft, would the xr500 be powerful enough for coverage. 300mbps connection btw. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I would say yes, George. However, 2 things:

      1. You’ll see no difference in wired clients.
      2. The Asus has a much better web interface. You might get frustrated with how different that of the Netgear is. It’ll take some getting used to.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the reply, Dong. After much research, I think I’m going with the RT-AX86U. Do you think I’ll notice much difference over the AC2400 I currently run as far as better coverage/speed etc?

        Reply
        • The coverage might be slightly better, George. As for speed, it depends on your clients, too. Specifically, if you only have Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, then yes, if you have a lot of legacy clients, then maybe no. More here. But that’s a good choice.

          Reply
  9. I currently have the TPLink Archer AX6000. While it’s not gaming centric, it does have slighter faster speeds than the RT-AX86U. Which router do you like better between the TPLink and Asus?

    Reply
  10. Hey Dong,

    Now I have a tp-link ax6000, what do you think if I buy an ax86u? Do you think there will be a difference on the gaming side?

    Reply
  11. Hi Dong,

    I have an R7000 that seems to have issues with ping spikes that I cannot fix and do not have when wired directly into the modem.

    Looking to upgrade to a newer gaming router. Price is not an issue at all and I only game hardwired. I am only semi-network savvy so ease of use is a priority for me.

    I am leaning towards the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Gaming Router. What do you think?

    Reply
  12. Dong,

    Great list of routers. As a PC Gamer, I’m hard wired into my current router. It’s an older Nighthawk (R6700) and performance is poor, even at wired speeds. Wireless is 2nd priority at this point. I recently subscribed to Gig Internet and my router can’t keep up. Is there a top 2-3 routers from this list that would shine as far as hardware and ethernet performance?

    Reply
  13. I’ve been tossing and turning deciding between the Asus AX86u and the Asus AX88u. Which would offer a gamer a better experience? Currently using the Asus AC3100. Most a console gamer hardwired.

    Reply
  14. Hi Mr. Dong,
    first sorry so much for my poor english and my low level in this area…
    I need to buy a new single router and my question is, can you tell me between ax92, ax86 and ax82 (215€, 250€ and 113€) which one is better for a family use (3 person with wifi use, 1 xbox and 1 PC gamers). My home 100m2. Its enough the ax82u or is better go for other… take care a lot, thanks and Greetings from Spain.

    Reply
  15. Hey Dong,

    I am curious of your opinion of the RT-AX89X as a gaming router. I realize it is not marketed as such, but given the hardware, I would expect it to perform very well with regards to low latency and high bandwidth. I need to upgrade my current router, just not sure if I want to go with the 89X or wait on the GT-AXE11000 to be available and stable. Of if the RT-AX86U might work just as well for less money? I have 3 gamers in my household, and occasionally 2 more that stop by. My current overclocked R7000 on FreshTomato just can’t keep up when everyone starts gaming and streaming.

    Reply

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