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Best Gaming Routers: Top Four Wi-Fi Approaches to Give You an Edge

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This post is a collection of the best four gaming routers and their worthy alternatives out of those I've reviewed. There's no concrete definition of a "gaming router," but all listed below meet at least two of my qualifying criteria.

Any of these mentioned here will give you an edge in getting connected, plus the much-needed placebo effect. Among other things, you know you're already well-equipped, possibly even better-geared than the other guy.

Dong's note: I first published this post on January 29, 2021, and updated it on February 27, 2024, with up-to-date options.

Best gaming routers: The list

All routers on this list are excellent for general use. On top of that, they collectively check all the gaming boxes. The routers below are listed in the recommendation order, with the most recommended on top—the numbers are the ranking.

Asus GT BE98 Pro Gaming Router with Aura lightTP Link GX90 AX6600 Gaming Router 2MSI RadiX AXE6600 Tri band Wi Fi 6E Gaming RouterNetgear XR1000 12
NameAsus GT-BE98 Pro's RatingTP-Link Archer GX90's RatingMSI Radix AXE6600's RatingNetgear Nighthawk XR1000's Rating
Design and Ease of Use
Design and Setup
Design and Setup
Ease of Use
Buy this product

1. Asus GT-BE98 Pro: Representing Asus’s vast collection of gaming routers

Best gaming routers: Asus GT-BE98 Pro Wi-Fi 7 Gaming Router
Best gaming routers: Here's Asus's well-recognizable Aura RGB gaming lights in action on the GT-BE98 Pro.

Asus has undoubtedly been the leader in gaming routers. It has the largest collection of all shapes and sizes. The company has routers in three series—RT, ROG, and ROG Strix (or TUF)—with different flavors of gaming-related features and hardware designs.

Different series of Asus's networking hardware

Asus has a vast collection of Wi-Fi hardware options available in the following series:

  • The RT series: General consumer-grade standalone routers ranging from entry-level, mid-range, and high-end models. Improved variants might carry the "Pro" suffix, such as the RT-AX88U Pro. Some models include gaming-related features, such as the RT-AX82U. Most feature AiMesh as an option.
  • The TUF and ROG series: Gaming-related Wi-Fi routers of different tiers, including the highest-end flagship routers. Improved variants, such as the GT-AX11000 Pro, might carry the "Pro" suffix.
  • The ZenWiFi series: This series includes consumer-grade purpose-built AiMesh-based Wi-Fi systems with a broad range of configurations. Some variants have built-in MOCA or Powerline support.
  • The ExpertWiFi series: Hardware for networking enthusiasts and office environments. These are AiMesh-enabled business-oriented solutions with more advanced options in network customization and hardware design, available as purpose-built mesh systems, single (Wi-Fi) routers, APs, and switches.

Generally, all AiMesh-enabled hardware—most, if not all, Asus Wi-Fi 6 or newer routers—can work together to form a system.

The GT-BE98 Pro is the latest flagship router that supports Wi-Fi 7 and delivers non-compromising performances on all accounts. It has everything to represent this large pack.

Still, any Asus alternatives in the table below will deliver a similar gaming experience.

Gaming Private NetworkROG First,
Game Radar
Gaming PortGeForce NowAura Lights
GT-BE98 Pro$8002x10GbE
RT-AX88U Pro$3502x2.5GbEWTFastNo
(canned mesh)
GT-AX11000 Pro$4501x2.5GbE
GT-AXE11000$5501x2.5GbEOutfox YesNo Yes
GT-AX11000$4501x2.5GbEWTFast YesNo Yes
GS-AX3000$180NoneNoYesNo Yes
RT-AX88U$350NoneWTFast No
RT-AX86U$250 1x2.5GbENoYesNo
(canned mesh)
NoneWTFast No
TUF-AX5400$200NoneNoYes NoYes
The incomplete list of Asus's gaming routers—the street prices might be different from the MSRP.
All of these routers include the standard set of Asus's gaming features, including Mobile Game Mode, Open NAT, Gear Accelerator, and VPN Fusion.

Asus GT-BE98 Pro's Rating

8.6 out of 10
Asus GT-BE98 Pro Gaming Router with Aura light
9 out of 10
9 out of 10
Design and Ease of Use
8.5 out of 10
8 out of 10


Quad-band with top-tier Wi-Fi 7 support and excellent real-world performance

Lots of free, in-depth, and valuable networking features and settings (VPN, AiProtection, Parental Control, Guest Network Pro, Bandwidth monitoring, etc.); tons of gaming-related features; AiMesh-ready

Two 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps Multi-Gig ports with WAN/LAN flexibility; supports Dual-WAN and LAN/WAN Link Aggregations

No vendor required login account; fanless design; silent performer


Bulky design; lots of plastic wraps

MLO and AFC not available at launch

Unavailable outside of America

2. TP-Link Archer GX90: Representing gaming routers that mostly “look the part”

Best gaming routers TP-Link Archer GX90
Best gaming routers: The TP-Link Archer GX90 definitely looks the part.

The GX90 is TP-Link's latest Wi-Fi 6 approach to gaming routers. It is also somewhat of a pseudo-gaming machine since it doesn't have any specific game-related novelty—it has a nice look plus a comprehensive QoS feature.

The company's upcoming gaming router, the Archer GE800, is supposed to bring new features and much-improved performance.

The GX90's similar alternative:

TP-Link Archer GX90's Rating

8.6 out of 10
TP-Link Archer GX90 AX6600 Wi-Fi 6 Tri-Band Gaming Router
9 out of 10
8.5 out of 10
Design and Setup
8.5 out of 10
8.5 out of 10


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


Thin on gaming

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

USB-based storage performance could be better

3. RadiX AXE66000: Representing MSI’s return to home networking

The MSI RadiX AXE6600 Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E gaming router comes with fancy progammable Mystic Light
The MSI RadiX AXE6600 Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E gaming's programmable Mystic Light makes all the difference.

The Wi-Fi 6E RaiX AXE6600 and its Wi-Fi 6 cousin RadiX AX6600 are the first Wi-Fi routers from MSI in many years. And they are both marked as gaming routers.

On the inside, their gaming features are all QoS-based. So, the two are similar to TP-Link's Archer GX90 below, as both don't have the most comprehensive set of gaming-related features.

But you'll be able to play games with them just fine. And the RadiX AXE6600 tops that off with an incredible set of Mystic Light. In the near future, the company will have an all-new and exciting Wi-Fi 7 RadiX BE22000 Turbo on the horizon.

Similar alternative:

MSI Radix AXE6600's Rating

8 out of 10
MSI RadiX AXE6600 Tri band Wi-Fi 6E Gaming Router
8 out of 10
8 out of 10
Design and Setup
9 out of 10
7 out of 10


Top Wi-Fi 6E specs; cool Mystic Light; Reliable Wi-Fi performance

Lightweight yet robust web user interface; helpful mobile app

Supports all standard home network settings, deep Wi-Fi customization

Nice design, low power consumption


Only one 2.5Gbps port; mediocre 5GHz specs

Thin on gaming and network protection features; no Dynamic DNS, Link Aggregation, or Dual-WAN

Mystic Light requires a PC app; Network storage requires SMBv1 with lackluster performance

MSI Radix AXE6600's Rating

8 out of 10
MSI RadiX AXE6600 Tri band Wi-Fi 6E Gaming Router
8 out of 10
8 out of 10
Design and Setup
9 out of 10
7 out of 10


Top Wi-Fi 6E specs; cool Mystic Light; Reliable Wi-Fi performance

Lightweight yet robust web user interface; helpful mobile app

Supports all standard home network settings, deep Wi-Fi customization

Nice design, low power consumption


Only one 2.5Gbps port; mediocre 5GHz specs

Thin on gaming and network protection features; no Dynamic DNS, Link Aggregation, or Dual-WAN

Mystic Light requires a PC app; Network storage requires SMBv1 with lackluster performance

4. Netgear XR1000: Representing Netgear’s DumaOS-based routers

Best gaming routers Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Gaming Router
Best gaming routers Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 Gaming Router

The XR1000 is a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade to the Wi-Fi 5 version XR500. It's the second gaming router based on game-centric DumaOS firmware and has fantastic gaming features, including an improved Geo-Filter with polygon mode and Ping heatmap.

Similar alternative: Any DumaOS-based router, such as:

Netgear Nighthawk XR1000's Rating

7.6 out of 10
Netgear XR1000 12
8 out of 10
8.5 out of 10
Ease of Use
7 out of 10
7 out of 10


Sophisticated game-centric firmware

Fast Wi-Fi speeds and reliable performance

Robust web UI, beautiful hardware design

Useful mobile app, wall-mountable


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

Limited Wi-Fi settings, sluggish user interface

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

Best gaming routers: Hardware specifications and Wi-Fi connection tips

Looking to compare the four above routers in terms of hardware specification? The table below will help.

Hardware specifications

ROG Rapture GT-BE98 LeftMSI GRAXE66 RadiX AXE6600 RouterArcher GX90XR1000 3 4Lft Transparent
Full NameAsus
ROG Rapture
GT-BE98 Pro Gaming Router
RadiX AXE6600
Tri-band Wi-Fi 6E
Gaming Router
Archer AX6600
Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6
Gaming Router
Wi-Fi 6 
Gaming Router
ModelGT-BE98 ProGRAXE66Archer GX90XR1000
Wi-Fi TechnologyQuad-band BE30000Tri-band AXE6600Dual-Band
1st Band
4×4 BE: up to 1376Mbps
2×2 AX: 574 Mbps
2nd Band
4×4 BE: up to 5762Mbps
2×2 AX: 1201 Mbps
4x4 AX
Up to 4804Mbps
3rd Band
4×4 6GHz-1 BE: up to 11,525Mbps
4X4 AX: 4804 Mbps
4rth Band4×4 6GHz-2 BE: up to 11,525Mbps
None4x4 5GHz AX
Up to 4804Mbps
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax802.11a/b/g/n/ac
AP ModeYes
Gigabit Port1x LAN3x LAN, 
3x LAN 
4x LAN, 
1x WAN
Multi-Gig Port2x 10Gbps LAN/WAN
4x 2.5Gbps LAN/WAN
1x 2.5Gbps WAN/LANNone
LAN Link AggregationYesNo
WAN Link AggregationNo
USB Port1× USB 3.0,
1× USB 2.0
1x USB 3.01× USB 3.0,
1× USB 2.0
1x USB 3.0
Mobile AppAsus RouterMSI Router app TP-Link TetherNetgear Nighthawk
Gaming FeaturesAura Gaming Light
Gaming Port
Game Boost
Gear Accelerator
Mobile Game Mode
ROG First
VPN Fusion
Mystic Light
Client- and App-based QoS
Fancy-looking hardware and web interface
DumaOS 2.0
Ping Heatmap
Processing PowerQuad-core 2.6GHz CPU, 256MB Flash, 2GB DDR4 RAMQuad-core 1.8GHz CPU,
256MB Flash
1.5 GHz Quad-Core CPU1.5 GHz tri-core CPU, 
256 MB Flash, 
512 MB RAM
(no antennas)
14.12 x 14.12 x 8.77 in
(358.6 x 358.6 x 222.8 mm)
13.3 x 8.8 x 7.8 in
(338 x 224 x 198 mm)
8.3 × 8.3 × 2.0 in
(21.2 × 21.2 × 5.18 cm)
11.61 x 7.87 x 2.51 in 
(29.5 x 20 x 6.4 cm)
Weight4.41 lbs (2 kg)2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)2.4 lbs (1.1 kg)1.32 lb (.6 kg)
(at launch)
Best gaming routers: Hardware specifications

Additionally, it's worth noting that gaming and Wi-Fi generally don't go well together. If you have to use wireless, follow the tips below.

Tips on gaming and Wi-Fi

Generally, get your home wired for the best online experience—including online gaming or whenever you want to ensure the connection is reliable and has the lowest latency.

Get your home wired (almost) like a pro today!

After that, connect your gaming rig to your network via a cable. No matter how fast, Wi-Fi is always less ideal and will put a few extra milliseconds, or even a lot, on your broadband's latency.

Reliability and low latency are more critical than fast speeds in gaming or any real-time communication applications. So it's more a question of wired vs. Wi-Fi than Wi-Fi 5 vs. Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-Fi 7.

But we can't always use wires. That said, the rule in Wi-Fi for gaming is to avoid multiple hops.

Specifically, here is the order of best practices when connecting your gaming device to the network via Wi-Fi:

  1. Use a single broadcaster—just one Wi-Fi router or access point.
  2. If you must use multiple broadcasters (like a mesh system), then:
    • Use a network cable to link them together (wired backhaul).
    • If you must use a wireless mesh, then:
      • Connect the game console directly to your home's first broadcaster—the primary router. Or
      • Connect the gaming device to the first mesh satellite node using a network cable. Also, in this case, it's best to use mesh hardware with an additional 5GHz band unless you have Wi-Fi 7.
      • Avoid the daisy-chain mesh setup.
  3. Avoid using extenders. If you must use one, make sure it's a tri-band.

Again, the idea is that the Wi-Fi signal should not have to hop wirelessly any additional time before it gets to your device—you'll get significantly worse latency after each additional hop.

The final thoughts

Generally, you can play games with any router. Most routers with a good QoS feature can be manually tuned to support a particular game well. But gaming-oriented routers make things easier since most can automatically change their setting when you pick a game.

Still, at the end of the day, it's your skill and the quality of your broadband connection that matter; there's only so much a router can do.

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90 thoughts on “Best Gaming Routers: Top Four Wi-Fi Approaches to Give You an Edge”

  1. Hey, Ax86u just died. Should I get another or go for the AX11000 PRO / AXE16000? I read your articles in detail and can’t decide what the best bang for the buck is.

    Not utilizing NAS or GB internet

  2. Hi Dong

    Awsome comparison as always!! I am planning to get either the Asus GT-AX6000 or GT-AXE11000, I also have two RT-AC68U and planning to use them in a Aimesh setup for hard to reach places, being quite ancient routers will it negatively effect the overall network in anyway or is it best not to use them, thanks!

  3. Hi Dong

    I don’t know where to comment so I did it here. It’s about TP-Link Deco products. I discovered Tp-Link sending your data to servers {…}

    What are your thoughts?

    • That’s normal. You can’t have protection without somebody watching over you. Most vendors offer that as an option. It’s a matter of degree. More in this post.

      Please note that your comment has been redacted to remove stuff that violates the comment rules.

  4. Dong
    Given the scarcity of firmware updates for the prior ROG Rapture devices, I am surprised that this did not appear as a con for the ASUS routers, as this has been been a thorn in the side for many owners of Qualcomm based ASUS products such as the RT AX89X
    Also for the AXE16000 the availability of Merlin Firmware should be a pro?

    Apart from that, this is a good article and makes a really good point that Gig speed connections need a multi gig port to realize that performance. {…}
    In the future it might be worthwhile covering the various cable modems and Fibre interconnect devices highlighting those with multi gig interfaces

  5. Hey Dong! First of all thanks for all the great content. I was wondering why Asus GT-AX6000 is not on this list, especially since you called it [url=]The Best Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 Router[/url]. Has stuff changed since that review, what is the best one around the same price tag with similar performance nowadays?
    Everything in this list seems to be either way above, in terms of price, a lot cheaper but lack features/performance.
    I was planning to get GT-AX6000 since there is a deal for it ($300-ish) but not seeing it here made me hesitate.
    I’m looking for a gaming router that performs good on long range and has multi-gig ports for wired connections. Do you think GT-AX6000 is still good for these or do you recommend something else?

  6. No Nano-Pi R2s/R4s?

    How about a list of routers that support OpenWrt/DD-WRT that shows what specific CPU it has?

    Gaming router should have SQM through Cake or fq_codel

    • Hi Dong,
      Ok well i have a dilema.
      My 3 week old Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is already faulty.
      Asus have troubleshot with me and seems LAN ports 2,3,4 all faulty and pretty much dead.
      I have a TP LINK 16 port switch plugged into LAN Port 1 and that works fine as does the Wifi, but still LAN ports 2,3,4 should work.
      So im going to return it for a new one.
      My question is:
      How much different would the RT-AX82U be if i downgraded to that ? I mean ive only got 3 clients attached at any one time up to 5 max and lucky to use 100mbps in total out of my 1Gb ISP plan i use.
      But in terms of what id notice different would there be anything major or should i give it a go ? Would range be different ?
      Obviously ill miss out on the 3rd band which i had set up for Guests to log into as i only used one 2.4ghz for upstairs myself and one 5ghz from down when close to the router
      What are your thoughts as the Rog Rapture has sort of left a fowl taste in my mouth already 3 weeks in and faulty already….other than that its magnificent

      • You will not see any difference, Jamie. The RT-AX82U will work out well. I’d even say it was a wrong decision to go with the GT-AX11000 in the first place, cost-wise, considering your situation. As for the details, reading the individual reviews would help. 🙂

        • Hi Dong
          Im actually very happy with the performance of the Rog Rapture. It works well and is reliable other than lan ports 2,3,4 not working.
          I just dont want to downgrade and get lesser speed and range so i need to be careful

          • Hi Dong
            Ok well swapped to the Asus RT-Ax82U.
            Identical asus router app settings.
            What i cannot get now is i was getting 500mbps average wifi speeds from 5Ghz.
            Now getting 280-300mbps.
            Same devices attached, same device im checking speeds from as well.
            Trying to work out how thats possible exactly…i mean every single detail is identical other than old router was rog rapture gt-ax11000 new one is rt-ax82u.

          • More in testing in this post, Jamie. So what you said is not enough for any analysis. My suggestion is: be open-minded and do not assume anything. You’re using TWO DIFFERENT ROUTERS. But ultimately, things can’t be THAT different considering the said numbers.

          • Hi Dong
            Ok ill read that post
            Yea i cannot understand.
            Im getting 700mbps minimum speed test directly out of the router at the moment and 280mbps when doing a speed test from a phone or even laptop! And only devices connect and in operation is foxtel and the tv and both using nothing at the time
            Really dont understand at all

          • I did a small test.
            Just on my iphone i downloaded a 2.9gb app (a game) and it took 1 min 20seconds.
            I cant work that backwards to try and workout what approx mbps internet speed im getting. Can you give me an idea if you think thats fast or not firstly? And/or what it may equate to also in terms of numbers

          • REALLY !! ??
            you think thats good? Or are you joking ? I work that back to be only 30mbps ?
            Well goes to prove the speed tests really arnt that accurate then? Ill have a read of the other post you suggest

          • Do read! I speak as a person with 10Gbps Internet. No more comments till you’ve done some SERIOUS reading, please.

          • Hi Dong
            I guess im just abit upset that i had no choice but to return the Faulty Rog Rapture, hoping that performance wasnt going to be lower with the RT-AX82U….

            and although as you have seen i downloaded 2.9gb in 1min 23sec…..the OOKLA Speedtest on the same device with all same clients at same time of the day on same 160Mhz channel and on 5Ghz….with both routers was vastly different: 500mbps on the Rog Rapture versus 280mbps max now with new one religiously.
            Doesnt make any reasonable sence other than yes there 2 different routers…obviously the ROG is more powerful at transmitting so maybe its just the quality of the items.
            I think ill just wait till a new Asus high spec router is released in australia because the beat Asus offer in Australia is what i had and what was faulty from new after 2 weeks: Rog Rapture GT-AX11000

          • I don’t think your test is accurate. You’re beating at the wrong bush. But it’s your call. All I can say is they you need to read. Btw, i review stuff made for the US and different region has different regulations. Do a site search for dBi and read the post.

          • Hi Dong
            Thanks for all the info.
            Although the RT-AX82U is working fine im just not happy with the speeds im seeing on Ookla.
            And although i know i cannot base my results solely on that it is abit ridiculous im 200-250mbps down on download speed within the space of 1 day changing from 1 router to another…other than obviously 1 is more powerful than the other which could be the reason.
            Other thing is the 2.4ghz network upstairs no longer works with this 4 antenna RT-AX82U versus the Rog Raptures 8 antenna i got 2.4ghz easily upstairs.
            So store is going to get me a new Rog Rapture and ill just stick with that until something more powerful comes to Australia

          • Hi Dong
            Ok back to a new Rog Rapture GT-AX11000.
            All setup and powering on superfast.
            Just did same real world testing as last RT-AX82U i took back today.

            Downloaded on iphone a 2.6gb call of duty app in 37seconds.
            And now with 4 clients on board all using pc’s on the same 160Mhz 5ghz network still managed to download 1.7gb in 17seconds.

            Before i started re-connecting all my clients i did Ookla speed tests and am hitting nearly 3 times what the RT-AX82U was downloading yesterday…getting 750mbps at busy times here in Australia and about 51bps with all clients on board at also busy peak isp times!

            Im super happy!
            As much as im sure we give you a headache you help us all a lot with your knowledge and i do appreciate it very much!

            My only worry is this:
            Rog Rapture is pre-loaded with firmware version:

            Its asking me to update to:

            Now maybe its just me but it seems from the very 1st Rog i had amd even the 82U as soon as i did the latest firmware update it created problems and reduced speeds!

            Is this possible?
            Is it bad to stick with the firmware i already have and not update you feel?

          • You can also flash an Asus router with an older version of the firmware, Jamie. There’s no risk. You can even try Merlin.

          • Hi Dong
            So you think its safe to just keep the stock version of firmware and leave it at that?
            Ifffff i download the new asus firmware and dont like it how can i get back the old one?

  7. Hey Dong, Finally got new stock on the Ax86u was wondering if anything has changed and a better gaming router exists

  8. I’ve been reading many articles on this site and trying to digest the amount of information. Thanks for such in depth articles. The question I have is that I recently lucked into a house with 5k-6k sqft. My office/gaming/lan party area is on the top floor on 1 end of the house with it being 3 stories. I am a pretty heavy gamer and have had issues in the past with other household members killing my game with streaming/downloading. I upgraded to 1.2gpbs cable connection and should have the opportunity to get 10gbps fiber in about 5 years. I seem to have a two diametrically opposed needs. I want a serious gaming router with QOS/gaming priority with wired connections in my PC gaming area (where I could have multiple friends over with PCs) and I need to cover 5/6k sqft over three floors. I will have many streaming TVs and many IOT devices on Wifi. My wife is opposed to wired lan connections running everywhere/anywhere other than my lan area. Since these routers are so expensive I was trying to do a buy it now for future proofing and get a new modem when I get fiber. This leans me towards the ASUS RT-AX89X, but it only has dual band and you recommend using a wired backhual which I don’t think I can do with distance/wife requirements. The best mesh system seems to be Netgear RBKE963B for blazing speeds and coverage, but with no gaming features. What would you suggest?

      • If that is the case, would you recommend buying a ASUS RT-AX89X, running a cable to a more central location and connecting possibly a RT-AX92U to it? I noticed that you didn’t mention it and specifically say in this article to use dual band for the mesh. If I did do the AX92U could I then add a second and it use the wireless backhual for those units to talk? In a separate article you say to use the AX86U as the best option for the wireless node.

        • If you read the post closely, you’ll note that I don’t recommend using dual-band primary router and tri-band satellites in an AiMesh setup and why. If you want to use that combo, it’s best to use the RT-AX92U as a separate mesh system in the AP mode, on top of the RT-AX89X as a standalone router. More in this post.

        • Hi James,
          I bought 4 X RT-AX92U based on one of Dong’ previous articles thus one asroutrr and the other three as points, wired backhaul.

          I tested it with wireless backhaul ping acceptable and router dedicated to gaming mode. But I must say once you tested a full wired backhaul it will just never be the same again, you will not want to go back to wireless.

          Had same concerns with wife in terms of LAN 6 all over, but must say did a DIY job and you can’t even see the cables especially once painted same colour as the interior of the house.

          Enjoy!! You won’t be disappointed all cudos to Dong.

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

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

  12. 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

    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.

  13. 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.


    • 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!:)

  14. 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.

  15. 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!!!

  16. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.


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