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The Ultimate Gaming Router Buying Guide for Hardcore Gamers

27 July 2023

The Ultimate Gaming Router Buying Guide for Hardcore Gamers

 

As a hardcore gamer, you know that a fast and stable internet connection is essential for a premium gaming experience. A gaming router can make all the difference between a smooth and lag-free game, or a glitchy and patchy nightmare. In the world of competitive multiplayer gaming, having lighting-fast speed can be the advantage that gets you over the edge — so how do you achieve this leg-up? It’s all about a quality gaming router! In this buying guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about gaming routers and recommend the best options available at Mwave. 

What is a gaming router? 

A gaming router is a router that has been optimised to cater to the specific needs of gamers. These routers have advanced features that prioritise gaming traffic, reduce lag and provide a stable connection. They also typically have faster processors and more RAM, allowing them to handle large amounts of data more efficiently. 

Features to look for 

When choosing a gaming router, there are several features to consider. We’re here to talk you through the things to look out for when you’re assessing your options.  

1. Quality of Service (QoS) 

Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature in gaming routers that allows for the prioritisation of specific types of network traffic over others. In the context of a gaming router, QoS is used to ensure a smoother and more responsive gaming experience by giving priority to gaming data packets over other internet activities.

 

Online gaming requires low latency (low ping) and a stable connection to ensure real-time responsiveness during gameplay. However, in a typical home network, multiple devices share the available bandwidth, and various internet activities, such as video streaming, file downloads and web browsing, can compete for that bandwidth. This competition can lead to increased latency and lag during gaming sessions.

 

QoS in gaming routers addresses this issue by allowing users to allocate a higher portion of the available bandwidth to gaming traffic. The router can identify gaming data packets and prioritise them, ensuring they are transmitted and received with minimal delay, even when other devices on the network are using the internet.

2. Dual-Band or Tri-Band 

In the context of a gaming router, dual-band and tri-band refer to the number of frequency bands on which the router can operate simultaneously to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to devices. Each band represents a different radio frequency on which the router can transmit data, and these bands offer different benefits for improving network performance and reducing interference.

Dual-Band Router

A dual-band gaming router operates on two frequency bands simultaneously: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 2.4 GHz band offers better range and can penetrate walls and obstacles more effectively, making it suitable for devices farther from the router. However, this band is more susceptible to interference from other Wi-Fi devices and common household appliances. The 5 GHz band provides faster data rates and is less prone to interference, making it ideal for high-bandwidth activities like gaming and video streaming. Dual-band routers allow devices to connect to either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band based on their capabilities and signal strength.

Tri-Band Router 

A tri-band gaming router operates on three frequency bands simultaneously: one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. The additional 5 GHz band provides extra capacity and reduces congestion when multiple devices are connected to the network. Tri-band routers can dynamically allocate devices to different bands based on their bandwidth requirements and signal strength. This ensures optimal performance for gaming and other high-bandwidth activities, even in environments with numerous connected devices.

3. MU-MIMO 

MU-MIMO stands for Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output, and it is a technology used in wireless communication, particularly in Wi-Fi routers, to improve the efficiency and performance of data transmission in multi-user environments.

 

Traditional MIMO technology (Single-User MIMO or SU-MIMO) allows a Wi-Fi router to communicate with a single device at a time, using multiple antennas to transmit and receive data. However, in real-world scenarios where multiple devices are connected to the Wi-Fi network simultaneously, the router has to switch rapidly between devices to serve each one, leading to reduced overall performance and increased latency.

 

MU-MIMO addresses this limitation by allowing the router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously using multiple antennas. It can transmit data to and receive data from multiple devices concurrently, without needing to switch back and forth between them. This results in more efficient use of the available bandwidth and improved network performance in multi-user environments.

4. Beamforming 

Beamforming is a wireless communication technique used by routers and other wireless devices to improve the efficiency and reliability of data transmission over a Wi-Fi network. It allows the router to focus its wireless signal directly towards the connected devices, rather than broadcasting it in all directions.

 

Traditional Wi-Fi signals spread out in a spherical pattern from the router, which can result in signal weakening and increased interference as it travels through walls and obstacles. With beamforming, the router can identify the location of connected devices and adjust the signal direction to target them more precisely. This targeted signal transmission enhances signal strength and quality for those devices, leading to improved network performance.

Best gaming routers available at Mwave 

At Mwave, we offer a range of gaming routers to suit every need and budget. Here are some of our top picks: 

ASUS RT-AX82U 

The ASUS RT-AX82U is a high-performance gaming router designed to deliver a seamless gaming experience. Featuring Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology, it supports dual-band operation with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands. The router is equipped with a powerful 1.5 GHz tri-core processor and 512MB of RAM, providing excellent performance for handling multiple connected devices and data-intensive gaming sessions. With its specialised gaming features, such as adaptive QoS for prioritising gaming traffic, and the built-in ASUS AiProtection Pro security suite, the RT-AX82U ensures low latency, reduced lag and a secure gaming environment. It also comes decked out with ASUS Aura RGB lighting, adding a touch of style to any gaming setup.

Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR1000 provides the power to take your gaming to the next level. Its cutting-edge features cater specifically to gamers, ensuring low latency, reduced lag, and smooth gameplay. The XR1000 boasts a powerful 1.5GHz triple-core processor, combined with MU-MIMO and beamforming technologies, allowing it to handle multiple devices simultaneously and deliver targeted Wi-Fi signals for better coverage. Equipped with customisable Quality of Service (QoS) settings, the router prioritises gaming traffic over other activities, guaranteeing a seamless gaming experience even in crowded networks. For a little something extra, the XR1000 supports dual-band operation, with 4-stream Wi-Fi 6 providing faster speeds and improved performance for gaming and streaming applications.

TP-Link Archer VR2800 

The TP-Link Archer VR2800 is a high-performance dual-band Wi-Fi router designed to deliver excellent connectivity for gaming, streaming and other demanding online activities. It operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, providing maximum data rates of up to 600 Mbps and 2167 Mbps, respectively. The router features MU-MIMO technology, enabling multiple devices to connect simultaneously without sacrificing performance. With its advanced Quality of Service (QoS) settings, users can prioritise gaming traffic, reducing latency and ensuring a smoother gaming experience. Additionally, the Archer VR2800 boasts four high-gain antennas for extended Wi-Fi coverage, along with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for reliable wired connections.

Upgrading your computer 

Upgrading your router is just one way to improve your gaming experience. Upgrading other components can also make a big difference. At Mwave, we offer a wide range of computer parts to help you supercharge your system, including graphics cards, CPUs and RAM

 

In conclusion, a gaming router is an essential component for any hardcore gamer. It can provide a stable and fast internet connection, reduce lag and ensure a smooth gaming experience. At Mwave, we pride ourselves on providing a world-class selection of gaming routers and other peripherals to suit every need and budget, from entry-level models to the most advanced tech on the market. You’re sure to find everything you need to create your dream set-up!

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