Do you want to create a real play area in your home? Have you already chosen a keyboard, mouse, monitor, table, headset, assembled a gaming PC and are ready to plunge into an unforgettable experience? It may seem that this is enough, but not quite …
Indeed, the fact is that in the absence of a cool gaming router, the gameplay will never be excellent. That is why we have created a guide that will definitely help you choose the right Wi-Fi router, as well as understand what a good router is for and how it can improve the gaming experience.
What is a gaming router?
The gaming router is designed in such a way as to provide low ping and latency when playing online. In addition, devices of this type provide a fast connection over a local network.
In particular, gaming models are equipped with a large number of different features that really stand out and make the gaming experience better. That is why the purchase of a gaming router will allow you to enjoy it and create unsurpassed conditions for gaming.
How is a gaming router different from a regular one?
Many probably wondered – how does a gaming router differ from a regular router for home Internet? Both devices are similar, but the key difference between a regular router and a gaming router is how exactly they work on the network.
The gaming router has the following functions (in addition to the functions of a regular one):
Faster connection to online game servers (lower ping and lower latency). Modern Wi-Fi standards. Multiple antennas. Additional Ethernet ports. Prioritization of gaming devices on the network compared to other home devices. Integration with IoT devices. Compatible with IFTTT. Support for open source router firmware. Traffic prioritization.
One of the main characteristics of a gaming router is the QoS function (Quality of Service – quality of service, or traffic prioritization). In essence, this means that the gaming router itself determines the priority of traffic and minimizes the consequences of high network load.
This feature plays an important role in providing a smoother gaming experience with maximum frame rate and minimum latency. QoS minimizes the loss of data packets related to online games, in addition to securely routing all other incoming and outgoing Internet traffic through a separate flow.
The latest routers, such as those with Qualcomm Stream Boost technology or similar, ensure that gaming network traffic is routed securely over separate channels.
In addition, the gaming router differs from the usual one in that it is able to work in conditions of extreme network congestion and cope with such situations more efficiently.
What you need to know before buying a gaming router for home?
Before you start looking for a gaming router, you should consider several aspects, namely:
What is the speed of your Internet connection? How many connected devices are there in the house? What is the size of the house or room where you want to install the router?
If you think you can compromise and get an older router model and thereby significantly increase the speed of your Internet connection, then we have bad news for you.
Before proceeding directly to choosing a router, you need to know and understand the following terms:
Processor and RAM speed
These terms are very similar to the PC-related definitions we are already familiar with. Speaking of routers, faster CPU speed means faster speed at which a gaming router handles connections and transfers data to connected devices.
Internet connection speed
The simplest term. Represents the rate at which data arrives at the router from the ISP. In addition, the gameplay is always directly dependent on the connection speed.
Wireless network standards
This is an indicator of what wireless standards a particular gaming router is designed for.
At the moment, the widely used wireless standard is 802.11ac, which is confidently replacing the WiFi6 version (802.11ax). You must remember that wireless standards change over time and therefore it is important to choose a router that complies with the latest wireless standards.
This is the time it takes for a data packet to get from your computer to the game server. Obviously, on the gaming router you are considering, this indicator should be as low as possible.
The optimal network delay is between 20 and 30 milliseconds. It is noteworthy that an indicator exceeding 150 milliseconds negatively affects the gameplay. This is noticeable in the form of FPS drops or slower responses (even if the connection speed remains good).
Multiband Wi-Fi connection
Thanks to this function, the gaming router transmits data on multiple channels. The latest models on the market are capable of transmitting up to three channels simultaneously.
Specifies how many Ethernet ports are installed on the gaming router. Before buying a router, you should find out how many home devices connect to the Internet through a wired connection, and then purchase the right model.
Let’s say you have already taken into account all of the above factors and have chosen a gaming router. What should be done next? The next step is to prioritize your device’s traffic. This can be done in four ways:
Service priority: you can set each network device to prioritize a specific game or video streaming service.
Network priority: gaming routers allow you to prioritize your network. Thus, you can opt for wireless connections over wired ones, which will definitely have a positive effect on the gaming experience.
Priority at: there are two subspecies here:
IP address: you can give the router a static gaming IP address to set the priority.
MAC address: you can prioritize network traffic for devices based on MAC address (unique identifier).
It is important to remember that no matter how new and cool your gaming router is, its performance can be reduced due to slow internet speeds.
Thus, it is very important to monitor the speed of your Internet connection in order to fully enjoy the gaming process. If you have already figured out how to choose a Wi-Fi router for your apartment and want to know which router to choose, then check out our list of the best gaming models available on the market right now.
Another point that should not be forgotten is that a gaming router is just as susceptible to attacks as a regular router. If you don’t want to become a victim of a DDoS attack and block your IP address, you should always update your router and adjust the security settings, just like with a regular Wi-Fi router.