Ready to set up your own gaming zone at home? Made some place in your home and ready to plunge into the ultimate gaming experience? Did good research and finalised gaming keyboard, mouse, monitor, gaming desk, gaming headset and motherboard and sound cards? Everything set, isn’t it??
Nope. It’s not. If you do not have a separate gaming router, your gaming experience is never complete. Wondering why?
This post explains the reasons in detail. As you move through this buying guide for gaming routers, you will understand why actually you need a dedicated gaming router and how it enhances your gaming experience.
Table of Contents
What is a Gaming Router?
As the name goes, a gaming router is specifically designed for providing low ping and low lag when playing games online. Also, they provide fast connectivity when playing games in LAN parties.
They have more features that prove the difference when you play with and without using them. The best gaming router will let you enjoy that experience and gives an unmatchable and realistic gaming environment.
How does a Gaming Router differ from an Ordinary Router?
A router is meant for routing period. There is no doubt. We all know routing is the basic functionality of such a device wherein the product makes sure that the data that is incoming into the network reaches the designated device.
Now you will definitely question us – how gaming router is different from an ordinary router. Though they both are similar in principle, the key difference between an ordinary and a gaming router is the manner in which they perform networking.
A gaming router has the following features in addition to that of a normal router:
- Faster connection to online gaming servers (lower ping and lower lag).
- Up-to-date Wi-Fi standards
- Multiple antennas
- Additional ports for Ethernet
- Network prioritizing of gaming devices compared to other home devices
- Integration with IoT devices
- IFTTT compatibility
- Support for open source router firmware.
- Quality of Service
One of the main features of a gaming router is Quality of Service (QoS). It basically means it is the efficiency at which a gaming router prioritizes the gaming traffic.
This QoS plays a major role in enabling a smoother gaming experience that is at its best in frame rate, latency and connectivity.
The QoS is the feature of a gaming router that lets it minimize the packet loss of data concerning to your online games, besides safely routing all other incoming and outgoing internet traffic via a separate flow.
Latest routers, for example, the ones which have Qualcomm’s Stream Boost or any other such technologies, ensure that all the incoming and outgoing internet traffic need not get entangled; they safely route gaming network traffic and other network traffic in separate channels.
Besides, a gaming router differs from an ordinary router in a sense that they are tested for network congestion and how effectively it deals with such situations.
What you should know before selecting a gaming router?
You should consider all the following aspects before starting your hunt for a best gaming router:
- What is the speed of your Internet Service Connection?
- How many total number of connected devices in the home?
- What is the size of the home or room where you want to install your router?
If you think you can compromise on an older version of router and upgrade the speed of your internet connection, you may have to be disappointed later.
You should have knowledge on the following terms before you read and comprehend the specifications on the router that you select:
Processor Capacity and RAM speed
These terms are similar to that of a regular computer terminology. More processor speed means higher speed with which your gaming router handles connections and transfers data to the connected devices. Also, this feature affects QoS too. Better the rating of processor and RAM, higher the QoS.
The speed of internet connection
This is simpler concept. It represents the speed at which data is arriving to your router from your ISP. Besides, the gaming experience is always directly proportional to the speed.
This is a measure of which standards of wireless connectivity your gaming router is designed for. The widely used wireless standard, as of now, is 802.11ac which will be replaced soon by the newest WiFi6 spec (802.11ax). You should understand that wireless standards keep changing with time and hence it is important to choose one that has the latest wireless standard specifications.
This is the lag time the data packet takes to reach from your computer to the game server. Obviously, this time should be low, or the network latency of the gaming router that you are looking for should be low.
You can consider a gaming router as best, if its latency is 20 to 30 milliseconds. Notably, your gaming experience drags if the network latency is beyond 150 milliseconds. This effect you notice as missing frames in your gaming or slower response although the ISP speed is good.
Multiple band Wi-Fi connectivity
A gaming router transmits to multiple channels owing to this feature. The latest gaming routers available in the market are capable of transmitting up to three channels at a time.
This specifies how many wired Ethernet ports your gaming router has. You should consider how many number of hardwired connected devices that are in your home and then decide on this feature of gaming router.
Okay. You have considered all the above aspects and chosen a gaming router. Now what’s the next step?
The next step involves prioritizing your gaming router’s traffic. Now, how should you go ahead with this?
There are four ways in which you can prioritize your gaming router traffic:
- Based on Service: Is your gaming experience based on an app game or video based game? Give the name of the service here and prioritize your gaming router.
- Based on Network: You can give the priority for wireless connections over wired connections, for a better gaming experience.
- Based on Addresses: Here you have two considerations:
- IP Address: You can give the static IP address of your gaming device to your router to prioritize it.
- MAC Address: You can give the MAC address of your device to your gaming router to prioritize it.
An important point you should remember is that irrespective of how latest your gaming router is, its efficiency might be hampered because of low internet speed.
Thus it is equally important for you to keep an eye on your internet connectivity speed to enjoy the gaming experience to the fullest. If you need help choosing the best mouse for you, check out these gaming router reviews by HotRate.
Another security consideration that you should never forget is a gaming router is equally prone to attacks as that of a normal router. If you do not want to end up a victim of DDoS attack and get your IP banned, better you keep your router updated and have security set up done as you do for a normal Wi-Fi router.
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