You have bought a super internet package from an internet service provider, but still, your video games experience lag. Why is this happening? It is not the time to curse ISP, but to change your router most likely. You should buy a gaming router if you want to enjoy games fully without skipping WiFi beats. Indeed, both standard and gaming routers are meant for routing data, but gaming routers provide fast connectivity, low ping, and low lag in online games. We are listing major specifications you should look for before buying a gaming router. Here we go!
Internet Connection Speed
A router is not meant to increase the speed of your internet connection. The speed at which data is arriving at your router from your ISP remains the same, no matter what router you are using. So, before investing in expensive routers, first, make sure you have a good internet connection or at least one supporting your needs.
Up-to-Date WiFi Standard
You may have come across such numbers 802.11 ac or 802.11 ax while researching wireless gaming routers. What do these numbers stand for? It represents which WiFi standard they support. For the ease of the masses, now these complex numbers are encoded in easy to understand names like WiFi 5 and WiFi 6.
The latest WiFi standard is 802.11 ax i.e., WiFi 6. It is the most advanced WiFi technology having a maximum data rate of 9.6 Gb/s that is far higher than WiFi 5, as its maximum data rate is 3.5 Gb/s. Wi-Fi 5 is common nowadays in the gaming world, but Wi-Fi 6 has been launched recently.
Network latency is one of the most important specifications of routers. In simple words, lag is the time the data packet takes to reach the game server. What will happen if a delay is longer? For example, if it is beyond 150 milliseconds. With such a long lag, you will be missing frames while gaming. Routers having 20 to 30 milliseconds lags are considered the best gaming routers. It allows gamers to play games smoothly without missing frames. Contrarily, no matter how good your internet speed is, the router will deliver data late in case of longer latency.
Multiple Band WiFi Connectivity – Dual-band or Tri-band
Currently, routers operate on two frequencies – 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In dual or tri-band routers, we get both frequencies. The dual one is 2.4 GHz, and the other one is the 5 GHz band. However, with tri-band, two bands are of 5 GHz, and one is 2.4 GHz. A 5 GHz band transmits the data fast but has a shorter range. In Tri-band routers, the additional 5 GHz band increases its range, so you could enjoy it from a relatively long distance as well.
Another purpose of dual or tri bands is splitting up the network traffic coming from different devices. Gamers could also set the priority on these routers. For example, you could give priority to your device or application. So, whenever the data packet from that particular device or application is received, its load will be on the 5 GHz band. In this way, it will be delivered faster.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of service is the prioritization of tasks. If you want your router to give the highest priority to your device or application, then ensure that it supports the Quality of Service feature. Most gaming routers have these default settings, which place games on top priority or learn it according to network activity. You could also set preferences manually. By doing so, you will not have long delays, real-time signal displacement, or packet loss.
Wired connection is better for signal loss and faster speeds. Frankly speaking, while playing competitive games, we do not need to move our PCs. So, you should prefer one with more wired Ethernet ports. This decision depends on your usage. If you are the only one who plays games, then even a single port is enough for you. But if your friends often come to your place to play games together, then a router with more ethernet ports is better.
It would be best if you go for the routers having easy to understand setting pages. In an hour of need, you should not struggle while navigating helplessly. So, make sure your router’s setting page has a friendly user display. Moreover, some routers come up with accompanying mobile apps that let you monitor and manage your network from your mobile phone.
We have enlisted primary considerations for buying a gaming router. These will help you in picking the right one. Last but not least, your ISP service plan and router specification must support each other for the desired results.