Best Cheap Router for Gaming 2018 -Buyer’s Guide
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the requirements for a good gaming router?
- 2 The Best Cheap Wireless Router for Gaming 2018
- 2.1 ASUS RT-AC66U -Best speeds and gaming experience
- 2.2 NETGEAR R6700 -Best UI and features
- 2.3 Tenda AC6 -Best WiFi security features
- 2.4 Medialink MLWR-AC1200 -Best value for money
- 2.5 TP-Link WR802N -Best portable
- 2.6 NETGEAR R6230
- 2.7 TP-Link Archer C1200
- 2.8 D-Link DIR-842
The evolution of gaming has seen us shift from the boring solo offline gaming, with classics like Super Mario, to the delightful multiplayer gaming, much of which is enjoyed online.
This is not to say that there are no solo online games, only that they differ in levels of enjoyment.
If you are a pro online gamer, then you know too well the value of a good internet connection.
To call it “good” would hub a lot of other words that characterize this kind of internet connection. For starters, it must be fast, performance consistent, and working with a myriad of devices with no major hiccups.
That is still too sketchy for a router’s requirements list, we want to know the numbers and what it can do given those capabilities.
If you’re in a hurry, let me cut the chase. The best budget gaming router that is also capable of streaming 4K media quite well is the Asus RT-AC66U.
What are the requirements for a good gaming router?
- Speeds for a good gaming router can range anywhere between 300 Mbps up to a record 1750 Mbps and even beyond. The more the better!
- Most routers run an 802.11ac or 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless connection which is the most advanced wireless technology in the field of routers.
- I find a brand-new feature known as QoS (Quality of Service) to be indispensable with gaming routers. QoS focuses your network connection to gaming so no other user will interfere as they stream videos or do their heavy browsing.
The Best Cheap Wireless Router for Gaming 2018
Forget the expensive types that will rip you off a sorrowful $500-$1000, you don’t need to pay as much for the best budget router for gaming. In this post will advise you on the best budget router for gaming that you should purchase for the best value for money. With no further ado, let’s dive in.
- NETGEAR R6700
- Speed: 450+1300Mbps
- LAN Ports: 4
- Network: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- USB ports:1
- Antennas: 3
- Devices: ~12
- Tenda AC6
- Speed: 867+300Mbps
- LAN Ports: 3
- Network: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- USB ports: none
- Antennas: 4
- Devices: ~10
- ASUS RT-AC66U
- Speed: 450+1300Mbps
- LAN Ports: 4
- Network: 802.11ac
- USB ports: 2
- Antennas: 3
- Medialink MLWR-AC1200
- Speed: 300+867Mbps
- LAN Ports: 4
- Network: 802.11 A/C
- USB ports: 1
- Antennas: 2
ASUS RT-AC66U -Best speeds and gaming experience
If you love crazy speeds, then this is the best budget router for gaming tailored just for you. The router dispenses a whopping 1750 Mbps for the fastest Wi-Fi connection in the list. For its robust speed, the ASUS AC1750 is more than just an ordinary gaming router, giving you the best 4K video gaming and media streaming experience.
The ASUSWRT user interface makes it possible to set up the Wi-Fi in 3 easy steps for application control, Download Master for wireless data storage and access to your router-connected USB storage devices.
The router has a 256MB memory which is sufficient for its preinstalled programs and services. It can also support file sharing, printer sharing, and 3G sharing via 2 multi-functional built-in USB ports.
What is more? ASUS ranked among the best for “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Wireless Routers”- US.
- Super-fast for the best gaming experience
- Preinstalled services enhance usability of the router
- File access and sharing via two multi-functional USB ports
- Inexpensive. You’ll get to enjoy a strong Wi-Fi network and a small cost
- Complicated set-up procedure
- Insufficient memory for adding more programs and services
NETGEAR R6700 -Best UI and features
The simplicity-packed Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Dual Band Wi-Fi Router is the best cheap wireless router for gaming if you love the convenience of setting up and using gadgets. Unlike others that require bags of technical savviness, this is a plug-and-play router.
The speeds are fairly good at 450 Mbps+1300Mbps good for a smooth gaming experience as well as media streaming. Its high speeds are facilitated by a Dual Core processor that delivers a lag free gaming experience.
This router raises the eyebrows with its new age features that incorporate an app as well as voice control commands during operation. The app is known as known as NETGEAR Up and is available for the Android platform only. You can invoke commands using your voice, making it much easier, less hands in operation. This is supported by the Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Its three antennas ensure a wider distribution and coverage for your network connection, making it possible to connect mobile devices and higher devices (consoles However, you will have much faster speed on smaller gadgets so making sure that you will create a balance is best for you.)
- Plug-and-play type of connection
- Supports voice commands
- A bit expensive
Tenda AC6 -Best WiFi security features
The one router that combines speed and efficiency is the Tenda AC12OO. The speeds are fast at an upscale 1200 Mbps.
With a 900 MHz Broadcom Processor, the router has bandwidths of 2.4 GHz/5 GHz for 300 Mbps/867Mbps. It features 4 LAN connection ports for a diverse device support.
It features an extensive Wi-Fi coverage with its high-powered amplifiers four High gain 5dBi dual band antennas.
The router will require Lithium ion batteries. It works on a 240V and has a 72-pin EDO SIMM Computer Memory Type and a 1 GB RAM.
You can smart manage your router using your mobile device via Tenda cloud, Wi-Fi scheduling, and control over LED indicators. This redundancy is good for a hassle-free multiverse control system.
The Tenda app offers you an easy smart management of your home Wi-Fi.
- Has parental control for appropriate website regulation
- Allows you to blacklist any device
- Has a guest network option that allows you safely allow foreign gadgets your networks access
- Has a security check option that allows you to verify the gadgets joining your Wi-Fi.
- Wi-Fi schedule function automatically turns on/off your Wi-Fi
- At lower speeds (300 Mbps), lagging is a likely to occur
- Must have batteries for it to function appropriately
- Bulky in dimensions and appearance
If you are one of those who have a thing for value for money, you will find this router to fulfil all your technical requirements for a small price.
While most routers support a port speed of 100Mbps, the Medialink AC1200 gives you 1000Mbps, which is suitable for seamless 4K gaming and media streaming. This is 10 times the port speeds of an ordinary router.
Enjoy a good parental control and a light-out button in case you hate blinking router lights.
Are you worried about snoopers? The router has a powerful firewall protection with the Guest Network access gives a separate safe login for your guests that does not infiltrate into your private network.
The web interface is so simple and works on almost all OS, Mac / Windows / iOS / Android.
The MediaLink AC1200 Has a VPN Too! Not many routers will get you this feature. With this budget gaming router, if you would love to hide your proxy, you can.
- Parental control and firewall protection against malicious connections
- Has a VPN function
- 10 times faster port speeds
- Lacks in basic services such as cloud access
- Has two antennas while most routers in its class have 3-4 antennas
If you love small yet powerful gadgets, then you will fall in love with this TP-Link N300. With its pocket size, it has one LAN/WAN port, a USB power port, and a reset button than needs a sharp object to press. At least that was what managed to fit the limited back space.
The router was designed to be carried about in your pocket for easier transfer from different locations. Do you want to hook up with your friends for a gaming session? Just slip it into your jacket pocket and nobody will notice it is missing unless they attempt to use the Wi-Fi.
Speeds are fairly good at 300 Mbps on a 2.4GHz band for a seamless gaming experience. It is also compatible with Chrome cast. Its operation modes include AP, Client, Repeater, and WISP. It also has Range extender, access point, client, and bridge models.
Unlike most routers that require sophisticated setups, the N300 allows for a quick hotspot creation with a simple click of a button. It has the easiest mode of operation in this price range and you will not get a lot of security protocol with it.
- Pocket size which makes it suitable for your travel needs
- Has parental and admin filters and bandwidth regulation
- Works very well with chrome cast
- Very versatile
- Its small size does not allow for as many ports (USB and LAN) as would be needed
- Does not support 4K gaming due to limited speeds and bandwidth
The simple yet powerful NETGEAR AC1200 makes the list for our best routers for gaming. The duo antenna Wi-Fi router is what a good combination of functionality and enhancements looks like. Besides having speeds of up to 300+900Mbps for a seamless gaming experience, the router allows for Wi-Fi upgrade to allow support for wide range of ac devices. Other devices it supports include the N150, N300, and N600.
Other major enhancements include IPV6 for a better performance, ReadySHARE USB Access wirelessly access & share USB storage, and connection is via the NETGEAR genie app that makes managing your home network a breeze.
The router allows for support of up to 4 peripheral devices, such as your home computer, console, and others.
I would recommend it for those gamers who do nothing else besides playing their game. If you love heavy multimedia access such as 4K streaming, you might not get the best experience with this one.
- Access and share your files easily via ReadySHARE USB feature
- Upto 4 devices on the Ethernet ports
- 4K streaming and gaming works perfectly
- Two antennas never seem to satisfy the network coverage speeds for standard gaming on multiple devices
- Supported fewer devices than most routers on this list
This is the router I would highly recommend for the best balance between performance and price. The router allows for 4K streaming on a myriad of devices including AC devices. For N300+AC900, it is possible to upscale the speed to 1200 Mbps AC Wi-Fi. The advanced gigabit Ethernet ports are best with any of you wired devices.
TP-Link Archer AC1200 Router has its own app, the TP-Link Tether app that allows you to remotely manage your home network. There is also USB Access that allows for a wireless sharing of USB content.
For your home PC to work with the router, it must operate under Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1/10 MAC OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux. Any other system Operating System is not supported.
The router works with Amazon Alexa but lacks the voice control function. It also works with all Wi-Fi devices, AC and previous builds.
The router comes with a 2-year warranty and a free 24/7 technical support even after the warranty period expires.
Won the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Wireless Routers” based on J.D Power Rank in 2017.
- Has its own app, the TP-Link Tether app for managing your network remotely
- You can access devices on the network using TP-Link DDNS Service
- The gigabit Ethernet ports are ideal for any data plan
- Expensive compared to other routers within its technical specifications
- CPU Processor is a single core that will not deliver the super-fast performance characteristic of most gaming routers
- Too slow for seamless 4K gaming
D-Link comes in as one of the best router for gaming that costs way under $100.
The speeds vary from 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) to 867 Mbps (5GHz) to a total of 1200 Mbps. This will deliver a smooth gaming experience as well as HD/3D multimedia streaming.
QoS is advanced on this one, having a good client prioritization for bandwidth optimization. This is further facilitated by the dual band which allows you to use either band independently- one for gaming and the other for media streaming.
Your internet is secured by Secure Wireless Encryption Using WPA or WPA2 Security which saves you the lengthy self security procedures.
- Parental control allows you to limit website access to other sites
- High-gains antennas ensure a wider coverage around the game
- Single core CPU processor does not allow for smooth performance
- Color invariant- only black color available