Best Budget Gaming Routers 2020 : Buying Guide & Reviews
Are you thinking to get yourself a best budget router for gaming? But before you sprint towards the nearest gadget store, you must ensure that you are aware of what you are buying.
Purchasing a gaming router is not as easy as buying a calculator where you specify the brand, size, and then pick it up. You have to bear in mind a number of important factors and specifications. You must first have a list of things to consider before buying the best budget router for gaming.
Many think that buying a router merely about its size. But it is beyond that. Routers are electronic devices. Thus, the hardware and capacity must be taken into account regardless of its size and looks.
A gaming router is frequently under heavy load to deliver outstanding performance. The best budget router for gaming is one that can handle not only the current performance needs, but also the future demands of 4K video, Twitch streaming, VR, and the like.
Thus, buying gaming router is a crucial decision. This guide is specially designed to give you great gaming experience and help you choose a best budget router for gaming. Here you will get the best router for gaming 2020 along with a list of important factors to consider before buying a router.
Top 10 Best Budget Router for Gaming 2020
1. Asus Gaming Router Tri-band WiFi
Best Features: It is supremely, fast, and powerful. The gadget broadcasts three wireless bands. It works with five Gigabit Ethernet ports. It comes with USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. It is easy to use and understand. It offers a wide WIFI coverage.
The ASUS Gaming Router Tri-band WiFi router is supremely fast and powerful. It has the capacity to broadcast Wi-Fi to all corners of the room.
The Asus RT-AC5300 Tri-band Gigabit Router does not disappoint in terms of its vast features and characteristics. The main feature as included in the name is that it broadcasts three wireless bands. It implies that you can benefit form one 2.4GHz band at 1000 Mbps for older legacy devices, and two 5GHz bands at 2167Mbps 802.11ac. The purpose with multiple bands is that you can connect older devices on the 2.4GHz band, thus getting space for 5GHz bands for new devices.
The second 5GHz band helps to spread the traffic and focused on gaming and 4K media streaming. Also you can use the three separate wireless networks in a home and office setting, and the 8 huge antennas, give the device a distinctive look help to beam the networks around a building. They can be adjusted to point in various directions, thus enhancing network coverage.
The other features include WPA-Enterprise and WAP2-Enterprise encryption, MU-MIMO, adaptive QoS, guest network functionality, VPN servers, 3G and 4G data sharing and link aggregation. Additionally, it also has five Gigabit Ethernet ports, of which one of them is a dedicated WAN port for connecting up to your existing modem. The device also has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. With the Asus RT-AC5300’s features you can be assured that for such a price tag, you are benefitting from amazingly robust and feature-rich gaming router.
The process of installing and setting up Asus RT-AC5300 is fast and simple. All you need to do is, plug it in, and then connect your laptop to the open Asus network. When you connect to it, it takes you straight to the Quick Internet Setup wizard that guides you through the process of checking you connection and configuring your internet.
If you wish to have complete control of the setup process, then you can make use of the manual mode which gives you the ability to add or remove features. It comes handy if you wish to turn off some on the more gaming and streaming-orientated features.
After the device has been properly set up, you can easily access the router’s settings interface by typing in router.asus.com
The user interface is easy to understand and use. It also provides you with all the information you need to be aware of your network. However, you cannot own firmware like OpenWRT. As such, you will not be able to get full control over your router.
The download speed usually records at 151.19Mb/s, but keeps changing according to locations and range. But, you can tweak the antennas to a certain direction to boost the dropping speeds.
All in all, the Asus RT-AC5300 offers excellent Wi-Fi coverage. Thus you do not have to worry much as even in large homes and offices you will be able to connect your devices for adequate data transfer speeds. The USB 3.0 port enables hard drives and USB sticks to be shared across the network. Considering the good performance and the excellent amount of features, the ASUS Gaming Router Tri-band WiFi router stands first in our list of the best budget routers for gaming 2020.
Wireless Standard: AC5300 | LAN Ports: GT-AC5300 | Wireless Speeds: 802.11ac| Range: 2500 Square feet | Frequency Bands: Tri-Band
2. Netgear (R7800-100NAS) Nighthawk X4S AC2600
Best Features: It is fast and has a wide Wi-Fi signal reach. It supports MIMO, which allows you to connect to many devices. If you have fast internet, the router will adjust to it. It offers a stable signal and offers very wide coverage. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA port.
The Netgear X4S AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800) is an extremely fast device with an excellent Wi-Fi signal reach. It supports MIMO that helps boosts the speed in a crowded home. However, it has a bloated Web interface that offers a relatively slow network storage performance when combined with an external hard drive. But, if you wish to have a router that covers a large home and connects many devices at once with exceptional performance, then X4S is an apt choice.
With X4S is simple tasks like sharing files or backing up your storage don’t consume much time. Also, if you have super-fast Internet speed, then the device will easily adjust and accommodate to that speed. It has a long range and a stable signal to offer you decent Wi-Fi coverage in your home
This model works the best with less than a dozen Wi-Fi devices simultaneously, but technically it has more capacity. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA port. The device can also function as a printer and storage server when you connect it USB printer and an external hard drive.
If you are new to this world, then you may face issues trying to customize your network with the X4S. On the other hand, pro-users may find the customization options less.
It come with four detachable antennae and five network ports (four LAN ports and one WAN/Internet port). The device is easy to set up and use. It comes preconfigured with a Wi-Fi network.
X4S comes stuffed with all the elementary settings for home routers, such as firewall, dynamic DNS, port forwarding and more. Additionally, it includes a OpenVPN server, and dynamic quality of service (QoS) control. The feature that sets it apart is that supports the new Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology. Itenables the router to send out multiple simultaneous transmissions of different Wi-Fi tiers to different Wi-Fi clients simultaneously, enabling each of them to connect at the top speed they can handle. Thus it provides a highly efficient connection to the user.
In a nutshell, the Netgear X4S AC2600 Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800) is super fast and has a long range with stable signals. If you have approximately 10 active Wi-Fi clients with a fast Internet connection, then this is an apt choice for you.
Wireless Standard: AC2300 | LAN Ports: 2 x 3.0 USB and 1 x eSATA ports | Wireless Speeds: AC2600 | Range: 160MHz | Frequency Bands: Dual-Band
3. D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router
Best Features: It is has a long-range wireless router. It can be used as a network storage server if a USB hard drive is attached to it. It has the capacity to support several devices and perform well. It has components that are well built, which make it durable. It is very easy to set up since it comes with preset aerials. It is very effective and affordable.
The D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router is popularly known as the best long range wireless router. The Dir 890L/R is one of the most appealing best budget routers for gaming in the market.
It can to act as a network storage server when an external USB hard drive is attached to it. It is one of the top notch devices designed mainly for home networks, small business and gaming networks.
It has an iconic and sporty look with some very useful features. The router has the capability to supports many devices at once with a powerful performance. It also has a Tri-band compatibility with a total bandwidth of 3200 Mbps.
Not only it is appealing to the eye, but it carries six distinctive antennas that are spread out over the body. The components used are durable and the build quality offered within the price range is marvelous.
Since it is a tri-band router it has the ability to support all kinds of Wi-Fi devices.
The router comes with a Broadcom Dual Core 1Ghz Processor which allows it to handle the load pressured by many devices easily and smoothly. Also, it even helps in handling the USB ports that can be used for printers and haring hard drives. The network sharing speed is good and easy to use.
The router is easy and simple to setup. It has the aerials that come pre-fitted, so once you have connected it to your modem you can log on any connected device. It has all the required security functions such as parental controls, guest user access control and WPA/WPA2 encryption for networks.
It comes with a limited time warranty of 1 year for parts as well as labour. Also if the buyer is not satisfied the product it can be returned within the first 45 days of purchase. The The D-Link AC3200 Ultra Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router offers an outstanding performance with futuristic design.
Furthermore, it offers all of the features including SmartConnect band steering and Beamforming technologies, drag-and-drop QoS management, parental controls, website filtering, and Firewall settings. The router has an intuitive, user-friendly Web interface that makes it easy to customize settings. Its mydlink Lite mobile app allows you to handle things from your smartphone.
Wireless Standard: 1GHz dual core | LAN Ports: 5 | Wireless Speeds: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac | Frequency Bands: Tri-Band
4. Netgear R7500-200NAS Nighthawk
Best Features: It is known to have the strongest hardware, which makes it durable. It has a1.4GHz dual-core processor, which makes the NASA performance outstanding. It has a quick and simple installation process. It has special features that allow it to recognize applications like file transfers, web browsing, gaming streaming, among many more. It has the Ookla’s speed test, which allows it to determine the bandwidth of your internet and set the limit.
Netgear’s Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart WiFi Router has the strongest hardware specs in the market.
Netgear’s R7500 uses the Quantenna chipset. It supports a theoretical 600Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1.7Gbps at 5GHz.
The router is built around a 1.4GHz dual-core processor. This speedy chip makes a difference in NAS performance. It has two dual SuperSpeed USB ports 3.0 ports. Additionally, the R7500 has an eSATA port that is useful if you want to use more storage.
The R7500 has a very simple and quick installation process. After you power on the router and connect it, you can set it up through a PC or laptop using an Ethernet cable connected to the computer. You can also connect a wireless device to the R7500’s preconfigured wireless network.
The R7500 has a special feature of Dynamic QoS that recognizes applications such as gaming, streaming, file transfers, and Web browsing, and prioritizes them appropriately.
The router embeds Ookla’s speed test in its interface to determine your Internet bandwidth. It then automatically sets the upload and downloads bandwidth limits. If you want, you can manually enter your own preferences.
For a wireless coverage, the R7500 is good at sustaining throughput in 2.4GHz mode than most other routers.
Wireless Standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac | LAN Ports: 4 | Wireless Speeds: 2.35Gbps | Frequency Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
5. TP-Link AC5400
Best Features: It has three bands that allow great connectivity, particularly when you are playing a game. It offers the user flexibility and freedom. Its beamforming, NitroQAM, and high power amplifiers allow the gadget to have excellent performance. It is very easy to set up and use; everything can be done through the tether. It is affordable and yet very effective.
The TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Smart WiFi Gaming Router is big device that has three separate WiFi bands, beamforming and various other technological benefits specially designed do away with your WiFi issues.
It is a big bulky router that almost as large as a PS4 console and it also has its own power brick.
The huge device has a 1.4GHz dual core CPU and three co-processors inside.
Each co-processor helps you to optimize a particular WiFi band that the router operates on. The main processor ensures that the components remain stable no matter which band you are connected through.
The availability of three different bands for users to connect to is great, especially when playing a game. It offers flexibility and freedom.
This router with its beamforming, high power amplifiers and NitroQAM offers excellent performance no matter how far the router is from us.
If you wish to connect it to a cable, then the AC5400 features four gigabit LAN ports.
Just like other routers, everything can be done through an application for Android or iOS called Tether.
The Tether is really simple to use and everything can be done from Tether including setting up network names and passwords, creating a guest network and even managing parental controls. All in all, the TP-Link AC5400 Tri Band Smart WiFi Gaming Router is one of the best budget routers for gaming in the market.
Wireless Standard: 802.11ac | LAN Ports: AC1900 | Wireless Speeds: AC1750 | Range: 30 ft. | Frequency Bands: Tri-band
6. NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S AC4000
Best Features: It allows for the use of MU-MIMO, which makes the gadget suitable for the use of three users. It has two ports that can be aggregated to allow for higher bandwidth. It comes with a DLNA which is compatible with the streaming of movies. It is suitable for homes that are using a lot of gadgets up to 10 gadgets.
This router is long and low, with six attached antennas that flip out and into position, but can also be flipped down flush along the top for transport. It’s one of the best router designs out there currently. it looks aggressive without being over the top, massively huge, or just boring and conventional.
The only flaw with the design is because it’s so flat, all the LEDs that run up the center portion of it can’t be seen easily, unless you are standing right in front of it looking down.
it supports MU-MIMO, so if you have compatible wireless adapters it’s able to serve up to three clients at the same time on both of its 5GHz bands for a total of six separate streams. Since it’s a tri-band router you get dual 5GHz bands capable of up to 1,625Mb/s, and up to 750Mb/s on its 2.4Ghz band. Out back the router has the usual suspects, with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one Gigabit WAN port.
There is one advanced feature though, which is two of the ports can be aggregated for higher bandwidth. In order to use this feature you’ll need a specific NAS drive or switch that supports it though, and you can’t just connect two cables to your laptop or desktop to achieve the extra bandwidth.
There are also two USB ports – one USB 2.0 port for printer sharing, and one USB 3.0 port for file sharing. There’s also a reset switch, power connector, and a switch to turn off the LEDs in case they are too bright. The top of the router also has a WPS switch for easy pairing, and a Wi-Fi on/off switch for when you go on vacation and are too lazy to just unplug it.
Powering the whole shebang is a 1.8GHz dual-core processor and three Broadcom SoC chips, which Netgear refers to as “offload processors.” There’s also 512MB of RAM in there.
Finally, it’s DLNA compatible for movie streaming, and you can control this router with Amazon’s Echo/Alexa devices as well as Google Home.
The actual commands it can understand are incredibly limited however, and are listed here. It also supports Smart Connect, which puts all three bands under one SSID and then “intelligently” connects devices based on available bandwidth and compatibility. I’ve used it in the past and it works pretty well, and is great for homes with 10+ devices as nobody has to worry about trying to figure out with network to use.
Wireless Standard: AC4000 WIFI | LAN Ports: AC4000 | Wireless Speeds: 802.11ac | Range: X6 R8000
7. D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO
Best Features: It comes with an MU-MIMO feature. It has two USB ports (3.0 and 2.0). The device is very fast, and it is also known to be responsive. It offers consistent signals. It is convenient for anyone with a large house and many devices in use.
The D-Link EXO AC2600 router (DIR-882) offers each and every feature that you expect in a router under $200. It is a dual-band 802.11ac router with one 2.4GHz band and one 5GHz band. It comes with theoretical speeds of 800Mbps and 1.7Gbps. It comes with a special MU-MIMO feature that enables it to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously and also has a Advanced AC Smartbeam that helps to rejuvenate Wi-Fi dead zones in your home or office.
The router includes two USB ports (3.0 and 2.0) for connecting network storage or a printer, quad-stream technology for optimal signal strength and DLNA media server support to help you stream media between devices. The device is extremely fast and responsive. The D-Link EXO AC2600 router (DIR-882) is great for anyone with a large house that requires a total Wi-Fi coverage. The device offers consistent signals and many features.
Wireless Standard: 1750 Mbps | LAN Ports: 4X4 | Wireless Speeds: 801.11ac | Range: AC 1900 | Frequency Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
8. TP-Link AC1900
Best Features: It offers very high speeds of (5GHz (1300Mbps) and 2.4GHz (600Mbps). It has a touch screen display. It is suitable for online gaming and video streaming. It is able to manage multiple tasks. It is affordable.
Now upgrade your networks to 802.11ac with TP-Link AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Gigabit Router. The device offers the latest, most powerful Wi-Fi technology under $150. It offers a Wi-Fi connectivity speed over 5GHz (1300Mbps) and 2.4GHz (600Mbps) bands. This enables you to enjoy lag-free 4K HD video streaming and online gaming.
The most appealing feature is its Intuitive touch screen display that allows easy setup and network management. The device’s 1GHz dual-core processor has the capacity to manage multiple tasks at once without interruption. Its Beam forming feature focuses the Wi-Fi towards devices to form stronger connection. The AC1900 router comes with four gigabit Ethernet ports for lightning-fast wired connections. Regardless to say, it the best budget router for gaming 2020.
Wireless Standard: 600Mbps | LAN Ports: 5 | Wireless Speeds: 1300Mbps | Range: AC2600 | Frequency Bands: 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
9. Linksys AC3200
Best Features: It reduces peak ping. It allows for the speed of data processing. Every user has a dedicated data stream. It is affordable.
The Linksys AC3200 Dual-Band WiFi router is the very purpose-built gadget to prioritize gaming. Its engine identifies, prioritizes and accelerates gaming network traffic over everything else. Also it reduces peak ping by almost 77%. It promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing. Each connected user device gets its own dedicated data stream. Thus multiple users wouldn’t have to fight with one another for bandwidth.
The WRT32X gaming router also features a pro-grade Gigabit Ethernet switch with four ports, enabling it to connect to multiple gaming rigs or consoles.
Wireless Standard: 802.11ac. | LAN Ports: AC3200 | Wireless Speeds: 3.2 Gbps | Frequency Bands: Tri-Band
10. ASRock G10 AC2600
Best Features: It is very fast. It is affordable. It allows for multi-user MIMO Gaming.
The ASRock G10 AC2600 Gigabit Gaming Router enables Multi-User MIMO Gaming. It is very fast with 8 Antennas 5GHz (1733Mbps) & 2.4GHz (800Mbps). The device offers high power antennas that deliver wireless signals up to 360 degrees.
The Gaming Boost Gives your online games and consoles the bandwidth that it requires for the best gaming experience automatically. The router also has an Infrared Transmitter and Receiver, Support Bit Torrent Download function.
Wireless Standard: 802.11ac | LAN Ports: 5 | Wireless Speeds: AC17500 | Frequency Bands: 5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Buyer’s Guide for Gaming Routers
Considerations Choosing Budget Routers
Each one wants to get the best of the hard-earned money that we spend for a product. So, if you wish to get the perfect value and worth of your money, then buying a best budget router for gaming that suits your needs makes a lot of sense. In order to get a great product for your money, you need to follow a certain set of rules or factors that need to taken into consideration before finalizing any deal. Here are some key points that you need to keep in mind before buying the best budget router for gaming.
When you go shopping for a the best budget gaming router, the very first thing that you should look for is the routers range. Range simply implies its area of coverage. Thus, it is important that you know how big your house is. It means you must have perfect idea of the exact amount of square meter. This information will be used to determine what type of router will suit to meet your needs comfortably.
It is very important to understand the range that the router provides, in cases where you wish to connect multiple devices to the network throughout the house. Additionally, of you wish to get the same powerful network in each corner of your house, having a wide range is very much useful.
As such, the positioning of the router is very crucial. The router must be place in a central location, at a distance from other gadgets or obstructions and high up on a shelf.
However, even when you have positioned the router in the rightlocation of your house, you may run into dead spots, where the wireless signal just can’t reach. In such a situation, taking help of heat map software can help you maximize your wireless coverage, but it doesn’t mean it will be as strong in the extreme corners of your house.
In many situations, purchasing an affordable router (or even two) along with some power-line adapters will help you better than anything.
Presently, there are two frequency bands for routers. These include 2.5GHz and 5GHz band. The 2.5GHz band is ideal for long rang and also obstructs near the perimeter. That said, this bandwidth has the capacity to penetrate walls and floors, and offers a lower data speed.
On the other hand, the 5GHz band is an ideal choice good for shorter range but lacks good obstructions. Even with this limit, when it is placed in an appropriate location, you will experience a faster data speed.
The above described situations should help you to get an idea about the suitable router choice for your house. However, if you face both issues like obstructions and also the requirement for faster internet speed, then you must choose a dual-band router. It means a router that offers both the 2.5GHz and the 5GHz frequency band. However, it will also mean that you will have to spend more.
Deciding between a single-band and dual-band router is very easy. If you reside in a crowded area, then you will be satisfied with a dual-band router. However, if you don’t need faster wireless speeds and also you don’t have a densely populated neighborhood, then a single-band router will be enough. If you’re after a dual-band router that’s not just limited to gaming specifics, check out our best cheap wireless routers!
Another important factor to consider is the price of the router you wish to purchase. When you have enough or more money, then the price shouldn’t be a matter of concern. But if you have a limited budget, then you should consider the pros and cons before making a choice.
It is important to know that the specification mentioned on the box of the router is a theoretical speed. The routers are tested in labs and are basically based completely on the hardware specification, used to assemble it.
As such, when you think of real-life speed, you cannot get a better idea about your chosen router’s maximum capability than to read and understand users’ reviews. Read different reviews and know if it lives up to the specification mentioned on the cover.
Quality Of Service(QoS)
QoS is mainly used to prioritize the internet traffic for Ethernet ports, online games, and applications. If you need one or some of these features, then just ask the salesperson to help you with it. But, make sure you understand the functions clearly, as you will be the one using it. Thus, you would want only the best for your own sake.
The QoS facility helps to prioritize gaming traffic over other content and ensures low latency during game play. It becomes important when other people on the network are simultaneously consuming bandwidth, such as streaming videos or downloading game files.
The wireless technology standards have gone through a transformation over the last decade. For example, most new laptops, smartphones and tablets, make use of the latest standard, 802.11ac. It implies that they have the ability and capacity to offer faster speeds over Wi-Fi. If you have an internet connection facility that promises speeds in excess of 100Mbps and you are still using a Wireless N router, then the limits of the router’s wireless capabilities may create a hurdle for your network.
Search of Dead Spots In Your Wi-Fi Network
This mentioned, if you do not have any other gadgets that support Wireless AC, then the router isn’t a big issue. This is because the market offers individual client devices. However, there are possibilities that when you upgrade your computer or mobile, they will have support for 802.11ac.
If your Internet Service Provider offers faster speeds, it might be wise to upgrade to an AC router for future. If not, bear in mind that when you do upgrade to a faster internet speed connection, you may have to change to a new router.
Life Span/Hardware Durability
Each and every electrical device has a lifespan and majorly depends on its hardware. The other factors that have a direct impact on the devices lifespan are the construction, the brand, and the quality of the component.
It is important to understand that networking hardware does not last forever. It is not only the Not only standards that undergo changes often, but also the networking hardware goes through a lot of stress every day. If your Wi-Fi connection is stretched across many devices, the stress increases. When more devices are added load only gets larger. As such over time, a router’s performance can degrade.
Thus keeping in mind its constant use, it is wise to think about the warranty. The hardware and also the software have a tendency to fail and if you’re not so tech-savvy, it makes sense to secure things. Most routers come with a warranty of a year or two.
Today, Routers with USB ports are mostly used for cheap networked storage. You can easily attach plug an HDD or flash storage drive into the router and share data with any gadget on the network. Additionally, it also enables you to create a networked media hub for streaming movies and music shows locally.
However, if you do not require networked storage, then you must not be really concerned about the USB support system in the best budget router for gaming you are looking for.
Consider Software and Security Features
If you wish to get complete control of each and everything that passes via your router, then buy a router that has advanced firmware including a decent firewall. This router must also offer additional features that you may need, and also supports the installation of third-party advanced firmware like DD-WRT,.
A number of routers even allow and restrict internet access for your children based on time slots and offer guest access for your visitors.
The above mentioned points are set guidelines that help you in your decision-making easier when buying a best budget router for gaming. But, it depends from person to person and their requirements. However, overall these are crucial points to bear in mind. It is possible that you may not understand the benefits of this knowledge initially, but in the long run, you will find that you have made the right decision. Buy a router with the adequate customization options. If you wish to tweak many settings, make sure you have it available.
Thus, make full efforts to give yourself the best router your money can buy. Do not settle for any router that looks appealing, but be wise and know about it before you seal the deal
Now that you’ve understood how your best budget router for gaming should be, isn’t it time to go buying from the above list? Hope our list of the best budget routers for gaming 2020/21 suffices your needs and budget. Don’t wait, Go Gaming!