Chances are, you got a load of shiny new tech things for Christmas. And those shiny new tech things all demand a connection to your already stressed wireless network in your home. What you need is some kind of meaty gaming router to help you prioritize traffic to your PC, maximise ping while you're gaming, and slow everyone else's usage to a slow crawl. If you decide to even let them onto the network while you're crushing new Overwatch players. Maybe this is you. Or maybe you just need a new router and want the cheap gaming router deals for this week. Either is fine.
Early 2019 is a good time to refresh your PC set-up with either the latest parts, or the heavily discounted picks from last year, and while they're far from sexy, gaming routers are a good thing to upgrade if you play plenty online or want to optimize your connection for downloading and streaming. What we have here are the cheap gaming router deals for this week, on a range of models. Some are ridiculously expensive, but super high performing, while others are cheap and cheerful but still robust enough to get the job done. You'll find most of these models on our guide to the best gaming routers or our picks for the best mesh router kit for gaming.
Cheap gaming router deals this week
Linksys WRT Gaming Wifi Router | $144.46 (save 50%)
One of our favourite mid-range routers with great built-in networking optimization. This is is as cheap as it's ever been on Amazon. Buy at Amazon
TP-Link Archer C5400X | $331.57 (was $399)
The Archer C5400X is a formidable gaming router, especially over the 5GHz range. It has heaps of great features, it's easy to use, and... is currently 25% off. Buy it from Walmart
Netgear R6700 Nighthawk | AC1750 | $89.99 (save $40)
One of the top models when it came out, the R6700 is still a formidable router with excellent range and fast speeds. Buy at Amazon
Netgear R700P-100NAS Nighthawk | AC2300 | $170 (save $20)
This is a essentially a faster version of the above model, with some additional features sprinkled in. Namely, it works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to control your home network using voice commands. Buy at Amazon
Our favorite gaming routers
Netgear Nighthawk XR500
Our favorite router of 2018
Speed: AC2600 | LAN Ports: 4 | Antennas: 4 | Processor: Dual-core 1.7GHz | Dimensions: 12.7 x 9.6 x 2.2 in (321.9 x 243.7 x 55.0 mm) | Weight: 1.77 lb (801 g)
If you're looking for a specialized gaming router, this is very much the one to get. While it isn't the most powerful, offering a dual-core 1.7GHz processor that allows AC2600 speeds, it does bring brilliant performance over the 2.4GHz range and packs in a bunch of features that are perfect for gaming. The QoS gives you the ability to prioritize gaming traffic, and there's additional Bandwidth Allocation features that let you further enhance the flow of your connection. It's perfect if you share a connection with other users, which includes everyone who doesn't live alone.
The drawbacks come over the 5GHz range, where the XR500 lags behind some of the premium routers like the Rapture GT-AC5300, and the lower number of LAN ports is a bit of a concern if you're looking to connect more devices to it. However, for the regular PC player looking for a rock-solid router, at a reasonable price, this is the one to get.
ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
The best high-end gaming router
Speed: AC5300 | LAN Ports: 8 | Antennas: 8 | Processor: Quad-core 1.8GHz | Dimensions: 11.46 x 4.72 x 14.88 in (291 x 120 x 378 mm) | Weight: 4.14 lb (1878 g)
If money is plentiful, this is the gaming router to get because it's technically the best you can buy. We only recommend the Nighthawk XR500 over this one because it manages to balance performance with price. This maintains great speeds over both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz ranges, and manages the lowest video packet loss of all the routers we've tested. It has all the extra stuff you'd expect, including eight LAN ports and two USB 3.0 connections.
On the customization side, it not only has the usual QoS options that allow you to prioritize gaming traffic, but it also has WTFast, which further enhances and stabilizes the connection for gaming. Sure, the unit itself is a bit of a beast (it's really large, and looks like a dead spider), but that's what you get with such a powerful gaming router.
A top mid-price gaming router
Speed: AC3200 | LAN Ports: 4 | Antennas: 4 | Processor: Dual-core 1.8GHz | Dimensions: 9.68 x 7.63 x 2.04 in. (245.87 x 193.80 x 51.82 mm) | Weight: 1.76 lbs (798.32 g)
If you're sticking to a budget, but still want performance, the WRT32X is the one to go for. While its speeds aren't the best over 2.4GHz, it does great work on the 5GHz range, equalling the performance of many more expensive models. What sets this router apart, for the price, is what's called KPE (Killer Prioritization Engine), which enhances game-specific traffic incredibly effectively. Combine that with the speeds it already offers, and this router punches well above its weight for the price.
However, if you have a laptop or motherboard with Killer NIC, this further boosts the performance of the gaming optimization, so you're getting even more performance. No, the speeds aren't quite as good as the $400 routers on this list, but for the much reduced price you're getting a plucky router that really does perform above its price.
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