Best Cheap Gaming Router in 2021

When it comes to computers nowadays, a cheap gaming router is an absolutely necessary piece of equipment. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything without their assistance. For those who are curious as to why this is the case, the explanation may be found on the internet.

It is likely that you have observed that disk drives have become obsolete if you have purchased a computer in the last few years. The vast majority of modern laptops and desktop computers do not include a DVD or CD ROM drive, and to be honest, I don’t believe anyone is bothered. The ability to download anything you want at breakneck speed is made possible by high-speed internet connections.

And, as you can surely imagine, gaming routers are crucial for getting the most out of your gaming session. Many people like playing online games, and we have seen an increase in the popularity of battle royale online games in recent years (Apex Legends, Fortnite, and many others). It goes without saying that everyone would want to have a lag-free experience and be able to fully enjoy the game.

However, even if you enjoy playing single-player role-playing games, you will want an online connection to do so. The majority of gamers will not purchase a physical copy of the game unless it is a collector’s edition, according to the survey results. This implies that they will have to use a digital game shop such as Steam, Epic, Uplay, Origin, GOG, or any other similar service.

The only method to get the game and play it is to download it from the server of your local retailer’s website. And it is at this point when cheap gaming routers come to light once more. Finally, some players still like playing games via a local area network (LAN), despite the fact that the popularity of LAN parties is not as widespread as it once was.

Read more: Best Gaming Router

ASUS Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router (AC1750)

ASUS AC1750 WiFi Router (RT-AC66U B1) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router, ASUSWRT, Gaming & Streaming, AiMesh Compatible, Included Lifetime Internet Security, Adaptive QoS, Parental Control

If you have been keeping a watch on the cheap gaming wireless routers’ release, you must have come onto the Asus RT-N66U model. Back in 2013, it was classified as one of the finest N routers for homes and workplaces, but the quick development of the wireless technologies prompted Asus to introduce an upgrade. The RT-AC66U became the first Asus router that supports the ac WiFi standard. Today, it is known as a cheap gadget offering reasonable coverage and trouble-free games.

Similar to its predecessor, the RT-AC66U appears like a present box, but the removable antennae suggest that this is truly a router.

At a first inspection, the back seems a bit crowded. It has four LAN ports and one WAN port. The latter can be utilized as an extra LAN port anytime the device is not functioning as a cheap gaming router but as an access point or a media bridge.

Right next to the ports, you will notice two USB 2.0 ports, the power and reset buttons, the WPS button. The lights on the front display the router’s performance and start flashing in case of an issue.

You may configure six guest networks, three for the 2.4GHz band and three for the 5GHz band, respectively. The Web interface is responsive and simple to use.

The RT-AC66U includes the so-called AiCloud function that lets you to access and share/ stream material to Android and iOS-run devices. Essentially, you may distribute material to distant users from any machine in the network. However, bear in mind that you cannot utilize the functionality unless you have a DynDNS account.

The “Advanced” tab of the Web interface also allows you to construct a secure virtual private network (VPN) for remote users. The router supports IPv6, as well as the much-needed in gaming QoS.

To sum up, the RT-AC66U router delivers consistent performance and many of the capabilities normally seen at routers that cost at least $50 more. It is a fantastic bang for the buck and although it did not show itself as a gadget offering blazing fast data speeds, it gets the job done.

Read more: Best Wifi Router

Netgear Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router (R6700) 

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750 Mbps | Up to 1500 Sq Ft Coverage & 25 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports | Armor Security

Top of the list is the extremely popular Netgear Nighthawk, which is also the most expensive option. It has a processing speed of 1,750 megabits per second (450 dual band plus 1,300 mbps). The router also has additional capabilities such as Beamforming Plus, Dynamic QoS, and Smart Connect, all of which are designed to aid the router in concentrating wireless signals and managing network traffic.

A dual core CPU running at 1 GHz and three enhanced antennas help to increase the signal and data processing speed of this router, allowing for more dependable and faster gaming performance. Netgear also offers a sophisticated security system that protects against viruses, spyware, and computer theft, among other things. The Netgear Nighthawk app makes it simple to set up your Nighthawk cheap gaming wireless router.

TP-Link AC1900 Archer C9

TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router - Beamforming Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Internet Routers for Home, High Speed, Long Range, Ideal for Gaming (Archer C9)

Surely you are all familiar with the Archer C7 router, but this time around, its more sophisticated sibling will be the focus of attention.

The Archer C9 is one of the most reasonably priced AC1900 routers launched by a well-known manufacturer in recent years. In certain areas, it falls short, but after all, you can’t expect a router that costs less than $100 to compete with the Nighthawk X10 in terms of sophisticated capabilities.

Despite this, the Archer C9 makes up for it with an inconspicuous design and wireless speeds of up to 1,300 megabits per second. The cheap gaming router is beautiful, however, it begs for a little more in terms of usability and functionality. Neither can the C9 lay flat nor be wall-mounted, although these are minor drawbacks if the price and performance of the router are your primary concerns.

Other features include three removable antennae, as well as LEDs that enable for “at a glance” diagnostics on the Archer C9 router. The rear of the device has all of the necessary connectors, including an Ethernet socket, four gigabit Ethernet ports, a reset button, a WPS button, and a USB 2.0 port. The USB 3.0 port is placed on the left side of the device.

The capacity of the C9 to deliver theoretical speeds of 600Mbps over the 2.4GHz band and 1,300 Mbps over the 5GHz band is the device’s most compelling selling feature.

By using the TP-Link app on your iOS or Android device, you can manage your router from anywhere at any time.

The Archer C9 is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget. You should consider the C9 as an excellent option if you are searching for a suitable replacement for your present router. Despite the fact that it may not have the top specifications of certain other TP-Link routers that cost three times as much, it is a dependable, durable, and affordable device.

NETGEAR R6230

NETGEAR WiFi Router (R6230) - AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Speed (up to 1200 Mbps) | Up to 1200 sq ft Coverage & 20 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 2.0 USB ports

The NETGEAR R6230 model is the next low-cost cheap gaming router to make the cut, so without further ado, let’s have a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

In addition to two external antennae, the R6230 router features a simple design. The front of the device has LEDs. The power DC socket, four LAN ports and one WAN port, a USB 2.0 port, and a separate WiFi button are all located on the rear of the device. The WPS button allows you to connect a new device to your network without having to enter your password.

The router is equipped with an 880MHz CPU and 128 MB of DDR3 RAM.

This router, like its predecessors, operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies concurrently and has a potential combined speed of 1200Mbps. It is similar to the NETGEAR R6230 in that it operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies simultaneously. If you want the fastest possible connection, you should use the Ethernet ports.

The manual installation is straightforward, but bear in mind that you will want information from your Internet service provider in order to finish the procedure. Alternatively, you may configure the router using the NETGEAR UP app, which is available for iOS and Android devices.

Overall, the R6230 router performs admirably and as advertised. For multiplayer gaming, HD video streaming, and large houses where several devices are connected to the router at the same time, this is a good value for money solution.

TP-Link Smart WiFi Router Archer A7

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control, QoS

Similarly, the Archer A7 is a popular model that has received the JD Power award in both 2017 and 2019. The dual band router is upgraded to provide you with 1,750 megabits per second (450 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 1,300 Mbps for 5 GHz). This router is equipped with three antennae to provide long-range WiFi (up to 2,500 square feet). Fast and dependable gameplay is made possible by bandwidth prioritization (QoS) and a robust signal.

The Archer A7 is equipped with four Gigabit LAN connections as well as one USB port. The USB ports may also be used as a media server, allowing you to quickly share USB drive material with others.

The TP-Link Tether app’s compatibility allows you to control and manage your WiFi network from a distance. In addition, TP-Link provides WPA/WPA2 sophisticated wireless encryption as well as a guest network to further increase security.

Linksys E8400

Linksys AC2400 4X4 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router, Optimal for HD Video Streaming and Lag-Free Gaming (E8400)

If I had to choose a gaming router on a tight budget, I would go with the Linksys E8400 model without a second thought. It is a very powerful gadget that will assist you in getting the most out of your gaming experience. Despite its small size, Linksys packed it with all of the capabilities you could possibly need for your gaming/streaming session.

Despite the fact that the E8400 provides lightning-fast throughput in close proximity, I would not consider it to be the best long-range router on the planet. Furthermore, it does not support MU-MIMO or the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi management function, which are both optional. Having said that, it provides far more than meets the eye at first glance.

On the surface, the E8400 resembles its more expensive Max Stream sibling, the EA8500, in terms of appearance and port arrangement. Additionally, it features four detachable antennae, a wide area network connector, four gigabit Ethernet ports, a wireless protection system, a wireless network configuration utility (WPS), and reset buttons, as well as a USB 3.0 port. The USB 2.0 port may be used as an eSATA port in addition to being a USB 2.0 port.

The E8400 is powered by a dual-core CPU running at 1.4GHz. It supports beamforming technology, however, some of you may find the lack of MU-MIMO functionality to be a deal breaker.

As previously stated, a mobile device cannot be used to configure the router. Despite the fact that it does not make use of the Smart WiFi console, the installation is straightforward. It will provide access to features such as beamforming, MAC Address filters, IPv6 firewall settings, SSID, SSID Broadcast, Channel Width, and FTP Server parameters. It will also provide access to features such as WPA2/WPA2 security, parental controls, and port forwarding, as well as QoS. This means you have access to an enormous number of administration options at your fingertips.

It’s a great deal for gamers on a tight budget, so if you’re willing to make up with the absence of MU-MIMO and the fact that you have to use the older Web-based console rather than the Linksys Smart WiFi interface, don’t hesitate to give it a try.

ASUS Dual Band Gigabit Router RT-ACRH17

ASUS AC1700 WiFi Gaming Router (RT-ACRH17) - Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router, 4 GB Ports, USB 3.0 Port, Gaming & Streaming, Easy Setup, Parental Control, MU-MIMO

The RT-ARCH17 is capable of connection rates of up to 1,700 megabits per second (400 Mbps for 2.4 GHz and 1,300 Mbps for 5 GHz). 256 MB of RAM is available to the quad core CPU, which allows it to better handle network traffic and connection. It also has MU-MIMO and AiRadar Beamforming with four antennas to enhance network flow, in addition to other features. Furthermore, this gaming router has an impressive range of more than 2,500 square feet, making it an ideal choice for outdoor use.

Wireless security settings enable you to keep an eye on other network users as well as USB devices that are linked to the network. There is also a guest WiFi option available on this router.

How to Choose a Best Cheap Gaming Router

A cheap gaming wifi router can have a variety of distinct characteristics, which you should consider before purchasing one. You want to be certain that you are getting the quickest, most dependable, and most secure connection speeds possible within your budgetary constraints. Each of the routers described above delivers a quick and dependable connection, so you won’t have to be concerned about that in this case. However, it is still beneficial to be aware of what to look for.

One of the most significant (if not the most important) characteristics that a decent gaming router should have is what is known as Quality of Service (QoS) (Quality of Service). It helps you to prioritize traffic over other content (movie streaming, downloading) and prevent delay while playing a game on a computer or mobile device. It is unnecessary to tell out that cheap routers may not come equipped with all of the bells and whistles of their high-end counterparts, but there are a few additional characteristics to consider before making your final selection.

Single-Band vs. Dual-Band Router?

Typically, a single-band router, which costs less than $50, is a reasonable option for the typical user. In order to maximize gaming performance, you should invest in a dual-band router (2.4GHz and 5GHz bands).

Do I Need a Router with MU-MIMO Technology?

The multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology is used by the vast majority of routers that have been launched in the last two or three years. Prior to the adoption of MU-MIMO technology, routers were equipped with single-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (SU-MIMO) technology. When compared to traditional routers, which can only transport data to one device at a time, routers that use MU-MIMO technology can deliver data to numerous devices at the same time. SU-MIMO devices, on the other hand, should not be regarded as old antiquities.

They only send data to one device at a time, but they do so on a rotational schedule. A SU-MIMO device would be sufficient to fulfill the networking requirements of a small home in the majority of situations since the rotation occurs too quickly to be seen. However, if you have a hankering for online gaming and you share your router with users who frequently download huge files or stream movies, the MU-MIMO technology will ensure that data flows smoothly to all of the devices connected to it.

AC or N Router?

When it comes to gaming, the “ac” routers outperform the “n” routers by a wide margin. If you haven’t chosen the “Basic” package and are paying a significant monthly amount to your ISP in order to access high-speed Internet, you must ensure that your router is capable of handling the additional bandwidth. You’d be better off with a “ac” router in this situation.

Price:

This list contains only cheap gaming routers that are under $100 in price, with the majority of them being around $50. Many gaming routers are available for purchase in the $200-$300 price range. However, as you can see, you do not have to spend a fortune in order to have a reliable router.

Mbps:

Megabits Per Second (Mbps) is an abbreviation that refers to the speed at which data is transferred. Simply said, this is the rate at which data is sent across the network while you’re gaming. For ordinary gaming, you just want approximately 3 megabits per second. Having said that, quicker is usually preferable.

Network Traffic:

An extensive list of features was provided here that assist in controlling the flow of network traffic. When you have many devices connected to the same network at the same time, you will see that they might “fight” over the connection. A large amount of activity on a network might cause everyone’s connection to slow down, resulting in a poor gaming experience for everyone. Dual band, beamforming, multiple user multiple input multiple outputs (MU MIMO), and other features enable your devices to use the network more efficiently and minimize latency.

Range:

This refers to the distance that the WiFi signal will be able to travel. Before you go shopping, you need to know the square footage of your house (and yard, if you use any electronic equipment outside). Make certain that the router you purchase has the capability of covering all of the essential locations. Given that the typical home is around 1,700 square feet in size, anything beyond this is generally considered a good choice. However, many routers have a range that is far greater than this.

Compatibility with devices:

The routers described above are compatible with a wide range of consoles, PCs, tablets, phone service providers, and other electronic devices. However, not every router is designed to work with every device. As a result, be certain that you get a router that can connect to your specific device. Furthermore, routers will differ in terms of the number of devices that they can connect to at the same time. This need will differ from user to user, so make sure you have a rough idea of how many devices you will need to connect before making a purchase.

Ports:

Routers will also include a variety of LAN, WAN, and USB connections to allow for a direct network connection to be established. You may or may not require these ports, depending on the device(s) to which you want to connect them. In the event that your wireless connection experiences problems or you receive a device that is unable to connect wirelessly, it is always beneficial to have them on hand.

Security:

A number of security features such as firewall protection, password encryption, guest WiFi, virtual private network (VPN), and so on are essential for ensuring that your personal data is always secured on a network.

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