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Best gaming router: do I need one, and which one?

When I heard about the first NIC (Network Interface CARD) for PCs I though to myself that this is another marketing gimmick to convince people into buying expensive stuff that don’t necessarily offer back the value you’d be expecting. But, it’s true what they say “if someone buys it I’ll sell it”. Now the ‘gamin’ prefix was extended to other networking products like wireless gaming routers. In this article I’ll try and explain why you would need a gaming router and what model to choose form the poll of existing best gaming router models found on market. This is an article from the gaming series, which now consists of Best Gaming Mouse and Best Gaming Keyboard.

The reasons you need a router for gaming

  • You need a wireless router that can maintain multiple simultaneous connections without dropping them. Imagine you’re fragging at a LAN party and you don’t want to miss a head shot because you’ve been disconnected
  • You need a fast connection, with very low latency that can support sending multiple small packages (typical scenario for a multiplayer games)
  • You want easy connectivity and some visual indicators on the router that help you see in a second what’s going on in your network
  • You want special configuration software that will ease up things, not complicate them

Want the best gaming router? Models you should choose from

D-Link DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming router

Dlink DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router
DLink DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router

This is one of the most expensive but rewarding at the same time wireless gaming router on market today. Dlink DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router  makes no compromises on features and performance: IEEE 802.11 n(draft 2.0, 2.4GHz or 5GHz networks) for a maximum 300 Mbps transfer speed, 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, 3 x external antennas.

Security protocols include 64/128-bit WEP and WPA & WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and advanced integrated firewall:Network Address Translation (NAT), Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) and VPN Pass-through / Multi-sessions PPTP / L2TP / IPSec. Administration and configuration of the DLink Xtreme N is done via a web interface that works with Internet Explorer, Firefox and other Java based browsers.

Special features of the DLink Xtreme N router wireless router include an LCD screen called Network Activity Display that gives users vital information about your router and current network settings plus SharePort technology for sharing USB devices like printers and storage over your network.

DLink DGL-4300 Wireless 108G Gaming Router

DLink DGL-4300 108G Gaming Router
DLink DGL-4300 108G Gaming Router

This is a less expensive gaming router that makes little compromise when it comes with speed and that’s the most important thing after all. The DGL-4300 108G Gaming router comes with GameFuel Technology that allows users to prioritize gaming traffic so that lag is a thing of the past as when this option is enabled and configured it gives maximum priority to network packets from your games application so that they won’t interfere with your torrents or software updates that run in background.

Plus the router has High-Performance CPU to support thousands of concurrent connections which is ideal for P2P applications and multiplayer interactivity.

Event if it’s a IEEE 802.11g compatible router  (54 Mbps maximum transfer speed) when it’s coupled with compatible DLink 108G devices the speed can increase to a maxim 108 Mbps. Up to 4 wired links get full 1000 Mbps transfer speed. D-Link DGL-4300 108G Gaming Router is small enough to be taken to a LAN Party, has a detachable antenna and vertical mount stand so it won’t take too much space, an ideal solution for crowded desks.

Linksys WGA600N Wireless-N Gaming Adapter

Linksys WGA600N Wireless-N Gaming Adapter
Linksys WGA600N Wireless-N Gaming Adapter

WGA600N is one of the more affordable gaming routers on market today but that doesn’t mean it’s not a very good option as it’s 802.11n compatible (2.4 and 5 GHz networks), gaming optimized, compatible with all network-ready game consoles, including Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 (GameCube and Playstation 2 can be connected by using special adapters purchased separately).

The Linksys WGA600N can also convert wired-Ethernet-ready game consoles to Wireless-N network connectivity and utilizes high encryption protocols: up to 256-bit Wireless Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) and secure Wireless LAN party gaming mode: one gaming adapter acts as a wireless AP, any further gaming adapter connects automatically using WPS – no computer required to setup the adapters.

If you don’t see any antennas on the Linksys WGA600N Wireless-N Gaming Adapter don’t worry: it has 2 internal antennas.

Belkin N1 Vision

Belkin N1 Vision
Belkin N1 Vision

The Belkin N1 Vision is not necessary a special designed gaming router but after I’ve tested it at work with a few colleagues playing multiplayer FPS games I’m pretty sure it’s worth the money plus is one of the best looking models on market. It has three antennas to ensure good signal quality at medium and high distance (range is rated at up to 1600 ft). All networkin info is easily accessible via the interactive network display LCD located on front of the router.

The N1 Vision is a 802.11n draft router with 4 Gigabit LAN ports and all the usual security protocols: Wi-Fi Protected Setup; WPA, WPA2-Personal, 64-bit/128-bit encryption, Multiple SSID. Maximum simultaneous supported users are as follows: 253 (LAN)/16 (WLAN).

Before we end

I want to emphasize one important idea: a wireless gaming router costs more, but can also be used in scenarios that don’t include games, as they’re optimized for traffic with multiple simultaneous connections sending large amounts of small packages sent every second.

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