4 Gaming Routers That Might Fix My Busted Home Network (And Yours Too, Perhaps)

4 Gaming Routers That Might Fix My Busted Home Network (And Yours Too, Perhaps)
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I confess: I wrote the following piece because my gaming router at home is getting very old, and once I started doing my research, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to pass some of it along.

A powerful warhorse in its day, the years have not been kind to my aging, 2014-era Netgear Nighthawk. At nine years old, it has been on many rental adventures with me and has been solid-as-a-rock throughout. However, it has started having connection issues of late and its LAN ports have grown tired and toothless. The end is nigh.

So I started looking around for new gaming routers. My personal requirements are for something powerful and quick, that can cover the lower floor of the house, service the approximately 100,000 devices I have in my possession and those of my three housemates, and maintain solid ping when gaming online during peak evening streaming hours.

In short, I’m the nightmare scenario that keeps network quality-of-service architects up at night. And if you’re reading this website, then you probably fit a similar profile.

My search has been long and wide ranging, and I hope my findings will help you on your quest as well, fellow home network constructor. Below, you’ll find what I consider to be the four top-flight gaming routers of the moment. Before you run to the comments, a bit of fair play: everything I’ve listed is quite expensive. The reason I have selected routers in this upper price band is that I got almost a decade out of then-similarly-priced Nighthawk and in an attempt to mitigate the pain of the expense somewhat, I hope to get another decade out of my next router too.

I’ve included the RRP on each of the following gaming routers so you’ve got a ballpark idea of what they’re going for, and some links where you can buy each one (should you see something you like). Most of the retailer links offer deals and discounts off the ticket price, so you should hopefully be able to grab a bargain if you did decide to take a punt. I’ve also included a few reviews to provide in-depth appraisals and more rounded commentary on each model.

Without further ado:

MSI RadiX AX6600

gaming routers
Image: MSI

The MSI RadiX AX6600 is a tri-band gaming router, boasting transfer speeds of eight streams up to 6600 Mbps. It features dual 5 GHz bands and a single 2.4 GHz band to ensure strong coverage and reliable speed within its range. One of the AX660’s big box features is that has AI-controlled QoS (quality-of-service) that allows it to better respond to the data demands of your home network.

This is, obviously, what all QoS functionality does — detects which parts of the network require the most bandwidth and prioritises accordingly. In this regard, I’m unsure how an AI would help there outside of possibly allowing the system to make those prioritisations faster or clearer? Maybe learn which ones to prioritise? I’ve reached out to MSI to find out more about the AI QoS on the RadiX AX6600 and will let you know if I hear back.

In terms of its cabled functionality, the Radix AX6600 comes with one 2.5 Gigabit port (assignable for either incoming internet or outgoing LAN) and four Gigabit ports. It also comes with a comprehensive set of controls, accessible via web browser or via MSI’s desktop or smartphone app.

On the list of drawbacks, it doesn’t have WiFi6e support, setting it apart from other routers on this list. Your mileage may vary there — for some, no WiFi6e will be a dealbreaker (or perhaps a reason to hold out for gaming routers with WiFi7). For others, it won’t matter at all.

Price: $399 RRP

Some reviews: TweakTown | PC Gamer | Hot Hardware

Where to buy: Amazon ($409) | Centre Com ($369) | Mwave ($399) | PC Case Gear ($389)

TP-Link Archer AX11000

Image: TP-Link

The TP-Link Archer AX11000 looks like a monster and, on paper, has the kind of performance you’d expect from a monster. 12 streams. Wi-Fi speeds over 10Gbps across three bands (2x 5 GHz and 1x 2.4 GHz). 1.8 GHz Quad-Core CPU and 3 coprocessors. It’ll link into TP-Link’s OneMesh platform if you’ve already got one of those in the home. On graph paper, it’s a mighty router, though it will take up quite a bit of space on any desk or countertop you place it on.

That’s the trouble with some of these routers. Unless you live in an immaculately appointed cyberpunk apartment out of Ghost in the Shell, few routers of this kind cooperate with modern interior design trends. Sitting in my otherwise perfectly normal living room while a visiting friend nervously asks, “Why is there a techno spider on the kitchen counter?”

If you do have the kind of space to accommodate its bulky antennas and expansive wingspan (and don’t mind its very capital-G Gamer styling), it’s an excellent option.

Price: $699

Some reviews: PC Gamer | Tom’s Hardware | Dong Knows Tech

Where to buy: Amazon ($475.98) | Catch ($480.57) | Mwave ($599) | Kogan ($449)

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Pro

gaming routers
Image: ASUS

After the TP-Link, I bet you thought these routers couldn’t get much more spidery in shape. Believe it or not, they CAN get more spidery. Meet the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Pro.

Another high-capacity, tri-band router producing network speeds up to 11,000 Mbps at full beans across three 160Hz channels. All routers come with a few extra bells and whistles to tempt the buyer, and this one comes with a built-in range extender (?). The device uses ASUS RangeBoost Plus tech to boost its own overall wireless range by, ASUS says, up to 38%. Something to think about if your signal typically falters at the edges of your home.

Price: $999

Some reviews: PC Gamer | Games Radar | Dong Knows Tech

Where to buy: Amazon ($848) | Mwave ($999) | PLE ($843) | Scorptec ($869)

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500


This list of gaming routers wouldn’t be complete unless I included a router I consider to be The Nuclear Option. A router so ridiculously high-end and expensive that it makes my eyes water, but which would likely solve all my problems without breaking a sweat.

For those that can’t abide the upturned-spider look, would you perhaps consider something that looks like an Imperial transport from Star Wars? That’s certainly Netgear’s hope in its high-end range of Nighthawk routers, that take a slicker, more slimline approach to their external design. They’re not just for looks either — Netgear boasts that its winged design is optimised for speed and coverage by default, allowing it to deliver speeds of up to 10.8Gbps over WiFi (under the right conditions).

In terms of its performance, the RAXE500 feels like it charges through the field. With a price tag this high, of course, that should be expected. If I’m shelling out a thousand bucks for a gaming router, its grasp of the fundamentals had better be so tight it cuts off the circulation.

Internally, the RAXE500 is no slouch, a tri-band (6GHz+5GHz+2.4GHz) router with a range of up to 325sq m. Certainly something to think about for larger homes.

Price: $1,099

Some reviews: PC Gamer | Tom’s Hardware | Tom’s Guide

Where to buy: Amazon ($889) | JB Hi-Fi ($799) | Mwave ($1,099)

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At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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