What are the Best Modems and Routers for Gaming?
Whether you’re a pro gamer or just getting started, you may need a reliable router and modem to level up your gaming experience. The modem, router, or gateway that your internet service provider (ISP) offers may not be the only option for you as a gamer.
In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the best routers and modems for gaming, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these essential devices.
How we chose the best modem and router for gaming
If you’re shopping for a modem, it’s essential to learn about the speeds and standards it supports. These features help you know if the device is compatible with your internet service plan.
Router features, including its performance, supported speeds, latency, and ping, help you extend your internet range, optimize your internet speed, and improve your gaming experience. Plus, traffic management and prioritization features help you increase internet performance and prevent lag when you have multiple smart devices connected at once.
Best modems for gaming
It’s time to learn more about modems for gaming and we’ve compiled a list of some of the best:
Best cable modem for Gig internet plans
The Motorola MB8600 is a modem that gives you a steady connection and fast speed. This gaming modem is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 3.0—the latest standards—making it compatible with most cable internet service providers and supports internet plans up to 1000Mbps. It lets you connect multiple smart devices and still get high speeds without worrying about slowdowns when gaming. Plus, it supports most protocols—like IPv6—for your wireless connection. Currently, the price for this modem is around $140.
Best cable modem for multi-gig plans
NETGEAR Nighthawk CM2000
This cable gaming modem supports speeds up to 2500Mbps and DOCSIS 3.1 with a price around $300. It’s compatible with most cable ISPs such as Xfinity, Spectrum and Cox. It delivers a fast internet connection for gamers of all levels. A hard-wired connection will give you an uninterrupted and reliable gaming experience. It supports Wi-Fi 6, but it only has one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port.
Best cable modem with multi-processor technology
The Motorola MB8611 cable modem currently sells for around $180 and supports up to 2500Mbps and DOCSIS 3.1. It also has a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port to have a steady internet connection via Ethernet cable. Plus, it has an Active Que Management system to reduce latency, giving you a lag-free gaming experience and stable internet connection. You also get a two-year guarantee and customer support. It has an ARM-based application processor for faster performance.
Best cable modem with multiple Ethernet ports
ARRIS Surfboard S33
The high-performance ARRIS cable modem for gaming supports speeds up to 2500Mbps, Wi-Fi 6, and the DOCSIS 3.1. Its price is currently around $199.
You can use an ARRIS Surfboard S33 for a faster, steady internet connection throughout your home. It also has two Ethernet ports—one 2.5Gbps and one 1Gbps—allowing you to have two different networks for a reliable gaming experience. Also, it has several certifications, which means that it’s compatible with most cable internet providers. But note that the Wi-Fi range is on the shorter side and doesn’t work with ASUS AiMesh, which is used to extend your internet signal.
Most affordable modem
At $49, this cable modem supports speeds up to 680Mbps, the DOCSIS 3.0 standard, 16 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels. It has a high-performance Intel Puma 6 chipset for a steady internet connection and plug-and-play functionality. Plus, a 1000Mbps Ethernet port.
Best routers for gaming
If you already have a modem and don’t want a 2-in-1 gateway, we bring you a list of the best routers for gaming.
The fastest tri-band router
TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
The TP-Link Archer router is for pro gamers, and supports speeds up to 2Gbps. Plus, it has a tri-band connection for handling multiple high data activities at once. Have an uninterrupted gaming experience without lag using this router. It lets you play online games and watch a 4K video at the same time without any issues.
It has a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and three co-processors for fast and stable overall performance. This router manages and prioritizes traffic to avoid hang-ups. This router has security features, including setting up a VPN. A two-year warranty is included to get support for any technical issue you may have. Currently, its price is around $350.
Best tri-band router for gaming
Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300
Another option for your gaming experience is the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 for around $420. It has high-performance capabilities like a tri-band connection, gives you high speeds, and lets you connect multiple devices at once. Plus, it offers additional security features such as a personal VPN, built-in protection for Game IPS, and an antivirus tool. It also has a ROG Game Dashboard for full control of traffic optimization.
Best dual-band router
The Asus gaming router gives you a fast connection with a starting price around $180. Plus, it supports high speeds of up to 2700Mbps and Wi-Fi 6 and handles multiple devices connected at once. So, your internet connection won’t get slower when gaming and streaming simultaneously.
Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
The Netgear gaming router is the best secure router for speeds up to 2Gbps and a lag-free gaming experience. It makes sure you won’t get those little blips and slowdowns that make you lose a game. Its operating system, DumasOS 3.0, reduces ping rates by 93%—helping you play without lag.
Plus, this gaming router supports Wi-Fi 6 and has dual-band connections to get high speeds when you have multiple devices connected at the same time. It has several security features such as guest access Wi-Fi, a personal VPN, and built-in antivirus and anti-malware protection. Currently, its price is around $250.
Best gateways for gaming
A gateway is a 2-in-1 device that has a router and a modem and are a popular choice because they save space and money. The following gateways can improve your gaming experience:
Best DSL internet gateway
The Motorola DSL gateway, at $250, supports speeds up to 100Mbps for DSL internet. This gateway has quality-of-life (QoL) features such as a firewall, VPN capabilities, and NAS support. It gives you a reliable internet connection and a two-year warranty.
Best cable internet gateway
Netgear Nighthawk CAX80
This gaming gateway supports speeds up to 6000Mbps and DOCSIS 3.1. At $500, this gaming equipment supports high internet speeds and has dual-band coverage. It also offers a security feature such as a built-in Bitdefender security and WPA/WPA2 wireless standards.
Best cable internet gateway with tri-band mesh technology
Netgear Orbi All-in-One Cable Modem Router
This Netgear gateway is a $622 cable gateway that supports speeds up to 4200Mbps and DOCSIS 3.1. It’s a piece of reliable equipment for any pro gamer. Also, it has a built-in Quad-Core 1.4GHz CPU, which is a processor, for fast processing.
The gaming gateway also has security features like the Netgear Armor with Bitdefender — to avoid DDOS attacks and infiltrators. It works with most cable ISPs and is easy to set up.
Best cable gateway with 4 gigabit Ethernet ports
The ASUS cable gateway supports speeds up to 6000Mbps and DOCSIS 3.1 standard with a starting price around $355. Plus, it has four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Most affordable cable gateway
TP-Link Archer CR700
At $30, this cable gateway for gaming supports high speeds up to 1750Mbps and DOCSIS 3.0. It also has a plug-and-play installation.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Should you rent or purchase your gaming equipment?
Purchasing your gaming equipment is a long-term investment that lets you save some money on monthly bills, and you can pick the equipment you want. But, if you need to repair or upgrade your equipment, it would be your responsibility. Plus, you have limited support after the warranty expiration date. If you don’t want to deal with those issues, you may rent a modem and router.
Rental equipment providers offer customer support, software updates, return policies, guaranteed speed and compatibility with your ISP, and repair service. But, this service is expensive due to monthly fees.
What to look for in a modem and router for gaming
- High speeds: A modem and router must support high speeds to handle multiple devices at once.
- Traffic prioritization: Your gaming equipment must have traffic prioritization features to avoid internet issues when you’re gaming.
- Wi-Fi vs Ethernet: You should check if your equipment gives you a steady wireless connection that is as good as hard-wiring or using an Ethernet cable.
- Equipment: You should also consider the number of platforms you use to game. You may need a router or modem with multiple channels or ports.
What is the difference between router and modem?
A modem connects smart devices to the internet, and a router gives you a wireless connection. This means you don’t need wires such as an Ethernet cables to connect to the internet. Plus, a router gives you more benefits than a modem, like expanding your wireless connection on your home and optimizing your internet speeds.
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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 4/19/22.
Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.
*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/16/22.