We published an article based on the best gaming routers for Xbox One. That seemed to go down well, but it’s not fair on the Playstation 4 owners out there among you, so it’s definitely about time we rounded up the best wireless routers for PS4. Keep you guys happy too 😉
More info on the top pick routers further below...or you can click the links above to take you to Amazon.
5 Best Gaming Routers For PS4/Playstation 4
But before we do, here is what we consider to be the best router for your PS4. It’s not the fastest router, nor does it have the most features, but it is a top all-round router. Not just for gaming, but for all your home networking needs. I’m guessing you guys download and stream…maybe even from your local NAS box?
1. Netgear Nighthawk R7000P AC2300 Router (Best Value For Money)
For some of you it probably comes as no surprise. We love Netgear, and the Nighthawk series of routers have been a giant success for Netgear…
What’s not to love about the R7000P Nighthawk? Not only does it still look badass, it has features aplenty for you to tweak to your gaming needs. It’s got cumulative data rates totaling 2.3Gbps over 2 bands (yes, it’s a dual band router).
Best of all, it’s not going to break the bank. You can get dedicated gaming router rigs that cost several hundred dollars – and they’re great, but this holds its own. There are better (and worse) spec’d routers further below that we are going to talk about, but the R7000P wins our best PS4 router purely on balance of features and budget.
R7000P Top Gaming Features
Dynamic QoS – Quality of Service is so important when you’re gaming. Even if you only have consoles on your network, who is to say another console or PC isn’t updating something in the background? QoS can stop this, when set up correctly.
Beamforming+ – Extends coverage even further. This tech pinpoints where the wireless clients are and hones the bandwidth on them when needed.
Multiple Devices – Having Dual Band functionality and fast wifi means that this is great for multiple devices. You router is always going to work better with fewer (or even just one) console or PC hanging off it, but it will support many nodes at the same time. Netgear claim it’s good for up to 35.
Dual Band – It has 2 bands. Sweet.
DD-WRT – Install open source firmware to get more out of your router
Anyway, now that we have that off our chests – let’s get back down to business…
Now let’s be honest, there isn’t any real difference in features or performance that you need to be aware of, whether you are a PS4 or an Xbox owner (or a PC gamer for that matter).
To remind you of what to look out for, and be wary of, we will compile a list of features and technologies that will help you make your choice. And hey, it might even make your choice more complicated, but don’t shoot the messenger!
We’ll also provide you with some tips to get the best out of your router (or the router you are going to purchase).
Yeah, yeah, we don’t need to be told this
Ok, so we’ve talked about the Netgear Nighthawk R7000P. However, there are other choices! Maybe you have something against Netgear, you know, you just don’t like them or something? Not sure why you would, but there are indeed alternatives.
Let’s take a look at some now, shall we?
2. Asus RT-AC88U AC3100 Router (Runner-Up)
>>> Read more on Amazon <<<
The RT-AC88U does have plenty of grunt up its sleeve, even though it’s been around a while now…
Best 88U Gaming Features
WTFast – This is a free tool that comes bundled with the 88U. It allows connectivity to games servers over an optimized path. This should help those with poorer Internet connectivity.
Quality of Service (Adaptive QoS) – Prioritize that traffic, baby!
DD-WRT – The RT-AC88U actually has its own version of DD-WRT with quite a lot of features as it is. You can however upgrade if you desire.
Smart Connect – Intelligently places nodes on less busy bands.
3. TP-Link Archer C5400X AC5400 Gaming Router (Mean Machine)
>>> Read more on Amazon <<<
The C7 was the original Archer in TP-Links top-of the-range series. Then we had the C8, and then the C9 and manyh more after.
TP-Link have traditionally been on the more budget side of the fence, but the C5400X kinda breaks the mold. Oh, and it looks like military stealth drone. What’s not to like?
This is a good modern router to hook up your PS4.
Archer C5400X Gaming Features
MU-MIMO – Up to 4 connections concurrently. However, as PS4 is Wireless N, it can’t use this Wireless AC/AX technology. Remember though that some of your other network devices can, so let them have the MU-MIMO love, and keep your 2.4GHz band free for your trusted Playstation 4.
Beamforming – Yup, once again, the Beamforming coverage extending technology rears its lovely head again!
Dual Band – Uh-huh.
CPU – Powerful 1.8GHz processor to make sure all your clients get the “juice” they need.
4. Asus RT-AC68U AC1900 Router (Best Budget)
>>> Read more on Amazon <<<
Once upon a time, the two best routers in town were the original Nighthawk….and this, the Asus RT-AC68U.
In all honesty, there is almost nothing to choose between them. They are both quality routers, but at the end of the day we had to pick one!
Asus RT-AC68U Gaming Features
Compatible with DD-WRT – Yup. Be careful upgrading. It is recommended to use the Asus Firmware Restoration Tool for the process
5. Netgear Nighthawk AX12 AX6000 Router (Best Of Best – Money No Object)
>>> Read more on Amazon <<<
The Nighthawk AX12 (also known as RAX120) could be what you need to take your gaming to the next level.
In actual fact, the AX12 can help out if you have a network with a few users on it. The AX12 is a Wi-Fi 6 router, so it’s equipped to take more users and giving them more bandwidth each. This is all helped out with MU-MIMO (and OFDMA), which can concurrently talk to 8 clients at exactly the same time.
The Wireless AX standard was brought out precisely for this requirement…to give more bandwidth to more devices at the same time. It must be noted, that at time of writing, Playstations don’t have Wireless AX radios, so they can’t take advantage of this new technology – fingers crossed the PS5 will! But as more tech starts onboarding the Wi-Fi 6 standard, the can use this tech and your trusty PS4 will have more of the other bandwidth (on the 2.4GHz band) to play with.
There is a feature called Smart Connect (kindly brought to us by Netgear). Smart Connect automatically balances clients over the 2 bands. Theoretically, this helps users get the most out of the WiFi network.
However, if you really want to take full control, we recommend you manually override Smart Connect and keep your PS4 on its own band. That way, there is less chance of congestion. Of course, you can also implement QoS and even better, plug your PS4 into the RAX120 via one of the Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
The X8 has combined theoretical data rates of 6Gbps over the two bands (2.4 & 5GHz).
RAX120 Gaming Features
MU-MIMO – Helps increase throughput for multiple clients that support. At time of writing PS4 is Wireless N. MU-MIMO is a Wireless AC & AX feature, so not applicable. PS5 perhaps?
Dynamic QoS – For traffic shaping…on your terms.
Dual Band – Keep your PS4 on 2.4GHz. Mover everything else onto 5GHz to help stop unwanted competition on your gaming traffic.
Router Features To Look Out For
PS4 Ethernet vs Wi-Fi vs Powerline
We’ve said it time and time again. If you can use Ethernet cabling, use it. It will always beat Wi-Fi for speed and reliability. Alongside this, there are too many known unknowns with wireless and how reliable it is. Wireless is prone to interference, which can affect connectivity and increase latency. You really don’t want that.
Cables have wire pairs that can send and receive simultaneously. Wi-Fi however is half-duplex, which means it can only either send or receive at any one time. This doesn’t really matter in most cases, but in time critical gaming, it potentially could be the difference.
So yeah, if you can, use Ethernet. Now some of you may have your PS4 located too far away from the router or really can’t drag a cable across the room or multiple rooms. Well, there is another solution which might still be better than using Wi-Fi…and that is by using a Powerline adapter.
Also check out: Best wired routers
Powerline adapters basically plug into your power sources and utilize the electrical wiring in your home. Each adapter should plug in close to source and destination devices. Then use your node’s Ethernet ports to connect to the Powerline plugs.
Now, don’t expect the Powerline solution to be as good as Ethernet. It is yet again half-duplex, and it can be prone to interference and under-perform depending on the age and quality of your home’s electrical wiring. BUT, it could be better than using Wi-Fi. There are no guarantees, it’s all about trial and error really.
Playstation 4 Wi-Fi & QoS
If you are using Wi-Fi, try to connect to a Dual or Tri band router, leaving your PS4 on its own band. If you have QoS, you can also prioritize your PS4 traffic over the Internet. By making sure the PS4 traffic always gets ‘first go’ on the Internet pipe, your gaming experience will be much less likely affected by other clients on your network.
Just to note however, at time of writing, the PS4 is Wireless N, not Wireless AC. And not only that, it is 2.4GHz only!
Sony may release a 5GHz adapter in the future, who knows? When they do, you can chuck the PS4 on one of the 5GHz bands. For the time being, it has to remain on 2.4GHz, and one of the problems with that are that a lot of legacy Wi-Fi devices are also 2.4GHz only, so they have to share the same band. This is when QoS really comes into its own!
Good CPU & RAM
Make sure you have at least a dual core CPU for gaming. It may not be so important if you are the only one on the network. But if you share your Internet, and you are implementing all these wonderful features, your router needs to have some power to deal with all the multi-tasking.
Having all these in place will help lower….
Latency (Ping) & Jitter
Keep these as low as you can. The lower they are the better your games experience will be.
This is especially true with FPS (First Person Shooters). Timing is everything in these types of games. Milliseconds can make the difference. You can even pull your trigger before your opponent in real-time, but if they have lower ping & jitter, they can potentially frag you! WTF!
Make Sure You Have A Good ISP (Internet Service Provider)
It’s all very well having a super-duper router. You could spend hundreds of bucks on a top-of-the-range router, but if your connection to the Internet is crap, then all your hard-earned money is flushed down the drain.
Research the best ISP’s for gaming for your area and if you can. Read reviews, and trawl gaming forums.
If you have to, spend a little extra. It really should make a difference. It’s not guaranteed, but the difference can be phenomenal. This is especially the case if you are using a router provided by your ISP. These are often not the best quality – not always, but often.
DD-WRT Router for PS4 (Oh, and Tomato & Open WRT too!)
DD-WRT is open source firmware that can be ‘flashed’ onto your router. Normally, your router has its own GUI.
There isn’t a problem with this in itself, but oftentimes, the router manufacturer doesn’t offer options for you to tweak in super-fine details to get your router set up to exactly the way you want it.
DD-WRT can though!
If your router supports it, you can switch your firmware to DD-WRT (there are alternatives, like Tomato & Open WRT)
A DD-WRT flashed router will definitely help with Quality of Service (especially for the routers with limited QoS options). It can also help with wireless connectivity and you can monitor your network more thoroughly.
Another big bonus of DD-WRT is using a VPN. Using OpenVPN (or PPTP/L2TP for that matter), you can download content that would otherwise have been blocked based on your location. It will also help with your privacy.
Yes, DD-WRT is badass…
However, it can be overwhelming for the less experienced out there. In this case, we recommend trying out Tomato firmware, as it can be a little easier to set up and use for the ‘newbie’.
*** IMPORTANT ***
Whether you are buying a router, or you have a router that you want to flash the firmware, make sure you do your research and ensure your router is compatible with either DD-WRT or Tomato. If it isn’t or you upgrade incorrectly, you can end up “bricking your router”…and it will end up in the bin.
Port Forwarding PS4
Port forwarding can play a crucial role in making sure you can talk to whoever your want (friends or otherwise) and are able to join and play any game.
We won’t go into too much detail, but the basic NAT types are:
• Open NAT > talk and play with anyone
• Moderate > mixed results as to who you can chat and play with
• Strict > You can only play with those who have Open NAT
Ideally you want to have Open NAT. This allows you to talk and play with anyone online.
Port forwarding basically tells incoming traffic (Playstation based) to be allowed through into your network to your specified console. Your router does this (if supported) by taking traffic bound for specific ports and forwarding it to you internal LAN IP (this is what your PS4 will have). The LAN IP would otherwise be unseen from the Internet.
The ports that need to be allowed through are:
TCP: 80, 443, 465, 983, 10071-10080
UDP: 3478-3479, 3658
TCP and UDP: 5223, 10070
Don’t worry, you aren’t allowing these ports through to your entire network. It’s just through to your console IF the port is specified inbound to your WAN IP.
OR enable uPnP (Universal Plug and Play). uPnP can be unreliable however. A lot of PS4 gamers just use the port forwarding option.
For a more definitive guide, check out this article from the www.playstationing.com.
We hope you enjoyed out roundup of the best wifi routers available for the Playstation 4. What about you guys, do you own a PS4 or do you have any experiences to share?
Why not let us know in the comments section?