Ok, so you have your brand new Xbox One. Or hey, you might still be playing games on your Xbox 360 – that’s still cool, we won’t judge you!
You play games online with your friends, people you love, people you hate, and lots of strangers…that you probably hate too, lol.
Of course, as we all know, a good solid and reliable Internet connection is very important for online gaming. And not just for gaming… people use their consoles to stream TV, movies, watch demos etc too. Once again, the Internet connection becomes all-important.
So no doubt you’ve done your homework and researched the best ISP for the best Internet connection, and hopefully you’ve signed up with the best… which is great.
However, one piece of hardware is usually forgotten about for a smoother gaming and streaming experience. Yep, it’s the good old router.
Each router is different. Some can handle more than others. Some have more features than others. Some process the packets (traffic) faster and more efficiently – reducing latency & jitter (a very good thing!)
So, what is the best router for the Xbox One? What is the best router that is going to give you the edge when playing games online? Let’s kick off with the Nighthawk…
Best Router for Xbox One
1. Original Netgear Nighthawk R7000
The best all-rounder, for most people, is probably the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 router. It’s the original Nighthawk router, and still a solid performer.
Gamers experience fewer problems with Restricted NAT, even when there are more than 2 console users using the same router…
We look at more routers further below…
Router Features To Consider For Xbox One
Try To Use Cables!
If you can, try to use Ethernet cables to connect to your router. Yes, it’s so convenient to use Wi-Fi. But sadly, Wi-Fi can be prone to interference, which can affect your connectivity and of course, your gaming. The last thing we want is for some stranger to kill you in Call of Duty, even though you pulled the trigger first!
If you really can’t plug the Xbox One into your router via Ethernet cable, then consider using a Powerline adapter. These use the wiring in your home. Plug one adapter into a power outlet near your router, and the other in an outlet near your Xbox One, and then use Ethernet cables either end.
Powerline can be better than using wireless, depending on the router and/or how far away your console is from your router (the less Wi-Fi signal, the worse it is)
Quality of Service
Also shortened as QoS, Quality of Service is critical, especially if you share your router with others.
QoS is a feature on your router that restricts or prioritizes particular traffic types and/or certain users. By doing this efficiently, you can ensure that your Xbox network traffic is protected from others on your network who perhaps unknowingly may be affecting your gaming pleasure.
If someone in the home is downloading torrents or themselves gaming, streaming movies or just updating their anti-virus, this could potentially suck away all the available bandwidth from you. NOT cool.
With some quick and simple manipulation of the QoS settings, your world will be a whole lot sweeter.
Routers ship with their own branded firmware. This can be enough and give you enough options and features to work with, but to have ALL the tools at your disposal, DD-WRT is the answer – or something similar…e.g. Tomato.
But installing free DD-WRT or Tomato firmware can give many more options than what ships out of the box.
You can adjust advanced QoS, uPnP options, adjust antenna power settings and more.
Remember, it’s free, and even if you are a total technophobe, with a little time setting up correctly, your network will be streamlined so much more…
Make sure your router has uPnP functionality. Most routers have this (and even if it doesn’t, upgrading the firmware – see above – will let you do it).
uPnP lets your Xbox One communicate with the Xbox Live servers on the Internet with limited restriction. It ties in with NAT…
NAT Open (Port Forwarding)
In conjunction with uPnP, you can port forward traffic from Xbox Live to your Xbox One console by using port forwarding. This means you can join a whole lot lore online games and not get kicked out of games so much either!
2. Linksys WRT1900AC – A Great All-Rounder
The WRT1900AC has DD-WRT available as an option out of the box. It also has those cool retro looks of probably the most famous router ever – the WRT54G, which was released all those years ago.
The Absolute Best Router For Xbox X – Money Is No Object!
You have a healthy bank account and will pay for the best, no matter how much? Ok, well there are options for you…
3. Netgear Nighthawk X10 – R9000
>>> Go to Amazon <<<
Netgear’s most powerful consumer standalone router (as of 2017).
The Nighthawk X10 R9000 is a bit of a beast…
So, first off, it’s got cumulative wifi speeds up to 7.2Gbps. Ok, so 4.6Gbps of this is for the 802.11ad band, which runs on 60MHz. Now, you won’t be using this for gaming. This is actually designed for bridging within a closed space, or for future Ultra HD streaming within line-of-sight close proximity.
The remaining 2.6Gbps will be used for gaming (well, the 1.7Gbps 5GHz band will be). Of course, there are gigabit LAN ports available. You can also aggregate some of these ports (for compatible devices).
There is also of course QoS, Quad Stream MU-MIMO, and a Quad Core CPU for grunt.
Of course, a powerful router comes with a bigger price tag than normal. But hey, we did warn you above!
4. Asus RT-AC87U AC2400 Router
>>> Go to Amazon <<<
The RT-AC87U is a MU-MIMO router which helps optimize multiple clients at a time (as long as the clients also support MU-MIMO).
Also consider these…
5. Nighthawk X6
Fantastic router. This is brilliant. Get it. Blah blah…
Yes, it really is that good. It’s a Tri Band and especially good for client-heavy networks
6. Asus RT-AC3200
Another Asus, and another Tri-Band router. Very fast performer, with again, plenty of features.
Gaming Routers For Xbox One On A Budget?
Looking for something a little cheaper that won’t break the bank?
7. D-Link DGL-5500 Gaming Router
This budget gaming router from D-Link has been around a few years now. Don’t let that put you off. Ok, so it’s not got all the latest features (like in-depth QoS), has basic wireless features (it’s not .11ac), and only has 100Mbps LAN ports…but it is on OpenWRT’s list of supported routers, should you want to get your hands dirty and swap out the firmware.
Here are some other cheaper options available…
8. Asus RT-N66U
Another very popular router, and its been around for quite some time now. Has Quality of Service and is very easy to manage.
9. TP-Link TD-W8970
Another Wireless 802.11n router, and again Dual Band. This budget router has many features, is a solid enough performer, and is dirt cheap. Doesn’t have DD-WRT option though, if that’s important to you.
Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…
We also wrote an article on the best Wi-Fi routers for PS4