Even if your PC has the best possible hardware, your online gaming experience could be impacted by an underpowered router. That’s why many companies are producing high-end routers specifically designed to improve network performance while gaming, and now one of Netgear’s options is only $299.99 at multiple stores. That’s a savings of $50 from the usual price.
The model on sale is the Netgear Nighthawk XR1000 AX5400 gaming router. It has just about everything you would expect in a high-end router, including Wi-Fi 6 support (though not the newest 6E protocol), WPA3 security, a USB port for connecting drives to your network, and dual-band Wi-Fi broadcasting (so both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks are available). Netgear promises local wireless speeds of up to 5.4 Gbps, and there are five Gigabit LAN ports on the back of the router.
There are a few extra gaming-related features, too. Netgear’s Bandwidth allocation (QOS) feature can prioritize traffic from gaming devices, so network usage from other people and devices in your home shouldn’t interfere with your online matches. The web panel can also display ping information for servers used by popular games.
We reviewed the Netgear XR1000 earlier this year, and it earned a 77/100 for its fantastic Wi-Fi performance and feature-packed operating system. However, more ports (especially USB connectors) would have been nice, and the web panel is sluggish at times. Netgear also charges a subscription for its security package.