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Top 5 Dual Band Routers

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200
Best Choice

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200

4.9

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Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750
Premium Pick

Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750

4.7

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TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750
Best Value

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750

4.5

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The internet environment has changed quite a bit since the single channel routers were first introduced. The number of devices accessing the internet at any one time in a single household has increased dramatically, and so has the need for a router that can keep them all connected to the internet.

Upgrading from a single channel router to a dual-band router is definitely worth your time and investment. 📡✨

The dual-band router is going to increase your speed and your Wi-Fi range. It’s going to decrease your network congestion, and let you do the things that you want to do on the internet without a lot of frustrating lagging or buffering.

The dual-band gaming router also acts as a central hub, where you connect your printers and store your media, allowing you to access them from any device on your network.


Best 5 Dual Band Routers for Gaming

A dual-band router has two bands or channels, one band transmits and receives a wireless signal at 5GHz, the second band sends and receives at 2.4GHz.

The 5GHz band is the faster channel, it’s designed for online gaming, high definition movie streaming, etc. The problem with the 5GHz signal is that it has a very short range and it is easily blocked by walls and furniture. These objects will cause the signal to drop out and get lost leading to a frustrating experience.

The 2.4GHz band is a slower channel with a much longer range. A 2.4GHz signal can travel long distances and still deliver a strong signal to your device. Most cell phones and other small devices rely on this band exclusively.

Most routers will send the 5GHz signal to a device until it realizes the 2.4GHz signal would be better, and some routers will even let you manually set which devices use each band.

Many Dual Band Routers also contain multiple processors that can process your signal faster, and some even offer cloud storage. Almost all of them can be set up in a few minutes using an app on your phone, and these apps offer tons of post setup options from power saving to parental controls.

Best Choice: Linksys Dual-Band AC1200

Pros & Cons

  • Easy setup
  • Great Wi-Fi coverage
  • File transfer can be slow

Specifications

  • Wi-Fi Speed - 1.2 Gb per second
  • USB Ports - 1x USB 3.0 + 1x USB 2.0
  • Antennas - 2x External
  • Wireless Compatibility - 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency, 5 GHz Radio Frequency

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 Review

The Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 is a relatively new router from a company that’s been with us for many years.

It will significantly increase your internet speeds to and from your service provider, increase the speed of transferring files between your devices, and lower latencies on streaming video and gaming. This router also features AIRadar which senses a weak signal and strengthens it.

The USB 3.0 port on the back panel allows you to transfer files between your devices at increased speeds and there are even more USB ports on the back for plugging in printers or any number of devices or drives. It also comes with five Ethernet LAN ports for plugging directly into the router and increasing your speed by another tenfold.

The Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 system allows you to set up your router and access a large variety of options to help you get the most out of your router. You can troubleshoot your internet connection, set up guest networks, manage files, set firewalls, and much more. Everything is done easily from a well-designed app on your phone or desktop.

Overall, this router is one of the best routers for gaming for its price.

Premium Pick: Netgear Nighthawk R6700 AC1750

Pros & Cons

  • Stream your 4K movies and games with ease
  • Easy to set up, configure and update
  • Expensive

Specifications

  • CPU - 1GHz Dual-Core
  • USB Ports - 1x USB 3.0
  • Antennas - 3x External

Netgear Nighthawk R6700 AC1750 Review

The Netgear Nighthawk features high speeds that are perfect for gaming. Netgear advanced technology allows for multiple WiFi signals to be sent from the three external antennae.

These signals lock on to your device and form a beam, increasing range and ensuring a more reliable Wi-Fi connection with fewer drops. The individual signals can even detect when another signal is weak and reinforce it.

This Nighthawk also features a dual-core Processor for unprecedented processing power and Wi-Fi speed. The ability to process the four Wi-Fi signals simultaneously makes this one of the fastest dual-band routers available.

Best Value: TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750

Pros & Cons

  • Two multipurpose USB drives
  • Three internal and three external antennas
  • Difficult to set up

Specifications

  • Wi-Fi Speed - Up to 1750Mbps
  • CPU - Single-Core
  • Ethernet Ports - 4x Gigabit
  • USB Ports - 2x USB 2.0
  • Antennas - 3x External + 3x Internal
  • Wireless Compatibility - 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency, 5 GHz Radio Frequency

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Review

The TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 features the next generation Wi-Fi standard 802.11ac. This new standard allows for much faster Wi-Fi speeds and that makes this router great for 4K streaming and gaming. Two bands, one at 2.4GHZ and one at 5GHZ, operate at the same time working to provide a lag free internet environment.

With this router you can share files easily with any device on your network, it even features a guest network that allows you to share your files securely with your friends or coworkers. The Archer C7 also features 6 antennas to improve coverage and range.

That being said, if the price is a major turning point, you might want to look at the best routers for gaming under $100.

Best Versatility: Asus Dual-Band AC3100

Pros & Cons

  • The ability to prioritize gaming packets
  • MU-MIMO, NitroQAM
  • The new ASUS Router APP and ASUSWRT
  • Overpowered for home users and casual gamers

Specifications

  • Wi-Fi Speed - 2100Mbps
  • CPU - 1.4GHz dual-core processor
  • Ethernet Ports - 8
  • USB Ports - 1x USB 3.0
  • Antennas - 4x External
  • Wireless Compatibility - 5 GHz Radio Frequency

Asus Dual-Band AC3100 Review

The Asus Dual-Band AC3100 is another great router from Asus. This one features NitroQAM technology. NitroQAM takes the new 802.11AC chipset — the new standard chipset known for greatly improved speeds, and boosts it even further, adding up to 100Mbps to an already impressive speed.

This router is so fast that it can be considered one of the best wireless routers for gaming. Another great feature of the AC3100 is its Adaptive QoS. Adaptive QoS stands for “Quality of Service” and this allows you to prioritize your activities.

For instance, you can tell the Asus AC3100 that you want to prioritize your gaming and that your bandwidth should be used on that at the expense of all else. This will help to ensure a lag-free gaming experience. This router also features MU-MIMO technology which gives compatible devices their own dedicated Wi-Fi connection.

If you're a fan of ASUS, we can also recommend ASUS RT-ACRH13 which is a fine alternative.

Best Bonus Features: NETGEAR AC1200 Dual Band R6230

Pros & Cons

  • Easy to setup
  • Surprisingly fast
  • Tends to overheat

Specifications

  • Wi-Fi Speed - 1.2 GB per second
  • Ethernet Ports - 4
  • USB Ports - 1x USB 3.0
  • Antennas - 2x External
  • Wireless Compatibility - 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency, 5 GHz Radio Frequency

NETGEAR AC1200 Dual Band R6230 Review

The NETGEAR AC1200 Dual Band R6230 is a fairly low-cost router that features excellent network management options.

This router also features the smart WiFi which allows you to prioritize your devices or websites, allows you to set parental controls, monitor internet activity, set up guest networks for file sharing, and much more. You can even use Smart Wi-Fi with your Home Assistant.

This router is also equipped with  2 external antennas that feature beam-forming technology for a better internet connection across all of your devices.


Dual-Band Routers: Buying Guide

Speed

The main thing to look at with any router is the speed at which it operates. A higher speed will allow you to send and receive your information faster, even when there are a lot of devices on the same network. If you are a gamer increasing the speed of your internet can also help, check out our Best Internet for Gaming article.

Antennas

The antennas transmit and receive the Wi-Fi signal. More antennas on a router mean more signal can be transmitted, and that means there will be less dead spots in your home. The denser Wi-Fi signal also stretches further, so you also get a range boost with multiple antennas.

d link router

Ethernet Ports

Ethernet ports, or LAN ports, allow you to plug your device directly into the router. If you don’t mind being tethered to your router, or if you want to do some online gaming, plugging into the router can lead to a huge gain in speed and internet stability. A router with several ports will allow many devices to be connected at once.

USB Ports

USB Ports allow you to plug printers and USB drives directly into your router. This allows you to access your printer from any device on your network, including your cell phone, without switching any wires or hooking anything up. The same goes for your USB drive, just plug it into the router and you can instantly access any file on that drive from any device on your network.

Asus RT-AC66U Ports


Frequently Asked Questions

What “Dual Band Router” means.

A Dual Band Router is a router that transmits a Wi-Fi signal at 2 different frequencies. One frequency, the 5GHz,  is the “High Speed” frequency. The other frequency, the 2.4GHz, is the “Long Distance” frequency. The router automatically selects which band is the best band for each device on your network at any given time.

Will a dual-band router improve performance?

A Dual Band Router will improve performance by choosing the best channel for each device at any given moment. This reduces congestion in your network and allows data to flow more freely, resulting in a noticeable improvement in speed and stability.

Linksys WRT1900ACS

Do Dual-band Routers switch automatically?

Yes, your router will detect the needs of your device and assign it to the best channel. You can also set up your devices, and the router, to try to use a certain band first.

How does a Dual Band Router work?

Dual-band routers work by detecting what device you are using and choosing the best band for that device. For example, the router detects your PlayStation 4 and assigns it the fast 5GHz band, it also detects a cell phone in the kitchen and assigns it the 2.4GHz band because it is further away and requires fewer data.

Why use a dual-band router?

Dual-band routers are pretty much the standard today. High-speed devices need the performance benefits of the 5GHz band, while the cell phones and other small and portable devices need the 2.4 GHz band for its range.


Conclusion

There's no exact answer to what is a good internet speed for gaming. However, if you're a fan of online games which require blazing fast speed, then getting the best dual-band router for gaming you can improve your performance significantly. For example, that 0.1ms of lag in Fortnite might really mess up your chances for victory royale.

Since Fortnite is almost everyone's game of choice these days, why not check out the best mouse for Fortnite as it might be a great purchase combined with your new gaming router.


Sources:

  1. Crystal Ayres, 6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Dual Band Router, ConnectsFund, Sep 30th, 2016
  2. Do I Need a Dual Band Router, Xfinity

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Matthew Lyons
Written by Matthew Lyons

Matthew comes from Texas and if you asked anyone who knows Matthew to describe him using one single word – they would all say the same thing: passionate What is Matthew most passionate about? Shooting.🎯 In the digital world, of course, not in the real one. Matthew played all sorts of different video games throughout the last 30 years, which is how long he has been gaming. All your questions regarding FPS titles will be answered by Matthew and you can rest assured that the answers have years of experience and research behind them.

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