Question Gaming Router Setup?

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PCDesignerR

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!PLEASE RECOMMEND A GAMING ROUTER FOR ME AND THANK YOU!
I've never used a gaming router before, but I'm interested in one especially based on what is advertised. I was looking at this router online:

Gaming Router from Amazon

So, I get what a modem is, the device with all of the link lights and the cable that comes from the wall to provide either Ethernet or WiFi connectivity to a household or business. The modem for an internet service like from AT&T is usually provided by the ISP. But, my question is:

If you buy a gaming router, does the router actually replace the modem that the ISP provides and installs, or does the 'router' get installed somewhere else? What is the difference between a modem and router, and, sometimes the modem/router is both in a single device right?


Thanks for knowledge and info! Please don't ask me to Google this, questions are why Tom's Hardware exists as a concept.

!PLEASE RECOMMEND A GAMING ROUTER FOR ME AND THANK YOU!
 
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jimmysmitty

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I wouldn't touch that router. It looks like a generic cheap junk rip off that wont perform well at all and might even just catch on fire. I would stick to the known brands like Linksys, Netgear and Asus for routers.

To answer your questions though, the modem is the device that translates incoming internet signal from your ISP, be it via cable, phone line or fiber, into a usable signal for your PC or router to handle. Now most ISPs like to give users an all in one router/modem combo, especially when they can charge extra monthly for it, l but those are typically lower end products that don't handle as well as individual devices.

All ISPs will provide a modem or modem/router combo but you do not have to always use theirs. I, for example, have Cox and always use an Arris Surfboard which is one of the best modems you can get for cable based internet. I then use a router of my choice, currently I have the Asus ROG Rapture GT-5300, mainly due to having good experiences with Asus products and because it has superior coverage and 8 1GbE ports on it.

If you buy a router you still have a modem, typically, that then provides the internet to the router and the router then provides it via wired or wireless to your devices.

A lot of routers proclaim they are "gaming" routers but what they are mainly doing is using QoS or Quality of Service which basically is how the router prioritizes traffic. In most decent routers you can set the priority of packets so say you have one person gaming and others streaming you can set the router to prioritize the gaming packets over the streaming packets. It should result in a smoother experience for the gamer. Otherwise its just marketing fluff.

To answer one of your last questions, the modem translates the internet from your ISP to a single device, a router takes that signal from the modem and allows multiple devices to utilize the same internet connection. And yes they can be one in the same but again those are typically not as good as a separate modem and router.
 
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PCDesignerR

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"I wouldn't touch that router. It looks like a generic cheap junk rip off that wont perform well at all and might even just catch on fire. I would stick to the known brands like Linksys, Netgear and Asus for routers. "

-Well, I was looking at those, but the reviews on those were far less than the reviews for this one, but could you possibly make a recommendation for me? Thanks!

EDIT: Nevermind I saw some of the ones you recommended, thanks! :D
 

PCDesignerR

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"If you buy a router you still have a modem, typically, that then provides the internet to the router and the router then provides it via wired or wireless to your devices. " Ah OK so similar to a switch, I would run an Ethernet cable from the provided ISP Router/Modem to the one I buy and then that would provide me with the signal from that router. Got it! :D
 

jimmysmitty

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I read an article recently on people who get paid to buy products and post a 5 star review even if the product is meh. Its why you have to be careful of Amazon or even Newegg reviews. I find it very sketchy when one of the 5 star reviewers profile is nothing but 5 star reviews on the most random products. I also don't trust something with no name attached to it and that in their own marketing refers to 5GHz and 5.8GHz. Yes the 5GHz band can also be up to 5.8GHz but almost no known brands refer to it that way. Just Wireless AC or 5GHz band.

Yes sort of like a switch, although a switch just adds ports and doesn't assign an IP like a router does. Typically there is something behind the switch giving out an IP be it a router, firewall or DHCP server.

When it comes to which to get it will depend on a number of factors such as how big of an area you want to cover, features you want and price you want to pay. Personally I have had good luck with Asus but they can be a bit pricier than some others.

The Rapture AX11000 is basically the router I have but the new 802.11AX wireless standard otherwise called WiFi 6 and will utilize the 60GHz band for much faster rates than 5GHz or 2.4GHz. However with higher bands you also drop wall penetration.
 
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PCDesignerR

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Jesus that's awesome! I don't know why I didn't look into getting one of these sooner. I also feel like with some of those reviews there is a lot of room for user error. 'I don't know how to set this up right and I did something to break it in the process so I will write a review accordingly'. But yeah that sounds like the router for me :D
 

PCDesignerR

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Are you going to be connecting your PC via wifi or ethernet? I'd recommend ethernet if possible, that'd probably make more of a difference than getting the best wifi router on the market as far reliability/latency goes.
Yeah I have an Ethernet cable ran right now from the ISP modem/router to my computer directly but when I get the new router I'll Ethernet with a Cat8 cable from modem/router to gaming router to computer for all 3 of my computers.
 

jimmysmitty

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If you are still using a combo modem/router make sure you turn the router portion of the modem off. You will need to have the IP address that is provided by your ISP be forwarded so the new router will take it. Otherwise it might not work.
 

TJ Hooker

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Yeah I have an Ethernet cable ran right now from the ISP modem/router to my computer directly but when I get the new router I'll Ethernet with a Cat8 cable from modem/router to gaming router to computer for all 3 of my computers.
What are you hoping to gain by getting the new router? Sounds like all you need is a switch. And Cat8 isn't going to perform any differently than Cat5/6. Can you even buy Cat8 cable?
 

PCDesignerR

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What are you hoping to gain by getting the new router? Sounds like all you need is a switch. And Cat8 isn't going to perform any differently than Cat5/6. Can you even buy Cat8 cable?
Better internet speeds and stronger signal to my laptop and desktops. Going from a cat 5 to 7 made a pretty significant difference so I imaging I should see some difference going up to cat8 and yes you can get cat8 Ethernet.
 

TJ Hooker

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Better internet speeds and stronger signal to my laptop and desktops. Going from a cat 5 to 7 made a pretty significant difference so I imaging I should see some difference going up to cat8 and yes you can get cat8 Ethernet.
All the routers linked in this thread are Gigabit ethernet. You desktops almost certainly have gigabit ethernet NICs (higher than gigabit speeds are very rare in consumer hardware). Sure, Cat8 can support up to 40 Gbps, but only if every other piece of hardware in the link can as well. In your case, there will be zero difference between Cat8 and Cat5/6/7. Therefore there will be no difference in internet speeds to any of your ethernet wired devices. Your internet speed is likely limited by what you're paying for from your ISP (rather than your LAN hardware) anyway.

Unless you had very old or defective Cat5 cables, and/or very long cable runs, I doubt there was any meaningful difference between Cat5 and 7 either.

Edit: Looks like the Asus AX1100 has a single 2.5Gbps LAN port. I don't know what the point of having a single port like that would be, as all other ports (including WAN) are gigabit, so you couldn't actually form a complete 2.5 Gbps link with any other device. I guess you could use it for a file server or something (assuming it has fast storage and a 2.5+ Gbps NIC), could help if it's serving up lots of data to multiple clients simultaneously. Seems like a gimmick for the most part though.
 
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PCDesignerR

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One of my cable runs, the one from my ISP modem to the gig mini-switch I have is about a hundred feet I think (I actually need to measure the distance in the near future) but then from the gig switch to the laptop and desktops I have one cat7 cable and two cat5 cables. There was a difference from cat5 to cat7 for certain when I did upgrade. But I will be replacing the switch with the router, and the three cables from the switch to the computers with cat8 cabling. Depending on the distance from modem to switch I will try to upgrade that cable to cat8 as well. You could argue that going from a 980 GPU to a 2080Ti is a gimmick too but it would be incorrect information to think so...

Where I live unfortunately the only internet service we can have is with AT&T and it is not the kind of speed you can get from a service like Xfinity or a fiber connection. In the last year out service with AT&T has broken for 6 days at a time over 35 different times because of their need to replace the cabling underground, which they refuse to do because of cost. AT&T is in my opinion the worst company to have any kind of service with let alone internet. It has been such a battle with them that it has actually led me to shut off my AT&T phone indefinitely. I am going to pay them what I owe and then cancel service as soon as I am able to, and would HIGHLY recommend against the use of AT&T if avoidable. For the internet it's either AT&T or no internet at all (or satellite internet which... no) so we're pretty much stuck right now. This is an ongoing issue that is thus far unresolved with them.
 
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TJ Hooker

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Rated max length for ethernet cables is 100 m (~300 feet). If your Cat5 cables were old (such that they were made prior to Cat5 being superseded my Cat5e) and/or low quality they could have been struggling at 100 feet though. When I say low quality, an example would be cheap cables that use copper clad aluminum rather than pure copper.

What motherboards (and add in NICs, if applicable) do your computers have? What speed do you pay for from your ISP? What modem/router model do you have from your ISP?
 
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PCDesignerR

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Rated max length for ethernet cables is 100 m (~300 feet). If your Cat5 cables were old (such that they were made prior to Cat5 being superseded my Cat5e) and/or low quality they could have been struggling at 100 feet though. When I say low quality, an example would be cheap cables that use copper clad aluminum rather than pure copper.

What motherboards (and add in NICs, if applicable) do your computers have? What speed do you pay for from your ISP? What modem/router model do you have from your ISP?
For the only computer worth mentioning that I have (sitting at a total build cost currently of $7200) I have an MSI Gaming9 ACK X99S motherboard with the on-board Ethernet port. I don't know what the make/model of the modem from ISP is but i know it's the newest that AT&T can provide us which doesn't necessarily speak to anything, it's still low end. We pay $60 a month for I wanna say 70mbps but I'd need to check on what we actually have I could be way off, still need to check on that part. I haven't run a speed test because for the last two weeks our internet service has been broken, but I will and let you know.

Other than that I have a ProBook 950 Win10Pro x64 laptop and a pretty old (intentionally) dell desktop computer with WIndowsXP x86 on it.
 

TJ Hooker

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OK, so like I said, none of the upgrades you're going to be making are going to make any difference to your wired internet speed, especially given that your service speed is pretty modest to begin with. Except maybe if your current modem/router really sucks (but you still don't really need to buy an uber router in that case, because for the really expensive ones you're typically paying for the supposedly better wireless performance, plus marketing/branding markup). I guess replacing the few remaining Cat5 cables you have wouldn't hurt (given that they might be old/low quality as the other one was), but if they're a much shorter run then I'm not sure even that would make much of a difference.
 
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