What is the “Gaming Port” port that we have on some routers?
Port “Gaming Port»That we have in some routers is a LAN port, generally LAN port 1, which has priority over the rest of the LAN ports of the router itself. This LAN 1 port usually belongs directly to the main CPU of the router, and does not go through a chipset that acts as an internal switch in the equipment, in this way, the prioritization of the packets is direct.
The purpose of this gaming port is automatically prioritize traffic from the device you connectIf you connect a PC, a console or any other device, its local network and Internet traffic will take precedence over the rest, unless you have specifically configured QoS to prioritize other traffic at the packet type level. When we have a router with a “Gaming Port”, it is not necessary to carry out any additional configuration in the firmware, as is the case with ASUS routers.
Currently, many gaming routers on the market have this “Gaming Port”, for example, ASUS has incorporated it into its latest WiFi 6 routers such as the ASUS RT-AX82U, the TUF-AX5400 and the GS-AX5400 among other models that are specifically geared towards gaming.
A very important detail that we must mention is that, if you activate other functionalities in the router such as Link Aggregation with the LAN 1 and LAN 2 ports, the Gaming Port port will behave like a normal port, it will not give priority of any kind to the device. that we connect. That is, if we have this LAN 1 port being “occupied” by other than the default functionality, the Gaming Port will be disabled. In these cases, if we want to enable Link Aggregation to connect a NAS server and have a bandwidth of 2Gbps Full Duplex, then you will have to dispense with this functionality.
Not having the “Gaming Port” on a gaming router does not mean that you cannot prioritize your gaming devices, any ASUS or NETGEAR gaming router, among other models, has a very advanced QoS system, in order to prioritize the packets of games and have the lowest possible latency. This QoS can be configured easily and quickly through the firmware menu, in addition, we would also have the possibility of prioritizing a device in question, based on registering a MAC address in the equipment and marking it as a priority, in this way, We will not need to use the Gaming Port that comes with the routers.
How to activate the Gaming Port
The firmware that comes installed in gaming routers already comes with a default configuration. In some cases we will have to enable the «Gaming Port» functionality specifically in the router, this menu is usually in the QoS section where we can also prioritize other uses of the local wired and wireless network. In this section we will have several ways to prioritize the different teams. In the event that there is a specific menu to enable the Gaming Port, this menu will simply be “activate” or “deactivate”, we will not have any other option.
In ASUS routers this functionality is activated by default, therefore, any device that we connect to this port, and without having to perform any additional configuration in the firmware, will have the highest priority, without configurations. It is very important that you do not use this LAN 1 port as Link Aggregation, and you will not even be able to use it as a WAN Aggregation that ASUS has recently incorporated, that is, it must have the default configuration.
Other ways of prioritizing traffic on gaming routers
Gaming routers not only have a traffic prioritization based on whether or not they have a “Gaming Port”. The most used by these routers is a QoS policy, based on the type of traffic that flows through the router, where we can easily prioritize one traffic over another. Depending on the manufacturer, we will have different configuration options and it is also called in different ways. In this case, we are going to put as an example the manufacturer of gaming routers most recommended for its quality-price, ASUS.
Depending on the type of traffic we have (games, web browsing, P2P downloads, etc.) the router will automatically detect it, and give it priority in the packet queue that it will have to manage, in this way, we can give priority to types of traffic that they require minimal latency, like online games, video calls, and even VoIP calls. The Asuswrt firmware menu will allow us to prioritize the different types of traffic, in order to perfectly adapt to our needs.
This function allows you to guarantee the incoming and outgoing bandwidth, both in cable and WiFi connections, for the prioritized applications in the previous configuration menu. Currently, the types of traffic are: games, multimedia streaming, VoIP, web browsing and file transfer. It also allows for more manual tuning of internal firmware parameters.
This functionality is typical of the main routers on the market, whether gaming or non-gaming. This type of QoS guarantees incoming and outgoing bandwidth for wired and WiFi connections, for prioritized applications through manual parameters defined by the user. Traditional QoS is much more specific and advanced than adaptive QoS, which is much more “automatic”, in addition, we will have to enter the real download and upload speed of our connection so that it works as well as possible, otherwise, the operation it might not be as expected.
In traditional QoS we will have to incorporate very advanced rules regarding the service to prioritize, the IP or MAC address to prioritize, the destination port, protocol used, reserved bandwidth and priority. If you are going to configure this type of QoS, we recommend that you visit the official ASUS documentation so that you can learn in detail how it is used and what we must take into account.
Another function to prioritize network traffic is the bandwidth limiter, this function allows you to control the maximum download and upload speed per wired or WiFi client. With this functionality we will avoid that the same client monopolizes all the bandwidth of the Internet connection. In the following menu you can see perfectly how we should choose the client to limit and the maximum download and upload values.
A very important aspect that we must take into account is that we can only make use of one type of QoS in the routers, for example, if we have adaptive QoS we will not be able to use the traditional one, and vice versa.
Having a Gaming port on a gaming-oriented router saves us having to configure all the previous parameters regarding QoS, this is ideal for the most basic users who only want to have a very good gaming router to play without complications. And it is that with a gaming port, we will only have to worry about connecting the network cable to the correct port, without performing any additional configuration.