For the best experience with the Meta Quest 3, it’s important to have a router that supports Quest Link. This lets you play a wide range of PCVR games from Steam.
A high-quality router is key here, as not every router can handle the demanding data needs of VR gaming. Lower-quality routers might struggle, leading to lag and a less immersive experience.
There are many technical details when it comes to routers and networking, however, I’ll try to explain the technical details in easy-to-understand terms so it becomes more straightforward, even if you’re not tech-savvy.
The best routers for Air Link:
As long as you choose the right router, they all perform similarly, with the more expensive routers giving slightly better Air Link performance. So feel free to save money and go for the cheaper options!
Factors to Consider (Explained Simply)
There are 5 key factors to consider when choosing a router for the Quest 3:
- Frequency bands
- WiFi standards
- Speed & bandwidth
1. Frequency Bands
It is of utmost important that your router supports the 5GHz or 6GHz frequency band.
Previous routers had 2.4GHz bands, but modern routers now support 5GHz and 6 GHz. These bands have higher maximum speeds, but lower range.
Look for routers that support dual channel (2.4GHz and 5GHz) or tri-channel (adds an extra 6GHz band).
The 6GHz band is faster and performs better than 5GHz, however, it is going to be much more expensive. If you want the best performance, look for Wi-Fi 6e routers.
Otherwise, dual-band (5 GHz) WiFis are cheaper and recommended for most people, but tri-channels can be beneficial in a household with many devices using Wi-Fi.
2. WiFi Standards
If you’re looking to buy a router for Quest 3, I highly recommend a Wi-Fi 6e for best performance:
- Wi-Fi 6: The latest standard offering improved speed, efficiency, and support for a higher number of devices. Supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Allows for increased bitrates, less latency and better network congestion management, allowing you to achieve a more stable video stream with less stuttering.
- Wi-Fi 6e: An extension of the Wi-Fi 6 standard. Offers the 6 GHz band which is faster, but 6e routers are also much more expensive.
- Wi-Fi 5: A cheaper option which is still viable for VR. If you’re on a budget, it’s completely fine to go for this, although I recommend getting an AX router if you can afford it.
Since Quest 3 Air Link streaming can get quite intensive, you’ll definitely benefit from the extra speed of a 6e router, however, Wi-Fi 6 is still a good option for those on a budget. Wi-Fi 5 is still viable as well, although a bit slow than Wi-Fi 6.
3. Brand and Model
Opt for reputable brands known for reliability and performance. The best router brands are:
In general, TP Link routers offer the best bang for your buck.
4. Speed & Bandwidth
Ensure the router can handle the bandwidth requirements of VR gaming.
Common misconception: You need fast internet for Air Link.
This is NOT true. Internet speeds have nothing to do with Air Link. In fact, you don’t even need to be connected to the internet to use Air Link, all you need is a router and for your computer and Quest 3 to be on the same network.
This means you can buy a dedicated router for your Quest 3, and it doesn’t need to have internet access so you can just leave it in your room. As long as it’s powered on and connected to your PC and Quest 3, you can play PCVR games.
Connecting Quest 3 to PC
Recommended Approach: A wired Ethernet connection between your PC and the router is generally recommended for VR gaming with Air Link. This ensures that the connection between your PC and the router is as stable and fast as possible, minimizing potential issues like lag or disconnections.
Quest 3 Connection: The Meta Quest 3 will still connect to the router wirelessly. Make sure it’s connected to the 5GHz band for better performance.
To learn how to set up Air Link, follow this guide: How to Connect Quest 3 to PC
Best Routers for Air Link on the Meta Quest
1. Best 6e Router for Wireless VR Streaming: TP-Link AXE5400 6E
This is one of the cheapest 6e routers you’re going to find. It’s still a bit pricey, but offers a decent performance boost over standard Wi-Fi 6 routers.
I have this router in my room and it feels almost the same as using a Quest Link cable. There’s almost no latency or stuttering – it’s really incredible.
There are three frequency bands — 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6 GHz.
The inclusion of the 6 GHz band means you’ll have faster, more reliable connections. It features low latency and prioritization options for gaming traffic, ensuring smooth online gaming and streaming experiences.
WiFi 6E router: supports the latest 802.11ax standard, including the new 6 GHz band, offering higher speeds, lower latency, and less congestion, along with the traditional 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
High Speeds: Up to 5400 Mbps (6 GHz: 2402 Mbps || 5 GHz: 2402 Mbps || 2.4 GHz: 574 Mbps)
Built-in VPN support: useful for secure remote access and maintaining privacy.
Compatible with Alexa: allowing you to control the router with voice commands.
One of the best routers for Air Link is the AX1800 (Archer AX21), which has Wi-Fi 6, 5GHz dual band and up to 1800 Mbps speed. It has everything you need for an affordable price.
Wi-Fi 6: Although not as good as 6e, it’s still great for VR, offering very good bitrates, latency and stability.
Dual-Band: Operates on dual-band frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz), required for VR.
Speed: Up to 1800 Mbps (574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 1200 Mbps on 5GHz), which is sufficient for stable gaming and streaming.
Includes 4 high-gain antennas and an advanced front-end module (FEM) chipset.
3. Best Budget Router for Quest 3: TP-Link AC1750
The TP-Link AC1750 is an affordable solution that works perfectly well for Quest 3 Air Link. Being slightly cheaper than the AC1800, it lacks Wi-Fi 6, but still very good for VR nonetheless.
Dual-Band: The router operates on dual-band frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz). For Meta Quest 3 and Air Link, the 5GHz band is crucial as it offers higher speeds and less interference compared to the 2.4GHz band.
Speed: The AC1750 designation indicates combined speeds of up to 1750 Mbps (450 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300 Mbps on 5GHz), which is generally sufficient for gaming and streaming.
The TP-Link AC1750 also offers decent range for medium-sized homes with 3 external antennas.
If you live in a large household and have many devices connected at once, it might be worth investing in a tri-band router.
Wi-Fi 6E routers include support for the 6 GHz band, offering higher speeds, lower latency, and less congestion.
Ultra High Speeds: 7800 Mbps
If using this solely for Air Link, it is slightly superior to the other routers, but it’s much more expensive. So I only recommend this for large households with many devices connected.
Overall, those are the best routers for Quest 3 – Air Link. From my testing, as long as you have a 5GHz router, they will all perform similarly.
The expensive ones are only marginally better than the cheaper ones in terms of latency and stability. So if you need to save money, go for the 2 cheap options. If you want the best performance for 4K wireless streaming and don’t mind shelling extra cash, then grab a WiFi 6e router.
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