How to Choose the Right Router For Your VR Setup

| Updated on February 7, 2024
wifi

Virtual reality and its development in recent times are truly remarkable. It blurs the lines between reality and virtual worlds! 

Ever since Oculus introduced Air Link in mid-2021, the demand for virtual reality headsets connected via Wi-Fi has been rising day by day.

Despite this, it has been evolving which makes it even more immersive. 

No matter, if you are an avid VR enjoyer or just a common being looking for the right router for their VR setup, a good-performing router is an incredibly powerful asset to have. 

However, the task of choosing just the right one opens up a whole lot of possibilities. Step into the real world and pick one, based on your usage and needs. 

Although it may seem difficult, reading this article will help make it much easier for you to choose the perfect router. 

One that complements your setup flawlessly and makes your experience smoother than ever and lag-free! Keep reading to find out more!

Understanding the Demands of VR

It is necessary to understand the demands that it places on your web before starting the hunt for a new router. 

A smooth, low-latency connection is a prerequisite to a lag and nausea-free experience. Here are 2 aspects you should keep in mind: 

Bandwidth

Virtual reality applications need to have high-resolution, real-time interactions, along with complex and intricate 3D environments. 

A high-speed network helps transmit all of this smoothly from your source to your headset, preventing lag spikes and pixelation. 

Latency

Your web connections need to enable low latency. 

Low latency prevents input delay between your actions in real life and the corresponding response in the virtual reality world. 

Do You Know?:
China holds its position at the top and is leading the VR Tech race. Therefore, China is projected to spend 5.8 Billion U.S. dollars on virtual reality technologies. The US follows in second place with around 5.1 billion U.S. dollars in spending.

A delay between the two can lead to discomfort or even potential motion sickness. 

Latency is the time it takes for the data to travel from the device in use to the server and back to your device. Interesting, right? 

A router that enables low latency makes sure that your movements get an immediate response in the virtual world, which makes the overall experience more immersive and enjoyable!

Key Router Features For VR

Now that we know what unique demands it brings forth, here are some features to consider when choosing a router for your setup. 

Wireless Standard (Wi-Fi Generation) 

The latest Wi-Fi standards provide the highest speeds and the most efficient performances. 

graph

Statistics:
The stats above demonstrate the forecast VR hardware market size worldwide from 2016 to 2022. However, in 2022 its market value was 4.4 billion U.S. dollars.

The most recent development is Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), which provides even better speeds and capacity in households with a lot of web connections and devices. 

So, a router equipped with Wi-Fi 6 will greatly enhance your experience.

Dual-band or Tri-band

Normal routers may become congested when too many devices are connected to the same web. 

That is why dual and tri-band routers are much faster and can divide traffic, reducing the risk of network overloading and congestion. 

Dual-band routers operate on two frequencies, namely, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 

Tri-band routers add a 5Ghz band to the mix, which will further allow you to connect more devices without fear of slow network speeds.

MU-MIMO Technology

First, MU-MIMO stands for “Multi-User, Multiple Input, and Multiple Output”. This technology is required if you are a virtual reality user, and own a setup that has multiple devices. 

This technology enables a lot of devices to communicate with your router at the same time, which reduces the risk of a slow network and makes web efficiency better. 

For instance, many endpoints and access points nowadays come equipped with MU-MIMO technology. 

This can be beneficial if you have a setup in which multiple users are engaging in VR experiences at the same time. Since it is now recognized as a major part of the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) protocol.

Beamforming

Beamforming

In technical terms. Beamforming is a technology where an array of antennas can be steered to communicate radio signals in a specific direction.

To easily understand, this technology only sends the Wi-Fi signal to connected devices and does not broadcast it in all directions. 

This method is way more reliable as it saves time and also ensures the strength of the signal. As an outcome, it makes your experience smoother and buffer-free. 

Want to know where this technology is utilized? Well, Beamforming is widely used in radars and sonar, biomedical, and in communications (telecom, Wi-Fi), especially 5G.

Quality of Service (QoS) 

QoS is the use of mechanisms or technologies. Combined, they work on a network to control traffic and enhance the performance of critical applications with limited network capacity. 

It enables you to prioritize the connection to certain devices more than others. 

So, if you want a better connection for your setup, QoS can help you prioritize it, and thus, it will receive a faster internet speed and low latency, which will enhance the overall experience. 

This will also discourage other devices on your web, like smartphones, laptops, and PCs, from using the entirety of the network for themselves, which will prevent lag. 

Gigabit Ethernet Ports

Gigabit Ethernet ports are network switches that support Gigabit Ethernet speeds (1 Gbps) per connected device on a local area network (LAN).

A wireless connection can be good for a virtual reality experience, but a wired connection can be even more smooth and stable. 

So if you own a PC-based wired setup, you may have the option to establish a wired internet connection.

If that seems like a great option to you, check if the router you’re looking to buy has a Gigabit Ethernet port because it can offer the best speeds and a reliable connection.

Considerations For PC-based and Standalone VR Setups

The nature of your setup will have to be considered when you decide what router is best for it. 

A PC-based system like the Oculus Rift will have different requirements than a standalone setup like the Oculus Quest. 

So, some considerations have been listed below to help you decide according to each scenario. 

PC Based VR Setups 

  • Wired Connection: If your PC-based wired setup supports a wired internet connection, then that is the best option, as a router with a built-in Gigabit Ethernet port is faster and suitable for low latency, too. 

Interesting Fact:
Until the 1990s, virtual reality was a no-show because of bad quality and overpriced devices. Nonetheless, it became popular only in the last decade.

  • High System Requirements: PC-based systems often have very high performance and speed requirements compared to a usual PC setup. 

    So, choose a router that is very new and has the latest technology so that it can handle these high demands effectively.

Standalone VR Setups

  • Wireless Performance: Standalone setups work best on wireless connections, so make sure that the router you choose has the latest technology fit for supporting these requirements, such as Wi-Fi 6, beamforming, and tri-band capabilities. 
  • Ease of Setup: Standalone setups are easy to set up and very simple to use, too. 

    The router you buy should also be easy to use, set up, and navigate so that you can fully focus on the virtual reality experience instead of complex web setups. 

Choosing the Right Router For Popular VR Headsets

Different headsets have different requirements based on what type it is, and it is noteworthy to consider them while buying a router:

Oculus Rift 

Oculus Rift 

A router with Gigabit Ethernet ports is ideal for wired connections. Look for Wi-Fi 6 support and MU MIMO technology, which are performance enhancers, too, so they are a benefit. Low latency is an influential Oculus Rift requirement, so a router that enables low latency is perfect as well. 

Oculus Quest

As it is a standalone headset, a wireless router is going to be a good choice. Wi-Fi 6, beamforming. 

Other new technologies are what you should choose for the best performance, along with dual and tri bands for avoiding web congestion. You can check routers for Oculus Quest 2 online.

HTC Vive

Every consideration for Oculus Rift is similar and should be considered for this one. 

Wi-Fi 6, along with MU-MIMO technology and dual or tri-band capabilities, are again the best technologies to take into consideration when buying a router for the HTC Vive, which is capable of running high-resolution virtual reality content. 

PlayStation VR

It has been designed for the PlayStation console, so its requirements might differ from those of other setups. 

Make sure the router is compatible with the network capabilities of the console. 

Wi-Fi 5 routers may be sufficient, but Wi-Fi 6 is much better and will work much better.

Conclusion  

So now we know that a good router has endless possibilities and potential in the virtual reality world, ensuring an incredibly seamless experience. 

Factors such as low latency, bandwidth, wireless features, and other router features that are specific to your setup will help it be more efficient and eliminate lag and disruptions. 

Future-proofing your router is also very important, as knowing the latest technologies and developments can help you make an informed decision about the router and, therefore, enable you to stay up to date. 

So, choose the right router today and embark on an incredible virtual journey that will be adventurous! For more such guides, follow BCCA’s Facebook profile.

Also Read: How to Check Your WiFi GHz on iPhone




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