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12 Best Free Android Games That Will Surely Kill Your Boredom

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Fortnite

Back then, people have this notion that the only games that are worth playing on the Android platform are those that you have to spend money on. While I do agree with this to some extent, that has changed immensely through the years.

Some companies are adopting ‘freemium’ models where the base game is free and you can spend money to buy new armor skins or weapons, and there are also some that are actually really good without spending a dime.

Today, I am going to focus on the latter and highlight some of the best free android games that will surely kill your boredom.

Best Free Android Games

1.Monster Legends

Monster Legends

If you want a game that is a combination of Pokemon and Neopets, then Monster Legends is for you. The game’s tagline is ‘breed, feed, and train’ and that is basically what you will do to build up your army.

Basically, you train different monsters (700 of them in total) and battle it out with other trainers to gain experience and make them even better. You can unlock more abilities by going to the Monster Lab.

There was a newly released patch wherein mythical creatures are now available, which makes this game even more fun to play.

2.Marvel Strike Force

Marvel Strike Force

In the past, there was a game on Facebook called Marvel Alliance and at that time, it was the most popular game on the platform. Because of contract disputes with Disney, Facebook lost the rights to it and the game that was once loved by many was taken out of the popular social media site.

If you want a dose of nostalgia, the Marvel Strike Force is actually an improved version of it. The graphics are now in 3D and you can choose a bevy of Marvel characters- from Iron Man to Captain America (and more).

Although the base game is free to play, you can spend a little bit of money to make some things so much easier for you.

3.Call of Duty: Mobile

Call of Duty Mobile

Without a doubt, the Call of Duty franchise is one of the best in first-person shooting games out there. And, since gaming phones have become quite ubiquitous these days, you can now enjoy Call of Duty on your Android phone.

Its interface is similar to the PC version of any CoD game so if you have played any of the past titles, then this one should be easy for you to navigate.

There are various game modes, including the newly introduced Battle Royale which many people really love.

While the base game can be played for free, you can also choose to spend a bit of your cash to buy armor skins and a whole lot more.

If there is one thing to note here, it would be that your phone has to be capable enough of driving 3D graphics because this particular title needs a capable device.

4.Shadowgun Legends

Shadowgun Legends

If you do not like PvP and you would rather shoot some alien skulls, then Shadowgun Legends is for you.

You will play as a mercenary as you take on missions to either infiltrate or just outright eliminate the alien invaders.

Customization seems to be the strongest point of this game, as well as it allows you to join in on co-op missions by going with other players on some missions (which makes it even better).

Considered as the best sci-fi FPS game on Google Play, I see no reason why you shouldn’t have this one installed on your Android phone.

5.Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball is one of the most popular anime titles in existence. In fact, I grew up watching it and I am glad that I did.

If you are like me who loves Goku’s journey as he becomes the best Saiyan there is, then this game is something that you will surely love.

Dragon Ball Legends is an RPG game that lets you control Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of the protagonists to fight against the evil forces.

Although it is not an action game, per se, you are presented with a card-style match that allows you to control the players quickly and easily.

Aside from the main story missions, you can also choose to play against other players as well.

6.PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile

Aside from CoD:Mobile, Players’ Unknown Battle Ground or known simply as ‘PUBG’ is another great FPS to play on your Android smartphone.

For those of you who do not know, PUBG is actually a battle royale game. The mechanics are simple: You are pitted against 99 other individuals and only the last player standing wins it all.

Once the game begins, you will start parachuting down and you will need to find other players once you land on the ground.

You can find an array of different weapons that you should pick up in order to eliminate the opponents.

This game has been consistently ranked high among the free android games that you can play so this is definitely a must-have.

Just like CoD:Mobile, you should have a mid-range phone at the very least to be able to play this game without a hitch.

7.Fortnite

Fortnite

The game that started the Battle Royale genre, Fortnite is beloved by many. It is one of the most popular, exciting, and lucrative games out there simply because it has amassed a huge following.

What makes Fortnite more enjoyable than other battle royale games is its unique feature wherein you can also build forts (hence the name of the game) or structures that can help you gain an advantage over your enemies.

You will still go against 99 players or you can team up with 3 others in a battle to eliminate all others.

True enough, people are praising the game for its ingenuity and if you want to play the game that started an entirely new genre, then I highly recommend this one.

8.Brawl Stars

Brawl Stars

Fans of Clash of Clans will surely love this next game. Brawl Stars borrows the same graphics from the aforementioned title and no, you do not have to sink hours into creating your own settlement, but rather, you are going to play in an arena brawler style game.

Just like CoC, Brawl Stars lets you go against enemy AI or other players which is pretty nice (and can be competitive at times).

There are different game modes to choose from and you will never be bored since the modes that you can choose from change every couple of hours.

You do not have to spend hours just to enjoy a single game since it only lasts less than 3 minutes anyway.

You can either play competitively or you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your time.

9.Mobile Legends

Mobile Legends

If you like playing MOBA games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, then Mobile Legends is going to be a really nice game for you.

You and your team will go against 5 others in a battle for supremacy. You can choose among a bunch of different characters that all have their own unique abilities.

There is a ‘talents’ section where you can use different attributes to help you bolster your chosen characters even more.

The game is free to play, though you can spend your money to buy character skins or in-game currency.

10.Asphalt 9 Legends

Asphalt 9 Legends

I used to play Need for Speed games back then but it seems that the franchise is dead as there are no new versions of it anymore.

If you are a fan of racing games, Asphalt 9 is definitely something that you want to try out. The game is a 3D racing title that allows you to collect as many cars as you want by either purchasing them or earning them by playing the career mode.

Fans of the Need for Speed franchise will also love the fact that this game also comes with a Nitro Boost mode that allows you to ramp up your car’s speed for a brief period of time.

The game is for free but it does have some microtransactions that will allow you to unlock more cars, gain more money, and so much more.

11.Sky Force Reloaded

Sky Force Reloaded

People who frequent the arcades back then will surely love Sky Force Reloaded. This is a game where you take control of an aircraft to blast the enemy to pieces.

The game is pretty simple to play and there are also power-ups that can help you destroy a lot of enemies at one time.

It is quite polished, you can choose from a variety of different difficulty settings, and you can unlock various things- including weapon upgrades, new missions, etc.

12.Hearthstone

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a popular card-based game that was released by Blizzard Entertainment a few years ago. The good thing is that you can actually play the game on PC and continue playing on the go by logging into the same account, which is a nice bonus.

The game is expansive in the sense that it has received a lot of content, so there is so much to unpack here.

Its premise is actually quite simple for people who are not familiar with the title. You basically build your own deck of cards and you go against other players worldwide.

Of course, the building process is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game because you will have to find the best ones to beat the others.

This is more of a laid back title that requires more strategy than pinpoint accuracy. But hey, it definitely deserves a spot on this list for sure.

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The Best MOBA Games on PC in 2020- Team Up with Your Friends and Beat the Competition

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League of Legends

When you ask people what the best MOBA game is, they will usually only give you two answers: Dota 2 or League of Legends.

While both of those titles have amassed huge followings, this is not to say that there aren’t any new and enticing contenders.

Today, I am going to be talking about the best MOBA games in 2020.

What is MOBA?

Before I begin, I assume that most people who are reading this article might already have an idea what a MOBA game is, but for those people that still do not have an inkling what this means, then read ahead.

MOBA is just an acronym that stands for ‘Multiplayer Online Battle Arena’. As the name implies, you are teamed up with 4 or 5 other players and you need to battle it out against the opposing team.

The premise of this genre is simple: Get your characters strong enough to go to the enemy’s base and destroy a certain structure.

In Dota 2, for example, you start out as a level 1 character and once you start leveling up, some skills will be made available to you.

Each time you kill an enemy- may it be some ‘creeps’ (regular enemies) or heroes (player character), you will gain both experience and money- the latter of which you can use to buy items that can help boost stats and improve your character’s potential.

Depending on the game, there is usually a boss character that is situated somewhere in the middle of the battlefield. This boss character will drop some loot that you can use to your team’s advantage. This also means that you have to make sure that the enemy team doesn’t get to it first, otherwise they will have the upper hand.

While Dota 2 is quite enjoyable, it is not for everyone since a typical match would last at least 45 minutes (some can go for 2 hours or more).

Now that you now have a basic idea of what a MOBA game is, I will now talk about the best ones that you can find on the PC.

Best MOBA Games on PC

1.Dota 2

Dota 2

I think it should go without saying that Dota 2 is still the best MOBA game on PC in 2020. This game’s origins are actually pretty incredible.

Dota is just an acronym that stands for ‘Defense of the Ancients’ and by ‘Ancients’, the term is used to refer to the specific structures that are placed inside your base and the enemy’s base and the team that destroys the opposing group’s ancient structure first wins the entire game.

This whole thing started back when Warcraft III began. You see, the said game has a custom map editor that you can use to create a map of your own. That means that you not only have control over the terrain but you also have control over the things that are going to be utilized on your own map.

IceFrog, the original creator of the Dota custom map in the Warcraft 3 era, started with a couple of heroes and a rather basic map. The premise is simple: Get your team’s characters strong enough to invade the enemy base and destroy its ancient structure.

The idea at that time was novel but it has certainly won the hearts of many people. Since then, Valve (Steam) bought the rights to the said custom map from IceFrog, and then Dota 2 was born.

At the time of writing this article, Dota 2 now has 111 heroes to choose from, so you basically have the option to choose which one you really like to learn the most.

There are microtransactions available in the game, but you do not have to worry about it since real money can be used only to buy cosmetic items (or things that can help change the look of your chosen avatar).

One of its main advantages is, sadly, one of this game’s disadvantages as well. You see, you have plenty of characters to choose from, which means that if you are going to master a lot of them, you will need to be ready to spend hours and hours learning each avatar’s nuances so that you could be of great help to your team.

You also have to get acquainted with different roles. Of course, you should set that before you try to learn a new hero so that you will understand how you should operate within a team setup.

Some roles that you need to think about are the carry, support, mid, and so much more. Because there are certain spells that need to be available at a moment’s notice, you should get a competitive gaming mouse for that purpose.

2.League of Legends

League of Legends

While Dota 2 has set the stage for other game developers to follow, it was the League of Legends who took the formula and improved upon it.

Also known simply as ‘LoL’, this game has amassed a loyal following that, to this day, are still diehard fans.

You get a whopping 141 character roster which means that the learning curve is indeed quite steep. However, because of the unique battle style and strategies that you can employ, learning the characters that you want to use is much easier, at least, when compared to its main rival.

Although there are some game modes to choose from, the 5v5 Summoner’s Rift game mode is the most popular. Like Dota 2, expect to spend at least 30-50 minutes on a single league match.

There is a lot of learning to do when it comes to choosing a character and setting up an item list for which you should follow, but you will have a really fun time doing so.

While the community has some toxic players here and there, for the most part, the League of Legends player base is one of the best out there.

3.Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm

Also known as ‘HotS’, Heroes of the Storm was made by Blizzard, which is also the company that was responsible for the creation of Dota (albeit indirectly).

Although Blizzard was late to the party, this doesn’t mean that Heroes of the Storm doesn’t deserve a shoutout in this article.

If you do not want to spend an hour on a single game, then HotS is for you. Unlike the previous games that I’ve just mentioned, you do not have to worry about what items to purchase here simply because you only get to worry about the skills that you are going to get.

You see, at certain levels, your character will unlock new abilities and you will be the one to choose the right fit for the game and what your team needs the most.

The company used to host a lot of events that showcase the simplicity and prowess of this game, but Blizzard has its eyes focused more on mobile games in the near future.

It is sad that this game is now on ‘maintenance’ mode in that new features and game improvements will not be released as readily as it did before.

However, the game still has a solid player base and if you want a more polished MOBA game that doesn’t take too long to complete, then Heroes of the Storm is for you.

4.Smite

Smite

While the previous games allow you to control your characters by giving you an overhead view of the entire map, this next game takes things to a whole new level.

Smite is a rather new MOBA game but it is certainly gaining steady traction amongst fans of the genre because of its unique feature.

Instead of an overhead view of the entire map, you are going to control your avatar from a 3rd-person perspective. This not only makes things more immersive but it is an entirely new experience that is definitely more fun than the previously-mentioned titles.

Because of how the game is played, more and more people have gained an interest in playing Smite. This game allows you to control different gods but the premise remains largely the same, albeit played from a different perspective.

I am quite surprised by how the game has built a solid fan base. The community is quite large now that there are multiple online tournaments being played on a monthly basis with cash prizes amounting to millions of dollars.

Though it might not have the clout or the popularity of Dota 2 and League of Legends, Smite is slowly shaping up to be one of the best out there.

Tips

Unlike single-player games where all you have to worry about is yourself, MOBA games require you to be one with your team- both in strategy and coordination.

With that being said, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your playing experience:

1.Always Communicate

It goes without saying that you should always communicate with your teammates as a more cohesive group has a higher chance of winning than one that is discombobulated.

Most games have in-game chats, so you can use your gaming headset to communicate with your mates in the game.

An alternative solution would be to download a chat software like Discord and talk to your team there. Discord is lightweight and doesn’t take a lot of resources to run, making it ideal in this situation.

2.Invest in Good Gaming Gear

Aside from getting a gaming headset, you also need to invest in good gaming gear as well. Not only will you need a gaming mouse but getting a competitive gaming keyboard can also improve your chances of winning as well.

3.Learn One Character at a Time

The thing about MOBA games is that you have plenty of characters to choose from. If you are still starting out, I suggest that you stick to one character until you learn everything there is to know about them before you go ahead and choose another avatar.

The problem with most beginners is that they try to master a lot of things all at once and this is not a good approach if you want to be good at this genre.

You can be well-rounded after sinking so many hours into the game that you want to play- not by magically choosing any character that you please without enough time to practice them.

4.Search for Strategies

The good thing about this day and age is that you can look at different community forums and guides online to help you improve your overall game.

Search for specific character guides or even just general game strategies to help you become an asset to your team.

5.Have Fun!

The entire objective of playing a team game is to play it and enjoy it with your friends. Have fun!

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The Best Intel Z490 Motherboards to Help Unleash Your Comet Lake Processor’s Full Potential

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Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

Everyone knows that whenever Intel releases a new processor that you will need a new motherboard for that. And, that is true for the new comet lake or 10th generation Intel processors.

If you are looking for the right one, read this article to find out the best Intel Z490 motherboards that will help unleash your comet lake processor’s full potential.

Keep in mind that not all Intel processors are overclockable. Only the Intel i5-10600K, Intel i7-10700K, and the Intel i9-10900K can be overclocked so you will need a fitting board that can handle the said CPUs.

What’s New?

You might be wondering what new features the Z490 motherboards have in store for you. Well, to be honest, not a lot, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy them.

The LGA-1200 chipset adds support for WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps Ethernet connections, so mostly all of the notable features are in the networking front.

You could say that without the said additions that the Z490 boards are quite similar to the Z390 motherboards that were released a few years ago.

Still, getting a comet lake processor is quite enticing because it is now packed with more cores and threads, which means even more ample gaming performance than previous generations.

Best Intel Z490 Motherboards

1.MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Price: $700

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

If money is not an issue at all and you want to get what I would consider to be the best Z490 motherboard on the market, then the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike is for you.

It has an EATX form factor which means that you need a relatively large PC case in order to fit this behemoth.

What makes this quite appealing for regular consumers and hardcore overclockers alike is that it not only supports memory speeds of up to DDR4-5000, but it can also unlock the comet lake processors’ full potential as well.

Its BIOS is one of the simplest to navigate and there are also advanced options for people that truly want to tinker with all of the settings.

There are plenty of M.2 slots for your fast SSDs and it has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support via a detachable antenna.

If you are a fan of RGB lighting, this board comes with all of the necessary ports to plug in as many of those things as possible.

Really, the only issue here is that it is priced way higher than others, but again, if money is not an issue, then this warrants a purchase.

2.Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra

Price: $290

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra

Not a lot of people can afford a motherboard with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, there are competitive mid-range models that you can choose from- one of which is the Gigabyte Aorus Ultra.

This unit is a tier below the higher-priced ‘Master’ model, but people will find its feature set to be more than sufficient enough for most use-cases.

It’s got plenty of USB ports on its I/O panel and you get WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support as well.

You also get plenty of M.2 slots with included heatsinks so that you do not have to buy them separately. The heatsinks can help cool down those fast drives without any issues.l

Its aesthetic is pretty simple but I think that most people will really love the design. It does have some RGB implementations, though it is quite subtle when you compare it to others.

Overclockers will love the fact that this thing comes with POST codes that will help you know exactly what the issue is whenever you want to overclock the RAM or the CPU.

I am pretty impressed with the things that Gigabyte has crammed into a mid-range board. My only gripe with this otherwise stellar product is that its BIOS needs more simplicity as there are some redundant or even questionable options that are in there.

But other than that, the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra is a pretty competitive motherboard that is priced just right.

3.Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

Price: $750

Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

An article that talks about the ‘best’ products out there will not be complete without a mention of Asus. The company prides itself on creating some stellar products, including smartphones, routers, etc.

That being said, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme is quite an expensive motherboard, but that is actually warranted given its specs.

It’s got two PCI-E x16 sockets, reinforced DIMM slots, a whopping 8 SATA ports, four M.2 slots, eight USB 3.2 ports, and two USB Type-C ports- one of which is a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port which provides unparalleled transfer speeds.

Aside from that, you get plenty of fan headers and connectors so you can equip this thing with the best CPU coolers to help tame Intel’s 10th generation chips.

It’s got 16-phase power delivery and pretty good VRMs that ensures your system will get good and clean power during its operation. Plus, the heatsinks themselves have full RGB lighting support to make your rig look even cooler.

It is also worth noting that you also get the ESS ES9023P DAC along with the SupremeFX S1220 chipset to provide you with amazing audio quality, especially if you are going to insert your favorite gaming headsets.

You might wonder why this doesn’t sit at the top spot of this list and that is because I’ve run into some issues where its benchmark results are slightly lower than what MSI has to offer.

But, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme is a full-featured motherboard with all of the bells and whistles that you could ask for from a company.

4.MSI Z490-A Pro

Price: $160

MSI Z490-A Pro

If all you want is an inexpensive motherboard that can still overclock a comet lake chip, then the MSI Z490-A Pro is an enticing choice.

Although this thing can be considered a ‘budget’ board, it is definitely not a cheap one as it comes loaded with features that people will surely love.

Aside from the fact that you can overclock your Intel CPU with this thing, it also comes with Realtek’s 2.5Gb LAN implementation which is quite unheard of in the realm of budget products.

It is also worth mentioning that this board also has a steady 12-phase power delivery which, to the uninitiated, means that it can provide a steady amount of power during its operation- whether you overclock your chip or not.

I also love the fact that it has a pretty considerable audio solution in the form of the Realtek ALC1200 audio codec. Although it is not as good as the more premium boards out there, it is definitely respectable enough for most users.

Aside from the things that were mentioned, you also get two PCIe 3.0 x 4 M.2 slots, a USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type-C port, five USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and an additional two USB 2.0 ports for your chosen peripherals.

The downside here is that its design is what you would expect in an inexpensive product- tame and subtle.

But, if looks are not an issue and you just want a competitive motherboard that is priced just right, the MSI Z490-A Pro is a worthy purchase.

5.Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra

Price: $224

Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra

People that want to create a relatively compact system would have to buy an ITX motherboard. That being said, one of the best out there is the Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra.

Before I begin, when you are buying the Aorus Ultra, make sure that you look for the ‘I’ the product name. Otherwise, you would be getting the standard ATX variant that was mentioned earlier in the article.

Anyway, this thing has an 8-phase VRM design with 90-amp Smart power stages. This is a bit technical to explain, but in simpler terms, you can do a slight overclock on your chosen chip without running into any issues. You might not be getting astronomical numbers here, but at least the option is available if you want to eke out more performance from your Intel CPU.

The design is rather simple with mostly a black aesthetic with some metallic gray accents scattered throughout the motherboard.

Despite this board having an ITX form factor, it does come with two M.2 slots- one of which has a thermal guard to help it keep cool during normal operation.

It should also go without mentioning that this IXTX motherboard also comes with Intel’s 2.5GbE LAN solution as well, so for people that are not okay with a Realtek LAN implementation, this is the board to get.

6.ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX

Price: $270

ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX

You normally wouldn’t get so much performance of your CPU when you are going to get an ITX motherboard, but the last entry on this list will prove to you otherwise.

The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX, as the name suggests, is an ITX motherboard that is unlike any other.

I normally wouldn’t expect specific features for overclocking on a relatively small board, but this thing actually comes with some nifty additions.

Aside from the fact that it has an 8+2 power delivery system, you also get a clear CMOS button on the back I/O. This is great if you are running into any problems overclocking your CPU and you want the board to go back to its default settings.

In terms of networking, you’ve got two options here. First are the Realtek 2.5GbE LAN and the Intel AX201 WiFi 6 module. Both are great additions to any system.

At the back I/O panel, you get a plethora of USB ports plus a USB-C port that also acts as a Thunderbolt 3.0 port as well. The said port can be used to plug in a display of your choosing, which is really nice.

This motherboard looks a bit nicer than the Gigabyte board mentioned above, so if you want a flashier setup, this might be more appealing.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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12 Best Free Android Games That Will Surely Kill Your Boredom

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Fortnite

Back then, people have this notion that the only games that are worth playing on the Android platform are those that you have to spend money on. While I do agree with this to some extent, that has changed immensely through the years.

Some companies are adopting ‘freemium’ models where the base game is free and you can spend money to buy new armor skins or weapons, and there are also some that are actually really good without spending a dime.

Today, I am going to focus on the latter and highlight some of the best free android games that will surely kill your boredom.

Best Free Android Games

1.Monster Legends

Monster Legends

If you want a game that is a combination of Pokemon and Neopets, then Monster Legends is for you. The game’s tagline is ‘breed, feed, and train’ and that is basically what you will do to build up your army.

Basically, you train different monsters (700 of them in total) and battle it out with other trainers to gain experience and make them even better. You can unlock more abilities by going to the Monster Lab.

There was a newly released patch wherein mythical creatures are now available, which makes this game even more fun to play.

2.Marvel Strike Force

Marvel Strike Force

In the past, there was a game on Facebook called Marvel Alliance and at that time, it was the most popular game on the platform. Because of contract disputes with Disney, Facebook lost the rights to it and the game that was once loved by many was taken out of the popular social media site.

If you want a dose of nostalgia, the Marvel Strike Force is actually an improved version of it. The graphics are now in 3D and you can choose a bevy of Marvel characters- from Iron Man to Captain America (and more).

Although the base game is free to play, you can spend a little bit of money to make some things so much easier for you.

3.Call of Duty: Mobile

Call of Duty Mobile

Without a doubt, the Call of Duty franchise is one of the best in first-person shooting games out there. And, since gaming phones have become quite ubiquitous these days, you can now enjoy Call of Duty on your Android phone.

Its interface is similar to the PC version of any CoD game so if you have played any of the past titles, then this one should be easy for you to navigate.

There are various game modes, including the newly introduced Battle Royale which many people really love.

While the base game can be played for free, you can also choose to spend a bit of your cash to buy armor skins and a whole lot more.

If there is one thing to note here, it would be that your phone has to be capable enough of driving 3D graphics because this particular title needs a capable device.

4.Shadowgun Legends

Shadowgun Legends

If you do not like PvP and you would rather shoot some alien skulls, then Shadowgun Legends is for you.

You will play as a mercenary as you take on missions to either infiltrate or just outright eliminate the alien invaders.

Customization seems to be the strongest point of this game, as well as it allows you to join in on co-op missions by going with other players on some missions (which makes it even better).

Considered as the best sci-fi FPS game on Google Play, I see no reason why you shouldn’t have this one installed on your Android phone.

5.Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball is one of the most popular anime titles in existence. In fact, I grew up watching it and I am glad that I did.

If you are like me who loves Goku’s journey as he becomes the best Saiyan there is, then this game is something that you will surely love.

Dragon Ball Legends is an RPG game that lets you control Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of the protagonists to fight against the evil forces.

Although it is not an action game, per se, you are presented with a card-style match that allows you to control the players quickly and easily.

Aside from the main story missions, you can also choose to play against other players as well.

6.PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile

Aside from CoD:Mobile, Players’ Unknown Battle Ground or known simply as ‘PUBG’ is another great FPS to play on your Android smartphone.

For those of you who do not know, PUBG is actually a battle royale game. The mechanics are simple: You are pitted against 99 other individuals and only the last player standing wins it all.

Once the game begins, you will start parachuting down and you will need to find other players once you land on the ground.

You can find an array of different weapons that you should pick up in order to eliminate the opponents.

This game has been consistently ranked high among the free android games that you can play so this is definitely a must-have.

Just like CoD:Mobile, you should have a mid-range phone at the very least to be able to play this game without a hitch.

7.Fortnite

Fortnite

The game that started the Battle Royale genre, Fortnite is beloved by many. It is one of the most popular, exciting, and lucrative games out there simply because it has amassed a huge following.

What makes Fortnite more enjoyable than other battle royale games is its unique feature wherein you can also build forts (hence the name of the game) or structures that can help you gain an advantage over your enemies.

You will still go against 99 players or you can team up with 3 others in a battle to eliminate all others.

True enough, people are praising the game for its ingenuity and if you want to play the game that started an entirely new genre, then I highly recommend this one.

8.Brawl Stars

Brawl Stars

Fans of Clash of Clans will surely love this next game. Brawl Stars borrows the same graphics from the aforementioned title and no, you do not have to sink hours into creating your own settlement, but rather, you are going to play in an arena brawler style game.

Just like CoC, Brawl Stars lets you go against enemy AI or other players which is pretty nice (and can be competitive at times).

There are different game modes to choose from and you will never be bored since the modes that you can choose from change every couple of hours.

You do not have to spend hours just to enjoy a single game since it only lasts less than 3 minutes anyway.

You can either play competitively or you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your time.

9.Mobile Legends

Mobile Legends

If you like playing MOBA games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, then Mobile Legends is going to be a really nice game for you.

You and your team will go against 5 others in a battle for supremacy. You can choose among a bunch of different characters that all have their own unique abilities.

There is a ‘talents’ section where you can use different attributes to help you bolster your chosen characters even more.

The game is free to play, though you can spend your money to buy character skins or in-game currency.

10.Asphalt 9 Legends

Asphalt 9 Legends

I used to play Need for Speed games back then but it seems that the franchise is dead as there are no new versions of it anymore.

If you are a fan of racing games, Asphalt 9 is definitely something that you want to try out. The game is a 3D racing title that allows you to collect as many cars as you want by either purchasing them or earning them by playing the career mode.

Fans of the Need for Speed franchise will also love the fact that this game also comes with a Nitro Boost mode that allows you to ramp up your car’s speed for a brief period of time.

The game is for free but it does have some microtransactions that will allow you to unlock more cars, gain more money, and so much more.

11.Sky Force Reloaded

Sky Force Reloaded

People who frequent the arcades back then will surely love Sky Force Reloaded. This is a game where you take control of an aircraft to blast the enemy to pieces.

The game is pretty simple to play and there are also power-ups that can help you destroy a lot of enemies at one time.

It is quite polished, you can choose from a variety of different difficulty settings, and you can unlock various things- including weapon upgrades, new missions, etc.

12.Hearthstone

Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a popular card-based game that was released by Blizzard Entertainment a few years ago. The good thing is that you can actually play the game on PC and continue playing on the go by logging into the same account, which is a nice bonus.

The game is expansive in the sense that it has received a lot of content, so there is so much to unpack here.

Its premise is actually quite simple for people who are not familiar with the title. You basically build your own deck of cards and you go against other players worldwide.

Of course, the building process is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game because you will have to find the best ones to beat the others.

This is more of a laid back title that requires more strategy than pinpoint accuracy. But hey, it definitely deserves a spot on this list for sure.

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The Best MOBA Games on PC in 2020- Team Up with Your Friends and Beat the Competition

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League of Legends

When you ask people what the best MOBA game is, they will usually only give you two answers: Dota 2 or League of Legends.

While both of those titles have amassed huge followings, this is not to say that there aren’t any new and enticing contenders.

Today, I am going to be talking about the best MOBA games in 2020.

What is MOBA?

Before I begin, I assume that most people who are reading this article might already have an idea what a MOBA game is, but for those people that still do not have an inkling what this means, then read ahead.

MOBA is just an acronym that stands for ‘Multiplayer Online Battle Arena’. As the name implies, you are teamed up with 4 or 5 other players and you need to battle it out against the opposing team.

The premise of this genre is simple: Get your characters strong enough to go to the enemy’s base and destroy a certain structure.

In Dota 2, for example, you start out as a level 1 character and once you start leveling up, some skills will be made available to you.

Each time you kill an enemy- may it be some ‘creeps’ (regular enemies) or heroes (player character), you will gain both experience and money- the latter of which you can use to buy items that can help boost stats and improve your character’s potential.

Depending on the game, there is usually a boss character that is situated somewhere in the middle of the battlefield. This boss character will drop some loot that you can use to your team’s advantage. This also means that you have to make sure that the enemy team doesn’t get to it first, otherwise they will have the upper hand.

While Dota 2 is quite enjoyable, it is not for everyone since a typical match would last at least 45 minutes (some can go for 2 hours or more).

Now that you now have a basic idea of what a MOBA game is, I will now talk about the best ones that you can find on the PC.

Best MOBA Games on PC

1.Dota 2

Dota 2

I think it should go without saying that Dota 2 is still the best MOBA game on PC in 2020. This game’s origins are actually pretty incredible.

Dota is just an acronym that stands for ‘Defense of the Ancients’ and by ‘Ancients’, the term is used to refer to the specific structures that are placed inside your base and the enemy’s base and the team that destroys the opposing group’s ancient structure first wins the entire game.

This whole thing started back when Warcraft III began. You see, the said game has a custom map editor that you can use to create a map of your own. That means that you not only have control over the terrain but you also have control over the things that are going to be utilized on your own map.

IceFrog, the original creator of the Dota custom map in the Warcraft 3 era, started with a couple of heroes and a rather basic map. The premise is simple: Get your team’s characters strong enough to invade the enemy base and destroy its ancient structure.

The idea at that time was novel but it has certainly won the hearts of many people. Since then, Valve (Steam) bought the rights to the said custom map from IceFrog, and then Dota 2 was born.

At the time of writing this article, Dota 2 now has 111 heroes to choose from, so you basically have the option to choose which one you really like to learn the most.

There are microtransactions available in the game, but you do not have to worry about it since real money can be used only to buy cosmetic items (or things that can help change the look of your chosen avatar).

One of its main advantages is, sadly, one of this game’s disadvantages as well. You see, you have plenty of characters to choose from, which means that if you are going to master a lot of them, you will need to be ready to spend hours and hours learning each avatar’s nuances so that you could be of great help to your team.

You also have to get acquainted with different roles. Of course, you should set that before you try to learn a new hero so that you will understand how you should operate within a team setup.

Some roles that you need to think about are the carry, support, mid, and so much more. Because there are certain spells that need to be available at a moment’s notice, you should get a competitive gaming mouse for that purpose.

2.League of Legends

League of Legends

While Dota 2 has set the stage for other game developers to follow, it was the League of Legends who took the formula and improved upon it.

Also known simply as ‘LoL’, this game has amassed a loyal following that, to this day, are still diehard fans.

You get a whopping 141 character roster which means that the learning curve is indeed quite steep. However, because of the unique battle style and strategies that you can employ, learning the characters that you want to use is much easier, at least, when compared to its main rival.

Although there are some game modes to choose from, the 5v5 Summoner’s Rift game mode is the most popular. Like Dota 2, expect to spend at least 30-50 minutes on a single league match.

There is a lot of learning to do when it comes to choosing a character and setting up an item list for which you should follow, but you will have a really fun time doing so.

While the community has some toxic players here and there, for the most part, the League of Legends player base is one of the best out there.

3.Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm

Also known as ‘HotS’, Heroes of the Storm was made by Blizzard, which is also the company that was responsible for the creation of Dota (albeit indirectly).

Although Blizzard was late to the party, this doesn’t mean that Heroes of the Storm doesn’t deserve a shoutout in this article.

If you do not want to spend an hour on a single game, then HotS is for you. Unlike the previous games that I’ve just mentioned, you do not have to worry about what items to purchase here simply because you only get to worry about the skills that you are going to get.

You see, at certain levels, your character will unlock new abilities and you will be the one to choose the right fit for the game and what your team needs the most.

The company used to host a lot of events that showcase the simplicity and prowess of this game, but Blizzard has its eyes focused more on mobile games in the near future.

It is sad that this game is now on ‘maintenance’ mode in that new features and game improvements will not be released as readily as it did before.

However, the game still has a solid player base and if you want a more polished MOBA game that doesn’t take too long to complete, then Heroes of the Storm is for you.

4.Smite

Smite

While the previous games allow you to control your characters by giving you an overhead view of the entire map, this next game takes things to a whole new level.

Smite is a rather new MOBA game but it is certainly gaining steady traction amongst fans of the genre because of its unique feature.

Instead of an overhead view of the entire map, you are going to control your avatar from a 3rd-person perspective. This not only makes things more immersive but it is an entirely new experience that is definitely more fun than the previously-mentioned titles.

Because of how the game is played, more and more people have gained an interest in playing Smite. This game allows you to control different gods but the premise remains largely the same, albeit played from a different perspective.

I am quite surprised by how the game has built a solid fan base. The community is quite large now that there are multiple online tournaments being played on a monthly basis with cash prizes amounting to millions of dollars.

Though it might not have the clout or the popularity of Dota 2 and League of Legends, Smite is slowly shaping up to be one of the best out there.

Tips

Unlike single-player games where all you have to worry about is yourself, MOBA games require you to be one with your team- both in strategy and coordination.

With that being said, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your playing experience:

1.Always Communicate

It goes without saying that you should always communicate with your teammates as a more cohesive group has a higher chance of winning than one that is discombobulated.

Most games have in-game chats, so you can use your gaming headset to communicate with your mates in the game.

An alternative solution would be to download a chat software like Discord and talk to your team there. Discord is lightweight and doesn’t take a lot of resources to run, making it ideal in this situation.

2.Invest in Good Gaming Gear

Aside from getting a gaming headset, you also need to invest in good gaming gear as well. Not only will you need a gaming mouse but getting a competitive gaming keyboard can also improve your chances of winning as well.

3.Learn One Character at a Time

The thing about MOBA games is that you have plenty of characters to choose from. If you are still starting out, I suggest that you stick to one character until you learn everything there is to know about them before you go ahead and choose another avatar.

The problem with most beginners is that they try to master a lot of things all at once and this is not a good approach if you want to be good at this genre.

You can be well-rounded after sinking so many hours into the game that you want to play- not by magically choosing any character that you please without enough time to practice them.

4.Search for Strategies

The good thing about this day and age is that you can look at different community forums and guides online to help you improve your overall game.

Search for specific character guides or even just general game strategies to help you become an asset to your team.

5.Have Fun!

The entire objective of playing a team game is to play it and enjoy it with your friends. Have fun!

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The Best Intel Z490 Motherboards to Help Unleash Your Comet Lake Processor’s Full Potential

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Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

Everyone knows that whenever Intel releases a new processor that you will need a new motherboard for that. And, that is true for the new comet lake or 10th generation Intel processors.

If you are looking for the right one, read this article to find out the best Intel Z490 motherboards that will help unleash your comet lake processor’s full potential.

Keep in mind that not all Intel processors are overclockable. Only the Intel i5-10600K, Intel i7-10700K, and the Intel i9-10900K can be overclocked so you will need a fitting board that can handle the said CPUs.

What’s New?

You might be wondering what new features the Z490 motherboards have in store for you. Well, to be honest, not a lot, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy them.

The LGA-1200 chipset adds support for WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps Ethernet connections, so mostly all of the notable features are in the networking front.

You could say that without the said additions that the Z490 boards are quite similar to the Z390 motherboards that were released a few years ago.

Still, getting a comet lake processor is quite enticing because it is now packed with more cores and threads, which means even more ample gaming performance than previous generations.

Best Intel Z490 Motherboards

1.MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

Price: $700

MSI MEG Z490 Godlike

If money is not an issue at all and you want to get what I would consider to be the best Z490 motherboard on the market, then the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike is for you.

It has an EATX form factor which means that you need a relatively large PC case in order to fit this behemoth.

What makes this quite appealing for regular consumers and hardcore overclockers alike is that it not only supports memory speeds of up to DDR4-5000, but it can also unlock the comet lake processors’ full potential as well.

Its BIOS is one of the simplest to navigate and there are also advanced options for people that truly want to tinker with all of the settings.

There are plenty of M.2 slots for your fast SSDs and it has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support via a detachable antenna.

If you are a fan of RGB lighting, this board comes with all of the necessary ports to plug in as many of those things as possible.

Really, the only issue here is that it is priced way higher than others, but again, if money is not an issue, then this warrants a purchase.

2.Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra

Price: $290

Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra

Not a lot of people can afford a motherboard with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, there are competitive mid-range models that you can choose from- one of which is the Gigabyte Aorus Ultra.

This unit is a tier below the higher-priced ‘Master’ model, but people will find its feature set to be more than sufficient enough for most use-cases.

It’s got plenty of USB ports on its I/O panel and you get WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support as well.

You also get plenty of M.2 slots with included heatsinks so that you do not have to buy them separately. The heatsinks can help cool down those fast drives without any issues.l

Its aesthetic is pretty simple but I think that most people will really love the design. It does have some RGB implementations, though it is quite subtle when you compare it to others.

Overclockers will love the fact that this thing comes with POST codes that will help you know exactly what the issue is whenever you want to overclock the RAM or the CPU.

I am pretty impressed with the things that Gigabyte has crammed into a mid-range board. My only gripe with this otherwise stellar product is that its BIOS needs more simplicity as there are some redundant or even questionable options that are in there.

But other than that, the Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra is a pretty competitive motherboard that is priced just right.

3.Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

Price: $750

Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme

An article that talks about the ‘best’ products out there will not be complete without a mention of Asus. The company prides itself on creating some stellar products, including smartphones, routers, etc.

That being said, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme is quite an expensive motherboard, but that is actually warranted given its specs.

It’s got two PCI-E x16 sockets, reinforced DIMM slots, a whopping 8 SATA ports, four M.2 slots, eight USB 3.2 ports, and two USB Type-C ports- one of which is a USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port which provides unparalleled transfer speeds.

Aside from that, you get plenty of fan headers and connectors so you can equip this thing with the best CPU coolers to help tame Intel’s 10th generation chips.

It’s got 16-phase power delivery and pretty good VRMs that ensures your system will get good and clean power during its operation. Plus, the heatsinks themselves have full RGB lighting support to make your rig look even cooler.

It is also worth noting that you also get the ESS ES9023P DAC along with the SupremeFX S1220 chipset to provide you with amazing audio quality, especially if you are going to insert your favorite gaming headsets.

You might wonder why this doesn’t sit at the top spot of this list and that is because I’ve run into some issues where its benchmark results are slightly lower than what MSI has to offer.

But, the Asus ROG Maximus XII Extreme is a full-featured motherboard with all of the bells and whistles that you could ask for from a company.

4.MSI Z490-A Pro

Price: $160

MSI Z490-A Pro

If all you want is an inexpensive motherboard that can still overclock a comet lake chip, then the MSI Z490-A Pro is an enticing choice.

Although this thing can be considered a ‘budget’ board, it is definitely not a cheap one as it comes loaded with features that people will surely love.

Aside from the fact that you can overclock your Intel CPU with this thing, it also comes with Realtek’s 2.5Gb LAN implementation which is quite unheard of in the realm of budget products.

It is also worth mentioning that this board also has a steady 12-phase power delivery which, to the uninitiated, means that it can provide a steady amount of power during its operation- whether you overclock your chip or not.

I also love the fact that it has a pretty considerable audio solution in the form of the Realtek ALC1200 audio codec. Although it is not as good as the more premium boards out there, it is definitely respectable enough for most users.

Aside from the things that were mentioned, you also get two PCIe 3.0 x 4 M.2 slots, a USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type-C port, five USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, and an additional two USB 2.0 ports for your chosen peripherals.

The downside here is that its design is what you would expect in an inexpensive product- tame and subtle.

But, if looks are not an issue and you just want a competitive motherboard that is priced just right, the MSI Z490-A Pro is a worthy purchase.

5.Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra

Price: $224

Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra

People that want to create a relatively compact system would have to buy an ITX motherboard. That being said, one of the best out there is the Gigabyte Z490I Aorus Ultra.

Before I begin, when you are buying the Aorus Ultra, make sure that you look for the ‘I’ the product name. Otherwise, you would be getting the standard ATX variant that was mentioned earlier in the article.

Anyway, this thing has an 8-phase VRM design with 90-amp Smart power stages. This is a bit technical to explain, but in simpler terms, you can do a slight overclock on your chosen chip without running into any issues. You might not be getting astronomical numbers here, but at least the option is available if you want to eke out more performance from your Intel CPU.

The design is rather simple with mostly a black aesthetic with some metallic gray accents scattered throughout the motherboard.

Despite this board having an ITX form factor, it does come with two M.2 slots- one of which has a thermal guard to help it keep cool during normal operation.

It should also go without mentioning that this IXTX motherboard also comes with Intel’s 2.5GbE LAN solution as well, so for people that are not okay with a Realtek LAN implementation, this is the board to get.

6.ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX

Price: $270

ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX

You normally wouldn’t get so much performance of your CPU when you are going to get an ITX motherboard, but the last entry on this list will prove to you otherwise.

The ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming-ITX, as the name suggests, is an ITX motherboard that is unlike any other.

I normally wouldn’t expect specific features for overclocking on a relatively small board, but this thing actually comes with some nifty additions.

Aside from the fact that it has an 8+2 power delivery system, you also get a clear CMOS button on the back I/O. This is great if you are running into any problems overclocking your CPU and you want the board to go back to its default settings.

In terms of networking, you’ve got two options here. First are the Realtek 2.5GbE LAN and the Intel AX201 WiFi 6 module. Both are great additions to any system.

At the back I/O panel, you get a plethora of USB ports plus a USB-C port that also acts as a Thunderbolt 3.0 port as well. The said port can be used to plug in a display of your choosing, which is really nice.

This motherboard looks a bit nicer than the Gigabyte board mentioned above, so if you want a flashier setup, this might be more appealing.

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router Review- The Gaming Router to Get in 2020

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Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review

The gaming industry is one of the most popular niches now in that there are tons of products that you can buy that are great for gaming purposes.

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is touted as a ‘gaming’ router, but does it have what it takes to help eliminate lag and provide a better overall experience than the other routers that you can find on the market?

Design

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Review 2020

When you look at the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router, you will probably think of a lost starship from the infamous Death Star from Star Wars as its design is quite similar to those ships.

It has two ‘wing’ antennas that actually house a total of four antennas on the inside. This will provide maximum performance and throughput and it also helps increase the router’s range as well.

Because this is a WiFi 6 router, you can enjoy all of the features that the new WiFi technology provides, most especially OFDMA for better reliability in terms of giving internet connectivity to multiple users at any time.

On the top and at the bottom sides of the router, you will find that this thing has plenty of air exhaust vents and they are quite useful, especially considering that this is one of the more power-hungry networking solutions on the market today.

At the back, you will find all of the ports that you need. What’s interesting here is that you will find that two of the four gigabit Ethernet ports can be combined (via the router’s software) for better throughput. This is what you’ll want to use on your gaming PC so that you can virtually eliminate lag while you play.

There are also two USB 3.2 ports so you can plug in your printer and other USB-powered devices, and you will also find a power button, as well as an LED on/off switch as well.

Performance

Netgear Nighthawk AX12

Since this is a ‘gaming’ router, how well does it perform in such scenarios? In my testing, I’ve used World of Warcraft, one of the best MMORPGs out there, and Overwatch as both of these games not only have a built-in latency indicator, but they are also quite challenging in terms of latency in some parts of the day.

Normally, I would get 120ms on World of Warcraft and about 100ms on Overwatch for most of the day using my usual router, but the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router performs really well as I am able to get 100ms on WoW and a little over 70ms on Overwatch.

It is worth noting that I’ve used the combined port (which should be indicated on the back of the unit) for better performance, though using the other ports yielded only a slight performance penalty of roughly 10-15ms.

Being a WiFi 6 router, it is also important to test its capabilities on this front. So, I’ve connected multiple devices at one time and each of them is connected to Youtube for continuous streaming.

All of them do not have any buffer issues at all and they all got consistent speeds. But, this was done within a 10-meter radius near the router.

So, to test its mettle in terms of how far the WiFi signals can go, I went to the second floor (the router is on the first floor) and I was still able to get about 70% of my network speed (my internet connection is 120mbps, so in this instance, I was able to get roughly 84mbps).

I went a step further and went inside my room (which is also on the second floor), albeit this time, I did it with the door closed. Although the speed dropped a bit, I was still able to get 68-75mbps for the most part which is pretty good overall.

How about the speed of the USB ports in terms of file sharing? The performance is quite impressive as well. This is so much so that I can say that you can use it as a NAS drive because it is that good.

Software

Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Gaming Router

I am surprised that the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router doesn’t use the DumaOS that can be found in the company’s other ‘Nighthawk’ line of networking equipment, but I am still pleased with the router’s GUI overall.

The menus are outlined neatly and you can get to the specific settings that you want quickly and easily. The GUI is so intuitive that a layperson could easily navigate through the different settings without any problems.

You get your usual options such as the ability to prioritize different applications via QoS, setting up your router’s username and password (to access the GUI and for the SSID), and you can even do some port forwarding for your other applications as well, among many others.

It is interesting to me that there is no option for packet prioritization which can be found in Netgear’s other routers, but this is usually not something that people would touch anyway, so I am okay with that.

Just a reminder: Once you fire up this thing for the first time, it is generally a good idea to update the router’s firmware. This is to ensure that you will get all of the latest improvements, as well as some security patches.

Verdict

The Netgear Nighthawk AX12 Wireless Router is a pretty good WiFi 6 router. Its performance is quite consistent across the board and you will have no issues when it comes to its WiFi connectivity.

It is one of the most power-hungry routers on the market, though, but the good thing is that it has plenty of air vents to exhaust hot air effectively.

This gaming router costs $400 and although it is quite steep, getting a high-quality product is a worthwhile investment anyway, so I would still recommend this thing for people that want to get a pretty competitive WiFi AX router.

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