Would it improve wifi (from upstairs to downstairs), stability, gaming ping (ethernet)? I'm currently using the Smart Hub 3. If so, what's a good upgrade from the SH3?
It depends on your speed, are you on FTTC or FTTP ?
I would recommend not changing the hub to improve your wifi but go for a wifi mesh system instead. There are lots to choose from but they can be expensive.
The BT mini discs are a good value mesh wifi systems that give good coverage around the house and while they aren't the fastest if you have fibre to the house, they are fast enough for almost any real use and easy to install.
The seamless handover from disc to disc as you move about works really well and there isn't a dead spot in our three story house anymore and no having to mess about changing between different wifi boxes. I have four people in the house all using the wifi at the same time for gaming, zoom etc and I get no complaints.
I have three but I also have them hard wired into my ethernet network so effectively doubling their speed by offloading the backhaul duties.
I'm getting 38MB FTTC, I can't get faster or I would upgrade in a heartbeat. ATM I'm using a cheapo WIFI extender in the living room which works OK. My main issues are I get these short disconnects where my connection will drop for a minute then come back (over ethernet) and WIFI speed in the living room. Plus I do a ton of gaming and I'm always looking to reduce my ms if that's even possible with a router/modem upgrade.
I used a Draytek vigour 130 modem which works very well with BT VSDL but it didn't really make any difference to pings (just allowed you to spoof the system a little to get a faster connection)
Disconnects are something that shouldn't happen but can for multiple reasons (you say it even happens over an ethernet connection)
I did change my router to a netgear nighthawk, but that was because I was getting repeated reboot requests from BT which was taking the internet down.
Might be worth a separate post about your dropped connection to see if it can be resolved.
But for the wifi, a couple of mini discs will probably make life easier for laptops etc, but for desk tops, Ethernet is where its at if you can do it (and not using powerline adapters, these can be ok, but in my experience there are annoying lags and delays in responses)
I actually had an engineer out last week and he did a lift and shift, which took me from 14mb to 38mb and stopped the constant disconnections, but I do still get the odd one which is super annoying. I've made posts in the past but never really got any solid reason for my short disconnects. I don't mind throwing money at a problem if it'll fix it, but at the same time I can't afford to waste money if it wouldn't help.
A router will not alter your base pin but some routers will be able to make use of geo filtering.
However you need to think about your network needs but a separate modem is a good step then you can use whatever router you like. I use an old HG612 which is fine.
As you love gaming and as your connection is low a nice QoS will help when you are gaming and others are using the internet. There are lots of routers out there, mesh was mentioned and helps with connectivity around the property but you need to find one that can prioritise your traffic. Plume for example seem to have a good following but I’ve not tried one.
As you step into what are called gaming routers these tend to be more hands on and not like your run of the mill Netgear. Most tend to use third party services that may help with connections to servers and some show you the servers and you can pick one. Most tend to have a good QoS which you want so you don’t end up with latency issues when others are say watching vids or downloading.
It just depends on what you are after and what budget you have.