The best router for streaming has become a highly sought-after item on the market as subscription streaming services have gained favor over traditional cable and satellite TV bundles. As mentioned above, you’ll need a fast internet connection as well as equipment capable of handling multiple high-quality video streams at the same time.
Full HD (1080p) will soon be obsolete, and 4K will quickly become the new standard. Larger files, more bandwidth usage, and increased demand for the quickest internet connections and the best streaming router money can buy are all consequences.
Streamers rely on high-speed internet to offer high-definition video and audio. To provide sharp and clear movies, you’ll need the greatest router that can handle the job. The router must not only accept many streams, but it must also prioritize critical devices.
The finest streaming routers feature technologies like MU MIMO and beamforming, as well as fast data transfer speeds. They should also be multi-band capable and interoperable with forthcoming technologies such as Wi-Fi 6.
Why Do You Need A Good Router For Streaming?
Some internet service providers will charge you a rental price for the appropriate equipment if the default modem, router, or modem/router combo is not the best router for streaming. More and more knowledgeable internet users are opting to buy their own routers to avoid paying fees and secure the quickest possible connection speeds.
The bottom line is that bandwidth control and internet speed are the most important factors. While your internet service provider is mostly responsible for internet speed, router technology plays an important part in both of these areas of computing. The most modern Wi-Fi technology is 8th-generation Wi-Fi, sometimes known as Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 is also available, however, it is only found in high-end devices like gaming laptops and is not as generally available.
To ensure that your Fire Stick, Google TV, Apple TV, or other streaming multiple devices receive the highest possible speeds, acquire a Wi-Fi router with at least 802.11ac capability. Anything less will almost certainly result in slower streaming speeds, especially if multiple users are streaming at the same moment. The example above provides another excellent demonstration of how quality-of-service-enabled routers restrict bandwidth on internet connections in order to prioritize high-demand traffic (such as streaming).
Best WiFi Routers for Streaming 2022
Asus RT-AC5300 Router for Streaming
Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 Router for Streaming
TP-Link Archer AX6000 Router for Streaming
TP-Link Archer A7 Router for Streaming
Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 Router for Streaming
D-Link DIR-882 Router for Streaming
TP-Link Archer A20 Router for Streaming
Netgear Nighthawk R6900P Router for Streaming
Linksys EA7500 Router for Streaming
TP-Link Archer AX11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
Let’s be honest about it. With its angular form and eight antennae, the Asus RT-AC5300 appears like something out of a science fiction film at first glance. It’s a little bigger and thicker than comparable home wireless routers, but it’s jam-packed with advanced capabilities and delivers excellent results.
It’s a tri-band router, so you’ll receive two 5GHz bands on top of a 2.4GHz band, allowing you to provide numerous streaming devices with the highest possible speeds. When you combine it with Asus’s Multi-User Numerous Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology, you’ll be able to stream from multiple devices at the same time without lagging or interruption.
The Asus RT-AC5300 is difficult to beat when it comes to installation and network management. The router comes with an extremely simple Setup Wizard that guides you through the entire installation process. You’ll be able to alter a range of options once the device is up and running, including Guest Network configuration, parental controls, AiProtection, and Adaptive Quality of Service.
The Adaptive QoS feature, which lets you prioritize your streaming devices to receive the quickest network speeds when in use, impressed us the most. If that’s essential to you, the router even has a Game Boost option that prioritizes your online gaming consoles or gaming PC.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 is another sci-fi wireless router with a slew of innovative functions and capabilities. This router, on the other hand, is unique in that it has two enormous vertical fins instead of several adjustable antennae. Although the router is still larger than other solutions, this helps to streamline the design and creates a smaller footprint.
A multi-gig LAN connector with connection speeds up to 2.5Gbps, four LAN ports for connecting numerous streaming devices, and two USB 3.0 ports are among the other notable design elements.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better wireless router in terms of performance. The Nighthawk RAX200 has a blisteringly fast throughput and can cover both short and long distances. It’s also compatible with the latest Wi-Fi 6 network connections, allowing for even faster wireless rates. Because the RAX200 is a tri-band router, it has two 5GHz channels in addition to the 2.4GHz band, making prioritizing your streaming devices easier.
Although it lacks some of the more advanced parental controls found in other routers, this Nighthawk router is quite straightforward to set up and configure to your preference. Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 has a high-quality design that allows for fast network speeds and buffer-free streaming.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is significantly larger than its smaller rivals (such as the TP-Link Archer C2300), but it compensates with a wealth of advanced features and capabilities. The Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that provides your connected devices with both a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band. The AX6000 delivers exceptional overall performance and throughput, especially in larger houses.
You can prioritize your streaming devices on the 5GHz band for the quickest throughput using the two bands. Here, too, file transmission speeds are excellent. If you frequently download or upload large amounts of data over your home network, the Archer AX6000’s capabilities will not disappoint.
The number of ports available on the TP-Link Archer AX6000 is one of its outstanding features. You’ll be able to hard-wire just as many streaming devices to the router with eight unique gigabit LAN ports for the most reliable and fastest streaming performance. The Archer AX6000 also has a lot of user management options, such as excellent parental controls and malware protection.
You can establish several profiles for different age groups and set suitable filters using parental controls. You may even use such profiles to specify QoS priority for individual devices. The TP-Link Archer AX6000 also supports connectivity to a mobile device for remote management, which is helpful if you need to make adjustments to your network on the fly.
You can’t go wrong with the TP-Link Archer A7 if you’re looking for a cheap wireless router for streaming. This router is one of the most cost-effective alternatives on the market today, yet it doesn’t skimp on throughput speed or design quality. This is a little wireless router with three antennas that can be placed almost anywhere in your home without obstructing your view.
You’ll receive four gigabit LAN connections to hard-wire up to four streaming devices when it comes to ports and connectivity. It also has a single USB connection, but it’s only USB 2.0, so you won’t receive USB 3.0 transfer speeds.
The TP-Link Archer A7 is a dual-band wireless router with 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. While this isn’t quite as good as tri-band, it’s ideal for smaller houses with fewer streaming devices. We recommend using the 5GHz band for streaming devices and the 2.4GHz band for anything else to obtain the greatest experience. For such a low-cost alternative, the Archer A7 delivers astonishing throughput speeds.
If your ISP provides fast speeds, you’ll have no trouble accessing those speeds with this router. The Archer A7’s internal user management settings also impressed us. You’ll have a lot of options for customizing your home network, including QoS and parental controls.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 foregoes all of the sci-fi design aspects that so many gaming devices today include in favor of a sleek, low-profile form factor that can be placed almost anyplace in your home. It has two huge antennas that are sadly not removable but are otherwise undetectable.
Four Gigabit LAN connections and a single USB 3.0 connector are located on the back of the router, which is a usual technique for routers these days. Installation is simple, and the router can even be mounted on the wall for further versatility.
Overall throughput and performance are where the Nighthawk RAX40 really shines. This is a Wi-Fi 6 router that supports the most cutting-edge wireless internet technologies. This router can manage high internet speeds for gaming and send them to your gaming devices, even if they aren’t hard-wired directly to the router.
Because of its beamforming features, the RAX40 can even give those high speeds over a longer distance, which is impressive for a tiny router. The Nighthawk RAX40 also comes with a number of management features, such as Quality of Service and parental controls. You’ll get an unrivaled gaming experience in addition to the greatest gaming chair.
The D-Link DIR-882 Wi-Fi router for streaming may not be the most flashy or feature-packed option on the market, but it provides quick and reliable performance in any situation. This is why, according to our buying recommendation, it is the finest router for streaming 4K content. The DIR-882 is a streaming dual-band router with good performance on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
On both bands, it functions best at close range, but at larger ranges on the 5GHz band, speeds start to drop. However, you’ll be able to connect several devices to the router without sacrificing performance thanks to beamforming and MU-MIMO features.
The D-Link DIR-882 router’s overall design and compact factor are also worth highlighting. It’s a super-slim router with four adjustable antennae that can be placed practically anywhere in your home without interfering with other electronics. There are four separate gigabit LAN connections on the router, as well as a USB 3.0 port on the back and a USB 2.0 port on the front.
Even if you aren’t familiar with the process, the D-Link has a comprehensive user settings administration page that is simple to use. But it’s the very user-friendly Quality of Service (QoS) engine that really stands out. It has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes setting priority for your 4K streaming devices a breeze.
The TP-Link Archer A20 streaming router is designed for large households. This is a tri-band router with plenty of advanced capability to evenly distribute the signal across your home and across a variety of devices. To begin, the TP-Link has a 2.4GHz band and two 5GHz bands, as well as MU-MIMO technology, allowing you to connect many devices to your home network without worrying about congestion.
You may also choose which of those devices gets the quickest internet thanks to the inbuilt Quality of Service (QoS) options. You’ll be able to prioritize your streaming devices in this manner, ensuring buffer-free viewing.
The general design of the Archer A20 is readily noticeable at first look. It has six distinct antennas and a big footprint, making it difficult to insert into tight spaces. The antennae, on the other hand, fold down on top of the router, which is convenient for storage. Unfortunately, just because it’s bigger doesn’t mean it has more LAN ports.
The Archer A20 has the conventional set of four gigabit LAN ports as well as two USB ports. One area where the TP-Link Archer A20 shines is in user management settings. The user interface is simple and straightforward to use. You’ll also receive fantastic and thorough parental controls, which are crucial for large families. Check out our shopping guide for the best wifi router for long-range for more possibilities.
The Nightgear Nighthawk R6900P is a high-performance wireless router for streaming that supports multiple devices. The router, according to the vendor, can easily manage up to 30 wireless devices connected at the same time. However, keep in mind that you’ll require your ISP’s capacity to do so without causing congestion.
This is a dual-band router that, even at vast distances, provides the finest performance and throughput on the 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz frequency is OK, however, we recommend that you connect your streaming devices to the 5GHz band.
When it comes to MU-MIMO, beamforming, and Quality of Service capabilities, the R6900P really shines. These capabilities work together to make it simple to handle and manage several networked devices at the same time. The Quality of Service (QoS) functionality, on the other hand, is by far the greatest. It allows you to prioritize your streaming devices so that they always get the optimum bandwidth, and it does it better than many other routers.
You’ll be able to substantially improve load times and almost totally eliminate buffering while streaming with QoS enabled and adjusted. If your network has a lot of users but you always want your streaming devices to get the greatest speeds, the Netgear Nighthawk R6900P is the router for you.
The Linksys EA7500 wireless router is one of the more basic and less expensive alternatives in this buying guide, and it has both pros and cons. However, it is the EA7500’s overall user-friendliness and ease of installation that makes it stand out. Simply plug the router in, connect it to your modem, and then connect to it via your computer to get started.
You’ll see the rest of the installation instructions on your computer screen as soon as you accomplish that. You’ll also get decent management settings that are simple to understand and set up. Once you’ve got the EA7500 up and running, you can practically leave it to do its thing and not worry about it again.
The Linksys EA7500 also provides excellent performance. It’s a dual-band router that offers decent throughput on both bands while remaining within range. It also has MU-MIMO capability for connecting to numerous devices at the same time.
While it lacks some of the most robust or complex capabilities found in today’s most expensive routers, the Linksys EA7500 provides consistent speeds across all of your streaming devices. Check out our best travel router buying guide if you’re a frequent traveler.
AX11000 sets itself out from the competition as one of the finest performing Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market right now, aiming for a gaming audience. There’s a significant difference in making sure your finest router for streaming is also Wi-Fi 6 enabled if your streaming device is compatible. Wi-Fi 6 functions just as well as a wired ethernet connection if you have a solid Wi-Fi signal environment.
It’s a significant problem. Its laser-focused gamer targets likely turn off some streaming enthusiasts looking for a less expensive device; don’t fall into this trap. The AX11000 is ideal for large families and heavy streamers, providing ample bandwidth and signal strength for everyone.
Its parental settings will also be a godsend to parents, allowing them to ensure that their children complete their schoolwork without distractions by blocking sites and apps like YouTube and Netflix.
Wi-Fi router specifications and features
Streaming, particularly 4K streaming, consumes bandwidth for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, so you’ll need to invest in equipment and services that can keep up with it. Start with an internet package that has enough bandwidth (and a high enough data allowance) to accommodate your streaming habits and give you a nice experience. Then you’ll need a router that can handle the bandwidth and prioritize traffic across several devices at the same time.
Keep in mind that while your ISP’s router may be capable of basic 4K streaming, it is unlikely to have sophisticated features that allow you to broadcast on many devices concurrently with no problems. If you’re experiencing a lot of buffering, stutters, or freezes while streaming video, it’s probably time to upgrade.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Many high-end routers come with the quality of service (QoS) features that let you prioritize devices and traffic on the network so that the most critical data streams (in this case, Netflix) get more bandwidth. This ensures that video playback is uninterrupted by downloads, games, or other household activities taking place at the same time as the streaming. Look for QoS capabilities in a router if your home has a lot of simultaneous internet usage.
When you hear the phrase “processor,” you might think of computer specifications, but processors also play a role in routers. Dual processors are common in the latest routers, allowing them to handle data and instructions faster. The end effect is a smoother connection with fewer stops and delays for the end-user.
Tri-band, dual-band, or single-band
Routers use one of two radio frequencies, or “bands,” to communicate: 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Only one of the bands is supported by a basic single-band router. Newer routers frequently include dual-band capability, which means they can connect with devices on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Tri-band functionality is available on the most modern routers. Two 5 GHz channels and one 2.4 GHz band are generally used by these routers. The ability to use three bands improves download and upload speeds while also lowering the risk of signal interference.
Wireless standard naming conventions are in the midst of evolving, however, 802.11n, 802.11ac, and Wi-Fi 6 are the most prevalent. At the time, these are the most widely used standards. Wi-Fi 6 is the most recent standard accessible in high-end routers. (Its name is easier to remember because it was released after the name revisions.)
You might be able to get by with an 802.11n router, but if at all possible, go for one that supports 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 6. These standards provide the necessary speeds to stream 4K video and play a few games on your Xbox or PS5. It’s typically obvious which wireless standard a router supports by looking at the name.
MU-MIMO and beamforming
Multi-user, multiple input, multiple outputs is referred to as MU-MIMO. Many of the newest standalone routers feature technologies like MU-MIMO, which divvies up bandwidth to keep internet speeds consistent while multiple users access the network. Consider it router multitasking at its most advanced. It can make a considerable difference, so seek it if your household frequently has numerous gadgets operating at the same time.
MU-MIMO is frequently accompanied by beamforming. To boost wireless throughput and range, it employs MU-MIMO-compatible transmitters and receivers. The router (transmitter) basically beams the Wi-Fi signal to the internal antennae of your devices, producing a home network capable of high-end streaming.
The number and wattage of antennas on your router can affect the range, dependability, and performance of your Wi-Fi signal, as well as features like MU-MIMO and beamforming.
That isn’t to say that the router with the most antennae is necessarily the best. However, if you’re 4K streaming via Wi-Fi, you’ll want the highest signal and speed available, which means using numerous antennae.
A router with Ethernet and USB connections is more functional. You could absolutely go wireless for everything, but there are occasions when hardwiring a gadget is necessary. You’ll also need a router with a few free Ethernet ports if you plan to deploy Wi-Fi extenders. Many people can get by with two ports, but others require at least four.
When mounting the router on your entertainment center and plugging your streaming box or smart TV directly into it, Ethernet ports on routers come in handy. This ensures a strong signal for your primary device while leaving the Wi-Fi signal open for tablets and other devices.
Finally, some routers come with extra features. They won’t inherently improve a 4K stream, but they might make things easier for you. Parental restrictions, cloud access, and better security settings, as well as automatic backups, are all included. Some even include “airtime fairness,” which allows 802.11ac–compatible devices, such as your 4K HDTV, to get bandwidth before 802.11n devices.
Routers for Streaming FAQs
Will a better router help with streaming?
Without a doubt. Better routers usually have a longer range, which means you’ll get a stronger signal no matter where you are in your house. Furthermore, better routers usually have higher capacity, allowing you to stream numerous devices on the same network via several Wi-Fi bands.
What does Tri-Band mean?
Three distinct bands are broadcast by a tri-band router. It will broadcast two independent 5 GHz frequencies as well as a 2.4 GHz frequency. It’s like having three different networks in a single gadget.
What is the best router for streaming multiple devices?
We recommend checking for models with tri-band Wi-Fi and MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output) features if you’re seeking the best router for streaming numerous devices. These features enable a greater number of devices to stream at the same time without sacrificing quality.
What router do streamers use?
When it comes to their broadcasting settings, video game streamers frequently use cutting-edge equipment. There are a variety of Wi-Fi routers available that are designed expressly for this purpose. The best router for streaming and gaming has blazing-fast speeds (up to 7.2 Gbps) and superb Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities, ensuring that its streaming equipment always has the fastest and most dependable network connectivity, regardless of how many devices are connected.
How does QoS Work?
Quality of Service (QoS) is a group of technologies that operate together on a network to ensure that high-priority applications and traffic are reliably delivered even when network capacity is constrained. This is accomplished through QoS technologies, which provide differentiated handling and capacity allocation to certain network traffic flows.
Is Mu-MIMO important?
Because all devices on the network have less time to wait for data from the Wi-Fi router, both MU-MIMO and non-MU-MIMO (SU-MIMO) devices run faster.
What Is a Wi-Fi Extender?
A Wi-Fi extender connects to your router (by wireless or connected connection) to help expand your internet signal into rooms that are Wi-Fi dead zones due to walls, furniture, or general spacing.