The 7 Best Routers for Streaming in 2021: Expert Reviewed

Best Routers for Streaming
  • HD quality requires a minimum of 5 Mbps of download speeds and 25 Mbps for Ultra High Definition.
  • The router name includes the speeds offered in Mbps. i.e. – a router named AC2300 specifies the max speed of up to 2300 Mbps or 2.3 Gbit.
  • Ping is another software that can indicate any latency or delay.

Routers today come with a lot of different specifications. But before you buy one, you need to narrow down your intended purpose, online streaming or live streaming your gameplay.

This is important, as the available connection speed offered by your router will be directly proportional to the quality of content you can stream and there are different types of routers/connections best suited for either.

In case you intend to use a router for online streaming services, 8 to 10 Mbps speed will be sufficient without any lagging or disruptions. But multiple other factors come into play as well – ping, connection speeds, and quality of network services.

A ping is a software developed to inform the user of the time taken (latency) by one data packet to reach from the host to the IP Network. Then again, several visible factors such as cable specification, and mode of internet transmission.

Will a Better Router Help with Streaming?

Will a Better Router Help with Streaming

An upgrade of your hardware is always advantageous, but it might not be required. Sometimes an obstruction, multi-devices access, or even an imbalanced bandwidth allocation among your software can interfere with the connection speeds.

Since streaming becomes the priority task, any software or application offering streaming should be given preference while using the internet.

Better yet, you should halt all other downloading operations and online updates to secure the highest bandwidth for your streaming applications.

But even after using these tune-ups, if you are not being able to take complete advantage of the original internet speed, getting a new router with better features will surely provide you with a superior experience.

Finding the best router for streaming isn’t that difficult once you have identified your needs.

Everybody aspires to own the best Wi-Fi router for streaming and enjoy a lag-free experience, but you should decide only after assessing your budget and requirements.

Best Router for Streaming on Multiple Devices: Expert Reviewed

If you wish to upgrade your home networks, these are the best routers available right now. These routers feature the latest-generation architecture and superior data prioritization options for optimized performance.

Check them out!

7. TP-Link Archer A7

Best Budget Router for Streaming

TP-Link Archer A7

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TP-Link Archer A7 1750 offers less versatility when compared with the top-tier routers and quite obviously fits well within the budget. But it does come loaded with features in its price segment.

All its controls and ports are positioned in a logical order, adding to the overall user-friendliness of this budget router. A dual-band device, it offers speeds up to 450 Mbps at the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps at the 5 GHz band. This router should have a clear line of sight with the device to enjoy a seamless streaming experience.

It is even compatible with Alexa and comes with 3 external and 3 internal antennas for wider coverage. A highly useful feature for some buyers, this A7 1750 comes with parental control. Parents can use the TP-Link Tether smartphone application to filter content for your child.

The parental control feature offers several settings, from user profiles, filter levels, online time limits, making A7 a great multipurpose router for the entire family. You can even manage an entire home network, bandwidth, passwords, and up to a total of 50 connected devices remotely.

Not only controls, but this device can act as a dedicated live streaming application because of its QoS support.

You can manage the data traffic, reduce latency on the network using QoS settings. You can also use the USB port of this router to transform it into a media center. It is even capable of offering services through a VPN server.

The only limitations on this router are the presence of only a single LAN and WAN port. Available at a budget price of just above $60, TP-Link A7 is the best router for gaming and streaming.

Pros

  • Budget Buy
  • Sufficient Network Speeds

Cons

  • Poor Network Area Coverage
  • Lack of W-Fi Features

6. D-Link EXO Wi-Fi AX 1500

Best Smart Router for Streaming under $100

D-Link EXO Wi-Fi AX 1500

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This D-Link EXO Wi-Fi router comes with AX architecture, which is advertised to offer 38% faster speeds than the previous generation 11AC architecture. It is the best router for streaming videos that you can purchase within $100.

The AX 1500 was launched in April 2020 to cover the budget and mid-range router segment. The number of features offered by the router makes it competitive with top-end devices.

First off, this router comes with all the latest technologies, such as MU-MIMO to cover multitasking internet requirements. Other latest tech includes efficient data transmission tech such as OFDMA and the next generation Wi-Fi 6 AX architecture.

You get 1 internet port and 4 ethernet ports although there are no USB ports for data sharing. But it features a better heat dissipation design and four adjustable antennas for higher area coverage.

The AX 1500 offers the usual dual-band coverage with a 2.4 GHz band offering 300 Mbps and a 5 GHz band offering 1200 Mbps. At these speeds, you can stream at UHD quality without any lags.

D-Link AX 1500 offers WPA3 encryption, target waking time to reduce the battery strain on smart devices.

This is also one of the few routers that can fluently be a part of your smart home setup courtesy of its in-built compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant.

D-Link also adds up with app-based control, parental control mode, and extended coverage by using extenders. Currently available for around $95.

Pros

  • Budget Price Tag
  • MU-MIMO
  • App-based Controls

Cons

  • Below Par Bandwidth Speeds
  • Limited Network Area Coverage

5. Motorola AC 2600

Best Budget Router for Streaming under $100

Motorola AC 2600

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The Motorola AC 2600 is a surprisingly fast router for its sub $100 price point. Featuring a curved design with 4 external antennas this router offers superior streaming performance.

It offers a total of 2600 Mbps throughput by combining both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

The AC 2600 offers all the latest technologies, from MU-MIMO to DLNA support. Unlike the previous model, Motorola now offers a USB 3.0 port for faster media sharing among the networks.

It is powerful enough to handle all the multitasking needs of a medium household.

On connectivity, you get the only router with a USB 3.0 port on the front for the easiest access. You also get 1 internet cable, 4 ethernet ports, and a dedicated Wi-Fi disabling button.

This button allows users to turn off Wi-Fi and interact only via LAN cables for higher security. You can control every feature using the web browser tab, from parental control, guest access, and Smart QoS.

The curved design offers better airflow to manage temperature thresholds.

You get 2 years of warranty on top of Motorola’s reliability with this router. Considering the features, this is a wireless router for streaming Netflix to TV, available for around $100.

Pros

  • Best-In-Class Features
  • MU-MIMO and DLNA
  • USB 3 port
  • Budget Price Tag

Cons

  • Limited Bandwidth Speeds
  • Poor Network Area Coverage

4. Linksys EA7500 AC 1900

Best Mid-Range Router for Streaming 

Linksys EA7500 AC 1900

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Linksys EA 7500 wireless router comes with dual-band features offering over 1900 Mbps cumulatively through its 2.4 GHz using 600 Mbps and 5 GHz band offering 1300 Mbps internet speeds. It allows you to connect over 15 devices without any cuts in bandwidth.

This router comes with 2 USB ports, 1 Internet port, and 4 ethernet ports for accommodating multiple wired connections.

One of the USB ports is 3.0, and another one is a 2.0 generation, allowing you to connect hardware devices in USB 2.0 and data sharing drives in 3.0 port.

The limited area coverage of less than 1500 sq. feet even with 3 antennas can be a bit of a letdown compared to the other routers in this list and nearly within the same price range.

The EA 7500 network coverage of enough only for small homes and personal use, although extendable using a range extender.

It comes with the latest gen MU-MIMO, allowing the router to provide multiple user coverage with multiple inputs, multiple outputs.

In simple terms, this technology means all the connected devices get an equal bandwidth without issues.

This Linksys router allows you to interact via the Linksys Application available on both iOS and Android.

The app offers you remote access, accessibility controls, and parental controls. Just like other parental control setups, it allows you to create separate user profiles with restricted access, internet usage timer, and history preview.

The Linksys application also comes with a device prioritization option that helps overcome bandwidth issues. Applications and devices not actively using the internet are put on hold to offer higher bandwidth as per requirements.

Overall, this Linksys EA7500 is a remarkable router that offers exceptional value for money. Priced at under $160, this device comes with a 3-year product replacement warranty.

This is arguably the best router for streaming if you can stretch your budget beyond the $100 mark.

Pros

  • Intuitive Smart Control Options
  • 15+ Device Compatibility
  • Excellent Connectivity Options

Cons

  • Poor Network Area Coverage
  • Below-par Bandwidth Speeds

3. ASUS GT – AC5300 ROG Rapture

Best Router for Streaming (And Gaming!)

ASUS GT - AC5300 ROG Rapture

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ASUS is easily one of the most renowned names in computer peripherals manufacturing, especially in the gaming niche. Just so, this ASUS Gaming router GT-AC 5300 is beyond the ordinary Wi-Fi router. It looks out of this world, and it does plenty more too.

Gamers typically use dozens of smart devices, from gaming headphones, gaming mouse, sound system, and other odds and ends.

As a gamer, you will need a versatile high connectivity wireless router to cater to your live streaming needs. This ASUS GT-AC 5300 is a tri-band Wi-Fi router. So, you get dual 5 GHz bands and a single 2.4 GHz band.

It also comes with the state-of-the-art MU-MIMO technology that provides a maximum output of 5334 Mbps. The 5 GHz bands offer speeds of up to 2167 Mbps each, making a combined output of 4334 Mbps, while its 2.4 GHz band offers a speed of up to 1000 Mbps.

On the connectivity front, AC-5300 features 8 ethernet ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports, other than selectable Wi-Fi and wired modes. It also comes with Game IPS for multi-stage protection of your network from both external attacks and threats.

The dedicated ASUS application is much required to control all the features on offer. The ROG Game Dashboard provides access to high-end features such as Game Boost, VPN Fusion (simultaneously connect both your VPN and internet connection,) use low ping gaming servers, using Gamers Private Network.

This ASUS GT-AC5300 is a complete package, and given the loaded features on offer, surely the price tag hovering around $280 seems justified. It does for us!

Pros

  • Blistering Bandwidth Speeds
  • Dual 5G Bandwidths
  • Gaming Optimized Features
  • Excellent Network Area Coverage

Cons

  • Overpriced
  • Best Suited for Game Streaming

2. Netgear Nighthawk Stream AX 5400

Best Router for Streaming Content (Non-Gaming)

Netgear Nighthawk Stream AX 5400

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Netgear NIGHTHAWK is among the most popular Wi-Fi routers ever. This new AX 5400 is among the latest released product of the widely acclaimed NIGHTHAWK generation routers.

It is perfectly suited for medium to large homes with a network area coverage of up to 2000 sq. feet. The NIGHTHAWK AX 5400 comes with a 6 antenna platform offering up to 600 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 4800 Mbps in the 5 GHz band.

This router makes use of the state-of-the-art OFDMA technology that virtually guarantees network stability even in maxed out usage.

The 1.5 GHz triple-core processor integrated into this router substantially helps it manage huge workloads. It offers one USB 3.0 port, 1 internet port, and 4 ethernet ports.

On top of these features, you also get integrated Alexa, Google Assistant support, and dynamic QoS to enjoy a seamless streaming experience.

Netgear’s Armor feature makes this router stand apart from others. Wi-Fi networks are susceptible to attacks, and Armor provides additional antivirus and anti-malware security using Bitdefender’s award-winning software and top of the line data encryption.

This security feature comes with a 30-day free trial and gets automatic firmware updates.

You can control every aspect of this router including settings, password, parental control, speed tests, and guest access using the Nighthawk application.

Given the features, this is perhaps the best wireless router for streaming 4K and 8K videos. Currently available for around $260, you would do wrong in considering this as your first choice.

Pros

  • Powerful 5G Bandwidth Network Speeds
  • Excellent Network Area Coverage
  • Additional Security Features
  • Multiple Smart Features

Cons

  • Pricey

1. Google Nest Wi-Fi

Best Overall Router for Streaming

Google Nest Wi-Fi

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Leave it to Google to manufacture a product that delivers the basics no questions asked. The Google Nest Wi-Fi router looks nothing like a router, blending into any décor or living space as a simple white object.

But each router comes with 2 ethernet ports for direct connections. And there’s much more.

Google Nest comes in multiple bundle options allowing you to buy and add as many to cover a larger area. A single Nest router has network coverage of 4400 sq. feet.

All Nests are dual-bands, offering up to 400 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 1733 Mbps on 5GHz bands.

But there’s something this router does better than the other ones in this list.

Google Nest is a scalable Wi-Fi system that allows all connected Nest routers to work in complete synergy with each other. It helps in not only increasing the network coverage area but also the number of connected devices.

One Nest router can connect with up to 200 devices. Speeds offered by Nest routers are fast enough to stream a variety of 4K videos simultaneously.

Worth mentioning, the Nest is perhaps not the best for high-res online gaming or game streaming. Its strength is not in the network speed but in the number of devices it can connect and the bandwidth speeds on offer.

You also get device prioritization and parents control settings with different profiles, time limits, and access restrictions. You can change all Wi-Fi settings, using the Nest application available on iOS and Android.

It even works seamlessly with Alexa and Google Assistant, the perfect addition to your smart home.

Priced at $169, Google Nest is the best router for streaming multiple devices and it can do so seamlessly.

Now you may wonder how this is better than the other $100 routers. Considering the network coverage area, signal strength, unbelievable no. of compatible devices, the seamless multi-device capabilities, and the affordable price tag, this is our best router for streaming.

Pros

  • Automated Multi-Router Setup
  • Unparalleled Device Compatibility
  • Excellent Network Area Coverage
  • Multiple Smart Features
  • Budget Price Tag

Cons

  • Limited Wired Connectivity
  • Mid-Ranging Bandwidth Speeds

What is the Best Router for Streaming Multiple Devices?

Multiple devices streaming for a 4K or UHD video quality requires a high amount of bandwidth. Routers offering 1200 Mbps are enough for 2 or 3 devices simultaneously streaming at 4K. For more connections, it is better to purchase a router with a higher frequency band.

If budget is not an issue and you have a large business place or home, try Google Nest routers, which offer a scalable Wi-Fi atmosphere for higher speeds and multiple connections.

Triple-band routers such as the ASUS GT-AC 5300 also offer high connection speeds of up to 2100 Mbps in dual 5 GHz bands perfect for streaming 4 K videos on over 20 simultaneous devices.

How to Optimize Router for Streaming

How to Optimize Router for Streaming

Router location plays a significant role in the actual speeds throughout the entire usage area. Theoretically, the range of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands are calculated in an obstruction-free environment.

Metal columns, furniture, and other electronic devices directly affect the overall range. But you can easily enjoy the fastest speeds with some minor optimizations and software tune-ups.

  • Place the router at an obstruction-free zone, preferably at the center of your home for complete area coverage, you can even use extenders to extend the network to the basement and higher floors.
  • Know about internet protocols and always connect to AX or AC protocols. The order of faster protocols – AX > AC > N > G > B. Consult with the router documentation and make appropriate changes to the available protocols.
  • Make sure that devices use both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands to avoid overuse of a single band.
  • Keep changing your Wi-Fi passwords every week. It will help keep unauthorized access at bay, allowing faster internet speeds.
  • Always find the best firmware for your router from the official website and keep track of your current firmware to enjoy the latest tune-ups.
  • Prioritize your devices in order of precedence. Give preference to streaming devices and applications on router settings. You can also use this to restrict max traffic to certain devices or on certain bandwidths.

Conclusion

Since the consistent development of networking capabilities by telecommunication industries throughout the world. We have so far witnessed a significant change in network speeds. Higher internet speeds offered are getting bottlenecked by older architecture routers, making it urgent to upgrade existing routers.

Getting the best routers for streaming will enable you to take advantage of the speeds offered and enjoy sufficient network coverage for streaming throughout every corner of your home.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive top-end router out there. Any router offering above 1200 Mbps speeds in a dual-band will be sufficient for home streaming usage. Users with multiple devices and live streaming requirements should go with the highest speeds available within their budget. Unless you’re a gamer or a software guru!

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