Best Wireless Router For Multiple Devices 2021: Reviews, Buying Criteria & Verdict
Are you ready to enjoy a lag-free, 4K video streaming, and VR gaming with an existing old router? Lol, it is not possible until you read this article and buy a router that can handle multiple devices at once.
Do you remember that time when we used to have only a single device or smartphone with us in our home? Now things have changed in 2021 as we are covered with an ecosystem of products, right? It means we are using multiple devices at the same time. Therefore, we need the best wireless routers for multiple devices so that we could use them without any network issues or interruptions.
In late 2018, Even I have replaced my old router with a powerful one that can handle multiple devices with ease. So I’ll let you know which will be the best option for you and why?
So you only need to consider four things and keep in mind before you buy. However, if you are in a hurry and don’t have much time to read the entire article, then.
Here Are My 5 Best WiFi Routers For Multiple Devices:
5 Multiple Devices’ Routers Comparison Chart
|Picture||Router Name||MU-MIMO/BEAM||Bands||Standards||Check Now!|
Netgear Nighthawk (R7800) X4s
|Netgear Nighthawk x4s (R7800)||YES||Dual-Band||802.11 AC|
Best For 20 Devices
Linksys Max-Stream AC2200
|Linksys Max-Stream AC2200||YES||Tri-Band||802.11 AC|
Best For Gaming
Asus RT-AC88U AC3100
|Asus RT-AC88U AC3100||YES||Dual-Band||802 11 AC|
For A larger Home
NETGEAR Nighthawk X10
|NETGEAR Nighthawk X10||YES||Tri-Band||802.11 AD|
|Synology RT2600ac||YES||Dual-Band||802.11 AC|
Make sure our router is supported with the following technologies and features at any cost.
1. MU-MIMO Vs. SU-MIMO
MU-MIMO stands for multiple-user Multiple Input, Multiple Output. In other words, you can say it is an upgraded version of SU-MIMO (Single-user MIMO).
Here are the differences between SU-MIMO Vs. MU-MIMO
1. It was introduced with 802.11n wireless standard.
2. Multiple input and output streams with a single device at a time is allowed by SU-MIMO technology.
1. It was introduced with 802.11ac wireless standard.
2. Multiple input and output streams with various devices at a time is allowed by MU-MIMO technology.
Our older routers used to send or broadcast their signal in all directions. In other words, they were omnidirectional. In result, they dilute the signal. On the other hand, modern routers can determine your connected device specific location using beamforming technology. Which means a stronger signal between devices.
3. Single-Band Vs. Dual-Band or Tri-Band:
Before we understand the tri-band, we need to learn about a single band and dual-band router.
Let’s understand in simple words,
The single-band router can use only the 2.4Ghz frequency band. In other words, it is limited to a single wireless signal.
The dual-band router can use 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz both frequency bands. It can transmit two wireless signals simultaneously.
The tri-band router can use one 2.4Ghz and two 5Ghz frequency wireless bands. It means more devices and less interference.
4. Ac or Ad WiFI Standard:
Both are good wireless standards. However, there are some major differences between the two in terms of throughput, Range, Channel width, and wireless bands.
Comparison: ac Vs. ad
“ac” Wireless Standard:
With the Ac standard router, you can get maximum throughput up to 5400Mbps with a maximum wireless range of up to 500 feet. It can use three wireless bands: one 2.4Ghz + two 5Ghz (tri-band) with wireless Channel width from 20Mhz to 160Mhz.
“ad” Wireless Standard:
With the Ad standard router, you can get maximum throughput up to 7200Mbps with a maximum wireless range of up to 500+ feet. It can use three wireless bands: 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, and 60GHz with Quad-stream. However, the wireless channel width is from 5Mhz to 20Mhz.
I suggest you buy any one of them according to your needs. However, AD standards’ routers are expensive than AC standards’. Plus, make sure you have AD standard supported devices too in order to use AD standard router. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see any difference.
I am not including other factors like CPU, RAM, Antennas, Etc. They play a significant role when it comes to handling multiple devices. Here I don’t want to confuse you anymore with such technical parts of the router. So be with me and have trust in my top picks.
After these four considering factors, you can make a smart choice and would be able to buy the best multiple devices router. However, I can make it simple to you by showing you my top picks.
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S – Best Overall
The primary purpose of taking this router at first position is only its price. However, at this price range, It comes with great features. Without any doubt, it can handle multiple devices at the same time, which is our concerned, though.
MU-MIMO: Yes, it supports MU-MIMO
Beamforming: Yes, it supports Implicit and Explicit beamforing+ technology
Band: Yes, Dual-band
Standard: ac wireless standard
The Nighthawk X4S is a dual-band router. It has a powerful dual-core 1.7Ghz processor, which ensures fast WiFi speeds of up to 2.5Ghz with 160Mhz bandwidth. It also increases the performance of WiFi, WAN, LAN and wired devices. It also allows accessing the home network using the OpenVPN connect app, which is available for both Android and iPhone users.
- We get maximum WiFi speeds of up to 2.53Gbps (800Mbps using 2.4Ghz + 1.73Gbps using 5Ghz) with x4 Quad Stream architecture.
- Dynamic QoS ensures lag-free gaming and uninterrupted streaming.
- Coverage and WiFi range is top of the line as it has four external antennas with high-powered amplifiers.
- Sharing with this router is easy and fun, from accessing media to wireless printing becomes easy with advanced sharing features such as DLNA, READYSHARE USB, eSATA, READYSHARE printer, etc.
- Quad Stream Wave 2, Dynamic QoS, and beamforming+ ensures reliable connections without any connection lost issues.
- Firewall configuration is a little bit confusing.
Overall, the x4s is an excellent router for a larger home or office. I didn’t have any issues while installing this router as it was quite easy to use. It provides excellent security and safety from hackers, malicious virus, or any other social attacks. Netgear’s support team is also excellent.
If you’re looking for a multiple devices router under $200 then you should consider this x4s router, it would be a great choice. If you are not, then you should consider its elder brothers x6 and x8. Obviously, these elder brothers will be better and faster in terms of performance, range, and features than x4s. If you are interested or want to read their comparison – click here.
2. Linksys Max-Stream – Best For Small Office
The Linksys Max-stream is holding the 2nd position on my list. However, its features and performance are not as good as Netgear’s x4s, but it comes under $150. So at this price range, It offers excellent features and performance.
MU-MIMO: yes, it supports MU-MIMO technology
Beamforming: Yes, It supports advanced beamforming+ technology
Standard: It’s a next-generation ac standard wireless router
The max-stream ac2200 is a tri-band router from Linksys. It is equipped with a powerful Quad-core processor (clocked @ 716Mhz) with 256MB of RAM and 256MB of flash memory. It has four operation modes such as wireless router, access point as a wired bridge, bridge mode, and wireless repeater.
Pros & Cons: The Linksys max-stream ac2200
- Unlike Netgear’s x4s, it is a tri-band router with less price.
- We get maximum speeds of up to 2.2Ghz using all three bands ( 400Mbps using 2.4Ghz +2x 867Mbps using 5Ghz).
- LAN link aggregation feature is incredible. With it, we can double the data’s transfer rate.
- MU-MIMO with beamforming technology ensure lag-free 4k media streaming, games, or high-bandwidth tasks.
- Installation, setup, and management of WiFI are straightforward.
I don’t like:
- I didn’t find any issues so far with this router. (I’ll update if one come across).
If compared to X4s, the performance of Max-stream is also excellent. However, you’ve known the reason why this router is in the second position. The main differences between these two routers are their speeds and hardware. Which is normal as it is not as pricey as x4s. So I would suggest you buy one according to your needs.
3. ASUS RT-AC88U (AC3100) – Best For Gaming & Straming
The third place on our list goes to Asus RT-AC88U. This is one of the most feature-packed routers from Asus. However, it is more expensive than X4s and Linksys Max-stream. Despite being a dual-band router, it has a lot more to offer, and it costs under $230. In my opinion, this router is going to be the best option for gamers as it has WTFAST game accelerator.
MU-MIMO: Yes, it supports MU-MIMO technology
Beamforming: AiRadar beamforming
Standard: Ultra-fast 802.11ac
The Asus RT-88U is a dual-band router. It has four 4×4 (4T4R) antennas with AiRadar beamforming technology, which ensures faster WiFi unrivaled WiFi-range and coverage. As I said earlier, the router is equipped with WTFAST game accelerator chip, Which takes the gaming experience to the next level.
Pros & Cons: The RT-88U dual-band Gigabit Router
- We can create a powerful whole-home WiFi network using its AiMesh feature.
- Link aggregation can double the network wired speeds up to 2Gbps.
- The built-in game accelerator ensures a smooth gameplay for online multi-player games and streaming.
- 8x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for wired devic
- We can control our network from anywhere using the Asus router app.
- It delivers maximum speeds of up 3163Mbps (100Mbps ~ 2.4Ghz + 2107Mbps ~ 5Ghz) using NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology.
I don’t like:
- This is a big and pricey router.
Even though it is an expensive router, but it is worth the money. Asus made this router keeping gamers in mind; thus it affects its price. In other words, Asus RT-88U is a powerful router in terms of features, performance, and security. Since Asus advertised that router is protected with AiProtection and Trend Micro, which triple the network security.
If you are a gamer or want lots of wired connection, then the RT-88U is made for you. There is no competition close to this router.
4. NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 – Best For 30 Devices
The fourth router on my list is Netgear’s Nighthawk X10. Being an ad wireless standard router, it is expensive and future-proof with great advanced features and technologies. From design to the performance of the router is next level.
MU-MIMO: Yes, it supports advanced MU-MIMO technology
Beamforming: Yes, beamforming supported
Standard: ad wireless standard
The Netgear x10 is a tri-band Quad Stream router. It delivers combined WiFi speeds of up to 7.2Gbps (800Mbps Using 2.4Ghz and 256QAM + 1733Mbps using 5Ghz and 256QAM + ) with Quad-stream Wave 2. The ad standard, which is three times faster than 802.11ac. It has 10 Gigabit Fiber Ethernet LAN Ports with SFP+ port.
Pros & Cons: The Netgear Nighthawk x10
- It is equipped with a powerful 1.7Ghz Quad-core processor.
- 6x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for connecting wired devices.
- NAS (network attached storage) access is quite fast up to 10Gbps using its SFP+ ports.
- 6 months Amazon drive cloud support for unlimited storage.
- The Media PLEX feature to organize and access our media from an external USB drive.
- Setup and network management are straight-forward and easy using the Nighthawk app.
- Great US-based customer support.
I don’t like:
- It is an expensive router.
No doubt, the nighthawk x10 is a powerful router I have tested so far. However, we need ad wireless standard supported devices in order to take advantage of this router. I tested this router with my Samsung galaxy s10, which can support ad standard with 60Ghz bandwidth.
From home user to business user, the router is an ideal option for all types of users. If you are looking for a future-proof multiple devices router, the Netgear x10 is for you.
5. Synology RT2600ac – Best For Home
The Synology RT2600ac is the last router on our list and the only Synology router that I’ve tested by now. It comes under $200 and offers advanced controls and security to our network. It is going to be a good option for both homes and small offices.
MU-MIMO: Yes, it supports 4×4 Omni-directional MIMO technology
Beamforming: Yes, it is beamforming supported
Standard: ac wireless standard
The Synology RT2600ac is an 802.11ac dual-band router. It delivers combined speeds of up to 2.53Gbps using both bands (800mbps on the 2.4Ghz + 1733Mbps on the 5Ghz). It is equipped with 4 & 7 hardware Acceleration engine and 1.7Ghz dual-core processor for optimizing the network with a minimal performance loss.
Pros & Cons: Synology Router RT2600ac
- The hardware acceleration engine handles multiple devices with ease.
- Dual WAN load balancing capability with a combined bandwidth of up to 2Gbps.
- Wave 2 based with Quad Stream MU-MIMO and beamforming support.
- It is fun and easy to set up this router using both a smartphone or computer.
- WiFi is customizable, scalable, and automatic if we use its smart connect feature.
- Parental controls, Guest network, and web filtering work tremendous and takes hardly 2 minutes to set up.
I don’t like:
- I didn’t find any issues by now.
The Synology RT2600ac is an excellent choice as multiple devices router. If the price is concerned, I don’t think any other router or brand can provide such features. I like its parental controls and thread prevention very much; they are handy. I used this router in all three operating modes (wireless router, access point, and repeater) with no issues.
Let’s understand some essential required features and technologies which are necessary to handle multiple devices at once.
Ports: LAN, WAN, and USB
There are so many different types of ports you can see on a modern router such as LAN (Gigabit Ethernet Ports), WAN, and USB.
For example, let’s understand the latest Netgear’s x10 AD7200 router.
On the back side of the router, You will find seven 7 (10/10/1000) Ethernet Gigabit ports, One Gigabit WAN port for connecting your modem, and two USB ports: 1x 3.0 USB + 1x 2.0 USB.
These ports are very important in order to connect multiple devices at once if it is a wired connection.
What is the best gaming router for multiple devices?
It is a very common question often asked. As I said earlier, The only and the best gaming router is Asus’s RT-88U. Why? As advertised by the company that they made this router keeping gamers in mind. The router has eight Gigabit Ethernet Ports for connecting multiple wired connections at once. Most important, the Asus RT-88U is equipped with WFTast game accelerator chip, which is designed for Heavy games and ultra HD streaming.
How Many Devices at once?
It depends on the router. Still, theoretically, many wireless routers support up to 250 to 300 devices at once. Whereas, You can connect four to eight wired devices such as a laptop, printer, and many more.
One thing you should keep in mind that adding multiple devices to your network reduce the available bandwidth as they are using the same network.
Why my internet connection gets slow down after connecting multiple devices to the network at once?
When you connect multiple devices at once, meaning they are using the same network and bandwidth; thus it causes slow internet connection on your device. To fix this issue, you need to limit the number of devices on the network. For example, you are updating your iPhone or downloading any large files. In this case, these types of files require much more bandwidth than web browsing.
One more example, Suppose you have 1Gbps internet connection, and you connect 50 devices at once. It means each device is using 20mbps of data per second. ( Note: It also depends on devices you are using.)
How to know who’s on my network?
It is straightforward to check how many devices are connected to your network. For that, you have to login into your router or read about the router’s configuration settings in order to check a list of connected devices.
1. Best Router For 20 Devices
2. Best Router For 30 Device
If you want to connect up to 30 devices at once, then you should try Netgear’s x10 AD7200 as it has a powerful 1.7Ghz Quad Core processor with MU-MIMO and Beamforming.
I tried to make this list keeping all types of person in mind from home users to gamers. When it comes to buying a multiple devices router, we need to focus on many factors such as a processor, RAM, and technologies which are coming with. That’s why I mentioned all the factors above which come across while buying one.
Again, it is important for you to assess your needs first. For example, if you buy Netgear x10, which is an ad standard router, right? But, you don’t have any ‘ad’ standard supported device. It is totally waste of money and time, and my buying guide would be wasted too if you buy an unnecessary router.
So my request is to read this article entirely in order to make a smart choice. Plus, I want you to put a comment below and let me know which router you bought through this article. Your feedback will be highly appreciated and help me to improve my content too.