Best Routers For Streaming – 4K Video, Gaming, Netflix, Kodi, Smart TV
What are those key factors you should keep in mind when buying WiFi routers for streaming? Streaming videos, movies, or any other media content, meaning you are in need of such a router that can allow you to set bandwidth as per your gadgets. In other words, when it comes to using multiple devices at the same time, our router doesn’t provide the same amount of speed that we usually get while using a single device.
In order to fix this issue, we need a router that allows multiple connections at once, plus bandwidth priority feature, which is known as QoS. In this case, we can go for the best tri-band routers. The tri-band routers are expensive, but the only option for multiple connections if there are so many smart gadgets in your home.
Being expensive, they are packed with advanced features and technologies. However, some other key factors also need to be considered before buying any router for streaming. If you are interested, just read a quick buying guide down below.
Quick Guide: Some key factors that help you in buying the best router for streaming.
When it comes to the routers’ band, there are three options to go for: a single band, dual-band, or tri-band router. As far as streaming is concerned, we only need to think of dual-band and tri-band. It is simple to understand that a dual-band router has two bands: the 2.4Ghz band and the 5Ghz band. While the tri-band router has three bands: one 2.4Ghz band and two 5Ghz bands.
So, In terms of using multiple devices and streaming HD videos, make sure your router at least comes from dual-band routers’ family. In other words, The more the WiFi bands, the better the performance you get.
There are many WiFi standards’ routers available on the market. However, the latest one is 802.11ac is considered the best and can handle multiple devices at the same time. There are some older standards, such as a, b, g, and n. These standards are not worth buying in 2021. So stick to an ‘ac’ standards router.
If streaming is concerned, we can’t forget well known advanced technology called MU-MIMO. It stands for Multi-user, Multiple inputs, multiple outputs in routers’ industry. If your router is packed with this technology, you won’t have any issues while connecting multiple devices at once, as it allows routers to receive and transmit data both at the same time. However, older standards, such as 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n, don’t support MU-MIMO.
In simple words, make sure your router supports MU-MIMO so that you can get a better streaming experience.
When the streaming is being concerned, you should also read my other articles, which can provide you with an excellent streaming experience but with different purposes.
- Best Long Range WiFi Routers
- Best Routers For Apartment
- Best WiFi Routers for Multiple Devices
- Best Tri-band Routers
Main Criteria For choosing the best router for streaming:
- Bands – Should be dual-band or tri-band
- Standards – Should be 802.11ac, or 802.11ad
- MU-MIMO supported
After reading this quick guide, there is no doubt that you will be able to find the perfect router as per your requirement. However, there are also some other vital factors too that need to be considered. Therefore, I’ve reviewed the three best routers for streaming. I picked them keeping all the essential features in mind that matter a lot when it comes to HD streaming or gaming.
The Top Three Routers For Streaming In 2021 are:
1. Netgear Nighthawk X4S AC2600 – Best For Gaming & 4K Streaming
- Coverage: 2500 sq.ft.
- Up to 45 devices at once
- 2x USB 3.0 & 1xeSata Port
- MU-MIMO & Beamforming+
- DoS, Double Firewall
- Alexa Compatible
Looking for a streaming router doesn’t mean we always have to think about tri-band routers. The Netgear Nighthawk X4s is a complete router when streaming is concerned; therefore, an excellent option for all types of users from home to business purposes.
Netgear Nighthawk X4S is a dual-band router and capable of delivering fast WiFi speed up to 2600 Mbps.
Making your streaming experience better, this router allows you to connect up to 45 devices at once. Plus, with over 2500 sq.ft. of wireless coverage, this router also offers you a wide range of connectivity options for sharing and adding other devices to it, such as USB storages, printers, and other wired devices.
The Netgear X4s is loaded with some advanced technologies and features, including Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, and Dynamic QoS. For making such things possible, X4s is equipped with a powerful 1.7Ghz dual-core processor in order to give you reliable video streaming, HD gaming, and smooth Internet surf experience.
If you are concern about the security, this X4S smart WiFi router supports high-level WPA and WPA2 wireless security protocols with some smart controls and secure networks such as Parental controls, Guest WiFi access, Firewall, VPN, and DoS.
Pros & Cons:
- Its 4×1 Gigabit Ethernet ports are fast and allow fast data transfer between devices.
- Works excellent while streaming 4K Ultra-HD and online multi-player gaming.
- It ensures seamless WiFi for multiple devices up to 45.
- It offers excellent security and safety features.
- The setup of the router is quite straightforward and
- easy; it only takes 5 minutes using the Nighthawk App.
I don’t like:
- A little bit pricey but worth every penny.
Considering its features and design, this router is made for heavy-duty tasks; whether you play multi-player online games or stream Ultra-HD media content, this router is ready to handle everything. However, it is a bit pricey, but worth the money.
2. Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 – Best For Medium Homes
- AC2200 up to 2,2Gbps
- Tri-band Router
- Multiple devices up to +20
- File system FAT, NTFS, HSF+ supported
- 4 External Antennas
The second router on my list is Linksys Max-Stream AC2200. As its name implies, this router is made for those who are concerned over streaming and want multiple devices to work smoothly at once.
The Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 is MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies compatible router. It is a tri-band router and provides excellent coverage up to 2000 sq.ft. The maximum WiFi speed you get with this router is 2200Mbps. However, it uses all three bands in order to provide that 2.2Gbps of speed. For example, (400Mbps @ 5 GHz band + 867Mbps @ 5Ghz) + (867Mbps @ 2Ghz), in total you get around 2.2Gbps WiFi speeds.
The design of the router is quite impressive as well. On the back, you might feel it has a somewhat busy pannel that is consists of a wide range of ports and buttons. Plus, it also houses four external antennas that are enough to give you 2000 sq.ft. of WiFi coverage throughout your house.
When it comes to connecting multiple devices to it, you are free to add up to 20 devices at once. To take care of those devices, The Linksys Max-stream uses beamforming technology in order to send a focused signal directly to the connected devices, ensuring stronger, more reliable, and lag-free WiFi connection for you. Moreover, the MU-MIMO technology ensures the same high-bandwidth signal to all your devices.
Pros & Cons:
- Excellent WiFi coverage up to 2,000 sq.ft. with the maximum speed up to 2.2 Gbps.
- The Beamforming and MU-MIMO work perfectly together.
- I enjoyed 4k HD streaming and HD gaming without any Internet issues.
- It supports all types of storage file systems, including FAT, NTFS, HSF+, ETC.
- Great Linksys App, allows all sorts of WiFi customization.
I don’t like:
- NO cons yet.
Contrary to the Netgear Nighthawk x4s, this router is a tri-band router and cheaper. However, it doesn’t offer that much of features than x4s. So, if you don’t want to spend much money yet looking for a budget-friendly router for streaming, then consider this Linksys Max-stream router, or go with X4S.
3. The Tp-Link Archer A20 AC4000 – Best for streaming & long range
- Wireless Standard: AC4000 (up to 4000Mbps)
- Link aggregation & Range boost
- Works with Alexa and IFTTTT
- Higher Fast 1.8Ghz 64bit quad-core processor
- 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
The third router on my list is from TP-Link Archer’s series. The archer A20 is a high-end model and feature-packed router. However, it is expensive compared to the above. I consider this router best for 4K streaming and gaming.
The Archer A20 is a top-model of its ‘A’ series routers; others are A5 (AC1200), A9 (AC1900), A10 (AC2600), and the A20 (AC4000). Tp-Link introduced many advanced technologies with this router, such as Link Aggregation (it doubles wired connections speeds up to 2Gbps), RangeBoost with Beamforming, and NitroQAM (1024-QAM) with MU-MIMO.
Contrary to the previous model, the Archer A20 is a tri-band router and equipped with a powerful Quad-core 1.8Ghz 64bit processor. This Quad-core processor allows you to connect multiple devices at once without any performance issues. Plus, it ensures lag-free streaming and gaming experience with the help of Beamforming & MU-MIMO technologies.
The design of the router is top-notch; it houses four external antennas that work with the aforementioned NitroQAM technology. On the back panel, it has four LAN Gigabit Ethernet Ports, one USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port with the Power On/Off button.
Pros & Cons:
- A smooth experience while playing 4K videos, streaming, and gaming.
- A powerful processor that handles multiple requests with less loading time.
- MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies with the help of the Range boost technology to improve coverage.
- Network protection is also excellent and powered by Homecare.
- It comes with a 2-year warranty with 24/7 customer support.
I don’t like:
- A little bit pricey.
Whether you buy the TP-LINK AC4000 for your home or office, this router will not disappoint you as it has a good range, coverage, and high-end security features. However, these advanced features make this router a bit costly.
Conclusion: What PickMyRouter thinks when it comes to buying the best router for streaming?
Here at pickmyrouter.com, I decided to review only the top three best routers for streaming. However, it doesn’t matter what you love to stream, whether it is Videos, Games, or any other media content. These routers can easily out-rank any other routers available on the market. However, if you are still confused, you should check ‘the quick buying guide’ above in order to find the perfect router for streaming on your own.
For those who want a quick overview of these routers:
The first router is Netgear Nighthawk X4s; I considered this router overall best in terms of streaming and range. It can be used in your office, home, or any apartment because of its wide range of coverage.
The second router on my list is from Linksys. The Linksys Max-Stream AC2200, this router, is known and famous for streaming. Plus, you don’t have to spend as much as you spend on X4s. This router is worth the money as it offers excellent features and technologies. So It can be a good option for those who have small to medium homes.
The third router is better than above in terms of features, technologies, and of course, price. And the router is from TP-Link, the Archer AC4000. I recommend this router for those who live in a big apartment, a large home, or looking for their big office.
If you still have any doubts or questions in your mind, feel free to ask at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share my experience with these routers with you in detail or comment below.