Best Routers For Multiple Devices – 2021 Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: June 6, 2021

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How many devices do you own that connect to WiFi? 

If you’re like most people, at the very least, this list includes a mobile phone, tablet, and computer. You may also have a growing number of smart appliances like TVs, security systems, and even refrigerators. Multiply this list by the number of people you live with, and your home network may be supporting more devices than you realize. 

To help avoid bottlenecks in your network, you need the best router for multiple devices. But how do you choose the best one? What are the top models? Keep reading to find out. 

Comparison of the Best Routers For Multiple Devices

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Uses the smart mesh wireless system for better coverage
  • Smart app included for better WiFi management
  • Up to 3000Mbps data transfer rates
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  • Compatible with Alexa for voice control
  • Up to 4 WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
  • 4 x gigabit Lan and 1 by gigabit Wan port added
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  • Best for the Money
  • Fast and strong connections for reliable streaming
  • Comes included with a 2 year warranty
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  • Ultra high WiFi Speeds of up to 4Gbps
  • Very fast Ethernet ports for reliable connections
  • Up to 6 WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
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  • Data transfer rates of up to 2400Mbps
  • Made from durable materials to last longer
  • Comes with 16 x 4 modem channels included
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What Makes a Router Great for Multiple Devices? 

Fast, uninterrupted connections for multiple devices are what every user wants from their router. But how do you make your router dreams a reality in a world that’s becoming more connected every day? Pay attention to these features. 

Beamforming

Beamforming is a radio wave technology that functions with 802.11AC standard routers, focusing a signal directly to your devices instead of broadcasting it everywhere. Beamforming results in a stronger WiFi signal and reception, making it virtually a requisite feature if you connect many devices at once. 

MU-MIMO

MU-MIMO, or multi-user multiple inputs multiple outputs, is another common feature for better connections. It uses two antenna technology to reduce the negative effects of reflected WiFi signals and increase data throughput. With MU-MIMO, more than one device can connect to the router at a time. 

AC Wireless Standard vs AD Wireless Standard

An AC wireless standard provides throughput up to 5400 Mbps, with a max wireless range of up to 500 feet. The level of output the AC wireless standard offers would be the very least you’d need. AD standard is even better for high speeds, though it’s less common. 

Review of the Best Routers For Multiple Devices 

Now it’s time to dive into our review of the best routers for multiple devices, starting with our top pick. 

Best Overall:
GRYPHON AC3000

Gryphon Parental Control Router & Mesh WiFi System – 3,000Sq Ft per Mesh WiFi Router w/Malware Secure Router Home Protection & Security, AC3000 Tri-Band Wireless Router WiFi Extender for Smart Home

PROS

  • Easy to install
  • MU-MIMO enabled
  • Built-in anti-malware
  • Fantastic performance
  • Excellent parental controls

CONS

  • Large size 
  • Rather expensive

What Recent Buyers Report

While recent buyers had plenty of positive things to say about the Gryphon AC3000, they highlighted a few features above others. Reviewers noted positives like how easy the system is to install, the extensive coverage it offers even in large homes, and the speeds the router is capable of delivering.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Gryphon provides users with a whole-home WiFi system, or mesh system, which delivers seamless wireless coverage that’s simple to use. It’s a tri-band router with one 5Gz band to backhaul and two other bands that provide fast throughput in homes of up to 6,000 square feet. 

The Gryphon AC3000 comes with premium features like 4x4 MU-MIMO, beamforming, and automatic band steering (where the device chooses the best band for performance). Families love how easy it is to set extensive parental controls using the mobile app, and the cloud-based security service helps keep you safe from virus attacks and malware. 

Bottom Line

The Gryphon Mesh System offers everything families with lots of devices need: reliable performance, an intuitive mobile app, and the ability to implement the parental controls you desire. Plus, its unique design means you may want to show this router off instead of hiding it like you would others.

Runner-up:
Netgear Nighthawk R9000-100NAS

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad Quad-Stream WiFi Router, 1.7GHz Quad-core Processor, Plex Media Server, Compatible with Amazon Alexa (R9000)

PROS

  • Can be wall-mounted
  • Quick file-transfer speeds
  • Includes MU-MIMO technology
  • Uses 802.11AD wireless standard 
  • Lightning-fast connection speeds

CONS

  • Expensive price
  • Mobile app can be confusing 

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who took the plunge and purchased the Netgear Nighthawk had plenty to say about this premium product. They noted that it provides fantastic WiFi coverage to even the farthest reaches of large homes, that it supports many devices, and that setup is easy--even if you have very little knowledge of how routers work. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Netgear Nighthawk packs lots of features that earned it a second-place finish on our list. It has 802.11ad networking, MU-MIMO data streaming, and 160MHz WiFi technology--and it’s one of the only routers available with all three of these technologies. 

Users also enjoy lightning-fast 5GHz throughput, six gigabit LAN ports, and an excellent range that’s designed for large homes. Of course, all these features come with a high price tag, ultimately why the Nighthawk wasn’t our top pick. Still, it’s easy to install (though the mobile app could use some improvements) and performs impressively. If you’re willing to shell out the money for this router, it will work well and future-proof your wireless connection

Bottom Line

The Netgear Nighthawk is an excellent solution for anyone who needs a robust device that can support many network clients, as well as anyone who needs to connect fast storage solutions to their router. On the other hand, if you’re simply curious about trying 802.11ad wireless, the Nighthawk is a worthy investment. 

Best for the Money:
TP-Link AC750

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router(TL-WR902AC) - Support Multiple Modes, WiFi Router/Hotspot/Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Dual Band WiFi, 1 USB 2.0 Port

PROS

  • Compact size
  • Affordable price
  • Easy installation
  • Attractive design
  • Reliable 2.4Ghz performance

CONS

  • No USB ports
  • Limited speed

What Recent Buyers Report

The vast majority of reviews came from users who take the router to travel, particularly in hotels. They mentioned that the device is lightweight, easy to use, and--most importantly--reliable. For many people who spend a lot of time on the road, it is an invaluable tool. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Aside from being the WiFi companion you need when traveling, the TP-Link AC750 can strengthen the signal in corners of your house with weak WiFi. This dual-band extender gives you an extended 2.4GHz radio band that works relatively well. Its performance won’t match that of other, more robust competitors, but given the lower price, that’s no surprise. 

Still, the stylish design and handy features it provides may be worth investing in. Besides bringing WiFi to the far corners of your house, it is advantageous on the road. Use it to create your own secure, private wireless connection at hotels or establish a hotspot in public areas. Plus, it’s compact enough that you won’t notice it in your suitcase.

Bottom Line

For anyone who’s on a budget and needs to extend their WiFi coverage, the TP-Link AC750 is a reliable way to do so. This modest pick will help you stretch coverage at home, and it can also provide the security you need on the road. 

Editor’s Pick:
Linksys Max-Stream AC4000

Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Wireless Smart WiFi Router (EA9300)

PROS

  • Speedy file transfer
  • Works with Alexa voice
  • High-performance CPU
  • Superb throughput performance
  • Supports MU-MIMO and beamforming

CONS

  • Not enough parental controls
  • No built-in malware protection

What Recent Buyers Report

outer’s easy installation, user-friendly mobile application, and fast performance. Others said that it offers superb range for most spaces, even large houses and that it easily supports multiple devices. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 is an incredibly powerful tri-band router that can reach maximum data rates of 750Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Along with MU-MIMO and beamforming capabilities, users get Smart Connect technology that chooses the best radio band based on available bandwidth. This feature is useful so that your roommate’s gaming session doesn’t interrupt your ability to scroll Facebook. Setup is straightforward, and the speeds are incredible, especially for the price. It’s well-suited to homes that use lots of bandwidth, and it can also handle Alexa voice commands, which is practically a necessity these days. 

Bottom Line

If you’ve got high bandwidth needs, like those required from video streaming and gaming, the Linksys Max-Stream AC4000 delivers reliable performance. While you don’t get any built-in malware protection or robust parental controls, this router offers excellent value for money. However, if you don’t need the performance capabilities of the Max-Stream, you may want to look elsewhere. 

Honorable Mention:
D-Link AC2600

D-Link WiFi Router, AC2600 MU-MIMO Dual Band Gigabit 4K Streaming and Gaming with USB Ports, 4x4 Wireless Internet for Home (DIR-882-US)

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Low-profile design 
  • Multiple USB ports
  • MU-MIMO and beamforming
  • Good close-range throughput performance

CONS

  • Low flash memory
  • Lacks features of high-end competitors

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviewers had a lot to say about our Honorable Mention pick, the D-Link AC2600. They noted that it’s deceptively great for its price--it’s easy to set up with the plug-and-play feature, works well to extend the range or provide the range you need in moderately sized houses, and it delivers fast speeds. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you lack tech knowledge and want something that will have you up and running in no time, the D-Link AC2600 is an excellent option. It’s a dual-band 802.11ac router with a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band. The device has Smart Connect band steering, and you can customize the router with several management settings. 

Additionally, it comes with four gigabit LAN ports and one gigabit WAN port for the internet, as well as two USB ports--a fantastic find at this price point. The device could be improved in some areas, notably in antivirus protection and better parental controls, but overall, it offers decent close-range throughput performance. 

Bottom Line

While it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of its more upscale competitors, the D-Link AC2600 offers fantastic value for money. Plus, the management interface is easy to use and configure, making it a solid mid-range performer overall. 

What Size Router Do I Need?

Picking the right size wireless router is not always straightforward, especially if you’re a beginner. Keep the following things in mind when shopping for a router:

  • Top internet speed. Knowing your internet speed package is a critical question to consider, as you are completely limited by it. If it’s below what the router offers, you’ll be frustrated that you’re not reaching higher speeds. 

  • Size of your home. While a router that can support fifty devices sounds fantastic in theory, it’s not the right choice if the coverage doesn’t extend throughout your home. Consider the size of your home, and make sure the router’s range will cover it. A mesh system is often the best choice for large dwellings. 

  • Number of devices. Carefully count the number of devices you have at home (hint: the number is probably higher than you think). The router you’re considering should support that number of devices.

D-Link AC2600

What Size Router Do I Need For 10 Devices?

Again, the right size router for you depends on the questions we discussed in the previous section. For anyone who lives in a large home, a router with two 5Ghz bands is probably the safest bet. 

How to Choose a WiFi Router For Multiple Devices

In addition to the features mentioned above, the following characteristics help a router support multiple devices. 

WiFi Bands

WiFi bands are an essential router feature for supporting multiple devices. Dual and tri-band routers allow for connecting devices to more than one network, which reduces bandwidth congestion and provides a more consistent connection. Tri-bands are usually the best option for multiple devices, as they deliver a smoother connection with less interference. 

RAM and CPU

The bigger the RAM, the better the router can support more devices. Whenever you can, it’s best to choose a router with more RAM. Similarly, routers with powerful CPUs usually support more devices, thanks to their ability to sort information flowing in and out of lots of devices at once. If a router has a less powerful CPU, it may have difficulty sorting information.  

Quality of Service

A router with Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes certain types of traffic, such as voice calls and gaming, over others that don’t require consistent connections. You may also hear it referred to as WiFi Multimedia or WMM. Having QoS is a vital feature if you have multiple devices at home. 

Best Router Types For Multiple Devices

When discussing the best router types for multiple devices, there are plenty of possible ways to group them. 

One of the more common ways was to divide products by the bands they offered. However, single-band routers aren’t an option for anyone who needs a router to support multiple devices, so we won’t discuss them here.

Instead, a more practical way of discussing router types is dividing them into traditional and mesh WiFi routers.  

Traditional WiFi Routers

You likely already have a traditional WiFi router in your home that delivers a WiFi signal throughout your house. They differ in the speeds, ranges, and capabilities they offer but all have one thing in common: all wireless traffic relies on this single point-of-access. 

Traditional WiFi routers have always been plagued by one significant drawback. It’s nearly impossible in most homes to place the router where the signal will be strong everywhere. You may find that the signal in your favorite armchair is weak, for example. 

Mesh WiFi Routers

Mesh WiFi Routers, commonly referred to as Whole Home WiFi systems, solve the range problem. They have the same technology as traditional routers, but instead of forcing every device to connect through the same router, these systems use multiple WiFi nodes. 

One node is the primary router, while the rest act as satellites. As you move through the house, you connect to the WiFi node that’s closest to you, which offers better speeds, reliability, and coverage than a traditional router. This decentralized approach is generally better for people that need consistent WiFi coverage in large houses. 

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Router For Multiple Devices

Given the significant price differences between high quality and budget routers, you may be wondering if investing in the more expensive router is worth it. If you have multiple devices, the answer is yes. 

Bandwidth is a finite resource, and your router should deliver a stable connection to all the devices connected to your network. However, performance declines as more devices connect, especially when they’re close to one another. 

Budget options may cause connectivity, security, and speed issues. But when you buy a high-end router, you’ll be able to get the fast speeds, reliable connections, and extensive coverage for large spaces that you need. 

Router Comparisons For Multiple Devices

Now it’s time to take a closer look at common router types for multiple devices. 

Dual-Band vs Tri-Band Router

We touched briefly on the differences between dual-band and tri-band routers earlier but wanted to give a more in-depth explanation. To understand which one to choose, you have to know what a wireless band (or radio) is, which is where wireless communication occurs. You can think of bands as highways that your data travels along. There are three types: 

  • Single-band, which uses just one 2.5GHz radio

  • Dual-band, which uses one 2.4GHz and one 5GHz radio

  • Tri-band, which uses one 2.4 GHz and two 5GHz radios

Dual-band routers have been standard throughout the years, though tri-band models are gaining in popularity. The advantage of tri-band routers is that they essentially broadcast three different signals. The effect is like having three separate WiFi networks. 

The router automatically sorts devices into these different networks according to your activities--as you can imagine, reading your email requires different bandwidth needs than streaming Netflix. The advantage of this kind of router is that you get more speed to share among your various devices. 

While choosing a tri-band router may seem like the obvious choice, dual-band routers are highly effective, too. Often, the benefits of a tri-band are less obvious unless you have tons of devices. It may or may not be something you need to invest in. 

High-End vs Budget Routers For Multiple Devices

When it comes to technology, the more you pay, the better a product usually is. The same holds for routers, but with one caveat: if you have carefully assessed your needs, and they’re not incredibly demanding, you can get an excellent product at an affordable price.

Having said that, if you’re reading this article, you probably have demanding needs, such as gaming, streaming, or video calls across many devices. If so, it’s worth investing in high-end products, or 802.11ac wireless routers. 

As we hinted above, spending a bit more can make your life a lot easier. High-end products deliver higher speeds that continue to work effectively, even with lots of devices connected. Plus, you get more extended range and durability, reliability, and lots of extras.

How to Set Up Multiple Devices on a Wireless Router in Your House

Essentially all WiFi-enabled devices require you to connect to the WiFI network and enter a password when prompted. Some ask you to join the network automatically, while others require you to access the device’s network settings to join.

Nowadays, many routers have a handy feature called WiFi protect setup (or WPS). If your router has WPS, you can simply press a button on the router along with a connection button on your device, allowing you to connect without a password. 

Conclusion

As technology improves, the tendency will be to have more devices in our homes, not fewer. For this reason, equipping your house with the best router for multiple devices is a critical task. It’s worth taking the time to understand what differentiates good routers from great routers to ensure connectivity, security, and fast speeds. 

People Also Ask

Here are the answers to some common router FAQs. 

How Many Devices Are Too Many For a Router?

Most modern routers can support up to 255, though this number can be much smaller depending on your available bandwidth and how your devices are using it. 

Can Too Many Devices Crash a Router?

Yes--using too many devices may cause your router to behave unpredictably or shut down altogether. 

Can I Use a Second Router as a WiFi Extender?

Many people use secondary routers to extend the WiFi signal. This method is an excellent way to bring service to dead zones, especially in large houses. 

Why Do Some Routers Say They Will Service 10 Devices While Others Say Multiple Devices?

Some companies prefer the open-ended “multiple devices” because, as mentioned above, the actual number depends on available bandwidth. 

How Do Routers Deal With Multiple Devices?

Modern routers with dual and tri bands let devices connect to different networks. This practice reduces congestion, which allows each device to have a better connection.

How Many Devices Can Connect to WiFi?

The majority of access points and wireless routers can, in theory, support up to 255 connected devices at once. 

Can You Have More Than One Router?

Yes. Some homes have two or more routers on the same network. 

Is There a Router That Can Handle 30 Devices?

Yes, such as the Gryphon AC3000 and the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 routers reviewed above. 

Is 55 Mbps Good For Gaming?

Recommended download speeds for gaming are around 15-25 Mbps per player, so 55 Mbps is an excellent number for gaming

Do Multiple Devices Affect WiFi Performance?

WiFi speed does not slow just because multiple devices are connected. It slows when more devices are downloading/transferring data, and your devices are competing for bandwidth. 



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.