Best Routers For Streaming – 2021 Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: February 8, 2021

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A good chunk of the world today is going online. Not only are people using the internet for mundane tasks as sending emails, but there are people making millions of dollars uploading and downloading videos on various platforms.

Unfortunately, your regular router might not be good enough to do the job as you need it done. You'll have to buy one that is specifically designed for heavy-duty streaming. And if you are new to all this, identifying that router might prove a bit more than just a little tricky.

Our Top Picks for Best Routers For Streaming

  • Reliable streaming
  • Easy to install
  • Wide coverage
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  • Strong, durable
  • Fast data transfers
  • Easy to install
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  • Best for the Money
  • Fast data transfers
  • More connections
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Comparison of the Best Routers For Streaming

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Fast and strong connections for reliable streaming
  • Easy to install and set it up
  • Up to 4 WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
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  • Made from durable materials to last longer
  • Data transfer rates of up to 1600Mbps
  • Easy to install and set it up
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  • Best for the Money
  • Up to 2 fast Dbi WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
  • Wired and wireless connection options available
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  • Best Wireless Router for Streaming
  • Data transfer rates of more than 1200Mbps
  • Up to 4 WiFi antennas included for a wider coverage
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  • Best Router for 4k Streaming
  • Dual core processor for faster and reliable connections
  • Wired and wireless connection options available
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  • Best Router for Streaming and Gaming
  • Built-in WiFi with 5Ghz frequency
  • Data transfer rates of up to 1700Mbps
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  • Best Wireless Router for Streaming Multiple Devices
  • Can be used with a VPN network
  • Compatible with most popular devices and systems
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What Makes a Router Great for Streaming?

To understand what makes a router great for streaming, you must first understand what is needed for streaming. For your streaming needs to be met, you need a router that can maintain a constant connection to the internet without extended periods of dropped connections.

You also need a fast enough router to process information without getting bogged down by how much data is being thrown at it. With that being said, here are some of the top qualities that make a router great for streaming:

Processing Power

You'll need to find a powerful enough router to process whatever data you are running through it efficiently and effectively. Here we are talking about routers that have a dual-core processor, at the very least. It should also have a high capacity RAM; anything above a 512 MB RAM would be a good choice.

Tenda AC1200 AC6

Number of Bands

Although single-band routers are pretty much getting phased out by time, there are still a few that exist out there. If you intend to do a lot of streaming, single-band routers won't work. You want to get at least a dual-band; better yet, get a Tri-Band router.

The main reason for this is that routers with more than one band intelligently put your connection to the band that offers the best speeds and the least interruptions. For example, you have a Tri-Band router with a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz, bands.

This router will more often than not ping-pong your connection between the two 5 GHz bands because they are faster and offer less congestion than the 2.4 GHz band. Which means you will almost always stay connected.

Technology Used By the Manufacturer

Some of the best routers use MU-MIMO technology. This stands for multiple-input, multiple-output, which means that your router can simultaneously connect to multiple devices, ensuring that none of them loses connection or has to wait for too long to get the signal. It also means that you can stream on multiple devices simultaneously without losing the connection.

Fast, high-speed routers tend to be best for streaming purposes.

Quick Take - Best Routers For Streaming

Just looking for the three best routers for streaming? Here they are:

  1. Tenda AC1200 AC6
  2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX40
  3. ASUS RT-N12 N300

Review of the Best Routers For Streaming

Here is a review of some of the best routers for streaming on the market today:

Best Overall:
Tenda AC1200 AC6

Tenda AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Router, High Speed Wireless Internet Router with Smart App, MU-MIMO for Home (AC6),Black

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Excellent security
  • Easy setup process
  • Effective compatibility
  • Beamforming and MU-MIMO technology

CONS

  • Wi-Fi coverage can get patchy
  • Doesn't support too many devices

What Recent Buyers Report

Whenever you buy a specialized router like the best router for streaming, the price always comes into play. Thankfully, there are some routers out there that are specialized and very affordable, like this Tenda AC1200 AC6.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This particular model stands out because it offers amazing features and speeds, even at its affordable pricing. For starters, it offers you up to 1200Mbps (300mbps@2. 4GHz +867Mbps@5GHz).

Secondly, it has excellent coverage of up to 2,000 sq. ft. which means that your entire house would be covered provided it's not much bigger than that specified coverage capability.

It also has the capability of connecting to up to 20 devices simultaneously. Couple that with the 4 LAN ports that offer you fast and reliable speeds and connectivity, and you have yourself a highly efficient wireless router for streaming.

Bottom Line

Affordable pricing, easy setup process, excellent security, and wide coverage - exactly what you need in a good wireless router for streaming.

NETGEAR Nighthawk 4-Stream AX4 Wi-fi 6 Router (RAX40) – AX3000 Wireless Speed (Up to 3 Gbps) | 1,500 Sq Ft Coverage

PROS

  • Good coverage
  • Excellent speeds
  • Reputable brand
  • Easy setup process
  • Compatible with every major ISP

CONS

  • Only has 4 LAN ports
  • Just two antennas which limit coverage

What Recent Buyers Report

Anytime you see the brand Netgear just know that you are getting a quality product that will serve you well. This Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 keeps with the brand's good reputation and is well worth the money you spend on it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For one thing, it's compatible with all major ISP providers, so you don't have to worry whether or not it will work with your ISP. Secondly, it's very easy to set up through the Nighthawk App, which gives you excellent control over your network through an intuitive setup process.

Furthermore, if you are more into online gaming and want reliably fast speeds, you have 4 LAN ports that allow for wired connections to achieve that and so much more.

The other thing that stands out here is that the router is loaded with advanced technology such as a dual-core processor, which makes it fast, it supports WPA2/WPA3 for excellent security and even includes Guest Wi-Fi access options.

Bottom Line

Netgear has repeatedly proven itself to be an excellent manufacturer, and this router doesn't let its good name down.

Best for the Money:
ASUS RT-N12 N300

ASUS N300 WiFi Router (RT-N12_D1) - 3 in 1 Wireless Internet Router/Access Point/Range Extender, 2T2R MIMO Technology, Gaming & Streaming, Easy Setup

PROS

  • Powerful
  • Easy setup
  • 3 in 1 device
  • Very affordable
  • Gives you control over your network

CONS

  • Single-band
  • Range isn't as impressive

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a dedicated router that serves its single purpose - streaming. Not only is it easy to set up, but it's also very easy to operate and control.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Several things stand out about this router. For one thing, you will notice that it's a single-band router. Which, to be honest, I wouldn't advise you to get unless you are focused on only streaming with one device. 

Yes, if you are looking to future-proof your network, then a single-band router isn't the way to go. However, if you don't have multiple machines at home and will be using a single one for streaming, then that single band (2.4 GHz allowing for 300Mbps) shouldn't be a problem whatsoever.

Another thing that stands out most about this router is that it's a 3 in 1 device. You get Router/Access Point /Range Extender wireless modes, all of which allow you to get more control over your network.

Bottom Line

This is probably the most affordable router on this list. It's easy enough to set up and use. The range is reasonable, and so are the features.

Best Wireless Router for Streaming:
TP-Link AC1200 Archer A6

TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit WiFi Router (Archer A6) - 5GHz Dual Band Mu-MIMO Wireless Internet Router, Supports Guest WiFi and AP mode, Long Range Coverage

PROS

  • Dual-band
  • Fast speeds
  • Gigabit router
  • Reputable brand
  • Easy setup process

CONS

  • Wi-Fi speeds tend to vary
  • Antennas are cumbersome

What Recent Buyers Report

TP-Link is one of those brands that always delivers high-quality products. This TP-Link AC1200 Archer A6 is in keeping with that good tradition and offers you a wide range of features that make it the perfect streaming router.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several good reasons why it stands out to us. For one thing, it's a gigabit dual-band router, which makes it extremely fast. Gigabit routers can theoretically reach 1Gbps speeds over wired connections. This router is pretty fast, achieving up to 1200Mbps (300mbps for 2.4GHz + 900Mbps for 5GHz).

Furthermore, it's loaded with amazing technology from MI-MUMO, which makes it ideal for connection to multiple devices simultaneously, as well as Beamforming technology, which increases its range and stability. It has 4 LAN ports, which allow for faster and more reliable wired speeds.

Bottom Line

TP-Link offers excellent customer service, and tech support should you ever need it. This router also gives you amazing parental controls and security that allow for some customization of how you enjoy your network.

Best Router for 4k Streaming:
D-Link AC2600 DIR-882-US

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

  • Fast speeds
  • Excellent security
  • Dual-core processor
  • MI-MUMO technology
  • Supports online gaming and 4K

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Only 4 LAN ports

What Recent Buyers Report

If you are looking for a highly powerful wireless router that is designed to support heavy-duty online gaming and 4K video quality, then you might want to give this D-Link AC2600 DIR-882-US a second look. This is a dual-core router with excellent processing power and speeds.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The critical approach to looking at whether or not a router is right for your needs involves looking at the specifications and features - two things that this router has plenty of and more. For one thing, it's a dual-band router that offers impressively fast speeds of 2600Mbps, which means you get 800 Mbps in 2.4 gigahertz + 1733 Mbps in 5 gigahertz.

It also uses the latest MI-MUMO technology to easily and seamlessly connect to multiple devices without losing any of those connections or reducing the speeds. Furthermore, it uses an intelligent quality of service (QoS), which optimizes and prioritizes traffic to predetermined devices so that your primary computers get the most power and speeds.

Bottom Line

Designed to offer you amazing controls through its Advanced Smart Beam, this router allows you to track the activity of every device on your network, which gives you peace of mind and excellent control.

Best Router for Streaming and Gaming:
TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router for Home, Works with Alexa, VPN Server, Parental Control, QoS

PROS

  • Fast speeds
  • Gigabit router
  • Excellent range
  • Reputable brand
  • Dual-band wireless router

CONS

  • Only 4 LAN ports
  • Wi-Fi speeds can vary

What Recent Buyers Report

Yet another TP-Link device on this list. The brand has an excellent reputation when it comes to producing high-quality products that work. This TP-Link AC1750 Archer A7 router is one such product. Designed specifically for wireless internet, this router is compatible with Alexa, other Wi-Fi devices that run on 802.11ac and older.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It's a dual-band wireless router that offers amazing speeds of up to 1750Mbps (450mbps for 2.4GHz, 1300Mbps for 5GHz), which effectively eliminates buffering when you carry out heavy-duty streaming.

It's also a gigabit router designed to support theoretical speeds of up to 1Gbps and give your devices fast access to the internet, making it ideal for online gaming. The three external antennas give it a reasonable range just as the 4 LAN ports allow you to have a wired connection to the router, which all but guarantees better and more stable speeds.

Bottom Line

TP-Link offers you excellent customer support and an industry-leading 2-year warranty as well as 24/7 free technical support. Couple that with the easy to use TP-Link tether app that allows you to remotely manage your network and have an excellent wireless router for streaming.

Best Wireless Router for Streaming Multiple Devices:
Netgear Nighthawk R6700-100NAS

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750 Mbps | Up to 1500 Sq Ft Coverage & 25 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports | Armor Security

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Fast speeds
  • Reputable brand
  • Excellent security
  • Easy setup process

CONS

  • Only 4 LAN ports
  • Can only connect to 25 devices

What Recent Buyers Report

If you are looking for a router that is from a reputable brand, offers fast speeds, and can simultaneously connect to up to 25 devices, then you should really take a close look at this Netgear Nighthawk R6700-100NAS.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The very fast thing that you will notice is that it's from Netgear, which means that it's of the highest quality. Secondly, it's loaded with technology such as MU-MIMO, which allows you to connect all those 25 devices simultaneously without dropping any connection or discriminating among the devices.

Furthermore, it's a very fast router with a 1 GHz dual-core processor, Beamforming plus technology, Dynamic QoS, and three amplified antennas that gives it good range. It's also designed to offer you maximum security while online. It supports WPA2 wireless security and has Netgear Armor, which protects your network.

Bottom Line

It's very easy to set up and comes with 4 LAN ports for more reliable connectivity. It also offers extremely fast speeds of 1750Mbps, which is good enough to stream without waiting for your videos to buffer. What more could you want in a wireless router for streaming?

Can Any Router Be Used for Streaming?

Technically, yes. That, however, doesn't mean that every router is suitable for streaming. While any router that connects to the internet can technically stream videos, most low-end routers will take forever to load that video.

Even after the video has loaded, it would take another lifetime for the video to buffer, not to mention the drops in connection and congestion issues. If you want to have a good streaming experience, you need to buy the best router for streaming. It's just that simple. 

What Size Wireless Router Do I Need For Whole House Streaming?

When looking for a router to cover your whole house, you want to keep two things in mind:

The Range of the Router

Find one that has an initial range that covers your entire house. If you have a 3,000 sq. ft. house, buy a router that can cover at least 3,000 sq. ft. This way, you won't have any dead spots, if any.

Mesh Technology

It always comes back to the kind of technology used in the manufacturer's router. Routers that support mesh technology offer you the best possible range and future-proofs your home. This is mostly because you can always expand the range using mesh points should the need arise.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Routers For Streaming 

As you may have noticed, all the routers on this list of best routers for streaming tend to have the same characteristics. That's only because the features mentioned here are the best for streaming purposes. Here are some of the outstanding characteristics of our favorite router for streaming:

Performance Features

Every router that is excellent for streaming also features MU-MIMO technology and Beamforming technology. These allow for faster speeds and better connectivity. You will notice that they have excellent security features to protect your network while you stream videos and surf the internet.

D-Link AC2600 DIR-882-US

Wi-Fi Standards

The idea here is to get a router that supports the latest Wi-Fi technology. By getting a router with 802.11ac, you can rest assured that the speeds will be everything you need for streaming.

Number of Devices Supported

If you have a large house with numerous devices, you'll want to get a router that can support all of them without discrimination.

There is also one final characteristic of our favorite router for streaming: speed. The router has to be fast enough to stream without breaking or dropping the connection.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Router For Streaming?

You need to keep in mind several factors when shopping for the best router for streaming. Here are a few key factors to consider:

Network Prioritization

The best wireless routers for heavy-duty streaming have always offered certain specific features such as Wireless Multimedia Extension (WMM) Quality of Service (QoS). However, over time, manufacturers have realized that there is more to network prioritization than just speed.

Now they work to give you the ability to prioritize the kind of connection and speeds you get to specific devices such as your desktop and laptop while reducing what goes to your smartphone, for example.

Speeds

The higher the speeds that your router can support, the better your streaming experience will be. Today, we have gigabit routers that can theoretically support more than 1Gbps speeds. Because this is where the internet connectivity world is headed, it's best to consider getting yourself a gigabit router to future-proof your connection.

Security and Controls

Family homes have Wi-Fi now. It's become like a necessity. With this, however, comes some security issues. From hackers getting into your network to steal your sensitive personal information such as banking details and Social Security Number to unsavory characters trying to contact your kids in chat rooms, it's important to ensure that you can protect your family against such attacks.

Antivirus and firewall protection is a must-have for every high-speed streaming router and so are parental controls. These allow you to not only see where your children visit online but also filter out unwanted sites.

Tenda AC1200 AC6

Streaming Router Comparisons

All the terminologies might prove to be a little confusing for those new to this world of fast streaming routers. To help you sort through some of the most common factors and terminologies that you'll come across, here is a comparison between some of the streaming avenues and devices:

Netgear Modem vs Modem Router Combo 

Netgear is one of the best brands in this industry, and a modem from them is probably going to be of very high quality. However, which is better, a stand-alone modem or a modem and router combination?

The truth is that a modem router combination, despite being a single unit that saves space, isn't always the best option. For one thing, when you have a modem and router combo, you don't have the freedom to upgrade your speeds by simply buying a new router; you'll have to replace the entire thing.

Besides, independent routers offer more features, better controls, and better speeds plus customization options than combos.

Similarities

  • Both get you internet

  • Both can give you excellent speeds

Differences

  • A combo is easier to set up

  • Independent units give you more control

Wi-Fi vs Ethernet 

Every single one of the routers reviewed above has both Wi-Fi and wired connection options via their ports. You might be wondering why that is:

Similarities

  • Wi-Fi and wired connections both give you access to the internet

  • Every router has both Wi-Fi and wired options

Differences

  • Wi-Fi gives you more freedom as wired has less range

  • Wired speeds are often more steady and faster than Wi-Fi speeds

2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz 

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz for Streaming are both network bands through which your internet travels. They are, however, not the same thing. One is so much better than the other:

Similarities

  • Both get you internet

  • Both are found in almost every router

Differences

  • 5 GHz band offers a much faster and more reliable connection

  • 2.4 GHz is more widely available but also suffers from congestion

Types of Routers For Streaming

There are several types of routers in the market today:

Wired Router

Ethernet cables and LAN ports enable them to connect directly to the computer or other devices with ports.

Wireless Router

These have aerials that help them emit signals to connect wirelessly to numerous devices simultaneously. They also have a few LAN ports through which you can connect a few devices with Ethernet cables.

Core Router and Edge Router

These can be wired or wireless and are designed to distribute data packets within a network. You won't need this in your home.

Virtual Router

These routers function using the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) and act as default routers for devices sharing a network such as your wireless router.

However, when it comes to routers for streaming, you are best served by wired or Wi-Fi options. Thankfully, whenever you are dealing with a wireless router, there is a very good chance that it will have several ports that convert it to a wired router for your needs.

The best routers have about 8 LAN ports through which you can directly connect your devices to get faster, better speeds.

Netgear Nighthawk RAX40

Conclusion

The best routers for streaming are just the best routers for internet connection. They are fast, powerful, and depending on which one you choose, highly affordable, and customizable. The list above represents some of the best in the industry. All you have to do now is make a choice and buy one to start enjoying stable and reliable video streaming online.

People Also Ask

Here are some common questions that people also ask when looking to buy the best router for streaming:

What Speed Router Do I Need For Streaming Video?

If you are looking for high resolution streaming such as 4K video quality, you will need something that offers you at least 100Mbps. If you are okay with lower resolution streaming, then a 10Mbps router will work just fine.

What to Do When Streaming Keeps Buffering?

There are several steps you can take when your streaming keeps buffering. Here are a few:

  • Reduce the video quality

  • Restart the application

  • Disconnect other devices from your network

Ultimately, however, you will need to increase your internet speeds by getting a higher package and buying the best router for streaming.

How to Block Video Streaming on Router

If you want to block automatic video streaming in sits that run FLV, MP4, MPEG types of content, here is what you need to do:

  • Open "Monitoring Settings"

  • Head over to "Content Types"

  • Under the "Internet" header, check "Block all Video Types" and "Block Flash."

Why Will My Router Run My Computers But Not My Streaming Device?

If the router connects to other devices just fine but not your streaming device, there is a good chance that the problem lies with your streaming device. It might have an issue with the Wi-Fi adapter or internet settings.

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.