Networking

Best Router for Streaming Media – Buyer Guide 2017

Everyone expects lots of performance from their home wireless router. With the increased demand for media streaming, every household member wants to connect without lags and with constant speeds. Streaming Netflix movies and watching online videos needs more than just a regular router, that’s why you need a best router for streaming media. You want your router to communicate with the connected device on high frequency such that it can take several users at the same time.

If your current router cannot handle several members of your family, then there’s need for an upgrade. Considering the types of streaming devices, most probably live streaming, smart TVs and PCs; you will have to scan the market to identify which router suits your family needs.

In this article, we round up some of the top ranking routers which meet the criteria for streaming media (video, movies…).

Here’s what to Consider before deciding which is best Router for Streaming

Dual Band TechnologyGigabit Ethernet Ports and USB portsAdvanced Wi-Fi TechnologyQuality of Service OptionsPrice
Any router that can stream video with consistency needs to communicate on two radio bands. It should connect to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. The single band routers only communicate via the 2.4GHz band. This band is usually crowded hence your device may share it with other gadgets like Bluetooth devices. But dual-band routers experience less interference with their signals since 5GHz band has more channel. They can, therefore, handle a good deal of network traffic.
If you are going to be constantly transferring videos, you’ll want fast ports that will complete the job fast and easy. Gigabit & USB3.0 are the fastest for such scenarios for when connecting to NAS drives and desktop PCs. Look for a router with more than one port so you can at least connect more than one device simultaneously.
The latest advancements usually use the 802.11ac or 802.11ad wireless protocol. It comes with many advantages including Multi-User Technology or Multiple Input Multiple Output Technology (MIMO). This is whereby it can provide up to twelve spatial streams to receive and give information simultaneously for all the connected devices.
These settings help you assign priority to each service. So that one service will not experience any lags as others use the network for gaming and browsing. It helps improve the whole streaming experience since one device can connect without speed interruptions. It is useful like when you are watching movies on a Nexus tablet, you can set streaming service get higher priority than the other gadgets.
You should be able to gauge whether the money you are going to spend on the router matches the features and performance you get. If one router can match up most of all the features we have discussed above, it is worth buying.

Our list of best router for streaming media

 Product NameStandardMax SpeedPorts 
#1Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 R7000
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802.11ac1300Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#2TP-LINK Talon AD7200802.11ac
802.11ad
4600Mbps (802.11ad)
1733Mbps (802.11ac)
1 x Gigabit WAN
4 x Gigabit LAN ports
2 x USB 3.0
Check Price
#3Linksys AC1900 EA7500802.11ac1300Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#4ASUS RT-AC88U
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802.11ac2167Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
8x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#5TRENDnet AC2600802.11ac1733Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
2x USB 3.0
Check Price

 

#1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Dual Band Router (R7000)

Netgear AC1900 R7000NETGEAR is one of the brands whose routers compete effectively with other models in its class. It is a dual-band router which will reduce interference on both the 2.4GHz at 600Mbps and 5GHz at 1300Mbps. Although it cannot possibly reach such high speeds in real life, you can tell it’s not a slow router. Built for streaming videos and game consoles, it has QoS settings so that you can prioritize any service especially streaming video.

It uses a 1GHz dual-core processor for enhanced performance. With the help of beamforming technology, it can communicate with your PC or smart TV directly, creating a solid signal, and having nearly 100% home coverage. It eliminates lags in communication since it signal is concentrated. It performs with excellence as it incorporates the 11AC wireless technology which gives its high-speed Wi-Fi.

You will not only enjoy watching HD movies with it, but you can also optimize it on your Xbox gaming console. With three antennas, it can extend the coverage to multi-story houses which need high-performing Wi-Fi network, that’s why it is our first choice on the list of best router for streaming. With the open VPN Connect App, you can access this router’s network remotely, like say in the office when you need to access some documents stored in a NAS device at home.

This router also comes with a USB 3.0 port to enable access to media fast when you connect directly. Another unique feature is that it has automatic backup software for computer devices.

Pros
  • Dual band technology up to 1900Mbps on Wi-fi connection
  • Excellent 5GHz band.
  • Dynamic QoS enables device prioritization
  • Beamforming technology: Boosts speed, reliability and range of WiFi Connection
  • Uses high-powered amplifiers and three antennas to improve coverage

Cons
  • Its 2.4Ghz band is slower than its top competitors.
  • Parental Control is missing on Web interface

Want to know why people purchase this one? => Read top customer reviews for Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 on Amazon

 

TP-LINK Talon AD7200This next generation multi-band, high-end router could not have hit the market at a better time. The TP-Link Talon AD7200 is what you are looking at if you want to enjoy crazy Wi-Fi speeds. This router hits the 4Gbps mark on the 60GHz band (new 802.11ad standard) to give all your PlayStations and video streaming devices quite a clear run. The 60GHz band is the least impeded path with no clutters or appliances running on it, meaning no interference.

It is incredible that it also achieves 2.5Gbps on the dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz. It boasts advanced tech with eight uniquely designed antennas to improve coverage over every corner of your large house. It does not go over walls, but it comes with a new form of beamforming technology which chooses the clearest path to transmit the Wi-Fi signals. You’ll have a device that eliminates lags 100% and improve speed for the heaviest Wi-Fi traffic device.

The CPU uses a dual-core 1.4GHz processor. It can handle multiple functions simultaneously, especially the Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output function where multiple data streams can be processed. 

Looking at the 802.11ad protocol, we must say that you need your devices to support this Wi-Fi standard. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to transfer large files of data, better than you would ever have with Gigabit Ethernet. Operating it does not need much technical knowledge. You have LED indicators to let you monitor the activities regarding the connectivity, and buttons for the Wi-Fi and WPS. You are set to take video streaming and gaming to a whole new level.

In our thoughts, 802.11ad is the future of Wi-Fi, hence the TP-Link Talon AD7200 is absolutely one of the best router for streaming media

Pros
  • Very High-speed internet
  • It uses advanced beamforming technology
  • Utilizes 802.11ad Wi-Fi protocols for the 60GHz band
  • Useful for intensive Wi-Fi and transfer of large data
  • Uses 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol for dual-band signal
  • 1.4GHz dual-core processor eliminates delays when running multiple functions
Cons
  • You need a device that can support the 802.11ad Wi-Fi standard to enjoy the max speeds

Want to know why people purchase this one? => Read top customer reviews for TP-LINK Talon AD7200 on Amazon

 

#3. Linksys AC1900 Max Stream EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router

Linksys AC1900 EA7500Get value for your money with the Linksys AC1900. It is a super-efficient router with settings that are easy to configure when installing. You can establish passwords to protect your PC plus it has a guest network so that you can create a separate network for your visitors and you won’t have to share private information with other people.

This router achieves a reliable range connection with dual-band radio communication. This way, PCs and TVs can have a clear signal which eliminates buffering and slow speeds. We like that it also utilizes Multi-User technology to ensure each device receives the same priority using the same speeds. In fact, it can connect up to 12 devices playing HD movies.  It is just perfect for homes with high Wi-Fi traffic.

Not to mention, it supports the highest video quality of 4k by having the total bandwidth of up to 1900mbps. This means that every other video you want to watch will be in clear HD without having to endure any out-of-sync videos. It is also great with wired connections as it comes with four-gigabit ports. This makes it faster to stream or watch live videos than when you are connected wirelessly from the second floor of your house.

Pros
  • Establishes long-range connections, there’s no need for a wireless extender
  • Uses powerful dual-band technology
  • Can connect up to 12 devices using MIMO
  • It can connect with the virtual assistant Alexa by Amazon
  • Can be managed remotely using the Linksys smart Wi-Fi app

Cons
  • MU-MIMO requires compatible clients.
  • The look is not as impressed as other top competitors

Want to know why people purchase this one? => Read top customer reviews for LINKSYS AC1900 on Amazon

 

#4. ASUS RT-AC88U – Best router for Streaming and Gaming

ASUS RT-AC88U best router for streamingThe ASUS RT-AC88U router fulfills the most expansive Wi-Fi connections at around 5000 square feet. This means that it has coverage for every corner of the house and even when you are in your backyard. It is a good choice for gaming and streaming as it supports high bandwidth and high-volume needs. It uses a 1.4GHz processor for its radio communication to enhance the signal performance for gamers and Netflix lovers.

Besides having the 1.4GHz processor, it has 512MB memory to eliminate any lags that may be a result of having many intertwined functions. You have eight Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports for corded connections. All these capabilities allow for ease on Wi-Fi traffic, so you won’t have any of your family members complaining that their PC has delays.

This router is also optimized for gaming functions. It has an inbuilt WTFast Game Accelerator which can lower latency and reduce packet loss for online gaming through the router. We say if the gaming seconds really matter, you have to look for a matching router which you’ve got right here.

This router provides a series of security systems for your PCs and smartphones. There’s a regular Wi-Fi protected password protection and AiProtection system. It keeps your gadgets safe from malicious access and blocks all suspicious sites that may transmit malware to your devices. It uses the ASUSWRT user interface for installation so that you won’t be hassling with the setup process.

Pros
  • WTFast Game Accelerator Inside
  • Four high-powered antennas
  • Eight gigabit LAN ports and USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
  • 4X Capacity Wi-Fi with Revolutionary MU-MIMO Tenchology
  • Optimized for streaming and gaming by achieving consistent network routes

Cons
  • The web-based installation process has some learning curve for newbies in tech

Want to know why people purchase this one? => Read top customer reviews for ASUS RT-AC88U on Amazon

 

#5. TRENDnet AC2600 Wireless Gigabit Router

Trendnet AC2600The TRENDnet AC2600 is a feature-rich router which delivers strong throughput via its 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bandwidths. It supports Multi-User MIMO streaming technology. This way, everyone can have the exact consistency on their Wi-Fi connection when gaming and viewing HD movies or videos. It is ideal for homes with vast network needs as it uses beamforming technology to create a strong signal around the house.

This is a medium sized router which suits small spaces without looking out of place. It has four superior antennas to enhance coverage, but they can also be removed when you want to have a sleek router sitting among other low-profile gadgets. More so, you can have wired connections over the all-gigabit ports to give you a solid signal without speed interferences.

What’s more, the router ramps up its specs for low-latency gaming and streaming needs using StreamBoost. It has latency prioritization which prevents stutter on your internet provider route hence every live game is in real time and videos are not choppy. The router can establish two quad-stream Wi-Fi networks at 800Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1.7Gbps at 5GHz and multiple device access. It is the remedy for heavy Wi-Fi traffic for all busy medium-sized homes. If you are looking for a best router for streaming media at home, why not pick this one?

Pros
  • Quad-stream Wi-Fi network
  • Gigabit ports tailor-made for large files transfer
  • Four antennas cover a wide area
  • Works with nearly all operating systems including Windows and Mac

Cons
  • It does not have a separate network for guests

Want to know why people purchase this one? => Read top customer reviews for TRENDnet AC2600 on Amazon

 

 Product NameStandardMax SpeedPorts 
#1Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 R7000
pcmac editor choice
802.11ac1300Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#2TP-LINK Talon AD7200802.11ac
802.11ad
4600Mbps (802.11ad)
1733Mbps (802.11ac)
1 x Gigabit WAN
4 x Gigabit LAN ports
2 x USB 3.0
Check Price
#3Linksys AC1900 EA7500802.11ac1300Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#4ASUS RT-AC88U
pcmac editor choice
802.11ac2167Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
8x Gigabit LAN ports
1x USB 3.0
1x USB 2.0
Check Price
#5TRENDnet AC2600802.11ac1733Mbps1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN ports
2x USB 3.0
Check Price

Conclusion

The right router makes your internet connection enjoyable as it eliminates speed limits, buffering and low network coverage. All the routers on this list span on different price levels and the most important is they are the best router for streaming. The Linksys AC1900, for example, is a router dedicated for streaming and gaming mostly because it clears gaming path routes for the network. The other routers are pretty nice, all having dual bandwidths and latest 802.11ac standards which is a must for streaming media. We do believe you’ll find one best suited for streaming videos and movies at any place you need.

Finally, if you are facing slow Internet at home, please double check your modem first. Too old or broken modem is a problem for streaming media purposes, in that case, just pick one from this list of best cable modem.

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