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To help you find the best routers for streaming that your money can buy today, we first identified the key features and functionalities to consider. After hours of research across a wide variety of different routers, we determined that the top features you should look for in a streaming router include performance, management settings like QoS, and range. We recommend tri-band routers for the best speeds and consistency for streaming, but you should be fine with dual-band options as well. Also, look for a router that can handle multiple devices at once without experiencing congestion.
With these features in mind, we selected the Asus RT-AC5300 as the best router for streaming available today. Keep reading below to learn more about this powerful router for streaming and our other top picks for the best router on the market.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With superb range, gaming and streaming performance, and MU-MIMO capabilities, this powerful wireless router offers a comprehensive solution to all of your home network needs. Plus, it offers tons of management settings for a truly customized experience, including Quality of Service functionality.
Let’s be honest. At first glance, the Asus RT-AC5300 looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie with its angular design and eight antennas. It’s a little larger and bulkier than other home wireless routers, but it is absolutely packed to the brim with advanced features and stellar performance. It’s a tri-band router, so you’ll get two 5GHz bands on top of a 2.4GHz band, which allows you to give the best speeds to multiple streaming devices. Add that to the Asus’s Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) functionality, and you’ll be able to stream from multiple devices simultaneously without any lagging or interruption.
Related: If you want to shop around, go over our guide on the best router for gaming.
When it comes to installation and network management, the Asus RT-AC5300 is hard to beat. Your purchase of the router includes a really easy Setup Wizard that walks you through the entire installation process. When you’ve got the device up and running, you’ll have the option of adjusting a wide variety of settings, including Guest Network configuration, parental controls, AiProtection, and Adaptive Quality of Service. We were most impressed by the Adaptive QoS, which allows you to prioritize your streaming devices to receive the fastest network speeds when in use. The router even includes a helpful Game Boost mode to prioritize your online gaming consoles or gaming PC, if that’s important to you. Along with the best gaming tablets, you’re sure to have an impressive gaming experience from anywhere in your home.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This router for streaming wins our Honorable Mention award because of its reliable performance, even at range, and versatile design with eight total gigabit LAN ports. On top of those features, the router also offers excellent parental controls and user management settings.
The TP-Link Archer AX6000 is much larger than its popular smaller counterparts (like the TP-Link Archer C2300), but it offers a ton of advanced features and functionality to make up for it. The Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that offers both a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz band for your connected devices. Overall performance and throughput are excellent with the AX6000, even within range in bigger homes. With the two bands, you can prioritize your streaming devices on the 5GHz band for the fastest speeds. File transfer speeds are really good here, as well. If you find yourself downloading or uploading a lot of content on your home network, you won’t be disappointed by the Archer AX6000’s offering.
One of the best parts about the TP-Link Archer AX6000’s design is just how many ports it offers. With a grand total of eight individual gigabit LAN ports, you’ll be able to hard-wire just as many streaming devices to the router for the most reliable and fastest streaming performance. The Archer AX6000 also offers extensive user management settings, including really great parental controls and malware protection. The parental controls allow you to create different profiles for different age ranges and set appropriate filters. You can even use those profiles to set QoS priorities for individual devices. The TP-Link Archer AX6000 also includes connectivity to a mobile device for remote management, which is nice if you need to make changes to your network on the go. However, the mobile app could still use some work, so we recommend using the web interface for the best experience. If you’re a Linux user, you might also like our best openWRT router buying guide.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A sleek, futuristic design and blazing-fast connection speeds are two hallmarks of this powerful router for streaming. It’s also compatible with Wi-Fi 6 and includes tri-band functionality for extensive connectivity options for all of your streaming devices.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 is another sci-fi wireless router that offers tons of advanced features and functionality. However, this router’s design is different in the fact that it features two large, vertical fins instead of multiple adjustable antennas. This helps streamline the design a bit more and creates less of a footprint, although the router is still bigger than other options. Other noteworthy design features include a multi-gig LAN port that supports connection speeds up to 2.5Gbps, four LAN ports for connecting multiple streaming devices, and two USB 3.0 ports.
When it comes to performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive wireless router. The Nighthawk RAX200 offers blazing-fast throughput and both close and long ranges. Plus, it’s compatible with new Wi-Fi 6 network connections for even faster wireless speeds. The RAX200 is a tri-band router, so you’ll even get two 5GHz bands on top of the standard 2.4GHz band, which makes prioritizing your streaming devices much easier. This Nighthawk router is really easy to install and get configured to your liking, although it does lack some of the more extensive parental controls that you see in other routers. All in all, though, the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 gives you a high-quality design for fast network speeds and buffer-free streaming capabilities.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: A compact design, fast throughput speeds, and incredibly easy installation make this router for streaming one of the best you can buy on a budget. Plus, with its extensive user management settings, you’ll be able to configure the device to your liking.
If you’re on the hunt for a bargain wireless router for streaming, you can’t go wrong with the TP-Link Archer A7. This router is one of the most affordable options available today, and it doesn’t sacrifice much at all when it comes to throughput speed or design quality. This is a compact wireless router with three antennas that can fit pretty much anywhere in your home without getting in the way. When it comes to ports and connectivity, you’ll get four gigabit LAN ports to hard-wire up to four streaming devices. It also includes a single USB port, but it’s only USB 2.0, so you won’t get transfer speeds as fast as USB 3.0.
The TP-Link Archer A7 is a dual-band wireless router that provides both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. While this isn’t as good as tri-band functionality, it works perfectly for smaller homes with fewer streaming devices. To get the best experience, we recommend reserving the 5GHz band for your streaming devices and the 2.4GHz band for everything else. The Archer A7 performs surprisingly well with throughput speeds for such an affordable option. If you have the high speeds from your ISP, you’ll have no problem getting that same speed through this router. We were also impressed by the Archer A7’s internal user management settings. You’ll get plenty of options to customize your home network experience, including QoS options and parental controls. Be aware that the web user interface to adjust settings can be a little awkward and clunky at times, but it works well enough after some practice. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best router for Verizon Fios as well.
Award: BEST FOR GAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need gaming performance from your wireless router, you can’t go wrong with this option. With good long-range performance, Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, and excellent throughput speeds, this router for streaming is sure to please even the most hardcore gamers.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 forgoes all of the sci-fi design aesthetics that so many gaming devices sport today and instead provides a sleek, low-profile form factor that can fit in pretty much anywhere within your home without a problem. It features two large antennas, which unfortunately aren’t removable, but are otherwise unobtrusive. On the back of the router, you’ll get four gigabit LAN ports and a single USB 3.0 port, which is a standard approach for routers these days. Installation is easy, and the router can even be wall-mounted for greater versatility.
Where the Nighthawk RAX40 really shines is in its overall throughput and performance. This is a Wi-Fi 6 router that’s compatible with the latest and greatest in wireless internet technology. If you have fast internet speeds for your gaming, this router can handle them and deliver them to your gaming devices, even if they aren’t hard-wired directly to the router. The RAX40 can even provide those excellent speeds over range due to its beamforming capabilities, which is impressive for a smaller router. The Nighthawk RAX40 also provides plenty of management options, including Quality of Service and parental controls. Along with the best gaming chair, you’ll have an unmatched gaming experience.
Award: BEST FOR ULTRA-HD VISUALS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This router for streaming offers affordable power and speed, along with MU-MIMO technology and a dual-band configuration, making it an excellent choice for streaming in 4K. You’ll also get a top-notch QoS engine, which intelligently determines which devices need network speed prioritization.
The D-Link DIR-882 Wi-Fi router for streaming may not be the flashiest or most feature-packed option available on the market today, but it offers fast and reliable performance in any scenario. This is why it’s the best router for streaming 4K content in our buying guide. The DIR-882 is a dual-band router for streaming that offers solid performance across both its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It performs best at close range on both bands, but speeds start to dwindle on the 5GHz band at longer ranges. However, with beamforming and MU-MIMO functionality, you’ll be able to connect multiple devices to the router without a dip in performance.
The overall design and form factor of the D-Link DIR-882 router is also something worth noting. It’s an ultra-slim router with four adjustable antennas that will fit almost anywhere in your home without getting in the way of other devices. You’ll get four individual gigabit LAN ports, along with a USB 3.0 port on the back and a USB 2.0 port on the front of the router. The D-Link features a comprehensive user settings management portal that is easy to use, even if you aren’t familiar with the process. The most impressive feature here, though, is the incredibly user-friendly Quality of Service (QoS) engine. It features a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to easily set priority for your 4K streaming devices. Paired with the best smart TV for streaming, you will have an incredible streaming experience in your home.
Award: BEST FOR LARGE HOMES
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you have a ton of different streaming devices spread throughout a large home, you’ll want a router like this, which offers tri-band functionality, excellent performance at range, and robust parental controls. It also intelligently handles traffic from multiple devices connected simultaneously.
The TP-Link Archer A20 router for streaming is built specifically for large homes. This is a tri-band router that features plenty of advanced functionality to consistently spread the signal out to everyone in your home across tons of different devices. For starters, the TP-Link gives you a 2.4Ghz band and two 5GHz bands, and MU-MIMO functionality so you can effortlessly connect multiple devices to your home network and not worry about congestion. Plus, with the included Quality of Service (QoS) settings, you’ll be able to choose which of those devices gets the fastest internet. This way, you’ll be able to prioritize your streaming devices to get buffer-free entertainment.
At first glance, you’ll immediately notice the Archer A20’s overall design. It features six different antennas and an overall large footprint, which might be hard to fit into compact places. However, the antennas do fold down on top of the router, which is nice for storage. Unfortunately, the larger size doesn’t mean you’ll get more LAN ports. The Archer A20 still features the standard set of four gigabit LAN ports, along with two USB ports. User management settings are one place where the TP-Link Archer A20 excels. The user interface is streamlined and incredibly easy to use. Plus, you’ll get amazing and comprehensive parental controls, which are essential for large households. For additional options, check out our best wifi router for long range buying guide.
Award: BEST COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need whole-home coverage, then this mesh wireless router for streaming is perfect for you. It features a tri-band design across all of the mesh devices, which offers reliable speed throughout your entire home, as well as Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
The Amazon eero Pro is a mesh router that offers blazing fast speeds and truly amazing comprehensive coverage across your entire home, no matter its size. The mesh router features three individual devices that you can spread throughout your home that each gives off a wireless signal. You’ll also have the option of adding more devices for more comprehensive coverage, at an extra cost. Installation is incredibly easy, and the eero Pro even features Alexa compatibility so you can connect new devices with voice commands.
When it comes to speed and performance, the eero Pro offers tri-band capabilities, which is somewhat of a rarity amongst mesh routers. This allows you to connect even more devices without suffering from lagging, buffering, or congestion. Each of the eero Pro devices provides two ethernet ports, which is lacking when compared to bigger Wi-Fi routers. However, this allows you to connect streaming devices to each router if so desired. More importantly, the Amazon eero Pro is compatible with Wi-Fi 6, so you know you’ll always get the fastest internet speeds, making it perfect for all of your streaming needs. It’s a great option if you’re also in the market for the best small business router.
Award: BEST FOR MULTIPLE USERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you have a lot of users and devices streaming in your home, you’ll definitely want to check out this powerful router for streaming. With high-end MU-MIMO capabilities, excellent 5GHz throughput, and top-notch Quality of Service settings, this wireless router can manage up to 30 devices with ease.
The Nightgear Nighthawk R6900P is a powerful wireless router for streaming that offers excellent performance for multiple devices. In fact, the manufacturer states that the router can easily handle up to 30 wireless devices connected at a time. Although, be aware that you’ll also need the bandwidth from your ISP to do so without congestion. This is a dual-band router that offers the best performance and throughput on the 5GHz band, even at long ranges. The 2.4GHz band does alright, but we’d recommend keeping your streaming devices connected to the 5GHz band.
The R6900P really performs its best when it comes to its MU-MIMO, beamforming, and Quality of Service features. These features together allow you to easily handle and manage multiple devices connected to the network at the same time. However, the Quality of Service (QoS) functionality is the best by far. With it, you can prioritize your streaming devices to always receive the best bandwidth, and Netgear does it better than many other routers. With QoS enabled and configured, you’ll be able to drastically reduce load times and nearly completely eliminate buffering while streaming. If you have a ton of users on your network, but you always want your streaming devices to get the best speeds, look no further than the Netgear Nighthawk R6900P. You might also like our best modem and router buying guide for all-in-one networking solutions for your home.
Award: BEST EASY INSTALLATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This router for streaming is easy to install and easy to manage, which is perfect for people who just want to set it and forget it. The router offers solid performance across both bands and also performs well at range.
The Linksys EA7500 wireless router is one of the simpler and more affordable options featured in this buying guide, which has both its pros and its cons. However, where the EA7500 really stands out is in its overall user-friendliness and ease of installation. To get started, all you need to do is plug the router in, connect it to your modem, and then connect to it via your computer. As soon as you do that, you’ll see the rest of the installation instructions on your computer screen. You’ll also get good management settings that are easy to follow and configure. Once you’re up and running, you can essentially let the EA7500 do its job and not worry about it moving forward.
The Linksys EA7500 also offers high-quality performance. It’s a dual-band router with good throughput on both bands and within range. Plus, it even offers MU-MIMO functionality for connecting to multiple devices simultaneously. While it may lack some of the more robust or advanced features that you can find in the most expensive routers available today, the Linksys EA7500 offers reliable speeds across all of your streaming devices. If you’re a frequent traveler, check out our best travel router buying guide.
As we started to analyze and rank each router for streaming, we first considered each option’s overall performance. When it comes to performance, we measured the routers based on their range and speed. We favored routers with higher range and better performance through obstacles like walls and doors. We also ranked routers higher if they were capable of matching higher levels of bandwidth from your internet service provider (ISP). As a note, it’s always important to remember that a router’s speed will only be as good as the speed you pay for from your ISP. A router can never improve your internet speeds.
Next, we looked at advanced features and functionality like dual-band vs. tri-band and MU-MIMO capabilities. We gave bonus points to routers with tri-band Wi-Fi connection options because they provide more opportunities for reliable streaming across multiple devices. However, we still included dual-band routers in our lineup. The same goes for routers with MU-MIMO capabilities. These routers were awarded bonus points, but our buying guide still includes those without this feature.
Finally, we looked at overall design quality and ease of installation. The best routers for streaming are easy to set up, and we awarded more points to options that offered nearly plug-and-play installation. We were also more impressed by routers with extensive parental and management controls. These allow you to customize your home network experience and set Quality of Service (QoS) definitions for your most important streaming devices.
Yes, absolutely. Better routers often feature improved range so you get a stronger signal no matter where you are in your home. Plus, better routers usually feature improved throughput so you get faster speeds and the ability to stream multiple devices on the same network with multiple Wi-Fi bands.
If you’re looking for the best router for streaming multiple devices, we recommend looking for products with tri-band Wi-Fi capabilities and MU-MIMO functionality, which stands for multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output. These capabilities allow for a greater number of devices to stream effortlessly without experiencing a decrease in quality.
The best router for Netflix streaming is one that meets your individual needs. By this, we mean that the router you purchase for streaming content on Netflix should match the speeds from your internet provider, offer enough range to establish a strong connection with your streaming device, and fit within your purchasing budget. The faster the router, the better, especially if you have the Ultra HD streaming plan through Netflix.
Video game streamers often use top-of-the-line technology when it comes to their streaming setups. There are a wide variety of Wi-Fi routers made specifically for this purpose. The best router for streaming and gaming includes blazing-fast speeds - as high as 7.2Gbps - and excellent Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities, which enables their streaming equipment to always get the fastest and most reliable network connectivity, no matter how many devices are connected.