Wireless routers have become must-have devices in homes and offices due to one reason – they take PCs, smartphones and other connected devices to a better level of performance. There are many routers, some of them are great for specific purposes. Today we are going to cover the best router for streaming online.
And whether you are watching videos on YouTube or catching the latest Netflix series, you want the streaming to flow with consistent, uninterrupted speed.
However, at times we may find ourselves having to deal with slow speeds which affect the quality of our streams. Before you lay the blame on your ISP, I suggest you look at the wireless router in your home first.
What to consider before buying a Wi-Fi router for HD streaming
The challenge most users face lies in choosing the best router for streaming and viewing videos. You’ll want to make sure the router you opt for can meet multiple, simultaneous demands within your home. At times you may have a family member gaming or downloading files from the internet all while you are trying to stream a movie.
To ensure you stream a high definition movie without the slightest of issues, you will need a high-quality WiFi router. And if you do your due diligence, you can get a device that meets your streaming needs without having to spend way over the top.
You’ll need to consider a number of factors
Dual band functionality
WiFi routers come with varied functionalities. Today, you can purchase either a single band, dual band or tri-band router. While single band routers host one wireless frequency – 2.4 GHz band -, the dual and tri-band routers have both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz with the latter having two 5GHz bands.
The 5GHz frequency is much faster and less prone to interferences making it ideal for streaming HD movies and as such, if your home has multiple Wifi users, a Tri-band router will serve you better.
Routers supporting the latest 802.11ac standards are much faster and can handle multiple connected devices better. When using a router that supports older standards, you may notice dropped connections, slowly loading web pages and streaming video that stutters and constantly stops to buffer.
To avoid this issues or having to upgrade again in the near future, it’s better to opt for a router that offers 802.11ac support.
To help you to help you pick the best router for streaming, we spend adequate time researching and testing the different routers available on the market.
Best Router for Streaming Online Movies Comparison Table
Best Router For Streaming Online Movies Individual Reviews
1. The NetGear R6400
The NetGear R6400 remains our best router for streaming. It is dual band router (2.4GHz & 5GHz bands) router and this enables it to reduce interferences for better connections.
The R6400 features Next Generation Gigabit WiFi technology enabling you to enjoy fast internet speeds and more reliable streaming for your home computers and mobile devices. The router is good for homes with multiple WiFi users and can support speeds of up to 1750Mbps.
The R6400 comes with a plethora of amazing features such as the Beamforming+ technology and high powered amplifiers and antennas for an extended WiFi coverage and smoother HD streaming. However, what I liked the most about this router was the Quality of service feature.
QoS options give you control over your home network and how it performs. The feature allows you to prioritize your internet traffic and you can set your Roku or any other device you are using the other connected devices enabling you to enjoy uninterrupted 4K streaming. For example, you can limit your kid's gaming to a minimum while you are streaming movies.
Additionally, this 802.11ac router is designed with 5 Gigabit Ethernet ports – 1 WAN and 4 LAN for high speed wired connections and a USB port enabling you to share a USB hard drive and printer across the network. The NetGear R6400 is also compatible with Amazon Echo enabling you to control your home network using voice commands.
What’s more? The R6400 is equipped with OpenVPN support for added security and advanced parental controls. The router is easy to set up and thanks to the NetGear Up app you can get the router up and running in minutes. The NetGear R6400 is currently on Amazon which is a great price considering the routers excellent performance and features.
The NetGear R6400 Overall Rating
2. Linksys EA7500 MAX-STREAM AC1900
The LINKSYS EA7500 is the best router for streaming movies, able to power your streaming and gaming with Next Gen AC WiFi. The router utilizes Multi-User MIMO technology to ensure a fast, uninterrupted Wi-Fi connection even when multiple devices are connected at the same time.
The MAX-STREAM AC1900 offers 3×3 Wireless-AC technology that delivers three simultaneous data streams for faster performance. And with the router, you can stream your favorite TV shows and movies in high definition.
The device comes with simultaneous dual-band speed of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band for intensive uses such as 4K video streaming. Additionally, the router has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports to provide high-speed data transmission for wired connections.
The router is designed with 4 external high-performance antennas which ensure supreme Wifi signal strength in multi-level homes. Beamforming technology enables the router to strengthen the Wi-Fi signal to specific devices, rather than simply sending out Wi-Fi in a general direction allowing you to focus WiFi on specific devices. This results in faster Wifi speeds, better wireless range, and stronger Wi-Fi connections.
The Linksys AC1900 is equipped with a Smart WiFi software enabling you to manage your WiFi remotely. This easy-to-use app places a powerful suite of Wi-Fi customization tools in the palm of your hand. You can use it to send guests Wi-Fi passwords, prioritize your devices, and set parental controls. The router is easy to set up but, it’s more expensive compared to the NetGear R6400.
Linksys EA7500 Overall Rating
3. Asus RT-AC88U
The Asus RT-AC88U is another amazing router. Not only does this device make HD streaming a bliss, but it also offers a great range making it possible for you to enjoy movies from anywhere in the house – even the porch. It features the most recent 4×4 802.11ac MU-MIMO technology, which allows multiple devices to run concurrently at fast speeds.
The RT-AC88U delivers a combined 3167 Mbps Wi-Fi with the 5GHz band at 2100 Mbps and the 2.4GHz at up to 1000Mbps which are more than enough for 4K streaming. Another thing I liked about the router was its coverage.
Asus designed it with four transmit and four receive antennas significantly improving both Wi-Fi range and signal stability. Beamforming further focuses the WiFi signal on the connected devices, making your WiFi faster, clearer and stronger.
Beyond coverage range, the Asus RT-AC88U excels with a wide range of innovative features and revolutionary hardware. The router offers inbuilt game acceleration and access to route-optimized servers to ensure consistently low ping times during gaming sessions. And with the ASUS Router App, it’s much easier and more intuitive to manage your ASUS router. From the initial setup and network traffic monitoring to managing connected devices.
What's more? The RT-AC88U's comes with AirProtection which offers maximum protection. It’s easy to install and boasts a feature-packed and easy to use web interface. The Asus RT-AC88U may be expensive but when you consider its performance, the price can feel justified.
Asus RT-AC88U Overall Rating
4. NetGear Nighthawk X4S AC2600
The Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Smart WiFi Router is a great device that impresses on many levels. The device is not only ideal for 4K video streaming but also performs well in online gaming as well.
The router is designed with an extremely powerful 1.7GHz dual-core processor enabling the router to attain speeds of up to 2.53Gbps.
The integration of MU-MIMO technology and Quad Stream technology delivers WiFi to multiple devices simultaneously for faster speeds.
The X4S is equipped with 4 high-gain external antennas and Beamforming+ for enhanced range. Additionally, NetGear added Gigabit Ethernet ports enabling you to enjoy a fast wired connection. Thanks to 2 USB 3.0 and eSATA ports, you can access storage anytime from anywhere. And as if that’s not enough, the router is compatible with Amazon Echo/Alexa allowing you to control your home network using voice commands.
NetGear Nighthawk X4S AC2600 Overall Rating
If you are looking for the best router for streaming movies, then this list has you covered. Even though most of these routers are highly priced, they come with amazing features enabling you to stream Ultra HD and 4K videos without a stutter. The NetGear R6400, the cheapest router on our list, gives you the best value for your money.
Not only does it performs admirably when streaming but it’s also equipped with a collection of amazing features that make it stand out. All in all, you can’t go wrong with any of the listed routers.