Catching up with your favorite sports or chilling episodes of Black Mirror can be a bore if your connection is spotty and the buffering becomes unbearable. Navigating the dense jungle of wireless routers and finding the one that suits your needs can be a tall order.
Most people who experience connection problems just upgrade their current internet package, but with little success. This is preferred to the daunting task of poring through the plethora of routers from different manufacturers on Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy.
Luckily, we have handpicked the best wireless routers for streaming TV which will give you the best value for 4K streaming.
The Best Wireless Routers (2018)
Here’s a quick overview of the best wireless routers plus more detailed descriptions below.
|ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 DUAL-BAND ROUTER||up to 2,167 Mb/s||8 LAN||11.8" x 7.4"||Check Price|
|NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK X8 AC5300 TRI-BAND Wi-Fi ROUTER||up to 5.3 Gbps||6 LAN||12.4" x 10.4"||Check Price|
|TP-LINK AC3150 WIRELESS WI-FI GIGABIT||up to 3,167 Mbps||4 Gigabit Ethernet ports||10.4" x 7.8"||Check Price|
|LINKSYS EA9200 AC3200 TRI-BAND SMART WI-FI ROUTER||up to 3.2 Gbps||4 LAN||9.8" x 7.7"||Check Price|
|TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 GIGABIT TRI-BAND WI-FI ROUTER||1300Mbps||4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 WAN port||9.45" x 6.69"||Check Price|
1. ASUS RT-AC88U AC3100 DUAL-BAND ROUTER
Asus wireless routers have long been favorites among gamers because of the myriad of features and high internet speeds. The high end RT-AC88U is the latest addition with a dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz connection.
It is a bit large, measuring 12” (inches) across and 8” deep. Unlike other four antennae routers, this AC3100 router features a Broadcom chipset with NitroQAM technology which produces higher bandwidth. The bandwidth for AC3100 goes up to 2,167Mb/s from 1,732Mb/s for the AC1900 models.
NitroQAM technology also boasts of increasing the bandwidth on the 2.4GHz to 1,000Mb/s for a combined 3,167Mb/s bandwidth. Asus RT-AC88U also supports MU-MIMO and can simultaneously supply four clients. It also has 8 LAN ports, front USB 3.0 port, back USB 2.0 port and you can perform link aggregation using two LAN ports if your NAS supports the feature.
Asus also has a cutting-edge mobile app with a real-time monitor and innovative Quality of Service feature that prioritizes the devices you want to receive more bandwidth. The only drawbacks are the high price ($250+), the need for MU-MIMO clients on devices and needing compatible adapters.
If you’re interested in this you can FIND IT HERE.
2. NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK X8 AC5300 TRI-BAND Wi-Fi ROUTER
Another huge router is the NetGear Nighthawk X8 with a price tag of $349 that matches the size. It measures 12.4 X 10.4 X 2.4 inches with a curved top for better cooling.
A USB 3.0 port and a hidden USB 2.0 port on the side are featured alongside six LAN ports with link aggregation capability. The NetGear NightHawk X8 has four antennas with internal amplifiers for a longer range for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidth.
NightHawk X8’s Tri-Band includes two 5GHz (2.166 Gb/s each) and a 2.4GHz channel (1 Gb/s) for a total throughput of 5.3Gbps. It employs beam-forming technology and MU-MIMO to establish a direct signal with a device for maximum speed.
Another perk is the load-balancing software which allocates slow devices like printers and webcams onto one 5GHz channel while the other channel is left for more important tasks, like watching your favorite TV series. Streaming on multiple devices without buffering is no longer a dream thanks to the powerful NetGear NightHawk X8 router.
If you want to get one for yourself you can FIND IT HERE.
3. TP-LINK AC3150 WIRELESS WI-FI GIGABIT
TP-Link AC3150 takes the third spot in top five routers, and it packs enough bandwidth (a theoretical 3,167 Mbps throughput speed) to support multiple clients, TV streaming and gaming simultaneously.
The two channels, 2.4GHz band, and 5GHz band deliver 1000Mbps and 2,167Mbps respectively. The TP-Link AC3150 is smaller than the previous two measuring 1.5(W) X 10.4(H) X 7.8(D) inches and has four removable antennas that source their power from a 1.4GHz Broadcom chip.
The TP-Link AC3150 uses NitroQAM technology that compresses more information into packets for faster speeds. It has multi-user multiple input, multiple out (MU-MIMO) capabilities although it is not enabled by default on this model.
Other features include four Gigabit ports, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports as well as a WAN port. The downsides include fewer ports AND being only compatible with TP-Link adapters. The relatively low price of $160.99 might make it worth considering though.
If you want to try it for yourself you can GET IT HERE.
4. LINKSYS EA9200 AC3200 TRI-BAND SMART WI-FI ROUTER
The Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Router is the first of its kind and the flagship for their wireless AC Tri-Band routers for Linksys.
According to Linksys, this router is designed for “Internet of Things” and is capable of serving multiple connected devices simultaneously. Like other Tri-band routers, it has three inbuilt Wi-Fi radios; a single 2.4GHz radio and two 5GHz radios.
With each 5GHz radio running on its own stream at 1300Mbps and the 2.4GHz band producing 600GHz, the theoretical throughput is 3200 Mbps. The Linksys EA9200 features six antennas; three of them are external (removable) and the rest internal running on a 1GHz Broadcom BCM4709A0 dual-core processor. There are three integrated processors so the total processing power is 2.96GHz.
Features include four LAN ports, a single WAN port, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and the LED lights appear on the ports. Retailing at $104.99, it is small enough for an office shelf as it measures 9.8 inches in depth, 7.7 inches wide and 2 inches high.
All three radios can operate concurrent dual-band connections meaning multiple users on different devices can stream TV shows. Linksys EA9200 uses Smart Connect technology to balance all connected devices over the two 5GHz bands for optimal bandwidth utilization.
Another perk is the beam-forming feature whereby the signal is directed to a single device rather than a blanket of radio signals which results in a spotty Wi-Fi connection.
If you would like one for your self, you can GET ONE HERE.
5. TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 GIGABIT TRI-BAND WI-FI ROUTER
TRENDnet previously had internal antennas in their routers but have moved to four external antennas hardwired to the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 router.
This router has two 5GHz channels (each contributing 1300Mbps throughput speed) and a 2.4 GHz channel producing 600 Mbps; a total theoretical throughput of 3200Mbps. TRENDnet AC3200, whose average price is $193.99, runs on the Broadcom XStream technology which uses dual 5GHz 3X3 radios that can direct “fast” and “slow” clients to specific radios.
The 5 GHz radios use Anadigics’ AWL5911 power amps(X3), and Skyworks SE2623L is used for the 2.4GHz (X3) power amps. This router has 4 Gigabit ports at the back along with a single color-coded WAN port, WPS button, and a reset button. The USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports are also located at the back.
Some drawbacks plague the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 with the major one being that the maximum bandwidth that can be reached is 1300Mbps. The theoretical 3200Mbps advertised is just that; a theory. It is no different from using an AC1900 dual-band router when it comes to bandwidth. Another drawback is that although the wired throughput is decent, wireless performance cannot be accurately established.
So that’s the list of the top five wireless routers for TV streaming. If you want higher internet speed, it is best to go for Tri-Band routers like NetGear NightHawk X8 and the Linksys EA9200. However, it is equally as important to take into account your actual requirements and conditions. The number of occupants in your home and the size of your home are huge factors in your choice.
You can FIND ONE HERE if you want to own one.