7 Best Routers for Streaming in 2022

Welcome to our hot guide to the best Wi-Fi routers for streaming in the world right now!

Over the past few months, we’ve been putting a lot of routers through their paces to find out which can handle streaming the best, and in which situations.

The best overall? That’d be the ASUS RT-AX3000. It brings immense speed, enables you to connect to loads of devices, and comes packed with fantastic features. And all of that for a price that will pleasantly surprise you. 

ASUS RT-AX3000
Source: Asus.com

ASUS RT-AX3000 - Editor's Choice

Best Overall

  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1000 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Join as we explain the reason for that decision. But make sure you check out our other top picks too. There may well be one you like the look of even more.

Top 7 Streaming Routers

Before we break them down further, here’s an overview of our main picks:

  1. Best overall: ASUS RT-AX3000
  2. Best for 8K: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500
  3. Best for multiple devices: TP-Link Archer AX73
  4. Best for large homes: ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 AX6600
  5. Best for budget: TP-Link Archer AX10
  6. Best for smart homes: Google Nest Wi-Fi
  7. Best for security: ASUS RT-AX56U

7 Best Routers for Streaming in 2022

Here are an overview of the best routers for streaming.

#1 Best Overall: ASUS RT-AX3000

ASUS RT-AX3000
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 889.41 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1000 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Fast enough for 4x 8K streams
  • Fantastic security
  • Upgrade range seamlessly with AiMesh

Cons

  • Average range

One of the best routers in the world for value for money (if not the best) is the ASUS RT-AX3000 This amazing kit is relatively inexpensive for the fantastic performance and features it has to offer.

When we tested it from 5ft away, we managed to clock a hugely impressive speed of 889.41 Mbps. If we consider that the speed required for 8K streaming is roughly 200 Mbps [1], we should be able to enjoy four simultaneous streams of this quality with the RT-AX3000.

In terms of 4K streaming, a lot more doors can be opened. Netflix’s 4K stream, Ultra HD, requires a speed of 25 Mbps [2]. So, in theory, you’d be able to make 35 simultaneous streams with this router.

The range could cause an issue for some people, as we found it to be around 80-85ft. That’s a little below average, enough for an apartment or a medium sized house. 

But these things aren’t going to be a problem for most people. Plus, you can improve the range of the network by utilizing the AiMesh technology it has to offer. This is ASUS’s branding for Mesh capability, meaning seamless roaming at long range.

This isn’t the only great feature on this router. RT-AX3000 also comes with Adaptive QoS, meaning you can divert network attention to particular devices whenever you choose. 

Plus, there’s AiProtection Pro free for life. This amazing bundle of antivirus technology and parental controls keeps your network safe and the people who use it.

So, overall, this router is great for any large families looking to stream in the highest of qualities. And you won’t have to break the bank to buy it. 




#2 Best for 8K: Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

Netgear RAXE500
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 1203.59 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 1 Gbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6e
  • Warranty: One year 

Pros

  • Fast enough for 6x 8K streams
  • Wide range
  • Tri-band router means many device connections

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • No QoS

If budget is no issue for you then the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 could be the one for you. It’s one of the fastest routers in the world with an enormous top speed of 1203.59 Mbps according to our tests.

That would mean enough bandwidth to be able to handle a very impressive 6 simultaneous 8K streams. This is the highest number for any of our recommendations today.

That being said, you will need to use the additional 6 GHz band to achieve this kind of speed. And not many devices are able to handle it. There are only 11 Wi-Fi 6e compatible smartphones at the time of writing, and none of them are from Apple!

The addition of the third band is a good thing if you have the devices to handle it though. A tri-band router frees up bandwidth and allows for more devices to connect to the network. That’d mean a lot of Netflix streams with this particular router!

The range on the RAXE500 is good as well. We found that it would hold a signal as far as 100-110 ft away (or about the size of a fairly big home). And you can extend that even further seamlessly by adding Mesh satellites thanks to the Nighthawk having Mesh capabilities.

Unfortunately, this is about the extent of the features for this router. Considering how expensive it is, it’s really lacking in software. There’s no QoS, meaning you can’t prioritize particular devices on the network.

Plus, you have to pay for an annual subscription if you want to upgrade the security of your network through the RAXE500 and add parental controls. This doesn’t seem very fair considering the price of the hardware in the first place.

There is one more issue here and that is the lack of warranty. You only get one year which might not be enough for some of our readers.

So for pure performance alone, this is a great router for streaming. If you have a multi-gig internet plan, you’d definitely be able to get the best out of it here. Just be prepared for the lack of features!




#3 Best for Multiple Devices: TP-Link Archer AX73

TP-Link Archer AX73 AX5400
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 827.85 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 700 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

Pros

  • Great range
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Super fast on the 5 GHz band
  • Free HomeCare security

Cons

  • A little slow on the 2.4 GHz band
  • No multi-gig port

The Archer AX73 is one of the top of the range routers from TP-Link. That means it costs a few dollars, but we feel that it justifies the price tag with fantastic performance and many cool features.

The top speed we managed to record from the AX73 was 827.85 Mbps. That puts it up with the fastest Wi-Fi 6 routers, which means it would be able to handle a cool 4 8K streams. 

One of the most impressive things about this router is that it’s possible to connect up to 200 devices simultaneously. You could, in theory, stream Netflix on all 200 devices based on the router’s top speed. That’s because non-HD streaming requires a 3 Mbps bandwidth.

Unfortunately, this would be far from possible on the slower 2.4 GHz band and with Wi-Fi 5 devices (e.g. any iPhone older than iPhone 11). We only managed to get a speed of 44.79 Mbps from 5ft away which is less than half of most of the competition. 

In terms of features, the AX73 checks out, though. It comes with free HomeShield basic for life, TP-Link’s excellent router security tool. It’s regularly updated to keep your home network free from all the latest threats.

You can choose to upgrade to HomeShield Pro with a subscription fee for even better parental controls and security if you so wish.

You’ll get great QoS no matter what though. This will let you select a handful of devices to get better network performance by throttling other devices. This could be useful if you want to stream in 4K.

The AX73 also comes with OneMesh technology if you want to extend the range using Mesh satellites. The range isn’t bad as it is though. We managed to continue getting a signal as far as 100-110ft away. That’s enough for a fairly large home.

If you are planning on setting up a network for streaming to a lot of people (e.g. a public hotspot), this could be the one for you.




#4 Best for Large Homes: ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 AX6600

ASUS ZenWiFi AX (XT8) AX6600 White
  • Type: Wi-Fi Mesh system
  • Tested max speed: 836.45 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 700 Mbps (and large homes!)
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • One of the fastest Mesh systems out there
  • Third band for more devices
  • Great value for what you get
  • All the best ASUS features

Cons

  • Not very fast on 2.4 GHz band

We tend to recommend Mesh to anyone with a home of over 3000 sq ft in size. And if you’re going to go down the Mesh route, the best way to do it is with a Mesh system instead of simply adding Mesh satellites. 

It’s more powerful this way, and one of the most powerful examples of it is the ASUS ZenWiFI AX6600. We think this is one of the best Mesh systems available right now for a handful of reasons, and it’s fantastic for streaming too.

First of all, it’s fast. In our test, we got a top speed of 836.45 Mbps from it. That’s super fast for a Mesh system and is fast enough for 4 8K streams or 17 Netflix 4K streams. 

And then there’s the range, the real selling point of this device. We found that each satellite is good to hold a signal 100ft away. 

Plus, the network has a second 5 GHz backhaul band specifically for connecting the satellites together. This means that the connections of smart devices don’t influence the ability of the Mesh. And as a result, you can get great performance even after adding several nodes.

So, using the AX6600, you’ll be able to stream in high-quality hundreds of ft away from the original router if you buy enough satellites. Of course, this is going to get expensive, but it’s a cool option to have. 

On top of this great performance, you’ll get free AiProtection Pro for life. This means top-tier parental controls and excellent antivirus technology to keep your network free from all the biggest threats. 

Anyone looking to do streaming in a large home or place of work should definitely look into this Mesh system. 




#5 Best for Budget: TP-Link Archer AX10

TP-Link AX10
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 651.97 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 500 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

Pros

  • Affordable Wi-Fi 6 routers
  • Decent range for the price
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Nice hardware design

Cons

  • No USB ports
  • Lacking on a few features

Want to save a bit of cash but still have enough speed to do a lot of streaming? The TP-Link Archer AX10 may be your next router. Even though it’s very much in budget territory with its price, it has enough speed to handle 8K streams.

Three of them, to be precise. We found that the AX10 has a top speed of 651.97 Mbps. That would also allow for as many as 20 Netflix Ultra HD streams. Very impressive for an affordable router.

The range is pretty good for a cheap router at 80-90 ft. That’s about the size of an average apartment or a small home. If you want to extend this range, you’ll need to go down the traditional Wi-Fi extender route as there are no Mesh capabilities here.

In fact, the features aren’t very strong, period. The QoS is very limited in, the parental controls aren’t particularly sharp, and there is no security other than WPA3 encryption. 

That encryption is a pretty neat thing to have, though. It’s the latest wireless security protocol, and it goes a long way to protect your personal data, including your credit card details and other online banking info.

Plus, you do get limited lifetime warranty with this router. This means you’ll be protected against any issues that may arise from it for as long as you own it. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but the peace of mind goes a long way. 

At the end of the day, you absolutely get what you pay from this router. It’s certainly the best budget router for streaming! 




#6 Best for Smart Homes: Google Nest Wi-Fi

Google Nest Wi-Fi
  • Type: Wi-Fi Mesh system
  • Tested max speed: 87.76 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 100 Mbps and large smart homes
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 5 
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Brilliant smart home integration
  • Beautiful design
  • Pretty affordable
  • Mesh system means seamless roaming

Cons

  • Slower
  • Limited range on each satellite

Now it’s time for something a little different. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi system focuses on smart home integration, which will be a big part of the future. The capabilities of this setup are pretty limited in many ways, but it’s a very cool idea and a lot of fun.

Let’s start with the speed. That part isn’t so good. Because Google Nest Wi-Fi only uses Wi-Fi 5 technology instead of Wi-Fi 6 (more on the differences between the two coming later), it can’t get close to the top speeds of some of the other contenders.

We only managed to get a speed of 87.76 Mbps from this router. But for those with slower internet plans, that’s not going to be a problem. Plus, it’s still enough for three Ultra HD Netflix streams.

But the coolest thing about Google Nest Wi-Fi is its integration with other technologies. The settings and the setup of the network are controlled through the magnificent Google Home app.

Not only does this app look amazing and feel great to use, but it has a lot of awesome functions. It’s also used to control all the other ‘internet of things devices in your home such as your lighting, your thermostat, or even your refrigerator.

Another cool noteworthy feature of the Google Nest satellites is that they double up as smart speakers. You can use them to play music anywhere in the house and talk to them to carry out commands for any of the devices on your Google Home network. 

So if you have a slow internet plan and 8K streaming is off the cards for you anyway, Google Nest Wi-Fi is one to look at. It’s particularly useful if you already have a few smart home devices. 




#7 Best for Security: ASUS RT-AX56U

ASUS RT-AX56U
  • Type: Wi-Fi router
  • Tested max speed: 754.02 Mbps
  • Recommended for: Plans up to 600 Mbps
  • Wireless standard: Wi-Fi 6
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • A few other strong features
  • Fantastic speeds for the price
  • Neat hardware design

Cons

  • Limited range at 75-80ft

The most affordable way to get the fantastic AiProtection Pro software we mentioned on the ASUS RT-AX3000 is through its little sibling, the RT-AX56U.

This means you’ll get fantastic antivirus technology that’s regularly updated to keep your network as safe as possible. And the AiProtection Pro package also comes with top-tier parental controls. That means you can keep the kids’ eyes away from anything malicious.

Even though the RT-AX56U comes in at a lower price than our top pick, the RT-AX3000, it’s still great for streaming. We found that it could manage a top speed of 754.02 Mbps, enough for three 8K streams with room leftover for four 4K ones.

It’s certainly quick, but that speed doesn’t travel so far. The range is short at just 75-80 ft, enough for a small apartment. You can boost that using AiMesh (ASUS’s Mesh technology), but at that point you may as well buy a router with better range.

Nonetheless, the RT-AX56U is a worthy contender. And with three years of warranty providing even better security, it’s about as trustworthy as a router can be. 

It’s even got great QoS through ASUS’s Adaptive QoS tool. It allows you to assign profiles to particular devices such as ‘gaming’, which will help you get the best performance out of them by throttling other devices on the network.

So if you do have a small home and want to stream in the highest of quality with fantastic security, the ASUS RT-AX56U is the router for you!  




Streaming Routers Buying Guide

We’ve suggested what we think are the best routers for streaming in 2022. But now it’s time to show you how we came to those decisions. You can use this info as ammunition to go out there and do some shopping for yourself. Stay tuned!

For a more extensive router buying guide, follow this link.

Do I need Wi-Fi 6 for streaming?

Not necessarily. Wi-Fi 5 is capable of streaming in high quality, but you won’t find many Wi-Fi 5 routers that can provide the speed that 8K streaming requires.

Allow us to briefly explain the differences between the two. Wi-Fi 5 was the standard internet protocol for a few years before Wi-Fi 6 was introduced in 2019. The newer version offers faster speeds but the routers that support it cost more money.

That being said, Wi-Fi 6 is becoming more affordable. Routers such as the TP-Link Archer AX10 are substantially bringing down the entry level for Wi-Fi 6. So even if you are on a budget, you may well be able to afford it these days.

That being said, Wi-Fi 5 is still the super budget option. So for those looking to achieve a handful of 4K streams and save lots of cash, this might be the option to go for.

Still unsure on what to go for? Find more info here.

How about Wi-Fi 6e?

Affordability is a lot rarer with Wi-Fi 6e. In fact, it’s impossible to find a cheap Wi-Fi 6e router right now.

But what exactly is it? Wi-Fi 6e is a brand new Wi-Fi protocol (announced in 2021) that’s a whole lot faster than even regular Wi-Fi 6. It can achieve speeds of well over 1000 Mbps over Wi-Fi, which is extraordinary.

It does this by bringing a third band of 6 GHz, which is quicker than the regular 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz but has a slightly narrower range.

Wi-Fi 6e is great for those who want to achieve multiple simultaneous 8K streams. But for most people, it probably won’t be necessary to spend that kind of money,

Dual-band or tri-band?

Dual-band routers are great for up to around 30 devices, whereas if you have 30 or more, tri-band may be the better option. 

This recommendation is very generalized, however. But it does depend on what kind of internet processes you’ll be doing on them. High quality streaming is pretty intensive, so tri-band routers might be better for 15 or 20 streams.

Allow us to explain what this all means.

Wi-Fi 6e’s additional 6 GHz isn’t the only type of tri-band network. A lot of routers also offer a second 5 GHz on top of the regular 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It might sound a little silly at first glance, but it’s actually very clever.

Having two 5 GHz bands frees up bandwidth, allowing more devices to connect to the network and achieve faster speeds. It costs more money, but it’s great if you want your network to allow you to stream on a lot of devices simultaneously.

We put together more info on the differences between the two if you’re still unsure.

Extra Wi-Fi 6 technologies that are useful for streaming

If you want to set up a network where many people can stream simultaneously, there are a few key pieces of modern Wi-Fi technology that will help you out with that.

Beamforming, MU-MIMO, and OFDMA can all help your router communicate with multiple smart devices simultaneously. They do this in a few different ways.

MU-MIMO and OFDMA work together to achieve a similar goal: achieving maximum connectivity with multiple devices. 

MU-MIMO does this by directing the router’s beams to the devices, wasting fewer of them. OFDMA, on the other hand, divides the Wi-Fi signal into sub channels.

Beamforming has a slightly different task of achieving max performance from the devices by seeking them out in a similar way to MU-MIMO.

Mesh or a Wi-Fi extender?

We’ve talked a lot about Mesh today but do you actually need it, or would you be better off with a classic Wi-Fi extender?

Firstly, let’s explain what Mesh actually is. It’s a technology that allows you to extend the range of your network by adding extra satellites that stay under the same network name.

This means you won’t need to reconnect to a new network name once you go out of range of the original router like you have to do with a regular Wi-Fi extender. Mesh costs money, but it’s much more effective for large homes.

In general, we recommend Mesh to anyone with a home of over 3000 sq ft in size. Also, note that an actual Mesh system will be more powerful than a regular router with Mesh capabilities. See the ASUS AX XT8 AX6600 for a great example of one.

For more info on the differences between the two, check out this guide.

More tools to note

There are a couple of extra things that may be able to help you get the absolute best streaming experience on your device: QoS and parental controls.

QoS is short for Quality of Service, and it allows you to prioritize a handful of devices to get faster speeds and lower latency on the network. It does this by throttling the bandwidth to other connected devices, and it might be the difference between you being able to stream in 8K or not!

Parental controls won’t get you faster performance, but it’s brilliant for those with young children in the home. It blocks certain types of content that would be inappropriate or malicious.

A word on security and warranty

Just two more things to look out for when you buy your next router for streaming: security and warranty.

The best routers will have encryption to keep your data safe (e.g. credit card details and addresses) and antivirus technology to stop your home network from becoming compromised.

Warranty is also important as it will cover you if anything goes faulty. The bare minimum is one year but we sometimes see two or three years or even warranty for life!

Streaming Routers FAQ

Here’s what people have been wanting to know about routers for streaming.

How do I know how much speed to look for in a router?

The key thing to consider when answering this question for yourself is your internet plan. You’re never going to get any more speed than the speed cap your internet service provider has given you. So make sure you know what that is before you buy!

Also, for streaming, consider how many people will be streaming at the same time and what kind of quality people will be streaming in. The bandwidth required overall will be a good indicator of the kind of router or internet plan you need.

How can I get faster internet for more streaming?

If you’re not getting the streaming performance you desire, there are a few tips you can check out to try to get a bit more juice from your network.

Check out our guide to improving your home internet speed, and you’ll hopefully see a performance improvement.

Do I need any other hardware for my internet connection?

To get online and streaming with any of these routers, you’ll also need a modem if you’re logging in with a cable connection. But don’t worry, because we’ve got a guide to those as well. Check out the best modems here.

Final Thoughts on Routers for Streaming

Streaming is all about speed and perhaps connectivity to multiple devices if you want many people to be able to stream simultaneously. And our top picks have got these things in abundance!

With our seven, you should be able to find the perfect router for you based on your situation. Of course, our top pick overall was the ASUS RT-AX3000, but that’s not a blanket statement for everyone.

Nonetheless, you should have all the info you need to get an awesome router for the best streaming experience. Enjoy!

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment