Best Router for 4K Streaming

Do you know that if you’re looking for the best router for 4k streaming, you need a router that performs great since 4K content needs at least 25Mbps to stream? You might think that a cheap and low-performance router would be adequate. However, you must also consider that many other devices also need fast connections. 

Getting a capable router is crucial for your smooth and lag-free 4K video and TV streaming. There are a lot of routers in the market that can provide speedy connections to your devices, but technically it; ‘s limited to the bandwidth of your subscription to the ISP. We have researched extensively to come up with a few recommended routers, but generally, you have to consider a few factors before deciding to buy one.

The router must at least have a technology of AC1600 or bigger to ensure seamless 4K streaming. QoS (Quality of Service) is a feature necessary for prioritizing applications such as 4K streaming over other applications on devices connected to the network. Another feature you need to consider in your chosen router is beamforming technology. Beamforming ensures signals are focused on a device streaming 4K content instead of spreading the signals in various directions.  

Here are our recommended routers for 4k streaming.

TP-Link AX5400 WiFi 6 Router (Archer AX73)

As one of the top router manufacturers, TP-Link produces several WiFi 6 routers of different capacity levels. The TP-Link Archer AX73 fills the gap between a lower capacity Archer AX50 and the slightly better performing Archer AX6000. 

The AX73 has a new look with a stylish shiny island on top. Six antennas surrounding half of its perimeter add up to the aggressive look of the dual-band router. If you don’t really care about a router’s look, then the AX73 doesn’t just have a look; it also serves as a typical WiFi 6 router. And that is what matters to most – a high-level performance suitable for streaming 4K content.

The Archer AX73 package includes a version of TP-Link’s HomeShield suite so that you can unlock great features such as QoS, parental control to manage teenagers’ internet addiction, and data security from harmful viruses and malware attacks. However, the standard package provides limited functionality. For a small cost of $5.99 per month, a subscription to HomeShield Pro will unlock the full features. 

Some people prefer to buy a router that comes with the highest specifications. A new buyer upgraded to the Archer AX73, replacing an AX50 router. Later, he found that the AX73 was an indeed upgraded version of the AX50. Then, it performed far better in all divisions, power, speed, reliability, and broader coverage. 

Pros:

  • Modern and stylish design.
  • Equipped with the highly acclaimed 160MGz channel width.
  • TP-Link’s web interface provides several useful settings.
  • Can mount on a wall to save some space.

Cons:

  • WiFi speeds working at the 5MHz band fluctuate occasionally.
  • Can unlock advanced features only at an additional cost.

In conclusion, the TP-Link Archer Ax73, while far from perfect like its rivals, is an excellent option for homeowners needing a decent router for a medium house. It’s an affordable router worth buying if you don’t need the extra luxury features offered by the mobile app.

TP-Link Archer A8 and Archer A7 – a Comparison

While being one of the top manufacturers of routers, TP-Link still produces affordable devices. Cheap does not always mean low quality and capability since TP-Link makes many affordable routers that perform decently. The Archer A8 and A7 are two of the best examples of it. These routers offer decent power, speed, reliability, and several outstanding features so that you can enjoy streaming 4K videos and TV without breaking your bank.

TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A8)

The TP-Link Archer A8 is one of the most popular routers, liked by many for its excellent overall features and low price. If it were a movie star, it’d be like James Stewart, who presented a wholesome image. The dual-band wireless router even looks like a regular router with a glossy plastic design and three fixed vertical antennas. 

Don’t let the low price deceive you. The A8 is packed with stunning features normally present in high-end routers. It has four Gigabit LAN ports for direct device connections and a WAN port for the internet connection. Giving a total network speed of 1,900 Mbps, its embedded MU-MIMO technology makes it perform faster and smoother when you have many connected online devices. It also boasts Beamforming technology that can steer the wireless beam to specific connected devices instead of spreading it in all directions.

A retired IT professional bought the Archer A8 to replace the router supplied by the internet provider. He had to replace the router since it gave him no option to configure the settings. He also had multiple dropped signals, making streaming 4K content a horrible experience. The A8 seemed to be very stable, and all the family members had no bad experience with dropping signals anymore.   

TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7)

The TP-Link Archer A7 is an older version of the A8. Expectedly, they look exactly the same from the outside. Although not looking as cool as some of the latest routers, it’s pretty small so that you can easily hide it somewhere at your home work station. 

While looking the same as the A8, being an older version, it costs even lower than the already cheap A8. However, for a bargain router, the Archer A7 does a great job of providing a decent internet connection in an apartment or a small house. We consider the A7 is only one step behind the best out there. 

The Archer A7 may not offer many options in customizing the settings, but it has most of the necessary features, such as QoS software, parental controls, and it can work with Alexa. In addition, the A7 is one of the quickest and simplest routers to set up. You can install it through a web interface or utilizing TP-Link’s Tether app. 

 An Archer A7 user tested it for the usual online activities, such as sending emails, streaming 4k content, online gaming, and keeping many devices connected. While giving a total speed of 1,750 Mbps from its dual-band frequency, the 4K video and TV streaming went through lag-free.

Pros and Cons of Archer A7 and A8

Pros:

  • Modern and stylish design.
  • Adequate performance at affordable prices.
  • Easiest and fastest installation process.
  • Two-year warranty.

Cons:

  • Not the best-looking routers.
  • Performance reduced at the more extended range.

In conclusion, both routers offer a good balance of performance, features, and affordability. The A8, being a newer version, albeit costing a little more, performs slightly better in both power and speed. It comes through from the presence of DNS relay, beamforming technology not embedded into the A7. However, the A7 has a consolation by having a USB port to share other useful peripherals such as a printer or a hard disk.

A Comparison of Two Asus WiFi 6 Routers

Asus is well known for manufacturing fast and powerful routers in the medium and high-end sectors. While performing great, Asus routers also look fierce and futuristic. On top of their revolutionary design, these routers commonly boast the latest technology features, such as the next-generation WiFi 6 system. Let’s take a look at ASUS best router for streaming multiple devices and 4K streaming. 

ASUS AX5400 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX82U)

The first thing that would attract most people’s attention to the Asus RT-AX82U AX5400 WiFi 6 router is its revolutionary look. It has a resemblance to a spacecraft fighter, with some fancy lighting at the front. If the look doesn’t really matter to you, the RT-AX82U still performs well and is laden with impressive features. 

Designed with gamers in mind, this router does not necessarily be suitable for gamers only. Online gaming requires routers with pretty high specifications to ensure fast and uninterrupted play. This feature is ideal for almost everything else, such as 4K video and TV streaming, downloading, and uploading large files. Other than gaming features, the RT-AX82U lines up all the features that an Asus router usually has.

The dual-band router can produce speeds of up to 5,400 Mbps. However, without a multi-gig port, you can never get a speed higher than 1 Gbps for any device. The coverage is also great, but nothing to shout about. You can assure of clean non-spot signals for a house of up to 1,800 square feet. If you have a larger home, we recommend getting another router to set up a mesh WiFi network.

If you have many latest devices to connect, you should look for a router with WiFi 6 technology. The Asus RT-AX82U is one of the best WiFi 6 router solutions. However, if you want more speed, its cousin, the Asus RT-AX86U, will give you that. Despite looking so different, the two routers have a lot of similarities, but the RT-AX86U comes at a much higher price tag. 

ASUS AX5700 WiFi 6 Gaming Router (RT-AX86U)

On the outside, the Asus RT-AX86U looks quite different from the Asus RT-AX82U. It’s much more mundane compared to the excitingly futuristic look of the latter. Despite the different looks, both the Asus routers share similar features mostly.

Just like the RT-AX82U, the RT-AX86U has gamer-friendly settings. But it’s also suitable for home users requiring robust internet connections such as 4k TV and video streaming, video conferencing, Zoom meetings, and transferring large files. The developers equipped the router with a 2.5 Gbps WAN/LAN port and a 1.8GHz quad-core processor for speedy and buffer-free gaming and streaming.

As expected for a mid-range router, the RT-AX86U has all the impressive features such as WiFi 6 technology, 160Mhz bandwidth, MU-MIMO, OFDMA, Beamforming, and WPA3 encryption. In addition, it’s also protected with Trend Micro’s AiProtection software, an advanced anti-virus, and malware program. However, it’s priced on the high side, but if you have the budget and want more performance, then it is the router for you to bring home.

Pros and Cons of the Asus RT-AX82U and RT-AX86U

Pros:

  • Eye-catching, modern, and futuristic design.
  • Excellent mobile app.
  • Outstanding performance at close range.
  • Industry-standard security features.

Cons:

  • Unmountable for RT-AX82U, and vertical mount only for RT-AX86U.
  • Questionable performance at long range.

To conclude, both routers are designed with online gaming in mind, but both are not full-fledged gaming routers for the absence of a special VPN for gamers, i.e., WTFast. Actually, the gaming settings are also best for the home’s robust online usage, such as 4K streaming and video conferencing. Sharing similar features, the RT-AX86U is slightly better in performance in all divisions. If you don’t mind spending a little bit more, then the RT-AX86U is your clear choice.  

Netgear is probably your choice of a router if you don’t fancy a TP-Link or an Asus. Here is a look at a Netgear router of about the same price range as the Asus routers above.

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S Smart WiFi Router (R8000P) – AC4000

If you own a lot of online devices at your home, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S R8000P is the best router for streaming multiple devices. Although it’s not embedded with the latest WiFi 6 technology, the tri-band router boasts several setting configurations and relatively powerful performance. Its three radio frequency bands allow for balanced work distribution to avoid overcrowding signals coming from the multiple device connections.

The most prominent feature of the router from the outside are its six retractable antennas folding outwards. The indicator lights seem to be placed awkwardly on a strip across the top part. While not looking as interesting as the Asus routers, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S lays out several functional buttons and ports. It has four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port, two USB ports, and a power on/off switch. 

With three frequency bands, it produces a total network speed of 4,000 Mbps. It also has two features for a router to be relevant for an immersive online experience – Beamforming technology giving directional data beam and MU-MIMO for simultaneous data streaming. 

Pros:

  • Packed with high-end features despite the absence of the latest WiFi 6 technology.
  • Equipped with three frequency bands, with super-fast signals coming from the two 5MHz bands.
  • Multiple settings options from the firmware.
  • Wired LAN aggregation option.

Cons:

  • A little bit expensive for a non-WiFi 6 router
  • File-transfer performance can be better.

In general, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S offers loads of setting options and can provide seamless WiFi signals to a medium-sized house. It doesn’t have all the router bells and whistles, but the network is quite extensive for an average all-in-the-family user. The price is a tad on the expensive side, but you can set up a top speed signal by aggregating two of its LAN ports, which many routers are incapable of.

Conclusion

You need the best router for 4K streaming since 4K content is packed with data. A router used for this purpose must be capable of producing a very high speed to secure smooth, uninterrupted, and buffer-free online viewing. One final piece of advice is to look for a device that has QoS. This feature prioritizes bandwidth to the selected connected device that streams 4K content for maximum effect. 

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