[y] Best Router For Streaming Online Video
Knowing which wireless router to get can be a daunting task. A quick search on amazon gives back 6,726 results for wireless routers! Which router do I need and what is the difference in these routers are the questions this article will help you answer.
A home wireless router is a device that takes the internet connection coming into your home (through a wire) and broadcasts a signal out through the air within a short-range, much like how cell phone receives its signal but on a small scale. Devices that understand the wireless signal can read it and get access to the internet without having a wire plugging directly into it.
Understanding Wi-Fi Routers for Streaming
For streaming content, a wireless router is important if you have multiple TVs or devices across your home that you want to allow access to content. Instead of having to run Ethernet wires throughout the home, you can set up a wireless router in one room and then allow access to the internet streaming content to all devices within range.
The range on wireless routers can vary but will average somewhere around 150 ft. The wall thickness and material may affect this range. It is best to install the wireless router in the center of the home so that the wireless signal can cover all of the homes. Sometimes this may not be possible or you may have a lot of wall material the signal is trying to pass through. In this case, if your signal is weak you can use a wireless repeater.
A wireless repeater or also know as Wi-Fi Range Extender is a device that plugs into a power outlet, connects to your wireless signal, and then rebroadcasts the signal as if it is the wireless router. This gives the signal more strength and should give your devices a stronger signal.
Now, let’s go over some of the most common features on the wireless router and explain the differences between them.
Standards are a standard specification to follow, this way we don’t have different routers on different signals causing all kinds of chaos. There are currently the following standards in order of oldest to newest: a, b, g, n, ac.
AC is the newest standard the basic difference in the standards is how fast and how far they can reach. The standards also my run over different bands. The ac standard only runs over 5GHz whereas n standard runs over 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I have had trouble with some streaming devices trying to run on networks over 5GHz, I am sure as time continues this will get better but because it is so new I recommend running on the n standard for now.
So when buying a wireless router make sure it has at least the n standard, if you get one with ac standard that is ok too it should last you for quite a while.
Dual-Band vs Single Band
As mentioned in the standards section, wireless routers can broadcast their signal over two bands. A dual-band wireless router can broadcast over 2.4GHz and 5GHz were-as a single band router can only broadcast over 2.4GHz band. I recommend for streaming you go ahead and pick up a Dual Band wireless router.
Choose the Best Router
Now that you understand some basics of wireless routers, let’s look at a few that I have personally used and would recommend for streaming content. I would always go with a known brand when choosing a wireless router. The wireless router plays an important role in the “cutting the cord” process. Well, known brands are Linksys, TP-Link, Belkin, Netgear, and D-Link. Any of these brands that have at least the n standard and is Dual Band should work and last you for several years.
A majority of modern wireless routers can handle video streaming. But if you’re searching for the absolute best for your 4K streaming experience, we suggest the Linksys EA8300 Max-Stream router. It has speeds fast enough for streaming, gaming, and additional bandwidth-hogging activities without buffering.
TP-LINK Archer AX6000 – I have set up this wireless router for my in-laws so they could stream amazon videos through their Roku 2. They also connect their smartphones and amazon kindle to the wifi with no problem. When everyone comes over there can be 6 smartphones and the Roku all connected to this router at the same time. I have never had an issue with this. This is the router I had trouble with when broadcasting the 5GHz band. It could have been the Roku but I was having trouble with a laptop as well. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on debugging it so I just disabled and now the Roku and smartphones are connecting great and not dropping the connection.
Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 Wireless Router – The Linksys Max-Stream router is a great balance between reasonable cost and performance. This wireless router will manage 4K streaming and just about everything else you do online. Its network management app lets you prioritize particular devices in your network when you need all your bandwidth to be committed to your family’s binge-watching marathon.