Best router for 4K streaming – 2021 buyer’s guide

Modern 4K TVs are internet-enabled. That means you can stream UHD content directly from apps without using things like Blu-Ray players. But 4K streaming is different from HD streaming.

You need a high-performance router to ensure a smooth experience. Technically, your internet speed depends on the bandwidth given to you by your ISP.

Since you need at least 25Mbps to stream 4K content, getting the best router for 4K streaming is one way to ensure higher speeds.

internet surfingYour Wi-Fi router plays a significant role in ensuring you have a fast and stable internet connection for 4K streaming. Nowadays, routers come with many standards that improve the performance of the devices.

For example, some come with the 802.11ac wireless standard, which helps to boost Wi-Fi speed and provide broader connectivity. In simple terms, if you do not have the best router for 4K streaming, it will affect how you watch content on the UHD TV.

Can you stream 4K over Wi-Fi?

4K content has a lot of data. When streaming videos, you need consistent network access. A slight interference will cause problems and ruin your viewing experience.

If you are thinking of streaming over Wi-Fi, the quality of your equipment and the signal strength at your TV’s receiving location must be high.

Ideally, you can only achieve this if the connection is 5 GHz 802.11 ac, and the router has 4×4 antennas. Also, you need to ensure your TV is near your Wi-Fi so that it can get a good connection.

But if you have a top-notch router and you are having problems with the wireless network, you will have to use Ethernet to watch 4K videos.

Things to consider when buying a router for 4K streaming

Before you buy the best wireless router for 4K streaming, you must consider the following factors.

  • AC1600+ Technology – The best modem router combo for 4K streaming with AC1600+ technology provides more bandwidth that ensures seamless watching of high-quality content.
  • QoS – Quality of Service is a feature that prioritizes your applications depending on the ones that need the highest amount of bandwidth. With 4K, the router will prioritize UHD content over any other HD video on a smartphone connected to the same network.
  • Beamforming Technology – The technology works by sending narrow and focused signals to your 4K TV instead of spreading it in all directions from the broadcast antenna. That helps the device to receive concentrated, faster, and more reliable signals when streaming.
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Best wireless router for 4K streaming in 2021

Here are the best 4K streaming and gaming routers:

RouterSpeedCoverage
(Sq. ft)
Ethernet
ports
(Gigabit)
Price
Netgear Nighthawk
Pro XR500

*best overall*
800 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
1733 Mbps (5 GHz)
2,5004
Netgear Nighthawk
X4S
800 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
1733 Mbps (5 GHz)
2,5004
D-Link DIR-867 450 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
1300 Mbps (5 GHz)
2,0004
TP-Link Archer C7 450 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
1300 Mbps (5 GHz)
2,0004
Asus RT-ACRH12
*cheapest*
300 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
867 Mbps (5 GHz)
1,5004

1. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Wi-Fi Router

router 4k streaming
The Netgear XR500 is a high-performance, well-engineered Wi-Fi router for online gamers that stream on 4K sets.

The router comes with AC2600 dual-band technology that delivers fast speeds of up to 2.6 Gbps matched with multi-user capabilities.

That is enough to ensure video streaming does not slow down Wi-Fi speeds. Furthermore, the unit has a powerful 1.7GHz processor that maintains consistent and reliable Wi-Fi speed to prevent interference when watching UHD content.

Some of the top features of the router include:

  • Four LAN ports and one WAN port
  • Four high-performance antennas
  • Dynamic 15 extra 5GHz channels
  • 11ac wireless compatibility
  • QoS
  • Geo-filter
Pros
  • Its security features protect network identity and prevent DDoS attacks
  • Ideal for fast-paced gaming and high-quality streaming
  • A powerful processor that offers an interference-free performance
  • Helps to keep pings consistent when in use
Cons
  • Weak parental control options

The Netgear XR500 is the best router for streaming 4K content because of its powerful processor, reliable 2.6Gbps connection, and top-notch Quality of Service.

2. Netgear Nighthawk X4S Smart Wi-Fi Router (R7800)

router 4k
The Netgear X4S is a 4K wireless router that boasts unmatched processing power and the fastest gaming performance. 

The router features superior Wi-Fi technology that delivers wireless connections to multiple devices simultaneously at the fastest speed rates of up to 2.53Gbps.

Its 160MHz bandwidth helps to ensure low-ping and that you get the best stream quality, especially when playing video games or watching 4K content.

The device also features dynamic QoS that prioritizes applications to ensure only 4K videos get the highest bandwidth. Other features include:

  • 7GHz dual-core processor
  • Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice commands
  • 4 x 1G Ethernet ports
  • 2 x 3.0 USB ports
  • 1 x eSATA ports
  • Dual-band up to 800 + 1733 Mbps
  • Four amplified antennas
  • Beamforming and MU-MIMO technologies

If streaming movies on 4K is your priority, and you need the best wireless connection, the Netgear X4S Smart Router is what you need.

3. D-Link DIR-867 AC1750 Wi-Fi Router

router
The D-Link DIR-867 AC1750 is a high-speed dual-band wireless router for multiple simultaneous connections. It is also an advanced Wi-Fi router for streaming HD video.

With the D-Link, you are getting a powerful Wi-Fi performance to ensure that you can stream 4K multimedia without interruption.

The device delivers fast wired and wireless speeds of up to 1750 Mbps (450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band).

Also, it has optimized antennas that offer wider coverage and support 3×3 data streams to ensure increased throughput.

Some top features of the device include:

  • 4 high-performance antennas
  • Dual-core processor
  • MU-MIMO technology for synchronous streaming on multiple devices
  • Intelligent QoS for traffic optimization
  • WPA/WPA2 Encryption protocols
  • Beamforming technology to improve wireless coverage
Pros
  • Offers better parental control options for filtering unwanted content
  • Easy to set up using its intuitive user interface
  • Allows multiple devices to receive high-bandwidth wireless signals
  • Its ports can attain 1GB speeds
Cons
  • Suffers from connection drops
  • Can be challenging to change subnet masks

The D-Link DIR-867 AC1750 router delivers reliable and powerful wireless performance for users that need faster Wi-Fi speeds for both online gaming and 4K UHD streaming.

4. TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router

router 4k streaming
The TP-Link Archer C7 is one of the fastest Wi-Fi routers for streaming movies in 4K. It supports the 802.11ac wireless standard, which is three times faster than the 802.11n standard.

As a dual-band gigabit wireless internet router, the unit offers simultaneous connections on the 2.4 GHz band at speeds of 450 Mbps and 5 GHz band at speeds of 1300 Mbps.

The total available bandwidth is 1.75 Gbps, which is enough to reduce buffering and stream 4K content without interference.

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Some features of the unit are:

  • Three external antennas for long-range Wi-Fi
  • Four Gigabit LAN ports
  • Integrated USB port
  • TP-Link Tether app
  • 64/128-bit WEP, WPA /WPA2, WPA-PSK/ WPA2-PSK encryption
  • Supports IPv4 and IPv6 protocols
  • QoS
Pros
  • Easy to set up and manage using the tether app
  • Provides secure wireless access for guest networks
  • Ideal for high-traffic internet activities
  • Offers better wireless coverage in rooms of up to 2500 square feet
Cons
  • Suffers constant crashes even after software updates
  • Fails to maintain consistent internet connections as you add more devices to the network

The TP-Link Archer A7 gives you the best value for your money because it delivers an excellent mix of features, reliability, and performance for your wireless network needs.

5. Asus RT-ACRH12 AC1200 Wi-Fi Router

router
The Asus RT-ARCH12 is a dual-band wireless router that offers smooth streaming of 4K content. It can reach speeds of up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band.

Although the speeds are not as high as those of its competitors on this list, they are decent enough to give you fast wireless performance, especially when streaming HD movies on one device.

Features available in the unit include:

  • 4 x Gigabit LAN ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 11ac wireless standard
  • QoS
  • Four external high-performance antennas
  • VPN server
Pros
  • Easy to set up your network and customize user access
  • Offers an encrypted connection to browse the web
  • Has the best control and optimization options for setting up and monitoring your network
Cons
  • Poor customer support from the device manufacturer
  • Its speeds may not be enough for 4K streaming if more devices use the same network

Although the Asus RT-ARCH12 router may not have high-end specs as other devices, it offers excellent and consistent performance on connected devices.

Conclusion

Since 4K videos have lots of data, you need the best router for 4K streaming. Your router should have the highest speeds to prevent interference and ensure smooth viewing.

Go for a dual-band device that comes with the 802.11 ac wireless standard. It is also helpful to choose a unit that has Quality of Service because it will prioritize applications to ensure only 4K videos get the highest bandwidth.

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