Is your router capable of handling multiple devices at once? Your answer might be – no, as you don’t have the best-in-class wireless router in your home. I know that when it comes to connecting many devices — your bandwidth-hungry devices — at the same time, things start becoming very challenging for your router. On the other hand, if you’re searching for the best wireless routers for multiple devices, it directly indicates that your home is full of streamers, downloaders, and gamers. And they want nothing but a good internet connection to their devices.
Today, I’ll help you and take you through my list of three best WiFi routers that can handle your various devices with ease. I’ve already upgraded my existing router to a new one, now its your turn to do so. However, you don’t have to waste your time while choosing the one that meets your requirements.
For that, I’ll share my experience with you in order to pick the best one since I’ve been working for networking devices for over a decade. Therefore, you can trust me and let me help you out through this article.
So before we move to the list, let’s understand what some essential features which are responsible for a powerful router are?
It stands for Multi-user, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. It allows routers to reduce the effect of negative WiFi signal reflection. Therefore, it handles multiple devices simultaneously. However, MU-MIMO is not able to send multiple streams in the same direction. For example, let’s say your has four streams; it means your router will send one signal in each of the four dominant directions. That’s why I always advise you to place your router in a central location of your home.
Like MU-MIMO, Beamforming technology also plays a significant role when multiple device connections are our main concern. So beamforming technology focuses a WiFi signal straight to your devices rather than broadcasting in all directions. As a result, a better WiFi signal and reception. So make sure you go for a router that supports beamforming technology.
When the router’s bands are concerned, you have two options: Whether to go for a dual-band router or a tri-band router. Remember, a tri-band router is always expensive than a dual-band router. Let’s talk about them one by one.
A tri-band router broadcasts three signals: two on the 5Ghz frequency bands and one on the 2.4Ghz frequency band. Both bands work together in order to receive data from the devices and transmit data to devices, resulting in a smooth WiFi connection and less interference.
A dual-band router broadcasts only two signals: one the 5Ghz frequency band and one on the 2.4Ghz frequency band. Since a dual-band router lacks a second 5Ghz band, meaning more interference. However, you can set some of the bandwidth-hungry devices to choose the band automatically.
These key factors have been the most crucial ones while choosing the best WiFi router for multiple devices. However, there are some more which you’ll find in the buying guide below.
So without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at my top three multiple devices routers for 2020:
- NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S WiFi Router (R7800)
- Linksys Tri-Band Max-Stream AC2200
- NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 8-Stream WiFi 6 Router (RAX80)
1. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4S (R7800) – Best Overall
My first pick for multiple devices starts with Netgear’s Nighthawk X4s. It is a high-end router and offers a combined total maximum WiFi speeds of up to 2.6Gbps. As a dual-band router, it uses and works on two frequency bands, such as the 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. Moreover, we get a maximum speed of up to 1733Mbps on the 5Ghz and 800Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band. However, the router can’t achieve such speeds in the real world as these are theoretical.
On the hardware side of the router, it includes five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and two fast USB 3.0 ports for sharing content and connecting storage devices. Unlike competitors, it consists of an eSATA port. Moreover, there is a robust 1.7Ghz dual-core processor behind it.
As a powerful processor, it ensures the best performance across all wireless and wired connections. I do trust that the router handles multiple devices simultaneously without any problem as it uses MU-MIMO with the next generation Wave2 technology.
Pros & Cons:
- An excellent WiFi performance with the fastest combined WiFi speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.
- Quad-stream technology with the next generation Wave2 WiFi (MU-MIMO); they work perfectly when it comes to handling multiple devices simultaneously.
- A powerful 1.7Ghz dual-core processor handles heavy-duty tasks and boosts performance while streaming and online gaming.
- The dynamic QoS lets you prioritize network traffic; it comes in handy while connecting multiple devices at the same time.
- Fast 2xUSB 3.0 for sharing files and media content between devices.
I don’t like:
- The LED lights are a bit bright. However, they can be turned off.
The Netgear Nighthawk AC2600 is a perfect router for everyone. It is a mid-range router that offers plenty of advanced features and technologies. Trust me; this router will never disappoint you and handle all of your devices. The Netgear Nighthawk X4s is an excellent option for you if you have a medium or a large home.
2. Linksys Tri-Band EA8300 AC2200 – Multiple Devices Router For Streaming
The Linksys Tri-band Max-stream EA8300 is a router that boasts thousands of features and technologies. It is compatible with MU-MIMO, meaning you will be able to connect multiple devices at the same time. Like Netgear Nighthawk X4s, it also works on two bands: 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. With a clock rate at 716Mhz, it is equipped with a quad-core processor. Theoretically, the router top out maximum WiFi speeds of up to 867Mbps on the 5Ghz band and 400Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band.
The Max-stream EA8300 offers a wide range of ports on the bee router itself is multifunctional, meaning you can use it as a router, a repeater or extender, and an access point. The EA8300 comes in black color and offers a small digital display on the front. The display is responsible for showing the Linksys logo and router’s activity status. It has four external antennas – all are adjustable. Two of its antennas offer dual-band technology while the rest for single-band.
When it comes to setting the device up, it is as simple as plug and play – using its Smart WiFi app. In order to set it, you just need to follow the onscreen prompts, and you’re done. It is quite innovative and informational.
Pros & Cons:
- Excellent WiFi coverage throughout up to 2,000 Sq.ft. and bandwidth for up to 20+ wireless devices.
- It offers maximum tri-band WiFi speeds of up to 2.2Gbps.
- It is MU-MIMO supported thus handles multiple devices simultaneously without any interference.
- A wide range of connectivity options such as an ultra-fast 3.0 USB port and four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.
- It is Alexa Supported. Using the Linksys App, you can access the entire network by using voice commands.
I don’t like:
- Its interface could be improved.
Without saying a word, let me tell you this router is perfect for medium-sized homes. It is affordable, powerful, and offers tons of features. Plus, you don’t have to spend much on this router as it comes under $200. It also features a steering option that allows your router to choose the best band for ultimate performance.
Moreover, there are many ways to customize the home’s network entirely easily. So the Linksys Max-stream EA8300 is my second favorite router for multiple devices, especially for streaming.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk AX8 (RAX80) – Best WiFi6 Multiple Devices Router
The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is a beast in networking devices. It is the only router on my list to support the next 802.11ax wireless standard. The ax wireless standard is four times faster than the previous standard called ac — the other two routers on the list are from the same wireless ac standard — it means, it is four times faster than Linksys Max-stream EA8300 and Netgear Nighthawk X4s. In addition, it features advanced technologies such as OFDMA and MU-MIMO.
The AX8 boasts a powerful quad-core 64-bit 1.8Ghz processor. The processor is primarily designed to transfer huge files and gigabits of data with almost zero CPU load. Netgear also claims that the AX8 is the first home router to use Multi-Gig internet support in the networking industry. Unlike others, the only router — as of the time of writing the article — which offers ultra-fast wireless speeds for better video-conferencing experiences, 8K UHD streaming, and 4K gaming.
When it comes to handling multiple devices at once, it uses up to four simultaneous MU-MIMO WiFi streams, meaning it allows, at the same time, streaming on up to four 1×1 devices. You can connect up to six wired devices to it as it has six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. With the help of a dynamic QoS feature, it ensures smoother streaming and a more reliable WiFi connection between the devices.
Pros & Cons:
- Excellent ultra-fast WiFi performance while 4K/8K streaming and online gaming.
- 4×4 MU-MIMO technology is incredible and allows simultaneous streaming to multiple devices.
- A powerful quad-core 1.8Ghz processor boosts its performance.
- Six Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports are a great plus as they let us connect more wired devices. Port Aggregation is also possible.
- It works with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. I didn’t face any problem while using voice commands.
I don’t like:
- A bit expensive option.
The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is a future-proof and feature-packed router. After upgrading your existing router to AX8, you will see an incredible and up to four times improved network capacity for multiple WiFi devices.
I would love to recommend this router to those who have a very house with multiple floors. Trust me; this router can handle up to 100 and more users with ease.
Buying guide: Factors to be considered before buying any multiple devices WiFi router
Now you have known my top picks for 2020. However, if you are still not sure which one to choose from the list or you don’t know which of them meets your needs, then consider the following factors.
The QoS function or feature directly relates to multiple users and devices. So, please pay attention to it. The QoS feature stands for ‘Quality of Service.’ It helps in prioritizing the network traffic. In other words, we can use it as a network resource to reduce packet loss. Therefore, you can use this feature to manage the entire network’s resources.
CPU & RAM:
It is always better to have a router that boasts a powerful processor and more RAM. For example, the third router on the list — Nighthawk AX8 — has a powerful 1.8Ghz 64bit quad-core processor. Meaning, it can transfer Gigabits of data or large files with almost zero CPU load, and you can enjoy high-speed simultaneous connections such as 4K video streaming and gaming without any interruptions.
Other factors, such as Wireless standards, types, mesh network compatibility, router’s limits, security, LAN ports, USB ports, Apps, are also necessary. However, these features are common, and most modern routers offer them. So we don’t need to think of them. However, I’ve already shared with you the most important factors that relate to multiple device connections.
FAQs: What are the most common questions asked about ‘multiple devices routers, especially in 2020?
1. What is Gigabit WiFI to mobile devices?
The Gigabit WiFi means the fastest maximum possible speeds from your router. For example, The AX8 offers WAN port aggregation and Multi-Gig internet speeds. However, your mobile should be 160Mhz enabled in order to achieve such Gigabit WiFi on your mobile.
2. Do multiple devices affect WiFi performance?
As you know, WiFi shares the internet with the whole network in your home. So connecting multiple devices at the same time to WiFi does slow down the speed. However, in such a case, if connected devices use bandwidth while doing something; as a result, slow WiFi speed.
3. What is the best router for a lot of devices?
Simultaneous multiple device connections have been our main concern these days. And, our existing router can’t handle them as our internet users and usage are growing rapidly day by day. In order to fix this, we have to have a good router in our home that can handle lots of smart devices, which require WiFi, at once, with a consistent WiFi connection.
So today, I’ve recommended three my all times favorite routers for multiple connections. And, you are free to choose any one of them that fits your requirements.