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Thursday April 7, 2016 11:03 am

The best wireless routers for streaming Netflix, Hulu, and more

Linksys WRT1900AC review

Do you love streaming your favorite shows, but run into a certain amount competition and lag around the household? Our modern lives are filled with the ability to stream Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, online games, and much more – but our networks have trouble keeping up, especially when everyone piles on in the evenings. If your router is several years old, it's time to think about a replacement: Today's best wireless routers and gateways are much more advanced and generally useful! So to help keep your network on safe footing, improve security, and give you a performance boost, we have collected the best wireless routers around. These beasts excel at processing data, tracking devices, and give you the features you need to manage your network (and maybe even give your own devices a bit of preference on the side). Take a look at a couple of these powerful routers and what they can do for you.

Linksys WRT AC1900 Smart Router - $178

Linksys has been making intelligent routers for a long time now, but the latest models show off some truly impressive features. Yes, there are four antennae and this router is dual-band, which means you can switch some devices to the short-range 5GHz band if you use a lot of mobile devices and are having problems with interference. However, this also means that Linksys has equipped this router with smart tech that allows it to home in particular devices which are getting a weak signal and spend more time on them, essentially improving their connection to the Internet. Oh, and in case you're wondering what the "AC1900" means, that refers to band speed: The 2.4GHz band offers speeds up to 600Mbps, while the 5GHz band offers speeds up to 1300MBps. Put them together, and you get AC1900. It's not the most useful stat, as you can see (and of course it won't affect your actual bandwidth), but it does give you a snapshot of how powerful the router is.

You can pick up the Linksys WRT1900AC now.

TP-LINK C7 AC1750 review

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 - $94

TP-Link's router is smaller and more suitable for a strict budget than our Linksys recommendation. But don’t get us wrong – this little router is packing a lot of power and includes handy features like guest networking, which allows you to offer Wi-Fi to employees/friends while still staying secure. You just can't use quite as many devices on it as you can on a larger router. Note the speed rating for this model – that does indeed refer to dual-band, which includes 450Mbps for 2.4GHz and 1300MBs for 5GHz, so it's a little slower than the Linksys option, but chances are good you wouldn't notice the difference.

You can pick up the TP-Link Archer C7 now.

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