Optimal Wi-Fi Router


Hello. I am seeking the best Wi-Fi router reasonable money ($500 or less) can buy;
Home music and video streaming.
Typical data consumers: Netflix (up to 4K), Amazon Prime (up to 4K), Auralic Aries, Sonos, various iPads and Android devices.

I currently have Nighthawk® X4S R7800 that is about 1.5 years old; recently I am suspecting issues with it; it MAY just be 100% fine, not sure. My test is to buy a really good Wi-Fi router and see if my overall Streaming issues disappear.

I did some basic research and this seems to float to the top:

NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ac/ad Quad-Stream WiFi Router, 1.7GHz Quad-core Processor, Plex Media Server, Compatible with Amazon Alexa (R9000)

Please let me know if this is good enough.


Do you have that many wifi devices that you need a quad channel router? I wouldn’t run plex on a router, a NAS with the appropriate processor for hardware transcoding, yes.

I love my Synology 2600 router for its optional device level QOS and great VPN. Wifi was alright on it but my space wasn’t that large so I had great coverage every where.


Hi Dave:

I think the option is purely depending on how many devices you will have to connect to the WiFi network at same time and also how big your house it. If the house is big then a faster router wont really help, you will need to setup the home network with multiple access point to cover area with weak signal, it will requests some setup to make it work perfectly.

If you have a not so big house but with a lot of devices connecting to WiFi at same time (say more than 20), then a faster router will work great. However I would not recommend to buy the latest model (or when the model come out within 6 months) since the router firmware maybe not stable and have bug that will bring some trouble.


My experience with all in one wifi routers has been less than stellar and the wifi output inconsistent.

As with hifi audio, you get the best results with separates. Modem, wired router connected to a capable switch (I use Cisco 300 series), wireless access point(s) (I use Cisco again but there are cheaper options - like the every popular Ubiquiti).

An access point can be placed in the best spot in your house and you can fine tune the wireless signal - transmission power, channel, channel width as well as more esoteric settings - in a reliable way.

So my suggestion - instead of upgrading your router - is to disable the wifi and deploy an access point (or several) and fine tune the settings until you achieve the desired results.

A new router will offer no benefits in terms of wifi coverage or basic internet connectivity. The new wifi standards are not compatible with your Aries, Alexa is a gimmick and whatever extra processing power/extra memory would only be useful if you want to run plex on your router, UPnP, Open VPN etc.

I have to add, however, that since the generation 5 and newer 6 firmware, I have pretty much stopped using my Aries because it has become next to useless. As others report - it needs to be restarted on a regular basis (where before I would keep it on 24/7 and never had a glitch), playback stops in the middle of a track, it keeps disconnecting from Roon and mine is hardwired to my Cisco switch, as it has been from day one.

I personally suspect foul play to make you upgrade to one of the new (and ridiculously expensive) products. Or put it this way: a new firmware optimised for the latest generation. In my view it is clearly a case of a new firmware (and as per the company policy I am stuck with it) rendering my player obsolete. Which is why I am selling mine and looking for alternatives.


@gurux thanks. I am running with wired connection without issue. The audio performance is superb. It’s hard to imagine how the newer G1 or G2 could improve. I was ready to give up altogether and go back to spinning CD’s. For me a dedicated ETH cable is the only way to roll.


Correct, for best sound ethernet is always the way to go but, even so, I have ongoing problems with the new firmwares.

If possible do the same with your video streaming devices - a small switch next to your rack, connected with an ethernet cable to your router, should do the trick.


@Gurux yes; I have the Sony PS4 wired to 10/100/1000 Switch (same switch that is now feeding the Aries). I reverted the Aries to the LAST stable version (not BETA);

Have you considered Lumin?


My first choice would be Moon Neo Mind2 - I have had the older generation in the past and only let it go because of Roon compatibility. I don’t need an analogic output, only AES/EBU and in my experience (which is relative to one’s system and personal preference) Mind performs better than Aries while it is reasonably priced (less so now, the old Mind was 900£ or so).


I would keep the router and buy an access point from Ubiquiti UniFi. But it must be connected via LAN.

I switched all devices to Ubiquiti.

Greetings Simply