Tri-band routers are becoming more common, because they allow you to stream to your devices more efficiently.
But since these are still relatively new devices, what are the best tri-band routers out there?
All tri-band routers come with a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands, but beyond that, there are many factors to consider, including the size of your home, your budget, and what you are doing online.
You should not buy a Tri-band router without taking a look at its reliability and its features. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.
How Does A Tri-Band Router Work?
A Tri-band router works by increasing your overall maximum bandwidth. There are three bands that will increase the overall speed of your router.
It increases the speed of uploads and downloads across the network, making streaming smooth and quick.
It is made up of a single 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands that work together to increase the overall bandwidth.
The added bands bring in more input over a shorter period of time than a dual-band router can provide. The router is hosting two separate 5 GHz networks at the same time, letting you divide up your streaming devices between them.
Benefits Of Using A Tri-Band Router
The best tri-band wireless router is simply faster than a single-band or a dual-band router. Because the amount of bandwidth is essentially tripled, the amount of time that it takes to upload or download something is dramatically less.
This is ideal for streaming, where download speeds will make or break your viewing experience. It also will make it easier to have more than one device streaming at the same time, because the speeds are so much higher.
Remember that the tri-band router is still limited by your internet package, but it will open up the network to allow more data to come in at the same time before it is distributed among your devices.
7 Best Tri-Band Routers (2021)
1. Netgear R8000
2. Netgear RAX200
3. Linksys EA8300
4. Asus ROG GT
5. Gryphon AC3000
6. TP-Link C5400X
7. Netgear X10
1. Netgear Nighthawk R8000 WiFi Router
Best Tri-Band Router (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best tri-band router is the Netgear Nighthawk R8000P. This powerful router comes with a lot of great features that will not disappoint you.
The design of the R8000P is different than the average router in that it has six external antennas coming out of it, making it take up quite a bit of room.
The antennas can be pointed in the directions that you want. The biggest downside to its design is that it is so large that it takes up a lot of space. There are four high-speed 1G wired connections available as well.
They can help you wire in your devices directly to the router rather than relying on the wireless bands.
The Nighthawk R8000P uses both Smart Connect and the Circle App. The Smart Connect gives you direct connection to your router’s activity while the Circle App is there to help you manage parental controls. They are both incredibly useful.
The R8000P can reach up to 3,500 square feet in coverage, which is well above what the average home network needs. The speed is great, working over three bands to give you a combined total of 4,000 Mbps, as long as your internet package allows for it.
There is heavy-duty streaming on board with 4K Ultra-HD. This is our favourite tri-band partly because of the speeds that you can get from each band.
The router comes with MU-MIMO technology and supports up to 55 devices. MU-MIMO allows you to stream without interruptions, delays, or signal drops. Having 55 devices supported makes this ideal for smart homes or if you are planning on making your house a smart home.
2. Netgear Nighthawk RAX200 WiFi Router
All routers from the Nighthawk line are impressive and high quality, and this one is no exception.
The RAX200 has a bit of an unconventional design. It has fins instead of antennas. Within the fins are 8 amplified antennas that help to boost the signal of the router to reach even farther.
The fins emit a power radio signal that will cover the entirety of your network. The downside is that it is huge and awkward to position, so it is impossible to conceal if you wanted to.
The RAX200 has a lot of security features, including a built-in firewall, VPN, and guest WiFi access, making it easy to protect your network. It supports WPA2 wireless security protocols as well if you were interested in that.
The RAX200 comes with a 64 bit, 1.8 GHZ quad-core processor. Its tri-band capabilities boast of 1.2 + 4.8 + 4.8 Gbps.
You are also looking at up to 11 Gbps, which is impressive, so long as you have an internet package with your ISP that supports it. Regardless, you will not see any lagging with this router and it is made to handle anything that you need it for.
You will also get Beamforming+, MU-MIMO, and dynamic QoS, making it ideal for a network that has a lot of streaming going on. It also supports WiFi 6, which has been redesigned to meet the needs of the modern network.
Generally, this is one of the most powerful routers on the market and certainly the most-powerful tri-band router you can get.
3. Linksys EA8300 Tri-Band Router
Are you working within a budget? If yes, we suggest the Linksys Tri-Band router for your budget-friendly router option.
Even though it is a little less expensive than other routers, you will not be disappointed to find that it has all of the features that you really want from your router.
Like the majority of tri-band routers, the Linksys Tri-Band EA8300 is a huge router. On the plus side, it does sit flat on a table, desk, or shelf, which is still helpful.
Yet, the antennas stand completely straight up. You get 4 multi-directional antennas that are high-gain and powerful.
The router has 4 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports to allow you to wire in any devices that you would like to. There is also a USB 3.0 port for ultra-fast speeds.
For a budget friendly router, the Linksys Tri-Band EA8300 still has incredible performance. To begin with, this router supports over 20 wired devices connected at the same time, which is perfect for the average modern home.
It also can cover up to 2,000 square feet in range, using its high gain antennas. That should cover the average network.
The router can reach speeds up to 2.2 Gbps using the tri-band capability. You will also find that it has MU-MIMO technology on board as well as 4K HD streaming. That will make streaming or gaming on this router incredibly easy.
The Linksys Tri-Band EA8300 router also has Airtime Fairness, which will ensure an equitable distribution of WiFi to different devices. This can help reduce lag overall, especially if another device begins to stream while you are in the middle of streaming.
4. Asus ROG Rapture AX11000 Router
Tri-Band Router For Gaming
There are also routers that are built specifically for gaming, even among the tri-band choices.
For networks that have a high amount of gaming activity, we recommend the Asus ROG Rapture AX11000.
It is important to remember that this router is made for gaming. That means that every part of its design was created for the purpose of gamin. Its shape is entirely unique and very large.
Like the other routers that we have looked at, this one takes up a lot of space on your desk.
The router does sit flat on a surface and has 8 high-powered antennas, extending from every side of the router.
This makes the reach more impressive. The router also has a 2.5 G gaming port, which allows for ultimate, high-speed performance. Add that to the Asus AiProtection security and you will find that this router has thought of everything.
Finally, the design of the Gaming Center interface is ROG-themed, which provides an easy point-and-click control over everything that you need to set up or do with your router. This is completely ideal for gamers.
The AX11000 offers triple level game acceleration as well as game package and game server prioritization.
The triple-level acceleration will boost game traffic while lowering the ping rate and reducing the game latency, for an overall better experience. This is a great choice if you or anyone within your network does a high amount of gaming.
All of those great gaming features do carry over for reliable and fast connectivity to your TV. You should be able to have no interference when it comes to streaming as long as you use the tri-band well.
5. Gryphon AC3000 Mesh Tri-Band Router
Last, but not least, we are going to look at the best tri-band wireless router for extended coverage. For this, we recommend the Gryphon AC3000.
It is a different kind of router as well, with options that you won’t find with other routers.
The Gryphon router is white and stands vertically, which will keep the router cooler while making it easier to blend in. This is a huge advantage over the other routers that we have looked at.
The antennas on this high performance router are all internal, so there are no unsightly antennas poking out anywhere.
The set up for this router is simple and straightforward, so you should be up and running in no time at all. It is also simple to add on new Gryphon routers to extend the coverage as far as you need it to go.
It does come with security features as well, including malware detection and reliable content filtering.
The Gryphon comes with tri-band radio, including a 2.4 GHz band and 2 5 GHz bands, which will keep traffic flowing steadily on your network, without interruptions.
It also has 4x4 MU-MIMO technology, making it easier for more than one user to stream at the same time without interruption.
The router covers up to 3,000 square feet, supplying signal as far as you need it. But, the Gryphon also works as an expandable mesh system, so the more Gryphon routers you add, the further your signal will be able to go.
It does not need more than one device to get to 3,000 square feet in coverage, but really, the sky is the limit with coverage as long as you are willing to purchase more units.
6. TP-Link Archer C5400X Tri-Band Router
If you are in the market for a high performance gaming router, take a look at the TP-Link Archer C5400X. This router is really unique on the market and has a lot of features and designs that make it stand apart from the rest.
The design of the C5400X is fun, although it is quite large. The router is red and black, making it more attractive than the average router. It also comes with 8 high-beam antennas to reach every device in your network. There are 8 Gigabit LAN ports as well.
The design is awkward and impossible to conceal, due somewhat to the amount of antennas as well as the bright red colour. Inside of the router, you will see that it has a 1.8 Ghz 64-bit quad-core CPU to accelerate your load time.
This is a high performance router that was built for serious gamers. This works through dynamic optimization prioritizes that eliminates latency.
This will allow you to indicate which devices should have the strongest signal, keeping you from losing an online battle when someone else starts streaming on your bandwidth.
The RangeBoost feature within the router increases the router’s overall range as well as the strength of the reception itself. The router also comes with MU-MIMO technology as well as AirTime Fairness to increase the total throughput and response rates.
7. Netgear Nighthawk X10 Tri-Band Router
One of the top high performance tri-band routers on the market is the Netgear Nighthawk X10. This router is built for performance and will not disappoint you.
The Nighthawk X10 has a futuristic design, with four large antennas that stick up from the back. It rests horizontally and could not be turned upright at all. The router also comes with 6 Ethernet ports, allowing you to connect just about any device that you would like to.
Also included in the design are the USB connections that will allow you to share a storage drive with another device, like a printer. It is designed to support 802.11ad WIFI standard as well.
Looking at the X10’s performance, you will find that the router offers up to 2500 square feet of wireless coverage with high speeds. The router has a 1.7GHz quad-core processor as well as 4 amplified antennas, Beamforming +, and MU-MIMO technology. To put it simply: this router is made to perform.
The 4K streaming support that you get from this router will help ensure that any content that you are streaming will not be interrupted by a computer issue. The MU-MIMO technology will ensure that your content will be delivered at the high speed that you are looking for, as long as your ISP will allow it.
What's The Difference Between Single-Band vs. Dual-Band vs. Tri-Band Routers?
What Is A Wireless Band
A wireless band is how your data travels. They use radio frequencies that carry your data from your device back to the router and so on.
Just like with radio stations, the larger bands travel faster, but at shorter distances, whereas the smaller bands have bigger range and travel slower.
Single-band routers utilize the 2.4 GHz band. This band is found on all wireless routers and is used most frequently.
Because it is so heavily used and the range on it is larger, it is congested more often than the 5 GHz band. Single-band routers are ideal for networks that only do browsing, checking email, looking at photos, or even just chatting online.
If your network does any kind of heavy streaming or file transfers, you are more likely to find yourself frustrated with the lags and buffering you get from a single-band router.
Dual-band routers have become the standard for home networks. In addition to the 2.4 GHz band, they also have the 5 GHz band.
The 5 GHz band is less congested than the 2.4 GHz band is, because it cannot travel as far, so you are not going to interfere with someone else on the same radio wave. 5 GHz is necessary for large file transfers, online streaming, and online gaming.
Because the band moves faster, your data will be transmitted to your device faster. The device does need to be in range of the router to keep the signal, however.
A tri-band router is the ultimate option in home networking. It has one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. This allows you to put more of your streaming devices on the 5 GHz band, dividing them up between the two bands.
It allows your router to take in more input quicker, giving you faster data transfer. Since it operates with minimal interference, you will have the maximum amount of data flux you can get.
This means no lagging or interference. If you think about it, a tri-band router gives you three times the amount of bands and bandwidth as a single-band router.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Tri-Band Wireless Router
Internet Speed Package
You pay your ISP a certain amount each month for a certain amount of internet speeds. Your router will never be able to go any faster than the speeds that you are paying for.
That means that while you might prefer to have 1 Gbps download speeds from your router, if you do not have that kind of speed from your ISP, you will never get it. So, don’t pay more for high speeds you cannot use.
What You Do Online
Think about what you do online. Some people simply browse, check their email, or chat on social media, while others play online games while streaming movies online. What you do online affects your speeds dramatically.
Think about what you need from your router before you commit to one over another. Part of this could mean MU-MIMO tech that is there to help you stream, but there are other features out there as well. Pay attention.
House Size & Obstacles
Your house size also matters. Some routers only have limited coverage and work better for apartments, while other routers have extended range that can reach anywhere in your home.
Also, the amount of walls and objects in your space can interfere with your router’s range, especially if they are brick or concrete walls. Make sure the router that you are buying can reach your whole network by checking the range listed.
Number Of Connected Devices
The number of connected devices that you have also will affect the router that you should choose. As we move toward smart homes, it should come as no surprise that the number of connected devices that we have is going up all of the time.
When you are looking for a new tri-band router, you will need to confirm that mount of devices that it is approved to support. Some routers can only manage 10 devices, while others can handle 50. The amount that you need will depend on your network.
WiFi Standards (AC vs AD vs AX Routers)
With every new wireless standard that is introduced, the speeds for WiFi increase. The current standard is the 802.11ac, which uses the 5 GHz band exclusively. It allows your entire network to be connected at the best speeds possible.
The 802.11ad standard looks to deliver incredibly fast WiFi speeds over a shorter distance. The 802.11ax router standard is even faster than the 802.11ac is.
The new band offers the Mu-MIMO technology and is compatible with the previous WiFi standards. The 802.11ad does not allow backward compatibility, however. This all just means that you will need to confirm the modem before going forward with anything,
5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz WiFi Band - Which One Is Better For What?
The 2.4 GHz band has shorter, slower waves, but can travel at greater distances. The 5 GHz band is much faster, but cannot travel as far. The 2.4 GHz is perfect for devices that will handle the browsing or checking email.
The 5 GHz band is a better choice if you are streaming or gaming online. It will increase your speeds well, but its range is not as good as the 2.4 GHz. Your router will need to be centralized to the devices that will be on the 5 GHz band.
It is important to stream from the 5 GHz band to get the most speed possible.
The best tri-band router that you can get is the Netgear Nighthawk R8000P. The router works with Smart Connect and the Circle App to give you heightened security.
It also has six external antennas that allow you to help spread the signal out evenly throughout your network.
You have probably noticed that the vast majority of tri-band routers are bigger in size than dual-band routers, but do not let this dissuade you from buying one.
If the Netgear Nighthawk R8000P is not the right choice for you, you could go with something that has higher performance, like the Netgear Nighthawk RAX200.
Remember to take into consideration the size of your home, the amount of connected devices, and what you are doing online.
A tri-band router is always going to have more power than you will get from a dual-band, but you still need to think about what else you would like from your router.