You should read more than one byte at a time. It's not particularly dangerous, and works just fine. A buffer size of 1500 is good, since it tends to match the maximum TCP/IP frame size. Sockets have timeouts, so worst case your program will pause waiting for the remote end, but that'll happen for a one-byte read just as often, so it's not a problem that you're avoiding.
Note that a read on a socket for more data than is available won't stall. If you issue a read for 1500 bytes but there's only 100 available, you'll get 100 back, barring really bizarre OS