Airport Extreme or the competition?

tejota1911

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 10, 2006
283
33
I just replaced my Time Capsule with the latest AC version. After having it for about a week, I started wondering if I should have given a look at the other high-end wireless routers that are on the market now. I'm not against losing the internal HDD of the TC and using an external for backups. I've read a bunch of reviews on the latest routers, but specifically, I'm wanting to hear from people who have personal experience with the AC Airport Extreme/Time Capsule and wireless routers such as the Netgear R7000, R7500, R8000, the Linksys WRT1900AC, EA8500, etc, and the ASUS RT-AC87U, RT-AC68U, etc. I realize reviews can vary widely based on the test environment and firmware used. I'm looking for some real-world reviews here. Did you find them to provide faster speeds and greater range than the Apple product, or were there stability issues, etc? I have used Apple routers for a while now, but I'm not opposed to switching if there is a significant difference in speed and range. I will probably end up buying a few different models, update them to latest firmware, test in my home, make my decision. That being said, I value your input and knowledge.

Environment: 3 Story Townhouse ~2000sq.ft. Router on middle floor.
I have a mix of g, n, and ac devices connected. Approx 15 in total.
50Mbps Internet connection. Roughly 30 other wireless networks within range of my iMac.

The Time Capsule is currently covering the entire home, but I have some weak spots, and frankly I'm not very impressed with it's AC range. It seems a lot of my AC devices switch back to n pretty easily.

Thoughts?
 
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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
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Elkton, Maryland
@tejota1911 Some of the Netgear and ASUS AC routers will have higher benchmarks and range, however I have never had any issues with the reliability of the Apple AirPort routers. For the absolute best wireless network, I recommend the Ubiquiti UniFi APs especially in a large home or building.
 

tejota1911

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 10, 2006
283
33
Well, I went ahead and purchased the Linksys WRT-1900AC. I updated it to the latest firmware, and its been running solid thus far. I like the customization that it has, compared to the Time Capsule, and its wireless signal is significantly better on the 5GHz band. I was able to purchase the WRT-1900AC for $199 from Best Buy, after price matching and using a coupon that I had. I put the difference(TC return was $299) towards an external drive to use for TM backups. So far I'm happy with the setup. Time will tell.
 

tejota1911

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 10, 2006
283
33
@tejota1911 That is a solid router that I am sure you will be happy with. Report back with any issues...

Well, I started having some issues with the WRT1900AC. The 5GHz band would occasionally drop out, and I would have to reboot the router to get it back. Also, I would notice it would lag/hang sometimes when I would be web browsing. So, I exchanged it for the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router. I have been using the EA8500 for the past couple days and, so far, I'm happy with it. My iMac has been consistently connecting at higher speeds than it did with the WRT1900AC and everything has been going smoothly. I haven't experienced any drop outs or lagging and I have a strong signal throughout my entire house. Hopefully, it will prove to be reliable.