Best Home Router...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by blaine07, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. blaine07 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #1
    Have a POS Netgear X4 router and been looking to upgrade...

    What are you all using?

    Look at the Asus 88u but goodness the price of entry is high.

    Any suggestions? Home has a plethora of Apple and other devices, probably ~20+, all vying for attention and love.

    Thanks,

    Blaine
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #2
    how much square footage you looking to cover? how many stories? coverage into the yard? do you have dead spots now? how much are you willing to spend?

    the ASUS RT-AC68U is also a well considered unit, lower cost but less powerful overall than the one you mentioned.
     
  3. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Ubiquiti Unifi System. They're a little more involved to setup that a conventional router, but they're fantastic systems. You get a lot for your money. Ubiquiti is target more towards prosumer/large home/SOHO/education.

    You can use any router, then install wireless Access Points around your house/building. They look like smoke detectors and are powered by power over Ethernet. You can go all out with a UniFi router and switch, or just plug the wireless AP's into any old router.

    My reccomendation:
    Ubiquiti Unfi UAP-AC-Lite ($75 on Amazon) - probably only need 1-2 depending on the size of your house. The great thing is with these is if you're handy, you can strategically place them throughout your house.

    Hook it/them to your existing router and shut off the Router Wifi. Configure the Unifi Wireless AP(s) for your WiFi. If you're router doesn't have Gigabit Ethernet you probably want a new router- in which case the Ubiquiti Edge (wired) Router is a really good value at $55. You could go with the Unifi router and switch, but that gets much more expensive.

    Ubiquiti also has a new consumer line called Amplifi, which is a MESH network with essentially 3 antennas for $199-349 depending on the power. It's cheaper than all the other consumer MESH systems out there and apparently has better reviews. Definitely worth looking into as well.
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    Asus or Apple (though there being discontinued).
     
  5. nmcdonald macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    #5
    I would take a look at Draytek. They're more aimed at business, but I've had one of their entry-level models for a few years now and it's been the most reliable router I've owned.
     
  6. blaine07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #6
    Morning!

    Alright let me be a little more specific and answer some questions...

    We have about 2000sq foot, across one level.

    We have a 150mb/s download and like 3 upload through local cable company. We do not do a lot of gaming just have a lot of devices vying for access.

    Devices: Apple TV, 5 iPads, 3 phones, MBP, PS4, PS3, 4 DIRECTV boxes, Osram light setup, Chromecast, RaspberryPi, 2 wireless cameras. Wired at unit: TrackPIN, printer, Lowe's Iris, Arlo box and 2 other things I just can't remember what. But have a old router ran as switch off the 4th port for more network ports.

    #1 important things to me about upgrading... between the router and switch I have 3 USB HDDs hooked up. FTP access is very important to me as well as good options for keeping kids from playing iPad in middle of night all night LOL.

    Other things to note... yeah a 88U *might* be over kill for my needs but seems to have a overall good package. I could get rid of second switch and have enough network ports. Netgear has failed me and left me in the dark one too many times. As long as I've owned Netgear, right at a year now, everytime power flashes router looses CFG and acts like it's brand new out of box. Other day router had no lights on and after a hour of jacking with it I presumed it dead...only for it to magically come on.. like it was fresh out of box so I had to reload configuration file. I tried to work with Netgear but they wanted me to pay and I'm sour about it because in my case their hardware has seemed to suck since day one. Router recently can't identify devices on network right. When to block kids ipad by IP other day. Got their ips and blocked them...no biggie. Until I realized my IPP didn't work because somehow it had us assigned to the same IP so I had to figure out what was what by Mac ID. I've tried resetting and reconfiguring manually and wasted HOURS of my time and I refuse to do it any the more. I consciously just cannot recommend netgear routers. It left me in dark, literally, ONE too many times and I won't accept it.

    Seems the ASUS has a good GUI for configuration, and tons of options as far as the kids as well as FTP stuff for me.

    Really leaning towards Asus here. Has great reviews, other than price.

    Also worth noting I don't think current Netgear X4V2 slows down and nor does it have coverage problems for our home. Get full signal throughout.

    Not sure a "mesh" system is right for me but I will certainly due diligence and read up on them. I truly am looking for and needs lots of options.

    What other suggestions, comments or questions?

    Goodnesss that was a lot of typing!

    Thanks for all and any input! (excuse this grammatical unorganized mess, just woke up and not turning on laptop right now )

    Blaine
     
  7. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #7
    I think you've answered your own questions.
    - a single, powerful router provides the coverage and bandwidth you need.
    - ASUS is a better regarded, more reliable brand than Netgear.
    - mesh is a great way to extend range and cover dead spots, you don't need that.
    - you have a LOT of devices and users on that network.

    you should just go for the RT-AC88U. it's drop-in replacement for what you have now. it's not the cheapest option (but also not at all expensive) and you seem to be no stranger to spending money. you also might want to consider a small UPS for your networking gear.
     
  8. blaine07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #8
    Thank you so much for your insight and input.

    At this point it isn't even about the money; it's about ridding myself of the frustration and downtime of this plagued Netgear.

    Yes, I figured this go around I'd get some sort of UPS.

    Good news Amazon can have it all here Saturday lol
     
  9. Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #9
    I know someone on another site who recently bought the AC88U and he runs a large gamut of hardware. It covers it and then some. There's more powerful Asus units if you need it. Could you perhaps break down your current devices, both wired and wireless, and if wireless, what spectrum and wireless type they run on? Also the speed of your internet package. In describing your devices, explain what you use them for when you're on your home network.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #10
    I use an Airport Extreme. 2,450 square feet and a similar number of devices. No issues with connectivity or coverage.
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #11
    Time Capsule here (latest version), and about 2000 square ft in an all-wooden house. Devices are a Macbook, two iPhones, an iPad, and some Sonos devices. Everything else is wired.

    Wireless n coverage is OK but ac is poor to non-existent where one of us works. That's by no means crippling, but it's annoying. The house is thoroughly wired with CAT6 so one of these days I'll experiment with moving the TC to some other locations and see if that helps.

    If not, then I'll go for an ASUS.
     
  12. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    These router threads are coming out of the woodwork. I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I've said this:

    I use a Linksys EA8500 with no issues. I purchased an RE7000 extender so I can get connectivity in a detached garage. It also gave me the ability to disable 2.4Ghz altogether. No failures or issues in the 6 months or so of ownership.
     
  13. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #13
    Don't forget that if you buy a compatible router, you can replace its firmware with something like Open-WRT or DD-WRT, which should give more features and improved reliability.
     
  14. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #14
    I thought about that before I bought the EA8500, as it's not on the HCL. I took a chance and glad I did. I haven't found a need for an alternative OS for it yet.
     
  15. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
  16. blaine07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #16
    Was looking at "Merlin" for Asus... I desire stability and majorityly working function wise first

    Merlin seems to keep GUI same just add/fix a few things. Seems Merlin Developer works closely with Asus Development team so kind of sounds "safe"
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    I use Merlin's firmware with my Asus RT-AC68P and have never had any issues with it. Merlin is pretty good about running out betas before any releases so bugs tend to get caught.
     
  18. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    The problem with 5ghz bands is they don't penetrate walls to well. The problem with some of these high powered antennas is that while they provide more than sufficient range for download, if your device on the other end doesn't have sufficient power to transmit, your upload speeds will be garbage. I suppose it all depends on what your needs are.

    It sounds like you should be able to get sufficient coverage with the Asus. The Unifi system is great if you need to add on further coverage.

    MESH networks are probably the way of the future in terms of reliably providing faster WiFi speeds if ISP service ever gets up towards fiber speeds.

    I bought my parents a Unifi system for their 5000sq ft house for Hanukkah- including 3 access points. I also used this system in my private business 8000sq ft building. Of course for home use, you don't get some of the nice features like USB ports, though you could run the system off a usb enabled router.
     
  19. masterhiggins macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #19
    Does anyone know the answer to this? Since Apple closed future development of their routers, does that mean that the current models will not be given any more software/firmware updates? I just ordered a new one from b&h photo and if it's no longer going to be supported with future updates I'm going to return it and get a Linksys. Thanks.
     
  20. Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #20
    Wifi speed is dependent on protocol and what's left after overhead is taken out. Expensive routers are expensive for a reason. My home is about as big as Goldberg's parent's house and I have no issues getting the full bandwidth with an AC68, even far into the yard. I suspect building material will play a far larger role in killing capability. New England homes comprise of interior brick walls covered with wood and then drywall, inside the brick there may be numerous pipes, etc. Mesh works because it adds more bandwidth capability on the spectrum, whereas traditional options such as an extender or repeater mainly use the same signals on the router.

    The only dead signal spaces in my house are the master bath, which I can't explain, or the wine cellar, which I can. It's reinforced behind the stone.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 8, 2016 ---
    Why a Linksys? Get an Asus. Linksys hasn't been relevant in a long time. Hardly anyone recommends one when you can spend the money for an Asus with better build quality and better software out of the box. Plus, Asus is now reaching out to third party firmware makers and getting input on how to better their software and even incorporating those third party features into their home firmware.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 8, 2016 ---
    Anyway, my ISP currently offers 130 Mbps cable downlink, which is being bumped up to 330 Mbps by mid 2017, and supposedly going to be bumped to 1 Gbps down by mid or early 2018.
     
  21. masterhiggins macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    #21
    Do Asus routers work better with Apple products than Netgear? I was looking at the Nighthawk series and they seem pretty decent. Thanks.
     
  22. blaine07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #22
    Read through this; my experience with Netgear is the sole reason of this posts existence in my search for a new router
     
  23. mazdamiata210 Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #23
    TP-Link Archer C7 is the best router for the money. I use a Netduma R1 for my main router and the TP-Link Archer C7 for wifi to cover my 3,200 sq ft house
     
  24. Zenithal macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #24
    The C7's tech is also several years old.

    Works fine. The only recommendation I'd make for the newer Asus routers is because they're better ventilated than the competition and perform the same or better depending on the scenario. You can get a cheaper router from Asus but you might need more power in the future. You can get a really powerful router that's overkill and also very expensive, but you won't need to replace it for a long time unless it dies. Once my ISP moves to speeds faster than 330 Mbps, I plan on upgrading to the AC5300, and conferred with people who know a great deal more than me that it'll be adequate where the 3100 will fall short of what I plan on doing and running.
     
  25. blaine07 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #25
    So taking all thoughts into consideration I believe I'm going to submit my Amazon order for the Asus. I've debated the 5300 but right now the 8 network ports is more appealing to me than the extra speed the 5300 may offer over the 88U.

    I read up on Mesh stuff and while I do agree it's expand ability into the future is much higher than that of the Asus I feel the Asus should be able to get me through to the next few years(when I've got my monies worth of router), when mesh in more mainstream and reasonably priced.

    I'm overall extremely disappointed in my Netgear. It's not been "right" since day one and I should've pressed harder with its issues then. You live some, you learn some and they definitely "got me." Not sure what to even do with old Netgear. I'd give it to a family member but I don't want to provide technical support for the piece of junk until the end of time

    Everyone I am very grateful for ALL your input. It is very much appreciated. You guys are a knowledgeable bunch!

    Thanks a TON everybody!

    (Going to find a suitable UPS to add to my Amazon buggy now)
     

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