Best Router out?

rlu929s

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2011
132
2
What are the better routers out right now if one was looking to upgrade from a older Apple Extreme (N) router.

I just seem to always have issues and from what I read on here many others do as well. The latest is I'm getting 15MBps down on my desktop connect via Ethernet to it and all my WIFI devices are only getting about 3-4MBps down.

Rebooted all devices didn't do much.

We do a lot of Video Streaming from my PC, HULU, etc

We have quite a few HD quality videos.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
What are the better routers out right now if one was looking to upgrade from a older Apple Extreme (N) router.

I just seem to always have issues and from what I read on here many others do as well. The latest is I'm getting 15MBps down on my desktop connect via Ethernet to it and all my WIFI devices are only getting about 3-4MBps down.

Rebooted all devices didn't do much.

We do a lot of Video Streaming from my PC, HULU, etc

We have quite a few HD quality videos.
Like the other poster, I suggest you go to smallnetbuilder site and review the various routers.

Also you may want to check your Ethernet cables and make sure they are for gigabyte use not 100 meg use CAT 5 is no good. You need CAT 5E or 6. Most cables have writing on them and if you look carefully it should tell you what category they are. It is also possible to simply have a mediocre cable if you have 5E or 6 (often its the connectors on the end that are faulty).

Last - you didn't say what your equipment can handle for WiFi. If you are in the realm of only a,b,g and n etc., then they are not good for streaming with good consistency. If you have "ac" then it may be possible if you are getting a good fast connection with an "ac" router.
 

Otago Lad

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2011
96
8
New Zealand
I have an ASUS RT-AC66U and it is awesome - I can easily stream multiple HD streams around my 5,300 ft2 home including 30 to 40 GB Bluray rips. This is without even using the "AC" side of the router i.e. just using 5Ghz N streaming.

Also, it is rock solid and vary rarely do I need to do a reboot - usually only when upgrading the firmware. It also handles all internal ethernet traffic from my Desktop and WHS 2011 server and transfer rates from one to the other consistently hit 120-150 Mb/s as well as handling my external fibre connection (100Mb/s down and 50 Mb/s up).

The ASUS RT-AC68U is meant to be even better so that would definitely be worth looking into.

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If you are in the realm of only a,b,g and n etc., then they are not good for streaming with good consistency.
This isn't at all correct - my ASUS RT-AC66U handles g/n streaming (including concurrent multiple large HD files) on its 5Ghz channel brilliantly and that's from within a 5,300 ft2 house.
 

Cubytus

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2007
1,413
14
OP, it depends on your budget! If you don't mind spending $200+ for a router, then go the Asus way, although considering how flaky are their laptops and motherboards, I'm not sure I would go for them.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
I have an ASUS RT-AC66U and it is awesome - I can easily stream multiple HD streams around my 5,300 ft2 home including 30 to 40 GB Bluray rips. This is without even using the "AC" side of the router i.e. just using 5Ghz N streaming.

Also, it is rock solid and vary rarely do I need to do a reboot - usually only when upgrading the firmware. It also handles all internal ethernet traffic from my Desktop and WHS 2011 server and transfer rates from one to the other consistently hit 120-150 Mb/s as well as handling my external fibre connection (100Mb/s down and 50 Mb/s up).

The ASUS RT-AC68U is meant to be even better so that would definitely be worth looking into.

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This isn't at all correct - my ASUS RT-AC66U handles g/n streaming (including concurrent multiple large HD files) on its 5Ghz channel brilliantly and that's from within a 5,300 ft2 house.
I will say you are one of the select* few who has not had issues. This is an on going problem for many and as such, given that you are more the exception to the rule, why would anyone recommend it? Honestly, I am glad you have no issues (then again, I have no issues either but many many do).
 

machpost

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2010
331
254
Washington, DC
I would recommend that you NOT buy a Linksys router. The e2500 that I have, along with a handful of other models, are plagued with issues that prevent AirPlay from working, and Linksys is neither acknowledging the issues, nor are they providing a fix.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
315
I just seem to always have issues and from what I read on here many others do as well.
I would not say that the problems you describe are normal. I have the first Gigabit-capable Airport Extreme, set to be "N-Only". On an iPad mini I get ~45Mb down while sitting ten feet away in my comfy chair. If you would like to avoid the expense of replacing your Extreme, you might give it a shot.

A.
 
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applemike68

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2011
113
0
What about the new apple AirPort Extreme / time capsule (AC). I have one sine they were announced and have had zero issues. They work great!
 

rlu929s

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2011
132
2
Well I flashed my Airport and reconfigured and now I'm screaming via wifi again, so I'll hold off for now. Thanks for the suggestions though.
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
The latest is I'm getting 15MBps down on my desktop connect via Ethernet to it and all my WIFI devices are only getting about 3-4MBps down.

We do a lot of Video Streaming from my PC, HULU, etc

We have quite a few HD quality videos.
Just to be sure, it should be clarified about the little "b" and big "B" in talks about speed.

There are 8 little b's in 1 big B. So 54Mb/s is equal to 6.75MB/s.

That being said, on Ethernet you should be getting about 80-90MB/s if it's Gigabit. You will need to pull a large file from a modern hard drive or solid state drive in order to make sure the Ethernet is the bottleneck. But copying files is about the only time you need that speed. Any wire with 4 twisted pairs (CAT5 or better) should give you that at moderate distances (less then 25 feet). And should probably be fine at 50 feet too...with maybe a little less speed, but still a big maybe.

For watching movies, especially streaming from the Internet, you only need about 2MB/s. Even for streaming "HD" material locally you only need about 3-4MB/s. Think about the bit rate the video is encoded in and then divide that by 8 and that should give a good idea of the "minimum" speed you need.

I am feeding my AppleTV with a first generation Ethernet Over Power Line router that gets an amazing 3-4MB/s and I am able to stream local 1080P HD movies that are encoded at 14-16Mb/s. It just takes a few more seconds to buffer then when I had a pure gigabit Ethernet connected to it.
 

LV426

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2013
837
246
What about the new apple AirPort Extreme / time capsule (AC). I have one sine they were announced and have had zero issues. They work great!
From my own personal experience, I have to agree with this sentiment.

My house was a graveyard full of unreliable routers that I've tried over the years. The Airport Extreme, however, hardly ever drops a connection.
 

Otago Lad

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2011
96
8
New Zealand
I will say you are one of the select* few who has not had issues. This is an on going problem for many and as such, given that you are more the exception to the rule, why would anyone recommend it? Honestly, I am glad you have no issues (then again, I have no issues either but many many do).
For those that are having issues I call "User Error". Set up right the ASUS routers are brilliant. I've set up 20+ of these for friends and family and none have had any issues. Simple things like choosing the right channel for each band can make a massive difference, particularly in a crowded area and on the 2.4Ghz frequency.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,356
226
NYC
What about the new apple AirPort Extreme / time capsule (AC). I have one sine they were announced and have had zero issues. They work great!
We had a lot of problems with the new 802.11ac AEBS units at work. In the end, it seems like it was the new migration wizard built in to Airport Utility 6 that pulled in some flaky configurations or something. I hard reset all our units and manually reconfigured them and they've all been working smoothly ever since.

I'm temped to buy a few more to replace our older 802.11n units, but we really should look for a more robust, centrally managed WiFi system like AeroHive or Aruba or whatever. For home users or other smaller installations, I would recommend the Apple units just fine.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
I'm curious to hear about the new AirPort Extreme. I'm thinking about driving to a tax free state this weekend to pick up a 27" iMac and a AirPort Extreme (maybe a rMini too).

The reason I'm curious is I've had to mess around with tons of routers in the past and frankly I'm tired of it. I just want something that is fast and works.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,174
8,822
California
What is the range of the new airport extreme?
Here is a thorough review with some comparative wireless tests.

Like the review mentions, the new Airport Extreme is not a top performer or particularly feature laden, but it works well and is easily managed. If you are after higher end features like QOS management and that sort of thing, you should look elsewhere.

I have the new AC Time Capsule and I am quite happy with it. The wireless performance is much better than the older pancake model I had.
 

Curun

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2013
314
1
What are the better routers out right now if one was looking to upgrade from a older Apple Extreme (N) router.

I just seem to always have issues and from what I read on here many others do as well. The latest is I'm getting 15MBps down on my desktop connect via Ethernet to it and all my WIFI devices are only getting about 3-4MBps down.

Rebooted all devices didn't do much.

We do a lot of Video Streaming from my PC, HULU, etc

We have quite a few HD quality videos.
I've seen and troubleshot so many Linksys/DLink/NetGear/ASUS routers, generally all work great new... but develop dropping packets, locking up, overheating. I've said F it.

Apple seems to be the only one who consistently makes reliable headache free consumer routers. Performance isn't always the best, but adequate. I'd bet their antenna system in their latest 802.11ac router are still hard to beat though.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
361
Oregon, USA
I just seem to always have issues and from what I read on here many others do as well.
Before throwing out the baby, you might want to do a few checks. Three common reasons for slow Wi-Fi performance, that a new box may not fix:

You've got a network full of N equipment but there's some lonely G device still connecting.

Your in a crowded Wi-Fi neighborhood and one of your neighbors is on the same or adjacent channel.

Electrical devices giving off other forms of interference and cut down your performance and range.
 

rlu929s

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2011
132
2
OP Here:

Found the problem. Last night I was getting Internet Speed test on my desktop around 20MB Down. Getting 3MB down on my Iphone 5 via WIFI.

Turned off/disconnected all G devices and cycled router. Iphone now getting 20MB down.

That was it. I had some G devices bringing down my network.

Now to find a cheap G router as a secondary WIFI. Wish I didn't give my old one away!
 

Curun

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2013
314
1
OP Here:

Found the problem. Last night I was getting Internet Speed test on my desktop around 20MB Down. Getting 3MB down on my Iphone 5 via WIFI.

Turned off/disconnected all G devices and cycled router. Iphone now getting 20MB down.

That was it. I had some G devices bringing down my network.

Now to find a cheap G router as a secondary WIFI. Wish I didn't give my old one away!
Yes, oops.

I have my Airport Extreme (pre-AC version) configured for 'N-only' so that G devices can't connect even if they want to. Should be in Advanced settings.

I have an old linksys with hidden ssid for my lone device, an old Pioneer Airplay standalone radio thing in the bedroom.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,174
8,822
California
OP Here:

Found the problem. Last night I was getting Internet Speed test on my desktop around 20MB Down. Getting 3MB down on my Iphone 5 via WIFI.

Turned off/disconnected all G devices and cycled router. Iphone now getting 20MB down.

That was it. I had some G devices bringing down my network.

Now to find a cheap G router as a secondary WIFI. Wish I didn't give my old one away!
A better solution would be to find a newer router that supports "simultaneous dual band" and you won't have this problem. A router with simultaneous dual band will not drop speeds when a G device connects.

The newer Airport Extreme devices all support simultaneous dual band.
 

rlu929s

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 17, 2011
132
2
I thought the Extreme I bought supported simultaneous dual band, but apparently not.
 

rex450se

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2011
209
43
Independence, MO
I picked up the Asus RT-AC68R when i bought my new retina Macbook Pro and am loving it. We have the largest house in the family so usually have holiday dinners at our place. I had almost 50 devices connected this last Christmas without a single hiccup. It has worked flawlessly. I have a guest network setup for the family so when they piss me off or out stay their welcome I have a little outage in the house. An easy way to shoe them out the door. It has been problem free since I bought it. I regularly get almost 60 Mbps download on the other side of the house with my rMBP. I would highly recommend it.

Victor