Help needed deciding on a router

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mystic man, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. mystic man macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Hello everybody,

    I m waiting on my phone company to upgrade my Internet speed, so I decided am in need on of a more powerfull router, as the setup I currently have (NetGear DGN2200v3 + WN3000RP range extender) simply doesnt cut it.

    Problem is this, my house is quite big, it is a 4 storey house, imagine ground floor, on ground level and a bit lower, 1st floor, main floor, second floor, bedrooms, and top floor like a small penthouse.

    Now the router will be placed on the 1st floor, in the middle of the space, so as to have better range and reach.

    Although it is a 4 storey house, I do not have many walls, imagine each floor as a big loft with united space, but each floor has intagraded heating on the floor which might interfere with the signal, also the building material is steel and cement.

    1st floor and 2nd floor are a united room, with no floor between them just high ceiling open space and bedrooms are on the edges of a the second floor, so open space. Also an open stairway connects all floors.

    Now my main concern is to have good signal and high transfer sppeeds on 1st and 2nd floor mainly, and then on ground floor and penthouse.

    I currently use a WD MyBookLive as a NAS file server and a Time Machine backup, which might saty the same or I might upgrade it at some point to a Synology NAS or something similar

    Now as I said may main concerns are range and transfer speeds, as well as the router being able to perform Time Machine backups, and play good with NAS file servers because I stream content to a lot of devices.

    So, calculating all above factors I have come down to 1. Airport Extreme, with using my MyBookLive as TimeCapsule and File Server, 2. Time Capsule, for Time machine backups, and MyBookLive for File Server, 3. Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, with again my MyBookLive as TimeCapsule and File Server, or 4. ASUS RT-AC68U with again my MyBookLive as TimeCapsule and File Server.

    Although I do not have any AC devices at the moment, I do not mind investing on a higher spec machine as AC WiFi will slowly gat in our lifes.

    What setup would you go with for the above situation?
    Would you choose any of the solutions I have thought of and which you believe is best and why?
    Would you choose somthing else?

    As I said I want uninterupted range on my wireless and transfer speeds

    Sorry for the long post but there are many things to consider and calculate and I do not like changing routers every so often, and I like when things work

    Thank you for all your answers
  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    The Extreme and Time Capsules can have multiple USB drives added through the use of hubs. The Time Capsule and Extreme are the same hardware. The ASUS is great as well but Time Machine support is at the mercy of ASUS.

    When Weaselboy jumps in, he will argue ASUS. Then we will begin the debate of AirPort vs. ASUS.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    The physical construction of your home may interfere with signal strength, if you are using only one router.

    Do you have -any- way of routing ethernet cables between the floors?
  4. Menel, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014

    Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I would keep what you have, for a bit longer.

    My father has a 4500sqft 4 floor home. 100/100 fiber. He has the older Airport Extreme 300mbps in the center. An AE extending near one side of the house near the pool, and another AE extending near the other side on the side patio. Excellent coverage, automatic handover. My iPad gets full speed at each end of the house, and bedrooms.

    It's low cost, the old Extreme's can be had for around $85, and the Express for similar. Reliable, the extending is reliable, easy to set up and works well.

    Your current system is rated of a similar speed. You should easily be exceeding 100mbps traffic over it.

    The new Airport Extreme AC, is fantastic. But I don't recommend it for larger houses that need or may need extenders until Apple releases an updated Express that supports extended AC networks.

    I would personally hold off until this happens.

    You may want to be an Airport TimeCapsule for your main router/backup device, and another Airport Extreme to use for extending... Certainly an option, just make sure you budget for it. It should turn out to be a fantastically fast network.

    Edit: price isn't that bad on the pair of AC Airports. I was thinking combined $800. But it could be only $400-500.

    I'd definitely get the Airport Extreme/TimeCapsule AC with the expectation you might be getting a second Extreme to use as an extender.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Look at the web site Smallnetbuilder. They do pretty good testing of routers. Here is a chart of the latest AC1900 routers sorted by wireless range.

    The issue with using something other than a Time Capsule or the newest Airport Extreme for networked Time Machine backups it that what often happens is Time Machine backups to these devices gets broken when there is an OS X upgrade.
  6. mystic man thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Thank you for all your answers.

    It seems If I want to go wireless and keep the Time Machine compatibility my best bet is a Time Capsule/Airport Extreme Combo, or as Fishrrman suggests if I could somehow route the floors with cable and then AP each floor

    My place setup is very similar to Menel's place so thats a big plus for a tried out combo, maybe I could try setting up with a Time Capsule first, and then add an Extreme If I need to

    What am most worried as Weaselboy points out, is that although routers as the R7000 and the AC68U are the best when it comes in range, they lack on Apple Time Machine compatibility

    Have any of you have a Synology NAS setup on an Airport Extreme/Time Capsule or Netgear ASUS router, and how happy are you with the performance on Apple devices? Or on the matter which NAS would you suggest for Time Capsule/Airport Express or for which router if you have tried it out and it works?

    My main use for the NAS would be for a File Server in house, streaming HD movies, pictures music, and being able to access it outdoors either for storing business documents and opening them on the fly or other private stuff, like photos. I m leaning towards the DS214play. Anyone with any experience on this?
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't use a NAS, but those Synology devices do seem to be the most often recommended by forum members here.

    Just to clarify though, if you are using a NAS for Time Machine backups, the router having Time Machine support is irrelevant. It is only TM support on the NAS you need to be concerned with.

    If you attach a NAS over wired ethernet to any router, TM should work assuming the NAS supports TM.

    Now if you plan to hang a USB drive plugged directly into the router for a TM backup, then the router support of TM is an issue.

    If you want to be absolutely sure an OS update does not break your networked TM backup, and want support from Apple, your options are a Time Capsule, new Airport Extreme with USB drive, or a Mac Mini (actually any Mac) with OS X server installed.

    The Mac mini might be a nice option for you. You could connect that to any router with ethernet and have fully supported TM backups and it can also be used for all your NAS needs.

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