Purchasing a router.

robwithtoast

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2010
137
28
Florida
I currently have a inexpensive tp-link router that has served me great. I think it's time to upgrade and I'm looking for something with great range. The one I have now isn't the best and I live in a small apartment. I would just like some ideas for something not over the top but something that does the job and does it well.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
724
Do you have a budget for this purchase and what type of WiFi devices will you want to connect (as in 802.11a,b,g, n, ac)?

You might do well go to consider checking out smallnetbuilder.com and see the various reports on routers.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,214
I currently have a inexpensive tp-link router that has served me great. I think it's time to upgrade and I'm looking for something with great range. The one I have now isn't the best and I live in a small apartment. I would just like some ideas for something not over the top but something that does the job and does it well.
Get an ASUS router. No question. They're really good value, full of great features, and are frequently patched with security/firmware updates. I can't recommend them enough.

If you could kindly advise what your comfortable budget is, I'm sure we can find something snug within that price range, which will offer suitable longevity as well as performance. :)
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
724
Get an ASUS router. No question. They're really good value, full of great features, and are frequently patched with security/firmware updates. I can't recommend them enough.

If you could kindly advise what your comfortable budget is, I'm sure we can find something snug within that price range, which will offer suitable longevity as well as performance. :)
Both the Asus and Netgear AC1900 router line ups prove to be excellent values. I'll just say that the OP should investigate what each line up has and it may just come down to interface, bells and whistles as the connectivity of each are very similar.
 
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robwithtoast

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2010
137
28
Florida
You know somewhere around $100 sounds perfect but if it's worth it I'll go $150. I also have an AC router now with a few devices connected to the 5ghz. It's not the best on this router and actually seems to drop every once and awhile.
 

robwithtoast

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2010
137
28
Florida
Do you have a budget for this purchase and what type of WiFi devices will you want to connect (as in 802.11a,b,g, n, ac)?

You might do well go to consider checking out smallnetbuilder.com and see the various reports on routers.
Okay I'll check that site out.
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,117
397
I'll second the recommendation to look at the reviews and ratings at smallnetbuilder.com. An AC1900 class router will give you the best value for you buck right now. Here are there rankings/reviews for those.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tools/rankers/router/view

I have two of the Netgear Nighthawk R7000s and have been happy with them. They have a lot of features, and those features all work well. They aren't as easy to setup as an Airport Extreme, but they get the job done and perform great. I didn't lilke their apps for either the Mac or iPhone, their web interface works better.
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You know somewhere around $100 sounds perfect but if it's worth it I'll go $150. I also have an AC router now with a few devices connected to the 5ghz. It's not the best on this router and actually seems to drop every once and awhile.
You may end up experiencing the same issues with a new router. Unless you know the one you have now has bad reviews, it is likely caused by overcrowded wireless channels etc.

I'm not a fan of using separate 5GHz and 2.4GHz network SSIDs, most wireless devices these days are good about choosing the preferred network. You may be able to solve your problem by simply choosing a better wireless channel on your existing router...

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/179344-how-to-boost-your-wifi-speed-by-choosing-the-right-channel
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,132
8,804
California
I'll second the recommendation to look at the reviews and ratings at smallnetbuilder.com. An AC1900 class router will give you the best value for you buck right now. Here are there rankings/reviews for those.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tools/rankers/router/view

I have two of the Netgear Nighthawk R7000s and have been happy with them.
I third that suggestion.

I don't think you can go wrong with either the R7000 or the Asus RT-AC68U (one and two in the chart). I prefer the Asus because I like the Merlin custom firmware.

http://www.snbforums.com/forums/asuswrt-merlin.42/

http://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca
 

robwithtoast

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2010
137
28
Florida
I'm a fan of the AirPort Extreme and Express combo to set up a whole home network, although I've heard great things about the Eero wifi system as well.

https://eero.com/
Yeah that's a bit much for my apartment! But it looks great.
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Yes, I have been very happy with it. I can walk half a block down the street with my iPhone and still stay on wifi.
It seems like the best according to reviews! I might pick it up. I like to check slick deals to see if I can snag it at a good price. But it's still actually very affordable.
 
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arggg14

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2014
674
1,753
I have a Synology RT 1900 and I like it. Works well with my 2.4 and 5 ghz devices and has a slick interface.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,284
229
I'd rather have a firewall with wifi than a 'router'. To each their own...
Yeah, but the OP still needs a routing function for his LAN. And the discussed routers include firewall capabilities sufficient for home users. And some enterprise firewalls don't even have any routing function.
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
I currently have a inexpensive tp-link router that has served me great. I think it's time to upgrade and I'm looking for something with great range. The one I have now isn't the best and I live in a small apartment. I would just like some ideas for something not over the top but something that does the job and does it well.
I invested in the Netgear Nighthawk r7000 (and wish I waited a few months for the 7500) and it was the best investment in hardware I made last year. It has been so consistent in performance, and resolved any frustration I had with the ISP's hardware. It's a bit more than a usual router, but it's worth it. My friend has it, he recommended it. He's still using it. My dad had issues and because I had such great experience with it I recommended it to my parents.. they loved the upgrade and have stopped calling me about network issues.

Mind you, the 8000 is Not better just because the number is higher. Go for the 7000 or 7500.
 

bbbc

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2012
31
3
Hands down, get a refurbished / used TM-AC1900, which is a rebranded Asus RT68U AC1900. You downgrade the firmware through the instructions below. The best third-party firmware for it is AdvancedTomato, a beautiful Shibby Tomato fork. Asuswrt-Merlin is also available for this awesome device. I believe the most crucial factor to buying a router is that open-source firmware exists for it.
 
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robwithtoast

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 1, 2010
137
28
Florida
Hands down, get a refurbished / used TM-AC1900, which is a rebranded Asus RT68U AC1900. You downgrade the firmware through the instructions below. I believe the best third-party firmware for it is AdvancedTomato, a beautiful Shibby Tomato fork. Asuswrt-Merlin is also available for this awesome device. I believe the most crucial factor to buying a router is that open-source firmware exists for it.
How much do these run? Also where is the best place to purchase one?
 

bbbc

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2012
31
3
If you're a T-Mobile customer, they give them away for a $25 deposit. Mind you, you'd need to return it one day way down the road if you leave them. If you're not a TMO customer, this model is all over eBay. A million guides exist online to downgrade the T-Mobile custom firmware, which in turn allows you to place various open-source firmwares on it. The external antennas really make the difference.
 

aces99

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2014
440
201
Canada
I would highly recommend a ASUS RT-AC68U Router. It has awesome speed and range. Can't go wrong and you can flash it with a different firmware if you want.