What's your favorite wireless router?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by dcdunk, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. dcdunk macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2009
    We currently have a couple of Apple airport express's in our home and are looking for another solution. We have been mostly happy, but they have been inconsistent at times.
  2. Medusa3 macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2015
    Washington State
    Apple Airport Extreme. Has been for over a decade. Still runs like a champ.
  3. RootBeerMan macrumors 65816


    Jan 3, 2016
    I've had pretty good luck with the Linksys routers I've bought over the years. We're pretty pleased with their performance. I would tell you one thing, though, regardless of what brand you buy, don't go cheap. Get the most router that you can afford, you won't regret having a better performing router in the years to come.
  4. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    I don't think I've ever had inconsistencies with my AirPorts (one Express, one Extreme), but then again I run them both wired with no complicating configurations that could cause such inconsistencies, so mine is pretty much a happy-case.

    Now that it's official that Apple is killing off their AirPort line, I've been looking at Ubiquity's access points. They can be driven with Power over Ethernet, making the installation cleaner, and they have weather protected APs that I could mount outside for Internet access in my garden.
    Note that I don't yet have personal experience with the product line, and I also have no idea yet what will happen if I attempt sharing the same set of network SSIDs across two brands of access points in various parts of my house.
  5. daflake macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2008

    I have and couldn't believe how much speed I was losing due to it.

    I also agree with @RootBeerMan. Buy as much as you can afford. Linksys, Netgear and Asus have all worked well for me or my family in the past
  6. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I recently got the Netgear nighthawk r8000 and very happy with it. I really wanted to get the Google mesh system with three units but found it had some of the same issues that prevented me from ever getting the Apple routers.

    The google system is very easy to set up just as the Apple airports are, the problem is they offer very limited configuration and for those that need to do a lot more technically with the product.
  7. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    I prefer to use separate devices for routing and wireless since my router's in the basement whereas my wireless access point is centrally located in my house. I also tend to use custom firmware so I can get enterprise features with cheaper hardware. Thus, my favorite router is something that can run pfSense. My favorite wireless access point is any suitable router that can run OpenWRT although I'll probably go with an Ubiquiti wireless access point when I decide to upgrade.

    I disagree with buying the most expensive router you can afford. That's just throwing money away unless you really need it. You can get something like a cheap TP-Link router, throw OpenWRT or DD-WRT on it and wind up with something that works very well while giving you features you might not find on consumer router. My wireless access point is an old Netgear router that I bought around 7 years ago and has been running OpenWRT ever since. I don't remember the last time I rebooted it or had issues with it.
  8. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2014
    I somewhat agree with this if you are interested enough and capable of doing enough research to find something that works well. But for those of us with limited time on our hands, buying a supported product with the feature set we’ll require is not a worse choice, even though it will be more expensive up-front than a hotrodded consumer router. For someone who isn’t very interested in computers at all and just wants things to work, DD-WRT would definitely be a worse choice than a not-under-specced consumer or prosumer router.
  9. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    The first Netgear router to support 802.11 ac was released in 2012. That means your router from seven years ago does not support this standard. Most of us would find it unacceptable to use a wireless access point that did not support 802.11 AC. To me that is as bad as running a Router which only support ethernet at 100 meg instead of gigabit ethernet.
    Please don't tell me that is more than the broadband link because I run fibre gigabit ethernet on broadband.
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I use an Airport Extreme w/ built in Time Capsule. Been using it since 2015, it's a solid router. I have about 37 devices connected, with most of then setup with IP reservations.

    Only things I dislike about it are, it takes a good while to update any settings changed. Also, hate that settings are basically only available through Airport utility on Apple devices. I once tried Airport Utility on Windows but it sucks.
  11. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2015
    I have gigabit internet as well (and routinely make full use of it) and no, I have no need for AC and neither does the great majority of home consumers. Heck, I practically have a mini data center in my basement. The only wireless devices are my iPhones/iPads and printers. What would I ever possibly do on those devices?
  12. hughw macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2012
    Bath/Bristol, UK
    At home I've got a TP Link AC1200, which does everything I want - and much more reliably than the sack of crap from Huawei provided by my ISP. It's not anything fancy, but is fine for what I need.

    At work, we use a DrayTek Vigor 2926 - the wireless AC model. It does everything you could possibly need for a small business type router and then some

    YMMV, depends on how much twiddling you like to do
  13. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Have to disagree there is no need for wireless ac particularly with Apple making more and more laptops with no Ethernet ports.
  14. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    Initially Linksys back in the early 200's (WRT54G era) switched over to Airport Base Stations from about 2007 - 2013.
    I dabbled with a few Linksys models, Engenius, NetGear and stayed with the Airport at home and business until the airport just was not 'enough' for business.
    I then went Ubiquiti and their UniFi line of switches and access points at work and shortly switched over my home setup to UniFi as well.
    I've also installed a handful of AmpliFi home mesh networks (Ubiquiti's residential offering) and I've seen little to no issues.

    My problems with the various LinkSys and NetGears that I had that the Airport seemed to fix was, I never really had to restart my wifi router on purpose.
    I had many systems before where 'just restart it and see' became a normal procedure and having to babysit them. My airports had hundreds of days of uptime and normally would only get a restart if the power in the area went down.
    I essentially have the same with my UniFi set up now.
    It runs rock stable, I get all of the bandwidth I am advertised plus some (with exception to Gigabit) on Gigabit I get 940+ up and down, wired or wireless but that is what I get straight out of the modem so the UniFi system is not limiting anything.
    At home I have 300/20 and on wifi in my bedroom, one of the furthest points from an access point, I can easily get 330-340 down and 22 up.

    Very happy with their products and how "Apple-like" it is with its UI.
  15. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    Another vote for UBNT. More setup at first, but well worth it. I have two AC Lite APs to cover about 2300 sqft.

    I literally never restart them. Last time was for a firmware update, and they had been up 159 days. My wife works from home and on various networks and platforms, so I know when wifi is down or wonky.

    Now that they have an iOS setup tool, I expect it is easier for the initial setup.

    If I were looking for a new all-in-one router today that was fast, easy, and sexy, with the ability to extend range I would be looking at:


    If I wanted a great all-around, single unit (that is not so sexy), but easy to admin and feature rich:

    Synology RT1900ac

    Most any newish setup will be adequate. Keep in mind any specific needs or wants, like the a switch for more wired ports, the ability to do a network Time Machine backup, Parental Controls etc. Feature sets vary widely.
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2018 ---
    Your best bet would be to go all-in on UBNT, then you only have one SSID. One network, and you move around how you like. The APs do the hand-off as you move around seamlessly. Other mesh systems can do this too, but Unfi is one of the best bang for the buck that I have run.

Share This Page