Which wireless router should I get?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gabo864, Jul 26, 2015.

?

Which wireless router would you purchase?

  1. Apple - AirPort Extreme Wireless Base Station

  2. Asus RT-AC68R

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  1. gabo864 macrumors 6502a

    gabo864

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #1
    Which wireless router would you purchase? and Why?


    I'm in the market for a new wireless router. I have never had an Apple router, but I thought since pretty much every device I own is Apple maybe I should go with the Apple wireless router, I have read some reviews saying that it doesn't work too well with the Xbox one though, what's your take on that? What other router would you recommend? Thanks.
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    This is what I have now. Works well with my Mac, iPads, iPhones, Apple watches, XB360s, XB1, PS3, PS4, PSV....

    Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 17.23.08.jpg
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #3
    I currently have two Airport Extreme's and one Airport Express in a 3 story home. I have one extreme in the basement, then one extreme and express on the main level. Everything is wireless except for my sons Xbox which is wired. Only reason it is wired, is due to the fact that it is very close to one of the extreme's. We have no problems with connections or ever drop connections. Xbox runs smoothly even if it is connected wireless. Below is my setup.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a

    ggibson913

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #4
    You really can't go wrong with either. I had Airport Routers and this last time I switched to the ASUS RT - AC68U and it really performs well and have no complaints. I look for two things in a router, Wireless AC support and support for the ability to create a guest network. Apple Airport router is really simple but ASUS also not too hard.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I have a Time Capsule that is essentially the same as the Extreme you are looking at with a hard drive inside for Time Machine backups, and it works just fine at with my Xbox One. The only reason I bought it is for the Time Machine support, but otherwise I would not buy an Apple router.

    For the money, IMO Apple's routers are only average in performance and very short on features. The Apple routers do have the benefit of easy configuration with Airport Utility, but third party routers are not that hard to configure through their web interface.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com

    Smallnetbuilder has good router reviews if you want to compare the two.

    tl;dr Get the Asus
     
  6. Khalanad75 macrumors 6502

    Khalanad75

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Location:
    land of confusion
    #6
    Just got a refurbed Airport Extreme and put my Xfinity router into bridge mode. With the Xfinity router, my Xbox would have disconnects left and right. It was extremely hard to play any online game due to this. Since the Airport, haven't had a single disconnect.
     
  7. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Location:
    Milwaukee
    #7
    Go refurbished and get a TC, which on the refurb store is about what a regular price Extreme costs.
     
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    Having gone through several WiFi routers (for myself and set up for friends and clients), I would suggest you consider looking at a site such as SmallNetBuilder. The site has tests on various routers and you would be doing your self a dis-service not to explore and learn a bit about other options besides the two you named.

    What I can say about the AE is that it works reasonably well but I honestly feel there are not only superior routers out there in terms of basic function but offer much better controls and security options.

    What was remarkable is that many months ago, I picked up a WD router with multiple physical ports with intent to simply hardwire and by chance tried out the WiFi (the price was right), the WD router out performed the AE in almost every comparison I could do. I'll say it was simply a quirk but it goes to show that even a router that is less than half the price of the AE might perform as well as the AE.

    Last - I appreciate when people want to stay within an Apple eco system but the only part I don't advocate is the router offerings when there are routers that cost the same or less and perform better. It is just a matter of being practical and logical. I say this as someone who has iPhone, iPad and various Macs.

    Good luck on whatever you purchase and hope you really do check out SmallNetBuilder
     
  9. gabo864 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gabo864

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #9

    Hey man, thanks for your response. I will check out that website. I did want to buy the Apple router, but like you said I feel like for the price I could probably find something better. I was also looking at the Linksys ac2600, do you have any experience with this one or have you heard any feedback? Thanks again.
     
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #10
    Gabo, I didn't recommend a router because everyone's needs are a bit different. Whether it is feature set, number of actual physical ports or even the type of chipset/antennae required in one's location. You'll probably do far better to take the reports from SmallNetBuilder over my* word. I think that is a fine router but then again, every day something new comes out. Of recent, years ago I tried out various Powerline adapters and none worked well for me but I picked up one for a friend and tried it first at my own place and it worked quite well. My point is technologies change over time as do improved firmware on some items.

    At one point on that site, the AE was listed as the most expensive in its class and ranked #5 in terms of total tests. In short it was way over priced for what it did. Asus, Netgear and Linksys (back then) bested the AE. I am sure some of the rankings have since changed and again, consider your needs with respect to where you will locate the router, types of features you want (port forwarding seems to be popular for some gamers) and security needs.
     
  11. niewiesznic macrumors regular

    niewiesznic

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Internet
    #11
    I have 2TB Time Capsule (flat), which I was very happy with untill I got tired of advertisement on WWW. I have bought Nexx WT3020, flashed to OpenWrt and put there filtering proxy (tinyproxy). I have also put on this little machine four hosts files for blocking known malware IP's. TC is connected to the OpenWrt router in bridge mode via ethernet cable. I am very happy about speed and surfing WWW safely and without advertisement.
     
  12. Splitbolt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #12
    I was about to order the Airport Express. It's $89 on Amazon. It looks simple and easy to use. And I figured it would work well. But this thread is kind of worrying me.

    I have a simple 25/5 internet connection. I need a router to connect to my cable modem to give all of my devices wireless internet access. The ONLY internal networking I do is for my printer, no other file sharing or anything.

    I have the following:

    iMac
    MacBook Air
    Printer
    2 Roku's
    PS3
    iPhone
    iPad

    I don't need super fast blazing speeds (I only have a 25mbps connection) and I don't need any options or configurability in the router.

    So would the Airport Express work well for me or should I look for something different?
     
  13. Weaselboy, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #13
    It depends. If any of your devices you listed are new enough to have 802.11AC wifi, then you will be missing out since the Express does not support AC wifi.

    For that price range, I would look at this TP-Link C7 for $99. It supports AC wifi, has GB ethernet ports and is a much more full featured router than the Apple products. It gets good reviews over at SmallNetBuilder.
     
  14. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    #14
    Of course the advantage to a Time Capsule is the effortless backup it offers. While I don't want to tell you that a router that works well for my needs will be suitable for yours, I hope it's helpful to suggest that you take into consideration the backup aspect of the TC, which--as you may already well know--backs up any and all of your Apple devices automatically without any work apart after the initial setup. Coupled with Airport Expresses to extend the network and to enable wireless music play, it's certainly been great for me.
     
  15. Splitbolt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #15
    Would that router give me better reception?

    My FIOS router used to give me 50mbps+ to my MacBook Air in my office. Now it's only giving me 10 or so. But if I go into the room with the router it's back to full speed.

    I had them exchange the router for a new one and then I signed up for a new ISP (but still use the Verizon Actiontec router since it's brand new) and the same problem exists. The only thing I can think of is that other people in my condo building started using wireless devices that are interfering.

    I've tried changing the channels (it was on Automatic) and it only changed by a few mbps.

    So now I think I either have to find a better wireless router or find a program or app that might be able to help me see which channels are clear.

    But if I could buy that router that you recommended and have this problem solved I would do it in a heartbeat.
     
  16. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #16
    I have the most recent extreme and my xbox one works fine. When I was in college it gave me issues. but it was the schools firewall not the extreme.

    In all honestly only buy the extreme if you can get it used. I got mine 2 years ago used off eBay with a airport express for 120. ITs awesome and just works(I sold the express as I didn't need it). A extreme 5th gen think they are in the 6th gen right now go for 40-50 bucks. Also you could always get a link sys again used. or the prior version of one of their better ones. I don't think routers are updated all that much.

    I have a airport extreme. 3 macbook airs, an iMac, 4 iPhones, 3 iPads, a ps4, wii U, 2 apple tvs, 3 smart tvs and a xbox one. I am on comcast 30 mbs/s internet speed and never have any issues.

    my place is 1600 sq/f and the internet is the same everywhere. Can use it outside as well. I don't know why some have multiple of theses things but one is powerful enough for everything above.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    I have not seen any documented tested of the router Verizon is now using with FIOS installs, but they do tend to be low-end devices. I suspect the C7 would have better wifi, but that is just my guess.

    OS X has a built in wifi tool that can help you pick a less crowded channel, and that might help you. Here is a video showing how to use that tool.
     
  18. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #18
  19. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #19
    I just replaced an AEBS with a Netgear r7000, which has similar specs to the Asus. Both are better than the AEBS. I don't like the proprietary utilities for use with Apple routers, but even aside from that the specs and features just aren't as nice.

    And look at the r7000. I like Netgear's interface a bit better, it works with TM, and the cloud access with the included dynamic DNS utility is great. Amazon was selling it with a "free" 1TB USB 3 drive; now I think they're including a web cam. Both are better deals than the Apple, and I think easier to use, especially with UPnP devices.
     
  20. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #20
    depends I have one at my house, one at my parents house and set one up at my sisters home. Set it up once and never had to do anything else. Both haven't touched for 2 years. My link sys ones I use to have to reset them every 3-6 months as they would randomly drop signals.

    Airport Extreme is insanely insanely over priced at 160-180. But like I said I got it 2 years ago for a little over 100. Sure they are even cheaper now. I personally wouldn't go through the hassle of doing other utilities. I rather just set it up and never have to think about it till it dies.
     
  21. Splitbolt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #21
    I used that tool. There aren't that many people using WiFi here. It told me that the best channel is 11, but when I switched to channel 11 I now get 8mbps instead of 10. I should be getting 25mbps. I was able to get 50+ back when I had the 50mbps plan, and nothing has changed since then (that I know of).

    When I hold Option and click on the Wifi icon up in the bar it says that my TX Rate is 65mbps. So why is Speedtest.net giving me 8-10mbps now when I used to be able to get so much more? Just to reiterate, if I walk into the room with the router, I will get the proper 25mbps.
     

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