Wi-Fi Router Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by LadyX, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. LadyX macrumors 68020

    LadyX

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    #1
    So I'm looking to replace my D-Link DIR-615 router. I've been browsing the web for a week now and have narrowed my choices between the Linksys WRT1900AC and the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 (I'm leaning towards this one more). What do you guys think? Money is not an issue. I really want a router that is fast, with long range and good support (firmware updates, customer support). Are there any other brands or models I should consider?


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  2. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #2
    Keep the dir-615, put dd-wrt on it, and put the start up code on it to make it dual band.....

    Sit back and marvel how you save yourself hundreds of dollars and how your router is now so much better.

    Then thank me.
     
  3. Huntn, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    I'm very pleased with my Netgear N900 at half the price?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #4
    How is the range on the wifi signal?
     
  5. LadyX thread starter macrumors 68020

    LadyX

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #5
    Yes I was going to ask that. I'm interested to know.
     
  6. Huntn, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    I can't say what the limit is other than the manufacturer says "improved range for larger homes". I live in a 2300sf rambler (single story) and the centrally located router is about 50' away from my office. No issues anywhere in the house. The previous model I had, the Netgear N300 worked fine when we lived in a 3400sf house.

    I'll point out that if gaming is a concern, I'm very active with online gaming, I'm connected via wifi and have no issues in that regard, and that was even when I was using the N300 which was 300 Mbps.

     
  7. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Vilano Beach, FL
    #7
    After a dozen or more routers over the last 20 something years from all the major manufacturers (D-Link, Netgear, Asus, LinkSys, etc., using OEM and aftermarket firmware), when my Asus 56U started acting janky (I even tried some experimental firmware) I scored an Apple Airport Extreme, haven't had any issues since.

    FWIW, everything wireless here is Apple, lots of wired connections as well. We actually have an AP Extreme (cablemodem -> AP), 2 switches (one upstairs in the network closet, one down on the AV rack), an AP Express off the lower switch for a range extender.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #8
    I am a huge fan of the AirPort Extreme especially at $129 for a refurbished model. Plus it comes with a standard 1 year warranty and AppleCare on your iPad, Apple TV, or Mac covers it even if it is purchased up to two years later.
     
  9. ColdCase, Aug 24, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #9
    My experience exactly, in fact my 10 year old AP base station still works fine (I use it for guest access). I could never get more than two years of semi-reliable operation out of netgears or linksys. Since I converted my three daughter's houses over to AP extremes or Time Capsules I have not heard a complaint, no network restarts needed to keep it running smoothly. We have a mix of windose, synology, PS3s, satellite boxes, HD Home Runs, receivers, networked appliances and it just works. My big gamer neighbor just converted from a recent D-Link to an Airport Extreme and is well pleased, sends me a beer over now and again as thanks in suggesting it. My little portable 6 year old low performance ASUS is still working its magic, however.
     
  10. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    May 15, 2015
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    near Boston, MA
    #10
    Any expectations of future refreshes on the Airport Extreme?

    I would love if they enable VPN and external HD with DLNA support on it...That's how my Tomato Toastman operates now on Linksys E3000 but with more tinkering than I would want to keep doing.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #11
    I could see Apple coming out with a refresh that supports things like the MU-MIMO AC standard, but I would not hold my breath for things like VPN and DLNA on an Apple router. Apple seems to prefer keeping their routers at the most basic functionality for whatever reason. They even removed SNMP support from the newest versions when it was there before.

    The only reason I use an Apple router is for official Time Machine support, but if it were not for that, there is little to recommend about Apple's routers IMO.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    You might want to look over the comparisons on Smallnetbuilder here. The Asus ASUS RT-AC68U is pretty popular in that class of routers also. It and the two you mentioned are very very close in range/speed. The Linksys is better for speeds to access external drives if that is something you plan on doing. That chart I posted links to thorough reviews of all three. Honestly, among those three it is pretty much a coin toss.

    I would probably lean towards the Asus because they seem to keep up firmware better as their routers age. Others seem to come out with new models then just drop firmware updates from existing models. But none of those three is a bad choice.

    I think you are playing it smart looking at AC1900 class routers. There are newer routers with more features, but the price premium is pretty steep for little benefit. Plus the AC1900 routers have been out long enough for the firmware to have matured.
     
  13. Ipadlover29 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    #13

    I tried both the linksys and netgear you mentioned. I ended up keeping the netgear. It has more features and it was cheaper. I've had the netgear for over 6 months now and am very happy with it. No issues so far.

    I would also recommend looking at the apple AirPort Extreme and the Asus rt-ac68u.
     
  14. LadyX thread starter macrumors 68020

    LadyX

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    #14
    Yes I'm not interested in Apple routers at all. I prefer brands such as Linksys, Netgear, Asus, D-Link, etc. for WiFi routers. Thank you for recommending the Asus router. I'm going to have to read more about it.
     
  15. LadyX thread starter macrumors 68020

    LadyX

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #15
    Is there still support for the Netgear Nighthawk? I think it was released in 2013, does Netgear still support the router with firmware updates?
     
  16. Ipadlover29 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    #16
    Yes, netgear has been great on firmware updates. Theres an update anywhere between every 2-4 weeks.

    The netgear also supports time machine backups and you can turn your hard drive into iTunes server. It also allows you to turn any printer into a wireless airprint printer.

    Fyi I did give the Apple airport extreme a try also. In my testing it wasn't as fast as the netgear and linksys. The range was also not as good. It didn't have as much features or ports. It was the easiest to setup. I also believe the apple router is the most secure and has the best updates. Looks the best and takes up the least amount of space.
     
  17. LadyX thread starter macrumors 68020

    LadyX

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    #17
    Thank you everyone for the replies. The Linksys WRT1900AC is no longer an option. I am now deciding between the Netgear Nighthawk and the Asus RT-AC68U. I will post here on which of the two I've decided to go for.
     
  18. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #18
    I would go for the ASUS in that case!
     
  19. LadyX thread starter macrumors 68020

    LadyX

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    Mar 4, 2012
    #19
    I've been reading reviews for the Asus router and it looks like its a great router but then I saw this review below. Cons: slow at 5 feet. All of the other reviewers say that it has great range.

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/asus-rt-ac68u-router,review-2277.html

    Also, I forgot to mention this, but I usually connect up to 7 devices with my router.
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Elkton, Maryland
    #20
    Regardless of what you buy whether it is a router, a vehicle, a house, etc. there is always going to be one reviewer who points out a new con. If there was widespread reports of that then you should take it into account but one reviewer could just mean a lemon or a specific usage scenario that does not apply to you.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    Here is the relevant quote from that review. Looks like it is average at five feet and this is only an issue on wireless N, and not AC. I'm not seeing this as an issue to be concerned with unless maybe your main computer relies on N only from five feet away. But even then... meh.

     
  22. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

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    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #22
    +1. I have been using only ASUS routers lately.
     
  23. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #23
    I got my Netgear Nighthawk Jan. 2015. It has been rock solid for me. It is still being supported. There has been about 4 firmware updates since I have had it.
     
  24. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #24
    before I bought the 6th Gen Airport Extreme(got it on eBay 2 years ago for 120 and it came with a airport express = sweet deal). My signal has never dropped with the AC. I had a N300. It was great but in my apartment in Boston that was a very old building with thick concrete walls the signal would drop all the time.Well all the time is a bit much. It would drop and I would have to reset it at least 1x every 2-3 months. While not a huge issue it was a bit annoying. It was maybe a 800 square foot apartment and I had tons of issues.

    While the Airport extreme is cool as are the more expensive routers. I don't think most people need them. The cheap ones under 100 do a great job too.
     

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