WIRED Home - Wireless Router Recommendation - Apple Extreme vs Orbi or Other w/ WAPs

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by iSullie, May 25, 2017.

  1. iSullie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    #1
    Good Day

    First Several Facts that might help:

    1) Every Room in our house is hard wired with 2-RJ45 ports (all Cat 5e) and one Coaxial
    2) ISP provides 300Mbps+ service to a modem (provided by ISP) and i am seeing 300+Mbps leaving the modem and leaving my Apple Extreme wireless router (ethernet ports)
    3) All RJ45 ports throughout the house see 250Mbps - 335Mbps speeds
    4) I use an Apple Extreme 4th Generation as my wireless router
    5) the central network enclosure is UPSTAIRS in a large closet. This Leviton structured media enclosure contains the Cable Modem, Apple Extreme, 5e panels/modules for data cable distribution, phone patching/distribution & CATV splitters (not currently used)
    6) I need at least 3 preferably 4 ethernet ports on the router
    7) Use Roku for 4K UHD TV (using one of the RJ45 ports for hard wire connect to Roku Premier box downstairs) use Roku Stick upstairs (close to Airport Extreme)
    8) Home is 2 story and ~3,500 Square Feet
    9) use multiple iMacs, iPads, iPhones, Kindle tablet & work laptops (windows)
    10) Tried using a Powerline extender - house seems to have some type of interference since i was losing 90% of the speed no matter which power outlet I used in the house (300+Mbps down to 35Mbps)

    Issue: a) Poor wifi coveage in certain portions of house (downstairs and outside)
    b) Outdated wireless technology (no a/c band)

    Question: Since i am lucky enough to have hard wire throughout the house, what would the community recommend for a new wireless router since i am planning to replace my existing 4th Generation Apple Extreme. I don't want to over-spec/over-spend$$ for an Orbi, if i can get a less expensive wireless router and just add several decent wireless access points/extenders using my hard wired house.

    Bottom Line - What is the most cost effective (not just cheaper) solution to solve the issue above - assuming i am going to replace my current wireless router.

    Just looking for suggestions/recommendations for a new wireless router since I am not a tech guy - just a novice. Thank you in advance for your comments/suggestions
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Get an ASUS router. Cheerful pricing, lots of features, very accomodating with customisation, and frequently patched with firmware updates.

    What's your budget?
     
  3. iSullie thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 25, 2017
    #3
    Would love to stay under $300, if possible. however spending $300 for poor service doesn't make sense either. So Max $500, but only if i had to. Thanks
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    #4
  5. snoleppard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    #5
    iSullie, I saw something that might be perfect for your setup, or any cord cutter really. On Kickstarter, there's a product called Coaxifi that delivers Wi-Fi signals over cable outlets. You'd put their Wi-Fi splitter in place of your now unused TV splitters in your basement or wiring closet, and their Wi-Fi antennas thread onto your unused cable outlets. That would let you use an old router with detachable antennas and connect one of its antenna ports to your home's cabling. They recommend low-cost models like TP-Link's Archer C5 and C1200, but you could also use a mid-range router like NETGEAR's R7000, and still come in below $300. The whole idea is that you send the Wi-Fi signal directly to the rooms where you need it. And you're already wired for the best performance (using a star topology from the wiring closet) without needing a diplexer for the cable modem - you could put the router there as well.

    There's also something from Actiontec that uses coaxial cabling, but it's MoCA to Wi-Fi. Reviews say it's no better than a repeater, and repeaters tend to halve your throughput because they have separate payload and control/management channels.
     
  6. satinsilverem2 macrumors 6502

    satinsilverem2

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    Richmond, VA
    #6
    I would take a look at the Synology R2600 its a very good router for the money and will last for many years.
     
  7. snoleppard, May 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 29, 2017

    snoleppard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    #7
    For transmit power alone, there might be better routers. Some WRT1900AC versions do 982 milliwatts for 2.4 GHz and 702 mW for 5 GHz. I'm having a hard time finding the R2600 on fccid.io so if you happen to know the transmit power in mW or dBmV, that'd be great. Most cheaper routers are around 200 mW or less. Obviously you don't want have the antennas on a WRT1900AC pointing through your head at zero distance, but you can dial down the power if needed.

    The problem is that indoors, most of the transmit power is wasted trying to penetrate layer upon layer of drywall and insulation, and 5.8 GHz wavelengths are only 2 inches long. The Wi-Fi radio's chipset might say 5.3 Gbps as its PHY rate, but the throughput might be a tenth of that due to the transmit window and TDMA traffic split, and then when you factor in attenuation from interference or walls, you're seeing very little of the "up to" data rate. So I like the Coaxifi approach to giving Wi-Fi a shielded shortcut through a home's coaxial cables (usually RG6 these days).
     
  8. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #8
    +1 for ASUS router.
    Have been using the brand for many years w/o any problems.
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    I fail to understand why promoting a particular model or brand of router here is being offered up as a "solution." The problem goes beyond "a router" solution as the OP stated.

    Some things to consider -
    1) Static devices may be best handled by being kept on Ethernet. This means at less devices sharing WiFi. Tyical to this may be entertainment centers using a switch attached to your Room Ethernet line. (Blu Ray, TV, AVR, etc.). So the cost is the switch and cable(s).

    2) If you plan on a WiFi router, do get an AC router even if your best device only does 802.11n. Decent AC routers do a better "N" than "N" routers.

    3) Research extenders and access points and the like. Be prepared that some set up cause around 50 percent drop in speed.

    4) Antennae. Most people forget there are different types that include db gain and directional type (omni as example). This can make a difference given certain areas of the home and more so outside the home (backyard or garage).

    5) Where to place extenders, access points, mesh devices and orb should also be thoroughly investigated. Remember, these devices do not need to be placed where you want to "connect" your device but be nearby and easily communicate with the primary router.


    I suggest you go to smallnetbuilder site and do some reading there. They cover tests on routers, lend themselves to a couple of beginner articles on home networking and more. I do think location of your communication system devices (router and more) is the real key to your challenges. I might examine the Orb first as it is a powerful, simple and elegant solution along with using Ethernet where it makes sense (with low cost but solid switch for media centers etc.). I have put together all sorts of systems but the best results came when I knew the layout of the home, which barriers (walls, large aquariums and more) would challenge WiFi and then make some logical choices as to the where/what of device deployment.
     
  10. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #10
    The posts served as an answer to this particular question.
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Ulenspiegel, that would be a router PLUS other devices to complete the communication between the computers, ipads and more. I would not recommend one type of router if it did not play well with certain other equipment. All of the equipment to purchase should play well together. One might get an AE and find it does not play well with certain extenders or access ports that would be excellent choice if matched up with an Asus or other offering. The concept was to cover upstairs, downstairs, certain exterior areas. The latter being not just problematic due to location but also remains a vulnerable location security-wise. If one suggested that they had to get a router first blindly, I would often suggest they consider at least an AC1900 type router and mention both Asus and Netgear as good choices to investigate for not just how well they work (and they do) but what features they have that may be of interest. If one was sure they wanted/needed a solution that was more than just a router, I would suggest they investigate the Netgear Orb. While still a bit of a premium, it is one of the more logical designs that works better than most mesh systems and often more advantageous than both access point and extenders).

    Ulenspiegel, I do appreciate your response and if at any point I appeared abrupt or unkind, that was not my intention.
     
  12. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

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    #12

    You did, but no problem.
     
  13. steve123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    #13
    You should consider the Ubiquiti Unifi product line. Best in class and reasonably priced. Look at their security gateway and wireless access points. Great support on their forums. For security reasons, I think its worth spending a little more on these components.
     
  14. nickcliborne macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Nut house
    #14
    I choose the Netgear Orbi for my lake house and it works wonderfully. The setup is easy and the performance is great.

    You can hold down the option key on a Mac and click on the wifi icon in the menu bar. This will give you detailed info on your wireless signal. You can also use the wireless diagnostics tool which can be helpful to identify what channels to use. Remember you do not want overlapping channels with your neighbors wifi.



    As a network engineer I will agree for home use ubuquiti makes good products. But they are a far cry from best in class.
     
  15. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #15
    It's easier to find if you have the right model number - RT2600ac
    https://fccid.io/YOR-RT2600AC

    I bought one for my home office, will be buying two more for my field offices.
     
  16. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #16
    I have a somewhat similar situation: house with basement and upstairs. Separate structure on property, near house. All rooms are wired with Cat5e. In my case I wire-lined the TiVo and TV. I can't imagine any single device providing good wi-fi for your situation. I have a 5th gen (last of the low-rise) Airport Extreme, plus 3 AP Express. One of the latter also does AirTunes into kitchen speakers. It's a little complicated, but after some amount of tinkering it works well. This solution would exceed your budget. Consider these two reviews:
    http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-mesh-networking-kits/
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/201...e-wifi-to-other-mesh-networking-heavyweights/
     
  17. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #17
    Don't get too concerned with transmit power on the AP side; you still need to factor in the transmit power from the client. You can have great transmit power from AP to client, but if the client's power isn't enough, it cannot transmit back to the AP. In essence, you end up with a one way link (AP to client) and it will yield no connection.
     
  18. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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  19. HenryAZ macrumors 6502

    HenryAZ

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    Location:
    South Congress AZ
    #19
    For full on access points (vs all-in-one routers), I find it hard to beat the Engenius line. Ubiquiti is nice, but requires a controller to be be run somewhere. Engenius is more powerful (much more powerful than the AEBS options), and can be controlled from a web browser (get the "unmanaged" version). I have two now, as well as an AEBS, in a roaming network. One Engenius in the LR, another outside (an outdoor version) at the RV pad, and an AEBS right next to my work station. The Engenius in the LR puts out a much stronger signal than the AEBS ever did in the same location.
     
  20. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    DFW, TX
    #20
    I've used two of their ac routers and they were pretty good for sure. You just never hear the name much, at least I never did until I happen to come across it and picked two of them up.
    Fairly simple to create a site to site vpn with them also.
     
  21. nyGiants macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    #21
    I used Ubiquiti router, switch and AC.
    Stick with enterprise grade products, dont go for Apple/Asus/Netgear ...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2017 ---
    I agree, Ubiquiti all the way!!! I use it right now and I couldnt be happier!! switches offer POE option so you can install cameras without running power.

    Pay a little more and get enterprise grade products.
     
  22. lederermc macrumors regular

    lederermc

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle
    #22
    If your extreme has bad coverage due to construction issues then a new router mightl do you no good.

    Put one of these where you have bad Wi Fi coverage: https://www.apple.com/airport-express/

    My house is similar to yours... I have 1 airport extreme and 2 airport expresses.
     
  23. Plutonius, Jun 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017

    Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    New Hampshire
    #23
    If you are happy with your router except for the WiFi, buy some Ubiquiti UniFi wireless access points (you may only need one), keep your current router, and turn off the wireless in your router.

    I own the UniFi AP AC LR and I highly recommend it. One of them was enough to give me wireless coverage in both my house and yard. If needed, you can plug in multiple ones into your RJ45 room connectors. One word of warning is that it might not be a trivial setup for you although their support was pretty good when I had problems.

    I'm not sure of your budget but they are $95 each at Amazon.
     
  24. GenesisST macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    Where I live
    #24
    The problem with Airport Express is that it is N only with Ethernet speeds of 100mbps. Would have been nice to have one last refresh for AC and gigabit Ethernet!
     

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