The Router Recommendations Thread (Consumer)

diizzy

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This might be a bit overkill but I image that this would indeed the best solution unless you want to run a wire between the buildings and keeping the cost down...

2 pcs - TP-Link CPE510 (Outdoor bridges)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704223
1 pcs - TP-Link TL-WDR3600 (Indoor AP)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704144

Run one cable from the FIOS router to one of the units and put it in AP Mode and mount it on the outside.

Mount unit #2 on the other building (put it in client mode) and run a cable to where the TL-WDR3600 will have good overall coverage. Put the TL-WDR3600 into AP mode (I have no idea if it works using stock firmware but it does work using OpenWRT) and you can additionally use at least 3 other ports for local devices if you need a small switch or so.

Shorter range units costs about the same and you can adjust transmit power anyways, the WDR3600 is to keep the costs down and if you decide to go another route be sure to grab a dual band AP as 2.4Ghz might be very crowded.

UBNT does have a similar solution but they're much more expensive, the TP-Link devices should perform very similar as they also use Atheros chipsets.
//Danne
 

haz_mat

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Right on, thanks for the tips dizzy. Good to know the TP-Link hardware is well-regarded. And overkill isn't a bad thing here, we need something that just works. Thank you for the recommendation.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Has anyone used the Buffalo routers that come with DD-WRT pre installed?

Are they any good?

I've had some people ask me for recommendations, and these sounded decent to me in theory, not sure if they live up to it though.
 

HammerSandwich

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2 pcs - TP-Link CPE510 (Outdoor bridges)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704223
1 pcs - TP-Link TL-WDR3600 (Indoor AP)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704144
<snip>
UBNT does have a similar solution but they're much more expensive, the TP-Link devices should perform very similar as they also use Atheros chipsets.
//Danne
I don't see a large price difference to Ubiquiti. A pair of Loco M5s & standard AP cost about $10 more than the quoted TP-Link hardware. UBNT's bridge is actually cheaper...

I've had positive experiences with TP-Link routers but have not used their bridges. Ubiquiti would be my choice here, because the price is right & my (limited) personal experience has been solid.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I don't see a large price difference to Ubiquiti. A pair of Loco M5s & standard AP cost about $10 more than the quoted TP-Link hardware. UBNT's bridge is actually cheaper...

I've had positive experiences with TP-Link routers but have not used their bridges. Ubiquiti would be my choice here, because the price is right & my (limited) personal experience has been solid.

With this kind of range, are these standard 802.11 compliant devices, or something completely different?

I imagine these are intended to serve only as a bridge, and not for client access, correct?

I know a thing or to about regular routers and wireless AP's but I've never read up on these extreme range solutions and how they work.

Any good links?
 

diizzy

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@ HammerSandwitch
Given that he/she/it has FIOS and it was mentioned that any type of speed loss should be avoided I didn't even consider 150mbit devices (UBNT labels it as 150+ whatever that means). That said, it also uses older Atheros hardware which doesn't help, rather the opposite.

As for the AP, no sane person wouldn't deploy dual band due to interference and overall performance...
//Danne
 

diizzy

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@ Zarathustra[H]

Not really, just go for the Archer C5 or C7 v2 routers instead by TP-Link unless you have some very specific needs for DD-WRT. OpenWRT is better by far in this regard and its much easier to keep devices up to date.
//Danne
 

Zarathustra[H]

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@ Zarathustra[H]

Not really, just go for the Archer C5 or C7 v2 routers instead by TP-Link unless you have some very specific needs for DD-WRT. OpenWRT is better by far in this regard and its much easier to keep devices up to date.
//Danne

Well, I already run pfSense on my server for my routing. (which I love, apart from the confusing mess that is traffic management) I'm just trying to keep current on consumer models as I often get questions about them.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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@ HammerSandwitch
Given that he/she/it has FIOS and it was mentioned that any type of speed loss should be avoided I didn't even consider 150mbit devices (UBNT labels it as 150+ whatever that means). That said, it also uses older Atheros hardware which doesn't help, rather the opposite.

It is telling that the ethernet connection for the UBNT models is 10/100, so the best you are going to get is 100mbit.

So I am gathering these units suffer many of the same overhead issues that traditional WIFI does. (the specs SAY 600mbit, but you've never actually gotten more than 6MB/s transfers, type stuff).

The same thing goes for the original Unifi AP's. Specs claim 300Mbit wifi, but they only bother putting a 100Mbit ethernet port on it, because you are never going to get that much bandwidth anyway.

WIFI bandwidth specs are such a total sham. This is why I run wired gigabit ethernet for everything, and only use wifi for phones and laptops. (I even plug my laptop in to ethernet when at my desk)

People keep saying wireless is the future, but until it reaches par with true full duplex gigabit ethernet, both from actual achieved bandwidth AND latency perspectives, it won't play a major role in my house. :p

What I will say for UBNT products though is that they have this black magic like ability to cut through dense 2.4.ghz spectrum and work at full speeds, where more traditional consumer models fall flat on their face.

When i got sick of my supplied FiOS router years ago, I bought a Netgear N600 (WNDR3700) but the 2.4Ghz band was SO congested in my neighborhood that the damned thing rarely ever resulted in higher than 30Mbit transfer speeds.

After a year of that, I got tired of it, sold it here on the forums and picked up a UBNT Unifi AP, and I had instant full N speeds.
 

diizzy

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@ Zarathustra[H]

Depending on the age of your UBNT AP they use the same radios which means that something else changed rather than the unit itself that affected speed (that includes drivers) :)
//Danne
 

Zarathustra[H]

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@ Zarathustra[H]

Depending on the age of your UBNT AP they use the same radios which means that something else changed rather than the unit itself that affected speed (that includes drivers) :)
//Danne

Oh I agree. There is somthing the UBNT AP does that no consumer router I have ever used does.

Maybe it has software to dynamically change channel within the 2.4Ghz band and dynamically modify signal power better than consumer models do? I don't know, but the difference was night and day.

I went through several consumer routers before I finally used the UBNT AP and my problems were gone.

1.) Verizon Actiontec router
2.) Verizon Westell router
3.) Some newer Dlink model (returned)
4.) Even an older Dlink model I had in a closet, just for testing
5.) Negear WNDR3700 (bought for ~$250, and sold for $65 :p)

Then I gave up for a while as I felt I had exhausted my options, and would simply never get decent WIFI until I heard about Ubiquiti Unifi on here, and bought their basic AP (probably late 2011) for $78 and my problems vanished immediately.

So I don't know what kind of wizardry they do behind the scenes, but if they indeed are using the same hardware, then UBNT is definitely doing something Netgear is not, and whatever it is, is very very impressive.
 

diizzy

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I have two WNDR3700 performing rather good but oh well, it would be nice if you still had it so we could do some quick testing.
//Danne
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I have two WNDR3700 performing rather good but oh well, it would be nice if you still had it so we could do some quick testing.
//Danne

Is your area heavily congested in the 2.4ghz band?

At the time I was living in a condo in a very dense neighborhood, so the problem was exacerbated by the fact that there were so many routers, cordless phones, microwaves, or whatever in a very close proximity of eachother.

(If I recall, from my laptop in my condo, I had 20 or more visible SSID's at any given time. Actually I am not certain about the number, but the list was very very long.)

I wasn't trying to suggest that the WNDR3700 wasn't a good router. It seems to perform great in a normal area, it was just that it, and 100% of the other routers I tested performed rather poorly in the heavily congested 2.4ghz area i was in, and I was mighty impressed by the fact that the UBNT Unifi unit I bought cut through the congestion and function as if it weren't even there.

The guy I sold it to (farscapesg1 on these forums) seemed to be pretty happy with it, so I assume it wasn't a defective unit. (maybe we can ask him? :p )
It just suffered from the same problems every other consumer router did for me in my rather special case.

So, I wasn't saying the WNDR3700 sucked. I was saying how amazed I was at the Unifi AP. I guess I just attributed it to a difference between consumer and enterprise hardware.
 
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Recommendation Time:

Or maybe just a 'yeah, that's probably your best bet' agree with me time: ;)


Moving into a new Condo soon. 2 Story with a basement. 1300 sqft in the upper two floors.

Switching from UVerse (yuck) to Comcast (meh, but at least it'll be faster).

Already picked up a SB6141 cable modem, but I'm not sure what to do for the router.

The two priorities are stability and stability, though reaching the corners of the house would be nice.
Don't really care about price, but I want something as stable as possible b/c when something goes wrong I get to fix it, and I don't want to spend much time doing so. I'd rather spend the time/work setting it up right, then letting it run.

Currently planning on an ASUS RT-N66U because nothing in the house needs/will use AC, but I am thinking maybe getting an AC router for future proofing.

Router will be fairly centrally located on the main floor,
1 hardwired desktop,
1 hardwired NAS
2-3 wireless laptops (both N)
1 iPad(air), 2 - 3 smartphones, smartDVD


The price isn't "really" an object, but stability and reliability is paramount.

Is the RT-N66U still the best choice, or any other suggestions?
 

Edgar

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Sort of the same question as zumino. Except I have a RT-N66U and is starting to fail(still under warranty). But wanting to get something more powerful. I have a 1900 sq ft 2 story house. Signal is a little bad in master bedroom. Even on 2.4 ghz.
 

Budman

I put the Bad in Bad Grandpa!
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Ok... I've been out of the loop for a long time. I currently have a DIR655 router that's been rock solid for the last 6 yrs. The wife & I both bought new laptops recently & we added a new deck on the back of the house late last summer. We have the Roadrunner 90 mbs service. We get low 90's through this router on our wired desktops. I get good speed in the house on my laptop (high 80's) but nothing out on the deck.
I have a 1440 sq foot single story house. Our property slopes so our deck is 3-4 steps lower that the front part of the house where the router is. So we actually sit below window height. The distance is about 46ft from the router to the back outside wall of the house, then a 16ft deck.
I'm looking at something in Dual Band in the AC1200 range? Something I can go another 5-6 yrs before replacing. What do you recommend that will have the range for us on the deck? Can I use the old router has an extender or do I need to get something different to do that? I'm not real knowledgeable in networking, so it has to be simple. Price wise I'd like to keep it about $100.


Thanks,
 

HisSvt76

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Just picked up the netgear nighthawk R7000 I'm impressed nice setup lots of options covers entire house.
Target has a cartwheel for 15% off netgear right now plus target debit 5% plus 5% pharmacy rewards paid $165

Much better performance i have 3 360's 2 xbox one's PS3,PS4,and bunch of other systems wireless devices and PC's it definitely handles the demand nicely
 

spincut

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I actually have owned and mostly enjoyed my Netgear WNDR3700 for years, but it's time to replace it!

I wish I could wait for the next wave, but I might need to act soon. Asus does seem to make the best (despite my initial interest in staying with Netgear and their slick, but mixed reviewed Nighthawks), but what keeps bugging me is that even with updated firmware their older 68u model still seems to outperform the 87u? Why is that exactly? I'd gladly pay the extra money for potentially better performance and range and all that, but not for worser performance :p .
 

Albanu1800

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Currently using this as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122140 in my living room to provide wired network access to various home theater equipment. But i'm looking for a solution that will provide full house coverage for wireless devices. My current router is located up in my bedroom and I was looking to extend that signal by either replacing my network switch in my living room or having some kind of extender.

Any recommendations?
 

Q-BZ

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My D-Link DGL 4500 may not much longer for this world.

I am considering getting a Roku for the house and a few other things. Long/short: It's a big enough house that I know I'm going to need more muscle than what I've had.

I keep coming back to the Netgear Nighthawks. R7000 vs R8000. I'm not married to any brand per se.

I realize there is a sweet spot on performance vs value for the dollar. I'm prepared to spend what I need to get the job done right so any "haze clearing" anyone wants to throw at me go for it. I realize wireless ac is still a moving target of sorts but continues to improve over time.

Thanks all.
 

ob1

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Just my $0.02 is that I had a few Dlink units, first the DGL4100 then upgraded to DGL4300 and thought they were good. I was about to get another one, but decided to try one of the AC units from Asus so I bought it at BestBuy thinking I could just return it if I didn't like it. Well, the Asus unit (AC68), has so much better performance than any of the DGL units I used it isn't even funny. I mean the wireless performance/range was probably at least X10 or more. I would try one out, whether it is the Netgear or whatever brand. I just couldn't believe how long I lived in the dark...
 

chockomonkey

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Just my $0.02 is that I had a few Dlink units, first the DGL4100 then upgraded to DGL4300 and thought they were good. I was about to get another one, but decided to try one of the AC units from Asus so I bought it at BestBuy thinking I could just return it if I didn't like it. Well, the Asus unit (AC68), has so much better performance than any of the DGL units I used it isn't even funny. I mean the wireless performance/range was probably at least X10 or more. I would try one out, whether it is the Netgear or whatever brand. I just couldn't believe how long I lived in the dark...

I got a TP-Link due to recommendations and i've been pretty disappointed with the wireless quality. I will definitely be trying an Asus next.
 

diizzy

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Which one?
The WDR3600 and WDR4300 have worked great, haven't been able to try the 11ac hardware wireless yet.
//Danne
 

Prim3

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Replacement modem for UVERSE? I am dropping the TV part and will need an ADSL 2 modem and want suggestions.
 

chockomonkey

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Which one?
The WDR3600 and WDR4300 have worked great, haven't been able to try the 11ac hardware wireless yet.
//Danne

I got the WDR3600. It could just be the unit, I never did RMA it but i've had issues since day 1 with the wireless dropping people. Rather unpredictable. So i replaced the firmware with dd-wrt and that didn't help. /shrug

Now i just deal with it and tell people the wireless sucks.
 

Dew

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Replacement modem for UVERSE? I am dropping the TV part and will need an ADSL 2 modem and want suggestions.

Bonded or non-bonded?

For non-bonded ADSL2+, Netopia 3347 modems go for under $15 on ebay. They can be bridged as well. The only gotcha is that you will need to manually configure the VPI/VCI for your ISP(Takes two minutes).
 

Q-BZ

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Just my $0.02 is that I had a few Dlink units, first the DGL4100 then upgraded to DGL4300 and thought they were good. I was about to get another one, but decided to try one of the AC units from Asus so I bought it at BestBuy thinking I could just return it if I didn't like it. Well, the Asus unit (AC68), has so much better performance than any of the DGL units I used it isn't even funny. I mean the wireless performance/range was probably at least X10 or more. I would try one out, whether it is the Netgear or whatever brand. I just couldn't believe how long I lived in the dark...

Yup, it's been Netgear and Asus that I keep coming around to.
 

diizzy

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@ chockomonkey
Ahh, I see... I've only used OpenWRT on my boxes and they've all been fine. I tried DD-WRT years ago and the experience was far from great, I haven't tried it myself nowdays but I have friends telling me that its still hopeless. Keep in mind that you might need to do some wireless tuning depending on congestion in your area. If you want I can have a look if I have a build around somewhere with LuCI etc enabled.
//Danne
 

ob1

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Honestly, I would try a new router. If you have a Best Buy in your area, check out a new router and see if it helps. My signal using the DGL units listed in my above post wouldn't get signal except on the floor the router was located. With the new unit, I get full power and data rate signal in every room in the house, and in the garage and even walking the dog in the park now. If it doesn't work for you, then you could return it I guess.
 

Albanu1800

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Honestly, I would try a new router. If you have a Best Buy in your area, check out a new router and see if it helps. My signal using the DGL units listed in my above post wouldn't get signal except on the floor the router was located. With the new unit, I get full power and data rate signal in every room in the house, and in the garage and even walking the dog in the park now. If it doesn't work for you, then you could return it I guess.

It's a Comcast issued wireless router. Then may have to give it back, maybe saving money on my bill.
 

chockomonkey

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@ chockomonkey
Ahh, I see... I've only used OpenWRT on my boxes and they've all been fine. I tried DD-WRT years ago and the experience was far from great, I haven't tried it myself nowdays but I have friends telling me that its still hopeless. Keep in mind that you might need to do some wireless tuning depending on congestion in your area. If you want I can have a look if I have a build around somewhere with LuCI etc enabled.
//Danne

I looked into OpenWRT but it looked so much more complicated than DD-WRT lol

My old roommate left an old linksys router with DD-WRT on it and I used it forever without issues, so my experience with that firmware has been pretty good, albeit limited.

I had the same issues with the stock firmware, so I probably would have never flashed it had it been stable.

I suppose i could try tuning the wireless channels or whatnot...
 

caycep

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This is a dumb question but my networking closet at home has about 4 ish Gigabit ethernet cables wired to various rooms in the house. Am I stuck with getting a Wifi/4-port GB-e router or can you plug some sort of hub into the 1-port ethernet models?
 

Eshelmen

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Getting 100 megs from Comcast installed tomorrow, I'm not really wanting their default router/modem they provide. So I just rented a modem, I want to spend about $80 on a router.

What do you guys recommend? I want the TP Link Archer c7, but it's not on sale around here. It's around $100.

Around the $80 range, what do you guys recommend?

Light gaming when I have the time, but mostly for multi users use. Office work, emails, stream netflix etc...
 
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thedocta45

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I got the WDR3600. It could just be the unit, I never did RMA it but i've had issues since day 1 with the wireless dropping people. Rather unpredictable. So i replaced the firmware with dd-wrt and that didn't help. /shrug

Now i just deal with it and tell people the wireless sucks.

I have the 4300 and its been about the same for me, my wifes laptop and her sons phone constantly are dropping connection.

For the 80 bucks I paid for it 3 years ago its been a decent router overall.

Not sure I will buy a second TP-Link product or jump to another vendor.
 

diizzy

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Not sure what you're doing with your things, the WDR3600 and/or WDR4300 works great (at least using atk9k driver) but like with any wireless router you need to do a wireless survey to figure out what channels you should use and channel bandwidth for best performance. Also, update wireless drivers on your devices as it can affect them greatly on how they perform.
//Danne
 
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