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bitcat70
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Wireless router recommendation

Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:18 pm

Hi!
I'm looking for a wireless router that needs to be kept under $200 for residential use. Of course I'd like it to be reliable. I like Unifi but I don't see anything they have that would end up under $250 at the least so that rules it out. One router I've seen mentioned here is the Asus AC2900. Is that one still good? Any other ones that could be considered? I haven't done it in a while but should one consider something like WRT nowadays?
 
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:03 pm

bitcat70 wrote:
I like Unifi but I don't see anything they have that would end up under $250 at the least so that rules it out.

What I have at home is the ER-X + AP AC Lite. That's ~60 + ~80 = $140.
 
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:32 pm

Pretty much the same config here. For a typical number of residential users, the ERX and any Unifi AP can get you to commercial-grade performance for under $200 every time. The ERX has a web utility same as any other router.

For the AP, you'll need to install a PC program or load the Unifi app onto a mobile device, but after that it configures the same way. If you don't like your coverage (unlikely, but maybe you have a difficult layout to cover) then the app is designed to configure multiple APs into a single network.
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roncat
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:32 am

bitcat70 wrote:
Hi!
I'm looking for a wireless router that needs to be kept under $200 for residential use. Of course I'd like it to be reliable. I like Unifi but I don't see anything they have that would end up under $250 at the least so that rules it out. One router I've seen mentioned here is the Asus AC2900. Is that one still good? Any other ones that could be considered? I haven't done it in a while but should one consider something like WRT nowadays?


I have an ASUS RT-AC88U. Good performance and range on both 2.4G and 5G channels. No dropouts, and I never have to reboot. Just plug it in and config. My only reboots are for firmware updates.
 
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:44 am

roncat wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:
Hi!
I'm looking for a wireless router that needs to be kept under $200 for residential use. Of course I'd like it to be reliable. I like Unifi but I don't see anything they have that would end up under $250 at the least so that rules it out. One router I've seen mentioned here is the Asus AC2900. Is that one still good? Any other ones that could be considered? I haven't done it in a while but should one consider something like WRT nowadays?


I have an ASUS RT-AC88U. Good performance and range on both 2.4G and 5G channels. No dropouts, and I never have to reboot. Just plug it in and config. My only reboots are for firmware updates.


I also recommend the Asus rt-ac88U or 86U.
I have a 66u at home and wish I had gotten the 68u or upgraded to 88/86u.

The 66u is OK don't get me wrong, but going up a level has some nice QOS features the lower levels don't have.
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DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:16 am

I've been looking at Orbi. They just had a Wi-Fi 6 version release, though that's way out of budget. They have Wi-Fi 5 (AX) 2-pack versions in your price range.
 
bitcat70
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:42 pm

Aranarth wrote:
roncat wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:
Hi!
I'm looking for a wireless router that needs to be kept under $200 for residential use. Of course I'd like it to be reliable. I like Unifi but I don't see anything they have that would end up under $250 at the least so that rules it out. One router I've seen mentioned here is the Asus AC2900. Is that one still good? Any other ones that could be considered? I haven't done it in a while but should one consider something like WRT nowadays?


I have an ASUS RT-AC88U. Good performance and range on both 2.4G and 5G channels. No dropouts, and I never have to reboot. Just plug it in and config. My only reboots are for firmware updates.


I also recommend the Asus rt-ac88U or 86U.
I have a 66u at home and wish I had gotten the 68u or upgraded to 88/86u.

The 66u is OK don't get me wrong, but going up a level has some nice QOS features the lower levels don't have.


What does one give up with the 66u?
 
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:08 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
I've been looking at Orbi. They just had a Wi-Fi 6 version release, though that's way out of budget. They have Wi-Fi 5 (AX) 2-pack versions in your price range.


I've had an AC-type Orbi for a couple years now, one base and one satellite. Works great, no wifi problems. I could wish for some higher-end features like sshd and a proper OpenVPN implementation (it's there, but limited configurability and only 1024-bit keys allowed) but for a wifi-first consumer router it's not bad.
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meerkt
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:25 pm

Do modern routers (cheapish or not), with stock firmware, still need a restart before changed settings take effect?
 
Redocbew
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:43 pm

I know pfsense doesn't which is what my primary router is running. I haven't had to mess with the RT-AC66U for long enough that I don't remember if it requires a restart or not. :lol:
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bthylafh
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:49 pm

meerkt wrote:
Do modern routers (cheapish or not), with stock firmware, still need a restart before changed settings take effect?


This Orbi doesn't. Couldn't say about my earlier wifi routers because they had Tomato installed for most of their service.
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roncat
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:00 am

bitcat70 wrote:
Aranarth wrote:
roncat wrote:

I have an ASUS RT-AC88U. Good performance and range on both 2.4G and 5G channels. No dropouts, and I never have to reboot. Just plug it in and config. My only reboots are for firmware updates.


I also recommend the Asus rt-ac88U or 86U.
I have a 66u at home and wish I had gotten the 68u or upgraded to 88/86u.

The 66u is OK don't get me wrong, but going up a level has some nice QOS features the lower levels don't have.


What does one give up with the 66u?



Not too much... a small bit of range, and 80Mhz channels. There are some QOS features which you may or may not use or need. The 88U uses beamforming, which may help if you have other wifi networks nearby.
 
bitcat70
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:16 am

roncat wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:
Aranarth wrote:

I also recommend the Asus rt-ac88U or 86U.
I have a 66u at home and wish I had gotten the 68u or upgraded to 88/86u.

The 66u is OK don't get me wrong, but going up a level has some nice QOS features the lower levels don't have.


What does one give up with the 66u?



Not too much... a small bit of range, and 80Mhz channels. There are some QOS features which you may or may not use or need. The 88U uses beamforming, which may help if you have other wifi networks nearby.


That's great to know! I appreciate it!
 
roncat
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:14 am

bitcat70 wrote:
roncat wrote:
bitcat70 wrote:

What does one give up with the 66u?



Not too much... a small bit of range, and 80Mhz channels. There are some QOS features which you may or may not use or need. The 88U uses beamforming, which may help if you have other wifi networks nearby.


That's great to know! I appreciate it!


I have owned both the 68u and 88u. Real life performance for me is noticeably better with the 88u, but that may just be due to my house's shape/size, the neighbors wifi, etc. Both are/were really reliable units. I actually ended up keeping the 68u as a AI mesh node for the 88u, to get coverage in the basement.
 
meerkt
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:42 am

Redocbew wrote:
I know pfsense doesn't which is what my primary router is running.

Isn't that just the firewall?

bthylafh wrote:
Couldn't say about my earlier wifi routers because they had Tomato installed for most of their service.

If modern routers still have the restart requirement, it's bizarre. After all these years, you'd think stock software from SoC providers or ODMs (or even final customized versions from the consumer-facing companies) would have matured.
 
Redocbew
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:40 am

meerkt wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
I know pfsense doesn't which is what my primary router is running.

Isn't that just the firewall?


It's most well known for the firewall, but it has other features as well. Some of them go beyond my experience in networking, so I'm going to refer to them in a hand-wavey, non-specific way. :P
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Wireless router recommendation

Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:47 am

meerkt wrote:
bthylafh wrote:
Couldn't say about my earlier wifi routers because they had Tomato installed for most of their service.

If modern routers still have the restart requirement, it's bizarre. After all these years, you'd think stock software from SoC providers or ODMs (or even final customized versions from the consumer-facing companies) would have matured.

If it ain't broke don't fix it. If a 30-second restart really hampers your day you need to go outside more.

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