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lex-ington
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New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:32 pm

Hey guys and gals,

Need a little help please. I have to buy a new router tomorrow and here is what I can afford best:

D-Link AC1900 DIR-880L @ $180
TP-Link Archer 3200 @ $200
TP-Link Archer 2600 @ $130
Google OnHub @ $180 (TP-LINK version)

Which would be the best of this list? It's for my house. I currently have a Netgear nighthawk serving my U.S. VPN needs.

Thanks.
Lex
Last edited by lex-ington on Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:42 pm

You can get the Nighthawk R7000 or Asus RT-AC68U, around the same category and similar price points. Those 2 were on my shortlist based on out of box performance and custom ROM potential. The TP-LINK I am not sure about its custom ROM situation with the new FCC rule in effect.
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LostCat
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:45 pm

Avoid D-Link if you expect support.  Maybe they do on their flagship models, but my experience over the years has been far more miss than hit.

I wanted an Archer but I never got one so I'm still unfamiliar with them.

OnHub gets updated damn near monthly.  https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/6367087?hl=en
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CScottG
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:27 pm

If you don't mind the NSA..er, GOOGLE, then go with theirs.

I still prefer a Ubiquiti router and access point (say an Edgerouter X and a Ubiquiti Unifi Ap-AC Lite) - but I'd have to admit that Google is very good.
 
DancinJack
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:37 pm

Not really sure why you'd step away from the Nighthawk seires at this point. The R7000 and R7800 are the two best consumer routers to get at this point for a combination of stuff most consumers want.

Edit: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tools/ra ... 0/rev9/147 - Gets you somewhat "future proof" and still a rock-solid choice. That's re the R7800.
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:08 pm

The nighthawk is out of my price range. The routers I listed are all on sale till Thursday. My sister bought me the Nighthawk as a gift since she was the one who came up with the idea for the VPN. I cut cable about three years ago and the only way to get certain geographic based websites - like Hulu - is to VPN ...and this was her solution.

My price point is $200 tops (CDN). My normal CDN router right now is a DLink AC1200 one (little circular thing) that does a horrible job of keeping connections and/or pushing strong signals. I really want to change it before the kids start holidays.

Thanks for the replies so far.
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DancinJack
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:09 pm

Eww, screw the Canadia dollar. Like others have said, I would really avoid D-Link. Out of those, I guess one of the TP-Links would be preferable.
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:12 pm

Is the AC3200 that much more noticeable in speed and signal strength than the AC2600?

There must be a reason you're avoiding the Google router? ;-)
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:14 pm

And I must admit...the CDN dollar really screwa us sometimes. Had to travel to Pittsburgh in summer to go to the outlet mall in Grove City and the dollar did not go very far.
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DancinJack
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:18 pm

lex-ington wrote:
Is the AC3200 that much more noticeable in speed and signal strength than the AC2600?

There must be a reason you're avoiding the Google router? ;-)


No, the 3200 has two 5GHz bands. It's not "faster" per se, but has more capacity between those two.

So the 2600 vs 3200 goes like this.
2600 = 1x2.4GHz band @ 800Mbps + 1x5GHz band @ 1733Mbps
3200 = 1.2.4GHz band @ 600Mbps + 1x5GHz band @ 1300Mbps + 1x5GHz band @ 1300Mbps

SNB has shown you don't really get any advantage out of the tri-band stuff at this point. Most devices just can't take advantage of that stuff yet.

The only reason i'm really avoiding the Google router is because there are a lot of people that don't care to give ALL of their web data to Google. If you're OK with that, have at it.

Edit: If you could read my subtlety, I think the 2600 is probably the best choice of performance per dollar here.
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:20 pm

CScottG wrote:
If you don't mind the NSA..er, GOOGLE, then go with theirs.

More likely the NSA is tapped into all the high level ISPs and doesn't give a flying crap about what your router is doing at a local level because they already know.
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:44 pm

lex, you are just shopping at the wrong time. Both the Asus AC68U and Netgear R7000 were routinely around 170-180 back in September/October. Ncix and Canada Computers keep one-upping each other every week with rotational sales. I suggest that if you can wait, wait it out to Boxing Week and see what kind of deals you can get. I do believe Boxing Week still gives Canadians the better deals compared to borrowed excuses of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. ;)

If you don't need "AC1900" capacity (realistically you would never get that), look into the RT-AC66U. Old model, "only" AC1750, but it's a solid platform with tons of custom ROM experience. The cheapest I saw during the crazy Sep/Oct timeframe was 120. Prices may be replicated come Boxing Week.

TP-LINK is supposed to be good too (I am using an unmanaged GbE switch and a pair of HomePlug AV adapters from them, no complaints so far). The only thing is the custom ROM situation with them. Not sure if they have decided to just shut that off with the FCC thing.
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:15 pm

Interesting.

I suppose I can wait but I will be outing this crap by the end of this month.....and dropping bell since they refuse to bring fibre to my neighborhood. So AC 2600 sounds like my sweet spot.

I honestly thought the number of antennas was a good thing, but i guess not.

If the nighthawk happens to be that price at boxing day time great..or I pull the plug on the TP-Link one.

Thank you all.
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Re: New Router Needed

Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:59 am

DancinJack wrote:
The only reason i'm really avoiding the Google router is because there are a lot of people that don't care to give ALL of their web data to Google.  If you're OK with that, have at it.

https://support.google.com/wifi/answer/ ... ic=6281400
Importantly, the Google Wifi app and your Wifi points do not track the websites you visit or collect the content of any traffic on your network.

I know, I sound like a damn cheerleader here, but I already bought one and can't wait for it to ship.  Even though it probably won't change my life.

It's a little weird I can't find a support date for the hardware anywhere.
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:24 am

So I ended up purchasing the TP-Link Archer 2600 over the holidays for $100, which I thought was a good price.

1 problem....the 2.4GHz signal is atrocious. All of the devices on the 5.8GHz band are flying. My older devices though.......the signal is super spotty, even when the devices are in the same room as the router... I even flashed the firmware just to be certain. There is nothing I can think of to make the connections better. My laptop and desktop in the basement are on the 2.4GHz band, as well as the three tablets in my house, and the tablets are having serious issues holding a signal, the laptop and desktop appear to be holding a signal but its pretty slow. The cell phones and the PS4 on the 5.8GHz band are flying.

Any ideas as to why this happening?
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Flying Fox
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Re: New Router Needed

Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:54 pm

Compared to the old router, is the 2.4GHz performance worse?
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Captain Ned
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Re: New Router Needed

Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:57 pm

What's the 2.4GHz spectrum look like at your place. Several free WiFi analyzer apps on Apple and Google to use to check.
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Re: New Router Needed

Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:03 pm

lex-ington wrote:
Any ideas as to why this happening?

I'd check as Captain Ned said, then see if changing its channel helps at all.  Unless there's a problem with one of its antennas or some crazy interference that shouldn't be going on.
If things just seem very wrong, contact the store or manufacturer about a replacement.
These guys seem to think 2.4 is its strong suit http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32871-tp-link-archer-c2600-ac-2600-wireless-dual-band-gigabit-router-reviewed
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DancinJack
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Re: New Router Needed

Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:21 pm

2.4GHz is always going to be better ranged. It's simple physics. Unless there is some really weird interference going on, that is. 5GHz can be faster obviously but not necessarily.

You have quite a few devices on your 2.4 band. You might try taking a few of them down if you really need the bandwidth. Having devices in the same room as the router on 2.4 and being slow is something else though. That's not right. I'd try changing channels first, see if that nets you anything better and if not, return it for a replacement.
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Re: New Router Needed

Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:13 am

I've had great luck with the stability my TP-Link AC1750, but that's also at extremely short ranges.
 
lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed

Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:50 am

Flying Fox wrote:
Compared to the old router, is the 2.4GHz performance worse?

It is worse. I have a few changes going on though so I have to see what happens later this week. I just left Bell at 5Mbs and picked up Rogers at 100Mbs. I had a DLink AC1200 router before this one. and didn't get much range in the house. I am still thinking of picking up powerline stuff to take the desktop and the PS4 off the wireless networks.

Captain Ned wrote:
What's the 2.4GHz spectrum look like at your place.  Several free WiFi analyzer apps on Apple and Google to use to check.


I'll give those a run tonight to see what they're reporting. Should make for an interesting evening.
At least the speeds coming in now are way up. I just hope it holds.
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Re: New Router Needed (bought)

Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:08 am

lex-ington wrote:
Hey guys and gals,

Need a little help please. I have to buy a new router tomorrow and here is what I can afford best:

D-Link AC1900 DIR-880L @ $180
TP-Link Archer 3200 @ $200
TP-Link Archer 2600 @ $130
Google OnHub @ $180 (TP-LINK version)

Which would be the best of this list? It's for my house. I currently have a Netgear nighthawk serving my U.S. VPN needs.

Thanks.
Lex

It depends on your needs, for example, good speed for streaming video, or for NAS.

https://goodplaces.reviews/best-wireless-routers/

I found the above reviews on Google, I would suggest to go for D-Link DIR-890L/R. However, if you are looking for a router for VPN purpose, Synology has a new one:

https://www.synology.com/en-global/products/RT2600ac
 
lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed (bought)

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:20 pm

I have been using the app called Wifi Analyzer for the past few days to see what is happening:

Issue #1: The analyzer is showing up to 13 channels  from my router. My router only allows me to choose up to 11 channels. Somewhere in there is 2 channels I know nothing about.

Issue #2: The analyzer gives a rating out of 10 stars. The 5Ghz channels are at 8 stars or above. Everything flies on that band. The 2.4Ghz channels don't get over 3 stars....on any of the channels. I don't expect the VPN router to be pushing stupendous speeds from all the processing it has  to do, but I was expecting better from the new Router I bought to push the Canadian stuff. I have been adjusting the channels on the router based on the Analyzer, but no matter what channel I select, the connection just drops after about a minute - no matter how close or far I am from the router.....AND its slow. 

I'm guessing its the router since the one I replaced (a DLink AC1200 little thing) never had the dropped connection problem, just wasn't evry fast and couldn't push  the signals too far.

I am seriously considering ditching this router and picking up a new one.......something non-TPLink.

I am still formulating my powerline solution to cover the two rooms at the front of my house, but the dropped connection part is frustrating me at best.
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Captain Ned
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Re: New Router Needed (bought)

Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:40 pm

lex-ington wrote:
I have been using the app called Wifi Analyzer for the past few days to see what is happening:

Issue #1: The analyzer is showing up to 13 channels  from my router. My router only allows me to choose up to 11 channels. Somewhere in there is 2 channels I know nothing about.

Issue #2: The analyzer gives a rating out of 10 stars. The 5Ghz channels are at 8 stars or above. Everything flies on that band. The 2.4Ghz channels don't get over 3 stars....on any of the channels. I don't expect the VPN router to be pushing stupendous speeds from all the processing it has  to do, but I was expecting better from the new Router I bought to push the Canadian stuff. I have been adjusting the channels on the router based on the Analyzer, but no matter what channel I select, the connection just drops after about a minute - no matter how close or far I am from the router.....AND its slow.

#1: Due to FCC limits. US can't use channels 12-14 (yes, 14 exists as well in some places).

#2: The channel strength page (the one with the pretty colored parabolas) should show the number of devices radiating on each channel. Given channel width considerations, most devices will center on 1, 6, and 11. Looks like your 2.4 GHz environment is flat-out saturated. Not sure if even a Ubiquity mesh setup would work in that environment.
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lex-ington
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:01 pm

I am thinking its back to the drawing board for me.....this router is just not working out as I had hoped. 

I think I have the mental go ahead to purchase a different router. I currently have my eye on the Linksys EA9200 @$269 on sale which I am hoping would be a much better buy. I know alot of enthusiasts stopped dealing with Linksys after the Cisco buyout, but would they not be considered much better than their TP-Link counterpart?

The other options would be:
1. The Linksys EA8500 @ $229 on sale
2.The Asus RT-AC3200 @$299 not on sale
3. The DLink AC3200 @ $329 not on sale.

Looks like Dlink does not have an AC2600 product
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Redocbew
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:10 pm

For those prices I'd get a pfSense box and a cheap 8 port switch.

Doh, reading comprehension fail. For wireless, the RT66U has been fine here, but it's just my phone and tablet which are wireless. Everything else has a wired connection.
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Duct Tape Dude
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:14 pm

Why not just try powerline stuff? It's typically fast enough and very stable. At $200+ you can get quite a few powerline adapters, including ones that could act as a WiFi bridge.
 
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:27 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Why not just try powerline stuff? It's typically fast enough and very stable. At $200+ you can get quite a few powerline adapters, including ones that could act as a WiFi bridge.

Seconded. You need to make sure you are getting updated kit as a lot of older gen stuff is everywhere, but I have been using powerline ethernet networking in a 70's multi-box house and never had connectivity issues. And I'm using older 200Mb/s rated gear.
 
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:06 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Why not just try powerline stuff? It's typically fast enough and very stable. At $200+ you can get quite a few powerline adapters, including ones that could act as a WiFi bridge.

Powerline is good when it's working. We've had it in our old place and was working OK in 2 out of 3 sockets (1+2 room split) giving 60-70Mbps, but one in the room with the two was only doing half of that. This with an AV500 rated TP-Link kit. In the new place I did the same to connect two rooms only. Used a Netgear AV500 kit I picked up on the cheap there because that had through power socket on the units. Worked fine with 70-80Mbps for a month or two then dropped to around 50Mbps (the LED even turned orange) then again two month later it started to completely lose connection for seconds, noticed the line quality LED is red and when it works I only get around 20Mbps. I thought the unit(s) died so swapped them for the old TP-Link ones, but they get the same 20Mps speed, the only improvement is that they don't drop the connection. We've changed nothing regarding the electrical circuit, no new devices are plugged in and nothing has been moved. It simply stopped working. I don't see what can be the cause at our place, but will have to do some WiFi setup sooner or later or pull a cable, which is a bummer because the two rooms are the furthest away from each other.
 
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Re: New Router Needed (bought - back to drawing board)

Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:48 am

I tried multiple sets of powerline adapters and a house built in 1993 and it was not good. Just not a consistent connection.

I ended up going with a pair of securefi Almond Plus devices and have not looked back.

https://www.securifi.com/almondplus
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless ... l=&start=4

I have 10-20 devices connected at any one time with no issues.

I don't know a lot of people that use these, but mine have been great.

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