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      09-08-2021, 12:42 PM   #1
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Router

This topic comes up for me every few years, because routers donít seem to last.

I have not been getting the throughput on my router than I should, measured speed at the cable (POE), Modem and Router and Iím losing about 20% at the router, and more since all of my connections from there are WiFi. So I think it might be time for a new one.

Looking for recommendations for WiFi router, no modem needed. Input port for Ethernet from Modem, one or more output Ethernet for alarm system and security cameras. All else is WiFi.
*Should be good quality so it will last several years
*Fast throughput for 1G speeds, although I donít have that service today (400M today, but eventually Iíll get a gig).
*20 simultaneous WiFi devices (a lot of idling Sonos and Roku, really 2-4 devices in heavy use at any time)
*We donít game, but we do stream and surf.
*Nice to have app support so I donít have to physically visit the router every time it needs a reset or whatever.
*Range is not a huge issue. 2,500 sq ft two-story box house with the router dead center. Longest distance for the router is under 25 ft. Mesh etc not needed. But want to maintain signal/speed so range may be a good compensator for signal degradation.
*Ideally not too expensive but will pay up for the above, especially longevity.

It seems every review site recommends a different router these days. Hard to sort them out so looking for any help.
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      09-08-2021, 01:29 PM   #2
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You have to understand that WiFi is a half duplex technology. What this means is only one device can talk on the air space at any given time. This includes the access point. This is why there has been a push to have ever increasing speeds with the various wireless standards that have been coming out. The faster a device can transmit its data the sooner the air space is available for another device to transmit. When you start adding more and more devices to the wireless network, the potential you will cause all the other devices to wait increases as a result. The problem also gets exacerbated with any local interference which will decrease the optimal transmit speed of a device or if a particular device is too far away from the access point to transmit at peak speeds. The greater the distance, the slower the transmit speed and therefore the longer that device hogs up the air space.

While there are newer technique such as multi user MIMO which came out in 802.11ac phase 2, not all devices support this.

The best wireless network to use is one with multiple access points which act as a single logical wireless network. There are plenty of choices out there such as Eero, Netgear Orbi, Linksys Velop, Google WiFi, etc. These systems are best as there are multiple access points to share the load of wireless clients therefore decreasing the likelihood of congestion. The other benefits of managed systems such as these are true roaming support, auto non-interfering channel selection, auto RF power management, etc.
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      09-08-2021, 03:02 PM   #3
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If you are sure that the router is the bottleneck, try disabling all of the malware and packet inspection filters in the config if it is an option. They have been known to chew up CPU cycles in commercial hardware, and are probably killing a home-grade embedded CPU even more.....
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      09-08-2021, 05:51 PM   #4
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I "pay" for up to 1 GB and get between 600 and 800 at modem depending on the day. With Wifi I'm lucky to get 400 but that's faster than anything I do. If you really want high end speed get a Wifi6 mesh router. I really like the Deco line because it works quite well and has enough security for my needs and the price/performance ratio is really good especially if you buy from Costco/Sams Club.
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      09-09-2021, 06:31 AM   #5
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I ended up with the Eero routers from amazon. not sure they are the best, but they did fix my wifi speed issues from my old timeport apple device.

I went with it because of wifi 6 support and apple HomeKit support. only device out at the time with both.

seems to be doing well
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      09-10-2021, 09:54 AM   #6
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My router gave up the ghost this morning (Linksys Velop) so I had to go to the store and buy what they had. TP-Link AX-3000. Was a PITA to set up and get working for some reason. But that buys me time to research something better.
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      09-10-2021, 10:14 AM   #7
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^^^^^ Surely it heard you talking about replacing it! ^^^^^
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      09-10-2021, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by vreihen16 View Post
^^^^^ Surely it heard you talking about replacing it! ^^^^^
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but these days it is getting so Iíd believe anything! It did fail shortly after Bidenís teleprompter reading, soÖ?

But my experience with routers is they only last a few years before something in them self-destructs. So Iíll go with that.
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      09-10-2021, 01:55 PM   #9
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Consumer wifi routers are cheap because they're neither good routers nor good wifi access points. The consumer routers get overwhelmed when they're faced with heavy traffic (torrents, streaming, gaming, etc) because they have weak underpowered processors and in my experience usually need to be rebooted to get to function again. Even the "high end" consumer routers experience these problems with heavy bandwidth.

I gave up on them a couple years back and built my own pfSense router with a couple PoE APs. If you're not into building a router, you can buy pre-built pfSense router/firewalls from Netgate which includes excellent support. This also gives you a chance to harden your home network, setup VLANs and firewall rules to keep IoT devices segregated from the rest of your network.

https://shop.netgate.com/products/2100-base-pfsense
https://shop.netgate.com/products/3100-base-pfsense

Then buy however many wireless APs you need. I bought a couple TP-Link APs but Ubiquiti is also popular.

My home built router is easily able to handle far over 1gbps with IPS/IDS and full VPN traffic. If you're not going to use intrusion protection/detection systems or VPN for full home, the base Netgate 2100 is more than enough for your home, it's low wattage and would last many years into the future.

If none of this is attractive to you and you're insistent on sticking with the consumer grade wifi routers, I'd look for something that would support 3rd party firmware (ie Asuswrt-Merlin, DD-WRT, Tomato). Previously I had Asus wifi routers and once I upgraded the firmware to Asuswrt-Merlin, the performance improved, the router received frequent firmware security and feature updates.
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      10-07-2021, 02:46 AM   #10
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I would recommend the brand Fritz!
I always had trouble with my routers with strange behavior - wifi dropping / internet performance instable etc., but since I switched to Fritz! I had none of that.
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      10-07-2021, 02:47 AM   #11
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PS, the routers are ugly as F so there's something you need to live with
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      10-13-2021, 11:51 AM   #12
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Got the Netgear Orbi modem/router with a couple of satellites. Works fine, no connectivity or speed issues. Probably overkill but wanted the home WiFi 6 future-proof.
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      10-13-2021, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirob View Post
Got the Netgear Orbi modem/router with a couple of satellites. Works fine, no connectivity or speed issues. Probably overkill but wanted the home WiFi 6 future-proof.
^^ second vote for the Orbi Mesh - I have a 2100sq/ft place and use the satellite in my office on the second floor

I have 1.2Gbs Internet service and get following on a consistent basis
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      05-03-2022, 03:30 AM   #14
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Netgear is ok. Not perfect, not awful, just ok
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