Seeking router recommendation - just got fiber, have significantly lower speed over wifi

Mizugori

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Hi,

I just switched from cable to fiber for internet. I am getting excellent speed when plugged directly into the router (it's some Arris piece of ****) but when I connect devices to it via wifi, they get a decent amount less, especially if they are any distance from the router (like in a room ~20 feet away = ~200mbps less.)

If I go ahead and get my own router (which my ISP allows) can I expect a significant improvement to this?

I did a bit of research but I have not really been looking into routers for several years... I got lucky and my last few ISPs provided great routers that worked fantastic. This is the first time in a long time that I got a crappy one. I looked at a few of the Netgear ones like the RAX40, and some Asus products such as the RT-AX3000 and AC2900. (Also, has netgear stepped up their game recently? Back in the day netgear was junk... was very surprised to see so many places recommending their devices now!)

My main priority is reducing the amount of speed that is being lost via wifi... any advice on which device/s would best accomplish that?
 

Mizugori

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Zepher

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Yes - and the reviews on that are pretty scary. The first several I saw when I scrolled down were all 1 star horror stories.

Also, what makes that better than say this one which is $169: https://www.amazon.com/Dual-band-Du...ywords=asus+wifi+router&qid=1607825614&sr=8-4

*Edit: crap the reviews are dicey on that one too... GDI!!!

The Ubiquity one apparently has a lot of options for setting up concurrent wireless lan networks and policies.

I am just using the Cox supplied gigabit modem/router which has decent wireless speeds but I only use wireless for the phones and tablets, everything else I use is hard wired.
 

Mizugori

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I can't run cat5 unfortunately... doesn't an access point need to be wired in? Or am I being dumb. The only cat5 is between the fiber box (ONT) and the modem, can't run cat5 into the other rooms where wifi is needed / used.
 

SamirD

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I can't run cat5 unfortunately... doesn't an access point need to be wired in? Or am I being dumb. The only cat5 is between the fiber box (ONT) and the modem, can't run cat5 into the other rooms where wifi is needed / used.
An access point would be wired in just like a router would be. You'd would just turn off the wifi in the arris and let your access point handle the wireless (hopefully much better).
 

SamirD

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I would even say $200 is insane. You can get enterprise fortigates for that much.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

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If you are standing in the same room as the ISP provided equipment and getting good speeds, but not when in another room then you need to add more waps. A lot of these sort of ISP provided devices do not have good wifi for multi room, 5ghz will be sensitive to interference like walls. I would suggest to add a wap or two, Monoprice sells slim run cat6: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13527 These can easily be pushed under trim along a wall with carpet to get wire speed elsewhere with no need to drill holes(this is how my desktop is hardwired). You may also be able to simply add a wap at the router as well which may be more powerful than the ISP provided gear.

If this is GBE fiber and you're losing 200mbps, why are you sweating it? Does it impact streaming? I bet not.
 

Mizugori

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It's 500/500 currently. I may get 1gb eventually but that is not currently available as they need to do some upgrades to accommodate the massive increase in demand for it in my area.

So, plugged right in I get 500 up and down (actually hilariously a little OVER 500.) But on wifi in the same room ~5 feet from the router, it goes to around 400. In other rooms where it is ~15-20 feet away (like my office,) it drops down to 200-300.

I am a little surprised that no one else is chiming in with what they use... I do not believe for one second that you all are just using either the ISP provider router or some $300-600 monstrosity like come on now... lol

I am hesitant to try one of these netgear or asus devices ($100-200) because all the reviews I am reading, seem to say that both netgear and asus SUCK at CS if you have issues... it's like pay $20 to ship the device to them, wait weeks, don't get it fixed correctly. Yikes...
 

SamirD

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I am a little surprised that no one else is chiming in with what they use... I do not believe for one second that you all are just using either the ISP provider router or some $300-600 monstrosity like come on now... lol

I am hesitant to try one of these netgear or asus devices ($100-200) because all the reviews I am reading, seem to say that both netgear and asus SUCK at CS if you have issues... it's like pay $20 to ship the device to them, wait weeks, don't get it fixed correctly. Yikes...
The STH thread I linked to has Ruckus units that will hit 500 easy for $99--not sure it gets much better than that.

As far as the consumer hardware support--well, that's typical in the consumer realm and even smb. It's only at the enterprise level where you even get any type of support and it's not like it was before. Support is being replaced by price so it's cheaper, but 'you're stuck with it and don't call us' is the support you get.
 

Mizugori

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The STH thread I linked to has Ruckus units that will hit 500 easy for $99--not sure it gets much better than that.

As far as the consumer hardware support--well, that's typical in the consumer realm and even smb. It's only at the enterprise level where you even get any type of support and it's not like it was before. Support is being replaced by price so it's cheaper, but 'you're stuck with it and don't call us' is the support you get.

Sorry I thought I responded to you before - I checked the link you posted earlier but it was already over / expired. I looked up ruckus 610 online and they go for like $300 (new)
 

SamirD

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Thank you. It's interesting, but at $180-$300 for the netgate device, plus still having to buy an access point to give it wifi capability, that becomes quite expensive. I wonder if one could run pfsense on a raspberry pi device...
That's too much for a pfsense build. I'd rather get a used fortigate or other enterprise router for 1/2 that.
 

SamirD

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Sorry I thought I responded to you before - I checked the link you posted earlier but it was already over / expired. I looked up ruckus 610 online and they go for like $300 (new)
At the end of the thread they seem to keep getting more in spurts at nearly the same price ($129 I think was the last one). Yep, it's a $300 access point--so you know it's the real deal. :D
 
D

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Thank you. It's interesting, but at $180-$300 for the netgate device, plus still having to buy an access point to give it wifi capability, that becomes quite expensive. I wonder if one could run pfsense on a raspberry pi device...

It probably can, but rpi has single ethernet which means you'll learn vlans or add another interface, if its not an rpi4(has usb3) then the rpi will probably impact internet experience as ethernet/usb are on the same bus. It does have wifi but honestly wouldn't think it is robust enough and puts you in the same spot you're in today. Router on a stick comes to mind.

Honestly I would have a hard time relying on a router for wifi but that's probably because I don't like dead spots. Am pretty sure the Arris is a good router, you just need/want wifi. I've not used them but both Netgear and TPLink offer meshing solutions that would probably be the path of least resistance but you're still going to spend upwards of $200 or more. Could also add a pair of Unifi AC lite's, still at about $200 unless you go used.

I think it comes down to what do you really want, and think it's a matter for doing some further research for your use case.
 

Nicklebon

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I am a little surprised that no one else is chiming in with what they use... I do not believe for one second that you all are just using either the ISP provider router or some $300-600 monstrosity like come on now... lol

I am hesitant to try one of these netgear or asus devices ($100-200) because all the reviews I am reading, seem to say that both netgear and asus SUCK at CS if you have issues... it's like pay $20 to ship the device to them, wait weeks, don't get it fixed correctly. Yikes...

LMAO $300-600 monstrosity ... I'm using a Fortigate 201E with a pair of FAP421E and a FAP223E. There may also be a dedicated AP to encourage neighbours that use 2.4Gh channels other than 1/6/11 not to do so. :> The FGT load balances over a 1Gbps fiber link and a 300Mb docis link. There is an LTE link for backup if the other two go down.


PS. No, I do not work for Fortinet.
 

SamirD

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LMAO $300-600 monstrosity ... I'm using a Fortigate 201E with a pair of FAP421E and a FAP223E. There may also be a dedicated AP to encourage neighbours that use 2.4Gh channels other than 1/6/11 not to do so. :> The FGT load balances over a 1Gbps fiber link and a 300Mb docis link. There is an LTE link for backup if the other two go down.


PS. No, I do not work for Fortinet.
Yeah, I have a nice overkill like that too--a Watchguard M300 that has 500/50 and 100/10 cable connections to it as well as some ipsec site-to-site tunnels. Most everything we have is wired so don't even really have a access point that's on--just plug one into a local ethernet jack when I need it (have 2x ports min in every room).
 

sphinx99

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The one advice I have is to avoid all the higher end Netgear routers. The software is a train wreck, model by model, year after year, and there are no third party alternatives (such as dd-wrt, Asus-merlin etc.) to mitigate the headaches.
 

scrappymouse

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I had a netgear nighthawk first gen....absolute garbage. It dropped packets and connections constantly. I switched to Ubiquity and haven't looked back, I have a separate router/switch/ap setup, but I wouldn't recommend it to newbies or the everyday consumer(I'm a network/security engineer) it's steady stable and great, but probably overkill for most consumers. You may be able to get away with a MOCA adapters and cheep wifi access points where you need them most. Depending on your modem/router combo they may even support MOCA so you may only need one.
 

trick0502

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My question is what are you doing on Wi-Fi that you need more than 200mbps?
I run 2 ap AC pros, nano hd and u6-lite. The ac pros and nano HD’s will do 4-500 and the u6 lite will do 659-700.
 

SamirD

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The one advice I have is to avoid all the higher end Netgear routers. The software is a train wreck, model by model, year after year, and there are no third party alternatives (such as dd-wrt, Asus-merlin etc.) to mitigate the headaches.
This can be said for most consumer routers after a year or two--even some smb routers. Once you get into more professional equipment you wonder why you ever wasted money on consumer crap.
 

LukeTbk

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My question is what are you doing on Wi-Fi that you need more than 200mbps?
I run 2 ap AC pros, nano hd and u6-lite. The ac pros and nano HD’s will do 4-500 and the u6 lite will do 659-700.
If I read correctly he is talking about loosing 200mbits, not that he is still over 200mbits in the worst place he use wifi and want something faster.

Anyone I imagine if one would stream video without really good compression, like say something that is realtime like a game running on a pc but displaying on a television or tablet, that can easily go over 250 MBS (and it could use 40 gbits if all the parts could do it I imagine)
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Honestly, this is to be expected from WiFi. They really boost up the marketing numbers they print on the box of routers, but most of those are theoretical maxes only, and are not very realistic in the real world.

Any expectation of WiFi keeping up with wired is really unrealistic. It is half duplex only, as compared to wired which is full duplex, and also suffers from interference and congestion.

It is much healthier to view even the best WiFi as a low performance solution for when you absolutely have to be mobile or wireless, and use wired connections whenever possible.

If I disable my VPN, I can speedtest at almost a gigabit both down and up, as advertised. Over my Unifi AP AC LR units which officially support 867Mbit per specs, even when only a few feet away I rarely see anything higher than 300Mbit/s, and Unifi's products are a hell of a lot better than any consumer router. If you are getting 200Mbit/s or higher over WiFi, you are doing pretty well and should be happy.

Maxing out your gigabit fiber over WiFi is a completely unrealistic and useless expectation.
 
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silentsod

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I'm rocking an Asus AC68U from 2014 for my 1Gbps fiber and since the high bandwidth devices are all over wire it's perfectly fine.

My parents recently switched to 1Gbps fiber and they changed out to a mid-tier Netgear router NETGEAR AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router RAX10-100NAS - Best Buy and they're seeing reasonably fast wifi speeds (300-500Mbps) which are well in excess of what my router can produce over the air (I think the fastest I've clocked is a hair under 200Mbps). There's a lot of factors in wifi, though, and hard wiring is the way if you want to pull the full 1Gbps.

Make sure you read past the initial box labeling to find out if it's really a 1000Base-T or a 100Base-T router at heart.
 

TheSlySyl

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I'm using an Asus RT AC-5300 for my main router and an Asus AC68u AImeshed as a second access point on the other end of the house. I do have most of my big bandwidth devices connected by ethernet (1gbps internet and 1gbps ethernet wired in the house.), but my RT-5300 has more than help up with all the other crazy stuff my network does, thanks to smart home devices I have 30+ wifi devices active at all times.

With my phone speed test I get about 350mpbs when a room or two away with my router. My phone is an older one though... My network speed usually peaks at 880mbps wired.

If I was to buy a router now I'd definitely get one that has Wifi 6 (AX, or whatever the hell they're calling it.) Just to future proof for a couple years down the road when they become more prevalant.

I've had a better time with ASUS and Merlin firmware than any other router i've messed with personally. Also because of AImesh i'll likely be sticking with them for a while.

Edit: I should probably mention that I did a super quick "mod" to my router where I have a USB to 3pin fan connector and I just have a 140mm fan sitting on top of the router blowing directly into the beast literally 24/7. During summer this helped stability a ton as the router normally hit temps of 85C+
While this was within spec, it did cause a little instability. Throwing that fan on there reduced temps by 30C.
 
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