The Router Recommendations Thread (Consumer)

jlbenedict

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Anyone have a Linksys WRT1200ac? What a frustrating piece of garbage! The wifi on this is horrible; I have to reboot this thing 3-4 times a week!
 

Darakian

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Anyone have a Linksys WRT1200ac? What a frustrating piece of garbage! The wifi on this is horrible; I have to reboot this thing 3-4 times a week!
Have you tried openwrt on it? I don't have one myself, but the openwrt forums claim the 1200 is among the best you can get.
 

jlbenedict

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Have you tried openwrt on it? I don't have one myself, but the openwrt forums claim the 1200 is among the best you can get.
haha now that you mentioned that; on Sunday, I put the "Designated Driver" build of OpenWRT on it, with the updated wifi modules/drivers and it has been almost a week without a reboot or any signs of any issues :)
 

Darakian

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haha now that you mentioned that; on Sunday, I put the "Designated Driver" build of OpenWRT on it, with the updated wifi modules/drivers and it has been almost a week without a reboot or any signs of any issues :)
Good to hear. I've been mulling over getting one of those.
 

jiminator

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so many pages. So my wifi is shit in part of the house, ok elsewhere. is there a consensus on a good but inexpensive extender? thanks
 

Mackintire

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so many pages. So my wifi is shit in part of the house, ok elsewhere. is there a consensus on a good but inexpensive extender? thanks
The general rule with extenders is DON'T use them, unless you have NO OTHER CHOICE. Extenders will cut any bandwidth you have in half as they are effectively repeating messages to and from the client and AP.



That said, I had a client whom MoCA wasn't an option. HomePlug didn't work either. This worked out to be a near ideal scenario. The signal was -86db at the client on 2.4Ghz. Connection rate was 12Mbit, measured throughput was an intermittent 1-4Mbps. I placed the extender on the second floor near directly above the AP (-58db on 2.4Ghz going through the ceiling). The Client was now connecting to the extender at 144Mbps at -64db going through 1 wall diagonally. The measured throughput was 38-42Mbps full duplex solid.

Yes this is not a small cute model...but you need those large antenna's to have range...which IS the point of using an extender.

TP-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender w/ Gigabit Ethernet Port (RE450)
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Extender-Gigabit-Ethernet-RE450/dp/B010S6SG3S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1472443189&sr=8-3&keywords=TPlink+extender
 

Tup3x

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Does anyone know when we'll see more LTE-A modems? The only decent one I know is Huawei E5186 but it has so dumbed down settings that I'd rather not upgrade to it from Huawei B593u. Also it wouldn't hurt to have external WiFi antennae. ASUS 4G-AC55U would be rather sweet BUT it only has LTE Cat. 4 support. It's not a massive deal breaker but Cat. 6 networks are coming fast so ASUS 4G-AC55U doesn't feel like that great buy.
Just bought ZTE MF286 and I'm surprised how well this work. Gigabit ports and has all essential features (band locking, external antenna connectors, binding ip to MAC address, bridge mode, Cat.6 LTE...). But what's surprising is the WIFI coverage. I've never had a router or modem that has this good WIFI. Even the 5 GHz coverage is better than 2,4 GHz coverage with previous routers/modems.
 

jlbenedict

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Have you tried openwrt on it? I don't have one myself, but the openwrt forums claim the 1200 is among the best you can get.
haha now that you mentioned that; on Sunday, I put the "Designated Driver" build of OpenWRT on it, with the updated wifi modules/drivers and it has been almost a week without a reboot or any signs of any issues :)

Good to hear. I've been mulling over getting one of those.

Short lived LOL Still had to reboot the 1200 multiple times a week..

oh well... Ubiquiti now resides in my household.. with an ER-X and a Unifi AP. It was actually nice for a change, working from home and not getting disconnected from my Citrix session.. unlike on the Linksys.. it was a nightmare..

not sure what is inside of this Ubiquiti stuff.. but so far so good
 

morpheus6d9

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After looking for a replacement router for so long i ended up using a retired messaging server and installing pfsense
 

Zarathustra[H]

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haha now that you mentioned that; on Sunday, I put the "Designated Driver" build of OpenWRT on it, with the updated wifi modules/drivers and it has been almost a week without a reboot or any signs of any issues :)




Short lived LOL Still had to reboot the 1200 multiple times a week..

oh well... Ubiquiti now resides in my household.. with an ER-X and a Unifi AP. It was actually nice for a change, working from home and not getting disconnected from my Citrix session.. unlike on the Linksys.. it was a nightmare..

not sure what is inside of this Ubiquiti stuff.. but so far so good

I cant recommend the Ubiquiti Unifi units enough. I know this is the consumer thread, and Unifi is technically enterprise, but they are cheap enough to be consumer.

I got my first one back in 2010-2011 some time. I lived in a densely populated neighborhood of condos, with Verizon FiOS available as a ISP, so everyone had routers. I could literally see 20-30 SSID's from my house.

I tried a number of different consumer routers, even high end ones (for the time) like Netgear's WNDR3700, nothing cut through that noise.

That is, until I on a whim tried a Unifi Access Point, and it was as if there was no interference at all. It just worked, cut through all the noise and gave me full expected speeds. I was floored.

I've bought nothing but Unifi AP's since, and recommended them to several friends who live in similarly WiFi dense areas.

My current setup is a pfSense based router, with two UniFi AC LR AP's, and I am very happy with them. Always work, and never need to be restarted.

Current uptime?

Code:
20:26:40 up 94 days, 22:03,  load average: 0.01, 0.04, 0.04
Only time they rebooted 94 days ago was due to the latest firmware update. :p
 

Sp33dFr33k

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Just picked up a Unify AP Lite today. For $80 seemed like a good option. Currently getting it all setup but the initial setup is quick simple. Tons and tons of options in the interface so I'm sure it'll take a while to get everything set up properly.
 

Edgar

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yup my asus ac3200 will be my last wireless router i ever purchase. When my house is built in april. I already have a spot pre wired for my ubiquiti AC LR ap.
 

ciggwin

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I cant recommend the Ubiquiti Unifi units enough. I know this is the consumer thread, and Unifi is technically enterprise, but they are cheap enough to be consumer.

I got my first one back in 2010-2011 some time. I lived in a densely populated neighborhood of condos, with Verizon FiOS available as a ISP, so everyone had routers. I could literally see 20-30 SSID's from my house.

I tried a number of different consumer routers, even high end ones (for the time) like Netgear's WNDR3700, nothing cut through that noise.

That is, until I on a whim tried a Unifi Access Point, and it was as if there was no interference at all. It just worked, cut through all the noise and gave me full expected speeds. I was floored.

I've bought nothing but Unifi AP's since, and recommended them to several friends who live in similarly WiFi dense areas.

My current setup is a pfSense based router, with two UniFi AC LR AP's, and I am very happy with them. Always work, and never need to be restarted.

Current uptime?

Code:
20:26:40 up 94 days, 22:03,  load average: 0.01, 0.04, 0.04
Only time they rebooted 94 days ago was due to the latest firmware update. :p
You live in a condo and have two UniFi AP AC LR?

I have a 3000 sq ft house and have one UniFi AP AC Lite with great coverage (400ft range on the Lite).

What hardware are you running for pfSense? I am running an old white box but it's super hot and I'd like to put together something that will run cooler for the summer. I'm considering an EdgeRouter X but I really like using pfSense.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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You live in a condo and have two UniFi AP AC LR?

I have a 3000 sq ft house and have one UniFi AP AC Lite with great coverage (400ft range on the Lite).

What hardware are you running for pfSense? I am running an old white box but it's super hot and I'd like to put together something that will run cooler for the summer. I'm considering an EdgeRouter X but I really like using pfSense.
I forgot to mention that I moved in between.

I now live in a 2100 sq ft house. I have two of them less because of range and more because of some stubborn internal walls in this old house.

I ordered a PcEngines APU2C4 for pfSense. Plenty of power for my bandwidth, and it only pulls single digit wattage from the wall!
 

ciggwin

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I forgot to mention that I moved in between.

I now live in a 2100 sq ft house. I have two of them less because of range and more because of some stubborn internal walls in this old house.

I ordered a PcEngines APU2C4 for pfSense. Plenty of power for my bandwidth, and it only pulls single digit wattage from the wall!
Nice! Where did you order the APU2C4? Right from their site pcengines.ch? :unsure:

am looking for something small and quiet. I've seen many Mini PCs on Amazon and AliExpress but still a bit out of what I am willing to spend.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Nice! Where did you order the APU2C4? Right from their site pcengines.ch? :unsure:

am looking for something small and quiet. I've seen many Mini PCs on Amazon and AliExpress but still a bit out of what I am willing to spend.

I ordered it directly from PC Engines in Switzerland. They shipped it to me in the US using UPS. It arrived in 3 days.

Their ordering form on their webpage is imperfect but it works. When I ordered it using their ordering form the pricing was as follows:
  • APU2C4 board: $122
  • CASE1D2BLKU Black Enclosure: $10.00
  • AC12VUS2 US AC adapter: $4.40
  • MSATA16D 16GB msata SSD: $17.00
  • Shipping & handling: $39.40
  • Total: $192.80

I got an automated order confirmation with this information in it.

However, when I got my actual invoice the prices changed as follows:
  • APU2C4 board: $114
  • CASE1D2BLKU Black Enclosure: $9.40
  • AC12VUS2 US AC adapter: $4.10
  • MSATA16D 16GB msata SSD: $16.00
  • Shipping & handling: $29.40
  • Total: $172.90

I was a little bit puzzled, but I wasn't about to complain.

Then when I received the box, I was initially concerned, as my itemized invoice in the box was different again:
  • APU2C4 board: $130
  • CASE1D2BLKU Black Enclosure: $9.40
  • AC12VUS2 US AC adapter: $4.10
  • Shipping & handling: $29.40
  • Total: $172.90

(note the missing SSD and APU board having gone up in price). I almost ordered an msata SSD on amazon before I noticed they had just installed the SSD on the board before shipping it, and combined the pricing of the two items.

Anyway, in the end, the grand total was $172.90 including 3 days shipping from Switzerland and I am happy.

It appears to be a small company run by former large PC OEM board designers who really know their engineering stuff, but haven't taken the time to refine their ordering process :p

The trickiest part was installing pfSesne on it. The name is deceptive. It's called the APU2C4, but it is not an APU as we have come to expect from AMD. It has no GPU on it, nor can you install one. In order to install pfSense you need a serial port on your computer (a USB adapter works if you don't have one) as well as a serial cable, but not a regular one, but rather a nullmodem cable. Then you have to download the serial console version of the pfSense installer put in on a USB stick and boot it on the APU2C4, and and use a serial console on your computer to install it.

It was a little tricky to get it done, as I haven't messed with serial consoles in decades and had mostly forgotten everything I knew, but ones up and running I was very happy. Both much lower power use and much cheaper than the intel CPU+miniitx board with dual intel NIC I would have otherwise used.

I mean, that $172.90 shipped, included everyting, CPU, motherboard, 4GB ECC ram, dual Intel NIC's, Case, PSU, etc. All I had to add was a serial cable to install it. (My old Asus workstation motherboard actually still has a serial header on it, so I didn't need a USB to serial adapter)
 

Stiletto

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I have a 1200 sq ft apartment with two bedrooms and thick-ass walls. My network setup consists of a Netgear WNDR4300 router connected to a D-Link DAP-1522 wireless bridge. The router is where my internet connection plugs in, and supplies wired connections to my various game consoles. The bridge is used as a WAP, placed on top of a bookcase in my living room so as to provide signal to the office, which is the inner bedroom surrounded by thick walls. Problem is the connection often drops, losing my connection in games or while streaming videos from my PC to my PS3/TV in the living room. I'd like a recommendation of a good wireless router under 200 bucks that could replace both, will push strong signal, and hopefully has eight wired ethernet ports. I'd be open to suggestion of wireless repeaters if you think they would help as well.
 
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wikidlad

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As a Netgear employee I can tell you we have come a long way as far as quality and ability. I can proudly recommend our Nighthawk and Orbi products.
 

morpheus6d9

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I forgot to mention that I moved in between.

I now live in a 2100 sq ft house. I have two of them less because of range and more because of some stubborn internal walls in this old house.

I ordered a PcEngines APU2C4 for pfSense. Plenty of power for my bandwidth, and it only pulls single digit wattage from the wall!
How are you liking that PcEngines APU2C4?
 

cyclone3d

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As a Netgear employee I can tell you we have come a long way as far as quality and ability. I can proudly recommend our Nighthawk and Orbi products.
Better quality sure would have been nice when I had a DSL modem/ Wireless N combo that died a month out of warranty because the heatsink was mounted to the board with a single post that was soldered to the board. The solder connection broke and the heatsink (which only covered about 1/2 the chip) swung out of the way and it overheated and died. Prety sure the model was a DGND3700.

And of course Netgear was like "tough luck, it is out of warranty" even though it was quite obviously a huge design flaw.

Since then I have not touched another Netgear router.

I do use the small gigabit switches though.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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How are you liking that PcEngines APU2C4?
I'm liking it. It was a little bit of a pain in the butt to get going, due to having to install everything using a serial console since it doesn't have a GPU or any video output (yes, confusing for a product named APU) but once up and running it has just worked and been completely transparent to me in that way.

It hums along using single digit wattage pulled from the wall (as measured on my Kill-A-Watt) regardless of the load. which is great.

The only issue is that the version of BSD that the current version of pfSense is based on does not include the necessary drivers to read the core temperature from the CPU. You can manually install the drivers, but you then have to reinstall them every time pfSense has a software update. Not a big issue. I was concerned at first due to the passive cooling and the fact that it resides in an un-airconditioned space, but I don't even bother anymore as I have reached thepoint of confidence that it will be cool enough.

And this issue should go away once pfSense does a other bump in upstream BSD version.

I have e tested it's routing capability up to about 600Mbps, which is great considering how difficult it is to get even high end x86 systems to route gigabit speeds properly. If Google fiber came to town tomorrow, I'd have to switch to something else, but for the type of bandwidth is mere mortals get, it works.

It does have AES support but I have never properly benchmarked it. I do occasionally run VPN's but my OpenVPN host is in a VM on my main server instead, so I have never bothered playing with that feature on the router.
 

wikidlad

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Better quality sure would have been nice when I had a DSL modem/ Wireless N combo that died a month out of warranty because the heatsink was mounted to the board with a single post that was soldered to the board. The solder connection broke and the heatsink (which only covered about 1/2 the chip) swung out of the way and it overheated and died. Prety sure the model was a DGND3700.

And of course Netgear was like "tough luck, it is out of warranty" even though it was quite obviously a huge design flaw.

Since then I have not touched another Netgear router.

I do use the small gigabit switches though.


Sorry to hear that Cyclone, Next time you have an issue let me know and I will do my best to take it higher and get your issue resolved.
 

opfreak

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My cable modem is in the basement, and currently so is my netgear r7000. I've had problems with the r7000 and apple tv streaming... streaming on the appletv would cause huge ping spikes gaming. So I update to dd-wrt and that seems to fix most issues.

However I am looking to bring the r7000 upstairs to get better wireless signal in the backyard.

So I'm looking for a decent router to sit in the basement, most of the house is wired, so where the r7000 is going already has Ethernet.

Looked at building a pfsense router, but I'm lazy. I just want something that works really well and can handle a lot of streaming, (both to the net, and internal). Ideal less then 100 bucks. hopefully less then 150, if its more then that I need good proof that its money well spent.
 

Saturn_V

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Debating between two of Netgear's Nighthawks: the R6700 and R7000. 6700 has a $20 coupon on Amazon right now, $100.00, while the R7000 is $159.00. 7000 seems more gamer-oriented, not sure if I need the extra features. The majority of my streaming/gaming is on Ethernet connected devices, not wireless.

What I depend on WiFi for is mobile device and smart-home devices like Nest, Amazon Echo and Wink. The upgrade is propelled by my Nest thermostat's connectivity issues with the current N router, a Trendnet TEW-639GR. Seven years old and over a decade out of date.





 

rudy

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Ubiquiti is great once you get it setup, but setup itself is not great, and upgrades can be a problem. I really don't get what is so hard about building Java applications that do not break with new versions of java. I thought the point of java was to make things more portable / compatible but somehow java programmers always somehow lock junk in to a specific java version.

At any rate I am looking for a router / wifi ap for consumer. I would like something stable, don't want to have to reboot it, I am used to unifi running for months without problems. Range would be good as we are going through some walls. Will have about 5- 8 devices connected.
 

SirMaster

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I'm not sure I see the benefit of a PcEngines APU2C4 over a little Intel J1900 box.

I picked up one of these recently:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-X-Lan-Router-Qotom-Q190G4N-S07-with-celeron-J1900-VGA-4-usb-firewall-Multi-function/32780178952.html

With 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, no WiFi for $172.

It's got a 2.0-2.4GHz quad core Intel Celeron J1900 and quad port Intel I211-AT NIC.

Power usage is about 10W and it can handle 900+ mbit/s NAT through pfsense.


I highly recommend one if you are looking for a small and low energy but high powered home router.
 

Term-X

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I need some suggestions for a router for a friend. Her router is kicking the bucket and she's had it intermingled with a variety of software and hardware devices to have user management over her kids and their device/internet type. Unfortunately, the Disney Circle for example, has been erratic and often seizing up the internet for everyone when it shouldn't be doing so.

I don't really know too much about new Routers but I've been trying to research a router to suit the specific needs.

Requirements:

- Individual User/Device Management
i.e. Parental Controls, Device time access management
- WiFi performance (Dual Band at least, Tri-band would be nice but not at the expense of other features)
- Must be standalone route (no PCs built to act as a router)
- Desktop Management capability (eg: not phone only)

Bonus
- Open Firmware compatibility a plus (eg. Tomato, OpenWRT, etc)
- Phone (android/iOS) management capability

I've learned of some new mesh style routers that are supposedly great at eliminating dead zones (Netgear Orbi, AmplifiHD) but Im not sure about their user management options or they lack certain requirements.

Budget is not necessarily concern if it hits all the notes.
 

Vengance_01

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Unifi ac lite plus a cheap 30$ gig router with wireless disabled. Can't beat the combo. Unifi just works. Love poe for a nice clean wall mount
 

SamuraiInBlack

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So it looks like the TL-WDR4300 I have now is either showing signs of age or degradation in wireless signal, as the signal keeps dropping and lag is intensifying. This is still happening after an updated firmware flash. Perhaps it's finally time to upgrade? Or should I try DD-WRT on it first?

If I am looking at getting a new router: Need a gaming oriented router and something that can easily handle multiple devices over wireless. Current wifi using devices: 2 phones, 1 tablet, 1 TV, two laptops, 1 XBox One. May end up connecting a PS4 and another tablet in the future. Primary usage is for gaming and Netflix, Hulu, etc. Under $200 preferred, but will go to it if it's really worth it. Bonus if it supports open firmware but not necessary.
 

Champ

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Just to verify: I can use my EA4500 with Wifi disabled to work with the UAP-AC-LR?

Is setting up the Ubq hard? I'm used to consumer routers. It is either this setup or RT-ACRH13.

I will have Gbps speeds in a couple months with my choices of AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber soon.
 

Vengance_01

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Just to verify: I can use my EA4500 with Wifi disabled to work with the UAP-AC-LR?

Is setting up the Ubq hard? I'm used to consumer routers. It is either this setup or RT-ACRH13.

I will have Gbps speeds in a couple months with my choices of AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber soon.
Yes you can. Be aware you will not see gigabit speeds over wireless. You will see about about 500mbit max. Also don't get the long range get the ac pro or the new HD if you want to splurge. Also beware the unifi line of products will not ever be the fastest. They are more geared for smb and enterprise customers on a budget. But they just work and can handle a lot of connections. My house is all wireless including my desktop and I have no issues with 10 to 15 devices connected. Also my uptime was 137 days before I upgraded the firmware
 

Mackintire

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Ubiquiti is going to be quiet for a while... some good stuff coming, but the next 6 months are the quiet before the storm (release wise). Amplifi runs similar code to the UNIFI APs but is optimized for a lower number or devices... also the guy who lead the designed for it, also used to work for apple as a design engineer.
 
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